Sunday, August 31, 2008

Time, Do tell...


We don't have enough of it in our lives. I'm convinced that TIME is one of the greatest gifts that will be afforded in eternity.

We are forced to make choices in our lives based on the lack of TIME available to us. Lack of TIME is one reason that I choose to NOT watch Television. I did NOT watch American Idol, I've never seen an episode of "24," and I hate to say this, but I actually only watched about an hour of the Olympics (parts of each marathon).

I could spend an eternity....

  • Talking to my husband. I love his perspectives.
  • Laughing and playing with my children, rocking EACH ONE to sleep (yes, even the big ones if they need it... didn't you read "I'll Love You Forever?"). We would go on a never-ending vacation free from the distractions of responsibilities.
  • Searching the Word for insight and wisdom...searching every commentary to understand the literary, historical and spiritual significance of each passage.
  • Reading EVERY ONE of the great classics...while sipping my coffee on my front porch, reclined in a chair. I would find others who were also interested, and share meaningful conversations with them.
  • Painting...developing a natural talent that I simply do not have TIME use.
  • Investing personally in the lives of my students. Serving them continually...
  • Visiting and listening to my family members...
  • Exercise... I would dedicate myself to marathons in a new and grand way, by hiring a trainer, and giving myself only the BEST nutrition.
  • I would get my Masters Degree...
  • I would finally write that book I've been thinking about, an act of service to a forgotten community of sufferers...
  • I would spend time with each of my friends, look them in the eyes, and listen to their heart. We would laugh and share with each other.
  • The list goes on....

But alas, while each one of these pursuits would be worthy, I am left with very limited resources in the TIME arena.

I simply seek the guidance of the Father of Time, who knows my hours and days. But as long as I am chained to a temporal existence, I must accept the fact that I will NOT accomplish everything on my list.

So what will it be? How will I invest my most valuable resource?

Only Time will Tell.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


There she is... Dalene.

I once joined an online club for Dalene's. It was really fun until it started to get really weird.

I once heard that the name DALENE is the most **southern** name that a person can have. DAY-LEEEEEN!!!

On the west coast this summer, several people were fascinated with the name...DALENE.

It's not Darlene, or Daylene, or Duh-layne.

In my world, it's simply "Big" Dalene, and "Little" Dalene. I'm "Big" Dalene. I abhor the day when this tradition passes, and I become "old" Dalene, and she becomes "young" Dalene. Luckily, we no longer have the same last name. Hey Dalene, stay away from Swedish men.

I've been called Mean Dalene, Dalene the Green-Bean, and thanks to my maiden name, Frankenstein (but that's another story).

I'm trying to pressure her into writing a cookbook with me, called "Dalene Cooks Twice the Fun." This is one of those crazy dreams that's mostly just based on the fact that there are two Dalene's. I'm not sure a publisher would go for that. She's a world traveler (currently in Korea); I like to travel no further than 5 miles.

So, Goodnight Dalene!! Be safe on the other side of the world.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


My days these days...

9th grade...Uncle Tom's Cabin: SLAVERY STILL EXISTS!!! Did you know there are still 27 million slaves in the world? That is MORE slaves than were trafficked during the FOUR HUNDRED years of African Slave Trade. Let's wake up.

10th grade.... Mythology, by Edith Hamilton: Artemis, Zeus, Hermes, Prometheus, Odysseus, Orestes, Agamemnon, the Trojan War, etc... There's nothing better than a bunch of stories about the Ancient Greeks! What a bunch of Goober-Berry Pies!

11th grade.... The Faerie Queen, Book 1: Edmund Spenser, reportedly a favorite of C.S. Lewis, took great pains to make sure his books were antiquated when they were written in the 1500's. Dragons, witches, knights, ladies in distress, blood, vomit, tears and FORGIVENESS!!!!! There is not a better piece of fiction written on the pains of aspiring to holiness.

12th grade... Walden: Thoreau was brilliant, and brilliantly lost. A father of American Transcendentalism, he asked us to simplify our lives, and simplified his by mooching off of a bunch of other people. Nevertheless, the commonplaces in his book are PHENOMENAL Thoureau reminds me to look for reflections of God in uncommon places (only I'm not sure he was worshiping the same God that I am).

Rhetoric: Acts 17 & Paul's speech to the Greeks.... Plato and Socrates and their vendetta against the Sophists. Epicureans and Stoics, and best of all the One AND the Many. Aristotle defines Rhetoric as "The art of observing in any given situation the available means of persuasion."

Dirty House, Tired Muscles, Four Busy Kids, Amazing Hubby, Grade the Papers, Cook the Dinner, Clean the House, Do the Laundry, Help with Homework, Write the Test, Study for Rhetoric, Copy the Papers, Read my Bible, Listen to my Bible, Dirty House, take out the Trash.

Metamorphosis? I may become a Goober-Berry Pie.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Carb High

Something is amiss in my life. I don't normally think this much about food. Those who know me well could attest to that fact. Perhaps it is the marathon training? My body is DEMANDING to be fed, and I am very happily feeding it. I still lost five pounds last week for no apparent reason.

Nevertheless, and at the risk of losing a grand majority of my readers as I keep putting up posts about what I'm putting into my mouth, I can't resist telling the world.... I am standing on a mountainside. The wind is blowing through my hair and the sun is setting in the distance. A single cloud passes by. A bird passes over my left shoulder and as I turn to listen to its mid-air melody, music begins to play in the background. With a big grin on my face, I spread my arms wide and declare:

" I had barbecue chicken, grits and a yeast roll for dinner!"

I'm laughing so hard right now. I'm in a state of histrionics. This might not be funny to anyone else, but for someone who normally can't even come up with ONE thing to say when questions about food are asked, I sure am excited. I think I'm on a Carb High.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend= A-.

Oh stack of papers six inches high,
I stare at you and then I sigh.

All weekend long we've sat together,
Reading you sure takes forever!

Tests, compositions, worksheets and such,
I don't like grading all that much.

But oh the brilliance that does appear,
And in my heart I start to cheer!

They're Smart! They're Bright! They're Funny! They're Cool!
Those kids are why I love my school.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This Topic ISN'T OVER....

Carrot Cake...

Carrot Cake AND Coffee.

It freezes well, it tastes amazing, and it's worth every penny. I'm not talking about CARROT CAKE MIX. We all know stories of well meaning housewives who have been demoted in the eyes of their peers and admiring followers when they attempted to make this delicious dessert from a mix. NO. This fantastic yummy treat requires grating, slicing, chopping, cutting, measuring, mixing and SINGING. Everything tastes better when you sing while cooking. I learned the secret of "singing spice" during my brief adventures in catering. Cooking and singing, sprinkled with crazy dancing are teeny tiny blessings that you can bring upon YOURSELF. Cooks singing to food is as gardeners talking to plants. We don't know why it works. We just know it works.
Attempting to make this cake from a mix is just wrong. But McAlisters has it right, and I'll be enjoying this new-found discovery (the fact that someone in town sells this amazing treat) on a weekly basis for a long time to come. Or at least until I get sick of it...which might be in about a month.

I've actually struggled to identify my favorite treat. The search is over. At least for a month or two. After that, it will just be me and my coffee.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Red Furniture

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

There is a red table in my room at school. To me, It symbolizes the pursuit of Truth. I love this big red chair. I've been thinking about its significance as well. I think it has something to do with how tiny I am, and how happy I am with that.
Happy as a teeny tiny piece of nothingness.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Weakness?

Coffee, I love you.

You are my weakness. I'll admit that when I hear people talk about macchiato's, I feel it is my duty to come to your defense. It is not necessary to mask your awesomeness with caramel, vanilla, steamed milk and whipped cream. Give me a real macchiato any day of the week. A double shot w/ a hint of cream... love in a shot glass. Thank you Broadway Cafe for the perfect roast. I'm spoiled forever by your relentless pursuit of coffee perfection.

The goats danced and the shepherds took notice. A couple thousand years later, I reap the benefits of their discovery. Like the monks of yore, I meet you in the morning.

Goodbye Chocolate Cake. Goodbye Lemon Bars. Hello Coffee.

It's not an addiction. It's a lifestyle.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just on the Edge of Grumpy

Well.... Here we go again! My lifelong friend and sweet precious darling adorable cousin Charissa tagged me for a game. I'm just letting everyone out there know that I'm not going to tag anyone, but I think this is a great post idea, so feel free to copy the awesomeness that is known as the "six random things about me" post.


Dear Blogosphere, I welcome your disapproving sighs. Hold your breath.

1.) I skipped school in FIRST grade.
2.) If I say "no thank you," when you ask me if I want a piece of chocolate cake, I actually DON'T want a piece. It isn't a conspiracy on my part to make you feel guilty for enjoying YOUR piece of cake. Get over it already.
3.) I don't like your dog. I barely like my dog.
4.) I prayed for a sister and God gave me SEVEN awesome Sister-in-Laws. We all know how I feel about the number SEVEN. It rhymes with Heaven.
5.) I'm still shedding tears when I see the seniors who graduated in May from my school. What is my problem? I'm not ready to let them go. HOW are their parents feeling?
6.) I would just like to repeat here that I would like to be able to say no to dessert without anyone feeling offended. Oh, and no I don't want to kiss your dog.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Exercise that Brain!

Tomorrow is the first day of school.
It would be difficult to clearly communicate my passion and love for teaching. I feel like I live inside a daily miracle when I am teaching. Sometimes, I don't know where the words come from, and then I remember that it is not me who is teaching, but God who is teaching through me. He seems to care so much for my students, that he is able to use a very inadequate person. I've been fascinated that He guides EVERY step of the process. I often pray for inspiration, and it is amazing how the "perfect" idea pops into my head at just the right moment. He is good to me, and I am blessed. I desperately need him tomorrow as I introduce Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Tempest, the Scarlet Letter, and the Rhetoric of Aristotle. I try not to begin 5 books simultaneously, but alas it is the first day of what is there to do? I'll tell you. Pray.
I hope EVERYONE has a great year.... public, private, and home school alike! Exercise that brain! It's the only one you'll ever have.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Am I In Trouble?

This young lady will be teaching my Little Mr. Man His three "R's" this year... Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic. Our small school was in need of a first grade teacher, and they thought that it would be awesome to have a teacher with 30 years of teaching experience and a masters degree on staff. I agree.
So Little Mr. Man, be nice to Grammy. She's coming out of retirement for you. No "getting out of work by pulling out the 'love' card." No "Grammy-Poo this or Grammy-Poo that." Don't even try your little "cutie love bug" tricks, because she knows of your secret powers of persuasion. And no calling her "Grandma." That's Mrs. Rovenstine to you, buddy.

With Grammy as your teacher, every day will be as "beautiful and grand" as the "most beautifulest place I (you) ever seen in my WHOLE life." I mean, Mrs. Rovenstine.... Oh, and be good. I don't want to get in trouble.