Monday, April 21, 2014

After the Resurrection

Oh, it is going to be a hard week.  Very hard.  NOOOO!!!!  I’m not talking about those blasted TCAP tests.  I’m talking about the challenges faced after Easter Sunday. 

 Wow, how easy it was to be religious yesterday.  I mean..come on…….Christians OWN the ability to be religious twice a year - Easter and Christmas.  We show up - and I mean Show Up in all our finery complete with bonnets, new dresses, pantyhose, and spray tans.  We show up at Christmas with our Pinterest goodies, our sweaters, and our gifts.  We truly know what Jesus came for and what He did for us.  Sure, we are putting on a show on the outside on holidays - but inside, the majority of us are truly appreciative of God’s son..of His birth……His life as an example for us……..His teachings……..His death…….and His resurrection.  All that is so easy to glorify and worship and honor when we put all the bells and whistles on it and call it Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.
Here’s the challenge, though.  Can we carry it over to today?  Can we simply sit at a stop light and..instead of changing the radio station or checking our IPhone..can we think of the glory of the empty tomb and feel our eyes water TODAY?  The day after we are taught to think of it?  Can we muster up that feeling of GLORY knowing that God reached down and CHOSE US to be his followers?  And here’s an even bigger challenge…….the one that I think is the most important…….the one that God meant for us to take away from all of this……..

Can we wash feet between Easter and Christmas?

  Can we realize what He wanted us to do?  Can we do it?  Can we GO BEHIND THE SCENES of all the commercialism of religion and be the Feet Washers that are so desperately needed today? 


          I love what Mel Gibson and Roma Downey can do for the movie industry.  They actually can bring God to Hollywood - what a challenge.  I know Mel has his problems - but we all do - so get over yourself.  Remember what he brought to us through The Passion of Christ?  I sat in that movie theater and it was not only ME that was mesmerized, but I was with an entire room of people who wouldn’t EVEN THINK of taking a bite of popcorn or a slurp of ICEE while that movie was playing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You don’t get that very often!!!  There was ABSOLUTELY NO MOVEMENT in that theater during that entire movie!!!!  WOW!!!!  One of the parts of that movie that really, really, really stuck with me - Yes, the actor that played the freaky demon in the crowd still haunts me, but let’s not go THERE - the part that touched me was Mary, His momma.  Remember the scene where she was watching her baby boy beaten and abused and ripped apart and nailed to a cross…….and she was flashing back to His childhood……Him being a little boy- her little boy - complete with scrapped knees and tears.  Then 33 years after she loved Him into the world, she had to have the strength to love Him out of the world and back to where He belonged - beside God. 
          Then yesterday, I was blessed to watch another actor play Mary at the play, No Ordinary Man in Kingsport.  WOW - what a blessing.  The actress who played Mary was kneeling in front of the cross where her son was hanging, bleeding, suffering, dying - KEEP IN MIND - IT WAS FOR US!!!!! - and she had to watch it!!!  When they brought Him down from the cross, they placed His head in her lap and let her love Him and cry for Him and thank God for choosing her to be his momma.  CAN YOU IMAGINE THE STRENGTH????????  What a woman!!!!
          We as women have many challenges in life.  We have to deal with the fact that we can clean our house from top to bottom - walk out of the room for 5 minutes - return to a BIG OLD MESS!!  We have to go to the grocery store and spend $250.00 on groceries then realize in three days that there is no food in the house.

 We have to raise teenagers - I don’t need to say anything else here.

 We work hard for our family, for our jobs, for our churches, for EVERYBODY.  We go to bed worn out.  We wake up and threaten the lives of anybody that gets between us and our coffee pot.  We go, go, go, go, go.  We do, do, do, do, do.  We are Marthas!!!  But my challenge is to have the strength of Mary.  What she endured..what she lived through……what she saw……How she loved…….Wow.  I challenge myself to have a small amount of her strength.  To get through this life COMPLETELY REALIZING that this is all temporary - This is not Our Home - that the end has been written for us in the Good Book.  . 

There are my challenges - To wash the feet of those I can.  To have the faith and the strength to get through this life knowing I can live for eternity.  To quote somebody I love..  “I read the end of the bookI know how it endsGod wins”  

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Basil Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves - FROM MY BACK DECK SOON!!!!!
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup pine nuts
2/3 cup EVOO
Salt and peppa to taste
½ cup parmesan cheese
Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in the handy-dandy Cuisinart.  Pulse until chopped.  Add ½ cup of oil and process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the remaining oil and cheese and serve!!!!

My Big "As"

My first teacher story has to be my “Big As” story. 

In the days before the Promethean Board, I was using the whiteboard with dry erase markers.  On this particularly wonderful day in the world of education, I was teaching analogies.  I was requiring the class to take notes as I filled their minds with knowledge of …….


A comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

Students only desire words in multiple choice formatA.B.C. or D. and they will roll the dice in their crap-shoot of testing and hope for the best. 

        “Just give us the multiple choice test and let’s move on!!!”

I, however, would not stop until they understood that the key to understanding analogies was to “develop a sentence showing the relationship of the two words on the left” and apply that relationship to the right side of the analogy.  At this point, do you hear Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice droning on and on and on and on????

Anyhooo……. On the board, I’m drawing the possible ways in which they will see analogies, such as.

dog : puppy ::  cat : _______

Simple…….until  they say something like “squirrel” - keep in mind this is seventh grade!!!!!!

Then I show……

__dog           cat__
                                        puppy     AS     ?   

Another common format of analogies.  I’m attempting to use more challenging vocabulary words - trying to get them to grasp the importance of the’s all about the relationship. you must understand the relationship……blah, blah, blah, blah.  I have my cheat-sheet of vocabulary words - challenging words!!!  Not just dog to puppy As cat to kitten!!!!!  Too easy!!!!!  But they weren’t doing what I wanted!!!!  I wanted them to come up with the word on THEIR OWN!!!!  Not from a choice of words!!!!  Come on, kids, work that brain!!!!!!  You can reach deep and come up with the word “Melancholy” can’t you???????

This whole time, the students are furiously taking notes, burying their heads over their papers, praying to the classroom gods that I won’t call on them because they can tell I’m feeling a little frustrated.  I’m leaving the……

 _________           ____________

on the board and simply filling in the words. 

Me:  Fill in the left side, start the right side, wait for a response, hear the word “squirrel” again, furiously erase, start over.

Them:  Copy, copy, copy, pray to classroom god, copy, copy, copy

Me:  Feeling frustraed, begin to write words LARGER on the board because they will certainly get it with bigger words, right?
Enter stage back-of-the-room:  Robert (names have been changed to protect the innocent)  He was left-handed.  He hated language arts - Surprise!!!  A boy hating language arts!!!!    He does seem to like me somewhat, so he is furiously copying anything and everything I write on the board.  The only sounds in the room are the sounds of pencils scratching paper, dry-erase marker making larger words, my voice saying “Something is to something AS something is to something!!”  when suddenly Robert states “Boy, Mrs. Jennings, your “As” sure is getting bigger!!”  Picture this…… he never looks up from copying.  He never stops taking notes.  He is simply AND INNOCENTLY making an observation in reference to my frustration. 

My black Expo marker stops in mid-air.  The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up.  The students stop breathing.  The angels in heaven stop singing praises.  The clock stops ticking.  There is ABSOLUTELY NO SOUND in that room as I turn slowly to look at Precious.  His head is still down.  He is still taking notes when he notices and most certainly feels the stares of everyone in that room.  He looks up, looks to his left, looks to his right, then looks at me………….
There are no words to describe the moment when he puts 2 and 2 together and gets the correct answer of 4!!!!  The moment of recognition that he just told his teacher her “AS IS GETTING BIGGER!!!”  The moment when he sees his life flash before his eyes.  The moment when he literally SCREAMS in horror.  That scream that came from his wide-open mouth forever changed me. 

Robert lived to see another day.  I loved him all the way to the end of 7th grade.  I realized the importance of having a FUN TIME IN CLASS - not to take it so serious!!!  Thank you, Robert, for making my classroom a place where we all can have fun - even on my bad days as my “As is getting bigger!”  


Why a blog?  Hmmmmmm.  Could it be because I’m a language arts teacher and ALL (repeat.ALL) language arts teachers fancy themselves as writers?  We are teachers of writing; we all love to read, so naturally……..we all feel we have a book just waiting to burst out of us.  Could it be because it is cool, hip, and trendy to say, “I wrote about it on my blog!” or hear someone say, “Did you see that picture of that meatloaf on Angie’s blog????” and secretly get a thrill knowing somebody other than my husband is reading it?  Could it be because I want to be a host of a Linky Party because all the cool people on TpT are doing it? Could it be because I love-love-love-love the movie Julie and Julia (and who doesn’t love Julie Powell as she successfully cooks her way through Julia’s cookbook and BLOGS about it the whole way with the incredible support of her husband!!!) 

Here’s the answer.  I have no idea.  After writing all the above, I feel like they are all the exact reason I’m now blogging.  I want to write.  I want the world to love Ree’s meatloaf recipe as much as I do.  I want to host a Linky Party to help any and all TpT sellers.  And I want to be Julie Powell………..complete with the ups and downs of successful blogging-cooking with truckloads of butter-sewing up the belly of a duck-making bruschetta that makes you drool-feeling a sense of accomplishment, etc!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So here I am……with my blog and Facebook page entitled with the appropriate amount of alliteration - Fun, Food, and Figurative Language. 

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”  -  Julia Child.

 I’m going to take that what-the-hell attitude and run with it.