It has been a busy enough day for me. Church was wonderful--Palm Sunday is always a thoughtful service. We put flowers on the alter in honor of Matthew's birthday on Tuesday. I got a couple of great pots of tulips that I thought we might plant in the yard. That idea went south when I looked outside this morning and got a good look at our sweet new snow cover on the ground. Snow?? Really?? Again?? Geesh, I don't know when the wintry weather is coming to a halt, but I am going to assume this is winter's last hurrah. I hope the blooms stay nice and tight for next week because they will be pretty decorations for Easter as well--and then, we can transfer them into the front yard where the rest of the tulips are.
I had a good workout at the pool, and I am so thankful for feeling better in so many ways. My back has its limits. I can only do so much for so long as I find out every time I take on a household task, but things are still so much better. I am following the activities I do at physical therapy except now that they have discontinued work on my hip, I am pushing my legs a bit harder. They are managing things pretty well and i am trying to get my exercise back to the activities i was doing before my surgery. It is coming and i am succeeding at this, yay.
I am still chipping away at the chores I am working on here at home. Mason really gave me a hand with a lot of "stuff" today and I am getting things reorganized slowly but surely. I am thankful for the help I get when there are so many things the kids could be doing. Megan treated me to a haircut on Friday and together, we did some coloring today. Her hair is so short and mine is so thin that we could share a bottle of coloring and my gray is now gone again. I wish that my hair could come back with some thickness soon--anesthesia is hard on my hair and every time I have surgery, I lose hair for about 3-4 months with my hair falling out by the handful. It was never very thick in the first place and I am sure that the beating it gets from being in the chlorine every day doesn't much help it. Coloring doesn't help it either, but the gray isn't a pretty gray, it is a straggly gray and until it is a rich, pleasant color, i will color the gray away.
I started a new afghan for Miles today and he is quite pleased with it now that he has seen the colors I am using. I bought some camouflage yearn I found., it isn't my favorite, but he has an entire collection of camouflage clothing and accessories that he loves to death. I guess it does take all kinds, ha ha. The other kids aren't likely to swipe his afghan--and now they are all waiting for their own. I'll be busy enough for the next several months on these projects. I am glad to get back into this because it's another way for me to be too busy to be eating when I really don't need to be. I'll share some photos of Megan's afghan as well:
Tomorrow is our district-wide meeting day and the kids won't return until Tuesday. We will have a breakfast and a meeting at the high school in the morning and then at 10:30, we leave to go to our home school for other activities. I don't know what those might be at this point in time, but I am hoping that we do have a staff meeting to put things on the calendar for this final quarter. We have a lot of "stuff" for families and children in addition to the important need of meeting the kids' academic goals for the year. I just read a statistic that said US teachers spend 80% of their time in direct student contact as compared to other industrialized nations where the teachers spend 60% of their time in direct student contact hours. The problem with this statistic is that I don't know if those industrialized nations are the ones where the students might be achieving at a level the same or higher than ours--so I don't know how to take it. I know that I believe that when I can use my work hours in direct student contact, I am doing the work that is needed of me and that other things like planning and preparing for lessons need to be done in the time I cannot access students. This is why I work all day without a break or lunch period and why I am able to serve so many students. (I am wondering about the problem with not caring for myself better and may change some of this next year, especially when so many of my immediate colleagues are unlikely to appreciate the effort I give and make unreasonable demands of me with lots of unfair and unpleasant criticism. As our class sizes grow like crazy so that the Illinois school districts can balance their budgets on the backs of students and teachers rather than holding legislators accountable for a lot of mismanagement in the past, the students are more and more academically needy, qualifying for my service. The fact of the matter is that I cannot serve all of these children and I suspect that academics are going to need some changes within the classrooms themselves before the students become mine. Oh my, I wish I knew the answers to all of this. I don't know them right now.
In any case, I am returning to school physically improved and more well-rested than I have been in a while. This two week break has been a quiet one that hasn't had me working at school or tutoring, but I believe I have done a lot for my students just the same. Having me at my best is a definite positive for their well-being.
I know it is what is best for me and my loved ones.
Take care of yourselves...