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Monday, 5/28 An Active Week of Happiness

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hi Friends!

This past week has been busy, busy, busy and full of things to feel good about. We had Marissa's music concert on Sunday, the 20th. It was as awesome as always, and she sang the solo part in "Just Tell Jesus" which made me feel both proud and moved. On Monday and Tuesday, she had her jazz band and show choir concert. We went to both nights because she sang different solos and mostly because we enjoyed them so much. On Wednesday, after a somewhat successful doctor's appointment that I'll talk about later, she was recognized at the senior awards program even though she is still a junior for her accomplishments as a French student. Thursday evening was music awards at the high school--and of course, she earned several of them. Finally, Friday evening was 8th grade graduation, where Micah was one of 5 kids who won a Presidential Achievement Award. They gave this to kids who improved their grade point average at least .8 from second semester of 7th grade to 8th grade. Micah had a solid 2.2 last winter and this year, it is at 3.67 which is an amazing show of effort and work. Funny thing that it happened after we got him out of the resource room for help in math and grammar. I believe that the special ed teacher was the source of his troubles in seventh grade. Anyway, it was a totally gratifying week for this parent.
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On a personal note, my week started out with our last day of school being returned to us as it should have been. I'm guessing that I know why, but it was given back to us as the work day we are supposed to have and I am very pleased with that. On Wednesday, I saw my ortho and after hours of tests and x[rays, I ended up with injections in the bursa and in my arthritis hip. It is a bit better, but not great yet. My PT cancelled services until next Wednesday to give the injections a chance to work. I have had a bit of relief, but it isn't back yet--so I don't know how long it might take or if it will take care of things at all. O Thursday, I was asked to help fix a long-term problem in my school and I am so glad that somebody else is finally acknowledging this problem that I don't know what to say.
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We have 4 more days of school remaining and I don't know how I am going to finish up things when I have several groups of children who I cannot see anymore because of schedule changes for early dismissals. It is especially hard because we have 2 primary classes with subs because both of the pregnant teachers gave birth early. It is particularly difficult to try to change any schedules around when they are simply trying to maintain the only schedules that they have. I want to complete some final reading records and share their reading levels with them. I also want to give each of them a bag of goodies to keep them reading and writing at home over the two months of our school break. We are on a mostly year round schedule, but we still have a 2 month break and I have some children who struggle so much that if they do not read and write for two months, they will lose a lot of hard earned gains. I am hoping that a nice goodie bag will help pique their interest and keep them going at least a bit...
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I will also share some video blogs of Marissa's most recent music. I have a lot of them--their annual show choir show was "Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat." It was so much fun to watch that I will share that fun with you. As soon as my gardens take off, I will share photos of them as well. We planted corn, green beans, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers in the veggie garden. My flower garden is full of purple and navy flowers with a few marigolds to give some contrast. I need to get a bit more mulch, but the work is mostly done leaving only weeding and watering.
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Summer is finally here and I am jazzed by that. Our temps are supposed to back down to the 80's this week and then next week drop more into more seasonal 70's, but this week has been a summer sampler and while many folks have been complaining about the weather, I have been enjoying and embracing it between work, exercise and umpteen hours at the kids' schools. I haven't been here because my life has taken first place. I have a few plans for chores to do this summer, but most likely no traveling unless my husband and I take Micah for a long weekend here or there. We are going camping next weekend. I lover this time of the year, the weather and season give me energy and happiness.
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I'll leave you with a few photos o\from Micah's graduation ceremony. (One day, I'll go on a rant with you about the way that most of the girls were dressed--cost of dresses, styles, stilletto heels--all not at all correct for 12-14 year old girls, grr.)




It was a happy ending of a very trying couple of years in our baby's life, rest assured.
Happy Memorial Day!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SVELTENSASSY 5/31/2012 10:26PM

    Sounds like the end of the school year is bringing success and satisfaction for you and your family. Hope you can get a little R&R this summer. emoticon

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MTNGRL 5/29/2012 8:10PM

    Wonderful blog about your children's accomplishments. You must be so proud. I am very happy to hear how well they both did. Congrats!
Hope you have a relaxing summer!

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STEPPYSUE 5/29/2012 7:21AM

    Good for you and your wonderful children! emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/28/2012 8:47PM

    Congratulations to Micah and Marissa. I really enjoyed reading about their successes and seeing the pictures. I'm looking forward to more.

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_LINDA 5/28/2012 3:08PM

    Well done to Micah and Marissa! You can sure be a proud Mom to have such hard working and talented children!!! Can't wait to hear and see Marissa perform!
Its so nice to hear things are going much better for you now. I understand the love of summer completely and wish ours would get here soon as I struggle with near freezing temperatures, rain and a constant onslaught of strong winds.
That is awesome your garden is all in and ready to grow a bountiful harvest! We haven't even gotten started with it here. The rains are delaying, yes, but so is the well below normal temperatures and the constant threat of frost. On the positive side, absolutely everything is lush green with all the rain, and the trees are leafing out in earnest and the thunderchild crab trees all have their beautiful pink blossoms. After our very dry winter, this is the boost everything does need to get growing.
I hope it works out that you can give those goodie baskets to the children who really need them. You are a very thoughtful, conscientious, caring teacher and the children are so very fortunate to have you. Wish that school system would recognize that!!!
I hope they solve your hip issues are helped with enough to give you your freedom to enjoy your summer in comfort and fun!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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Saturday, May 19 Please share info about hip issues with me!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hi everyone,

It has been a weird week with a lot of downs that seem to be managing themselves. One of the big ones is the mandatory training day on our last day of school. It seems that something has caused our principal to rethink that one and to let it go, turning our last day into a real last day of school so that we have true closure to a school year. I am so glad because that gives me back my day to prepare for the thing I couldn't let go of. They posted summer positions for teachers--reading teachers in particular--to be embedded in the summer programs by the park board and the King Center and so on. I really had decided that I needed the summer off, but since this all came to be because of my efforts, I sent a letter downtown expressing my interest. I love this kind of work, but I had decided that my body needed the summer off. It has been a crazy school year with 3 surgeries completed and cataract surgery to come on both of my eyes and this saga with my hip. I am the best person for this work and do it better than anybody else, and of course there is the matter of getting paid for what ai used to do as a volunteer. It also will be a social security job rather than TRS (teacher retirement) because the funding comes from a grant obtained by my church and that is a really good thing. With 26 years in this position--and all of the stress I get--retirement comes up in my thinking and conversations with friends and family frequently. However, I am sure that I will work at least until I have 30 years and my youngest son has graduated from high school--and maybe longer if he goes to college. However, I am sneaking away from my own questioning about the "why?" into my own actions. This is probably not in my own best interest.
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Our youngest son "graduates" from 8th grade next week. It will be a big week for him and he is on my mind. Besides having a graduation ceremony on Friday, he has his first show choir try outs, a big field trip to six Flags over
Great America, and a promotion dance. This is a great time for him, but with his Aspergers, I am also going to worry. If you don't know much about Aspergers, it is a form of autism at the higher end of the spectrum. Social skills are particularly difficult for Micah because he doesn't read people well, he takes them at face value. Kids can be rude, mean and sassy--some are kind and caring and sensitive, but in the junior high age bunch, they are few and far between. Anyway, that means with all of the fun, there can be issues and the one kid who has been his close friend and confidant is now trying to move up on the social ladder. In other words, Steven is now avoiding Micah and according to Micah and a couple of others, has become a bit of a snob. It is this mama's job to worry about my little guy.
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I saw the physical therapist yesterday and she did a good initial evaluation. It is actually the second time I saw Kim, but I don't really remember the first time. (It was after my lumbar fusion surgery and Dr. Rude ordered physical therapy, but he wouldn't let me take my brace off, so there was nothing she could do for me with that big contraption on. It was a waste of both of our time. I think I really needed PT back then and I didn't need the doggone brace, maybe now I wouldn't have a chronic pain problem there. Anyway, back to my hip... As she examined it, she noticed that I wasn't having groin pain and she told me that arthritic hips usually have groin pain so she isn't sure that this problem is my arthritis. Now that makes no sense to me because what that leaves is some sort of injury and given this is my right hip, even when I fell in October, I hit my left side, not my right. She also didn't see swelling in the bursa, but Dr. Miller could see that back in January a year ago when she started giving me injections to bring down the inflammation. Anyway, if Kim is right about these two things, her recognition that there is definitely something wrong leads to an injury of some sort. She modified my pool exercises and gave me a few additional exercises to do on land before ordering an ultrasound treatment to my hip. I will see her again on Tuesday and then I will see my ortho on Wednesday. I expect after he takes x-rays that we will all know what is going on with it.
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I think it is time for me to just take it one day at a time. I got all worked up over the principal's bad choice and behavior--and things are better. I am not going to get all worked up over my hip until I have something to get worked up over. I wish I knew more about hip issues, but when I did a search, everything was about hip replacements. I am sure that I have time before I need to consider that, if I ever do--so it left me without any help at all. I will try another search today and see if I can do better. If any of my spark friends know much about this, please let me know your info and experience. It helps me to know before I see the doctor so I can ask questions about what he tells me. Thanks for your help in advance!
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I'm glad to be here--As for my spark program, I think I have developed so many good habits here--I'm still having some eating issues, but my PCP thinks it is because of my pain meds. He told me to take Miralax everyday--I bought some, but I haven't used it yet. I keep thinking that a healthy diet with lots of fiber should take care of those issues. I will break down and try this stuff, it just looks a bit scary to me... Anyway, healthy eating and exercise seem ingrained in me these days. Somebody bought a box of bakery chocolate chip cookies and left it by my chair and I am proud to say that I haven't eaten any of them in 5 days. I thank SP for helping me to make good choices in eating. My weight isn't changing much since that last big loss I had--but lately, it seems to take a bit and then show up "big" on the scale. I think the summer will shake that around for me because as soon as we settle down this hip, I will be more active with gardening and Whitewater Junction. I love, love, love the summer!!
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We are going camping the first weekend in June and that's the way I want to spend the summer--playing!!
Gentle hugs to one and all,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 5/28/2012 8:45PM

    It was really good to catch up with what is going on in your life. It sounds like the kids are doing great. Hopefully you will have good results from the hip treatments and have a great summer.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/21/2012 10:01AM

    With your hip the way it is and your cataract surgery I wish you could rest this summer and get your strength built back up.

I feel bad for Micah but most of us don't keep our high school friends for life. He will be starting a new school and making new friends. I really liked the kids my son met in high school. He was very shy but he was accepted into a great group of friends. They had a good influence on him. He has never smoked, drank alcohol, or done drugs. I hope Micah has the same experience.

The physical therapist seems very good. I would wait to find out what is wrong because that will determine the proper treatment.

We are going to have a great summer. Can't wait.

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MTNGRL 5/19/2012 9:01PM

    Congratulations to Micah. I hope he has a great time with all of his upcoming events. So sorry his used to be friend is no longer there for him. I hope he is able to find someone new for the upcoming school year.

The hip pain issue, what pain. I can relate. I have no helpful answers, as I've said before my doc just writes scripts for pain and tells me to lose weight. Brilliant.

I was taking Miralax until my gyn said why not try having 2 fig newtons a day or some dried figs..he felt getting the fiber from food was a better way to go. It has helped.

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_LINDA 5/19/2012 7:43PM

    I wish you would take the summer off and not think about taking this summer position for reading teachers -you really do need a break and to look after yourself properly.
I am glad that your son Micah has some fun events coming up, but really sorry to hear this Steve has turned his back on him:( I hope he comes to his senses and realizes his behavior..
For twenty years I have battled a very painful hip flexor problem. Could never guess where or why I was getting this problem. Then when I saw a physiotherapist, he told me my hip ball wasn't rotating in the socket properly and that was causing all the problems. When I had my hip replacement, they said the bone was dead in there as well. And yet, I never had any pain in the hip joint itself, I had full range of motion, so that phsyio may be on to something... After my surgery I never had so much as a squawk out of the hip flexor -its 100% better.
I hope they solve your issue..
Well done on avoiding the snack temptations!!
Have a good weekend Sylvia!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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Wednesday 5/16 Two lost blogs-I'm trying again!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hi all,

Over the weekend, I wrote a nice blog about blessings I have counted. I did quite a tribute to Mason, our 6th child who turned 20 yesterday. He is a great, hard-working kid and makes me smile when little else can. He knows how to tease each of his siblings until I am laughing myself silly--nothing mean-spirited. He just knows them all so well and he is perceptive enough to know how to do it just right. He keeps the mood around this busy place light and fun. He is a great guy and again, I am glad that he didn't join the army when he was 17 like the recruiter tried to push. He is so charming and such a good problem solver that he needs to be in a job where those attributes are appreciated and encouraged.

I am trying to be patient until I get this hip looked at. Walking is getting tougher and tougher. I cannot swim a full lap any more--remember in February when I bragged about doing 28 of them? I am suffering once more and it is my best guess that this is more arthritis, I need to know how far gone the joint is. I start physical therapy on it on Friday and get to see my ortho on Wednesday next week.

We had one of the meanest and most awful staff meetings I have ever been to today and it was a good day to see my therapist today. My good doctor reminded me to stay true to myself and not to let the contagion of nasty behavior find me as well. Even someone who is mean to others and talks badly about most people deserves a prayer and to be treated in the way that I treat everyone else. We have 11 more days of school and except for the bombshell dropped today that that 11th day is now going to be turned into a training day and we won't get to finish our end of the year work or have a last day luncheon because of it. I didn't need to find out that I won't get to put closure to this difficult year in the way that I planned on. I don't even know when I will be able to get organized for my summer tutoring now. I am very upset at the big announcement. I am pretty frustrated tonight--and I will try to be good hearted and myself. It is tough enough with this pain and then this awful issue on top of it.

Anyway, I am hanging in here and taking the best care of myself that I can. I am trying to get myself together here. Oh darn, I am still tired. Take care of yourselves and I'll check in soon.

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 5/21/2012 9:50AM

    Mason sounds wonderful as I'm sure all your children are. You treasure each one of them and recognize and encourage their individual gifts. What more could a child want.

I hope they can help the hip without more surgery.

I used to mourn the fact that my son, who is so intelligent and talented, will never get to teach science as he loves it and would have made a wonderful teacher. Then I see what teachers have to put up with from administration, fellow teachers, parents, and even their students and I realize that, like you, he is too nice to have to put up with the state of our education system which worsens all the time. Children are ill-prepared for the world by their parents. Many of them are bullies, like their parents. The parents expect the teachers to do their job. The leaders expect the teachers to motivate complete losers whose claim to fame will be that they will be future felons. It's to the point now where there are few rules and none of them are applied. You don't have to be potty trained which is ridiculous. You can bite, kick, and scream and it's ignored. What a mess.

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_LINDA 5/17/2012 2:31AM

    So very sorry you are dealing with such extreme pain and then have to deal with the thoughtless people you have to work with on top of it :(( I hope the physio can give you some kind of relief until you see what your ortho says about it.
I too am glad your son did not go into the army. The Moms who are frantic with worry about their children in the army -its sad to hear :(
I am on the fence about one of our games directors quitting. This director happens to be the shrew from Hell who finds fault in every little thing you do or anything she can sniff out that she thinks is wrong or not done properly. She was a thorn in the previous bridge club manager's side too. But as we are short on directors, and she was one of the more competent ones, the rest of us are going to feel it as we have to direct more games. With many directors going away in the summer its going to be interesting. The good thing is I will get more games to direct, and earn more money, but it will also mean I won't have any more three day weekends to spend time with Mom :(
My thoughts are with you Sylvia as you are going through yet another difficult time,
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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PINKNFITCARLA 5/17/2012 12:02AM

    I'm sorry you had such a frustrating day :-( I'm especially sorry about your hip pain. I hope the PT and your ortho get you some relief so you can get back to the things you enjoy.

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Saturday, 5/5 Blessings on Cinqo de Mayo

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Hi all,

I have so many more blessings to share!!

Thursday--my friend from the fitness center who volunteers in my classroom, my husband for fixing the jeep's noisy exhaust, my ice bag, my doggies who greet me with such enthusiasm, listening to music from my college days (yay Styx, REO Speedwagon, Head East, Pat Benatar, Jefferson Starship!!), the pool, the whirlpool, the locker room with the sauna, the article that I finished reading, the internet that allows me to submit homework so easily, my youngest son who has been volunteering to do chores without being asked, my husband for cooking what I asked for in the healthy way that I wanted it

Friday--casual dress day, the weather now that the big storms are past, taking the kids bowling for free (If you have children under 16, they can get bowling tickets that allows them to bowl 2 games for free four times a week. Check out: kidsbowlfree.com and if you would, tell them that Sylvia Elliott recommended it!), my soap opera (Days--one that wasn't canceled), switching to Direct TV and getting twice as many channels than with Mediacom with better service and half the cost, paying a big bill off, getting a big homework assignment done

Today--Marissa's musical "Dames at Sea," having a camera on my phone when I forgot my camera, roses for my daughter, having lunch with my best friend and having a box to bring home with me, my first soda since my neck surgery, my boys helping out with yard work and house work, my kids' friends, the beautiful full moon tonight, Saturday Night Live, my oldest daughter taking her little brother to a movie, another son taking him out bowling again today, being able to have candy within reach and not eating it.

I have to get back to my homework--I still have one article summary to write, one to read and write, a novel to read and critique by Tuesday and a take home final exam to do by Monday. I am pretty good--I can do this (but having the option for an incomplete if I can't is reassuring!! That's another blessing!!)

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 5/7/2012 9:51AM

    I totally loved this!! It made my day!! You are one of my main blessings for today.

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PINKNFITCARLA 5/7/2012 1:14AM

    Wonderful blessings!

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NANCYRUBIO 5/6/2012 1:46PM

    Sounds like you are sleeping on the job, with so much left to do. emoticon
It was very pleasant to read your blog and of all the happiness you see in your life. Keep on rrememberingthg the good things, it makes life a lot better.

Comment edited on: 5/6/2012 1:48:14 PM

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_LINDA 5/6/2012 1:40AM

    Its nice to hear these good things happening Sylvia :)
May you have a blessed and peaceful Sunday..
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda
PS love the music -brings back memories :)

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Wednesday, 5/2 Counting My Blessings, Days 2 & 3

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Hi Everyone,

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!
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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!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  


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