Friday, April 29, 2011

DO IT, ANYWAY

This amazing series of quotes, written Dr. Kent Keith, has greatly inspired me. My hope is that they might inspire you, too:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
FORGIVE THEM, ANYWAY.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
BE KIND, ANYWAY.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies;
SUCCEED, ANYWAY.

If you are honest, people may cheat you;
BE HONEST, ANYWAY.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
BUILD, ANYWAY.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
BE HAPPY, ANYWAY.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
DO GOOD, ANYWAY.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU HAVE, ANYWAY.



You see, in the end, it is between you and God;
IT WAS NEVER BETWEEN YOU AND THEM, ANYWAY.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

PLAYIN' IN THE RAIN

What child hasn't enjoyed playin' in the rain? 



Two of our little grandchildren enjoyed a heavy downpour (sans thunder and lightning, of course) in our front yard just a few moments ago. 

Ah, that photo brings back many memories of our two girls--their mom Holly and their aunt Bethany at that age--who also loved playin' in the rain!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

THAT'S PERFECT LOVE!

 A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said,  "Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help!   My baby is not even one year old and I'm pregnant again.  I don't want kids so close together."  

So the doctor asked, "Okay.  And what . . . do you want me to do?"

She replied, "I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this."  

The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence, he said to her:  "I think I have a better solution for your problem.  It's less dangerous for you, too."   She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.   Then he continued. "You see, in order for you not to have to take care two babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms." 

The woman was horrified and retorted, "No, Doctor!  How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!"  

"I agree," the doctor replied. "But you seemed to be fine with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution."   The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point.  He convinced the mom that there is no difference between killing a child already born and one still in the womb.   The crime is the same!  

*          *          *

If you agree, please feel free to copy this and post it elsewhere--that's what I did here.  Together we can help save precious lives!  

Love says, "I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person." 

Abortion says, "I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself."  

Jesus sacrificed Himself for the good of sinners.  That's PERFECT LOVE!   -Unknown

Monday, April 25, 2011

DISPELLING THE MYTHS ABOUT ONLINE TEACHING/LEARNING

"You simply cannot beat the commute I have, especially with the current gas prices!  My home office is my classroom, and I have the entire world of the internet at my disposal, as do my students. We learn, explore, and broaden our horizons together along this educational highway."



I've been teaching English online since September 2008, grades seven through twelve, and thoroughly enjoy it.  There are still those who believe that online teaching/learning is somehow a poor substitute for the brick-and-mortar classroom, but I vehemently disagree.  Just search online for such terms as virtual school, online school, or distance learning.  You will see that this concept, once considered the wave of the future, is now in full swing! 

I teach with Sycamore Academy Online, an accredited Christian school based in California; I live on the East Coast and have never met my administrators face to face, but I feel as though I know them well, having spoken by phone, email, and "snail mail" since I began there. They are very supportive and helpful, and provided one of the first schools of this kind.  The statement below is from the school's website:

"The Sycamore Tree, Inc. was incorporated in California in 1982, and provides homeschool educational services to students in grades K-12 all over the world. All Sycamore Academy teachers have credentials and/or a master's degree in the subject they teach.

"Sycamore Academy offers school online for grades three through twelve. Students do their work on the computer each day, and all grading and tracking will be done by our teachers. Just think--no lesson plans, no grading, no hassle!  Enrollments are accepted at any time during the school year--even for high school students. Your students will be using the award-winning Switched-On-Schoolhouse curriculum. Teachers grade your student's work and respond with personalized academic assistance. We offer official transcripts and a high school diploma through our online school. You may also use a combination of traditional curriculum and the online school."

If you are considering such schooling for yourself or your child, consider Sycamore at http://www.sycamoretree.com/.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I HAD PEACE THE ENTIRE TIME . . .

Spent all morning at the doctor's regarding some symptoms that occurred yesterday.  After an examination, she ordered an ultrasound, but I was to wait for the results.  Okay.  I'm not worried.  Was told to have a seat in the small waiting room outside the radiology rooms, and the doctor would call me on the phone in there with the results.  Still okay.

Thirty minutes later, the receptionist came in and said the doctor wanted me to go back upstairs to her office to speak with me.  Hmmmm . . . she wants a face to face rather than informing of the results by phone?  They must have found something.

I was directed to an examination room, the doctor came in, said she wanted to err on the side of caution, and referred me to a specialist for further evaluation TOMORROW.  Something a bit abnormal was found, not necessarily cancer, but it might well be that.  So, the "C" word rears its ugly head. 

I am still fine.  God is aware of this situation in my life, and in fact, He has allowed it.  As a Christian, do I trust Him to carry me through this, which still might turn out to be just a benign thickening of cells?  Of course.   I can trust my God with my health.

Tomorrow I must go to the specialist, who will probably order some kind of biopsy.  I have peace in this situation.  The Lord does not allow anything to happen in my life that He has not approved.  Thank you, Lord, for your mercy, strength, and promises. 

04/20/11 Had the biopsy today and will await the results, which should come tomorrow.  I still have perfect peace over this.  I am loved by family, both near and far.  I have my Creator.  I am blessed! 

And, I will report the findings.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

**UPDATE 04/21/11**  My doctor called today with the biopsy results:  NO CANCER!  Amen, and Happy Easter, everyone!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

WHAT A LIFE!

"Alaska was beautiful, dangerous, extremely cold, and full of surprises, like a bear or a buffalo meandering through the yard, or the breathtaking northern lights (aurora borealis) "walking" across the night sky. Photographs simply do not do them justice--they were fabulous and awe inspiring."


I really enjoyed the life of a military family while growing up, and as a child, I thought that most people moved to a new location every few years like we did.  My dad, a World War II veteran, decided to retire at age 50 while we were living in Miami, Florida, after 22.5 years in the U.S. Army.  We moved to North Carolina, our home state, be to closer to family and to Ft. Bragg, so that we could use the medical, PX, and commissary privileges for retired personnel.  He went on to work as a chef in various restaurants, even owning one for a few years, before "really" retiring for good.

I attended 13 schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, which was interesting, but difficult at times.  The hardest part was transferring to a different school in the middle of the year or grading period. Sometimes I would be way behind what the new class was learning, or would be far ahead, having already learned the material in the previous school.  In spite of those difficulties, I somehow managed to get a great education along the way.  All that travel certainly counted for something, and I was fortunate to live in two foreign countries:  France and Germany, three years each.


I began my schooling in France at age four in L'Ecole de St. Joseph, a French Catholic school near our home in Libourne.  As the only American (and Protestant) student in the school at that time, I picked up the language quickly, I'm told.  From what I remember regarding that time, I understood perfectly what the nuns and my classmates were saying, and spoke French as well as I did English.  My parents often asked me to translate for them when we went to the local markets.  Ah, to be that fluent again!  I also remember how strict the nuns were.  Those chastised for talking out of turn got to spend some time alone in the school cellar as punishment.  Scary. 

Since Libourne was in the heart of wine vineyard country,  students were served wine at school for lunch, not considered unusual by locals.  My mother, however, nearly had a heart attack about that, and always provided more fitting beverages for my lunch at school.  I have memories of enjoying the delicious lentil soup and crusty French bread prepared at school, however.  In mid-second grade, my parents decided it was time to place me in the American military school, but it was far away and involved a two-hour ride on the bus each way. 

For grades four through seven, I attended the excellent on-base school in Bremerhaven, Germany, which placed me with like-minded students who had lived all over the world and were often quite precocious.  I quickly learned to hold my own with them, thus sharpening my mental acuity--I loved to answer quickly in class, for instance, before anyone else could muster an answer.  Teachers encouraged and provided many great learning opportunities, and since I've always enjoyed school, this atmosphere was what I considered great fun.  Is it any wonder that I became a teacher?

Friday, April 8, 2011

SHOCK, SORROW . . . AND REJOICING

"The point of this post is to remind all of us how quickly our lives here on earth can draw to a close.  Personally, I will strive even more to avoid taking my loved ones for granted."

Yesterday, I attended the memorial service of a gentleman who died suddenly, leaving his family in utter shock.  He and his wife are members of our Sunday School class, and they were present last Sunday, sitting right across the aisle from us. 

Monday morning, he was gone.  There were some tears at his service, but as friends and family spoke of him, there was also laughter.  Always ready with a humorous jibe, Ron often brought a smile to those around him. These fond memories will sustain his loved ones in the coming months and years.

He had suffered an aneurysm late Sunday night, went into surgery Monday morning, and never came out.  His wife of 41 years had told him beforehand that he would probably be on a ventilator for a few days, then in the hospital for about a week. 

I remember thinking last Sunday that he seemed more quiet than usual--I glanced his way several times, and he was simply not his usual jocund self.  Strange how one looks back at such thoughts and wonders about them.

The point of this post is to remind all of us how quickly our lives here on earth can draw to a close.  Personally, I will strive even more to avoid taking my loved ones for granted.  Ron was a Christian, and according to the Bible, he was instantly in the presence of the Lord:  "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).   He woke up from his surgery all right--to find himself in the presence of His Savior, Jesus Christ.  What a wonderful and glorious moment for Ron!

The hope and promise of his family is that they will see him again when they themselves reach that heavenly gate, as his wife and grown children are all professed Christians as well.  The blessed hope of the believer in Christ is that we will be with Him in eternity--and our loved ones who also knew Him will be waiting there for us.  What a comfort that is.

I have known those who scoff at such beliefs.  I can only feel sorrow for them; after all, as a believer, what do I have to lose in the next life by believing in Christ?  Nothing, but everything to gain.  What does a nonbeliever have to lose in the next life?  Everything.  Why gamble with one's soul?

As stated earlier, life can be gone in an instant, as was the case for Ron.  He left behind his greatest legacy:  a family who is prepared to meet eternity.  There is nothing in this life more important than preparing for eternity--not wealth, not possessions, not power.  We will simply leave them behind, gathering dust or be passed to someone else, since we will no longer have need for them.  But making certain that we have a place in heaven with the Lord is THE most urgent point in this life.  I am thankful that, at age 28, I accepted the Lord's free gift of salvation, giving me eternal life.  The only thing I did to gain it was to believe in Christ and accept His free gift:  "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved . . . Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:9-10, 13).

I did nothing to earn it, for as stated in Ephesians 2:8-9:  "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith--and this not from yourselves.  It is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast."

Today is Ron's birthday, and he is celebrating it with the Lord.  Because they miss him, his family will be sorrowful today and many days ahead--but they have comfort in knowing that they will see him again in eternity.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

DOXIE CHEF by ARTIST TERRY POND

Since my late father was a chef and our daughter Bethany attended Le Cordon Bleu as well,  "cheffing" is obviously a profession of prominence in our family.  Therefore, when I ran across artist Terry Pond's painting below, I instantly loved it.  

I also enjoy the fact that the doxie chef, a.k.a. sausage dawg/wiener dog/hot dog, is actually cooking up either sausages or hot dogs. 

Quite droll, Ms. Pond, quite droll!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

CATS ARE STRANGE CRITTERS, AREN'T THEY?

Yes, I write books from the dog's viewpoint, but these cat posters were just too good to pass up--I had to share them. 

Cats ARE strange critters, and one can never truly know what's going on in those feline brains.  Dogs, on the other hand, are so open and obvious, an endearing trait to us dog lovers. 










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