Thursday, 28 February 2013

Report Card Season

It is the time of the year that teachers not so affectionately refer to as report card season.

Writing report cards has been really tricky for me. Mostly, planning, teaching and wrapping up the day takes all my time and energy. Somehow I have to add in the extra tens of hours that report cards take me. Up until this time, it has really been a difficult experience for me. I seemed to always forget some important assessment that I'd have to quickly figure out how I was going to squish in. I'd sit and wonder how in the world I was going to write all the comments. I suddenly realized my linen cupboards were in dire need of organizing. Books start calling my name. I will do practically anything to avoid the work I need to do to get the report cards done, it seems, at times.

Well, not this time baby!! I made a plan early and while, if I had followed it perfectly, I would be finished by now, I am light years ahead of where I have been in past report card seasons.

The interesting thing is that I have actually enjoyed the process this time. I have enjoyed getting a better picture of where each of the kids are at. I have enjoyed wrapping up things that have just been sitting around waiting for me to get them entered in my grading spreadsheet. And I have enjoyed thinking  about each of the children in the class.

I really do enjoy the kids I am teaching. They're a unpredictable bunch at times. They are impulsive and silly and smart and kind. They're needy and confident and mature and at times, a typical 8 year old. I really do hope I can make a difference for them. I really feel blessed to be able to spend my days with them.

8 Months of Walking

I have now officially been a regular exerciser for 8 months. Go figure?!

I feel like I have really come a long way. I started because I realized I was getting really unhealthy. Parts of me were starting to wear out. I was  uncomfortably heavy (I can't quite say the f-a-t word....hate it). I was always too tired. I really had to change something.

The irony is that when I first started walking, I'd have to go back to bed when I got home. I started in July. I walked with a friend each morning. She walked way further than I ever would have - which was a good thing. It pushed me to do more sooner, and I think it expanded my horizons a bit. I was a little worried about how I'd continue when school started up again - but lucky for us we were still a one car family at that point. Most people wouldn't think that is very lucky - but it gave me the chance to walk. Allen did all the running around with kids after school and I'd walk home from school (well, most days). It has honestly been life changing.

This is what the numbers have looked like over the past 8 months:

I love looking at that graph. I look at it a few times every day actually (I know. I know....neurotic!) I kind of hoped that by now I'd be able to say I'd lost some wonderful amount of weight. I haven't. I have, however, lost almost 20 pounds! That is quite exciting. And really, over 8 months, that isn't that bad. It's better than not having lost it!

I have a friend who posts on Facebook quite regularly to keep me accountable, and I do the same for her. This month we are both going to try to do 100 km. I know I can do it! And the best part is, it's going to feel so great. I'm proud to say I really am an exerciser!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Alberta Opera - Sleeping Beauty

Alberta Opera's Sleeping Beauty
Today our school enjoyed an amazing production by Alberta Opera. It was a funny and entertaining version of Sleeping Beauty. I am always amazed at these performances how the children just sit and are totally absorbed in the story. I didn't see a teacher, even once, have to get up, tap a kid on the shoulder, and remind them to behave. I loved what the kids said they learned:

Don't take your own anger out on someone else.

Don't try to get revenge when your life is bad – talk about your feelings instead.

Marry someone that you love, not just for their money.

Marry someone for who they are, not their money.

You have two choices in life:  you can be mean, or you can be good.

Change begins with yourself.

If someone says they don't want to marry you, just take no for an answer.

Don't hurt someone just because you don't like them or their family.

At the end of the play the actors sang a song. Our brilliant music teacher had taught the whole school the song and so they just automatically started singing with the actors. It warmed my heart! The words are beautiful:

“Just One”
One word can spark a moment, one song can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest, one flower can herald spring.
One vote can change a nation, one sunbeam lights a room.
One candle wipes out darkness, one laugh can conquer gloom.
One voice can speak with wisdom, one heart can know what’s true.
One life can make a difference. Change begins with you.


Friday, 22 February 2013

Monday, 18 February 2013

Who Are you?

There's a function on Blogger that shows how many hits a blog gets each day. So far today there have been 61. I'm surprised! Who reads this?? Please do comment on this post. I'm really interested in knowing who reads this blog!

A New Low

A couple years ago I did the hCg diet. It worked for a time. Then, just like any other diet I've done, I gained the weight back, and a little more. There's a lot of controversy about the hCg diet and I read the pros and the cons. In the end I got sick of the cycle and decided I was not going to diet ever again. It hasn't been easy. I have had many times where I've been tempted to go back to the dieting regime. It has been especially tempting when I talk to someone whose lost a bunch of weight on a diet and I think about the slow road I've been on to lose weight - but each time I've been able to get a hold of myself and have determined to stay on the road I'm on.

And that brings me to my news! I stepped on the scale today and I'm at a new low! December and January were not great walking months. I am trying to get back at it in February and it is so great to see the scale move! I'm down 1.5 pounds from my previous low.

In August, September, October and November I lost five pounds each month. Maybe I can do it again in Feburary!

My long term goal is to become a runner. I'm hoping that I will have lost enough by May to start running then.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Walking and TVs

Today was a huge walking day for me. Yesterday and today have been PD days and luckily today's PD Day was at a school close enough to home to walk - so I did. However, as I was almost there one of my co-workers came along and said, "Get in!" So I did.

I have a weird dichotomy in my life. I do love walking. I also am willing to duck out of the obligation at any time. It just takes so much time! Then again, most good and healthy things do.

Later in the day I decided to walk downtown. I was working at the hockey game with Jill and had a couple hours before I had to be there. I figured the walk would take about an hour, and I've been thinking I should get doing some 2-a-days, so no time like the present.

Man, that was a lot of walking! In the end it was just over 15 kms.

Two things I learned:

1. I need to carry water. Need more water!
2. People are sometimes uncomfortable with allowing me to walk.

During the day people would ask what we're doing this weekend. I'd mention that I was going to the hockey game and I'd always get an offer for a ride. It reminded me of when we didn't have a TV when we were first married. People would be surprised when they found out we didn't have a TV and inevitably would offer us one immediately. We were okay with not having one - but apparently people weren't okay with us not having one. Walking is kind of the same. I'm okay with walking and it seems to be helping me reach my goals - but people are always quick to offer a ride. I know they do it out of the kindness of their heart - but it's interesting to me how uncomfortable people are with having someone walk as part of every day life. It makes me more determined to be a walker...which is probably a good thing.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Jill often talks about how non-swimmers just don't get it.  I think non-swimmer parents don't get it either.

When I talk about swimming and how it fills out life they nod in agreement and talk about their kids activities: horse back riding or basketball or something similar.

I am not sure anything compares to swimming. What sport goes on for 10 months of the year (well, truthfully 10 1/2 if you go to long course provincials)? What other sport works out six days a week? In addition to the six days a week workouts once a month we go to a meet - which is a strange phenomenon all in itself. I won't even get into that. My cousin has a son who swam for a year and she often jokes about how you get up at 5:30 am to get to a meet to watch your kid's swim at 9:30 and then wait another hour, then wait another hour, etc. It's crazy. What sport can compare?

I don't know of any.

It costs a lot.
It takes a lot of time.
But my kids love it.

What's a parent to do except just keep trucking along?

Yup. It's a bit of an obsession. It's not really my obsession though.

That's the weird thing.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Aunt Marvelle

This past weekend was my Aunt Marvelle's funeral. Before the funeral, Jill asked me, "Mom, is this a happy funeral?"

I thought it was an interesting question.

In many ways it was a happy funeral. Aunt Marvelle had a disease the last few years of her life which gradually rendered her more and more disabled. It was a generative muscle disease, similar to Lou Gherig's disease. At first she had a few falls. Then she started to not be able to swallow. She soon was not able to hold her head up very well and couldn't focus her eyes. Gradually it got worse and worse until she was entirely bed ridden. She had a hard time even talking. It was very sad to see such a dynamic, strong woman become prisoner to her body. Her mind was perfectly well, but her body was totally worn out. We are happy that she is no longer captive to her ever weakening body.

It was also a happy funeral in that everyone focused on the great things Aunt Marvelle taught them, and the great influence she was in their life. She was a strong woman. She took life by the horns and made things happen. She was a female executive long before it was fashionable to be one. She was strong, yet very kind. She worked hard and never shirked when it came to difficult tasks. She was faithful and kind and stalwart and wise.

As happy as we are that she is no longer suffering, we are sad too. We are all sad to be without her. Our sadness had been present for a number of years. We mourned her decline in health. We watched the declind and wondered how it could get any worse - and then it would. We shook our heads and shed many tears all through the past two or three years. Even though we expected it, it still isn't easy. We will miss her. She was a leader in our family, a role model, a confident, and someone we all looked up to.

Her obituary:

NOBLE, Lynn Marvelle Hyde

9 May 1940 – 3 February 2013

When the rubber hit the road it was usually Marvelle driving her 1980 280Z, a gift from her husband, for her 40th birthday. She put a hundred thousand miles on her golden chariot that first year. Now she has taken her last ride on a different Golden Chariot. It took her to see her daughter, Kelly La Ree, her son, Scott Charles, her parents, Clarence and Floy Hyde, her in-law parents, John and Luella Noble, Grandson, Adam Law, her brother-in-law, Gayle Jensen, and all her other loved ones who were there to welcome her with open arms.

With great sadness we watched as Marvelle’s health deteriorated but due to her solid testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ she had no doubt or fear about where she was going. Left to mourn and miss her are: her loving and devoted husband of 53 years, Clifford Donald Noble, her children, Bradley (Jill) Noble of Lethbridge and Nickee Lynn (Cameron) Dudley of Las Vegas NV; her grandchildren, Dustyn John (Julia) Noble, Jessey Bradley Noble, Shelbi Lynn Noble, Chris Nathan (Ashley) Law, Aaron Jonas (Dawn) Law, Amy Joel (Adam) Bay, Ashley LaRee Dudley, Lauren Nicole Dudley (Anthony)Storer, Jordan Cameron Dudley, Dillon Dudley, Preston Powell Dudley; and great grandchildren, Logan John Noble, Emma and Seth Law; her sisters, Lester Ann Hyde (Gayle) Jensen, Shirley Hyde (Ardel) Wilson, and Colleen Hyde (Dave) Boyer and their families.

Lynn Marvelle Hyde Noble was born 9 May, 1940, the first daughter born to George Clarence Hyde and Luella Floy Day Hyde at the Galt Hospital in Lethbridge, Alberta. At her birth her family lived in Raymond and they later resided in Rosemary, Boundary Creek and Taber where Marvelle completed high school before attending Calgary Business College. In Boundary Creek she rode a horse to school where she was the only girl in the class.

On 6 June 1959 she married the love of her life, Clifford Donald Noble and later they were sealed in the Alberta Temple. Marvelle loved her husband and family more than life and she enjoyed having them all near for family celebrations and Family Home Evening Dinners. As a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints she efficiently and faithfully fulfilled many callings such as Primary worker both in her Ward and Stake, Primary President, Relief Society President, Relief Society Teacher, Activities Chairman, and Visiting Teacher. With her husband she served two missions for the Church in Ghana, West Africa as well as a mini mission in Las Vegas while waiting for their paperwork for Ghana. They experienced much success in all their missions and were most excited to have their children and grandchildren with them as they baptized their first converts in Las Vegas.

The founding owner and operator of Marcliff Adjustors, Marvelle worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years. There were those who doubted the ability of a woman to make it in the very tough insurance industry but they soon stepped back and took note as she handled the lion’s share of business in Southern Alberta. She was favoured by the native culture, many of them asking for the “Mormon Squaw” to adjust their claim. She knew every road in Southern Alberta as she travelled them while investigating her claims. She was appointed under the signature of Premier Getty to the Insurance Council of Alberta. The council‘s mandate covered licensing, upgrading, qualifications, examinations and discipline of all licensed adjusters in the Province of Alberta. She also served on the Provincial Committee for Advanced Education under the mandate of the Minister of Education and she sat on the board for the Cardston Credit Union.

In 1990, at the encouragement of her son, Scott, Marvelle entered the first Mrs. Lethbridge Pageant and much to the delight of us all, she won the crown. She was a member of the Lethbridge Business Professional Women and served as President for two years. She was also a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers and was very proud of her pioneer heritage.

Marvelle was a loving, caring, no nonsense, efficient, dynamic person and will be greatly missed.

Marvelle’s funeral will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FAIRMONT CHAPEL, 205 Fairmont Blvd. South, Lethbridge, on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

Friends may meet the family on Friday evening, February 8, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at CHRISTENSEN SALMON GENERATIONS FUNERAL HOME, 703-13 Street North, Lethbridge, and prior to the funeral service at the church on Saturday from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m.

Interment to follow in the Cardston Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.

We will miss you Aunt Marvelle.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


I just had to share this because it made me laugh out loud. Great writing today from one of my students:

And just in case you can't figure out some of it, here's the transcription:

One afternoon I was in a cave. All of a sudden I heard a low rumbling sound. I saw nothing out of the ordinary. "I feel like I'm not the only one in the cave," I said, and got a breeze down my spine.

A moment later I saw a silhouette of something big and frightening, something that was not usually seen. I had a hint: it was not a human. It was a creature! But I didn't know what it was. I said, "I knew I wasn't alone in this cave."

Suddenly a  cloud of fire burned off the top of my hair. I turned and gasped. I couldn't believe I was in an encounter with a dragon. I sped out of the cave and never came there again.

P.S. I liked how my hair turned out.

The ending made me laugh out loud. Gee I love reading these kid's writing!