Thursday, November 22, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!!
I am sitting here in a pleasant stupor. My daughters are in the kitchen preparing the vegetables for our big veggie tray--my favorite part of our family meals. Matthew is helping Marshall move things and vacuum in the family room. Mason is helping Micah to wash the dining room floor. My husband (Floyd) and Miles are "fixing" something in the bathroom where Miles and Marshall had replaced the floor earlier this week. Mitchell and Laura are on the way here with the desserts they prepared for our meal. I am so blessed. This is one of those amazing moments with me and my sweet basset are enjoying the peace and the good things that come from a family as big as ours.
Now, to be honest, the early moments of this day were not so serene, but once my kids got a few digs into each other and did their required fussing, they really got themselves together and were the family I tried to raise and love. I have been thinking about families a lot lately--the one I grew up in, the one I have raised and many that I have come to know as a teacher. All families are not created equal--but what makes them that way?
It isn't finances. We haven't always had enough money for what our kids wanted. We made sure we had enough for what they needed, but it was and is often a bit of a struggle.
It isn't family size, obviously. With 8 kids, our kids had to learn early that "fair doesn't mean equal." That continues to be a concept that many adults don't get. I hear it a lot when teachers and families are complaining when one child gets preferential treatment of some sort because of a disability. It drives me crazy when adults cannot understand that a particular child earns rewards by following a specific rule that other kids just have to do. Sometimes, we must emphasize that rule for a disabled child and they "get" a prize for doing so. It isn't that tough when you consider that we are about helping all children to become lifelong learners and world citizens.
I do wonder if it is the church. My kids have gone to church every Sunday since they were born. We rarely miss church and they have grown up with our church family rooting them on and being their role models and support. They have grown up with my good friend Michael, as pastor and mentor. I am sure this is part of it. I hope that their father and I, although in a sometimes less than organized manner, have taught them values and life skills that will keep them all going. I know each of them and can praise them for their strengths and I can list their personal faults. That's the way of humankind though, most of us have strengths and faults. I know that today, at this time, I am feeling blessed for the competent and caring young adults my kids are becoming.
On another note, I went to WW yesterday and weighed in (no Thursday meeting this week, duh.) Anyway, since the last time I went was Saturday morning, those are weigh-ins that are pretty close to each other and I lost .6 of a pound which makes a total of 3 for the two weeks. I have been receiving a multitude of compliments from people recently about "how good that I look" and my weight loss. That is so cool. With about three weeks until my hip surgery, I am getting to my own personal crunch time. Hmm, with Thanksgiving today, the question I have thought about is "Am I going to shift from weight loss to maintenance mode?"
I can answer that--I am having a meal that is healthy with a few more calorie costly choices. I know exactly what I am going to be eating already--there will be one calorie dense dish on my plate (Our traditional Norwegian baked mac and cheese that is so good!) I will have what WW calls power foods--veggies and turkey along with a slice of the light multi-grain bread that I love. I will be fine with this meal and even if I taste one of the desserts that my son brings, I will be good. I understand portion sizes and can do this. I will not fall off the weight loss band wagon today or on "left-overs Friday." I get to go to the pool tomorrow and I will be putting my homework presentation together. I am in good shape for all of this.
I am hoping to lose at least 4-5 more pounds before my surgery and then I will be ten pounds away from that goal I made when I thought my surgery would be in June. This is working well--I'm pretty determined. My search for a reading person to be my sub has not went as well--all of the people I am thinking of would be more than glad to do it except they have planned trips during either December or January and won't be available. I am getting to the time that I am going to have to make this known with my principal and the staff at school. Things will become a bit different for me then.
I also found out that I was selected to present at a conference in January which is an honor. I am going to have to get permission from my ortho to work at least part time in January or I am going to have to turn down this opportunity. That will make me sad because it is a chance to show off my knowledge. I was asked to help another teacher to do a presentation at the same conference on National Board Certification. Finally, my expertise has been acknowledged--and I would like to come through for this. There is a lot of good things going on at work right now--beyond our building issues. I am thinking it is a lot like my weight loss story. It takes persistence and personal commitment and caring, and then finally, success comes a bit at a time. (I'll share more on this entire thing later....)
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. If you are having turkey--it's a great lean protein source, so enjoy!! If you are doing anything else, the name of the day is about giving thanks. I have so much to be thankful for. I think I'll go lend a hand to my kids who are all lending theirs at the moment!!
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I have been thinking about the holiday that is coming and unlike any of our other holidays, this one is totally about eating with others. The others are more about social experiences and eating has become a part of the picture. However, if you look at any children's version of the Thanksgiving story, those tables covered with food are a major part of things. Anyway, I have been thinking about that early Thanksgiving and what it is now--and a much earlier me and what (or who) I am now.
...Maybe there are some similarities...
Early Thanksgiving--Up until that harvest, what was eaten was of no control of the people involved.
Early Me--Up until my Spark Goals, what was eaten was of no control or concern of this one person involved.
Early Thanksgiving--Appearances were of no real concern.
Early Me--My appearance wasn't a big deal either.
Early Thanksgiving--People would eat anything, because there often were no choices!
Early Me--I would eat anything because I couldn't make choices so I ate whatever I could get my hands on.
Early Thanksgiving--People worked because they had to, but for over a year, had to conserve energy by limiting movement.
Early Me--I worked because I had to, but for over many years, I limited movement for no good reason.
Early Thanksgiving--Weather played a very important role in food production and activity.
Early Me--Weather played a very important role in movement production and food consumption. (Hmm, if there was weather, there was a reason to eat!)
Things are different now for me and Thanksgiving...
Current Thanksgiving--We have information, foods, and recipes from all over the world.
Current Me--I have healthy information, foods and recipes from all over the world.
Current Thanksgiving--We can use the stories of the past and learn about relationships and caring for our future.
Current Me--I can think of my past and plan for my future and build on my relationships.
Current Thanksgiving--People use it as a time to get together with others and to eat in excess.
Current Me--I will use it as a time to get together with others and to avoid eating to excess.
Current Thanksgiving--It is often sandwiched as an unimportant day between Halloween and Christmas.
Current Me--It am often sandwiched as an important day for family, friends, and socializing in the middle of the "Holiday Season."
Current Thanksgiving--It is often seen as an excuse to consume many calories and many empty calories because they are there.
Current Me--I see Thanksgiving as a way to eat some healthy foods that aren't always available on other days.
Current Thanksgiving--It is considered as a day that people can ignore healthy eating without anything to worry about.
Current Me--I cannot ignore healthy eating no matter what day it is.
Current Thanksgiving--Is a day when people sit around and snack and have fun with no regard to activity.
Current Me--Will worry about a day when exercising will not be practical but will need to be included in the daily activities without an excuse.
Anyway, I hope that you see the real picture here...
Thanksgiving was from early on, a day to eat and enjoy the company of others who had worked to help everyone to stay alive, with the fear of those earlier days without food and shelter there in everyone's mind. Now, Thanksgiving is a day of eating (often to excess) and socializing with little regard to other ways of looking at the day.
I was, from early on, a person who was always overweight and who simply continued to eat whatever crossed my mind. Now, I understand how tricky it can be to be healthy in mind and body and that it requires a well-balanced diet of fresh foods and healthy choices that also includes regular exercise. I have worked hard to be where I am, which is 147 pounds smaller than I once was.
Change happens as does change over time. I am thankful for so much, and it is because I am that thankful that I won't get caught up in Thanksgiving and I won't overeat. I am most thankful that I am far more healthy than I used to be and it is very important to me to stay this way and to not fall back into old habits that did nothing good for me.
I will have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I wish the same for everyone else.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
I'm on a tight schedule today... I went quickly to weigh-in, but got there too late for the meeting. It would seem that WW starts their meeting on Saturdays anyway, so I'll get to be a part of the topic (Thanksgiving eating) when I go on Wednesday anyway. I missed last week's topic, but it was "Why I want to lose weight," and I have that well under control.
I am heading for our local reading council's meeting. Mitchell, our son who teaches 5th grade, is going too. The topic is reading comprehension and I cannot know too much on that one. It's a big topic and the biggest concern of reading educators. It will be interesting to see what this speaker's approach is.
After that, I am going to the pool for my workout. My hip is doing tons better now that I am over the hip injection. It is amazing what these shots do--all the while remembering that my ortho told me it is the fact that it works that indicates my hip joint needs replacing. I hope to have time to study after I work out and get dinner. My weigh in day is our pizza night, ha ha, but I earned it. I lost 2.4 this week and was surprised to see SparkPeople call it one pound until I remembered that I never recorded the pound I gained last week. Anyway, we need a quick meal because we are going to go see Marissa's play. She is the "bad guy" in "The Tempest." I won't go on my rant about their band director and how stupid it is for high school students to do Shakespeare right now, but that about sums it up. I don't remember if I bragged about Marissa but she was selected to be one of 300 high school students to sing in the National Choir, as chosen by the National High School Director's music association in Dallas Texas in March. Our young lady is so talented, but she doesn't have time for a life these days. We need to get on a couple of college visits, uh like yesterday...
By the way, the child that stole my books at the family night came into the room without a parent. I saw her meet somebody and then when I looked up, they were all gone. I know she took the books because I had one copy of a title that she had and it was gone after she had picked it up. I wish I knew who she was. I have made a conscientious decision that I will not go to another of these activities again, They are simply too upsetting for my spirit. They are also not mandatory, but I felt as if it was important for me to attend, to get to meet parents and have them see me, and with this one having a reading focus, to be there as the building expert. Uh,"bah humbug" is my new sentiment.
It's time to get going. We have to drop Micah off bowling on the way to my meeting. Have a wonderful weekend--and don't let a sneaky Saturday get in there and mess up your good eating habits or interfere with your workout today. Saturdays are notorious for such things.
Friday, November 16, 2012
I am tired beyond tired. I actually had 6 hours of sleep with only one big interruption last night--and for me, that is amazing. This week has been almost all about work with a couple of exceptions (and one of those is related to work!)
The big exception was my hip injection on Tuesday. It was difficult and I am so glad that it was my pain doc who was doing it and not some other doctor. I understand why you are only allowed three of these now. The medication is strong and it contributes to breakdown that is occurring in the hip joint. He had a lot of trouble getting the needle to fit into that almost totally closed up space and that caused me a lot of grief for the rest of Tuesday and all of Wednesday. They also don't let me go to the pool for 24 hours after an injection to prevent infections. So-o-o-o, the time I most needed to exercise was actually forbidden to me. I could barely walk on Wednesday and couln't lift my leg for much. The good news is that after my class on Wednesday, I went tot he pool and worked it and worked it and worked it and got rid of all of that pain. I sure hope that I get a couple of weeks of relief from the pain in my hip after all of that
Class on Wednesday was interesting. We spent most of the class getting the groundwork for some major memorization work that I need to do in order to be successful on the final exam. I hate that this is asked of me, let alone anyone else. It is information on the names for each position of the mouth in making "all of the sounds in all languages." Each sound is placed on a chart with it connecting between a position of the mouth against a position of the throat, with a choice of each of those being a voiced or voiceless sound production. Arghhhhhh.... This is the kind of information that a speech therapist uses, but if I were even a full time ELL teacher, I would double check this on the chart before I presented it to someone because I had a concern of some sort. I do not appreciate being asked to memorize things I can easily look up. However, my opinion on this is moot--the department determined this is necessary, so I must do it. I will start today working on a piece of it at a time until I either know it or I run out of time and have to take the test.
She returned the last exam and I got 97 out of 100 on it. My final presentation is due the Wednesday after Thanksgiving which will be a bit of work on my part, but something I am good at. I have one more field experience due for this class and then, I will have my endorsement requirements completed. I did find out at class that if I take an additional class--which is conveniently being offered next semester, I can get my TESOL certificate. I didn't realize that this was a possibility and I hadn't thought about it, but I am now. This certificate is for "Teaching English to Students of Other Languages" and would work hand in hand with my K-12 reading certificate allowing me to teach young adults reading and allow me to teach adults in a college setting. I am thinking one more class may well be worth the extra opportunity that might be a good choice for me after I retire from public education. It never hurts to have a few choices in our pocket. It might help if I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, tee hee.... I have an elementary certificate with a concentration in science, a reading specialist certificate, a certificate in early childhood, a young adult reading certificate and soon, an ELL endorsement. I seem to be a bit scattered, but the one thing that I do not have (nor do I want) is an administrator certificate. I know what I do not want to do!!
That brings me to last evening, our reading night. I don't want to be a downer, but the night got to me. I missed my weigh-in and my daughter's play for that event and it wasn't an equal trade off for me. I supervised the reading campfire room which was supposed to be a 20 minute station for children and families to read. That matches what I love and want. However, it didn't quite work that way and I left feeling as disillusioned and sad as I could feel. Actually, to be fair, 80% or more of the families did exactly that. However, other people were awful. Parents stayed on the phone and didn't read with their children in some cases. Other people didn't watch their children and I spent my time getting some of the more extreme behaviors to dissipate. Finally, I took--on our principal's request--a couple of baskets of books, and several of my nice Dr. Suess books for families to use (if they didn't bring books as requested) were stolen. I am so sad about that. I purchased all of those books to use with students--their children--and that is how they behaved. A couple of them were fairly hard to find books and well, it just saddened me. I watched a girl wrap four of them up in her jacket and I told her that they were not "give aways" and that she needed to return them, and I know for a fact that she snuck out with them anyway. I am totally sad that people can act that way. I at least hope that my books will be read as they were intended.
I didn't like the idea of the reading night--I didn't get home until well after 8 PM. I was exhausted, and sad, and hungry, and well... you have the idea. Now, it is my early morning duty day and I must let this go so I can get back to work to donate more of my time to an activity I don't like. Some days, retirement looks like a good option. I will get to teach and teach and teach today before I leave and go to the pool. I suspect that will bring me around.
I plan on a good weekend--enjoy yours as well!!
Monday, November 12, 2012
I have been as busy as possible the past several days--and this coming week has potential to be even more busy because of some appointments and the reading night for families that are added to my schedule. I can do it, but I also have to work on my "final project" and that big assignment that are coming due for my class. Our professor changed due dates for both of those items and that will work out for me in a positive way. My project will be due a couple of weeks early--but I know what the topic is and all I have to do is decide on the group participation activities that will go with it. I am leaning towards a couple of activities I do with students and I think it will be a good and an eye opening activity for the teachers in my class. I would like to recommend the article to any of you who are interested in the topic of poverty. The article is called "Effects of Inequality and Poverty vs. Teachers and Schooling on American Youth" and can be found at: http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?Conten
It is a lengthy article, but the content is strong and talks about some of the real problems we face in schools with high numbers of children in poverty. It took me several readings because the print is small, and of course, I was going through some major problems with my vision.
Speaking of my vision, my eyes are in the act of "starting over." My right eye has been 20/20 since the surgery. My left eye was given a lens to help me to see close up and it is not nearly as good as the right--it was at around 20/50. However, it can see close up in a far better manner than the right. the big issues I am now having is that my brain needs to learn how to use both eyes together and that will happen slowly but surely. I will need some sort of glasses for reading because the left eye cannot read all things--like the Bible and the hymnal at church. Some print is just too small for the repaired vision to take on.
I had a tough week in many ways--we will be having our reading day on Thursday, but I absolutely backed out of things, except offering my presence to help do crowd control. I could not take on any of the prep work because I simply do not have any daytime time to do anything like phone calls. I am busy with children for every minute that children are at school and can participate in academics. Anyway, this is one of those weeks when I have double activities on multiple evenings--except they are scheduled in a way that I cannot do voth of them.
I may have to miss my weigh-in this week and that worries me. I gained a pound this week. That doesn't surprise me--not because I did any extra eating or less exercising, but because I had lost weight for each of the past nine weeks in a row. I figured that there was going to be a "leveling out week" coming my way, and this week was as good as any for that to happen. I am as on track as I have been and know that our body has to do the things it needs. However with less than 6 weeks until my hip replacement, I need to keep seeing that scale move downwards.
On that same topic, I am not making much progress to get the big ticket items ready for my surgery. I haven't been able to find a reading teacher who might sub for me. I haven't made a lot of headway on my holiday plans mostly because these cars in our lives continue to be not working correctly and they are costing a small fortune to fix. I have a lot to do around the house, but between my class and my job, that is hard as well. Add in my cataract surgeries that have taken a lot of attention lately and I am simply behind the eight ball. I did talk to my orthopedist's nurses on Friday and got a few answers to questions. That helped me a bit. I may be able to avoid the sub thing if I can get my doctor to let me work half days after holiday break, so I am going to ask him when I see him next.
This week, I have an appointment for my final hip injection on Tuesday with my anesthesiologist/ pain doctor. I also have class and reading night which conflict with my daughter's play and my weigh in. I don't like what I have to choose over what means the most to me this week. Maybe I can find a way out of some of what I don't want to do over what means the most to me. I am going to try to make that happen. All I can do is do my best given what this week has dished out.
It is time for me to get ready for work. That is also a new addition to this year. Our school district is actually working on Veteran's Day. I have a few moral issues over that, but they must have went through all of the hoops they must go through to keep school in session during a federal and state holiday. I am sure the argument is that the kids would celebrate it better in school than the majority of them do at home. I don't think we should be able to do this, but it is my guess that having a school year that ends on Friday is what has driven them. (Hmm, all of that will go away if we have just one snow day in the coming winter season...)
Have a great Monday--I have a lot to accomplish and each day will be packed full with a lot to do as the next several weeks unfold.
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