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Monday, 10/25 The Metamorphosis of Spark Teams

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Spark teams have been on my mind a lot lately. I am co-leader on three teams and two are in a bit of transition. One of them has two of my co-leaders tied up with a lot of life. (Linda injured herself and cannot use the computer much and LouAnne is actually fighting Congress--or rather trying to get them to work with her.) My other team that is in transition is the Spark Class Team that I am co-leader of. I recently put out a request for additional co-leaders and I now have 3 new helpers who are ready to get their feet wet and lend a hand.

I realized long ago that Spark Teams each have their own personalities. I think that each of them begins with the spark of the leader--a dream for helping others with like interests. Even the Spark Class Teams begin that way--I know I wanted to set up a team that gave everyone a thorough introduction to SP. As the team gets that initial burst of energy from the leader/ co-leaders, it takes on the personality of the most active members. It can be funny or energetic or thoughtful or serious or laid-back or any other personality traits.

As members take ownership of the team and as they grow fond of the leaders, the team changes to match those members. I think the team becomes an extension to that original spark with those early characteristics. The purpose or goal of the group also plays a big role in this metamorphosis. The team begins to stand more independently and the leader's job is to keeps things moving and to give the team it's personality.

The team finally becomes what it "is." It has a "mature form" and does it's own business regularly. When it gets to this point, the leader's job is more like "maintenance." The leader has established what the team is about and what it does--and then needs to do the work at hand. That work basically is to support the members in their personal efforts at living a healthy lifestyle with regular fitness. The leader helps share information and facilitates the growth of each team member who chooses to take advantage of what the team has to offer. The team leader treats the team as his/her "baby," nurturing and bringing the team members and the team along the path of good health through personal choices and decision-making.

I think I understand a team and it's role fairly well. All of this thinking has left me with defining my own role within the team as a member and in some teams as a leader. The important thing that I have been trying to maintain is that I must take care of my own purposes at SP primarily. I realized that everything I do here at SP is to boost my own work at improved health whether it is in being a team member or in being a leader.

I'm sure glad that SP is here--because it all comes back to me becoming a healthier person.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I totally agree. Your initial goal of weight loss and improved health should be the priority. I remind myself of that often. LOL.

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BLESSED2BEME 10/27/2010 1:02AM

    Very insightful! Thanks for sharing this...I've been giving serious thought to the teams I am on because I don't interact with them all and that just doesn't seem fair to them or I. More to think about now...

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THINTWIN2 10/26/2010 4:50PM

    You've really put some thought into this and I think you have some good insight into the role of the team, the members and the leaders. It saddens me when people join the team but never post and don't even create a spark page. The team and tools on Spark People can't help if they don't put some effort into it. I believe that many join looking for that magic bullet and when they realize it takes effort on their part they quit. So those who post, even if they only do it for social reasons and aren't really following healthy habits,are still ahead because they are exposed to new ideas and have some support and hopefully they will become motivated to try again at some point. Only a quitter loses. I guess you can see I've put some thought into it as well. I'm so glad for you and LouAnn and Linda and also those who post regularly on our OALB team. You keep me going!
emoticon emoticon

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TLCFME 10/26/2010 2:08PM

    Wonderful wisdom. I am happy to be a helper in the background right now. I am grateful for people like you who step up to lead and do it so well. Glad to call you a spark friend!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Sylvia, thank you for the insight. It helps those of us who are trying to help you, as well. You are truly a blessing to our class team. Thank you for all you do!

emoticon Team leader!

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DDHEART 10/26/2010 9:03AM

    Very well thought out and I am set to thinking about this as relates to myself and my teams. Thanks!

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KKKAREN 10/26/2010 9:02AM

    I love the Spark teams but keep my teams to a manageble few.

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Saturday, 10/23 Theatre Moms

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hi there,

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I just got home from my youngest daughter's high school production of "A Midsummer's Night Dream." It was less than a month ago that we saw our oldest daughter's community theatre production of "Hard to Believe." In a couple of weeks, her college theatre play--whose name I am not sure I even know is playing. I was thinking about the time we spend taking our girls to play practice and all of the hours they spend there. I'm sorry that I forgot my camera tonight, but the look on Marissa's face told me that this was way important to her. You couldn't have wiped that smile off or shaken it off or well, it was a part of her after her first theatre production and I am very aware that theatre is a part of her now.

Lots of parents do sports and sporting events--we have certainly done our share over the years--lots and lots of baseball and softball (We actually had a year that we had 6 children playing ball on 5 different teams. We spent that summer in ballparks!) All of our children have played a musical instrument--or two and most of them have also been in vocal music (with several of them "shining" and qualifying for awards, state, etc...) However, it is the theatre that has become an "aha" to me. Theatre requires a large time commitment on the teenager's part. Theatre makes them want to make that commitment as well. That big smile finally helped me to get it. The satisfaction that she felt from her "job well done" hasn't quite been matched by anything else she has accomplished. I wonder if it is the time with her castmates that developed into something and their pride in helping others to enjoy their efforts that has given that special feeling to her. I guess it doesn't matter much, because the reality is that there will be another play in February. It was announced on the program, maybe to warn all of the parents. I know that she will be trying out again and I know that I now have another daughter who is excited by the world of theatre.

Move over Soccer Moms--Theatre Moms have a job that is a little more thankless and that goes on a lot longer than your sports season. (By the way, I know that "theatre" is different than "theater." I thought it was my older daughter being picky a very long time ago. The latter of the two is a building, the former is the art. That was a bit of news to me, when I received that part of my education!!)

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I went through much of the same with my son including the theatre. LOL.

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LADYLAUGHS247 10/26/2010 9:14AM

  This is a great blog. Yes, your daughter is getting as much out of it as she's putting into it. Gotta love the confidence shining through! My hat's off to you for putting in your own commitment. That smile might be your only reward, but it's price is above rubies!

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JHADZHIA 10/24/2010 7:56PM

    Good for Marissa! I would have thought theater seats more comfortable then bleachers ;) Enjoy your daughter's new love. At least there is no sweaty sports clothing to wash, cold weather games to watch, and most important, no chance of injury.
{{{{gentle hugs}}}}

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2RICKIE 10/24/2010 3:16PM

    Yes. we do! Those smiles M. gives you will stay in your heart!


By, the way my great niece Marissa and little friend Marisa are following in are sure to follow the same path as yours!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 10/24/2010 2:31PM

    Dance moms & theatre moms are similar. Enjoy it while you can. Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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Thursday, 10/21--Over-extended/ bad choices

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hi everyone,

This week has flown by and although I have been quite active, I am back to a few bad and thoughtless habits taking over. emoticon emoticon I am going to have to manage things better. My story...

We went back to work after our two week break and a big problem for me right now is shoes. emoticon I know that seems a bit silly, but after my bout of RSD and the need to replace my knee replacement, my doc and PT both told me that I should wear my athletic shoes all of the time. emoticon I went to a sporting goods store recommended by the PT and was fitted for a pair of NBs--I don't remember which number--and I wore them for quite a while. Since then, I have been wearing NBs when shoes are needed. However, they aren't quite a match for how I dress for work. I wear skirts and nice tops most of the time or dresses--and of course, I wear jeans on casual Fridays. I have another problem with my athletic shoes--I need help to put on my socks and shoes and to get them tied. emoticon Between my faulty right knee and my back, I cannot bend in a way that allows me to do this on my own. I HATE this, a lot. SO-OO-O-O, I am still wearing my summer slides most of the time. I have a couple of nice pairs that have a good support and arch. Our weather doesn't quite support these and they don't match my longer sleeves and warmer clothing, so I tried a couple of other pairs of shoes this week. Oh my, my pain level has been stinky and I think that it is the inappropriate shoes on top of the coming weather front that is my problem. Grr, I just want to look nice, that is valued where I work. emoticon emoticon

The next thing is that we had two staff birthdays and "Principal's Day/ Boss's Day" this week. There has been cake, emoticoncake and more cake emoticon in the lounge emoticon which is handily located right next to my classroom. I have been careful to only take a half of a piece or smaller when I have taken it, but I have indulged far more than I have in a long time. I have had a couple of partial pieces each day this week which is adding up to too much that I don't need. I don't know what has gotten into me, but walking by this stuff hasn't even seemed to be an option. this is destructive behavior and I will not do it again. I know what cake tastes like and I don't need this. emoticon emoticon

I am working extra hours now as well (my choice for the most part.) emoticon I am tutoring one of my little guys before school each day, using Reading Recovery to help get him the boost I believe he needs to shine. emoticon I am also working with a group of (gulp) ten first graders who aren't my students--but maybe should be if I had time on my schedule to put them in) two nights a week after school for an hour. emoticon Those days coincide with the fitness class I signed up for at the pool. emoticon I haven't quite gotten the schedule together--but tonight I tried following the class with my regular workout and then when I came home, I was pretty miserable. I don't know if it was the extra hour and a half on my work day, the shoes or the exercise that got me, but pain is pain... emoticon emoticon

I guess I am blogging to share that some of my bad habits are seeping in and I realize that I have not arrived and I am not safe from myself. I am going to make some commitments to myself right now...

1) I will wear appropriate shoes and I will ask for help--even if they aren't pretty and stylish and even if I have to be dependent on others. emoticon emoticon
2) I will eat what I need and what is best for me on schedule--and I will walk by things I don't really need or want. Cake isn't even one of my favorite foods. emoticon emoticon emoticon I will save those calories for something that is "worth it" to me!!
3) I have enough to do and cannot take on any other activities even if they need to be done. emoticon emoticon emoticon There are others who can help out. I will admit that my early tutoring is such a wonderful and refreshing way to start my day and I am enjoying it immensely. I hope my little guy is too, he seems to be!!

On another note, we are rebuilding our kitchen--floors then painting, new cabinet doors, and the like--as we prepare for our holiday plans to have family come here this year. That is yet another task on hand, but I am saving the bulk of those jobs for the weekend, not during my work week.

Is there ever enough time, energy to do what needs to be done, or money to do things easily? Not in our house anyway!!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTNGRL 10/23/2010 4:24PM

    Wow, you are one busy lady. No, there is never enough time, energy or $$$ to get it all done. Just do what you can but make sure you make time for you.

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 10/23/2010 6:20AM

    In answer to your ending question.... I don't think so.

Sorry that you're in so much pain all the time my friend. You're always in my thoughts & prayers. Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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2RICKIE 10/22/2010 11:26AM

    Wow, remember days like that and wonder how you do it all! I never had to have two sessions a day extra.

When I was restricted in movement, I put on my stockings lying down.

BTW, new balance does make a cool black dressy looking shoe. If you need good shoes try Munro, good support in dressy slip ons. Also Bjorn (sp) has good slip ons with great arch support and ankle support.

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JHADZHIA 10/22/2010 11:11AM

    I love how devoted you are to your students. They are so lucky to have you!! But you must also look after your own needs. You are not in good health and perhaps shouldn't be taking on quite so much. You really don't want to make yourself worse.
I don't believe its the cake drawing you, its the pain. Emotional eating is what looks like has happened here. Little indulgences to take your mind off the constant pain.
I can so relate to struggling with shoes. I absolutely cannot wear anything but running shoes and never really have. My orthotics just slide out of sandals, and they don't support my weak ankles that are constantly trying to turn over. I, at least am able to bend over to reach the shoes, but that is the easy part. The actual tying them, tight enough to support my ankles is the fun part. My fingers are in really bad shape and just gripping things brings on the pain. I feel like they are going to fall apart or break up when I am actually pulling on the laces. Its frustrating, but what can you do?? I did try a slip on shoe once, but it was a waste of my money, I couldn't walk in them :( Would that be an option for you maybe, if you don't have ankle problems, you can get them with decent flat soles.
I too, use NB, with the rollar bar sole as recommended by my podiatrist. I do love the large cushioning sole on them.
Good for you for waking up and realizing what is going on and keeping yourself accountable by writing about it. You can do this. You are strong willed and will succeed at anything you put your mind to.
Take care of yourself,
Gentle Hugs,

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    Sylvia, don't you ever breathe?!? My goodness, you are busy, busy, busy. I pray those parents appreciate how special you are to be helping their young ones with the reading. You are a true blessing to the future of America. Thank you for loving what you do. emoticon

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Friday, 10/15 Ponderings about my health and weight loss

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hi there,

I spent another hour in my classroom working on the many projects that I have going on today before going to see the eye doctor. That is always an "interesting" appointment. I went in right away and told the tech that my eyes and glasses have been driving me crazy for a while. It was hard to explain to him that I don't feel as if I need them when I am driving--but I have a restriction requiring them on my license. The tech seemed to think I was a bit off--but when the doc came in and took a quick look at my eyes (after the dilation...), he said to me "I'm betting that you are having a lot of problems with seeing and your glasses." I thought he had read it on my chart, but it turns out that the cataracts I have have changed and gotten a bit bigger with a different shape. That change has improved my vision, so I'll need new glasses. I expected to need new glasses, but the thing with the cataracts making my vision better was a bit strange to me. My doctor told me that I may need to have a couple of more changes in my glasses over the next year or two, but he didn't expect that. He also told me that he had another patient who had cataracts doing what mine are doing and they had to change this person's glasses 6 times in a year because of what the cataracts were doing. He also told me that if I started having any issues with light of any kind that make "big splatters" that interrupt my sight--and that I'd know it when it happens--it will be time to have surgery on the cataracts. However, for now, we will just live with the way they are. (I'm going to check cataracts out online tonight, lol.)

I spent the rest of my day grocery shopping and running errands. I sure miss having fresh berries and inexpensive melons at the store--and nice looking and tasting tomatoes. emoticon emoticon emoticon Oh well, I was able to shop in spite of the season and I got some nice deals on some meat packages. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon It takes a lot of meat for a meal around here and that is the item that I use as a basis for my meal planning. I know that there might be healthier ways to plan meals, but we DO feed an army here without the benefits of a government sized budget. Anyway, I did a good job and got a lot of chicken on sale. (To my vegan and vegetarian friends, I am glad that you have chosen your nutrition plans and that they work well for you, but even though you eat healthy and well, your choices won't work with the choices and taste preferences of my family. I do have a few meals that we have that are without meat, but it isn't enough to make a life choice like yours. I notice when I make a veggie chili or lasagna for my family that it doesn't seem to satisfy some of the big guys I feed adequately and then I am needing to complement the meals with more food, which defeats the purpose of what I've done in the first place. I am different than some of my family members, but in order to protect the family meal time and to use our time and resources wisely, we build our meals around the meat selections I have. I do believe that many people who are working on weight loss, healthy eating and weight management work within their family's needs, likes and wants.) Shopping can take a lot out of me, but I am so glad to go into stores these days and not need to use their electric carts. I use my walker and I am fortunate that it has a seat for when I have to sit down. I also know that I can walk longer and further than I could a month ago, so I am thankful for my weight loss and my daily exercise plan because they are responsible for my improved health.

I saw several doctors during my break. My rheumatologist is a wonderful, gifted man who gives quality patient-care. I see him every 6 months unless something comes up in between, and he always gives a complete physical at each visit. My fibromyalgia is a messy business because it generally is at a high level of flare. I have worked with several meds--not Lyrica because that side effect of weight gain and water retention will not help my other health needs and issues. I went off of everything, but when I returned to work, I found that I couldn't work all day without treatment. He prescribed two of the meds that had helped me in the past, but it turned out that my new body couldn't handle the meds I used to take. We talked about my weight loss--he was so happy for me--and we cut the dose of one med. He noticed a new issue with my right hip and thought that I would be having surgery on it. I was surprised to realize that my range of motion is so limited in that hip. I walk with so much difficulty from my back and some restrictions due to the RSD that interfered with my right knee replacement that I simply didn't notice any issues with my hip. I do believe that since it isn't giving me any unmanageable pain that I am not planning to bring it up with my orthopedist. I think I can work on strengthening it and increasing the range of motion through exercise in the pool. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonI am going to contact my physical therapist about some updates to my program and if that doesn't give me what I need--I may have to have a new prescription for her help--I may try working with the physical trainer at the fitness center. I also think it is time to add some work on the stationary bike to my routine. I signed up for my first fitness class earlier this evening, it is in the pool and this one happens to be free. I think it is a good way to add some new activities to my exercise plan and to maintain my body, preventing my arthritis from doing even more damage to my remaining joints. It is exciting for me to sign up for a fitness class. Remember that I have always been obese and inactive. This is something that I want to do and believe I am capable of. This is also in the pool and I am comfortable enough with my body to join a class that requires me to wear my swimsuit around others. This is a tremendous shift in a lifetime of being the fat, incapable person for me and I am feeling good about who I have become. emoticon emoticon emoticon I have found out that there is a big problem in the shoulder that I have whined so much about for the past two months. After the trials of the MRI, it turns out that there is thickening of the tendons that go over and around my shoulder and there is at least one tear--I couldn't hear if she said tear or tears. I am going to see my wonderful orthopedist rather than just any of the possible docs or the lady I have been seeing about this. She told me that I have already had the conservative treatments and something more is needed. I am a bit bugged by all I have went through to get this point across. I have several friends with OA, RA, EDS and other ailments who all have a similar story to tell about having a problem and having to go through a lot of people, expensive testing and ineffective measures to finally get someone's help with a problem that they were well aware of from the beginning. It really bugs me that patients have to "prove" their needs at such a level. I don't know if this is because some people don't know or fib or whatever, but it seems like a backwards way of doing some things especially with a patient with a chronic health condition who knows their body and its responses. I also don't know the role of the insurance companies and the doctors balancing potential malpractice concerns in this, but it sure makes getting help for a problem so difficult for a patient who wants to live with a decent quality of life. ****OK, I'll end that rant!!

On the same note, I got the result of my recent mammogram repeat. This is another of my ranting. I am a big baby with a mammo, but I sure understand their importance. I have excessive pain with a mammo for several reasons. First of all is the obvious--standing for the length of time needed sets my back off and it gets increasingly worse. Secondly, I have a nice scar on the right side from my gall bladder surgery that is exactly in the place that the mammo machine hits me when I have to hug it. Thirdly, I believe that my fibromyalgia makes this touching and squeezing more uncomfortable for me than someone without this--or a similar condition. Finally, with my background with this, I have naturally "fibrous" tissue that seems to cause issues with this process. I have had problems surface one time after the next that has resulted in me having a previous biopsy, surgery to remove a lumpy area, a needle biopsy, and repeated mammograms annually that often land me on a table for ultrasound evaluations. This is not something that we talk about in the faculty room and I don't know for sure, but I am assuming I really HATE mammograms and it takes me forcing myself to go. It is far worse to get the call or report that I have to go back to have another picture or whatever and to have to go back for a repeat session. They hurt--and I resent the technicians who have told me that they don't hurt other women. (I find that hard to believe, but it does not change my personal issues to hear or know that.) I can actually feel the pain in my right side from the mammo machine by thinking about it, I have experienced it enough. I believe that this is a serious issue--and after seeing all of the products in the store today that have jumped on the breast cancer bandwagon, I know that the world is taking this seriously. I do wish I could understand why we just don't simply go to an ultrasound for my annual test at this point. I don't understand why my tissue is "fibrous" and other women don't seem to be blessed with that. I also don't know why my tissue is even more fibrous with my weight loss, but I know the weight loss is still a good thing. If anyone could enlighten me on any of this, I would appreciate it. I think that there has to be a way to check on this without all of the discomfort I go through. I hate feeling like a baby or a whiner or whatever, but this is my reality. I also wonder if the need to repeat this so frequently is really necessary for someone in my position who has been tested and tested and tested again. Am I at more risk of a problem? I guess I really just want to find a way that isn't so stressful to do this while staying responsible and keeping focused both on why we need mammograms and on the potential tragedy for not being screened as needed. ****END of another rant, but my request for info is sincere, please let me know if you can answer any of my questions!

My basic health is awesome--the chronic stuff is just a part of who I am. It was so good to have a physical with the kind of reports that I have had--ongoing and continued weight loss, great blood pressure without medication any more, wonderful level of LDL cholesterol (110 when less than 130 is desired--YAY, that's my best ever!!) and a great level of HDL cholesterol as well (It was 39 when 40 or above is desired--I am working on that with more omega 3's in my diet.) I hope that i haven't messed up my cholesterol types again, I think of the bad as LDL with the L referring to Lousy for the bad stuff, tee hee. I never thought I would be getting handshakes and congratulations from doctors on such stuff in my entire life. I have not quite arrived, but I am sure on my way.

It has been a busy two week break for me--ten medical appointments really kept me hopping. I have learned a lot about myself physically and emotionally. I am now ready to reflect on my goals after all of this data. I need to keep working on weight loss in order to get my body at its best performance potential. I need to keep exercising daily and I expect to do most of that work at the pool with my arthritis issues, however I also recognize that I need to continue tweaking things regularly and that I am ready to add some out of pool activities to my routines. This is another big milestone for me. I also know that I need to really stay focused on the quality of the foods I eat because I need far fewer calories at my current weight that is over 110 pounds where I started and I have less "wiggle room" within my daily plan. I am taking 6000 units of Vitamin D daily and a monthly Vitamin b12 injection per doctor's orders along with a multi-vitamin, but I would like my diet to meet my natural needs. I think I am smart enough to do this and will continue to work on quality of what I eat. I do not believe 5 servings of fruits and veggies is enough and I constantly work to have more each day. I eat very little bread, rice, pasta--so getting in those nice carbs is tricky. I only buy whole grain breads when I buy them and I am working on converting my family.

I am on the right track, but I am also a "work in progress." I count SP as one of my many blessings because I do not know where I would be now if I hadn't made all of these changes. I know that the holiday season is upon us (after my shopping experiences yesterday and all of the displays) and after our two days of conferences that turned our faculty room into the most dangerous grazing area in the world, I also recognize that I need to stay focused and I need all of the help and support I get here at SP. I also expect that my work on my National boards renewal will restrict my time here even more. I am working on building a schedule for my writing time and coordinating it with my work schedule and my exercise time--leaving time for my family in all of this. It will be quite a balancing act, but I know that I can do all of this if I am organized. As always, stick with me as this unfolds and please remind me to stay away from the food that will start showing up with Halloween and will be non-stop until after the new year is upon us.

Thanks for letting me ponder and sort through what I have learned about my body from the medical people who care for me. I believe that it is really important that we manage the data we are given and we use it to make the changes that make us more healthy. This information is only valuable if it drives our decision making and helps us to become even better than we were. With your help, SP and my family--along with God and my abundant blessings--I will be at my best possible condition. I recognize that I am in this for life and am so glad to have all of you and this information and support to get me there.

This is how I once was--note the back brace as well as the wheel chair--this was the "small" brace without the bars attached to my left leg.

These are photos of the beauty of fall here in the Midwest this past week!

These final photos are of our little pug Frankie at our camping trip last weekend. He is such a loving little doll and loves to be with people, no matter what we might be up to!!

(I forgot to mention how much he enjoys sleeping, didn't I? This last photo surprised all of us because he didn't even have his bed and he didn't wake up while my son was capturing this image!)
Gentle hugs and happy fall to each of you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 10/24/2010 8:38PM

    I so am glad you are least finally learning what is going on with your health currently. I have never heard of that happening with cataracts. How unfortunate (and expensive if you have to keep getting new glasses ). I don't know how they can say mammos don't hurt. Everyone I have listened to hates it. My Mom has been putting it off for a long time since she had one cause it hurt so much. Pretty insensitive of the staff not to respect your complaints. I simply can't imagine having fibro and getting that done. If there is an alternative, I would be going for it if I was you. Stand up for your rights here.
Even though I am vegetarian I am by no means opposed to meat at all. Just have to choose the leanest cuts, and watch the portions. But your family, shown in your photos, aren't exactly normal weight. So it can't all be blamed on just the meat. Sparks does have healthy recipes for converting old favorites into calorie wise meals. I have one Spark friend whose husband was close to divorcing her if she didn't lose her weight (and she wasn't even seriously overweight!!). There seems to be such a double standard that makes me furious. The women have to be a normal weight, while their tubby hubbies continue to scarf down any and all junk they please.. I have seen photo after photo of this and it makes me furious really. You are trying so hard to live a healthy lifestyle, and yet your family gets what ever they feel like eating? That sound right? Not only is it unhealthy for them, they could be heading for serious health problems down the road. If you are controlling the groceries and food that come into the house, and doing the cooking, then you have the power to do something about it. A big part of not being tempted by high calorie, high fat food is to not bring it in the house in the first place. Just by giving up my buttered popcorn, and not buying it any more made a huge difference to me. Its not about depriving anyone of their favorite dishes, just making them healthier..I would love to see you family adopt a healthy lifestyle right alongside you.
Don't take this as a harsh criticism. I know its very difficult. My sister had the same trouble. Her traditional 'meat and potatoes' family HATED the new spices and dishes she was trying and still don't like them. They pleaded with us to take away her spice rack LOL. They would rather have their bacon and eggs, pizzas, hamburgers, hot dogs, frozen dinners, etc. etc, and pop and coffee by the bucket load. I am actually amazed they haven't put on weight, but they are active on the farm and at school. The oldest has an electrician's job. It will be interesting to see how they cope when they finally move off and live on their own (if they ever do).
Wishing you nothing but the best, as always and continued success,
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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BLESSED2BEME 10/18/2010 10:30PM

    Frankie is beautiful!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 10/16/2010 12:02PM

    I am so sorry that you have to go through so much and are in so much pain all the time. You amaze me. You are in my thoughts and prayers. That you keep on keeping on just blows me away. My problems pale in light of yours. Be blessed and be well my friend. Love, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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Thursday, 10/14 Movie night during my fall break!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hi everybody,

We are getting ready for a movie night thanks to our son and his community college. It doesn't sound like a movie that I would have chosen, but Miles is so excited to have gotten enough tickets for all of us. They are serving refreshments at the movie and I am trying to explain to my family why I want to get my own things to take along. geesh...Caffeine free diet soda is not often a choice anywhere and if I want soda, I must bring my own.

I have been working hard all week and still have quite a list of things to do at school. I have a pretty good handle on my time line for my National Boards renewal--but I have misplaced the bag of certificates from all of the workshops that I have attended. I need that to fill in some blanks and dates before I start putting the big piecs of my writing together. I remember having it in my hand last spring before the big move--It will show up sooner or later. (sooner would sure help!!) emoticon

I have also been working on the staff training I am preparing as well as reorganizing my classroom to accomodate my new student computers. emoticon I need to work on my web page yet as well. All of this stuff takes so much time and I am working at it a piece at a time. I am excited to add these things to my instruction--but it has to be meaningful and not fluff or I won't do it. In order to do that, I have to really have an instructional plan that will show benefit for my students as readers. emoticon emoticon I take my work quite seriously and for the students who I see, I need to give them as much as I can in the short time they are with me--they all have the unpleasant task of needing to catch up and learn while their classmates are simply learning. It is a lot for anyone to have to deal with.
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I also am so glad that we took time both weekends for our family for camping and spending time together. That has been dear to my heart and fun as well. I have struggled with putting family time and fun into our lives--and that is why this movie tonight seems like a good idea. I am kind of hedging because I will probably miss my workout at the pool. emoticon However, I am going to join my family because one workout when I am so faithful won't make a difference. emoticon

Here are a few photos from our weekend camping trip for you to enjoy. (I love the ones I took of the campfire because they came out so well--all I could see when I took them was smoke and glare and the like.)

These other photos show the difference in a week--and the way the Mississippi River has overflowed her banks. Human beings have to respect this awesome river and the fact that it is in charge of its space.

The beauty of the river and checking out the changes were just something else special that we enjoyed and shared on our camping weekend. It was such wonderful weather. I loved the time we had together!!

Have a great ending to the week everyone!! We are off to the movie.
Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLPRO 10/16/2010 12:28AM

    Busy, Busy- so I take it things r OK? All that water needs to get on down here in TN- Burn Bans enforced until further notice. No bon fires 4 us for a while- not that anyone in the neighborhood is listening! You would think after a family of 5 had died from a left over grill they'd learn wouldn't you.

Comment edited on: 10/16/2010 12:29:17 AM

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    They don't call it The Mighty Mississippi for nothing! Your photos were wonderful...thanks for sharing them!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/14/2010 9:08PM

    I loved your update and the pictures. You lead a wonderfully balanced life. Enjoy the movie.

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JHADZHIA 10/14/2010 8:40PM

    Wow great photos!! Making family time is so important. This really brought back memories of when I was a kid and got to roast hot dogs and marshmallows over an open fire. Alas, no one is in any good shape in my family to tent any more :( although my Mom would still love to take one last canoe trip with me in the wilderness, something she did once with a group, but I have been unable to do because of my health and mobility issues (I am in great shape now except for the elbow). All I need now is to get this horrible elbow fixed, its been so frustrating the long wait (15 months so far and this is on the urgent list).
It won't hurt you to miss one pool time except for the sadness of not doing it. You will enjoy more family time.
The good news is the mineral spa that is an hour and half drive from me has finally reopened and my uncle is saying lets go. I can hardly wait, but hopefully, I will find a free day off in my schedule that will allow me to get there before our nasty winter weather closes in.
Enjoy your weekend..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 10/14/2010 7:26PM

    Thanks for sharing the pictures with us. Let us know the name of the movie and how it goes. Hope that you get everything together that you need for your certification. Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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