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Thursday, 2/4 The Next Step

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Hi there,

I got to work today and checked my email to find out the meeting regarding the email was to be held today. I called our union president and he agreed to come. In the meantime, I got a lot of work done this morning before that. We held the meeting in the boss's office and the door was left open--so everybody got to see that there was a meeting nad I'm sure a couple of people even hung outside to listen. I was asked what I wanted to meet about ad I responded that it was the email I received with "concerns" that involved me. She printed her email up and we went through it one comment at a time. She had invited the HR guy to come nad he asked me to respond to the email in writing and he told her that he needed a copy of it. The issues of supervision of staff when I m not there really were downplayed and she took responsibility for handling that. As for their dissatisfaction with the sub, I am going to "get" to mentor him and he is going to have to come to me. He is going to have to observe me working and managing my students and then use the suggestions I have been given. Somebody is going to have to tell him htat they are complaining abouthis work and that is why this is being done this way--again, not my problem.

Finally, the HR guy knows that I cannot be the one to move all of the boxes and stuff and told her to set a target date for needing this done and that he will get maintenance to help with that work. It is so nice to be treated with a bit of dignity. She said that she included all of that stuff in the email to give me "a head's up." Hmm, when I am giving someone a heads up, I tell them directly that that is what I am doing.

I am satisfied with the way this went and am glad to know that it has been handled respectfully. I don't think I have more than one problem and that is my boss. I am not sure why she needs to treat me in such an ugly way, but with the changes coming due to budget cuts I don't expect to have this issue for another school year. I am not sure how much longer I'll be only working half-days, that depends on my rehab and strengthening. I will do a good days work for a day's wages and I will continue to keep my students a priority. The rest of this will go the way they choose, but I will not roll over and be dumped on daily. I am far better than that.

On a different note, after spending the greatest part of my adult life pregnant or post partum, it is hard to believe that our youngest child is 12 years old today. His name is Micah and I was 42 when he was born by a scheduled c-section. When he and his dad get home from an errand, we are going to go get his cake and some other groceries along with his choice of his birthday dinner. He seemed to be really pleased with his birthday gifts--mostly toys for probably the last year ever. I am a bit blue thinking about him moving into the adult world soon. He will be at the junior high in the fall and will also start confirmation. He won't have recess and the same type of silly times anymore, but will be starting to think about girls and driving and going out with friends. This is a milestone in my life and although it is right and so, I need to come to grips with this change that has been coming for the past 12 years.

No pool today, so I'm going to exercise, stretch and strengthen here tonight. I managed our last birthday party without a problem and I am expecting to enjoy singing and candles without eating the sweets. Everything is the same and different too.

Thanks for being my true friends and needed support during the rocky moments. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNNYGRANNY71 2/5/2010 8:05PM

    Sylvia, I am so glad that you finally could talk to someone about the problems you had been having and getting someone to listen to you and even to cooperate. I do hope things get even better for you because I know how you felt. Keep up the good work!!!

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SHELLPRO 2/5/2010 4:27PM

    I'm glad to hear that someone 'really' listened and that you feel a little more positive about the situation at work, fingers crossed!

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    It sounds like the work problem is being handled to everyone's satisfaction.

Happy Birthday to your son. I hope you all have an enjoyable celebration.

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    I'm so happy that your meeting went well. You should be very proud of standing up for YOU.... you are WORTH IT! Happy Birthday to your son! Love, Dawn emoticon

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KKKAREN 2/5/2010 8:45AM

    Glad your meeting went well. Happy Birthday Micah!

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MTNGRL 2/4/2010 6:19PM

    Glad the meeting went as well as it did. I am so proud of you for standing on your feet and speaking up for yourself. You are such a strong woman!

It was very poignant reading about your son's birthday and passage from a child to a young man. It brought back memories of my two at that age. You want them to grow, but oh how you don't want them to not need you. At least that is how I felt. Loved today's blog! emoticon

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2/1--Why do I let things hurt me so?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Hi there,

It was another tough day at work...and I know what I need to do, and I know what was wrong with what was written to me in an email, and I know that I have my own integrity and faith on my side. Yet, all that aside--the personal attack grabs hold of me and hurts way too much. I know that I am a perfectionist and give my best, and I don't know if that sets me up for a fall when others are mean-spirited, but I am so down tonight. I just keeping thinking about how unfair this business was--and is. It sure seems as if I am being used as a scape goat for other things and I need to be left alone. I am not responsible for things that happen when I am not at work and I am not responsible for people who don't do what they should do whether I am there or in another location, during my paid worktime or my personal, unpaid time.

I hope I don't sound too negative. I am hurt and it feels as if the salt was poured in the wound. I will contact my support people and will not respond to this page of "concerns" without my union representation. This has gotten to be a way of life that I don't quite know how to manage. The final part was another complaint about my stored materials. I do not have any other storage space. I cannot lift, pack or unpack boxes due to my physical condition. I cannot move things out of my pantry classroom elsewhere because I cannot get to them and have no place to put them. I just am unable to do these things given the fact that I am in a wheelchair and am limited to the number of steps I can take without the other physical activity.

I am glad that I have my faith. I am glad that I have my new friend. I am glad that I put myself first and didn't respond in any way and I didn't find something inappropriate to eat in response. I did work out long and hard today instead which got me through the afternoon and my family time. I am reflecting now and getting ready to call it a day--and it is back, weighing on my heart. Is there really a way to let this kind of thiong go? Please help me to learn how to do this if you have a good technique. I don't have a great deal of cognitive or physical energy left for this after dealing with my pain issues and caring for my family.

Thanks for listening...and for your help and prayers. I am blessed to have you and my family and my dear friends who really care about me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You're such an inspiration to me. Don't let others bring you down! Be blessed and be well my friend. Love, Dawn emoticon

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LOULOUBELLE2 2/2/2010 9:02PM

    What can I say to you my dear friend that will help? I wish I had a magic wand to make thing good for you again. Most of the others have expressed it so well. Particularly Emily, she is so caring and thoughtful. Her response about "God Healing Your Heart" was right on. Put your trust in "Him". I know it's hard to wait for His answers, but "He" is caring you through this. You may not feel it but think of the beautiful poem "FootPrints". read it and know that "He" is caring you right now. "
My prayers are going up to "Him" for you....I know it's a hard time, but Sylvia, You will survive and be better for it. God bless you my friend.
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MTNGRL 2/2/2010 3:19PM

    I spend some time each day reading devotionals on line. When you spoke of that this is heavy on your heart I remembered something from a devotional I read . It said that our Father in Heaven is here to heal our heart. He knows our worries, problems and hurts. We need to take them to Him and He will carry us and them. I am just going to pray that the Lord continues to be by your side and help you through this. emoticon emoticon

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    I think I would just explain my position calmly and in a nonjudgmental fashion. Seeing that you are in a wheelchair a reasonable person would have to assume that you can't do things in the same way that other workers do. If it is important to them then they can assign someone to remedy the situation. I think you have to keep in mind that some bosses feel it is their job to identify and correct problems even when they seem insignificant. Many places are top heavy and these people have to appear to be doing something. emoticon

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SWEESIN 2/2/2010 9:30AM

    I know what it is like to be top producer and to be picked on. Promotions went to others less qualified. I attribute this to several things. 1) appearance- it was the bone of contention whenever it was time for a promotion, the appearance, body odor etc. came to the forefront- otherwise I was left alone to produce. I was continually given more to do, because I could and would do it. I did it because, I kept thinking good work would bring rewards. 2) my emanation of low self esteem-it came out in appearance( I stayed obese), attitude- long periods of negativity and dissatisfaction from me. 3)we do live in a world where looks do matter-NO MATTER WHAT WE WANT TO THINK. WE ARE JUDGED BY OUR APPEARANCE AND THE COMPANY THAT WE KEEP. Another truth was that your past is never allowed to die. I have learned also that you need to reach out to others. You need to do two things for yourself: 1) learn to say "NO" and 2) set limits and ask for help when needed.

ALWAYS be kind to yourself. Your friend in sparking.

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KKKAREN 2/2/2010 8:03AM

    Don't let other get you down. Give yourself the respect you deserve and forget about the others.

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DIANE7786 2/1/2010 11:14PM

    I used to mentor middle school children who often thought they were being picked on unfairly. Most times it was true, in my opinion. I told them if they could look me in the eye and say they did their best, no one should expect more of them and they should forget about silly things other people say. It was amazing how much confidence that gave them. They were still unfairly picked on, but their attitude was clearly different. They told me about the incidents and said, "I thought about if I could have done anything differently. I know I did my best and now I've stopped thinking about it.

To you, as an adult, I suggest if you know you are doing your best, it really doesn't matter what others say. Ignore them by thinking of God, family or whatever makes you happy at that moment. Some people like complaining so don't allow them to make you feel badly. Ignore e-mails. If they complain in person, let them rant and then say, "Thank you for expressing your opinion." You don't have to justify your reasons for anything to anyone except your supervisors.

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Saturday, January 30--My devotional story

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hi everyone,

Another piece of writing I have been working on is a devotional piece to go in a book that members of our church are writing. It is personal and based in the gifts nad miracles of God, yet it is also a very true and real part of who I am as an adult Christian mother, wife, and teacher. I'm going to paste it in here for you to read and consider. I am still in the editing process, so if you have a question, comment or suggestion, please share with me.
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John 14:12-14 The context is Jesus speaking to the apostle Philip:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."

When it is close to the time for a baby to be born, excitement and stress both build together. We had been anticipating the birth of our 5th child, so some of this was not at all new to us. My bag was packed and the baby’s things were all ready, tiny and precious—some new and some gently used by brothers and sisters. January 22, 1991 was the day that my water broke and we knew that it was the day our newest family member would join us. We went to the hospital and as I was in labor, nurses and student nurses and other hospital staff members came in the room and watched bombs dropping on Iraq, the first televised war and the beginning of Desert Storm. I was pretty much ignored until my doctor stopped to check on me and pointed out to everyone that things weren’t quite progressing at a typical rate. She brought in an ultrasound machine and found that our child was going to need a lot of help to be born—and I was wheeled in quickly for an emergency c-section.

Our son was born in just a few minutes later. He was beautiful, without any of the marks of the hard work of being born. He weighed 11 pounds 2 ounces and seemed to be a good match for one of the names we had selected—Miles Patrick Elliott. We went through the typical days in the hospital required for me to recuperate. When we finally went home, we had a warm welcome from his sister, three brothers, and our family babysitter. It was sweet that our babysitter came each of the next several days, even though she didn’t really have to come.

On the third day of us being home, something caught my attention. I noticed a terribly foul smell and it seemed to be coming from our gorgeous new baby. My husband couldn’t smell it and neither could our babysitter and friend. It really bothered me and after a good deal of prayer, I made a decision that if it continued the next day, I would call our pediatrician. It was even more intense the next day, and even though the other adults around me couldn’t smell it, I called our doctor. He was very understanding when I talked to him and his answer to me was that if it bothered me “enough to call that he wanted to see Miles.” I took him to the office and they drew blood and did a lumbar puncture. They had me take him to the hospital to be admitted right away. It turned out that Miles had a nasty bug called group B strep, a condition generally fatal for newborns.

Miles was admitted to the hospital and spent the next 15 days of his life receiving IV antibiotics. I stayed by his side this entire time as I convalesced from my own surgery and met other parents and sick children. The second day we were in the hospital, our pediatrician told me something that shows the miracle in all of this. He told me if I “had called him the day before, they wouldn’t have caught this infection yet ad if I had waited until the following day, it would have been too late to treat it and Miles would have died.” To this day, I get goosebumps when I share this story of God’s love and intervention, this miracle of modern day.

John 13:7 “What I do, you don’t know now but you shall know hereafter.”
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Love to all, Sylvia

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMMABEAR-THIRY 2/23/2010 5:55PM

    A wonderful story. It reminds me of the year my youngest son was born and all the problems he had (too many to go into here) and the fact that I just about lost him. You are right the wonders of modern medicine are just amazing.

Take care.

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MTNGRL 2/20/2010 1:36PM

    Sylvia, thank you so much for sharing this. It is a miracle indeed that you prayed and were led to call the doctor. My own son developed this infection and I know how scary it must have been. Actually I think it was staph not strep. Sorry for the mistake. It was scary.

Comment edited on: 2/21/2010 10:02:39 AM

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FUNNYGRANNY71 2/1/2010 5:05PM

    Thanks for sharing this moving devotional. It was written very well.

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JHADZHIA 1/30/2010 10:48PM

    Wow! What a beautiful, moving, event! Thanks for sharing it with us!! It will be a wonderful addition to the book!

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MARTHAR3 1/30/2010 9:38PM

    Very well written devotional Sylvia! And so touching I love when a devtion is a real life situation.

Bless you for sharing your miracle with us!!

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MMICKEYP 1/30/2010 9:02PM

    God's timing...awesome! Everytime you look at little Miles I'm sure you consider him your miracle baby, don't you! A constant reminder of God's love. Awesome.

I think your devotional entry is great. You may want to shorten it up a little if there's a word limit. You can go online, copy and paste it into a word counter and see where you're at. I have written short stories etc., and was always required to have a limit of 400 words, etc. It's a real challenge but what it does is force you to re-word and think about what's really important. I usually find that the words I am unwilling to part with are the most important..and the rest if fluff.

A thesaurus can help you find descriptive words, also. I'd shorten up the entire second paragraph and eliminate most of it. I found myself wanting to brush by it and hop right down to the good stuff! I liked the line in the 4th paragraph:

"On the third day of us being home, something caught my attention."

You had me there... what? what caught your attention? I HAD to keep reading...lol.

God is so good to us isn't He! I love devotionals and have several sent to me in my email each day. What a blessing to be working on one for your church! I know your story about Miles and God's intervention will really be inspirational and bless others. It needs to be told! God bless you! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/30/2010 9:04:03 PM

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Sunday, 1/24--10 Mistakes Dieters Make

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hi friends and fellow sparkers,

Wow, another blog in less than a half a day... I got an email today with information I thought needed to be shared. It is another piece from ediets and can be found at:

I will also copy and share it here, but I wanted to give care in giving credit to the source. We just got home from church and today the children's choir sang. That can't help but to put a smile in your heart. It's interesting, but the topic at hand was similar to what I've been reflecting on after reading The Spark--making goals, planning and carrying through in doing big things to benefit the world. I think that I am getting heavenly messages about choices I need to make for my own happiness and satisfaction and in using the many gifts I have been blessed with.
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10 Mistakes Dieters Make

"Eat healthy foods and exercise."
You've already heard the many variations on this advice. As a dieter, you know what you're supposed to do to succeed. But what about the things you're not supposed to do?

Did you know, for example, that drinking diet soda can make you fat? And so can eating low-carb protein bars and eliminating fruit! Here, for a refreshing change of pace, are the top 10 things you shouldn't do if you want to lose weight and keep it off long term:

1. Eat too little or infrequently. Keep moods and energy up, hunger satisfied, and metabolism in high gear by eating three meals and two to three snacks a day. Don't skip breakfast!

2. Eliminate all fruits. Extremely low-carb diets that forbid fruit are punishing and invite cheating. Stay on track with moderate portions of fiber- and nutrient-rich strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, grapefruit, or peaches.

3. Eliminate fats. Several studies at Harvard and elsewhere prove that low-fat diets result in weight gain. To lose weight, you need to increase your consumption of good fats (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats).

4. Get snacks out of your kitchen. Snacking helps with weight loss. Make sure you replace commercial baked goods, candy, chips, crackers, cookies, and pretzels with healthy snacks such as hard-boiled eggs, cheese, celery, nuts, sugar-free gum, homemade "slow-carb" bars and muffins, protein shakes, cucumbers, yogurt, and sugar-free JELL-O.

5. Splurge away from home. Your healthy eating program is a way of life. Try to stick to your new behaviors and habits everywhere you eat--at restaurants, friends' homes, and while traveling.

6. Consume lots of artificially sweetened foods and beverages. Artificial sweeteners trigger cravings for additional sweets in some people. Others gain "false fat" or bloating caused by the body's inability to digest sugar substitutes.

7. Count calories. Hormone (insulin) levels, not calories, are what determine your metabolism -- the rate at which you burn fat. Eat balanced meals to keep your insulin levels steady and your metabolism working efficiently.

8. Eat lots of commercial low-carb products. Many companies have jumped on the "low-carb" bandwagon with high-calorie, low-nutrition snack foods that will not help you change your eating habits or lose weight.

9. Adopt a rigorous exercise routine. Exercise is important, but daily activity that you enjoy and can sustain over a lifetime is more important than killer workouts that are hard to stick with. The name of the weight-loss game is adopting habits that become second nature.

10. Load up on protein, eliminate carbs. Protein-loading has serious health risks, and few people can stay on radical high protein, low-carb diets long term. Switch to a balanced diet that features healthy amounts of protein balanced with lots of high-quality "slow carbs" -- carbohydrates that convert slowly into blood sugar.

The husband and wife physician-chef team of Harv and Patricia Haakonson recently released Slow Carb for Life: The Ultimate Practical Guide to Low-Carb Living (ECW Press) and All New Easy Low-Carb Cooking: Over 300 Delicious Recipes Including Breads, Muffins, Cookies, and Desserts (ECW Press). Find out more about them at www.slowcarbforlife.com.
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I hope that you found something in this list that gave you an "aha" too!!
Have a glorious week.
emoticonSylvia emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOULOUBELLE2 1/26/2010 5:46PM

    emoticonfor sharing...great info.

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MTNGRL 1/25/2010 7:40AM

    emoticon more great information!!!

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FUNNYGRANNY71 1/24/2010 4:06PM

    I want to thank you for putting this in your blog. There is a lot of good information in that blog.

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SHELLPRO 1/24/2010 3:13PM

    It works, I've been living a variation of Atkins for over 6 yrs. Come visit our Team Low Carb for Dummies sometime!

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JHADZHIA 1/24/2010 2:20PM

    Thanks for bringing this summary to our attention. Sparks does teach you all this, but its spread out willy nilly everywhere.
Enjoy your Sunday!

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DOLLIE6 1/24/2010 2:16PM

    I enjoyed your blog. What fun.
Ditto, Have a great week.
Keep on Sparking.

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Sat. 1/23 -- NRN--How 'bout a new trend?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hi there,

This has been quite a week. I have noticed that short weeks, which are such a gift, seem to cause people to stress nad try to accomplish 5 days of activity in 4 days. This only results in a lot of grumpiness in the long run. I had the most tame week at work that I've had in a long time--because I was left alone to do the work that I am supposed to do. There was no sniping in my presence and no ugly meetings or any rudeness. I was quite isolated, but that is okay with me, knowing what the alternatives are.
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NRN is something I thought of today that I would love to see grow amongst some of us. I had internet trouble this week, leaving me with a couple of days of my typical SP stuff to try and focus on. I love all of my friends and the way that somebody new will stop by and become a new friend--and I don't want any of that to ever change. Yet, I have found myself part of a lovely, polite culture that makes us need to respond to every comment, email, goodie, post on a thread etc... I considered making a schedule of posting on blogs and pages and so on--but that defeats the purpose of exploring and finding those new, wonderful ideas. (I have decided that the Spirit leads me to some wonderful people and posts, and I love to find them!!) Anyway, I am also aware of a couple of leaders who get more emails and the like than I can imagine and I worry about them. I also know that anything special that may happen will sometimes give someone some notoriety and they get swamped. I never want anyone to "burn out" over their fun on SP because all of the thank you's and responses need a return message. As a matter of fact, I think it would be nice to let people off the hook on needing to respond. That is where "NRN"came to mind. NoResponseNeeded--it's that simple. We can put it in the title or subject or by the signature and that lets our very good friends know that we aren't expecting them to send a response to whatever action we did, we simply wanted to let them know we were thinking of them and what was on our mind. (They can still choose to answer, if they want...) I wouldn't ever use this with a new SP or team member and I wouldn't use it with a new acquaintance either. I would only use it with people who are starting to know me as well as I know myself, lol. What do you think? Is there a need for something like this? I'd hate to see people give up on their exercise or something in order to respond to a goodie I sent. I'd hate to have somebody get away from SP or the boards or teams or whatever because of that sense of responsibility. I'm curious if this could help, if it grew in public awareness and popularity.
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As for the rest of my week--rehab has been my big thing. Exercises are getting harder--my reps have been increased by 50% and I am spending at least 50% more time on my workouts. I still hurt considerably, but I am feeling like I am getting better. I saw my ortho on Tuesday and got my injection, but the results aren't as good as I had hoped for. I need to give it another week before we decide to do something else and I am trying to be patient and kind. I think I waited too long to get it any attention. I finally had the follow up to my mammo on Friday and that was not a good experience. I don't know if I am so uncomfortable with these because of my fibromyalgia, but it hurts when they do these and then, I am also fortunate enough to have to have two pictures in each position because I am so large. On the right side, it snags the scar from my gall bladder surgery and really hurts. I wasn't able to stand up long enough to do the pictures on Friday, so they lowered the machine and did it while I was in the wheelchair. It hurt enough that I am considering never having another or just cutting them off and eliminating the issue. It just doesn't seem right when I am told that most people experience no pain with these. How is that possible?
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I have done a lot of work on my timeline document for the lawyer and I also have started writing a Lenten devotional to go in a book at our church. When I get it finished, I'll share it here as a blog as well. The focus is to tell about a time when we experienced God in a mysterious way, and I have a really awesome story to share. I have about gotten caught up here, but I still have a couple of teams that I haven't checked in with in days. I have noticed many people who have 30 or so teams, and I cannot imagine how people can keep up with so many. I have seen several groups that look both interesting and helpful, but I don't want to join them and not be active. I have also started crocheting again and am working on an afghan. Several of my kids have approached me and asked for replacements or extras, so this is something long overdue. I spend enough time in the car that I should be able to whip one out in a couple of weeks. It was my friends here who planted the idea in my mind to get going again.
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This coming week should be pretty busy as well. Not only do I have a 5 day workweek with three days of rehab, but I have 2 doctor appointments, an attorney appointment, a visit to the clinic for an informational program, a trip out of town, and work on my National Boards renewal and my afghan. I want to start getting extra time in at the fitness center pool as well, but I have to have a bit of help to make that happen.
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I loved reading "The Spark" and have finally remembered the name and author of another book I own (but can't locate) that is excellent reading. It is called "Thin for Life" by Anne Fletcher. She researched a large number of people who lost a good deal of weight and maintained their loss successfully. She tells about the strategies they used to successfully maintain and that is something I have not done before. I will do it this time, though and I want to reread that book for some pointers and to refresh what I do remember. I also need to find out how to change my little icon about having bought "The Spark" to saying that I READ "The Spark." (If anyone can tell me how to do that, please drop me a line!!)
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Thanks for sticking with me this far, my friends. I have asked a few things of you in this blog--please weigh in on the "NRN" idea. I really care about everyone and enjoy your success and your friendship intensely. Have a wonderful week and shoot for your goals with all of your choices!! emoticon emoticon

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 1/24/2010 2:27PM

    I agree with the NRN, it is very time consuming to get back to everyone. I find it very difficult managing with ten teams. I have to admit I don't know how yoovie keeps up with over 900 friends, that is actually mind boggling! I have trouble keeping up with all the ones I have.

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LOULOUBELLE2 1/24/2010 1:44PM

    NRN....is a wonderful idea but I bet people would still respond, at least I think I will. My nature is to thank people for kindnesses they do for me. .. I don't respond to the "Friends Feed" though.
Good luck at the attorney visit....I'm praying for you. Was good to see that work was
has taken a turn for the better.....I pray that it stays that way so you can teach those wonderful kids of yours.
Hugs to you and your family,

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MTNGRL 1/24/2010 1:13PM

    NRN, what a great idea. I am thinking that would be wonderful to adopt. I love reading all the blogs and often respond but I don't want people to feel the polite thing to do is say thanks. I'm going to start doing this. Of course, if someone want to respond back that is fine.
Good luck on this busy week ahead! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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