Don’t Knock Jokes – Funny Friday

Don't Knock Jokes

Teaching the art of joke-telling is a healthy and happy way to develop communication skills.

Every week I share a joke with the 1st and 2nd graders at our school library.  The students keep a journal of the jokes and their answers. I also always invite the students to share jokes of their own.

The 2nd grade teacher recently thanked me for getting the kids excited about reading, in particular for their excitement about reading joke and riddle books. She said, “They just can’t get enough jokes or joke books. It’s fun to see them laugh and try to tell the jokes.” It is great to see my silly habit of sharing jokes is contagious.

When kids tell jokes, they are able to laugh at themselves and their message. Too often kids are hounded with seriousness. If we can use humor to educate and provide experience, we can inspire happier learners.

I have given speeches and had opportunities to be a public speaker for most of my life. When I started public speaking in 5th or 6th grade, I learned that the best trick for breaking the ice was to tell a joke first.

  • If you can tell a joke, and tell it well, you can speak to anyone.
  • If you can identify where to add inflection or pauses, you can communicate a message.
  • If you can identify where to add inflection or pauses, AND make your audience laugh when you want them to, you can communicate anything.

Continue reading “Don’t Knock Jokes – Funny Friday”

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What’s That in Your Persimmon?

Persimmons (2)

Wives’ tales are one of my favorite meteorological practices. I love the idea of watching for woolly worms’ colors and seeing how much rain falls in the first seven days of a year to predict the potential forecasts for the upcoming seasons. Persimmons also hold a tell tale story in their seeds.

Each fall my kids and I trek across our farm to the various persimmon trees that line our pastures. By this time of October they don’t have many leaves left and their peachy-colored fruits are the only sign of life on the trees. Taking turns, I lift my kiddos up to pick a few fruits from each tree. When we have had our fill of persimmon picking, we rush back to the house to split open their seeds.

Last fall’s findings were a little unclear. The shapes in the centers of the seeds weren’t very distinct. We found some knives with a few forkly shapes. As last winter was a mild one, with a few icy patches, those indecisive centers were a pretty accurate reflection of what the weather was to bring.

Persimmons (1)There were no ambiguous shapes this year. This season we found spoons in the center of every seed.

So what do the clear cut spoons mean for this year? Well, according the wives’ tale, we will be digging ourselves out of snow this winter. This prediction thrilled my children.

While the idea of piles of snow may not please you, I hope you will take time to enjoy activities like persimmon picking with your family. It is a great way to get outside, make memories, and use imagination. Put some energy this week into enjoying time together and maybe telling some wives’ tales of your own.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I am not a licensed meteorologist, so if you do not like this forecast, blame it on the persimmons.

I Love Pumpkin Guts

pumpkin guts (5)

I love pumpkin guts! I love how they feel, how they smell, the seeds that we pull out of them, and the jack-o-lanterns that take form after they are removed. I love pumpkin guts.

In 2016 almost 150 million Americans said carving pumpkins was a part of their Halloween plans. That makes for A LOT of pumpkin gut removal.

pumpkin guts (4)While many find the slimy, sticky, and stringy gourd guts to be gross, there are plenty of people out there that enjoy the icky investigation for seeds.

The scraping of the sides can be a stress reliever. When you have your big bowl of pumpkin guts staring you in the face, you can say, “Wow! I cleaned all of those out!” 

Once the insides are removed, creating spooky, silly, and sometimes unrecognizable shapes is what turns jack-o-lanterns into joy. Roasting the separated seeds is always a fun and a pretty healthy snack. My kids think the roasted, salty seeds taste like popcorn and those toasted kernels don’t last long at our house. Continue reading “I Love Pumpkin Guts”

Don’t Let Them Witness Failure

Dont Let Them Witness Failure

Tripping over your own feet. Accidentally shooting yourself with water at a water fountain. Noticing your zipper is unzipped or a shirt button is in the wrong hole. Forgetting someone’s names as you greet them.

These are small but impactful mistakes. It isn’t really the mistake that makes the failure; it’s our attitude. Our “Oops” are only failures, if we allow others to witness us wallowing in our faux pas.

When we make mistakes, we provide ourselves with jumping off points for humor, improvement, and growth.

While we may never stop tripping over our own feet and we can NEVER control the pressure of some water fountains, we can control how we prevent failure from being part of our self-perception.

When we do something right, we LOVE witnesses of our greatness. When we make a mistake, witnesses are worse than the error itself. The truth of the matter is witnessing success is not nearly as powerful as witnessing the triumph of overcoming a potentially fantastic failure.

My children witness me making some pretty terrible mistakes. These massive mistakes allow me the opportunity to show what it looks like to make an “Oops” into an “Oh yeah!” It’s totally okay is they see me fail at an attempt, it’s not okay to let them see me defeated. (I am not saying it’s not okay to suffer a defeat now and then, we just can’t remain defeated.) Every time I wipe out, it is important for them to see me get wipe myself off and try again (sometimes the mistake warrants trying something new all together). Allowing others to see us move on makes that mistake a victory.

If you find yourself in an “Oops” situation, acknowledge the “Oops” and give any witnesses the opportunity to say “Oh yeah!” as you find a successful way on to the next attempt or adventure. Don’t let them witness failure. Give them a front row ticket to the fabulous fortune in your endeavors.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I tell myself that I make a lot of mistakes so that I can make a lot of successes. You tell yourself whatever it takes to make your failures into victories. 😉

 

 

Vending Machine Jackpot!

Vending Machine Jackpot

When something great happens, we just have to share it!

I put in the appropriate amount of change, typed in the assigned number (305), and pressed the “Select” button. As I waited the spiraling of the dispenser stimulated my salivating taste buds. When the spiral had reached the end of the shelf, Woohoo! TWO packages of peanut M&M’s fell into the dispensing tray. I HAD to take a picture of my vending machine jackpot. (There is no better inspiration for a post than free candy.)

Great things happen in our lives everyday. Surprises and blessings occur when we least expect them. Keep your heart and mind open to recognizing these “jackpots.”

I shared my winnings with my friend Christina. Sharing my story and the candy was my second double bonus of the day.

If you find yourself with a vending machine jackpot, a lucky penny in the parking lot, or stumbling across a shareable success, double your money and deal out some luck to someone else. Be sure to share your loot with someone who could use a win. 😉

png 1 Have you ever hit a vending machine jackpot? What did you win? How did you celebrate your victory?

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. The candy really did just fall out. I did not shake the machine or anything.

P.P.S. Personally, I am scared to shake vending machines because I am afraid they will set off an alarm and everyone will know I was trying to rob the vending machine.

This Message Will Self-Destruct

I really liked the cartoon “Inspector Gadget” when I was a kid. Today I would LOVE some of his Go-Go-Gadget arms and legs.

Go go gadet messageIn each episode of Inspector Gadget, Inspector received an urgent message about an evil plot that needed foiling. After reading each urgent message, the slip of paper would destruct and usually backfire on the Chief. I feel like the Chief a lot. I am always trying to deliver an important message but it often explodes in my face after delivery. Sometimes the message isn’t all that important and it still goes “BOOM” in my lap.

Do you ever feel like your message is exploding (not in a good way) after you deliver it?

Let me give you an example: It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Lunch dishes are done. No pressing appointments are on the calendar. I grab a few granola bars and water bottles and call for the kids to shut off the TV and come outside with me.

“BOOM!” Continue reading “This Message Will Self-Destruct”

Allergic to Reacting?

Allergic to Reacting 1

So after my proud post about Digging for Spring, I had a few things pop up that were NOT in my flower beds.

Thursday night I had what looked like a blood blister on my middle finger. It hurt and was really ugly. Hubby squeezed it for me until blood and puss came out. Attractive, right? 😉

Friday night my hands kept going numb. It was like they were constantly falling asleep.

After a restless night of tingly hands, my right forearm began itching and a raised hive covered the entire inside of my right forearm. Tiny bumps followed shortly and my hands ACHED. My knuckle joints were very stiff and felt like they were on fire. My nose itched constantly and my lips were tingling. Something just wasn’t right.

I did what any mom/wife/daughter/friend/teacher, who has too much to do, would do. I took some ibuprofen and Benadryl and went about my business.  Continue reading “Allergic to Reacting?”

Lacking Instruction – Wise Words Wednesday

Lacking Instruction

There are days I really wish I had an instruction manual for life. There are days that I think I should write an instruction manual for how to NOT live. There are days that I am pretty sure I am not smart enough to follow an instruction manual (if I had one) to save my life.

We all feel this way sometime.

The best part of our imperfection is that we all suffer from it.

Our mistakes are part of the human condition and they are tools for personal growth.

The three steps to surviving imperfection are as follows:
(Unofficial Instruction Guide for Life)

  1. Laugh at YourselfBe able to laugh at your mistakes
  2. Be able to learn from your mistakes
  3. Forgive yourself for making mistakes

Continue reading “Lacking Instruction – Wise Words Wednesday”

There are 25 More Letters – Wise Words Wednesday

There are 25 more letters

“Friends” has always been a source of humor and healing for me. I own all ten seasons and LOVE to binge watch Joey, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, Ross, and Rachel at any time.

One of my favorite “Friends” quotes ever is, “I don’t even have a pla.”

Rachel had drug Monica and Phoebe into the depths of depression over her inability to get a job and they were drowning their sorrows in a gallon of frozen adult beverages. Of course by the end of the episode, they had found their way onto a new adventure but it just goes to show you don’t always have to stick to Plan “A.” (or Pla “A” in Phoebe’s case)

Like the plans in “Friends,” rarely do our own intended endeavors work the way we hope. Sometimes we don’t even have a “pla,” but we do have options.

png 1 “If Plan ‘A’ doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letter.”

Continue reading “There are 25 More Letters – Wise Words Wednesday”

No Use Crying Over Back to School

Back to school

Tears are the last things we need to shed before starting a new school year.

When we begin a new semester, we need to get rid of a lot of stuff before we get rid of tears.

png 1 First of all get rid of any bad attitudes. Bad attitudes = bad outcomes

Back to school 2png 1 Second, let go of preconceived notions about a certain person or class. What we believe to be true may be based on misunderstanding, falsehood, or a sliver of truth. Give them the benefit of the doubt. The benefit of letting go may result in a terrific learning experience.

png 1 Thirdly, each new beginning means an end. You can celebrate the fact that you have passed another milestone in your life and begun a new chapter in your learning career. Not only are you turning over a new leaf when you change your attitude, you are turning a new page in your own personal history book… The Book of How Awesome You Are

png 1 Fourth, remove inhibitions and fears. The class or experience that may have you in knots just might be the one thing that holds your year together. You don’t want fear to be the glue that holds your entire year together do you?

png 1 Finally, break the mold of the mundane. Don’t embrace the same habits and routine of years previous. Make new friends. Try new practices and sports. Heck, give a new food a chance. Your year can only be successful and rewarding if you work toward something. Make that something a NEW you through bigger and better experiences.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. There may not be any crying in baseball, but sometimes there will be crying in education. Just don’t let those tears fall because of a new beginning.