Monday, December 31, 2007

What about Nigerien Education?

I've introduced you to Sahel Academy which is a school for the children of missionaries who work in Niger and surrounding countries. What about Nigerien children? What is school like for them? I found this video on YouTube which has some great pictures of schools and statistics about education in Niger. I think it might have been created by someone in the Peace Corps. The neat thing about SIM is that they also recognize a great need within the Nigerien educational system. They are currently working to establish Christian schools and train Christian teachers in order to provide Nigerien children with a quality education that will not only give them a good start in life but also give them an opportunity to know Jesus.

Sahel Academy

This is where I'm headed in a year or so!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas on the Road

Christmas was a little bit different this year. I spent Christmas Day on the road with my Mom and Dad travelling from Toronto down to Charlotte. When I heard this was what we were going to be doing, I wondered if we would even find any places along the way to eat. No need to worry. If you ever find yourself travelling on Christmas Day. You will find the roads relatively empty and you might even find a McDonalds or two open along the way. I guess for us Christmas Dinner must have been the slice of semi-warm Sbarro pizza we ate at a rest stop along the way. Nope, don't really want to hear about your delicious turkey dinners. :)

When we got to Rock Hill, we went by a house that Kent had suggested we look at because of it's decorations. My Mom pulled into the neighbor's driveway and lingered a little bit to look at the display of lights. Next thing you know, there was a police car pulling in behind us. We decided it was time to move on quickly. Well, what do you know this police car pulled in behind us and followed us down the road where it was joined by another car. At this point, we were all wondering whether it was illegal to gaze at Christmas lights. Well, our police escort followed us all the way to Emorywood, our street, and then left us to pursue faster and more dangerous criminals.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Biology 2

Since I'm in posting mode, I thought I would post something funny that one of my kids said today. Today was the 75th day of school, so I was talking to my first graders about fractions and how we were a quarter of the way to 100. Anyway, one of my students raised her hand and said, "Oh! We learned about that in Biology 2!" Hmm! I was a bit stumped - I barely get to science for teaching them how to read and do math...I'm pretty sure I'm not offering Biology 2 on the side. So I inquired as to where she was taking Biology 2. She told me they were taking it with Ms. Morris, with whom they have a math & computer time. "Ahha, I see," said I, chuckling all the while at the idea of a first grader taking Biology 2.

A West Virginia Thanksgiving

Well, seeing as how it's the last day of November, I thought I should squeak in at least one post besides my silly chocolate one. Last weekend was American Thanksgiving - Time for Family and Feasting. I drove to West Virginia but stopped in Greensboro for a brief visit with my friends the Cetons and the Jacksons. I got to meet the newest member of their family who was absolutely precious! Baby Lydia Ethni Jackson - I love the middle name meaning "for the nations."Then I continued on to West Virginia, where I met up with my Mom and Dad and my brother, Kent. We stayed in one of my mom's cousin's family home on "the mountain." It's kind of funny because when we stay there we always refer to it as "on the mountain" as though that distinguishes it from every other mountain around the place. Anyway, I really enjoyed reconnecting with people that have known us for many years.

It was also quite interesting to be immersed in the "hunting culture." One evening a 15 year old girl came and visited with us and it surprised me how into it she was. Thinking back to my high school days, I can't imagine one of my peers being excited about hunting. She really knew her stuff, though, and had all kinds of interesting stories to tell.

Two different days, the whole family hopped in my brothers truck and drove the hills, stopping at different places to visit with people or reminisce about things my mom remembered from growing up. We stopped at Dove's, this little country store, that we used to go to when we were little. I remember buying Three Musketeers there when I was little. We chatted a while and then bought a little cheese and double dipped peanuts for old time sakes. One night Mom and Kent and I took a walk in the moonlight. It was cold but the moon was so bright as we walked down the road. Kent had his flashlight out looking for deer. We didn't see any but Mom pointed out this incredible hill. When she was young they would go sledding down the hill. Wow! Looked like it would be a lot of fun.

Sunday, I got to share in the Sunday School of one of the churches that have supported our family over the years. It was a real encouragement to be able to give a testimony of how God has been working in my heart calling me to work with Third Culture Kids and to thank them for the part that they have had in praying for us over the years. I realize that this is one of the huge benefits of being a missionary kid and I am so grateful for all the people who prayed for me as I was growing up.

I had to "share" and "run" because of the long drive back to Atlanta. Traffic was a killer. Bumper to bumper in some parts! But I made it home and I'm thankful for another great week with my kids.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

An Important Post

"Save the earth. It's the only planet with chocolate on it!"

After being silent for so long, I thought I should post about something really important. I saw this comment at the end of a mass e-mail and I have to say I'm in total agreement. :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tybee Island

Last weekend, my friend Jen and her family invited me to go to Tybee Island, off the coast of Georgia, with them. It was exactly what I needed after a really rough week at school. The weather was gorgeous and sitting by the beach so relaxing. We walked down to the lighthouse and visited the Crab Shack where I ate chicken because I'm weird like that! Sunday, we took another walk where we found a real live sand dollar which was really cool. You aren't supposed to remove them from the beach so we put it back. I wanted to watch it dig itself back into the ground but everyone else thought it would take just a little too long so they buried it in the sand.

Jen & I on the beach at Tybee

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Flexibility & Funnies

Teaching requires a great deal of flexibility! Case in point, one of the second grade teachers moved to first grade to cover the vacancy left by one of our departing first grade teachers. Tuesday was her first day on her own, taking charge of the class. Guess what happened to her? First thing that morning, before she had begun to teach classroom routines or anything, the assistant principal walked into her room and sat down to observe her for her annual evaluation. In what other job do you receive your annual evaluation on your first day at work? That's FLEXIBILITY!

Teaching has it's funny moments though. Two weeks ago, one of my boys was so excited when we visited the library. "Miss Botheras," he said, "I'm checking out The Little Mermaid." Last week while preparing for our return to the library, I held up the books in our library box one at a time and the children claimed theirs. When I held up The Little Mermaid he was embarassed to claim it and so he very loudly declared, "Oh, I am never checking out that book again." I could not even stop myself from laughing out loud and I'm still getting a good chuckle out of it. Now, that was FUNNY!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Goggle Girl

This weekend I went to visit my friend Tannie and her family in North Carolina. Just before I left, I almost threw in my camera but decided against it. I am now totally regretting that because Tannie's 3 and a half year old did something totally hilarious and I would totally love to have a visual but I guess I'll just have to stick with the word picture. Holly was working on a Bob the Builder book with a little screw that she could twist in with a screwdriver. It broke and so she was attempting to fix it. She went to her drawer and pulled out her swim goggles and put them on and came back to continue fixing the book. I'm guessing she must have watched her grandpa or dad weld. Right about then we had to leave for a birthday party so Holly took her goggles with her. When we got to the Fun Factory, we piled out of the car and Holly came out with her goggles on. Tannie was such a cool mom at this point. She never said anything to her ... just acted like it might be the most normal thing in the world to wear your goggles into a public place, fully dressed and without a pool in sight. I couldn't keep a smile off my face. I mean, imagine confidently strutting into the equivalent of Chuckie Cheeses wearing your goggles! In a world where we are so influenced by others opinions it was just so cool to see a three & a half year old totally oblivious and being herself. What was even better was watching Tannie, let her have the opportunity to be creative in her own little way and never once giving her the idea that it might not be accepted. So hey, don't let anyone stop you from getting out there and wearing your goggles if you feel like it! :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Showers of Blessing

At the church I attended when I was little, George Beacham, a missionary, led the singing. It was pretty obvious he loved to sing and one of the choruses he would always lead with great gusto was "Showers of Blessing." Now I'm sure you can imagine missionaries who came from rain starved locations loving this song...
"Showers, showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need.
Mercy drops round us are falling
But for the showers we plead."

Anyway, as I think about the things that have happened in the last couple of months, I feel like standing up and singing this one with great gusto because I do feel like the blessings have been raining down.

Here's one huge reason. Last year was an incredibly difficult year in the classroom for me. I had a group of kids that were extremely challenging. There were days I wondered if I had gone wrong somewhere in the process of setting up my expectations for them because every single day there was something to deal with! This year God has blessed me with an incredible class. They work together. They are kind to one another. They listen when I teach. But they've still got that spark to them that keeps the classroom interesting. It's a joy to get up and go to school every day!

Yesterday, I received another blessing. My church informed me that they will be taking on a significant chunk of my support when I return to Sahel Academy. It is such an incredible encouragement to me to know that they desire to have a part in praying for me and sending me to Niger! At this moment about 27% of the monthly support I need to go has been promised.
Wow! Wow! Wow!

What a faithful God I serve!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Breaking the Limit

I thought about stealing this picture but my friend Cindy beat me to it. It's such a great one I had to post it too! What a joke!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wow! That's just about all she could say!

Stealing a line from "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" seemed like the right way to title this one.

Last week I was feeling overwhelmed by the support that I will need to raise in order to teach at Sahel. When I think about it in terms of my own human effort it's big and it's scary. Everytime I started to worry God would remind me that it's not about me or my effort but about Him and what He wants to do. Saturday, I went to Curves and I was chatting with a lady that I've talked with on several occaisions. Her son works with the Peace Corps in South Africa and so we've had several conversations about Africa and I've had the opportunity to talk to her about how God has been leading me to Sahel Academy. Saturday she asked me where I was in the process. I shared with her that I had been accepted by SIM and I could now begin raising support. She said she didn't want to forget and and so she went to her purse right then and there and took out $100 and gave it to me. Wow! Between that and the amazingly sacrificial gift another person gave me this week - God just knocked my socks off!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Sign of the Times

This sign appeared in our school hallways this week. Please note that it is not directed at students but at parents and visitors. Just can't believe that you have to spell it out so clearly for people!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Random Things I'm Thankful for

Several times this summer I've been reminded of some random things that I'm thankful for. Some of them have been really huge things but others have been kind of funny. Like yesterday when I was walking through the grocery store I passed the DOVE deodorant and I was reminded of a SAM's shopping trip prior to leaving for Niger in 2004. I had been using DOVE and planned on buying it in bulk at SAM's before I left. They didn't have any so my friend Amy suggested Degree which I ended up buying and it's a good thing, too. I took one stick of DOVE which promptly began evaporating in the heat. Imagine if I hadn't had the I just want to say, "Thanks, Amy for your most helpful suggestion. If it wasn't for you, I would have been STINKY!"

Monday, August 6, 2007

To Meet or not to Meet...

I'm all for meeting new people (a few at a time :) but I can do without MEETINGS. Today was my first day back to school and guess what I did all day? Yep, I sat in meetings. I don't know what it is about meetings but they just drive me crazy. Of course, meetings at elementary school are even worse because you get to sit on the round cafeteria stools which is a form of toture in itself. Tomorrow will be bliss...a whole day in my classroom without one meeting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I was just going through my newly discovered email account and found this picture of my FABOULOUS friends in Toronto. I had to post it as the expressions on our faces just crack me up! I love these amazing women. They have been my friends since high school and they are each unique and wonderful. Thanks Chellaine, Jennifer and Michelle for the many ways that you have blessed me!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Home, Sweet Home

I am SO ready to get home. I've been gone for six weeks. In those six weeks I have...
  • slept in four different beds
  • had tons of information crammed into my brain
  • been encouraged to see what God is doing in His world
  • met gazillions of new people
  • become a SIM appointee
I am SO ready to get home. I need some time to process it all.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My Summer Adventures - Toronto

It seems like a couple years since I've gotten to spend a summer in Toronto but I guess it's only been one. I have to say this was one of the most pleasant summers I've spent in Toronto weatherwise. It was beautiful...not really all that hot and definitely not humid. I got to spend lots of quality time with my parents and with my friends. Here are some of the highlights...

  • Walking & Shopping with my Mom

  • Helping my Dad at Work

  • Sharing with a group of Seniors who have been praying faithfully for me

  • Having a picnic with several of the SIM retirees including my 2nd grade teacher

  • Seeing my friends, the Borodies, from Niger

  • Going to church with Michelle & getting to see how happy she is there

  • Making buns and pie crusts with Jennifer...she made an awesome pie

  • Going to two of Chellaine's football games...she is the athletic therapist for the Hamilton Ti-Cats and she is amazing!

Here's Chellaine helping an injured Ti-Cat Player & observing the action on field with several players.

My Summer Adventures - TCK-PFO

Huh? TCK-PFO??? What in the world? That stands for Third Culture Kids-Pre-Field Orientation. Those who participated fondly referred to it as TICK-FO. Anyway, this was the conference which I attended for two weeks in Houghton, NY. I think that there were just under 200 teachers and future dorm parents who participated in this conference which focused on the specific needs of children who grow up overseas and also delved into the experience of transitioning from one culture to another. Even though I've already been overseas, I thought it was a very valuable experience. I had several moments where things that I had experienced in Niger came into a clearer focus and I was able to understand what was really going on. It was so encouraging to see what God is doing around the world and how He is using Third Culture Kids to reach families from around the world with the gospel. It was also amazing to share the experience with so many others who are dedicated to making an impact in the lives of TCKs!
These were my roomies...Linda, Marcie, Me & Sandra.
Marcie & Rebecca Being Goofy! Rebecca was practically our roomie too! Marcie, Rebecca and Sandra are all headed to Morrison Academy in Taiwan.
Linda and Bonnie are headed to Faith Academy in the Phillipines. We are standing at Letchworth Falls.
Marion & Kris are also headed to Morrison Academy.
(Marion plays a mean guitar and watch out for Kris' Kung Fu Fighting Skills!)
While we were at Letchworth Park we saw a hot air balloon. I think that's the first time I've ever seen a hot air balloon in person so I had to take a picture. At $200 a pop, I wasn't about to take a ride!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Reasons to Love Africa

Someone sent me these pictures in an e-mail. I thought they were pretty funny. Hope they make you laugh too!
This vehicle was seen near Makerere - and its not full. Did you notice where the electiric pole is located? It was seen in Buru Buru, Nairobi - the electricity company was not paid money by the roads dept. to remove the pole, so they left it there. Human ingenuity? Painting the swimming pool! Must be Zimbabwe.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Procrastinating Packer

It's about 24 hours before I'm supposed to be leaving on a month long trip that will take me from Charlotte to Houghton, NY on to Toronto and then back to Charlotte before I finally return home. You might think that I've got everything packed and ready to go especially since I'll be gone for over a month. Now I'm going to share some shocking photos with you my friends. Yes, that's right my suitcase is sitting completely empty behind my door and my carry on suitcase is sitting empty on my floor except for that one shirt that I didn't unpack from my weekend trip two weeks ago. I can honestly tell you that I haven't packed a thing yet!I guess you could call me a procrastinating packer. Since my college days I have always been a last minute packer. The night before I leave I am up until the wee hours of the morning getting it all together. What can I say? I like the pressure plus if I don't pack maybe I won't have to go. :)

So what's your packing style? Are you a prepared packer or a procrastinating packer like me?

What I'm currently reading...

I just got finished reading a great book by Linda Nichols, who is rising fast on my list of authors I love, called In Search of Eden. It's about a young woman who was forced by her mother to give up her child for adoption. After her mother's death, she goes on a search for her child which leads her to the town of Abingdon where she learns more about her mother's past and begins to understand why her mother acted the way she did. I highly recommend this book along with the rest of Linda Nichols books. Check out the link I added on the side.

Now I've moved on to a book called From the Belly of the Dragon. I'm hoping I can finish before I leave tomorrow because I checked it out of the library.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Making Cards

What did I do for fun before I was introduced to card making? (Read books...of course!) But back to card making...which just happens to be the perfect hobby for me since I love writing letters.

I think it was really my mom who introduced me to the joy of letters. When I went off to first grade at K.A. my mom would write me amazing letters. Of course, there were letters from my parents but then she would also write letters from my cat, Mischief. She would tell me all about what Mischief had been up to and then she somehow captured that wild thing and stamped its footprints on to the letters. Since I had to be so far away from my parents, these letters really communicated their love to me!

Now my first experiences with writing letters were pretty traumatic. Every week we had one day at school which was set aside to write letters to our parents. I missed my mom and dad so much that each time I would sit down to write my letter I was brought to tears. My first grade teacher didn't really understand what was going on and so it was a bit of a struggle...God knew that I was having such a hard time because my dad came down with Hepatitis and my parents had to come to the rest home so my dad could recuperate. I was able to talk with them and they were able to talk with my teacher and first grade was a thousand times better after that! Anyway, I digress. :)

I think I really began to love writing letters because it was one way that I could communicate with my best friend Karen when I was away at school. Then when I moved back to Canada and she was still in Niger, we continued to write letters.

E-mail has changed a lot of things but an e-mail still does not compare with the joy of going to my mailbox and finding a letter from a friend! Sending letters and cards, has become a way for me to express my love for my friends and family and it's even more fun now that I've been introduced to the art of card making.

My mom's birthday is coming up and since she inspired my love of letters, I decided to make her a few cards to pass on to others. Don't worry! I can post these pictures because my mom is in no danger of finding out since she doesn't use the internet. :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thursday Night Dinner Club

Two years ago, before I headed out to Niger, a group of about 10 people from LAC would meet every Thursday night for dinner. Stephen was the chef extraordinaire and he would usually whip up the tasty main dish while the rest of us would pitch in for sides. We gathered around a couple of tables in his dining room where we ate, laughed and fellowshiped together. I don't really know how it became a regular event but I do know that we formed some amazing friendships out of that time.

It's three years later and several of us have moved on to different places or churches but we wanted to try and get together so we decided to cookout at Mark and Amy's this past Sunday. Unfortunately, we were missing the Stantons, Sandy, Christie and Jenny but we did have a good time chatting and playing games together! Here's the gang enjoying our burgers.

Heather Visits

The last week of school my friend Heather came to visit me. Heather and I were roommates at Toccoa Falls College. I tortured her for a year or more! It was good least I enjoyed it...she might tell you something else. :) Anyway, she came to visit me for a week so I guess it wasn't all that bad. Unfortunately, since I was in the middle of a busy last week of school we didn't do anything too exciting. She hung out at my apartment, caught up on e-mails and took a little trip up to Toccoa to see our old stomping grounds. We went out for ice cream and I introduced her to Bride and Prejudice which just happens to be my number one favorite movie at the moment. I really enjoyed the chance to catch up with her and see what God's been doing in her life. She has been a real example to me of how to trust God even through the tough stuff!

Friday, June 8, 2007

My Brush with the Stars

You may or may not know this about me but I LOVE figure skating! This year my friend Chell was the athletic therapist for the Stars on Ice. Of course, when she shared the news about this job with me I was really excited for her. For my birthday, she and her sister got me a program signed by all the stars of the show and then she got Kurt Browning, my personal favorite, to sign a picture for me which she and her sister framed. What a cool birthday present! But to top it off, she took me along with some other friends to the Stars On Ice show in Toronto. We got to sit about 15 rows back...happened to be in the row right behind Kurt Browning's wife. :) After the show, we went to a hotel nearby where we got to meet the stars and take pictures. So thanks to my friend Jennifer who had the camera, I got my mug shot with Kurt Browning and Brian Orser and Jamie Sale and David Pelletier. What a great birthday present!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Why do you go to Mrs. Shoemaker?

Mrs. Shoemaker has been working on reading with small groups of children at our school. One of my boys went to see her every afternoon. One afternoon, he was sitting on the floor pulling at a piece of his shoe and talking about how it was wrecked. The little boy next to him turned to him and said, "Is that why you go to Mrs. Shoemaker?" Yes, that's right, we teachers do it all - reading, writing, arithmetic and fixing shoes!

Buzzing Bees

Blogs seem to be the thing to do these days so I thought I would jump on the band wagon. But first I had to think of a cool name. Well it came to me two weeks ago in a flash because of some exciting events in my classroom.

Anyone who works with kids knows that when there's a bee around there is all kinds of excitement. Well consider what might happen if you had hundreds of bees in your classroom? That's what happened to me two weeks ago. I came in fairly early as I usually do and was going about my business getting ready for the day. Just before the bell rang I happened to walk to the back of my classroom where I discovered hundreds of bees lying dead around the window. I couldn't figure out how in the world they could have gotten into the classroom. But I decided not to worry about it as they all seemed dead and I figured I would just try to keep the kids away from the window for the day.

One of my students came in and mentioned that there was a bunch of dirt covering the cubbies where they put their bookbags away. It appeared that the bees had forced their way through the air vent above the cubbies into our room. At that point I decided that they probably needed to be vacuumed up so there wouldn't be too much excitement. So I went down and asked the janitor if he could take care of that for me, hoping that it would be accomplished before too many children arrived. Naturally, that didn't happen. So every child was in the room but we were able to maintain some semblance of order by keeping everyone out of that area. But then several children noticed some of the bees moving and of course the excitement began and mounted when the janitor came in and opened the light fixture from which many more bees fell.

The principal, who happened to be in the hallway, heard the vacuuming and commotion and came to check on us. Well, she thought that perhaps I needed to relocate my class for a time until everything could be cleaned up. I knew this really meant that she wanted me to go to the library. Normally, I wouldn't have resisted but you just have to know my children and understand that they just aren't the kind of children who can follow the library rules for any length of time! Quiet? What is that?

Well, the long and the short of it is that I succumbed and took them to the library. We didn't get kicked out and actually maintained a level of quietness. Wonder of wonders! And so out of that excitement was born the title for my blog - the Bee in Beth's Bonnet...I've just been thinking about bees a lot since that experience so I thought ...why not?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...