Tag Archives: writing



I started this journal on February 7, 2007.  Today I wrote my last entry.  So much has changed in the almost four years that I have been writing in it.   I have close to 10 completed ones that span 23 years of my life.

Do any of you journal? 




Love Is…


Love tastes like freshly whipped cream

Love smells like my husband’s cologne

Love feels like cotton candy

Loves sounds like a symphony

Love looks like a sleeping child

Today I will be introducing a poetry unit to my students.  I always like to start with a simple poem to ensure success.  And of course, since love is in the air with tomorrow being the day for lovers, I thought I’d use love as the topic for this 5 Senses poem to model for my classes.

What is love to you?  In the comment section, try your hand at this simple poem following the specified 5 Senses format!



I won this award!

Thank you for this delightful award!  If you are reading this, that means your blog is fabulous, too!  Here are five things that I find fabulous (in no particular order):

1.  Taking photographs:  I really love snapping shots, the more candid, the better.

2.  Trying new foods:  Sunday I went out to dinner with the women in my family.  We ate at a new place called The Journey.  It is advertised as the largest seafood, prime rib, and sushi buffet.  The menu featured exotic items such as: jellyfish, octupus, frog legs, salmon skin salad, and tripe salad to name a few.  But I also like trying new products in general.  If I buy something I don’t like, I simply pass it on to someone else.  Sometimes I’ll even bring it to the students–they don’t turn anything down but their collars!

3.  Blogging: I like this forum because it allows me to process my experiences, hone my writing skills, and meet great people all at the same time.

4. The Bible: Well, they don’t call it the good book for nothing! Sometimes I am astounded by how practical the advice is in the Bible.  It is truly is chock full of wisdom.

5.  Friends: I’m so very thankful to everyone who has in one way or another allowed me to lean upon them.  I can only hope that one day I can extend the courtesy.

The Good Book


Last night I spent some time writing in my prayer journal.  However, I didn’t write to God this time.  Instead I searched the Bible to find scriptures of comfort to transcribe.  I like to memorize them but during the times I need them the most, I can’t seem to recall many! 

There are several that really speak to my heart.  Here are a few of my favorite:

Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46:10

In My Father’s house there are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  John 14:2-3

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord Psalm 27:14

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing Psalm 30:11

Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.  He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:5-6

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no pain, for the former things have passed away.  Revelations 21:4

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. Isaiah 25:8

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. James 5:13

You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:8

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  James 1:2-3

He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. Psalms 147: 3-5

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

So What?


I was just sending a friend an email when I suddenly noticed how much I use the words “so” and “really” in my less formal writing!  I use “so” to help express a variety of feelings.  I love my husband “sooooooooooooooooooo” much!  When I add the extra “o’s” then it’s serious business!  I so have to buy that coat–it was soooo cute! 

Really helps me emphasis the message I am trying to convey.  I am really very tired today.  Really really helps me get my point across.  What words do you overuse?

Mail Box


As long as I can remember I have always loved receiving mail.  Growing up I had several pen pals over the years, including one from France, Jamilla Ben Amar.  My friend Omar and I would correspond faithfully throughout the summer break when he went to visit his family in the Virgin Islands.


I also liked entering the contests found on the back of cereal boxes.  This was a surefire way to receive something in the mail.  One time without my mother’s knowledge, I decided to write someone from the phonebook.  It was during this time that I was reading the Nancy Drew series.  I was so fascinated with the girl sleuth!  Out of curiousity I wanted to see if there was an actual person by that name so I turned to the white pages.  I found a listing for a Nancy Drew in the phonebook and I commenced to write her a letter.  Much to my shock and delight, she wrote back!!!


I am no different as an adult.  I still love to receive letters and cards.  Even more, I love to be the sender.  I’ve made it a monthly ritual to choose five friends and/or family to send a letter or card.  I love pretty paper, envelopes, stickers, nice pens, and colorful stamps.  I’ve even sent cards to Nicholas.  My mother loved to receive my postal perks as well. 


Each of the boys have subscriptions to their favorite magazines.  Nic gets both Legos and Nic magazines, Ethan receives Sports Illustrated for Teens, and Evan loves his WWE for Kids magazine.  This guarantees them something in the mail at least once a month.  


At one point in time I looked forward to receiving correspondence from Eliza.  But now, not so much.


I also maintain this practice with my students.  I buy pre-stamped postcards to jot quick message to their parents.  This is my small way of celebrating their achievements or to provide encouragement to poor students.  The kids really appreciate the gesture and often show the postcards to others with pride. 


When I got the mail on Saturday I was met with the usual suspects—junk mail, bills, and flyers.  I was thinking how nice it would have been to have received a letter or card.  Sometimes I crave that paper sunshine. 


I know that personal letters are a thing of the past, especially with the advent of email and most recently text messaging.  I don’t even consider time a factor because you have to take time to compose electronic mail as well.  The cost of postage is cheaper than the internet service provider and/or the monthly cell phone bill.


A month ago I was feeling really blue.  I actually asked God to send me a sign through the mail to uplift me.  That very day when I retrieved the mail, there was a letter from a former student of mine.  I couldn’t believe it!  God had granted my request.


I eagerly opened the letter and was quickly disappointed.  Heather had written to ask me to edit a piece that she was working on (not an unusual thing in my line of work).  She wasn’t writing to provide cheer at all.  I didn’t bother to finish reading it and tucked the letter away. 


Later in the week I sat down to begin editing Heather’s piece.  It was the beginning of a chapter from an autobiography that she was writing.  It was about her experience as one of my students!  Her words put a much needed smile on my face.  I was in awe that God had answered my simple request. 


If it’s been a while since you sent a real letter to someone, I urge you to do it today! Who knows whose day you could brighten by this seemingly small act.  Hooray for mail!



In the News


Yesterday my senior class was featured on the local 6 and 11 o’clock evening news!  The broadcast was also on the station’s website.  It was such a neat experience and I was really pleased with my kids!

I received an email about 15 minutes before my class started from the district’s spokeperson informing me that a camera crew was headed my way.  They wanted to spotlight a teacher who was addressing the significance of Obama’s nomination.  Apparently somebody told them about me!

They are writing letters to the presidential candidates to persuade them to give attention to the issues that they feel are essential to their future.  This is a project sponsered by Google and the National Writing Project (I am a teacher-consultant for our local chapter).  The letters will be published on an online forum for all the world to see. 

Next week I have representatives from our state’s Republican and Democratic offices coming to present .  This will provide the students with more insight about each political party and allow them to write a more detailed and knowledgable letter.

I received many job well done calls, texts, and emails from friends, family, and former students who saw us on the news.  It was actually a pretty indepth segment.

However, only three of my colleagues commented on the story–the principal nor the vice principal was one of them!  Over the span of six years my students and I have been in the newspaper twice and covered on the news two times as well.  I have to say that this one was the best.  The reporter did a great job on this story. 

I am really proud of my students!

Cleaning Out My Closet


As soon as I returned home from Seattle I jumped right in to prepare my home for the fall.  This is a habit I just picked up.  The women in my family are hoarders and I try my best to get rid of things that I am no longer using.  I have been guilty of hoarding things from time to time.  My husband has given me hints that it’s time to throw away/ give away but I hold on “just in case.”  Since we no longer have storage space I had to take his advice.

So I started in our bedroom closet.  Back in the corner I found a box that I had stored there shortly after we moved into our new home.  I knew exactly what was in the box and my first though was to toss the whole box without opening it.  I didn’t follow my own advice, something that I told Morocco that she shouldn’t do a couple weeks ago.  I opened old wounds.  Inside the box were my old journals dated 1999-2004.  Five years worth of drama in one box.  Everything that the BM had done to my family was right there in black and white.

I read some of the pages and the memory of my life back then made my stomach turn.  I was so unhappy.  My life was not supposed to turn out this way. was written in 1999.  I just want to bust her face open was written in 2000.  Why won’t she find a man and leave us alone was written in 2001.  Why, why why???? was written in 2002.  And in 2003 I wrote about her trying to have my husband go downtown with her to increase child support after the purchase of our new home.  That’s just the VERY short version.  In 2004 I wrote about changing my focus.  New beginnings is my last entry.  I wonder why I never finished that journal.  Oh I know why because even though things SEEMED to get better with the BM, she always found a way to cause more chaos.

As I sat there on the floor in my closet, journals in my lap, I said to myself “Let it go Rhonda, just let it go.”  I ripped the pages into tiny pieces.  BM is not in my inner circle.  The things she does can no longer hurt me–only if I allow them to.  I refuse to allow her to hurt me.

It’s funny how this came about.  Morocco and I have been talking about switching our focus.  I do not feel good talking about (writing or reading about) the things BM does all the time.  I’m quite sure that I will not stop cold turkey but just not all the time.  My life is so much more than the BM and her drama.  I’m finished cleaning out my closet.  Now I have room for new things!

Word Therapy


                     I love poetry.  There is something about poetry that makes me feel free.  I write when I am happy, sad, excited, confused—virtually anytime.  I don’t have to have a rhyme or reason (pun intended!) to write.  I thought to share this love with Eliza as a way to channel her stress.  During our last visit she confided in me that she had been up all night crying.  I really didn’t know what to say, but I did empathize with her.  As a mother I know it has to be agonizing for her to be separated from her children.  

On the drive home I brainstormed ways that I could help alleviate her stress.  Poetry seemed like a good answer.  On occasion I have sent her poems for encouragement and she seemed to enjoy those.  During Christmas I even wrote one for her on behalf of the children.  I figured that writing poetry was a healthy, tranquil method of reducing stress.  And it is something that does not require much investment to begin.   Also, Eliza had recently shared with me that English was her favorite subject.  So I wrote Eliza a letter to pitch the idea and she loved it. 

  Yesterday I mailed her a “poetry starter kit.”  She had expressed an interest in reading some of my work,  so I obliged  and sent her 11 poems that I had written.   I also sent a list of 10 different poetry genres along with instructions for each. 

As I mentioned in my last post Opening Up, Where I Come From, was the most personal poem I sent.  This poem gives a lot of insight about how and why I am who I am.  It highlights the events and experiences that have shaped me.  Of course I debated whether to send it along with the rest.  But Rhonda convinced me that I should.  I realized that I have to let my inhibitions go for the sake of balance.  After all, it does take two to have a relationship of any kind—good or bad.

I invite you readers to try your hand at writing your own version of Where I Come From.  I would love to see them appearing on your blogs!  If you share yours, I’ll share mine!  For more information, go to:


Human Goodness


This is a very thought-provoking piece of writing by Margaret J. Wheatley.  This quote really resonates with me:

In these times of turmoil, we’ve forgotten who we can be and we’ve let our worst natures prevail. Some of these bad behaviors we created because we treat people in non-human ways. We’ve taken the very things that make us human–our emotions, our imagination, our need for meaning–and dismissed them as unimportant. We’ve found it more convenient to treat humans as replaceable parts in the machinery of production. We’ve organized work around destructive motivations–greed, self-interest, competition.

You may read the rest of this essay at:  http://www.margaretwheatley.com/articles/relyingonhumangoodness.html