Women’s Night Out for Breast Cancer

Lexington Medical Center will host its annual Women’s Night Out on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in downtown Columbia. The event recognizes October as breast cancer awareness month and honors cancer survivors and their families. More than 900 people attend each year.

Women's Night Out

Join us for a silent auction, physician exhibit, signature cocktail, fashion show featuring breast cancer survivors and dinner. Attendees will also enjoy a keynote speech by Kate Larsen. Diagnosed with stage II breast cancer at age 46, she went from a seasonal fitness instructor, personal trainer, certified wellness coach and mom of three to a chemotherapy patient. Larsen will talk about how the power of having girlfriends in the midst of a dark and difficult journey gave her help, hope and a renewed sense of joy in her life.

Proceeds from Women’s Night Out benefit the Crystal Smith Breast Cancer Fund, a Lexington Medical Center Foundation program that supports women undergoing cancer treatment.

“Women’s Night Out is an inspiring evening that recognizes resilient women in our community,” said Barbara Willm, vice president of Community Relations at Lexington Medical Center.

Tickets for Women’s Night Out cost $40 each. Exhibits and the silent auction begin at 5:00 p.m. Dinner begins at 7:00 p.m. Call (803) 936-8850 or visit LexMed.com to purchase tickets. You can also sponsor a table for 8 honoring a breast cancer survivor for $350. Dress for the event is business casual, but jeans friendly. There will be free valet parking and a cash bar.

Lexington Medical Center diagnoses approximately 250 breast cancer patients each year. The hospital’s breast program has accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). Lexington Medical Center has four Women’s Imaging centers and a mobile mammography van, all offering digital mammography. Lexington Medical Center’s cancer program also has accreditation with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. To learn more about Lexington Medical Center’s Breast Health Center, visit http://bit.ly/1rJXMnx.

Characterizations

By: Crissie Miller Kirby

As I sit here tonight, grading spelling tests, homework assignments, and creative writing pages, I reflect on my new position and exactly what wisdom I am trying to convey to “my kids.”

BooksWhile my official title and role is an English Language Arts teacher for middle and high school, I want to be much more than that. I want to be a champion for them. I want them to learn that education is more than a number in a grade book. While I have admitted that I, myself, was overly concerned with my numeric grades growing up, the extra lessons were not lost on me either. Little did I know that those people who taught me English and Grammar and Algebra would, in fact, be educating me on how to be a better person in the world; and, ultimately, they have taught me how to be an educator as well.

Do I set out to impart important life lessons on them? No, not exactly. Certainly they are always in the back of my mind, but I don’t structure a lesson plan around them. This week’s lessons with my oldest students, my ninth and tenth grade English I and English II classes, have offered me an opportunity to share something I feel is important as we move through our lives: how to see the good in others and how our thoughts can be used to uplift others instead of drag them down.

Our focus right now is Literature, and, in doing so, we have discussed characterizations of some of our texts’ main and secondary characters – characteristics that are both plainly stated and others that are inferred from the story and setting and actions. How has this played out into a life lesson, you ask? As we were writing, on the board, characterizations of fictitious people, one student half joked that we should do a characterization of another student. That student actually agreed and a new, better homework assignment was born in that moment. I had my students write their names twice on a piece of paper. Each name was put into a bucket and each student drew two classmates for whom they would do characterizations. I gave only one stipulation: the characterizations had to be positive. If a classmate had a seemingly negative trait, think on it. Could it be positive in some manner?

Initially, I thought that I would just have them turn their characterizations in and at first that is what I did. But, as I began to skim over them in class, I decided that this might be a perfect opportunity for these students to see themselves as others see them, and to see that, even when you don’t get the grade you thought you would get, the day your best friend is upset with you, the day you get into a fight with your parents, that you have value. You have worth, and others see positivity radiating from you.

So, this afternoon, I took some time and compiled the characterizations and have prepared a page for each of my students. And I can hardly wait to hand them out tomorrow and talk with my students about the information they see in front of them.

When was the last time you told someone about the positive characteristics you see in them? Have you ever? I know that I have not done this well. I challenge each of you to take time out of your day to think of someone who might need an encouragement boost today, write out some positive characteristics and give it to them. It may just be the encouragement that he or she needs.As I sit here tonight, grading spelling tests, homework assignments, and creative writing pages, I reflect on my new position and exactly what wisdom I am trying to convey to “my kids.”

While my official title and role is an English Language Arts teacher for middle and high school, I want to be much more than that. I want to be a champion for them. I want them to learn that education is more than a number in a grade book. While I have admitted that I, myself, was overly concerned with my numeric grades growing up, the extra lessons were not lost on me either. Little did I know that those people who taught me English and Grammar and Algebra would, in fact, be educating me on how to be a better person in the world; and, ultimately, they have taught me how to be an educator as well.

Do I set out to impart important life lessons on them? No, not exactly. Certainly they are always in the back of my mind, but I don’t structure a lesson plan around them. This week’s lessons with my oldest students, my ninth and tenth grade English I and English II classes, have offered me an opportunity to share something I feel is important as we move through our lives: how to see the good in others and how our thoughts can be used to uplift others instead of drag them down.

Our focus right now is Literature, and, in doing so, we have discussed characterizations of some of our texts’ main and secondary characters – characteristics that are both plainly stated and others that are inferred from the story and setting and actions. How has this played out into a life lesson, you ask? As we were writing, on the board, characterizations of fictitious people, one student half joked that we should do a characterization of another student. That student actually agreed and a new, better homework assignment was born in that moment. I had my students write their names twice on a piece of paper. Each name was put into a bucket and each student drew two classmates for whom they would do characterizations. I gave only one stipulation: the characterizations had to be positive. If a classmate had a seemingly negative trait, think on it. Could it be positive in some manner?

Initially, I thought that I would just have them turn their characterizations in and at first that is what I did. But, as I began to skim over them in class, I decided that this might be a perfect opportunity for these students to see themselves as others see them, and to see that, even when you don’t get the grade you thought you would get, the day your best friend is upset with you, the day you get into a fight with your parents, that you have value. You have worth, and others see positivity radiating from you.

So, this afternoon, I took some time and compiled the characterizations and have prepared a page for each of my students. And I can hardly wait to hand them out tomorrow and talk with my students about the information they see in front of them.

When was the last time you told someone about the positive characteristics you see in them? Have you ever? I know that I have not done this well. I challenge each of you to take time out of your day to think of someone who might need an encouragement boost today, write out some positive characteristics and give it to them. It may just be the encouragement that he or she needs.

As I sit here tonight, grading spelling tests, homework assignments, and creative writing pages, I reflect on my new position and exactly what wisdom I am trying to convey to “my kids.”

While my official title and role is an English Language Arts teacher for middle and high school, I want to be much more than that. I want to be a champion for them. I want them to learn that education is more than a number in a grade book. While I have admitted that I, myself, was overly concerned with my numeric grades growing up, the extra lessons were not lost on me either. Little did I know that those people who taught me English and Grammar and Algebra would, in fact, be educating me on how to be a better person in the world; and, ultimately, they have taught me how to be an educator as well.

Do I set out to impart important life lessons on them? No, not exactly. Certainly they are always in the back of my mind, but I don’t structure a lesson plan around them. This week’s lessons with my oldest students, my ninth and tenth grade English I and English II classes, have offered me an opportunity to share something I feel is important as we move through our lives: how to see the good in others and how our thoughts can be used to uplift others instead of drag them down.

Our focus right now is Literature, and, in doing so, we have discussed characterizations of some of our texts’ main and secondary characters – characteristics that are both plainly stated and others that are inferred from the story and setting and actions. How has this played out into a life lesson, you ask? As we were writing, on the board, characterizations of fictitious people, one student half joked that we should do a characterization of another student. That student actually agreed and a new, better homework assignment was born in that moment. I had my students write their names twice on a piece of paper. Each name was put into a bucket and each student drew two classmates for whom they would do characterizations. I gave only one stipulation: the characterizations had to be positive. If a classmate had a seemingly negative trait, think on it. Could it be positive in some manner?

Initially, I thought that I would just have them turn their characterizations in and at first that is what I did. But, as I began to skim over them in class, I decided that this might be a perfect opportunity for these students to see themselves as others see them, and to see that, even when you don’t get the grade you thought you would get, the day your best friend is upset with you, the day you get into a fight with your parents, that you have value. You have worth, and others see positivity radiating from you.

So, this afternoon, I took some time and compiled the characterizations and have prepared a page for each of my students. And I can hardly wait to hand them out tomorrow and talk with my students about the information they see in front of them.

When was the last time you told someone about the positive characteristics you see in them? Have you ever? I know that I have not done this well. I challenge each of you to take time out of your day to think of someone who might need an encouragement boost today, write out some positive characteristics and give it to them. It may just be the encouragement that he or she needs.

Love Grows Love

By: Lydia Scott

Humans are strange creatures. We revel in food that’s not even real food. We love to interact with others, but often prefer it to be in any form other than face to face. And when someone we know passes away, we rush to leave them messages about how awesome we thought they were, how much we’re going to miss them, and how sad we are that we never got the chance to tell them these things before.

Why? Why do we do that? Why wait until someone has passed away to stop and tell them how cool we always thought they were? I’m not talking about your family and your really close friends. Most folks do pretty well at telling the people they’re really close to how much they love them (or at least I hope they do!). I’m talking about your neighbor; your lovecircle of Facebook friends that you occasionally meet for wine and a chat; your co-workers; your fellow PTA members you enjoy seeing at meetings; that coffee barista who always remembers how you like your coffee and keeps her cool with the rude folks in line; that teacher who takes the time to really work with your child during class; your pastor who’s always there to listen when you need guidance. Why don’t people tell any of these acquaintances that they admire and appreciate them until they’re gone?

Think about it…do you know a mom who inspires you to work a little harder? Does your garbage collection technician go out of her way to pick up the trash that blew out of your can, and always has a smile for you? Do you often find yourself thinking “Gosh, I didn’t know that person very well in school, but they seem to do so well with making people feel appreciated!” Do you have a co-worker whose poise, grace, and kindness are at a level you strive for? Yes? Have you told any of those people the things you think about them? No? DO IT. Right now. Text her. Call him. Message her. Post it on his Wall. Mail him a card. Invite her for coffee. Mention it at the next meeting. However you tend to communicate with any of those people, make sure you tell them now, and regularly.

The truth is, with people we know but don’t “really know,” we fail to say any of the good things we think of them until we hear about the car accident, the heart attack, or the cancer. But really, so many of these people are going through life barely holding it together and possibly with no one telling them how witty or compassionate or creative they are.

Be that person. Be the person who, when you think something positive about someone, TELLS THEM, while it can still make a difference in their lives and minds. Let them know their goodness is noticed and influences someone. Love grows love. Go ahead and plant that seed now.

Pumpkin Spice: Splurge, Then Substitute

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

Ahhh, how I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes! Although it came out extra early this year – August 14th, to be exact – it signals the start of Autumn for me. I treat myself to one Pumpkin Spice Latte during the season, and I’m waiting until it’s cool this year, maybe early October. Why just one, you ask? Because that yummy Pumpkin Spice Latte isn’t just packed with flavor. It also has:

  • 380 calories, as many as seven Chips Ahoy! cookies
  • Eight grams of saturated fat
  • 49 grams of sugar, nearly double the amount found in 16 ounces of cola
  • 51 grams of carbohydrate, almost as much as four slices of white bread

No one buys a Pumpkin Spice Latte thinking it’s a healthy drink, but YIKES! More than one of those could derail even the healthiest eater!

Pumpkin Bites

This year, I’m getting my favorite seasonal spice via a couple of healthier, but equally delicious treats:

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites: I first tried these over Labor Day weekend, and they’re wonderful! They’re a great on-the-run snack and/or pre/post-workout treat.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothies: Compared to the same size Pumpkin Spice Latte, it has half the calories and sugar, a third less carbohydrates and even a nice amount of fiber! And it’s cold and extra refreshing during those still-warm September days.

What’s your favorite fall food? Do you have a healthier version or do you just splurge during the season?

Apps to Write Home About

By: Leah Prescott

I have joked for years that I was the last person in North America to still use a flip phone. I am happy to announce that I have finally moved into this millennium with a much anticipated iPhone 5S. Because it was so long coming (thanks to cell phone contracts that last longer than a Carolina summer and my continual outrage at the price of data plans) I had a lot of time to anticipate the upgrade. I was determined to use my new phone for good, and not for evil. By that I mean for healthy meal planning and listening to edifying podcasts rather than just playing Candy Crush non-stop. So although it is new to me, I wanted to share some of my favorite apps that you might want to download as well. With the exception of DragonBox, all of these Apps are free!

Kindle & Overdrive Apps: I am listing these together because they go hand in hand with Richland County Public Library’s digital lending library. (Shout out to the Broad River Road location….my whole family loves the staff there!) I don’t think I have ever paid for a digital book, but both my husband and I download digital content using the Kindle or Kindle app all the time. I prefer the Kindle for reading; however the iPad or iPhone is great in a pinch, My Fitness Palfabulous for reading on the go, or for reading in the dark when I am trying not to wake the most finicky sleeper in the world, my two-year-old son. Remember, there is also lots of FREE content available on Amazon too. Have you noticed I am all about free?

MyFitnessPal: There are many Apps out there for calorie counting and meeting your fitness goals, but this is the best one I have seen. It combines easy record keeping (you can even scan barcodes for instant info) with the fun of social media. Having the chance to connect with others and give and receive advice is what helps me stay on track when I am focusing on a weight-loss goal. If you want an App to make staying healthy fun and simple, this should be your first stop.

Our Daily Bread: This is a new App for me that I am very excited about. Our Daily Bread is a well-known devotional that gives simple yet powerful selections of Scriptures with a short message for each day of the year. This App combines Our Daily Bread’s classic format with “live” links to the passages for each day. Each Scripture link takes you directly to Bible Gateway where you can choose to read the applicable section in your choice of translations, giving you the chance to really delve into the message with deeper understanding.

PBS Kids: This is a cute little app that allows the child to choose from various PBS Kids Television clips. The sidebar displays buttons with different characters including Martha Speaks, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Curious George and, my two-year-old’s favorite, Caillou. The clips aren’t full episodes (thank goodness), but short snippets that can be navigated using a simple kid-friendly control panel at the bottom. When I need a few minutes to get my older two started on a homeschool assignment, this is very fun for my two-year-old without giving him a full 30 minutes of screen time. Hooray!

SkyviewSkyView Free: I stumbled across this App by chance when I was desperately trying to locate the Big Dipper with my 2nd Graders for an assignment. This App makes stargazing impossibly easy by highlighting the constellations and labeling them right on the screen. I felt a bit like I was cheating but at least we found the stars! As I told the girls, sometimes it’s ok to get a little extra help when you have tried your best and it is already way past your bedtime.

Read It NowiReaditNow: This is a very simple App, but it serves its purpose beautifully. I haven’t fully explored it but it’s a quick and easy way to record and store a Book List. I like to keep track of the books my kids read each month and this makes it easy. You scan the barcode on the cover, and more often than not, all the info pops right up onto the screen. This is making it much easier for us to track our reading and to easily reference favorite titles and authors that may have made their way back to the shelves of the Library.

DragonBox: As a homeschooler, I’ve downloaded quite a few “educational” Apps and been disappointed in them for the most part. However, DragonBox is one of the few paid Apps we have and it has absolutely blown me away. Appropriate for children age five and up, DragonBox is a true “Edutainment” application that teaches Algebra through games. I have seen it happen before my very eyes; my seven-year-olds are doing Algebra, plain and simple. I could not be more impressed with this App and unlike many of the others we have tried, the kids LOVE it. ‘Nuff said.

Honorable mention goes to: Spotify for Music and Audiobooks, SkinDeep to check the contents of cosmetics with the swipe of a barcode, Cartwheel for hidden savings at Target, and Common Sense Media to help guide you in making safe viewing choices for your family. On my list to explore are FlyLady, Shazam and Spelling City. Now if there was just an App to keep me from misplacing my phone, I’d be good to go.

Do you have any recommendations to share? Leave me a comment with your favorites!

Hop, Skip and a Jump

By: Katie Austin

Where did the summer go? Can you believe we are already midway through September?

I don’t know about you, but it seems as though the months are just flying by! They say time flies when you are having fun, so this girl must be having a lot of fun. 🙂

I do love this time of year as we transition into Fall and cooler temperatures. Mother Nature moves over to warmer colors, and college football in the air. (Go Gamecocks! Sorry, just had to work that into my blog somewhere…LOL.)

Though I am excited about the new season, I do worry about keeping up my new health routine. As I shared in my last post, “My Aha Moment,” my husband and I started a simple exercise/eating healthy ritual that’s helping us to gradually lose weight. During the summer, school is out and we participate in many outdoor activities. But as schedules get busier and activities move indoors, I worry that I will go back to old habits. I don’t want to lose my momentum, and I want to be sure that our recent changes become lifetime habits.

How can we accomplish this, especially during the holiday season?

I pondered this question for a while. I went back in time, remembering when I finished chemotherapy and needed something to motivate me. My body was weak and my muscles atrophied. I wanted something to focus on, a way to take steps toward getting back in shape. I found the Avon Walk and joined a team to walk 39 miles.

That’s what I needed to do: find events that will provide opportunities to exercise while giving back and helping me stay focused. Perfect!

I recently participated in a Habitat for Humanity Women Build, which was a women-only event. Boy, I had no idea sod could be that heavy!

habitat for humanityI am registered to participate in two events this October: the Walk for Life (10/18/14) and to walk 39 miles in the Avon Walk in Charlotte, NC (10/25-26/14).
avon walk

See the links below for volunteer opportunities at an upcoming build or to register to walk:

There are many other events taking place this Fall that are just a hop, skip and a jump away. A quick Goggle search and you will find several to choose from.

Don’t get me wrong, we are still walking and watching what we eat. These events just offer different ways of exercising.

Remember to keep your health toward the top of your list and to keep moving.

 

 

Service With a Smile

By: Lara Winburn

I am a sucker for good customer service. I once wrote a note to a waitress at a Pizza Hut because her service was so stellar. I have been a waitress and have owned a retail shop; in my mind, service is what separates a good place from a great place. My roommate and I once called the customer service number at Sonic to rave about the service we received…it got us a coupon for a free burger, I do believe – more great service.

Recently my three year old broke her arm. She is fine but it has hindered her social calendar quite a bit. A few weeks before the break, I had scheduled some time at The Little Gym. We had a gift certificate that was going to expire (typical) and I thought both Great customer servicekids would like it and it would be a nap-making kind of activity. Well, I have been to The Little Gym (N. Beltline Blvd) one time for a birthday party. They do not know me or my cute kiddos, but due to arm break I had to cancel our classes there. (It just seemed like the heavy cast might make a balance beam more of a challenge.)

You see that picture of that Get Well Card? That is what they sent my daughter. Just because I told them the reason I was cancelling and that we would try again when all of our appendages were in working order. The inside is signed by who I assume are the sweet teachers that spend their Saturdays teaching kids there. Is that service or what? A little human touch goes a long way. I am now a huge fan of Little Gym.

I am not much of a shopper, because of time and money restraints blah blah blah. But a few weeks ago I ordered shoes from Zappos.com. I feel certain you may have heard of this little company. My mom may be single handedly keeping them in business. Anyway, I ordered some shoes that magically appeared on my door in two days. I tried on the shoes and they did not fit quite right. (One more blessing of pregnancy…new shoe size.) As I studied the shoes I noticed they looked previously worn. Or, at best, tried on by an elephant kicking a soccer ball. So, I decided to call customer service. Not because I was mad, I just did not want to send the shoes back and they think my pet elephant had been kicking a soccer ball with them, or that I wore them out on the town and sent them back. I explained to the lovely sales representative (after listening to the Zappos “joke of the day”) that the shoes did not fit properly. I also wanted to tell them for the record if they looked worn it was not by me. I even said “I am not mad about this and this is not why I am returning them I just thought someone should know and mark it in my shoe chart. The sales associate apologized for the inconvenience and we disconnected. Thirty minutes later, I got a $25 gift certificate because of the inconvenience. Yep, the total hassle dialing 10 numbers just to cover my own tail before I mailed back (on Zappos’ dime) shoes that magically appeared on my doorstep a day before. Total hassle?? If this is someone’s idea of a real inconvenience, let’s talk.

When humans treat humans like humans it really just warms my heart. I am sure we all have lots of examples of bad service, disappointing products, and total retail disrespect – but sometimes there is a little service with a smile. And for that I am thankful. (It doesn’t take much.)

**Disclaimer: For the record, I LOVE LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES and do not buy everything online. These just happened to be my two examples as of late.**