Wednesday, May 02, 2012
This reading teacher has realized that all of the truths in good children's literature applies to those of us in the adult world as well as the children who it is written for and who read and love it. Wonderful children's books are one of the things that led me into my work as a reading specialist. I know that some people struggle to fit time into their schedule for reading at all--but I suggest and challenge you to find a children's library or even to look at children's books in a department store or book store. Wonderful authors like Judith Viorst, Rosemary Wells, Patricia Palocco, Jan Brett, Kevin Henkes, Eve Bunting, Audrey and Don Woods, Mercer Mayer, and well, I can go on and on. It seems as if each of these books that I pick up becomes my new favorite and is full of wisdom. Let me know what you find because, well, it may be a work of pure pleasure that I have missed!
In my efforts to count my blessings--from Monday I have: clear but cloudy weather for a great baseball game with over 3700 children in attendance, my husband who took the day off work and came with me, our local A level team that won with at least 3 home runs (14-3), the Quad City River Bandits (who are connected with the St. Louis Cards rather than our Chicago teams) who gave each of the kids the game and a "baseball lunch" of a hot dog, chips and fruit juice rather than soda (I know what was "wrong" but come on, it is a baseball franchise!), the same folks who created special menus for our kids who can't/ don't eat pork and our diabetic children, 3 young African immigrants who came and spoke at my class on Monday night, the new things i have been learning and thinking about since I went back to school, the pool and fitness center which is my mini-home away from home, my camera and th ememories it helps me to keep, my son Mitchell and his girlfriend, Laura, the nice dinner they served us, Laura's parents, a car that runs, my kids who are growing up and gaining responsibility, getting an appointment with my PCP for the next day
From Tuesday, I have: being in charge of the meeting about our children who are having problems, getting to work on time for said meeting, getting some help regarding a problem when I had my duty assignment, seeing the doctor who scheduled my ortho appointment for my hip pain and gave me the biggest ice bag I have ever seen, a kind PCP who didn't question my pain, going back to work and being able to teach my other groups without a hitch, finishing a homework assignment, my husband cooking dinner, fresh corn on the cob (yummy), getting to have my work out early during lap swim, lemonade, my basset hounds and the boy dogs too, my husband's large number of vacation and sick days that he could quickly access to work on the car, my son chasing the raccoon off of our porch just after midnight, getting six hours of sleep anyway!...
I have an appointment with my ortho on May 23 for my hip. My PCP suspects my nausea and related issues are due to my pain meds and has told me to start taking Miralax daily to see if that might help. I didn't think I was constipated, I have never went daily, but I am sure willing to try this to see if it shakes the difficulties I have had recently with eating. I am going to go shopping today to get the stuff. He also wants me to check to see if my insurance company will cover a shingles injection. He is right on another thing--I do not want to ever have shingles.
It seems a bit cool today after lots of rain on Tuesday--it waited until I got back to school from the doctor and was over when I left work. That is timing!
Have a day full of blessings!
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Hi Spark Friends,
i got to teach Children's Church today--and it was the day that the African children from Light Mission Pentecostal Church who uses our church for their worship were there. I read a book called "Counting Blessings" by Debby Boone. The main idea of the story was that we have lots and lots of things that are blessings and we can count them in many ways. The book went on to share the idea that if we only think about sad and bad things, we will not be happy, but if we spend our time counting our blessings and thinking about those happy things that we will feel happy. Then we will be able to be a blessing to others. It was a great book that suggested that for two weeks you write down every blessing that you have and then spend time rereading them.
This made me think about myself--as it did the children. I gave them paper to draw their blessings on--many drew hearts and listed their family or names in it. A couple listed the church, God, and Jesus on theirs. Another listed freedom. As we talked they came up with all kinds of ideas. We made a list of blessings that started with the letter "R" and had everything from raccoons to roses. We made a list from A to Z of our blessings--which is something i have seen on many of my teams. They were great and the time got right away from us.
I think the two week challenge is a good one and I am going to try and blog my blessings for two weeks and then come back to read them: My family, my church, my dogs my bunny, my fish, our car (It's behaving today!), having money to buy what we need, the luscious tomato I ate for lunch, the pool and fitness center, the sauna, the rain, our home, my computer, Spark People, my son's girlfriend, my reclining chair, my ice bag, popsicles...
This list will grow and it will be fun to add to it.
It's time for me to get away from this computer. We have been invited to my son's apartment to have dinner and meet his girlfriend's parents. This seems pretty important to them--and I am looking forward to it. We're leaving the kids home with their favorite pizza. I'll check in with you all later.
I challenge you to count your blessings along with me.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
I know it has been a while since I blogged but I am really overwhelmed with school and classes and my personal health issues right now. I blogged about them previously, there has been little change except that my hip pain is growing in frequency and intensity. I considered going to the ER with it today, but I know that they can't really help me and the only thing I can gain from that is quicker service with my orthopedic group. It is interfering a lot with my work outs now though.
I don't want to dwell on that right now--I have positive things on my mind. I am thinking about my youngest daughter who just did her check-in call during her first prom night. She looked beautiful when she left--but I almost think her hair is far more gorgeous when it is down, with all of those beautiful curls than the expensive (mandatory, lol) up-do. She is at the fitness center right now where her school is holding their after prom festivities. It's an odd choice of locations because none of the girls with their expensive hairstyles will use the pool. They have a lot of really entertaining things planned--obstacle courses and grown-up trikes for racing for a couple of things. The kids can win lots of prizes for sticking it out until the morning and the plan is keeping them off of the street and out of mischief. The bigger schools around here have really big prizes, often including a car, but our little school district cannot do all of that.
The baseball game is on for Monday, barring rainy weather, and I am excited for the many kids at our school who haven't ever gotten to go to one. Our little A level team has a pretty nice stadium and they do a lot of good things for the community during their on (and off) season. Certain people not to be named tried to make me the person to stay behind on Monday to be with the kids who refused to meet their reading goals (even with extra chances and help) and the kids who haven't returned one of multiple permission slips but I put my foot down and said that I was going. I have put in a lot of hours and a great deal of stress into making this game happen and I am not going to stay at school and miss it. Now, we just need nice, not rainy weather!!
Personally, I am thinking SUMMER!! I am more than ready for summer weather and summer break. I am thinking that even if it is available, I might not teach this summer. It is rewarding for children but given the stress that I receive at school on a regular basis is something I could use a break from. I may change my mind in the next few weeks, but this is how I am thinking right now. I am, however, thinking of flowers and gardens and outside pools and reading in the sunshine and grilling outdoors and parks and rest and relaxation.
I am also thinking of taking care of myself and feeling better in every way I know how. I miss my doctor who would probably know how to relieve my current pain and I may go out of town and hunt her up as well--she is less than a couple of hours away. I also am going to put my cataract surgery back on the schedule pretty soon. I need to lose a few more pounds, ugh, to get to that new BMI for my new and unimproved, reduced height. With the 3 surgeries I have had since December, I haven't make many gains in that arena. I don't think I can count what I have lost while I have been sick because I am losing it way too fast and it will come back. However, people have noticed that I have lost weight and that is always motivational. I am struggling to eat and trying to get my fruits and veggies in because they are not at all agreeable with me right now. Bland protein is somewhat okay, but all that I really can enjoy are popsicles. I am guessing that after two weeks this is more than a "bug" as well. I am getting a bit nervous about visiting doctors of any type because I seem to need big tests, procedures and treatments as a result. Yet, I am aware that I am not going to be able to continue this way much longer.
Anyway, summer is on my mind and all of the beauty and activity that goes along with it. I think I am like my students, so many of whom are already getting harder and harder to keep focused. Maybe we are all just kids in disguise. Thoughts of summer keep me smiling.
I hope that you are all feeling the pleasure of sunshine and spring. summer too!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
I wanted to touch base and let my spark friends know that I am not gone, I am just as busy as I predicted. I didn't count on being sick or yucky or whatever that I have been all week--Thank heavens for popsicles which have been the mainstay of my diet since Monday. I have to transfer my food journals to my transher here and I am going to get a lot of red writing.
I even stayed home from work on Thursday which I rarely do except to see a doctor or to recuperate from some surgery or procedure, but I have been trying to take care of myself. It is still with me, so I am not sure what is going on. Food makes me sick right now and my family keeps providing me with all kinds of stuff, not understanding that I just don't want to eat.
I am looking forward to this passing, but maybe a bit of "not wanting to eat" to stick around just because that would be helpful, ha ha ha.
I'll try and blog more tomorrow--and to visit my teams too.
Take care, my friends.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I am not going to apologize for not sparking very much. Just know that between my job and a lot of homework coming due that I am on my "full steam ahead" mode. Right now, I am on a mini-break to check emails for a couple of things I am looking for. I am worried about not having enough time to get done.
I am reading a book with my second graders called "Feeling Good About Yourself." I am enjoying the lessons that I have created from the book for them and they are more than willing to talk about the book. Today the three main ideas was that: 1) People have feelings such as happiness and love that they find enjoyable. 2) People have feelings like anger, sadness, and fear that we do not find to be enjoyable. 3) We have some choices in how we interpret if a feeling will or will not be enjoyable. I have been thinking about this after a Tuesday this week in which I was mistreated or screamed at inappropriately at least six different times. Even my workout at the pool couldn't let me feel better after all of that stress. However, as I faced more of it today, I decided that just because these people have problems that I am not going to let it make me feel bad too. This is a case of my feeling and my choice.
We are down to seven weeks left of the school year. I have a few very good friends retiring this year who I will miss greatly. I plan to go to their retirement parties and enjoy the last times I will see them during this school year and be glad for them and the life changes that they are getting to make and celebrate. At least one of them will be someone who I hope to see around. They are probably lucky to be getting out of the mess our state is inflicting upon us as educators and citizens. For them, it is time to be happy and I can do that. This is another case of making a choice.
I am working on my interview paper with an amazing refugee from Burma and when it is finished, I will take a few things out to keep her identity to myself, and then, I will share it with you. She is a strong lady who has lived through a lot of tough situations. When I asked her about different aspects of her life, she told me "You keep your smile for the future." and "You do the best you can." and "I have a chance." I am thinking that these ladies who I have met through my church and have interviewed for my classes, have led entirely difficult lives and yet both of them were happy and pushing on, knowing that they could be whatever they chose. I suspect that they are emotionally in a better place than a lot of us would be in if we were handed their issues and problems. They are both here and are celebrating what they have. I'm honored that I have met them and hope to consider their wisdom when things are tough.
Feeling good about ourselves is an art and I am not naive enough to believe that we can smile our way through every issue that comes up, but I am going to try to smile through a lot of the daily meanness and pettiness that is coming my way. It will help me to stay well if I can do it. I believe that if the ladies from refugee camps where they fought for food and they fought deadly diseases and where they both lost loved ones, that I can make it through the next seven weeks.
Let's keep our smiles for our futures and keep on going, making good choices.
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