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Thursday, 11/17 Howdy Spark Friends

Friday, November 18, 2011

This has been quite a week--but I am learning how much I can do and how much I can overcome when I need to do so.

I have been working hard on multiple projects for my two classes--a sample of assessment, a presentation and related article activity, 3 chapter reports, a brochure, a group presentation, and a lot of reading...

I have been really working hard on caring for my students. I am seeing a group of children the three mornings before school that I don't have meetings and another child after school on the four days that I don't have a meeting. I am trying hard to find some ways to restructure my daily scheule to find a better way to serve children who have such a varied group of needs. I need to regroup them which is very difficult given the complicated schedules for each classroom to contend with. However, I have some children who I am not able to challenge enough given some who are really needy and I want to do right by each and every child.

I sent home a supply request list to parents for materials like ziplock type bags, tissues, antibacterial wipes and so on that I have always bought out of my own pocket. I have never asked before, but I have had a small response already and I am thinking I should do this each year. I am not sure why teachers like me have to buy everything like that when classroom teachers get their supplies provided.

I am in the middle of cleaning a storage area here in my house. We have a lot of things to donate to Goodwill and a lot of other things I am going to donate to the trash. It is not making a couple of "hoarders" here very happy.

I saw my ortho on Tuesday. He recommended surgery on my left hand, and doing it soon. His first available surgery date is December 14 at some time in the afternoon. That is almost 2 weeks after my female surgery on December 2. I guess my holiday month will be as crazy as last year when I was having rotator cuff surgery. Somehow, I should have known that I wouldn't have a "surgery-free" year. It is just what I have to do in my spare time, lol. This will be my third surgery on my left wrist and hand. It is taking a lot of work keeping it working properly. Oh wait, I forgot my dental surgery in August. My mouth is still not completely healed from that and I sometimes forget.

I have gotten to the pool every day but my Thursday class nights. I believe that is keeping me and my body going. I also go to church at least once a week and I believe that keeps me going spiritually and keeps my faith strong. I go to my therapist almost once a week so I have someone who is working to keep me out of mischief and who is challenging me to focus on self-care. He also is teaching me to play chess because he thinks that it will give me a strong past time to challenge my mind and give me something social and fun that isn't related to my demanding and time-consuming job.

I have been so busy this week that I haven't been to my teams much. My regular threads are far behind and I haven't read many blogs. I am taking Friday off from homework, so I might get here for a while after the pool to check up on you. Please use the comment section here to give me a little update on yourself. I know this is a crazy blog with little purpose and I want to know about you.

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 11/25/2011 10:44PM

    Will be thinking of you during your upcoming surgeries, which will be busy for me healing or not -December is quite busy at the club and I have many duties to attend to. My step dad goes in for cataract surgery soon, and we will have lost our only driver :( I should hope to be home by then, but not sure..
Not sure how I will do on my own with my other hip being such a nuisance :( I really miss my exercising -it gave me the most highest highs :( Now my life is just a dull, dreary sit on my butt or lie down thing -its amazing I don't get sores there as I can't sleep on my side (this from the knee surgeries, even with cushioning between, it bothers me, so stuck falt on my back which it doesn't like.
Enjoying my time with Mom though, as every minute I get to spend with her is precious.
Sorry I took so long getting to you. Connection here is very slow, and I was getting to the most recent blogs first on my friend feed and catching up on all their blogs first.
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/18/2011 3:19PM

    I agree that parents need to supply their children with appropriate items at school. The teachers should not have to pay this stuff out of pocket.

I am also wanting to start a pile of things to get rid of.

I'm pretty swamped and always behind as well. I seem to never be able to get caught up either. We are still in the process of settling my MIL's estate but we can finally pay a few bills. We are getting ready for Winter and doing fairly well so far.

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EMRANA 11/18/2011 9:48AM

  I've been really quiet this week too ~ still dealing with the uncertainty of it being moving day next Wednesday but still not having Chris's passport back from the consulate. We're stuck until that gets here, and we're praying hard that they don't mess up all my plans and make me have to reschedule!

In good news, I was awarded Spark Motivator status yesterday, so that was cool!

I was very happy to read that you're also working hard on self care as you do serving your kids and family. I'm the total opposite of a hoarder, so I grinned that you're donating and cleaning out! Woo hoo!

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PUGRAD1995 11/18/2011 1:33AM

    Glad to know you are workig on taking care of yourself too.

I am headed back to work on Monday-but only half days for the first three weeks. Turns out the doctor's office staff think I'm pushing it. Oh well, as long as they convince disability it's fine with me.

Have a good weekend! Diana

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Saturday, 11/12 Marissa's Solo

Saturday, November 12, 2011


This is one of the solos my daughter had in her concert on Tuesday. This is called "You are Loved" and it has a wonderful message too. When I listen to her sing, it is hard to imagine that she is a young 16 year old with such a range and control of her voice. Enjoy the music--pardon the videography.
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUGRAD1995 11/18/2011 1:29AM

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60SIXTY 11/17/2011 2:12AM

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/14/2011 2:15PM

    Beautiful!!

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ACIMPEGGY 11/13/2011 8:00PM

    Marvelous! Does she plan to sing as a career? She'd make it big in no time!

You're right...the message is important!

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MTNGRL 11/12/2011 3:12PM

    Very nice, you must be so proud!!

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_LINDA 11/12/2011 1:27PM

    Simply breathtaking and awe inspiring!! She would make an amazing opera singer! Why hasn't she been 'discovered' yet is the question. She would beat everyone on those Talent shows hands down. She is so talented. I hope she gets a career with her singing, she deserves it. I enjoyed so much listening to her!
Thanks for recording it!!! Maybe you could get your son to record it next time so you can just relax and enjoy it!!
Have a Super Saturday!
{{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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HOPEFULSNAIL204 11/12/2011 12:27PM

  You're right. Great control and range. Go Marissa! Blessings

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NIKKISMITH5 11/12/2011 2:03AM

  What a wonderful voice, i got goose bumps.. She did a great job... emoticon

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ENUFF81020 11/12/2011 1:49AM

    HI all,

As I watched this, I realized that the video wasn't too good at the beginning. I don't know what all of the clicking is about. I videotaped most of the concert and my hands and arm got a bit tired. As my sons point out, I'm a bit wimpy (with some things.) Hmm, if it had been a 2 pound weight and I had been in the pool, I would have managed quite well!

Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed the song. I do everytime I hear it, but I have some bias in this.
Take care!
Sylvia

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Friday 11/11/11 Happy Veterans Day

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hi everyone,

This has been a totally stressful week and I have not been as good to myself and my body as I should have. However, today, I want to let you know how I got from a stressful place to a good place over and over again...

We were planning a special Veterans Day program at school yesterday and in order to extend it and add in some reading, we made it a reading day. (If you don't know what a reading day is in a school, it is when normal learning activities would be canceled for a day full of special reading events.) They are motivational, full of learning opportunities and make reading fun.

The problems started when we weren't allowed to cancel music and PE the way it is done in most schools. Usually, the special teachers cover classrooms in their reading activities while teachers get their prep times. Our principal wouldn't make the call and when I asked the teachers, they went to her and complained. Nice teamwork. However, I didn't let that stop me. It was the first time in 5 years that I was getting to do one of these days for our school. Another teacher and I spent hours working out a schedule that fit around the PE and music classes so that each class could have a guest reader, see the program, have their regular lunch and class schedule, and have a partner wring time to tell the story of what they had seen and experienced that day. As soon as I sent out the schedules complaints started in and I dealt with each email and complaint.

When it was time to go over the guest readers, somebody wanted them to be Veterans. I supported that, but I don't know any who are able to read at this point in time. Our principal and librarian told us that they know "lots of veterans" and would take care of it. Last Friday, it turned out that between them, they had gotten 4 readers total. Hmm, we have 20 classes. I worked like crazy, contacting friends of teachers, parents, and members of my church. All of them weren't veterans, but many were and they were all amazing people. I sent out the schedule and again, I got many complaints and I had to switch things for all kinds of odd reasons--and some of them infuriated me. Again, I buckled down and made everyone happy while protecting our day--except for one teacher who was as difficult as she could be. I gave up on her--and lo and behold, she got her own guest reader. (Hm, the chief of police wasn't good enough for her to reschedule an art class with a parent volunteer.)

Anyway, after hours and hours of this type of work, I searched high and low for books to match readers and as many with veteran related themes as I could find. There aren't a lot of books like that and even few of them are very readable. However, i had a stack of books for my readers who weren't bringing their own. They were labeled and in order. I had a schedule that needed one more change at the last minute, but the day was here.

Then--we had an announcement. The school was on a code red lockdown. We had no idea what was going on, but it turned out that some crazy had called several of our city schools and threatened that someone was coming to a school and was going to kill a lot of people. The police locked down the entire city. It was too surreal--as I sat there thinking about all of the guests, our big program, and the school was on lockdown. They changed it to a modified lockdown and allowed people in when they were recognized and identified as belonging in our school. This went on for the entire morning and finally was over after our morning program in time for the kids to have a real recess.

The program was wonderful. We had our most recent member of the Honor Flight along with the unit that escorted him. We had the Patriot guard with all of their flags, We had a group of Korean War Veterans too. We also had a program by our local newscaster who had went on the first Honor Flight from this area and he wrote a children's book. It was high quality as only could be done by a television station. It was moving and thought-provoking for me. I think the children were awed as well

The rest of the day almost went off without a hitch until one of the readers that our principal had gotten didn't "know" he was supposed to read and he simply left. The principal had sent at least 4 emails saying she had gotten him to read at 11. When I went to check on it, she asked me "Did anyone ask him?" Grr-rr. Our wonderful, good hearted school nurse read in his place. Although it wasn't the same, the kids enjoyed her and I think she was glad to save the day for all of us.

At the end of the day, I had to head over to school for our delayed midterm exam. It turned out that it was also our week to present an article, but my partner and I both thought it was for next week. The teacher is so easy to work with, we have to do it then. I will do fine with this and I hope the partner that I was given will do fine as well.

The day--and this week--were a big roller coaster ride. Another of the bright spots was a show choir concert that our two youngest children were in. I am going to post a video blog of Marissa's solo. I have done that before and it is wonderful to be able to share her beautiful voice and talent with you all. That concert, along with pool time made up for a lot of stress that was poured on me this week. We are still working on a few new problems, but as long as I have help with those, we will be okay.

That also explains why I haven't been doing much sparking this week with all of the emails, phone calls, studying and scurrying around--I had to fit in the pool. That water took a lot of abuse this week, ha ha.

Veterans Day is such an important day. I hope that yours has been wonderful and that you have been able to talk to veterans in your life and thank them for all they have done for the rest of us. Somehow, thank you doesn't seem like nearly enough!!
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Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 11/14/2011 2:13PM

    Its sounds like a wonderful day. I would have pulled my hair out arranging it and admire your nerves of steel.

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ARIANERA 11/12/2011 8:34AM

    Glad that your students enjoyed the reading program. It is amazing what you were able to do despite the challenges put in your way.

Ari

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_LINDA 11/11/2011 10:29PM

    We didn't have anything like this reading day in our schools here. Its a real shame these teachers fight it so much, can't imagine what they have against it. Reading is one of the most important learning tools and skills to have. Have these teachers forgotten their basic 'R's??? Reading, riting and rithmetic :) I am so sorry you have to work with such blockheads. As I said on another person's blog, I wonder why all the worst people seem to get the boss and administrative positions..
I am glad you were able to get some enjoyment of your week and look forward to hearing your daughter again..
Have a restful day and a good sleep,
{{{gentle hugs}}}
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Monday, 11/7 When you think you've got things under control

Monday, November 07, 2011

Hi there,

I will complete that sentence--When I think I have got things under control, at least a little bit...

My daughter has some problems with her car, so she takes ours.

The doctor wants to see me today and I find out the car isn't home.

Everyone wants to know something about the guest reader schedule that I don't have ready especially since I have about 4 additions that require me reworking most of what was already done.

The doctor who needed to see me orders surgery and then the date will be December 2, the last Friday of my weekend class.

Our oldest son locks the only keys to the other car in the car when he takes it to my husband at work so he can pick our youngest son up and take him to a doctor appointment.

I get to miss my appointment with my psychologist that I am thinking I really need so I can hear that I need to tell people no and reduce my load because vehicles seem to be working against me today.

Oh yes, and I found out why I couldn't get to my online class over the weekend to post my assignments. The tech guy in charge thought that the class ended on Friday the 4th and he deleted it.. My instructor got to the bottom of that and got things fixed for me and obviously everyone else.

Anyway, I just posted 4 assignments and am taking a quick break right now between finalizing the reading day plans to the best of my ability and working on studying for my exam on Thursday. I thought I'd spark for a bit of a break.

I sure hope that the stars, or whatever, got all of this junk out of its system today so that I can function and maintain my sanity this week. I sure haven't cared much for this day and don't need a repeat.

Well, I am going to go spark a bit more and then it is time to answer the study guide questions about assessments, validity, reliability, and other good topics that I know, but need to review a bit. I might also rest a bit and do my traction tonight too.

Take care of yourselves my friends and if you find a few spare minutes this week, could you send them my way??

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 11/14/2011 2:08PM

    I'm sending prayers. That is what you need to get through this and a mechanic. LOL.

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PUGRAD1995 11/8/2011 9:54PM

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ARIANERA 11/8/2011 1:01PM

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_LINDA 11/8/2011 1:30AM

    I hope things go a lot better for you tomorrow. No matter what, always make time for that traction, you need to give it a good try in hope that it will help you..I didn't hear pool time in there and I am sorry if you had to miss it :((
Sorry no spare minutes here. My insomnia is being put to good use, no wasted minutes.. Still much to be done..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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DEELIN1960 11/7/2011 10:19PM

    Hi Sylvia,
You have had your share of rain storms! I am sending some sunshine your way. You seem to be able to face so many obstacles and still have a great attitude.

Hope you rest of your week is less stressful Oh & hide the car keys. :-)

Your Spark Friend,
Dena

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Comment edited on: 11/7/2011 10:22:27 PM

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Sunday, 11/6 My Anniversary--oh and some stress

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Hi all,
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It's my anniversary today and we have tried to have some special moments, but it has been tough. My husband bought two dozen roses--red and white--that were on the alter at church today and are now sitting next to my chair. the guys have been working on winterizing and I went to the pool and have been doing homework. We might really celebrate this 24 years by going out together next weekend.
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I am trying to be in control but the fact of the matter is that I am overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed in many ways...

1. Work is a problem. We are having a big day for Veteran's Day. The principal planned a program with a newscaster and a book he wrote about the Honor Flight. We are having a special all-school reading-writing day in conjunction with that (I have been trying hard for 4 years to get a few special reading days in!) the principal and our librarian said that they had it covered To make a long story short-the two of them only had signed up 4 "veterans" to read and we have 20 classrooms. I don't know any veterans, so I have been scurrying and I found 3--now I am just asking great people like my pastor and a retired biology teacher to read... This thing is Thursday and she won't answer any of my emails--but she sent one to everybody to tell them I would send a schedule of activities to everyone. Hmm, it isn't ready--and she wouldn't reschedule PE and music so I am having to work around their schedules because they"don't want to participate," Grr-rr add to that that I am teaching before school but I am scheduled for playground duty on one of my teaching days and it is my job to solve that.

2. Home--there are a pile of financial issues and things going on here. We got a letter from the IRS about back taxes that we didn't know we had. The people with our 2nd mortgage that is now paid off sent a letter to the IRS and said we paid less interest than they told us and we claimed it. It turns out to be almost 2000 that they want. That adds onto a bunch of new dental and college costs and I am going nuts.

3. Medical stuff. Now I know that I have polyps and will need the D&C and a "hysterscope" to clear them out. I know I need another surgery on this carpal tunnel for my hand that has been numb for 2 months. My neck is starting to have significant pain and that diagnosis must be on target--the doc caught it in time to help me start treating it. Finally, I know I need cataract surgery. My eyes are getting weirder and weirder. I cannot drive at night because the lights are a nightmare. However, I am not sure my body can handle a third surgery in this particular time frame--so I am waiting to deal with it. I also don't know how I can manage any more medical appointments on top of the gazillion that I have been dealing with for the past three seeks to get tot he bottom of all of my grief.

4. My classes both have about 6 major assignments coming due in the next three weeks and there is a problem with the online part of things where we submit our assignments. I have 4 things done this weekend and I cannot submit them because that class is gone. I have an exam on Thursday (note the Veteran's Day reading day is the same...) I also have three chapters to read by then. On Saturday, we are meeting to plan our "evocative" presentation about a chapter in another book. I love this stuff but when you look at the rest of my pile, I think it might be a bit too much. I do know that the instructor will be understanding with me.

5. By the way, I am still a wife and a mother with 6 kids still living in my home. Besides umpteen school activities, concert season starts this week and we have show choir on both Tuesday and Wednesday. I am going to go with Mitchell and his girlfriend, Laura on Tuesday night for sure. We are reorganizing two of the room here for a few very good reasons, so I have the corresponding clutter thing with rearranging. We have 2 fundraisers going right now as well. On Friday morning, we have a special meeting at our church by the Child Abuse Council to certify everyone in our church to work with children safely. I expect it to be like our mandated meetings at school, but I will attend that anyway because I love my work at the church.

I will do all of these things and I will do a great very first Reading Day for the kids in our school. I will not be sidelined by anyone or anything in doing what is best for kids. I will be ready for my exam and have my homework done. Most of all, I will get my pool time and my neck traction in because if I don't take care of me, nothing else really matters. Keep me in your prayers though, and if you miss seeing me as much, I hope you understand.
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Have a great week. Celebrate my anniversary with me!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 11/14/2011 2:05PM

    I don't know how you do it. It would be too much stress for me. I'm sending prayers that some of these stressors let up because you need a break.

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_LINDA 11/7/2011 1:12AM

    Happy 24th Anniversary!
As usual, you have far too much going on in your life. How can you ever heal and look after yourself with all the things you insist on committing to?? If you can find ways to get help and cut some of it back, do so. You are important too!!
Wishing you luck on gettting the most important things done.
Hope you can figure something out with the finances -that is always a big scare when the IRS comes calling :(
Hope you can at least get restful sleeps..
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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DETERMINEDJANET 11/6/2011 10:48PM

    Happy Anniversary!

You do have a LOT going on to cause stress and tiredness. Hang in there and make sure you find time just for you each day!

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HOPEFULSNAIL204 11/6/2011 9:36PM

  Happy Anniversary! You have so much going on. I hope that it will all work out well for you.

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PUGRAD1995 11/6/2011 9:17PM

    Definitely take care of Sylvia. But sometimes you just have to say no. My boss was not happy when I scheduled this surgery. But now she's retired and not a problem. I have no idea what I will walk back into, but it has to be better. emoticon

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CRYMENIA 11/6/2011 8:59PM

    wOW! Amazing! I can't imagine being that busy; I have a hard time just keeping up with exercise, homework, boyfriend and volunteer activities. Cut yourself some slack if you have to say no to something and only do things you want, or in the case of work, have to do. Remember to lean on your friends and family because they can handle helping you out. I hope everything works out great for you, I think it will because you have such a great attitude about it. Oh, and love love love your background!

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EMRANA 11/6/2011 8:57PM

  Happy Anniversary!! 24 years is wonderful!

I'm sorry about all the other stuff. IRS and medical issues like that are serious stresses.

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