Changing the world, One Teacher at a time.

Hello and welcome to my blog page! What made me decide to jump into the blogger world you might ask? My best friend, Esther! She got me started with her fabulous sight "Crowned with Laurel" about her families journey to find their children.

I am a very passionate individual that believes every child deserves the best I have to offer as a teacher and human being. It is my hope that I can be a model to all I meet by living a life of abundance with grace and integrity. My role model was my grandmother-Grandma B. She had love in her heart for everyone and taught me everything I know about sewing, quilting, life and love.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Baking Day, Sick Birthdays, and What comes around goes around

Well, baking day was a blast. Poor Sissy had the flu so she was out of the picture napping and watching cartoons. Lovey on the other hand was a hoot. I think she must have sat and did sugar cookies with me for about two hours. We rolled it, cut out the shapes and frosted a double batch of cookies. I don't think she even moved from her booster chair. it was great getting some one on one time with her so I could get to know her.

On a bummer note, I ended up spending my birthday with a high fever and chills. Just want I wanted for my birthday! Luckily it really didn't last so by the morning I at least felt half human.

On the Irony front, I have spent the last two weeks substituting for the teacher that I did my first student teaching with. I was within 8 days of completing my student teaching when he decided he was bored and wanted back in his classroom. His students never excepted me as an equal and had difficulty when we made the transition from my practicum experience to lead teacher. To make a long story short, I ended up having to redo my student teaching quarter as well as spend my summer taking classroom management classes and having to spend $4000 extra than I planned for. The good news is I got a fantastic mentor teacher the second time around and am so happy for it. Anyway, I purposely did not substitute for this teacher as I wasn't sure that I could trust this teacher. So I show up to sub in a fifth grade class and am told that I would be in a 1st grade class for a week. Unfortunately, there was no lesson plan and I had 15 minutes before the students showed up. Well we survived the first day, but the second day the assistant principal calls me in to tell me that the teacher I am subbing for is on paid administrative leave for misappropriation of school property/funds. Oh boy, I was really not happy after this little bit of info. All I can say is that is was an interesting two weeks. I had a great time with the kids and would have continued but, it looks like it is going to be a long haul and the parents are a bit hostal. Not my idea of a good time. Back to subbing here there and everywhere.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baking Day cometh

I am so excited! Esther and I are getting ready for our annual baking day. I am thinking of trying to find some new goodies to make with some of our standard favorites. Especially since StraightGuy and I will be hosting our extended family traditional Christmas Eve dinner at our house this year. Any suggestions????? All are welcome

My life in Old Lady stockings

Due to some really strange, unknown computer issues, I have been unable to get into my page, hence the long pause in writing.

Now that I am back to work, albeit a bit slowly, I have these wonderful knee high stockings that hold in everything. Compression stockings are what they are called. They remind me of things that my grandma would wear to help with the edema in her ankles. Hence the name Old Lady stockings! Hopefully I haven't offended anyone by that. I am thankful that I had the person I did to fit me. She was very charming and very thorough and as she has to wear support stockings all the time she shared some great knowledge about custom orders and how they come in different colors, sport socks, etc. This is a good thing as I will be wearing these for the rest of my life. I can't complain however, because they are actually really comfortable and I find that my ankles and feet don't ache like they used to before life with Old Lady stockings. My dear friend, Esther, reminded me of when she was pregnant with one of her boys and had to wear them-I think hers were pantyhose however and I understand that is a whole nother ballgame. She had quite the time getting them on and they were quite restrictive. I am VERY happy that this is not the case for me. I will take my knee highs any day over full on pantyhose compression stockings! Not to mention I get a kick out of showing off my "sexy old lady hose".

I was reminded last night of how much people missed me (that felt really, really good) since this was the first CoOp Council meeting I was able to attend since getting sick. It also mad me realize how blessed I am to regain my health and how wonderful it is to have people who care and pray for me. I was also reminded that I had neglected my duties as chairperson of the multiple committees that fall under my job-opps. I felt a little guilty but have put together a game plan to get on it first thing in January. Not to mention that the Co-Chair of the counsel is a complete blessing and has offered to help me with it and help with anything I need-I love that lady. She is a grandma who has offered her time to meet her daughters obligation to the CoOp while her daughter goes to school, so that her grandkids can benefit from the CoOp. She is cool and goes by Mimi (her grandkids word for grandma) by everyone at the school. She reminds me a lot of a younger version of my own beloved Grandma B., loving and kind and concerned about everyone as if they were her own children/grandchildren. I wish more people like that lived in this world so that those who long for and deserve a loving grandparent/parent relationship could have one. I guess that is what makes it nice when we can create our own family of choice.

I was reminded of this when I was talking to Esther yesterday about issues with her selfish sister and neglectful parents. I do not say that lightly, and I do not say these things to be mean. I just cannot honestly describe her childhood with these people as anything but neglectful emotionally and in some cases physically. My heart was breaking as she was telling me about how "put out" her sister was when she called her on the carpet about some of the selfish crase things she has done and accuses her of "constantly bringing up hurtful, spiteful childhood issues from the past." Part of me is callous and reminds myself of the mean nickname I had given her sister when we were in high school because of the rediculous sacrifices Esther made in order to make her sister more comfortable and "special". In reality it was just another example of how two messed up parents allowed their extremely selfish younger daughter run their lives as well as deprive Esther of the basic human necessities and love most healthy people get as teens and young adults. The funny thing is. Esther has processed out of all this and has grown tremedously into an incredible human being and it is the rest of the family that feels threatened by her happiness and trys to blame her for their own unhappiness. Luckily, Esther is so much healthier that she does not allow this garbage to become her own, but gentle puts it back where it belongs, on them. Unfortunately, this results in limited relationship for Esther, but as I pointed out to her yesterday. This truly does free her to focus on her immediate family and her extended family of choice who love her unconditionally, pray for her, and support her in her triumphs and struggles.

I guess that is why God puts people like Mimi in our lives. So that we know that there are people we can count on to help us through, to celebrate our victories, to lift us up, and give us someone to lift up. I still believe in praying for those in our bio family, even if we don't have a healthy relationship with them, but that doesn't mean we need to be pulled down into their self made mire.

Wow, I guess I have had a lot on my mind tonight. Cheers to all and remember to take time out for you this busy season.

As wonderful, spiritual, giving, and loving Mother Teresa was, as it shows in her personal diaries, she had no living person to fill her up when she was empty. She turned to her diaries to give honor to her doubts and shortcomings (or at least what she thought were her shortcomings). Even someone as pure and wonderful as she had times when she needed to get out the negative things that plagued her.

Find something that fills you back up so that you can be ready to be a beacon of light to others and so that your pitcher never runs out.

Love and Prayers for now...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Monday

First and Foremost I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our military and their families. As those who know me, know that I could never do what they do, sacrifice time from my family and to be that wife waiting at home wondering if I am going to end up a widow with children to raise on my own. I have more respect for your decisions and admiration for your willingness to give of yourselves for the benefit of me and our entire nation. I am truly grateful and ask that God keeps you safe from harm until you are united again with your families. I know that this is a day late, but as we are acknowledging Veteran's Day today, I thought it only fitting to say thanks in this post.

My heart is so very full today. I have had an opportunity to rest for three weeks and I never would have taken that in my crazy life. I have discovered some wonderful books, such as the entire Redemption Series by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley, and at Esther's suggestion, Leaving the Saints. I have even caught up on some paperwork that needed attention. I guess it took an illness to make me realize I needed to take a step back and regroup. I also got to spend some great restful time with my mom. I love that she is willing to jump in and help with the house and the kids. I am very thankful for her. I see that it is now my turn to be that helping hand for my beloved friends who do not have mom's nearby. I hope that I can be just a little light to shine in their lives.

Yesterday, I was in Sunday School and the topic was Kierkigaard, whom I had heard plenty about, but never really investigated. It was a bit confusing, but also reaffirming in some ways. I would like to pursue some more of his writings. I also love that "family" that I have at church. We travel a considerable way to go to our church, but it is the church I was born into and my mom and uncle still attend. Our children have possitive role models and mentors there and it is a great and loving place. Like Esther, I would love to get involved with small groups, but find it difficult to manage with the distance. We have talked about moving closer, but we love the community we live in. Such a delemia. I would imagine that God will shine a light on which path we should choose as he always does, just a matter of keeping our hearts open.

My best friend, Esther, and her daughters had a wonderful Girls Shower this weekend! I had to laugh, because every since we heard that the girls were coming home, I had thought about throwing a party for them, I just haven't been sure about how, when etc. I really felt that I needed to wait until the girls had an opportunity to bond with the family and felt it was important to spend the initial time period just as themselves. Man, was that tough-I can honestly tell you that I cried as I pulled up to the house the first time and saw Sissy playing in the yard with her. My boys must have thought I was crazy when I was yelling "there she is, there she is, there's Sissy!" at the top of my lungs.

The funny thing is, I have always wanted to do something Princess or tea party. and that was the theme for the church party. Great minds think alike. I went on line and did some research and found out, yes it is good to throw a party as well as appropriate. So I got to thinking after reading Esther's post, what if I throw a Finalization Celebration for the whole family. I know my mom would be a huge help and would love to do it. And, I think that this would be a great cause for celebration.

What do you think? I haven't even mentioned it to Esther. Any suggestions or ideas on doing this? This would also give me until Spring to put it together. Looking forward to ideas etc.

Monday, November 5, 2007 least for a few hours

Yeah, I got to go out today for a bit...okay, I know that sounds hokey, but hey, being confined to the couch is tough to do when you like to get up and go all the time. Happily, I can say I got up and went today-shhh don't tell my doc.

Having decided we needed to go to Costco-pretty much the place my husband and I do the majority of our grocery shopping, since three males in this house can consume way more than we could keep up with in the normal stores, my mom and I decided if we used the electric carts technically I would not be on my foot, so off we went. Since we were out it gave me the opportunity to mail a package from the post office (along with my mom's ballot), and hit the library for Smiley's movie that was on hold and Stretches next book in the series he is reading. Having done both of these errands it was off to Costco.

This was actually a pretty good time to do this. We hit lunch first-where else can you feed two people including drinks for less than $4.00-Yippee! Then it was a short wait for two electric carts. I got mine first-I know that sounds silly but to cover Costco when you aren't supposed to be up and around, well, this was so much easier. Not more than 10 minutes later my mom was on her own cart cruising the Christmas isles. (My mom has a perminent disability and cannot walk more than about 20 feet at a time). Happily, we quickly got our shopping done and were off back to home. My ankle and foot was fairly swollen, but I promise I will not get up from the couch tomorrow. (I just realized I have a school board meeting tonight I should go to-darn!)

So, my question is, should I really have gone to Costco today and utilized the electronic cart? Technically, I can walk now with minimal discomfort, it is the low grade fever and swelling that are keeping me on the couch - okay, not to mention that my leg still has the lovely reddess and heat. Anyway, what do you think-I felt a little weird really...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Leaving the Saints book review

Having finished the book by Martha Beck, Leaving the Saints, I thought this would be a good time to give it a bit of a review. I really liked the style in which Ms. Beck writes. She tends to be a bit cynical in some of her verbiage, but it is understandable considering the hideous childhood this woman lived through.

I found myself fascinated most, I believe, by some of the rituals, rules, and guidelines Mormon's live by. Wow, It was interesting to see the warmth, and the supportive environment she describes when she and her family moved back to Provo, Utah from Boston. Having known first hand the blunt (to say the least) demeanor of many East Coast personalities, I could see why she felt so welcome coming back to Utah. The contrast however after her husband and then she herself, left the church could best be described as a 180 degree turn around. I also found some of the "temple marriage" pieces to be interesting as well, although I think that the author omitted quite a bit, as she said that she was sworn to secrecy or fear being "disemboweled"-okay in my book that means cutting out someones internal organs. Uhh, painful?

My warning goes out to any incest or sexual abuse survivors as these are dealt with in this narrative. This topic is the backbone of the story as it centers around an afternoon of information gathering she embarks on with her abusive -now 90 something -father with her cousins hidden nearby to serve as her witnesses.

Personally, I am not a supporter of Mormonism as I find it to be chock full of inconsistencies, falsehoods, and too much control over the lives of its followers. Okay, I know that is a little harsh, but I tend to get a "weird" inclination when I hear of a incident of entire article topics disappear from microfiche when you can find them in any other state in the United States. No offence to anyone who is Mormon, but that just reminds me too much of Big Brother. No thanks!

Weigh in on this, especially if you have read this book and want to discuss it. I am interested in hearing what others thought of it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Movin on down the road

As I was waking up this morning, I realized that I had spent an aweful long time complaining about my hospital adventure lately and not much time on my favorite topic-self-improvement, professional development. (Translation: What helps a teacher be a better teacher-or person for that matter). So I have decided to got "my train back on track" as one of my kids favorite teacher always says whenever she digresses.

So the benefit of being stuck on the couch has been the opportunity for uninterupted reading time. I have enjoyed 3 Karen Kingsbury novels for pleasure reading (I have decided to go back to the beginning and actually read the books they way they were written) and Yesterday I just picked up a Leaving the Saints by Martha Beck which was recommended to me by my dear friend, Esther. I also have various tech books/magazines I get from ASCD (a teacher magazine that has some great inovative teaching ideas etc.) and Educational Horizons from Pi Lambda Theta (Educations Honor Society). I rather enjoy reading a few different books at a time which is not always easy, but something I picked up long ago.

I love to read and have since discovered that they best way to teach how proficient readers read, is to study my own reading habits and learn along with the children. There are so many wonderful techniques that work well with Guided Reading, I love trying them out. Something I read really stuck out to me however, that is, how can we expect our students to gain deeper understanding of what they are reading by using the techniques etc. that we teach them, unless we first look at our own reading and use the same techniques and principles. Ahh lightbulb moment.

I am a huge proponent for adult book studies and had I taken the library job at one of my favorite schools, I had already been plotting to introduce a book "club" of sorts for the teachers using "fun" reading to practice Guided Reading and to help them get in touch with their own reading understanding. I would imagine this will still be something I will probably do whereever I finally end up teaching on a full time basis.

Oh, I should probably tell those of you who are not teachers, Guiding Reading is just a trade name for a process of demonstrating the skill you want the students to learn with text that is a little harder than what they could do on their own, then giving them a chance to practice the skill with the teachers help using text that is closer to what they can read on their own, then finally releasing the students to use the skill in their own level of reading, then finally bringing the students back to discuss the use of the skill, do any "tweaking" that might need to be done, etc, and celebrate the successful use of the new skill by the students as they take what they learned and apply it to new text. It is really amazing to see this in action. The students gain such a deeper understanding of what they are reading. I am still amazed by the level of conversation my 10 year old and I now have over whatever book he is currently reading. He has such deeper understanding of the characters and what is happening in the story lines that it is fun to watch him get so excited about reading. I see this so often in many of the students who have taken part in this approach to literacy. Truly inspiring...

Any thoughts, ideas that have worked for you, examples of how you approach literacy? Please share.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Follow up Update

Well, so much for getting back to temp was a little over 100 and the swelling and heat was still more than my doctor would like, so it's back to the couch for me. Luckily, there was another Karen Kingsbury novel at the library. Hopefully reading will keep me out of trouble for a while.

I am beginning to think that StraightGuy isn't too excited about having to do laundry, etc. My mom has taken over most of the cooking and the dishes, etc., but has left him the laundry-not much ironing happening that's for sure. hahaha

Oh well, I for one will not look a gift horse in the mouth-I am very appreciative of all that he is doing to help out-not that I didn't chuckle when Stretch made the comment last night "FINALLY, I have clean clothes"

Smiley just chews me out everytime I get up and walk around-such a cutie!

Day three and Happy Halloween

Well, there I was mourning the loss of a great roommate when what do you know, they move me down the hall-okay so what that it was 10:30am at night, hey it was a lot quieter down there and the gentleman they switched me with needed to be closer to the nurses' station. Personally, I did not mind at all. I got the first great night sleep since I had been in the hospital and woke up feeling pretty good.

Well, that changed bright and early when the brought me a new roommate. She was pretty small and elderly, at least so she looked as I made my way to the restroom later that morning. Unfortunately, she was also detoxing and had a mouth like a longshoreman. As I was on the phone with my pastor I was silently praying that she would continue to stay asleep so that the profound utterances she had shouted all morning would not be overheard by my pastor.

My poor uncle came to visit me and experieced first hand her tirade whenever they tried to wake her or ask her questions. Basically they ended up giving her a one-on-one with one of the certified nursing assistance that got to hang out with her while she slept/complained/etc. Not very exciting but less stressful to me and probably the whole rest of the floor.

Needless to say I was jumping for joy when the doctor came in and told me I could go home. You could not get me out of there fast enough. I think at this point I will do whatever my doctor asks as long as he doesn't put me back in the hospital....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Day 2 and a nice neighbor

Happily I can say my Type 1 diabetic neighbor was discharged on day two of my stay. This left me with some peace and quiet for rest. I took advantage when I could by found it difficult as I was still in pain/feverish not to mention overly tired.

Day 2 evening brought a nice lady and her husband. He was very doting and sweet, he even stayed the night, choosing to sleep upright with his head on her bed-aahhh. I even enjoyed listening as he read to her from the Bible to pass time and help her with her pain. She never really complained but had been sick for about 3 months-poor baby-and came in with an absessed tooth. Wow-what was an absessed tooth turned out to be suspected MRSA-for those who don't know that is the newest craze going around of highly contagious, highly resistant virus. Luckily it is most commonly spread orally-whew, since they had been taking her vitals for the last 24 hours then taking mine with the same blood pressure cuff and oxygen meter-gee thanks. To make a long story short, she was quickly whisked down to a private room on the 5th floor after the couple happened to mention the doctor had brought up the possible diagnosis of MRSA that afternoon, but neglected to tell anyone else-including the nurses. That's so nice. I don't think our nurse was very pleased with our doctor as there was about a 6 hour time lag between the possible diagnosis given and the patient being isolated-HUM opps! I would say maybe that wasn't the case, but unfortunately with walls made of fabric curtains, I too heard the misterious diagnosis of MRSA-not that I knew what it was at the time. Apparently, when her dad came to visit her in the hospital that evening it was brought up that another family member had recently had it and that her dad urged her to make sure the nurses knew. Boy did that start things moving pretty fast.

So that was the end of my nice neighbor-boo hoo. I would have kept them around if I could just so long as they didn't give me any more whining drug seekers-my pounding head couldn't take it anymore.

Life in the hospital was looking up, or so I thought...

Monday, October 29, 2007

12 hours later and no relief in sight

Well, there I was happily laying in my nice comfy hospital bed with nice warm blankets on me with a raging temperature. Now by this time I had had one bottle of water since breakfast and it was about 10 pm-oh wait, that nice walk in doc did decide to stick me with one dose of antibiotics in the hip-like that could do any good-at least he tried.

Imagine my further shock when the nurses apologized and said that they really wanted to help me but could not so much as give me an Tylenol until they had doctors orders-this also included WATER! Okay, I can understand the Tylenol, but water. Remember I had been feverish and near delusional all afternoon so it was difficult for me to speak loudly let alone look at anyone. I kept my eyes closed at this point-partly to use yoga meditation to control my leg pain, but also because my head was pounding and the light was killing my eyes.

Not long after I got there they wheeled in an interesting lady who's husband probably stayed for 5 minutes once she was admitted and settled into her bed-something about uncontrolled diabetes type I and she kept crying and asking for her pain meds, hum, after she started listing her ails and the laundry list of narcotics she was taking and would prefer, I quickly realized this was more than likely a narcotic "fix" visit for her. Love those drug seekers. I do genuinely believe that the lady was in pain but to not go to your doctor to get your insulin refilled because you didn't want to pay a copay seems a little stupid, hum more like the doc would not refill any of her meds until she came in to review all the narcotics she was taking.

As all this was going on I was still patiently waiting for the doctor who what supposed to have gotten all the admitting arranged. When he did finally show, imagine my shock when he had very little knowledge as to why I was there. Great! The night had just gotten better. As I was trying to recount the day to give him the details, he lost patience and just wanted the facts-never mind that I was telling him what happened the last time I had gotten cellulitis and hadn't headed the doctors desire to put me in the hospital. Finally, that was finished and I finally got my water, and ice packs under my arms, and warm towels wrapped around my arms (they were trying to get one of my dehydrated veins to pop out so they could tap it for my hep-loc for my IV) Nice, now you say you want a vein. Eventually they did find one in my hand. Happily my nurse felt that she would not be successful at starting the IV line so she asked another nurse to assist her-thank you LORD-at least the IV was placed without any major catastrophe.

Believe it or not, it took the doc quite a while to write orders in my chart so that they could actually start the IV-but by then the Tylenol was starting take effect and the ice was bringing down my temp a bit. I think it was actually about 1:30am before they actually started the first IV of fluids then about 15-20 minutes later before they added the first of the two antibiotics. Finally, my poor mother headed for home-exhausted and promising to come back tomorrow later in the morning as she was sleeping in.

I finally dozed off into oblivion between the nurses taking my vitals and my roommates snoring and whimpering for drugs. Aah the life of Riley-Yeah right!

Oh and I can happily say I can now walk on my foot most of the time without too much pain and my headaches have stopped=YEAH!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy to be out of Hospital Land

I guess now would be a good time to start with the hospital. Hum, okay, so the hospital is very well kept, the nurses and nurses aides are fabulous, BUT. Did you notice that big but. Let's look at just the process of getting into the hospital shall we.
After convincing myself that I would rather nip whatever this thing was quickly in the bud this time rather than have it get bad then having to suffer through, I was completely relieved when the nice walk in doc who discovered my high white count and rapidly increasing symptoms - Uh it took you all day to figure this out-said everything was all ready for me at the hospital, bed, antibiotics etc.

Imagine my suprise when we got to said hospital and my poor diabetic, physically disabled mother who had been pushing me all over the place all afternoon had to yet again, get a wheelchair and push me into the hospital-what ever happened to orderlies? Unfortunately, by this time the swelling and sensitivity made it next to impossible to walk. Did I mention pain. Minor detail.

Well, off we went to the admitting desk and the nice polite lady tells us we have to go around to the ER admitting part of the desk. Hum okay-We explained to her everything was supposed to be arranged (in my delusional high temp I forgot that the hospital was not part of the huge conglomerate that is my doc's office). Luckily, my dear mother thought to bring in my purse when she went back out to park the car. So it was paperwork and questions. Nothing new since it had been a while since I had had to go to the hospital. I guess I was due. In the course of all this StraightGuy calls-he was manning the home front/kid department- to say someone from Smiley's school kept calling demanding I call her back tonight-I will get to that story in another post-so basically my mood was a little testy. Mind you I did not lose my temper or shout at anyone-I did not have the energy for any of that and was just praying for this nightmare to end.

Well, we finally got the paperwork settled and the nice lady tells us which bed is waiting for me and if we can find it okay or need some assistance. Hum-you would think one look at me half coherent and my poor bedraggled mom and she would have an answer to that one-but no-so I said "get someone to help". That was a mistake. I think it was 20-30 minutes before someone showed up to push me up stairs in a 5 minute ride-oh sorry for disturbing your nap-okay that was a little mean but hey it hurt! and no I did NOT say that out loud. To make matters worse, as we were backing up from the admission desk to go park it in the waiting room, an orderly comes whipping through the path behind my mom and loudly says "Behind you, I have the right of way". Well my jaw could have dropped to the floor on that one. I was NOT happy. My thoughts here were somewhere along the lines of "I am about to tell you where you can put your right of way" Once again, I did not say that out loud.

Well, eventually I did get upstairs and into a nice soft bed with lots of nice warm out of the heater blankets (by then I was toting a fever of 102.9). I was so happy because this had to be where they were ready to start the IV antibiotics and Tylenol and I could maybe get some sleep. Okay, maybe not, but that is part of the next part of the story.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

3 days in the hospital...

and more gratitude than you could ever imagine. Yes I had a little side trip to the hospital and I am now very thankfully home! I am still pretty much flat on my back but much more happier to be this way at home.

So what in the heck you ask? Well, Monday was a very interesting day for me. It all started with a very sensitive sore knee that I thought I must have slept wrong etc. I was substituting in one of my favorite classes for a half day and was doing quite well when I noticed my knee was really bugging me. As the morning progressed the area behind my knee began to hurt worse and my calf had a bit of an ache to it. As my day was finishing up I thought "No biggy" and worked it a bit hoping to losen up any kinks. Well, low and behold about a half an hour before my half day was to end I started to feel a little chilly. This did not sit well with me at all as I had a rather unconfortable episode of cellulitis in this same particular foot a few years ago and it was not exactly something I have liked to repeat. Ironically, I had just discussed this episode with a dear fellow from church on Sunday who had picked up a little friend on his way home from Tijajia on a Mission trip the previous week and had to deal with the same thing-cellulitis caused by a bacterial infection that entered into his foot by an open cut. Hum interesting, since I still recalled the wonderful pain which accompanied this, he and I were comparing notes.

Wouldn't you know the next day I would wind up with the same thing-go figure-in the same leg as last time-go figure. Unforturnately, I know it was cellulitis or a blood clot by 4 pm Monday as I noticed when I put my leg up on the exam table to be ultrasounded the beautiful tell tale red on my calf. As I informed the Ultrasound tech (once she ruled out a blood clot) that she needed to "grab a pen right now and mark where the redness ends because this thing is going up my leg before you blink". She reluctantly did it although she made some snide comment about my wanting her to play doctor and mark my leg. To make this already overly long day better, when she called the doc who ordered the ultrasound back they told her to have me go all the way back to my town where there was a three hour wait for a walk in clinic-Uh no. I pretty much became slightly baligerent at that time and gave her the list of events that would now take place once this lovely redness had reared it's uglyness. With a bit of contempt she checked the local walk in which had half the wait time and was right across the street. We opted for across the street.

By this time I had a raging fever and was really getting a bit tired of everyone dilly daling. Luckily when I told the receptionist what was going on and what the next steps of my symptoms would be she was nice enough to pass this on to the nurse, so they did do there best to get me in.

Mind you I had spent very little time with my leg up at this time with an ever increasing blood pressure and temperture. I loved the nurse who said "82 over 133, that's pretty good". I think she was having a difficult time understanding that my mom and I were telling the truth when we both tried to tell her that I have LOW blood pressure and that this was EXTREMELY HIGH for me. The nice thing was the triage nurse at this clinic finally realized that my leg was looking a bit swollen and that maybe sitting around all day in a wheelchair wasn't helping it much. DUH! Oh did I mention how painful it is to walk when this occurs.

Now we were looking at about 8pm and very little resolution. Up until this point I hadn't eaten since breakfast, nor had anything to drink this of course is just fantastic when you have a raging fever. (Not to mention people asking that same dumb questions over and over again). At least the walk in doc had some sense when he took some blood and realized-gee her white count is 203,000 and this infection has spread rather quickly up her leg. His thoughts-send me to the hospital. We were told that there was a bed waiting for me and everything was set-hum-that is a whole nother story for us to explore. Well, we got to the hospital about 9 ish, I think I finally made it up to the room and layed there barely coherent with fever describing the events of the day, symptoms, past occurance, past coarse of treatment yet again only to repeat it again at 12:30am to the on call doc that was supposed to have everything ready for me-HUH? As there were no doctor orders until after this joker finally saw me in the wee hours of the am, not so much as a Tylenal or even water was allowed. Warm blankets thankfully were so at least that problem was being addressed.

Since shift change came right before the doctor came, it was quite a while before his orders were written, IV antibiotics were ordered, water was given, oh, and did I mention water-and the nurse was wondering why she was having such a difficult time finding a vein and called someone else to put in my IV cathiter-Duh. Good thing I was so hard to understand by this point and too exhausted to fight. Well the IV was finally started about 1:30ish am on Tuesday morning-well more than 12 hours after this fun little adventure started. Then there was the adventures in the hospital but that's another story...

My leg is just starting to heal (with the type of infection I have, it literally "burned" my skin from the inside out so now it is blistering in some areas and turning black in others-I know it sounds so pretty). I can live with the "grossness", it's the pain with any pressure and the sever swelling that makes it tough. Since I do not take narcotics for pain, I tend to avoid as much pain as possible and go for the couch route with crutches for mandatory movement! hahaha

There has also been an interesting side affect of headaches, but that is more than likely remnents of the fever/infection. The good news is my fever is slowly going down and I should be normal before too long-oh wait, I guess that means I would have had to be normal in the first place =-) haha For this, Tylenol is my new best friend, happily it only seems to be really bugging me to much around evening, but then again-I haven't been home with a couple of goofy boys for three days so we'll see how things are going.

Stay tuned for more of the many zany adventures of my last three days...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Power of the winning team and lessons from the losing team

Stretch is really a great football player. He has taken suggestions, practiced hard, and really began to hone his craft. I am really impressed at how much he has put into this. Unfortunately, his team has only won one game this whole session. With one more game to go, it doesn't look to be a very promising season. Personally, I am very proud of the effort and improvement the entire team has made! Funny the coach said it would probably be the second to the last game before they start playing as a team. He was right. Last Tuesday's game was incredible. The boys were playing as a solid team. Granted they still did not win, but they have bonded, supported, and really become a team. I had to smile when I overheard the coach telling the boys about one of their team members was having a difficult time in one of his classes as there was another student who was tormenting him and he was reacting and getting in trouble so he was disqualified to play in the game. The coach was asking the boys to help him out and look out for him so that when the person who was bothering him started in, they would help him make the right decision and walk away. The heartwarming part was that the two boys that have the same class with this boy, eagerly agreed to support him. WOW! Suddenly, I did not worry so much about my son and if he was making friends and getting along in school.
More importantly than winning a football game, my son has found a place at school where he belongs and has friends and teammates who will support and stand beside him in what can many times be a challenging time in life. Oh speaking of which-check out this link it is so Stretch at this point in his life.
So do I think Smiley has the better end of the deal because his soccer team is undefeated-I don't think so. Maybe it is Stretch and his losing football team that has gained more this year.
I don't know-weigh on this one and tell me what you think!

So I'm not a computer genius

But hey I do try...
I was so frustrated because Esther had a great post and I could not publish it because I could not get my computer to open up the window. Silly computer, I know I know, it's probably the operator, but I swear I did not do anything different and it all the sudden works again. Go figure. Anyway, I am exhaused, but happy. I have not taken a day off for about two weeks, have laundry piled up, the bathrooms need to be cleaned BADLY, but I have seen the kids I started off teaching this year at least once a week and gotten at least two dozen hugs a day from said cherubs.
My own kids are doing very well. Busy with soccer and football, jazz band and leadership. Man I swear if either one of them join any other groups or clubs I think I will lose it.
Life is good.
Check out this link-hilarious article
Don't forget to stop by Esther's blog as well. She has been so busy but happier than I have ever experienced her! Never Move Again

Monday, October 1, 2007

Monday, Monday or something like that

Can you believe I got a call at 7am this morning to work at 7:30am. Hum, NO! Normally, I could have done it but considering I just woke up, no. It was at one of the middle schools that I hadn't worked at yet so I wasn't too gung ho anyway.

I think that as I am already scheduled to work three days this week, I am not too worried about working today. Actually, I got some housework done, relaxed a bit, finished the laundry. All those lovely things I never get a chance to do. How do people manage a family of 4, a house, work, cook decent meals, not go crazy. Any suggestions other than hiring a maid-sorry out of my budget.

Stretch has his third football game tomorrow. He has turned into quite the football animal-he loves to tackle and for such a skinny guy it takes quite a few guys to bring him down. So far they have lost their games, but not for the lack of trying. We find it interesting that the coach continues to call the same plays even after they have proven to be unsuccessful. Any thoughts on this?

Friday, September 28, 2007

So Much for Getting Some Rest...

Well, I am so very excited that my dear friend Esther has enlarged her family by two. Check out her awesome blog page I am anxiously awaiting their family to bond so I can meet Sissy and Lovey. It is hard to believe it took three years, many tears, many many frustrations, but in the end it was all worth it-what a blessing for this fantastic family.

I was looking forward to taking a few days off after my first full time teaching gig, but it was just not to be...believe it or not I got calls for the day after and the Thursday following my last day. Wednesday I took off, just to re-adjust to subbing/full time mom etc. and Thursday was Stretch's first football game. More on that later. I did fill in for my good friend the Kindie teacher Friday and Monday, then again yesterday for half the day-I love those little buggers! Got tons of hugs from her kids from last year as I had filled in for her many times once I had my certificate. REALLY LOVE THAT! Nothing like a gunormous hug from a 1st grader to make your day! I am loaded up all ready for Tuesday with my boys' 2nd grade teacher than it's back to Princi-Pal's school for Thursday and Friday. I think I like filling in at the same schools the best because you really get to know the kids.

Stretch's first football game was fantastic-wow he is such a good player-unfortunately the other team was HUGE! I think they must hold back their seventh graders or being in a farming community really does produce bigger kids-something though-I have never seen such big 7th graders. Sad to say they lost 21-0, but it was very exciting none the less. Oh well, there is always another game.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quilting, Flowers and Adopted Grandmothers

I almost forgot that our "adopted" grandmother had asked if I would tie three quilts for her. Of course I said yes. I will post her beautiful work once I finish tying the last one. Of course she dropped a little bomb right after this...she told us she was tired of living alone-minus her cat, Snuggles of course-and was moving into the same elderly apartment building her friend (my beloved deceased Grandma B) had lived in. This is a huge relief as she just turned 93 in April and we have very worried about her living where she was. Halllalllllllloooooouuuuuuyyyyyyaaaa! One less thing to worry about.
I told her I would finish the quilts and bring them back to her once she moves into her new pad. She has already been to one of their socials and figured out she knows 3 people from our church who live there-have you ever seen a 93 year old woman excited! Quite a site. Anyway, as she will no longer have a patio at the new place-guess who gets her flower boxes! Yippeee now if I can only keep them alive. StraightGuy was not too pleased when we picked them up on Saturday-the back of the truck was pretty much filled. He even tried to pass some off on my mom, my brother, my ex-sister-in-law, strangers on the street, but alas, I caboshed that-these are my flowers darn it-adopted grandma gave them to me and I am so excited to have them-how dare he give them away. My poor mom said she didn't dare take any as she would end up with a crazy mad daughter on her hands. Oh well, hopefully I can grow a green thumb and keep them alive-I just wasn't ready to give any away until I have a chance to decide which ones I really want. Gee Whiz give me a day or two or a week to decide would you.

Where in the world is One Teacher...

I know, I know I have been gone for a bit and you have been wondering if I fell off the face of the earth. Glad to know that I am still loved and missed. lol Actually, a funny thing happened on the way to "Smiley's" school. I got a call from the HR director of the district I interviewed for the librarian job. She left a message saying that the principal of said school was requesting me to come in starting the next day (mind you this would be the first day of school for that district) to teach in the library. First thought, hum, now why would they want me to teach in the library when they just hired someone to do just that, hum. Don't mind me I was just a little baffled by this. I know the principal is not missing something in her brain so I figured the HR director had some screws loose-this would not be the first time I questioned the capacity of said director-Anywho, I called her back and said "sure, I would be glad to come in and to tell the wonderful requesting principal (gee it's nice to be wanted) that I would be at her school EARLY the next morning to get the WHOLE story.
Good thing, as I thought, Princi-Pal did have a totally different plan that somehow the HR director didn't quite understand-mind you-Prinici-Pal had been negociating this deal since May-an item I did not know about until further snooping had acurred later. The deal was they wanted a fourth specialist (ie PE, Music, Library, ME) that would teach STEPS TO RESPECT, this is a great safety/communications/civics curriculum that I had seen, purused, knew of buy had not specifically taught as of yet-no biggy for me. The assistant Princi-Pal (bless her wonderful heart) was frantically typing up my lesson plan while head honcho and I spoke that I would impliment with all grades focusing on the rules and consequences for the school-what I like to affectionately call "Guidelines for Success". Starting a curriculum from scratch is right up
my alley (I am just kooky, creative, and crazy enough to do it)
So off I trot to my little portable with a box full of student handbooks and a rubberband encased set of pencils-what every new teacher needs with less than 30 minutes to prepare for their first class of the year. Luckily, many of the students remembered my as "library lady" from the end of last year.
Needless to say, I don't know if I should be honored or worried that the first person the Prici-Pal team came up with when they were looking for someone who could "hit the ground at the last minute running" and make this work. I laugh now, but man what a whirlwind this created.
After speaking with the head HR on Tuesday night I immediately called my mom to ask her to move back in with us to help with "Smiley" and his school transport etc. Thank goodness she was home and not on a business trip! With her rolling into the driveway at 7:30am on Wednesday morning I was out the door and moving. I guess today was the first day I had to stop and reflect on where I have been and what I did.
After two weeks, which was the initial commitment, at least until the district would look at the enrollment numbers and tell Princi-Pal or not that she would have a 4th specialist for the entire year-I am sad to say the district said "NO".
Many, many people (kids, parents, EA's, teachers, admin) are very sad-especially the teachers who were not so gung ho to be teaching the actual STEPS TO RESPECT curriculum-were not happy about this decision, but alas-can't do what the district doesn't want to pay for, no matter how much a benefit it was to the kids. Once again, Princi-Pal challenged me to rise above my comfort level and take a new adventure that truly taught me more about who I am as a teacher and why I am so passionate about what I do. Yesterday was tough, but in the long run this is just not my year to have a full time gig and still meet the needs of StraightGuy, Stretch, and Smiley. I am however already scheduled to sub in one of the 2nd grade classes at said school so the kids won't miss me for too long!! hehehehehe

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Electronic BooBoo and No Job for Me

Well, I did not get the job I interviewed for. In some ways I feel a little relieved, but then I am also a little disappointed. I prayed for guidence as I really, really don't know where I should teach, if I should have a classroom, or if I should substitute. In many ways this has answered the question about wether I should be a school librarian.
The good news is I have made a good impression on the three people I interviewed with and the principal has encouraged me to keep an eye on the job postings. She feels that I am an excellent fit for their district, and the deciding factor was the other candidate had a background in library science (which was one of the reasons I was a little leary about the job in the first place). The other good news is that this was a great opportunity for me to get back in the interview "swing". I really have not had to formally interview in so long that the opportunity was well worth it. I am thinking of contacting the principal back and asking her for feedback from the interview. I know I really need to focus more on my recent accomplishments and connect with some of the key objectives of the district/school just from my own reflection of how the interview went. So overall, I am still feeling pretty good. I know that I always have substituting to keep the funds coming in and keep the experiences fresh.
Now for the more costly electronic booboo...I did not complete my online application for the second district I was applying for (duh, no wonder I wasn't getting called for interviews) no one saw my file because it wasn't uploaded. I must have missed the final submit button. The bummer part of this is that I had applied for two jobs at my son's school, which I would have enjoyed, but have closed and been filled without my application being considered. I have been reasurred that there are still postings going out and up at that district so I won't worry too much. Plus I know that with district boundaries changing next year and a new school opening, there will be positions opening up all over the district as teachers flock to teach at the new school.
I guess you could say "I've been schooled" in the last few days. But like everything else, I have learned many valuable lessons; such as to double check the application before the job closes and don't been prudent with talents and accomplishments in an interview.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Waves of a Pebble

I am completely unable to put into words how disgusted I am at the Pacific Northwests Adoption/foster system. Today, Ella Bella is supposed to be taken from the only "parents" she has known. The pebble was cast because of a jealous mother who was angry that her son would rather live with his dad on a regular basis, sighting the fact that Ella Bella and her sisters don't have a mom and they need him. Now the waves have turned into tidal waves (to make a long story short).
The mom decided to make claims that were not true about my ex sister in laws husband (her ex) so that the foster system believed that they should not be Ella Bella's parents. Since then the sister in law has had to decide between having garbage from her divorce to my brother brought up, which my niece and nephew don't know about, and a beautiful 9 month old little girl who has been with them since she was 2 weeks old, all out of a favor.
The worse part is Ella's aunt who was going to take the oldest sister was hysterical about Ella Bella going into the foster system and being lost that she begged her fiance to take Ella too. He has made it clear from the beginning that he had no intentions to take on Ella Bella too. The result is he called off the wedding, leaving the aunt so distraught, since she does not feel capable of taking care of the older girl on her own. Wow, one person's jealousy has made so many disastrous results to so many families.
How do you heal from this?
We got this news while we were on vacation, but the reality really hit home last night. I brought Ella Bella her quilt (we call them GEEs in our family). This came from my nephew not being able to say "blanky" when he was a baby. See related post for history of the Grandma B Gee. I should have written a note to go with it. I guess I am just in denial that Ella Bella will be taken away. Sister in law is going to look for a picture of Grandma B to give to the new foster mom to put in her baby book. Maybe I can write a letter now and send it.
I am so frustrated. Stupid DSHS. Gerrrrr.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Vacation, all I ever wanted...

Okay-Indo was just way too hot for me. We are talking 114 degrees with hot breezes with no escape!!! Way too much for me. Now Oceanside, this is more my speed. It is in the upper 70's with nice cool breezes and we are about a 5 minute walk from the beach. And the beach-wow-nice soft smooth sand, white, beautiful. Heaven on earth. Need I say more? Not the nasty pebbly rocks we have at home that hurts your feet. We spent a couple hours riding the waves today too-lots of fun but I tuckered out first. I think we will all sleep well tonight. I could not believe how much sand I had everywhere!!! Yikes. Well, hope you are all well, we are having fun in Southern California! Until the next post...tata

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Awe on the verge of vacation

Why is it so stressful getting ready for vacation? I swear, everyone else is in bed ready to head off early in the morning and I am still up finishing last minute preparations...never fails. I guess this is just the only time I have to some quiet me time. Plus, there is always something someone still needs, or the mail that has to go out before we leave, or instructions for the cat/fish sitter. Oh and did I mention my oldest son was invited to a leadership camp at his new school? Yeah-"Stretch" was nominated to participate from one of his teachers at his old school. This is a great opportunity for him. Especially since he had to write a paragraph about himself to submit to the advisor for consideration. Mind you the deadline to register was June 15th and we did not receive the invitation until July 10th. So, wouldn't you know I was scrambling this evening to check over his paragraph so I could mail it tomorrow before we go. Of course my husband "Straightlace" did not think there was enough thought put in the paragraph and decided Stretch, he and I should "rewrite" it this evening-DUH the kid is twelve, he doesn't write like his old man does when he is preparing a report for stockholders! Needless to say, it came off very nice, but I did not appreciate having to change things at the last moment when I still had things to finish tonight!!!
The younger son "Smiley" decided to sneak downstairs and play Roller Coaster Tycoon while we were wittling away at the lovely paragraph, when he was supposed to be asleep. Straightlace was not happy with this at all-DUH! He just wanted to be with the rest of the family...
Sometimes I wonder if I am the only sane one in this house...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

So here I am. A fairly new teacher with the dilemma most teachers without a continuing contract face this time of the year. I have been wrestling with where I want to teach. I haven't been able to really pin down where and what grade I want to teach. So far I have looked into a couple of 1st grade positions, a 3rd grade position, and librarian at one of the local elementary schools. The librarian is in a position that I long term substituted for last spring, so I know the position and I get to see all the grades, about 500 students a week.

Then again, if I am offered a classroom position, I have a better opportunity to connect with my own little classroom. hum decisions, decisions.

My fear is I will be offered one of the classrooms before I get a chance to interview for the librarian and then have to make a decision. Which one am I meant to be. Any insights...