Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Baba Yetu

I love the Swahili version of the Lord's Prayer:
Baba yetu, yetu uliye
Mbinguni yetu, yetu amina!
Baba yetu yetu uliye
M jina lako e litukuzwe.
Utupe leo chakula chetu
Tunachohitaji, utusamehe
Makosa yetu, hey!
Kama nasi tunavyowasamehe
Waliotukosea usitutie
Katika majaribu, lakini
Utuokoe, na yule, muovu e milele!
Ufalme wako ufike utakalo
Lifanyike duniani kama mbinguni.
(Amina)
Our Father, who art
in Heaven. Amen!
Our Father,
Hallowed be thy name.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us of
our trespasses,
As we forgive others
Who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from the evil one forever.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
(Amen)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Tween's Best Seller

Ghost of Lizard's Rock

has been adopted by thousands of 5th grade teachers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and more. These teachers are using the book series as a highly engaging read-aloud book in their classrooms, reading groups, and individually. "I personally recommend Ghost of Lizard's Rock to every 5th grade teacher and students ages 11-14. 

Reviews by Students: "It's funny." "I loved it." "The best thing I've ever heard." "Wonderful book." "You are great writers." "Oliver is my favorite character. He is very funny." "The Cow Pie Gang are like a no-bully group." "I hope to buy the whole series." "Want to read Book 2." "I loved it and could read it a million times." "Love Kati." "My favorite book."

Reviews by Teachers: "Great book. Kept me reading straight to
the end. I was a middle school teacher and counselor for 32 years and I recognized many kids in this book. I love that the "not so cool" kids decide to try to change things in a positive way instead of seeking revenge for the wrongs done to them. Can't wait for the next in the series."  "This is a wonderful book with many lessons in life that tweens to adults would love to read. Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for my daughters to have a chance to read it as well."  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Silence To Remember

11:00 p.m.

I slipped into my heavy coat, stepped out the front door of our house, and looked up into the dark sky filled with giant white snowflakes floating downward. All around me was a beautiful sparkling white blanket covering our yards, bushes, and sidewalks. A wonderful sense of peacefulness seemed to surround me as I opened my mouth to take in a few of the snowflakes floating by.

A smile spread across my face as my mind recalled all the times that I played in the snow after dark; and then my memories traveled back to a night nearly 5 decades earlier. It was a time when we had little food nor many of the nice things in life - we were poor!

My father would come home from his day job around 5 o’clock, eat his meager dinner, and leave the house to go work at a second job until midnight. Our car wouldn't start in the cold air, so he walked the entire way through the frozen snow.  To this day, I can still picture him walking down the middle of the snow covered road huddled up as best he could to stay warm as the steam from his breath disappeared behind him.

Four or five hours later, Dad would walk back into the house totally exhausted, but ready to do it all again the next day.

At first, I thought my father was trying to earn a few more dollars to buy us some extra groceries. Instead, he was working the extra hours to buy me a winter coat. It was the only present that would be given in our home that year.

So... here I stand today in this wonderful moment of peacefulness - grateful for all my father's sacrifices and a very special coat.