Twas the day before November...

And all through the school
the teachers had a day they didn't want to remember
the kids had sweets on their brains and sugar in the air
it didn't matter what was taught they're brains were not there....

Okay, okay, I digress.

Look ahead at November here's a quick freebie
As you know I use a clip chart in my classroom. I was using those weekly forms but felt very guilty about 'wasting' all of that paper. So, I started created a monthly version. This is the one I'll use this month. I know some schools are on a different schedule so the file is editable. It's a Publisher file (old Publisher) with Microsoft graphics.

Click image to download this freebie

A Future and A Hope


by Randy Averill
Daniel and David were two of the first children at the Widows and Orphans Home in Adama (Nazret). The biological brothers had been in other orphanages and had been disappointed watching other children be adopted while they stayed behind. But while they were in the YWAM facility, God called Randy & Sary-Jo to adopt them and bring them to Puyallup, Washington. The boys were old enough to understand what was happening, and to have lasting memories of what life as orphans in Ethiopia was like.

Our desire as parents is to raise our children to know and love the Lord. To that end, we emphasize the importance of putting others first. Daniel & David use the occasion of their birthdays, which both fall in October, to raise money for the orphanage they used to call home.
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They invite friends, family, classmates, teammates – virtually everybody they know – to join them at the park. The invitation requests that people consider making a donation to Adoption Ministry of YWAM in lieu of birthday gifts.
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The boys’ first birthday in America was only a month after arriving. We suggested a fundraiser for the orphanage the following year and were pleased at the positive response. The last two years have found Daniel and David eagerly anticipating the fund-raising effort. They are excited by the generosity of others and find they are truly treasured when people express their love by giving to YWAM. This year, they collected over $1,500!
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David and Daniel presenting their donation to Joy Casey

Our family also uses the occasion to help the boys reflect back on their experiences in Ethiopia. We encourage the boys to talk about experiences, sights, sounds, smells – anything that will help them make sense of their memories and understand their place in the world.
January (Christmas) 2009
With friends at the Widows and Orphans Home

Seeing pictures of their future home and family with Abebe and Joy

They talk about what God is doing in their lives and speculate on what kind of plans He has for them. God has done amazing things in these boys’ lives; but we suspect the biggest are yet to come.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
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Adoption Ministry is so grateful for the Averill family, for their generous friends and for the tender hearts of these two young men who desire to give back in a big way to others in Ethiopia who have so many needs.  We can’t wait to see God’s plans unfold in their lives!


I see that the Vatican government's representatives in the USA are still trying to interfere in the domestic politics of their host nation. This time it is their consul based in Green Bay who is threatening Vatican immigrants with eternal damnation if they vote for the black man in the White House. Bishop David Ricken asked all of his denomination's parishes to put a letter he had written in their bulletins asking his church-goers to "keep Roman Catholic principals in mind before dropping a ballot, including what he calls the non-negotiables - abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual marriage." It goes on stating, "To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally "complicit" with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy."

Non-negotiables. Where do they come from then? I guess that as the bishop links them to putting your soul in jeopardy (the soul being the bit of you that carries on after death according to Roman Catholic theology) they are things that if negotiated will lead to the negotiator not going to heaven.

Christians are people who believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Jesus actually gave us a list of people who would not go to heaven unless they got a reprieve for their wrongdoing from God the Father. He stated that you had to keep the Ten Commandments if you wanted to gain eternal life plus one other thing.

The one other thing is that, if you are rich and want to stand any chance of getting into heaven, you have to sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor.

Look, I'm not making this stuff up. It's in The Bible, in all three synoptic gospels. As it came out of the mouth of the second person of the Trinity it's the closest thing to the "Word of God" that we can be sure of.

So, I assume that Bishop Ricken is instructing Roman Catholics under his authority NOT TO VOTE FOR ROMNEY who is, most definitely, not going to heaven. It's not his adherence to a heretical cult that has purchased him a ticket to hell, it's his personal wealth and insistence that if he becomes president he will work to make the rich richer whilst completely ignoring the plight of the poor.

Jesus said absolutely nothing about embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and homosexual marriage, although the general tone of his teaching would lead a reasoning person to the conclusion that, at least in certain circumstances (involving doing the loving thing), he would be in favour of them. So, obviously Bishop Ricken is lying to his "sheep" in his letter. However, he may be right about abortion and euthanasia. Jesus definitely said that we won't go to heaven if we kill other human beings. To be honest, I just don't know, especially when it comes to abortion. What I do know, is if it is wrong to kill through abortion and euthanasia then it is certainly wrong to kill in wars and by judicial execution. To be fair, Roman Catholics believe this as much as I do. However, Mitt Romney and his supporters do not. They are just a bunch of hate-filled, selfish "Philistines" who will no way be able to squeeze through the eye of the needle come Judgement Day. That fact is, as far as I can make out from Holy Scripture, completely non-negotiable unless, of course, God is weak on border controls, backs down and lets them in.

Reassured and Blessed {a repost}

originally written in October 2010...
written in Ethiopia by Joy Casey, Adoption Ministry Director

Because I have walked alongside birth families in the U.S. for so many years and because I have such a heart for my own children's birth families, it is natural that I would identify with the struggling families here in Ethiopia who have selflessly chosen adoption for their children knowing they cannot provide a future for them. I have met with eight birth parents this past week, and the joy on their faces when they see pictures of their children brings me great satisfaction. I want the adopted parents to know what relief and happiness a few pictures bring to the mother or father or grandmother of their child.

Several of the children are school age and they draw pictures for their "first mommy" or for their "Ethiopian family". Many send school reports and samples of the work they are doing in school. One little 9-year-old boy sent a list of questions to ask his father. Most of the questions were like, "What is your favorite color?" or "What do you like to eat?" One question, though, was "Do you miss me?" As I asked this father the question, I wondered just how he would answer. His answer was profound: "Yes, I miss you and love you very much. But I have no tears or sadness for your adoption. You are right where you should be and I know it is God's will for you to be with your wonderful American family." This man affirmed his son and at the same time he gave emotional permission for this boy to look forward and embrace the life he chose for him.

Today Abebe and I drove to an extremely impoverished neighborhood and as we walked down the rocky alleyway, the smell of sewer accosted my nostrils and there were heaps of garbage everywhere. We stepped into a very tiny room where Grandmother sat in bed eagerly anticipating pictures and news of her grandsons. The joy reflected in the bedridden grandmother's face as she turned the pages of the photo album said everything. The boys' mother (sick with HIV), uncle and aunt joined us in the cramped room. The sole source of light was from the open door, but everyone managed to peer at the pictures and they listened intently to the letter written by the adoptive mom.

How grateful I am to these families in America who take the time to get pictures printed and to write a note to their child's family of birth! They are inextricably joined to these families and the tender care taken to express thankfulness and love as well as assurance of their delight in their son or daughter blesses my heart to the core and I know it brings much joy to God's heart, too.


Playing Catch Up

Really...the last week of October...really?! My birthday is gone...the nice weather is hit or miss. I got my car washed at the fancy car wash (which to me is any car wash where I don't drive it through) and it poured. The leaves changed colors..and fell off. Well, at least there's Halloween to look forward too. I really do like Halloween. I like seeing the kids get so hyped. I don't like the sugar high and then the sugar low that follows but it comes with the territory. (Hmmm, maybe if they sneak candy to school I can take it and have a 3:00 pick-me-up?)

Super busy week this week in Reading. I'm not sure who exactly those people are in the front of my teacher's manuals that write these books but wowza. This week my firsties learned -s, -ed, -ing, possessives, predictions, reviewed short i, and learned naming parts of a sentence. Now, I can teach all of those things. Really, I can, I promise, I've done it. I'm just overwhelmed by doing it in one week. I know, I know...they won't master it this week...we'll review..and review..and recall...but I just kinda want to wave a magic teacher wand and have them absorb it all now. Too much to ask?

We learned that 'apostrophe s' shows ownership. Who doesn't love hearing 6 year olds say apostrophe?
Inside the " 's " I wrote "mine mine mine mine" because it's greedy.
Then we all though of something we owned and wrote it on a post-it and drew a picture. "Miss Cosby's dog" I made them "prove" they owned it by showing me the apostrophe s before they could hang it
We learned naming part this week (telling part is next week). Luckily this is something I've touched on during Mountain Language so we had something to build off. Laying in bed thinking about the best way to teach naming part I kinda thought of a train. (love my drawing, dontcha) Next week we'll do telling part and I'll come back to it.
Organizing our books from our book boxes. We're going 'book shopping' on Monday!
I am LOV-ING the mash-up of Weekly Reader and Scholastic News. First of all the paper isn't that shiny hard to write on crap stuff. The vocabulary and syntax are way more appropriate now. (I so wish my college TAs read this...totally used 'syntax' ...)
I had to share this cutie. The student working on this "Bat-o-Lantern" had to finish it up at home. C is such a creative kiddo and decided to go out of the pumpkin patch on this one. Too cute.

Okay, I've totally been wordy-worderson in this post but I've been away from here so long I had so much to share!
Me trying to show the kids something on my computer with a million other windows open: My computer is so slow!!!

H: Get it fixed at PCMatic

lol, love it! #YouMightBeaFirstGrader





All are welcome to join me in taking communion. 

The order of service is posted beneath the audio file so that you can join in with the service. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol). How you view the nature of this part of the service is completely up to you.

The order of service is posted beneath the audio file so that you can join in with the service. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

Click on the arrow on the player to stream.
Download via the MP3 icon below the player.
Download podcast via iTUNES.

MP3 File

CLICK HERE for order of service (opens in new window)

Just Let Me Teach

I don't want to get all political or push my beliefs or opinions on you. This isn't that forum. However, with the election coming up I thought I'd share some things for educators and educators in Indiana.

So much legislature and political talk about teachers and schools.

Please check out the links below to stay informed even if you're in another state they're worth a 'like' or 'retweet' to spread the word.

Indiana people:

Clicking this image links to a neat blog post

Thank you for being a follower and reading this. I know as educators these things matter to us. We're in the classroom each and every day because we want to be not because it's an easy job.

If at least one person can repost this message, pin an image, tweet this message, talk about this message at lunch, or click 'like' on the fb page above it'll help spread the word. Teachers are not doormats. We are college educated professionals entrusted with the safety and education of children.


Caring for Widows

Aselefech Wakjira worked hard all her life doing menial labor to bring in a few birr to help buy food for her children. Her husband was a hard worker, finding jobs here and there as a manual laborer. The hard physical work soon broke his health due to too heavy loads, long hours and poor nutrition, and he died. Their daughters found homes of their own and Aselefech’s moved in with her nearby married daughter. Tragically, her daughter also died, and soon afterwards her son-in-law turned her out of his house.

Aselefech was old, had no education and no way at all to earn a living.  She eventually found an abandoned chicken coop to shelter under. The walls had no mud, just sticks loosely stacked together, but there was, at least, a tin roof and a rusty tin door.

Mark Wolbert, our Mission Director, was introduced to Aselefech when he was setting up projects for an upcoming mission team. He planned to hang thick mats on her walls so the chilly wind and rain could not as easily disturb her during the rainy season. As she watched the people from America led by a workman from her church put up the wall mats, she was beside herself with excitement and unimaginably grateful for the kindness shown to her.

You, too, can make a difference in a person’s life!  You can make a donation from our YWAM Gift Catalog for a child or a widow that will bless them immeasurably.  There you'll find ways to give something as simple as clothes or shoes or as big as a house or a needed surgery.

You can also “adopt” an elderly widow like Aselefech or a family in Ethiopia that is high risk for disruption due to death, disease or sheer poverty through our Adoption Ministry 1:27 program.  A family like Etabez and her daughter need immediate help…  **Thanks to a generous donor, this little family has been 'adopted'.
Etabez and Hana

Here is another widow who needs to be adopted:

Tewach Kassa is an elderly widow who lives alone in one small room.  She attends church, and in her own words, she has “No one. Only God.”  Tewach does have a daughter, but receives no support from her.  She has great need for food and clothing.  That’s what this ministry is all about: “…to look after widows and orphans in their distress.”  As a sponsor, you can ease one widow’s hunger and provide her with clothing.  Maybe just as important is the fact that she will know that someone, besides God, really cares.  Thanks for caring about this special lady. 

Visit our Adoption Ministry 1:27 website to select a family to ‘adopt’.

If you are interested in your church putting together a trip to Ethiopia, visit our Missions webpages for more information. Summer 2013 trips are full but we have openings for teams over Spring break or Christmas vacation. We’ll also be taking an ‘Extreme Team’ trip in January 2014 which will be made up of adventurers who will serve a local church in the remote town of Dembidollo.  This trip will involve tent camping, no water, electricity or plumbing and it will be the trip of a lifetime! 


Glenna, the dog who was supposed to live forever, died this evening. This afternoon she was running around on the beach with Delphi but when we returned home she suffered a seizure and, within the hour, had passed away.

When this year started I had such high hopes. I really thought things were going to go well for me for a change. Instead I have said goodbye to my best ever cat, Henry and my best ever dog, Glenna. How can a poor man stand such times and live?



Indiana GOP U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock declared Tuesday night he opposes aborting pregnancies conceived in rape.

"The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother," said Mourdock, the Tea Party-backed state treasurer. "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

I can't see any ambiguity in the statement whatsoever. According to Mourdock, God plans the rape of women when God wants more babies in the world.

Quite honestly, I can't see how such a God-fearing nation as the USA (the greatest country in the world, by the way) can continue sending rapists to jail. They are only doing God's work after all. It's the women who fight off rapists who should be sent down for allowing the semen of good, Christian rapists to go to waste.

Richard Mourdock - Putting Satan out of business


I adore Paul O'Grady. He loves dogs, Northern Soul and dressing up in women's clothes. What's not to like?

Born to a working class Irish migrant family in Birkenhead, O'Grady went through various jobs in his youth, including working in various bars, for the civil service and for social services, moving around the country to do so. It was whilst living in London in 1978 that he first turned his hand to drag, developing the character of Lily Savage based upon various female relatives of his. In 2003, O'Grady was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy, and in 2006 he was listed by The Independent at number 32 in their 101 most influential gay men and women in Britain. In October 2008, he was appointed MBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours list for services to entertainment. On 23 July 2010, O'Grady received an Honorary Doctor of Arts from De Montfort University, Leicester, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to television, radio and the stage. (WIKIPEDIA)



Atheist, Kenny Iddenden, was shifting an old refrigerator at his Herne Bay home when he found this mystical patch of mould, which he claims looks eerily like Jesus.

Kenny said: "As soon as I saw it I thought 'that looks like Jesus'.

"I took a picture on my mobile and then wiped it off - it might look like Jesus but I've got three kids and can't be doing with mould in my house."

So, here is a man who doesn't even believe in Jesus Christ (a person who allegedly lived over 1800 years before the invention of the photographic plate) who knows what this (in his mind) "imaginary" person looked like.

Oh, dear, Kenny. Don't be surprised if Dicky asks you to return your Haters Club membership card.

Anyway, it's Kris Kristofferson. It's always Kris Kristofferson.

Thanks to Paul(A) for sending in this story.

Hocus Pocus Focus!

My fall break is over... <sadface> I had conferences last week and I'll say I believe they went well. I was sick though :( For most of fall break I had a horrible sinus infection. Blech. Anywho I feel better now and it's back to the first grade grind. This is a super busy week with our reading series. It's beginning to introduce a lot of language arts. More about that later.

A few years ago I saw some clearance staples and I snagged them. Turns out they were colored. I got orange and green. The kiddos loved them. However, I'm running out... I decided to Sharpie my silver staples and see what happened. It worked!!!

Don't you love getting stuff in the mail!!! Even if you buy it it's a treat when it makes it to your door. I signed up for Birchbox. So, every month I'll get a box full of nice-brand health and beauty samples. It's only $10 and that includes shipping! You can go month-by-month or sign up for a designated length of time. I think I'm going to add a 3-month subscription as a gift for a friend. What a fun birthday or Christmas gift. :)

Oh and some more classroomy stuff to add. Here's a cute little rhyme to use during a test. I'm going to use it on our practice spelling test. Click the images to download.


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Full story at THE BBC.







All are welcome to join me in taking communion. 

The order of service is posted beneath the audio file so that you can join in with the service. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol). How you view the nature of this part of the service is completely up to you.

The order of service is posted beneath the audio file so that you can join in with the service. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

Click on the arrow on the player to stream.
Download via the MP3 icon below the player.
Download podcast via iTUNES.

MP3 File

CLICK HERE for order of service (opens in new window)


Here is the photographic record of Glenna's Birthday Walk this year. Fourteen years old and still up for a four and a half hour yomp across muddy moorland. Unlike myself who was well knackered by the end of the ramble.

Beginning of walk looking back downhill to Derwent Reservoir 

Derwent Reservoir

Looking back down the uphill track

A shooting butt behind which rich men hide and shoot at large,
 intellectually challenged birds that can hardly fly. They call this sport.

Glenna and Delphi with half of Muggleswick Common on their tummies.
The birthday girl is the ridiculously young looking dog on the left




Crossing the burn

Downstream from the bridge across the burn

Over the top...

... and down the hill
The downhill track back to the car