Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--Book of the Week Wednesday

This week's book is one of my absolute favorites!  It is the beautiful story of the Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs.  Whether you plan to read it in Sunday School, Children's Church, or to your own personal little ones, this book teaches a beautiful lesson about shining God's light and how God can create something beautiful out of each one of us.  This is just a small snip-it of how we used the book in our class.   
We began with a traditional favorite!  Each child estimated the circumference of our pumpkin by cutting off a piece of orange ribbon at the appropriate length.  Then we measured our guesses.  As you can see, some of our estimates were close, but others were way too long or way too short.  Congratulations to Rachel--she was our closest guesser--just 1 cm off!
We also had 3 learning stations set up around our room.  At one station 1, the children used various cut outs as well as real pumpkin seeds to do a pumpkin sequencing craftivity.  From seed to pumpkin, the children ordered their materials and glued them down.  Along the top we wrote, Thank you, God, for new life!  
At station 2, the children ate a snack to accompany our story--mini-pumpkins (cheese puff balls) and some animal cookies to remind us of the farm animals in today's story. 
Sadie works here at our final station to complete her collage pumpkin using orange construction paper squares.  On our pumpkin leaves we wrote, God makes all things grow, even me!
Fun Fall Ideas to Help Your Family "Fall" in Love with Jesus Looking for even more great fall devotional ideas?  Follow the link below to take you to a FREE download full of ideas to help your family "Fall" more in love with Jesus!  Enjoy!

Blessings, Shannon :-)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--Marching to the Heartbeat of God

In this week's post, Mimi teaches us some funny, new exercise terminology and introduces us to 2 more special people in her life, all while encouraging us to keep marching on.  Read, share, and enjoy!  Shannon :-)

Marching to the Heartbeat of God

I realized the other day as I was leaving the running track after my morning workout that I have never mentioned my two very special son-in-laws to you.  Yes, I have written pages about my life with my daughters and grands, but I have neglected to say that there are two just as wonderful men who are married to my daughters and who are the fathers of my grands.   Each of these young men have accomplished much and are equally as wonderful—I just don’t engage in as many kid adventures or go to as many antique malls shopping with them.  Therefore, there isn’t as much adventure to capture on paper.

I am saying all of this because one of the most recent feats of my oldest daughter’s husband is that he loaded all of my favorite Christian songs on my MP3 player—the player that my youngest daughter’s husband gave me for my birthday a few years ago.

At this stage of my life, I need new invigorating songs whereby I can lift my tired legs as I run that last lap.  Run being the debatable word.  In all reality, I am progressing forward with a combination of a fast walk and a slow jog.  Sometimes even progressing forward is debatable.  I have claimed my exercise to be either a wog or a jalk.   It in truth is not a genuine run anymore.  And in any event, I sometimes look just as ridiculous as the words jalk or wog sound. ;-)

I have been taking my 3 lb weights with me as I speed walk, and then I lay them to the side to do a short jog.  My routine is not dependent on any assigned prescription or any workout formula.  I just go with whatever the beat is to my new energizing songs.   The only “out-of-rhythm” moment I have is when I have to pause, juggle my weights, struggle to find my pulse with my two fingers, and listen closely for my heartbeats.  At this precise moment is when I am most appreciative of my two son-in-laws. Without them, at this juncture as I juggle it all, I would only be hearing my desperate struggle to breathe and thereby quit my workout. But instead, I am listening to the familiar beat of my new energizing songs, and so I have the motivation to continue on.

I have learned that as my pulse races, my heart beats harder, and my breathing becomes more difficult, I can just turn up the volume of my music, and all is well.  I have recently developed a new routine to help me get through.  As I cool down I cease my jog, lift my knees higher, and step my feet harder.  Last week it occurred to me that what I am actually doing during this portion of my workout is marching, as if leading a football band.  Instead of a marching baton, I hold my two 3lbs weights strategically positioned in my arms.  I am waving and directing my own band with them for the entire world’s stadium to behold.

Twice in one week, I have been finishing up my marching parade with the song Me Without You by Toby Mac as my finale.  It was almost as if that song was commanding me to march back to my beginning point.   It was not so much the words to that song, but the beat.  It is just great to march to!  The combination of its title along with my praise is what caused me to pause last Friday.  As I finished and walked to my car, I thought about what the title said, and YES, Lord let me never be without you.

I concluded my marching finale and put my “batons” back in my trunk.  I dismissed my band until the next game’s program.  It was then that I stopped and reflected back on my morning and my marching band routine.  I thought to myself, Instead of marching to my own beat, wouldn’t it be great if I could always be this attentive and listen for all my marching orders to come from God?!

Likewise, wouldn’t it be even greater if instead of working out and finding our own pulse, we were working out our lives with our fingers on the pulse of God! And would it not be just greater still if the things of this world did not drown out the sound of His heartbeat!

That day it was a slow drive back home with no music on at all.  The radio did not even need to be turned on as I thought a new concept through a little differently.  Just being “with” the Lord wasn’t all that I really desired.  Equally as desirable was for me to be close—close enough to hear the beat of his heart.  So, thanks Kevin and Brad for my new music.  You just never know when God may call us to open the trunk, pick up our batons, and begin our marching again to the notes of His new music and leading. 

Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)

1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--A Web Game for Your Weekend

This weekend's web game for you comes from the web site I mentioned to you last week:  Cool Math!  It is another web game that we absolutely love!
As a part of our 7 Wonders of the Ancient World unit shown below, my students participated in a number of games in honor of Ancient Greek Olypians. 
You will see here our scorecard that I kept in class and examples of the medals my students were awarded after playing in the games, including today's. 
One of the classroom challenges we completed was to see how FIT my students were by playing the critical thinking game of PHIT!
During our computer lab time, students all logged on to the game of PHIT.  They then worked to reach the highest level of the game possible by maneuvering shapes to fit in a given yellow box.  Of course, the winners were awarded classroom medals for their mental "PHITness"--gold, silver, and bronze!  We had a blast, and I hope you will check this web game out with your little ones!  Have a super weekend!  Shannon :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--Book of the Week Wednesday

Look what came in the mail today!  The Toys R Us Big Book!!!  My kids were so EXCITED! :-) 
All of their enthusiasm gave me such awesome inspiration!  Heading into the holidays, just think of all of the fun learning activities we could do with the Big Book! 
Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
1) Imagine you have $100 to spend at the toy store.  What would you buy and why?
2) Cut out 10 toys.  Arrange them in order of price, from lowest to highest.
3) Conduct a survey of your classmates.  What toy is the favorite for boys?  Girls?  Graph your results.
4)  Cut out a picture of a toy of your choice.  Complete the "rest of the illustration" to go along with this picture.  Add at least 35 details and a title.  For example, cut out the Strawberry Shortcake cash register.  Glue it down.  What would it look like at the Strawberry Shortcake grocery store?
Hope these ideas get your imagination rolling!  And watch your mailbox--you might have one of these books waiting for you there?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--My Cinderella Story

I am so excited to share another installment of Monday Moments with Mimi with you.  Today's post brought a tear to my eye.  How often do I rush into a situation, assuming that I know what is going on...but how often am I wrong?  I am so thankful for the wisdom of Mimi...Read, share, and enjoy!  Shannon :-)

Over the last little bit of time, several of my precious elderly lady friends have faced and are facing extremely serious life-changing surgeries. Even in these later Golden Years, they are still approaching life with a determination that should be applauded.  I am privileged to teach the Sunday School Class that some of these ladies have attended. One in particular from my class is now a resident at a retirement/nursing home that I am honored to visit on Thursday nights with our Church Ministry.
In my quiet time this weekend, praying for all of those precious souls, I was reminded of this writing that I did several months ago after one of our nights there.  Although, this story is not about anyone that I knew personally, it serves as a stark reminder of how precious and how valuable the friendships of all these ladies are to me.  More importantly I have come to appreciate how valuable their life lessons still are for us today.
My Cinderalla Story
Remember the original timeless children’s tale of the beautiful princess whom the glass slipper so easily fit after she lost it at the ball.  What a captivating story of a young lass as she quickly went from rags to riches before children’s very eyes, with simply the mere fitting of a glass slipper placed so tenderly on her foot by the young prince – only in a fairy tale!!!!!!!!
A few months ago, I was at a nursing home service where songs were being sung with residents mostly in wheel chairs.   One particular older lady was attired a little strangely in her dress for the evening, but she was extremely happy to be there singing songs nevertheless. As a matter of fact, she knew all the words to all the old hymns and mouthed them as she smiled sweetly, with her toothless grin.  Her slippers were a little dirty and did not match, and her long sleeve knit top was on backwards and not buttoned up.  It was as if she were putting it on, to button up her back, and just never finished dressing.  As the program continued, from the corner of my eye I saw that one bedroom slipper had fallen off her tiny foot.  It was now lying on the floor in front of her. She continued on singing merrily, tapping her foot in rhythm, but now with only one slipper.
I was in a quandary as to whether to cross the floor in front of all and replace the shoe, or just wait for the attendant to assist.  I waited.  No one else even noticed.  Honestly, I really was not sure how I felt about putting a shoe on this stranger.  But while the program continued, my need to have things in “pairs” almost overtook my rational reason for waiting.  It’s sort of like the urge to straighten or “fix” a mirror on a wall or “fix” a lipstick mark on someone’s tooth!!!!  I wanted to “fix” what appeared not right!!!! 
I anxiously kept watching the face and the feet of the one slipper lady, of whose name I did not even know.  One question plagued me:  Why did I really want to “fix” her shoe? Because, honestly, she was a stranger and who knows where those tiny feet had been?!  
Call it a convicting moment or just a loss of my selfish arrogance, but it happened to me.  My heart felt checked, and my attitude changed.   I could not wait for the program to be over so I would have an opportunity to return the slipper once again to her little foot.  So, I did.  I raced to her to make sure I would not miss my opportunity to redeem my earlier moment of arrogance. I even made conversation with her as I knelt to retrieve and replace the slipper that had only moments earlier made me feel prideful and reluctant.  I then had the privilege of pushing her back through 2 corridors to her room.  We talked about friends, family, singing, and the Lord…all on our short trip to her door. I was now pleased with my redemption and my new friend.  But, I will never forget the next leg of the trip - entering her room.
When we entered in her shared room, I asked her would she like for me to “fix” her long sleeve top the right way so it would not be on backwards.  I felt the need to have my new friend right before I left her.  If one shoe was bothersome to me, imagine what the backwards shirt was doing to my “fixing” obsession.  Her answer was sweet, but swift – a much deserved sword in my heart.  “No thank you, I have a broken arm.  See my cast.  It runs all the way up my arm.  The doctor does not think that it will ever heal.  I fell at my daily dialysis, and it’s broken at the shoulder.  Dressing like this is the only way I can wear my shirt so that I can leave my room to be with ya’ll singing.”
Would you like to re-read her answer and really feel the sting of her words…this sting that I acutely felt?  See, I quickly realized that replacing her slipper and fixing her shirt was really about what I wanted, and not about what she needed. The person in the room that needed to be fixed right before they left was me, was not her.
Granted, that’s not the traditional Cinderella story, but it’s my story of a lady of royalty that went from the proverbial rags to riches before my very eyes and in my very heart.  As with the other story, I too had been given the privilege of kneeling and tenderly sliding on a slipper for someone very special.
  So now, I will wait and watch for carefully the proverbial older ladies in wheel chairs, with their tops on backwards, sporting only one slipper – they could truly be a Cinderella of a different kind.  In the future, I will race to replace their fallen slippers, without worrying about their top’s fashion…… and I will be blessed by their courage, their spirit, and their faithfulness to praise, in spite of their circumstances.  Her story taught me much more than the story of Cinderella ever will.  Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--A Web Game for the Weekend

Hi!  Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Ours has been busy with birthday parties and errands, but I did squeeze in a nap this afternoon--YAY! :-) 
I was so tired after yesterday's all day field trip with my 4th graders to Cumberland Island.  Cumberland is a beautiful barrier island here in GA known for its history, its variety of ecosystems, and its beautiful feral horses.  We had a wonderful time and the weather was perfect, but I must admit that these teacher legs of mine were TIRED after walking, walking, and walking a bit more! :-)  Here are a few snapshots from our day.

I also wanted to take a moment this weekend to tell you about a website that I absolutely LOVE! 
Cool Math is one of our absolute classroom favorites!  These games are excellent for developing critical and strategic thinking.  In fact, this week we used the game Lemonade Stand ( to accompany our ongoing 3rd grade economics unit ( 

There are other great economics games there as well, including Coffee Shop.  I would definitely recommend checking it out with your little learners!  Shannon :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Celebrating My 50th Day of School with a SALE!

Guess what today was?  That's right--our 50th Day of School!  And in honor of that I am throwing a weekend sale--20% off of EVERYTHING in my teacher stores!!! :-)  This includes tons of fall resources, as well as great items to build the thinking skills of your learners all year long.  Please come by and visit me there!  Here are just a few examples:

Silly Monsters--An Interdisciplinary Unit for Elementary Students   "Silly Monsters" Interdisciplinary Unit

Fall/Thanksgiving BINGO Game   Fall BINGO Fun

Thanksgiving:  A Harvest of Thinking (Interdisciplinary Unit)   Thanksgiving: A Harvest of Thinking

Thanks so much!  Shannon :-)
PS--Here is my little one all dressed up for her 50th day of school.  She had a great day decked out in her 1950's attire!  She was perfect for the 50th Day Sock Hop! 

Interested in a 50th Day Sudoku for your little ones?  Or older students?  Check out these awesome links to find out more about these critical thinking resources for your own little learners. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--Book of the Week Wednesday!

Happy "Hump Day," everyone!  Just wanted to share a great book with you that I am reading to my 3rd graders to accompany our "Classroom Economics" unit.  This would also be a great chapter book for my 5th graders who study the stock market every year. 
The Toothpaste Millionaire is shaping up to be a great story.  We are using it as our classroom read aloud, and literally, my students cannot get enough!  Rufus and Kate are neck deep in toothpaste making, and I am just as eager to keep reading as my little ones are.  And can you believe Rufus is selling his toothpaste for just 3 cents a jar?!
What I love is that is easily lends itself so easily to other content areas as well:  math, science, communication, social studies...just to name a few!
I would definitely recommend this book to you and your little ones!  Enjoy!  Shannon :-)
Interested in checking out my economics resource pack?  Find it at the links below:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--Learning to "Push Through"

I hope you are enjoying these Monday Moments with Mimi!  I know I am!!!  This week's post is all about my Energizer Bunny of a "little" sister.  Read and enjoy!  And be encouraged!  As moms, teachers, humans--sometimes we just get TIRED!  But sometimes "pushing through" can lead to an even greater blessing!  Thanks for joining us on the journey!  Shannon :-)

Muffin Pans and Banners

Last night I received a picture from my youngest daughter of a banner with my name signed by her.  The banner was signed in honor of me at her annual Light the Night cancer walk.  I smiled and shook my head when I received her message—how does she do it all?   Soccer mom, ballet mom, supportive wife, church worker, household financial contributor, and wonderful daughter!!!    
I know what kind of a week she has had, and yet she still is going strong, just like the Energizer Bunny…probably stronger. 
Not too long ago I was at her house on a Friday evening.  And truthfully, I don’t know on that particular Friday night just how strong she was going, but she was still going none the less. 
I need to give a shout out to both of my girls in that they have an endless amount of “Doingness”—with a capital D (my word.)  Both of my girls are like the Energizer Bunny.  Even when all else are at rest, they are still marching and beating their drums in the wee hours in order to complete their intended tasks, as if on a marching and beating assignment. 
But as I reflect on this particular Friday, I am recalling the catch phrase, push through, that my youngest said to me a year or so ago when I was visiting. I do want to give you a bit of the back story of this night.  I was not just visiting her, but assisting her in a project with a sensitive, important deadline.   We had already had an extremely busy day.  The evening continued, just as eventfully, and I was fading fast. 
At last, we had the kids in bed and were finally calmly sipping coffee, drinking skim milk, and eating chocolate chip muffins that we had made. The day was drawing quickly to its close—for me.   Whatever we had left in disarray around the house could be straightened in the morning.
  I was fine, perfectly fine, with the few dirty dishes remaining on the counter, as well as a few dirty glasses left in the den. 
The dirty muffin pan on my daughter’s stove top did not produce in me any great anxiety as it sat there unwashed.  On the other hand, rinsing it and loading it in the dishwasher would not have given me any great sense of peace either.  I was totally neutral when it came to the muffin pan.  All household chores could wait for the dawn of a another new, busy, eventful day.  I knew that if I waited, I (as the proverbial Energizer Bunny’s assistant) would be recharged and ready for action again after a good 6 hours of sleep.
 But then to my surprise…my daughter started getting the kitchen ready for the morning.  Yes, she gathered all the dishes up, loaded them in the dishwasher, and the race was on again!!!!  Yet, it was not her tasks that were worth noting that night, but rather her words to me.  “Mom, sometimes you have to just push through.”
What I have to appreciate about these words is not their familiar reference to perseverance, endurance, and stamina.  I know these words and their meaning.  Most of us claim to live out these words in our faith and our lives over the long haul.
But it’s often the moments at hand that we are going through that are the places where we lose our push.  It’s the push to do the simple things…like finishing the next chapter of our Bible reading, placing the mail in its proper bin, or returning the scissors to the drawer at the end of the craft project…and yes, even washing the muffin pan that very night in order to make for a clean beginning the next day.
See, it is not about unprecedented organization and complicated time management, but rather push through.  It’s tough when we are tired and want to stop. We really don’t want to push anything anywhere, much less keep pushing through our present moment of tiredness.  I left her kitchen that night—her clean kitchen—with a smile. 
I still smile even now, wondering how her kitchen really looks tonight.  With her last push through came not just a clean kitchen, but a clean end to our day.  More importantly and rewardingly came a fresh new beginning of the day to come.  We would begin again, not saddled with the leftovers of what remained from the night before. 
Sometimes we think the push through is about the challenge of finishing.  From her, I gleaned it was more about the fresh, shining, beginning.  It wasn’t about the close of that evening, but the beginning of our new morning.   
I ponder my own two precious daughters and their lives and their births.  What if when my doctor said “Push,” I said, “No, not any more.  There will be tomorrow, another day, and I am tired now.”   No, I pushed at that moment!  I chose to push through to a fresh, shining, beginning of "something wonderful."  
One of those "wonderful somethings" 32 years later signed my name, and then walked in my honor at a cancer walk on a week that was bursting with busyness for her. For most of us, the week would have been impossible to navigate through, but she succeeded.  I have learned from her that our victory is not just because we are determined to persevere to the end, but because we are also determined to push through the moment!!!!  If we want to be victorious, with a respectable finish, we should strive for a more respectable start as well!  Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)
1 Corinthians 9:24 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run?  But only one gets the prize.  Run in such a way as to get the prize."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner...Slashing Prices and Saying Thanks!

Hi, everyone!  Just a quick note to let you know that tonight I slashed prices in both my Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers stores as a way to say THANK YOU to all of you for your support and encouragement!!! 
This "Silly Monsters" resource pack is just one example--now available for only $3.  You all are such a blessing, and I am so thankful to be able to exchange ideas with all of you.  Hope your weekend has been SIMPLY SUPERB!  Shannon :-)
Interested in the packet shown above?  Just follow these links...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place--Fruit of the Spirit-Faithfulness

Faithfulness!  God has been so faithful to our family over the years.  Through happiness, sickness, sadness, and tragedy, his faithfulness has helped us weather storm after storm.  He has truly given us beauty for ashes, and we are so thankful for the joy He offers.  What He asks from us is faithfulness in return, and below is an overview of how I taught this important Fruit of the Spirit to my little ones.
After our traditional time of praise and worship and prayer time, we had a visit from Penny the Penguin who had gotten a bit wet on the way to church--yep, it had been raining.
This reminded Penny of a favorite Bible story--the story of Noah.  In spite of never seeing rain before, Noah demonstrated his faith in God by building an ark and preparing for the flood.  In return, God protected Noah and his family and was faithful to them because of their faithfulness to Him.
Sadie poses here in our story corner with this week's poster and coloring page.  I also found a reproducible Noah coloring page online.
As an additional craft we used a paper plate half to make a rainbow--a reminder of God's faithfulness.
I also wanted to share a great object lesson I found online about sharing our faith with others.  We used this in a follow-up lesson later in the week.  Check it out at
Blessings, Shannon :-)
Interested in these coloring pages and posters for your own little ones?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--Traveling with Children

This week's post from Mimi focuses on the danger of distractions.  It reminds me of all of those times that as a mother and teacher, I sometimes miss the forest for the trees.  Read and be encouraged!  Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy...  Shannon :-)

Traveling with Children


It is very interesting to travel with a carload of your grandchildren as they are narrating, commenting, and laughing about whatever it is they observe along the way.   


During this particular road trip, I was not lost.  (I never am.  I was just not sure of my exact location as it related to my destination.)  Actually, I was just traveling in the wrong direction on the right road with three of my grandchildren, while on the way to meet my other two grands in an unfamiliar city in the rain.


I had given all three of my young traveling partners precise, intense instructions.  They were to close out whatever else they were doing and put on their “open eyes” in order to watch the roads and help me find the Chick-Fil-A that was our rendezvous point.  


And you never know…you might even find something VERY interesting when you have your eyes wide open.  All of a sudden out of the back seat came these words of excitement, “Look at that big gun!” 


Well, you can guess that statement got my attention!  “Where?” I questioned.  “Right there!” my grandson answered. 


Can you envision this moment with me?  I am a Mimi who is responsible for her precious cargo, so I ask myself Do I have a passerby in a tall truck armed with fire power, or perhaps a sniper on a distant roof with a really big gun?  Or worse, have we been called to war in this unfamiliar city that we are not really lost in?  


Truthfully, none of those scary scenarios really existed.  It was only an extremely large billboard advertisement with a HUGE gun displayed for all to see.  What I almost had, however in the midst of this imaginary crisis, was a very REAL precarious scenario of my own.  The traffic in front of us was stopping for the traffic light, and I was still interested in finding the armed assailant that I needed to guard my precious three grandchildren from!!!  


Tate had indeed discovered “something” with his “open eyes,” exactly as I challenged them to do.  Obedience at its best.  None of the other passers-by were noting the exciting billboard except my three and me.  Nothing of any significance happened as I quickly applied my brakes just in the nick of time to stop safely.   


Nothing, that is, until my phone and traveling directions slid from the front seat to the floorboard under my feet.  Nothing, that is, until I instructed my oldest (Tucker) to lean over and quickly pick them up for me.  He tried, and in his haste, he became locked his own seatbelt from his jarring effort and experienced one of those funny cramps in his shoulder from the reach.  He was now frozen.  Obedience at its best. 


Then from the back seat comes Tate over the front to the rescue saying. “Mimi, I can get it.”  And he tried.  Obedience at its best.   


What just happened here and is worthy of today’s simple story? Could it be a lesson of how quickly chaos can erupt because of my loss of focus?  In that moment in my car, all of my little passengers were acting exactly in line with my instructions.  They were very clear and quite obedient, but I was the one that had become distracted, not them.  I was the adult ordering the directions and soliciting their help.  Yet I was the adult quickly distracted by the small voice from the back.


Yes, the day was a success, and yes, we safely arrived at our destination. But let’s be reminded that in life there are many little ones depending on our maturity, our guidance, and our discernment. They are depending on us to not get distracted by fictitious armed assailants in passing cars.   They are depending on us STAYING FOCUSED!


In this case it was just a loving grandson excited over something interesting.   But in other cases the distractions can be more deliberate and even disastrous.  


Let’s never become calloused as to how easily and how quickly our eyes can be taken from the road by what we hear excitedly from the backseat.  Let’s never forget how others can be affected by our moments of distraction.  Let’s keep the journey happy and the destination safe for all—and keep our focus!!!!!!  Little ones are often ready to jump at our commands, so let’s stay the course and help them land safely!!!!  Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)


So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18

Friday, October 5, 2012

Celebrating Columbus Day with a SALE!

Happy Friday, everyone!  Just a note to let you know that EVERYTHING will be on sale in my teacher stores this weekend.  Have a great Columbus Day weekend, everybody!!!! 
Also, if you haven't already, head over to Facebook and LIKE our Bryant's Brain Train page there as well in order to stay updated on all the latest posts, news, sales, and products.  Shannon :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--Wooden Boxes for Teeth

Today Mimi's story is one of my favorites.  It's one she has told to me, to my children, and I have even had the opportunity to share with others.  Read and be encouraged!  God is always listening to the prayers of his children!  Shannon :-)

Wooden Boxes for Teeth

As I was reading my devotion this morning on an answered prayer from a young teen’s point of view, I remembered that my own first, bona-fide answer to prayer came at a very early age as well, and in the strangest way!  It was not answered by way of a local VBS or a church revival or even an altar call.  It came by way of box—a wooden box all the way from the shores of Jacksonville Beach, FL.

My family was on a wonderful summer vacation at the beach, and we only had 3 more days left on our trip.  I had become brave in the ocean by this time, and my parents had dropped their “safety guard” somewhat with me.  On this particular morning, my mom and I had drifted way too far from the shore on a float, and I was completely unafraid (brave soul that I was).   Admittedly our venture into the open sea was too soon after a stern warning from my Dad, and it was much too soon after his warning for me to be bragging of my bravery.   

But the drifting was not the only problem we faced.   In addition, my mom could not swim with any strength, nor could she see without her glasses.  So in truth, the problem was not really the innocent drifting at all, it was that I (a little girl barely as big as a whisper) was in charge on that float that day!!!

But “all was well” because I THOUGHT I was a strong swimmer, and I knew I could SEE perfectly well.  I knew exactly how far we were out, and I was ecstatic riding the waves.  I really had gone too far though…far enough that my Dad was now standing, shouting, and motioning us back! 

See, there was one detail that I had overlooked.  I had not considered the strength of the undercurrent combined with the pace that we were drifting out in the ocean and down the beach.  The reality that I am here writing this today is a miracle that I will share in another story, but the answered prayer for today’s tale is not about our safe arrival to shore.  Instead it is about my Daddy’s new teeth—his expensive new teeth—his new set of false teeth.

Life guards were too far away for my dad to get help for us, so he did what great dads of his day did.   He jumped in, swam hard, and rescued us with a crowd on the beach watching anxiously.  The only non-heroic happening that day was that in the commotion, he became winded, opened his mouth for air as he reached for mama, and his false teeth fell into the Atlantic Ocean!!!

  We were rescued, but boy oh boy, I was in trouble!!  Not only was the fun day rapidly brought to an end, but my sense of bravery was just as quickly squelched.  After a long night, and even longer morning, my parents decided to leave two days early and stop by my aunt’s in Valdosta, GA .  From there they would try to get in touch with their dentist and see about new teeth. 

(Can I just tell you that our trip back home was the polar opposite of my fun family trip going south to the beach only 5 days earlier???)  Momma fussed at Daddy:  how could he lose his teeth?  Daddy responded by fussing at Momma:  how could she lose her mind and let me get us so far out?  I tried not to cry because it seemed to be all my fault, and I could only understand part of Daddy’s words—because he had no teeth.

I wanted Daddy’s teeth back because by now the cost of them had risen to well more than my family could possibly ever afford to pay.  Maybe that is not entirely the accurate recollection of the complete event, but I clearly remember reasoning that if the teeth were not floating in the Atlantic on their way to Africa by now, all would be well.  I was sure of that. 

Oh, how shallow we can be sometimes.  I was shallow, but sure…sure that the floating teeth warranted my specific prayers and sure that God would hear.  So I prayed that Saturday night—hard!  I don’t remember giving thanks for our safety, for traveling mercies, or for anything else pertinent to my life at the time, but I remember specifically petitioning for the teeth to be found and returned.  It’s funny how even at eleven you just go to God with the heart of the matter—the lost teeth.

As I reflect now, I smile because I have perfect recall of exactly where everyone was sitting in the den that very Sunday night 45 years ago when the call came. The hotel phoned and told my mom that the teeth had been found by a vacationer several miles down the beach. With that answered phone call, my family’s relationships were immediately repaired and my family’s finances were quickly restored. The teeth were in a wooden box, and on the way to our house.   

Greater still that night, a young girl realized that she had made a special call of her own, and it was answered in a mighty way. I can still remember my mom walking into the den, sitting in her spot on the sofa,  and saying to my Dad, “J.A. you are not going to believe this…somebody found your teeth!”  She might as well have walked into the den and said to me, “Anne, your prayer was answered.”

Through the years, I have matured in realizing a precious thing—the teeth were never lost.   God was just looking for that special wooden box to return them in, so that I would forever be reminded of that call I made to Him that Saturday night.  Or is it that I am forever reminded how quickly He answered my prayer? 
Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)
Psalm 17:6 "I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer."