365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 152

Well I can now say I am excited about the progress of my next book: SALSA! The Taste of Life. I just received my manuscript back from the editor today and she said she thoroughly enjoyed reading my work. Right now I’m working on first edits and I’m happy to inform you that the changes I have to make are minor. 

You see, when I wrote and self-published my first book: AS CLEAR AS CLAIRE GETS, A CONVERSATION WITH THE PAST, I did it all on my own and I couldn’t afford to pay an editor to work on my book. So when Tate Publishing agreed to publish my second book, I cringed at the thought of working with an editor because I didn’t know if my writing would stand the careful scrutiny of a professional editor.  Today I cast all that fear aside when I heard back from my editor and she informed me that she was well pleased with what I wrote. I am doing the Snoopy Dance right now!

In the upcoming months I will share with you as SALSA! begins to take a life of its own. Once the book is released I plan to have fun trivia contests here on my blog so that you’ll have a chance to win a free, signed copy of my book. SALSA! is coming out soon!

365 Snap Shots of Life:Day 149

This post I am doing in honor of all of my family members and friends who have served or are currently serving in our Armed Forces. I want to thank: Mireya Ervin, Larry Ervin, Kristina Ervin, Diego Sanchez,  Kelli Bonds,Francisco Sanchez, Carlos Bello, Joe Brincat, David Brincat, Daniel Vargas, Mike Asher, Tamicko Deen, Tim Mears, Tammy Defoe, David Gonzalez , David Salazar, Mark Brage and Frank Sanchez for giving of your life, talents and time to fight for our freedom. Here are some funny pics to brighten your holiday! Enjoy 🙂

 

We can never forget them…

poemsandponderings

     This is a new poem dedicated to those who have lived, served and died for the freedom of people everywhere, not just for those of us who live here in the U.S. Many nations owe their freedom to the men and women buried here, who fought against tyranny and oppression on every continent. Throughout our relatively short history they have gone where they were needed, did what they had to do, but not all came home the same as they went. Many of the “heroes” buried here at Arlington National Cemetary near Washington, D.C. died in battle, some died of complications from battle, while others are here because they earned the right to be here, because they were willing to go into battle should they be called upon.

     It is with honor and humility that I post this today. May God rest their souls, everyone.

     Tomorrow we celebrate a day of remembrance for those we…

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365 Snap Shots of Life:Day 148

Do you believe in this old saying: You reap what you sow? Do you still believe in the kindness of strangers? In this world we live in with all the negativity the media broadcasts it’s easy to forget those simple truths.

Yesterday I was at the library. When we came out our car was dead. So we tried to figure out what the problem was,looked under the hood trying to trouble shoot. Then a man in his 60’s walked by us with his grandchild, a cute little kid who wore glasses just like grandpa’s . He offered to help us jump-start the battery and then we ran into the second problem; the jump-start cables were too short. Thankfully I had paid attention to the person who had parked on the other side of us just a few minutes before. I ran back into the library and found her checking out. I asked her if she could help us and she hurried to finish checking out and a few minutes later she allowed us to use her car to jump-start our battery.

There are a lot of good people out there who will help. If you do your part to help someone out, it DOES come back to you when you need it. In the movie BRUCE ALMIGHTY,God tells  Bruce,” Be the miracle people need.” Sometimes those miracles can be something as practical as jump starting someone’s car 🙂 

HAPPY SUNDAY!!! Be someone’s miracle today 🙂

365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 147

The home school prom was last night and it went better than I anticipated. I don’t know why I was so surprised that it centered around family and not just kids. I went to mine 25 years ago and having gone to public school for 12 years, you learn that adults are the enemy and to be avoided at all costs. Last night the scene was beautiful. I chaperoned my girls and they both had dates; 2 boys they are good friends with took them. I gave my girls space and before hand I told them this night was about them. That they deserved it and to forget that I’m even there. That took both of them by surprise. I know we live,work and play together and they needed that time and space away from me.

Once we arrived at the venue, I took a seat way in the back away from the dance floor. I love to dance and I figured I’d stay back there an dance by myself. Then my friend, another home schooling mom came by and I asked her if I could dance. Again, I was unsure of what my role as a chaperone was. She laughed, telling me to relax and just have a good time. Not too long after, the music was bumping and I worked up the courage to join the rest of the party goers on the dance floor; which consisted of kids and adults dancing up there and not caring what anyone thought.

I went to order a set of pictures and I overheard the man in charge of taking the orders say something quite amazing. He was telling my friend that he does many school proms and that he’d never seen a prom where it’s all about family;it was one big family party last night and he commented he’d never seen anything like it. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to say that home school parents are instrumental in taking back America’s families from the brink of destruction. It was evident last night that when you home school, it makes for a close bond between parents and children. The best part of it was that I had a chance to see my daughters having so much fun. And they sang when we came home,” I had the time of my life,and I never felt this way before, yes I know it’s true and I owe it all to you.”

One more quick note. I  hear that in these times we live, in Prom is a very expensive deal;it’s all about spending money to impress. Well last night my girls were laughing over the ridiculously low amount of money we put into their special night. Then I remembered how hard I worked so I could go to mine. 25 years ago I spent a little over $150 on my Prom. By today standards that is very inexpensive. The girls were proud of looking amazing and not breaking their parent’s bank account. I even overheard my oldest tell a woman who was complimenting her on her beautiful dress that she found it at a second-hand store.Most of the young men didn’t wear tuxes but they came wearing what they felt comfortable in and maybe what their parents could afford. I smiled because from watching most of the young people in that room, I could tell they weren’t there to impress but to have a good time and make great memories as child hood winds down for some of them. Prom 2012 was definitely a success and I’m glad I was part of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 146

No I did not fall off the planet 🙂 My two girls are going to their  home school prom tonight and so for the past few days we have been busy preparing; buying dresses, shoes accessories and whatever else goes into making their night fabulous. So I had to put blogging aside for a few days.

This morning my 17-year-old home school grad made me laugh so hard, it helped me let go of all the tension I’d been feeling lately. So to start off your week-end I’ll share the laughs and tell you it’s all going to work out fine. No matter what you’re going through if you can have a good laugh,it lightens your load. I love my readers!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I agree with this blogger 100%!

Glenn Pendlay

Why? Well it started in Guatemala last week. I was eating in the weightlifting chow hall with Donny Shankle and thinking about the food. The meal that day included a sort of salad. Tasted like it had some kale in it, had some green beans, some corn, lettuce, and bits of bacon. There were diced up potatoes, cooked with onions. Diced up carrots that most people seemed to be mixing up with the potatoes and onions. And chicken. Not fried chicken, just chicken. It was representative of most of the meals, mostly vegetables and meat, some potatoes or rice. Nothing fancy. I remarked to Donny that it would be hard to overeat and get fat on such food. Not that it wasn’t good, it was tasty enough, but it was nothing you would want to go on eating once your hunger had been satisfied. And it wasn’t calorie dense, mostly…

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365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 141

I am posting the picture I took of the Lunar Eclipse..now, I couldn’t get  pictures of  the eclipse itself but I took what I could on my camera phone. I turned around and shot this silhouette of me at the back of my house. Seeing this kind of lighting amazed me. Some people go for the obvious..I like to notice the little details in the grand scheme of things! I hope everyone had a great week-end 🙂

 

Honor Roll Doesn’t Mean Children Are Learning

I’m posting this column from one of my favorite conservative columnists on the internet. I enjoy reading Mychal Massie’s Daily Rant because he speaks the truth without making any apologies for what he says. Read on!

I have long held that American children are academically dumb and getting dumber, and I’ve held that the reasons for same are the intrusion of the federal government into our education system, illiterate teachers full of elaborate teaching methods that do not work, and parents.

Parents do not like to hear that their children aren’t getting a marketable education. It is easier to live in denial than face the reality that their children are being poorly educated, despite a stint or two on the honor roll. I hate to be the skunk at the picnic, but more times than not, it does not mean your child has learned anything substantive. Plus, I am unapologetic in my condemnation of parents who do not provide consistent learning environments for their children. Children are the future of our nation.

So-called educators have gone to great lengths to dumb down the children of America, and most parents don’t give a rat’s tail about it as long as they can say their child made the honor roll. But my position is that making the honor roll in most public schools means less than nothing. It, at best, means little if the parents aren’t providing a consistent learning environment outside of the classroom.

With the above-referenced always in my mind, this morning the first news that caught my attention was an article written by Kala Rama “Passing Score Lowered For FCAT Writing Exam” in Florida. (http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Passing-score-lowered-for-FCAT-Writing-exam/-/1637132/13396234/-/k1ckc2z/-/index.html) Rama reported: “The Board of Education decided in an emergency meeting Tuesday to lower the passing grade on the writing portion of Florida’s standardized test after preliminary results showed a drastic drop in student passing scores.”

FCAT is the acronym for Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test exam. Rather than being resolved to the expectation that children are in school to learn and those charged with ensuring that happens are teachers–Florida, like many other school systems, found it easier to lower the requisites for passing.

I would hope that it is glaringly obvious that lowering the score needed to pass an exam does not increase the students‘ learning capacity. Parents need to understand that. A poorly educated child who has been the beneficiary of lowered expectations and lowered grades necessary for passing may graduate from high school on the honor roll–but then what? What will the child do with their “I graduated on the honor roll, and I’m going to college, graduate and get a good job.”

The truth, however, is must less optimistic. They may graduate from college, but it won’t be with the requisite marketable employment skills to even give them a chance of landing a high-paying good job. They will, however, leave college in debt from student loans, and with an education that hasn’t prepared them for the future.

It is a variant form of socialism that believes lowering scores required for passing gives everyone a better opportunity to succeed. What it does, in reality, is ensure that there will be another generation of unemployed and underemployed.

In 2003, I wrote “No Foundations, No Future” in which I addressed this very problem. I wrote:

“In Florida, minority students are accepted into college, but are unable to pass the multiple choiceFCAT test that requires only a 40 percent score and can be taken five times to pass.”

In Pennsylvania, between one-third and one-half of prospective math and science teachers failed their certification tests. About one-third of applicants flunked special-education certification. Nearly 50 percent of prospective Spanish teachers failed their tests. More than one-third of the applicants failed both the pre-professional skills test in writing and social studies. On the “content knowledge” portion of the math test, 43 percent of the teachers failed. (Jane Elizabeth /John M.R. Bull, Post-Gazette – “Up to half of teacher candidates failing tests,” Jan. 17, 2002)

In Illinois, 5,243 teachers failed key exams. The New York Times asked the question: “What to do about [New York] teachers who chronically fail their certification exams? Some in New York have failed 10 times – 3,000 have never passed.”

Parents may not like what I am saying, but the truth is my defense. It doesn’t take money to ensure children are educated; it takes commitment from the parents and teachers. My family set the bar high when it came toeducation, and the expectations that my cousins and I would achieve and exceed them were as much an absolute as sunshine. My teachers didn’t care about our color–they cared that we learned. Our parents didn’t demand teachers of color, and diversity was the number of different books we read, not a color-coded faculty.

I’ve had conversations with editors who tell me how ill-equipped and unprepared many of the young people they interview are. I personally observe the lack of professional skills in young people today. Sadly, many parents today are more concerned about themselves than they are their children. And they are willing to turn to those who will validate (for a price) whatever excuse they feel will absolve them of guilt and/or responsibility.

Parents need to open their eyes and see what they are allowing to happen to their children. Many children today have no interest in learning, their interests lie in X-Box, the latest electronic gadget, worthless television programming, and the latest song. Unfortunately, that doesn’t ensure capable contributors to our free-market; it ensures that, at some point, we will see the further erosion of skilled employees.

I concluded the 2003 piece referenced above saying: “The foundations of America are being destroyed: A watered down, diluted god of convenience; moral decay within the family; poorly educated teachers andstudents; and a government that governs for the posterity of itself is – agree or not – the death knell of our nation.”

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365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 139

Some one posted this on Facebook and it was so good I had to share with you, the BEST readers in the blog-sphere 🙂

This is a true story that happened in Japan.

In order to renovate the house, someone in Japan breaks open the wall. Japanese houses normally have a hollow space between the wooden walls. When tearing down the walls, he found that there was a lizard stuck there because a nail from outside hammered into one of its feet. He sees this, feels pity, and at the same time curious, as when he checked …the nail, it was nailed 10 years ago when the house was first built. What happened? The lizard has survived in such position for 10 years!In a dark wall partition for 10 years without moving, it is impossible and mind-boggling. Then he wondered how this lizard survived for 10 years,without moving a single step–since its foot was nailed! So he stopped his work and observed the lizard, what it has been doing, and what and how it has been eating. Later, not knowing from where it came appears another lizard, with food in its mouth. Ah! He was stunned and touched deeply. For the lizard that was stuck by nail, another lizard has been feeding it for the past 10 years… Imagine, it has been doing that untiringly for 10 long years, without giving up hope on its partner. Think, will you do that to your partner? Think, will you do that to your dream?

Thank you, Think Big!

I hope everyone has a fantastic week-end! Never stop dreaming…NEVER GIVE UP ON LOVE!!