Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting settled

Our routine is settling out, soon to be rocked by the addition of extra curricular activities. I am back in the groove of things after having a lumpectomy last Friday. All looks well so far and I go to see my surgeon for the final report on Monday. I'm a little sore but functioning, even took a walk with the dog this morning because it was cool (only 79) and the kids hadn't woken up yet. Next time I need to bring some tunes.
Our roof is finished and windows and gutters go up Friday.
I received the nicest surprise the other day, John answered the door with me assuming it was our contractor, turns out it was the florist delivering a beautiful get well bouquet from my dear friend Diana.
I have pictures to share but still need to upload them until then all is well.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School has started

We officially started school this past Monday. Now mind you we were doing bits and pieces of week 1 last week, getting a feel for the new books and some new curriculum. Looks like we will wrap up the week today a whole two days early. A good thing since I will not be functioning on Friday due to surgery.
So far the week has gone really well. The kids are enjoying world history (Ian is doing American History, just the way it worked out this year). I bought Mystery of History Vol 1 and it is a big hit here. We do 3 lessons a week with an activity for each. Time consuming? YES! But you can ask my 6 year old what Jubal did in c.5000BC and he will answer "taught music". Pretty cool eh? I have pictures of their play-dough Adam and Eve's too that I need to upload and share. And really did you know that one batch of homemade play-dough will occupy children for hours on end? Day after day? It has. I will add the recipe from Sonlight below.
Claire is using Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra this year. So far no tears over math. Now I realize it's early in the year but she is doing math on her own accord! She also grades it, watches the problems she missed done right on the computer and corrects it. She then reports to me what she did wrong and whether or not she understands why she got it wrong. I heart Teaching Textbooks.....seriously you can love curriculum :)
Speaking of curriculum and love.......
We use Sonlight as our main curriculum. Awesome company, awesome curriculum. This company is very customer oriented. A few examples. I had a book that was falling apart after minimal use and emailed them. It was a known binding issue that still wasn't fixed so they gave me a coupon towards a future purchase since sending a new book wouldn't resolve the binding issue. My daughter Avery was diagnosed with MHE about two years back and I was scared and posting prayer requests on their customer forums. The President of Sonlight sent me a personal handwritten card saying she was praying for my girl and lifting our issue before the Lord. Those are only two examples of how this company is awesome. I have made oodles of friends through their forums, some I have met in real life. In fact I had coffee with one last night as she passed through town, another showed us around Altoona, PA and fed us dinner, another fed us dinner and invited us to church when we passed through Mississippe recently. Amazing group of people. All that to say if you are a homeschooling mom or considering homeschooling or just want to check out a list of great books. Here is a little blurb about them and

* My children are getting a great education and loving it ... at least most of the time! Sonlight is a literature-based curriculum, so we read tons of great books out loud together. The kids devour plenty of books on their own, too. We stay away from boring textbooks and really engage in what we're learning. * That time spent reading together on the couch is creating some great memories--we learn so much about each other as we discuss the events, ideas and characters we discover. * With the Instructor's Guides Sonlight provides (, we can just open up the guide and do school every day without me spending much time planning. That gives us even more time to hang out ... and keep up with the laundry. * Sonlight prepares my kids to engage with the world around them. We study lots of different cultures and don't just focus on US history. My kids know that not everyone is like us, and they're learning to care about those around them with an intelligent and Christ-centered love. * Sonlight offers the best risk-free offer of anyone. You can take a whole year to use 18-weeks of a curriculum package or Instructor's Guide. If you don't love it, send it all back (used books and all) and receive a full refund of every penny you paid. Go to for more on this stress-free offer. * I get all the help I need from Sonlight's online forums, their curriculum advisors (who can help me choose which products will fit my family best) and their customer relations team. Granted, I'd love it if they also sent a personal chef to my house occasionally ... but I guess they can't do everything. I should also mention that on top of that, Sonlight has a Rewards Program I enjoy. If you decide to purchase from Sonlight, enter my Rewards ID when you register an account on their site and you'll get $5 off your first order ($50 or more). I'll get points that I can redeem at another time. My Rewards ID: TH20192205 Or just use this link: Check out for some great articles about Sonlight that may help. I particularly appreciated "27 Reasons NOT to Buy Sonlight," "You can teach your children--with confidence--from your first day" and "How Literature-Rich Homeschooling Awakens Your Child's Natural Passion for Learning."

So check them out. Now that play dough recipe
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1T oil
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 package any flavor kool aid

Mix all together in a sauce pan and heat stirring until mixture forms a ball. Pull out onto wax paper and knead it. Let cool and then let the kids go at it. Stores nicely in a ziploc bag for a few weeks

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A missed milestone

I guess I was in denial...... My oldest turned 13 a few weeks ago. Truth be told we had headed out on her birthday for our driving trip to Florida. I will share a few pics of my beautiful newly minted teen for your enjoyment. The ones where she has makeup and fancy hair are immediately following musical performances of the Music Man. She doesn't wear makeup otherwise! Lest you think I am a negligent mom we did celebrate once we got to Florida!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hospital review with pictures

Avery is doing extremely well. She hasn't had any motrin since last night and is still going strong even after Sunday School. I had posted pics on facebook mainly because I only had my phone with me and that was the easiest way to do it. But some people wanted to see them here. :)Let me just say that Dell Children's Hospital Austin is amazing, wonderful and the best place for a kid to be taken care of at. Kudos to the staff, volunteers, fishing derby volunteers and all others involved in our short stay.
These were all before surgery.
The next set is after surgery.
A little fishing while waiting for discharge......what you never got to fish while waiting for discharge?? Obviously you weren't at Dell :)
Yep she caught a catfish, two actually
A princess carriage. She is wearing clothes I swear.
Her fishing trophy and pole/tackle they gave her.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

All Done

Avery is out of surgery. I just spent some time with her in recovery and now John is back there with her. One parent at a time until she gets a room. We might be here for a few hours as rooms are full upstairs, or so the story goes. Dr P said surgery went great, under an hour. When she got in there she noticed Avery had a huge case of bursitis due to the hamstring snapping over the tumor repeatedly for over two years. The tendons of the hamstring I believe are a three cord and they had divided two on one side and one on the other of the bump which she believes allieviated some of the pain. Future surgery is likely as the angulation of her leg is very much an issue. We wait on that though and see how her leg reacts to the bump being gone. I didn't take my camera with me to recovery but I will. Sweetie looks so cute all drugged up in her hospital get up. She ate a popsicle, drank some juice and gave me hugs and kisses. Her incision is sutured, steri stripped, covered in a plastic bandage, wrapped in an ace bandage and a knee immobilizer on top. We have the immobilizer unstrapped for now to let a little ice penetrate for swelling. She is on some happy drugs but they are making her a little teary faced. Plus other kids are waking up unhappy and she can see other kids being wheeled by unconcious. She is being a trooper though. I'm very proud of her.

Avery is in surgery

Avery and I arrived at the hospital right on time.... a little bleary eyed. I drained the rest of my coffee and we headed in to register and pay up. They processed us quickly and before we knew it she was back in pre op watching the Disney Channel, a rare treat since her parents are too cheap to pay for anything other than basic cable. She changed into some cute little jammies. Dr P came in and marked the right leg YES. Before I knew it she was being walked to the OR. I had to give her up to the nurses at the stop sign. She looked back once a little timidly and then turned a corner. I wish I could have captured that moment with a picture. I choked back my tears, proceeded to the waiting room where I await John. Going to watch a little Beth Moore Esther until he arrives. Pictures are on facebook. I don't have the cable to upload them here. I could email them to myself later.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In the morning

Avery has surgery in the morning. She is peacefully sleeping on the crib mattress in our room. I don't want her to wake up and hit the pantry for something to eat first thing in the morning. Her and I will head out around 6am arrive at the hospital at 6:30 for check in and PAYMENT! Dr. P is scheduled to start the surgery at 8am. John will drop the other 3 off at a friends house at 7:30 and join me in the waiting room. He will stick around until she is coherant and we are debriefed by the Doc. He will then pick up the kids, go home and get some work done, receive a dinner cooked by another wonderful friend and then bring all the kids back to the hospital to see Avery. She should be released Friday morning. You can follow updates here or friend me on facebook where more updates will happen as well as pictures.