February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Charity

girlfriend
woman
mother
secretary
coach
partner
chef
librarian
nurse
lady
counselor
counselee
helper
companion
advisor
supporter
fan
friend
love of my life
my wife

February 26, 2009

Tea anyone?

there is a Tea Party Protest in Greenville, SC!

What am I talking about? Read these things...
Click Here for the LinkedIn event profile
Click Here for the Facebook Page of Tea Parties
Click Here for the Channel 7 News info abou this event
Click Here for the Freedom Works website

Also, slightly related, check out this video:

Free Audio Bible

I just downloaded the Free Audio Bible from the site, Faith Comes By Hearing. It required me to install a downloader, but once it was done, the Bible that it downloaded was in mp3 format.

[HT: Rick Boyne]

12 Year Old Speaks Out



[HT: The Rebelution]

February 25, 2009

New Post over at the Confident Teacher

I just did a new post over at the Confident Teacher Blog.  This one has to do with the topic of humility, and once again was inspired by the book that I am reading by Andrew Murray. 

Click Here to read that post.

Click Here to check out the book.

February 22, 2009

I'm a loser!

Actually, I am the biggest loser of the month for the little competition going on at school. I weighed 201.4lbs at my first weigh-in. Each of the consecutive weeks, I have lost a little: I went down to 196.2, then 194.0, then 190.2, then 187.4 and then last Friday I weighed in at a whopping 186.2

This means that I have lost a total of 15.2 lbs (Which is approximately 7.5% of my body weight).

That's right!

Last Friday I put on a pair of jeans that I never thought I would be able to wear again.

February 18, 2009

Sticky Creation #9

I know, I know... Ears shouldn't be sticky.



To see the other sticky creations... Click Here.

Sticky Creation #8

This guy has affectionately come to be called, "rat man."  

That's all I can say.


To see the other Sticky Creations... Click Here.

just being good

I am teaching through the book Changed into His Image by Jim Berg in my 9th/10th Bible class. We are right in the middle of a section discussing the topic, Identifying Your Own Way. He was writing about different forms that rebellion take when he shared this quote. We found it to be quite impactful, and so I share it with you:
If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is... A certain level of good conduct comes fairly easy to you... You are quite likely to believe that all this niceness is your own doing; and you may easily no feel the need for any better kind of goodness.

It is very different for the nasty people -- the little, low, timid, warped, thin-blooded, lonely people, or the passionate, sensual, unbalanced people. If they make any attempt at goodness at all, they learn in double quick time, that they need help. It is Christ or nothing for them...

If you are a nice person -- if virtue comes easily to you -- beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given. If you mistake for your own merits what are really God's gifts to you through nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible, your corruption more complicated, your bad example more disastrous. The Devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.
C.S. Lewis


Chew on that one for a minute and let me know what you think.

If you check my channel on Ustream.tv, you might catch me in my Bible class from 9:15 to 10:00.

February 17, 2009

Live Broadcast!

I have been having a lot of fun with Ustream.tv.  It is a little like YouTube, but you can do a live broadcast.  Yesterday I was broadcasting the work that I was doing on a school project with Son #1.  We were making a miniature catapult (they are studying the middle ages).  Some of my students saw the link and watched us online.  It was interactive, the son was learning, and everyone was having fun!

I have been looking for a live video service, and I think that Ustream.tv is the right one.  Here are a few of their features:  Live Broadcast (obviously), record your broadcast for playback later, put text on the video, put video on the video (choose any video from youtube... and it can be picture-in-picture or you can make it take up the full broadcast screen), you can poll the audience, you can embed the video on another site (like here), and you can even password protect the page so that not just anyone can see it.  

There are several other features, but I don't have time to get into them all. Check out Ustream.tv and let me know what you think.

You can also check out my "channel" by clicking here.  If you're lucky, I might be broadcasting when you check it.  If I am not currently broadcasting, you could always click the follow button and it will let you know the next time I schedule a "show."


February 16, 2009

New Tool

Jott is out the window.  They were great, but they kept changing all of their free stuff to pay-for-it stuff.  I don't like that.

Welcome Dial2Do!

Most of the same features that Jott offered, but Dial2Do is FREE!  I would tell you all about it, but if you go to their site, they will do a much better job of explaining all of their features.

Here is a video off of their site:



February 15, 2009

Good Idea!

Maybe I should try this...


I could do ads on all of my tests.  He was selling ads for $20 on a test and $10 on a quiz.  I wouldn't even ask that much.  I could even sell spots on my website.

February 13, 2009

February 11, 2009

vexed

I am still reading the book Humility by Andrew Murray. I am about half way through the book. It isn't a long book, but I only read it for a few minutes every other morning. It has been really good, with several different thought-provoking phrases from the author.

I ran across this one the other day:
If once we learn that to be nothing before God is the glory of the creature, the spirit of Jesus, the joy of heaven, we shall welcome with our whole hearts the discipline we may have in serving even those who try to vex us.
Andrew Murray from the book Humility

One reason why I enjoyed this quote is that it stirred in me at the teacher level. Some people don't like to talk about this, but let's face it... some students are out to vex you in any way that they can. I am not a bad teacher for saying this, I am just realistic. It is those students that it is the most important to serve. It also reveals something about you if you do not serve those students who are trying to vex you.

There are many other relationships in life where one could apply this quote. You will always meet vexing people, people who are (whether in reality or not) out to get you.

Seeking that place of humility before God, truly is, the glory of the creature. Don't forget that truth as you walk through life today.



February 9, 2009

- Official Announcement -

It's official. I announced today that I was moving home.

I was hoping to keep it from my students until after Spring Break, but I think that my sons spilled the secret.  My oldest told a couple of his friends, and I think that my youngest announced it to his whole class.  Oh well.  I guess that is what happens when your whole family works lives at the same place.

So, here is my sign.  We are trying the For Sale By Owner thing.  If it doesn't sell by a certain (unannounced) date, I am switching to a realtor.  I am hoping that it doesn't get to that, but we'll see.

Anyway, now that my students know, I can post it on my blog.  So, there you go.  If you didn't already know, I am moving back to my homeland.

If you want to move to the Upstate of South Carolina... 


February 5, 2009

Mama said there'd be days like this.

Sometimes all of my days are like this...


Sometimes all of my days feel like this:

SkyDrive!


Several years ago I ditched Hotmail and never looked back. For every one message that I had, there were 250 spam messages. It was ridiculous.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love Gmail. I have no desire to ever leave Gmail. If you know anything about me in the real world, you know I love all things Google. Most things that they do, they do really well. Plus, I really like their style.

But, Hotmail has done some re-vamping of their stuff. I guess that, if I am going to get technical, I should call it Windows Live Hotmail, instead of just Hotmail. Not that it really matters to this post...

Anyway, I found a little something, that I am sure everybody already knows about, but I had no idea. It is called SkyDrive. Right now it has 25Gb of storage. I am sure that Google will have something to battle this in the near future, but right now, that is exactly what I need.

February 2, 2009

Personal Responsibility



I am trying not to be overly critical, but it is... just... so... fun... to PICK!

[HT: Kelli Jones]

February 1, 2009

The Chicken

I just posted on a new blog. It is my first post there, so I decided to copy the complete post over here as well. Here it is:

Have you ever seen that old Animaniacs cartoon? If you have, do you remember the short clips with the big chicken named Boo?

In the "Chicken Boo" clips, there is this chicken who walks into different scenarios, and with a relatively simple disguise (like a jacket and a fake mustache) everyone suddenly believes that he is an expert in a particular area. Now, this chicken can't talk. In fact, he continues to exhibit basic barn yard chicken mannerisms, but somehow he saves the day while continuing to fool everyone. Right at the end of every Chicken Boo clip the disguise somehow falls off and someone will say, "Wa-- Wait. You're not a man, YOU'RE a CHICKEN!" He then runs off with everyone chasing him.

The first few years of teaching, that is how I felt.

I had been a full-time warehouse worker for 6 long years before I was a teacher. It was my life. Working in tractor trailers, driving fork lifts, and moving boxes... Lots of boxes. Then one day, with a tie around my neck, I found myself standing in front of a classroom full of wide-eyed children ready to learn. I can still remember the theme song running through my head.

♫ You wear a disguise
You look like human guys
but you're not a man
you're a chicken, Boo. ♫


I really felt like someone would figure me out. "Hey. You're not a teacher! You're a warehouse worker!" Because of this I began to overcompensate. I wanted to please my boss and please the parents and please the kids and please my fellow teachers. It was overwhelming.

It also wasn't working.

I was consumed with, what some would call, the fear of man. And just like the Proverb says, it was a snare.

I would love to tell you the whole story of how I made it out of that snare, all of the life-changing events and the minute revelations that I experienced, but there isn't time for all of that. Instead, let me tell you where I am at now and something that I believe is important to be the teachers that we need to be.
"So then, men ought to regard us [teachers] as servants of Christ ... Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."
I Cor. 4:1-5

I wish I could develop this more, but I need to go over my lesson plans one more time before the night is over. So, instead of a fully developed thought, I am going to give you three points. These points (I believe) are essential to a teacher becoming what they could/should be.

  1. Care very little for who is (or could be) judging you.

  2. Care very much for the Lord who is judging you. Seek to please Him!

  3. Keep a clear conscience (i.e. Do what you know is right).


There is nothing wrong with trying to please your earthly bosses, but remember, they hired YOU. Chances are they had an idea of what they were getting when they hired you, and more importantly, God desires to use your uniqueness. It is that same uniqueness that He created and has designed a specific purpose.

To sum up: You might be a large chicken wearing human clothes.

Fireproof



Well, we finally watched Fireproof. I absolutely loved it! It was a great movie. If you haven't seen it yet, you should. It's worth it.