Fair

Good morning! 

It’s that time of year again! It’s beginning to feel like fall! The temperatures are no longer in the triple digits.  The weather is ushering in much more FAIR temperatures. 

Friday nights can be spent sitting watching your local favorite high school football teams win or lose FAIR and square.

And beginning yesterday through October 9th, it’s 11 Days Of Awesome at the Tulsa State FAIR!

I was pleased to see that this year’s fair is an autism friendly location.It begins with free admission to those with autism and their f amilies on Autism Awareness Night on October 5th.

I have had several students in my classroom that suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder. I, for one, know their families would love the opportunity to join other families with autistic children in family fun.

Who doesn’t love a corn dog, a caramel apple, and a petting zoo?

Let’s all be aware of our special friends no matter what the location. No matter where we may be. Let’s make sure we treat all God’s children “fairly”. 

May each of you enjoy this beautiful fall season. May you enjoy cooler temperatures. And football. And pumpkin everything.  And 11 Days Of Awesome at the Tulsa State Fair!  

And speaking of awesome, never forget our God is an awesome God! He created the beautiful world we live in. With its different seasons and it’s different people. And I’m fairly sure, He even created the idea behind fair food. Who knows what this year’s fair food will bring?

1 This is what the LORD says: “Be just and fair to all. Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you and to display my righteousness among you. 
Isaiah 56:1

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

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Amen

Good morning! 

Yesterday was one of those days when you’re blessed with one of those priceless  “out of the mouths of babes” kind of comments. 

We were sitting in circle and Miss Tara had the story Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle on the smartboard. She has incorporated a picture of each of the students into the story. There is always great class participation as each of them recognize their own pictures and the pictures of their friends. 

We finished the last page with a picture of the students and Miss Tara turned the page and said, “What’s next?” The last page simply said “The End”. That’s the response she was shooting for. :).  But they’re three. They can’t read. 

One of our little boys blurted out AMEN ! It warmed all the hearts of the teachers in the classroom. You see, they’ve taken prayer out of the classroom. We as educators can’t pray, can’t say amen, but our little students can!

I so  get it. Every time I say the pledge of allegiance I want to end it with amen.

Amen is a word often used at the end of a prayer or a hymn meaning so be it.

What this country could use right now is a little less The Ends and alot more Amens! 

Prayer may have been taken out of the classroom, but God is still there alive and well whether they like it or not. Little ones like our friend today constantly remind us of just that. Can I get an Amen? 🙂

Thank you to all of you parents of our next generation that are still teaching Amens. We may no longer be able to do so in public schools, but you have kept the faith alive..

Let’s all make sure we continue to pass down to future generations the faith of our forefathers.  God is still alive. At home and in the classroom. For us Christians, there will not be a “the end”, but just like our precious little friend told us yesterday, there will instead be a final cry of “Amen!”

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things To Him be the glory forever. Amen.                                     Romans 11:36

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Dean McGee Eye Institute

Good morning! 

Yesterday morning I drove to Oklahoma City for a 9:15 appointment with the doctor that would be performing my upcoming eye surgeries. It was a beautiful, crisp fall day. I hadn’t been on a road trip in years! I thoroughly enjoyed the drive by myself. My GPS led me straight to the door of the address I was searching with 15 minutes to spare! 🙂

At 12:56 I signed, dated, and time stamped my consent form for my first surgery for this coming Monday, said my goodbyes and took the elevator to the parking level.  

After three and a half hours of examination, testing, and consultation, I was given the final results. I’ve suffered permanent vision loss.My ocular pressures remain too high. Surgery was imminent. Reality hit. 😦

I tried hiding my tears of fear and disappointment under the guise of the numbing and dilation drops I’d been given were making my eyes water. But I fooled no one. Including myself. 

The drive home with dilated pupils presented somewhat of a challenge.  That beautiful fall day was ever so bright under dilation! Even with sunglasses! Sunglasses that happened to be in my car not my purse. I hadn’t thought about the possibility of my eyes being dilated on the inbound journey.  My Blinded by the light blog of a few days ago took on new meaning. I truly was blinded by the light as I walked outdoors and ventured to my car without eye protection.  

I’ve had my eyes dilated many times before and driven home, but I live a mile from my eye doctor in Tulsa not the 86 miles of the Turner Turnpike. Fortunately I set my phone on GPS and used the audio directions to guide me from the OU Health Sciences Center to the gate of the turnpike without having to read a thing.  I was home free! Between an OU daughter and a competitive soccer player daughter I had traveled that turnpike frequently.  

That time by myself that I enjoyed on the trip there suddenly had me thinking thoughts of enrolling my Golden retriever in service dog training school to be my seeing eye dog. Oh ye of little faith! 😦

I am a paraprofessional for developmental students.  I am my 86 year old father’s caretaker.  I can’t be that person that needs care! I AM the caretaker!

I believe in being transparent.  So I‘m just gonna come right out and say it, I’m scared.  I have plans. To update my home. To become a certified teacher. Not to spend my extra income on eye surgeries and time learning braille. But those are MY plans. Not God’s.  His are bigger.  

If I’m being challenged with my vision, then maybe God’s trying to tell me I should be paying better attention to my hearing.  I heard my GPS directions loud and clear. What is He trying to tell me? Why do I struggle with hearing God’s directions for my life? 

All I need is a little faith. The faith of a mustard seed. And I can move my mountains.  

If any of you are facing your own  mountains,  I encourage you to remember nothing is impossible with Christ.  All you need is a little faith  

And it surely can’t hurt to also have a really good eye surgeon. And the prayers of your family and friends.  And the love and loyalty of a Golden retriever in case you do end up needing a seeing eye dog. 🙂

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”                         Matthew 17:20

Love and laughter, 

Sandy 

Decision 2016: The Presidential Debate

Good morning! 

The great debate.                                       Last night brought forth the first presidential debate for this year’s upcoming November election. Our country’s Republican candidate, Donald Trump, faced off with our country’s Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton for a 90 minute nationally televised debate from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Some 100 million viewers were expected to watch, the largest viewership for a debate ever.

Hillary, the seasoned politician, came across as expected, much more polished than her counterpart. Yet the key focus of the debate still appeared to me to be more about the release of Hillary’s emails versus Donald’s tax returns than the country’s best interests at hand. Ugh! 😦 

This year’s election choices has many voters in turmoil. The problem lies in neither candidate comes to the table with a squeaky clean reputation of honesty and integrity as we all would so desire to see in our Commander in Chief.

We continually hear things from both of their mouths that we would prefer not to. Untruths. Belittling of each other. 

Did you know that from God’s mouth comes knowledge and understanding? Unlike some people. Politicians in particular. 

Let’s all support our political leaders whoever they may be. It is our God given responsibility to do so. They are accountable to God for their actions. 

Come November, may the best man or woman win. If you, like me, are feeling a little bewildered by the choices, please join me in prayer. When it comes to our control over the final election outcome,  we can vote for our preferred candidate. But that’s about as far as we can get alone. But we can pray. In multitudes. There’s power in prayer. Pray for God to bring us the best leader. To soften their hearts. To give them godly wisdom to perform their job to its fullest. 

And let’s always be careful of our own mouths. Let’s let knowledge and understanding flow out for others to hear. The proverbial saying,  if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all, is always good, sound advice.

And if anyone wants to make a wager on which one of our candidates releases their records first, count me out! That’s the greatest debate of all! A topic most certainly debatable by all!  🙂

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”                                     Proverbs 2:6

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Blinded By The Light

Good morning! 

This past weekend I went to lunch at a mexican restaurant. As we were walking in, my boyfriend began singing to me . “One margarita,  do you want one margarita?” to the tune of an old popular Cuban song. We began trying to think of the real lyrics, but were clueless. Google to the rescue. 🙂  I googled “one ton of ” and tada there it was. Guantanamera! I msy not remember the lyrics, but Jose Feliciano or Julio Iglesias either one can certainly do it justice. 

Misheard lyrics. AKA mondegreens. According to Wikipedia a mondegreen is a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning. Mondegreens are most often created by a person listening to a poem or a song; the listener, being unable to clearly hear a lyric, substitutes words that sound similar, and make some kind of sense.

The number one song with misquoted lyrics of all time is Blinded By The Light originally written and released by Bruce Springsteen in 1973. It didn’t become the big hit it was until Manfred Mann’s Earth Band recorded it with several changed lyrics. It’s got my vote. I never understood the lyrics to that song. Even now after reading them, they still don’t make sense to me.

What else do we mishear and make up our own meaning to? God’s word for one. How many times have we been Blinded by the light? God’s word is right there in front of us yet we substitute our own meaning that makes better sense to us. That better serves our purpose. Not God’s. 

God’s word is very clear. There is no gray. You abide by it or you don’t.  You live according to God’s will or you live according to your own. When you choose your way you choose to live in sin.

Let’s stop mishearing,  misquoting, and misinterpretating God’s word to fit our own agendas. To make sense to us. 

God’s word is revealed to those who follow Him. Those who choose not to are blinded to the light.  

Let’s all be followers of the light. Jesus is the light. Let’s be followers of Christ so He will open our minds to the truth. The way. So He will open our minds to understand the scriptures. 

Here’s to leaving the mondegreens for the song lyrics and clearly listening with our ears and our hearts to God’s word! Let’s save our blinded by the light for Jesus return! 

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.         Luke 24:45

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Saddle Up!

Good morning! 

This weekend was another weekend of continued clean up of the family home. Yesterday’s find in the garage uncovered an old McClellan Cavalry Saddle circa the early 1900s. 

My dad used to collect old saddles. They used to line the balcony upstairs hanging there for all to see. The house I grew up in resembled Gilcrease Museum with its Cowboy and Indian paraphernalia scattered throughout. 

We no longer have a horse. We are not a member of any militia. So there is no need to keep this treasure from the past. Ebay it is. We dusted it off and cleaned it up a bit with saddle soap. We took a few pictures, and now it’s ready to be placed on Ebay. One man’s trash is always another man’s treasure!  

It’s kind of sad to think that a couple of hundred bucks now equates to one of life’s most treasured items to a calvary man. His saddle. Right up there behind his horse. And his weapon. His coveted items necessary for battle. By day his saddle offered him a seat which made his ride more bearable. By night it offered a place to rest his head.

I spent many a day in my younger years perched upon a saddle. There’s nothing like a girl and her horse. ♡ The smell of saddle soap immediately took me back to days of old. How I miss riding horses! Not for battle of course. For fun. For the sheer enjoyment. Galloping across fields or rings counting each stride to the next jump that lie before me. Being as one with another living being. An animal of close to half a ton being held within the confines of my two hands and two legs. Commands so precise and slight they were hidden to the common bystander. Yet my steed knew exactly what I was requesting, almost thinking. It was like a dance. Two partners synchronized as one.

I never really thought about it like this before, but that’s kind of how it is with God. We should be so close, so in tune with His direction for us in our lives that others will never see where one begins and the other ends. 

Let’s all saddle up! Let’s learn to be as one with our God. Let’s ride off into the sunset of our lives with the wind in our faces, the ground beneath our feet, and the spirit of God in our souls. God alone can give you the ride of a lifetime like no other. Just hop on. Saddles are optional.  🙂

And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon,                                                     1 King 13:13

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

I Protest!

Good morning! 

This is the American flag. A symbol of who we are. Males, females, blacks, whites, law enforcement,  politicians, athletes, gays, transgenders, Christians, atheists, and everything in between all included.
A recent shooting in Tulsa has gone viral. It reached CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and who knows what other sources of newsworthy events. Why did our local news spread so quickly? 

Because it was fatal, and it involved a white female Tulsa police officer and an unarmed black man. 

The officer was charged Thursday with first-degree manslaughter less than a week after she killed the man on a city street on September 16th.

This wasn’t a first for Tulsa. Earlier this year, a white former volunteer deputy with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office was sentenced to four years in prison after he was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of another unarmed black man.

Tulsa’s prompt legal action with this past week’s shooting was the antithesis to that of Charlotte, North Carolina, where police refused to release video of the shooting of another black man this week by a law officer and protests resulted in the shooting death of a protestor.

Tulsa’s protests remained more of a peaceful rally. Instead of turning to guns, many within the Tulsa community turned to prayer.

And then there’s our professional athletes who have joined the bandwagon and sparked another movement by showing their disdain by protesting against standing for our national anthem before sporting events. 

Before that it was Trump and Hillary everyone was protesting about. Every city on the campaign trail has had their share of protestors. 

The names and details do not need to be mentioned here.  We all know them. They continue to happen across our nation. The sensationalism of our media catches hold, and it spreads like wildfire. It fans the flame. It stirs up unrest. 

What does need to be mentioned here is emotional reaction is not the answer to anything. Violence is not the answer to stopping violence. 

Respect is the answer. Respect for human life. Respect for our law officers that were created to protect from harm.  Respect for the symbols that represent our country. Our freedom. Our national anthem. Our flag. Our elected officials.  

I protest! 😦   I protest to protesting!           I don’t know about you,  but I’m sick and tired of sitting back and watching the country I live in constantly be trashed by some group or another.  I’m an optimist. My cup is half full. I believe America is the best country. It was founded on freedom and principles of value. I believe in the power of love. That God is good. That God created all mankind equally.
There’s always going to be something to complain about. There always have been and there always will be people who do not make good choices. It’s not people that are bad. It’s their choices. All blacks, all whites, all law officials, all politicians are not bad. A few bad apples does not require the entire orchard to be burnt down.

Lets all stop being so negative! I’d love to turn on the TV, the radio, open a newspaper and find a story commending our country’s patriotism. I’d love the daily headlines to read something positive for a change.

I challenge each of you to help spread positive rather than negative behavior. It starts within. The next time you want to complain instead offer a solution. A better more positive way to do something. Stand behind a cause you believe in rather than trash one you don’t.  Let’s make our actions the opposite of protest. Let’s display acceptance, agreement. Let’s rally for support of our country. It’s still the best one we’ve got. Let’s make it even better. Together,  as God created it.  

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.                                                   Galatians 3:28

Love and laughter, 

Sandy