Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Slice of Life - Running

Every now and again I look at other people.  One thought that will often pop into my head is, if they feel comfortable wearing that, then why can't I?  Why can't I pull on a pair of shorts, go out the door, and hold my head up high?  

In order to do something about it and to stop dishonoring my body, I am using Calorie Counter on my iPad (for the most part) and strive between 1200 and 1600 calories a day.  I am shooting for more protein.

Another task was hiring a personal trainer who has a passion for transformation.  Our first session had my bum hurting for two days to even sit down or move from any position.  

The second session occurred tonight.  I had asked what I should do for a workout on Monday knowing that Tuesday we'd be working together.  He suggested cardio...I wanted to make sure we weren't running Tuesday.  He said we were running...sort of.  Not good! 

Because he is training a friend of mine for a run, I knew that he loved to do hill sprints.  

I was scheduled to meet him at his house at 5:45, but got a text asking me to meet him at this hill that is popular in our little village.  Oh crap!

Who knew that trying to pick your feet up to just propel them forward was so hard?  Who knew that trying to sprint up a hill would make me feel like my legs were leadbricks? giant blocks of cement? giant tree trunks?  Goodness gracious.  After we ran up the hills, you'd think coming down was just as easy.  Wrong!  I almost thought my jelly legs were going to cave under me as I went down the stairs.  Thankfully, no falls occurred during this workout.

When you thought it couldn't get worse running up, he decided we'd go up backwards.  My calves officially hate me.  My left and my right leg equally hate me because he also had me go up sideways shuffling.  

Then the sprints came.  Four of them.  The first three allowed me to only sprint a part of the hill at a time.  The final was a full out sprint for the whole hill.  Whether you could call it a sprint or not, I busted my bum to get up there.  

After he left for a family dinner, I stayed and lunged up the stairs and then ran the stairs three times.  I will get into those shorts and feel good.  Sleep will be good tonight!  

New Features...

I love sunsets!  I also appreciate sunrises, but I'm normally not awake for most of them.  I love the colors on the clouds.  I love the bands of color that streak and stride together.  I love that no two are ever alike.

When I try and capture them with the camera, the pictures never do God's handiwork justice.  

Plus I wanted to play around with the new feature of captions and photos...
Out in the country 
Morning before school

Monday, June 27, 2011

Classroom Thoughts

After attending a summer institute on reading and writing, thoughts are swimming throughout my brain.

For those of you who teach, please keep reading and feel free to offer ideas, comments, and suggestions.

For those of you who don't teach and read my blog...thanks...you can either read on or find something else to do! :)

  • Word wall - Do you have one? I heard Ann Marie Corgill speak and she showed where instead of displaying all of the words, they were in a pocket along the wall. One letter per pocket envelope. Kids were invited to go and grab the word or words they needed to spell. I like the idea of having more wall space to display their learning and other things. I also know that after a while, unless we are playing a word wall game, students barely looked up there. I truly am contemplating taking down the letters and making them more accessible to my students. I would also keep an updated list of word wall words so students could read them with partners, play hangman, etc.
  • Reader's notebooks - Do you do them? If yes, when do your students write in them? I often felt like I had to tell the students to write in them and what to write. Granted, some of the writing were tricky words, the books they had read, and what thinking was happening in their head. I had to be the one though...it wasn't the students instigating the writing.
  • Vocabulary - One of my coworkers has the students keep a vocabulary folder where she teaches the words suggested from the reading program. I had allowed my students to write down their own tricky words or words they wanted to learn. We wrote down words from my read-alouds and some students chose to write down the words, but they were made available to all who wanted them. I also want to do a little more guided group work with investigating spelling patterns based on the spelling inventory that I do from Words Their Way. So, should I do this in a folder? Or maybe just in their Reader's Notebook?
  • Second grade teachers - Anyone else do writer's notebooks? I normally don't introduce them right away...I don't think the kids are ready quite yet. When they are, we begin them.
Thanks in advance for comments.


I did it to myself.

It was an awful night. I didn't fall asleep until after midnight. How do I know this? I looked at my clock and it said 11:57. Took a few more minutes before I fell asleep. Then, I woke up at 5:50, 6:30, 6:50, and 6:55 to look at the clock since I had to get up at 7 a.m.

Why didn't I get a good night's sleep? Well...a venti skinny iced vanilla latte doesn't help. Taking a nap at 5:30 doesn't help. Running 2 miles at 8:00 doesn't help. My stupid fears (going again to Honduras) and my mind racing wasn't helping either.

Thankfully, I was able to rest my eyes for a few minutes this morning while babysitting my precious ones again. The boy is off at soccer camp and the girl is down for a nap.

I am determined to have a better night's rest tonight!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


This morning I joined a friend with her personal trainer (which I am going to try my own sessions tomorrow). Seven o'clock came early.

She is currently training for a 5K and pushing herself to become stronger in her physical health. I wanted to come along to see what her trainer was like and to join in a workout.

As we ran around our small town, I remembered back to the days when my friends would run with me to keep me going. When they would encourage me to keep me going. When they would remind me of how far we had come to keep me going.

We were finishing up the run with a run up the stairs of a great hill and then they were going to run the rest of the way to her home. I wanted to sprint the stairs! Running up the stairs, I made a split decision...do them again! My friends would always get sent ahead of me to run a sprint and then double back to pick me up. However, I have been known before to send a friend back up a hill we had just run down and then they had to catch me (remember that?) or to run an extra half mile back and then catch me (K and M, you should both be loving that one).
Running up the stairs a second time brought me to the realization that the roles had switched. I was that person that was coming along to catch my friend running.

I may not be exactly where I want to be right now with my endurance of running, but I have grown. I have made progress. I am beginning to pay it forward. And I can't wait for the day that my friend pays it forward for others!

Friday, June 17, 2011

New thoughts from babysitting

Tonight marks the first entry where I am using MY internet. Not my neighbor’s, but mine. Yes, folks, I went out and purchased a Verizon air card.

I am finally finished watching my friend’s kids. I am not going to lie, it’s so nice to be in my home. It’s nice to not be responsible for others, just myself. It’s nice to not have to clean up anyone else’s mess but my own.

I learned quite a bit this week. Parents sacrifice and sacrifice and when they are done sacrificing, they continue to sacrifice. Parents give of themselves and aren’t thanked nearly enough. Boundaries and guidelines are good. If you don’t introduce certain foods in the beginning stages of life, it’s more difficult to get them to eat them when they are older – carrots with cinnamon and honey, sweet potatoes, and roasted chickpeas didn’t go over so well with the older boys, but the girl that I watched last summer ate them right up! Coffee is my friend (I already knew that one). Sweet moments with kids melt my heart. The importance of praying with kids…it was great when the boys requested it at mealtime.

If given the chance, I think I could make a good parent. Yes, I lost it at certain moments…the crying baby in the car, the fussy afternoons, the never-ending job of sweeping up the floor (seriously, if you don’t like the food, stop throwing it on the floor, just leave it on your high chair). Overall though, a parent’s job is the most important one. Thank you to the parents that read my blog. Thank you for giving of yourself for your kids and your family. Thank you for loving them and fighting for them!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How do you do it?

Mothers, how do you do it? Granted, most of you are not thrown into a pre-existing family where you, the adult, is the changing factor, but wow...I have gained so much more respect for parents. As I tucked the boys into bed and discussed the details of the morning where I'll be taking them to a neighbor's so I can attend a training, the middle boy (who I had a melt-down with the first time I babysat him and has been my worry point this whole week), said, "Huggy" as I pulled the blankets over him. How sweet...but it gets better.

As I stood at the doorway and finally realized that we had forgotten to brush teeth tonight (at least they had showers), I sighed, and said we'd brush really well in the morning. Going over the details one more time of making sure we had the snacks and cereal ready and what clothes they would need to wear, I turned and walked away.



"I love you."

My heart melted! I walked back to the room and told him that I loved him too.

Maybe I'm doing something right...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

She gets it...

The two eighteen-month old girls that I am watching during the day are night and day. One is very verbal - forming small sentences that make sense and convey meaning. The other still grunts and points. One is tinier in build, the other is a little larger. One knows me well, the other is still learning me. One loves to be held by me. The other is content sitting and laughing throughout the day. Both LOVE shoes. And by love, I mean they try on all pairs throughout the day for several minutes (which is a lifetime in baby).

Today the verbal child's dad picked up her brother for a dentist appointment. Bad mistake to have him come in. She was in hysterics after he left without her. She cried. And cried. And cried. Even threw herself down for a fit.

The other girl walked over to the table, grabbed the girl's cup of milk and brought it to her to help console her. For not being very verbal, she understood the agony that the other one was going through and wanted to help. It was priceless. So glad I slowed down just to watch today.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I'm 33 and I still babysit.

This week, I have the pleasure of watching my friend's three kids and two of my regulars during the day. I have 2 third graders, 1 kindergartner, and 2 18 month old girls. Wow! Can I tell you how much I love the hours of one to three??? It's nap time!!! Unfortunately, not for me.

Tonight I have a new appreciation of parenting. Granted, I will not be doing absolutely everything the mom normally does...I am not expected to stay up on the housecleaning and the laundry, but I will clean up the messes we make and try to wash what we've used this week.

As the older two boys ran out after dinner (at 8:00), I stood and looked at the counter. There were their plates, spills on the counter, bottles we have used for tacos, my coffee cup (from the morning - will make more for tomorrow), and my salad which sat freshly made and untouched. Thoughts swarmed through my head as I thought of the dishes that needed to be unloaded, new dishes to be washed, getting the young one ready for bed, and still had to take a shower for the day. Wow...how you do you parents do it?

As I sit here tonight, with all three kids in bed, shower now had, listening to music and typing, I realize how spoiled I am in the life of no children. Wow...

Well, I'm off to bed soon...have three more days of taking care of other kids to go and I definitely will sleep well tonight!

Where have I been?

I don't know...honestly. My "internet" worked at home...currently it doesn't.

School's over. It ended so well! I loved my class. I know I say it every year, but I really and truly did love this class. Even the rough situations at times and the frustrations that always occur.

I know I had ideas and things to write about. I just didn't. I didn't even check my Google Reader and I have over 140 items to read.

I miss blogging. I miss looking for items to write about.

I have a few photos and stories and other posts that will be coming.

For tonight, this is good. It feels good to write and know that others will be reading.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!