Thursday, May 26, 2016

NEW SONG for End-of-Year Slide Shows & Graduation: Kleenex ALERT!

Kindergarten Graduation End-of-Year Slide Show Sound Track from Debbie Clement.

PINCH ME!!! Look what happened! 
I made it back into the recording studio!!!
Believe in unicorns and pixie dust and happily ever after too! 

I am so very excited. I have BIG news!
My dear sweet husband said, "Yes."
He gave me the most incredible gift. 
The rest is history. 

A couple of years ago I wrote a little poem -- 
as a tribute to teachers.
  • I wanted to say thank you in a tangible way.
  • I wanted to express my appreciation. 
  • I wanted to acknowledge your hard work.
  • I wanted to affirm your many feelings. 
  • I wanted to offer support.
  • I wanted to recognize the milestone.
  • I wanted to attempt to capture the emotions in saying good-bye. 
  • I wanted to give you a new tool for your toolbox.
  • I wanted to contribute to your closure.
So much happens in a school year.

Starting with early fall's delight over new supplies and potential, 
{twinged with just the slightest apprehension of the unknown....} 
There's an onslaught of pumpkins and reindeer,
candy hearts, leprechauns and bumblebees


and it is all over!  

Kindergarten Graduation End-of-Year Slide Show Sound Track from Debbie Clement.

The ending of a school year is so very poignant.
When the finish line is tangible, 
every moment goes into hyper-drive captured in 'forever' mode.


People downloaded my poem. 
They thanked me for articulating their experience. 
They told me they cried when they read it.
They tagged their friends.
They were grateful.
They printed it. 
They sent it home. 
They shared it.
They used it. 
Then someone said, 
"I wish it had a melody so that I could sing it." 

That one line of feedback started the ache. 
She planted the seed. 
It could be MORE!
It could be a song. 
Songs have legs.
Songs get play-time.
Songs stick with you.
I write songs. 

And a year went by. 
And then another. 

The feedback and gratitude accumulated. 
Like a gnawing water drip.....
so did that one request
ring over and over and over in my head. 
"I wish it had a melody so that I could sing it." 

Going into a recording studio with a poem on a piece of paper is expensive. This last couple years of my personal and professional life, we haven't had the 'extra' to even contemplate considering what it would take to go back into the studio. That's a long complicated story that is mostly sad, where we are still awaiting the triumphant conclusion. BUT......... stay the course long enough and the tide begins to turn. Have faith. Trust. Believe. Pray. Give thanks. HALLELUJAH.

So I squinted and in my best smiling wifey voice, I asked my dear sweet husband if this spring we were in a position to take on a new project. Hubby Allen said, 'yes.' 

Turns out that our efforts over at could provide the financial resources necessary to answer her request to turn my little poem into a song. 

And with that go-ahead I got the nerve to talk to my UBBER talented producer-friend Ronn. His talent is legendary and his heart is even bigger. Ronn would have to agree to work for peanuts, or more accurately for peanut dust.... not even a minuscule fraction of his worth and value in the real world. The man has created brilliance in Nashville and Detroit. I thought he might be willing. I hoped. Just because he's the best. Just because he knows that for me to ask a favor -- it must be worthwhile. And Ronn said yes! 

And with that go-ahead we had to rope in Dan, the owner of the studio. It would take all three of us to bring this little idea to fruition. He too would have to be willing to make me the 'deal' of the century. Just because. As a friend. As an acknowledgement of our nearly two decades of projects together. Dan-the-man has a heart of gold. It would be fun to have the three of us under the same roof at Amerisound.  And Dan said yes! 

TRIFECTA. All three. Everyone on board. Tic-Tac-Toe!

So began the real work by Ronn to create the arrangement out of thin air. That is his specialty. We talked over the role of the song and how I envisioned it being used. We talked over the tone. We talked over poignancy. And then I gave him permission. Create. Use your gifts. Stay out of his way. 

I just had to get myself back to Columbus, Ohio. That's all. We left Vero Beach, FL just over three weeks ago.... driving to Green Bay, WI where I had the keynote. First must make stops in Augusta, Columbus, Cleveland, Green Springs, Ft. Wayne, South Bend and then actually arrive straight on to the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay. After that immediately down to Chicago for two days of work in Schaumberg at their library. Return to Columbus directly, to take the first flight out BACK TO FLORIDA! 

Return a couple days later to Columbus. Final annual school visit of the year in Westerville. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs all around. Some of my VERY favorite people in that big road trip loop-di-loo. Some of my oldest and dearest friends.

Then time to drive to Amerisound Studios. TA DA. I could get there blindfolded.

While I was busy traipsing back and forth across the the country, Ronn was in a VERY serious car accident. Just mere days before our scheduled recording session. He testifies that it was his seat belt that saved his life. Angels watching over my dear, talented friend. How close do we come to our mortality on a daily basis? Sobering. 

What a back-drop to creative studio work. To say that we were all just a bit frazzled would be a slight under-statement. So when Ronn started playing his arrangement, it was no surprise that I was an immediate blubbering mortal. I just sat there and cried and cried as he added each track from his keyboard to the studio console. They weren't even the least bit surprised at my response. 

Time to blow your nose and sing, Debbie. It is at that point that I wish I am Celine. Alas. 

Preschool Graduation Printable Keepsake by Debbie Clement

The song version required some slight reordering of my poem's origianal stanzas. This is now the completed song lyric sheet. It is in Pdf format in the zipped file that is now available over at TeachersPayTeachers. 

I have decided to make the digital file available for free for right now. HURRY over to get it for FREE!!! 

Pay it Forward. Gratitude. Appreciation. Random Act of Kindness. Anyone that still has school after Memorial Day deserves an extra serving of support. I can't wait to hear your feedback. It would be very kind if you would leave your supportive thoughts at TpT after you download it. 

From the very beginning, I thought that the song version could be used in your slide show overview, as part of the sound track to photographically reviewing your year. Then my friend Maggie, suggested that it could be used as a "Kindergarten Graduation March." I'm excited to hear how you might put it to use! 

End of Year Performance Songs for Kindergarten Graduation

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

#TeacherFriends Technology Twitter Chat 5/3 Win a Wobble Seat!


Tuesday and Twitter and TeacherFriends. 
It is amazing to think that we are winding up another school year. 
That's a LOT of Tuesdays down the Twitter River! 

Individual days can be so l-o-n-g!!!! 
Yet, here we are poised at the beginning of May 
and the countdowns are real! 

Tonight on Twitter we have a new #GuestEduCelebrity
in our ever growing spotlight! 

Meet @edtechseth!

He's eager and organized, knowledgeable and inspiring. 
I realize that some may be clinging to sanity in the final stretch. 
Yet your #TeacherFriends are here to inspire and encourage you in the ever widening web of tech possibilities. 
Come lurk for ideas. 
Better yet, join the conversation! 

Tonight's grand prize winner will receive a Wobble Seat from us! 
We distribute these beauties at 
where we are delighted to process your school POs. 

We can also offer further discounts on quantity purchases. 
Talk to my husband about those specifics! 

In order to be eligible to win (must reside in continental US) 
you just come attend the chat and then enter your name and contact info 
on our Google Doc that will be tweeted throughout the chat.
A winner will be selected and tweeted at the chat's conclusion.  

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Praise Report: Travels, Feedback, Progress, the FUTURE!

Writing a blog post, with your laptop in your lap, while the car is hurtling forward at 70+ miles per hour, is fraught with unpredictable possibilities. Like the post going LIVE after you've only added the title. 

I will continue to add more over the coming couple of hours. Check back later. This is a progressive-dinner type blog article. One morsel at a time!

This has been an incredible week of receiving feedback! I am so very blessed to have incredible teachers in my life who offer me encouragement and support by their response to my work! I am so #FortunateAndBlessed!

The quilt above arrived on my FB page. This incredible masterpiece was created in preschool!!!! Obviously, the teachers involved have incredible talent and mad skills: Open-ended individualized art meets awesome collaborative display! AWARD WINNING!

Can you imagine how full one's heart is to come to FB and learn that YOU have been the 'author' of study that culminates in a spring art show? Truly brings tears to my eyes. Humbling. #ArtMatters. 

Look at these STUNNING paper mache self portraits! 
  • "I think you're wonderful!" 
  • "I think you're marvelous!" 
  • "I think you're beautiful and magical..........." 
  • "and filled with curiosity.............. 
  • "and DREAMS!!!!!!!!!!" 

Look closely at these incredible three dimensional sculptures. 
They were created to model the spring/Easter hats! 

Last night at dancing, an elderly woman came up to me extending her hand. 
She told me that she understood that I was an author. She asked if I had time to visit for a few minutes.
 She asked about my work. 
She asked me what its like to have followed my dreams
and to have had the opportunity to watch them come to fruition. 


"----- and dreams..........."

Receiving the above feedback would be enough to keep even the most 'needy' diva smiling from ear-to-ear for quite a long time, don't ya think? Honored, indeed. 

Then one day earlier this week I opened an email and this image was attached. Spontaneous hug snowballs into a GROUP hug in South Carolina. IMHO. It is the biggest compliment that can unfold in an elementary school to receive a class-hug. 


I am the recipient of NUMEROUS memorable group hugs..... 
I even know enough to strike a 'mountain pose' when I sense that one is about to unfold. 
It is easy to get knocked over in the midst of the UBBER squeeze.

What is even sweeter? 
Having a sweet teacher email you the evidence. 
A picture is worth a thousand words! 

This week was also the "last time" for all manner of moments. 
It was our "last time" to go to our church (this season.) 

This was my second school year to volunteer weekly 
through our church's after school program. 
We tutor 4th and 5th graders and help with homework. 

As the year concluded, I 'volunteered' to introduce these BIG kids to my work. 
They were an absolutely superb audience. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#TeacherFriends Twitter Chat on #GeniusHour Passion


We're ready to chat on all things 

What do you know about Genius Hour? 
We have a brilliant #GuestEduCelebrity about to take the spotlight! 

Meet Gallit Zvi! 
She is a co-author of 
"The Genius Hour Guidebook" 
and an authority on inquiry and passion projects.

Here is the outline for our chat tonight!  

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Praise Report: UPdate, Details, Reality, Progress, Gratitude!

Earlier this afternoon. 
Glorious day. 
Every single time that we walk on our beach........ 
I say, "We live here. We're not on vacation."
It never gets old + I think it is worth repeating.
Over and over. And over and over and over.
Do you have to have grown up in the midwest to LUV the beach?

Earlier this afternoon I dropped my iPhone into a bucket of water. 
I was watering our beloved new bougainvillea bush. 
I grabbed it back at the speed of sound. 
I then dunked it into a box of barley -- 
as we had no rice in the pantry. 

Within two hours, it turned on again! 
The picture above, I took on my phone. 
I didn't use a filter. 
That is the look of my camera, two hours after a phone soaking.

Anyhow. I am sooooo grateful.
For our proximity to the beach. 
And for barley. 

We designed this life. 
This beach-walking, traveling, happy chapter. 
We envisioned it. 
We worked for it. 
We built it. 
Step by step.
I am so grateful for all who have supported my growth! 

Here's a RARE opportunity to see me in action. 
For FREE! 
Mark your calendar and make your reservation! 
Bring a friend. 
We hope to fill the place!  

***Thanks to my sweet friend-of-faith, Pat Hickman, for recommending me for this EOY {End of Year} extravaganza! 
Come earn some of your professional inservice contact hours FOR FREE! 
Be sure that you get registered! 

Recently I announced being selected as an official Frog Street SPLASH ambassador for this summer's 2016 Conference in Dallas. Have we got an opportunity for YOU! 

The eight of us ambassadors are giving away a total of 8 FREE registrations to SPLASH, in a hop on instagram. This is the image you need to look for. 
{I posted it last night.}  

You get an extra entry for stopping (and following) each of our IG profiles.
You can start here at my profile and then hop through to the other seven. 
I seriously can not WAIT to see all of my #TeacherFriends! 
This will be a historic gathering, for sure! 

This has been an incredible week. 
We got to go to church with my parents
on a beautiful sunny, blue sky day! 
#Blessed #Blessed #Blessed

We were all together to sing a rousing four generation
He is ten! 
How is that possible? 

It was so awesome to hear him thanking us. 
He'll probably never realize what his expressed gratitude meant to each of us. 

Then a mere five days later? 
Happy EarthDayBirthday Twinzees! 

From Augusta it was on to our destination in South Carolina! 
That's where my gratitude circle comes to a full cycle. 
Due to the connectivity of FB, 
the very TWINZEES responsible for my speaking in SC 
earlier this year,
suddenly materialized right there in Manning in their ECE building.
Meet the Johnston twins!  

My SDE 'onsite' buddies had recommended me to SCECA, 
then the Manning principal Bett saw me there and 
bingo zingo we were all together again!
It is such an AMAZING experience to have the principal 
drive-the-train of my author/illustrator visit. 
Thank you Bett. You're an award winner in my book!  

Having my own 'groupies' along meant there's also a picture of me 
with the first grade giraffe artwork in response to my picture book 
"Tall Giraffe." 

Each friend that shares my work with a new sponsoring entity, 
keeps the lights on here
and allows me to contribute!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

Our efforts at have really been gathering steam. 
Your orders indirectly paid our airline flight to St. Croix.

Thanks to Shelley Dartmann for the classroom glimpse! 

The numerous orders gave us enough points to fly to St. Croix for FREE!
It takes a village. 
Getting in front of the #AlternativeSeating stampede
was a gift from heaven. Literally. We're grateful.  

Speaking of keeping the lights on....... 
I have received an affiliate check from ESGI..... 
BIGGER than the last one! 
Every extra bit adds to the bottom line.
My affiliate code is B1215
You save and I benefit -- 
which means WE benefit as a family.

Speaking of great principals. 
Look who came to my house! 
Principal Peggy. 
I cooked her food. 
I fed her a meal. 
She is such a good listener. I am so fortunate.

Which brings me to my efforts at Younique cosmetics -- 
on behalf of our daughter and those glorious WonderPeeps above. 

The good news? 
Our daughter Sarah, is making a REAL go of becoming financially independent.
Her Younique 'company' is a HUGE part of her puzzle. 
Every order matters. 

Right this minute, the Corporate Y office has a new incentive plan. 
When Sarah reaches GREEN status every month for the next four months, 
she is entitled to an ADDITIONAL $250, EVERY MONTH!!!!
That is a HUGE opportunity for her!
Think what an extra thousand dollars can mean to her. 
She can apply all of that to her legal bills -- 
as it is 'new' money in her budget! 

When I say every order matters, I kid you not. Every order! 
To get to GREEN? 
Her whole group/downline crew needs to sell $10,000. 
She's on track. 
It is possible. 
That would give her an 'extra' thousand dollars by summer's end.
Please consider ordering from me -- to support her. 

I am searching for 'presenters' who need an avenue to their own independence and also those just looking for some 'play' money for the occasional 'extra.'
Each additional 'presenter' gives our daughter additional independence. 
Sarah has literally been able to pay her mortgage payment 
since her divorce has been finalized....
three months in a row, based on her leadership 'status' at Younique.
Her hard work over the last 15 months has literally paid off. 
It is happening. We are beginning to breathe again. 
No matter what challenges she faces
and the continuing unknowns and lack of continuity.....
and trust me there are plenty -- 
{send me a PM if you want to know the REAL story,}
she is learning how to make it on her own. 

Here's the link to my 'company'
where Sarah is my upline manager. 

My very favorite product.... 
that I use every single day is the lip gloss
The little mirror on the side is pure genius.
I have one in every purse I own. All three of them! LOL!

Sarah is 'modeling' the self tanning lotion in this next picture. 
If you want to support her directly, 
go straight to her site. 

Yes. I do help her out with these images. 
It is the least that I can contribute to her efforts. 
I have been sharing some templates to her RahRah group of recruits. 
We are EAGER to welcome YOU to the team!
Between the two of us, we are able to help you get your own dreams to fruition!  

This has been an interesting week for me in the "survivor" category, too! 
I'm grateful to the local medical supply company for hosting a Breast Cancer survivor day. 
They had a trained 'fitter' come to the area. 

I have a whole new set of wardrobe possibilities as a result. 
The next time you hug me, you may be aware of my new status. 
Six years since my bilateral mastectomy, 
and our increasing ballroom dance schedule motivated me.
Here's the pink rose that I was given that afternoon! 

And as always. 
I thank every angel in heaven for my Allen. 
He wears a LOT of hats around here. 
He does ALL the paperwork on the Wobbles! 

I saw this image on instagram and it says it all! 

My friend Barbara pointed out an old 'proverb' to me on FB recently..... 
"A mom can only be as happy as her unhappiest child." 

I hadn't heard that before and it is pretty profound. We have a long way to go before we hit HappyTown.... but at least we are making progress. We have challenges and they are real. We also have friends and support and opportunity and that is what gets us from one day to the next, that is as real as it gets! 

I'm praying for happiness for all children everywhere. Mine included. 

We have one more week here in our treasured Florida home, before we make the great migration north for the summer season. That means we're down to our 'last' of everything. Tomorrow is our last church service at "Christ by the Sea." 

Last night we had our last dinner party. 
We had 10 of our neighbors join us for dinner
here at the Happy House. 

Here's that secret. 
Three roasted chickens from Sam's club!!! 
(Two would have been plenty.) 
Have everybody bring a dish. 
Live next door to women who LUV to cook! 
Serve it all on your happy plates, with a smile. 

P.S. Invite Paulette and she will meticulously clean up the whole stack of nonsense afterwards. Even if you beg her not to. Surround yourself with amazing people, who go the extra mile. 


I am living a very good life. 
Barley and wonderful people. 
Thank you God for blessing me beyond reason. 
And they lived: 
"Happily Ever After." 

The End

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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