Monthly Archives: April 2014

don’t read if you don’t want to read the longest paragraph ever!


slice button this marchI had been swatting for two days.  We fondly call it that when many of us swarm the building giving every child 3 passages to read that last only one minute.  In and out, 4 minutes tops, including the directions, a hello and a goodbye.  By day 3 my neck did hurt, which is typical…started feeling light-headed around the 10 am. mark.  By twelve, my throat stung and my head began to throb.  Oh no, I can’t be sick, I won’t be sick, I haven’t been sick this whole entire year!  I have another half day of swatting and a rather important CCSS meeting on Thursday.  It’s Wednesday and I have an important meeting at church tonight.  It’s all important.  I can’t miss anything.  I start the count the days.  If the sore throat goes away Thursday, then maybe I’ll just end up with a baby cold.  It it lasts longer, my cold will be worse.  I start to fret.  I go to the meeting at church.  I leave right away, no time for chit-chat, and besides, I’m sure I’m contagious.  Thursday, I swat with the team, leave for the long drive to the meeting.  We talk for two hours about mission statements and what this team is about.  My head is spinning.  I want this to be over, I want my Nyquil.  I know it isn’t a baby cold.  I start worrying about Good Friday.  On Good Friday, before church I have to go over to the college I teach at to prepare for Saturday.  Oh, I hope the cold is better on Good Friday.  I work, work, work.  I come home and go to a fabulous church service, but my then I can’t really sing, nothing is working.  Still, I am amazed at what Jesus did for me!  In the middle of Good Friday I pray about my class on Saturday.  I get to class at 6:30, there are still things to do.  I start talking at 8:00 to the ‘early birds’.  These are such good girls.  We check in and away we go.  I talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, about books, about reading, about writing.  We go to the library to start work on our first research project.  Most of them are working independently and finding great articles.  Some ask for advice.  This is an amazing group.  I buzz out at 4:30.  Our church has 7 Easter services.  We are going to the 7:30 service and then I’m ‘in charge of a big event’ after.  My father-in-law is with my husband.  I drive alone, because he might be tired and might not want to hang out after.  Kelly and her boyfriend are coming, never can be sure if they are on time.  Today I am not worrying because I’m focusing on something bigger.  I have completely lost my voice.  This is my new job, it is all about talking.  I solve the problem by telling Dave what he has to say over the microphone at our event.  He makes a joke about me being a ventriloquist.  Well, it went okay.  Was God trying to tell me I talk too much?  It all starts to seem really funny.  I get home, hop in bed….all set for the Easter family gathering at my house the next day.  For the first time in days I relax and breathe in.  These people are my family…it will be fine!  I smile inside, because my dad won’t have to turn his hearing aid down because Carol and I aren’t shrieking, laughing and interrupting each other.  Wait, there is more to the longest paragraph I’ve ever written…. the longest week of my life…my daughter Emily called me from Ecuador, at 1:00am and said they were going to the hospital to have their second baby girl.  

God is smiling; I just know it!  

Juliette Faith Hatcher Darnell was born in Quito, Ecuador

April 21st 2014.

She is a child of the world boasting dual citizenship!

I’m so happy to be a grandma for the second time.

and her grandma Mo Mo, is rendered speechless by this amazing blessing! 

what not to say, what to say


What not so say when someone is retiring from teaching in 30 days…

“I can tell by your face that you are ready to retire, today!”

“Exactly how old are you?”

“You’re my mom’s your age…she needs to retire just like you do.”

“My mom says she doesn’t trust the Illinois pension plan.  Will you be able to make it?”

“I just bet you can’t wait to get outta this place!”

“Did the principal make you retire?” (this from one of my little ones, just today)


The only right thing to say…

We will miss you and love you and wonder how we will do it without you!

Thank goodness, I’ve heard the latter much more often than the former, this year.  I guess my best piece of advice to anyone going out in the next few years is this:    don’t put on your cheater glasses in the morning, to look at yourself in the mirror, love, love your students like you always have, keep on writing…keep on reading…keep on smiling!

PS After the ‘slice’ March challenge my new job kicked in at church and my spring class at Judson just started (9 wonderful women).  I’ve been doing lots of writing and building a team of people to work with.  God is good.  It is hard right now to get it all done, but with his help, I know that I can.