New avian friend!

We recently changed bird seed. The bird seed is Morning Song Backyard Bird Blend®. I am not too sure what it is the Brown Thrasher likes, but he is at the bird feeder all the time. It even jumps on the feeder! I’ve never seen a Brown Thrasher do that, and I’ve had bird feeders for 20 years! I think it’s the peanuts it likes. No matter what it’s eating, we enjoy watching our new bird friend! What do you all think he’s after?

Headed to Mamaw’s

Because of major time needed to pack/throw things away, Carter and Ammon are headed to my mother’s house for the day. They LOVE going to Mamaw’s house. Carter especially will ask several times a week while we are playing,  “We go Mamaw’s house?”. I kinda feel the same way. The house is where I grew up in Varnell, Georgia. This June will make Mamaw’s 40th year living there. I could write and write about Mamaw, but all I am going to say today is that she is one of my heroes in life: wonderful wife, devoted daughter to her parents, awesome mother, spectacular grandmother to her four grandchildren and one great-grandchild, breast cancer survivor, and so much more. Mamaw, we love you!

Mamaw, Ammon, Carter, & Sophie July 2010

If you Give a Moose a Muffin

Happy Monday, Everyone! Educational Tip

I know Big Books are mostly used for elementary-age students, but they are also beneficial to older ESL students. The region I live in and taught ESL in has a huge Hispanic population, and because I am bilingual (I will blog some of my experiences one day…university in Madrid, Spain, and living in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, I was always blessed with newcomer, Hispanic ESL students. I had ESL students who were 16 years old reading Big Books! Why, because they were pre-schoolers when it came to reading in English! You know what? They never complained. I was able to check the Big Books out of the libraries from the elementary schools.

I will talk about Big Books for several weeks. The first idea is to make sure EVERY student reads the book. It may take two weeks, but who cares? Allow your stronger students to read first, and by the end of the time period you have allotted especially after 15 or more times of hearing it, your weakest students will have read as well. It is more holistic than phonics/blending, but that’s okay! Ammon and  Carter really enjoy If you give a Moose a Muffin, and I am looking forward to buying more.

 More on Big Book next week

Rainy Days and a favorite book

It rained all day Saturday.  When it rains like that, I begin to remember rainy days from my childhood. When I was about 5 years old, my sister got a book entitled Alexander and the Magic Mouse. In the book, an eccentric, old lady who has unique animals such as a magic mouse, an alligator, a yak, and a brindled-London squatting cat live through a time with 30 days of rain! I remember reading this as a child during rainy days and thinking what would happen if I lived in a house with such animals. What do you all think about on rainy days like those we’ve been having? You all take care and have a blessed Sunday.

Alexander and the Magic Mouse

Boo-boos and Kisses

Carter moment…last night as Carter was getting his pajamas (good ol’ footy p.js.) he said to me, “Kiss boo-boo!”.  I said, “Sure!” I leaned over and kissed the boo-boos he had on his left knee from falling on our sidewalk last Tuesday, and I said, “There you go!”. He then quickly replied, “No, I kiss your boo-boo.” I had forgotten about a scratch on my forehead that he and Ammon both had been “concerned” about for several days, and I said back to him, “Well, of course you can kiss my boo-boo, son! Thank you!”.  I then leaned over and let Carter kiss my boo-boo: Another blessed moment from my son. ;o)

That's my boy!

Friends, we are one in the Spirit

There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope when you were called.-Ephesians 4:4 (NIV)

 Happy Saturday! I am putting the link to this Upper Room Devotional with our blog. I enjoy using this devotional quite often. It was so ironic how the Spirit does move because the devotional from Friday March 25, 2011 was what  I believe the Spirit was encouraging me to do for Haven’s Ideals these past two weeks: stay in touch with friends and loved ones because we have the Spirit connection. I am also including the link to “They will know we are Christians” especially because of the words “We are one in the Spirit”.  I hope and pray everyone is doing well, and I am looking forward to continuing to blog with you all.

Mowing time already?!

It wasn’t right I tell ya! Cold, windy, dark, and 48 degrees! It was 80 degrees earlier this week, and our grass (a combination of fescue, bermuda, and crab grass…and lordy, the wild garlic…peeeewwwww!) grew 2 inches since I cut it last Thursday! Oh, well, it happens at least once every spring…sitting bundled up on the tractor cutting the grass. Along about the 1st week of August, I will be sitting on the tractor begging for 48 degrees!  Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

When it works its heaven. When it doesn't it's hades!Carter and Ammon will be all over this yard in the morning! ;o)

Rain going to bed…stars at 6:00 am.

I love this kind of morning. It is also so nostalgic and refreshing to hear the roosters cock-a-doodle-dooing here in the country (just 18 miles from downtown Chattanooga!) before sunrise. I hope and pray Ammon and Carter will continue to grow up here…Lord willing!

I wanted to share this poem with you all today. The rain from last night and all the spring flowers are what brought it to my mind. It is by Robert Loveman who lived in Dalton, Georgia.

The Rain Song

It isn’t raining rain to me,

It’s raining daffodils;

In every dimpled drop I see

Wild flowers on the hill.

 The clouds of grey engulf the day

And overwhelm the town;

It isn’t raining rain to me,

It’s raining roses down.

 It isn’t raining rain to me,

But fields of clover bloom,

Where any a buccaneering bee

May find a bed and room.

 A health unto the happy

A fig for him who frets.

It isn’t raining rain to me,

It’s raining violets.




Look down!

One more Nanny Caylor story for the week:

My Nanny’s ancestors (The Hartsfields) settled her house and land in 1867 in Varnell, Georgia. As I was growing up, her yard had a plethora of different species of daffodils (including eggs and butter) and bearded irises that she had collected from all over the Southeast, and so much more! She had a special, plain, red rose from a clipping off her Aunt Dolly’s grave in Sugar Valley,  Georgia. There were herbs such as ruby and emerald basil and yucca that had been sent to her house from Oklahoma/Texas from before the turn of the 2oth century. There were also wild violets by the hundreds. When I saw this violet on Monday, it made me think of my Nanny. Take time to look down today and see some of God’s beauty that we often neglect and walk right over.