I have always had a passion for ice cream and chocolate (go back a few entries where I express myself some about both) but I have noticed that as I grow older, my shadow grows wider. Not that I am obese or anything like that, but it is obvious that I am not the same boy my sweetheart married nearly 32 years ago. In those days there was a common concern amongst most of my relatives and friends that I might waste away if I didn't bulk up a little. After all these years of Teresa's good cooking and my insistence on frozen delights and products from the cocoa plant, there is a significant increase in my tonnage (or maybe just poundage) to the point that I have decided it is time to limit my intake of the two most delectable products on this green earth. Therefore, I am currently trying to change my habits and only allow myself one or two treats during the week so that there will be less of me the next time I make an appearance in a swimming suit or similar attire. There is also the slim chance that this effort, combined with my exercise program, will allow me to perform some of the manual labor around the home without the constant need for an oxygen tank at my side (jk). I have noticed that I do tend to get a little 'breathy' when I work hard so I am hoping there will be a change.
Actually, there is another reason for my efforts to improve my physical characteristics. Our insurance company, DMBA, has a program where we (Teresa and I) can earn up to $400 (combined) if we will follow a schedule they provide for us each month. They give us counsel on things we can eat so we avoid many of the more flagrant offenders in the healthy food area. For instance, they have challenged us to do away with sugared drinks like soda (which is pretty easy since Teresa doesn't like them so she doesn't buy them much) and they encourage us to eat fresh fruit instead of having a candy bar or ice cream. The taste isn't quite the same but the results on our bodies will be much better. We decided that this will be an easy to get some money for an anniversary bash next year. If they are going to offer free money, why not take them up on it.
There is a wall in my classroom that I dedicate to pictures of my family at the various stages of life. It starts with the wedding announcement for Teresa and me and progresses through each of our children to the present day (at least as much as I can smuggle photos out of the house). As we have added spouses and grandchildren, the space needed has grown proportionally, until the whole production takes about 10 feet of the side wall of my room. While it may seem a little prideful, I have found that is actually a good reminder to my students concerning the priorities we need to set in our lives. On a daily basis, they hear me teach and testify of the power the gospel has in the lives of people who choose to follow the Savior and His prophets. But my wall is a physical reminder of the rewards that come from living as we have been counseled. Seeing how two young 'whipper-snappers' started out as a couple and then witnessing the results of a life together, trying to do the best we can, my charges can see the consequences of seeking to be what God has asked us to be.
Many that come to my room are from homes where they have a parent missing or where one or the other has lost interest in the teachings of the gospel. Having something that represents what we are taught to do gives some of my students the courage to keep trying, even when what they want seems impossible to attain. It's not that we (Teresa and I) are perfect examples but it is that we are an illustration of people who have never given up trying. Through all the difficult times and the struggles that life has offered, we have not bailed out for our own selfish desires. If nothing else, I hope we offer hope that their own lives can be happier than what they see around them.
I believe I will go home now so I can be with my little wifey. She sure is a wonderful and patient woman. How else can you explain why she hasn't taken to a daily habit of beating around the head and shoulders for all my missteps? Thankfully she loves me with my 'warts'. See you next time.