CATCH-UP TIME

I said to Levi last week that I needed to play “CATCH-UP” with all the pictures he and I have made lately.  “KETCHUP,” he said?  Lulu, I don’t think my Mama would let me play with ketchup!!!”

No, I’m sure she wouldn’t, but today, I’m going to play ‘catch-up’ all by myself.   We have had such a busy, busy fall…with lots going on.  And, it’s not over yet!  But I’d better get caught up, cause the next post will be a doozy!

A few weeks back, we visited the fire station….actually his kindergarten class did.  Suzanne was unable to go, so I did the chaperone thing that day….his class below

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His good friend, Lydiabp12

Of course, you know there is more than one way to walk in a line…bp17

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His teacher, Mrs. Parrish, with Laney Brooke…bp16

Two friends who he dearly loves…Lydia and Laney Brooke…bp15

Taking it all in…bp18What fun he had at the fire station…seeing our community helpers at work.  Then he came over to my house for the afternoon.  We had lunch and rested a while then he took a spin on his Razr…

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Maybe, he’s still just a little tired…bp7

Another day, he was with me…he came to me with his arms full of every single little pumpkin I had decorated with and said, “Lulu, let’s make me a pumpkin patch.”  And so we did.  Right on the table where he always eats!

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Here he is at another pumpkin patch.  He visited here with his Mom.bof33-16

And, here are the pumpkins Levi painted with his Mom and Dad at his house.  I’d tell you who they are, but I’d get it wrong.  Just know one of them is named Mike…

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We did manage to get one more swim in before fall completely moved in on us…he did, I watched!

 

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Levi and John Thomas had an art day planned for the fall season and Joy and I sat in the garage and let them go at it!  The weather was perfect.  They painted with different kinds of brushes and their fingers and made some lovely sunflowers on canvas.  Then we showed them how to make a pumpkin using fabric and stuffing and sticks from the yard.  They may not be exactly akin to pumpkins you have seen, but they were made with a whole lot of love to distribute to everyone they loved!  A few more projects, and we called it a day!  The boys are not able to be together as much as they would like, but they make up for it when they are!

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bof105Levi also picked out his costume for Halloween…and has modeled it endlessly!  I’ll wait to reveal the full effect with mask!

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I have been painting a bench for a sweet friend of mine.  I have to work a while and rest a while.  But, the boy thought he should have a bench to paint while I was working.  This is the closest thing to a bench that was a good size for him.  He has been quite diligent working on it, if not particularly neat.  Each section is a separate color and it is all his work!

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Last week, it was time for his kindergarten trip to the farm…what fun!  All 4 kindergarten classes at his school went to a farm just outside of town.   It was just lovely!  The weather was more than perfect and every child had a ball!  They learned about the chickens, saw goats and donkeys and horses and cows.  They had a little pumpkin patch with a pumpkin for every child.  There was a fabulous hayride, delicious snacks, and 4 classes of the cutest 5 year olds anywhere!

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Chicken coop…farm6

He stuck a chicken feather in his pumpkin…farm4

With sweet Laney Brooke…farm7

Feeding apple slices to Blue, the horse…farm3

His class…farm2

With sweet Suzanne…bof108

Posing on the porch…bof110

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On the hay ride…farm10

What a beautiful day!  I was so blessed to be able to attend with Suzanne and Levi.  I sat on the big front porch in a rocker while I waited for him to return from the hay ride.  If I had had a paper and pen with me, I could have written a book about the goodness of God.  Such glorious scenery!  He gave us the most beautiful world to enjoy.  Delightful animals that bring laughter and joy.  Families sharing times together.  A school dedicated to teaching each little child that God is our Maker and Designer of all.  He is the One we are to please and serve…and, such amazing children…full of fun and questions and energy and boldness…behaving just like a 5 year old should!  Oh, but God is good.  I thank Him for putting all this in my life to enjoy and teach me.

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Levi had a good friend stop by to say ‘hello’ at school one morning…sweet Ty.  They wanted a picture,too.

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And, because the bananas were just too ripe…he and I made banana bread…

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As it cooked…I took the opportunity to show him what real fun is!  Painting with shaving cream.  I planned to limit it to the orange tray, but that didn’t happen.  At first, he thought I was crazy…but then he got his fingers in and began sculpting mountains and roads and towns.  It is great to create with unusual things for a change.  He made me promise we would do that again.

 

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And, the month of October has come to an end.  How fabulous it was…so ‘octoberry’ in every way!  In the early days of November, Levi’s parents took him to The National Peanut Festival.  They ate good things, and rode fun things, and saw sweet friends!  He had a ball!  But, alas, I can’t get the pics off my phone to show them to you.  Just take my word for it!

We had one…just one …visitor to our house on Halloween…can you guess his identity?

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And a Halloween visit to sweet Laney Brooke for some special trick or treating fun!

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And, we are nearing Nov. 8…this is the kick off to our big family adventure!   We are going to Disney World! So probably, I will have lots of pictures and stories to tell when we return.

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Enjoy this wonderful Season of Thanks!

he3(Sorry this is such a long post, but I wanted to document several of these events and I have a touch of the ‘procrastination’ in me!)

LIGHT IT UP !

I don’t like spiders, or snakes, or bugs.  I do not feel I have authority over even the tiniest of creatures.  I just want to flee.  I hate to kill them…but I will stomp on a spider.  Roaches…I don’t even think I can stand to talk about them…so let’s not.  I do, however, have a fondness for two of the tiniest of God’s handiwork…ladybugs and fireflies.  I can get along with these…and let them live and be at peace.

 

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But, I recently heard a sad tale abut the firefly.  Actually, we used to call them lightning bugs.  I remember Joy and I catching them in an old glass jar….and Mama making us let them go before we came inside for the night.  (That was when you could play outside and with neighborhood kids with out your parents worrying to death!)  I’m glad she had us let them go.  If you think you don’t see them much anymore, you’re right.  Their population is on the decline.  This is because of  (according to Mother Nature Network.com)  light pollution, pesticide use, and habitat destruction.  And, this is the sad part…if a field where fireflies have lived is paved over or built on..the firefly family doesn’t just move over to another field…..they just disappear forever.

 

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Does that make you a little wistful?  It does me.  I think of the absolute delight my sister and I, barefooted and dirty, had running after that elusive light to try to catch one in our hands.  I don’t think I ever did.  To get them into the jar, you had to be real sneaky and creep up behind them and bring that bottle down over them quickly!  It’s not a skill I use anymore, sad to say.  I don’t know when I’ve seen a firefly.

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We lived in town on a busy road, but had lots of friends out in the country. And, once you got away from the light around town…right at dusk…you would begin seeing them. We also went to a church out in the country.  I can remember when Memphis Baptist was just 2 small buildings.  And when we would get out of church on Sunday night, it would just be getting dark.  At that time, there were fields all around and a cemetery across the street.  They would all be filled with the tiny lights!  Of course, we couldn’t go chase them…cause it was still the Lord’s Day, and that was not befitting behavior for 2 young ladies, Daddy said.  And besides, we still had on our Sunday dresses and sox and shoes.  Mama was not happy if those white patent leather shoes got marks on them!   But on Wednesday night, those bugs better beware!  We had on school clothes and there weren’t as many rules about them!  Even that far back, I remember what a sight it was to see a field all of a sudden light up.  Wow. God makes so many wonderful things for a kid to marvel at!

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Let me tell you a little about these little creatures.  First of all, they are beetles…not flies.  They have a chemical called luciferin  inside their tails.  When this combines with oxygen, calcium, and adenosine triphosphate….a chemical reaction occurs to create their spectacular light!  Now, they carry the luciferin in their tail…and I know where the oxygen is…but where do they get the calcium and adenosine stuff from.  Does it float in on the air, or is it in the ground.  Do they get it from the food they eat?  I could not find out.  But, isn’t it wonderful to know that every little firefly that’s burned their beautiful light had to have help from the Master Creator to get the job done!  And, it’s even more wonderful to think that Almighty, Heavenly Creator that He is, cares about his little firefly family on the earth enough to make sure they have the things they need to shine their light…attract a mate…and make more fireflies!

 

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And, get this…they are light geniuses.!  Their light is 100 % usable light where as the incandescent light bulbs that we humans manufacture lose 90% of their energy as heat…only 10% is usable light!  Anything God makes is right from the start!

A very wise friend of mine told me once that God is just as magnificent in the tiniest of details we may ever not see, as He is in the large things we notice every day!  It’s true!

There are over 2000 species of fire fly, but they don’t all light up.  Each species that does light up, however,, has their own specific pattern of flashing.  Some can even synchronize their flashes.  Now, the whole’ light up thing’ is just a ploy to find a mate!  The male flashes one pattern…the female flashes back another. I don’t really know the deciding factor on who they choose…but their lights can come in yellow, light red, green and orange.  Perhaps the female has a favorite color!

 

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And should some other creature be attracted to this light and decide it looks appetizing….a firefly also has something in his blood called LUCIBUFAGINS (love that word!)  which makes them taste really gross!

Now friends…if you’ve even kept reading this far,  I know this is not on the list of information that you would find useful or even interesting.  But, when I got to thinking of the fact that I would so hope my little grandson has the chance to see  and  experience the wonder of ‘fairy lights’…I wanted to know more about them.  I want to know where they are.  Cause I’m gonna take him.  I’m gonna watch it once more through his eyes!  And, then I’ll hold that memory as close as I do the ones of my sister and I.  Have you seen any in this area?

 

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There are so many wonders in the animal world…but none that I know of as enchanting as watching the yard ‘fill up with little fairy lights’.  It’s an experience similar to seeing stars race across the sky.  It’s something you never forget…even if you’re 63.  It’s just a little ‘magical respite’ from long days and hot work in the sun.  It’s in those few minutes between being out working and going into the house for the evening.  It’s where you think, “Man, I’m tired, But got a lot  of good stuff done today.”  But, you just don’t quite want to go in and call it a day.  You just stand and survey the world.  Maybe hear God say, “Sit back.  Put your feet up and watch!  I’m have some friends who want to do a show…just for you!”  And, He calls His fireflies to perform…just to delight you!  Isn’t He a good God!  I am remembering my days on the farms in NC with my aunts and Uncles.  I can see my Uncle Arthur Lee drive up in his truck and come up under the carport….stomping the mud off his feet as he comes.  Then he’d sit down on a chair and take his shoes off and then his cap, and run his fingers through his hair.   And, just sit there for a few minutes.  I’ve seen my uncle Charles and Uncle Jefferson do the same thing.

You know, I have a song playing in my head…sorta in the background…while I’ve been writing this post.  Seems I remember that once upon a time I did a musical with a bunch of kids at school.  It goes..“Angels and Lambs, Lady Bugs and Fire Flies told every person in sight that Jesus was born in Bethlehem  on that Christmas night”  I can even see the book I used.  Hmm!  Now that was not even in my head when I started this post.  Funny, isn’t it, how thinking about fire flies leads to thinking about old summer time memories as a child and then to children and music I taught at school!   Yeah, memory is a funny thing.  And songs seem to really stay with me.

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I hope you see some fire flies soon!  Reckon what memories they will lead you to?  I’d love to hear about it, if you’ll share.  Just leave  a comment at the end of the blog.  I’ll see it!

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PS.  The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has firefly tours!

 

 

 

 

MAMAS AT THE PROGRAM

Today I went to the K-4 spring musical at First Presbyterian Preschool.  There were appr.70 children maybe, on stage.  There were short ones and tall ones and chubby ones and skinny ones.  There were little girls with bows as big as can be and little boys with hair slicked back to hold down the cowlicks!  Some wore glasses.  Some had given themselves their own haircuts.  There was brown hair and black hair, and blond hair and redheads.  Some of the children were still and quiet and hardly sang, others were so full of the music it bubbled out all over them.  They had blue or green shirts to wear.  And, about 70 different variations of khaki shorts or skirts.  And each and every one of them had a Mama sitting in the audience proud as can be.

 

Motherhood. Each child is represented by a mother.  A mother who labored to get her child into the world or perhaps labored to get them into their world.  Mothers see and know what others do not.  Because God gave us those hearts that pick up on things so easily.  They know when their little one is embarrassed or shy.  They know when the world is just too big to adjust to at the moment.  And, so a few more hugs and sweet words are necessary.  They know when their child is proud and pleased with himself.  Perhaps he has done something extraordinary.  Or perhaps he has just remembered to brush his teeth before bed.  But, Mamas know that it matters that the task is acknowledged.  Mamas know when a child is troubled.  When someone did not offer to play together on the playground or didn’t make  a space in the reading circle.  Mama knows she needs to soothe that little bruise and put it in its  proper perspective.  There’s so many things that Mamas know.  They understand a new pair of shoes makes a kid feel able to conquer the world!  They understand that home baked cookies just happen to have a little more love mixed into them. They understand that if the hair bow is lopsided, then the whole day is ruined.  Mammas just know. They know that at time, words of correction are a must.  The little ones living in our world see hundreds of new things everyday….and have new experiences…and meet new people.  That’s a lot to deal with.  Cause it has to be thought about, discussed, and then placed among all the new things already learned and still leave space for  what will come tomorrow.  Why!  It’s overwhelming at times!  But, Mamas remember how it felt to them and so they explain, and correct, and admonish if need be.  Then they finish it all off with a hug and a kiss.  And, all’s right with the world!

 

Oh! there were such lovely grandmothers there, too.  I think they looked a little more relaxed than the Mamas.  Perhaps because Grandmothers, and Mimis, and Nanas, and Memaws, and Dedes and Gigis, and Grannys, and Mias, and Lulus have seen just a little more of this old world. And, they know what things should be cherished the most.  They know that watching their grandchild today is a blessing from God!   They know that forgetting a  few words is no big thing.  And, they know forgetting a whole song isn’t either!  They know that a little boy who can’t be still can run like a cat and build the best roads you’ve ever seen.  They know that sweet little girl with the pigtails who seemed so shy, can talk and sing and care for her baby doll for all the world just like her mother.  They know the little one that gave two big jumps at the end of his part is so filled up with love for everyone, he just can’t help himself!  And, they know that dear one who seemed sorta bored with it all, can lose himself in a good book and it’s there he finds adventure.  Grandmothers know.  Grandmothers know these little souls will be fine and grow into people who will love and help others.  They know they are in good hands.  After all, it’s they who raised their mommies and daddies.3a26e096fc945b4d77447dd72c7a4df8

Happy Mother’s Day from this one who cherishes my roles as Mama and Lulu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIG TASK

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A few weeks ago a dear friend who lives in Birmingham called me out of the blue.  Immediately I thought something was wrong, but no, she just chatted joyfully about things going on with her.  I should have known she was just buttering me up!   Cause then she dropped the question.  “Oh, by the way, since I am in women’s ministry at my church now (along with children’s minister) I need a speaker for a big banquet we are having.  I feel you will be perfect!  Then she went on to guilt me out in such a manner, you could not even believe!  (No..she really didn’t.) But, she did tell me how the Holy Spirit had impressed upon her to call me two years ago and she didn’t and then last year, she wrestled with calling me and this year, again she felt the Holy Spirit telling her to call me.  She asked several others.  I don’t know what happened.  Either they couldn’t or it fell through…but anyway…here she was on the other end of the line asking me would I please not grieve The HolySpirit and come to Helena.  (See what I mean by guilt).  I mean who is going to ignore the work of The Holy Spirit intentionally?    I told her I’d think about it.

I have been impressed lately , by the Lord, of several things I need to work on in my life.  One of these is realizing that others we come in contact with are not just random people.  Every person I meet deserves a smile and a kind word from me…and if possible a word of encouragement.  That’s what Jesus would do.    I also need to always be ready to tell anyone, anytime about my God and what He means in my life. I have been very conscious of this lately and have attempted to do better.  Now here the Lord drops a group of 60 ladies right in my lap…what am I to do?  If I said I would try to do better…then I must try.  That was my answer.  So, I called her back.  I told her I would be happy to do it.  She was very happy…then told me the number was up to around 100!  Oh! My!

“Quietly trust yourself to Christ the Lord, and if anyone asks why you believe as you do. be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way.”         1 Peter 3:15   TLB

I began writing on the topic  How I Know Prayer Really Works.  It wasn’t hard to write the text.  It is the story of my life.  But, I needed to back up everything I said with Scripture…and so this is where the work came in.  I began searching The Word to find  certain verses I remembered were somewhere in that big book…I could quote them fine…just not exact reference.  I knew them, had lived them, believed them…couldn’t find them.

And, I’ll admit here to you, my friends.  I have a big problem with procrastination.  I have had ADD forever and it is extremely hard for me to stay focused on one task for very long.  But, when it gets down to the wire…and a task must be finished…I can whip it out…correctly…in no time!  Just the way God built me!  So, two nights before the meeting I finally had the speech ready.  THAT’s why i desperately needed that ink on the Saturday before I left…it was just then finished.

And, I’m here to tell you…  Satan did not want me to give this speech.  Immediately after I said yes, I began to feel inadequate.  I am in no way good enough to stand in front of people and talk about Jesus.  Who was I to think I could do this?  I began having bad dreams.  Dreams in which I was attempting do do a task and I would continually fail.  This happened several nights.

Now, I say this to you as a matter of fact…not  boastful.  I learned a lot from my Mama.  She could get in front of a group and sing or talk or do something silly, and she always did it with confidence.  Not a shy bone in her body.  I was pretty much the same.  (Except the singing part)  I never minded giving speeches in school.  I could give reports of trips at church.  I could talk in front of our groups at a moment’s notice.  I just did not have  fear of speaking in front of people.  I even spoke at Mom’s funeral.  I liked, as she did, being the leader, and the responsibility that goes along with a leader.  God puts that trait into some people, just as He puts a more studious nature in some and a following spirit in some.  One isn’t better than the other….it’s just the way God built us.

But, in this instance, I was getting very nervous.  My sweet Alex said, “Mom you do that kind of stuff so well.”  And, he listened as I told him the whole speech.  BTW…she said 45 minutes!!!!!

I did not sleep well on Saturday night before leaving on Sunday.  But, about 4 in the morning I awoke with the worst stomach cramps.  And, just what you can imagine followed soon.   I could not go to church.  I could not leave the house.  I couldn’t even leave the bathroom!  And, Joy was picking me up to go around 2.  This was not just a passing episode…I had some sort of virus.  But it stopped finally and we left.  We stopped and got a plain baked potato for supper.  She was beginning to feel a few grumbling in her own belly area.  We checked into the hotel and I pulled my papers out and began to study.  But, I really needed sleep.

The next morning…the day of the meeting., Joy got up early to go and get her car serviced, as she had bought it in Bham.  I ate a few plain cheese crackers and drank some tea…and studied.  And, I prayed. I prayed for strength, for the virus to go away, and for a clear mind to remember my notes.  I worked until she came back…then we walked around the Galleria for  little while.  They had put us up in the Wynfrey which is attached to the Galleria.  But, neither of us felt much like shopping.  We came back to the room and rested.  Bless Joy’s heart, she even listened to my speech.  Then we had to leave!

Both of us still had uneasy stomachs, and I tried to think maybe she was just feeling nervous for me and I was just feeling nervous for my own self.  We drove up to the church.  And, the virus hit her hard.  She went in and found a bathroom.  And, I didn’t see her for about 2 hours.  I went and checked on her a few times.  The last time I went, the bathroom was dark  and quiet.  I said “Joy, are you in here?”  She said, “Yes…please turn the lights on I’ve been sitting in the dark and quietness for 30 minutes!

Fortunately she got better, she ate none and I ate very little of the food they had prepared.  And, then we sang and prayed and my friend introduced me…and it was time!

I told them when I first stood up “Ladies, I’ve been trying to get here for 3 years…FINALLY, Susanna asked me!”  And, I started my speech.And, I talked and tried to convey to these dear ladies how I know prayer works.  By showing them how He worked in my life, and how much a part of that was prayer, I hoped to give glory to my Lord for His mercy and goodness.  And, I think I did.  I had very favorable comments, and many tears.  They were all so gracious to us for coming and made us feel so welcome.

I was pleased with what we did…not alone, me and Jesus.  As I told them, I’ve heard all through my life, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Friends that is a lie.  There will be times that so much will come upon you, you will feel like breaking into.  What you have to remember is that it’s not just you.  If you are a Christian, you have  strong, strong Helper who can match anything you face.  His mighty strength matched up with our puny strength is an unbeatable combination.  And, the most wonderful thing is…you can access it any time ¥ou want.  For big problems or small.  Doesn’t matter to Him.

“Then He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

I felt small and I felt weak…for more than one reason.  But, when He came along beside me, I knew I would do fine.  Does that sound boastful?  I hope not!  Does it sound confident?  I hope so!  Because I am confident that God will always stand beside me in tough times…or just uneasy times.  I’ve seen Him do it too many times and my testimony to you is that He will do it for you, too!

 

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So, Queen Bee of Green Springs Ave…former beauty queen…imitator of barnyard animals extraordinaire, dear, sweet friend, thanks for the invite.  Thanks for finally giving me a chance to be a part of your ministry  and I love you!

 

SPRING BREAK 2016

It came around again…and it was as delightful as ever!  Spring Break!  I spent a few days at the beach enjoying some quiet time at the beginning of the week.  Got lots of reading done…and napping as well! My bestie, Shirl, happened to be down from Moultrie as well.  We were able to spend some time together catching up while enjoying a lovely spa pedicure!

Then Suzanne and Levi came down on Wednesday.  We played and shopped and ate and did all the fun things the beach has to offer.  Adam joined us on Friday morning.  Levi was so glad to see his Daddy.  The 3 of them spent the day together yesterday and we all headed home last night.

Silly shopping time…

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Sometimes a Lulu needs to find a time out spot for a little boy…this one worked great!

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A visit to the fish pond…spotting turtles….watching ducks

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Let’s go eat…

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Fun with Daddy….

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Family…print28

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A little sprucing up…

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Until next time…

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TEACHING THE THREE’S

This has been running back and forth through my mind lately and I know why.  It’s because the people involved were all women who had an influence on me.  A good one.  All ladies in my church. These were ladies I grew to know and love from the time I started at Southside Baptist Church.  I was in the 6th grade.  These were ladies who were already adults when I was a child and so they were my teachers and my leaders and my examples.

I trained several years while I was in college at Glorietta Baptist Assembly in Glorietta, NM.  I wouldn’t expect you to know about this place unless you were a Southern Baptist.  There was another one in Ridgecrest, NC.  In those years, people would travel for a week or two to one of these assemblies and stay on the grounds.  Then they would go to classes in their area of service during the day.  Every evening there were services with the visiting pastor for the week.  Each night was like a good ole Baptist Revival.  The best preachers were there…the best singers were there.  And, helping to run it all was college students from around the country.   Most were employed to clean cabins during the day, or work on the grounds, or serve in the kitchen…cooking and cleaning.  Some were used in the recreation for the visiting children.  And, a few…just 5 or 6…were selected to work in the preschool department.

I was one of those.  Now, I didn’t realize just how fortunate I was at first, but anything was better than cleaning and making beds or washing 600 dirty breakfast plates!  Thus began my training and subsequent love of preschool education in the church.  The leaders in each of these areas were the tops in their field.  These were the people who wrote the literature.  They wrote the books on how to teach.  The wrote study course books outlining how to set up a preschool department and why.  These people were amazing.  They wrote children’s books and children’s music.  They did it all.  And, for 2 summers, I was directly under their direction and leadership and teaching.

This is the way it worked.  We all got a crash course in teaching preschoolers.  We’d watch and learn.  We’d do something wrong and learn.  We’d read and learn.  And, soon enough, we would take the whole room of children and be responsible for them.  See, the parents who came to attend classes would bring their children.  We in turn would keep them and teach them…like a Sunday School department.  There were classrooms set up.  And, all around the outside of the room were dark screened rooms with chairs.  The leaders would hold classes elsewhere for those who were interested in preschool work and then sometime each day they would quietly enter those darkened screen rooms and observe what we EXPERTS were doing.  Believe me, if we did not not handle a situation right…it was used to talk about the right thing to do…and we were made well aware of the blunder! They would sit quietly for 30 or 40 minutes and then leave.  The children never knew they were there.  (I do remember one little boy coming up to me and saying that the “that wall has coughing in it!”)

I can’t even begin to tell you how soon I began to know just how blessed I was.  This method of teaching made perfect sense to me.  A department was set up with certain areas in it….art, home living, blocks, puzzles, books, etc.  These were a constant each week.  Then an activity was prepared for the child to do in each area.  An activity that went along with the lesson.  The children made the choices as to the areas they visited…but in each one they had the opportunity to hear the Bible Story of the day.  So, by the time they got to Large group time, they had heard the story at least 3 times already!  Then all the lessons followed a rotation system in the areas of God, Jesus, Natural World, Self, Others, Family, Home.  It changed either monthly or quarterly.

This system made such sense to me and it still does, though few follow it anymore.  I began to to work in a local church while I was in college.  And, I had already taken 2 years of Early Education courses at Samford University.  Don and I married and I taught in our church in Birmingham until we moved back to Dothan.  About that time, our home church began a major building project for a new education building and a preschool building was included in that.  I was able to give some input and insight into the building…and they used consultants from Baptist State Boards to make sure it met the requirements they had set forth.  How blessed to be able to teach in a building, and have the materials to teach, all according to the proper set up!  I started my work in preschool at Southside as Preschool Director.  I stayed in this position for some 20 years.  I then passed the job to capable hands and began teaching the kindergarten class each Sunday.  This was probably another 20 years.  I worked as Director again for a few years when we remodeled again, but now I am out of it altogether.  Age and family and health…you understand.   But, I miss it every single time I am at church!

One of the things I worked on in those years is getting trained teachers for all the classrooms…babies, toddlers, threes,fours,and fives.  And I was able to do that.   I taught classes for all ages.  One of my greatest success stories was the Threes!

I don’t remember exactly, but this is my recollection.  My Mom came to me and said that she and two of her friends wanted to teach the threes.  Well, this was just as I was looking for new workers.   I told her that would be great!  So the team of Mom (Eloise Townsend), Jeanette Glover, and Rudean Newton was formed for our three year old department.  They were willing and anxious to learn the ‘right ‘ way to do everything!  They knew how important it was to have training, and spent a week at an Alabama assembly that taught classes similar to the bigger assemblies.  This was Shocco Springs.  They learned and began the work with our threes.  What a wonderful job they did!  Oh, and how thrilled I was to see things done the right way…the way for optimum teaching of little ones.  They worked together for quite a few years.  I don’t remember exactly why, but Mrs. Rudean had to bow out….and was replaced by the wonderful Betty Swicord.  She fit right in and things went on just as smoothly as before.  I had forgotten this but Jeanette told me Sunday that when Mrs. Betty had to exit, another lady stepped in.  And, through all the years, when one or another of the ladies were unable to be in attendance, Shirley Hammond was the designated fill in person.  She was as talented as all the others and could move in with ease.

This post is a thank you to this group who saw the need for  preschool education.  They didn’t think threes were too young to teach.  They understood the principle that, starting with babies, you build a foundation that church is a happy place to be.  People love me at church.  People take care of me at church. We do fun things together at church.  This foundation carries on and is built upon as the child grows.  Soon he is able to learn more about why we come to church…eventually learning to love God and surrender their lives to Him.

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The saints in this group are no longer all together.  Mom and Mrs. Rudean have moved to Heaven.

Mrs. Betty is dealing with serious health issues, Mrs. Jeanette has just undergone some serious health problems, as well.    In the midst of the illness of both of these ladies, they have been faithful and continue to serve the Lord.

Shirley Hammond is no longer a member at Southside, but is doing well and serving the Lord in many ways.  She is and will always be a part of us!

I want to honor these ladies and the example they are to me!  I have watched you all for many years.  I see what you do and how you act.  I see how you suffer and continue to smile.  I see you faith in our Lord shining through adversity.  I don’t think I can ever measure up to any of you, but you are my inspiration.

My mother was wise in many ways.  She was a friend to many.  These ladies were dear to her and loved her.  And, she loved and trusted them.  At times, in church, I get a little emotional, when something reminds me of Mom.  These are the ladies I want to hug…because they loved her, too.  And, I feel almost as if I can feel her though their hugs.

Mom, Rudean Newton, Jeanette Glover, Betty Swicord, Shirley Hammond…thank you.  You have a special place in my heart of hearts.