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From the West Wing

The power of a changed life; that’s what Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” is all about. Most of us have at least heard the story, read the book, seen a movie, or gone to a play production. Here at Fairview, we have put on a production of the story every other year for many years now. Of course, the words “Bah! Humbug!” are always associated with one Ebenezer Scrooge, the title character. As the narrator describes him at the beginning of the story, Scrooge was a tight-fisted, squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Not exactly the adjectives any of us would like to be associated with. As the story unfolds, Scrooge is visited by four spirits; the first, the spirit of his dead partner Jacob Marley and the other three representations of Christmas past, present and future. As Scrooge remembers some of the goodness of his younger days, particularly the kindness of Mr. Fezziwig, the master he apprenticed under, he begins to compare how he was treated with how he has treated his own apprentice, Bob Cratchet. The Spirit of Christmas Present continues Scrooge’s “reclamation” by showing him first how Bob Cratchet refuses to speak ill of him and then how his own nephew wishes him well, even when others are not so kind. The Spirit forces him to look squarely at his lonely, miserable life and one can begin to see chinks appearing in the thick armor he has used to protect himself for so many long years. Scrooge finally comes face to face with his own mortality when the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come...

From the West Wing

One of the things I do here at Fairview is to write the lessons for our Family Chapel program. For those of you who may not be familiar with the program, each year we divide the student body from PreK through grade 8 into multi-age groups. We call these groups “Family Groups” and throughout the year they meet together, get to know one another, and form some wonderful bonds. The main reason for having these groups is to allow our older students to develop some leadership skills by leading a chapel lesson every month. We have found this program to be quite successful. But I digress. As I stated, it has become part of my job to prepare the lesson each month for the leaders to share with their individual groups. I must quickly add here, that most of the time the ideas are NOT original with me, but I glean lessons from a variety of places and put it all together. I am quite excited about this month’s lesson and I would like to share it with you. As part of the lesson, the leaders will be reading the book The Pumpkin Patch Parable, a delightful tale by Liz Curtis Higgs. The story tells of a Farmer who grows pumpkins, outlining the special care He takes to grow His crop. The story concludes with the Farmer picking one special pumpkin. He then washes the pumpkin, takes out all the icky stuff inside, carves a wonderful smiling face and then places a light inside to shine out for all to see. Of course, the analogy is that the Farmer...

PTF Meeting Minutes October 6, 2015

PTF Meeting 10/06/2015 Attendance: Jonathan Sandelin, Samuel Sandelin, Susan Moriarty, Jen Laible, Holly Reichman, Valerie Dominique, Sharilee West, Amanda Olson, Debbie Christensen, Leanna Ramos, Kevin Tucker The meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm Opening Prayer was led by President Jonathan Sandelin. September minutes were posted on the website. No one had any additions or corrections. All in attendance voted to approve the budget. Events The ice cream social was a great success.  A number of new families helped scoop ice cream. The feedback on the prizes for completing the classroom passport was great. There was a great turnout. The first family fund bake sale was held and $84.50 was raised.  The brownies were the biggest hit. The multicultural Dinner is October 22nd.  We will be eating in the auditorium and the displays will be in the gym.  Kids will be standing by the displays and talking about them, but there is no actual program. Upcoming events will be a November family fund bake sale.  The Bazaar is cancelled due to lack of vendors.  There are no PTF events in November. The Harvest Party is scheduled for October 30th. Jen discussed the survey results.  They don’t expect many more to come in.  The general theme is that people would like to see more art and upgrades to the playground, Fundraising Update Order forms for the wreath sale will go out shortly.  There is a small cost increase in the items for purchase and Corrin is going to go in and do rounding of prices so the prices are even numbers.  The dates for the sale are (about) October...

From the West Wing

I recently saw a post that said a lighted candle will cast a shadow on the wall, but there will be no shadow of the flame. There was even a picture of the candle, with no visible shadow. The post suggested the reason there was no shadow was because the flame was the source of light. The post went on to say that the same could be said of God; since He is the Light, there is no shadow or darkness in Him. Now, since this was on the internet, it had to be true, right? Well, I guess the scientist in me needed more information. I decided to do a little more research and I found some interesting facts about candle flames. While it is true that a casual observation of a lighted candle will show a shadow of the candle, but not the flame, there are circumstances, that can be replicated rather easily, that will show the flame’s shadow. It seems that the flame actually does cast a shadow, we just can’t see it under normal circumstances. So, what does that do to the post about the lighted candle that I read? It seemed like such a wonderful way to show one of the attributes of God. What it tells me is that we need to be careful with the illustrations we use. While the whole illustration seems to be a nice thought it simply isn’t factually true. What is true, however, is that without light there is darkness and it is light that dispels the darkness. We don’t open a closet door to let the dark...

From the West Wing

Last evening was our monthly PFT meeting. If you have never attended one of these meetings, I would encourage you to do so. It is such a blessing to experience the love and enthusiasm displayed for our school and child center. Last evening much of the discussion around the table was centered on how we could help beautify the grounds. Many of you have expressed the desire to see improvements on our east playground and we are beginning to research some possibilities of what can be done and how much such improvements might cost. While we realize that potentially the improvements could be quite costly, there was an overwhelming sense of “we can do this.” And I believe we can; or at least with God’s help we can. I have frequently been brought back to our theme verse for this year. “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” I think it is important for us to continually be reminded of these words of Jesus. Over the past few weeks, I have had moments when I have wondered how we would be able to accomplish all that God has set before us this year. In those moments, when I really stop to listen to God, I sometimes wish it were June already and we could be looking back over the year and marveling at how God has done the impossible. But, for right now, it’s only October and most of the year lies before us. For right now, we must hang on to the promise that God will do...

From the West Wing

I recently made the statement that this has been such a crazy school year that I feel as though I have lost complete control of everything. It seems that each day brings a new challenge and I’m never quite sure what is going to happen next. Here’s a small example of what I mean. Yesterday as I was teaching 6th Grade Math, the document camera began taking random pictures. While this is a feature that can be quite useful at times, it is not something that is supposed to happen for no apparent reason. I tried several different things to stop the action, but to no avail. I finally gave up and just wrote on the white board. In teaching it’s called monitoring and adjusting. It seems that I have been doing that a lot lately; monitoring and adjusting that is. It seems that life is going along quite smoothly in one direction when suddenly something happens and everything is turned upside down. I’m sure most of you have experienced the same thing at one time or another. It’s no wonder we feel at times that we have lost control. As I thought more about my dilemma, I was reminded of something I actually read to the students in my morning announcements last week. I have been receiving a daily “Love Note From God” for several years now and I pass them on to the students each morning. Last Monday’s note said this: “I know you Sharilee and I see what you do. Just when you have prepared for all the possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things...