Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Church Signs: Favoritism

I couldn't title this post "CRUMMY Church Sign" because this one made me laugh!

God does not show favoritism
but the sign guy does
Go Big Blue!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Favorite Things Friday: Manila Extract

My new purse is handmade by my friend Tanya. Tanya makes these handcrafted coffee sack bags, accessories, and other gifts in her studio in Hawaii. This is a labor of love for her. A portion of the proceeds is donated to charity for orphaned Filipino children. I LOVE coffee and I LOVE my new handbag made from recycled coffee bags!

Check out her website:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: Careers

I have several students with very interesting career aspirations.

One student wants to be a "storm catcher".
One wants to be an "underwater veterinarian".
One wants to be a "shark dentist".... He and the "underwater veterinarian" are friends and plan on working together.

I can not make this stuff up!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: Did I really just say that?!

I have found myself saying things I never dreamed I'd say while teaching. Now that I have a student teacher she often looks at me and says, "Did you really just say.....". Here are a few recent examples:

"I'm sorry you have rocks growing in your eyes. Would you like to go to the nurse and get some magic eye wash to get rid of them?".

"You're wee wee is sticking?!? Do you want to go to the bathroom to take care of that?"

"Tissues were made for that, NOT fingers! Go get some hand gel!"

"Put your clothes back on...the RIGHT way!"

"You cannot STOMP on your friend's feet to make her shoes light up!"

"Please aim down so you don't splash on your friend's hand! Yuck!"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's National Coffee Day! Hooray!

The US celebrates National Coffee Day every year on Sept. 29! Be sure to enjoy a cup (or 5) to celebrate this fabulous holiday!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crummy Church Sign- They may need a few more titles

Thanks to Miki for sending this one...on my birthday! Who doesn't want to get a Crummy Church sign pic for their birthday?!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Favorite Things Friday: Pumpkin Spice Latte

Fall is in the air which means the Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte is back!!! I always add caramel syrup to mine to make it a Caramel Pumpkin Spice Latte. If you've never had one you MUST try it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: English

This was the first official week of homework in 1st grade. I was explaining that Thursday's homework is to take a practice spelling test. Knowing that I have several Hispanic students whose parents don't read or speak English I said, "If your parents don't speak English then you can practice writing your words instead." Two of my English speaking students spoke up and told me that their parents don't speak English so they aren't going to do their homework! I asked one of them, "If your mom doesn't speak English what does she speak?!". Her reply, "American"!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

I'm going to try to make this a regular feature on this blog. Every Friday...or every other Friday...or every once in a while on Friday... I will feature one of my "favorite things". It may be a kitchen gadget, fashion tip, song, etc. So on with this Friday's installment:

Ya'll I LOVE these things! No more scrubbing baked on BBQ sauce off the sides of my crock pot. I just lift the bag out, tie it up, and toss it in the trash! These will make you want to use your slow cooker all winter long!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Book Review: The Canary List

A teacher falsely accused, spiritual warfare, conspiracy, and secrets within the Catholic Church. This book has it all.

On the anniversary of his daughter's death, teacher Crockett Grey is home drowning his sorrow in a bottle of liquor when 12-year old Jamie Piper shows up at his house asking to stay the night. Jamie is a troubled foster child who's terrified to return to her foster home and looking for a safe place to go. Grey is reluctant to help at first does offer help. He is careful to protect himself and Jamie by asking his elderly neighbor to allow Jamie to stay with her for the night while they sort things out. By the next morning, Jamie's foster parents' house will be burned down, Grey's friendly neighbor is missing, Jamie is taken and put in the custody of a child psychiatrist, and Grey is put in jail on charges of pedophilia.

The plot has many twists and turns as Grey tries to clear his name, find his missing neighbor, and help Jamie. Grey's character is complex and well developed.However, the plot gets a little bogged down with the intertwining story lines of his daughter's death, his troubled relationship with his wife, his desperate attempts to stay connected to his son, and his journey to save Jamie. Eventually, the story takes you to The Vatican City where there there deception, witchcraft, anda fight for the papacy make Jamie a pawn in a very dark battle of good vs evil.

The book had a good start but I got bogged down in the middle. After pressing through I found myself caught up in the story again. I'd rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: Bible 101?

Random conversation with one of my students:

Student: Do you know what's in the sky?

Me: What?

Student: God. Because he's in heaven. He died in like 1950 or something and now he lives in heaven.Before he died there was a guy who's eyes didn't work and God rubbed his eyes, he was healed, then he picked up his mat and walked away! Then God died. Now he lives in the sky in heaven.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Crummy Church Signs

It's been a while since I posted some crummy church signs so here are a couple for you to ponder:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review: Save the Date

I must admit that I enjoy a good Lifetime or Hallmark Hall of Fame chick flick. This is equally good Christian chick lit with.

Lucy Wiltshire is the sassy, hard working, and clumsy founder of the non-profit Saving Grace, a foster home for girls ages 18-21. When she learns that her funding from Sinclair Enterprises is being pulled she begins desperately campaigning to the board members to save Saving Grace. While crashing a Sinclair Enterprises event she meets Alex Sinclair. Alex is a former professional football player and heir to Sinclair Enterprises.

Alex is running for Congress ad needs to boost his numbers. Lucy needs a large donation. Despite their mutual dislike for one another Alex makes a proposition. He'll give Lucy the money to keep the home running if she will agree to be his pretend fiancee. Lucy is resistant to the idea but eventually gives in, desperate to save her girls.

As with any good love story there are lots of ups and downs. Lucy and Alex both learn that their first impressions of each other were wrong. As time progresses Lucy heart and future are on the line. She realizes she's really falling for Alex, but the engagement is set to end abruptly after the elections. So what's a girl to do?

This is the first time I've read anything by Jenny B. Jones. I was not disappointed! It was a great poolside read and I look forward to reading more of her novels.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing a complimentary review copy of Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beautiful Things Pottery Video with Joshua Ben King

This video was made during the Encounter Destiny Conference (aka the event formerly known as camp meeting)! It was really a powerful moment! The song is "Beautiful Things" by Michael Gungor.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Review: Radical by Davd Platt

In this book, David Platt asks the question, "Is He worth it? Do we really believe he is worth abandoning everything for? Do you and I really believe that Jesus is so good, so satisfying, and so rewarding that we will leave all we have and all we own to find our fullness in him?"

The truth is most Christians in America would want to say, "Yes! He's absolutely worth it!". But are we living like he's worth it? We are living the American dream but not walking out our faith like Jesus. We give our tithes (some of us anyway) and put money in the offering to support missions. We do that while sitting in our million dollar churches with all the comforts we've come to expect in America. We have beautiful seating areas and stages. All the while people all over the world are meeting in shacks and hidden basements risking their lives to worship. They don't have nice church clothes, sound systems, media shout and LCD projectors. They have their faith and trust in God.

Even more disturbing is the thought of all the people that have not been reached. They haven't heard the gospel. It's easy to sit in our comfortable churches and say ,"someone should do something".

This book is a call to live differently. It's a call to scale back so we can give more. So we can reach more people. At the end of the book Platt urges the reader to join The Radical Experiment - "a one year journey in authentic discipleship that will transform how you live in a world that desperately needs the Good News Jesus came to bring".

The theme of this book reminds me of "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Both books have challenged me and caused to really examine what I'm doing for the cause of Christ.

Full disclosure: I received my copy to of this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
You can rate my review of this book here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Divine appointment - Poolside!

I'm so excited to tell you about my divine appointment at the pool this morning!

I went to the pool this morning thinking I would go early and beat the Memorial Day rush (which I did). Before leaving I was going to take my Kindle to read but felt like I should take the new book I'm reading for the "Blogging for Books" program. It's a book I've started but it's a little deep for poolside reading.

Anyway, I took my book, Radical (review coming soon), and headed to the pool. I was the only one there for about 45 minutes (ah, sweet bliss). Then a girl came up and was having trouble getting into the gate (it's a safety gate and it's tricky if you're not familiar). She called out to me and told me she just moved in and hadn't been to the pool yet. I politely told her how to operate it and went back to reading.

She asked if anyone was sitting in the chairs beside me (it was the best place for sun). I told her no. I really felt like I was supposed to talk to her and even talk about the book I was reading. I wasn't really sure how to go about that (read, I wasn't wanting to interrupt my relaxing pool time to possibly talk about God to some girl that I don't know and probably doesn't want to hear about God anyway!). This doesn't happen to me often but I know when the Holy Spirit is prompting me to do something.

I made some casual small talk with her about being new to the area and such. Then I went back to reading. I was trying to figure out what else to say to her when she saw the cover of my book (which I was purposefully not hiding) and asked, "Are you reading "Radical?!". I was shocked! Divine appointment time! Here goes the conversation I knew I was supposed to have...remember I didn't even want to take this book to the pool!

Turns out a friend of hers gave her that book to read a few weeks ago. She's only read the first 2 chapters and then packed it to move. She told me she cried through the first chapter. We discussed the book which led to conversations of helping the hurting and churches. She shared with me that she is a relatively new believer. She's been saved for about a year and a half. Her mother is a pastor and her father is an atheist! WOW! That makes for an interesting childhood! I asked her if she had found a church in town. She is going to visit one that has connections with the church she attended before she moved first. I told her she's welcome to come to church with me if she'd like to try it.

I'm not sure what come out of this meeting but I have no doubt it was God ordained. She offered to let me borrow the book she was reading at the pool when she finished. All I know is her first name, her apartment number, that she just ran a 5K to support the cause to stop sex trafficking in Atlanta, and she loves God. I hope to meet up with her again soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: New Menu Item

We did a persuasive writing piece. The students had to think of something they would like to add to the lunch menu and then persuade the lunchroom staff to add it. Here are some of the things they wanted them to add:

Zebra Cakes - because they taste so good
ice cream - EVERYDAY please
Hamburger Helper - because it's so yummy
Ramen Noodles - because they come with packs of salt
Cheesy Ham Delight - it's really yummy and cheese is good!
Zaxby's, McDonald's, and Burger King also made the list!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: Draw Me

13. I had to laugh out loud while grading this paper. "Draw Me" was referring to the riddle above. He should have drawn a triangle. Unfortunately kids are very literal!

P.S. I didn't count off for the stick person drawing. I explained what he was supposed to do and let him fix it! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: What language is that?

Me: Please stop doing that. It's really obnoxious!

Student: Are you speaking Spanish?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Review: Life in Spite of Me

This book is an inspiring true story of how God saved the life of a suicidal teen and brought restoration and purpose to her. At age 17 Kristen Anderson had suffered the loss of her grandmother, the death of several friends, and being raped by another friend. Her world was spiraling out of control and she was sinking into a deep depression. One night she made a decision to lay on the tracks in front of an on-coming train and permanently end her pain. But God had other plans for her.

That was not the end of her story but rather the beginning of her journey toward and with God. She miraculously survived but lost both her legs. This book tells of her long journey of physical and emotional healing.

I'm not one to read a lot of biographies and was unsure of how I'd like this book. I was quickly drawn into the story and couldn't put the book down. I literally sat and read the whole book one Sunday afternoon. It was that good! I'd definitely recommend this book to friends.

Here's a video that I found of Kristen telling her story.
You can purchase your copy of "Life in Spite of Me" here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review: The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari

This is a delightful tale of two friends, Padraig the dragon and Roger the Turtle. Padraig and Roger go camping on Mt. Sillymanborrow. The story is one of being courageous. Roger the turtle encourages Padraig not to be afraid as they face the sounds and animals in nature.

I took this book to school and read it to my first graders. Then I asked them to write a review of the book. I figured they were the best critics.

Overall they really liked it. The illustrations are wonderful and really captured their attention. They found it amusing that the dragon was afraid and the turtle was not. They thought the turtle should have been the one that was afraid.

The book sounds like it is written with some British dialect. Phrases like, "my good fellow", "not to worry old chap", and "Cheerio" were foreign to my students but that didn't stop them from liking the book. I really enjoyed reading it to them. Several of them have asked me if they can borrow it silent reading time so they can read it themselves.

*I received my copy of this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers in return for my homest review.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: Boy trouble

One of my former students (who is now a 3rd grader) walked by and said, " Ms. Harrison are you married yet?". I replied, "No,". She says, "Girl that' s okay. I've got boy troubles of my own!"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Review: Soul Print

At the end of the day am I living the life I was created to live? Have I developed the person the Creator made me to be? Those are the kinds of questions that this book leaves us with.

At the end of the day God isn’t going to ask, ‘Why weren’t you more like Billy Graham or Mother Teresa?’ He won’t even ask ‘Why weren’t you more like David?’ God is going to ask, ‘Why weren’t you more like you?"(pg 16)

Mark Batterson uses the life of David to illustrate the importance of being who God created you to be. David was a shepherd. When he went to face Goliath he walked onto the battlefield as such. He wasn't trying to walk, talk and fight like a soldier. He walked, talked, and fought like David, the young shepherd boy. He defeated Goliath by being who God uniquely created him to be. He embraced the place of humble beginnings.

This book will challenge you to embrace your place. Embrace the person God has uniquely created you to be. I was a little skeptical before I read this book. I expected it to be a "self-help" manual of sorts. I thought it was the same message I've read in other books just in a new package. I was pleasantly surprised as I began reading and realized that was not the case at all. It is a well written convicting message that left me reflecting on who I am and what does that mean to the kingdom of God.

(I received a free copy of this book from Multnomah Publishers.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: Quotes of the week

" Miss Harrison,'J' is using bad manners and is being unacceptable. He needs to go to timeout immediately!"

Me: "Does your new baby brother cry a lot?".
Student: "Sometimes. He likes it when you pat his bottom".
Me: "yeah, babies do like that."
Student: "I kinda like it too!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: Quote of the day

Student with some behavior issues says to me, "You don't deserve me!!".

Me: "You're right. I don't deserve you."

I'm going to need a lot of extra grace to survive the next few months!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sun Stand Still: Favorite Quotes

The snow days afforded me time to finish reading Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. Here are a few of the things I highlighted as I read the book:

"If you're not daring to believe God for the impossible, you're sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life. And further still: if the size of your vision for your life isn't intimidating to you, there's a good chance it's insulting to God."

"Seize God's vision. Activate your faith. Make your move"

"When you ask God to do the impossible, he usually instructs you to do something uncomfortable. And inconvenient. Salvation is free. Obedience can be very costly."

"-your vision should never be limited to who you are or what you think you can do.....
Instead, the scope and impact of your vision will be determined by who you believe God is - and whether you have the faith to respond accordingly"

"Authentic faith doesn't end in a positive mental state. It plays out in total obedience based on the sure Word of God."

These are just a few of the things I've highlighted. I may share more later.

I am amazed at how God is speaking to me lately. My Pastor's message on Sunday sounded so much like the things I've been reading in this book (and I know for a fact that my pastor hasn't read the book or even heard of the author until I told him about it later!)

2011 Snow

I wish you could see the bird sitting on the bird feeder in this pic. Unfortunately my good camera died a few months ago so I could only get pics with my phone which means no zoom.

I'm so glad I invested in these adorable boots earlier this year. They were great for hiking through the snow and ice.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tales from the 1st Grade: Yes I is!

After a 2 1/2 weeks off it was back to school this week. It was a 3 day week for the students. I assure you that the short weeks always feel like the longest weeks! Here's my favorite quote of the week:

Student 1: "Ms. Harrison you're the best teacher ever!" ....yea, I bribe them to say that ;)

Me: "Awwwww, thanks"

Student 2: "You sure is! You is the bestest teacher ever!"

Guess what we'll be working on next week...GRAMMAR! LOL!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 - I'm ready to pray some Sun Stand Still "audacious faith" prayers

Happy New Year blog readers! I have great expectations for 2011! Over the past few months I've listened to several podcasts and video sermons from Pastor Steven Furtick. He wrote a book called "Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare To Ask God For the Impossible". The book is based on the scripture Joshua 10:12 when Joshua prayed that the sun would stand still. I haven't read the book yet. I've started started reading it and it's so inspiring!

Why am I telling you sharing this with you? This is not a book review. I've been reflecting on the dreams I have for my life. Some of them I'm sure are God dreams because I wouldn't wish them for myself. Dreams that I've let lay dormant because I didn't see how they were going to happen. They don't make sense for me financially. I've thought "when I meet my future husband we can do this together" or "I'm waiting for that divine appointment". You know the one where some great person in ministry walks up to me and tells me they see this great call on my life and they have an opportunity for me to walk in that call. The point is, I've been waiting and not preparing.

So, I'm focusing on what it is I feel called to do. Teaching, yes. Teaching 1st graders - not so much. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching and I love my students. However, the gift of teaching is a deeper calling for me. I love teaching on worship. I love singing, worshiping, and leadership. My dreams are big. But my God is bigger. The bible says to be ready in season and out of season. It doesn't say wait until your divine appointment comes along. So, 2011 is the year that I pray sun stand still prayers. It's the year that I believe God for things that aren't "logical" to my American mind. It's the year that I begin to prepare for the vision God has given me even though I don't see how it's going to happen in the natural. It's time to write teachings that are stirring in my spirit even though I don't have anyone to teach them too right now. To move toward the God sized vision inside me (teaching others about worship is only a very small part of the dream).

I've been wrecked by the thought of all I could be doing for the Kingdom and yet I'm not. I'm convinced that there is so much more than "American Christianity" which is sometimes limited on faith. We want to know how everything is going to work out. Am I going to be able to keep my comfortable lifestyle and 401 K. Am I preparing for retirement. I'm ready to walk out a God vision that is more concerned on setting captives free, providing a home for orphans, and seeing the miracles in the bible become a reality today than making my life comfortable before I start doing the work of the Lord.

Check out the website:
I'd offer to loan you my book but I'm still reading it. I expect to have lots of notes and highlights in it by the time I'm done.