Sunday, January 31, 2010

Funeral, etc.

We made it through the funeral, but only because of the love of our family and friends. For the past few days, people have been thinking of us, praying for us, singing to us, baking, cooking, giving, clearing snow, reminicing, crying with us, hugging, kissing and holding us. Without them, we could not have made it. I am so grateful for every single one who did what they could to help us, from the ones who did small things like bring me the coffee creamer I like and keeping me supplied with Hershey bars to the ones who shoveled snow for hours from the church grounds.

Friday, January 29, 2010


My Dad passed away this morning at about 7:00 am, surrounded by his family. Please pray for mom, my brother and I now.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not good.

Things are not going well for us at the hospital right now. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Update on Dad.

He's still in the ICU but he is off of the ventilator.  Please pray he is able to stay off it and get his strength back up.  Thanks for thinking of us, everyone. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dad in the ICU.

My Dad fell at home today (maybe fainted?) and is now in the ICU and is on a ventilator.  Please pray or send warm thoughts.  We need them.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It is always something.

Yes it is.  I've been struggling to make new line count quotas that have been put in place by my company and today I lost 95% of my dictionary on my Shorthand word expansion program.  This ought to be called My Right Hand because it's about that valuable to me.  Now, the only dictionary entries are from aa to ad, which I'm just guessing is 5%, probably closer to 1%.  I'm SO frustrated.  I've got an email in to the company that produces it and I hope they can help me.  If I have to rebuild my whole dictionary again, word, by word, I'll never make my line counts. 

I apologize for the whining.  Sometimes I just need to vent.

I'm going to go now and have a bowl of chocolate ice cream and quite possibly cry.
(I actually typed BOWEL the first time, appetizing mental image --- that's an occupational hazard.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday the 20th.

Today we're doing various things.  I have decided some things about the younger 2 kid's math.  On Monday's they'll be doing math with Dad, on Tuesdays we'll be working on the math notebooks (kind of a personal reference), Wednesday watching our math DVDs on a subject, then on Thursday doing worksheets on that subject.  On Friday, we'll be doing either math review or a problem from the book Calculation Capers which are math reviews as one large problem, such as planning a party and seeing how much it will cost to get drinks and cake, rent the skating rink and getting a 10% discount.  My daughter begged to do one of these today and surprisingly, I let her, even though it's not Friday.  :-)    I'll try and match up the review, the worksheets, the capers and the notebooking to the same subject, which shouldn't be all that difficult.  If things get too labor intensive for me, I tend to decide not to do them, so I need to balance their desires to have a variety of different math approaches with my need to keep it simple.

For my youngest for spelling, we're using the Sequential spelling lists, which normally he would write, but he has some issues with writing, so I'm letting him type them on the computer (today they used KidPix, above), spell them verbally, spell them with scrabble tiles, etc.  He's enjoying this much better than he would if he had to write them and he can concentrate on spelling instead of the mechanics of writing.  A couple of days he will have to write them, but not every day. 

We've also been doing some cooking.  The kids made Belgian waffles (oh they smelled yummy!) for themselves for breakfast and I made salsa chicken (yes, again!) for lunch.  

It's 3:30 and we're still not done with school, so I'd better stop blogging and get on it.  Speaking of blogging and cooking, I watched Julie and Julia yesterday and was not impressed.  It was just kind of blah, not something I want to see again and not what I expected.  Oh well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's definite.

My son has been walking around for 6 weeks on a broken ankle.  If we'd went to see the orthopedist as soon as it happened, he would have been in a cast and on crutches for 6 weeks.  As it was, the immediate care center doctor told us it was not broken, but if it was not better in 10 days to go seen an orthopedist, leading us to have about 100 conversations like this.

Me:  "So is it better, do you think we should go to the orthopedist?"
Son:  "I think it's better.  Its somewhat better.  Yes, I do think it's better.   We should wait."

Then about 2 days later, we'd have the exact same discussion.  Finally, I decided it really should be better than it was and took him in. 

Since we did not get it looked at in a reasonable amount of time, now the plan is different and does not involve a cast.  We are going to wait 6 weeks, do another CAT scan (or MRI?  It was not clear which it was, I think CAT scan.) and if the bone fragment is still not attached/healed, go in surgically and take it out.  The doctor also said that there had been a very bad sprain and that he could see that the ligaments were healing, but that they had been seriously stressed.  I'm glad to know that the ligaments aren't torn.

Anyway, we'll know in 6 weeks I guess.  The thing is, this boy has broken a couple of bones before; he once broke a small bone in his foot while running in the living room, then a few years later, broke his collarbone while sleigh riding.  When he had those accidents, he was very much a little boy with lots of crying and it was easier to tell how he was feeling.  Now, he's a very stoic young man and it's difficult for his parents to tell.   Eventually, we did get him the care he needed but I sure hate that the delay might mean he has to have surgery.  I don't think he'll be brave when it comes to the needles, although he might surprise me.

It's so difficult

to think up titles for my ramblings about life and homeschool. I really don't think, most of the time, they are title-worthy. Anyway, yesterday's school went okay, although I didn't do group time with the kids as I had a lot of work to make up from a computer malfunction on Sunday and worked most of the day off and on. We did everything else. Today's the day we find out what the orthopedist says about oldest son's ankle. I'm anxious to know what's going on with it.

Today, I need to focus on school a bit more than yesterday, actually get group time done and all that. (At group time, we do grammar and biology). I think with math, we'll do Dad's math time and math time with Mom, to double the kids joy and to make sure that we get those gaps filled in. I just can't tell you how popular this decision is going to make me. I'm going to try making math notebooks with them. We'll see how it goes.

Yesterday, I made Manwich and corn for dinner (gourmet!). My oldest son said that somebody ought to bottle that juice that the corn and the butter make together and sell it because it's so good! I don't think anyone would buy it, but they might. :-) Hey, people actually buy Clamato!  I'd much rather drink corn juice than clam juice, but maybe that's just me?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nice day.

We did some school today and some work, but we didn't go anywhere and just stayed home.  The kids and I did a lot of laughing over various things, I guess some days, everything's funny.  We did some Mad Libs at dinner, which were hilarious.  The kids are a medical transciptionist's kids so they put words in their Mad Libs like spleen and hypopharnyx, which makes for some funny reading.

Dad, acting as the math teacher today, was quizzing the kids on their times tables.  They insisted that Mom participate.  I did okay, even though I can never remember some of them,  9 x 7 for example.  Thankfully, my job is not a math job.  :-) 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This, that and the other thing.

I have been meaning to write a blog post all weekend, but haven't. It seems like it has sort of been a busy weekend, but it hasn't really. I've been working off and on and doing a few errands. We missed church because I overslept and then when I did get up, I didn't feel very good. I perked up somewhat later on and went to my mom and dad's, did a bit of grocery shopping for them and for us and dropped my son off at youth group and now I'm working some more. My email is locked up again. Someone, probably a girl I work with, has sent me a ton of photos and my internet connection is just not fast enough for that, so it's locked up. I've been trying unsuccessfully all day to go to the AT&T site and delete that email so I can get the ones that are stuck behind it, so if you've emailed me today or yesterday and I haven't answered, this is why. Hopefully my husband will be able to straighten it out.

I hope that tomorrow I'll feel better, be less grouchy and we'll have a pleasant but uneventful school day - this is a continuing dream of mine. Tuesday, we've got to go back and see the orthopedist to see what the plan will be for my oldest son's ankle. I'm hoping/praying that will be fine and he won't need surgery for that. If you join me in my prayers, please pray my mom's back gets better. She's having a lot of pain with it again.

One funny thing that has happened lately: My youngest son was asleep in my bed and I climbed in under the covers with him. He immediately started trying, while sleeping, to put his cold feet on me. I was already cold, so I said for him to keep his feet away from me. He said "It's not doing any good anyway, because you're purple." It's funny what people say when they're asleep!

Friday, January 15, 2010


We've been squeezing some school work in when we can, here and there this week.  I'm not sure how I'm going to add up the days, now that the week is over.  Between errands, doctor's appointments and CAT scans, it's been kind of hit and miss with the school work.  We made it to the library yesterday after not having gone for quite some time and I had a lovely browse through the non-fiction section.  Unfortunately, it was teen game night and we had to deal with having some obscenities yelled over our heads as we walked in.  It makes me glad I'm homeschooling, but now I feel like maybe I should sit the younger 2 kids down and go over what those things meant?  Should I? 

We've got a fun day planned today and I'm looking forward to it, going out to lunch and then roller skating and seeing friends.  Always good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

News is.

Turns out my oldest son might have a broken ankle!  I took him to the orthopedist yesterday, because his "sprained" ankle didn't seem to be getting better as fast as we thought it should.  We had taken him to the local walk-in clinic the day it happened and they had not seen any fractures.   The orthopedic specialist said that he saw a fracture of the talus and wants to do an MRI today to see if it is healing correctly and what, if anything needs to be done about it.   We still managed to do some school work before we went to the doctor and today, we're doing school around my errands to pick up prescriptions for my parents and the MRI later this afternoon.  Sometimes you just have to flex. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

There's always tomorrow.

We didn't do school today as planned because I had a bazillion errands to run today. I feel bad about it, but it was later than I planned when I finally got home and I was really tired. Somehow, getting in and out of the car all day and going in a bunch of places tires me out worse than actual work. So, between running errands and working tonight, I took a break. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Working this weekend.

I'm working a lot this weekend. We took 2 snow days and I let the kids play outside, but I do think we'll have to buckle down and go back to school tomorrow, even though it kind of looks like we'll still have snow on the ground. I know, I'm horrible. I need to give some thought to what I'm going to do about math. A wonderful friend was going to share some math resources with me last Friday, but with the snow, I was afraid to venture down our driveway and out our street so we've postponed meeting until next Friday. Hopefully the weather will be clear and hopefully looking at those will help me decide what to do about math. Right now I'm thinking of using a checklist, trying to go through and see what they know and still need to know and making a how-to math notebook. Then, I'll use whatever DVDs, computer programs and math books I have to teach them the skills they are missing. We used Homeschool Math with them for several years, but then we got beyond its scope and we've kind of floundered, trying to find something we like equally as well for the higher grades. Now I really just need to find a good math skills check list.

Hey, it sounds like I might have a plan now. ;-)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Please, please, please?!

I made a new recipe last weekend called Salsa Chicken. I was looking for something to do with cream of mushroom soup because that's the only cream soup I can find without gluten in it and I found it on an internet search. To say the kids loved it would be an understatement. All I've been hearing all week is 'will you please make salsa chicken again?" I made it again one day this week, Wednesday I think, and the wonderful smell of it in the crock pot kept my husband awake. So the kids had the idea that if I got up early and started cooking it, it could be ready for them to eat for lunch and maybe it wouldn't bother their Dad since maybe he wouldn't go to bed that early (night shift!) Today I got up and there was a note on my coffee pot that said "Salsa Chickhen?" What could I do? I made it. Now it's cooking very slowly and about every 5 minutes I hear "How much longer?" Here it is. Basically you put a cup of salsa, a can of cream of mushroom soup (Progresso is gluten free) a package of taco seasoning and 4 chicken breasts in the crock pot. When it's done, you add sour cream. We also added cheese. Then we ate it with chips or tortillas, as part of a salad or whatever. It's yummy.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


We've finally got the snow my younger kids have been longing for. It's not much, about an inch so far, but they're out playing in it. I'm going to let them have the day off school because snow is such a rare event here, maybe once or twice a year.

I'm sitting inside drinking my new favorite, spiced tea. My cousin gave me some home-made mix for Christmas and now it's my new favorite warm drink, well, after coffee of course, which is not so much a drink but an addiction.

Speaking of addictions, I haven't been reading lately. Unusual for me, I know, but I got an update to the Sims2 for Christmas and I've been playing that instead of reading. I feel guiltier about playing a video game than I do about reading or watching TV. Isn't that weird? It's kind of the electronic equivalent of Barbie dolls! I know myself well enough to know that the facination with the new stuff pack will wear off pretty quickly and I'll be back to normal again.

I have a new math plan, it's called Math Mondays. Since my husband is around pretty much all day on Mondays, I figure he can do math with the younger kids all day that day and maybe I won't have to do it at all? Doesn't that sound like a really good idea?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Gingerbread House.

I bought a gingerbread house this year after they'd gone on clearance 80% off.  Still just as fun after Christmas apparently.

The first 2 pictures are from the part my daughter did.  The third picture is the part my youngest son did.  He does not care about asthetics, only about flavor, so he just put things on his part that looked like they'd taste good.

Hey, what do you know?

Yesterday was a pretty good day homeschooling too.  I'm sure its the fact that we haven't started math yet.  :-)  But we have to start it next week.  :-(   We've been enjoying the grammar and the biology after our long break from both.  I' m kind of feeling overwhelmed at the moment, by the housework and everything I need to do.   I'm working this morning because I need to take my son to youth group tonight and that runs into my work time so I've got to do morning work and I have been typing a podiatric surgery for an hour.  The doctor just goes on and on and on and on.  (I took a little break to type this blog post!).  Anyway, hopefully school will go well and we will make progress on the cleaning/organizing and all the other projects we have going on around here and maybe by this afternoon I can feel more encouraged.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Just the ticket.

An easy day was just the thing for us today.  There was some whining, but it wasn't too bad.  We got out the biology book we started on August and then got sidetracked.  At first the kids couldn't remember much about it, then they got out their notebook pages and remembered metabolism, catabolism, anabolism, herbivores, omnivores and carnivores, producers consumers and decomposers.  I love notebooking and they are really starting to come around with it too, when they realize how it helps them remember.  They also like drawing things and illustrating the science concepts, if possible, in a funny way.  The school work went well.  We also decluttered 2 boxes of stuff.  Each box is 12 x 24 x 11 so that's pretty  much 4 cubic feet of things we don't need that we're getting rid of.  Only 10 more to go!  We've got a lot of books, toys and games that no-one loves so I don't think it will be all that difficult.  I don't know, the last few boxes may be.  My closet is 5 x 5 x 8 so when I clean that ginormous mess out, it will definitely help with the boxes! 

I was surprised at how well the kids went back to the routine and me too.  It was good to be back to homeschooling. 

Today's the day.

The first day of school for 2010, here in our home school.  Nobody's all that enthusiastic.  My daughter asked that we start school easily since we've been off so long.  (I think she means "no math"!) and I kind of agree with her.  I do want to get started, I just don't want to have to do too much nor do I want to listen to much whining.  I think I'll write up some "just for this week" schedules that involve school, a little bit more each day and decluttering, which I always feel is essential this time of year, after the influx of Christmas presents.  It's time for a new start after all.  I'm not making any specific New Year's resolutions unless you count filling up those 12 boxes of excess stuff and the weight loss goals I already have in place.  I guess I'd better get started? 

I really don't want to.  I've been SO lazy since Christmas!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I feel good about the New Year.  We had a great New Year's party last night and now I'm working on the new schedules, at least in my head.  I'm going to put my youngest into the Sequential Spelling curriculum that I've been using for my daughter.  It's helped her spelling quite a bit.   I'm still shopping for math and have had some great recommendations so I may be able to work that out.  We'll go back to the biology book that we started at the beginning of the year.  We got sidetracked with that other science book for a while.  The school plans are still kind of fuzzy and out of focus, but it feels like it is coming together and we'll be ready to start on Monday.

Of course I also have the compulsion to clean and organize the house.   I always have it this time of year.  Hopefully this will be the year that I actually accomplish the organizing part.  It seems like we get the cleaning part, but we just put things back where they are and don't re-organize, which we really need to do. Last year at this time, I was working that other job and then working 2 jobs for several months so last year I had an excuse.  This year I really don't.  Although, I'm really creative, so I'll probably come up with a good one very soon.  ;-)

I know I go on and on about this, but I'm so glad that I have started this gluten free diet.  I feel better than I have in years.  Sometimes its frustrating trying to find something to eat, but I'm getting better at it.   The symptoms that are better are mainly the fatigue, the muscle pain and most of the digestive issues.  I also have fewer headaches and I think I'm not as crabby.  (but to verify this, you should ask my husband and kids!)

I haven't started looking for a new job yet.  I don't know what I want to do.  Really I'd like to get into another field altogether so I need to carefully consider what to do before making any rash choices. 

All in all, I'm encouraged when I think about the New Year.  As much as I love the holidays, I'm glad they're over for now and I feel ready to get back to normal.

I feel blessed.

Happy New Year to everyone!


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