Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Twist on Cyber Monday

I have four different emails:  one work, one family, one personal, and one junk.  I've been getting quite a few spam emails on my personal account.  Some I can figure out; others I cannot.
In case anyone would want to know, I am a content, married, 40ish religious mother with healthy children.  I do not need anything for Christmas.  Let's just add that I don't want to purchase any viagra for a merry Christmas from some suspicious online pharmacy.  Oh, and the fact that shipping was free on Cyber Monday didn't change my mind, either!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pizza = Vegetable?!?!?

I am not a nutrition nut.  I've never counted a calorie in my life.  However, I am conscious of well-balanced meals and the importance of nutrition--particularly in children's growing bodies.  My children eat fruits and veggies (often from the organic produced delivered to our home each week by a local CSA farmer).  They snack on yogurt vs. more sugary snacks or fat/salt-laden chips.  I am alarmed at what society now thinks is acceptable food choices.  A recent news story alludes to the idea that pizza is now considered a vegetable (Pizza = Vegetable).  This is a little bit of an embellishment--but the average person hears enough to think that because pizza has tomato sauce, school cafeterias consider pizza a vegetable.  If it is good enough for the dietitians at the cafeteria, it should work at home, too.  Right?!?!

Well--I've had this similar disagreement with parents when I worked in preschool.  We state that we prefer healthy snacks for our growing children.  Children will eat healthy if it is provided and their friends are eating it (a positive peer pressure).  The average pre-K is approximately 100 days.  Twenty plus of those days are sugar-laden birthday snacks.  Let's not forget another five or so days for party cupcakes.  Did we mention the three children who brought in sugary snacks for the birth of a brother or sister.  Grandma visited and made cupcakes--sure bring them in.  If we were lucky, only 20% of snacks were cupcakes & cookies. 

But then there were the infamous fruit snacks--my greatest pet-peeve.  ATTENTION--FRUIT SNACKS ARE NOT CONSIDERED A FRUIT.  However, if pizza is a vegetable, then I must be wrong.  My morning coffee comes from beans--is that a veggie?  What about cocoa beans and chocolate?  Maybe I was the one wrong all of the time.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The 50th Little Thing

So much for which to be thankful.  Today I am thankful to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with good food and with my family (including my mom and dad visiting from out of state).  Every day is a blessing.  I thank God for my life and ask He please help those who are suffering physically, mentally, and/or spiritually today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

50 Little Things #49--a full pantry

I braved the craziness of Kroger grocery story at 3:00 yesterday afternoon.  I spent a decent amount of money, but now my pantry is full.  I am so blessed that I am able to go to bed each and every night and never worry about when or where my next meal will come.  Watching two different schools filling trucks with canned goods was a sober reminder of just how lucky I am.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

50 Little Things #48--Cuddles

I love cuddling with my children.  My youngest is a second grader and my two older girls are 8th grade and freshman.  It is not a daily occurrance, but I love when they want to cuddle.  I'm so thankful for my children.

Monday, November 21, 2011

50 Little Things #47--Parent/Teacher Conferences

I am so thankful for the opportunity to meet with the parents of my students.  I only met with a dozen parents (I work part-time and have only 50 students); however, I love sharing with them how wonderful their children are.  I love these children have supportive parents, too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

50 Little Things #46--Sunday Afternoon Naps

I have been so busy grading and taking classes that I forgot how much I love the ritual of a Sunday afternoon nap.  My husband does the sports thing on the main level television and couch.  I take our bedroom, and I am usually joined by a daughter or two.  I doze off and on for an hour or so.  3:00 is the magic hour to wake up and get a cup of coffee.  I am thankful for Sunday afternoon naps!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

50 Little Things #45--Cheap Movies

I have not been to a movie at the theater in a couple years (that my slipping mind can remember).  My husband went on a social daytrip.  I decided to treat my three kids to the bargain movies.  We spent $15 on snacks--buy the large size and get free refills on popcorn.  So--for under $30, all four of us walked out of a movie laughing and had bellies full of popcorn.  I'm thankful for doing this social outing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

50 Little Things #44--Mass of Healing

It's been a tough year of my friends.  Two of my friends and a cousin are going through breast cancer treatment.  Another friend just found out she has serious liver cancer.  I am thankful for my health and for my family's health.  I am also thankful that I belong to a community that pulls together.  Today we had a prayer service after mass for those who are very sick with cancer.  I was on the emotional edge most of the day (the seriousness of two of the women's prognosis set it), but the comfort knowing the Lord will hold our hands even through the tough times brought consolation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

50 Little Things #43--Sunshine

After a stint of cloudy, rainy, and windy weather, the bright and warm-looking sun is a welcome sight!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

50 Little Things #42--Jigsaw puzzles

I've been self-involved with work/classes and then just busy running kids.  After dinner was cleaned up this evening, I had my son open a jigsaw puzzle that was given to me for Christmas last year.  We spent the evening working on it.  It contains 1,000 pieces, so I forsee more evenings to bond.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Things #41--Fresh Smelling Laundry

To me there is nothing more comforting than a warm, soft blanket that is just out of a warm dryer.  It smells and feels so wonderful--a chair and a good book, anyone?

Monday, November 14, 2011

50 Things #40--Short Storm

We had a brief mini-thunderstorm, rainstorm, wind storm tonight.  It knocked out our power for approx. one minute.  It was just enough for the family to regroup together before going to bed.  Storm = family time.  I'm thankful.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

50 Little Things #39--That Dumb Dog

Two years ago we adopted a dog from a rescue place.  She was replacing the world's greatest dog--a seven year old golden retriever male who was a gentle giant and died when he was only seven.  I waited approximately two years before getting a new dog.  I needed to get something different so I wouldn't compare to the wonder dog before.  For the first time in my life I got a female dog who is 3/4 golden retriever and 1/4 lab.  She's got golden fur, but it's black (think shedding on light carpet).  She can be a little vixen.  She has the world's worst dog breath (and that's saying a lot).  Often times she doesn't even greet me at the door--depends on her mood.  She's messy, a little demanding, and more high-strung than I anticipated.  But . . .
Every morning I'm the first one up and sit at the computer seeing what I missed when I slept.  This "dumb dog" sits by my side and just wants to be pet.  There is something calming about a crappy day and a dog with long, soft fur.  I am thankful for her.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

50 Little Things #38--junior high students

I am thankful I had the opportunity to chaperone part of a junior high school dance.  Seeing how other teens/tweens act makes me appreciate my own children even more!

Friday, November 11, 2011

50 Little Things #37--Learning about the News

Today my students had the opportunity to listen to a local television newscaster come to speak to our seventh graders (her niece is a 7th grader here).  It was interesting to listen to what goes into a program that looks so effortless.  I'm thankful for all people who do the behind-the-scenes work in my life.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Little Things #36--Sweeper Marks

So this is a strange thing for which to be thankful, but I am thankful for vacuum marks left on the carpet.  I love to vacuum because it is instant satisfaction.  The marks on the carpet are a sign that I've done something productive.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Little Things #35--Organic Produce

Every Wednesday I receive a box (delivered to my door) of organic produce.  I'm still having a difficult time utilizing all of the greens, but I've gotten three of the five of us to be more adventurous in eating new things.  We cannot wait to see what is in our "Happy Box" each Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

50 Little Things #34--Childlike Thoughts

I am thankful for childlike thoughts and logic.  My son informed me today that he really likes learning cursive.  (His handwriting is noticibly one of the worst in the class; he forms nearly every letter incorrectly; last year in first grade he would move the pencil from his left hand to his right hand when he got tired.  Sometimes he used both at the same time to write).

I was thrilled he's taking to writing cursive because we worked a bunch this summer to develop his poor handwriting skills.  "I'm glad you like cursive, son.  Why?" 

"Well, mom, cursive just looks like messy writing.  Since my writing is messy, I think I will do well with it."

Monday, November 7, 2011

50 Little Things #33--Leftovers for Lunch

We had hamburgers on the grill last night (Sunday).  There were two left, so I took one to reheat for my lunch at school.  No waste!  Yummy lunch!  I'm thankful! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

50-Things #32: No commitments

Today I am so thankful for a day of no commitments.  I got to spend the entire day inside my own home--pajamas, messy hair, and all!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

50 Little Things #31--Making & Eating Pancakes

Making banana chocolate chip pancakes with my son.  Family bonding AND good food!

Friday, November 4, 2011

50 Little Things #30--Job Security

I had seventh grade students using the dictionary (a curriculum requirement) to look up a few homophone pairs.  The dictionaries in my classroom have the little divots in the pages for each letter of the alphabet; put your finger in the "d" notch to find "d" words, etc. 

You can see the half-moon notches on the right edge.

"Mrs. Teacher!?!?" one student exclaimed.  "This dictionary doesn't have a "w" notch."
I gave a puzzled look and responded, "Yes . . . ?"
"Well, how am I supposed to find the word 'won'?"

Job security.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

50 Little Things #29--Good Health

I got to spend some time at a scout meeting with a friend who had a double mascectomy less than two months ago.  I am so thankful that her health continues to increase.  I pray that another friend (who was recently diagnosed with double breast cancer) will have the same success.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

50 Little Things #28--Academically Strong Student

My older daughter received her first official high school report card today.  In grade school, she was the student who received mostly "B's" but never made honor roll because of that floating "C" in various subjects.  Her report card was all A's!!!!  I could not be prouder of her and for her!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

50 Little Things #27--Holy Day of Obligation

I'm thankful to celebrate the Feast of All Saints' Day with mass and a church full of people.