Monday, December 15, 2008

Rainy Day

I drove work today in the pouring rain. Nice. When it rains like that in California, you have to give it a nod, some recognition. I fondly remember my third grade teacher, Mrs. Smith, having a rainy day tradition: when the lights went out, she made hot chocolate, lit candles, and read Winnie the Pooh. So I got out the hot chocolate for my kiddos this morning, ready to pass on the tradition. God does have a sense of humor, because in the middle of that tradition, he brought a reminder. I handed out the hot chocolate to most of the kids, and came to one of the last boys, J. As I walked away from his desk, E was very disturbed. "Why did J get a bigger cup than everyone else???" he whined. Boy, I had to hold back. I let him have a little, but with every word I spoke it was like I was getting the message myself. "I chose to give you a gift this morning.... why are you complaining about what I am giving to the other kids? It is a gift, right? Something special? Who gets to say HOW I give it to everyone?" "You do, Miss Owens." Right, so if I want to give him more, does anyone get to say anything?" "No, it's your choice." Right. I get to say who I give it to and how. I don't need you whining to me about what they have and what you don't have. Next time I have something to give, I will consider again who I give it to, and next time, that might not include you. I won't be giving if you will be complaining. Oh, and for the record, he got the bigger cup because I ran out of smaller ones. You didn't know WHAT I gave him. And anyway, everyone else seemed grateful for what they got, and offered genuine thank you's to show it. You were just worried about getting more, or something else." I know. As I read, it sounds like overkill, like I overreacted. And I think I felt that way because I understood why he complained, and it frustrated me that he complained and that I have too. Sigh. Isn't that just me. Wanting more, worried about what someone else has, what I do not, what gifts God chooses to give to others and not me. Ouch. that is going to sting for a while.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A most excellent prank

Poor Allison did not know that at 12:05, life would through a surprising curve ball. She did not realize that she was being watched, filmed even, and that her students were also unaware of their impending situation. It all started when Allison began commenting to her fellow teachers how annoying it had been that her kindergarten students had cell phones going off in class. She asked me if that happened in second grade, and even wondered about one of my students, the sibling to one of hers whose phone went off a couple off times last week. It was happening enough, phones were ringing enough times in that kindergarten class that a quiet and unsuspecting teacher decided that just one more time, cell phones needed to ring. So in a sophomoric way that was oh so much fun, notes were passed, looks were exchanged, and instructions were whispered. Our work would need to be completed by 11:45 so that we would be in place for the prank to start at 12:05. One by one and in small groups, we crept into her room and placed our phones strategically in her classroom. Under books, in cubbies, and in the most unsuspecting of places we hid our phones. You would have thought we were in high school, the way we giggled! Such a prank has not been pulled in at least 7 years. At 12:05, we began our calls. from different classrooms around the school. And we waited. The video will attest that Allison was trying to write on the board, and heard a sound... and another.... and another.... "Are you KIDDING ME????" She came out with a handful of cellphones, and more were still ringing in the classroom. The teachers and students all giggled, and everyone would suddenly get quiet as they strained to hear the location of yet another ringing phone. It was a classic, and I have to give props to Cheryl. I never would have thought of such a beautiful plan, and it went off perfectly! All I have to say is, man, I wish I had thought of that!

Intro to Picassa

I was recently introduced to Picassa by a new facebook friend. I have been playing a little today, so nothing fancy I work my way to photographerness, I am learning so much! Hopefully there will be more to come. Cambria part II is Wednesday, so be watching!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

3:47 a.m.

God woke me up this morning. I will maintain that because there is no other feasable excuse. And who else has such a sense of humor? At 3:47 a.m., I just woke up. No noise, no reason, just woke up. Noticed that there was no light coming from the cable box (a convenient nightlight) and went to see what blocked the light. I went to turn on the light above my bed and was rewared with an unproductive click. I dug around in the dark for a flashlight, and dropped a book on the dog (sorry Abby) She stared at me curiously ans I fumbled, and I opened the curtains to see if perhaps the 3:48 a.m. ambient light outside might help. Strangely, it did! I clicked on the flashlight, and suddenly, the light switched on. The clocks buzzed back to life flashing the familiar and somewhat jolting 12:00. An alarm went off in the distance, and my Vietnamese neighbors across the street had all of their lights on. I woke up within a minute of the outage ending. My 6:00 wakeup call was erased in the blackout and if there had been no divine intervention, well, I might still be asleep. Yesterday was a very long day after all. As I reset my alarm, the radio snapped on and the lyrics playing said "I am holding on to you" Wow. Is He ever!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mickey has an evil twin

My day started yesterday with my brother's announcement that there was a rat in the house, and that he ( my brother) was on his way to work. How can you leave for work knowing there is a rat loose in the house? I don't know. But Abby and I went on the search for the little rodent before I left for work. Turns out he must have been an art conniseur as he was hiding behind an Ansel Adams print tucked behind the front door. Abby went in full tracking mode, narrowing down the exact location. I prepared to push the print and frame up against the wall to trap the little monster when BAM! He flew up in the air about three feet! At 6:20 in the morning, I am screaming because a rat is lunging at me and it's dark, and I can't see, and there is a rodent leaping toward my face, aiming to scratch out my eyes, I am sure! As he dropped down, he scratched his nail down my leg (yes, please, take a moment and shudder! It was a moment to be shuddered at!) and high tailed it back to the kitchen. Here is the moment when I can stop and thank the idiot who put in the cabinets in the kitchen. The moron took a shortcut and left the under part of where the floor and cabinets join incomplete. It gave the shorthair a place to escape (and I am sure acted as his entrance door), and he was gone gone gone. I got ready for work, and turned the lights out, hoping my set trap would be sprung by the time we came back from our morning walk, but no luck. Mickey's evil twin is still at large. So if anyone has any good traps lying around...

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Well, I'm sunk. School loan bills are very scary, and this is the most worried I have been about money in a long time. I guess it's an opportunity to see God's faithfulness. Who knew that a master's would not make a big dent in my financial situation???!!! I guess he will have lots of opportunities to prove himself faithful. Anyone feeling benevolent??? Anybody need a photographer?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Photo shoots

Cambria and her mom went with me to Corona del Mar to take some photos. She was a total poser. In a good way!
Dad was holding Jillian when she was little bitty. I love the contrast between her soft little feet and
his strong rough hands.

Waiting for the rain....

It is a cloudy, overcast, and somewhat chilly day in Southern California. Wonderful! Rain is supposed to be coming, but nothing yet but little spits here and there. Both of the dog's mortal enemies have shown up, the mailman and the bug sprayer, and at the SAME TIME!

I wondered at first what sort of things I can put on this blog, aside from my own personal musings which might only be meaningful to me. But then I started thinking, there are so many PICTURES! Brandi and Hanssie, thanks for the inspiration. There is a photographer hiding in this teacher, and I have been trying to find my way out. Pictures don't pay the bills for me, but they are my life. I think it's time I start getting myself out there. There are some shoots from the past couple of years I can put up, for your perusal and enjoyment. I will get on that right after I go and make some chocolate chocolate chip pancakes. YUM!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Late nights

It's funny. I went to a new small group for the first time. I was telling them about facebook and all of the people I have seen there. How it was cool to see so many old Forest Home friends, old school friends, and people in general I was not sure I would ever see again this side of heaven. Also found at least one person I did not want to see. So many things combined with real life, the stuff that does not happen on computers, drew out the sadness. All of these people, all lives I was involved with at one time or another, now distant, now married, now parents, and it is weird. What time warp have I been in?

God does have a different idea I think. A sense of humor if you will, and somehow facebook and blogging mingle with that. I have gained some perspective in these last couple of weeks, and while that perspective is not the fun sort of stuff I was looking to gain, its ok. I am so glad to encounter so much of my past here, but even more glad to discover what the rest of the future holds. I like these little late night moments, when my heart is quiet and reaching for God, when my hands can speed along the keys and pour out words buried for years.

If you get to read and enjoy, I am glad I can oblige you. Be blessed by however this humble vessel gets filled. And enjoy the pictures.
In focus will be a theme for me, to try to achieve that in my film as my eyesight changes, to make focus a lifestyle as I pursue the One pursuing me.

One more thing... read The Shack. So so good. So good.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Time for bed...

It really is late, but the writer in me is begging to get out, if just for a few seconds. I have enjoyed other people's blogs, and thought, maybe, just maybe, I might inspire someone. Maybe I might just inspire myself, but even that would be a good start.