Month: March 2014

While at the SWC Convention in July 2014…

Hoping to do this the morning of my birthday!! Something to look forward to, not the snow tomorrow.

SayWhatClub

Written by Erica Penn

Visit the farmers market!  Every Saturday, the Dane County Farmer’s Market meets in the Square near the Capitol Building for food, goodies and fun! Since the SayWhatClub Convention will be hosted in Madison, Wisconsin from Wednesday, July 16 through Sunday, July 20, 2014, come join your SayWhatClub friends, old and new, at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning July 19, 2014!

dane county farmers market

Dane County is rich in both rural and urban culture. In 1972, Mayor Bill Dyke recognized a need to unite the two cultures and provide a means for city dwellers to reap some of the county’s agricultural benefits.

Inspired by Europe’s open markets, Dyke called on the Dane County Extension Office and the Central Madison Committee of the Chamber of Commerce to help him replicate the European tradition. The three agencies joined forces to develop the Dane County Farmers’ Market.

However, county farmers…

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What Do I Want To Do When I Grow Up

My life as a substitute teacher.  When your main job is a substitute you need to expect the unknown.  I look at the calendar for the week and can get discouraged because I will only have one day scheduled.  I feel sad, defeated because at this stage of my life, both of my kids in school, I want to work full time.  6:30am will hit on Monday morning and the phone will ring and they need a sub.  That is what it is like, a boring outlook on the calander and then boom I am working almost everyday.  It happens so fast and is really is always in the air.  I will get settled in a class and then get called out and have to move to another class or move to the other school.  It is always changing it is the unknown.

I must have hit a point in my life that I need stability again.  I started working as a waitress at the age of 15 and worked at a small cafe till the end of my senior year.  Even before that I delivered the daily paper, The Stillwater Gazette.  I have working blood and it has always run thick.  I got through college in 4 years and that was with working a good amount of hours each week at a job and working up to two jobs in the summers.  College isn’t cheap ya know.  So when Henry was born I decided to stay home.  Then he was so sick and we had so many doctor appts, and therapy appts a full time job would not have fit in.  Now both kids are in school and that working blood is needing to be tended.  I need to know I am going to work each day and now I have hours coming in every week.

So my problem is what can I do for a job or career.  I have subbed k-12 for almost the past 7 years.  I love the school and I love the kids but there isn’t a list of job openings at the school at the time.  I went to school for Communicative Disorders with an emphasis in Audiology.  I have not obtained my Masters so I can not practice speech therapy and to be honest I can’t see myself doing that or wanting to do that.  Now audiology is a completely different story.  I enjoy the science of the ear.  I used to like making out an audiogram and graphing left ear and right ear with masked sounds and unmasked.  Now what do I do with that and living in small town, I don’t live in a metro area where there are a lot of towns around that may have openings.  So I research and read and I update my resume and just wonder what to do.

My ideal world I could get a job I would work with an audiologist or in a hearing aid office.  I know most say 1-2 years of experience.  How in the world can you get that experience if you can’t get in somewhere.  Oh well for now I will live the life of the unknown sub.  This week I was a Title 1 teacher, a 6th grade teacher, and 2 days as a 5th grade teacher.  I love the amount of days but I just need to know and have that consistency.

I will take input from anyone on this subject or hey want to offer me the job of the century- I am “ALL EARS”

My Yellow Belt Miracle

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Look at the attention that my dear son, Henry, is holding.  It is amazing to me and that is the main reason this picture had to be taken.  You see my boy hasn’t always sat like this let alone be in a room of people watching him.  I thought I would take this opportunity to shed a little light on how Henry used to be till now.  The problems he has had are not gone totally but they are handled and he know how to hold himself and his emotions in check….for the most part.

Henry was born 5.5 years ago and he was just the cutest little thing.  He was always very reserved as an infant and as a toddler.  He was also a sick little guy.  He would spike a fever so easily and so fast.  It was about every 3 weeks he would spike a fever between 105-106 degrees.  He and I spent lots of time in the ER and the doctor’s offices.  It was determined a good year after this trend started that he needed his tonsils and adnoids out.  Thank god he has never spiked a high fever again since that surgery.  After that surgery attention was turned to could he hear? That was the big question, being past the age of 2 and not babbling or really making any noises.  So after more paperwork and talking with the doctors, and school district (early intervention) we went to an audiologist.  Henry was found to be right at the line for moderate hearing loss.  Being at a moderate hearing loss myself I know now that would not be easy to learn speech and interact.  Henry had glue ear and had surgery to remove that and put tubes in and they also clipped his tongue at that time.  His hearing has gone to a mild loss and that is where he is still at today.  He entered ECSE (early childhood special education) at the age of 3, Occupational therapy, and speech therapy.  He has made huge strides in the past couple years.  During that time was full of  appts, worry and constant love for him.  Henry had a grand mal seizure at school one day so that was then a trip to a neurologist, EEG, MRI.  It hasn’t happened again and hopefully will not.  Henry was also diagnosed with PDD-NOS during the time of preschool.  PDD-NOS is under the Autism Spectrum umbrella.  Henry also has SPD, sensory processing disorder.  I believe this is what has affected him the most.  From hating the sound and feel of water falling on him.  To having complete meltdowns walking into a store or restaurant that is full of people, bright lights and loud sounds.  We still have moments this all comes back but it is getting better.  He still has huge issues with food (most things are OH SO YUCKY).

This brings me to Friday.  My handsome son is in kindergarten, speaking at his age level, and interacting with friends.  He is in TaeKwonDo and had a promotional test Friday night.  I get so nervous and proud at those tests if it is for Henry or Greta.  I am so proud to say Henry PASSED his test.  He passed all his material on the first time.  He ran across the gym and while doing a flying sidekick he broke a board!!!! He did it with people watching him and he did great.  So proud of both of my kids.  I think of two years ago and never in a million years would I think we would be here today.  Miracles, hard work, prayers, and help do work.  I know I have a little boy with a yellow belt living in my home as proof.

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Don’t You Dare Throw Those Scissors

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Ok so maybe this picture is a little drastic but I felt like this yesterday afternoon.  Yesterday was a crazy day at school, one that I hope not to repeat anytime soon.  I am a substitute teacher at our local school.  Now that is a hard job in many ways.  One big one is just earning the respect from the kids.  I have noticed lately that respect has gone out the window.  Maybe we were like that when I was young but I would have never dared laugh in an adults face or talk back to them.  It just wasn’t done and you didn’t do it.  I don’t feel like I am that old (in my 30’s) what has happened.  

So I am at school for the whole day and from hour one it just did not go as planned.  The kids were crazy.  Maybe spring fever, lack of respect, or just the kids themselves.  They were body slamming each other on the tables, they were throwing scissors across the room, they were fling kernels of corn (I was in the Ag room).  It was nuts!!!! That is an understatement.  This all happened by 2nd hour.  Wow this day is going to be long.  

Now to anyone that has hearing loss knows that background noise is not your friend.  It masks speech sounds or at least for me it does.  So in this Ag room there are shop noises, LOUD fan noises, high ceilings, just lots of industrial noise.  I need to concentrate to the max in there and then add this behavior on top of it EQUALS stressed.  The day was crazy but luckily ended much better then started.  The last couple hours were much better than the start of the day.  I don’t think I could have handled 8 hours of that amount of crazy.  

I was emailing my mom throughout the day yesterday, in between classes and during lunch.  She had written she wished there could have been a video of the craziness of the classes she could watch.  I just laughed and said you could have probably seen the gray hair forming on my head.  

Luckily my family could feel my mood last night and were huge helps to get dinner done and cleaned up.  We were all in PJ’s by 6:30 and watching a movie.  A good nights sleep and a day with my husband today has been the perfect prescription.  Out to lunch and a little grocery shopping.  

Now tonight my son has a TaeKwonDo test.  A whole different kind of stress.  A kind of stress that will cause me tears but only because I am so proud of all my little guy has accomplished this year.  

On to a fun family weekend.  No big plans, just time together.  No one better be throwing scissors.  

Lucky Girl

What a nice day we had as a family on Saturday.  I live about three hours away from my parents now so we met about halfway between us  for lunch.  We all met at Bonanza for lunch and my parents treated us all.  It was such a nice time and we had a great time visiting and seeing pictures from their recent vacation.  The kids loved to see Grandpa and Grandma.  I am very lucky to have good parents and we enjoy to be together.  We even all went to ALDI together.  The kids loved to shop with Grandma.  I am lucky to have a wonderful mom who I can speak to about any subject like friends and equals.  Not everyone is that lucky.

On the way home I suggested to my husband that we should spend the night at his parents house.  They are playing the act of snowbirds right now so the house is empty.  I love going to the farm it is like a refuge from the world for me.  There are no neighbors, there is space for the kids to run and be crazy.  There are adorable barn cats and a big kitchen to cook in at the farm.  What more would you want?  I love my in-laws dearly but it was nice to have a night there alone.  We made homemade pizza, ,kids ran around outside, my husband putzed around the machine shed and garage totally in his element.  What a wonderful evening.  It was a free evening in a farm house out on a beautiful piece of land.

I look at this weekend and it drills in my head how lucky I am.  There are people that don’t have family, don’t talk to their family or associate with them.  I am very lucky I have wonderful family on both sides.  I have parents and in-laws that are supportive, loving and caring.

I read jokes and see things on Pinterest and Facebook about how awful a mother in-law is.  I guess I was blessed.  I love my mother in-law just like my own mother.  I enjoy talking with her and spending time with her.  I look forward to spring when the guys will be out in the fields and we the girls will be together to maybe shop a little then bring the men lunch.  I love those days.  I don’t know if I will ever be a farm wife but I will go to the farm and live the life or as close as I can get to it on those weekends.

I hope you all have family or people you can call family in your lives.  A friend, a cousin, a co-worker they can all become our families.

Yes I am lucky that I have two great families I can be part of and call my own.

Procrastination

I have two wonderful beautiful children that have alter egos.  I believe their alter egos are tasmanian devils.  Yes the house can be clean well as clean as you get it with two kids and a husband that can be a bit of a collector of everything.  The kids get loose or as many people would say, Get home from school, and they run through the house and drop their jacket.  Then to the kitchen where their bag gets dropped.  Then I may find one shoe in the kitchen and one in the bathroom.  WHAT??? REALLY??? Just kick them off at the door.  Is this an everyday struggle in everyones home? Am I alone on this.  

So today I have a meeting with Deaf and Hard of Hearing services.  I am so grateful that they travel to our region and I don’t need to travel to them.  That being said the tornado of carnage in my house has to be picked up for this meeting.  I think I am in procrastination mode.  I am sitting typing this so yes procrastination.  I think everything is picked up just need to vacuum and sweep my floors.  I thought it was so funny I told Greta last night to pick up her stuff last night so her stuff is put away today.  Her reply was I have cleaned up my stuff in the past,  YEP so do it again.  I need to get this through everyones head this is an ongoing process not once or twice a year.  

Well I wish you all well today.  I better go do my floors and get ready for my meeting.  Take care and I am sure the tasmanian devils will come home today again.  Oh well gotta love them.  

The Liebster Award

The Leibster Award

liebster1A huge THANK YOU to my fellow blogger, Finding Coopers Voice http://findingcoopersvoice.com for the Liebster award nomination. I am loving this award because we can all share with each other what are our favorite blogs, and what blogs have gotten us through the tough times.  We don’t walk these paths alone.So lucky Liebster’s have to do the following:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 500 followers.
  4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them.

Here are my questions:

1. What kind of vehicle do you drive?

Well I have a new vehicle well new to me in the past couple weeks.  I was just in a car accident and I totalled my beloved Trailblazer.  I now have a Dodge Grand Caravan.  I like the van and the best part is the moonroof that was opened today.  In Minnesota when you hit 50 degrees that is a BIG DEAL.

2. If you could live anywhere where would it be?

I actually think it would be in this area but maybe out of town and on a lake.  I don’t want to leave the community and friends I have made but laying on a dock with my book in the summer sounds darn nice to me.

3. What is your dream vacation?

I think my dream vacation would be taking my family to Alaska to visit family but also to let them see the beauty of God’s earth.  Alaska is the final frontier and it has so much beauty to behold.

4. If you won 10 million dollars what is the first thing you would buy?

Wow how long is my list? My first thing is going to sound so boring but it would be a second hearing aid for myself. I know boring but needed so then from there would be my lake house, a new vehicle for my husband and then a dream vacation.  AHHH the dreaming.

5. What is your favorite sport?

My favorite sport to watch would be my children in TaeKwonDo.  My favorite sport to watch on TV would be baseball.  I love watching the Olympics also.

6. Name something you are bad at?

I would have to say baking.  I know my husband wishes I would be better at this but I don’t enjoy it and the kitchen looks it blew up with flour when I am done.

7. Would you rather have one best friend or 5 good friends?

This is a tough one.  I think it would be 5 good friends for me.  I believe there are different people that you need to have in your life for different aspects of your life.  From marriage to children you need friends in all areas.

8. What is the last movie you watched?

In the theatre I saw The Lego Movie, sorry to say I did not enjoy the movie.  My last movie on Netflix was The Hammer.  I very much enjoyed this true story about a young deaf man that was determined to become a state champion wrestler.

9. What is your favorite tv show from your childhood?

Little House on the Prairie and now I live on the prairie.

10. What makes you happy?

Family, my children getting along, a day out, feeling the warm sun- those are a few of my happy things.

11. And lastly, what famous person would you give anything to meet? Dead or alive.

A tough question.  I think Harper Lee as she wrote one of my favorite novels, To Kill  A Mockingbird .

Here are my favorite blogs right now.

I love these blogs and I feel I can learn something from all of these blogs

1. Lipreading Mom

2. Sudden Silence

3. Chris Martin Writes

4. Can you hear me now? 

Questions for my nominees.

If you don’t have time to do this don’t worry. Just know that I am loving your writing!

1. What is your favorite season?

2. When in school what was your favorite subject?

3. What did you want to be when you were little?

4. What is your favorite meal to cook?

5. Family vacation anywhere- where would it be?

6. Money is no object what do you buy first?

7. Favorite animal?

8. What is your favorite city to visit?

9. What tv show do you hate to miss?

10. Who would play you in a movie of your life?

11. Who or what inspires you to write?