Substitute teaching

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Today’s Post is brought to you by the letter S

post-card-the-letter-s-17767264-304-480I’m a Substitute Teacher for the Manchester school system here in North Manchester, Indiana. Because I’m also a full-time student and minister, I only get to sub once in awhile but I enjoy it immensely.

My mean teacher face. Don't mess with this sub!

My mean teacher face. Don’t mess with this sub!

In fact, I think I might like substitute teaching better than full-time teaching. Here’s why:

1. Subs don’t have to take work home with them.

2. Subs don’t have to attend meetings after school.

3. Subs aren’t required to attend after-school events.

4. There is great variety in subbing. Sometimes I’m in an elementary classroom and other times I’m in a high school English class. But my favorite sub experiences are with the students in the Special Education classrooms. (Which is what I’m getting my degree in.)

5. Subs don’t have to record grades, hold conferences, or meet with parents.

Parent_Teacher_ConferencesWhat don’t I like about subbing?

1 .Recess duty.

2. Recess duty.

3. Recess duty.

teacher humor 3

I do love questions from five-year-olds. They’re often irrelevant to what I’m teaching and most of the time hilarious.

I’ve never liked recess duty. Especially when it’s 9F out and there’s ice everywhere. It’s just not my cup of tea.

How about you? Have you ever filled in for someone on a job? What was it? What did you like about it? Dislike about it?

books-and-little-bird-kestutis-kasparaviciusTweet this: I hate recess duty but I love subbing!


Autism grows up

thI knew it would happen. The twins would grow up and enter this new territory of girls and dating.

I have no idea if we’re doing it right or not.

The boys turned 20 last week. One of them has had a steady girlfriend for several months now.


Just to remind new readers of the background — the boys live with the diagnoses of autism, cognitive and speech impairments, and more.

someoneheartme_edited_1I’m not worried about where the relationship with this lovely girl and my son is going. She is a sweet young woman who has known the twins since they were in Kindergarten. In fact, she attended kindergarten with them. Due to her own disabilities from spina bifida and other impairments, she continues to be a part of their social circle via special education classes in high school. (I homeschooled the boys for 2nd-8th grades.)

But what I’m nervous about is this:


dance1950sBoth boys are taking a girl to prom.

How did we get to this point?

A part of me is giggling inside. As a conservative Christian who homeschooled her kids, my other children didn’t go to public school prom, so I don’t have a clue of the protocols. (My children did have prom alternatives but I’m sure it was vastly different.)


I know the twins will need a tux. Flowers. What else?  (Would buying a new suit in stead of shelling out $$ for a tux be acceptable?)

Also, because of the one girl’s physical impairments, how will we transport her? A limo doesn’t accommodate a motorized wheel chair. But I want her to have a very special night. We live rural so it’s not like there are a lot of limo places close by. I need some creative ideas. Let me know if you have any.


I’m happy for my guys. Of course, it was the girls they’re taking to the prom who made this happen–not the boys.

In fact, I got the biggest kick out of a text the other twin got from his date the other day: “Tell your Mom to buy me a corsage.”


I’m ready for this adventure. I’ll keep you posted on what I learn.

i57.tinypic.comTweet this: How did/do you handle dating with your cognitively impaired teen?


Karla’s Famous Chili Recipe

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Karla’s Famous Chili


My chili recipe has won first place the church chili cook-off for four years straight and one year before that. (The other year I didn’t enter–but my husband did and won! I gave him tips.)

The twins “make” the chili but they use my recipe. As you know, if you’ve followed me for very long, my twins have autism and cognitive impairments. They’ve been entering this contest since they were fifteen years old and are so tickled to win each year. I think we may sit out next year and volunteer to judge in order to give other folks a chance. So, since we’re going into retirement, I thought I’d share my “secret” recipe here.

Award-winning Chefs, Isaiah and Isaac of Team Akins

Award-winning Chefs, Isaiah and Isaac of Team Akins

Before you get all excited, there’s something you should know.

It’s not that amazing. It’s simple, and I kind of shoot from the hip each year in terms of what to throw in it and how much.

I do have a few things I always do, but I cook by how I feel. (Which goes perfectly with my INFP personality.)

There’s no earth-shattering secret to my–er, I mean, our–chili. It’s simple and easy and it tastes good. That is all.


Chili Cook-off Winners 2015: 1st place, Isaiah & Isaac Akins; 2nd place, Sylvia Myers; 3rd place, Talbot McKee; 4th place, Matt Myers

The basics are as follows (This makes a huge pot of chili):

4 pounds grass-fed ground beef

2 large onion

1 bell pepper (this year I used a yellow, green and red pepper)

Garlic (you can use what you’re used to, and how much, from either fresh cloves, paste, or minced from a jar.)

1 stick of butter

4 – 6 cups diced stewed tomatoes (depending on the size of the pot)

1 can tomato juice

4 cans tomato soup

2 large cans kidney beans

2 large cans chili beans

2 large cans sweet corn (or bags of frozen corn)

2 Carroll Shelby Chili Kits


Saute the onions and peppers in butter. Add the hamburger and brown.

Add tomato juice and soup and rest of ingredients. Follow directions on the chili kit for either mild or hot chili. (I find that the medium hot usually wins best here in the north.)




Tweet This: Do you serve your chili with crackers or corn bread?