Houston, We’ve Had A Problem Here

Good morning! 

We’re all probably familiar with the phrase, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,”, spoken by the crew of the Apollo 13 moonflight.back to their Houston base in regard to a major technical problem they had experienced.

We currently have had a problem here. This time in Houston not reported back to them. The problem is Hurricane Harvey.

It has taken its toll on our fellow Americans living in the Houston area.

Last night I watched an empty stands supporting the Houston Astros in baseball in Tampa Bay. It saddened me. They could not play in Houston as planned thanks to Harvey. No one can play in Houston thanks to Harvey. Not even the children.

Today’s blog will be brief. Instead of rambling on about me and my world, I turn to others. All I ask is that we come together to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Through our prayers and our donations.

I’ve been there when it comes to having someone dear to me affected by aa hurricane. I was that worried parent not knowing for days the status of my college age middle daughter living in Grand Cayman through Hurricane Ivan. it’s no joking matter. 

Houston we do have a problem.

Houston, we are saddened by your losses. We are behind you. We are here to help. We love you.

Shsre with the Lord’s peopke who are in need.                                             Romans 12:13

Love and no laughter today, 

Sandy 

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Tradition or Addiction?

Good morning!

I recently went to Coney Island for lunch and saw these three t-shirts they are selling banging on their wall.

 if I were to buy one, I would buy the one that says, A Tulsa tradition or addiction? #traddiction

How about you? 

I love coneys!  For me, they’re more of a tradition. A definite Tulsa tradition. Am I addicted to them? Not so much.

But how many times do we have habits in our lives, that may not be good for us, that we continue to do, too often, at the cost of losing other things?  Yet we don’t call them as we see them, an addiction. 

I recently read on Facebook that one of my fellow high schoolmates was critically injured from her husband due to his addiction. That breaks my heart!  

If you are in a relationship where someone is hurting you, get out! Get help! Don’t make it a tradition, something passed on from generation to generation. Call it as it is, an addiction. 

If you want a tradition, give me a call, and we’ll go eat Coney’s!  We’ll make our own tradition. 

Addiction needs help, and until the one addicted is ready to help themself, you can do nothing to help them but pray.  Today I pray for all those in bondage with an addiction, that they would find release. Christ can break that bondage if you’ll only ask. Don’t wait until it’s too late. She was lucky. Intensive care beats the alternative. We only have one life to live. Let’s live it healthily.

Except of course for those occasional #traddiction runs to Coney Island. ūüĆ≠‚̧

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.       1Corinthians 11:2 

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Back On Track

Good morning! 

My bedroom closet presently has sliding mirrored closet doors. From the ’80s.

There’s a rubber liner in the bottom that keeps it rolling smoothly. That keeps it on track. 

The other day I finally broke down and threw that rubber piece away in the trash. It’s been out of the track just lying in my closet floor for years. I never threw it away because I always thought someday I’ll put it back exactly how it should be and get it back on track. 

That’s kind of how I lived my life for many years. Hoping that someday I would get it back on track.

Let me just tell you, hoping gets you nowhere. Doing does. Baby steps. One day at a time will get you back on track. Before you know it. 

I had fallen. Off track. Life’s bumps had taken me off the path I intended my life to follow. But with the Lord’s help, His upholding hand, I was placed back on track. And with a hand from a pretty special guy that God also put in my path, I’m on a new track. A better track. A more purposeful track. 

How about you? Is your life on track? Are you where you want to be? 

If not, I encourage you to pull out the rubber stops, those things that keep it from running smoothly, and get it back on track. 

By the way, if anyone is interested in these attractive closet doors, they’re available at Habitat for Humanity  ReStore where we took them. To repurpose. For someone else that wants to use them to get their life back on track. One closet at a time.

Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.                                                   Psalm 37:24

Love and laughter, 

Sandy 

GROW Garden

Good morning! 

I’m now teaching at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School. It is in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood. 

Another sight I drive by each day as I leave school is the GROW teaching garden. 

GROW stands for Gardening to Reach Out and Welcome. It is located across the street from the school tucked behind a little white picket fence on its own lot amidst the other houses. 

It’s been around for eight years. It’s part of the community. It’s an attempt to stop the poverty cycle. And it is used by our after school youth mentoring program, YMP, to help provide year round weekly workshops on how to grow nutritious organic food. They learn from beginning to end, seed to harvest. Bugs and compost are even included in the learning. The students learn to prepare and try different cultural recipes with the fruits of their labor. 

If you like gardening, if you like kids, and if you like to break the cycle of poverty, come on over and see for yourself! You might just leave witnessing something much bigger than sunflowers growing. You might just leave with a growing desire to help. Help grow your city beyond the poverty cycle. Every little bit helps.

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.                                 Genesis 1:29

Love and laughter, 

Sandy 

Stack Up

Good morning! 

I recently visited Waterfront Grill for dinner where I ordered their Crab Mango and Avacado Stack appetizer for my entree. It’s delicious! And beautiful too!

It consists of several of my favorite foods all stacked up. Avacado. Mango. Crab. All mixed together with a little Remoulade sauce and some Serrano Chilies and a basket of chips to dip it with. Yum!

That same afternoon I had given my students some shape manipulatives to use as Bingo markers. With explicit directions not to play with them, but simply to use them as markers on their Bingo cards. 

I no sooner called the first letter on their cards and looked up to find not just one but several towers of manipulatives stacked on their tables beside them.

What is it about block type items that makes you just want to stack them?

Stack up. It’s an informal term that means measure up. Compare.

How do you stack up? 

Do you ever compare yourself to others? Do a little self-assessing to see where you stand? 

If you are at all like me, you more than likely come up on the short end of that stick. Someone else is always better. Smarter, prettier, richer, more successful. Whatever your markers may be, you fall short.

That’s not how God intended it. That’s why we aren’t to judge or compare. We have enough to worry about keeping up with our own affairs.

When a runner runs a race he is much more likely to win if he keeps his eyes on the prize. In front of him. If he stays on task. His task. Focuses on where he’s going. Not where he’s been or where his competitors are beside him. When we lose focus of our own plan, we lose our momentum.  

Let’s all stop comparing. Feeling as if we’re not good enough or something’s not fair. God made each of us just like He wanted us to be. With our own plan. 

Let’s all be the best we can be. And leave the stacking up for the appetizers at Waterfront Grill. And the manipulatives in Mrs. Carnes room 309. ūüėČ

Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of. You must each accept the responsibilities that are yours. Galatians 6:4-6

Love and laughter, 

Sandy 

Hurricane

Good morning!

Well, I survived my first week as a teacher.  

I have been graciously welcomed into and supported by our staff and students at Kendall-Whittier. And speaking of being welcomed and adopted in, did you know that our partner in education, our True Blue Neighbor, at Kendall-Whittier is the University of Tulsa?  TU is the home of the Golden Hurricane, for those of you that do not know. 

They help supply such needs for our Title 1 school as school supplies, spirit wear,  playground equipment, mentoring programs, and more.

On Fridays we can wear jeans and spirit wear to school. Kendall-Whittier or TU. 

I sported TU for my first Friday. It’s football season. I love football! And my husband and I have been attending TU football games together for several years. Go Hurricane!

Hurricane.                                           That’s kind of how my first week went. I blew in like a hurricane ready to start my AM duties at 7:10 each morning, and I never slowed down until the day was through. Add the paperwork necessary for each week’s grades, lesson plans, and IEPS of special education to the mix and I’m sure describing my life as a hurricane will be more than appropriately stated.

Whatever you choose to do in life, I encourage you to do it like a hurricane. With gusto. Like your hair’s on fire. Strong. A force not to be reckoned with. Work hard. Then when your week is through play hard. 

With that, I wish everyone a great weekend!  I know I’m greatly looking forward to mine! And let’s all enjoy this season, it’s time to watch some football!

But it was not long before a violent wind called a northeaster swept down from the island.                                     Acts 27:14

Love and laughter, 

Sandy 

Habitat For Humanity 

Good morning! 

For those of you that do not know,  I work at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School. It is located in the historic Kendall-Whittier neighborhood that has recently undergone major renovations.

The neighborhood is primarily a working-class neighborhood. It’s midtown Tulsa‚Äôs hub of hispanic culture.  And as you can see as you drive into Kendall Whittier Elementary School, it’s the home of a Habitat for Humanity house.

There is nothing more touching than driving into work each day, into a community where people help each other. Tulsans helping Tulsans.  I’m proud to be a part of such a community. 

One step out the front doors of our school tells you what can be accomplished by people working together. I already am telling my students within the doors of our classroom that they can do anything. That two are stronger than one. I’ve loved to watch them working together in small groups or pairing up and helping each other learn. 

Young or old. Black or white. Rich or poor. We are all God’s children.  We exist in community. And we can prosper so much greater when we help each other. 

Let’s all step outside our front doors. There’s a whole world out there crying for our help. Together we can make a difference. Together we can be that change we so desire. 

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.                                     Proverbs 21:13 

Love and laughter, 

Sandy