Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cinderella, Roller Skating, Anniversary, Vegeance! Praise Report!!


So much joy to report. 
So much delight, hope and encouragement. 
So much to praise. 
So very, very, very grateful.

I'm a week behind in my praise reporting. 
So there's a WHOLE lot on my grateful heart. 

Maybe if I attempt to go chronologically I can hit at least a few of the highlights. 

1. I got to spend a week in Ohio with my daughter and our #WonderPeeps! 
This is the sunrise out the back door on morning #1. 
It truly looks like a direct bridge to heaven! 



Let me be frank. I am worn out by airports, flights and cross country travel. There are times when my sleep patterns get erratic. Stress contributes to both: my weariness and my lack of quality sleep. When my human foibles and weakness wash over me, I am again surrounded by absolute evidence that our heavenly Father has the creative capability to design just the exact reminder that speaks to my direct need.

That morning sky looked to me as though our Creator was breathing new life right into our existence. A bridge. Heaven's concern showered directly into our midst! Thank you, God! 

Several of you dear friends have asked how I am holding up of late. I have had one verse resonating through me on a daily basis. It is awesome to be able to tap into that kind of strength. 

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -- Philippeans 4:13

2. It was an amazing week, filled with amazing moments that are suspended in time. I made a concentrated effort NOT to be the photographer of my life, but just the live-r of it. Consequently there are fewer than 'normal' number of pictures and I'm OK with that. It is awesome to store those personal moments in my heart rather than the memory card.

It was an incredible JOY to spend some quality time with my own daughter.   


We had our own mother-daughter date night and got to go to the movies together. 
What a blessing. 

Over and over and over again, I had evidence before me, of the strength of the woman I have been raising over the last three decades. She's funny. She's bright. She's clever. Goodness gracious, I think you could even call her inspirational, but then I do have a bias. She's holding her head up and rising to every occasion as it presents itself. Wow. Awesomeness is not nearly strong enough to describe her, but it is at least in the right ballpark.

Just like Cinderella, she has a thing for shoes!

"Her children rise up and bless her."  -- Proverbs 31: 28

3. While visiting I was able to take her mini-van with 100K+ miles on it, into an auto-shop owned by a friend. This kind-hearted business owner changed the oil as a gift. No matter how many times I attempted to tuck some $$ under the desk blotter and attribute it to pizza, it kept ending up back in my purse. Saints live in our midst. Sometimes they have grease under their fingernails. Thank you God for taking care of this need, please bless him for his kindness in this time of need. Allow us to pay it forward in another chapter. 

"And my God will supply all your needs."   -- Philippeans 4:19


4. We had the amazing opportunity to have a three generation roller skating party. Old school. At the roller rink. With rental skates. Collision of disco balls and digital light show. I hadn't been on roller skates in this century. I had quite a bit of trepidation over the mere thought. 

Lacing up my skates I had more than a single flash of fear. Think of all that could go wrong at my age! I eeked my way out onto the rink with itty-bitty baby walking steps. The first 7 minutes would have been hilarious on a video. Hovering near the wall. Eek eek, eeking along. 

Then it all came back! Like riding a bike. There was muscle memory for sure, but something about the disco lights and thumping base, transported me back to my own youth. #Rinkrat. All of those possibilities ahead! 

With all of those laps around the oblong course, dodging the newly initiated, I began telescoping my grandchildren's sliding along, into memories of teaching my own daughters, and cobbled that together with the feeling of my stick straight 70's 60's hair down my back while catching a glance from a hormone crazed tweenie-bopper. LIFE. Potential and possibilities and time elapsed and projected simultaneously. Hilarity is a gift from heaven. Laughter is the perfect medicine for whatever ails you. I've always known that, even speak to that to my audiences, but FEELING laughter? Hallelujah! 

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” -- Psalm 126: 2


5. Laughter! Exercise! Oxygen! Pop music! Pulsing lights! 

PLUS a photo to document at least a glimmer of the experience!
Three generations on wheels. 
Dancing along and building skills together. 


But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- Psalm 103:17

Let's just conclude that portion of this past week on that happy note. Many blessings. Much love expressed over the course of an entire week together. We also went to church together and had a late March, 'pre-emptive birthday party' since we won't be in Ohio in April. 

To say that everyone was surprised by the presents is an understatement. Buying bicycles and riding them down the aisle at Target, with a crash into the shelves of towels is captured for your benefit and amusement on Instagram! Watching your #WonderPeeps grow into their new bikes is a treasure beyond measure.

"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:8


And then I flew home on March 24th, just in time for our wedding anniversary! 
Here's what I shared on Facebook, on that channel. 

Hubby Allen has always been at the center of all the family fun! 

6. {Our Wedding Anniversary-- My eighth 'cancerversary'} Today's a BIG day in the grand scheme of my life. Today we celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary!!! For those of you that have known me longer than 23 or 24 years, you know what a miracle has been wrought through God's divine blessing upon my life. From the most devastating and humiliating chapters into the most glorious.
Meeting Allen and having his support for these two decades+ has literally allowed me to morph into "Debbie Clement" and the writer of songs, the illustrator of books, the dreamer of dreams. There are no words adequate. His encouragement has genuinely allowed me to contribute BEYOND the one school building where I was contributing when we met and make a little dent into the wider world. He has provided for my children and taken them into his heart: paying for their advanced education, walking them down the aisle, loaning me to them for seasons as needed: no questions asked. He has been the 'step' parent that STEPPED up. Over and over again. He promised me when they were barely into elementary school that he would pay for their braces and prom dresses (which sounded absurd and ridiculous at the time) and that is exactly what he did!!!

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. -- I Corinthians 13: 13




7. Then you add all of the above to the fact that today is also my 8th cancerversary (of my first diagnosis) and you get all misty eyed, too. Don't you? He has stood by me, when I couldn't 'stand.' All of the subsequent surgeries, and treatments, radiation burns, medicinal side effects, drains, fatigue, infection, complications/lymphodema, sorrow and grief...... he has been my biggest cheerleader and positive light.

Raise a cupcake in our honor today. Sprinkle it with polka dots. PLUS you have my permission to toast us with an umbrella drink on this WONDERFUL Wednesday!

2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  -- Ephesians 4:2

P.S. Here's the picture from last week, just in case you missed it. 



BUT WAIT. THERE'S MORE. 

Call it Karma. Or Grace. Or a God-Wink. 

Spring has arrived and so has the season known as spring-cleaning!

Hubby surprised me with the most amazing anniversary in the history of anniversary presents! Talk about surprise! More on that over the year ahead. Too big of a cat to let out of the bag just yet. Let's just suffice it to say that the hardest working man in the world has given me an incredible gift-in-the-making. In any case, we had a serious conversation about spring-cleaning. He encouraged me to lighten my closet. 

Introspection ensued. 

I said out loud, to no one in particular: 

"What if I went through my closet and chose things to donate to others with trust and belief that my extending kindness, would result in answers to my own prayers." 

And so I began. With an entirely different attitude and perspective. I picked out a suit for a woman needing to go on an interview. I picked out a formal dress for someone heading out to a significant evening full of memories in the making. Quilted jacket for a fellow quilter. Too many sweaters for sunny Florida. You get the idea. Bags and bags. I went deeper and deeper and said a prayer over each piece that had brought me pleasure in the past, with the trust that it could support someone else in the future. 

Into the car and off to Goodwill! Bingo! Came home. 

In less than three hours: 

A.) I got a FB message from a dear 'library-lady' friend of mine that she is needing a Debbie-fix for her community while we are in Ohio in May. 

B.) I got an email from a 'middle-man' who carries my books and CDs, that they had received word from a conference planner that they want me to give a KEYNOTE for their upcoming event. 

and MOST amazing of all?

C.) I received an email from a certain BELOVED early childhood presenter that she had referred my name, for an event that couldn't fit into her over-stuffed calendar. This beloved one has never given my name out before, but chose that EXACT moment in time to do so. {I will happily live the rest of my professional life accepting the crumbs from her generosity.} 

OK. You do the math. Seriously. I need to generate new revenue, new opportunities, new gigs. That has been my continual prayer. My immediate prayers have been answered. AGAIN. 

7"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8"For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.…  -- Matthew 7:7

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. -- Mark 11:24


If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. -- James 1:5 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14


I really have been raised to be a child of the New Testament. 

There's one final verse that brings me a LOT of solace these days, 
it is quoted in the NT, but began in the Old Testament. 

"..... leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord.  Romans 12:19

It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them." -- Deuteronomy 32:35


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Preschool Preposition Class Book with Photographs (ELL)


In my recent travels making my author-illustrator school visits...... 
I saw this incredible "class book." 

The preschool teacher said it was one of the very favorite things in the classroom. 
Made at the very beginning of the school year, 
it is used daily during free-reading time and the children LUV to see their classmates
and 'read' along with the action shots! 



What a perfect and meaningful way to motivate young children to work hard to write their name:
You are about to contribute to the class book! 

Do your very best! 





Is there any more excitement possible than posing for a photo, 
that will become part of "OUR BOOK." 

That the photos depict prepositions makes it that much more meaningful.
Many of these children are learning English. 
What a terrific way to make these descriptive phrases
come to life! 

REAL LIFE! 








1-+*


I have an earlier article that RoundsUP of 19+ other examples of using student names in a variety of projects. 

It has been said that, 

"The bridge to reading is through a child's name."

Reading Begins with the Child's Name: RoundUP at RainbowsWithinReach 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#TeacherFriends Twitter Chat on Parent Involvement! 9 PM EST!


TUESDAY! TWITTER CHAT! #TEACHERFRIENDS

What started out very 'organically' last summer, as my effort to help some of my teaching friends to make the leap to Twitter has evolved into something completely unexpected in the process. We really are making new Teacher Friendships! People that we connect with from week to week, really do enrich our lives!!! 

There's the tweep that encourages me on Fitbit -- to get up and moving. There's the tweep that ordered wobble chairs for her classroom, to support our family in this current chapter of turmoil. There's the tweep that ReTweets my blog articles. There's the tweep that is working diligently to get me to her school! There's the tweep that had me connect with her school via SKYPE as an author-illustrator! You get the idea. 

That's not even a glimmer of the tweeps that share brilliant articles, information, technology insight, and support of their peers (and of me!) Wow. This little hair-brained idea of mine just grows and grows. We have had AM!A!ZING! #GuestEduCelebrity tweeps from week to week! Our upcoming schedule is filled with awesomeness! And INCREDIBLE prizes, too! 



I would be delirious, if I didn't tell you that it takes an incredible amount of work to pull it off week to week. But I'm so grateful to have my other three #TeacherFriends acting as hostess and muscles! It takes a village. Maggie, Kristin and Kim are hard at work in the background making it all happen! 

This week we are going to focus on Parent Involvement! We have the organization "SimplyCircle" in our spotlight. They have a whole new way to organize your classroom, or your grade level! {OR your extended family!!!} Teachers will be asked for their favorite means to encourage parent support, communication and participation. Can't wait to hear from our veteran-teachers and our young college students alike. Tonight promises to be VERY insightful. {Just like EVERY week!} 

Tonight we're doing something a little different in our prize package. SimplyCircle will give a $10 Amazon coupon to EVERYone that starts a new circle of communication! Just for giving it a try! There will be a special tweet with the instructions of how to claim! 

Plus there will be a LOT of digital prizes from our fab four! 


I use the free site "TweetDeck" so that I can 'see' all of the columns that help me stay organized and focused in our machine-gun fast chat. I open one column for the chat, another for my direct notifications and a third for direct messages. Shazam. My fingers, eyes and brain are beginning to be able to process all of that information, but I still 'surf' the chat, back and forth, and am typically at least a few minutes behind. The more I 'stop' to welcome newbies, the further behind I get..... but I'm used to that by now. LOL. 

P.S. If you are reading here in real time, I still have a HUGE opportunity for some lucky reader to win a $350 registration for this summer's FrogStreet SPLASH conference in Texas! Go back to my article from earlier this week to get entered! HURRY! There's not a lot of time left. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

WIN a Frog Street Splash Registration! Give-AWAY!


FROGSTREET SPLASH 2015! 
Gaylord Texan RESORT!

There is nothing like attending a national professional conference to jump-start your focus, commitment and dedication! The annual summer SPLASH EVENT is the place to be if you have dedicated your life to the service of children. I can't wait to get back to Texas, to the Gaylord and to SPLASH! {Oh, my, word! Have you ever been to the Gaylord? Superlative beyond your wildest!}

What makes SPLASH different than 'other' national events? Good question. 

All national conferences have top-notch speakers. For sure! In addition to incredible presenters and workshops, SPLASH is also part game-show hyper-excitement of giveaways and prizes. I'm sure SPLASH is the first conference where I have seen participants SCREAMING with genuine excitement over prizes, and prizes and more prizes. 


There's more of a PARTY atmosphere at SPLASH! The dazzling stage, the pump-up-the-room atmosphere. The professional master-of-ceremony type ubber immersion into fun and learning makes SPLASH a unique environment to be sure! I'm looking forward to spending some more time with Shawn Brown! 



And then there is the evening pajama party. Think wearing your themed pjs with several hundred of your besties, in a throw down over PRIZES and you're kinda, sorta in the right category! 



This year's evening pajama party is a blogger-meet-and greet! OH BE STILL MY HEART! It is to be hosted by my super-fave blogger Crystal Radke, from Kreative in Kinder fame. YES. I once got to spend an entire weekend in her home! YES! We did stay up past our bedtime, more than once!!! YES!!! I did get to make my author-illustrator presentation at her school! SQUEEEEE! Can't wait to see all of my favorites. How the time flies! 





The main thing, since it has gone live, is to let you get entered to WIN WIN WIN a full registration! Worth $350! See this is what I mean by PARTY! I know in the world of early childhood, your winning the registration can mean the difference in your dreams coming true and not. 

After Rafflecopter chooses the winner, you will have 48 hours to "claim" your prize, before I reach out to the runner-ups. Fair. Fair-is-fair! 

If you're not the lucky-duck, you'll want to move quickly to take advantage of the EarlyBird Discount



Would you be a sweet heart and pin that image? 
This opportunity could mean the world to one of your peers! 

AND THE WINNER IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

BREANNE S!!!! 

I will be emailing you next! 

You have 48 hours to get back to me with your acceptance speech!

First runner up is: Laurie E. 
Second runner up is: Channon M.  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#TeacherFriends Tuesday Night w Tweeps! Welcome Katie Knight!


TUESDAY NIGHT! 
Grab your jammies and some popcorn! 

Tonight is going to be so much fun! 
What would you want on a desert island if you were stranded with 32 students? 
Oh. There's no electricity or internet either! 

Just a preview of tonight's fun! 


The bestest part of traveling the country? 
Meeting new #TeacherFriends! 

YUP. I got to meet tonight's #GuestEduCelebrity in person!
Katie Knight is truly one-of-a-kind in the big heart department! 

Tune in at 9PM EST! 
I will be newly landed in the Ohio-tundra at #WonderPeepCentral. 

Hopefully I can get my laptop connected to you! 


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Praise Report: Strength and Courage = Strong and Courageous!

Strength and Courage Translates into Strong and Courageous! Faith Report

It's Saturday. Lately I've been giving a little weekly wrap up where I count blessings and enumerate some gratitude attitude. If you missed the origination of the NEED for this updating, you'll just have to trust me, when I say that I have spent a lot of time lately on my knees.

This week, I will attempt to 'piece' together one of THE amazingly delightful coincidences, that are the cobblestone punctuation of my entire adult life. I see these incredible bits that litter my days as "God Winks" {thanks to the author SQuire Rushnell for a term of attribution.} 

Let's go back a bit. I am about an inch away from my 8th cancerversary of my original diagnosis. Back in the day I lived morning, noon and night on the chatline speaking in real time with fellow Breast Cancer survivors. Those amazing women kept me sane, informed and connected. We shared all manner of bits from our lives. Then when it would be time to sign off..... we were often in the midst of some heavy duty sharing. It seems rather gauche to just say 'good night' or ttyl or any other short hand. 

I came up with the two words: STRENGTH and COURAGE. Encouraging I hoped for my sistahs up against it big time. At the time our pastor, signed off every week by saying, "Go in Peace, Go in Peace, Go in Peace." Hear that three form benediction always rang true to me. 

So I began signing off in triplicate: Strength and courage. Strength and courage. Strength and courage. 
So that's how things got started. Shorthand for 'hang in there.' Shorthand for 'words fail me.' Shorthand for 'sending you prayers.' 



THEN. This whole latest train wreck rocked our family. Blindsighted. Never in my worst nightmare. I made the image above. As much for me as for my daughter or anyone else. 

THEN. My FB-friend-turned-friend-in-real-life, shared with me in the midst of her tragic loss of her dear family member in a car accident, that my little triple phrase was actually quite "Biblical." She let me know in her own devotional she came across the verse in Joshua 1:9 that spelled out in threefold our being commanded to being strong and being courageous. As an edict. Even in the midst of the unthinkable. 

THEN. I walked into the library of Holy Trinity. I got myself and my gear all organized and then in came the PreK crowd. All in matching t-shirts. We sang and danced and about a minute and a half into our super fun together time, I READ their collective t-shirt. YUP. You figured it out LONG before now! All of those matching t-shirts quote Joshua 1:9!!!

What are the odds I ask you? God Wink! God Wink! God Wink! 

If there is ever any doubt in my mind moving forward, I was gifted my very own t-shirt to remind me that every detail of our lives is held with love in the hands of our Creator. 

A few additional bits of gratitude-details. 

1. Today I gave the KEYNOTE at the 20th Conference of Early Childhood professionals, in Ft. Myers. There's a crazy story about working on the main stage, but let's just summarize, by saying that EVERYTHING went well, when it needed to. At the time we were to get started. We started. Positive. Delightful. Hugs. YEAH GOD! 

2. I personalized my picture book, "You're Wonderful" to a teacher's own son, Seth. We both cried. She started it. Turns out that there are LOTS of kiddos that NEED words of affirmation. I promised her that we'd pray for her story, too. TY on their behalf. YEAH GOD! 

3. This week the FAX came through for the order of Wobble Seats from my #TeacherFriend! Another inquiry came in regarding a LARGE order of wobbles! The Wobbles seem to be winning in generating 'new dollars' out of the clear blue! YEAH GOD! 

4. Got another check in the mail from left field to settle up an old inventory commitment from a company that we hadn't heard from in quite a long time. YEAH GOD!

5. We got to hear the "Spizzywinks (sp?)" for free! They are the Yale underclassmen, to their more famous upperclasmen peers in the 'Wiffenpoofs.' So much fun, enthusiasm, talent and ENERGY! TY TY TY YEAH GOD! 


6. I had a fellow blogger-cyber-friend enlist herself onto my YOUNIQUE Team of Presenters! I shared on FB a little #MascaraMondy rah-rah and snap! Melissa signed up and brings new enthusiasm. YEAH GOD! 

7. I had a cyber-bud purchase my favorite Younique product, UPLIFT via my link! YEAH GOD! 

8. My official Frogstreet Ambassador status has been confirmed and I have been given permission to GIVE AWAY a FREE registration to the summer SPLASH conference! I will get that article together VERY soon, so that you can entered to win! BTW: that's a value of $350!!! Plus you'd get the opportunity to meet me in person! I GET TO PRESENT! YEAH GOD!

9. My fitbit is keeping me sane. I am now well over a month of daily days of walking over 10,000 steps per day. A couple of amazing fitbit tidbits. I have now earned my badge for having walked 25,000 steps IN ONE DAY! Last Sunday. Cra-cra-crazy! I have gotten only slightly 'addicted' to walking those 10K EACH AND EVERY day! In the 14 weeks since Allen gave it to me, I have LOST SEVEN POUNDS! I should write them a LUV letter! This is a conscientious use of time and energy. I have benefits galore from getting more active! YEAH GOD!

10. I am getting closer and closer to my flight north! That means I get to spend an entire week hugging on my WonderPeeps. We will be playing a ton of Scrumble Tag and I have promised to 'count' each and every one, to see how much they have grown since they were here in Florida with us! YEAH GOD! Allen found a bargain, round trip ticket for a song. A piece of luggage will cost as much as my flight: LOL. I already know that this budget flight does NOT include peanuts or any other frills. So I plan to wear a week's worth of clothing in a layered extravaganza.... a whole new fashion statement in the making! But the way I look at it, leaving today's 88 degrees to head for Ohio, I will need everyone of those layers to go all full on tundra. 

That's an overview of the good news and God winks of the week. Oh. Let me leave you with one more glimpse. Here's a little peek from today. This little glimmer of my week, is one that brought me such a sense of delight and appreciation.   



I found these polka-dot classics at JC Penney's this week in the men's department. I took a leap into uncharted territory and got them on a whim, that 'maybe' there would be some feet I love that would be adorned. 

HE DID IT! For my BIG day, BIG keynote, BIG l-o-n-g bunch of happiness, HE WORE THEM! 


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

#TeacherFriends Tues 3/10 TECHNOLOGY: Kayla + Remind Twitter Chat

TeacherFriends Tuesday Twitter Chat on ALL things Technology!

TUESDAY #TEACHERFRIENDS TUESDAY TWITTER TUESDAY! 

Tuesday! You know the drill! 
Tonight is our WEEKLY #TeacherFriends Twitter chat. 

I know. I know. I've been blathering on about this opportunity every week for three seasons of the past year. 
Have I convinced you yet? 
Have you joined us? 

delete title

Tonight we welcome Kayla to our spotlight! 
She is our #GuestEduCelebrity!
She blogs over at "Top Dog Teaching." 

This is the night to join in. Honest. 

We're going to be talking about all things TECHNOLOGY! 
Not the least of which is how to use Twitter to build your PLN 
{Professional Learning Network} 

There will be a TON of prizes tonight! 


TONIGHT!!! We are being sponsored by REMIND
Thanks to Kayla for making that connection! 
"Remind" has some serious swag to share! 

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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