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10/8/2010

T'was The Night After Homecoming

 

Homecoming 2010 is now history, but it was (again) a great week! As I was thinking back over the week and the fun we all enjoyed, I was inspired to write a little poem. Please don’t mistake me for a real poet – it just seemed like a fun way to end a fun week. This year, as always, I was again impressed with what wonderful parents and families we have at our school. We couldn’t do what we do around here without the assistance and support of many of you. Thank you again, for joining together to make this Homecoming Week a week to remember.

 


T’was The Night After Homecoming 

T’was the night after Homecoming and all through the house, 
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Our bodies were weary from all we had done,
The week of Homecoming had been so much fun.
The children had come dressed in theme for each day,
Dressed the halls in bright colors and had much fun at play.
The cafeteria ladies brought spirit and craze,
Served good food each day AND sang YMCA!
So with all of it over, it was time for the bed,
I laid there and let it all run through my head.
With mom in her kerchief and I in my cap,
We had just settled down for a long fall’s nap.
When out in the drive there arose such a clatter,
I rose from my bed to see what was the matter.
Two people were digging all through the trash can,
Two others behind them - it was a small clan.
They burst through the door grabbing quarters and pins,
Saying something like “Hurry, we just have to win!”
When we gathered our senses and got to our feet,
We found in the kitchen a sweet little treat.
There was Megan and Casey and Shelley and Matt,
Running all through the house hunting this and that.
A scavenger hunt! They were having such fun.
They were here in a flash, then they all had to run.
As they rushed out the door and into the night,
We went through the house and turned off every light.
While we settled back in to our bed for some rest,
We realized again that our school is the best.
To parents that open their homes and plan fun,
We thank you SO much for all you have done.
Laughter and food and fun times together,
Its times like this they remember forever.
Now as things settle down and you find time to rest,
May you always remember – we think you’re the BEST!!!
 

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9/8/2010

Lessons I Have Learned While Gardening

It never ceases to amaze me how many lessons we learn from the simple things in life. I have always wanted a garden but with a small backyard there was no room to fit it in along with bicycles, basketballs, soccer balls, and a yard full of children. As the children have grown and interests have changed - I finally realized my chance. For my birthday in April, my oldest son gave me a tomato plant and enough 2 x 10 boards to box in a 12 x 6 garden spot.  A week or so later, I went to the Farmers Market and purchased one squash, one cucumber, three hot peppers, and five more tomato plants. Things got busy and I couldn’t find time to plant them, but I was faithful to keep the small plants watered. On the last day of May I decided it was then or never. I put gardening fabric on the ground, built the box, and filled it with bagged dirt from Lowe’s. Then I arranged my plants, put them in the ground, and gave them a good soaking with water. By the time the end of July rolled around - I was eating fresh vegetables from my garden!

 

Sounds like a successful experience in gardening doesn’t it? Let me share two lessons I have learned by becoming a gardener on the lower forty of my plantation.

 

First lesson: Procrastination will bring results, but you could enjoy the “fruits” earlier if you complete the task on time. There is really nothing better in the summer than a fresh cut tomato sunk in a thick layer of Duke’s mayonnaise spread over two slices of white bread. However, my plants were not producing yet so during the month of July, I had to go to the Farmers Market to purchase tomatoes to eat.  I went to the same little man every week to purchase a couple pounds of tomatoes. One day I asked him when he put his plants in the ground. His answer? “…’bout the middle of April.” I realized then if I had only pressed on and planted my plants when I received them, I could have enjoyed tomatoes from my garden all summer long.

 

Second lesson: You need pretty deep roots if you are going to be able to withstand summertime weather. Those of you who are true gardeners probably picked up on the one slight mistake I made in my ground preparation. Covering the ground with fabric kept the weeds out, but it also became a barrier to the good soil underneath. I noticed every time the wind blew or the rains came, my plants were not secure enough to withstand the pressure. I was forever staking them up and supporting them throughout the growing season. I have had nice tomatoes, but only medium sized ones. If the roots system had been able to grow deeper into the soil the vines would have produced more healthy fruit.

 

That reminds me of our spiritual lives. Sometimes we can appear to have it all together and everything looks good on the surface, but our root system isn’t going to support us during hard times.  If we haven’t spent time in God’s word and allowed ourselves to become “deeply rooted” in His word, our “fruit” is going to be mediocre. It is so important that we allow ourselves time to daily be in God’s word, and to position ourselves to hear His voice speaking truth to our hearts. When the challenges of life surround us and we experience day-to-day living, we need to be close to the Savior. We need our roots held firmly in the strength of His soil. Only then can we stand tall and secure, able to endure the storms of life and when the time is right – produce healthy fruit.

 

"And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts living within you as you trust in Him.  May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it.  And so at last you will be filled up with God Himself."     Ephesians 3:17-19, The Living Bible

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8/26/2009

Been Thinking.......

I LOVE school!  Most people begin their year in January, starting with well intentioned New Year's resolutions, but my year starts fresh every August.  It is always a new beginning - new school supplies, new clothes, new books, new agendas, new schedules, new goals... new students!  I am starting my fifteenth year here at Wesleyan and I still get that "back to school" feeling.  Can you believe that?  I have actually been going back to school in August for the past 46 years!  (Trust me - there are some retired high school teachers somewhere that would never have believed that!)  I have eaten school food almost all my life and it all tastes good to me, especially rice and school gravy. Few things look better to me than a freshly mown campus with the morning dew glistening on the grass and cars lined up in the parking lot.  Crazy, huh? 


My oldest son graduated from college this past May and we were recently talking about what it will feel like not to start classes in August.  That month of transition is no more.  That break or shift in scheduling is past.  He will choose his own time to re-evaluate his life and his performance.  August now flows directly into September and that time to resolve to "start fresh" is over.  For the rest of us - that time is now. Now, as we all settle in to our new schedules and for some, even new schools.  Perhaps this is your first year at Wesleyan and you are where I was 15 years ago. 


It seems like only a few years ago I made the transition from a public junior high school to a Christian school.  I was excited about my new endeavor, but at the same time full of questions about how a Christian education would be different from the public setting.  I was confident that God had placed a call in my heart and directed Wesleyan to me, and me to Wesleyan; and I was ready to get started.  It didn't take long to notice the obvious....chapels every week, devotions in the mornings and bible classes.  But, it takes a little longer to notice and recognize the more subtle blessings a Christian education can be in your life. 

 
First and foremost you are surrounded by teachers and staff that genuinely care about you.  They are interested in what interests you, what concerns you, what they can do to help you and your relationship with the Lord.  They pray for you and with you.  As they prepare their lessons they are constantly working to make sure that you know and understand exactly who the Creator really is.  They strive to make sure that whatever subject they teach points back to the glory of God.  A math teacher uses the patterns and theories of mathematics to point to the order God created in the universe.  Science teaches the intricate, complex designs God created in living and non-living things. As you study history, you are witness to the miracles God has performed throughout time.  The arts are a testimony to the majesty and beauty of the Lord.  The languages are given to enable us to effectively communicate with each other. Philosophy and Bible classes teach us to examine the things of the world through the living word of God.  Then there are multiple opportunities to use what you have learned and serve others. 

 
Of course the study and work load is intense...we are preparing students to go to college! We are equipping them to go out into the world and "be witnesses to the ends of the earth." But we do want them to have fun at the same time.  We want them to take pictures, make lifelong friends, dress in red and gold, and celebrate.  Join clubs, participate in sports, run for office, go on mission trips, senior trips and homecomings...make memories!  The first of August my children and I ran by the school.  As we bounded up the stairs, through the doors and on to the third floor one of them took a deep breath and said, "The smell of Wesleyan...there's nothing like it!"