Top 10: Music That Cheers Me Up

Found this prompt on the Daily Blog and thought it would be a fun post.

#10: Ode to Joy by Beaker

#9: Pink Limousine by Rootbeer

#8: New Shoes by Paolo Nutini

#7: Tapatio by Redcloud

#6: Hello Everybody by Pigeon John

#5: NY2LA by Press Play

#4: Face in This World by Mark Lowry

#3: Footloose by Kenny Loggins


#2: Jesus Muzik by Lecrae

#1: Where is My Hairbrush or other Silly Songs with Larry.

Sesame Peanut Chicken with Coconut Rice and Veggies

schickenNew recipe for the week. Sorry I didn’t get a good picture.


  • Chicken tender or chicken fillets
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 T cumin
  • 3 T sesame seeds
  • 1/4 flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups rice
  • Chicken broth
  • 1 small can coconut milk
  • 1 egg — beaten
  • 1 bag stir fry mix veggies
  • 1 small onion — chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic — chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 handfuls peanuts
  1. Bring about 2 – 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth to a boil.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to pan to cover bottom of pan.
  3. In a shallow bowl mix bread crumbs sesame seeds, cumin. In  another bowl mix flour, salt and pepper.  In a third small bowl beat egg slightly. Add the liquid part of one small can of coconut milk.
  4. Dip bread crumbs first in flour mix, then egg-milk mixture, and finally the bread crumb.
  5. Add chicken to skillet and cook until brown. Flip and cook the other side.
  6. Add rice to broth and cook over medium heat until done.  When most of the liquid is gone add the coconut milk to the rice. When rice is cooked remove from heat and keep covered.
  7. Heat veggies according to package.
  8. When chicken is done remove from pan and set aside.
  9. Add onions and garlic and onion to pan.  When onions are translucent added remaining chicken broth to pan. Return chicken to pan and heat for about 4 minutes.
  10. Put rice in a big pan. Add veggies on top. Top with chicken mixture.

Using Excel in the Classroom

I taught computer in Christian school for about 8 years. I was responsible for teaching all grades. During that time I the standards being taught were changed greatly. The biggest change was on the Elementary level. Around 2000 our accrediting agency wanted elementary computer classes to focus on learning computer skills. This meant no games but rather teach them how to use applications like Microsoft Office. I could easily see teaching PowerPoint and Word. However, it was with much skepticism that I began teaching Excel especially in the lower grades. After, all it was difficult for many of my high school students to grasp. I selected some of the easier lessons from the material I had been given. Much to my surprise not only did the lessons work but the skill level of my students improved greatly. While I did not teach 5 year-olds the same skill set that I taught high school students both groups did learn age appropriate content. After three years of teaching computer skills, I really was amazed at the abilities of my second graders who had started the program in second grade. One thing I was never able to do however was truly integrate computer skills with other subjects. My spreadsheet of choice is Microsoft Excel. Microsoft has many templates available on-line that make great teaching tools. The teaching ideas are divided into primary (grades k-2), intermediate (grades 3-5), middle school (grades 6-8) and high school grades (9-12).


Candy Graph

Subject Tie-ins: Math, language, science writing, speech, health


The student will (TSW) sort, count, and record the number of each colored candy in a package.

  • TSW create a graph of the collected data using MS Excel.
  • TSW analyze trends and draw conclusions from the data (ie what is most and least common colors).
  • TSW prepare a short report of the findings research using MS Word and/or MS PowerPoint.
  • TSW practice proper safety procedures before handling food (ie wash hands).


  • A package of M&Ms, Skittles or similar candies.
  • Paper and Pencil
  • Software: Excel, Word & PowerPoint
  • Vocab: data, research, graph


  1. Introduce vocab and concept of graphing.
  2. Create a simple data sheet using excel data sheet needs 2 columns: Color & number. List the colors.
  3. Sort candy by color . Next count and record data.
  4. Create graph from data.
  5. Analyze data: What trends do you see? Which color has the most and which the least?
  6. Extensions: Using either Word or excel present a brief report of data.


Multiplication Tables

Subject Tie-ins: Math

Objective: TSW create a multiplication table using Excel.

Material: Excel


  1. This exercise teaches the following Excel skills: Using fill feature and formatting.
  2. Row 1 will be the top header & column A will be the side header. Leave cell A1 empty. Start in cell A2 fill in 1 and A3 fill in 2. Select cells A2 & A3. Use the fill function to fill until the values reach 10, 11, 12 or whatever number you wish.
  3. Repeat procedure beginning in cell B2 for the side headings.
  4. Format the headings using bold, center or color if you wish.
  5. Next fill in the numbers. You will need to fill in the 1st two numbers for each column and then you can use the fill feature.


Political Opinion Poll

Subject Tie-ins: government, history, social studies, English, math (statistics)


  • TSW collect data from an opinion poll about a current political topics such as health care.
  • TSW analyze data.
  • TSW prepare a report of findings.


  • Surveys
  • Pen and/or pencil
  • Software: Excel and Word


  1. Begin with a discussion or unit about a current political topics
  2. Prepare survey. Survey should include 3-5 questions. You may also want to include demographic info like age, gender and race. Suggested questions: Which candidate do you support? Why? If not voting asking why. In your opinion what are the most important issues facing our country? Provide a selection of 3-5 issues.
  3. Type and print several copies of the survey. It is a good idea to have at least 25 people in your sample group. Also, try find a cross section of participants that do not all share the same ideological views.
  4. After you have collected data the next step is to analyze data. Use Excel to create a data sheet to record your data. The data sheet will be used to create graphs.
  5. Finally using Word prepare a report of your finds.

If I Had a Million Dollars (Repost)

Million dollar checkOne of last week’s  question from the Daily Post was “What would you do with a million dollars, tax free?” I have already written on this topic before so I’m re-posting.

#10: Invest in the lives of others. Maybe it would be by starting my one charity or non-profit. Most likely it would be through giving scholarships or to established charities.

#9: Start my own business. Not for sure what. If I were making that choice today it would probably be some sort of bookstore, coffee house, and live music venue.

#8: A den/study for The Big Guy with all the electronic toys he wants. Not sure what that would look like except  that it would have a new TV and at least one of the newer gaming systems.

#7: Travel. Actually, I would combine numbers  6 & 7  Among my places to travel include reaching my goal of visiting all 50 states, Scotland, England and Australia.

#6: Missions. Both by giving to missions and hands-on involvement in missions.

#5: Take care of our my mom & the Big Guys Mom. Maybe it should be number three but taking care of family is still in my top 5.

#4: Invest. Actually #5 would be a part of number 4. Don’t want to blow all the money.

#3:  Buy a house. We have been wanting to buy our own house rather than rent. Also something a little bigger and a fenced backyard (I want a dog).

#2: Get of Debt. I know it isn’t much fun but it is necessary.

#1: Tithe. Yes, that is right I would give 10% back to God. It is my way of acknowledging that all blessings come from God.

Thoughts on Metacognition

Men thinking.This weekend the Big Guy was rather engrossed in his school work. It seemed like every time I attempted to say anything to him he just didn’t hear me.  Or for that matter even respond.  On Sunday, the Big Guy told me he knew what happened. His explanation was that he thinks in words so he couldn’t figure out if he was hearing his thoughts or me. (Yep, I know voices in the head. I could have fun with that one but I won’t).  He went on to say that the way he thinks or learning style is why he doesn’t hear me and that he can only focus on one thing at a time. Well, my response is that my thoughts are more like movies complete with sights, sounds and sometimes smell. I could be in another room doing something else and hear what he is saying.  Then followed a conversation about how he was not gifted with ADHD like I am.

OK, so besides being nerds we are both educators with far too many degrees and certifications between us. In the process of all that training we have learned about learning styles and learning theories. Our conversation illustrates the  benefit of knowing one’s learning style and how one thinks. So, if you are still trying to figure out the title. In simplest terms metacognition is thinking about one’s thinking. Knowing how one thinks and learns can be useful in becoming more efficient in work or learning. I have often tutored students that spent hours studying but didn’t retain much. The student would spend hours studying the way a parent or teacher told them to but not in a way that was helpful for them. My mom used to try to make me study at the dinning room table in a chair straight back chair in complete silence. All I could think about was getting out of the chair and how the clock made a clicking sound every second. In college I learned that writing things I needed to learn on note cards and caring them around with me was far more useful than staring at a page of notes. If I really wanted to concentrate on something I would grab my note cards and take a walk. As I was walking I would read a card and then repeat the contents of the card to myself as I walked. One note if you want to look less weird put head phones on and it looks like you are just singing. So why is this more productive for me? First, it fits my learning style. In case you are wondering I’m a tactile kinesthetic learner.

It is important that students are not only taught content material but the skills needed to become independent and efficient learners.

More Than Just a Little Chorus

Worship ServiceA little chorus …

If you are like me you’ve probably either used that phrase or heard it used in reference to worship songs.  Have you taken time to really think about what is being said? It is as if modern worship music is somehow lesser than hymns. Think about this in 1824, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross was considered contemporary or modern worship. I think sometimes during  corporate worship it is easy to check our brains at the door and not really reflect upon what is being sung, said or read.

True some songs like I Exalt Thee are simple and repetitive. It is very easy to just check out without focusing on what is being sung.

I Exalt Thee By Pete Sanchez

For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods
For Thou, O Lord, art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord

One of the things that I like about worship music is that much of it comes from scripture. I have learned a lot scripture this way.

Seek Ye First

Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Allelu, alleluia (Matt 6:33)

Man does not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Allelu, alleluia (Matt 4:4; Deut 8:3)

Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you
Allelu, alleluia (Matt 7:7)

Many worship songs are essentially a prayer that is sung. Much of Keith Green’s music was like this.

Oh Lord You’re Beautiful by Keith Green

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me just to live it Lord.
And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, please light the fire,
That once burned bright and clear.
Replace the lamp of my first love,
That burns with Holy fear.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me just to live it Lord.
And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Others like Creed by Rich Mullins teach doctrine.

Creed by Rich Mullins

I believe in God the Father
Almighty Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate
He was crucified and dead and buried

And I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man

I believe that He who suffered was crucified, buried, and dead
He descended into hell and on the third day, rose again
He ascended into Heaven where He sits at God’s mighty right hand
I believe that He’s returning
To judge the quick and the dead of the sons of men

And I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man

I believe it, I believe it
I believe it
I believe it, I believe it

Compare the lyrics of Creed with the Apostle’s Creed.

Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.


So next time you are at church don’t check your mind at the door. Use the worship time to reflect on what is being said.