Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Beautiful Day

Sorry that the posting has been infrequent here lately. Emotionally I just needed some time. I am feeling a lot better. I am insulin resistant. Treatment includes medication, diet and exercise. The diet is not fun, but we don't always get to pick the way things work out. I can absolutely live with a diet that makes me a healthier person. I praise God that I am able to change the direction that my health was heading. Some of the other medical/emotional issues haven't been resolved yet, but that's ok. One thing at a time :)

Within 24 hours of the diet I started feeling better. It is amazing to me how much more energy I have. I gave myself a week to get acquainted with the diet and am starting a low intensity weight program and walking routine tomorrow. My goal is to walk 100 miles between now and July 24th (next doctor's appt.). I would also like to lose 24 lbs (that is 10% of my weight). So those are the small goals I have set for myself.

The potatoes are up in the garden! And some of the onions. I planted spinach and lettuce this evening. I planted sweet italian basil and parsley in the herb bed after I weeded and cleaned it up. I gave the flower bed a good one-over and planted some zinnias there - which I am fairly certain immediately died. Oh well. I will get some more.

School is going good. It seems less stressful for me to school the boys one at a time. The other one plays with Bear. School does take a little longer, but that's alright. We will continue to work through May and maybe the first week or so of June. Then we will be off school until August. Greg will be going to camp the first week of August so we will start after that. Norman has his first vacation starting Thursday. I think that much fishing will take place during that time. I am hoping for a trip to St. Louis also :)

I think that is all the update that I can give for now. I will try to post more often, but with my new-found energy I am staying fairly busy. Have a beautiful week!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ponderings After Yesterday

Can you imagine your dreams being taken away and there be nothing you can do about it? That happened to me again yesterday. I suffer from PCOS and it is worse. Worse means it isn't responding well to the medication, more weight gain (and more difficulty losing it), more severe hormonal problems, less chance of having more children. Women with PCOS don't get things easily to begin with. Monthly cycles are sporadic but very heavy when they come. Most of the time I wish I could stay home. Although I am depressed, typical depression medications must be put off until my hormonal level is stabilized. The medication that I should take to treat PCOS (and possibly alleviate some of the other stuff), makes for terrible stomach problems and the need to be very close to a bathroom at all times. Terrible stuff.

So now, in my hormonally unstable state, I am trying to make the decision to have more children or not. I didn't want to make this decision. I want to be normal and see what happens. But medical intervention will be needed and the decision impacts steps that can be taken for other treatment options. Norman is fine either way (he may even be leaning toward no more children - he wants me healthy).

I want me healthy too. I wish I could diet and lose weight. I wish that I didn't have hair in all the wrong places. I wish that I didn't want to stay in bed all day............I wish I had some energy. I don't want to be overweight. I don't want to be tired. I don't want to be depressed. However, I find myself in this situation now. I have always tried to make the best of it, but I am tired of doing that too.

Please pray for me, if you feel led. I need all the help I can get. My precious sons deserve to have a mother that is "here". My husband deserves a wife that isn't so moody and pessimistic. I deserve to be healthy.

Also, Norman and I go to see the orthopedic surgeon for his knee today. Prayers for wisdom for the doctor are appreciated!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Apologia Science

Have you ever heard of Apologia?

Apologia is one of those companies that you hear about almost as soon as you begin homeschooling. For great reason!!

I don't like science. Sorry, but I don't. Apologia makes science easy for this science hating mom to teach.

Exploring Creation with General Science is Apologia's standard science course for 7th graders. Beginning with a Brief History of Science, each module covers a beginning science topic. The modules are packed with information, but very easy to read. The "On Your Own" questions make the student think a little deeper about the information being learned. The experiments use household products and are easy enough for the student to do on their own. Each module is followed by a test to check for retention. This is a wonderful beginning course. Apologia follows this with other great courses. In the upper levels the courses can be used to as AP college courses. I doubt that there is a better upper level science course available.

Apologia offers elementary science also! We checked out Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. Again, this is a very thorough course, teaching children about zoology in a manner similar to Charlotte Mason. Jeannie Fulbright encourages the use of notebooking to aid in the retention of information. Experiments using household materials are included for hands-on-learners. We have also used Exploring Creation with Astronomy and love how easy it is to use. My boys learn so much and have a lot of fun doing it.

Apologia has changed hands recently (same great materials though!) and have incorporated other wonderful resources to their product list. I just received my new Apologia catalog and all I can say is WOW. They are offering online courses and have teamed up with Clay and Sally Clarkson and are offering their materials as well. Be sure to stop by their website and sign up for their mailing list. You don't want to miss everything this wonderful company has to offer!

Alphabet Alley

Safety in children's toys is an issue that we all think is very important. Alphabet Alley is a company that takes the safety of children seriously. I was sent the Baby Playset Magnet set. This is a great product! Unfortunately, Alphabet Alley discontinued this product due to higher safety standards. However, please, take a look through their website. I previously reviewed the Noah's Ark Go-Fish card game and 2-By-2 Matching Game. They also have stickers, games and wooden toys. Everything that I have seen produced by them has been the best of quality and a wonderful asset to our educational toy selection.

Take a look and see what Alphabet Alley has to offer your little ones!

Good Morning!

It is a beautiful morning! I am excited to begin the day.

Today may find the boys mushroom hunting rather than schooling - shush - we will have to see. Maybe we can get some bookwork in before Dad wakes up. Dad needs to call the doctor about his MRI results and deal with some insurance stuff. Lee has computer class in town this afternoon but taekwondo has been canceled for the weekend.

I am in a sewing mood. I don't know what to make, but I think that I might make a purse or handbag (what is the different anyway, is a handbag bigger? Then all my purses are handbags. LOL).

I thought that I had a lot to say this morning, but I guess that is it. My last product review for the TOS Crew will be done this evening. It has been great fun. If you would like to apply for next year's crew you can go to the TOS Crew blog to see the application. I have enjoyed the opportunity to see so many great homeschool products and learn about different companies and meet fabulous people.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sunday's shopping Deals


2 jumbo packs Huggies diapers
1 jumbo pack huggies wipes
2 easter baskets
2 bags easter "grass"
1 skintimate shave gel
1 cover girl mascara
1 cover girl foundation
2 candy bars (that didn't make the picture)

My husband has the receipt, but the total was around $54 before coupons. We spent $2.05 in cash and got back $29 in ECB's for next time.

Some Pictures

Let me tell you, uploading these pictures is a pain. If any of you know how to do it quicker please email me! I tried to do a slideshow but blogger wouldn't accept the code! I would put up more pictures if it wasn't like pulling teeth to do it.


The boys building the rabbit hutch.


The bunny - Bucky - that lives there now.








Sunday, April 05, 2009

Schleich Action Figures

Are you looking for a fun, sturdy, life-like toy for your child? Schleich is a great company!

We got several great animal figures in the mail. The figures are made from sturdy, thick hard plastic. They are very life-like. Bear and Greg have both been playing with them so I feel that they are appropriate for a wide age range.

Schleich also makes other products for imaginative play. Just previewing their website, I see the barn for the farm animals, knights and castles, and dinosaurs.

Keep Schleich in mind when searching for quality, imaginative toys.

Generations of Virtue

Teknon and the Champion Warriors

When this book showed up at my house, my husband immediately saw it and started reading it. My husband is not a reader of too many things, but he really enjoyed the book.

Teknon and his father (with the assistance of other warriors) must defeat evil while sharpening his own character and maturity. Teknon is placed in many different situations where he must make a decision. His father always takes time afterwards to point out the moral implications of what he did, good or bad. My husband found this to be a very interesting book and he read it all the way through. I think that it is definately a boy book.

Lee also read the book after his father. Lee is almost 12. From what my husband has said I probably wouldn't have let him read it, as the themes seem to be very "adult" in some situations. I encourage every parent to read it themselves and be ready to discuss what is read with your son. My husband and son had many interesting discussions based on this book! Also, Lee found the book very difficult reading. We finally slowed him down to one chapter at a time and then discussion because he was missing the hidden character training themes in the book. I will probably encourage him to read it again when he is older.

This is a book best used by father's and sons together. I also believe that twelve is almost too young to understand what is happening in the book. So definately pre-read it. Be ready to discuss it. Generations of Virtue also publish a father/son guide that is probably very beneficial.

The book is availabe for $13.99 and the set (with guides included) is available for $42.99.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Good Saturday Evening

I seem to wear many hats around here. I am mom, teacher, homework helper, cook, housekeeper, laundress, gardener, nanny, confidant and friend. In my spare time, I love to write, read, knit and bake. I hope, in the months to come, to spend more time sharing the "other" me....the one who loves to learn and share what I am learning. If that interests you, please continue to come back. Sometimes I don't post as often as I should because, well, I have many jobs and I must prioritize.

This coming week will be busy. When aren't we busy? I suppose one day when they are all gone I will get to spend a whole week at home amusing myself, but this isn't that week. Oh well!

Monday I get to go to the dentist at 8:00 a.m. with all 3 children to have my root canal restoration finished. I didn't want to wait until Norman could watch them at the end of the week so the olders are watching Bear during my appointment. Unfortunately it is supposed to rain so they won't be able to walk him in the stroller downtown like I had hoped but that's ok. They will find some way to amuse themselves and hopefully the appointment won't take long. We will come back home after that appointment and try to get some school done. I have a post about school floating in my head. Hopefully I will manage to get it down sometime. Anyway, we do have taekwondo in the evening so that will mean another trip to town.

Tuesday will find us with school work, house work and Lee's computer class in the evening. Is it too much to hope for that it will be nice and warm on Tuesday? Some terrible person on the radio today said something about SNOW. That can't be good.

I believe that we will be homebodies on Wednesday. I guard our days at home. Seems like they are pretty rare. I take them when I can get them!!!!

Thursday and Friday finds us with Norman home. Assuming that we aren't buried in snow I have no doubt that they will be mushroom hunting at least sometime in those two days. Hopefully Norman will have an appointment about his knee...the MRI results are due on Monday. I am eager to know if they can fix it.

Saturday will be filled with prep work for Easter breakfast and lunch at my aunt's house after church.

Did I mention earlier that I am a chauffer? I am. According to Norman I am a terrible driver so watch out! Maybe I will see you on the road this week, or I will get a chance to visit with you in "web-land".

Take care my friends. Enjoy your family and friends. Take the time every day to kiss them all and hold them tight. This season will pass and I imagine you will miss it....just like I will.

Thoughts on Motherhood

My children are finally on the mend - double ear infections all the way around. I have had a little time to think. Enjoy!

I am a mother.
I frequently find my identity through my children and my husband. When you are a mother, most of your efforts are in the background, never to be seen by the populace. There are very few awards for mothers. My reward is seeing my children grow and learn about the Lord.

I am a mother.
When you ask what has been going on around here, don't be surprised if it is boring. Also, don't be surprised that I go on and on about every-little-detail of life around here. Everything that happens here is important to me because I am a mother.

I am a mother.
My children are not angels. Everyone has their faults. However, I do see how much they have grown in different areas of need. I realize how far they have come and choose to praise them for that rather than grouch about how much farther they have to go.

I am a mother.
To the outside world, I am not important. The menial tasks that I perform everyday must be repeated frequently but I never fail to spend the time to snuggle with the baby, admire a bunny and bandage a booboo.

I am a mother.
I am trying to follow a God-given mandate to raise my children for the Lord. I follow Jesus as best I can. I am eager to sit at His feet and soak up His word. I lean on Him daily during the trails that always come.

I am a mother.
The most wonderful, precious job in the world.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Tot School


We have been sick all week. When I say we, I mean the short people. Lee is better and did do some math corrections and reading one day but that has been the extent of "big boy" school.

Tot School however has continued on, because little people never stop learning. As sick as Bear has been this week, only one day did he lay with is head on my shoulder. It broke me mommy-heart :(

The rest of the time he was busy with his balls and books. His favorite book right now is BAby Einstein Let's Look!. I got my copy from Books-A-Million for $8 last fall. It is an oversized boardbook. There is at least one picture on each page that he points to and I tell him what it is. Even though he knows. Over and over. And he gets angry if you won't say Tiger when he points to the tiger or Bicycle when points to the bicycle or Nemo fishy when he points to the striped fish. It can't get very annoying. But that's ok. We are working on vocabulary, sizes, shapes and counting. He loves that book. He tried to sleep with it the other day.

I am taking the younger two to the doctor today. We are going to be better by Monday. Did everyone hear that???? We will be better by Monday. I don't think that I can take much more of this.

Hopefully school and tot school will pick up some sort of order next week and I will post about all of that. Today, I don't remember what order is.

Have a good weekend!