Baptized In Fire

Posted in Business, Funny, Motivational, Relationships

Have you ever had your life flash before your eyes and experience true terror? That happened to me yesterday. I got a text from the Assistant Principal telling me I needed to go cover a class. This was not just any class. It was a Kindergarten class!

I felt this nauseous sensation come over me as I started my way towards the abyss known as the Kindergarten hallway. I knew that I was walking towards the edge of sanity and I might not come back. It was like the scene in The Green Mile with somebody calling out “Dead Man Walking.”

I had to relieve Ms. Kaba while she went to meet with a parent about her child’s behavior. As I saw Ms. Kaba leave the room, I realized for the first time how Daniel must have felt being thrown into the lions’ den. All these little aliens were looking at me like they were ready to pounce.

They were happily munching on their snacks (which most of them were wearing all over their face, hands, and clothes). Almost on cue about ten of them surrounded me and started asking me questions. All I remember was saying “Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no.” I am not even sure what I said yes or no to. I prayed quickly, “Lord, please don’t let them touch me.” I really did not know what to do, so I went across the hallway to the lead teacher and told her I needed help and I needed it NOW.

She was amazing. She came in, surveyed the room, and then announced that she was setting the timer for 2 minutes to finish eating. She would be back in two minutes and anyone not finished would have to clip down (apparently that is like a death threat to a Kindergarten kid because they took it very seriously). She came back in 2 minutes and reset the timer for a minute and a half and announced that they had to have EVERYTHING cleaned up and put away in a minute and a half or they would clip down.

The kids started moving so fast it was like watching a film that had been sped up. I had to tell some of them to slow down to keep them from hurting themselves or someone else. Sure enough, in a minute and a half she came back in and surveyed the room. All the mess was cleaned up in a minute and a half! Wow. I just stood there with my jaw open at what I had just witnessed.

Then she proceeded to put the class into “stations.” She set up 4 different stations and gave them specific instructions for each station. She then set the timer again and told them when the timer was up, they would rotate to the next station. This was like watching a great master conduct the most beautiful masterpiece in the world. The kids just fell into line and did what they were told.

About that time, Ms. Kaba returned from her parent meeting. I had this weird sensation like I was waking up from a bad dream. I thanked her for what she and her co-workers do every day. Kindergarten kids are so needy! That is not a good thing for me because I am very needy too!

I think that Kindergarten Teachers are up there next to Jesus. They have the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the courage of Samson, and the love of Jesus all wrapped in a smile. I know that I am Superman, but Superman met his Kryptonite in the form of a Kindergarten class. I now have a profound respect and love for anyone who teaches Kindergarten kids. You guys rock!

P.S. Ms. Kaba has 2 young kids at home and is expecting her third. She teaches Kindergarten kids all day then goes home to deal with her own kids. How crazy is that? Crazy good!

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

Red Red Eyes

Posted in Funny

(A tribute to teachers to the tune of Red Red Wine)

Red red eyes, burn in my head

Make me forget that I

Should be in my bed

 

Red red lines are covering my eyes

I thought I was doing right

Grading papers all night

With red red eyes

 

I had sworn that with time

I would find my way to bed

I was wrong now I find

Just one thing makes me forget

Red red eyes

 

Stay closed for me

I can’t stay up all night

It’s tearing apart

My blue blue eyes

 

I had sworn that with time

I would find my way to bed

I was wrong, now I find

Just one thing makes me forget

Red red eyes

 

Oh how I need Visine

Help me to see again

Got papers to grade again

Through red red eyes

 

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

Old People

Posted in Funny, Relationships

Have you noticed how old everyone else looks as you get older? Particularly at Homecoming. That is why I don’t like going anymore. I am now in the group of people that the kids gawk at and giggle about how old they look. They can’t believe we are still driving. Admittedly some of us shouldn’t be…but I am not there yet!

I don’t like getting old and frankly, I resent the fact that my aches and pains are now my main topics of conversation. I don’t like to be raising my hand for another prayer request every week at church. What really irritates me is that my mind still thinks I am 32.

My wife and I were talking about wisdom and how much we have learned from making mistakes. She laughed and said she did not think she was much wiser now because she still thinks with her heart…and that gets her in trouble because people tend to take advantage of that. I am like that too, except that now I trust…but verify. It is a lot less painful in the end.

I was talking about my bad back to a friend of mine who is fighting cancer. We make quite a pair! Anyway, he sent me a couple of things to encourage me. I thought they were excellent, so I am passing them on to you.

Exercise for People Over 50

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you can have plenty of room at each side.

With a five pound sack in each hand extend your arms straight out from your side, and hold them there as long as you can.

Try to get a full minute, and then relax.  Each day you will find that you can hold this position a little bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to ten pound sacks. Then fifty pound sacks, and then eventually, try to get to where you can lift a one hundred pound sack in each hand, and hold your arms straight out for more than a full minute. (I’m at this level)

After you feel confident at this level, put a potato in each sack. (I am proud to say that I am now at the level where I have a potato in each sack!)

Benefits of Growing Older

  1. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
  2. Kidnappers are not interested in you.
  3. No one expects you to run into a burning building.
  4. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
  5. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
  6. Things you buy now never wear out.
  7. You can eat dinner at 4 p.m.
  8. Senior citizen discounts abound. You just have to remember to use them.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soap Operas

Posted in Funny, Motivational, Relationships

It seems that some people are just destined to be dramatic, but I have to wonder why? Life does not have to be full of drama every day, does it? Don’t we have enough real issues without the drama?

One of the things about kids is that they learn very early how to turn on the drama for effect. They tattle, they cry, they hit, they scream, they pout, and they throw temper tantrums. I recall seeing a father in Branson many years ago sitting on a bench. His hands were cupped around his face as he calmly watched his toddler in a screaming tantrum laying in front of him on the sidewalk. Tourists walked about and were laughing at the scene. I wish I had put it on video. It would have gone viral for sure.

My wife was telling me of a funny quote she saw recently. It said, “Have you ever looked around your family and thought: Well, aren’t we just two clowns short of a circus?”  LOL. Thankfully, my family is not in that category now, but I know plenty that are.

The problem with living a life full of drama is that it robs you of your peace. Just watch the people that are constantly in turmoil and see if this is not true. They lack the ability to cope, so they stress, they complain, they gossip, and they stir the pot to make others feel their pain.

I try to avoid people who live like that. It seems that they are constantly trying to get others to wallow in the mire with them. I have wallowed in self-pity before and it isn’t pretty. At some point we have to shake it off and realize that if we want things to be different, WE have to change. We have to take on the attitude that says: “You can change the world when you change YOUR world.”

Unless you are professional actor, please leave the drama to the pros.  

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

STAR WARS

Posted in Funny, Relationships

Episode IX

Long, long ago in a galaxy called Grapevine there

erupted a great conflict. Dan Mallwalker, Grandfather of

the last Jedi, was on a mission of mercy to Sam’s when things

spun out of control. He was attacked by a Death Star called the Tongue

Lasher. Barely surviving the encounter, Mallwalker sought out the help from his most

trusted friend, Opie Won Cannoli. The fate of all male Jedi warriors awaited his counsel.

Mallwaker: Great Opie Won, I need your assistance. I was attacked from the dark side and have barely escaped to tell you the tale.

Opie Won: Ahhhhhhh. Yes. A great disturbance in the force it was. Tell me about it.

Mallwaker: I was on a sacred mission to Sam’s to get some paper towels. Not just any paper towels. I had to get Bounty paper towels, and they had to be the select-a-size type. I had made a serious error before in buying an off-brand. I was determined not to make that mistake twice! The problem was, the only Bounty towels on the shelf had a Star Wars theme on them. I did not think it mattered because they were still Bounty towels. I was wrong! It unleashed the Tongue Lasher and I was within a single lashing of losing my very life! Apparently I should have “known” that they had to be plain white.

Opie Won: Mallwalker, you are a great warrior. You are seasoned in battle and have fought many good fights. You are wise in so many areas, and yet the greatest mystery you have not conquered.

Mallwalker: Tell me Opie Won. What have I still to learn?

Opie Won: You have to learn to think like a woman, Mallwalker.

Mallwalker: But Opie Won, that is impossible. I am not a woman! How can I think like a woman?

Opei Won: You can’t, but you must try. Even a woman does not understand a woman, but you must try.

Mallwalker: Opie Won, how do I make up for this? Is there hope the Resistance?

Opie Won: There is a way. You must buy her two tickets to Star Wars, The Last Jedi and she will understand.

Mallwalker: That will never work! She can’t stand those type of movies! Isn’t there any other way?

Opie Won: There is only one other way. You must take your beating like a man and quit complaining. You must learn the lesson, Mallwaker….or not.

Mallwalker: That is it??? That is your advice? I HATE Star Wars!

On the way back home to his planet, Mallwalker had a brilliant idea. There IS a greater power! Why have I not consulted God? So, Mallwalker poured out his heart to God. He gave Him all the details and then asked God what to do. You know what God said? “You must take your beating like a man and quit complaining. You must learn the lesson, Mallwalker….or not.”

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

When Good Is Bad

Posted in Funny, Motivational, Relationships

Isn’t it ironic that so many things in life that are good are bad? Don’t believe me? I bet you will see you or someone you know somewhere on the list. Check this out:

  • Virtually everything I crave…cookies, candy, chocolate (my BFF), cake, ice cream, anything deep fried, bacon, etc., are all sooooooo good, and yet bad for ya. I know: Everything in moderation, but who wants moderation when they have a bucket of movie popcorn staring at them? Just to show you how evil movie popcorn is, my wife won’t even share hers with me. She says, “Get your own bucket!”
  • How about when we settle for something good instead of great? Have you ever had a relationship you got into that you shouldn’t have? I am guilty here. I wish I had known Vicki (my wife) since I was a kid, but it would have been kind of weird since she is a few years older than me. Of course, in Arkansas where she is from, that would be OK. I hear 12 year olds date 18 year olds all the time there. :o)
  • How about people who do something good for the wrong reason? Their actions are good, but their motives are selfish. They don’t give with love. They give to manipulate people or to make themselves look good.
  • How about people who are just plain evil? They call good evil and evil good…so their good is evil. How twisted is that? Think Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Osama bin Laden, Idi Amin, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, your, etc. History is full of people who have been in places of power and sought to steal, kill, and destroy any who opposed them.

I realize this list could be virtually endless, but you get the idea. To complicate things, when the younger generation really likes something, they call it “bad!” Hmmmm. Maybe someday we will figure it all out. Till then, I am off to the movies. Quit judging me.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

Dear God

Posted in Funny, Motivational, Spiritual

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Shalom!

Dan Skognes

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Posted in Funny, Relationships

Kids Say the Darndest Things dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorWhen I was growing up Art Linkletter had a show with that title. It was hilarious. He simply interviewed little kids and waited for them to say what was on their mind…and it inevitably caught him and the audience off guard. If you have never seen the show just YouTube it and watch a few episodes. You can’t help but laugh.

Below are a few comments I have had from kids and my comeback to them:

  • In relation to my claiming to be Superman, I have had many questions:
  1. “If you are Superman, you can fly! FLY!” I just tell them “I never fly without my cape.”
  2. “Where is your cape?” I tell them “It is at home with my wife…Wonder Woman.” That always gets a laugh and look of disbelief. I just give them a big grin and a double thumbs up!
  3. “Superman has hair. Where is your hair?” I just point out that I have some hair on my head…not much, but I have some. LOL.
  4. “Superman has muscles. Where are your abs?” OK, I admit it…that one hurt. LOL. First I ask them “What you are trying to say?”  Then I just tell them, “I am working under cover, so don’t tell anybody.” Apparently I have to start working out.
  5. “Use your laser eyes!” I just tell them, “I can’t because it is a fire hazard and against the school rules.” Then I tell them, “Besides, that is what happened to my head. I was looking in the mirror one day and my laser eyes burned off my hair!” That usually makes them drop their jaws.
  6. “Batman BEAT you in the movie!” I just let them know, “That was just a movie. Batman and I are really best friends.” :o)
  7. “Superman doesn’t wear glasses.” I have to educate them. “Clark Kent does wear glasses, and he becomes Superman.”
  8. “Does Kryptonite really make you weak?” I tell them, “Yes…and Wonder Woman is my Kryptonite.” That usually gets a few giggles. LOL.
  9. “Superman has super powers. What can YOU do?” I tell them, “Be very quiet.” Then I thump my cheek and made a sound like water dropping. It is very funny. They are mystified by it and go around the rest of the day thumping their cheek and trying to duplicate the sound. In all the years I have done this I have only had one kid who could duplicate the sound…and he was a 5th grader. I also have the ability to invert my arms because I am double jointed. So, between the two…that is enough super powers to usually make my point.
  10. “Superman is not old!” To that I respond…”I am the ORIGINAL Superman!  I just put on makeup and a wig for the movies.”
  11. “When are you going to fly for us?” I tell them, “Come to school on Sunday and you will see me fly over the school. I will wave at you!” Of course, they protest that there is no school on Sunday…but at least they know I tried. :o)

*Note to anyone wanting to be a super hero: You had better have answers to all their questions!

Other questions and comments:

  • One little boy looked at me and said, “You have hair in your nose!” I pointed out that everyone has hair in their nose…including HIM. LOL. He was totally disgusted by the mere idea of it.
  • “Are you pregnant?” Thankfully, I did not have to answer that one because another first grade boy told him, “Boys don’t have babies! Girls do!”  By the way, that was my incentive to lose 25 lbs…no kidding. LOL.
  • “What does gay mean?” I tell them it means “Happy!” At least it used to mean that.
  • “What are those brown spots on your arms?” I tell them, “Aliens tried to abduct me and I had to fight them off! Or…it could just be from old age. I am older than dirt!”
  • In relation to my age, I tell them “I am 112 years old.” Then I add, “But hey, I look good, right?” They get wide-eyed and nod yes. I tell them I was born in 1905. Usually there is at least one kid in the group who does the math and informs the rest of them that I really am 112 years old. LOL.

I think I need to bring this show back and interview kids. If you know anyone that produces TV shows, have them contact me. I already have lots of material.  :o)  Shalom!

Dan Skognes

People Are Strange

Posted in Funny

People Are Strange dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorThis might make you start singing the song by the Doors, but I mean this: People are strange! If you don’t believe me, look in the mirror. Just admit it, we all have our quirks. The quickest way for me to get an eye roll from my wife is to say, “Yeah, I made a mistake once.”  LOL. She is quick to bring me back to reality with, “Once???”

I love to people watch and what better place to watch them than….you guessed it:

Walmart. I go to Walmart several times a week, and I think part of it is to just watch the people. The show begins in the parking lot and continues throughout the shopping experience. I don’t think it is right to make fun of people, but some folks seem to invite it with what they wear in public.

Here are a few things I would like to request that you NOT wear in public:

  • Grown women with PINK stamped on the butt of their pants. What are they thinking?
  • If we can see your undergarments through your pants or skirt you need to consider wearing a slip or dark clothes. Seriously. If you are a man, please don’t wear a slip. Opt for dark clothes.
  • Short-shorts on men. Never a good idea unless you want to get beat up.
  • Bermuda shorts on men with over the calf dark socks. (I told my wife if I ever go out like that in public to just shoot me because I lost my mind).
  • If body parts are hanging out of your clothing please buy a larger size. You will breathe easier and spare the rest of us the embarrassment of a wardrobe failure.
  • PJs are not OK unless you are under 3 years old.

This list could be endless, but common sense has to kick in at some age, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not, but if you go out in public dressed like a clown and you are not a professional clown, you are going to end up on The People of Walmart videos on YouTube. You’ve been warned.

P.S. Flip-flops are OK but don’t make the mistake of calling them thongs. That is what we called them when I was a kid. Now you get a strange look from your family if you ask, “Should I pick up a new pair of thongs while I am out?”  Not good if you are old and carrying a few extra pounds…just saying. LOL.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

Who Got It Right?

Posted in Funny

Who Got It Right dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator