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Christmas break is finally here!

Christmas break is finally here!

Time is flying by. The first part of the year seemed to creep by, when I wasn’t sure what I was doing and I was just so overwhelmed with all my responsibilities. But from Thanksgiving to now has just flown by and I barely had time to get everything done! I’m just crossing my fingers that everyone gets their Christmas cards in time.

Things at the school are changing dramatically. A couple of key people are leaving after the break (including the 7th grade counselor and the 8th grade assistant principal who set in place most of the structured rules), and I think it will slowly change the dynamics of the school drastically. I’m not sure what to expect. There are a lot of problems and a lot of people are feeling really unhappy and unsettled right now, so it will be interesting to see how things play out.

As for the kids, they are interesting. Somebody asked me the other week how I liked 7th grade. Honestly, I like it better than I thought was possible because most of the kids are extremely intelligent. About half the kids are amazingly mature for their age as well, which makes it tolerable. They surprise me with their insights and ability to rationalize and debate. It’s that other slightly smaller half of immature kids that makes it hard to cope. I do like all my students though, and try hard to find ways to compliment them and put them up during this difficult time in their life. Lets face it…. middle school/junior high is the armpit of society.

This past week had some downs with my health. I went to the doctor again on Monday, and we think we have some additional progress. With the medication however, it’s might make me a little sicker before it makes me better. blech. So when I took this particular addition to my meds, the side affects were some anxiety, 3 hours of sleep, and nausea for nearly 2 days straight. lol. I cut back on that particular dose and I think it’s a little better that way, but that definitely was an adventure to go to school to teach the kids feeling like that!

Anyways… I think I am going to relax and read a little like I am suppose to do on break before I let myself do more preparations for Christmas or grading for school!

The Hot Seat and more….

The Hot Seat and more….

The past week has been a lot of fun. I’m sorry that it has to end, but all good things have to end, as one of my favorite wise poets say.

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.”

I love Robert Frost. I actually taught this poem to my students a couple of weeks ago too, not in it’s deep glory or anything like that, but just in the way that they saw that you have to appreciate what you have when you get the moment, because things must move on. We have to move on and change; we can’t stay frozen in the moment and shouldn’t try to because that’s just not how nature works (or how God works, if you want to go there, too, but we stuck to trees in class :)). And while there were many times I was frustrated, there were many golden moments this week.

It was great because I had the whole week off from work, so I got to spend Monday doing last minute errands and getting things ready for my family to arrive, then finally relaxing. My parents and brother arrived Monday night. They immediately fell in love with Stevie. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t? He’s pretty dang cute! And despite what they think, he warmed up to them really fast, especially my dad. For some reason, Jacob thought it was a good idea to stare directly into the dog’s eyes and lean forward and talk loudly at him and then wondered why Stevie was scared. lol. He’s a funny kid.

It was a fun week. We had some great meals that I made (if I may say so myself!). I was so excited because Thanksgiving dinner went off SO well! I had a bit of help from my mom, and a bit more help from Jared, and both of them helped with cleaning up the dishes afterwards, which is the bane of my existence (well, cleaning in general). After we had recovered from our turkey induced coma, I decided we should play some games (which is something I never really do, but figured it was worth trying!) and pulled out Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase. It was absolutely hilarious. If you have never tried Apples to Apples, you really do need to. You have to at least try to pick cards that make sense, but it is fun if you do have one weirdo in a bigger group.

After playing a couple rounds of that, we switched to Catch Phrase, which is kind of weird with 5 people but can be done. After the first round, we decided to switch teams around, which required some moving. Jacob got up and said, “Well, Elisabeth, I will move, but my seat is hot.”

Bewildered silence. I looked at him, with that “What-the-heck-is-that-supposed-to-mean?” look on my face.

Then we all looked around at each other and suddenly started to laugh so hard we were crying. It was just so completely random. My dad offered his chair to me, which was a better switch for the team anyways, but started to laugh again so hard he fell onto the floor and that set us all off again laughing for another five minutes.

Good times.

We also went out and stuffed ourselves silly way too many times at some great places around town. Jared and I showed off our respective work locations, where we go to church, some of the local sights, shopping areas, etc. We went to San Antonio yesterday and saw the Alamo which was cool to get some Texas history. We also went to the San Antonio Temple, which is absolutely beautiful with stain glass windows. I was a little conflicted with that; it’s been a long time since I’ve gone to the temple and there’s been a couple of reasons for that other than the distance; mostly the desire hasn’t been there. But my ups and downs with religion is a whole different thing apart from this 🙂

They left at 4:50 AM this morning for the 7:00 AM flight to Utah this morning. Blech! I got up about 4:30 or so and just hung out with them until they left to say goodbye, and even Stevie made five minute appearance ;).

Of course the whole time wasn’t great. I have a terrible temper and mini tantrums and little things set me off quickly, but I tend to get over them as quickly as they annoyed me. For all of these reasons, it’s been a wonderful week. I am so glad I had this opportunity to spend time with my family and see them again.

So thankful for Thanksgiving break!

So thankful for Thanksgiving break!

Well, I finally made it through this week, so I’m feeling pretty happy. There have been a lot of challenges, and a lot more ahead, but the fact that I am still here with my sanity and teaching (though Jared may argue a little with the sanity part with the frequent breakdowns that have occurred randomly the past couple of nights with out any warning! Thanks for putting up with me and loving me anyway, dear!) is something that I am really proud of.

I am really excited about making progress with my headaches and taking these pills. I do think they are working slightly. I’ve been taking them for a week and a half and didn’t notice anything the first week, but have been noticing things when I upped the dosage to the 25 mgs in the morning and at night. With taking the pills, I HAVE noticed that caffeinated drinks actually DO help my headaches, which is kind of cool, as long as I’m not having them every day. Of course, there are weird side affects like diet sodas tasting funny and my fingers tingle occasionally, but the doctor did warn me that it might happen and not to worry.

This next week should be a lot of fun! My mom, dad, and youngest brother Jacob will be coming to visit us here in Austin for Thanksgiving! I’m nervous and excited to show off our home to them. We absolutely love it here though, and so it will be fun to show them around and hopefully they will love it too. We spent today cleaning things up to make things nicer today for them… I let things get a little messier the past couple of weeks due to the stressful stuff and headaches. Anyways… time to finish cleaning and do our lesson for the primary kids tomorrow (you’d think I’d get a break from kids on the weekend, but apparently somebody else decided otherwise. At least they moved us from the 6 year olds to the 9 year olds!!!).

Headache update ‘n’ stuffs

Headache update ‘n’ stuffs

Well helloooooo.

I should be grading the mountains of papers that are facing me right now, but I can’t make myself do it. End of the 2nd 6 week grading period is tomorrow, and grades are due Tuesday morning. It’s been a tough period for me. I’m struggling with getting the kids to be more accountable and responsible for their learning, and I’m not supposed to penalize their grades or anything if they turn it in late or something like that, which isn’t doing them any favors.

Anyways, so I finally made it to the doctor yesterday. I actually was supposed to go last Monday, but they cancelled my appointment. When they called, they weren’t too nice about it and it was pretty last minute (my appointment was at 2:45 and they called me earlier that day… I had work off so I could go…) I also tried to get in when I was sick (the last time I posted) and figured while I was checking out my cough/cold issues, they could check out my head too, but they didn’t want to schedule any appointments past four.

Well, I decided that I didn’t need to deal with that. I looked more carefully at the doctors that we had access to through Jared’s insurance, and then looked at their “recommended” list and then researched them online. I found one that sounded hopeful, and isn’t too far from where we live and from the area we’re hoping to buy a home in in the not to far future.

It was a good decision. I felt like she was very respectful of my concerns and listened, and was really surprised that nobody had taken a serious look at migraines anymore. She said that my symptoms and having headaches every day were fairly classic symptoms of somebody who had not had migraine headaches treated properly. A normal person can take so much noise or triggers that cause a headache. For me, my tolerance has become so low that the smallest things are affecting me right now, or that’s what she thinks. So we are going to try a preventative treatment with a drug called Topamax. We’ll see how it goes. Another thing that we may explore in a month when I go back is the WNV that I was worried about earlier. I am also going to call the original doctor that I did a blood test with to see if they tested for Lyme Disease at that time. All of these aren’t exciting prospects, but I am just happy that I’m moving along with getting results and having people take this seriously, and not all in my head (ha, ha!).

Anyways, really, I should get started on grading. It’s taken me way too long to try and make this post.

Still home sick…

Still home sick…

So after my early morning post yesterday, I tried going to school. I made it through first period and decided it just wasn’t worth it. My head was incredibly stuffy, my nose incredibly runny, and my throat hurt incredibly badly. Then to top it all off, when 3rd period began, they had a fire drill. Needless to say, I was happy to go home after lunch and just lie like a useless blob on the couch. I have decided that I would much rather be healthy teaching classes with my kids than home sick. Blech!

About 9:00 last night I had Jared give me a blessing, and decided that because I wasn’t feeling well still, I should take today off. I’m glad I did. I slept better last night, but this morning my cold had lessened slightly, but I had definitely developed a cough. I called the doctors office and the nurse wasn’t very helpful. Just told me to do the same things I had been doing: Dayquil/Niquil, resting, lots of fluids, and such. No magic fix for my lame head/chest cold!

It’s actually been kind of nice to relax. I didn’t realize how stressed out I’ve been about school until I was forced by my silly body to slow down. I’m counting on because I’ve chilled out yesterday and today, body will get better and let me go back to school on Monday. 🙂 However, it also has just shown me that I am really enjoying my job and teaching, and I really care about how my students are doing (and not just in my classroom). I know I’m not that great of a teacher yet, but I hope that next year I’ll start off a lot more strongly for the students.

Anyways, I need to get ready for the evening. Jared is kind of hosting/helping out a guy who is interviewing for NI, and he has a fiancee so I am going to try to help answer any questions they may have. 🙂 NI is taking us all out to County Line tonight for some delicious barbeque, and as I can finally taste a little again, I am excited!!!