wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy

Diabetes Sucks! My new inspiration for fundraising and walking this year

So, diabetes sucks.  It's not fun, your eyesight changing, your inability to lose weight not to mention the diet changes and no longer being able to eat cookies.  I really like cookies.  And quite honestly I still eat them.  Sometimes I wash my metformin down with Pepsi.  Bad, I know. 

For the last two years I've been a team captain for the diabetes walk.  I took it very seriously my first year and raised over $400 with major help.  Last year, not so much.  My own $26 was pathetic.  All for a good cause, but still, $26 was embarrassing. 

Also for the last two years I've been a walk leader at our school for the diabetes walk along with a few of our students who have diabetes.  Last year I just kind of hung out with the diabetics for the walk but we didn't say much.  This year, whamo!  It was a kick in the heart to hear these new ones talk about their issues with diabetes and how they hoped there would be a cure one day.  Actually there was no mention of hope.  This is a quote from one of my favorite students who also happens to be diabetic. "When there is a cure I'm going to throw all my diabetic supplies in a fire and watch them burn!"  Another one said, "I'm going to eat a big bag of sugar".  Ok, probably not the greatest idea for that kid but I totally get it.  These kiddos are dealing with Type 1 so they've been dealing with this for a long time and have always known the sucky side of the diet restrictions. 

Notice though, that the girl said WHEN.  She lives with the belief that one day there WILL be a cure.  I hope so, for all our sakes. 

So, with that being said, I'm re-upping as a team captain this year for the ADA Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.  I need team mates and I need money.  We need a cure!  Want to join?  Want to help  Please follow this link: STOP THIS CRAPPY DISEASE!

Thank you!

Ashamed, Disgusted and Embarrassed

So some genius in Arizona has created a bill that would give businesses the right to discriminate against gay people.  Of course there is more to the bill.  It doesn't come right out and state "Discriminate Against the Gays!" But the bottom line is, that's what it comes down to.  A business owner has a right to refuse service to anyone yet they must not be allowed to discriminate.

The creators of the bill gave it the heading under Freedom of Religion.  If I believe, as a Christian, that being a homosexual is wrong, according to this bill, I can't be sued for refusing to serve a homosexual.  A bakery cannot be forced to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple wanting to get married and they cannot be sued for refusing to make one.  But where would it stop?  Can a homosexual be refused at a gas station?  How would the cashier know?  If that ridiculous bill passes, what's next?  McDonalds sets a weight limit because it doesn't want to serve fat people?  We take a huge step backwards as a state, as a nation, if we let this happen. 

I'm embarrassed to be a native Arizonan.  I'm ashamed that this bill would have gotten this far anyway.  I'm hopeful that the Governor will veto this stupid bill. 

I'm disgusted that it would have a Freedom of Religion label.  As a Christian this appalls me.  You may be a Christian and not agree with homosexuality but that does NOT give you the right to discriminate.  God would be disappointed.  Because...

My God is merciful
My God is accepting
My God is forgiving
My God is loving

My God does not hate gay people.  Don't put a label of religion on ignorance.  In my heart I honestly believe that homosexuality is not a choice, that we are born straight or gay. If that is the case then how can it be that God would disapprove?  That he would allow his creations to be discriminated against.

Does Christmas Mean Nothing?

For weeks and weeks there is anticipation, a natural build up, an excitement, leading up to Christmas.  The holiday season, so to speak, starts in September and ends December 26th.  In September school stuff makes way to fall and Halloween.  Actually, I think I'm wrong.  I think it starts in August.  We buy fall colored garland and scarecrows and skulls and candy and transition from fall Halloween to fall Thanksgiving.  More garland, more pumpkins and the big lead to Black Friday. 

Black Friday has tons of hype.  Black Friday ads are "leaked" to build anticipation and to get shoppers ready for the mother of all holidays.  Christmas.  People line up in front of stores weeks before the day after Thanksgiving so they can be the first in line to get the coveted item of the year.  Every year at least one person is trampled, beat up, dies of a heart attack or stabbed at a store all in the name of getting a good deal.  Ba-humbug!  Now stores are opening ON Thanksgiving Day to entice shoppers to part with more money and, in my opinion, to part with their sanity. 

This year at Thanksgiving I actually felt joy and anticipation and down right giddy about Christmas coming.  I drove my family crazy playing Christmas music starting the day after Thanksgiving.
The weekend of I had my tree up and the decorations exactly as I wanted them.  A few days later Steve had the front yard exactly as we wanted it.  I bought, I wrapped, I baked bought goodies.  I opted out of the office Christmas party and the Secret Santa and I felt good about it!  Not that I don't like doing that kind of thing.  I really do.  But I wanted to just relax and feel the wonderfulness of the season and not be stressed and under pressure to accomplish all these things, to add one more thing to my already crowded plate.  And relax I did.  No pressure, no fuss, no muss. 

Christmas Day arrived and we opened gifts.  In my family, rather than the ripping and shredding of paper all at once and a manic, unappreciative free-for-all, we take turns and each person opens one gift at a time.  We're a pretty quiet foursome now that the boys are older.  I like it.  It was relaxed and peaceful and really brought home not only the "reason for the season" but the reason for the season. 

And then...

The day after Christmas.  Almost as bad as the day after Thanksgiving in terms of shoppers.  But, what I noticed more and what really bothered me was that it seemed like Christmas had never even happened.  Going out that next day I noticed everything Christmas related was shoved into a small section with people grabbing and clawing and crowding the aisles to get the 50% off crap that no one wanted to begin with.  All to make way for HEARTS AND SILK FLOWERS!!  Yes, now we can start buying for Valentines Day starting the day after Christmas.  Like Christmas meant nothing.  Here one day and gone the next, to be forgotten until fall again.

I don't think I'm alone when I say I'd like to see nicer, slower transition between holidays.  Do we really need hearts and red wrapped chocolate boxes on December 26th?

I for one, would like a little time to mourn the passing of the Christmas spirit.

Gender Speak

Not too long ago, my dad and I had a conversation about how advertisers have started to make men and boys look like buffoons in their commercials and merchandisers often "dumb it down" for men in regards to, well, just about everything. 

It's true.  At least in part. 

But...

Men are simple creatures.  It's not rocket science to figure out what appeals to them, how it appeals to them and why it appeals to them. 

Men get hungry.  They put the food in the hole.

Women get hungry.  This is the inner monologue:  "I feel like having something crunchy:  Crunchy as in chips or crunchy as in carrots?  Carrots dipped in ranch?  Dip!  Ohhh, dip sounds good.  Chips and dip!  Wait, I don't have any dip.  I'm not sure if we have any chips either because he might have eaten them all.  Carrots it is.  With dip.  Ranch dip.  Wait...when did I last buy Ranch?  Is it still good?  I can't see the date on the bottle because when he opened the bottle he tore off the little paper thingy where they stamp the date.  Is this the newer bottle of Ranch or is this the old one because the old one was like, super old and I don't want to eat old Ranch.  Maybe crunchy is out.  Ok, I'll make a sandwich.  Should I use sourdough or wheat?  Do I have regular mustard or spicy mustard?  Spicy is better on most sandwiches.  Is the bread fresh and soft?  No.  Hmm, I'll toast it.  But I don't really feel like having a toasted sandwich because sometimes it gets to toasty and then it scratches the roof of my mouth.  But the bread is a little dry and I don't like dry bread.  But I sometimes like toast...which is dry bread...  Maybe I'll have some taquitos.  Pop them in the microwave, add some sour cream (for dipping, of course)...oh, someone left the box open and now they are dried out.  But they were frozen so can they really be dried out?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But they probably "taste" like freezer.  No thanks.  Hmm, a can of soup?  To hot for soup.  Besides if the spoon isn't big enough it's a big disaster.  If the spoon is too big it's a different sort of disaster and all the spoons are dirty anyway because he forgot to run the dishwasher.  I'll just have a V8 and a cheese stick and call it good."

Maybe that's just me?

Anyway....

Here's the difference between directions on men's face wash and women's face wash:

Directions: Wet your face, apply face wash and then rinse.

Directions:  One or two pumps is plenty.  Splash face with water and massage cleanser evenly over entire face using a gentle circular motion to create a light, creamy lather.  Rinse thoroughly with warm water.  For best results use morning and night. 

Way too many words to just wash your face, ladies! 

It's not really "dumbing it down", it's just basic "caveman" communication.  Women need the details, the flowery words to make them feel better about spending $20 on face wash instead of $6.49 for some manly scented scrub. 

I started using caveman communication with my boys when I realized I was using way too many words to get them to do their chores.  "Zach!  Clothes! In washer! Now!"  "Ryan! Trash! Now!" 
Or even, "Boys!  Dinner! Eat!"

I still use a lot of words sometimes (ok, almost all the time) to get simple messages across but I LIKE using all my words. Composing an email can take a long time because I debate over what to say and how to say it and if I should use certain words or not certain words.  Maybe that's just me?

I live in a house full of "cavemen" so I understand it's not dumbing it down, it's just a matter of simplifying things.  They understand it and things get done.  Nothing dumb about that. 

Sportsmanlike Conduct

Friday was a busy day for me.  It was a great day and a sad day at the same time.

First, I met a wonderful young lady that had come to our school as a guest speaker.  She used to live in our community and I think her mom still does.  But a few years ago, she and her dad moved to Hawaii so she could pursue her passion for surfing.  She ended up getting sponsored by Roxy and is one of their models but is also the 2nd ranked female surfer in the U.S. 

She talked to our Junior High students about setting goals, pursuing interests, staying healthy, having good character.  She talked about social media and how she makes sure everything she posts on any kind of media is positive, never negative, never uses foul language, etc.  It was very motivational. I'm hoping some of our students were inspired to pursue their dreams, knowing that someone not much older than them made theirs come true.

And I watched Ryan's last "dance" of his senior year.  It was homecoming Friday and at their pep rally the senior football boys did a skit.  But the skit involved a dance.  So funny, so bittersweet.  I got a little teary eyed even.  That night at the homecoming game it was a shut-out.  The boys won 63-0.

You would think it would be a great feeling to not let the other team score at all and your own team scored really high for football.  But it's not.  It's not fun to play a game that is so one sided and it's not fun to watch a game like that, either.  It's really affected Ryan this weekend and he's dwelling on it.  He's a great kid with compassion and empathy and a sense of fairness. 

Of course, football is football and there is a game to play and win.  Ryan was impressed with the determination of the players, how they kept trying and came out of half time pumped and ready to go even though the score was 49-0. 

In today's society when it's expected for a teenager to be a complete jerk, it's nice to know that my kid is not one of those.  He felt for the other team.  Someone told me that is a sign of greatness.

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

I saw a post on Facebook the other day about a 2 ingredient pumpkin muffin. 

So I tried it...

One box yellow cake mix, one can pure pumpkin mixed together.

 
 
Put them in the muffin cups, natch...
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes


 They come out very moist and not super sweet.


And then they start to disappear...


1 box yellow cake mix
1 can pure pumpkin
Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees

Winner of the Scrapbook Software...

Congrats to Crystal! She is the lucky winner of the scrapbooking software from My Memories! 

If you entered but didn't win, no worries!  You can still get an amazing deal on the software. Click on the sidebar link with the code below 

It's 111 degrees outside but...

...fall is in the air.  Not really.  It's hard to feel anything in the air when it's 111.  It feels like there is NO air. 

However, school has started, football season has started (even if it's just pre-season) and the fall season of television programming will start soon.  So I'm getting in the spirit by putting out my fall door wreath.  Yes.  Know it.  Love it.  It goes up today. 

No, really, this is why I do what I do

Working in a school is sometimes not fun. 

Working in a school is sometimes the most fun I've ever had.  Ok, "fun" is a lie, but it's the most rewarding. 

We have a school of over 600 kiddos.  In a K-8 school you get the ones that are not used to being away from mom yet, to the ones that don't really like to be home.  And in between you get some really, really great kids that will listen to you because you are one of the few adults in their lives that makes sense, sometimes even feel cared about.

A boy I had in 6th grade last year was misbehaving in the library yesterday.  He got the "Leesha" look and a negative on his behavior card.  As he was leaving he said, "Mrs. Heaster, I'm going to do better next time".  Love, love, love that he recognized that this was due to HIS behavior.  He's a smart kid.  And today when he saw me we had a great conversation about the dental appointment he had just gotten back from.  It's the little things like this that I love about my job.

I do see some things that break my heart.  The special needs kids that long for friendship.  With the youngers, it's not so bad.  They friend easily.  The older ones..."normal" kids that are older are too concerned about what others think to even bother striking up a conversation.  I try to tell them that they don't have to be bff's but it will never, ever hurt them to extend the common courtesy of saying hello or, if that person has started talking to you, join in on the conversation!  Nothing wrong with that.  I saw it happen today, or not happen, I suppose, and it absolutely broke my heart.  The poor girl was trying so hard to get 2 others to talk to her and she got blown off.  And the look on her face...

After I got home, poor Zach, he got a lecture.  And he had nothing to do with it!  Ok, he didn't really get lectured but I did remind him that I would expect him to stick up for someone like that if he saw the other kids being nasty.  He's a quiet kid, but his peers like him.  If he told them to knock it off I think they would.  I asked him if he would also just at least say hi to this girl on occasion.  He's a shy guy so I don't know if he will, but .... I'm hopeful.  I'm hoping he will do the right thing. 

Today there were volleyball tryouts.  We had several girls come in double checking their physical paperwork due date.  Oh boy.  The tears started to fall as soon as they found out they didn't have a current one and were unable to tryout.  They have to get one by Thursday so they can have a 2nd chance.  It made me feel sad for them because they really want to be a part of something like this only to be told no, the proper paperwork wasn't in place.  On the other hand, they've been told for about 3 weeks now (parents have been told, too) that they need one before try out date.  Oh, the drama and the tears.  Makes me want to mother them and make it better.  Makes me very thankful I don't have a hormonal girl at home.  Premenstrual boys are enough.  When all three of these men in my house have PMS....kill me. 

Anyway, anyone in education will tell you they aren't in it for the money.  Believe it.  It's because the ones that are in it are there for the bigger picture. 

FREE Scrapbooking Software!

I was recently given the opportunity to review My Memory Suite scrapbooking software and to offer a free download to one lucky winner! See below to enter the giveaway.

Now, I'm not a very tech savvy person.  At all.  But I love to scrapbook and I love to create.  I've done traditional scrapbooking and I LOVE it.  Traditional scrapbooking is fun, but time consuming.  And can get super expensive. 

With digital scrapbooking you just download your pictures and add them to templates.  With My Memory Suite, there are background pages, embellishments, templates that are already premade.  You can also design your own.  There are page/embellishment/color packs that you can purchase and there are plenty of free items you can download. 

So far I've created the blog header on this page with pictures of the 4 of us, an album from my Christmas 2012 pictures and I've started a summer page. 


On this page, I added a picture of Zach swimming.  I was able to change the background color page, move his picture to the back, allowing it to fill the frame and I could have added text or any other embellishments I wanted to.  But I really like the simplicity of this design.  Anything else could have made it way too busy for me.

Here are six pages from the Christmas 2012 album I created using templates from My Memories:






 
 I could have created more text boxes, but I used the ones provided and changed the text to relate to us.  I like the color they used, but could have changed it to anything I wanted to.  I messed around with different layouts, changed what I needed and removed what I didn't want.

Creating scrapbook pages isn't the only thing you can do with the software.  You can create cards, photo books, calendars and even videos.

Not only has My Memories graciously offered this software giveaway, they've also let me give you $10 off the cost of the software if you decide to purchase it on your own AND $10 credit toward product purchase.  The regular cost of the software is $39.97 (and worth every penny) so with the $20 credit you pay less than $20 for the software.  If you aren't the lucky winner and want to purchase, visit My Memories and enter code STMMMS71620.

Good luck!



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