Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fractions

A few years ago, Dennis DeTurck, an award-winning professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, stood at an outdoor podium on campus and proclaimed, "Down with fractions!"
"Fractions have had their day, being useful for by-hand calculation," DeTurck said. "But in this digital age, they're as obsolete as Roman numerals are."

DeTurck is stirring the pot again, this time in a book scheduled to be published this year. Not only does he favor the teaching of decimals over fractions to elementary school students, he's also taking on long division, the calculation of square roots and by-hand multiplication of long numbers.

DeTurck does not want to abolish the teaching of fractions and long division altogether. He believes fractions are important for high-level mathematics and scientific research. But it could be that the study of fractions should be delayed until it can be understood, perhaps after a student learns calculus, he said. Long division has its uses, too, but maybe it doesn't need to be taught as intensely.

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Hmmm....I need to think about this one. I need to figure out what benefits there are to fractions over decimals.

Off the top of my head the one thing I can think of is when you are physically cutting something into pieces, fractions are much simpler to use for that. I personally like them better in different situations. Decimals, however, are great for situations involving money, weight, or distances. But, does a general understanding of fractions determine a understanding of decimals?

Hmmm......I need to think about this one.

Can you think of any reasons to keep fractions around?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Joy Busters, Joy Builders

"Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give." -Eleanor Roosevelt-

We all want joy (happiness, gladness, rejoicing, delight) in our lives. For some people joy eludes them, for others they have joy in excess. I learned today some things that can bust our joy and some others that can build them. I would like to share them so that you can have the joy that we all seek.

Joy Busters

Unrealized Expectations - Can you think of one person who has everything that they want? Even those who seem to have a lot are still looking for something else. It is not only material possessions that are being talked about here: a happy childhood, a loving faithful spouse, well-behaved children, etc.

Unresolved Conflict - When these are in our lives they exhaust all other emotions so we have no room for joy. We should try to always try to live in peace with others so that we don't grow bitter roots. Those roots can run so deep that they become almost impossible to pull up.

Unconfessed Sin - Guilt and shame from action that we are hiding gut our joy. In the beginning of Psalms 32 David says that when we keep our sins a secret the pressure never lets up, when we tell them to God or to the person we have hurt the pressure is gone, the guilt dissolved, and the sin disappears.

Joy Builders

Accept Forgiveness - When you confess your sins to God or to the person you hurt and they say you have been forgiven, then you must believe and trust that you have been forgiven. This is hard to do, that is understandable, but you have to have a change of heart/mind and it CAN happen.

Grant Forgiveness - Maybe you are not the one who did something wrong, but you are harboring resentment against the one who did. Forgiveness removes the anger and bitterness.

Have a Purpose - Strive to do something in your life that has a purpose. Do something with a worthwhile end. Your purpose may not be the same as someone else. You have to find your own place and purpose.

Focus on Gratitude - Being thankful for what you DO have and joy will naturally follow. Shift your focus and you might just be shocked at how much you do have. I always tend to have unrealized expectation about money. I tend to focus on the debt that we have, but today I realized that we are paying down that debt. It is not getting larger, it is shrinking. It is not as fast as I want it and it causes me to lose my joy. So, this lesson today shifted my focus and when I realized it I did feel happier.

Realize What Troubles Mean - You will have many kinds of troubles. But when these things happen, you should be very happy. Why? Because you know that these things are testing your faith. And this will give you patience. Let that patience work in you to give the result God wants. Then you will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be. -James 1:2-4-

I hope you can take something from this and use it in your life. I know I did.

Have a joyous day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Self Test

In church this morning the fruits of the spirit were discussed. Meaning if you are living as God would like you to, you will see certain result or fruits in your life. In Galatians 5:22-23 it says that the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Today we focused on love.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 it says:

Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Now we know that we can replace the word love with the name of Jesus and it would still hold true. However the self test comes when you put your own name in the place of the word love and see if they still are true.

This showed me areas where I can really use some improvement. I hope you will take the self test too. I am trying new ways for the new year! Keep in mind these words from verse 13 of 1 Corinthians 13.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Go Start Stop

I am trying something new with my blog to branch out some. I usually just put things up I find funny, or pictures from trips my husband and I have taken. I want to add blogs that may help someone. You never know who reads these, and I would love to have an impact on someone's life whether I know it or not. Plus, it helps me have a reminder of things when I can put it in writing.

So with that in mind, I had mentioned in a my last blog some new ways to handle bad days. I have some words to share now on what do to with those WONDERFUL days when they come your way.

I love those days and want to have them more often. I know people who feel guilty when they have good days. They don't feel that they deserve them. What an awful feeling! I know others who when they have a great day they start to worry immediately when it will start to go bad. Again, how awful!

Here is a wonderful way to deal with these days to store up the good so that when the bad does come you will have something to use against them.

GO: Go slow and savor the day. They WILL end, of course they will, so there is no need to worry about that fact. Enjoy what you have been given even without guilt for the good days are from God, he provided them. King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 2:24-25, "without God who can find enjoyment?"

START: Start to share the joy of your extraordinary day. Say out loud to yourself, "I am having a good day!" Smile to others as you pass them. In Philippians 2:4 we are told to not only be interested in our own life, but to be interested in the lives of others. Do this by sharing your good days with them. Do this by sharing positive gossip with others instead of only negative. Do this by paying it forward. One last way to do this is by practicing giving others affirmation, everyone craves it, and it is a great way to share your extraordinary day!

STOP: Stop and give gratitude to God for your extraordinary day. Philippians 4:6-7 says that peace comes from thanksgiving. In chapter 2:13 of the same book says to do all without complaining. Complaining only stifles your ability to give gratitude. There is a joke/story that is told of a mother and son at the beach. The son gets swept out to sea and the mother is frantic. She searches for any sign of her son to no avail. Suddenly she sees him again and rushes out to him. She checks him twice over and was relieved to see that he was fine. Then she notices one thing and says to God, "Hey, he went in with a hat!" She lost her ability to be grateful that her son was okay due to an unimportant hat!

So, when you are having an extraordinary day try to remember to GO, START, STOP and those days will come more and the terrible ones will not be as bad. I will try to do the same!

Have a great day!

Monday, January 7, 2008

A New Way For The New Year

We all have bad days, but in reality it is how we handle them, that tells others about us. Maybe when you have bad days you stay in bed all day, or you take it out on others by yelling and screaming, or maybe you even dwell on them to the point where you can think of nothing else. No matter what you choose to do I would like to offer you three positive ways to deal with those days.

Bad days happen to everyone, but to keep them from becoming all that you focus on you can:

Put Up, Shut Up, and/or Lift Up

Let me explain.

When that bad day happens, simply put up with it. Let it pass and say tomorrow will be a better day. Realize that your entire life does not have to be this way. You can choose your attitude about it all. Keep in mind that God sees everything that the people of his world do. Can you imagine how awful our lives would be if God decided he couldn't handle it anymore and crawled into bed? He has put up with us humans turning from him since he created us, surely we can handle one bad day with him on our side!

If that doesn't work try this method, just shut up about it. There is no need to yell and scream, especially in anger, at others to bring them down just because you are. Also, there is no need to spread gossip to get even with others to make you feel better. Neither of these solve the problem. In Ephesians chapter 4 verse 9 it says that we should not let any evil talk come out of our mouths, but rather everything we say should be said to help others and to lift them up.

When putting up with bad days, or shutting up about them doesn't work you should really try to lift it up to God. A simple prayer for a better day can do wonders to change your attitude. A simple prayer for forgiveness for lashing out at others can have a soothing effect like nothing else. A prayer is something that can be done at anytime. James chapter 5 verse 13 says that if you are having troubles you should pray. Just taking that break from the moment may be all you need to bring the peace back to your day. Philippians chapter 4 verses 6 and 7 reads: "Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel." What a wonderful thought!

So, I plan on trying these methods, because I don't want the stress that comes with having a bad day to ruin what could be a glorious day. I wanted to share them in hopes that at least one person could be reached and then they could reach out to others. That is how it starts. I received this message at church this last Sunday and now I pass it on.

Have a great day! (and I really mean that!)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Things You Just Don't See Everyday

Subject
Posted Date: January 5, 2008 - Saturday - 7:33 AM

I case you didn't know, I live in a small rural community. Even with that being true this is something I don't see everyday. Frankie and I pulled into the driveway to see this in our front yard. They said that they had to stop so one of them could make a cell phone call. I kid you not!

I don't think this next thing has anything to do with living in the country, but it could have something to do with living in South Texas. Tell me, when was the last time you saw palm trees going down the road?

Finally, this has nothing to do with where we live, but I did find it funny. This was seen at the poster section in Wal-Mart. You know the little section I am talking about, right?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Travel Lessons Learned

  1. You can get to a Wal-Mart, a McDonald's, a Dairy Queen, or a Bass Pro Shop fairly easily no matter where you are on a route from Texas to Connecticut.

  2. There are no Spanish stations in Pennsylvania, not even on AM radio. ¡Que triste!

  3. You cannot buy tortillas (at least not good ones) in Connecticut. (Probably not PA either.) How do they survive? Frankie and I want to start a campaign...Tortillas for New England! Any volunteers?

  4. Italian restaurants are as abundant in the New England as Mexican food restaurants are in Texas.

  5. People truly are friendlier in the South.

  6. Tennessee is a VERY LONG state.

  7. Virginia isn't much better.

  8. You cannot use a hand held cell phone in Connecticut or Washington DC while driving.

  9. I think we cause the snow to not fall when we go to New England, been there several times now and still no snow falling.

  10. They do drive pick-up trucks in New England, not as many as Texas, but they are there.

  11. We stopped seeing Texas cars once we got past Knoxville, TN and that is where we started seeing them again coming home...very strange.

  12. These places rock and we will make special trips to see them again: Memphis, TN, Nashville, TN, Washington DC, Virginia in the summer.

  13. These places rock and we will make a side trip to them again: The Smoky Mountains in TN, Hershey, PA, Gettysburg, PA.

  14. Traveling by car for that long of a distance isn't as bad as I thought it would be. (Granted it was just me and my husband...no kids or pets.)

  15. And finally, if we go again by car, we will not go through Arkansas and Tennessee, but take the southern route through, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and the Carolinas. It doesn't add that many miles, and it might seem faster since you get to mark off that many more states at a quicker pace.

Be It Ever So Humble, There Is No Place Like Home

After 12 days, and over 4,000 miles later we arrived home. The drive from East Texas to home was smooth sailing even if it was still a seven hour drive.


I got to add a new Texas-Italian city to my list. So to Italy and Florence; I can now add Milano (we even passed through a Milan in either Tennessee or Virginia).



Now I will show you what happened every time I drove, no matter what time it was, no matter where we were.




If you live in Texas you have probably seen the commercials saying that Dairy Queen is the Texas stop sign. We saw Dairy Queens in every state along our route so I know that is not true. Here was our stop sign that let us know we were home.


Photobucket


I missed you my pretty little Taco Cabana!


We made it home around 6:30 PM. Petted the cats and praised them for not tearing up the house and for using the litter boxes. Jumped in the truck and went to get the dogs. So we are all home now and just happy as can be.


It was great trip!