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Tuesday 11/30--My "big" day

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hi all,

I don't usually blog in the morning, but since I woke up at a different weird time for me today, I thought I'd chat with my SPark Friends before going to work. I woke up at 3:30, which was an hour later than my usual wake up time. My shoulder is driving me nuts. I did get a call from the surgery center yesterday and things are moving ahead. I have an appointment next Tuesday morning to go do my "pre-surgical education." She told me that my cardiologist was being contacted and that he would have to give me an EKG and his blessings--shoot, I haven't seen him in over a year and thought that since I am no longer on those meds and his care that I was off the hook. I don't know if I can get a moment today to give him a call, but tomorrow will probably work out. I still haven;t received the paperwork from my ortho's office that was promised to me on November 10--I am wondering what is the real problem in that very busy office that cares for so many patients. They have always been busy with some 15-20 orthopedists, so why the disruptions now?

Today, I am doing two parent education meetings. I found a great booklet fromt he government called "A Child Becomes a Reader" and I got 50 copies of it. I am going to do a book study with my parents while their kids are with a babysitter and snacks, using some of the strategies I use to help kids with comprehension to share ideas on how kids learn to read and what they can do to help their children. I am hoping that this will turn into something that I can follow up in maybe 6-8 weeks with a "homework" assignment for the families. I think that the real way to help our kids who are struggling is to impact families. Anyway, in order to meet the needs of families who do and don't work, I am doing one session at 4:15 (after I tutor after school) and then a repeat performance from 6-&;15. I figure 15 minutes for clean-up and I will be at the pool by 7:40 to take care of this body. Some time today, I need to create an evaluation for m for my meetings to find out what the parents want and need, which will help grive what I will do later. My son is coming along with me to do some videotaping as well--you can never tell when and how that might come in handy and I have release forms in case I want to include this in my National Boards renewal.

i also have to create a "how to" document for the community agencies providing summer programs for kids before the big follow-up meeting that will be held at our church tomorrow. I have half of this done in another document that I used at the parent night we did over non-fiction reading a couple of weeks ago. I want to tweak it around and add a few things for the different audience. If we can get everyone to use creativity int he programs they already do and add a literacy component, it might help kids to hold on to things they work so hard during the school year to learn. I am excited to work with these groups, because it is my best guess that I can help far more kids through some of these ways than just in my classroom.

I will have a short break today with some of my morning lasses leaving for a brief field trip. That will give me logistical time to make sure that I have the right rooms for my activities tonight--I need a comfortable place for the parents and a functional place for the kids who are coming. It may allow me to get the paperwork done--or I'll be doing it tonight when I usually do SP stuff. Tomorrow night, will be mine again and I will have extra time at the pool for some hot tub/ sauna after working out--tonight will be only enough time for working out. I can go when the kids are at choir practice and Micah is at confirmation class. (I think our pastor will have a pretty busy tomorrow afternoon/ evening with the meeting followed by all of that stuff.) I need to comandeer the meeting for a short while for my pitch on the literacy activities having equal time on getting funding. This is so important because the state of Illinois is in such a financial bind that there isn't money for summer school programs anymore. All around, the kids seem to get the short end of the stick.

Alright, I have made my plan, checked it twice. I just went over it again with you all... I can do all of this if I stay goal oriented and focused--It's a lot like Spark People. I think my biggest "aha" of the month came when I was talking to my pastor yesterday and we hit upon how the best things that we do seem to be things we have had success with in the past and we figure out how to make them work in other ways. It is simple but genius when we can put things together that way. (I'd like to take credit for wording it like that, but he certainly came to that. I was muddling around with knowing I could use something I did with parents to support the community group and he put it right together for me.)

I had a pretty busy day yesterday, but it was so productive. I reached out to a lot of people and found help with a lot of things. A technology person in our district is coming by tomorrow to help me with problems I have been having on my webpage. Another teacher is going to lend me equipment to videotape and show me how to do it. Our Title 1 home-school facilitator is helping me with refreshments and a babysitter and some freebies for my parent meeting. My son's doctor was a wonderful person in many ways. My pastor really helped me with a long list of things on my mind. My husband is always in there for me--and four of my sons took some pressure off of me in multiple ways. I am blessed--I just have to realize who is there for me and ask sometimes.

Time to get out of here before I start my before school tutoring. Stop and do some deep breathing for me today. I can use it.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 12/2/2010 10:57PM

    I hope they can get your shoulder fixed soon as you have so much to accomplish and your days are filled with important tasks.

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 11/30/2010 6:12PM

    You're in my thoughts and prayers. Sounds like you have a great plan. emoticon Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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JHADZHIA 11/30/2010 11:52AM

    Its so nice to hear you are getting the parents involved in their child's education. I don't think I have ever heard of anything quite like what you are doing..Job well done!!
The bottom line is if you don't ask for help, no one knows there is a problem..I am glad you are getting so help on so many fronts..
Enjoy your pool time at the end of the day, you will have earned it..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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ROLLINGSTONEMOM 11/30/2010 10:04AM

You are amazing. So many teachers I have met today do not realize how important getting the families involved is. Most just throw up their hands and give up ... or think they can solve all the problems of the children by themselves (neither of which is a good thing). You obviously care for all your students and their families. You want to see success all around.

I love your idea about the homework for the parents/families. It does get them more involved. And the more involved the parents are, the more successful their children will be.

Will keep you in prayer for well-attended meetings, funding for your summer program, and the continued support of your family, friends, and acquaintances. It is truly amazing how many people you have been able to round up to help you with your endeavors.


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EMRANA 11/30/2010 9:22AM

  Wow, I don't know how you keep up with your schedule! I get tired just reading your blogs sometimes!

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Sunday, 11/28 Preparing for a hectic week

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hi everyone,

I have come to realize that there are some things that help me to do my best in many ways. I need to have goals and I need my sense of direction clearly defined. I also need to have a plan for myself so that I am not muddling through and leaving my choices at the whim of the moment. These are both really important--they are my road map to success whether it be in my maturing healthy lifestyle or any other thing, like preparing for Christmas or the work on my National boards renewal. If I let things slip and try to attack my day without a plan, something will go wrong, I can expect it.

That being said, my coming work week is a doozy. On Monday, Marissa has to go to school early for rehearsals. I go in early (every day) to do some tutoring--but I have to leave early because one of the guys has to go to the doctor. We will drop my oldest son off at work on our way there. I also have to call in and order my pain meds from my pain doc and call another doc to find out where the paperwork for my surgery is. I have an appointment with my pastor on the way home from my son's appointment to prepare some things for the big community based meeting on Wednesday. I plan to get to the pool around 7 when open swim begins so that maybe I can get to bed a bit earlier than usual for my big Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the day starts off as usual, but I have a group of ten first graders who I tutor after school followed by a parent workshop at 4:15 and a second one at 6 PM. I hope that I can get a bite of dinner in me on the way from work to the pool and I will try to be home by 9:45. Don't be surprised if I don't spend much time here at SP on Tuesday.

The rest of the week is closer to "normal." Marissa has another early day on Wednesday... I will have to leave the meeting at school early in order to go to the other meeting regarding summer programming. That will be over at 5 and then I can get home. We need to have dinner and we have to pick Marissa up late--but early from her jazz band rehearsal so that she and two of her brothers can go to choir practice at church while our little guy has confirmation class. I will go to the pool then. On Thursday, I will teach my tutoring group late after school and leave right away to go to my pool class and then I'll do the rest of my workout. I should get home by 6:30 or so and have an evening at home. Friday is a quiet night... I do think I have to find the calendar and check--I usually have at least one doctor appointment for myself, and I'll have to see f that is so, and get that into my master plan. Our youngest has a morning doctor appointment one day this week, but it will be my husband's turn to stay home from work and take him. (Thank goodnes for FMLA and for our jobs and contracts!!)

Since I know that there is a good deal going on, all I have to do is match quick, easy to prepare healthy food with Tuesday and Wednesday, and have a good supply of food in the house. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonThat is the trick with some of the big guys in our house and all of the eating they do, lol I know that I have to drink water emoticon, exercise emoticon, and get my sleep in too. emoticon That is my plan and I have a way to implement things, so even though the week will be a bit nerve-wracking, I know that it will work.

I hope that you all have a happy and productive week. I hope that the pieces all fall into place for each of you. A we move into December and the holiday eaon, I wish you all love and peace.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticonSylvia emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 12/2/2010 10:52PM

    I hope you find some time to rest!!

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Friday, 11/26 I can wear my daughter's clothes!!WooHoo!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hi Everyone,

I spent today sorting through a lot of clothing--stuff that was simply put away and stuff from other closets and a lot of my things. I still have two tubs with what I think is summer clothing. I have to wash a bunch of this up because it was in the closet in my son's room and it got knocked on the floor and so on. I wouldn't even give it away without being washed. I found a nice basket of things that used to belong to my daughter that all I have to do is wash it--It's kind of like having presents, lol. Too bad that these things no longer suited her, I like them and will wear them. It is hard to believe that I can wear her clothing these days--I can't say that I ever expected that in my wildest dreams!! Even though I have lost weight and can look at my photos and see that, this is still a real surprise to me. I do need to actually "go shopping" some day soon and find out what sizes I actually do wear. (I can try things on without buying any of them, right??) emoticon emoticon emoticon

I took a nap this morning, which was really luxurious for me. After waking up with my shoulder pain at 2AM--and needing ice on that, then waking up at my typical 5AM with my back in agony--well sleeping from 7:30-10 was nice. I wish that I could fit in a nap each day to make up for the time that pain keeps me awake. I just can't do that with work, but there are days when my tail is dragging.

I really put in some time today on all of this housework. My kids started getting out Christmas decorations--I'd like to have things up and in place before Sunday evening is upon us. After my husband came home and he ran a few errands, we had one of my favorites--breakfast for dinner. Pancakes and fresh fruit make me very happy!! emoticon emoticon I spent some time off and on throughout the day here at SP emoticon and then, I went to the pool. emoticon emoticon emoticon It was fairly calm there until that one family showed up. They haven't been coming as much, but tonight they had their 2 kids and they also had 2 other kids who they bring with them a lot. I cannot enjoy my workout when these people are there who don't watch their kids. That boy was spitting water and spitting water and spitting water--the woman ignored him and sat on the bench just writing in this little book. The lifeguard walked right by him doing it and didn't even notice when he almost spit right on her. I finished my exercises and then walked my final 6 laps followed by 6 laps of swimming. The pool was perfect temperature tonight and I could have stayed longer, I just couldn't quite stand it. Oh well, enough of that, those people are never going to watch their kids and that particular life guard is never going to pay attention to anything important.

It is now Saturday morning and I slept most of the night--I didn't realize that I hadn't entered this. I think I will do so now an get my day started. I am loving the extra sleep this weekend!!

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRIS3874 11/28/2010 8:47PM

    Great progress!! emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/27/2010 10:15PM

    I am so glad that I didn't get rid of my smaller clothes because I am mostly shopping in my own closet these days. LOL. And I'm glad you are too. It is important to Illinoisans like us to be sensible and frugal. LOL.

I love breakfast for dinner too and so does my hubby and son.

That family is disgusting. How sickening. Ick!!

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MARTHAWILL 11/27/2010 10:10PM

    Good for you! Feels awesome doesn't it.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMRANA 11/27/2010 1:31PM

  Good for you, shopping in your daughter's closet! I don't have kids, but my mom and sister wear size 4 and 6-8 respectively. Even at my goal weight, I don't think I'll be shopping in their closets!

I'm glad you're getting rest too. I know very well what it feels like to be kept awake by pain and then ready to sleep at 10 a.m. but stuck at work all day. The pain cycle gets worse.

Enjoy your weekend!

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BAILEYSMOM7 11/27/2010 12:05PM

    Great fun in your "shopping" experience. Congrats!

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JHADZHIA 11/27/2010 10:06AM

    Closet shopping in your daughter's clothes! How wonderful for you!! Way to go!! Glad you are getting some sleep at least.
I so hate rude people. Going across this slippery parking lot to the mall, there is a pedestrian walkway through the cars. I couldn't believe it when I saw this large SUV parked right across it!! It was actually jammed right in front of those yellow cement markers, no way to get around him except weaving in and out of the parked cars, good luck if you have a scooter or walker for space to get through..
Parents so let children get away with anything these days it seems, no rules what so ever. Once saw this young girl (was surprised at the age-not a toddler here) who was going around with poop in her swimsuit and smearing it on all the lounge chairs. I reported it to the guard and they did clean up, but no parent in sight watching this filthy girl.
I won't get any sleep at Mom's. She has been getting up at 3 and 4 and gets up, making coffee right away, shining the kitchen light right into my eyes. Then its immediately in cleaning mode. She has a bad back from an injury and feels better moving then sitting..I know the feeling, my hip feels better moving then sitting.
Have a restful Saturday,
((gentle hugs))

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LJCANNON 11/27/2010 9:38AM

    emoticonCloset Shopping is so much fun, I can only imagine how Great it would be to shop in my Daughter's closet!!
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! emoticon emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 11/27/2010 9:19AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I know that it must be such a GREAT feeling to be melting away like you are! Glad that you got some good rest last night. Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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Thursday, 11/25--Happy Thanksgiving to my Healthier Friends!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

We are all healthier for our experiences here at SP.
I give thanks for SP and will include all of the coaches and Sparkguy (Chris) in my prayers today.

We are healthier because we have more activity in our lives.
I give thanks for what I now know about fitness--and my new understanding that "yes, I can!!" I don't think that without SP, I would have ever realized that I can do exercise and that I would like it. (Between being so obese that movement was difficult and my health issues, I just didn't think I could. I really HATED physical education classes in school and college.)

We are healthier because we have learned so much about what to eat and how much to eat. I know that I can eat ANYTHING I want. There are just a lot of things that I now like that I wouldn't try and I both understand and really can practice portion control. I no longer have to eat the whole bag or package. I don't even want to.

We are healthier because we understand that there are healthy beverages and that water is the best beverage of all. I now feel "wrong" if I don't have my 10 glasses in each day. I also know that sometimes I think I am hungry when the reality is that I am thirsty. (I don't drink much soda any more and when I do, it is caffeine free and sugar free. I rarely have a fancy coffee drink, and when I do, it is a "dessert!"

We are healthier because we understand that sleep is IMPORTANT. We need it for more reasons than preventing grumpiness. Our body needs that time at rest to do all of it's work.

We are healthier because we have our regular physicals and tests, and we take our prescribed medicine the way it was prescribed. We get good medical care and results because we read up to date information and we ask questions about our care.

We are healthier because we invest in ourselves. SP has helped us to understand that that is a top-notch investment in our future. This investment makes all of our other activities--our life--better.

I give thanks for SP.
I give thanks for all of my Spark Friends.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 11/27/2010 10:10PM

    i am thankful to have met a wonderful friend like you.

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BAILEYSMOM7 11/26/2010 12:17PM

    Love this blog! :)

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 11/25/2010 8:26PM

    I'm so grateful that we're on this journey together. Thanks for a lovely blog full of truth & gratitude! Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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JHADZHIA 11/25/2010 2:45PM

    Happy Thanksgiving to my sister in pain who understands what a trial it is living with a painful disease and still maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
{{{gentle hugs}}}
emoticon I'll just have the pie, please, its my favorite ;)
Actually Mom's turkey and stuffing is second to none :)

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DETERMINEDJANET 11/25/2010 12:13PM

    Same here!!

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Tuesday, 11/23--I am so thankful!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hi everyone,

I'd like to use this blog to give thanks, but I have to admit that the hectic nature of my life these days is getting to me. I am tired, no doubt about it. There are a lot of things going on with my family and much of it has involved the need for me/ us to contribute time and $$. Anyone who thinks that when their kids "grow up" that parenting gets easier is very mistaken. Maybe part of this is because we are blessed with 8 kids, but I don't know somedays. We can't just let them suffer or do without basic stuff--but between college costs, car insurance, extra bills and some of their own mistakes--wow. Our youngest has recently tried "ignoring" some of his assignments/ homework--now of course, I got wind of this and have been online monitoring all of his assignments. He has been giving me a run for my money though, trying to get out of doing things. It hasn't been fun, but it has been getting a bit better.

I do have things to be thankful for--way up on that list is that our son has a job teaching. That is a big thing. Health is in pretty good shape in my family--although mine is a bit off. Mine is far improved than a year ago when I was taking over 20 prescription meds. I have a good marriage and a cuddly electric blanket too. I'm on good standing with my kids, even the one who tends to be a bit dysfunctional. I have a good job, although there are many challenges. My kids that are in personal relationships have good people in their lives. I have an awesome church that is doing great things in the name of our Lord. It keeps me spiritually satisfied and challenged. We have a good life--I am blessed.

I know that you have heard this before, but after reading some of the blogs and threads on message boards, I have to include my personal blessings. I am thankful that I can now get around on my own power--with a walker, yes but I am walking. I am thankful that my health is so improved. I read about the issues that I have been dealing with by constant medical appointments and medication, that now are simply not an issue, and I feel so relieved. I no longer deal with asthma, high blood pressure, nausea, or heart concerns. I can wear interesting and colorful clothing in much smaller sizes--no more X's in my sizes and I used to wear clothing in sizes up to 5X, so that's a big deal. I now wear L's as a rule and I'm working to get rid of the L's as well. Children respond to me differently now than when I weighed over 125 pounds more than I do now. They look at me directly and comfortably--and they compliment my clothing and jewelry. I am taken more seriously by everyone (or almost everyone) and I sense a difference in my professional relationships. I often have to deliver news to parents that isn't pleasant, and that seems to go easier these days, and I haven't had an angry parent respond to me in a negative way that includes name calling with the word "fat" as a part of things.

I am thankful that I feel GOOD. I not only feel better, I feel GOOD. I still have arthritis and it is a major thing, but I have times that I feel good--not drug out from a ton of meds that all acted to slow things down. I feel GOOD and I am thankful for that. I don't even have the words to fully explain this. I do owe a big thanks to SP for giving me the tools to have this special gift. 2010 has been an important year in my recovery.

As we all give thanks this week, I have more than most people to give thanks for--a healthy family, a job that is a perfect match for my skills and passions that can be done easily, even with my "disabilities," goals that are within my reach, and my own improved health. I am thankful beyond mere words.

Thank you all for your support, the other gift from SP. I not only have access to tools and information that have helped me to lose weight and develop a personal, ongoing fitness program, but I have 24/7 support from all of the wonderful people here. I am thankful for each of you in my life.

Life is good!! Happy Thanksgiving.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 11/27/2010 10:08PM

    You are very blessed, Sylvia, and you are a treasure. I love the way you manage to have so many irons in the fire and still can deal with them all so well. You are right on top of parenting and rein your kids in when you need to. As a nurse I got so disgusted with some people's children. The parents had an attitude that, "I can't do anything with him!!" Bull crap. Since when does an adult allow a grade school child to control their home!

You are doing fantastic!!

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JHADZHIA 11/24/2010 11:26AM

    Its so nice to read how far someone has come on their healthy lifestyle journey. Its always so worth the hard effort that goes into it.
You have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into improving yourself within your limitations and deserve every accolade and award that is out there..I truly hope the people who work with you and the children you teach and their parents realize what a very special person they have helping them. You are one of a kind and they are very lucky to have you, and I am fortunate to count you as one of my cherished Spark friends.
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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NANA194 11/24/2010 9:07AM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you. I too face the challenges of improving my health and grown children. You are so on the money about children that have grown up, but still need their parents support, time wise, financially, emotionally and most times. just someone to talk to. We have three "grown" children that no longer live at home, but I talk to each of them on a daily basis.

I joined spark at the end of September and have found everyone to be very supportive. While I am just starting my journey, I have lost some weight and find that I now have a small bag of clothes that no longer fit. These I am gathering to donate to a local charity.

Have a great holiday weekend. Keep up the good work and keep smiling

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