Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wonderful Women Wednesday

Today's wonderful woman is a tribute to my grandmother, Wilma Jane Robinson. Grandma Wilma, as I called her, is my mother's mother. She was a wonderful woman who exhibited Christ in so many ways. One of my favorite memories of her was every Saturday going to her house to help her clean up things. Coming up the hill of "Brineyville", we would get on the CB and ask for "Calamity Jane" or "Deer Stuffer" (my grandfather). It was the highlight of my Saturday! I remember hanging out the laundry on the clothesline and having an opportunity to talk to "Aunt Faffy" as well. She was the neighbor lady who lived next to my grandparents for many, many years.

Grandma taught me many lessons, but the most impressive was the one of perserverance. Grandma developed cancer for the first time when I was around 5. She recovered from it, then when I was 10, it came back. I don't ever recall hearing grandma complain about her aches and pains. She always had a smile on her face!! She was there for me when my Grandma Mary (dad's mom) passed away and I'll never forget the way she comforted me, my mom, and my siblings.

I'll never forget the night she passed...we'd spent the day with her and I sensed, even at the age of 12, that she wasn't going to be around much longer. Weeks prior to that I helped my mom, her siblings, and grandpa, take care of grandma. It was my honor and pleasure to do those things for her in her last days. When she did pass, no one would tell me until the next day, even though I saw the hearse at the house when we arrived.

It's been almost 20 years since she's passed...but she has made a long lasting impression on me. I still love her to this day and miss her. Rest in peace Grandma!!

(In this picture: my cousin Daniel, my cousin Sarah, my brother Jeremy, my sister Alison, and myself surrounding my grandpa and grandma). I wish I had a more recent picture of her that was decent but I don't have a better one.

23 Day Slim Down....You *CAN* Have A SlimSuit Summer!!!

Starting May 2, I am going on a 23 day Slim down quest. I *WILL* lose 23+ pounds during this time!!! I want you to join me!! Here's how we will do it:

First 10 days...herbal cleanse (your choice of herbal or peaches and cream), shakes (your choice of vanilla, chocolate, or berry), and Spark (your choice of cherry, mandarin orange, fruit punch, grape, or citrus).

The remaining 13 days are called "Lean in 13". http://tinyurl.com/d7ww9u

Continue with Spark, Shakes, and add in Muscle Gain, Catalyst, and Thermoplus. I'm also going to throw in some Slim, our newest product!

Interested in joining me? Let's talk!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

My oh My, What Should I Read Next?

Ok, I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I have 2 books that I am going to hopefully finish in the next 2 weeks (might be difficult to do while winding up the school year) but then I want to know what YOU think I should read next? I have a very eclectic list and some of you may have some recommendations that might cause me to change my list a bit. This is a small smattering of my choices available. When I get the chance, I'll add more to this list. The book that gets the most hits will be the first, second highest will be second, and so forth...Thanks for your input!!

Searching for Spice by Megan DiMaria
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir
The Fire Within by Chris D'Lacey
Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell
Better by Atul Gawande
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Three Junes by Julia Glass
Betrayed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Angels in the ER by Robert Lesslie
Before the Season Ends by Linore Burkard
In the Shadow of Lion by Ginger Garrett
The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
Critical by Robin Cook
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning
Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon

Again, this is a *short* list...there are so many more on my bookshelf that I have yet to read. Please tell me why I should read the book that you have chosen as my next read.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Review of Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

Inkspell (Inkheart, Book 2) Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Inkspell is the second book in the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke. It is full of suspense, mystery, murder, and love. I think I enjoyed this book a bit more than the first book because it involved the main characters in an engaging way. The story picks up where it left off in the first book, with Meggie and Mo, Elinor, and Resa. They are hoping that life will get back to "normal" after all the drama of the last book. Mo is a book binder and both he and Meggie have a unique gift of reading people into books.

I was thankful that there is a map and a list of characters in the beginning of this book. It not only serves as a refresher from the previous book, but also helps to guide you through the various scenes with the new story.

Meggie gets a wild idea to go to Inkworld, with her friend Farid, who is left behind from the previous book. She is like the runaway kid...leaves a note for her parents to find. The only problem is that when she and Farid left, someone came in her place. Rather...someones. That's when the real story begins. The reader is pulled in to the vivid imagery of the Wayless Woods and, if allowed, the reader might feel as though they are there!!

While I don't want to give anything from this book away (hate it when someone does that!), this book does set up for an excellent 3rd book Inkdeath and I look forward to reading what will happen. I have a prediction as to what the "Inkdeath" means, but I will reserve that for when I read it...and will happily discuss it with anyone without fully giving away anything else!!

View all my reviews.

How to Communicate with Those Who Are Deaf

I am adding this to my blog site because I teach communication and also have deaf family members. I feel this information is important and valid for all!!!

How to Communicate With Deaf People

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Deaf individuals communicate visually and physically rather than audibly. There are varying degrees of deafness: hard of hearing, "profoundly" deaf, and completely deaf.[1] You can often recognize the hard of hearing by their hearing aids (although of course many people refuse to wear them, or are unable to). The deaf or profoundly deaf may wear no hearing aid at all. Some will be able to lip read and understand you nearly perfectly, however, many will communicate with gestures (sign language) rather than with words. This visual way of communicating can be intimidating and seem strange at first, but these guidelines will help.


  1. Get their attention before attempting to talk or communicate. While you should be considerate and not poke people, generally it is accepted and not considered rude in deaf communities to lightly touch people as you're speaking or trying to get their attention. You can also wave your hand in their line of sight or stomp your foot (if the floor is wooden and carries vibration) to get their attention and make eye contact.
  2. Stay in their field of vision. Try to keep your eyes at the same level as their eyes (sit down if she's sitting, stand up if he's standing, compensate for a big difference in height, etc) and you should be a little further away than normal speaking distance[2] (3-6 feet, 1-2 meters[3]). This helps to make sure they'll see all of your gestures. If you're indoors, make sure there's enough light for them to see you clearly. If you're outside, face the sun so that there isn't a shadow cast in your face and the sun doesn't glare in theirs.[2]
  3. Speak your greeting in a normal voice and tone. If you whisper or shout, your lip movements are distorted, making it difficult for a deaf person to follow your words. (Most deaf can lip read, some might recognize a word as another person might recognize a curse during sporting events.) If you are exaggerating your mouth movements, you will be harder to understand than if you speak normally. Increasing the volume (of your voice, the TV, etc.) only helps if the person is hard of hearing. If they do not seem to be able to lip read, you may need to communicate with a notepad and pen. Write your name, greeting, and introduction.
    • If you have facial hair, it may be harder for a deaf person to lip read.[4]
    • Many hard of hearing people who can understand you perfectly in a quiet room will be unable to do so in, say, a noisy restaurant or wherever the background noise is high.
    • Don't place anything in or around your mouth (chewing gum, your hands, etc).

  4. Establish the gist of what you are going to talk about. Once they know the general topic, it is easier for them to follow your conversation. Since even the best lip readers can probably only understand 35% of what you are saying and must guess the rest in the context of the topic, don't change the subject suddenly.[4] Pause often and ask them if they are following you.
  5. Make eye contact. You probably don't realize how much you communicate through your eyes and facial expressions. If you have sunglasses on, take them off. If you can add facial expressions to emphasize a point (smiling, rolling your eyes, raising your eyebrows) do so.
  6. Use gestures and visual cues. Point to or hold up any items that you're talking about, and wait until they're looking at you again before you resume speaking. You can also mimic actions, like drinking or jumping or eating, to illustrate your words. Hold up fingers to indicate numbers, scribble in the air to show you're writing a letter, and similar.
  7. Be polite. If there is an interruption that the deaf person may not notice, such as the phone ringing or a knock on the door, explain why you are stepping away.[5] Don't make jokes about their hearing (or lack thereof). Don't suddenly refuse to communicate (such as saying "never mind") after you find out that they are deaf. Don't express your irritation when there is a need to repeat yourself. Allow for differences of opinion, just as you would with a hearing friend. Just as there are good and bad hearing people, there are also good and bad deaf people. Treat them courteously, and you'll be on a decent footing.


  • Exchange email address or chat room identity. Most deaf individuals use that to communicate just as hearing people call on the phone to chat.
  • It takes time to get to know the new friend, as with every new friendship. The deaf are no different. Take your time and don't presume too much too soon. Patience is the most important thing in the world if you want to build strong relationships.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearing_impairment#Quantification_of_hearing_loss

  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.deafsocietynsw.org.au/information/communication.html

  3. http://www.leedsdeafandblind.org.uk/sensory/sensory_deafness_communicate.asp

  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.his.com/~lola/deaf.html

  5. http://www.metrokc.gov/dias/ocre/deaftips.htm

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Communicate With Deaf People. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wonderful Women Wednesday

This week's "wonderful woman" is my dear sister Ali. She is 44 months to the day younger than me and totally full of life!! She imparts her wisdom to her young 3rd graders each day. She is always talking about her students, her classroom, what she is teaching them, and she makes it FUN! When Ali isn't working her magic in the classroom, she is caring for my mother (focus of last week's WWW) and father. She is truly amazing and I love and admire her for the way she has chosen to live her life and spend her time. She loves to read and imparts this love to all who know her. (She's the cool aunt mentioned in the previous blog post about the book review!)

Young men, she's single and looking so maybe you can fill that one void in her life. She's a wonderful Christian woman full of spunk and sass. She will keep you on your toes and in stitches!!

I love you sis!!

Review of "The Icky Bug Alphabet Book" by Jerry Pallotta; Illustrated by Ralph Masiello

The Icky Bug Alphabet Book (Jerry Pallotta's Alphabet Books) The Icky Bug Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a really fun alphabet book about bugs. My son received this as a gift from his favorite Aunt Ali. He loves it and so does my daughter. It has become the "bedtime book" here recently. I have learned some names of bugs I didn't know and I just knew that people who were talking about "no seeums" were out of their mind and "seeing things"! Come to find out, it's really an insect!! Very fun, educational book!

View all my reviews.

No Child Left Behind

As a teacher, I am very familiar with the No Child Left Behind Act. I am really struggling with this issue right now because I am being told to pass students who are not passing my class. Why are they not passing? L-A-Z-I-N-E-S-S and P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. I am bending over backwards for these kids and I get NOTHING in return but a bunch of whining and complaining. What I want to know is, do the people who made up this act want a nurse who can't function properly or gives treatments late? Do they want a CPA who can't do the math to figure their taxes? A daycare worker who doesn't know the first thing about proper toy selection for their charges? I am a Career Technology teacher in the health care field. My students can sit for their CNA certification after the completion of my program. If I am being forced to pass them, how can I ethically say they are capable to taking a program such as this???

I'm curious to hear your thoughts....maybe we can make a difference somehow!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Organ Donor Awareness Month!

April is Organ Donor Awareness Month!! I have been a nurse for 8 years now and know the importance of organ donation! I could name multiple people who are here today because someone gave a gift of life. These are the ones that inspire me!!

My first year teaching high school, I had a student to graduate who had also been a patient of mine the previous year. I had a distinct opportunity to watch this young man cross the stage with his donated heart to receive his diploma. As he was walking across the stage, it was announced that his donor family was also in attendance and had their child lived, he too would have been graduating at the same time. There wasn't a dry eye in the crowd!! There would have been two lives lost had this young man and his family not decided to donate his organs to someone else.

This is just one of many stories that I could share about the importance of donation. I served as a cardiac nurse and mainly saw heart transplants, but I have also taken care of a few and known of others personally with different organ transplants. After viewing the "BODIES: THE EXHIBITION" the first time it came to Atlanta three years ago, my husband and I have signed up, as well as other family members, to be organ donors. As the saying goes "Don't take your organs to heaven", please consider the lives that can be saved by donating when you no longer need them!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wonderful Women Wednesday

So I'm late with this one...it's been a long week here!

This week's "wonderful woman" is the woman who gave me life. Momma was born in a small town in IL and lived in an even smaller town (Sheldon's Grove, IL). She was the 2nd of 4 children of farming parents, with her older sibling being her twin. My mother is amazing for so many reasons...first and foremost because she is *MY* mom. I wouldn't be who I am today without her guidance in my life. When I was 4 years old (and my baby sister just 6 weeks old), she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. I have never seen her let this disease stand in her way! She is a woman of God, for which I'm thankful that she and my dad raised me in a christian home. Mom and dad just celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on April 14 of this year. Not many of my friends can say their parents have stayed married that long! She has given me so much love and encouragement throughout my life! She's the reason I'm a nurse and the mother to my children that I am. I learn so much from my mom, even to this day!! I don't see her as often since I've moved away to Georgia, but rarely a day goes by that we don't talk on the phone. I love you momma!!

Who is one of the wonderful women in your life? Sound off!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wonderful Women Wednesday

I am hoping to stay consistent with this. I would love for you to write and tell me about one of the many wonderful women who have influenced your life.

The first one I will mention is Suzanne Sprehe. Suzanne was my 6th grade teacher, as well as my sister in Christ. I learned a few hours ago that she has won her reward and is with her Lord. I feel so blessed to have known this wonderful woman!! I was teacher's pet in her class. I could do NO wrong! I was so bored in 6th grade that she let me crochet and cross-stitch in class while she was teaching. I made many Christmas gifts that year, including one for her. We continued to have a good relationship after 6th grade because of our church affiliation. We started attending the same congregation a few years later and it was great to be able to worship with her. I also had her husband in 8th grade. Unfortunately, he met an untimely death while I had him as a teacher.

Looking back now, I could only hope that I would be as positively influential a teacher as Mrs. Sprehe. She retired a few years ago and fought a battle with Alzheimer's. God rest Suzanne's soul!! I love you Mrs. Sprehe!

How about you? Who is a wonderful woman in your life?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Jimmy Carr has won his reward!!

Retired Harding administrator, civic leader dies

James F. Carr Jr.

Dr. James F. (Jimmy) Carr Jr., 95, of Searcy, Ark., a Christian, died Wednesday, April 1, 2009 in Searcy. He was born May 6, 1913 in Farmville, N.C. the son of James F. and Eula Carr.

He spent his entire working career involved in education, more than 50 years of which were involved in higher education. In 1946, his mentor and friend, Dr. Doak Campbell, president of Florida State University, asked Carr to join his administration. That invitation was the beginning of his career in higher education.

After serving in numerous administrative posts at Florida State University, in 1970 he retired from the Florida Board of Regents to accept the position as assistant dean at then Harding College in Searcy. In 1973 he was named assistant to the president, a position he held until he retired again in 1997.

Former Florida Governor Reubin Askew said, “Jimmy Carr was the most admired and respected college administrator I’ve ever known.”

Carr received his undergraduate education at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. He then received an M.A. in 1942 from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., followed by M.S. and Ed.D. degrees from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1951 and 1955, respectively.

A three and a half-year period of military service in World War II in the Army Air Corps interrupted his graduate work at Peabody. During World War II he was stationed in the Cook Islands, where he developed numerous friendships with the islanders.

Known for his boundless energy and exuberant enthusiasm, Carr coined the phrase in the mid-70s, “It’s great to be at Harding!” Just a few months before his retirement from Harding he reiterated that feeling by saying his time at Harding “has been the greatest experience of my career.”

During his tenure at Harding he helped provide the initial development for the College of Nursing, the Elderhostel activities on the campus, and Harding Place, the University’s retirement community.

"Dr. Jimmy Carr was one of a kind in terms of his leadership for Harding University over many years. He served as assistant to the president for Dr. Ganus and for me. He was an ideas person and a constant public relations genius,” said Dr. David Burks, president of Harding.

“It was Dr. Carr who created the expression that has been used for years, 'It is great to be at Harding.' He was a man of great faith and he was a good friend. He was a visionary leader for Harding University as well as for the community of Searcy. He will be greatly missed."

Following his retirement from Harding in 1997, he served as assistant to the president of White County Medical Center in Searcy. He enjoyed his work at the Medical Center, but at age 95 last year, he decided it was time to permanently retire again. Even in retirement he was an active volunteer at the hospital.

“In his role at White County Medical Center, Dr. Carr was an ambassador for the hospital. He was the face of White County Medical Center in public events and to civic organizations. He had an incredible work ethic, and he has been a role model to me,” said Ray Montgomery, president of the Medical Center.

“Dr. Carr was a true southern gentleman. He was exceptional in the way he related to other people, and he was extremely well respected in the community. Dr. Carr was a very godly man in his deeds and actions. He lived his faith.”

Carr’s enthusiasm was not limited to his work for Harding. He was a proud ambassador for the city of Searcy. Always quick to coin a phrase, he created the slogan, “Searcy, Ark. — A city where thousands live as millions wish they could.”

His involvement in civic activities was known throughout the community. He served in leadership roles and was active in the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Quapaw Council of Boy Scouts, Sunshine School, Sheltered Workshop, United Way, White County Heart Association, Arkansas Kidney Foundation, Arkansas Governor’s Committee on the Handicapped, and the White River Health Planning and Development District.

Among his many honors is the Silver Beaver Award, the prestigious award for adult volunteer service to the Boy Scouts.

He was a member of the College Church of Christ in Searcy, where he served as an elder for many years.

Carr was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Taylor Carr. His wife of 63 years, Mary Stephanie Killgore Carr of Searcy; sons James W. (’70) and wife Susan (’80), and Thomas D. (’78) and wife Lisa (’79), all of Searcy, and John T. (’73) and wife Aletha of Springhill, Tenn.; and nine grandchildren and one great grandchild, survive him.

A memorial service for Carr will be held on Monday, April 6 at 4 p.m. at the College Church of Christ in Searcy. Visitation with the family will follow the memorial service in the Family Room of College Church.

Pallbearers will be relatives John T. Carr Jr. (’05), Jesse T. Carr (’07), James D. Carr, Lance R. Carr, Ty W. Taylor, Taylor B. Carr Jr., Robert G. Carr and Kendel P. Cole.

Memorials may be made to the Carr Scholarship Fund for Nursing at Harding University, African Christian Hospitals (International Health Care Foundation), Boy Scouts of America and White County Medical Foundation.

Condolences and memories may be sent to: lhowell@harding.edu or to 801 S. Benton, #4303, Searcy, AR 72143.