25 Bible Jokes

I decided to combine my love of dad jokes with my love of Jesus and write some jokes based (loosely) on the Bible.  Some of them are really bad.  Be ye warned.

Why didn’t Joseph wear a necktie?  He always wore a coat of mini collars

What did Jesus say to the Mexican Jumping Beans?  Peas! Be still.

Why was Peter’s writing so lyrical?  When he was in prison, he was bound with Two Chainz.

Why don’t Jamaican Christians cut wood?  Their pastor says that God is one but He be made of tree parts. (Read in a Jamaican accent or it doesn’t make sense…it might still not make sense.)

Why did Moses want the Chief Wahoo logo gone?  He was always partial to the Red C.

What did Jesus say when T got too close to V?  I’m going to prepare a place for U.

What did Jesus say to the acorns that fell too fast?  Have faith and just be leaves.

Why did the disciples quit Black Lives Matter in the Garden of Gethsemane? They couldn’t stay woke,

Why did everyone think Jesus was a big gambler?  He was always talking about a pair a dice.

Why are beans the holiest vegetable? Jesus said “Blessed are the peas makers.”

Why did 3 John put pants on Jude?  He didn’t want any more Revelations.

When did Jesus get involved in the NBA? When he stopped James and John from fixing the Nets. (No wonder they’re so bad each year)

What would Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob name their football team? The New England Patriarchs.

What does Mike Tyson think is the hottest underwear in the Bible?  The Thong of Tholomon.

What did Festus say when Paul asked to go to Caesar? “Seize her? I didn’t even think you knew her!”

What did Jonah say when the fish asked if he wanted to be spit out? “Yes! For shore!”

When are bartenders mentioned in the Bible? When Jesus said “Blessed are the pouring spirits.”

Why did Jezebel want Naboth’s Vineyard so bad?  She thought it was just grapes.

Why do Christians drink soy protein? They believe Jesus is the only whey.

Why was everyone so happy that Saul missed when he threw the spear at David? If he had hit him, I’d could have been truly harp breaking.

What did Mary say when Jesus’ room was messy? “What were you, born in a stable?”

What is Jonah’s favorite spot in Jerusalem? The whaling wall.

Why wasn’t Noah good at math? He could only count two by two.

Why did Solomon have to be so smart? To remember all his anniversaries.

Why do Christians eat so much cheese? Jesus was always talking about having a grater love.

 

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Interview with Doris Zigler – Jesus Prom Organizer

One of my favorite and most worthwhile nights every single year is a night called Jesus Prom.  It’s a really cool event hosted by Northside Christian Church in Wadsworth, Ohio that I am proud to call my home church.  Today, I sat down with Doris Zigler, the event organizer and spoke with her about the event; what it is, and how much it means to many people.  Here is a transcript of that interview.

I’m here with Doris Zigler, one of the organizers for Jesus Prom. How long have you been involved with Jesus Prom?

Since the beginning when Seth Amerine was here and got it all started.

What exactly is your role with Jesus Prom?

I guess I’m the leader of all the leaders.I just keep things organized, plan the meetings, make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be, and answer questions.

Has that always been your role since the beginning?

Well I’ve done several things. The first year, I led the decorations team and then the next two years, I did hospitality. Those were the three years that Seth was here. He started looking for someone that third year to take it over for him since he knew that he was going to be leaving. He asked me that third year if I would interested in this. So for the last three years, I’ve been doing this.

If someone who had no idea what Jesus Prom was asked you what it was, what would you tell them?

Well, it’s a night where our church just celebrates and parties with people with special needs. It’s all about them. Everything we plan, we plan for them. It’s to give them a night to just be themselves and be free to wander and do what they want to do in a safe environment. It’s a good time for our church family to be around others who aren’t just like them and to come out of their comfort zone and meet somebody new.

So can you just describe what the night is? Like take us through the night as if you were a guest or a guide. How does the night go?

When they come in the front doors they are met with a group of people who are clapping for them and cheering for them and welcoming them. There is a red carpet spread out for them. This year they will be directed to an announcer who is going to announce them and their guides name. Then their guide will step forward out of the group and come and get them and help them to sign in at the hospitality table and then for the rest of the evening they will be free to do anything they want to do. We’re doing something different with the banquet this year. Instead of having everyone eat at the same time, there is going to be staggered times. So when they come in if they want to eat right away they can go see if the table is ready. If there are no tables ready, we’ll kind of do it like a restaurant. We’ll write their names down and how many is in their party and they can check back in. We’ve outgrown our banquet hall. So we decided to do this so that we could accommodate more people.

Speaking of that, How many guests do we have this year?

Today we have 176 signed up and we’ve decided that we are going to cap it at 200. So we have room for 24 more because not only is that 24 guests but it’s also parents and caregivers. So right now we’re at like 319 dinners.

Do you have anything for the parents and caregivers throughout the night?

Yes, if someone is in a condition where they need constant care and looking after, some of the parents who are caregivers will stay with them and eat with the in the banquet hall. We ask that there only be one so that we can accommodate more guests. The rest of the overflow go upstairs to the youth rooms upstairs and they set up tables up there. When they are done with the buffet, they can go next door amd we have a chiropractor that comes and does neck and shoulder massage for the parents. We have a nice relaxing meal upstairs for them away from the chaos downstairs.

How are we doing on volunteers?

We need a lot more volunteers. The smaller teams fill up. The kitchen team, servers, and paparazzi. But what we really need are guides. As of today, we probably need about 100 more guides.

What’s your favorite part of the whole thing?

Well, I love it all, but when they start walking in on the red carpet, I just cry. When they are all waiting in the parking and we go to open the doors, all the car doors fly open because they just can’t wait to get in here. And you can see them just rushing up here with the smiles on their faces. Some of them just love that red carpet because they can just dance and show off.
So one thing that I love about Jesus Prom is just how much the church comes together, especially inter-generationally. Have you noticed this and can you talk about it a little bit?

Yes, even just within the planning teams. We have 18 different teams and each one has their own leader. And we’re all different ages, men, women, a mixed group. And we probably wouldn’t have become as good friends as we are in any other setting because we all would go to a certain class or group on Sunday and they’re all based on age or whether you have children or not but yeah, I see that in all the teams. There’s older people and younger people and they all work together so well.

That’s awesome. As a high school leader in the church, I love Jesus Prom because we can tell our high schoolers that this is a way that you can be involved in the church and actually be the church. Have a lot of high school kids signed up this year?

Yes! Quite a few. I think that sometimes they wait til the last minute. It seems that November is forever away.

How many man hours would you estimate go into planning Jesus Prom throughout the year? Not just the night of but all year?

Oh golly. I don’t even know. I know how many I put into it. I would say probably 500 throughout the year. I know each team leader does their own thing like decorations meet throughout the year to plan and make the decorations.

So 500 is a conservative estimate?

Yes

So minimum 500 hours planning to go into a 3 hour event. Do you think it’s worth it?

Yes.

Why?

Because it just brings so much joy. You see the result of it. People who have never been to Northside before. Every time I see one of our special needs guests come forward to get baptized I just think that happened just because of a party. You know God can do amazing things in all situations. I think it’s also good for the parents to be loved on upstairs. Having a brother-in-law and sister-in-law that deal with this on a daily basis, I know that as much as they love their son, they get tired. I mean his constant energy and not being able to fully communicate with them. This night is a good night for them to be able to talk to other parents that are going through some of the same challenges.

What options are there for people still wanting to volunteer?

Well guide is the big thing. There are also still a lot of openings for people wanting to help decorate the building. Or people wanting to help with passing out the dresses that we’ve collected for the girls. There’s just two people signed up right now to do that. People are coming in on Thursday night to set up the tables and chairs and then that same group is going to put the tables and chairs away on Friday night since they already know where everything goes.

So the big need is for guides. Can you describe that job a little bit?

It is just being with the person and letting them do what they want and making sure that they’re safe. Some of them want to communicate more than others. You just let them lead the way. You tell them what’s available. Really the guide just needs to make sure that they get their picture taken and that they eat.

Some people might be hesitant to sign up to volunteer because working with special needs individuals can be uncomfortable if you’re not used to it. What would you say to someone who feels hesitant in that way?

I would say that if you haven’t been to Jesus Prom and you are uncomfortable with the whole idea, the first year you should come and just go to the karaoke room. You don’t have to really communicate with anyone, you just come and cheer for them. Or come and just walk through the hallway during the night and I think you’ll realize that it’s not nearly as difficult as you thought it was.

 

 

A huge thanks to Doris for her time to sit down and talk with me about Jesus Prom this year and for her time throughout the year planning it.  As she said, Northside still needs a lot of volunteers for this.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a member at Northside or have never set foot in the door.  If you want to do something to help someone else out and bring joy into their lives, please sign up as a volunteer.  Go here to sign up or just to find out more about it.  I can guarantee you won’t regret it.  As always, thank you for reading.  Please take the time to click on the link in the lower right hand corner of your screen to follow the blog.

25 Signs Your Child is not a Toddler Anymore

I get to spend a lot more time with my kids over the summer.  It hit me the other day that the boys are really not toddlers anymore.  It was kind of a sad and surreal moment for me.  Like how did this happen without me realizing it?

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It’s something that I want and yet don’t want at the same time.  I mean, things are a lot easier with them being less dependent on me for everything but at the same time… I don’t know, it’s just weird.  I don’t think that it was any one thing that led me to the conclusion that they are out of that phase.  It was more of a mix of different things.  So here are 25 signs that your child is not a toddler anymore.

  1. When you let them help you with the dishes or other chores, it actually saves you time instead of adding more time to the task.
  2. When they run up to you crying and you ask them what happened, the story that they tell you is intelligible and coherent.
  3. When they brush their teeth on their own, you walk away believing that their teeth are in fact cleaner than when they began.
  4. Their drawings actually resemble what they say they drew.
  5. They can buckle themselves into their own car seat.
  6. They stop constantly eating things that are not food
    (i.e. crayons, rocks, spiders, socks, etc.)
  7. The people they mention in their prayers at night include people outside their immediate family.
  8. They don’t cry for haircuts anymore.
  9. They stop growling at strangers in Wal-Mart/Aldi, etc.
  10. They stop caring as much about what color plate they get at lunch.
  11. They don’t use their spoon to drink water out of their cup anymore.
  12. They can actually sit through an entire 30 min episode of a show.
  13. You can let them eat their lunch on the couch.
  14. They realize that it doesn’t make sense that the characters in Veggietales pick things up when they don’t have hands.
  15. When they can sit still enough that cutting their fingernails doesn’t feel like you’re going to dismember them.
  16. There are several activities you can no longer do indoors because too much stuff gets broken. i.e. soccer, kickball, wrestling, coloring, eating anything spherical, etc.
  17. They understand your sarcasm and respond in kind.
  18. Having them clean up their own spills, messes, toys, etc. does not take significantly longer than just doing it yourself.
  19. You can trust them to get dressed and remember all the essentials.
  20. If they’re in a different room and you don’t hear them for 15 seconds you don’t automatically assume something has been destroyed (Again, with Izaiah, this doesn’t actually apply…we always assume something has been destroyed).
  21. They can actually chew gum without just swallowing it after 10 seconds.
  22. When you pitch the wiffleball and then flinch because that sucker might be coming back at you pretty fast.
  23. When they just climb over the baby gate so you leave it open.
  24. When naps become an “if” not a “when.”
  25. When they remember medications that they need better than you do.

Like I said, it kind of a bittersweet feeling that at least two of my kiddos are no longer toddlers.  I’d like to here some of the things that your kids did or signs that you saw to show you when you knew yours weren’t toddlers any longer.  Please leave any stories in the comments section.  As always, if you enjoyed this post, please follow the blog by clicking in the lower right corner.

Mexican Chicken Cornbread Casserole

So let me start by saying that I had to look up how to spell the word “casserole.”  Spelling has never been my strong suite.  If you have ever come over to have dinner at our house, chances are pretty good that you’ve had this dish.  It’s a staple of our family so I thought that I would do my first recipe on the blog.  This is one our favorites.  It’s a little spicy but not so spicy that the kids don’t eat it.  I’ll throw in some modifications to it at the end so that if you make it, you can adapt it to fit your own tastes.  Let’s start out with what is in the dish.

Ingredients

2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 can of black beans (drained)

1 can of cream corn

1 12oz bag of frozen corn

1 4oz can of fire roasted diced chiles

1 can of diced tomatoes (drained)

1 package of taco seasoning

1 package of sliced mozzarella cheese

1 8.5oz box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

1 egg

1/3 cup of milk (whichever milk you want. I use whole milk)

 

Step One

Preheat the oven to 250.  Boil the chicken breasts in a large saucepan until they are cooked thoroughly and then pull them apart using two fork.  The chicken should separate into small stringy pieces.  Place the pulled chicken into a large mixing bowl.

Step Two

Add the beans, cream corn, frozen corn, chiles, tomatoes, and taco seasoning into the bowl with the chicken. Mix it all together thoroughly.

Step Three

Spread the mix into a 9″ x 13″ glass pan.  Place the slices of mozzarella cheese on top of the mixture.

Step Four

Prepare the Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix according to the directions on the box.  Add the mix, egg, and milk and stir together.  Usually, I use a fork to do this and it works pretty well.  Spread the mix on top of the cheese slices.

Step Five

Bake the casserole at 250 for 45 min.

Step Six

Increase the oven temperature to 400.  Bake the casserole for an additional 15 min or until the middle of the cornbread mix is baked through.  If the edges start browning too quickly, decrease the oven temperature to make sure that the cornbread is cooked all the way without burning.  Stick a fork into the middle of the dish.  It should come out clean.

Step Seven

Eat the food Tina!

 

Here are some additional options.

Vegetarian (Not absolutely Vegan)

Substitute 2 cups of brown rice for the chicken.  Brown rice and black beans in combination with each other provide all the essential amino acids to create a complete protein.  When preparing the brown rice, try adding lime juice or lemon juice to water for a citrusy flavor.  I’ve found flavoring rice by adding things to the water can go a long way in creating unique tastes without adding a lot of additional calories.  If you are a strict vegan, then use a vegan cheese and a vegan cornbread mix.  I have never used it, but Jiffy does have a vegetarian cornbread mix with directions on how to and what to substitute to make vegan cornbread.

More Spice?

If you’re like me, you like a little heat in your meals.  You can add some heat to this one pretty easily.  You can simply add red pepper flakes to the casserole mix.  You could add some fresh diced jalapenos to the cornbread mix.  Or you could substitute a hotter pepper for the fire roasted diced chiles.  One time I made this, I added diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce because ALDI doesn’t have the fire roasted diced chiles…I liked it a lot.  The rest of my family couldn’t eat it.

More Cheese Please?

Because who doesn’t like more cheese in their life?  You can add a cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the cornbread mix before you spread it on top.  It adds more cheese and more flavor but also more calories and more expenses.

 

Well, that’s all for the first recipe.  If you actually try it at home, please comment and let me know how you liked it or if you needed to make any modifications (i.e. cooking times and temps, etc.)  If you did anything else to change the recipe with ingredients or something, please comment as well with what you did and how it turned out.  Hope you enjoy this.  As always, please follow the blog by clicking on the link in the lower right hand corner of the page.  Thanks for reading.

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June Recap

Happy July everyone!  June was a ridiculously busy month at our house so it’s literally been over a month since my last post.  Here’s a quick recap.

I turned 31…not really a big deal.  Just another year.  However, I have titled it my “Offspring Birthday.”  If you remember the song “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” by Offspring, there’s a part that says. “He’s gettin a tattoo yeah he’s getting it done. He asked for a thirteen but they drew a thirty-one.”…corny I know.  It just popped into my head one day and I ran with it.

Speaking of running.  I completed the first, and most likely last, 50 mile race of my life.  My good friend Alex Woody convinced/coerced me into doing it with him.  To his credit, he hung back with me until about mile 32 before he took off.  I finished in 12 hours and 34 minutes.  To me, the only important part of that sentence is the first two words. I finished.  Coming into the race, I was only running 2-3 times a week and my longest training run was 16 miles.  My second longest training run was about 5 sooooo…. yeah.  Finishing was an accomplishment in and of itself.  I don’t know where I’m going next as far as training.  However, I do know that for the rest of my life, I can now say that I completed a 50 mile race.

Anya also had a birthday in June.  She is an insanely active baby.  This is probably a survival skill given to her because of her older brothers.  She is at least as energetic, if not more so, than either of the boys.  Our house is never quiet and still.  Until Joshua’s next birthday, we currently have a one year old, a two year old, and a three year old.  It’s fun, exhausting, frustrating, and amazing all at the same time.

Work-wise, HSA Denison Elementary is sadly closed down for good now.  It’s been really hard for me.  I’ve spent the last six years pouring myself into that school and that student body.  It really hurts to leave.  However, I am staying with the same company, Concept Schools, and transferring to one of our schools on the east side of Cleveland.  I am excited and nervous at the same time for the opportunity there.

I also got an Instagram.  One of the literary agents to whom I sent my books wrote back to me saying that he loved them but that I didn’t have a strong enough online platform for him to represent me.  One of the ways of building that online platform is through Instagram.  You can follow me at @erik_steidl if you feel like it.  Actually please do.  Also, if you’re reading this blog and haven’t actually followed the blog yet, please do that as well.  There should be a link it the lower right corner of your screen.  It will then ask you for an email address and send you a confirmation email.  Sometimes it goes to Spam though.  It is still a huge dream of mine to become a published author of children’s books.  I’ve been working really hard with editing, networking, and doing consultations to accomplish this.

Well, that’s basically a recap of where we are in life right now.  We hope and pray that your lives are amazing and blessed.

Teacher Interview Mrs. Calaiacovo

There are a few people in my life who I credit with helping to shape me into who I am today.  I had the pleasure of interviewing one of them, Mrs. Calaiacovo.  She was my Spanish teacher during my junior year at Medina High School.  She is one of the reasons I ended up going to college to become a teacher in the first place.  I really enjoy some the perspective that she brings as a veteran teacher.  Up until now, most of my interviews have been with teachers who are relatively young in their teaching careers.  I hope you enjoy Mrs. Calaiaovo’s wisdom as much as I did.

Erik – Can you give us a history of your teaching experience? Where have you worked and for how long?  What you have taught?

L.C. – In 1993 after graduating from Toledo I taught at Medina Jr. High/Claggett Middle School for 5 years teaching Language Arts and Spanish.  In 1998 I moved to Medina High School and have taught Spanish here since. Levels 1-3.

Erik – What is your favorite class that you have ever taught?

L.C. – I love teaching Spanish III.  The kids know enough vocabulary that I can stay in the target language most of the time and we still teach Destinos, the Spanish soap opera.  I like to teach grammar using “real world” situations from the drama to make it more meaningful for the kids.

Erik – Most of the teachers that I have interviewed so far have been very new to the profession.  I’m excited to get the perspective of someone who has been doing it for a little bit longer. How do you keep things fresh year to year?  What keeps you motivated?

L.C. – I never think that what I do is perfect; I always think there is room for improvement.  How to get more repetitions, how to be more efficient, how to make things more engaging. That is what keeps me motivated:  always striving to be better than the year before. Sometimes I get sick of teaching the same thing year after year so I try to change things up so it does not sound “tired” to my students.  

Erik – Aside from the obviously stellar class of 2006, are there any students or years in general that are extremely memorable to you?

L.C. – Of course!  We all have our favorite students.  My favorites are the ones I really connected with and could talk to, and were not always stellar students.  They were the fun kids who made class enjoyable. They were the ones who were energetic. Facebook is a great way to follow students who have graduated to see the amazing lives they lead.  After 25 years of teaching some of my students have kids that are now in the school system here at Medina!

Erik – What are some of the craziest things that you’ve witnessed?

L.C. – Crazy to me is simply not caring.  The crazy thing is that if kids would just put forth a little effort, they could do well.  I don’t understand kids who don’t value an education, but I think a lot of that comes from home.  

But I know you want bizarre:  so a 7th grader picked up a desk and threw it across the room.  I had a tile floor so it slid all the way across the room to the wall.  He was angry about something silly. By the way he was in jail before he graduated from high school.  

Erik – Aside from teaching, what other things are you involved in at the school?

L.C. – I am super involved in Student Council.  It consumes my life! I have a passion for leadership training for teens and love working on projects with the kids.  I have evolved StuCo into more of a service learning organization which has kept things new and exciting for me. I travel with my StuCo kids and take them to leadership workshops to help them with their leadership skills.  I probably spend more time during the week doing StuCo things than Spanish things, and I spend a lot of time preparing for Spanish classes!

Erik – What things do you do outside of school?

L.C. – My favorite sport is volleyball and I play indoor and sand.  I love doing classes at the rec center, walking, running, biking and spending time with my family and friends.  I am not a TV watcher and rarely sit. I like to be out and moving.

Erik – One of the things you told me when I first started teaching was that sometimes you just have to “Close the door and teach.” It’s some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.  Can you elaborate on it? What are some of the specific ways that has applied to you over the years?

L.C. – There will always be distractions.  The state expects so much, the district, your department, your principal, that it seems sometimes they all forget that we are here to teach kids.  It is important to be able to shut out the drama and distractions and focus on your students and just work with them without being preoccupied with the other million expectations.  My main job is to teach students Spanish. They don’t have to love Spanish, but I do expect them to try to learn. They know when a teacher is not “all in” and then they don’t put forth the effort.  

Some times of year are harder than others.  I try to remember when I have 97 things going on that I just need to close my door and teach and forget everything else for that 43 minutes.

Erik – With summer fast approaching (Well…fastish), do you have any big plans?

L.C. – I am taking a group of students (StuCo and Spanish) to the Dominican Republic for a service trip.  We will be doing eco-tourism projects in the middle of the island. We were there in 2014 and I am excited to go back.  My family will also be going to Ireland, a trip we have always wanted to take. My son graduates in May so we have all the grad festivities and parties.  Volleyball and lots of working out, working on projects around the house and spending time with family will make a fast summer! I try to work on some school stuff a few days a week as well.

Erik – There are times when teaching is a simply exhausting profession.  Aside from “Close your door and teach.” is there any other advice that you would give to a first year teacher?

L.C. – Time management is huge to me.  As teachers we are pulled in so many directions and it can be overwhelming to try to keep up with it all.  I don’t waste a minute. While my kids are working on their bell ringers/warm up activities, I do attendance, talk to kids that were absent the day before, grade a couple tests, answer an email.  If we do a book exercise I tell the kids they have 90 seconds or 2 minutes, or whatever time I think it should take, then we go over it and move on. 43 minute periods can go by quickly and it is hard to teach everything without using all the time.  Kids stay engaged when there is no time for chatting or waiting around. This also cuts down on discipline issues, which I think is a huge hurdle for first year teachers. Kids don’t have time to fool around because we constantly move from one activity to the next.  Also, I try not to do any activity for too long so kids don’t get bored. 5-7 activities per class period keeps it fresh and makes time fly!

Erik – Do you remember any teachers in your life that made huge impressions or had a major impact?

L.C. – I had a speech teacher in high school that I just loved and she is the reason I majored in English/Speech.  She was kind, understanding, fair and fun. I think we remember teachers who made us feel good, but we don’t necessarily remember their curriculum and lessons!

Dandelions and Graduation

Every year in the spring, when I first start having to mow the yard again, I’m always reminded of something that my Grandpa Steidl used to say.  “If dandelions were hard to grow, people would want them in their yards.” I find this saying to have meaning on several different levels.  First, I think it could mean that although most people think of dandelions as a weed, they are a flower and do have beauty.

However, I think that another meaning is that part of the value and beauty of a flower is that it takes time and a lot of effort to cultivate.  A rose is considered more beautiful and valuable than a flower because it doesn’t generally just grow on its own.  You have to nurture it and work for it.  I think this is true of many things.  When you have to work for them, you appreciate them more.

This is where graduation comes in.  Yesterday was the last day of the school year for the sixth grade students at our school.  It was honestly a very emotional day for me.  As I said goodbye to many children that I’ve taught since they were in the first grade.  They are like flowers.  It took a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of energy to get them to bloom.  I saw them grow from tiny little six year old kids to almost teenagers.  Many of our students come to us not even knowing the alphabet.  To see them grow from that to being independent readers and writing full five paragraph essays is a true joy.

It’s always a bittersweet moment at “graduation.” (I know that they’re sixth graders and it’s not actually graduation).  On one hand, it’s really sad to see them go.  On the other hand, I take pride in the feeling of accomplishment as they walk out the door prepared for seventh grade and hopefully prepared in some respects for the rest of their lives.