Thursday, September 30, 2010

273 / 365: Yabba Dabba Doo!!!

Dear Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty,
Thank you for fifty years of fun! It is such a joy to share this show with the boys. Pebbles, BamBam, Dino and Great Gazoo are my favorite supporting cast!

Until next time....BamBam away!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

272 / 365: So far, so good!

SRR had another successful morning with his Control Journal. Thank you FLYLady!

Sadly,the day was dampened, literally, due to rained out sports events and SRR's ear infection. We made the pilgrimage to the pediatrician in the rain, prolonged even more by President Obama's visit to Richmond. (Police were EVERYWHERE!) As we passed one of the boys' favorite eateries, River City Diner, they got all excited. Jokingly, MGR told SRR that if he didn't have any ailment and drove up there for nothing, he could forget about any dinner.

JOR, in his best "Gangster" stage whisper, told his brother, "You just got to work it, S! You just got to work it!" We laughed so hard, MGR almost missed the turn.

Needless to say, thirty minutes, twenty dollars and one ear infection later, we all had dinner at the diner, and the boys ate free. Hopefully this will give SRR fuel for his organizational fire. He needs it.

Until next time....encourage away!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

271 / 365: Mission Impossible

I did not sign up for this, but I'm up for the challenge.

No, it's not being a mom. It's worse. I have been charged with an impossible task:

I have to attempt to get SRR organized.

My little guy has always been absent-minded (genetically handed down from his father), but now this is really hindering his progress in school and his life at home. He is constantly misplacing papers and things, except for his "junk". He never puts things back where they belong. These behaviors have created many tense moments at the ranch, complete with shouting matches. Not a productive, happy life.

I have begun FLYLady "Baby Steps" with SRR. This process started last night with the creation of a "Morning Routine" sheet. We decided on the tasks needed to be done every morning. He wrote them on a checklist and I put it in a sheet protector and provided a dry erase marker. We set up his "area" and I kept my fingers crossed.

This morning was very pleasant. He did everything on the list, but the icing on the cake was that he did it with a very pleasant attitude. SRR took great pride as he put smiley faces next to each accomplished task. I was very proud of him and told him so numerous times. The smile on his face as he left made all that work worthwhile.

Our next mission is to tweak the morning routine (we forgot some stuff) and create a before bed routine. He loves reading the ideas on the FlyLady website because they are written for him. I am almost looking forward to the next babystep.....almost!

Until next time....check away!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

270 / 365: Harried Haiku

Work, son, home, dinner
Cooking, cleaning and the wash.
Wish I had more time now!

Until next away!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

269 / 365: Random thoughts from a Non-Smoker

-I won't look like this!
-My ashtrays make great paper clip holders.
-Hubby keeps reminding me he wouldn't have dated me if I smoked. (Boy, there are times.....)
-Ran 4 miles today. Could not have done that 13 years ago.
-Still managed to lose some weight.
-One less excuse for procrastination.
-OMG, butts got expensive!
-Doctor gave me a clean bill of health.
-Don't need perfume.
-Bronchitis? Not in a few years! (Knock on wood!)
-Cigarettes would be another thing for me to remember. Forget about it!
-My "breakfast of champions" has morphed from coffee and cigs to coffee, cereal and fruit.
-Feeling good!!
-I have three BEAUTIFUL reasons not to go back to smoking!!

Until next time....breathe away!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

268 / 365: Language.

....foul language.....

Tonight's flag football game was cut short due to a coach's bad language to a referee.

You mean to tell me that bad language is unacceptable somewhere? I was fooled. I hear it during people's cel phone conversations in the grocery store. I hear it on prime time "harmless" TV. I hear it amongst colleagues. I hear it in "popular" songs. I hear parents say it to their children and vice versa. But it's NOT acceptable on the football field? What a refreshing change.

When I was teaching, I challenged my "filthy mouths" to find other words to describe their anger, frustration, or other people. Most of them were frozen in their tracks. Could they rise above the tide and build a vocabulary that is classier than their parents'? Could they use other words than those on TV? Sadly, most could not.

It upsets me that the English language has, once again, stooped to a new low. Unless you're on the gridiron.

Until next time....*$#@* away!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

267 / 365: Drought!

This is a picture of Lake Chesdin, a major contributor to our county's water supply. It is at its lowest level ever. We are now under a mandatory water emergency.

The media is having a field day with this, of course. The reporters are interviewing people, polling them on this really deep, original inquiry: "How will this water restriction change your daily life?" The interviewees gave some interesting answers:
"My lawn is going to go to hell!"
"I won't be able to wash my car!"
"The flowers will die."


I guess people have taken water for granted, which is why we're in this mess to begin with. It's sad that people's priorities are so messed up.

Until next time....conserve away!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

266 / 365: Ode to Shiraz

It's been a long week.

Come to Momma.

Until next time...toast away!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

265 / 365: Happy Autumn!....A Haiku

Shine on Harvest Moon.
Bring on falling leaves and chill.
Come quick, too darn HOT!!

Until next time....sweat away!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

264 / 365: The Whole Story.....

I'm watching the season premiere of "The Biggest Loser". While it's so easy to criticize and condemn these people, watching the contestants tell their stories brought tears to my eyes.

The mother who lost her three year old to cancer, dying in her arms. The woman who lived with a verbally abusive mother. The sister of a deceased "TBL" contestant. The men who want to live for their children and grandchildren. The brothers who watched their mother die of an obesity-related heart attack. The list goes on....

At MGR's grandmother's funeral, the minister said that while we are quick to condemn or judge a person, we usually never know "The Whole Story". Everyone has a story the makes or breaks them. It is not our job to turn that story into a Readers' Digest version, or worse, a haiku. We should be ready to "read" the whole story before we judge another human being.

Until next away!

Monday, September 20, 2010

263 / 365: Dogs

This is why I love dogs!

Not writing tonight. Borrowing this from an e-mail I received. Needed it and posted it:

A Dog's Purpose?

(from a 6-year-old).

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'' The Six-year-old continued,

''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

262 / 365: AFL

I am now a member of the Anti-Football League.

Sick of it all week, moreso on Sundays. I was even booted away from the dinner table so they can see the online updates on the laptop behind my chair.

My hatred of the sport cannot be any deeper.......

Until next time....loathe away!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

261 / 365: Habits...a Haiku

Habits, excuses
Will you please get over them
Before I hurt you!

Until next time...break away!

Friday, September 17, 2010

260 / 365: THE Gift

I'm having a HUGE gratitude check today.

This morning was my first physical in about 2-3 years. My doctor seems to think I'm in good shape, save for a bum knee, bad eyes, and a little extra weight that I hope to lose. My blood pressure was excellent and, according to my doctor, my good, deep breathing and my strong, slow resting heart rate are that of an athlete (Who would've thunk?). The bloodwork results will be sent to me in a few weeks, along with a handwritten note from my doctor. How cool is that?

Fast forward a few hours and I'm goofing around with my boys at the park. I ran and they biked the fitness trail, then we played some tennis. Since I only have 2 racquets, I let them do most of the playing. They had a blast!!

I was thinking about my childhood while watching the boys play. The horrific memories of being an obese, inactive, shy, insecure kid hit me between the eyes. I am very grateful that my boys are healthy and active, as well as a little on the outgoing side. Hopefully, I have given them enough exposure to activity to keep them physically motivated and healthy for their lifetimes. I do not want them to fight the battle I'm fighting now.

Then another reflection hit me. I almost lost a dear friend last year in a freakish brain bleeding episode. "Miraculous" is the word to describe his recovery and his newfound love of life!

Yet another reflection. My colleague's son is having some health issues of an unknown origin. The doctors are running test after test to determine what could be causing them and how to stop them. I cannot imagine what that family is going through.

What I've concluded is this. Money, possessions, cars, clothes, and houses are no substitute for the greatest gift: good health. My father always said, "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything." Ironically, his self-abuse took him after a short 53 years on this earth. But I understood what he was saying. If your "container" is not strong, it's very difficult to take in all that life has to offer.

Today was an affirmation of my attempt at a healthy lifestyle. Eating a little better and moving a little more will be on my "to-do" list everyday. And, of course, a little gratitude check here and there wouldn't hurt either.

Until next away!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

259 / 365: Tech tools are just that......!

I am getting frustrated with the lack of willingness to try new, effective tools in the classroom. These tools, whether they are hardware, software, or cloudware, will give teachers a head start in student engagement and success.

When I mention technology to some of the reluctant crowd, their first thought is "Well I'm not comfortable using....(fill in the blank)" Well guess what? Your students are VERY comfortable using these tools. Join them. Trust me, you won't demolish anything. And, if you do, we can probably fix it. We have tools for that.

Until next time....tool away!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

258 / 365: Midnight Munchies....

....showtimes at 8, 9, and 10pm!

I do a great job eating (and even not eating) during the day. There are even days I squeeze in some sort of exercise. Then when everyone is home, all hades breaks loose!!

I need to come up with some strategies (besides wiring my jaws shut) that will stop me from this EEEE: Every Evening Eating Event. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Until next time...stuff away!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

257 / 365: Thank You Arby's!!

Arby's had their teacher appreciation day today. Teachers (and other school employees showing ID) got a free combo.

I would like to thank Arby's for giving us cash-strapped CCPS employees a chance at a free lunch. My roast beef gyro, curly fries and Diet Pepsi was just what the doctor ordered. I blew 2 days of points on this, but it was worth it.

Until next away!

Monday, September 13, 2010

256 / 365: Monday Night Blight

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "blight" as:

1a : a disease or injury of plants marked by the formation of lesions, withering, and death of parts (as leaves and tubers) b : an organism (as an insect or a fungus) that causes blight
2: something that frustrates plans or hopes
3: something that impairs or destroys
4: a deteriorated condition

Methinks that football also fits this description!

I'm really angry now and I have a list of culprits:
1. My son, JOR, for not showing what he knows. He's still prancing about on the field a day late and a dollar short. What's frustrating is that he KNOWS WHAT TO DO, he CAN DO IT, but CHOOSES NOT TO!!
2. His father, for being the consummate armchair quarterback. There's too much tension in this house!
3. His coaches, for not recognizing when JOR puts forth an effort. Can't light a fire by smoldering it! If I ran my rehearsals the way they run practices, I'd be fired! They really need some organization skills. (Example: Coach: "You need to practice these plays with your children." Reality: "You have my child almost 3 hours a night, Mon.-Thurs. When do you expect us to do this? Instead of having my child stand around the whole night, maybe have an extra coach work with the rookies on basics. This is NOT rocket science, gentlemen!") Can't express this to the coaches for fear of retaliation against my son. I don't want to risk it. He's not getting enough playing time as it is.....
4. The Athletic Association, for not being organized. Took weeks to get a parent meeting and schedule. Then, to schedule games until 8:30-9:00 pm on a school night is just a ridiculous attempt at making themselves look more important than they really are. I wouldn't mind if you were actually teaching my child something, but you're not, so let him stay home and get his real work done!
5. Sports, in general, are really leaving a bad taste in my mouth! It shouldn't be like this....

Until next time....growl away!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

255 / 365: Check!

Today, I...
...took care of my body: ran 3 miles and almost ate OK. (It WAS Sunday...)
...took care of my mind: starting reading The Book Whisperer and continued reading Huck Finn
...took care of my soul: offered up prayers of gratitude as well as prayers for help. I feel like God is calling me, but the call keeps dropping! I'm working on a prayer of surrender, so He can do what he needs to. As oxymoronic as this sounds, this surrender will hopefully be very liberating!

See, I can actually take care of myself!

Until next away!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

254 / 365: Tis the season....a Haiku

Football and soccer.
Boys have started playing these.
This fall will be long.

Friday, September 10, 2010

253 / 365: 35 more to go....

Took the family out to Peking to celebrate completing one week of school.

Please God, help me through the next 35!

Until next time...chomp away!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

252 / 365: Tough love...

..and so it continues, 7 years later, "You can't always get what you want".

We're having an issue with our JOR. Unmotivatied, lackadaisical, blase'. In a word, LAZY!!! We are noticing it more as he's being challenged more. He wants to try different stuff, not because he's a renaissance boy, but because he doesn't want to take any of his skills to the next level. Whether it's football, drama, music or academics, the boy is not "kicking it up a notch."

His daddy and I think that maybe, just maybe, he's got some talent in the arts. We are realistic knowing that he may not be all that "and a bag of chips". (Thanks BG!) But we think he has something. Sadly, he only shows it sporadically. The same goes for his academics. One year, he's tested gifted, the next year, not even close!

It was with a heavy heart that we had to throw the book at him. We've had to put him on restriction until he shows an effort in SOMETHING. No TV, no Nintendo, no nothing until he shows us he is worthy to live in this house. That means giving his best effort at all times. After his dramatic monologue of "Why me? That's not fair! You hate me!!" (Complete with tears....thus showing his dramatic skills!) I told him we could have taken the easy route: pull him out of football and let watch TV and video games till he wants to go to bed. But we love him too much to see him fail. We are going to be hard on him. Hopefull, someday, he'll thank us for this.

Until next time...toughen away!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

251 / 365: Go away....

Pray that no one gets killed because of this man's stupidity.

Until next time...pray away!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

250 / 365: Flying by.....

Until next time....sob away!

Monday, September 6, 2010

249 / 365: Enough!

...I can't stands no more!

The "Dynamic Duo" pushed me to the limit today. Their disrespectful behavior reminded me of teenagers!! Having an answer for everything, treating their parents like dogs and eye rolling were heavy on their agenda today, especially the older one.

Because of their choices, I took away their mainstays: stories and hug / kiss goodnight (and their Nerf guns). Here it is, the night before their big day and their mother won't show them some love (and they don't get to play with their Nerf guns). I told them in order to get love, you have to give love (to get back their Nerf guns). It was their choice (to lose their Nerf guns).

Maybe tomorrow night will be different. I hope it will be different. This is killing me!!

Until next time....enough is enough!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

248 / 365: Labor Day...a Haiku

Labor Day party
Good food, good drinks, great people
Wore these poor boys out!

Until next time....labor away!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

247 / 365: Plunger Pair

They tried us today. I call it a draw.

JOR and SRR did the teamwork thing. If one was in trouble, the other was an angel. Then they switched roles. For amusement, they both acted up (in public of course). There were some good moments totaling 3 minutes, 42 seconds. I'll take 'em! The other 86, 178 minutes I'll erase from my memory.

Sad part: When they did something out of line, it was funny! It's very hard to reprimand the little devils when you just want to burst out laughing!

Until next time....laugh away!

Friday, September 3, 2010

246 / 365: Slumber Party!!

Domino's + Netflix + 2 AMAZING boys = Slumber Party!!

My work and JOR's football schedules really tore us apart! The three of us began a reunion weekend tonight. Fun movies, fun food, fun times.

They are sound asleep in the living room. I'll be joining them shortly. Hopefully this weekend will be as fun as tonight....if not better!

Until next time....slumber away!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

245 / 365: Earl....a Haiku

The hurricane Earl
Making big news and panic
Please just go away!

Until next time....blow away!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

244 / 365: Balancing Act

Today I had the pleasure of working with 3 groups K-12 Health and PE teachers. My task was to give them a guided tour of the county's portal site. Good times...?

Anyway, as I was showing them the ins and outs, I wondered how these teachers do it. They have been charged with teaching children to take care of their bodies. A monstrous task in today's society.

The arch nemesis in this process How does one balance the use of technology, a tool that can easily create atrophy, with the increasingly difficult task of keeping kids fit? The Wii shows that it can be done, but that is an unrealistic acquisition in most public schools.

Good luck HPE teachers. You have your work cut out for you!

Until next time....balance away!!