Monday, September 29, 2008


They sat across from me. He had a big belly, his shirt was stained and dirty and stretched across it. Her hands bore the evidence of hard work, callouses and chipped nails. Between them sat my student, a huge grin on his face, typical. To my right, our translator, my lifeline to the parents.

The conference went normally, questions were answered; I had some concerns about academics I said, they agreed. Towards the end I knew there was something I was forgetting, but I couldn't remember what. Oh, right, his glasses. I knew he wore them last year, and he's had an eye test twice this year and failed...were they planning on getting him some? Did they get the phone call from the secretary?

They ordered them, they were in, but they couldn't afford to pick them up. He had his health card up until last year and no longer qualifies. I learn that his middle school sister also needs them, one of her eyes goes off this way they say, pointing. A lazy eye. I ask where they went, and they show me the information. Hmm, I say, that's the same clinic I go to. I know they are expensive, I don't even buy my glasses there. I have a sinking feeling that they didn't understand because of the language barrier.

Do you mind if I call them I ask. Can I take the doctors information? Would you they say...thank you. I promise to call the next day.

I call the next day and leave a message for the doctor. She calls back. I explain who I am and the situation. Can they afford $100 each she asks. Honestly, no I say. They are genuinely poor I can tell. They aren't just "using the system". What about $30 a pair she asks. I think they could do that I say, thanking her. Our secretary calls the mom. I get an email later that day. The mom says that they can afford that. They will go on Friday when they get paid to pick them up. She says to tell me thanks. I really don't want it, I just did what I knew was right. Christ calls us to be a voice for those who can't speak for themselves, literally and figuratively. I was the voice for this family, the advocate some would say. I like to think that I was a living Jesus to them. I like to think that they will someday bless someone else because they were once blessed.

Today, a proud little 7 year old boy wore his new glasses to school. The gift of sight, so precious. He looked around at stuff like he was seeing it for the first time. What a beautiful world, everyone deserves to see it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

You Know Your Lesson is Over When...

...a student says "Oh my gosh! My pants are on backwards!".

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Kathy, my dear friend and coworker, experienced a great loss this weekend as her father passed away. He hasn't been well for probably 6 months or so, and in the last month has really gone downhill fast. It has been hard on her, and rightly so. Her parents live in Indianapolis, a 15 hour drive, and several layovers if you fly. She leaves tomorrow to go be with her mom and brothers, and to say a final goodbye to her father on Saturday.

Bekah, my dear friend from church, is about to pop. She is almost 8 months pregnant. We had a book shower for her and her baby Levi, who we are all very excited to meet.

Two different people, two different ends of the life spectrum. Great reflection and revisiting of memories, and in a strange way relief for one; great anticipation, preparation and joy for the other. Life is happening all around us. Are you paying attention?

Starbucks, as always, passed on some good perspective that I shared with Kathy today.

The way we get to live forever is through memories stored in the hearts and souls of those whose lives we touch. That’s our soul print. It’s our comfort, our emotional nourishment at the end of the day and the end of a life. How wonderful that they are called up at will and savored randomly. It seems to me we should spend our lives in a conscious state of creating these meaningful moments that live on. Memories matter.

~Leeza Gibbons
(Television and radio personality)

Friday, September 12, 2008

September 11

It is strange waking up on September 11th, 7 years later, thinking about what happened that day in 2001. Where I was, what I was doing. September 11, 2008 was much more ordinary. I worked, thinking and praying about the families of the victims throughout the day. I talked briefly with my students, who were either infants or in utero in 2001, explaining briefly what the day was about and what it signified. We read The Man Who Walked Between the Towers . I met up with Vanessa and Laurel for Bible study. A very ordinary Thursday.

On my way home from Bible study, I noticed a flag flying at half mast, and wondered why it was lowered. Then I remembered the date. I felt guilty at first, for not remembering, for it not being more significant or out of the ordinary. But then, the more I thought about it, the more I felt that doing my ordinary things in my ordinary life while thinking about that day quietly, in and of itself is honoring to those who lost their lives that day. I am so thankful for my freedoms, and perhaps enjoying them in this ordinary way on September 11, 7 years later, is the best way to give tribute to those who lost their lives, or who are still fighting for our freedoms.

From The Man Who Walked Between the Towers:

Now the towers are gone.

But, in memory, as if imprinted on the sky, the towers are still there. And part of that memory is the joyful morning, August 7, 1974, when Philippe Petit walked between them in the air.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Creepy Crawlies

It was a rough day. Not anything in particular, just a whole bunch of stuff. My day started with not being able to get onto the highway because someone decided moving over for me was not a top priority and just went downhill from there. Grant and Vanessa came over after they had youth group, bearing smiles, laughter and ice cream. We also decided to have some new favorite after wine tasting in Sonoma with Zach this summer. We were sitting, chatting and laughing, and I took a sip, then noticed this. Not nearly as bad as Cheri's black widows, but equally ewwie considering I drank out of that, and at that point it was still alive. Although, that's probably not the worst way to go.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Yes, this is a horrible picture of me. But the concept I think is funny. Vote Bob Barr.

Something New

So I am trying to become a more consistent blogger. I love blogging, but often am so overwhelmed and exhausted when I get home that I don't sit down and blog. I got this idea from one of Zach's friends, Kristi, who has a picture of the day blog. I have decided that I am going to keep my camera handy throughout the day and try to get a picture of the day (without students, privacy stuff) of my class or my life.

We had our family night tonight. The kids made hats to remember to come. I got to talk because I was voted loudest. Thanks mom and dad. I am on the parent involvement committee at school and so I kind of made this my baby. I made copies, powerpoints and flyers, all of which have to be translated into Spanish of course. Whew, exhausting, but I am really proud of what I did. My team and I are all happy to have one of our 2 family nights out of the way for the year.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cut Your Ears Off

My students got their hearing checked this week.  Turns out that they can hear me, so their inability to follow directions, even simple ones such as STOP TALKING must be due to the fact that they are 7 years old.  Oh, to be 7 again.  I don't know if I specifically remember being that age, but I remember the era.

I have to keep telling myself that the fact that they never stop talking and can't follow directions is because they are 7 and they can't help that, so I can't get frustrated.  This is by far, the lowest class I have had, and I am looking at it for a great opportunity to work with these kids and see great growth.  There is amazing room for potential.  

One of the kids, upon learning that we were going to get our hearing checked responded with "Is she going to cut off our ears?!?" 

No, but at least they're starting to get my sense of humor.