Some of our students dancing and singing to "Every Move I Make (I Make In You)"
Last week our students put on their first program! They sang contemporary Christian songs, they danced, and they recited fall poetry. Two of them accompanied on instruments they had never played until less than two months ago, the piano and bass guitar, and they sounded like they had been playing for years.
The audience was wowed, but more importantly it was all for the glory of God...How wonderful it is to be able to sing, dance and pray to God with students after teaching public school for 16 years!
EVERY MOVE I MAKE~ song and dance video by our students
They start each day with a pledge to the United States flag, the Christian flag and the Bible — then sing a patriotic song and a religious one, read a passage from scripture and pray.
The eight students and two teachers at K-8 Valley Christian Academy in Yuba City sang "God Bless America" when the smallest school in Sutter County began Thursday at the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.
"It's a beautiful thing to see," Principal and teacher Sylvia Lamon said. "I thank God for the privilege of teaching here."
Teacher Suzanne Reed said Valley Christian, which started in 2007 and is surrounded by five acres of grasslands, could seem like a return to the one-room schoolhouse — but all students are assigned their own personal Apple computer.
"I talk to other teacher friends and they're a little bit jealous of my school," said Reed, who as a youth was homeschooled for 10 years and also attended nearby Faith Christian School and Yuba City High before beginning college.
Student Matthew DeWitt, 12, started at Valley Christian this school year.
"I've learned a lot more," said Matthew, citing the individual instruction from teachers. "They know when you need help and when you don't," he said.
Eighth-grader Kevin Hall, 14, also appreciates the one-on-one attention of instructors.
"It's better, I think," Kevin said.
Pastor Tom Baumgarten of the Valley Lutheran Church leads a chapel service Fridays and the school holds monthly field trips. Students went to Red Dog Ranch in Yuba City last month.
The smallest school in Sutter County may be the only one in the United States where half the student body are twins. Two sets of twins, including sixth-grader Matthew and sister Megan, are among the eight students.
Matthew, who is interested in an acting career, and his sister appeared as extras in the 2006 movie "The Pursuit of Happyness.""It was a really good experience," said Matthew, adding "they feed you really good food."
Students at Valley Christian take classes that include language arts, math, science, history, Bible, Spanish, penmanship and music.
"Our goal is to get everyone playing some kind of an instrument," Lamon said, "and have a Christian band."
She taught for 16 years at Nuestro Elementary School in Live Oak before coming out of retirement to return to education this year.
Lamon grew up on a ranch north of Yuba City and attended Encinal Elementary School as a youth. She was one of five students in the graduating class at the Live Oak school.
"I'm used to a small-school environment," Lamon said.
She noted how it's possible at Valley Christian to customize instruction for students — and spoke about the foundation youths will have all their lives because they attended the nondenominational Christian school.
Many of you may have been wondering why I have not been writing on my blog for the last several months. My life has changed dramatically! This is how God works in my life...
Three and a half years ago I retired from teaching, but I continued to really miss working with children. One day towards the end of last May, my husband came home to tell me that he and all his fellow employees would be receiving a 15% cut in pay beginning in July. I was just trying to figure out how we were going to cover that, when about three days later I received a call from the pastor of the church where my congregation also worships.
He told me that the current principal and lead teacher of their private Christian academy was retiring, and would I please help "shepherd" them through the process of finding her replacement? I said I would be delighted to, and he and I began discussing what could be a vision for their school.
To make a long story short, pastor asked me to come and share that vision with the school board, and I had a wonderful time talking about teaching and children. I went home that night and had the best night's sleep I had enjoyed in a long time...when I got up in the morning, there was a job offer for the position in my e-mail box!
I had two months to get to know my wonderful co-teacher, Suzanne, and we worked hard putting together a great program. We reorganized and painted classrooms and designed our school schedules. I learned a new computer program, as the third through eighth grade students have several of their classes online. School began on August 16th, and life has been very busy ever since!
God has blessed me mightily. The really interesting thing is that my modest salary exactly fills the hole left by my husband's pay reduction...yes, this is exactly how God works in my life!
This weekend my friend Candy had a wonderful celebration for our birthdays at Lake Tahoe. I was born on May 30th in California, and she was born on May 31st in Illinois, just one day apart. She is the closest person in age to me that I have ever met! Needless to say, we have a lot in common, and our husbands have a lot in common as well...they are both engineers, love tools, and love to golf, so we all have a great time. We both are wearing our birthday heart key silver necklaces from our friend, Janet...thank you, special friend!!
On Saturday evening Candy had a lovely dinner party with delicious food and wine. Turkey, dressing and all the trimmings, and everyone else brought dishes to share as well. Candy is such a kick...she decided to make little biscuits so we could all have a bit of hot bread and enjoy the last of my homemade pomegranate jelly. They were tiny, piping hot, and we decided to call them 'Petit Biscuit.' Here she is cutting them out with a wine glass! You know, when a woman reaches a certain age, she can pretty much change the rules to suit her fancy, at least I think she can!
With Candy lifting her glass for a toast, we were ready to taste the best bread pudding you have ever eaten, hot with a Whiskey Cream Sauce over the top. It was de-licious! One day soon I'll give you the recipe on this blog. Janet is seated facing the camera between her husband, Tom, in the blue shirt on the left and Candy's husband, Ray, in the black shirt on the right. My husband, David, is taking the photo!
Yankee, born in the USA of German sire and dam, in the ring working out...
On Sunday, my birthday, we went down to her ranch in Reno so Dave and I could visit her beautiful horses. (See this blog, May 31, 2009.) Two weeks ago Candy and Yankee, her stallion, had a serious mishap and Candy was badly injured, but she is bouncing back fast. Candy was attempting to get up on Yankee on the spur of the moment, but somehow it didn't work well as he was already moving, and her spur touched his back so he ran fast, and she was accidentally thrown down onto the ground, then she bounced and landed about 10 feet away!
Ray was somewhere else working with another horse when suddenly he turned around and there was Yankee loose behind him, and no Candy in sight. Ray found her on the ground and very slowly got her up to go to the ER. After a CAT scan they found that she had broken a rib, and several other little things of which I don't remember the names...
Candy has another horse, a fabulous, big black gelding named Nevada who is 17.2 hands high, one of the biggest most beautiful horses in the state! He is a French Selle Francais, about 9 years old. I have never in my life seen such a huge horse, and so magnificent when he runs. He got jealous when we were over visiting Yankee in his stall, so Nevada started running all over the pasture, and got himself all worked up into a sweat until we came back to him. Candy took me into the pasture with him on a lead, but I am very cautious around him. One false step and he could really injure you, even though he wouldn't mean to! The pictures do not do justice to the size of him...He weighs 1200 pounds!
Today is Candy's birthday, so one last "Happy Birthday To You!!" As we left Tahoe to beat the traffic home this morning, Candy and Ray were leaving to attend a surprise party for her. What a celebration!! Thank you Candy, so much, for a great birthday Memorial Day weekend, and here's to another wonderful year for the both of us!
THE BEATLES BIRTHDAY SONG
My sister and I grew up on the family farm, and our mom was a good cook who put three hot meals on the table year round. Our desserts were mainly fruit pies and puddings such as tapioca or chocolate, with an occasional cake for a birthday. One that was especially delicious was mom's white layer cake with sliced bananas between the layers and whipped cream frosting.
Our local supermarket has a wonderful cake they call the Fruit Basket Cake. It is a white layer cake with sliced bananas and sliced strawberries between the layers with whipped cream frosting. It is really tall with all the fruit between the layers, and really expensive as well!! We have indulged in this cake for two or three very special celebrations, but you can make one at home for a few dollars compared with spending a small fortune at the bakery.
Here is the cast of characters: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic White Cake (or any white cake mix), oil, water, egg whites, heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, bananas and strawberries.
Grease the cake pans including the sides. These pans are my old faithful Bake King pans with the arm that slides around to release the cake after it is baked. Very, very handy!! :D
Add some flour...
Shake the flour around the bottom...
And the sides...
Now that the baking pans are prepared and the oven is preheating, let's start making the cake. Open the bag and pour the mix into the mixer bowl.
Add the water...
And the egg whites...OOPS! One of the yolks fell in...No worries, it didn't make a bit of difference to the quality of the cake. :D (It's challenging to add ingredients with one hand and take photos with the other!)
Add the oil...
And mix according to directions.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake.
Take out the baked layers and set aside on racks to cool while you whip the cream and slice the fruit.
Pour the whipping cream into the mixer bowl. I used three cups, one pint box and one 1/2 pint box.
It is always better to have more whipped cream than less so you can cover the cake. Any extra can be used in your morning coffee...better than Starbucks!! Oh yummy...
While whipping the cream, add some powdered sugar to sweeten it. I added three scoops, but my family likes it sweet! Gosh, I'm giving away all the family secrets...
Now I can just hear my mother admonishing me to not whip the cream too long or it will turn to butter!
I actually had that happen once...so I had to send my hubby to the store for more whipping cream. You want the cream to be whipped with stiff peaks so it will stay on the cake, but you don't want butter!! :D
Put a doily on the cake plate and start to frost the bottom layer with the whipped cream. As our 9 1/2 year old great-niece Elizabeth said recently, "Everything looks better with a doily on the plate!"
Ummmm...it's starting to look like a cake...
Slice a banana thinly and evenly...
And lay the pieces carefully on the top, then spread a little more frosting over the bananas.
Put the second layer on top and start frosting it...
Slice the strawberries thinly and lay on a plate...
Shake on a sweetener that you use: regular sugar, Splenda or in this case, Stevia...
Lay the sliced strawberries on the top of the cake...
And frost the top layer with the remaining whipped cream...
Don't forget to do a good job on the sides as well...
When I was slicing the strawberries, I noticed that one of them looked like a red heart, so I saved it for the top of the cake...I made it for my Aunt Dorothy's 97th birthday, so Happy Birthday Aunt D.!!
Be sure to refrigerate your cake until you serve it. Then enjoy, enjoy, and make some memories!
Note: For a red, white and blue cake add some blueberries between the layers.
Welcome to this blog from all around the world! I live in northern California, in the Sacramento Valley. I love to meet new people and learn new things every day. My postings will fall under the headings of Faith, Family, Food, Friends and Fun, with many overlapping. Please leave a comment if you wish. Thank you, and may God bless you mightily today!