Here Today Gone Tamale

Good morning! 

One of the best perks about working at a school with a strong Hispanic community is the homemade tamales! Delivered hot and fresh to your classroom door! Chicken and pork! Yum!  

I love nothing more than Mexican food. It’s always been my favorite. Especially homemade hot tamales. I first tasted them while living on the border of Texas and Mexico in Eagle Pass, TX straight out of college. 

I found a lady while working at Jenks West and a mother of one of our students that also made them. I loved the treat.

I’ve since found another lady at my new school that brings her homemade tamales to school to sell.

What a talent! What a gift to others!

It takes time and energy to make them by hand. They are a true gift handed down from generations. Especially in our world of fast food everything. I appreciate that talent.

What’s your talent? Your gift to others? What tradition do you carry down from generation to generation? 

I would say mine is carrying for the underdogs. Wanting to help those less fortunate. 

I remember my grandmother being involved with Cookson Hills, a Christian school in Kansas, OK. I remember my mother being involved with Woodland Park Home here in Tulsa.

It’s in my genes. So is the love for Mexican food. 😊 Bueno, Bell, Chimi’s, El Tequila,Ted’s, or homemade tamales. Call me and let’s go eat if it’s also in yours!

Muy Delicioso!

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.                          1Peter 4:10

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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Life Lessons

Good morning! 

At Kendall-Whittier this week and next you can buy a turkey gram for $0.50. They look like this.

The reason I know is because I got one. From one of my students. The reason I shared with you the turkey gram cost of $0.50  is to compare and contrast. The story behind it is worth far greater than $0.50, it’s priceless. 

At the end of the day on Wednesday my students were going to the Smartboard and writing sight words. Normally they try to read them from flashcards. Today was different.  My para was reading them to them and they had to listen and sound them out and write what they heard, words they had seen before amongst the flashcards. 

One of my stronger students wanted to go first. I let him to model to the class how it was done. He was given the word “together”, a difficult word for my class, but he spelled it correctly and wrote it with ease. He is a 4th grader. One of my 5th graders wanted to go next. My para gave him the word “please” from the group of flashcards. He spelled it p l e z. The 4th grader that had just finished laughed. It immediately infuriated my 5th grader, first that he had failed, next, to be laughed at and beaten in his eyes by someone younger. He proceeded to hit himself in the head, then came the tears. My para ever so gently escorted him out of the room and consoled him. 

He didn’t come back to school the next day. 😔 I tried calling his home to check on him, but their phone number had been disconnected. I knew if I reached them his mother only spoke Spanish. I’d have to use the language line or have one of the front office ladies speak to her for me. My heart sunk that I couldn’t do anything to fix this. All I could do was wait. Until he returned.

 We have Toolbox time each morning, a program where we talk about social skills, ways to handle our emotions, and how we can better treat others. That next morning I spoke on choosing the right words, using kindness, building up not tearing down others. I told a story to my class very similar to the prior day’s incident, and asked them how they would feel being laughed at. What could we do instead?

The very next day there was a turkey gram delivered to my class for the 5th grader from the 4th grader as well as one for the other fifth grader that sat at his table. And one for me. $0.50 for each turkey gram. Priceless was the lesson learned, 

I was so touched that my fourth grader knew exactly who I was speaking about when I told my story with no names. It evidently touched his heart that he had hurt his fellow classmate and friend. He brought his money to school to fix it the only way he knew how, by buying him a turkey gram to make it all better. And one for me as well! ❤

You have to understand. This is a title 1 school. $0.50 is a big deal. To many of my students, they may never have $0.50 to buy a turkey gram.

Let’s all learn a lesson from the little turkey grams, let’s all use kind words. Build up, not tear down. And when we fail and act like turkeys, let’s all remember, a sweet treat is a wonderful way to make things better!

 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion that it may give Grace to those who hear.    Ephesians 4:29

Love and laughter,

Sandy

The Dyslexic Dog

Good morning! 

Have you ever noticed that dog is god spelled backwards? 

With that, I’ve come to the conclusion that my dog is dyslexic. I have a d-o-g that thinks he’s a g-o-d. He eats, sleeps, and subtly demands his walks and petting as if he were human. As if we were intended to worship him.

See for yourself. Our couch. Our pillow. Our dog.

He’s just a bit confused. Kind of like some of my students. He gets things mixed up. He’s dyslexic. He thinks he’s the master, and I’m here to serve him. 

All I can say is it’s a good thing he’s so cute. And that he loves me.

I have a mug that says, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” One thing is for sure. If you give your heart to a dog, he will never break it. Maybe that’s why dog spelled backwards is god. If you give our God your heart, he will never break it as well. And he doesn’t chew your slippers or have fleas!

Let’s all love our dogs. Our pets. But let’s keep them lowercase, d-o-g. Let’s make sure we worship our God, not our dog. Good luck telling mine that the floor is where he sleeps and only the food that is served for dogs in his dish is for his dining pleasure.

She replied, “That is true Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters tables.”                                            Matthew 15:27

Love and laughter. 

Sandy

What’s for breakfast? 

Good morning! 

Each morning at school I stand at the crossroads of the blue hall directing students to either the gym or the cafeteria. Littles go to the cafeteria. Bigs to the gym. I greet each of them with a smile and a warm good morning. 😊 

That’s because I’ve already had my breakfast. They have not. 

After a good morning greeting and a kiss ftom the best guy in the world, I start my day with a hot cup of coffee and my bible. I meet God for beakfast in bed each morning.

My students have their breakfast at school. Their free hot breakfast.

What’s for breakfast at your house?

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Pilgrim or Indian?

Good morning! 

We are learning about the Pilgrims this week in room 309. Their 66 day journey to America on the Mayflower. Their first settlement at Plymouth. The first Thanksgiving. The Wampanoag, the native Americans, that inhabited the area when the Pilgrims arrived there. 

We are planning our own Thanksgiving dinner next Monday in our class for myself, my para, and our  dozen little pilgrims and Indians. 

After taking a virtual field trip of Plimouth Plantation, a living history museum replicating the original Plymouth Colony located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and learning about how both the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag live, I asked my students, “Which would you prefer to be, a pilgrim or an indian?” “And why?”

 We made headbands for each of them to wear at our thanksgiving feast to denote their choice. The choice was theirs, Pilgrim or Indian.

Pilgrims won. I’m not sure if it was the flashy gold buckle on their headbands or the fact that they had the larger, warmer houses to live in that won the vote. 

Which would you choose?

I think I’ll have to go with the native American. After all, we do live in Oklahoma, land of the red man. And they have way cooler costumes!  I’ll pick animal skins over scratchy wool any day! But I wouldn’t have to shave my legs if I chose pilgrim. Those big dresses! They’d hide the winter weight much better too, after I gobble ’til I wobble on Thanksgiving day. 😊 then there’s face paint or no face paint? That’s another question to ponder. 

That’s the joy of our heavenly father. He never chooses.  He picks no sides. He loves us all, red and yellow, black and white. We are all precious in His sight. 

This year let’s all be thankful that we have a God that accepts us as we are. Our age, our race, our political background, our sex, make no difference. Let’s all come together and break bread with one another in peace this holiday season. If the pilgrims and the native American Indians could do it, so can we!

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.                                Galatians 3:28

Love and laughter,

Sandy

A Time For Everything

Good morning! 

We’ve been learning about seasons in our classroom. Currently, fall. Why leaves change color.  We recently changed our time from daylight savings time because of it. 

What’s a better time than now to talk about it? Here and now. Seasons. Time.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there’s a season and a time for everything. It’s one of my favorite bible passages. It keeps things in perspective. It offers hope to every despairing situation.

What time is it for you?

I am blessed by a season of abundance. A time to love: I recently planted new roots in a fairy tale kind of marriage. A time to embrace: I recently began a new career teaching special education in a low income school that I absolutely adore and embrace with all my heart! A time to be born: I recently received the news of a new grandchild to be born this next year. It’s a time to tear down my childhood home that my father built and rebuild it to today’s standards as he watches life breathed back into his creation. 

Yes, I’m truly blessed. With a season of prosperity.

But, I’ve spent many a “winter” season. Times when things were barren. Times when things weren’t so abundant. Times when love seemed for everyone else but me. Times when paychecks were meager, and long, exhausting night shifts were plentiful. Times when everything and everyone around me seemed to be dying. Times when I weeped more than I laughed. Times when I felt like I was being thrown away. Times when I was so close to giving up, overwhelmed by all I couldn’t keep up with in my life.

 But I didn’t.

I kept believing. I kept praying. I kept the faith.

No matter what season you are in, know there’s hope for a better tomorrow just around the corner. God’s timing is not our own. You never know when God will change your circumstances. To something much greater than we can ever imagine. In ways we’d never dreamt of! Just keep the faith. Your season. Your time will come. Mine did! Yours can too!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, A Time to Kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a Time For Peace.          Ecclesiastes 3 

Love and laughter.

Sandy

Veteran’s Weekend

Good morning! 

This past weekend we honored our veterans. Friday, November 10th, was the federal holiday. Saturday, November 11th, was the actual holiday.

Facebook was flooded with pictures of loved ones paying tribute to our veterans. All weekend long during commercials of televised college and pro football games we saw players paying tribute to our veterans. We went out to eat on Sunday and met a precious older couple dining for free as their tribute to our veterans. All weekend, everywhere you turned, tribute was being paid to our veterans. And so it should be.

I’ve had a grandfather, two uncles, and a cousin who were veterans.  Veterans fighting for America. The home of the free. Because of the brave.

Thank you. To all our veterans. For your service. For risking your life. For your country. And for me. Some survived. Some did not. Some left broken hearts and broken dreams behind. For us.

Jesus, too, risked his life for you. And for me. And because of it we have freedom. True freedom. His spirit lives in us, And we are free.

Here’s to all those who fought and are still fighting the good battle. The brave. Thank you! And especially to our Lord and Savior, Jesus  Christ.  Your life was lost, but your battle is already won. 

America. Home of the free. Because of the brave. Thank you!

Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.                                                      2 Corinthians 3:17

Love and laughter,

Sandy