Monthly Archives: March 2015

Moving Exercise to the Top of my To-Do List

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Today I made a promise to myself, find time to exercise. I have every excuse in the book … laundry, school work, writing, reading my book, watching my favorite rerun “Matlock”, hanging out with my family, etc. I coaxed myself into thinking-just start off slow. Ten minutes is a good place to start. It is always one of the first things I want to cross off my “to do” lists over the years.

What me really starting to think why it should be bumped up towards the top of the to do list. My seventeen-year-old daughter and I attended a college orientation day yesterday. We had to walk a short distance and climb several steps to attend some of the meetings. I was clearly winded and it scared me inside. I was too embarrassed to tell my daughter, but I know I want to feel healthier, be healthier, and be happier.

Today I sit here and write this commitment to me. I promise to take better care of myself by walking on the treadmill every day this week. I can try to flip things, read my book on the treadmill, watch t.v. while walking, hang out and exercise at the same time; ahhhh! You need to know I am not great with multi-tasking. I will start off slow…ten minutes and gradually increase the time. One statement that stuck with me from all the orientation sessions yesterday was “what you do most, you do best!” Gotta go, headin’ towards the treadmill. I might not exercise most, my goal is to exercise more and I might not do it best, but I can do it better.

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A Stepping Stone to Bridge the Gap

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Three generations gathering together at least once or twice a week.
Grandma P.’s small apartment in a town not too far away.

We come together, always searching for something to bind us closer,
A bridge of sorts to connect our souls.

Today we did feel some success, cell phones tucked away by the two teenagers,
not escaping out. My directions stepping out of the car, give Grandma your
undivided attention, she deserves it!

I find myself as the mother, and the daughter, the one in the middle of this gap.
It can be a very snug spot to sit, but I made a huge realization today.
I am the bridge, the stepping stone of sorts to connect us…our three different generations.

Debate about Chewing Gum

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Writing workshop in fourth grade is always a happy time for me. I teach three classes of fourth graders throughout the day. It always amazes, surprises, and excites me to learn more about my teaching through the experiences of each class. Each class has a different personality comparable to siblings. I don’t love one more than the other. It is always interesting to me when I find similarities and differences in how they interact, learn, and teach me each day. Let me take you into a glimpse of this during our lesson on opinion text writing yesterday. The students had just listened to a mentor text, “I Wanna Iguana” and they had returned to their desks to do an agree/disagree chart. The task was to read each opinion, then mark strongly agree, mildly agree, neutral, mildly disagree, and strongly disagree. Students responded to the task in a serious, thoughtful way.

After a few minutes of forming opinions and adding a few of their own on the chart, we focused on number four: chewing gum should be allowed. I asked the students to stand reminding them to be confident about their opinions and speak freely on the why of their thoughts. We proceeded to the line-up. We formed a line including me in order from strongly agree to strongly disagree with neutral in the middle. I encouraged any neutral thinkers to make a decision on one of the sides. This is the part that amazed me, in each class, there was two to five on the mildly/strongly disagree side. After we formed the line-up, we took a few minutes to support our thinking. On one side, we heard reasons like, “gum helps you focus and learn!” Another student said, “Gum will raise test scores!” On the opposite side, we heard, “Kids will smack, and blow bubbles.” “It will be distracting!” and “They will bug other people asking for pieces of gum.”

With each class, I was grinning bigger and bigger. I know I was amazed with the similarities I noticed. I was even happier on how thoughtful the students were. They were excited to share their thoughts and opinions. It renewed those feelings many years ago on why I became a teacher. I wanted students to be thinkers, confident problem solvers, and respect each other. I witnessed that today and I am proud to be a teacher.

Waiting Moments

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Waiting can be hard….an approaching ice/snow event for our area has propelled almost all the schools in the area to close. It is just raining now, but we are all waiting for the raindrops to change to icy hard pieces of sleet. Sleet is supposed to change into snow…waiting. We all do this throughout our life. Waiting can be boring, exciting, full of anxiety, and full of hope. I look back over my life and it is full of those expecting moments. This slice is dedicated to short glimpses into those waiting periods of life.

I remember being six and looking out the window waiting for my dad’s headlights from the pickup to appear moving down the driveway.

I remember being a second grader and waiting at Grandma G.’s house to eat dinner.

I remember being a third grader and waiting for the song to end at Grandma’s funeral at the Assembly of God Church.

I remember being twelve and counting down the days waiting to be a teenager.

I remember waiting for the day dad would drive me to go get my license to drive.

I remember being a very shy high school freshman waiting to give my first speech in a club election.

I remember waiting with butterflies to give my salutatorian speech on high school graduation night.

I remember waiting with such excitement for my parents to help me unpack my belongings my first year of college.

I remember waiting every Sunday night with tears to call my mom and dad, tell them how great college was going, when my heart ached for home.

I remember being 18 years old and finally telling my parents, “College is great and mean it.”

I remember waiting to hear I had my first grown-up job as a teacher.

I remember waiting for my husband to propose after five long years of dating.

I remember waiting for my dad to wake up after a 10 hour heart surgery.

I remember waiting with a heavy heart after shaking hands with hundreds of people at the funeral chapel honoring my dad.

I remember waiting another two weeks after nine months of waiting for my first child to be born.

I remember waiting for my husband to get Burger King after the doctor told to head straight to the hospital for the birth of my son, he did arrive one and half hours after the B.K. stop.

I remember waiting three long weeks for my daughter to leave the hospital after a tragic accident.

I remember waiting for the call that school will be closed for the snow.

Smells of Tradition

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Isn’t he funny how smells can take you back to a memory of a different time and place?  My husband cooked one of those big bone-in hams today in a large roaster. The ten pound ham was the traditional gift from the company that he received each year.  The smell started drifted throughout the house around 10 a.m. right after church, yummy pineapple mixed with red maraschino cherries.  My son came up the steps saying, “Smells like Thanksgiving!”  The smell of that delicious ham seemed to just make the house happy and everyone inside feel happier.  It took me back to Christmas as a young girl when mom baked using her old blue pan.  We had a dark brown oven in the wall that screeched every time you pulled the door down.  Of course, today we all had to sample a piece included our little black poodle.  She enjoyed the bone for about 15 minutes until it was making quite a mess on our white linoleum kitchen floor.  The only way to pry her away from her real piece of thick juicy pink meat.  Well, all the ham is all bagged up now, roaster put way until next time, and I am smiling with the relief of leftovers for supper and no more cooking for the day.