Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I thought finishing my National Boards would give me some time back--but oh my... I don't understand what is the extra business in my life because I substituted physical therapy on my shoulder for physical therapy on my back. I substituted a lot of doctor appointments with my regular folks for the appointments with my new doc. Marissa's musical ended this weekend--It was so good. They did "In the Woods" and it was so entertaining. We had a great time with the entire program, but listening to our daughter sing and seeing her act and dance was a special time. She also sang another solo in church a week ago--she balances a lot of activities and does so well with them all. Her grades are solid too--I just wish I could get her to exercise with me or without me. I know she has to find her own way, but I also know what it is like to be in her shoes.
Mother's Day was phenomenal. The weather was gorgeous and my family and I worked in the yard. I made a pit of fresh green beans and turkey ham for dinner and expected that to be our meal, but it cooked up and wasn't enough for this army, so the guys upgraded our barbecue pit and we had a wiener roast. I know that most people like to go out and be treated, but this was so on target for me. I interrupted it to go to the pool which was so quiet--only 4 in that big pool. My hostas are doing well--we added 5 new plants--still need one more. Our flower bed is in--I bought a bunch of bedding plants and two hanging baskets from a fundraiser for Big Brothers/ Big Sisters. (They do so much for kids--and my students in particular that it was a pleasure to do it all.) I bought a lot of pansies and petunias in purples and lavenders along with an entire flat of coleus. I just love coleus--we have to finish it up--this will probably be the last year that I need to plant it around the hostas--they are doing well and will probably fill out the area under our big pine tree just right. Anyway, I was in heaven having everyone home and helping out with all of the outside things on my mind. We have more big jobs to do and it seems like I have helpers and activities on board for all of that.
I got a lot of nice gifts--flowers, a rose bush, earrings, a sapphire ring (my birthstone) and sapphire earrings too!! That was so sweet--it is awesome that everyone is working and could do things like that for me.
You all will probably think I am crazy, but I have decided to go back to grad school--I don't know if this work might lead me to my doctorate, but it is worthy of me doing. Our school district has gotten a grant in conjunction with Western IL University to help us to get an endorsement in ELL (educating English language learners.) The entire coursework comes to over $900 for six classes and the grant will cover $650. That is a bargain for an additional endorsement. On top of it, I am working with about one ELL student in each of my groups and I think it will help me better at my job. There is one online course this summer, two classes each in the fall and spring next year, and one more class in the following fall. I haven't taken an "official" class in a while and like I mentioned, this might help me to decide if my PHD or EDD is what I would like to do. I am really excited--the classes are worked out so one is a regular grad class that meets weekly and the other is a class that meets on 4 weekends out of the term. That won't interfere with my exercise schedule too much. I am going for this great opportunity--it looks like only about 6 or 7 teachers from our entire district is signing up and I don't understand that. We have over 40 languages in our small district now and knowing strategies for helping these kids is important. Anyway, I am excited to do this.
That's about it for now--I don't know what I have been up to this past week that has kept me from blogging, but I have been really busy. I have had a couple of students in crisis which has taken a lot of my energy, but I am working on those issues. That is taking time because I ma having to find time to collaborate and make contacts to help them. I am going to share a great analogy from my therapist. He said it is like me running a tire store and these guys have come in for oil changes. I have some tools, but they aren't the right ones--and I have some skills in working on cars, but they aren't what these customers are asking for. I am willing to help, but am simply not equipped for what they want or need. It is quite frustrating, but I am looking for the folks who have the oil and related filters and things that can help them to accelerate appropriately. (This is a perfect analogy to my problems with the children who are in crisis right now!)
Anyway, my tire store awaits and I need to get going. I hope that you all are having nice weather with sunshine and happiness. I would like to wish you all a belated Happy Mother's Day. I 'd also like to wish you all a Happy Nurse's week and a wonderful, belated Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!! I have bouquets of flowers around me in honor of being a mother and a teacher. It is awesome to be appreciated by others.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
This day off started on a pretty good note. I went with my older daughter to visit our local campus of Western IL University to find out about combining her college coursework and what would be needed for her to earn her Bachelor's. It looks pretty good for her to complete things in a year. It took a lot for me to convince her to come and that this is important. It is a "Liberal Arts and Science" degree in which she graduates with three minors. One of them an be Theatre, which is her passion and her big interest for the future. She wants to go to grad school so that she can instruct theatre at the college level. Anyway, it was a very good and positive meeting and she is moving on plans. (All of which are costing us money for transcripts and applications for admission and so on...) Anyway, I am happy with the outcome and knowing that she has a plan for next year. She won't have to travel except for one class, all the rest can be taken here. Things seem pretty positive. The only down side to this excursion was when we got there, we realized that one of my walkers was in the other car and the other one was still on the porch. Nice--however, I had my brace and my daughter lent me her arm. We used the handicapped ramp and entrance and I did pretty good.
We went to Subway for our lunch and then we went to the fitness center. I went to the pool and worked out during the adult lap swim. It is so nice to go to the pool in the afternoon when the kids are all at school. Unfortunately, I don't think I can get time off of work during the day to go to the pool, lol. Our daughter works there, so she did some swimming and some machines before her work in the office today. My son came and picked me up, and he brought my walker. We went on to the doctor's office. She gave me 4 injections in my right hip and commented that it might need more than that. The plus side is that it didn't bleed at all.
We stopped and picked up my prescriptions from my pain doc's office and then we went to KMart because I realized that I had somehow lost my shampoo and conditioner. I used it at the pool on Sunday and I think I forgot it in the shower and somebody helped herself. We looked at some of the summer things and I bought a couple of new pairs of swim goggles for the kids when they join me at the pool.
This is when the trouble happened. I hadn't put on my seatbelt because after injections, I don't like to be touched. The police in town were running a big "Click it or ticket" operation. We were pulled over and it turned out that our license tag was due on the first of the month and we had forgotten it. The police officer was kind and chewed us out over this. He didn't ticket my son who was driving, but he gave me one--my first ticket in a very long time--for not wearing my seat belt. I had trouble finding our insurance cards, so I had called my husband and that turned into a stressed out, ugly conversation--and I hung up on him. I had them meet us to get out oldest son who we were supposed to take to work so we could park the car until it had its sticker.
My husband took care of our wayward car and got everything in its place. We kind of made nice and he fixed dinner. Our kids did their thing and the tone of things improved... However, it doesn't go unnoticed that I was wring in almost every part of the day that didn't work.
I forgot to make sure my walker was with us. I forgot to put my shampoo and conditioner in my swim bag. I am the one who chose to go with out my seat belt which is why we got pulled over. I am equally responsible for not having t he license renewal done on time. And, I am the one who snapped at my husband which started an argument. I was wrong. I have admitted it and apologized for all of my misbehaviors. I cannot pay my traffic ticket for two days--$60.00 is a lot to learn that I was wrong. The police officer told me that I could take it up with the judge on the basis of my medical needs, but that seems too "iffy" and time-consuming to be worth it. Seat belts are important, they save lives. I know better.
Hopefully, the mistakes that I make tomorrow won't be as dramatic. I can hope anyway!!
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
I sure had a hectic day, but i feel good about everything I finished at work today and I got things going here at home as well. I had a day for the kids to practice the phonics program on the computers today. (Kindergarteners, first and second graders on computers is a handful of work--constant calling out of my name because of all of the things that the computers "do" or "don't do" to them, lol. They never believe it when I tell them that they are the reason that "Adobe reader" gets opened up over their screen or whatever else is going on.)) With help from a parent, my volunteer and 3 5th/6th grade students, I checked every first graders sight word cards. I refiled a large crate of files I had gotten out as resources for my National Boards. I did the same with about 10 large binders of materials. I put away 2 boxes of holiday materials also. I did my 2 extra lessons with my first graders. I put holes in 6 sets of 256 sight word cards and organized them for the children who needs them. I feel pretty satisfied with my day of work. Just setting up those 6 computers is a big deal--I have to connect an ethernet cord to each, as well as the power sources and headphones., and of course, taking them down is the reverse. Anyway, it was a day of lifting and bending over.
When I got home, I sat down to work on my own computer when I did my usual activity an fell asleep for about an hour before dinner and then going to the pool. I cannot say I got much done at home, but it seems as if I really needed that nap. It was pretty quiet at the pool, until of course the family I have described before showed up. I am really bugged by the parents who sit in the waiting area, one with a laptop and the other using a phone or an ipod--and they totally ignore their very naughty children. The kids scream for attention that they don't get and they fight constantly. They don't share the single pool toys that the parents provide, they fight over them. (It would seem that if you have two children that you might buy two toys instead of just one.) Their fighting is slapping faces, hair pulling, and worse. They are noisier than just playing would suggest--and they often don't come into the pool until 8:40. It seems to me that a pre-school child and a first grader should be going to bed at that time rather than getting into the pool. I think the parents use the fitness center as a way to get out of being parents and then they finish their time there by bringing the kids to the pool and showering rather than being at home and actually parenting their kids. It really bugs me after an evening of putting up with them. I refuse to talk to any of them any more because they don't need any encouragement for the inappropriate behavior. Strangers and lifeguards spend their time trying to help those children behave while the parents just ignore what is going on. As a parent, I would be humiliated if somebody else had to manage my kids like that. I just don't get it, but I do know that they have created a monster out of the older girl for sure. The little boy seems to be a bit more reasonable, but he is always competing against that girl for everything and then, he fights back. I guess they aren't breaking any laws except the laws of common sense vs stupidity.
I fell asleep again during the writing of this blog--but that is how I typically sleep. I am falling asleep easier these days, probably due to my med changes--I a, getting more sleep bit it is still interrupted. My doctor has put me on increased meds and told me part of the reason that happens is because the meds wear off and my body recognizes increased pain activity. Pain is a complex thing, I don't recognize it in the way my body does.
Tuesday will be different for me. I am not going to work because it is the day of my final scheduled injection. I am going with my daughter on a college interview and possibly taking my son to the Driver's License place. My other son needs to go to DHS to confirm his services as well. Anyway, I will be busy! I hope I can get time in at the pool around all of this. If I can go during the day, I'll miss some people who make it tough to exercise, lol.
Sunday, May 01, 2011
I want to share the blessings in my life and how I have come to realize that they are even there. I am giving thanks for so much right now!!
I have had a hectic, crazy few weeks, but I finally got all of my writing edited--and then I had to rewrite and delete things to fit the page requirements of the National Boards. I got those videos completed--and I got my daughter to help me and pack my box. That took about 2.5 hours to arrange everything and ti put all of the stickers and barcodes in the appropriate places. We got everything in the proper envelopes with the proper labels and stickers and we taped that box securely. I put it in the mail and we saw the postmark to make sure it meets the requirements. I insured it for the $1350.00 is cost to do the recertification and let the US Postal service have it. I will hear if they got it by a receipt from them--and I believe that NBPTS will also send me a notice. Then, the waiting game begins because they don't get the results to people until sometime in late November. At this point, I know that I did my best and from what I realized, I am a very good teacher doing good work every minute of every day. I want to get my recertification, but if I don't because something in my writing or videos wasn't clear and convincing to them--well, I am clearly convinced.
I survived the injections in my back on Thursday. I either had 8 or 9--they hurt quite a bit more this week than last week--and one in particular got a "yelp" out of me. My doctor said that she had hit a hot spot and she needed to put more medicine in there to help it. (Hmm, I yelped and needed another shot--doesn't seem fair, lol.) Anyway, I am in the midst of a steroid attack and seem to need a lot of food, as I generally do when steroids are inside of me. I have had either 14 or 15 injections in a week and am getting a big dose on Tuesday for the bursitis in my hip. It's a hard week for me to get focused on healthy eating, but it is my plan and I can do this.
As for my back, I am telling the world that it is a bit better than it has been in years. I don't know which of the 6 new things going on is helping me, but I am not dealing with all of the fatigue from dragging my body from place to place. I don't think even I understand the fog of all of the pain my body gives me anymore. However, a layer or more of that pain is lifting and I am amazed. I feel more energy and well, simply different than I have in so long. I don't know what is doing it and I am back on a large quantity of meds, but this time they aren't shadowing my brain, they are working with me. I am giving thanks for my new doctor. She is a physiatrist and she is really working for me. Hooray!!
Finally, I have avoided my weekly appointment with the scale for almost a month--I missed 3 weigh ins. That happened because I was running on adrenaline and focused on my writing. It turns out that I lost 2.1 pounds in this past 3 weeks. I can't believe it and don't know how that happened, but hooray. I think it means that I have enough good habits built that they take over when I am not paying attention any more. That is another blessing!! I have a lot to do better--no more bites of things that I don't need and the fast food meals of the past couple of weeks have to go. However, I went grocery shopping for the first time in the past 4 weeks yesterday and spent over $400 on good healthy food--When I got home, my kids complained that there wasn't "anything to eat" WooHoo, that means I did what I set out to do and buy healthy foods!!
I am celebrating several personal accomplishments--I completed my National Boards Renewal, I exercised every day and all at the pool except Easter, I started physical therapy for my back, I am feeling a bit better and I am making slow steady progress in all of the right ways. This weight loss is just a little proof that I have built some good habits.
I am giving thanks for all of my Spark Friends who send me little notes and goodies and have stuck with me, even when I have been wildly busy and not returned the favors consistently. I also thank Spark People for being here just when I was ready for making healthy changes for my life.
Monday, April 25, 2011
I stayed awake all night last night--unintentionally, but I did. I ended up getting my final video selected and created for my National boards and I was awake when Micah and Floyd got up for Easter morning around 5:34. That is when I said a few un-Christian-like words because the computer wouldn't let me burn the DVDs. Grr-rr. Not nice to do to an overly tired and aching Sylvia on Easter morning. However, I got ready for church and two of my kids decided that they could and would handle this for me--and after we got home for church, they both put their heads together--and Megan figured out how to do it. We used my flash drive and saved them to it and moved them to another computer that also behaved badly for a while, but she changed something on iDVD and it worked. She burned my two videos and back-ups, yay.
Let me back track though to church. I want to share the photos of the flowers on the cross. Somehow, the photos don't seem quite as breathtaking to me as it was in church. I also didn't get to stay long because I did children's church today, so I didn't get to enjoy it as long as everyone else did...
The wooden cross was covered in chicken wire so flower stems could be kind of easily inserted. This is the result of everyone working together.
This is the pulpit and the alter off to the right, with many Easter lilies in honor of the Resurrection.
Our young children stand next to the cross of flowers, singing an Easter anthem.
Josh is showing off his work at Children's Church (before they got a surprise Easter treat... and after the annual Easter egg hunt where each child gets a miniature artifact from the Easter story. We still have a mini-burro from Christ's trip and a mini-Communion goblet and some mini-palm leaves.)
Here is one more view of that beautiful cross after the service.
We came home and I lent some expertise in the kitchen as long as I could stand up--and then I went back to the computer.
The good news is that I finished the first drafts of all of my writing today and sent my "final drafts" off to my friends who are helping me to edit for one more reading. Tomorrow, I will revise Compnent 2 and the Reflection pages, copy the forms and do 3 minor pages of information that includes a sketch of my classroom. I believe that I will have this ready to pack before the week's end and it will be postmarked before the 10:30 closing of our local post office on Saturday. Then, I have to forget about it until the assessors finish scoring it by Thanksgiving. That is not an easy wait, but it is a necessity.
Have a wonderful week.
Hallelujah, Christ is Risen.
Christ is Risen indeed, Hallelujah!
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