Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bible Challenge

Today our whole church started a new Bible challenge:  to read through the entire Bible in 90 days.  Just read, not fill out worksheets, or do in-depth studies, or link the Old to the New Testament, or...  Just reading through the Bible.  It comes out to about 12 pages a day.  It doesn't seem too difficult, but I can tell you that as far as finding the time to do it, I'm pretty sure that "things" will come up that will try to sideline me from my goal.  It seems that every time I'm working for the Lord, "things" happen in my life to knock the wind out of my sails. 

However, I know that in this instance, I'm not alone.  I'll have friends from my entire church working on the same goal.  We'll be able to encourage each other and lift each other in prayer.  I'm hoping it helps our church grow.  I'm praying it will make me grow.  I know I will be changed as a result of this challenge, and hope that it leads to me taking a more active role in studying my Bible.

I've already done today's lesson--Genesis 1:1-16:16.  I found myself listening to my husband read (he's in radio, so he has a great voice) and was astonished to hear some things that I know I've read before, but had never really hit me. (Like tar pits in Israel--not a big detail, just one that I hadn't heard before)  I'm already excited to begin tomorrow morning with a new lesson, even if I just get in a page before work.  I'm thinking about having hubby record himself reading it out loud so that I can put it on my computer and just listen to the Word at any time.

I'm also hoping that this new-found motivation will work its way into my regular life.  I need to begin to take my medication on a regular basis, work out on a daily basis, and start taking control of my PCOS, instead of just treading water with it.  I have the best coach in the world, my hubby, who is wanting me to become the best me possible.  Here's to a fresh start at the beginning of a new season!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

September Daze

Wow.  I'm sitting here this Saturday morning (OK, it's ten minutes to noon, but that still counts, right?) and it has just dawned on me that it's the last weekend in September.  I'm in shock, because that means it's just three months until Christmas Yikes!!  I've got to get busy crocheting for my Christmas presents.  Here's what I did for my nephew and niece last year:
It's my own design!!
This year, I'm crocheting for the adults--here's hoping it turns out. (Please cross fingers that I find the time to do what I have in my head to do.)

Anyway, here's a sampling of things that make September a great month:

1.  Hubby came home from his week-long horse show!!!

2.  My oldest nephew turned 3, my middle niece turned 12, and the smallest niece turned 1.

I made J's 3rd b-day cake--out of cupcakes.
This is his favorite ball that made it through the tornado, and it's what he wanted for his cake.
3. My cycle of doom ended---now if only I could get AF to stop (20 days so far, new record)

4.  The temperatures are FINALLY below 100 degrees!!! I am almost into furnace season.

5.  I finally got paid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is sooooo nice to have money again.

6.  Hubby and I have a plan for paying off debts, buying a real house, and then starting a savings account to save for fostering/adoption costs.  We are leaning more towards foster parenting/adoption over IVF mainly because (if we need to go that far) in my case, I more than likely won't qualify for IVF, especially if the US adopts some of the IVF restrictions that other countries have.  Which means that by the time we save that amount of money, we will have had an election, and the results of the election will probably determine whether or not that mandate is approved. (Oh, joy and rapture--not!)

7.  The Ozarks are starting to show off the colors of fall---which means fall mums, red maples, the smell of burning leaves, football, fall parades, craft shows, hot chocolate...(I think I've lost track of the original idea, but you get the picture!  I looooovvveee the fall...and the winter..and spring...and summer.  OK, I really like all of the seasons, but it's important to remind oneself of the joys of each season!)

Soooo...September has gone by really fast, and while I'm looking forward to whatever's ahead, I am not wanting this time to go by too quickly.  I am feeling my age, and I'm not wanting to see my next birthday come too soon because I do want to begin some medicated cycles and see if they will work for me.  Here's hoping I can get into my favorite doctor in two weeks for her to schedule me with a specialist within my new insurance network.  That's the part that I'm scared about--seeing a new doctor and having him/her tell me that I'm a hopeless probably won't happen that way, but you never know...

Well, time to get away from here---we've got a horse show to work tonight and I need to get my stuff in order so that I can put together a bookshelf (I'll tell you the whole story next time) and work on some crocheting before we leave.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning...

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years...the day that America lost its innocence again.  I remember everything that happened that day, down to tiny details that pale in comparison to the awfulness of the tragedy, but I can just close my eyes and re-live everything as if it just happened yesterday.  I was half a country away, in the heartland here where I live, and yet I also sat in disbelief and shock at the loss of so many of my countrymen's lives. 

I was teaching at a small, rural school.  My first year as a teacher.  I was the band teacher, and my students and I were outside practicing, so we never heard the initial news.  When my next class came in, they asked me if I had seen the news that morning...I thought, "What an odd question..." but told them to get out their books and we went to work on their first major project.  I didn't go to lunch because I had to get my gear together to go down to the elementary school for my beginning band class.  When I arrived, the elementary music teacher asked me if I had heard what happened when the planes hit the twin towers.  I hid a grin as I asked, "No, what happened?"  I was positive she was giving me the straight line for a joke.  I mean, who uses planes to hit a famous building?"  Then I looked at her face...and felt the blood rush from my face as I realized she was telling me news, not a new joke.  I spent the rest of the day in a daze.  I spent my afternoon teaching middle school, and they let us spend 7th hour watching the news.  I had a 7th grade study hall, and we just sat in disbelief.  One girl asked, "Miss C, who would do this thing?".  I started naming countries in the middle east that were known terrorist hotspots, and even mentioned bin Laden.  The boys were upset that the school cancelled their first football game.  I told them that everything in America had been cancelled that night.  I remember telling them to ride the school bus home and then hug their moms tight, say a prayer for the families of those who were lost, and to not complain because we were spared.

I remember as if it were yesterday...the same way my parents remember the day Kennedy was assassinated, and my grandma remembers Pearl Harbor.  Those moments stick with you.  I never could quite understand how they felt about those events, but I knew that they were honored memories, ones that shouldn't be messed with, disrespected, or tossed aside.  I know they prayed that their children and grandchildren would be spared the horror that a defining tragedy brings, such as I pray the same for my students.  It is a horrible thing to see innocence ripped away in a moment such as that.

Which is why it is even more upsetting to me that we have teens today who seem to think that 9-11 is no big deal.  I saw one young lady (via a friend's comment) who said, "What's the big deal about today.  The planes crashed, people died.  Get over it already."  It felt like a punch to the gut.  What kind of generation are we raising?  Where is the respect for others' memories?  For grief?  For the significance of such an event?

I do not expect them to have the same reaction as me.  They were too little to understand how vastly our world changed on that day.  But just as I don't understand the Kennedy assassination, or the "Day that lived in Infamy", I still respect the loss of life and the feelings of those who personally went through it.  I have empathy for those who lost everything on those days.  It saddens me so much to see such a callousness in our younger generation.  We have lost our empathy, our sense of respect for our elders, our...I can't even describe it except to say that it was like a knife to the gut to read that thought from a young person.  I have studied my history---I know that those who do not understand their history are doomed to repeat it, and I don't ever want to repeat that day 10 years ago.

So where were you 10 years ago?  And how can we get our students to understand that this wasn't "just a day"?  And that it was R-E-A-L and not a video game or something that happened half a world away?  And that there is a reason to "never forget"?  And that it wasn't some vast conspiracy by our own government, but evil perpetrated by evil people?  And that evil people continue to exist and seek to do us harm? 

I don't know answers to these questions, I only know that in my corner of the world I can educate my students and make sure that they understand.  I cannot save the world, but I can shine a light in my corner and make the darkness go away through the light of my life.  It may not be much on its own, but I hope that others will join with me to light the darkness and drive away apathy, and hatred, and irreverence, and disdain. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I'm so excited that hubby is coming home tomorrrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I really am--can you tell?)  In the meantime, I"m sitting here writing this post as I stare at the ever-growing list of things to do here at home.  I could be cleaning the bathroom, putting up some border, finishing the re-do of my closet, daring to go into the spare room and unpack bins and then put some semblance of order into my crafting space, vacuum the living room, doing the laundry...

I'm doing none of those things, however.  I was out shopping with my mom this morning in the "larger-than-our-town" town (not quite the "big city").  She was shopping, I was along for moral support--my checking account is telling me that I can't buy anything until hubby gives it some money.  Anyway, that threw a monkey wrench into my plans for the day--but who's going to do chores ahead of shopping with mom? 

Anyway, I've spent the afternoon NOT doing my chores, well not doing the more dreadful ones anyway.  I'm working on crocheting my Christmas presents for Brother/SIL and Sister/BIL, and SIL/BIL.  And I need to come up with b-day presents for my nephew and my I've been working, just not on grownup stuff.

I think my procrastination will catch up with me, eventually.  I've already discussed this with my body, as it has had its own ideas on procrastination.  After putting it off for three months, my body finally decided that *perhaps* I would want an end to the cycle of doom.  So in response, I have been dealing with the effects of my body's procrastination--an AF that has been going strong all week.  So, since it is CD 5, I'm going to start on soy again to see if it will work this time. 

Here' s hoping for a *normal* cycle this month.  A "monthly" cycle, like other women have.  One where I feel like a real woman again.  Where I don't feel like a failure, and where I have confidence in my womanliness. 

Well, that's enough wool-gathering for now.  Off I go to put clothes in the dryer, take out the trash, and get back to work on the afghans.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  Maybe it'll be the day I'm hoping for!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday

As I've started spending more time reading other blogs and learning what others are doing, I realized that many bloggers participate in "Wordless Wednesdays".  What a novel concept...that will NEVER happen here since I have not yet figured out how to shut my mouth about anything!! (Hee-hee)  So, I've decided to create my own "special" day:  Thankful Thursday, where I count blessings and share uplifting-ness!! Here goes:

*I'm thankful for a job where I can make a difference.

*I'm thankful for this blog where I can just be me, even if my "me-ness" is too, well, me.

*I'm thankful for being able to keep this blog going--and have spent a bit of time re-reading all of my past posts.  It's neat to see how God has brought me this far, and hope that He continues bringing me further.

*I'm thankful for a WONDERFUL husband who loves me even though I sometimes don't love myself.

*I'm thankful for my family--including my in-laws--because they are a great support.

*I'm thankful for a lady in Australia who made this picture because she knew we were grieving the loss of our baby.  http// (I think that's the site.  I'll double check later)
I am really, really, really thankful to have something this beautiful to remind me of the daughter I had, not that I need reminding or her existence, but in that it is tangible evidence that she existed.  And that someone half a world away has remembered her name.  And has made her memory look as beautiful as I have imagined she would look.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Changes Are Good Sometimes do you like the changes to this page?  After almost a year of blogging here and there, I've decided to get more serious and actually start using this thing correctly.  So, I logged onto the changy thingy and changed some stuff up.  Do I know what I'm doing?  Calling it a "changy thingy" should be your first clue.  No, I have no idea what I'm doing.  I just like trying some new stuff out every once in a while. 

 I think I like the new look.  I tried to find a picture that looked like "the road less traveled", but since I don't really know what I'm doing, the picture of the highway was the closest I've gotten.  Which, if you really think about it, does fit.  I expected to find a picture of this neato nature-ish pathway, and instead, I found the highway.  Oh well, at least you can go faster on the highway than on the pathway---hoping that unexpected metaphor rubs off on me in real life!!

What's new with me today???  I (gasp with drama) have a list.  (To which you reply sarcastically, "Of course you have a list!")  Here it is:

*Work is going well.  My schedule has changed--yet again.  We're working on my girl becoming more independent, and the 7th graders need a para in their Science classroom.  I am amazed that there are teachers out there who will not modify their assignments for the super-low special ed kids.  It just boggles my mind.  It doesn't require mounds of extra work.  It just means that you have to have more than one day planned and that you understand that special ed means "cannot read, write, or compute on grade level", and that MR means "functions at about a 1-3 grade level when in 7th grade".  And that pass/fail means that if they are in your room, attempting things, and not causing behavior problems, YOU GIVE THEM A PASSING GRADE!!!!!!!!!  Sheesh, I mean how can you expect a kid to understand, much less fill out, a 7th grade worksheet when you don't allow them to take their work home with them or to the Sped room????  (Ranae pauses, takes a deep breath, and then steps off of the soapbox, because the teacher she is referring to will never change, and totally did not get the subtle sarcasm that Ranae used today when telling her that she should give those particular students FULL CREDIT for attempting the assignment, because they DID IT,even though they didn't answer her every question or use complete sentences properly (and 1/2 of their answers were written by Ranae because, ya know, THEY CAN'T WRITE AT A 7TH GRADE LEVEL!!!)  Seriously, how do you not know how to modify...)

*Hubby is working a horse show this week and is gone.  I miss him something awful, even though he is getting paid good money to tell people and horses how to walk around an oval.  We really need the money, but I am sooooooo looking forward to when he returns...

*My period finally started yesterday, so it's officially CD2.  Here's hoping to a MUCH shorter cycle this time round.  I think I'll cry giant tears of despair if I have another 80+ day cycle again.

That's my today!  I know that I'm getting several of you who read, and I've changed the settings so that you can comment without being a follower--so comment away!!  Tell me what you think, only remember that even if you disagree with me, do so in an adult fashion, using polite words, and don't bash people!!! (I hate having to add that, but having seen the comments some of the ladies I follow have received this past week...people need to follow the Thumper rule:  If ya don't have sumfin' nice to say, don't say nothin' at all." )

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"It's Just A Game"...except when it's not.

For the last week or so, Facebook has been brimming with a new "game" that's "for women only" that asks you to support breast cancer awareness by posting a status that suggests you're pregnant and craving a certain type of food.  It concludes by "making it a secret" from all the men.  This bothers me.  On many levels.  So I'm going to explain.

First of all, I know that for some of you, this seems like making a mountain out of a molehill.  But once again, this is my blog, my opinions, my space to vent about how things make me feel.  Sooooo....if you think I'm over-reacting, then stop reading.  There is no reason to trash-talk someone for expressing her personal opinion on her personal blog.

Here's what bothers me about this "game":

1.  It has, every year that I've seen it, used a double entendre to show "support"
for something serious.  The first year was your bra color, then it was the size of
your shoe, in inches, (which sounded like the length of a certain body part)  then
last year was the location of your purse (worded to sound like locations for sex),
and this year it is a fake pregnancy announcement.  The purpose of a double
entendre is to sound suggestive while saying something completely innocent.
I personally thought the whole point of breast cancer awareness was to
"de-sexualize" the breast so that people would take this type of cancer as
seriously as we do lung and brain cancer.  This "game" seems to be in direct
opposition to that goal.

2.  It's supposed to be kept "secret" from the guys.  Why????  Men get breast
cancer, too.  I don't like portraying anyone as being dumb or  imply that they are
"not smart enough" to get jokes.  I get that breast cancer is mainly a women's
disease, but I'm not cool with this "anti-men" thing.

3.  Anyone who takes offense at this "joke" is told, "It's just a game.  You just
need to get over it."  Really?  There are a lot of things I put up with, but put-downs
are not one of them.  We tell our children that bullying is bad, but where do
they learn it?  From the adults .  I get that most women just kind of giggle about
"being in the know" , and just play along, especially as this is supposed to
promote breast cancer awareness.  But some people, me included, really think
that this is hurtful--especially the fake pregnancy announcement joke this time. 
I don't find the humor in it.  That's because of my prior experience and the fact
that I don't treat pregnancy as a joke.  It's hurtful to the many women that have
gone through infertility, infant loss, miscarriage, and those who have lost the
chance to become birth moms due to cancer treatments and hysterectomies. 
But then to belittle their hurt by telling them to "suck it up" because they took
offense?  That's bullying.  No, we don't have  to participate in the game, but
don't put us down for being upset about something that cuts us deeply.

4.  This "game" doesn't actually help breast cancer victims, survivors, or
research in any way.  It just makes suggestive statuses the rage for a couple
of weeks.  Wanna help out the cause?   Perform monthy breast self checks. 
This is important for everyone, but especially for those of us who are
"well-endowed" because our breast size makes it hard for a mammogram to
detect the early stages of cancer.  Check your husband out as well.
(This can definitely be more fun than your own check!)
Donate to the American Cancer Society.  Visit someone going through chemo. 
Lend a hand in the cancer treatment center.  Pray for those going through
treatments, mourn with those who have lost the fight.  But don't make light of a
serious issue---because behind every issue there is a real person going through
a real fight for his/her life.  Don't trivialize the fight.  Stand and fight alongside
them, helping them to fight, to endure, to win, or to die with dignity against
an enemy that seeks to rob them of both their humanity and their dignity.

In the end, I guess this "game" has increased breast cancer awareness, but mainly because we infertility bloggers have really gotten livid about the vehicle used this year to promote it.  I, like many of my fellow bloggers, find it offensive to "fake" a pregnancy in any way.  More than some, I know what it's like to both be pregnant and then have that ripped away in a heartbeat.  It's not fun, it's not a game, and it's making light of the great miracle that pregnancy and birth is.  As far as for it being all in good fun, I don't find any humor in double entendres in general.  In the privacy of my home, I will occasionally use one when joking with my husband, but never in public.  It's just crass.  I find more honest humor in the funny things that happen at church, in my classroom, and that come from the lips of my nephews and nieces.  I love a good practical joke--I had to, growing up with a younger brother like mine!  I can be a funny person.  But double entendres aren't funny.  And neither is this game.  It's not "just a game," any more than cancer is "just an illness."  Remember to think before you put something on-line--it's good advice for everyone.  Make sure that you lift others up, and shy away from things that put others down.

And for what it's worth,  I'm not "mad" at anyone who participated in the "game".  Just mad at the concept and not understanding how a Facebook status could help save someone from a potentially fatal disease.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The More Things Change...

Well, I'm finally back to blogging, and I do hope to write something of note more often--like start writing a bit each night instead of these long novels every few weeks!  But like the good little procrastinator I am, I have a really, really good excuse.  Drumroll please...........................I've been tired.  More like exhausted.  I come home from work each day, collapse in my favorite chair, check my FB, read the news, grab a bite to eat, go to watch some TV, and then practically fall asleep in my chair by 7:30.  So hubby usually wakes me up long enough to get dressed for bed and I'm sound asleep by 8-8:30.  Then up again at 6:30 and off to work before 7:00.  Exciting life, huh?  I don't know what exactly is going on with my body, but if I thought I could make money off of it, I would bet that it's hormone related--only no one who knows me would take that bet b/c I'd win every. single. time.

I've settled into my job now, and I really like it---I work as a personal aide to a girl with Down's Syndrome and then help the other MR kids in her class when we go to "regular" classes.  They're all great kids, some with autism, some who are just really low.  But none of them are "dumb", they all have that light of intelligence in their eyes, and none of them are saddled with the added difficulty of being "drug babies", so no behavior issues.  They're just low-functioning---but at the high end of the spectrum.  I'm getting to be a teacher, just in a slightly different setting and just at the salary of a Para, but I'm loving it.  I've had several doors open for me, and I hope to be able to step into the ones God has for me.  So for the first time in a few years, I'm starting to feel renewed as an educator.  It's a good feeling.

Now for the elephant in the room.  No, I am not pregnant.  I am not going to be pregnant for a LONG time.  It still stinks.  However, I am excited to become an aunt again.  In March.  Slightly unexpectedly.  I'll explain.  My SIL had privately e-mailed me a while back that they were wanting to expand their family in the near future, but knowing the pain that sister had caused me with her all-of-a-sudden public announcement, they would tell me first, over the phone, and understand it if it took me just a bit to be "ga-ga" over the news.  Their plan was to wait until March, when their daughter was 18 months old, to begin again.  I had told my husband way back in June when everyone else in the world was announcing they were pregnant that I thought Brother and SIL would probably be expecting by Christmas.  Well, last week, I got my call--and I am excited for them.  They are both still in shock, because between birth control pills and breastfeeding, they thought they had covered their bases on contraception.  But it meant a lot to me that they thought of how it would make me feel when they went public.  It was a little thing in the big scheme of things, but it meant a lot.

I am STILL in the middle of the longest cycle of my life.  I am *almost* positive that my weight has caused these cycles from you-know-where.  I have joined the local Curves, and am hoping that the exercise, combined with Metformin and pre-natal vitamins, will bring that weight off.  I actually had 15 days of spotting, starting on the first day of school, but since I never ovulated, it wasn't actually a period.  Who knew my body had its own finely-tuned version of sarcasm and irony?

I'd better get going, since I still haven't packed hubby's suitcase.  He leaves today for an entire week--announcing a national horse show that pays good money, but it seems to last forever when he's gone.  And I really do miss him a lot when he's gone.  We married so late in life (ok, I was still technically in my twenties at 29 11/12ths) that we'd each had enough of being alone, and do really enjoy the pleasure of each other's company.  I'm not one of those "whew, he's gone.  Now I can have some fun." type of women.  So it's going to be a long week.  And I have to make sure he has presentable clothing to wear on this trip.  So, until later, Adios!