Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

"My mawmaw has these," three year-old T------ said today while I was holding her on my lap as she inspected my long{ish} thumbnails. "Your mawmaw has these?" I asked, repeating what she had said. She nodded and replied, pointing to my other long{ish} fingernails, "But you really need to cut these off."

As I finished reading a story to four year-old J-----, we came to the final page which read "The End." Instead of chiming in with me as I read this classic storybook ending, she said with finality, "Amen!"

Earlier in the day, J----- {the same child as above}, said to me, "My daddy's in jail." "Oh!" I said. "He is? I'm sorry J-----." She replied, "Yep, he's in jail because he had a big snake, and that's very dangerous!"

With her typical random four year-old flair, C---- informed me during snack time of her escapades with her papa {not sure if this gentleman is her dad or grandpa}. "Papa takes me to the park sometimes. Papa...he's my husband."

Go to Not Before 7 to read more Tiny Talks and join in sharing some soundbites from the little people in your life!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Children of Light

I wasn't planning on doing any more Truth~Light~Hammer~Fire posts,..BUT...I got an idea. :-)

This is my second Truth~Light~Hammer~Fire post having to do with "light." To see more TLHF posts, hop on over to the TLHF originator's blog at Life on Sylvan Drive c/o Davene.

P.S. If anyone would like to volunteer to be my model so I don't have to use myself so often, I would be very appreciative!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


{I think that....

....I'm already tired of seeing my goofy self on this blog header....

....every time I load my blog page.}

Revision necessary.

I think Mr. N, Miss J, and Miss A are keepers. But Miss Leah?

"If you did not receive a rose, take a moment, say goodbye."
"I'm sorry, you're just a tool."
"Auf Wiedersehen."
"It's time to cut the fat. You are not the Biggest Loser."
"The tribe has spoken..."
"You're fired."
"You are no longer in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model."

Any other reality show elimination ceremony catch-phrases I should add?

All an overly dramatic way to say, I did not make the cut. ~New header coming soon.~

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Statement of Experience

I was going through some old papers and came across some journal entries that I wrote for my Urban Field Experience last spring when I spent the semester in Philadelphia. The final entry I wrote was a statement of experience {of sorts} that is kind of a culminating retrospective on my semester of assisting and tutoring at Duckrey Elementary in North Philly. Although it was written at the end of my experience, it serves as a nice blog intro to my passion AND reservations about teaching in the urban school environment.

May 8, 2009

For the past three months, I've been participating in a field experience assisting in the kindergarten and first grade classrooms at Tanner Duckrey Elementary School. Upon completion of this semester, I had worked on site at Duckrey for approximately ninety hours. The primary reason I came to study in Philadelphia was so that I could gain experience working in the urban elementary school. Ever since I began volunteering and substitute teaching at a daycare in a low income, urban area of my hometown, I've felt called to teach in an inner-city setting. I perceive teaching in an urban setting to be just as integral to my calling as teaching itself. Obviously, I had high hopes for this experience.

While my dream has been to work in an inner-city setting, I didn't know if I could actually handle all the demands involved. Classroom management and becoming overly emotional were concerns of mine. However, after this experience, I learned that I am indeed capable of teaching in an urban school like Duckrey. While I still became very attached to the students, I was successful in separating school from work, and I didn't bring issues home from the classroom.

Clearly the highlight of my field experience was interacting with the students and forming relationships with them. I looked forward to going to Duckrey every Tuesday and Thursday. I loved living and working in the same community. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my students after hours as I took walks through their neighborhoods on Diamond St. west of Broad. My time working at Duckrey was thoroughly blessed by the children. I'm determined to record every funny and insightful snippet spoken by these youngsters so that I never forget the joy that they brought to my life this semester. When I heard the rough-and-tumble boys tell their teachers that they loved me, or when the little girls said that they wished they could come home with me, I knew that I was truly in a place where I could flourish and help others to flourish.

Happy Birthday Lissy!

I couldn't come in on the train and surprise you like I did last year, but I made this collage of us, just for you! I hope you enjoy celebrating your 21 years of life and that this year is your best year yet! Love ya nena!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Something's Rotten in Denmark

I noticed something was amiss right away upon viewing this Trident Layers gum commercial. Do you see it? Or am I reading into something that's not there?

Subliminal messages? I think yes.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

In the two year-old class we practice our colors during large group time. The toddlers love calling out their color guess when a teacher holds up a given color swatch: red, blue, yellow, green, purple, etc. However, most of the two year-olds will call out, "Chocolate!!" for the brown swatch. There's a random color swatch in our collection that doesn't fit neatly into a specific color category in the primary, secondary, or tertiary color wheels..kind of a cross between hot pink and electric purple. We'll occasionally pull out that swatch and ask, "What about this one? What color is this?" just to hear little V------- call out in her tiny, sweet voice, "Fuschia!!" Wow, little one! Are you sure you're only two?

Three year-old Y---- is very in tune to details. One day I was holding her on my lap and her leg must have brushed against mine. "Outs, outs, me pica!" she said. {Ouch, ouch, me pica}. The Spanish verb "picar" has several different translations, including "to bite" and "to sting." However, in this case, she was saying, "Ouch, ouch, it's prickling me!!" Apparently I need to have satin, smoothly-shaven goddess legs to work at daycare. Any stubble is bound to alarm a three year-old.

Hop over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for more Tiny Talk!

Monday, March 22, 2010

But....that's just me.

Three separate musings:

~After naptime, my students will often ask me if they're putting their shoes on the right feet. If they don't ask me, they walk around looking rather awkward until I tell them. How can they not feel the difference? I can NOT relate, because I was one of those kids who wore her socks inside-out because I didn't like to feel the seams. Yeah.
...And my mother had to cut off all the tags of my clothes, but this sometimes made it worse because of the sharp, jagged edge the scissors left behind. My day was ruined when she told me that a certain tag HAD to remain intact because the seams of my shirt would become unraveled if I were to remove it. Oh, and sand! Don't even get me started about sand!

~Am I the only woman age 16-25 who doesn't practice dancing or posing in front of the bathroom mirror? I'll occasionally snap a profile picture of my reflection if no one is available to take one for me, but perfecting my dance moves? That I do not. I do make faces at myself, which to some might be considered more embarrassing and less wise to confess than watching myself pop-lock-n-drop it. My repertoire of faces ranges from grotesque to...undefined. But I can amuse myself during an otherwise boring time of getting ready in the mornings. And I'd be lying if I said that others don't enjoy my facial expressions when there's not a mirror around.

~I was never one of those gals who had to be accompanied by a girlfriend in order to take a trip to the bathroom and pee. "Do you wanna come with me?" {insert their nervous, insecure look} I've often been asked. I always oblige but never interrogate likewise. Not that I'm particularly hush hush about bathroom business, but I can do things by myself. I don't get bored during times when I'm alone like many people seem to. I'm not embarrassed to try out a new restaurant or church alone. Would we call that independence? Self-assuredness? I suppose in many ways I am. But please, continue to ask me to accompany you on your potty breaks, but don't expect me to ask the same of you. :-)

But...that's just me.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Remember how I mentioned that I prefer writing over speaking off the top of my head so that I can make sure everything sounds exactly as I intend it to sound?

Well, I've run into something similar that has hampered my writing. There's alot going on inside this big ol' noggin'. However, everything inside is far from fully processed. In several arenas of life. Rather...half-baked.

What if my words are misunderstood? What if I change my mind in terms of my thoughts and opinions at a later time? Do I really want to risk that?

I hope I can learn to enjoy blogging as a conversation, a conversation that is sometimes a monologue and other times a dialogue. I hope I can learn to appreciate the journey and embrace the questions, not expecting at age 21 to "know it all" or even completely understand myself.

I hope I can learn to appreciate when my thoughts and experiences {and not just my brownies} are half-baked.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

"What letter is you? What starts you?" Three year-old A-------- asked me this, trying to figure out which letter is the first letter of my name. My students claim major ownership of the beginning letter of their names; for example, when he sees an "A", he'll point and say, "That's me!"

Three year-old E---- fished a carrot coin out of her vegetable soup at lunch and asked, "What is this? Why did they put a circle on it?" I suppose we may have to grow carrots in our garden so that she can understand how carrots grow and that no person put the circle formations on the carrot slices. :-)

Children in this same class {the 3's} were quite excited that we have two Leahs in our class. These Leahs include a student and myself. "There's one big one, and one little one!" E---- kept saying throughout the day. Not to be out done, J---- said, "There are two J----s, too. Me and...I'll have to buy another one."

Join in this blog carnival and share the sound bites from the little ones in your life over at Not Before 7.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not Me Monday

I absolutely did NOT walk out of a restaurant without paying the tab, innocently finishing up my work on my laptop and enjoying the art hanging on the walls before returning my empty drink glass and exiting this downtown hipster joint. I did NOT get a free dinner by doing so. No, certainly not me.

I definitely did not return to said restaurant a few days later once I realized I had neglected to pay. I did not attempt to explain my story to the guy at the counter who obviously thought I was the world's hugest dipstick airhead for forgetting to pay and thought I was equally off my rocker for returning to admit my error and pay my tab of $6. I would totally NEVER do that.

I have not become so accustomed to being a caregiver for my lovely little daycare students that when Ny-----'s "MOMMY!!!!" was directed at me, I turned and was ready to attend to her need or listen to what she had to say. I am nobody's mommy. I do NOT answer to "Mommy." No, not me!

Join me in admitting your less than perfectly polished moments along with other bloggers over at Mckmama's My Charming Kids!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some Tidbits About Me {or How I Might Bore You in Under 50 Questions}

1. What time did you get up this morning? too late because of the time change

2. Diamonds or pearls? diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Where the Wild Things Are :-) with the lovely Lissy and marvelous Mickey

4. What is your favorite TV show? The Bachelor or Supernanny

5. What do you usually have for breakfast? a frappuccino. and a granola bar if I'm lucky...

6. What is your middle name? three letter word for happiness!!!

7. What food do you dislike? any animal flesh or animal parts

8. What is your favorite CD at moment? The Element of Freedom {Alicia Keys}

9. What kind of car do you drive? Subaru Outback. DO NOT be jealous of my hot ride. ;-)

10. Favorite sandwich? Veggie Bagel {cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pesto spread on an everything bagel}

11.What characteristic do you despise? loud chewing, male chauvinism, racist ideals and the like

12. Favorite item of clothing? any little dresses or tunics I can wear over my leggings!

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? probably a Caribbean island

14. Favorite brand of clothing? South Pole or RocaWear

15.Where would you retire to? Lol..I'm not really considering my retirement location considering I'm still in college and haven't purchased my first home yet.

16.What was your most recent memorable birthday? memorable...I suppose my birthday two months ago was memorable when I turned 21.

17. Favorite sport to watch? I like to watch basketball; I was a major groupy for my sister's team when they won Regionals and went to States. :-)

18. Furthest place you are sending this? I probably won't send this because I don't like to make people feel obligated

19. Person you expect to send it back first? no one I guess

20. When is your birthday? New Years Day

21. Are you a morning person or a night person? definitely a night person

22. What is your shoe size? oh dear..size 10. but thankfully they don't appear that huge because they're proportional to my height.

23. Pets? none anymore

24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? What I find exciting you probably wouldn't...

25. What did you want to be when you were little? a pastry chef

26. How are you today? Fine thanks.

27. What is your favorite candy? used to be Peppermint Patty but now I'd have to go with Carmello

28. What is your favorite flower? Roses.

29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? a day in early to mid April when I'm headed to Philly!!

30. What is your favorite pastime? volunteering and substitute teaching at RWCCC

31. What are you listening to right now? coffeeshop chatter and subdued music

32. What was the last thing you ate? I'm currently eating an organic cookie and drinking a Sweet Caramella iced coffee

33. Do you wish on stars? no I don't, but my first shooting star was very special :-)

34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? PINK

35. How is the weather right now? in the 50s which is fine for mid-March, but it's pretty drab and overcast

36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? boycotting phone calls today

37. Favorite soft drink? Orange Fanta {developed my taste for this when we drank this like water in Europe during our choir tour June of '06}

38. Favorite restaurant? Old Dominion Coffee Company! except that's closed :-(. Soooo..the Olive Garden.

39. Real hair color? blonde

40. What was your favorite toy as a child? my imagination. I had dolls that I loved to play with, but my sister and I spent HOURS playing with our imaginary babies and kids.

41. Summer or winter? summmaatimeeee

42. Hugs or kisses? Well, that depends on who you are ;-)

43. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate. The chocolatier the better.

44. Coffee or tea? Coffee! In particular Mocha Java Coolers/Frappes/Coffee Smoothies

45. When was the last time you cried? a couple days ago

46. What is under your bed? just drawers that my mom stores blankets in

47. What did you do last night? Celebrated by sister's 17th bday

48. What are you afraid of? Hmmm..this is a bit deep you guys. I'll avoid any premature revelations and go with...murderers. I'm afraid of murderers.

49. Salty or sweet? sweet

Friday, March 12, 2010


Sometimes tulips remind me of the few days I spent in Amsterdam June of '06. And other times...not so much. Sometimes they remind me of something completely different.

I've been thinking very hard indeed these recent days about all things sotierology and eschatology, with a sprinkling of gender roles. make that a heavy sprinkling. My current reads, The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne and Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce, have provoked my contemplating as well as significant online research. So far I've been intrigued to see that those who come out on a given side of salvation doctrine and "Kingdom come" matters consistently correlate with either egalitarian or complementarian views of gender roles, though I'm sure there are exceptions. In fact, it's probably not even fair for me to refer to "sides" since people can fall somewhere on a spectrum regarding these issues.

At any rate, my thoughts aren't currently sorted out enough to write a fully developed, coherent post. However, my readings and research have reinforced the problems that I have with the five points of Calvinism represented by the acronym "TULIP." Brian McClaren is a pastor and voice in the Emergent church movement; I've been reading up on his ideologies recently and was have been struck by a proposed revision to TULIP.
Here is the Reformed/Calvinist TULIP:
Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints

and McClaren's proposed revision:
Triune Love
Unselfish Election
Limitless Reconciliation
Inspiring Grace
Passionate, Persistent Saints

FASCINATING. That's all the personal input I have for now. SiMpLy FaScInAtInG

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Featuring Miss "Ewww das nassy" aka Cutie of 1,000 Expressions

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rejoicing Fields

Even in the unfurling fronds of a fern is the glory of God declared! The intricate detail of blooming life displays master craftsmanship and praises its Creator in perfect simplicity.

To read posts by the Truth-Light-Hammer-Fire originator, visit Davene at Life on Sylvan Drive.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I See What Your Hair is Saying

I want to share some pictures of the hair belonging to some of the lovely Philly children who were the stars of my Tiny Talk Tuesday post. While assisting in the classrooms, I wasn't permitted to take full facial shots of the children; the most I could show of their faces were their profiles. Since I didn't obtain permission to post these pictures, I'll only show pictures of the backs of their heads, which I don't think will be too exposing. Since I'm focusing on their hair, reverse head shots should work just fine. :-)

All of the bead work, braids, and parting designs really showcase this as an art form. I wish I was talented at styling hair. :-)


Since posting my Tiny Talks last Tuesday, I've been thinking about how much appearance dictates how people perceive others. Hair cuts and styles can be very culturally bound, but as with anything superficial, they can also be swamped with labels and stereotypes. When I got rows put in my hair, I caught some flack from people who thought it wasn't appropriate for "the likes of me" to wear my hair like that. Some of my friends just simply thought I didn't look nice in them, which is fine with me and I appreciate their honesty ;-). (Perhaps it emphasizes my generously-sized forehead and elf-shaped ears! *laughing*). What I don't welcome, however, is the objection to this hairstyle because it's not fitting for "someone like me" to sport this hairstyle. I do understand that this hairstyle might lead others to assume a number of different things about me and hold me to those assumptions, whether or not they are indeed true.

My hair says a number of different things about me. It often says I don't take the time to straighten it, so I wear it naturally curly. Or perhaps the curl and often wild waves make allusions to my free spirit. Sometimes my hair says that I need a shower. It's light color and texture may give some indication of my ethnic heritage. It's long length may say something about my beliefs about femininity. Some of these are correct assumptions to make about me regarding how my hair is perceived; some, however, are not correct. How is one to know?

What might we assume about these people regarding their hair cuts and styles? What is their hair saying? Might we be smacking a label on their foreheads that does not properly represent them?

...hmmm. Some thoughts to consider. What is YOUR hair saying?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Last spring I enjoyed a field experience assisting in an elementary school in north Philadelphia. In this particular school, 99.5% of the students are African American and 85% of the students live below the poverty line, just to give you an idea of the demographic. Working at this school was no doubt one of the main highlights of my stay in Philly. I helped in the kindergarten and first grade classrooms, and these precious young ones provided me with plenty of quotable moments.

I was holding Z-------'s hand as I walked her and some other kindergartners to the gym for an after school program. The time for me to leave and walk the block and a half back to my rowhome dorm on Broad St. was fast approaching, so on cue many of the kids asked to come home with me. I didn't bother to explain the whole no pets no little people rule, but I did say that I can't take them anywhere without their parents' permission. I also said that I don't live in a house and explained my dorm/apartment living situation as a college student. "I don't even live with my mom anymore! My family is five hours away!" They were very impressed by this and relished the idea of me having a mom just like they do. "Is your mom black?" Z------- piped up. :-) Of course I said that she's not, but it was then that I realized that what their teacher had told me earlier was correct: I had confused many of the children a couple days before when I had come to school with my hair corn-rowed. :-)

This was also apparent in another instance when a group of the kindergarten girls were competing with each other to see whose hair was the longest. "Look how long my hair is getting!" they said to one another. I said, "All of you have such beautiful hair! My hair is long, too, isn't it?" My hair extended well beyond the halfway point of my back. M------- grinned at me and made her eyes wide in surprised, saying, "That's your real hair?? I thought THAT was a WEAVE!!!"

To read more Tiny Talk Tuesdays, head over to Not Before 7!