Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So many changes

How has it been so long since I have written anything here???

Things have changed. I am teaching full time at the nursing school and working 10 hours a month as a NP. The family is busy and the boys are growing up so fast. Where does time go?

I am enjoying this new teaching role. It has been a great new challenge, especially since I have been writing lectures on subjects that I really don't have any expertise in. I love the opportunity to learn new things. I went to Philadelphia, PA at the end of September for the National League for Nursing annual meeting. It was a great place to connect with other nursing educators and learn more about what I have gotten myself into! The director of the program that I teach at was inducted as a fellow and it was nice to be there to support her. Our school has also been named one of the top 3 schools of nursing in Texas. So far I feel that this has been a good change for me and also for my family. It does put pressure on my husband to keep up the morning routine, but I am able to be more present in the evenings.

I was amazed yesterday when I received an email from my oldest son's science teacher that informed me that he got to class early to make sure he is on track. Is this really my kid? He just floats through life without even a backward glance and usually has no clue where he stands academically although he usually does quite well without much effort. He is in 7th grade now as does seem to be growing up. He has some good friends and is active in the art club and overall seems quite happy and comfortable with himself and life. My change in employment has allowed me to be home in the afternoons with him after school and he seems to enjoy having that time alone with me. I wonder how long that will last?

My middle son, in 5th grade and now 11 y/o, is having a difficult year. School is challenging from an organizational standpoint and he is struggling both academically and socially because of that. It is breaking my heart because I see him struggling with the same things that I did at his age. We have been trying to work on those executive function skills, but he is quite frustrated. I don't think that I really developed those skills until college and then it has remained a work in progress.

My youngest son is a shining star! He made the honor roll for the first 9 weeks at school with all A's. He does have a modified workload and is still significantly behind in reading and a little bit behind in math but is making great strides in catching up. We took him to SMU for evaluation of his reading and other learning disabilities over the summer and came away without any kind of definitive answers but we do have a 5 page list of recommended interventions. The resource teacher at his school has taken those recommendations and put together a program that is really working for him. He spends the majority of his day in the general-ed classroom and is making friends and is so happy this year.
We have decided to change plans from the traditional this Thanksgiving and will be going to the Texas Renaissance Festival this year. It is something new and the boys are excited. We have been watching Robin Hood on BBC America and they are looking forward to seeing the games and shows at the festival because of the introduction to some of it on the show.

I will make another effort to keep up with this blog again. Life just keeps moving on and it is good to stop and reflect.

Friday, January 30, 2009

And so...

And so...
Our change in after school care has been very good for the two younger boys. My oldest son has only been home alone for a few days but that will be changing next week. He has handled himself fairly well. We have written down routines and rules and that helps him to stay safe. Now the biggest challenge is what about the summer. I am not ready for him to be home alone 3 days a week all alone.

I have started a new semester at the college. I love teaching. I have decided to pursue a full time faculty position at the college. I am hoping that this will work out and then I will have summers off to be with the boys and hopefully I will also be able to go back to work on a doctorate in nursing. The director of the nursing program has been very encouraging.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Looking Ahead

What a year it has been. I taken a look back at the previous year and reflected on all that I have accomplished and then the things that I want to do in the new year. When I look back at the last year I feel quite satisfied that I got the most living packed into the short time and I am happy. This is my plan for the next year also.

Big changes are being forced on us with this new year. Our after school childcare has closed, unexpectedly and we are forced to look for new options. We have been quite content and comfortable with the arrangement that we had and this is a huge disappointment. We still don't have the whole story of what happened, only the owner does, and she is not talking to anyone right now. The center had been in business for almost 20 years and has enjoyed a very solid quality reputation. This has been quite devastating to many families.

The two younger boys will go back to the aftercare provided at the school. This may be a good option since they will get more homework help. It is safe and well run and they will not have to travel anywhere to get there.
The big worry is what about my oldest? He is no longer in elementary school and not eligible to attend the after school care there but I am nervous about having him home alone in the afternoons. He is also a little bit nervous about it. We will have to have transportation arrangements made and strict after school rules. I am still unsure of how to enforce some of the consequences if he breaks the rules. We are working with a "home trainer" from the Autism program through the school district and I am hoping that she will be able to help some with this new twist in after school routines. This will certainly force him to grow up quickly.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Old Friends and Aquaintances

Old friends and acquaintances, wow what a thanksgiving surprise!

We went to MoRanch again this year for Thanksgiving. The weather was beautiful and we spent most of our time outside in the Hill Country sun. We did allot of walking, some fishing and the boys did some swimming in the Guadalupe River ( not me, too cold!).

My parents met us there and spent some nice time with the boys and my husband and I. We spent time visiting and walking and watching old movies of me as a young child. My boys really got a kick out of that. It is quite amazing how much my oldest son looks like I did at those ages. Especially when I was a pre-teen and early teenager. Unfortunately these movies are old and fading and my dad can't find many of the reels that he knows he took of me and my three sisters growing up. It was a great show for us and a great time to reminisce.

We also had the wonderful, but unexpected, opportunity to visit with some old friends. The pastor of the church that I attended throughout my youth was there with his wife and his 4 children and their families. I haven't seen any of them in at least 25 years! This man was an important influence in my life. He believed in me when I don't think I felt that anyone else did. He counseled me and reassured me and helped me to believe in myself. It was fun to meet up with his kids again. I was not close to any of them when I was younger. I am about 4 years older than his oldest son and they were closer to my younger sisters. Those years don't matter nearly as much as we grow into adulthood and have families of our own. It was good to catch up and hear what they are doing and make plans to keep in touch, I hope that we do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I voted today

I love the fact that we have early voting. I have to work on November 4th and I don't want to worry that I may not get to my polling place in time to cast my ballot.

There was a time in my life that I would not have even considered voting early. There was something so exciting about voting on election day and being a part of the whole voting process. I remember spending hours in line the first time I went to vote and feeling so excited about being able to really say something that mattered. I have always believed that to be able to argue politics you must first be willing to vote, otherwise you don't have a voice as far as I am concerned.

So today, on the first day of early voting, I went to cast my ballot. I was surprised that the line was long just to get into the parking lot and when I got inside the poll worker told me that the line wrapped around the building by the time the doors opened at 8AM! I only waited for about 10 minutes but there was a steady stream of folks lining up for their turn.

This election matters. But will my vote matter in the long run here in North Texas? I hear that question allot around here. YES it does count. We may not think it does in the Presidential election, but it matters, and in the local and state elections it matters allot.

I did my homework and really reserched the candidates before making my choices. I have engaged my boys in discussions and let them know what is at stake. I worked very hard to stay objective when talking with my boys, despite the fact that I have very definite opinions, and have definite choices. I think that my boys do understand that this is the most important thing that we as Americans do for our country and ourselves. They are listening and paying attention and looking at the issues.

So I voted today and now I will wait until November 4th to find out if my candidates win. My vote does count.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Still here...

Has it really been almost nine months since I have posted anything here? I will say it has been quite a busy year!
I have received a few nudges to get busy and write about the family and how the boys are doing. Well, here goes. Hang on for the ride!
The school year ended on a very positive note last year. All three boys did very well and the oldest is now "all grown up" and in middle school. He seems to be doing very well. Of course it is only the second week of school. He seems to be handling changing classes and says that it is good and gives him time to move around and then he can stay focused during the class times. He has chosen to play the cello in the orchestra and is really excited about it. He also learned a little guitar in music class last year. I am planning to get him a guitar for Christmas with some lessons if he is still interested.

The two younger boys are now in 2nd and 4th grades and loving it. A thinks that his teacher is the most beautiful woman in the whole world. I guess I am just the mom now... J has S's former 4th grade teacher and feels very special about that. I am looking forward to an uneventful year for them.
I have just started my 4th semester teaching at the Nursing School and I am looking forward to that. Of course I still have my other two jobs also. Yes, I am tired.
Our summer was a busy one!

S spent a week at Mo Ranch this summer for camp. I think he really grew up emotionally at that time and he is already asking to go back next summer. Of course I was a nervous wreck but all was well and he thrived. He spent the rest of the summer hanging out with his friends at the activity center that the boys attend after school during the school year. They had weekly field trips, swimming three times a week and time to be with other kids. All said it was a good time.

We did take some family time away and went to the hill country for a brief vacation. On the way to pick up S from camp we stopped at Inks Lake State Park and went swimming at the Devils Waterhole. The two younger boys had the chance to jump off the cliffs into the lake and float around in the water before heading into Kerville to spend the night.

We spent the next day swimming in the Guadalupe river and playing in the rapids and going down the big slide at Mo Ranch.

Finally we headed over to New Braunfels and spent Sunday at Natural Bridge Caverns, touring the caves and the boys climbed the Watchtower.

the next day we went to Schlitterbaun

and then finally went into San Antonio and saw the Alamo. The boys were surprised and a bit disappointed that it is so small!

The highlight of the trip was probably Schlitterbaun. What a water park! We spent the whole day on Monday there. We do plan to go back next summer. I think that next time we will get a two day pass so we can do everything!
We also spent time with friends boating out on the lake. My three had never been in a boat before but you would never know it by how well they did. We got them out on the knee board and by the time we left they were being pulled all over the lake and all three were almost able to do 360's on the board. Now the question has been when we will go back.
So all in all it has been a good 9 months. This is certainly an abbreviated, just hit the highlights version. I will make a real effort to keep up with things here more often this year.
Time will tell...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vice President of Guatemala

As I pulled in to my parking space at work on Monday morning, listening to to the local PBS radio station as usual, and just as I reached to turn off the engine and pull out my keys I heard something being said about a former cardiothoracic surgeon from Houston's Methodist Hospital. So of course I stopped to listen, was this something being said about any of the surgeons that I used to work with? The news went on about how this former surgeon was being inaugurated as the vice president of Guatemala. I missed the name... So of course I went into my office and immediately googled the news. It was good news!
The man that I have respected and admired for twenty two years is now the VP of his home country. This gentleman that I spent many a night in the operating room in the late eighties doing heart transplants with is now VP of Guatemala. This gentleman with a charismatic personality and a very quick engaging smile has given up surgery to try to heal his country.
I have not seen Dr. Rafael Espada for a few years, well actually about 15 years, but I can still hear his voice and see his smile and I remember his great "bedside" manner and his commitment to his patients and his respect for all of us that worked with him.
Dr. Espada, I congratulate you and wish you well in this new and exciting, and I imagine grueling role that you have taken on. Your country is fortunate to have you.