Sunday, October 28, 2007

Moving on

Yup! Finally got those pics posted.
I had to wipe the counters several times to get past the layers of dust that keep settling out onto everything. But when I got past the layers of dust I found a beautiful kitchen.

I dread things like removing the ceramic tiles or the popcorn ceilings because you would not believe the mess it can make but so far, I have not found many things in remodeling that are not messy. Yesterday this looked like a demolition zone with chards of broken tiles flying through the air covering everything within a 20 foot radius. Got the injuries to prove it. I am just happy that Caleb still has his eyesight! Need goggles next time.

It does make a person keep their shoes on their feet.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Phase Two

Phase One was to put a new kitchen in the old living room area. This started last July and is still in progress but now for the rest of the story....

Phase Two has begun today.

Sometime during this last week everything in the old kitchen was moved to a new location in the new kitchen. Most things went into a temporary storage location since the upper cabinets are still getting "polycryliced". (In case you don't know that word, it is not in the dictionary yet but means applying a finish of polycrylic which is a water-based polyurethane.)

Today the old cabinets were taken out and officially I am now cooking in the new kitchen. It is much like camping out, searching for things I know I have but can not remember where I put them and cooking on an unfamiliar cooking surface. It is fun and mysterious. Opening the refrigerator is most enjoyable. Everything is where it should be but the actual appliance is in a new location and filling the void of where it belonged before it actually got in it's new location.

I will be posting pictures soon so all can see. I am a happy girl.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Memorizing Scriptures

I am terrible...I mean TERRIBLE at memorizing verses.

I am such a right-brained person which is to say that I deal with the whole picture and with how things fit together, intuitions, etc which is why I deal in art.

My left-brained daugther on the other hand was like a walking tv guide when she was six! She had it all memorized. She could also, tell you all of the words to any song she listened to. I could remember the tune when I heard it and only the words in the chorus or in very repetitious patterns. I also could get the feeling of the song.

In education we are taught to respect these differences in learning. It is not to say that I can not memorize. It just does not come automatically with me. Also, in education we are taught to use as many of our senses in teaching as possible. If I can see, write it and hear and play a game with it I will learn it.

We are working on memorization in our Sunday morning Bible class and thought maybe, it would be good to begin to work on it. I have posted a memorization gadget. Unfortunately it is in the King James version and I like the New International. I could not find any other version but at least we all know it is really God's word.

Join me!
See the gadget in the right hand column. Each week will be a new verse and as the week progresses more words will be blanked out until all are covered. You can view the verse any time by clicking on the lower right hand corner where it prompts you to click to view.

Friday, October 19, 2007


A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal,
but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
Proverbs 12:10

Sadly October is a dangerous month for cats. Lately the cruelty to cats has been in the news often. It is very disturbing to hear how cruel someone can be to an animal.

During a meeting with our art students this morning we all scampered together to help a baby lizard find his way out of danger. He had wandered in from outside and was in the hallway between our rooms and in danger of passers-by.
One held a piece of cardboard shielding the lizard and another was clearing the way while others just were helping clear the students out of the pathway to lead the lizard back outside. Everyone kept saying, "be careful!", "don't step on him."

See?! I have wonderful students this year!
How refreshing!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I have been reading Proverbs and the verses I have been posting seem to jump out at me.
It has nothing to do with anyone in particular but are proverbs that make me think and rethink.
I know they are something that someone else will benefit from besides me.
I do find that teaching gives me ample opportunity to practice control.

People with understanding control their anger;
a hot temper shows great foolishness.
Proverbs 14:29

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


A fool is quick-tempered,
but a wise person stays calm when insulted.

Proverbs 12:16

It is easy for people to make cruel, mean remarks and their hope is to get you angry and make you hurt probably because they themselves are angry over something but it is the smart person who stays calm in their face and not respond to them.

The sad thing about this lesson is that you have to take so many insults before you learn how to respond to them.

Expert in the Room

I am the expert in my classroom and as long as I remain inside of those four walls I am still the expert in that room where 85 students will come and go and spend a few minutes every day.

But being the one in the room with all of the knowledge and expertise comes with a cost.

Each person individually is to learn something that comes from me before the end of the year and although I can impart that knowledge in a broad spectrum of information it takes my individual attention to touch each person and motivate them to learn. Which means I have to perform daily per class period per person, that is where the high cost comes in. Sometimes I feel I need to clone myself to get to each person but then I am not the expert in the room anymore. I am one of many like me and I have to give up that prestigious position of expert.

Trying to keep up with the demand for attention in the classroom can be exhausting and frustrating but I AM the EXPERT in the room.

But then on the other hand if I can delegate an assistant among my students, train them to do a part of what I do and place them in charge of helping others I empower another person, boost their confidence and their worth and relieve myself of the tiring task of being the only person who can do the job. Then empowering another student to do another task that I do, I begin to be the coach of a team. Working together the team gets the job done.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to others.
Proverbs 12:15

Brings to mind the old poster we might find in a classroom: "My way or the highway!"

From a teacher perspective we all could empathize with the concept as far as discipline goes but what if we all were exactly alike and there was no variance, no new innovations, only the same old thing, only our ideas? Where would we be?

I once had an art student whom I had taught for two years and who was moving into the third year with me. When asked who influenced his style of art he answered, "No one. I am one of a kind. I taught myself."

When I suggested to him that he must have been hatched from an egg in a cave with no one to raise him he laughed at the ridiculous idea.

"Actually," he said, " I am the oldest of six children and my mother is a single parent. I don't know my father."

As he spoke about his life in answer to my questions, I could see the light going off in his head.

The questioning moved from his family to the music he listened to, all the CDs he owned, the artists who designed the covers of his favorite CDs, the websites he frequented and on and on. As we embarked in conversation I could see the light in his head flashing now. He was beginning to realize that he was influenced by everything around him like it or not. He could not reject their influences on him.

A few days later I overheard the same student questioning another student.

"Who influences your artwork?"

The other student answered, "No one."

"What? Were you hatched from an egg in a cave?"

How else but by combining ideas from others did we get a man on the moon or recognize sound waves traveling through the air to little receivers or all of those other amazing things that man has developed.

To think that our ideas are the only way to do things is only ignorant and is a denial of better developments even if it is only how to hoe a row in the garden. One of my fond memories of my father-in-law is how he laughed when he told about Grandma's crooked rows in the garden and how she defended her crooked rows by saying you got more seeds in a crooked row than a straight one.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Saturday's Walk

There were more people walking today than in the past four years that we have been doing Buddy Walk.

It took us a long time to get onto the track and once we had walked halfway and were circling back around we could look back at the other end of the track and could see it was a continuous circle of people with nothing to indicate the beginning of those who had started the walk and those just starting. I am not sure how many people were there but enough to fill up a mile long track and then some.

The kids (both the young kids and those older "kids") loved the moonwalks, trains, snacks and entertainment.

The adults mostly loved the misting spray of water coming out of the misting heads attached to the eaves of the pavilion to cool down from the heat of the exertion of the walk.

Although I enjoyed the walk I think my favorite was the train ride. Lee and I crammed into one seat with two of the grandchildren (because we only saw two of the kids at the time) and took a ride around the park. It was relaxing and the kids loved it.
Anytime I can get my hands on the grandchildren and show them a good time is a great time for me.

A big thank you to all of the members of Eric's Entourage and those supporting us.

Isn't he a cutie?!

We had 31 people registered with 29 in attendance. After the walk 27 of us went over to Tomatillos for some great Mexican food and lots of fun.

By the way, if you wanted to make a donation in the team's name and did not have an opportunity to do so donations made through Oct 31st on Eric's web page will be credited to the team. (The team does not receive anything other than the satisfaction.) Go to the link I have put in my link bar on the right and click on general team donation and follow the instructions or just plan on joining us next year and doing the walk with us.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sign up for Buddy Walk

Buddy Walk October 6th at Fort Sam in SA.
Our team is Eric's Entourage (Eric Barnhill)
Team photo scheduled at 8:20
Walk begins at 9:00

Our team goal is 25 and so far, we have 23 signed in with about another ten who say they are joining us but have not actually registered.

We will meet our goal this year.

I thought it might be a good thing to post a location online to register.
You can register that morning but things run a little smoother if you do it ahead of time. Most of us have registered as families and then each member of the family gets a tee shirt. Do follow closely how to register for a family. The first person will be charged and then after that you continue to put in the FAM code and register the others at no additional charge. Just trust and try it. It works.

Most of us will not get our tee shirts until that morning and with no place to change into the shirt. But we girls know how to change a tee shirt discreetly in public and that is what we will do. Dress to be cool.

Look for the buddy walk registration on my links as it will not create a link in my post.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Buddy Walk this year.

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Buddy Walk

This coming weekend is our Buddy Walk. This will be our fourth year. Eric was just a few months old the first year we did it. It is to benefit the San Antonio Down Syndrome Association and those families in the surrounding area. Of course, we have our own precious buddy and we love supporting him in our walk.

Anyone interested in getting out there and walking with us should join us. It is not a fast walk nor a long walk. It is a stroll in the park type of walk along with hundreds of other people walking with their family, friends and pets. It is a family day with moonwalks, family type entertainment (all free) and all sorts of free things to eat and drink donated by various companies. Kids love it.

After the walk we are planning on eating lunch together as a group.
Our goal is to have a team of 25 and we are almost there.