Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quick update

I haven't been able to post much lately due to a crazy schedule at work as most of my friends and a few of my more astute readers know (I have 12 kindergartners, 1 first grader, 4 second graders, and 2 third graders in one class all day - most of whom are special needs and several who are major behavior issues...).  However, today my reprieve has arrived...well, she's (he's?) almost arrived...

Monday they got funding to hire another teacher - I was out sick so I didn't know this, but TODAY they position actually posted so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE join me in praying that a fantastic applicant will interview and fill the position so that these special needs students can get more of the individual attention they need and deserve.  I hate having this many students who need so much because I feel completely unable to give them each the attention they should have. I'm constantly putting out fires (figuratively, not literally -- yet) and have been unable to, in my opinion, academically reach the students on the level to which they need.  I go home feeling ineffective and frustrated.

There is a light at the tunnel!  It will take several days, perhaps even a week or two, but help is on it's way!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fitness Friday #10 (a day late again)


Dear Bathroom Scale,
It has been a long hard week.  I'm surprised I've made it through it alive. My class is insane (11 Kindergartners, 1 first grader, 4 second graders, 2 third graders- most with special needs of one variety or another), plus I lost one of my long-time students on Monday.  His viewing was last night and his funeral is today.  He was only 9 years old. I don't remember what I ate yesterday much less at the beginning of the week, but I tried to pack only healthy things for lunch.  I think I may have skipped a few meals accidentally.  Please be patient with me.
Your Friend,


I lost quite a bit and got down into the 180's, which is good, but the stressed out way isn't at all the way I had hoped to lose it.

Last Week's Goals/Results:

Continue to bring healthy lunch/snacks to school.  I did, but I don't think I ate it every day. And I know I found the bowl of ice cream in the fridge in the teachers lounge a few times.

Eat a healthy dinner even though Hubby will be away for most dinners this week. Bleh.  I didn't eat at all last night after the viewing, and I know one night all I had was a chocolate Pop-Tart.

Get in my runs and cross training.  I managed to get in one run and 2 days of cross training.
Add in the push ups. They are pathetic..but they were there :)

TAKE MY VITAMINS :(  nope, not even once.  I think I need to pack them into my lunch.  Maybe then I will remember them?
Drink 64 oz of water a day. Yes, I know i did this :)

This Week's Goals:

  • Survive
  • get in at least 4 workouts
  • survive
  • make a meal plan and stick to it
  • survive
  • pack my vitamins into my lunch
  • survive
Currently Reading:
The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan - The 3rd book in the Percy Jackson series. 

 I added this category this week (and may from now on) because along with running, reading is a huge stress reliever so I have tried to make time each day to read something that I want to, just for fun :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

I just want to say....

Hug your children and loved ones real tight.  Today is a gift, and tomorrow isn't promised.

I found out this morning that I lost one of my 3rd grade students over the weekend.  They think he had a heart attack.  Yes, a third grader. 

He was one of my "low babies" with a low IQ but who didn't let that stop him from having an infectious smile and a completely positive outlook.  He would attempt anything and everything set before him and give it his all.  He never let difficulties get him down.  I called him "Smiles." 

A few days before he died, we had this discussion:
Him: "I'm in the 3rd grade, right?"
Me: "Of course you are!"
Him: "Well we have a lot of Kindergartners this year."
Me:  "Yes, we do.  But that's OK.  I can give them the work they need and give you the work you need."
Him: "I can still get to 4th grade."
Me sticking my hand out to shake his and 'make a deal' : "I promise I will give you everything you need to get to the 4th grade."

Unfortunately, I didn't get to make good on that promise. :(

The news was very hard on me as I have worked with him since he was one of those Kindergartners he was complaining about.  I've seen him grow so much.  Granted it wasn't at a speed that many of his peers did, but it was still tremendous growth.  He made the most of what God gave him in the short time that he had.

He was loved, he was admired, he will be missed.

Never let a moment go by that you don't tell the ones you love how much they mean.

Please pray for his family.  I can only imagine how difficult it must be for them to lose this shining little light.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fitness Friday #9

Dear Bathroom Scale,
I've not run as much this week, but I did throw in some other muscle-soreness-inducing exercizes.  I ate fairly well and drank a lot of come nice!
Your pal, Nicole

191.8!   WHOOO HOOOO  I'll get outta these 190's soon (hopefully!)

Last Week's Goals/Results: 5/6

:) Figure out how to make time to run 3X's a week (Try to do week 7 of C25K)  I think I have it!  M/T/W do some cross training at home.  Run Tuesday night when Hubby is off and home, Suck it up Thursday and run slow in the heat of the day, then run Saturday mornings with the baby

:) Include some Cross Training (push ups, sit ups, and squats) 2-3Xs a week. I don't have to go outside to do these. My living room floor is perfect!
Saturday pm - Squat exhaustion test - managed 50 squats before my legs got too wobbly
Monday am- 86 squats (sets of 13,16,9,9,39 with 60 sec rest between each)
Monday pm- 40 minute walk with Hubby and Baby Girl.
Tuesday am - 83 crunches (sets of 15, 18, 10, 10, 30 with 60 sec rest between each)
Tuesday pm - Week 7 Day 1 of C25K (again, again)  I figured with over a week off and with sore legs from the squats, it was safer to stick to week 7 one more time.
Wednesday pm- 45 minute walk with Hubby and Baby girl, and 82 squats (sets of 13, 16, 13, 13, 27 with 60 seconds rest between)
Thursday pm - I was supposed to run but has an AWEFUL day at workand came home and crashed.  I did however go for a walk with hubby and Baby Girl.
Friday am - 98 squats (sets of 15, 20, 14, 13, 36 with 60 seconds rest between), and 107 crunches (sets of 17, 18, 17, 15, 40 with 90 seconds rest between)
Didn't manage to get in any push ups but those are set to be included next week.

:) Take healthy lunch/snacks to work and avoid the snack machine and cafeteria.
Monday: I brought my lunch but had to run home at lunch to switch the carseat out of my car into my husband's and was persuaded to have lunch with him at McDonalds.
Tuesday: (the lunch I packed for Monday)Turkey sandwich on whole wheat, apple slices, cheese stick, greek yogurt
Wednesday:  Leftover shish kabob (shrimp, onion, red- green- and yellow peppers, chicken), fruit salad (strawberries, pineapple, kiwi), and 2% fat Fage Greek Yogurt with Blueberry
Thursday:  I brought lunch but had such a bad day that I didn't even get a chance to eat lunch.  I did manage to scarf down some Greek yogurt at my desk at one point but that was all.
Friday: Fruit bowl, 0% Fage Greek Yogurt (mixed with some of my fruit), cereal bar, string cheese stick

:| Take my vitamins. Took them once or twice but forgot most days

:) Drink 64oz of water (or more) a day. I know I did M-F because I had my water bottle with me at work and I made sure I filled it up at least twice.

:) Enjoy the fresh faces of the students who are eager to learn this year! Although I have had a really rough week, it was not the kid's fault. My schedule was changed which created chaos.  My kiddos are great (even the ones who weren't so "great" lol)

This Week's Goals:

  1.  Continue to bring healthy lunch/snacks to school.
  2. Eat a healthy dinner even though Hubby will be away for most dinners this week.
  3. Get in my runs and cross training.
  4. Add in the push ups.
  6. Drink 64 oz of water a day.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

10 on 10 August

Yesterday was the first day of school.  I couldn't take pictures on an hourly basis because I was teaching, and I can't/won't take pictures to post of my kids online so I just took 10 pictures throughout the day with my iPhone(my camera is still acting up and no one knows why).


Check out other pictures at Ten on Ten HERE.  You are supposed to take 10 pictures on the 10th of every month, but I know myself - with a hectic job and a little baby, I'm more likely to post 10 pictures on the 10th than take AND post them on the 10th, so I take mine on the 9th of the month and post them on the 10th :)

Tuesday Teaser - Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

Baslow Methodist Church. former Wesleyan Metho...Image via Wikipedia
Today's teaser comes from the book that my Sunday School class is currently reading and studying.  It is a fantastic book that really makes you examine the way you think about things and explains that you mind is a battlefield; the devil is desperately trying to take control of your mind and then your actions.  We have been SLOOOOOOOWLY going through it because it is so inspiring that we tend to stop and discuss it at length, thoroughly enjoying the thoughts and sparks of conversation it inspires.

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
"My husband on the other hand, never worried.  There was a time when I would get angry at him because he would not worry with me - and join me in talking about all the gloomy possibilities if God did not come through and meet our needs." pg 128 Chapter 12 "An Anxious and Worried Mind"
(Please note, the building at the top of the blog is the Baslow Methodist Church. It was formerly the Wesleyan Methodist Sunday School and has an 1822 date stone.  It is not the church that I attend, although I do attend a Methodist Church.  I just thought it was a really cool old church...1822...WOW!)
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Monday, August 9, 2010

First Day of School

Today is the first day of school for my county.  I have a love/hate relationship with this day.  It's a great fresh new start...but it means saying goodbye to sleeping in and a whopping 180 school days until summer vacation!

The things I love about the first day of school:
  • freshly sharpened pencils and other school supplies
  • clean never used notebooks
  • kids wearing their cutest new school clothes
  • I get to wear my cute new school clothes
  • desks aligned just so (not necessarily in rows, but still all in order)
  • cute bulletin boards
  • high expectations for a great year
  • ideas for new curriculum, behavior management, and/or activites and lesson plans
  • it's easier to stick to a healthy eating plan because I pack only good-for-me foods and don't give candy/food rewards to my students
  • my classroom library is still organized
  • seeing the kids smiling faces
  • all the parents still think you are a fantastic teacher
Because tomorrow is 10 on 10, I took a few pictures of today so that I can share them tomorrow :)
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Fitness Friday #8


Dear Bathroom Scale,
YIKES!  This week has been so busy that I have done almost nothing "right."  Sorry about that! Please be nice...
Your friend,

Dear Nicole,
I know you've had a hectic week with the start of a new school year and trying to figure out a crazy schedule.  You've been stressing and you know that, for you, stressing tends to lead to eating things that are not so good for you.  However, Today, I will give you a ....
Your pal,
The Bathroom Scale

Last Week's Goals/Results:

:( Although I did fine with Week 7 of C25K, I am going to repeat it. The reason for this is that I start back to school and will have to run in the hot hot hot Florida summer afternoon sun after work. I want to make sure I am comfortable with what I'm doing. Not only did I not repeat this week, but I haven't run AT ALL.  NONE. ZIPPO.  ZILCH.  NADA!  Not even once.  I explained gave excuses in a post earlier this week.  I am however, going to get up and run in the morning while it is still cool enough to manage being outside for more than a minute or two.

:( Log 4/7 days. None.  Not even once.

:( Take my vitamins. Maybe once.   Sigh...

:( Don't let the stress of a new school year get to me this week. HA HA  Yeah, that's a funny one...

I managed to maintain my weight this week...but it is honestly a shock to me as I'm not quite sure how I managed to pull that one off THIS week!

This week started pre-planning for the new school year which starts on Monday.  I will be teaching in a whole new way using a whole new curriculum, and I'm not always so great with accepting change (that isn't of my design or idea).  I understand WHY things had to change, however, I'm not sure I'm loving HOW they changed.  Only time will tell...

Because I was stressed this week and VERY busy (I am essentially doing the job of 2 teachers in one), I didn't follow my fitness plan much.  I didn't cook at all this week (We are still eating out of our pantry trying to use some of what we have extra) and I went out to lunch DAILY with coworkers,  Lunch out wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't chosen the pizza, the hamburger, the enchiladas... but they were SOOOOooo  good and it was (what I thought) I needed to feel comfortable for the moment before returning to the chaos.  I didn't run because I couldn't find the right time to do so safely (its either too dark or too hot).

This Week's Goals:

  • Figure out how to make time to run 3X's a week (Try to do week 7 of C25K)
  • Include some Cross Training (push ups, sit ups, and squats) 2-3Xs a week.  I don't have to go outside to do these.  My living room floor is perfect!
  • Take healthy lunch/snacks to work and avoid the snack machine and cafeteria.
  • Take my vitamins.
  • Drink 64oz of water (or more) a day.
  • Enjoy the fresh faces of the students who are eager to learn this year!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (errr...Thursday)

With all the excitement of a new school year starting, I forgot to do my Tuesday Teaser!  So Sorry!

This week's teaser comes from my favorite genre: Historical Fiction.  Specifically Historical fiction in the King Henry VIII and Elizabeth periods.  "Murder Most Royal" by Jean Plaidy is from exactly this era.  Two cousins, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, marry the same man (King Henry VII) and come to the same fate - execution. And no I did not just give a spoiler, anyone who knows the history of the era knows that these were the two Queens that Henry disposed of via beheading.

"The thought took ahold of Henry, haunting his mind.  He thought of the days before Anne came to Suffolk House; they had a piquancy, a charm, since the excitement of adventure is in its unexpectedness."  pg 223
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back to school

Well I am officially back to school!  The kids don't come in until next Monday but all of us teachers have been there bright and early every day this week setting up our classrooms, making sure we have all of our student's textbooks (and the teacher's editions that go with them), and all going to all of the boring informative meetings that we have to attend.

This year I've decided to do a red, white, and blue theme in my classroom.  I will actually have a real class so I need to do more than just general bulletin boards.  Because I teach special education and I generally do inclusion, I didn't use my own classroom often.  This year however, due to the Class Size Reduction Amendment, my school is doing things a bit differently and I will have a class of 18 second and third graders (some of them Ex. Ed. and some of them General Ed).  It will be a challenging year, but hey, if I can run a marathon... I can do this!

The biggest problem is trying to find a time to run.  Early morning runs were my preference all summer, however, now that I have to drop off Baby Girl then be at work (a 20 minute drive) by 7:00am every day, an early morning run just isn't feasible.  On the other hand, I get off at 3:00pm.  However, this is FLORIDA!  Florida this time of year is excruciatingly hot and humid.  With 90+ degrees and humidity that make the temperature well like over 100, running after I get off of work isn't a great idea either.  I don't have a hydration belt (yeah, I need to get a good one that doesn't jiggle and annoy me as I run - suggestions?) so running too far/long is not a safe option.  Hubby is working nights at the moment so running in the evening once it cools down isn't great either because by the time it cools down enough, it is too late.  I would have to take Baby Girl with me in the stroller and it would put her getting her bath and going to bed too late.

Saturdays are no problem as I can still get up early and run with Baby Girl in the stroller, but that is about the only day that I have a fool-proof running solution.

I know it sounds like a lot of excuses, and that is exactly what it is.  However, I feel they are some valid excuses.  Other than obviously getting a hydration belt, what would you do if you were in this situation? It's not going to cool down for a good while down here...