A List For Friday

I have a list today, which is no surprise, but really all my poor half medicated mind can manage.

I don’t know what it is like in your neck of the woods, but we are not having any spring here in The Mitten.

Not even a little, Michigan did NOT get the spring memo.

The majority of the snow has melted leaving UGLY brown everything. And HUGE pot holes.

Actually, I am campaigning for a little more snow to break a state record from 1880 or something. We only need an inch or something ridiculous like that. COME ON, make this winter count for something!!!!

I have begun to slowly wean myself off the couch and CSI Miami.

I went to BSF on Wednesday, completed my first post surgical haircut and went to Sam’s with Honey. I did not lift anything heavier than the specified 10 pounds. I might have ruined myself when we ran into some old friends and stood around talking for about an hour. My side was a paining me greatly when we left.

But it was SO nice to see the old friends!

I went back to BSF on Thursday and per the don’t lift anything over 10 pounds rule, felt useless. But those loverly gals treated me affectionately, like a well loved pet, present but without expectation.

Jip the Farm Dog chauffeured me both days because, seriously, I am not ready to be unleashed on the roads.

After Jip dropped me back off at home I had a 2 1/2 hour nap. Slept like a stone. I am a preschooler, apparently.

I am happy to say that I was finally able to shave and exfoliate my legs last night. My inner lizard was trying to break out.

Tomorrow is the last ABC’s in the D for the season. They have a fun party for the kids with food and a magician. It is feeling a little bittersweet because Abby and I are both praying about whether or not we will be returning.

The Girls and I finally watched Frozen. The Girls had been saying that their friends had all been raving that it was awesome and better than the Disney movies of their youth. We all agreed that it was very good, but they did not agree that it was better. Mousey said it was no Lion King. Simba, you have set the bar high!

Honey and I saw American Hustle. Hated it. I read about the plot, while watching the stupid thing, and I STILL didn’t know what the heck was going on. Plus, all that yelling, swearing and screaming gets on my last nerve.

Tell me what you all have been up to.

Have a hustle free weekend.

Couch Delivery

The new couches came on Wednesday. I like them fine, but I really have no recollection of what we ordered, it seems so long ago.

002

Capri Patt said she thought they were going to be more caramel-ly, I thought they would not look quite so dark brown either. They do seem lighter and have more variation in better light, this is bought light, from a bulb. What I really don’t recall is the seam running through the back of the cushion. As I look at the picture Capri Patt and I carried around for weeks, it does NOT have a seam on the back cushion. But then Honey picked a couch he liked better and it had a higher back, and we took the leather from another couch and now I have no idea what we did. I will say that the back does not look as poofy in real life as it does in the pictures, because I know I did not want the look our old couch had, we wanted something a little more tailored.

005

The complaining from the other family members has begun. They are too hard, so much shorter, not as wide, why did we have to get new ones? To which I answer, they will break in and be comfy, remember when we got our new van and the seats seemed SO hard? Yes, they are a little shorter, but only one bum cheek shorter, you can’t live with one bum cheek shorter?! Why yes, they are not as deep and wide Honey, but may I remind you that YOU chose this couch because you said it sat better, precisely because it was NOT so deep and wide! And why did we have to get new ones? Why, you ask?

Exhibit A We had worn great amounts of the green slap off. Three cats had also managed to leave their marks. They no longer have front claws, so we have a little hope. They are old fat ladies now anyway.

007

Exhibit B The WONDERFUL cushion covers that Capri Deb made about 10-11 years ago surely extended the life of the couches!!! If you think the backs were scratched up, you should have seen the cushions! But alas, the cushion covers were slap wore out.

008

Exhibit C Just another shot of all the ugly.

010

Yes, the old beast was comfy, but 16 years of a family of five constantly flopping on you, multiple times daily will do that to you. HEY, maybe that’s why I am so broken down!!!! They deserve an honored place, slap out of the limelight! One will go in my hair room, the other will wait until some child needs an old couch to grace their own humble abode. Or The Salvation Army, whichever.

011

Thank you couch, you have served us well.

We are gearing up for Winter Storm Maximus up here in The Mitten. Four to eight inches of snow this weekend with potential for rain, or ice as we like to call it. I don’t like Honey out in all that mess, but he is not one to miss work over a little weather related distress. If he would have lived down south where they had all the winter trouble earlier this week, I guarantee, he would have made it to work!

The Ab-Cat and I are scheduled to go down and tutor in Detroit for ABC’s in the D on Saturday morning, in the thick of all the flurrage. I know it seems wimpy, but if it’s questionable, we will not go. It’s one thing to have a problem where I have to get out of my car and walk for assistance, it’s quite another to try and manage wheelchair navigation with her. She thinks I am ridiculous, but it has caused me endless pondering about the situation. In conclusion: I don’t want to do it!

Since the storm is named Maximus, I am just waiting for all the storm comparisons referring to the Russell Crowe movie Gladiator. However, that could just be me.

I am heading out to the store today to stock up on some essentials, you know, cream, butter, tortilla chips for the delicious Super Bowl dip we are having. There will be dessert, we have just not quite nailed it down yet. The storm needs to await my return, then to quote our favorite gladiator;

Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell.

Avoid all the hell Dear Friends.

ABC’s in the D

The Ab-Cat and I went to Detroit for tutoring with ABC’s in the D last Saturday. We had heat, always a good day!!!

Last year was very bumpy for me. At the beginning of the year I had a basketball loving boy who was not interested in anything I had to say about learning or life, but that kid was there rain, shine or snowstorm. Then I got another boy who was so fun and so sweet and so willing to learn new things, but that boy’s attendance was as spotty as a leopard and he did not return to tutoring this year.

I didn’t know what to expect this year. They asked our preference, and I did request a younger child because the thought of teaching upper elementary math skills causes me to break out in hives. When the tutor assignments came out this year, I was given a boy in first or second grade. On the first day of tutoring, he was not there. The guy in charge paired me with a darling little kindergarten girl. When I passed him in the hall later that morning I looked him dead in the eyes and said very emphatically, I WANT HER!!!! He said he thought I might!

This precious little girl comes EVERY week and she is just darling! She is a little smarty pants for a kindergartener, very good at counting by multiples and recognizing letters. She loves to play games and is not above trying something she has never heard of before. She is very careful and is not above going back to erase and fix something that is not quite right. When I asked her if she would like to read a book she said, I can’t read. I told her she might be surprised. When we looked at the beginner reader and I pointed out words I thought she might know, she hesitantly read them. Pretty soon she read a whole sentence! I said who is a reader? She shyly pointed to herself and said I am. That is our little thing now, whether it’s who’s a reader, or who’s a writer, or who is learning to tell time, she confidently points to herself and says I AM!!!!!

She loves all colors, girly things, and when we did a Martin Luther King Jr. worksheet that asked them to draw a picture of what their dream is, she promptly drew a picture of herself, shopping at a Christmas store. Her favorite free time activity is an app on the iPad where she creates the most over decorated cookie you have ever seen! She wants to hold my hand and sit in my lap and last Saturday we jump roped together, which I have to tell you, I paid for later.

In our last moments of tutoring, before we headed up to the gym, she asked if I had a piece of paper. As I cleaned up our area, she was busy working on something. She folded it shyly and passed it to me.

001

Oh my goodness, be still my heart. I could tell she would have liked more time to decorate and color it all up. I told her I was going to put it on my refrigerator when I got home. She said Ok, you put a flower on it then.

I love her.

*****Thank you God for…

…giving me Leah to tutor.

…giving her the confidence to see she is a reader and a writer!

…knowing just what my heart needed at ABC’s in the D.

M-ist

Hi Guys. I was going to show some pictures of the doings around here but I did not have the forethought to take pictures of the rooms, and now people are sleeping in the rooms, and I have heard that people frown upon getting their picture taken while sleeping.

How about a list then?

Detroit is officially the trifecta of loss. Tigers, Red Wings, and finally, the Lions. There was much angst and the weeping and gnashing of teeth over here.

The Boy and The Dane arrived Friday afternoon. It has been very low key. Just eating, watching movies, and talking.

The Dane came down with a nasty head cold and it is throwing off her groove.

Today is appointment day for The Boy. Eye doctor and getting his fangs cleaned.

The last mountain of old, ripped up, neatly rolled carpet was taken by the garbage men this morning. It was the third week in a row and we were afeared of a mutiny.

Is it ok to call them garbage men? Is there another name they prefer? Like sanitation collection engineers? Magic Men? Trash Reductionists?

Our new mattress came on Wednesday. We are LOVING it!!!!!

The cats like it too, as they enjoy all beds.

Speaking of the cats, they are finally starting to believe that there are no more strange men making noise in our house.

They were very concerned about this. And very skittish.

They made themselves INVISIBLE for 2 days. Lucy is still doing the belly crawl when exposed in the open.

We are L.O.V.I.N.G. the new carpet!

The Mitten has turned down right cold. I had to wear real shoes. Twice!

The throw blankets are scattered hither and yon.

The Ab-Cat and I began the tutoring season at ABC’s in the D on Saturday. We were assigned brothers and the head honcho knew ahead of time that they were not going to be there that day. I am going out on a limb saying that my child was a brother because it said he was a female, but the name was Antwon. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

He gave us new kids that came for the first time. They were both girls. Abby said her girl was Autumn and was very nice. I don’t know if she will stay with her original assigned child or not. My little peanut was a 5 years old named Leah and we had some instant like! I told the head honcho man I WANT HER! He said he thought I might! She’s a keeper.

Capri P is coming over today to help us with the final stage of the carpet installation, the rearranging of the rooms! We have moved some furniture from one room to another and gotten rid of some altogether. Then there is the picture/stuff hanging. That part could be on the light side, I don’t have too much on hand.

We still need to replace the blinds and couches, but it may have to wait until she returns in the spring. I don’t make decisions well without her. I am pretty sure you knew that already though.

I found our shoes!!!! They were in The Boy’s window seat cupboard, where i so cleverly put them.

Have a good Monday!

ABC’S In The D End of Year Recap

The 2012/2013 tutoring session in Detroit is over. We had our end of year party two Saturdays ago. Yes, I am very current, I know. I also realize that I have never told you about the BSF Leaders Retreat in Cincinnati from March FIRST. Quick Draw McGraw is apparently not my name.

This was my first end of year party. I missed the carpool last season, and not because I was late. Well I was sort of late, because they changed the time to a half hour earlier and I did not get the memo. I was ever so sad because my girl Ja’Shayla was actually there after missing several weeks. She did not return to tutoring this year because she moved out of the area, another cause for extreme sadness. Did I ever mention that she had already moved 6 or 7 times during our October to March tutoring session? I loved that little girl. With her moving history, I just keep hoping she will move back into the area.

Anyway, back to this seasons party. They had a kids magician, who was all about the laughs. The children LOVED him! He was able to get quite a few of them to participate. The building was FREEZING cold that day, no heat. The first time I met my guy we had moved to the other building that we sometimes use when there is a conflict with our usual building. That day we roasted! Detroit Tutoring, a hot or cold experience!

Here is my buddy Tavion! Sweetest little pumpkin ever! We had to fill out certificates of attendance and they asked us for attributes. All I could think of was precious, sweetie, angel-baby, huggable, probably not what an 8 year old boy wants on his certificate. I settled for fun loving and energetic. I still regret not slipping a precious in between those manlier words!

He is wearing what he called his Detroit Lions coat. He loves football, and all we have are the Lions. Bless his precious little heart.

The tutor parents were invited for the festivities and to share a pizza lunch with dessert. Both of Tavion’s parents came to our little gathering. I had met his Dad, but not his Mom. They were very appreciative of the program. I was very appreciative of them sending their darling boy.

Here is The Ab-Cat with her buddy Anthony, who is also a Honey Bear, sweetheart. She had lunch with him and his Grandmother.

Mousey had to drop out of the program last month because of her job schedule, but Ab and I covered for her and took her girl when our kids weren’t there. Funny how that all works out.

Which brings me to the next thought. The team that coordinates the program naturally want feedback as to what works and what doesn’t. They also like to know if the tutors will be returning in the fall. Ab and I, along with the other ladies that usually ride in our carpool, have discussed this. At length.

On paper, this program is a dream come true. You are assigned a child that needs some academic help.(Although Mousey’s  fourth grade girl Dolcia was a little smartie and Mousey told us that she was afraid Dolcia was smarter than her!! She eventually started teaching her algebra, and finally challenged her.)  The academics are important, but the instructors tell us that the relationship is just as important. So far, so good. I can do those things.

The motto for ABC’s in the D is Flex and Obey, because there has to be a lot of flexibility. The program is every week, but the tutors only go every other. We have partners that we share the tutee with. We are supposed to fill in when our partner is not available, which is not a big problem for us, but can be annoying when you make the effort and the child is not there anyway.

And then there is attendance. Tutee attendance. This can be a big problem. Some kids are there, rain or shine, week in and week out. Many children received attendance awards, but many are erratic and there is not anything that can be done about it. Add to that, the kids come in vans in different shifts. Some come super late, as Ja’Shayla did last year. She was always in the last van and sometimes we only had 35 minutes to work as opposed to an hour and a half. That’s a little hectic! I say this because it was the rule, not the exception.

Some kids are hit or miss, sometimes there are long stretches of no attendance, then they return regularly like there was never an absence. You never know from week to week. Last year, I mostly ended up without a child on the days Ja’Shayla didn’t come. Because she was always late, I was reluctant to take another tutor-less child when I didn’t know yet if she would be there. So that was frustrating to go home after a morning of not seeing her at all.

When I started this session I had a different boy. He was a big challenge because he really needed academic help, and he had no interest in being helped. He also had zero interest in having a relationship with his tutor. He was only there to play basketball the last half hour. The other 5 kids who lived in his house also came, and they all received attendance awards. I was able to speak face to face with other tutor I shared him with at the end of year party. He had stayed with him all season, but I could tell by the way they interacted, and the tutors e-mails, they had not had a good year.

After I was switched from that boy, he was paired with a basketball loving teen boy, and I was paired with Tavion. We got along like a house on fire immediately, which was good, because my partner had the same experience with him 2 more times and then he was inexplicably out for about 5 weeks. He made a comeback when I was in Florida and Abby took him that day. But that one day was all it took for God to incline my heart towards his. I will always remember him. I hope to have him again next year.

All these many words to say this, God has a plan for our lives. For the tutors and for the tutees. We have no idea how our kids will change us, or how we will help them.

Is hard to have a disinterested, regularly attending child when there is no relationship. It is hard when there is a relationship, and their attendance is erratic. It is frustrating to set aside the morning and look forward to seeing your child and then they don’t come for 5 weeks in a row. But when it works, it’s wonderful! And that, we feel, is what keeps us coming back to ABS’s In the D for another season of flexing and obeying.

The New Tutee

How about another God story from ABC’s in the D??

I have talked about tutoring in Detroit before, most recently here and here. After I went two weeks ago, I was in limbo. The coordinator decided to put my basketball loving 5th (I wrongly told you 4th grade) grade boy with a basketball loving high school boy. I am praying that they can forge a good relationship together.

So back to the limbo. I was told that I would have a third grade boy. He had come for the first time the week before, so I was just hoping that he would come two weeks in a row. Doesn’t sound like that big of deal, but it can be. I was praying to have a better relationship with this boy. I want to have a relationship with him. I am a very relational person.

He showed up!!! His father dropped him off right on time and we were introduced and he chose to go right into the math room.

Can I tell you I was nervous? I had no idea what to expect. He could have been unhappy to be there, disappointed that I was a girl, or as ornery and aloof as his predecessor. Well, that boy was a pure joy to be with.

PURE JOY. Did you get that? P.u.r.e. J.o.y.

It was so easy. He was open and friendly. Willing to work and learn. It was exciting to teach him something to help him remember, and watch him grin as he used it on the next problem! We talked and laughed and played Candyland (again, what is up with the Candyland??). We talked about telling time and counting money, he read the Bible story and answered the questions. He agreed, God is a Miracle Worker! He put the instructions of how to make a pizza in order and we talked a lot about opposites, because he did not understand that word. At all.

I know he has three sisters and two brothers, no pets. He likes basketball and football, but football best. He loves hot sauce and I told him my Boy does too! We had gum, he told me where he went to school and bashfully said that his teacher, a Miss Something, was real sweet. When it was time to walk to the gym, he grabbed my hand and held it all the way there. All throughout gym time I watched him, and he was watching me, just checking to see if I was still there and watching him playing Simon Says.

So many times during the morning I was overcome by God’s goodness. There were quite a few times my eyes welled up in gratitude and thankfulness for this dear little boy. When walking to the gym, I caught a friends eye and mouthed the words, “I LOVE HIM!”

I don’t think I would have ever asked for a switch from my other boy. I had prayed about who I was getting, so I figured I was where God wanted me. I would have kept trying and we would have endured each other for the rest of the season. I would not have wanted him to think I didn’t like him or was trying to get rid of him. I hope he is happy with his new tutor. At least they can play basketball!

Ephesians 3:20

New International Version (NIV)

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us

But God had a better idea. He always has a better idea. He gave me immeasurably more. He’s a really good God.

News From the D

Hi Guys. I really need to tell you about tutoring last Saturday morning in Detroit.

In December, I mentioned my frustration about connecting with the boy I was assigned to tutor. Our sessions last month were a bust. He was in a horrible mood, didn’t want to do anything,was constantly trying to get upstairs to play basketball without working on anything and I was discouraged. I told you about it here.

I had been praying during the break that God would cause some sort of change, give some glimmer of hope that we would form some kind of relationship. One that didn’t involve him not doing anything or me getting after him.

I have to tell you, I was dreading Saturday.

It’s not like I’m some kind of cheerless taskmaster. I can usually talk with boys. I can be a fun person! We had to find a way to work together.

From the moment we went into the tutoring room on Saturday he seemed better. His mood was better, his attitude was better. He informed me that he didn’t want to do that Bible story cause it’s too long. I showed him it was all on one page, see? The story and a few questions. He looked at it, agreed, and that was it, no more grumbling. I asked him what he wanted to do for math and he went and picked something out….AND DID IT! Then he went and got a game to play. I was surprised that he chose Candyland, but whatever, we played Candyland. He wanted to go to the brain gym portion of the class that was up in the gym. I said ok but mentioned that he still needed to write a summary of the Bible story in his journal. He didn’t want to but I reminded him that he could waste his time trying to get out of it or just do it and we would go to the gym. He sat down and wrote it!!!!!

The whole morning I was just thanking God for how well things were going. It was SUCH an answer to prayer. After the last morning we had, I was pretty sure he could have lived the whole rest of his life without ever seeing me again. I was encouraged.

After the tutoring, they have a gym time. Some of the other men tutors were running with the boys and shooting baskets. My boy endures the whole morning for this part. I sit on the stage and watch because there is NO WAY I could keep up with that child. He is doing back flips, throwing balls all over, jumping rope and running 90 miles an hour with his hair on fire. I noticed that he was playing with a high school guy from the other church that goes down there with ours. After the day was over the coordinator came up and asked me how things were going. I said all right. He said he was considering putting my boy with the high school guy from the other church and did I mind? I said that would be great because he NEEDED a guy!!!!!!! It turns out that guy didn’t have a student. Was that perfect or what??

What I am most thankful for in this whole process is that we went out on a good note. It had been a 1000% better morning than the others. He is going to be happier with this younger, basketball playing high school guy. He may even want to learn something with him.

I think I need to ponder some more to see what all I have learned through this experience, but I do know one thing. God heard me. He knew I didn’t want to be a thorn in the side of this boy. I want him to come and learn, feel safe and accepted and be friends with his tutor and Jesus. He is going to need Jesus in his life to succeed. He has circumstances to overcome and uphill battles to fight. And maybe that high school guy is just the one he can connect with.

That God, He knows what He is doing.

ABC’s in the D

I had signed up to be a tutor every other Saturday last year with a group our church partners with in Detroit. It was WAY out of my comfort zone for one big reason, I have no business tutoring anyone. I was assured that I would be fine, the relationship with the students is really the more important thing, and the learning was hoped for, but secondary. We were supposed to go down and love on these kids.

Last year, I was given a darling little 7 year old girl to tutor named Ja’Shayla. Loving on her was easy, she was precious. Her attendance was spotty, and we learned later in the year that she had moved about 6 times during the October/March tutoring year. I don’t know what to say about that. I have only moved a few more times than that in my whole life. I was thrilled when she was able to come and we worked on learning to tell time and place value and she liked reading aloud to me the story of Balto the sled dog. So much so that when I suggested she save the rest of the book for another session, she said she had to finish it to see what happened!

She always arrived in the second van load of children, so our already small amount of time was even more limited. We talked while she ate her breakfast of juice box and cereal bar. I learned she lived with her mother and two little brothers. On the weekends she spent time with extended family and saw quite a bit of her Grandmother. We talked about pets, hers and mine. She LOVED to play Candyland, and commented more than once that “this is SO fun!”. She didn’t always want to join in the gym games, instead she held my hand and hugged me around the waist. The last time I saw her she shyly said “Bye, Kelly”, and I almost cried that she remembered my name.

All that to say that she did not come back to tutoring this year. I finally saw the coordinator on Saturday and was able to ask him if he knew anything about her family. He said he didn’t, and that her mother was usually good about telling him where they were going. I just pray that they are doing well and maybe she will return.

On to this year. The Girls signed up to go down to ABC’s in the D too. The Ab-Cat got a 4th or 5th grade girl who is pretty regular. She always greets Abby with a big hug and then they start chattering. Abby says she is a smart one and wants to try and do things by herself first. The little girl likes to play with Abby’s hair. She confided in Abby this week that the kids at school tease her and say mean things. Things like she is ugly, and she has bedbugs. Abby was able to share that she had been made fun of in school too, but don’t let other kids tell you who you are.

Mousey’s girl is about the same age, is also very sweet, but a little less regular. There is a rumor that she may have moved. It seems to be a constant thing in their lives.

The first child I was assigned was a 4th grade boy who never showed up. Then I was given another 4th grade boy who has been pretty regular. I share him with a partner who met him before I did. This was what he e-mailed after their first meeting; “He is a slight challenge in that he wants to do things his way, but if you’re firm with him he falls in line.” I e-mailed him that after last Saturday, the tutor and the tutee were BOTH unhappy campers.

Well, that was an understatement! He doesn’t want to talk at ALL, he is not interested in learning anything, he only wants to go to the gym and shoot baskets, he gives up and pushes everything across the table at the first sign of difficulty, he spends an inordinate amount of time complaining and asking if he can’t do something else. The only thing I know about him is he lives with his mom and his sister. The only reason I know that is because he was bothering a girl at our table and when I told him to stop he informed me that she was his sister.

I am discouraged. I don’t seem to be able to relate to him on any level. I am praying for some common ground. Maybe we are just going to have to endure each other for the rest of the year, but I hope not. I don’t want this to be unpleasant for him, I don’t want to be the cause of his inward or outward groaning when he sees me. I am praying that God causes some sort of shift before we meet again. He can do that. Just one glimmer of hope, one slim thread of…..something.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys, thanks for stopping by! A big thank you to Joyce From This Side of the Pond for facilitating this get together.

1. The Hodgepodge falls on the last day of February this year, a leap year. How will you spend that extra day?

Not doing anything out of the ordinary. I remember my 7th grade locker partner, Marilyn Kay, had a birthday on leap year. It was like her little claim to fame. She is probably still pretty young! Happy Birthday, Marilyn.

2. What has recently required a leap of faith on your part?

Since last November I have been a tutor.

I know, I know, I can’t believe it either. I may write a post about it in the future, but I don’t feel like talking about it in detail yet. Mainly because I feel like an imposter.

I am not a teacher. I am a mathematical id-jit. I am not what you would call a kid person. I do not enjoy going to Detroit. I had many doubts. I was pretty sure I did not have what it took to tutor a child. Seeds of “what if….” sprouted and flourished in my mind.

I heard about the need for tutors at the inner city church that our church partners with. I talked to one of my clients, she said she was going to do it. I talked to the woman who sat next to me in the service, she had done it last year! Keelyody’s husband does it. It just kept coming up. I went to the informational meetings and sat in the back. I didn’t feel that academically I had anything to offer. What if the child I was assigned didn’t listen or even want to learn anything? What if they were already ahead of me in math??

I felt like God was encouraging me, I was supposed to do this. It had to be from God because it certainly wasn’t something I ever considered doing! I put aside my fears and took the leap of faith, holding on to His hand AND the railing.

The program is called ABC’s in the D. Our motto is “Flex and obey”. The kids don’t all show up every week. Some weeks it’s freezing cold, some weeks we are roasting. Some weeks we can only use the gym. Most weeks the bus is late and our time with the kids is limited.

Well, I have learned a lot from tutoring. I have learned that I can listen to a little girl read a story she has never heard before, and agree with her that it rates 5, no 10 stars! I can help her learn how to tell time. We can talk about place value, and add double digit numbers and learn how to carry, and I get to see the light of understanding flicker in her eyes. I get to play Candyland with her and hear her say that she just loves that game. I get to read her a Bible story and a memory verse, and even though she doesn’t always understand what I am talking about, I know that God’s Word does not return void. I get to hear about her week, and her extended family. My heart grows 3 sizes when she grabs my hand to hold, and gives me a big hug and says “Bye, Kelly”.

It’s a God Thing. I know that on my own, it’s not in me. I am not a teacher. Or a kid person. But I am Ja’Shayla’s tutor, and I love her.

3. We’re one week into the season of Lent…are you marking these 40 days in some way? Giving something up or adding something extra to normal life? How’s it going so far?

I have never participated in Lent. I remember kids at school giving up dessert or candy. One year my boss, Carol at the salon, gave up cake. But not birthday cake!

4. When was the last time you sat beside a fire?

This was taken in December of 2010, or January 2011, after Mrs, Schmenkman’s mother EEEK passed away. They had a commemorative bonfire in her honor, attended by all of her children and many of her grandchildren. They graciously let Honey and I horn in on the occasion. They are good to us like that.

I think it was the last time I sat beside a fire. See #7 below.

004

Capri’s Deb, Laurie, Patt in front, with Kel and Lisa in back. BFG builds a good fire!

5. Surf and Turf is on the menu. Do you order as is or do you ask for just the surf (lobster), just the turf (steak), or a menu so you can select another option?

Strictly a turf kind of girl.

6. If you could have any television program back, not in reruns but in new episodes, what program would you choose?

Well, that’s an easy one! Friday Night Lights for sure. I miss those folks from Dillon Texas. Mousey and her friends, Chip and Dale, were immersed in seasons 3 and 4 during Winter Break last week. It caused me to haul up some random episodes on NetFlix. I was reminded of so many great lines. Like Rigs confessing to Becky that his mom never took him shopping for a pageant dress. I guess you had to be there.

Matt Saracen: You don’t have to worry about me, in a fight I just kinda stand in the back and just yell stuff.

Coach Eric Taylor: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

“Tami: What is the Scarlet Letter about Tim?
Tim: It’s about a gal named Scarlet, obviously…”

Tyra Collette: Just wish I could build a time machine and go back and shoot who ever it is that invented Algebra, that’s for sure.
Landry Clarke: Well, see, that’s kind of a Catch-22, though, because in order to invent that time machine you may need to use Algebra.

Tami Taylor: “You and I have the exact amount of experience being parents.”

Tyra Collette: “What’s the big deal?”
Tami Taylor: “The big deal is it’s part of my job, to make sure that you don’t grow up stupid. It’s bad for the world.

Eric Taylor: [about Julie] At least she’s not interested in some serial killer… or one of the Riggins’.

Tim: Good friends liven large in Texas. Texas forever,

Go Panthers. And Lions.
7. They say an elephant never forgets. These days would you say your memory is more like an elephant or a gnat?

My long term memory used to be pretty good, but not so much any more. My short term memory is atrocious. Now I just pray that God will help me to remember what I need to. It works surprisingly well, certainly better than left to my own devices.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

The last February Photo Challenge prompt is something you are listening to. Not much. So far this morning I have heard a far away, lonely train, the tea kettle whistling, the cats running through the house and Mousey telling me she didn’t feel well and could she stay home. And the grandfather clock. Every 15 minutes.