Everything! This week was a weird and off week. We had a massive snow storm. We got I think about 16 inches of snow. It drifted like mad because of winds so who knows how much actually. After the snow moved out this weird thing called a polar vortex moved right back in and we were looking at -16 temps with wind chill levels of -45. And just when we started to thaw out and thought our pipes had survived our water started making weird sounds. We panicked thinking for sure our pipes were frozen. But then we learned our city had a massive water main break. And no I didn't plan for that with bottled water. We had no water at all for most of the day. We finally got everyone back to school yesterday!
So what I learned in this snow storm is I love my girls so very much! But I have been spoiled by the distractions that school provide. It is a break for all of us and I come home and enjoy them even more. Maybe it was the fact that our Christmas Vacation ended up being almost three weeks long. I am not sure. But by about Thursday we all were kind of grumpy with one another. But boy did we have so much fun this week. We were just running out of things to do and TV was getting boring.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Sharing…
I realized this week that TN is not even recognized or diagnosed in most people until well after it is developed and the problem is a huge issue! My guy's path is like many others. Usually it is diagnosed as a sinus issue or a TMJ issue. We were the latter. But thankfully, Mayo Clinic is the leading expert on TN and really leading the charge and training doctors all over to deal with it. As well, the United States is one of the leading nations in treatment and most people who suffer but don't live in the US travel here for treatment. Almost all doctors that treat or do surgery on TN have been trained by a Mayo doctor. I know know that The Facial Pain Association is working very hard to raise money for TN and raise awareness. Their site has provided me with so much information and was actually given to me by our new neurologist's nurse.
And to do a complete 180 on topics I wanted to share a few apps, websites that I love to use in my classroom. Gradebook Pro is my favorite by far. What I like about Gradebook Pro is it is a back up to my computer gradebook. Now I do not keep my grades in there. I keep track of attendance, behavior and repeated missing homework assignments. I like it more for my calls to parents. That is kind of my thing. I constantly call parents to say the good, bad and ugly. I use gradebook pro to document, keep track and back up what my school supplied software already says. As well, I can control it more than the school supplied software. Now you can get free apps to do similiar functions but they were cumbersome to me. And most teachers can tell you cumbersome takes way too long. Therefore, I paid for this app. But it has paid me back tenfold!
My second most used app is Showbie. My district actually just purchased Showbie Pro for us but I have been using it for awhile. I downloaded it last year and determined I would use it this year and I have. My district used My Big Campus but I find My Big Campus so inconsistent and aggravating. And everytime I think I will give it a chance it disappoints. Showbie allows me to share files with my students, allows them to turn in assignments and I can respond back to their papers by writing on it them, leaving them a voice file or just responding in a note. For an English teacher it is so valuable especially if you want to be digital. The nice thing to is that it has a web interface you can use when you need it. I prefer the Ipad version, but the web interface comes in handy at times. It will also share reminders with the students if needed.
The close second to showbie is ITunes U. I have most whole class set up on Itunes U. This is so valuable because you can post all you need to and the kids have access and as long as they download while they have Wifi it is placed on their ipad and they will not need wifi to reference later. I can't always assume my students will have access to wifi, so this is SOOOOOO valuable. It also allows me to flip my classroom some. If you keep it under 50 students you can keep it private. Actually I have 140 students this semester but I split it up. I clump them together into two classes and able to keep it under 50. You can break it up anyway you want and are able to customize a lot! After researching I realized it has a web interface as well. They don't necessarily advertise that, but I prefer to download initially through there. I just googled and book marked "Itunes Course Manager" and never had a problem since. I also use it to send out reminders to my students.
The next app I like it is 'werdsmith' which is advertised as a writing studio. I think my students like to maneuver outside of the usual places like 'pages' on their ipad. This app I have used and enjoy. It has a share feature that allows them to email me their work. I only really use it in my creative writing course. We provide the students with old school composition notebooks, but some want an alternative electronic version of that. This is the best app I have found to do that. Now pages will work as well, but this has some other nicer features that allow them to be more creative. And since it is creative writing then why not? As well look at the adorable icon. That has every high schoolers interest immediately. No really it is just nice because it makes them feel like a writer. So many kids walk into my class and don't see themselves as writers. They often come in saying, "I am horrible at writing" or "I hate writing" and then they see all their writing in one place and realize they are writers. This app helps that and helps me to have it all in one spot!
There of course are quite a few others, but this is already getting longer than I intended so there you go!
With my guy's limited diet lately I have been exploring a new culinary world of soft foods. And since we are struggling to get calories into him even with added proteins I have been making pies like no one's business. I have always been a pie maker. But usually my signature pie is apple. I don't really do custards or puddings. But since we are talking limited diet I am learning how. His favorite and my favorite to make is sugar cream pie. It is a staple here in Indiana. But I have experimented and the absolute best pie I have found to make and the easiest was this one. It turns out so creamy and delicious.
The second thing we made that I didn't expect my guy to like but he actually did was cheeseburger pie soup. I had a recipe from pinterest but I tweaked it to suit his needs. Basically you fry half a pound of hamburger. I did lean and then I ran it through the blender. You add in two cans of cheese soup ( I did campbells low fat). And add in two cups of milk. Toss in the hamburger and let it cook for about a half an hour and it is ready to serve. I also blended in three strips of lean bacon with the hamburger to make it bacon cheeseburger soup.
I know neither of these recipes are the healthiest variety. And if I could add in greens and veggies to his diet I try. But he is so limited in his diet as in he is a meat and potatoes variety kind of man. I have gotten him to venture out with this new diet more than I expected him too. As well, when I can I sneak in stuff. Right now I am doing all of his cooking unless we have a pizza night or something.
Oh and scrambled eggs are his best friend. I usually make them daily.
Before officially TN struck our home we were thinking about what we wanted to do this summer. Do we want to go on another family vacation? Do we want to send them on spring break (mine is a different time)? Do we want to do none of that and get new carpet and work on a few things for our house? Who knows what tomorrow will bring? We have all our plans on hold. We were thinking Outer Banks or that area this summer. We wanted some mountain driving and the beach. However, the girls were all really wanting to Mountains again. We just wanted affordable. Therefore we shall see.
And on that note I will wrap up my Saturday Sharing…