Archive for the ‘Life According to Iva’ Category

New Beginnings? Perhaps.

I have nine readers according to my RS feeder and if you haven’t given up on me, you are reading a blog post that is long overdue.

The Horizontal Yo-Yo looks a bit different this time around, doesn’t it? My pay-for WordPress account ran out and I figured I didn’t blog enough to warrant the cost – no matter how small.

Free-all-the-way WordPress it is.

How about an update?

I am still working as a parapro at our local middle school and I’m still in school in an attempt to get my BS in Education/Special Education. I’ve been taking educational courses for the past few terms which means my core classes are complete (yay!)

The scale has steadily gone up to the point where, at my highest, I was just 14 lbs away from my highest weight ever. I just couldn’t have that, so I decided that when summer came, I was going to work on myself.

This lasted just over two weeks. Then my dad came for a visit. We had a blast, but after he left, I just couldn’t find the gumption to get back on track. I wasn’t happy with my weight gain but I’d tell myself that I “didn’t look that bad” or that “TMB loves me just the way I am. Why change?” Why indeed.

I am just not happy with how my body looks. Period. I realize that during my journey, I’m going to have to come to terms with how my body looks because even at goal weight, my body will never be perfect. Then again, why should it? Who decides what perfect is? The fact that my body has gotten up every single day for the past 34 years and nourished me and taken care of me as best it could – despite what I fed it and how little I moved it – is perfect enough for me.

I’m letting go of perfection because perfection doesn’t exist this side of Heaven. Instead, I’m going to work little by little, every day, on making better choices for me and my body.

So, would you care to join me as I get on this wagon yet again? It won’t  be a perfect ride, but it’s bound to be an interesting one!

Until next time…

Checking In…Because Y’all Deserve It

Hello, Dear Readers.

I pray that this post finds you well (whenever you may read it).

Things are going pretty well.  There are some issues going on personally and professionally that I hope to rectify soon, but over all, I am blessed, my children are healthy and marriage is solid.  In a word: I am good (I guess that’s three words, huh?)

We will be starting our third week of school tomorrow.  Three weeks already?!?  Is this any inclination of how quickly this year is going to go?  It’s a big year for us – Baby Gurl turns 8 *sob* and  The Boy turns 12 *bigger sob*.  I think it’s because I’m in the public school system that I think of a year spanning from August to May – which means TMB and I will be celebrating our 13th year of marriage together in March.  But for the rest of you, I’ll be celebrating that milestone with TMB next year.

Potaytoes. Potahtoes. It’s all good.

This will be my motto for this year – it’s all good.  God is good.  Life is good.  It’s just all good.

Of course, in light of things happening behind the screen, you can assume that your blog author is being terribly optimistic.  But really, when you break it down, what choice does one have?

Philippians 4:6 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (The Message)

May God bless you and keep you, make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.  Amen*

horizontalyoyo

*Going back to my Methodist roots, y’all…

Quick Thursday Post

Battery on the laptop is dying (I spent about an hour working on tomorrow’s post about divorce…be sure to chime in with your own thoughts) but I wanted to give just a real quick update:

The kids have dentist and eye appointments today.  Tonight, they meet their teachers at open house.

It’s an exciting time for the kids – the new school year is always such a fresh, new beginning.

And it is definitely a year of new beginnings for us:

Baby Gurl will be at the elementary school all by herself.

The Boy is starting middle school this year.

I will be a full-blown student while trying to budget time being a wife, mom, and me!

Stay tuned also on Monday when I post back to school pictures.  I’m thinking of setting up a similar shot from last year to see how much we’ve all changed.

horizontalyoyo

Monday, Monday

Isn’t that a Beatles song?  Yesterday, I had a Monkees song in my head thanks to Sparky 🙂

Today marks the one week count down before school starts for us brats in Georgia.  I went down to the school today to help my teacher set up our classroom.  I didn’t need to be there – but I wanted to be there.  Because I’m cool like that.  (Not really.  Back when I first got this job way back in August of last year, TMB told me that in order to a job well, there were going to be times that you would have to go the extra mile – without pay – just make your life easier.  I think he was right).

Anywho…getting up today was no small feat.  We spent the day (and a small fortune) in Brunswick yesterday.  We didn’t get home until very late.  Dinner was a bowl of cereal for me and some poptarts and yogurt for the kiddos before they hastily brushed their teeth and headed off to bed.

TMB and I stayed up until I couldn’t keep my eyes open and we headed to bed.  We both set our alarms – mine for 7 (actually 6:50 because it’s fast) and his for 7:45 (actually 7:30).  I hit the snooze button – a lot – before I finally rolled out of bed at 7:30.  I quickly woke up the kids, we dressed, they ate breakfast (quickly) and I headed to the school.

I’d like to point out that I didn’t eat breakfast and I didn’t have any coffee this morning. By the time I came home at 1 to feed everyone lunch, I had a headache that would not quit.  It’s slowly going away…but I think I’ll drink one more mug of coffee before I head into town to do some grocery shopping.

But I’m seriously debating doing any shopping today at all.  I hear a distant rumble of thunder in the distance.  And I’m just not feeling it.  I’m thinking I might stay the morning tomorrow and then go shopping tomorrow after lunch.  Did I mention that I don’t feel like shopping?  I don’t.

horizontalyoyo

First Day of Hurricane Season – Eleven More Days Until My Birthday

Today marks the first day of hurricane season. For those who don’t know, hurricane season runs from June until November. Yay.

Yesterday in the newspaper was a hurricane preparedness insert. Check out the names of 2009’s hurricanes:

Ana
Bill
Claudette
Danny
Erika
Fred
Grace
Henri
Ida
Joaquin
Kate
Larry
Mindy
Nicholas
Odette
Peter
Rose
Sam
Teresa
Victor
Wanda

Is that a list or what? What is most interesting about this list is that there are only eleven names that don’t belong to family, family of friends, friends, or co-workers. It kind of makes me wonder – is this going to be a heck of a year when it comes to hurricanes? Mayhap it will be, mayhap it won’t. (It’s also interesting to note – actually The Man Beast pointed this out – that two of the major hurricanes that swept through the area within the past ten years, have been named after family (not friends of family – family).

And yes, you read that right: I am counting down until my birthday.  I’ll be 33 this year.  No huge milestone really – except that The Father has allowed me to live 33 years on His wonderful earth.  That’s sayin’ something, right?

I’ve also decided that this year – I’m creating birthday weeks for my friends, co-workers, and family.  The teacher I work with – as well as a few coworkers – learned very quickly that Iva loves birthdays.  All birthdays – not just my own (although I really do like my own best.  Is that bad?)  Since I’ve already done the suprise birthday party thing for a few select co-workers (they know who they are – you don’t, and that’s okay), I’m going to create birthday weeks for them.  Not several weeks mind you – just one week for each of the special women who I’m privaledged enough to work with.

And I dare say that a birthday week for my blog sounds like a mighty fine idea, too.  Who knows what I’ll come up with.  Maybe it’ll be a whole week all about me (good things – not bad things…we’ve been there, done that).  Is this arrogant and self-centered?  Probably.  But we’ve come to regret any birthday after 21 and I find that incredibly sad.  I have several friends who were down right frantic about turning 30.  30! ( Personally, I thought thirty was pretty kick awesome.  I truly felt grown up for the first time ever.  Silly, I know.)  Who says we have to stop celebrating our birthdays just because we’ve technically run out of milestones? (I guess at 25 you can open up an IRA and at 35 you can run for president – if that’s your cup of tea).

Well, I am taking back the birthday.  Do you know my bloggy friend, Susan, recently celebrated her 50th?  And can I just say she’s a lovely 50 year old woman?  Elegant.  Beautiful.  God has kept her on this earth for 50 years and He’s allowed me to get to know her…even if it is just through a blog.  What’s not to celebrate?

Call it what you will, but I am celebrating my birthday – birth week – for seven whole days.  It  will run from Sunday, June 7th until Sunday, June 14th.  The following Sunday is Father’s Day…that will be a fun tribute for me.  But for now – it’s all about me.

But it won’t always be.  This summer, I’ll celebrate Baby Gurl’s 8th birthday.  In the fall, I’ll celebrate The Boy’s 12th (gulp!)  Then, in the winter, I’ll celebrate the Man Beast’s.  A whole week of celebrating a loved one. How special is that?

Celebrating birthday weeks at school will be a bit more tricky.  It’ll take some planning.  And since I’ve announced it on my blog for all the world to read (and some of those co-workers read this blog), I’ll have to be tricky in my planning.  Sure, they might know it’s their birthday week, but they don’t know what’s in store for them.

I’m almost giddy with anticipation.  Did you notice I haven’t mentioned a thing about gifts?  To me, it’s not about gifts.  I’m almost embarrassed by them.  Give me a hug.  Tell me happy birthday.  I’ll be  just as happy as if you had bought me a gift (yes, really).

To me, birthdays – all birthdays – are a time for celebration.  We all celebrate our kids’ (nephews’ and neices’) birthdays.  Let’s celebrate our own.  Made a day of it.  Make a week of it.

I plan to.

I Have Joined the Sick Club

Within the past few weeks, I’ve read of various bloggers who have been struck down with illness.

Let’s add me to the mix.

Just a cold – snuffly, aching, head-achy, sneezing.  But just a cold.

Unfortunately, because I hardly ever get sick, this feels really bad.  Luckily, I’ve got three abled bodies who are willing to take care of me.  I’ve got the weekend to recover before I go back to work – for one more week – before Summer Break!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to blogging regularly.

By the way – just in case you’re wondering – school is going well.  Chemistry is a difficult subject for me so I don’t expect to ace the class (and after last week’s assignment grade, I was disappointed) – but hopefully, I can get through these next six weeks.

Just pray for me…

How Much Does a Teacher Make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education.
He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”
He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.  “To stress his point he said to another guest; “You’re a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?”


Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, “You want to know what I make?”  (She paused for a second, then began…)  “Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.  I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.  I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for 5 without an IPod, Game Cube or movie rental.”  “You want to know what I make?” (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)  ”I make kids wonder.  I make them question.  I make them apologize and mean it.  I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.  I teach them to write and then I make them write.”


“Keyboarding isn’t everything.  I make them read, read, read.  I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.”  “I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.  I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.  I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America.”


“Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.”  (Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)  “Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant… You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE.”

“What do you make Mr. CEO?”

MR. CEO? His jaw dropped, he went silent.

I started school this week to get my BS in Education/Special Education.  It’s a double major and it will take me at least 2 years to complete, if not more.  I know it will be challenging but I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve wanted to teach for as long as I can remember.  When other little girls were playing with their baby dolls, I was lining them up and teaching them with a notebook in hand (complete with the pocket in front where I would put the absent notes).  After high school, I immediately started college and wanted to major in English to teach – although I didn’t know what grade.

Through a series of decisions, my education was put on the back burner while I got married, had two kids, homeschooled two kids for a season and took care of a house.  But in the back, deep recesses of my mind, I have always wanted to teach.

Two years ago, The Man Beast and I decided to put the kids back in public school.  I got a job in the only place I could: the school cafeteria.  I was a sub and went wherever I was needed.  I worked at the elementary schools and really loved the children there.  I worked at the local preschool and really loved the children I saw there.  I worked at the middle school and really loved the children I saw there.  And then I started dreaming of teaching again.

One day, I went and took an examination that, if passed, would allowed me to work in the public school system as a paraprofessional (teacher’s aid).  I took it and passed.  Then, I waited.  And waited.

I learned about a position during summer break at the local middle school working with special needs students through a woman at church.  I decided to go for it, not really knowing what to expect.  I applied for the position and was called for an interview.  I hadn’t been on an interview for a good ten years.  To say I was nervous was a gross understatement.

My friend at church (the one who had told me about the position in the first place) watched the kiddos while I went on my interview.  The principal was straight forward and to the point.  He wanted to know if I would feel comfortable doing all the tasks involved working with extreme and profound children?  Could I take care of the toilet needs of children who had gone through puberty and were as tall as myself?  How would I feel with working with extremely autistic children?

Here it was the summer and I was facing the possibility of going back to work in the cafeteria, this time as a perminent member of the crew.  I really didn’t want to do it, but had already succumbed to the fact that it might become a reality if nothing else presented itself.  Here was an opportunity.

But could I do it?  Sure, I had worked with handicapped children before – but nothing as severe and profound as these students.  But I needed/wanted a job.  I would do it.

So, I did.

I felt like a new mother the first couple of weeks at my new job.  I was learning not only the children and their personalities/temperments, but I was learning how to take care of their individual special needs.  I was nervous, but I was willing to learn.

Slowly, I got to really know the kids and the teacher I work with and I was hooked.  I was in love.  I knew that this is where I needed to be.  Soon, the thought of going back to school entered my mind.

As luck would have it, a friend who works at the same school also started going to school online.  She was very excited and told me all about it. I went online and researched a few online schools but eventually chose the same one that my friend attends.

Because I’m only getting a Bachelors and not a masters, I won’t be able to work with the profoundly disabled like I do now as a parapro.  But that’s okay.

In these past few months, I’ve kept my eyes open and really looked at the students in my school – not just the ones I work with closely.  I’ve listened to other teachers talk.  What I’ve come to realize is that there is so much need out there for teachers with special education training in the regular education enviroment!  I believe if regular ed teachers have the special ed training, they are better able to recognize special needs and modify lessons to meet those needs.

I can appreciate how extremely frustrating it is for regular education teachers to have students in their class who cannot perform even the easiest of tasks.  I think a lot of times, these children are seen as behavior problems when their ‘problem’ is actually academic.

I look forward to helping children of this capacity – the ones who might fall through the cracks because their special needs aren’t recognized simply because they aren’t easily recognized.  This is where my heart is and this is where it’s always been.  This was the reason I started homeschooling the kids in the first place – I recognized that kids cannot be placed in a box.  They are all different little bodies – and brains – just waiting to learn (even if some of them don’t realize it).

I know I sound very idealistic.  Most of us have all but given up on the public school system and all it’s short-comings.  But hopefully, we all also remember that one teacher (or more than one), who we could tell really loved their job and really loved their children.

“Great teachers are born, not made.” a teacher said to me the other day.  I believe this is true.  I believe teaching, like many great professions, is a calling.  Not just anyone can do it and do it well.

Maybe the CEO in the above story had it wrong: those who can, do and those who really can, teach.