Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My sister makes fun of me for many things, but one of the things she has teased me about lately is my use of acronyms when chatting online with her. While my chatting and texting vocabulary is not as large as the average 8 year olds, it IS much larger than hers since she's been out of the country for 3 years now.. One of the latest I've learned is PTL, which a friend used on her facebook update. I had to ask to find out what she was actually saying, and since then I've seen it several more times, and the messages make so much more sense now! :)

PTL: The first week of school has passed. There were several bumps and bruises along the way, but I'm sure things will get ironed out in the next few weeks. This first week has left me very tired, and ready to go to bed at 4:00 when my day at school ends. I've also been doing several massages each Tues. and Thurs. evening, and on Saturdays. The juggling of the two jobs and my normal things around the house (mowing, laundry, dishes, etc...) have made me so tired that I haven't even attempted going to the pool. I'm still hopeful that I will be able to add that back in soon....

PTL: My Dell computer arrived and several days ahead of schedule. I'm slowly loading the programs I use onto it, and spending some time playing and discovering what all I've got.

PTL: Heidi and Tim have found a house, and will be moving their things in starting Thursday. This means the state wide storage rooms will be emptied, and all items will be happily joined together in Newton, not far from Shalom. I'm sure that much excitment and jubilation will be felt as Heidi and Tim unpack boxess and rediscover their long-lost belongings.

PTL: Sunday's special music at church turned out much better than the fiasco it could have been. I'm so thankful that most in the congregation have/had no idea what all transpired.

PTL: I've been blessed by my family who love and support me, who care about me, care for me when I need them, and laugh with me. I can't imagine a better family to be a part of.

PTL: Good friendships make my life so much better. I was able to share dinner with several friends last night at my home, and our laughter until 10:30 last night has caried me through the day today. I've been graced with more friends than I can count, I have many more than "my fair share".

Hopefully you've figured out what PTL stands for (or maybe you already knew!)...if not, try to use your context clues! :) I would love to hear what others come up with!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The last few days

The new school year has begun. So far I've had 3 days of inservice, next Monday will be a work day, and then the children start rushing through the doors on Tuesday. In the space of a week's time, my caseload has grown by 3 students, which is good and bad. With those students come some new personalities, and much more juggling of schedules, whether my own or planning my paraprofessional's. My classroom still looks pretty messy, but I'm hoping that everything will be in place by Monday at 4:00 when I send my paras home.

We've also really begun to feel the economic stress of this year within our county and district. Budgets have been slashed, or are non-existent...we're all being lectured on money saving strategies and conserving resources...and we've been told to buckle down and prepare for the worst. Jobs (for this year at least) are protected...but we've been told to be thankful that we still have them. While things are bad for the special education cooperative that I work for, they are much worse in the district, and more specifically, for the regular education teacher. One of the smartest decisions I ever made was getting my special education degree. I am protected from so many things because of my SPED degree. I have no worries about ever losing my job, which is quite a relief! I also am assured of a quick hire if/when I go looking for a different job. The entire situation really hit home today when I was told by my principal that a para that we had already "hired" had really not been hired because they had decided not to fill the position. While I haven't talked to the director about this situation, I'm fairly certain that there simply is not enough money to hire to replace the para position. This is especially difficult, not only because of the loss of an additional set of hands and presence in the classroom, but because I consider the person that was "hired" to be a personal friend. This person had already gone to 2 days of inservice, and the principal then had to break the news that he really didn't have a job.

Another frustration this week was the death of my laptop. While it was 6 years old, and basically obsolete I was hoping that I could eke out a few more months of service. Thankfully I took some time back in May to clean it off, and so I only lost a few conversations and documents. It could have been so much worse! I was so thankful that cousin Patrick was available to talk to me, and counsel me on whether I should try to repair it or trash it and buy a new one. After determining it was most likely the hard-drive, I quickly came to the conclusion (and Patrick agreed!) that a new computer was in my future. I would have liked to wait until October when there will be a new operating system available, but...I do use my computer all the time at home for working from home for SPED and massage and communication with family, friends and school matters... I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery of my new Dell... I think I got a fairly good computer for not too much money--and I REALLY appreciate the Dell Educator Discount. Every little bit helps!

This past week I've been spending much of my time gathering vegetables from friends and their gardens. I've canned green beans, several batches of salsa, homemade italian sauce, and cantaloupe. Yes! I said I canned cantaloupe! :) It is amazing! Maybe if you're lucky you'll get some for Christmas! Tonight I've started some dough for Whole Wheat Pizza mini crusts that will be finished off tomorrow, and I've baked a cherry coffee cake.

Tomorrow brings two massages at the clinic, house cleaning, and the arrival of my Aunt Terri. Terri will be staying overnight with me, and then heading back to Nebraska after picking up a kitten for a friend. Mom, Dad, Heidi, Tim and Gustav will be joining Terri and me for supper tomorrow night, and I'm eager to spend time with all of them. My house desperately needs to be cleaned, and I'm hoping that it all gets done before Terri arrives!

I believe the last time I wrote I mentioned that I would be getting an MRI to see whether there was a tumor on my pituitary gland. I went back to the doctor this week, and was happy to hear that there is no tumor! :) While I still don't have as much energy as I would like, I'm coming to the realization that this may just be something I have to live with. I am happy that most of my other side effects have been clearing up with the help of the medications that she has prescribed. I am hopeful that that continues. The real test will be next week when I head back to the pool in the mornings (or at least that is my intention!). I may have to ease into it. I know that I'll want to (and expect myself!) to be able to swim several miles at one time, and then head to school like I was doing last year, plus go back in the evenings and swim some more. I'll have to sit down and try to figure out a schedule of when I go, allowing for rest time, and easing into the longer amounts of swimming. I guess I'd rather do that than crash and burn...although I think I'll end up being very frustrated with myself.

Love to all of you!