* Three Things Thursday- this weekend

Thanks, Nerd in the Brain (NitB), for your reminder to slow down and smell the fluffbutts.  Wait, that’s not what you said, although your photo of the tipsy fluffbutt IS hilarious.  NitB volunteers at a cat shelter and those little critters are soooo cute.

Here are my Three Things Thursday for this weekend, a time to appreciate the goodness in my life.

First, my foot situation has improved considerably with this no-pain boot.  What do you think, Steph?  Could you make this into a fashion statement?  When she was fastening me in, a nurse commented that there was really no way to put it on backwards, but I’ve managed to do just that a couple of times.  I have been called a Motor Moron.


Second, we enjoyed a movie night with our home group on Friday.  One sweet member cooked an entire St. Patrick’s Day meal AND another friend sent me this photo of her adorable lass.  I am in love with this dog!  Look at those eyes!

St patricks day dog


Third, a dear family sent me a video of something that touched my heart.  I can’t share it, but the love they have for their son, the joy they share with that kiddo, their brilliant minds and their sense of humor- no way can I adequately express what they add to my life!  I will share a photo of a classroom “pet” I am boarding for a while.  I tried to feed it an ant, but I think “Vance” is too young for solids.  I took a 10 minute video of an ant exploring Vance’s pink caves and then wandering off to find some crumbs.  If you ever have difficulty sleeping, just ask to borrow that video.

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* Three things this weekend

I LOVE Nerd in the Brain’s Three Things Thursday challenge. It’s quite simple (think of three happy things from your day!) and it doesn’t have to be posted smack on Thursday.  So here is my weekend version of the Nerd’s terrific idea for spreading cheer in the blogosphere!

Yesterday, we celebrated another birthday with the kiddos.  Thanks to a Korean friend, I was able to create a sort of “K-Pop” influenced cake and I also sang happy birthday in Korean.  The kiddos were generous and agreed to hum along, but no one was willing to sound like an absolute fool except me.  The arrow marks the spot where I have kept names confidential to protect the innocent!!


Today we went to a dedication of an AMAZING work of art created by Larry Heyda for a church in Greensboro, NC.  He reproduced (painting on canvas) a 9 foot wide painting by Rogier van der Weyden called “Descent from the cross.”  The original is in Madrid.  Honestly, I could not tell this wasn’t the original.  Larry is incredibly gifted.  My iPhone doesn’t capture his talent, sorry to say.

And finally, we had a teency weency bit of snow today, after weeks of spring-like weather.   OOH, I love the snow.  Maybe Punxsutawney Phil isn’t such a bad prognosticator after all!

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“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….”




* Three Things Thursday

I love Nerd in the Brain‘s weekly blogging challenge to add thankfulness to my blog.  This week has been a challenge but there’ve been some great points, too.

Number One:  Fire in the Hole!  I did not set fire to a student, myself, or the classroom when we did experiments on the element carbon.  Yes, it was close, but no cigar!


Number Two:  How old are you …?  Birthday cakes are just an excuse to play with matches, especially when the kiddo has double digit candles.  Whee!


Number Three:  Tooth Fairy Time.  At my age, I don’t want to be losing teeth, but how adorable when it’s your baby teeth!  This sweetie is losing the other top front tooth now, so I wonder how she will eat and speak!  Somehow we all survived this.  And some of us got rich in the process.


* A new year!

I’m looking forward to putting 2016 in an attic box, out of sight and out of mind.  Of course, that reminds me of what a pastor used to say: You might prefer the cards you have already been dealt.  Uh-uh.  Not this year.  I’ve never been good at cards and this has felt like a losing hand.  I know it’s not, but I’m stumbling.  What I need is a good snowfall.  Or more chocolate, which my dearest teaching widower just plopped into my hand.

The antidote to this malaise is gratitude.  So thanks, dear Miss Emily, for your Three Things Thursday challenge.  Here goes.  First, our son and his wife bought me something amazing for Christmas.  It just arrived and wow, I am loving it!  ipad-air2-hero

Yep, it’s the iPad Air 2 (I added a Zagg shield and Incipio case).  I am still pushing down guilty feelings because this is such an extravagance.  Ooh la la!  Now I am creating courses for Tiny Tap!  I’ve wanted to do that for so long, but needed an iOS.  This iPad is a gift that keeps on giving!

I’m thankful for the thousands of answered prayers this past year.  And the millions of unanswered prayers, because only God knows what’s good for me and others.

I also thankful for the precious kiddos I teach and their amazing families.  These kids work sooooo hard, face heartbreaking challenges, and inspire me to press on.  Their parents/guardians are incredible.  They invite me into their hearts and homes, enriching my life beyond measure.

Let’s hear it for 2017!  Snow, chocolate, and teaching, not necessarily in that order.


* Three Things Thursday on Saturday

Ms. Emily at her Home for Fully Grown Nerds is splinging (new word!) with gratitude, from tornadoes and dinosaurs to hot cocoa.  Can’t beat that!  Scoot over there to join the celebration of the good things in life!

Here are my top Three Things Thursday:

I got the entire yard fully blown free of leaves last week.  That was so satisfying that more leaves have joined the effort to keep me pleased.   Hmmm…..

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My kidney ultrasound looked good to me!  The really great news is that I am not pregnant, so don’t tell me those look just like my dearest teaching widower’s blue eyes.  (For one thing, he only has two.)  The blue specks are the not-so-good news.  I think.


And last but not least, my dearest widower saw a UFO!  He is working in the sun room and called me to catch a glimpse of his amazing encounter.    I did figure out that the white lights are a reflection of the fan lights in the family room.  But those green ones?  Total alien.  I might contact the National Enquirer on this one.


Join the fun and add your link to Miss Emily’s page!


* Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for her encouragement to slow down and enjoy the good stuff all around.  Check out the rippled snake on her latest post.  Talk about six packs!

I’ve been working hard and find myself morphing into a dearest psychologist widow!  My dearest teaching widower may have to be renamed.  At least I’ve learned how to use PhotoShop!  That being said, here are three events (with unedited photos) for which I’m grateful.

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Fun time celebrating someone’s birthday!  He’s a sweetheart.

We had a terrific time in the mountains of Virginia.  My iPhone managed to capture some of the beauty.


And of course, the deer are still living in our yard.  This guy did not eat the plants.  He headed straight for the bird feeder.  Quite a hunk, huh?



* Three Things Thursday

Thanks, Nerd in the Brain, for your weekly encouragement to share happiness with others!  I’ve been a bit sleep-deprived this week, teaching at 8:00 and wondering how I ever woke up at 5:30 for MANY years.  I’m grateful that being semi-retired usually allows me to sleep well past that time!  Despite the sleep deprivation, I do know that today is Friday.  Free Fings Friday?

Onward and upward….  My sessions with Christopher, my autistic nephew, are going VERY well.  I spend considerable time supporting his brain in developing filing systems of concepts and categories, under which he can store new information and access it more effectively.  I can “see” that organization developing, for which I am most grateful.  I keep emphasizing how smart he is, with specifics, because Christopher doesn’t feel smart.  He is now less adrift when I use praise such as “You are using context clues!” and “You identified the problem!”  Still, he’d much prefer to talk about Mario than problem solving!  No duh.

I had a delightful surprise visit from a former student this week!  We started our relationship when he was in 2nd grade and worked together through 6th grade.  Now he is 20 years old.  No way!  He was always a delight, but how awesome to see this self-assured, confident young man telling me about his goals for the future!  He’s in college and doing well, sorting out his plans, still an artist, and always a precious guy.  We laughed about some of our earlier experiences and hope to reconnect while he is still working in town.  His family was exceptionally devoted, always advocating and supportive.  What a joy to reconnect!  I told him I’d always kept his special card to me (the images were a representation of some funny and sweet memories):

I had somewhat miserable news from my doctor this week about cholesterol and kidneys, but given my allergies and genes, it’s a blessing that I am mostly healthy.  These are also signs of aging, of the natural process which will eventually lead me to heaven.  I’m going to redouble my efforts to eat well (i.e., vegetarian) but ultimately, I am on a journey to an amazing eternity.  My Savior is waiting eagerly for me, and although I am not ready to leave yet, I long for that perfect world.

I hope that you’ve had a wonderful week.  



* Three Things Thursday

Many thanks to Nerd in the Brain for this inspiration to think of three things for which I’m thankful.  She has had a very coooool week so I am thinking BIG.

Mystery of the day: Who left their prints on our trashcan?

A thunderstorm was ready to unleash a torrent of rain so I had just a few seconds to snap these shots before they were washed off.  At first I thought they were from a raccoon, but they do look very catlike.  I’m guessing a puma, at least.  How very cool to have wild wildlife up close and personal.

Food for thought: Is it possible to buy too much chocolate?

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Never!  What if we have an unexpected snowstorm and can’t get to the grocery store?  What if we are attacked by pumas?

Fascinating question:  Do UFOs really exist?  I was privileged to “spot” this unusual blob hovering in my terrific cumulonimbus photo.  I wasn’t even abducted, for which I’m VERY grateful.  Oh wait, perhaps that’s the spot where a dump truck whacked the windshield with two large stones.  The spot is growing, so I may have an opportunity to explore our insurance options.  And my dearest teaching widower doesn’t know I took a photo while driving!  He probably won’t read this post because he’s watching a movie!  And I could say that a puma caused me to swerve!  It just keeps getting better and better!


I hope your Thursday has been as good to you as mine has!  And no, you can never use too many exclamation points!



* Three Things Thursday

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Many thanks to Nerd in the Brain for her inspiration to stop and enjoy the week that has flown by!

First, although I never got as far as entering Hugh’s photo challenge “After,” I did take a picture of our family room AFTER I finished my lesson plans.  It still looks about the same, days later.  Or perhaps worse.  I love the creative part of planning but the cleaning up?  Bleh!


Second, a student and I continue to struggle valiantly with the art of bonsai.  The unlucky Lucky Bamboo (on the right) has been transplanted multiple times, barely clinging to life.  The other raggedy bonsai is being overtaken by some kind of succulent.  At least we have pretty blossoms!

bonsai 4

Finally, my dearest widower brought me a package of pralines from New Orleans.  Although I was sad that he immediately left on another trip,  I was kinda thrilled to have those pralines all to myself.   I have no photo because I promptly ate the lot!  Yum!  You cannot eat too many pralines, BTW.

* Three Things Thursday

Nerd in the Brain is my inspiration for this post.  Thursday’s a good time to be thankful (and NitB seems thankful every day).  Before I share, be sure to check out her COOOOOL experiment with ice.  Can you pick up an ice cube with a string?  Without putting any of your body parts in the ice?  Or any sib body parts in there, either.  I’m using this experiment in my science fair camp for sure.

First Thing of Thankful:

My day this week with the kiddos was wonderful!  The weather at the park was mild  with no bees or mosquitoes.  That’s miraculous.  Only two meltdowns all day and they were brief.  Whew!  We did it all and had a ball.  I learned that I can no longer swing on the monkey bars but my jacks skills are intact.  I taught the kiddos to recognize poison ivy and poison oak (yes, there was a lot of it at the park but no one got zapped!).  We had a terrific brinner (breakfast food for dinner) at a local restaurant and watched the Angry Birds movie (overrated).  Fun, fun, fun.

Second Thing of Thankful:

Science fair camp is off to a great start.  We haven’t blown up anyone or anything!  Can’t beat that!

Third Thing of Thankful:

It’s wonderful to be alive!  Sometimes I forget that I lived half my life in agony and torment.  I forget that my first suicide attempt was at age 4.  I forget that a dear therapist (now deceased) helped me make it through my 30th birthday, which was my personal End It All date.  But I will never forget that it got even worse until I met my Savior at age 38.  And that my dearest widower and I spent 5 years in hell from 2000-2005 as that Savior finally redeemed every memory (which I fought tooth and nail).  I could never have imagined this wonderful life!