Sunday, July 29, 2018

Boy am I glad to see the summer's end on the horizon...

This has NOT been a fun summer.

Not even close.

The majority of the summer has been spent in doctor offices, urgent treatment centers, the pharmacy and even the ER.  And when we haven't been hanging out in those places we have been to the vet's office multiple times.  Since the end of April, we've had upper respiratory infections, ear infections, stomach viruses, head colds/sinus infections, bronchitis, a second round of ear infections and topped it off with a horrible case of tonsillitis.  These were back to back to back and it ran through all five of us each time.  ☹  My husband just missed work again on Friday because he is still dealing with the remnants of tonsillitis and sinus yuck.  Of course, all of this disrupts my children's underlying health issues so the fall out from this will continue for a while.

With the school year right around the corner, I catch myself taking a deep breath, half scared to guess what the fall will bring, half hoping that surely it can only get better from here.

This summer I finally took the time to read a book called A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille.  It's a book that I've heard about over the years and kept putting off reading it.  Because really do I need to read another book on homeschooling?  We are well into our journey after all, and it kinda sucks to read a book and realize you have done everything wrong up until this point.  Who wants to have that "Oh no!  I've ruined any chance for a great future for my kids...if only I'd___________" (fill in the blank with a long list of things you discover you should have been doing since they were toddlers) filling hanging over you as you prepare to start a new school year?

But, after reading Kari Patterson's blog posts (she blogs at Sacred Mundane...if you don't read her blog, you really should!  It is SO good!), I finally gave in and asked my husband if I could purchase it on Kindle.  He said yes, so I proceeded to devour it in two days (while taking copious notes!).  It is SO rich.  If I could recommend one book to new homeschoolers, veteran homeschoolers, or parents who want to enrich their own education...this book would be it!

We haven't read much this summer, but we did get in Brighty of the Grand Canyon, Kisses From Katie, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

I am ready for the cool mornings and early sunsets, the crunchy leaves and beautiful colors...I know it is still several months away, and despite the summer we had, I really am SO excited to welcome fall.  Plus Sarah Clarkson has a book coming out called Book Girl and I have it already on pre-order, I cannot wait.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Summer

I have seen these neat ideas for Summer posted (either through Instagram or email) and wanted to share in case anyone is still searching for something :

A Bible Reading Plan for the Summer 

Mother Culture Tracker  (hosted by Brandy Vencel from the blog Afterthoughts)

Mother's Education  (also hosted by Brandy Vencel)

Bible Journal Love with Robin Sampson (her current course Time with God is FREE!)

Any of Kari's Bible Studies 

Prayers of Promise devotional

One of my all-time favorite preachers is Paul Washer.  He began the Heart Cry Missionary Society as a way to support foreign missionaries, while at the same relying completely on God to finance and open the doors to do so.  On the website, there is a reading list posted - once you click on the link scroll to the bottom.  Fantastic ideas for those afternoons when you need a book to crawl into.

Making Bible a Daily Habit (I have only watched the first part of episode one)

And I have been trying to carve out the time to watch this entire series all the way through, this summer I am determined to find time to do it!  Bible Skills by Bent Tree.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Planning for the next School Year



There is something inherently exciting about looking forward to the next school year.  This past year was less than stellar, with so many ups and downs and interruptions.  I am SO glad to put it behind us and look forward in hope.

I am excited to peruse the new reading lists and fill out tentative lesson plans, excited to think about all that my kids could learn and explore and experience.  I just hope it's a little less adventurous than the year we just completed.

Guess what?  I have THREE green tomatoes on my tomato plant.  I am SO excited.  I cannot believe we are actually growing things.  My kids and I planted flowers and vegetables and a butterfly bush for the first time this year and we have had THE BEST time waking up every day and checking to see how things have grown.

*Update from our three weeks of craziness.  Our 14yo dog (pictured below) had to be rushed back to the vet two more times.  He is on some strong pain meds, muscle relaxers, and an anti-inflammatory - but still is in pain and is not eating or drinking much.  I am so sad because this is literally the sweetest dog - we rescued him from the pound twelve years ago and he has just been so sweet to our family.  Patient as my kids grew up and rolled all over him and dressed him up, patient as they squeezed too tight in hugs and steadfast as he was often times the last to get attention at the end of long days.  He is so laid back.  For the longest time, we were convinced he did not know how to bark, he was that quiet.


The thought that he is now hurting and there is little but time and meds we can give him, it makes me sad.  Animals are such a big part of our lives, they truly provide a therapy - a connection - that even the most highly trained professionals cannot foster.

Oh and my tooth was not infected, I had a sinus infection.  Once I started the antibiotic, I felt much, much better.  I am SO happy the past three weeks are over, looking forward to a calmer, peaceful, boring month of June.  ☺

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hard

The past three weeks have been hard.

It seems like for about a year or so now we have gone from one thing to another - seriously it is almost like a "grab your popcorn, the show's about to start". 

Three, I guess maybe four, weeks ago my kids came down with a sore throat.  The cold lingered but finally seemed to be going away.  Then my husband got a sinus infection and we (all five of us) just went downhill from there.  It culminated with TWO visits to the ER in the same night this past weekend.  I was sooooo exhausted I could barely function. Saturday afternoon when we laid down on our bed, our 14 yo dog went to jump up on the bed and screamed.  He then snapped if we got close to him.  So we jumped up and took him to the vet.  He has somehow hurt his knee and is limping/on pain meds (which we had to go back to the pharmacy again..the fifth time in two days).  Between breathing treatments, throwing up/stomach issues, blowing noses and coughing we have had very little sleep the past two weeks.

To top it off?  I woke up with a toothache this morning and then we had to call the gas company because we suspected a gas leak in our house. (thankfully it was not, but we still have no explanation for the very strong smell in our garage.  *sigh*) 

Did I mention we have been sick for the better part of three weeks now?  And that our house is a GIGANTIC mess?  I was so embarrassed when I had to let the gas guy in, I kept apologizing over and over.  He kept saying not to worry, it wasn't that bad.  Bless his heart.  He was nice.

To complicate matters my kids' underlying issues always get a LOT worse when they are sick, so basically, life is hard right now.

I am SO far done with everything. 

I cringe when someone asks 'how are you' because I want to cry and then my nose runs even more (it has run nonstop through this cold for like a week now). 

When I do attempt to honestly answer that question I watch one of two things happen - their eyes glaze over and they sort of look like, oh no, I really didn't mean for you to answer that question, I was just being polite, oh please someone make.her.stop.talking...or they take several steps backwards, almost afraid to get too close to us.  I can't say as though I blame them.

It has to get better, right?



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

This Morning

I was walking one of our doggies, glorying in the most beautiful of mornings - skies were gorgeous, birds were singing, a gentle breeze was blowing...


When all of a sudden a sharp sting in my foot made me look down and what did I see there?!?!  A wasp!  Hanging on to my foot for dear life.  I was NOT happy.  I'm terrified of having an allergic reaction to a wasp or bee sting.  So I freaked out (my dog looked at me like I was a looney tune).  *sigh*


Ironically we just studied wasps in science yesterday.  I think this one was a digger.  On a side note, see my toenails?  My youngest painted them yesterday while I was reading Little Women aloud.  😊


See the picture below?  We watched a silkworm/caterpillar (*not sure what it was) crawl back up it's piece of silk thread - it was balling it up as it went (can you see it?).  We stood under that tree for a long time, completely enchanted with that little guy.


I was not enchanted with the wasp though.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Summer Plans

We homeschool year round here, but the summer schedule is lighter for us.  Most summers though we flounder and flop through with no definite plans, and since it gets reallllllly hot here, the summer seem to last fooooorever.  

ICK.  

Also, since my children have chronic health issues, it is next to impossible to make plans.  

I found that out the hard way.




In years past I've made these elaborate plans in the hopes that we would be able to do them, at least some of them.  But there is just something about my personality that doesn't accept that and move on.  It makes me sad to think of all that they are missing out on (even though the plans were just on paper and not definite plans).  So...since the summers my kids will still be considered kids seem to be blowing away in the wind much like a dandelion full of fluff, I decided to try something completely different...






I googled summer ideas yesterday and found a NEAT idea.  I made five columns (that fit us), Movie Mondays, Artful Tuesdays, Wonderful World Tuesday, Museums/Library Thursdays, and Fun Fridays.

Each morning I will have my kids peel back the post-it note for the day (I numbered the weeks - 11 is what I have planned for).  I planned simple things, that we should be able to do, even on the harder days.  Our themes for movies are old Disney, in order that they were made.  Art will consist of a mix of projects, crafts, and science experiments.  Wonderful world - we will be out and about exploring or playing in the water sprinklers, having water gun fights, or exploding water balloons.  Library and Museum...self-explanatory.  Fun Fridays will be the BEST because several times we will be meeting my husband at work for lunch!!  Yippee!!!!

What are your plans for the summer?!?!?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

April

April has been a weird month, beautiful and warm one minute and then bitter, cold, and windy the next. 


We have an older rabbit that had to have a tumor removed earlier this month.  This rabbit is my oldest child's favorite, favorite thing in the whole world.  He is the sweetest bunny I have ever seen.  This Friday he gets his "helmet" (that's what I call his cone) off.  He had the stitches removed last Friday.  To say that we are thankful that he made it through the surgery and is almost now fully recovered, would be the understatement of the year.  It was touch and go for a few days after his surgery, with many trips to the vet, but he is now almost all better!



We are currently reading The Shakespeare Stealer and the second half of Little Women.



Shipping boxes make the BEST tools to showcase imagination.  Here is a cottage, in which our chihuahua has decided he will commandeer it for his own private place :).


I have discovered the author Kate Morton.  πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™


I introduced my kids to Jane Austen this month.  I LOVE Jane Austen.  I think I have one child who loves Jane Austen tooπŸ’›❣❣❣πŸ’™


We finished Wind in the Willows.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE that story!!❤❤❤


We have experimented with fish flakes, tissue paper, dandelion fluff, fingerprints on tape, and flower petals under the microscope.  SO neat!!


I just got an email that Joel Rosenberg's latest book The Kremlin Conspiracy is now available for me to check out.  SQUEE!!!!  Here is hoping for a long, peaceful DEAR later today!