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Sunday, 1/2--I have worked quite hard in the new year!!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Hi everyone,

I have really gotten myself focused on my eating this past couple of days and am doing better. I like the new Weight Watchers plan just because it is making me look at foods and labels more closely again. There is something comfortable in familiarity, but we can become a bit complacent. I noticed that about myself as a Reading Recovery teacher. We select a new book for the students each day as a vital part of the lesson, but as I became more experienced with the books, I let up on looking hard for that "perfect" book each day and relied on my experiences. That really isn't the plan--there is no prescribed program in Reading Recover--we simply facilitate student growth on what they know and what seems to be emerging int heir repertoire of reading acquisition. I figured out the thing with books when we had a year and I got several boxes of new materials. I had to start fresh with them and I realized that I needed that focus to do my best work. Anyway, I tell this story because it seems that I am the same with eating and tracking foods. It is a good observation about myself. Anyway, I am tracking my foods here and on my WW tracker for now, so my eyes are clearly open about what I am doing and every bite is working its way onto the lists.

I had a good workout int he pool today after a lovely Epiphany/ Communion service at church. I have to admit that I offered the kids a chance to join me at the fitness center or to work on the mountain of dirty laundry that didn't get done the past couple of days. I was surprised that 2 of the kids along with my husband volunteered for laundry duty while 2 of the other kids came with me. (The others were at work or unavailable for other reasons.) Anyway, I turned out the "winner" because I had a good workout and the laundry is all done, not quite all put away yet, but done just the same.

Tomorrow is our last day of winter break--Tuesday is a staff day and then we see students on Wednesday. I have physical therapy and I am going to help orchestrate a job search for my two sons. I sure wish they would get past this awful economy and high unemployment and find jobs. They have looked for entry level work, but there aren't even jobs in fast food here. Underemployed adults around here have taken all of those positions. It wuld help them, their self-esteem and our family budget as well. Anyway, I am also planning to meet one of my personal goal and spend time with my writing tomorrow and of course, I'll go to the pool to work out. I have left a message for the personal trainer at the fitness center and hope that I can meet her for an evaluation tomorrow. I don't know if she can work with someone with my physical needs, but I am trying to ramp things up a bit and having help would be nice.

I am focused and goal driven right now--that is a good thing and should help me to reach my very best in a healthy way. Life is good.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMRANA 1/3/2011 12:57PM

  Love reading about your focus!!

I can relate about the economy. My husband's job was eliminated in November 2009 and he hasn't found anything either. He can't even get one of the 10 hour a week retail jobs that as you said, are taken by underemployed adults. I sure wish things would improve too. Our city is a wasteland when it comes to employment opportunities. Whenever an office job is posted, there's probably 100 - 200 applicants, and it all comes down to who you know.

YAY for you! Keep up the good work!

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STEPPYSUE 1/3/2011 8:18AM

    Syliva, I'm also on the new WW plan and am very happy to see them at least looking at carbs and not requiring so many as part of their healthy guidelines. I also track both place. Together we can do this!

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Friday, 12/31 Good bye 2010--You've been a friend!!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

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Happy New Year's Eve!!

Everyone focuses on something that they are planning or looking forward to in the New Year at this point of their life. That sure makes a lot of sense to me. Others focus on lists of things that happened int he year that is about to pass away--and that kind of thing makes sense to me as well. We learn from where we have been and what we have done. Looking forward to the future is always a help and all of the things that I have learned about goals here at SP and in the use of data folders and at data team training at work makes that alogical fit to me.

However, 2010 has been my friend and I am not sure that this is an idea that has been put into words by others. It hasn't been my easiest year by any stretch of the imagination. I started out the year quite ill and in a wheel chair. However, the physical therapy people were quite wise and got me into their aqua therapy program and I got back on my feet--and in the process learned both patience and the fine art of watching something (myself in this case) gradually get better and better, without the need for a big physical or emotional or financial drain. I learned that I really could persevere in the face of difficulty and I proved myself to me and to others around me. In this, the year of my 55th birthday, I think I may have learned one of the biggest lessons in my entire life. Thanks 2010!!

I also started refining a lot of my own personal behaviors. I owe a lot to SP for my improved eating choices and portion sizes--both things I "knew" before, but along with information and a lot of great recipes that were awaiting me each day--well, I started to practice that knowledge. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers--twice I think for losing over 100 pounds twice, so I knew I had it in me. However, I am just getting it differently now and it is internalized in my lifestyle. As my friends know, I had surgery 2 weeks ago today on my shoulder--repairing some damage that included a pretty torn rotator cuff. It seems that everyone knows a lot about this and how tricky it is. I found comfort eating to be quite easy and soothing in this holiday season with it's harvest of fudge and cookies and rich drinks. I was told that the pool was off limits because I couldn't get my shoulder wet as well. AS I sat here with a fair amount of pain and with lots of yummy, rich treats at my fingertips and little to do to work out, I caught myself falling into the habits of my entire life. I did something new to me--I went to the pool (with help from my oldest daughter) and without doing anything out of line to this shoulder that cannot be moved, I got my walking and exercise in. The comfort eating lasted a few more days, but I am back on target--yes, I gained (gulp) 6 pounds--but I haven't gained back 130+ pounds like I have done more than once in the past before I figured this out.

It's been a tough year financially for my family--I worked at less than hapf of my pay for 2/3 of the year due to my illness and along with this was a car accident my son was in that went beyond the limits of what our insurance would pay. Before all of the court time was over, our home was in jeopardy. We ended up filing a Chapter 13 debt consolidation and although things haven't been the easiest with 3 kids in college, we are doing okay. We have learned a lot about managing things well and doing what is important. I cannot say we have enjoyed any of this because the financial binds are really uncomfortable, but we are coming around and know that in just over 4 more years, we will be debt free. That is a nice thing to see in our futures, especially knowing that we have paid all of our obligations without hurting anyone in the process.

One of our grown children has moved away from home this year--hard for this mother, but certainly what grown children need to do and I have realized how strong our relationship really is. Our youngest child is now in junior high, also hard for this mother of eight to really accept, but again, it is what children do as they grow up. I have been such a parent for all of these years that it is just now occurring to me that along with work, church, my friends and my husband, I have been evolving and improving in a lot of ways right along with the kids. I don't know how this got by me before now--maybe because of how hectic our lives have been with 8 kids growing up and becoming their own persons. We have had years with 6 kids playing baseball. softball on 5 different teams during the same summer. We have had all 8 of them in the band with instruments to learn and how that has taken them into other hobbies and related interests (most of which didn't really make us feel the need for earplugs, lol.) We have spent time with other young people of all shapes, noise levels, maturity, faiths, and attitudes--and we have appreciated our kids even more. Yet, it has been this year that I have learned about how much I have changed with their milestones so obvious. (I am thinking that a wedding or at least wedding plans are coming for one of our kids in 2011--so that is opening a new set of doors. BTW, there is nothing official in that, call it "mother's intuition!!))
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So I'm leaving 2010 with a big thank you for all of its gifts and my next blog will talk about those more traditional New Year's things!

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOULOUBELLE2 1/1/2011 4:35PM

    Bumps in the road are part of life's cycle.....It's how you deal with them that makes you the person you are. I can't wait to see what 2011 will do for you now that surgery is behind you and you are recovering.
Happy New Year my friend.....We'll both meet 2011 head on and head held high.
Love Ya,

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EMRANA 1/1/2011 12:32PM

  I loved the way you worded this! 2010 had a lot of challenges for me too, but you were more upbeat about accepting yours!

I also loved the way you are grateful for learning patience through your physical disability. That has been one thing that I have given thanks for as well. I can't rush anymore ~ and it wasn't good for me anyway. I get there when I get there. I've learned a lot about slowing down and my best being my best.

We shared financial challenges and physical challenges last year, but here's hoping for a brighter 2011!

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PUGRAD1995 1/1/2011 12:16PM

    I can't say 2010 was a friend to me, but it is a nice concept and I understand what you are trying to say. Past years that has happened for me also. Keep plugging at it - as you have learned- and good things will happen. emoticon

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JHADZHIA 1/1/2011 9:09AM

    Looks like 2011 will be a whole lot better for you. But you did awesome in 2010, so bidding it a fond farewell seems appropriate.
Wishing you good health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year and always.
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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    Excellent blog! I think that 2010 was a good friend to my family & I as well... love to you my friend. -Dawn emoticon

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Tuesday, 12/28--I'm getting better!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hi everybody,

I'm getting better. Really!! I am getting better in so many ways! emoticon

How am I getting better Let me count the ways:

1. emoticonI saw the doctor yesterday and had my shoulder checked out--I also started physical therapy. Thee are three incision areas--2 are tiny where the scope went in. There is a bigger area right on my shoulder line that's about 2 inches long. The comment was, "we can't tell how you did this, but whatever it was was a doozy." It is healing and almost looks healed now. I had some physical therapy and she was surprised at how well it was moving for so early on. I am not allowed to do anything with the arm and must wear the sling for a long time--but I am getting better. That nauseating burning pain in the back of my shoulder which sent me to the doctor way back on August 2 is gone. emoticon I am not yet over the surgical disruption, but I am getting better!!

2. emoticon I have the same physical therapist who worked with me in the pool last March who discharged me--and I haven't seen her at all since late April. She kept looking at me and then finally asked me about the weight I had lost and told me how good I look. emoticonThere is a point when you lose a lot of weight that you don't get compliments very often, so it is really good to hear them once in a while. emoticon I look better and graduated from therapy for my back and legs--and have kept on exercising them anyway. I am getting better.

3. There was a big mix-up over the refill on my meds (because a nurse unrelated to any of my doctors got involved.) It took a long time on he phone today with me talking to four different people at two different doctor's offices to get this all fixed. The best part of all is that one of the nurses is usually very unpleasant with me and the rest of the females in this world, and today, I started off by recognizing her skill and how important she was--and she took care of things for me. emoticonI'm getting better at dealing with tricky people.

4. I assigned duties to all of the kids today and I patiently let them do what I asked of them...it got done and I protected the healing taking place in my shoulder. I didn't interfere or do the chores myself to do them better or faster or anything else. I am getting better. emoticon emoticon

5. I worked harder today at all of the things I know that helped me to lose weight and become healthy. I drank all of my water emoticon and I got in my 6 servings of fruits and vegetables. emoticon emoticon When I needed something to eat, I had grapes emoticon and not a cookie or two. I am convinced that eating healthy has helped with my shoulder healing to the point that it already is. It is particularly nice to know that I have some role in what my body is doing. I am getting better.

6. I went to the pool yesterday and tonight with permission from my health care people. emoticon I did fess up and let both the doctor and the physical therapist that I had already been there. I am doing about 2/3 of my work out at about 2/3 of the intensity as before and I am not doing anything that I am not allowed to do. emoticon emoticon Next week, I will be able to submerge my shoulder in the water--but I won't be able to do any movement on that right side for a while. It is amazing how happy my legs, my back and even my left shoulder have been since I've been going back. I never expected to have working out be such an important part of my life. emoticon I go in the evening these days, given my work schedule--and it has almost completely TV in my life. I never expected that either, and I never realized how easy it was to give it up. I admit that I still watch one soap each day, and I watch little else. I wonder how much time that I wasted in front of that thing. emoticonI am so much better!! emoticon

7. Finally, I realize that I am happier now than ever before. Again, it is because I have found that living in a more healthy way is good for me in so many ways. Exercising each day, good food choices, the way that I spend my time, my good friends (online and on land), and making good choices all work together to make me feel "right." I take time for my faith each day and I just feel better as a person. I am sure that losing 120+ pounds plays a big role in that, but my attitude is all about who I am, what I am and what I do. I am getting better and my focus is on what is best for me and those who I love more now than ever before. I think I understand some things better now than I did when I was lugging around an extra person on my body--I see the little things and understand how they work together and make me better.

I'm getting better. I'm healing, I'm happy and I'm raring to go. What more can I say?

Oh, I know--thank you everyone who has a hand in my improved lifestyle and:

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEBELL 12/30/2010 9:48AM

    You are definitely an inspiration to me. Thank you for your posts. You have such a great outlook. I wish you the very best New Year. "2011 will be Heaven" grace emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 12/29/2010 5:52PM

    I'm so happy for you! Excellent news all the way around. Congratulations on all your success! Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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STEPPYSUE 12/29/2010 1:10PM

    Great job and congratulations on all the ways that you are getting better!

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Sunday, 12/26 A photo year in review...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hello everyone,

I just wrote a nice long paragraph that disappeared for no apparent reason. I wish I understood computers a bit better than I do. (That is one of my professional goals for this school year!!) I want to share some highlights of 2010, but most of my photos are on our computer which is in the shop, on hold because the serial number is worn off on the bottom of the laptop and we cannot find one document that has the number written on it. I cannot believe that Apple doesn't have it since they worked on our MacBook once before. It has a factory sponsored three year warranty, so they have to know they can authorize repairs. They also have to know that it couldn't be an alternate machine because one from the same year would also have the same warranty, so there is no scam that would benefit from doing monkey business.... I hate all of the riles and issues in our lives because somebody did something dishonest some where...)

Anyway, let me share some photos here with you...

This is the senior choir at Mason's graduation in late May.

This is Mason receiving his "diploma." (You know, I'm not even sure if he went and picked the real thing up!!)

These are a few photos from the summer reading and activity program at our church.

Here's a beautiful summer sky!!

Three of the dogs--Lady always runs from the cameras and we miss getting her in the photos!

However, we caught her in this photo trying to get away from the camera while there was a nice Frankie and Lady photo-op.

Some of the kitties--Lumpy, Smoky, The Bandit, and Ty

The new school that I teach in (The Center for Math and Science) that officially opened on August 2.

My classroom complete with children.

A surprise gift in early October from one of my students to add to my apple collection!!

Late fall camping and some flooding of the Mississippi River--all awesome with beauty and fun!

Our youngest son's winter "junior" bowling league with Micah at the helm.

Holiday concerts that feature our two youngest children!

The children's pageant at our church--of course none of my photos with our two youngest dressed as angels up in the choir loft turned out. (A mother always wants photos of their children in white with halos, even though we know better, lol)

Here's Jerry, my daughter's bunny that she tried to name "Rasputin," but was overwhelming outvoted by everyone else.

I cannot find my photos of the church on Christmas Eve or my holiday photos--I obviously made a mistake downloading them. I hope I didn't make a mistake and lose them.

Anyway, I wanted to review the blessings and fun of the past year and share some "new" photos with you that I know hadn't made it to a blog. When I get my other machine back, I'll have more of these. I hope that you enjoy a little glimpse into my world as much as I enjoy sharing.

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMRANA 12/27/2010 4:36PM

  Thanks for sharing all the photos, Sylvia! I enjoyed looking at them all ~ though as usual, the kitty cats stole my heart.


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JRSWHIMSY 12/27/2010 2:29PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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ENUFF81020 12/27/2010 1:19PM

    Tee Hee, I'm on the other side of the camera--that is often what I have done...I never used to have my photo done at all, so I'm getting better!

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LOULOUBELLE2 12/27/2010 12:54PM

emoticonPlease do get yourself an external hard drive and use it to back up your info.....that's how I handle going back and forth between CO and AZ. Actually I do most of my work on it. The external is so much easier than carrying computers, even lap tops, back and forth. I also have one just for pictures. Just remember to keep backing up your data to if not daily, weekly. emoticon
Love the pictures.....I just wonder where you are in them.

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 12/27/2010 8:37AM

    I love all the photos. Thanks for sharing my friend. Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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KKKAREN 12/27/2010 7:27AM

    Nice photos but where were you in the pictures? I need to get myself a camera.

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STUBBSKID69 12/27/2010 2:45AM

    Your doggies are soooo cute! I also have four dogs and they have become my children as my daughter just graduated from high school. Computers are a wonderful tool but they can be frustrating! I would also recommend and external hard drive back things up. I also learned the hard way.

It isn't real, but here's another apple to add to your collection! emoticon

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ENUFF81020 12/27/2010 2:03AM

    What a reasonable and easy idea--duh. I need to save the many photos I have been taking recently and I need to get better at taking them. Both would give me a better picture into our lives. Our kids are all growing up so fast with the baby of our 8 now in junior high. Taking photos and saving them is so much less expensive than it was when our oldest kids were young!
Thanks for your suggestion. I am adding that to my "to do" list for during the holiday!!

Comment edited on: 12/27/2010 3:13:12 AM

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MRSMLBJ 12/27/2010 1:05AM

    A little hint for you about saving things when it come to computers. Get an external hard drive and save to that. And also save to CDs or flash drives. We have our stuff saved in at least 2 different places off the computer...just in case. Learned our lesson the hard way.

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Friday, 12/24 Christmas wishes

Friday, December 24, 2010

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The Spirit of Christmas

I have a list of people I know
All written in a book, emoticon
And every year at Christmastime emoticon emoticon
I go and take a look.
And that is when I realize
That those names are a part
Not of the book theyíre written in
But of my very heart. emoticon
For each name stands for someone
Who has crossed my path sometime,
And in that meeting theyíve become
A treasured friend of mine.
And once youíve met some people
The years cannot erase emoticon
The memory of a pleasant word
Or a friendly face.
So when I send a Christmas card emoticon
That is addressed to you,
Itís because youíre on that list
Of folk Iím indebted to.
And your are one of many folk who
In times past Iíve met
And happen to be one of those
I donít want to forget.
And whether I have known you for
Many years or few,
In some way you have a part in
Shaping things I do. emoticon
This, the spirit of Christmas, that emoticon
Forever and ever endures,
May it leave its richest blessing
In the hearts of you and yours. emoticon emoticon

Gentle hugs and Christian love to each of my Spark Friends and acquaintances,
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLESSED2BEME 12/24/2010 1:46PM

    Merry Christmas and Blessings to you Sylvia!

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LOULOUBELLE2 12/24/2010 10:38AM

    Beautiful....... Your name is in MY BOOK.
Christmas Blessings to you and all your family. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 12/24/2010 9:15AM

    Bright blessings for the happiest of holidays to you & yours my precious friend. Love, Dawn emoticon

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