My First Award for Blogging! Creative Blogger!


I love blogging because it gives me a sense of global community.  The thought that I am connected with people all over the world feels just right!  So, I am both delighted and humbled to be nominated for a Creative Blogger Award.  Thanks to fightalone for paying attention to what I have written – your nomination is truly appreciated!


1.  Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify the nominees.

2. Post the link of the blog that nominated you.

3. Share five random facts about yourself.

My Nominees:

My 5 Random Facts:

  1. I am an educator who loves learning.
  2. Blogging is my way of making human connections all over the world.
  3. I am fiercely loyal to those who allow me to be.
  4. My faith in God gets me from day to day.
  5. I love people, dogs, and cats (in that order).

In my 50th year – Tribute to SMS Class of 2015

I’m in my 50th year. I have found peace and solitude. This is the year I decided to transform my life from the inside out. I feel as though I arrived at the junction of ‘lessons learned’ which is the sum total of who I am. I know there is more to be revealed, but I must take a moment and recognize this happy place.

In my 50th year, I became a teacher. I found the career that I was destined to find. I’m a fourth-generation educator. My mother’s family was deeply rooted in education in the South. I carry this mantle from my ancestors.

I’ve always been enamored with learning and the notion of being educated. As a little girl growing up in Connecticut, one of my favorite places as a landmark was Yale University. My grandmother would occasionally take me to “The Green”, a park across from Yale. We would feed the birds breadcrumbs and hang out. I use to gaze over at the buildings – the ivy hugging the structure was the coolest thing ever – before I had ever heard the term “ivy league school.” Any environment where learning took place has always made me feel safe, secure, and fulfilled.

It’s no surprise that I am a reading teacher. I was equally obsessed with books and reading. I read through the entire dictionary as a child. Over the years, I have collected hundreds of books. Now that we are in the age of eBooks and Kindle is popular, my library has a different look. Nonetheless, I have plenty to read.

In my 50th year and first year as a teacher, I desired to be effective. In my opinion, the best way to do that is to establish relationships and gain the trust of my students. They obviously wanted the same. Their efforts to get to know me and willingness to let their guards down for the most part allowed us to establish bonds. I will never forget my first class of 8th grade students at Sacaton Middle School. I love them all!

My experiences with these students this year allowed me to reconnect with my inner child. I remember what my life was like at 12-15 years old. The pain of growing up in dysfunction and wanting to be understood. The pain of having to keep secrets for fear of the outcome once revealed. The notion of “one day, I will be free and can make my own decisions.” The pain of seeing and experiencing way too much too soon in life. The pain of always desiring to be loved and never quite getting the right portion of it.

As I am teaching and spending time with the kids in my classroom, I am praying for them. Their future is uncertain at this point, but I hold them dear in my hearts and want to always think and speak positive, lifegiving words over them. I wish I could follow the lives of all my students, but reality dictates otherwise. It has to be enough for me to know that I am impacting generations to come in my simple role as a teacher.

Peace and blessings to the promoting 8th grade Sacaton Middle School Class of 2015 – Ms. Lyons

In Memory of Marcus Wheeler… yet living in the hearts of many


The recording stated, “You are concerned about your children.  In order for us to effectively address concerns on campus, we are asking for you to trust our communication.  The police officers are not permitting anyone to enter campus until the lock down has been released.”

As a middle school teacher, I am well aware of what a school lock down means.  There are so many scenarios that played out in my mind at the time I listened to that voice message.  My 17 year old son is on that campus in that lockdown and I have no idea what the actual situation is at the time.  My nervous system activated and I began to pray that it is nothing as serious as it actually was.

I called my son on his cell phone (thank God for these devices that we have come to depend upon).  He answered in a soft tone, “Hi mom…I’m okay”.

The next thing he informed me is that another student had shot himself on the campus and he is dead.  I was emotionally overwrought at that point.  Yes, my son is safe, but someone elses son is not.  That was my initial thought which brought me to tears.

Since Tuesday, there have been many Facebook posts, tweets, and videos about the 18 year old who simply made a choice to end a life that seemingly was unbearable for him.  I do not pretend to know anything about that or his experiences.  I am only able to feel sadness for him and his family at this time.

Of course, I spoke with my son at length about it when I arrived home.  I reassured and comforted him as much as I could that I am always interested in knowing how he is feeling.  There is no problem so great that we can not solve it together.  I silently hugged my son for a long time.  The thought of losing him is not something I am able to process.  Yet, there are these parents somewhere out there grieving their loss.  I wish I could do something to help.

To the parents of Marcus Wheeler – I am keeping you on my prayer list for a long time.  I’m praying for your peace and may you discover the purpose God has in you.

A Lifesaving Journey with Anne Frank!

Davina Lyons:

My 7th grade students are currently writing about Anne Frank. This post that I am reblogging is amazing! I wish I could introduce it to my students. I know that this post has given me a fresh perspective and encouragement to write again.

Originally posted on beyondtheflow:

In the opening lines of The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne shared the excitement of unwrapping her diary: “Dear Kitty” …a gift for her 13th birthday. Likewise, on my 13th birthday, I had a similar rush of excitement when I unwrapped Anne’s diary, which was a gift from my mother, along with an empty journal to get me started.

Anne Frank writing in 1941. Anne Frank writing in April, 1941.

Mum was forever trying to get me interested in reading but she also encouraged and nurtured my writing. When I was around 11 years old, she’d taught me how to spell “enthusiastic” and I was as proud as punch with my new word and liberally started adding it to my compositions at school to receive that all-important red tick and VG in the margin. That same year, Mum also gave me a thesaurus. Although it took me a few years to really master it…

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In praise of Spinach

Davina Lyons:

Oh! I love spinach! I too sing the praises of spinach.

This will be another recipe I will attempt – creamed spinach is wonderful!

Originally posted on rachel eats:

I am immensely fond of spinach, fresh, lively, gloriously bright green spinach, the kind that bounces, crunches and squeaks in a most unruly way as you try to stuff it into your shopping bag.

Most of the time I like spinach served simply, so as to appreciate its sweet, leafy, ever so slightly bitter goodness, a nod to Popeye. We often have a little pile of spinach for lunch after the pasta, steamed or blanched briefly in fiercely boiling water, drained and then dressed with coarse salt, olive oil and lemon. I like it sautéed in nut-brown butter then seasoned with salt, pepper and a flick of nutmeg. I almost can’t contain my excitement at the thought of a certain French recipe in which spinach is cooked and reheated over 5 days, each day more butter is added, so by the end, half a kilo of spinach has absorbed an…

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Davina Lyons:

When I began my quest to transform from the inside out, hummus was the thing that I loved the most! Fresh veggies and hummus sustained me the first couple of weeks. It was the “healthy” store bought version. I never imagined making my own, until now…

Originally posted on rachel eats:

In Middle Eastern Cooking mixed mezze (little dishes of mixed d’oeuvre) are signs of hospitality and conviviality, dishes to be shared to begin the meal or like Spanish tapas, nibbles to be eaten while drinking and gossiping. The word mezze originally comes from the Persian word Maza, meaning ‘taste, relish‘.

Many of these delicious dishes have been adopted by the West and none more so than hummus, a simple paste of cooked chick peas crushed with tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Unfortunately like so many things Hummus has been hijacked by supermarkets who. with a few exceptions, sell us little plastic tubs of unctuous, over creamy distant relatives of the real thing.

The good news is we can reclaim Hummus and make it ourselves and never buy those little tubs again.

Apart from its glorious role in a mixed mezze, hummus is a good accompaniment to Grilled…

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The responsibility of Power

Davina Lyons:

I often think of how I would behave if I won the lottery. Would I lose my mind and abandon my good senses? Or, would I fulfill my dreams of helping others achieve the greatness they were created for? This blog post that I am sharing gives me hope that I would do the latter.

I would use whatever I am blessed with to be a blessing to others. However, I am only concerned with teaching others how to fish and not giving them fish; therefore, my lottery winnings would be used to open establishments purposed to educate and motivate others.

Originally posted on The Bulb Culture:


We will all get to experience some form of power within our lives. It might be coaching a football team, managing a new project at the office or simply declaring that we are going to take full control of our lives.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”- Voltaire 

This particular quote may be a little bit of a cliché and it always seems to remind me of the first Spider-man movie for some reason. But it’s one of the best quotes to keep in the back of your mind when you feel like you’re in a position of power.

People often claim that when a weak individual who has stood along the sidelines for the majority of his life, comes to a position of power he will abuse that power and act vindictive towards others. Instead of uplifting those around them, their main aim is to bring people down…

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