Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Education: A Parent's Perspective

Parenting is probably the most important job in the world. Bringing up the world’s future is no light matter. Children soak up much of who they will become from their guardians, therefore we should think deeply about what we are pouring into the lives of our future generations. Even when we think they are not listening, they most likely are, even when we thinking they aren’t paying any attention, they most likely are absorbing our behavior like little sponges. Children are usually always listening, and they are almost always paying great attention to our actions as adults, including how we treat one another. Like the old saying goes “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, and “children are a reflection of their parents”. It is very true that there will come a time when a child becomes an adult and must stand responsible for their own choices, good or bad, but shouldn't the world of parents be about pouring more generously into the lives of these future adults. One department that parents/guardians can pour more generously into is education. Parents should be involved and concerned with in every aspect of education from lessons they learn at home to the education they are receiving in the public education system. All the teaching should not be left up to the teachers in your child’s classroom. What you teach your child at home about manners, respect, self-esteem will ultimately affect your child’s performance during school hours. Understand and be encouraged as parents/guardians that you do make a difference and your voice does matter.

To go along with the education interview series I ask a Mother of two Mrs. Toni (Sells) Ferrell of Allons, TN to share her views on education, parenting, and how one directly relates to the other.


Question: What grades are your children in?
Answer: 2nd & 5th

Question: Do your kids seem to love/hate or have no feelings about school in general?
Answer: Both of my kids generally like school however my youngest is hardly as excited about school as my oldest.

Question: Do you think we are expecting too much out of our children these days? In other words, forcing them to grow up too fast and rob them of some of their childhood?
Answer: It does seem like children have more worries and responsibility than I remember having at their age. When I was 10 I don’t remember worrying about half of the things my 10 year old worries about. I think school was less stressful then.

Question: Are you for or against School uniforms and Why?
Answer: While I do think school uniforms keeps some kids from feeling like their clothing isn't as good as others and vice versa I also feel like it erases a child's personal style and comfort. My oldest son would be very unhappy if he had to wear a uniform everyday as he likes to wear t-shirt and athletic pants a/k/a the "comfortable stuff".

Question: Should teachers be expected to have an identical dress code to the ones students are required to follow?
Answer: Yes I think teachers should be expected to wear shorts/skirts that are at least knee length, clothing that does not have vulgar, racial, or derogatory remarks and be a general positive role model to the children even when it applies to clothing.

Question: How involved do you think parents should be in the educational process?
Answer: I think parents should be VERY involved in the education process. We are after all the parents of our children and we should be more concerned about our children's education as anyone. My children's education will never be as important to anyone as it is to me.

Question: Can a parent be too involved in classroom matters?
Answer: Yes I think parents can get too involved in classroom matters. There are times when a parent needs to let a teacher do their jobs and not be so involved. This definitely does not apply to all times as I think it is very rewarding for parents to help in the classroom.

Question: What is an afternoon of homework like for your children?
Answer: My children do their homework as soon as they come home from school. They may eat a snack but they are to immediately do their homework, before any tv or outdoor play.

Question: Where do you think the most focus should be when it comes to spending funds for education?
Answer: I think funds should be spend on making sure each and every child has the same opportunities in the classroom. It could also be extra help for the children who have a harder time and also providing more advanced work for the children who need it.

Question: What are your thoughts on healthier school lunches?
Answer: I think schools should provide healthier options for the children. My children's school is currently providing fruits and/or vegetables for snack every afternoon and my children love it.

Question: How important do you think music/arts in the school system are?
Answer: I think music/arts is very important. I feel they are a way for children to express themselves and also build positive self esteem.

Question: Do you attended all your child's school functions?
Answer: I am not able to attend all functions due to my work schedule however when I only worked part time I did. That is one thing I really miss.

Question: Do you think students have changed over the years? If yes for better or worse?
Answer: I do think students have changed. I have been a substitute teacher for many classes at different schools and I don't remember students acting like they do now.

Question: Do you think the bad economy has an effect on a child's learning abilities?
Answer: Yes. I think if a parent loses their job or a home situation changes it can be stressful on a child which could result in lower grades. I also think less governmental funds can cut programs that could otherwise be very beneficial to education

Question: What do you find most annoying about the education system?
Answer: I think the most annoying thing is when teachers, school staff, other students, etc. treat children differently because of who they are or are not. I can not say this has personally happened to me or my children but I have seen it happen.

Question: As a parent, what is the single most important thing you try to teach your children?
Answer: I try to teach my children to always be good to everyone and don't make fun of other people and to always try to be the best person they can be.

Question: How has technology changed teaching?
Answer: I think teachers have a lot more resources available now due to technology. There isn't anything you can't find on the Internet.

Question: What do you expected out of your children?
Answer: I expect my children to do their very best in school. My children make very good grades but if for some reason they were to make a lower grade I would not be upset if I honestly thought they had tried their very best and worked their hardest.

Question: What are your children's favorite subjects in school?
Answer: My oldest son's favorite subject is math and history. My youngest son's favorite subject is math and spelling.

Question: Do you think Pre-K is becoming a necessary part of the education system?
Answer: Yes. My youngest son went to Pre-K and it was a blessing. He was so prepared for kindergarten and not just with educational knowledge, but he did not have any separation issues or problems making friends and being around other children when he started kindergarten. I feel like it helped to ease him into the daily routine.

This article also appears in the Cookevilletimes.com

Monday, November 29, 2010

Twelve Days Of Christmas

I found this little explanation of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and thought it was interesting. It gave the song whole new meaning to me. I found the information on The Voice.

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Three French Hens
The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Four Calling Birds
The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Five Gold Rings
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Seven Swans A-swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Eight Maids A-milking
The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,
6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Love Leaves Memories

To me, he was the fun loving drummer boy with the giant laugh and the colossal heart. Joe Huddleston was so much to so many; son, brother, cousin, and loyal friend to numerous and we all had to say good-bye a lot sooner than any of us would have liked. Twelve years have now past us bye since that sober day in October and yet the joy, the love, and the lasting friendships that Joe shared with so many lives on. We all have so many memories that have stayed with us over the years. Joe Huddleston is remembered today on his birthday, November 28th by his family and friends, as they share memories, stories, poems, lyrics and photographs. Today, we celebrate Joe! You are loved, you are missed, and you are remembered!

I loved Joe from the moment I met him. He never failed to make us all laugh sometimes until we cried. He had this way of making his friends feel special. It was a gift. One of my favorite memories of Joe took place one summer when the band, The Everlasting, was playing for a group of campers at 4-H camp. It was a humid night, and Joe was drumming away, working up a sweat doing all that drumming. The band finished playing their first set and decided to take a little intermission. After signing a few autographs for a few of the kids, Joe nonchalantly went and jumped in the pool(Cloths and all)! We all laughed and laughed when we saw him walk back in, dripping wet, he sat back down at the drums and began to play again like nothing had happened. Although he was grinning from ear to ear, I guess he just needed a bit of a cool down. I miss your laugh Joe, I miss all the fun we all had together. –Jaime Garrett, friend

I first came to know of Joe when he was drumming in the band at our high school. Joe made drumming cool. He held nothing back when he played. Sticks would shred, sweat would fly and sometimes drumheads and cymbals would crack. He played hard, he played fast, and it was cool! He lived life in a similar fashion. He lived freely, loved freely and gave freely...holding nothing back. Sure that meant driving all over the county tracking him down for band practice and always crossing your fingers that he'd actually remember that we had a gig, but there was something refreshing about his approach to life. And you could never be upset with Joe.... it was Joe! Yeah, I remember his great ability to dynamically make songs better and single handedly make a show more entertaining, but more importantly, I remember his approach to loving and giving to those around him... Something I'm still learning from him! - Stephen Garrett, bandmate

When I think about Joe, so many funny and good memories flood my mind. One particularly stands out and warms my heart. It happened one morning when he was at work at WLIV. I had worked all night at the hospital and had gone to the radio station to visit. I shared with him some stresses and anxieties I was going through (including some financial difficulties). He listened like such a good brother and in typical Joe Lee style began making jokes. In no time at all I was feeling better. When I started to leave, Joe walked me to my car, gave me a big bear hug and suddenly looking at me shocked said "I just remembered, Mom gave me this to give to you." He reached in his pocket and gave me $50. Now I know you are all thinking "She had to have known he was giving her his money." But honestly, I truly didn't know it was from him until I mentioned something to Mother about it. (She had no idea what I was talking about) He told me it was from Mom because he knew I wouldn't have taken money from him when I knew he was as poor as a church mouse too! I'm not sure how I found out, I don't remember but, I did find out later that he had given me all of the money he had to his name that day. That is the kind of loving, giving brother that he is. He is the kind of guy that will give you his last penny just so you won't be without. He looks for no recognition or reward. What a wonderful example he is for me and everyone that had the privilege of knowing his sweet spirit here on earth.

I happen to highly value a good sense of humor. Fortunately, Joe and I have a very similar sense of humor and find the same things funny. This has been the source of endless entertainment. I am very grateful to have shared that with him. –Holly, sister

I have so many memories of my brother that choosing one or two is hard, but one memory that stands out is the very last time I saw Joe. It was in early Sept 1998, so about a month before he died. I lived in Knoxville and came home to visit one weekend. Mom and I had attended a clogging event and stopped by Moogie’s Restaurant, where he worked, to see Joe on our way back home. I was getting married in a couple of weeks and remember him joking around about that. He was laughing with co-workers and acting like usual, having fun doing whatever he was doing. I told him that I’d see him in a couple of weeks at my reception. As we walked into the parking lot, we heard a knocking at the window and looked up to see Joe pressing his bare belly against the window and laughing as hard as he could. He was having fun and made me laugh—very much like the rest of his life. He didn’t come to my reception a few weeks later, so that night at Moogie’s was the last time I saw my brother alive.

If I could talk to my brother, I’d say “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for the birthday dinner the day you died—it’s one of my greatest regrets, not seeing you one last time. I wish I could have known you as an adult. I wish I could have seen your musical talent progress and see you share it with more of the world. I wish you could have interacted with your nieces—they would have loved fun Uncle Joe. I miss you, I love you and I know that I’ll see you again someday.” -Vickie , sister

this pain i hold
deep down inside
it always seems
to make me cry
tears of joy
pain n grief
they never seem
to take relief
my parents n friends
don't seem to know
my brothers loss
will always grow
one day i hope
to see him again
laughing n playing
with his new friends.
Patrick , brother

There are so many good memories I have trouble choosing one to send you. One that always makes me laugh though: We would go swimming at our friend's pool and it never failed Joe would find the smallest float tube and demonstrate how it barely fit around one thigh, then toss it out in the water and dive right through it. It was his own magic trick that never ceased to amaze us all. -Eric, brother

The movie Tommy Boy will forever make me think of my brother, Joe. He would recite parts from the movie and would put on a small jacket and sing "Fat guy in a little coat" :o) He had a way of winning almost anyone over regardless of what "group" they were in and he loved making people laugh. –Leslie, sister

A Song For Joe

Your One HugV1

Your nineteen and I am two

Here's my memory of you:

I remember how it was that day

Granny and I, sweeping away

The blaring sirens pierce the air

As we're running, I feel scared

This hill seems far too big for me

Fighthing against reality

I promise you, I really tried

Though you may think I only cried

But my heart was broken when you died.


Your one hug meant the world to me

Gave me peace of mind.

Somehow you heard my plea

Though i once felt left behind

Your love surrounds me now

and though I don't know how

Your one hug made all the difference in my life


Since you left I felt afraid

Hurt, abanndoned, and betrayed

Confused and desprate to know why

Why we had to say goodbye.

I need you to be here with me.

I need you oh, so desperately.



I feel electricity

is this how it's s'posed to be?

Then you're there, and I'm free of care

I feel you comfort me

Chorus x2
-Rachel, sister

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Education: A Teacher's Perspective

Education: The act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

Education is an important and necessary part of life. Education is a difficult process that is never completed no matter what age you live to become. In life, there will always be something new to learn. The world is always advancing and growing, so expanding your level of knowledge will always be a possibility. Education is also something that no one can take from you. It is also a choice we make within our own lives. We must all decide for ourselves how teachable we want to be. No one can force you to become educated.

Education is also a great debate in our country with our children rapidly falling behind children of other nations. The pressure keeps mounting for our children to advance their education at a more rapid pace in efforts to play catch up. I figured education is a subject we should all be talking about considering the education of our children will ultimately effect this country’s future.

To get the conversation rolling, I thought we would get personal and honest in a three part interview series on education. In this series I ask a teacher, parent, and student how they felt about what is presently going on within our schools by discussing everything from parent involvement to how the American public educational system spends money.

To kick off the series is today’s interview with an anonymous teacher who has devoted 15+ years teaching in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee. This teacher has taught high school age students of every grade level, all the while observing the changes that have taken place over the years in parents, technology, and the public education system. Here is what one veteran teacher, also the parent of a school age child, had to say when asked to get brutally honest about education.

Interview With A Teacher

Question: Are you for or against School uniforms and Why?
Answer: against - they really don't serve a purpose other than to keep students from expressing their own personalities. Also against school rules against allowing students to color their hair and have piercings. What's wrong with purple high lights or nose rings? As long as the important parts are adequately covered, I see no reason for strict dress codes or uniforms.

Question: Should teachers be expected to have an identical dress code to the ones students are required to follow?
Answer: teachers should dress professionally

Question: How involved do you want parents to be in the educational process?
Answer: involved, but not over involved. helicopter parents don't do anyone any good - students don't learn to do things on their own, and the teachers only get frustrated with the parents

Question: Can a parent be to helpful?
Answer: I wouldn't call it being "too helpful", I'd call it becoming a point of frustration for the teacher.

Question: What are some of the most helpful things parents can assist a teacher with?
Answer: not really an issue in high school

Question: Where do you think the most focus should be when it comes to spending funds for education?
Answer: give teachers the supplies they need to teach with, and the training they need

Question: What are your thoughts on healthier school lunches?
Answer: give students healthy choices and stop frying everything. if pizza and fries are not daily choices, students WILL try other things

Question: How important do you think music/arts in the school system are?
Answer: very, students need creative outlets

Question: What makes you feel the most appreciated as a teacher?
Answer: When my students come back and say thank you, I knew what was going on when I had this class in college because of what you taught me in high school

Question: Do you think students have changed over the years? If yes for better or worse?
Answer: Yes, definitely for worse. Students expect to work much less now than when I first started teaching. I can see a huge change over the last 10 years. I seem to have a larger percentage of students now who are lazier, work less, and really don't seem to care as much as the students I had 6-8-10 years ago. They seem to have a sense of entitlement - if I show up for class at least most days each week, you should pass me, even if I don't do the work. It seems to come from their parents.

Question: Do you think the bad economy has an effect on a students learning abilities?
Answer: I don't think the economy affects students learning abilities.

Question: If you had it to do all over would you become a teacher knowing everything you know now?
Answer: My college roommate begged me to go to pharmacy school with her. Sometimes when I am grading papers late at night or sitting in yet another meeting about test scores, I wonder if I made the right decision. Most days I like what I do, but there are those days....

Question: What is the single most important thing you try to teach your students?
Answer: Responsibility

Question: How has technology changed teaching?
Answer: It is easier to find examples of what I want to show them - pictures, video clips etc, than when I first started teaching - google, youtube, etc have changed all that.

Question: What do you expect out of your students?
Answer: I expect them to respect each other and me, pay attention in class, and do their work. But as the Rolling Stones say, you can't always get what you want. I guess I'm getting more cynical as I get older.

This article also appears in the Cookevilletimes.com

Friday, November 26, 2010

Enjoy the Now{inspiring quote}

"Live. And Live Well. BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now. On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun. If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE. Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time. If you bike, pedal HARD… and if you crash then crash well. Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done-a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed. If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old's nose, don't be disgusted if the Kleenex didn't catch it all… because soon he'll be wiping his own. If you've recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well. At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you're eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of Life. Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-Gift."
— Kyle Lake

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Family Dinner}

Today I am thankful for family dinners!

O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
~William Shakespeare

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Spouse}

Today I am most thankful for my spouse of ten years. He is the love of my life, and I fall deeper in love with him everyday! I am thankful that he puts up with me and all my flaws. I am thankful that he shows me nothing but love. I am thankful that he makes me laugh, and holds me when I cry. I am thankful that he chose me to love!

photo credit to Kelli Trontel

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."
— Dr. Seuss

"So it's not gonna be easy. It's going to be really hard; we're gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me... everyday."
— Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death."
— Robert Fulghum

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Teachers}

Today I am thankful for the teachers in my children's lives. I appreciate all the time, and attention you spend with my children! I hope you know that you are making a difference with the work that you do.

"What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows."
— Paulo Coelho

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Church Family}

Today I am thankful for a church family that I love, and the new relationships that are building within the walls of NewSong! God is good!!!

Side Note: If you are looking for a church family to be thankful for this season you are always welcome to join us!
Woodbine (WB)
■Congregational Pastor: Ernie Loera
■2949 Nolensville Pike, Nashville TN 37211
■(615) 837-9353
■Service Time: Sunday’s at 10:00 am; no Wednesday services

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Nurses}

Today I am thankful for the wonderful nurses that have all made a difference in the life of my children! Your kindness and tender hearts where very much appreciated! Thank you for taking your oath seriously, and for going above and beyond!

The Florence Nightingale Pledge

The oath nurses take at most pinning ceremonies

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Memories}

Today I am thankful for memories! Memories are a form of love, and away of keeping the people we love close to our hearts!

Trip Down Memory Lane

"I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes"
— Vladimir Nabokov

"Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it."
— L.M. Montgomery (The Story Girl)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Youngest Son}

Today I am thankful for my youngest son. Cooper you make my heart bubble with happiness. Your hugs warm even the coldest of days, and your sweet smile fills everyday with joy. Our family would simply not be complete with out you! You hold a special corner of my heart my sweet baby! I love our days together, and I feel so honored to be able to watch your childhood adventures as your Mommy!!!

Photo Credit To Kelli Trontel

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Siblings}

Today I am thankful for my kid brother. He is the best gift my parents ever gave me. When I was younger I can remember he would come and chase the monsters from my closets or out from under my bed after a bad dream, and stay with me until I fell asleep. I was always such a chicken, and he was always the brave one. Makes me think he should have been the oldest child. Now that we have become some what more adult like he has become one of my very best friends. I think he has always probably been that friend even in childhood, but we where to busy fussing to pay much attention to the friendship that was blooming in our lives. Today I see that friendship and that love that only siblings can share, and I am most thankful for that blessing! I can not imagine growing up without him!!

A brother shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams. ~Author Unknown

It was nice growing up with someone like you - someone to lean on, someone to count on... someone to tell on! ~Author Unknown

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega

After a girl is grown, her little brothers - now her protectors - seem like big brothers. ~Astrid Alauda

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Middle Son}

Today I am thankful for my middle son Wesley! You make my heart overflow with love and hope! Your strength and spirit inspires me! I thank God everyday for allowing me to be your Mother!

Photo Credit To Kelli Trontel

You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes. ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Eldest Son}

Today I am thankful for my eldest son. You are a bright light in this family Carter! I will forever get goose bumps when you take the stage to sing. You are talented, sweet natured, and smart. You have a lot to offer this world even at the age of 8. Thank you for introducing me to Motherhood!!!

Photo Credit To Kelli Trontel

Don't wait to make your son a great man - make him a great boy. ~Author Unknown

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Friendship}

Today I am thankful for life long friendships.

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.
~William Shakespeare

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ~Elisabeth Foley

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Parents}

Today I am thankful for my Parents! My Mom who is my biggest fan, and my Dad who has always worked so hard to support his family! I love you both beyond words!!!

"There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings."
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"What it's like to be a parent: It's one of the hardest things you'll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love. "
— Nicholas Sparks

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Music}

Today I am thankful for the music that surrounds my life. Be it my husbands voice that fills the room or that of my three children. Music is a part of the Garrett household & I am thankful for that!

Here is a little home video clip of my oldest son Carter singing one of his Dad's songs. I believe he was about 6 1/2 years old when the video was shot.

My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require. ~Edward Elgar

Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends. ~Alphonse de Lamartine

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankfulness in November{Family}

Today I am thankful for my in-laws. When I got married I gained a whole lot more than I ever dreamed of!!! Marty and Lou I love you both so much, and Russell you have always been just like a brother to me!

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. ~Joyce Brothers

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankfulness in November{My Savior}

Today I am most thankful for the saving power of Christ! I am thankful for his love, mercy, joy, hope, and blessings that He showers over me and my family! I am thankful that God does not make me earn his love!

Romans Road

Romans 3:23 - Righteousness = right relationship with God. We can't earn it, He does it for us through His Son.
Romans 6:23 - We all die, for an unbeliever it is eternal. For the believer, we step into eternity with Him.
Romans 5:8-12, 15 - Sin is the cause for all the problems, but Christ has come to reconcile man to God.
Romans 10:9-13 - v. 9, if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (have eternal life, be reconciled to God.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blue Moon Movie Review "Stranger Than Fiction"

Being a stay at home mother to three little boys doesn't allow for much extra time to venture out to the movies on a weekly or monthly basis. Don't get me wrong, we occasionally make it out to a matinee with the family for your typical run of the mill family flix, "MegaMind", "How to Train Your Dragon" or "Toy Story 3", to name just a couple. Both were, in my humble opinion, excellent movies, even if you're over the age of twelve! Needless to say, I still miss the more grown up movies. I have always been a movie lover! I typically even enjoy the movies most critics and even other people hate. It is only on a rare occasion that I watch a movie I just absolutely hate. I do, however have several in the dislike section. I can also gladly hand you a list of movies that make my favorites list, but be prepared for a notebook full. That's why Netflix has been a great addition to our family budget. I have been catching up on all kinds of movies and television series. When I say catch up, I mean watch anything that was released after the year 2002 and for the most part it's new to me. With this in mind, I would like to share a little blog piece, called Blue Moon Movie Reviews (Meaning you will see these reviews infrequently). While all the movies I will someday review may not be exactly retro, I do promise they will not be brand new, in the theater releases. So, you will be able to go to your local video store, Red Box, or add them to your Netflix queue. Just incase you are like me and lacked the time or the funds to catch movies in the theater, and need some suggestions on what to add to your queues. My most recent watches have included Firefly, The Notebook, Julie & Julia, Seven Pounds, and Stranger than Fiction. This leads me to my first feature on Blue Moon Movie Reviews(insert drum roll here), the 2006 release "Stranger Than Fiction"!

Stranger Than Fiction starring Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhall, as I said above, was released in 2006. This is probably only the second Will Ferrell movie that gets my stamp of approval. I am not much of a fan of the straight up comedy movies. They are in most cases just too silly for me. However, I did enjoy Elf! In many ways, Stranger Than Fiction, wasn't really your typical Will Ferrell movie. Will's character, Harold Crick, is a little stiff, after all he is a taxman. So in this case, stiff works just fine. Crick is a genius with numbers, but he counts too much, values his wrist watch like a best friend, all of which leads to very little actual social interaction. Overall, as you can imagine, he leads a very boring and lonely life. However, on one "nothing special, it's just a plain old normal Wednesday", Harold starts hearing a voice. Not only is he hearing a voice, but the voice is predicting his every move, and more importantly, his every thought. Suddenly, he realizes that he is in fact hearing, struggling author, Karen Eiffel (played by Emma Thompson) narrating his life. Also on this particular Wednesday, Harold meets strong willed, but generous natured Ana (played by Maggie Gyllenhall). He is suppose to be conducting an audit on Ana (this unusually, yet beautiful baker). She has intentionally decided not to pay a percentage of her taxes and decides to make Harold's job of conducting an audit as difficult as possible. A fight these two very unlikely love birds will never resolve. Then, right when life was getting a little brighter, a little problem occurs. Yes, a problem besides the voice in Harold's head, or the baker that he is falling in love with that doesn't want to pay her taxes. Yes, there was yet another problem. Harold hears the narrator of his life say in passing that he is going to die....OH NO! So, he enlists Professor Jules Hilbert(played by Dustin Hoffman) to help him figure out if his life is destine to become a tragedy or a comedy as the plot keeps unfolding in his head...... I will leave the rest as a mystery, so that if you haven't already seen this, out of the norm, Will Ferrell film, you can enjoy the ending for yourself. Tragedy or Comedy? What will the struggling, chain smoking, over analytical, author who always kills the hero write for the IRS man Harold Crick, and does she really control his fate?

P.S. My favorite part of the movie is when Harold Crick brings 'FLOURS' to Ana, the beautiful baker. I know it's cheesy but I thought it was so thoughtful =)...Feel free to comment and let me know your favorite part of the movie!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Broken Elbow

My son is now the owner of bright yellow cast for the next six weeks, after taking a fall and breaking his elbow. He has been such a troop today during the whole process! Just wanted him to know how proud of him I am. We spent the majority of the day in doctor's offices which is in no way what I would call fun times, but he really was a good sport. Now finally everyone is home, and I am exhausted and calling it a night =)....sweet dreams!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Wedding Story{Adam & Brooke Ryan}

Photo credit to photographer Glen Rose

Once upon a fairy tale…..September 25 , 2010 my husband and I attended the wedding of our dear friend Adam Ryan and his bride, Brooke Anderson. I am such a sucker for weddings. I love everything about them from the decor to the excitement in the air.
The weather was picture perfect for the outside ceremony; blue skies and a gentle breeze. As we arrived at the home of Mark and Shannon Farrington, the gracious and sweet couple who hosted the wedding at their lovely home, I was already in awe of my surroundings. Chandeliers hanging from the trees by thick satin sapphire blue ribbons, candles floating in the pool, white lights twinkling in every tree creating an atmosphere of intoxicating beauty, and when dusk fell, the already beautiful grounds were transformed into a romantic, candlelight, scene that would have fit nicely into any fairy tale storybook.

The entire wedding just shouted elegance. The bridesmaids, in sapphire chiffon floor length gowns, looked beyond graceful and beautiful. Hidden under each gown where some incredibly sassy ankle boots that gave personality and a fun twist to the formal occasion. The Groomsmen looked dashing in their fitted suits and sapphire ties. A very gentleman-like appearance that was the perfect complement to the lovely bridesmaids.

Photo credit to photographer Glen Rose

The Groom, Mr. Adam Ryan in true prince charming style, couldn't stop grinning as his fairy tale day was unfolding, and the time was growing closer for his bride to take her stroll down the aisle. I always love the look on the groom's face when he gets that first glance at his bride as she glides down the aisle towards him with a backdrop of family and friends to celebrate and bear witness to the special occasion.

At seven o’ clock pm, Ms. Brooke Anderson began that stroll under a perfect night sky down the candle lined aisle. The bride was an angelic vision in her lace, fitted, vintage-style gown and floor length veil. She accessorized with pearls and sapphires around her neck and, like the bridesmaids, she added a little fun twist with her sapphire blue peep-toed heels. Her hair was pinned up with gentle curls draping over her veil a single, tiny side swept braid perfectly placed about her brow. She was truly an enchantingly beautiful bride.

The Ceremony was just as perfect as the atmosphere. The wedding attire and all the special touches placed in the little details made this day extra memorable. One of my favorite details was the rugged cross at the center of the decorations. The cross was a beautiful symbol of the couples deep commitment to Christ and the necessity for God to be at the center of their marriage. Also making the day unique was the pastor conducting the ceremony(his first), Brooke’s older brother, Ben Anderson. You could just hear the love and excitement in his voice as he walked Adam and Brooke through the ceremony. I love it when a bride and groom choose to write their own vow. It just seems to make the ceremony extra beautiful when a couple expresses their love and commitment to one another in their own words. This is just what they did making the spoken section of the ceremony a significant, personal and heartfelt portion of Brooke and Adam’s union. Additional details involved a tiny little dancer, a musician with Adam’s guitar in hand, music written by the groom.

Every aspect of this fairy tale event worked magically together in perfect harmony creating a radiant day in which Adam & Brooke united into matrimony beginning their journey through life and love together as one. Becoming authors of their very own fairy tale…wishing them both a very Happily Ever After….

Photo credit to photographer Glen Rose

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Contest Alert: MATCHED By Author Ally Condie

Today's little Sunday Snippet brought to you thanks to Dark Faerie Tales. Thanks to them you now have the chance to win an autographed copy of Ally Condie's new book Matched which hits the shelves November 30th 2010. View complete details on how to win by venturing over to the Dark Faerie Tales Blog. Giveaway ends Sunday, November 21st at 11:59 PM EST so make sure you enter before time runs out.

You can read more about the book and the author by visiting Allyson Condie's Blog.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Once Upon A Time In Blog Land.....

A few of my favorite Fairy Tale Blogs!

Once Upon A Blog{Fairy Tale News}

January Wish

Folk & Fairy

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fairy Tale Photography{Fiona Quinn}

Fairy Tale inspired imagines by photographer Fiona Quinn. The photographs are appropriately titled Dark Tales, and appeared in Bullet Magazine. I found this imagines to be simply exquisite. What do you think?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fairy Tale Dream Etsy Style

To continue the week of Fairy Tales I went in search of some products on Etsy with a little fairy tale inspiration in there background. These where among my very favorite finds. Special little side note clicking on the links will take you directly to the artist Etsy shop, clicking on the artist name will take you to their Bio page or website. Don't you just love Etsy...happy shopping folks. I would be thrilled to hear from my readers what your favorite fairy tale inspirations are?

These adorable Little Red Riding Hood postcards are just perfect for handwritten note to grandma's house snail mail style. The stunning artwork featured on these fairy tale post cards is the creation of Marie Letourneau children's book author and illustrator based in New York. The postcards sell for $12.00 for a set of 8 plus shipping.

Fairy Tale flair featuring reproductions of artist Sandra's original illustrations. These brightly colored buttons are the perfect accessory to boring totes or make great stocking stuffer. This Fairy Tale inspired buttons sell for $4.50 each plus shipping.

Snow White inspired locket made by the crafty hands of Melissa Nucera. This beautifully whimsical vintage style locket will cost you $21.50 plus shipping.

Peter Pan original paper-cut art is so very fun. This paper art was careful done by Tinatarnoff a San Francisco based artist. I personally think this piece would be darling in whimsical nursery. The price of these piece runs at 85.00 dollars unframed plus shipping.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fairy-Tale Quotes

"Fear isn't so difficult to understand. After all, weren't we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It's just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual."
— Alfred Hitchcock

No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true."
— Walt Disney's Cinderella

"She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it)."
— Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass)

"If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast? -Beauty & the Beast"

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."
— J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)

"'Fairy Tales always have a happy ending.' That depends... on wether you are Rumpelstiltskin or the Queen."
— Jane Yolen (Briar Rose)

"If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all."
— Audrey Hepburn

"There is nothing sweeter in this sad world than the sound of someone you love calling your name."
— Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ocean Dreams

Winter is upon us, and this is what I am dreaming about! I think the ocean is missing me!!! I have never been much of a Winter time person. What is your favorite season of the year?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Fairy Tales

Pumpkins always remind me of Cinderella. I just can't help it must be the little girl in me that still loves all those fairy tales!

"Run into the garden, and bring me a pumpkin."

Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this pumpkin could help her go to the ball. Her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, leaving nothing but the rind. Having done this, she struck the pumpkin with her wand, and it was instantly turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold. -Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper (France, Charles Perrault)