Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lesson 128: Feel the Love

Just like love never fails, Eloise came through with another blog post despite a busy weekend.  I'm cleaning.  Not Operation Clean Sweep level cleaning, but the Hoe Out Meter is reading somewhere between yellow and orange.  When it's Operation Clean Sweep time, the meter blinks red.  When I tried to open the "pencil and pen drawer" aka "the junk drawer" on Friday, it wouldn't open.  I pulled it out an inch or two and something was stuck on the lip.  I wriggled my skinny hand in the space, scraping the skin off of my knuckles and almost damaging my costume jewelry Will & Kate replica ring.  This made me crabby.  However, when I discovered the object that had been jamming the junk drawer up was a FRISBEE, I screamed "THAT'S IT!" It was time to clean the house.

We who reside in the north live inside for months straight during the long winter.  Even though this winter has been mild across the nation, still there's not much to do outside on a "warm" 40 degree and rain day versus 10 degrees and partly cloudy.  In some cases, I think the snow is almost better.  While we're inside, we tend to make lots of messes.  I've been cleaning out little misplaced items shoved everywhere:  missing marker caps under the couch, goldfish crackers beneath it's cushions, and two overdue library books in the toy box.  I worked most of the day yesterday on just a couple of rooms and the place looks like it had a fresh shower.

I kept myself motivated yesterday with my tunes.  I'm on an Adele kick lately since her big Grammy wins two weeks ago.  I decided to share her version of Make You Feel My Love with you.  Wow is it great.  I've just added another thing to my list of things I always want, but will never have (like a size 6 body)--Adele's voice.  On the slide show I put a few things I love, including some older pictures of my children.  How fast the time goes.  When their hands spell L-O-V-E, I am the L, Ellen is the O, Natalie is the V, and Sam is the E.  We got a light dusting of snow, so I was able to write LOVE in it.  That is my boot print.

I was reviewing the movie this morning and I heard footsteps above my head.  Sam was up.  He's usually the first one up every day after me.  He bumped down the steps on his butt one at a time, dragging his blankey.  He stood, puffy-eyed in the middle of the living room, looked around and inhaled.  He has the nose of a bloodhound like his momma and his sister Natalie.  "It smells clean in here," Sam commented about the lingering aromas of Murphy's Oil Soap and Spic and Span.  I smiled at him.  "I love my house."  I tipped my head slightly, Awwwww.  "This is MY house," stated Sam to no one in particular.  I choked back a snicker.  Sam looks at me and says, "I'm so glad that I let you live here, Mommy."  Record scratch.  Back to this thing called My Reality.  My eyebrows are now furrowed like the Angry Birds.

 So, just for that Sam, I am sharing my new cover suggestion for the book I just finished (twice) called Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka.  It gives me tips on how not to drink all of those Rolling Rocks in one sitting after dealing with you all day.  It should be written by Eloise Hawking.  I seriously could have written this book.
Sticking heads of people on things is my thumbprint in this life, my calling card so to speak. It helps me combat the winter boredom that I get every year.   I get so many school pictures every year (I am a staff member in five buildings and have ID tags in all of them), I always have more pictures of me than I know what to do with.  My head looks great on Faith Hill's body, by the way.   Because this book is really written about Sam, I thought I'd see how his head looked pasted onto this cover.  If he catches sight of himself in a pink shirt and pigtail braids my life is going to be a nightmare, so keep this to yourselves, Readers.

Can you feel the love from The Lamp Post?

Love you,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lesson 127: Moon Me

20 years ago, I would have walked away from it.  Turned around and drove the other direction.  Wiped my hands clean of a constant frustration.  But with age I've gained persistence and determination.  I will not give up on the video I love.  It's one I made of the moon and Erie winter scenery this weekend.  It posted to youtube no problem and I can play it from my home computer just fine.  However, when I go to share it, the block pops up.  That happens with some older songs and this one was made in 2003.

So here is my very lame attempt to rectify blog post 126.  It's gross for sure, but it seems that this is my only option because I have nothing else to work with.  I have to give thanks to some other person in this world who realized (probably after the fact as I did), that Under the Same Moon by Blake Shelton in 2003 does not have the copyright release.  This very strange video was made a few weeks ago by some random person, probably a concert goer like myself who discovered this old Blake Shelton song and wanted more of it.  He or she recorded the playing song with a very hideous picture of Blake and posted it to youtube.  Thanks for the loaner, Random Person.  Some men get better looking with age, and I will take the 35 year old Blake any day.  The video shot is of what he looked like nine years ago.  This is Blakey Baby today.   Much better.

I suggest playing the song and at least scrolling down to see my photographs while the song plays.  The images and the sound won't be perfectly matched, but it's all I could do.  I did put them in the same order of the original photo show.  The moon is so pretty, I'd hate for you to miss it.  Slovenians, I suppose if you look at the photos of the Erie landscapes in February, you'll probably never come for a visit.  Don't let that stop you.  I live in a great town.  Come for a visit.

So your main lesson for today is don't ever give up.  You can find a way around any problem if you try hard enough.  Look at me.  Even when I felt like shooting someone the moon, I worked around it and ended up giving you my moon shots instead (thank the Lord).

Enjoy your disjointed song and photography.  Scroll below for the pictures and play the song while you look.
Shadows of the night
Moving on the ground
Like silent clouds
They follow me around
 As I wander through the dark
Through the midnight mist

Remembering our last kiss
Do you know how much
You're missed
 Tonight I stand in this lonely place

 I search the heavens for a saving grace
And I cry
Dying without you
 I know you're somewhere
Looking up there too
 Right now that's all
Two distant hearts can do
At least we're underneath
Underneath the same moon
 Picturing your face
Flowers in your hair
Like you always wear
 Oh I can see you there
Longing to be touched
 But you're out of reach
Oh hold on please
 Won't you wait for me
 Tonight I stand in this lonely place
I search the heavens for some saving grace
And I cry
Dying without you
 I know you're somewhere
Looking up there too
Right now that's all
 Two distant hearts can do
 At least we're underneath
Underneath the same moon
la la la la la da da
At least we're underneath the same moon
Shadows of the night
Moving on the ground
Like silent clouds
They follow me around

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lesson 126: Underneath the Same Moon

Happy weekend, Readers.  I was inspired by this week's blog post by a beautiful moon on Friday morning.  I love the moon in all of its forms.  The full moon on a clear night is my favorite, but I also like the crescent moon.  There was a beautiful crescent moon at twilight hanging low in a sky south west from the Lamp Post.

To clarify, it was morning twilight, the time between dawn and sunrise.  Twilight happens at two times of the day.  Lots of my students thought twilight was only at night.  Night twilight is defined as the time between dusk and nightfall.  According to wikipedia, artists and photographers call this time of day the blue hour because of the distinctive quality of light.  Eloise is an early riser so I catch twilight most every day, and I do agree it is beautiful, but oh so fleeting.  You only have a few minutes to experience the beauty of it.

I caught the crescent moon in the morning twilight on Friday and watched my breath fog in puffs as I snapped away with my camera.  It was cold out--33 degrees, and I was standing at the end of my driveway in my running shorts and oddly didn't feel the cold.  I was happy for the experience and knew I'd have a photograph to remember the sky.  "Now I got to find me a good moon song..." I thought to myself.  And surely I did.

There are lots of songs written about the moon.  Right away I thought of my old college favorite, Moondance by Van Morrison.  Then I thought perhaps something more current would be better for my younger followers and all I could think of was Lady Gaga's Marry the Night.  Both seemed OK, but neither seemed right.

I rushed to get ready for work--and in-service day for teachers, and let my kids sleep in under the watchful eyes of their grandparents for the day.  I later came home to find a stash of candy wrappers behind the couch pillow, Wal-Mart bags, and dead kid technology in need of charging.  That's what days with Grandma and Grandpa are like.  Oh, if my kids only knew the truth how strict they were with my sister and I when we were growing up.  They'd never believe me if I told them the truth.

 Regardless, I jumped into my van and was preparing to hear the Adele song that I've been stuck on, but it didn't play.  Sometimes my van CD player skips to songs in the middle of the CD until the car warms up.  The CD skipped to song 13 and it was this Blake Shelton song, Underneath the Same Moon.  It was an older song I was unfamiliar with.  I put it on my new CD because I wanted to find more of Blake's older stuff since I just went to his concert here in Erie last week.  The song was perfect for all the moon pictures I've taken in the last few months.  My new camera with the big lens is really good.  You can really see the detail of the frost I captured the other morning as well.   They are all my pictures except for the eclipse.

I also threw in some landscapes from Erie in February.  It is so cold and desolate here right now, even without the record snows we usually get, that the seagulls look miserable.  It is a good compilation of life on the shores of my northern, manufacturing town in the winter.  The locals will recognize some of the scenery.

Enjoy your song and photos.  I'll leave you with a really pretty quote I found on pinterest.  They aren't my words and I don't know who wrote them, but I sure wish it was me.  They are beautiful, just like those moon shots.
Meet me where the sky touches the sea.  Wait for me where the world begins.  

I Love You to the Moon and Back,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lesson 125: Faded Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day, Readers.  Here is a lovely musical piece for you in honor of the day Cupid takes aim at the unsuspecting.  Sharing that honor on Post 125 is Adele as well.  She's a fave in our house.  In case you've been living in a box this last year, let me shed a little light on exactly who Adele is:
This is Adele, holding her six, count 'em, six Grammy Awards.  The little gramophone replicas look so nice nestled in the crook of her arms.

Adele is a twenty-three year old English beauty who has captivated us all with her raspy, soulful voice singing my favorites Rolling in the Deep, and Set Fire to the Rain.  Ellen, my pianist, is playing Someone Like You, her current favorite song on the video posted above.

Adele is interesting.  It is rumored that all songs on her album were written about the same person--an obvious broken relationship of some sort.  I found this pinterest pin about that and posted it on facebook the other night. 'Atta girl, Adele.  Don't sit there and snivel.  Get mad and go make some money.  Adele is well deserving of all her accolades and everyone here at the Lamp Post was glad to see her win on Sunday night.

So, Ellen has yet another strong woman role model to admire.  She begged me to buy her the song and has been chipping away at it for weeks.  Ever clever my girl is, she took two songs that she loves, and blended them together.  She's trying things like this more and more and it is making me proud.  I always tell her to find something she admires, whether it is art or music, and take the ideas and make them her own.  I feel like an American Idol judge.  She actually took my advice tonight, so I insisted on video taping her and putting it on this blog.

The song Faded Valentine is one she is working on with her piano teacher.  It is really pretty.  I searched all over the internet to see if the song had lyrics.  The following are the only lyrics I can find and I am not sure if the source is reliable--I never heard of it before.  They aren't Adele's words, but they sound very Adelish (I made a new word--very catchy I might add).  Here they are:

 Faded Valentine
All her life she dreamed romance. She waited for her prince. She kept souvenirs of love and affection. She kept waiting. Opportunities arose that didn't fit the dreams she had so she squandered them and kept waiting. And she continues to wait. And wait.

I hope Adele doesn't wait around.  That girl is going places.  So is My Girl, too.  And just think, you heard her here first, right on this very blog.

Please read the next blog post for some new girls I just LOVE.  Don't miss it.  Scroll down for Blog post 124.

Be Mine,

Lesson 124: I LOVE THIS!!!

If you have not seen these two little girls yet, have a seat.  They are undoubtedly the most precious things I've seen lately.  My friend Keri showed me this clip, as well as several other related ones.  If you find them as captivating and hilarious as I did, you can find more by going to youtube and typing in Sophia Grace and Rosie into the search box.  I highly recommend the Shopping Spree and The Red Carpet Interviews.

It is good to show love and romance on Valentine's Day, but there is always room for laughter.  Laughter makes the heart sing, so they say.  Sophia Graces enthusiasm is infectious.  I would be little Rosie--the cute one who really can't sing, but bee bops around next to her cousin for moral support.  My favorite part is when Rosie does the drum thing.  Even my Sam has watched this clip about five times.  "Can I watch those little, pink girls again, Mommy?"  I think he's got his eye on the five year old.

Enjoy the clip as well as this little ditty I found in my potato bag this week.  A heart shaped potato for Valentine's Day.  How about that?  I think I should enter it in that contest where cornflakes look like states and toast turns out looking like the crying Virgin Mary.  I'm bound and determined to be famous for something someday.  Maybe it will be for finding a heart shaped potato.

Enjoy your day of LOVE.  I've got a long day ahead.  I teach in an elementary school and this day spells

Love and Laughs,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lesson 123: God Gave Me Her

The handsome man above is country singer Blake Shelton.  To the right is my sister and I at his concert in Erie on February 9th.  You are always curious about the identity of Eloise, so don't ever say that I never post my picture.  I'm the one minus the hat on the right.  I'm too tall for hats.  This is part one of a two part blog lesson for today.  Read the post below this one for a bonus Blake Shelton performance.

Valentine's Day is coming and it's time to post a couple of blogs about some things I love.  If you are a regular reader you have learned that I love children, my own and the ones I teach.  I love music and going to concerts.  I love to read.  I love the great outdoors. Therefore I've learned that you can love lots of things and lots of people because loving something or someone is never bad.

I think about love more often than I used to.  I am now making some room in my life for an occasional romance novel or girly movie.  My sister was telling me that I was no fun.  Life is too short not to have any fun,  so I took her advice. Karen is the one who got me hooked on country music. It's been a slow growing love, but if you ask me, that's a love of the best kind.  One that takes awhile.  It's like putting a sauce on simmer.  If you cook things low and slow they are tender and full of taste.  I prefer that kind of love way more than the pushy fast kind.  That kind of love can be a hot, fun ride, but it usually doesn't last because it burns you in the end.

In Blake's God Gave Me You video above,  you will see love between a mother and a child (the best kind, if you ask me), and love for a total stranger.   No matter how love finds you, or what kind of love it is, enjoy the feeling.  It is special.

My sister loves me in her sisterly way. She has to because we only have each other. One of the girls we went to the concert with said that she was envious of us because her sisters lived far away and Karen and I lived only a couple of miles apart.  Everyone would be surprised how little we actually see one another.  We are busy moms and have little time for fun for ourselves, so when we get the chance to do something together, we always make it lots of fun.  In fact, my sister loves me so much she bought me this t-shirt.

I won't be wearing this one to school though.  I think the slogan is a bit suggestive, which would be in violation of our dress code.

But the best part about my sister is not that she introduced me to country music and always lugs me along to country concerts.  It's not that she always comes through in the jewelry department when me and my daughters are in need of some bling.  It's that she is one heck of an excellent source of blog fodder.  She's fun to pick on and takes things in stride.

"yes, I do have the best sister in the world... It's just that she's crazy and she scares me a little bit."    I want to BE that sister. Let's see how she does with this one.  It's a pinterest pin I picked out just for Karen.  Don't think I'm a big #*%&$.  I'm just getting her back for taking my picture and putting it on facebook wrecking the mystery behind Eloise.  It's not just that---it's the fact that the picture posted is ALWAYS better of her.  Now we're back to even.

Don't forget to read the other blog post below this one for a bonus Blake Shelton song.  It's the Super Bowl pre-game performance of America the Beautiful.

L-O-V-E from the Lamp Post,

Lesson 122: In Perfect Harmony

And here is part two of your two-part blog.   Two lovers in perfect harmony.  A real life fairy tale.  Country boy meets country girl.  They fall in love and make beautiful music together.  This is what harmony sounds like and looks like.  And who would have thunk it---they both showed up in Erie four days after this performance.  Bonus!!

As I write this Blake and Miranda are right here in my living room on my 42 inch TV screen.  They are on the Grammy Awards and the camera seems to love them tonight.  Another handsome country couple for me to be envious of.  In fact, I thought about cheating on Tim the other night at the concert.  Blake winked at me you know.  It was kind of hard to see, three rows from the top to the far, far, far left of the stage....but I still saw it.  It was tempting, but I just couldn't do it.  I'm sticking with Tim McGraw.  Besides, what would I do with my voodoo doll of Faith Hill?

Enjoy this version of America the Beautiful.  Come see us, Slovenians.  America really is beautiful.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lesson 121: Catch Some Fireflies

Happy weekend, Readers.  This one has blown in a bit blustery on this February Saturday.  We've gotten ourselves a long overdue blast of arctic wind, snow, and cold here in the Lake Erie region.  To help you combat the cold, Eloise suggests this:  pour yourselves a cup of hot coffee (preferably black) and sit back and watch this very heartwarming picture movie.  I made it at my daughter's beauty pageant last night at our local high school.

Our high school Debate Team sponsored the Ever So Lovely Pageant for the second year in a row.  Special girls with special needs were invited to show up for a night of feeling like a princess.  The girls donned their evening gowns and showcased their talents before a captivated crowd of friends and family.  Each girl was escorted by a dashing young man, offering a bent elbow to lead each one to their special time in the spotlight, center stage. Some girls sang.  Others danced.  One girl hula hooped.  Another read a poem.  The biggest surprise of the night was when a nonverbal beauty about my age told Valentine jokes via the voice on her communication board.  There was not one act better than another.  All were different and all were special---just like the girls. Therefore every one of these beauties took home a crown, a sash, and a bouquet of flowers last night.  But who were the real winners of the night?  We were.  We took with us much more.

The message the audience received last night was important; important enough to share it again with all of you who live too far away to have made the show.  Slovenia really is quite a journey from here.  Everyone watching learned this:  YOU ARE BLESSED.  You are blessed because YOU have the opportunity to know these girls and see what each has to offer.  We all are blessed just by knowing them.

Kaitlyn, the high school organizer of this pageant read a poem written by some anonymous person (who could have been me) titled Blessed Are Those.  I've seen many variations of this poem--one for the aged, one for the persecuted---but this one is aimed at the special needs population.  The poem is long, so I will extract a few stanzas that I like best:

  • (for the communication impaired) Blessed are those who stop and listen to my chatter. You may not understand me; but I love when people talk to me, for I long for companionship, too.
  • (for the physically handicapped) Blessed are those who take my hand and walk with me when the path is rough, for I easily stumble and grow weary. But thank you, too, for letting me walk alone when the path is smooth, for I must learn independence.
  • (for the illiterate) Blessed are those who take the time to tell me about special happenings, for unless you make special effort to inform me, I remain ignorant.
  • (for all disabilities)  Blessed are those who are not ashamed to be seen in public with me, for I did not choose to be born this way. It could have been you as well.
It could have been you......No one gets to pick their parents, where they are born, or under which circumstances we enter this life. None of us.  God chooses our path and this we must believe.   Remember that.  It's important.  That's why I underlined it.  It's what teachers do if they want someone to pay attention to something, so go back Students, and read those lines again.

Once, when Ellen was about four, she finally asked the question I was waiting for:  Mom---about Natalie and Erik......are there something.....?????....  I jumped in for the rescue.  I knew what was in her little mind and that she was too immature to have the vocabulary to match her thoughts and feelings.  So the conversation went a little like this:

"Yes, Ellen.  Natalie and Erik are a little different.  They communicate differently.  They have autism."

She pondered a minute.  "Do I have autism?"

"No, Ellen.  You don't."

"Does Jack?" she inquired.

"No, Jack does not have autism either," I replied.

After a moment's pause Ellen pondered aloud, "Well, why them and not us?"  

And for once, I was speechless.  I couldn't answer.  Teachers sometimes take this as a personal defeat when they cannot answer a question.  So to give her some sort of comfort and buy myself a little more time, I pulled her to me and hugged her tight.  I smoothed her curls and rocked her gently from side to side.  Finally, I pushed her back and held her shoulders strong at my arms length.  I looked into her deep brown eyes and said, "I can't answer that, but we have to believe that there is some reason."

I think this is what many in the audience last night may have been thinking.  Why them and not me?  I do also believe that is why we saw so many siblings, particularly sisters, standing next to the girls supporting them during their acts, up on stage next to them, but away from the spotlight.    You'll see a few snapshots of the sisters looking into one another's eyes for support.  

That gives me the opportunity to share my all time favorite picture of my girls.  It was taken several summers ago.  Ellen was the flower girl in my niece's wedding.  For the first time ever, Ellen had a fancy dress and was doing something special without her sister.  Natalie was upset.  "Natalie white dress?   Natalie go too?" she said.  

"No, Natalie," I interjected.  "Ellen is going to the rehearsal dinner.  They could only have one flower girl.  You stay with me."

Natalie looked at Ellen for affirmation.  Ellen, with her keen sense of always knowing just what to do, grabbed her sister and pressed their foreheads together, just like Natalie likes.  "Natalie, it's okay," soothed Ellen.  I like to call Ellen the horse whisperer in times like these, because Ellen has the power to calm a wild stallion.  Natalie listened.  And I just so happened to have my camera at the ready.  

Josh & Grace <3
I found this piece on my new favorite website, pinterest.  It is a photo story, told in note cards.  It is the story of siblings Josh and Grace.  Josh appears to have Downs Syndrome and Grace is doing his talking.  Despite how blogger posts this when I upload it (I've been having formatting problems lately), read the photo story all the way through.  It's heartwarming.  

I love the part when Josh is described as being silly.  Natalie can be a real ball buster if you let her.  She has her father's personality and takes delight in pushing my buttons.  That is never more evident than in her song choice, Faith Hill's Fireflies.

Faith.  Oh, Faith.  It's my favorite word.  I like how it looks.  I like how it sounds when you say it.  I like what it means.  And it just so happens to be the name of the woman who married my handsome cowboy Tim McGraw.  Drat.  

I know I have referred to Faith Hill on this blog as Public Enemy #1, but in all honesty I do admire her.  She's a great singer and I actually liked her music long before I fell in love with Tim McGraw.  But it's always fun to poke fun at someone for a little comedic literary license (I don't like my blog posts to be TOO serious).  

In fact, I even broke down and bought a few People magazines with her on the cover like this:  

And this:  

The article inside this one got me all the more irritated.  I found out Faith is one inch TALLER than me and WEIGHS 20 pounds less.  She's a perfect size 6, she's beautiful, she can sing, she's rich, AND she's married to someone who sings her love songs.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

It's just when I start mentally slumming it and sayings like "life is not fair" run through my mind------record scratch-------look to the left.  Life is not fair?   I beg to differ.  Our lives are blessed.  

When I talked to Natalie a month ago about choosing a song for her pageant, we went through her running list of favorites:  Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus.  "Hey Natalie, what about Carrie Underwood's There's a Place for Us?  How about that one?"

"No."  (smirk)

"Ok," I replied.  Let's see if Taylor Swift has a new one.  Lots of girls like her."

"No."  (giggle)

"Here, let's see your iPod," I requested.  "Let's look through your song list and pick one you kind of already know so you can get better at singing it."

Giggle, giggle, backs up a couple of steps.  "No."

"Come on Natalie!" I yapped.  "Give me that iPod!  Quit fooling around!  I we got to get this done and I'm a busy mom and blah blah blah blah blah......."

Natalie was giggling and scrolling through her tunes with her pointer finger maneuvering that screen faster than a firefly on a hot night in July.  She handed me the iPod.  On the screen was Faith Hill.

"Faith Hill?"  

Giggle, giggle, cackle, laugh out loud.  "Faith Hill."

"You little turd!" I said, and started chasing her around the kitchen, each of us sliding in our socks across the linoleum floor.  

So yes, my verbally impaired daughter was bustin' my chops.  Brat.  Yes, special needs kids can be just as bratty as the rest of 'em.  But the song Fireflies was perfect.  Here are the lyrics:

Before you met me I was a fairy princess
I caught frogs and called them prince and made myself a queen
And before you knew me I'd traveled 'round the world
I slept in castles and fell in love because I was taught to dream

I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top
To capture Tinker Bell
And they were just fireflies to the untrained eye
But I could always tell

I believe in fairy tales
And dreamer's dreams like bed sheet sails
And I believe in Peter Pan and miracles
Anything I can to get by and fireflies

I caught a few fireflies on Friday night.  I'd take them all home in a jar if I could.  To the untrained eye they do look like just bugs, but with a good education you can see that they are much more than that.  They are all little Tinkerbells.  Do you see them now, Readers?  

And as for that darn old beautiful Faith Hill.  She's on to me.  She knows I am after her man.  Looks like she called the press.  

Yeah, yeah.  I hear ya.  Can't help who you love though.

Love YOU all,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lesson 120: Touchdown Jesus

It's Super Bowl Weekend, Readers!  For you Slovenian followers, if you are not up to date on this event of American culture, it has nothing to do with soup (that's a homophone) and not a thing to do with bowling.  It's all about football (and eating).  Read on for more information.

Eloise is a sports fan, but football is my favorite.  My heart lies in the nine weeks of high school games every fall.  There is no passion that matches the excitement of kids when they are about to hit the gridiron on a Friday night. Everyone is full of hope and I hear it in the chatter of the school hallways where I teach.  A distant second is college football.  It  is fun to watch too,  as I do believe the players are at their very best then.  It's not just because the athlete's bodies are so primed and perfect for the sport between the ages of 19 and 22; its the fact that they are playing to impress.  Most are going for the big dreams of the pros which means of course, the big money.  You never play harder and with more passion then when you're chasing some serious cash.

By the time these players reach the professional level, many have already reached their dream.  I don't think they play with quite the same oomph when they are already standing on the mountain top.  Heck, if you're already perched at the pinnacle, there's nothing more to reach for besides getting your contract renewed.  That's when pro players begin to do stupid things.  Like ride a motorcycle not wearing a helmet and wreck it (Ben Roethlisburger).  And chase women (Ben Roethelisburger).  And say stupid things about Tim Tebow (You Haters, you know who you are).

But Eloise will come ready to party in her fan gear despite the fact that neither of my favorite teams are playing.  I wasn't feeling it from the Steelers all year, so none of us were surprised when they didn't get their shot at another ring for a second year in a row.  I think everyone was shocked that the Pack would not be back.  My born and raised Wiconsonian brother-in-law and my nephew are still recovering from the shock of the green and gold not making an appearance this year.  But we party on just the same.  We'll still gather at their house for a pre-game feast of not-so-good-for-you food.  I'm bringing the football strawberries on the picture movie.  Quick, easy, and somewhat healthy.

The movie on this weekend's post is set to Tim McGraw's Touchdown Jesus from his newly released Emotional Traffic CD.  I knew a few weeks ago that I'd be using this song.  The biggest bummer of all is that Tim Tebow wasn't going to be playing in it.  How perfect would that have been?  Slovenians, if you are not familiar with the player, Tim Tebow is the Evangelical Christian quarterback for the Denver Broncos who became more well known for his prayer position, now referred to as tebowing, than for his playing positions.  Tim battled some injuries this season and like life, his games and stats represented some ups and downs.  Tebow played the best game of his pro career against the Steelers knocking my home state faves out of a chance for more ring bling.

Tim Tebow was famous for putting Bible verses on his face paint while playing college ball for Florida.  He often used the versed central to Christians, John 3:16.  It reads:  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  

God works in amazing ways through numbers.  I've always believed that and it is reinforced for me more every day.  In fact, it was during the Broncos vs. Steelers game--an overtime thriller that ended with Tim throwing an 80 yard touchdown pass to clinch the win, that numbers said it all.  Tim Tebow's pass average for that game ended up to be 31.6 yards per completion.  Just dumb luck?  No way.  God spoke.  Did you hear him?

After that game, even after the defeat of my sorry@$$ team, Eloise held no grudges.  Me, and so it seemed many I talked to, were hoping for a Tebow miracle of sorts.  Denver was not as likely as other teams to make it to the Super Bowl, but many people I believe were silently rooting for him as they went against the Patriots to get yet another step closer.  But alas, the game was a disappointment for Broncos fans.  One of my favorite students even admitted he fell asleep in the end.  No miracles on that game, but we still gained a message.

Tim Tebow played hurt through the second half of the game--and not just a sprained pinky.  According to the ESPN website it was reported:   "At the start of the third quarter, Tebow tore cartilage on his first rib where it attaches to his sternum, bruised his lung and had fluid buildup in his pleural cavity, an NFL source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

OUCH! Says Eloise!

But what did Tim Tebow have to say about his performance in the game the whole world was watching, it seemed?  He said this, as quoted again on the ESPN website:

TebowI just wanted to show character. You just continue to fight and it doesn't change who you are, how you play, how you go out there, you should be the same at all times. ... It didn't matter if it was the first play or the last play or you were down by 42
-- Tim Tebow

Nicely put, Tim!  No miracle (other the fact that you could play through that kind of pain), but lesson learned.  You stand, or kneel rather, as an example to all of us.  
There just isn't the same excitement in my region of the country for this Super Bowl when compared to the one last year.  When the home team isn't making an appearance, we watch, but with far less passion.  But that doesn't mean it's not going to be a good one.  We have to tune in and watch for the story.  Every game, just like every person, has a story.  Skies have a story, too.  Did you know that?  I watch them every day for something spectacular.  In fact, one evening this week, the February sky looked pretty much like this:

 And this.  Pretty boring.  Leafless trees and grape vines.  Gray skies.  Blah. 

Then, I spotted it.  See that tiny spot of orange in the middle of this snapshot.  I was on the way home from taking the girls to dance class.  I sped down the road (don't rat me out, Fitzgerald) to grab my camera.  "Going to grab a shot of the sky!  Be right back!" I shouted in the door."

"What sky?" was the muffled response from the next room.
"The one I KNOW is going to be spectacular," I said.
 And look what happened.  (It uploads strange with a formatting problem, but keep scrolling).












 You know what that spells, Readers?


Forever Your Cheerleader,