I like change, but not change that I'm not in charge of!!

This week, the tides of change began to lap at my feet and eventually sucked me under.  I'm not handling this well.  But I will be OK.  Eventually.

So...here's another WeekEnd post, and I'm warning anyone reading...it's VERY long!

Since the week is still swirling in my head like a tornado, I don't have the presence of mind to break it down into days, so I'll be spitting it out smoothie-style!

We started out the week with a fun art project.  We're studying Mexico right now, so we made a pinata out of a balloon, newspaper, and that wonderful homemade glue that requires white flour and water and lots of wiping.  I also started out the week with a very deep conversation with a close friend that shone a way-too-bright light on a very painful area in my life.

From there, we moved on to more school and two more Mexican inspired art projects, string art and tissue paper flowers.  Art was fine, school was fine, Mommy was not fine.  For some reason I thought it would be OK to schedule three play dates (at my house) three days in a row before a fourth day of another social activity involving the whole family.

For the first play date, I had the privilege of meeting a new friend who has more in common with me than she knows and I'm sure will become a very good friend with time. (Hi, Jill!) My kids played nicely with hers, (Whew!)and it was short but sweet.

The second play date was late in the evening, and involved a very dear friend and her generous offer (in her words) to "bring me dinner since I'm consumed all day with teaching my kids"! Our kids spent the evening filling up empty trash cans in the backyard with dish soap and water from the hose.  Much fun, and the only casualty was a pair of shoes.

The third play date was a curious friend who nursed her squalling baby in my now filthy kitchen while I answered all her questions about my Everything Natural Obsession and cranked out four loaves of bread and a pizza crust.  She laughed with me when I coughed and peed my pants, and I laughed with her when her daughter suddenly appeared wearing a giant glowing headlamp and a pair of fairy wings.

This doesn't sound bad so far...maybe a little overboard with the friends, but not too bad, right?  What I"m not telling you though, is that by the third play date on top of schooling, I was so wiped out that I had just stopped picking up and stopped doing the dishes and laundry.  I think maybe I vacuumed before the first play date, but after that I just gave up.

In the middle of the third play date and my very messy house, Marvin called with what sounded like happy news.  His office had won the tickets to the company suite at our local NHL arena and he had an extra ticket, and a babysitter so I could go with him.  I was thrilled for an impromptu date, and my good-humored Third Playdate Friend watched me get all of us ready with a grin on her face and told me that the crazy blue nail polish on my toes really did look OK with my sparkly flip flops and then left saying that she really did want to come back some time soon! Ha!

So, we packed in and drove to my MIL's house for dinner and to leave the kids so we could go to the game.  In the middle of dinner, Benji's face started to turn red, swell up, and itch.  It was so sudden and got so bad that we gave him some Benadryl and decided to wait till it got better even if it meant being late for the game.  After a while the redness subsided, and Benji seemed to be fine.  We headed out the door and Benji just threw a F.I.T.

It was actually more than a F.I.T. and so much so that we drove a few houses away and waited for 10 min and then called my MIL to see if he had settled down.  I was just super worried after our ER incident last week, and the the itchy swelling incident, and he never throws a tantrum like that when he's at grammas.  When we called after the 10 min, we could hear him screaming still in the background.

I just couldn't bear it, and made the agonizing decision to stay at my MIL's house while Marvin went ahead to the game.  That was a depressing couple of hours, let me tell ya.  Here I was in my cute, out-with-hubby outfit, my hair lookin' good, thoughts of the comfy chairs in the suite and a chance for some grown up talking swirling around in my head, and sitting on a couch between two children, one sweaty and one tearful, watching Max and Ruby.

This brought me to this morning.  Needless to say, I was very skeptical about getting out of bed.  I actually entertained the thought of giving the boys free reign in the kitchen, turning on a Dora marathon for Ava, and staying in bed in my pj's with a book for the entire day.  After all, the public school kids here in town had the day off, so why shouldn't we?

Real life called, and here's what happened today, in no particular order: late breakfast, math test, a peed in bed, spray paint, forgot lunch, shower me and Ava, pack into the car, glue gun and fun with a screw driver, grocery store, chili for 15, pack into the car again, late at friends house with lots of other friends, sick Dad, potty mouth Benji, 2nd black eye for Ava, headache for mommy.

I'm where I thought I'd be the first week of school, not the sixth.  I feel completely drained and alone.  Although I have many friends who home school their kids, I have no one near me who is doing it for the first time. I feel like no one understands how I feel, heck, I don't even understand how I feel.  I love home schooling, it's the balance between that and the rest of life that's suffering.

To make matters worse, one of my best friends (who was going to start home schooling for the first time this year also, and we chose the same curriculum so we could kind be new at it together) has temporarily moved VERY far away, and my other best friend has started nursing school and is consumed into another world altogther.

Don't get me wrong, I'm totally happy for them, my nursing school friend has wanted to do this for all of her adult life and I'm thrilled that she finally gets to do it.  It's just that at a time when I need stability most in those around me, it's completely gone.  I know, I know, there's some big life lesson for me to learn in all this, and that God is stable when everything isn't. But, it's still hard.  And I still don't like it.  Not at all.


I should have saved this for a Wordless Wednesday post, and let you all guess what was going on here, but it was just too funny!
Oh, wait...I can still let everyone guess...


An accidental sleepover and some Albuterol





::gave us quite a scare Wednesday night::

He normally gets a croupy cough with a cold, but this time he had a cold and no cough and I knew something was wrong.  His belly and neck were moving when he breathed, but not his chest and he was making whimpering noises on each breath.

I got the pediatrician to squeeze us in, it was late by the time he saw us, around 5.  I had left Alec and Ava at a friends house because I didn't want my well children to be sitting in a germ-filled waiting room for hours.  The ped.sort of freaked out when he saw Benji, didn't explain anything to me, and brought in a nebulizer to give Benji some breathing treatments.

Benji ended up with two breathing treatments in the doc's office and a dose of steroids, and then we had orders to take him to our local children's hospital for more breathing treatments and further evaluation.  After a terribly long night of going to one ER and leaving because it was wall to wall with vomit and fevers, driving 50 min. to another ER and waiting for another breathing treatment, we decided that Alec and Ava were better off staying where they were.

So, it came about that Ava had her very first sleep over!  The family that kept her and Alec for us was the family we went to Lakeside with this summer, and their girls love Ava.  Ava had a great time (so did Alec, but it's less remarkable 'cause he's 8!), shed not one tear, and went to be with no complaints, sharing a mattress with one of the girls.

I'm glad she had a nice time, but a little sad that her very first sleepover occurred at such a young tender age and was the result of a somewhat traumatic medical incident!

Benji is fine today and now we're looking into a maintenance routine to prevent this from happening again.  We were told by the ER doc that he has Reactive Airway Disease.  The only difference between that and asthma is that RAD happens once in a while and is triggered by a virus or allergy (both of which Benji had/has)

While I agree with the majority of the acute, rescue treatment that our ped. (Dr.R) gave Benji, I am not at all happy with the way it was done.  I was given orders, not suggestions or opinions.  I'm sure not every parent comes into his office with 80 million questions like I did, but I would expect the respect of an answer for every single one, and a suggestion of treatment, not a demand.  What I believe Dr.R. failed to recognize was that all he can do is offer his professional opinion but it's ultimately up to me, after having been presented with a complete set of information, to make the final decision.

While we respect the educated opinion of any medical doctor, it's just that, an educated opinion.  I would never blindly trust anyone to make a decision regarding my health or that of my children.

We won't be following the advice of Dr.R regarding maintenance treatment for Benji's possible condition (I'm sure he'll be horrified), instead we are doing research on our own and consulting with our holistic chiropractor, Dr.J.  We will most likely be doing some sort of herbal or homeopath daily dosage.  We believe in the natural ability of the body to heal and correct imbalances, when provided with pure, natural resources. And, of course, in the ability of our Creator to heal!

So....I was looking forward to a sound sleep last night for all of us. 

Unfortunately, Alec (who has an occasional bout of allergy-induced asthma) had an asthma attack mid afternoon.  Fortunately we were in our chiropractor's office when it happened and she gave him some remedies right away.  We put him to bed very early, but he woke in the night with a tight, painful chest and dry cough.  So, I was in the kitchen at 3am making hot onion poultices for his chest and spicy chicken broth for him to drink.

That, combined with some homeopathic drops, worked well, and he fell back asleep at around 4:30.  After being up till 1am Wed. night, and then up for a couple hours in the middle of last night,

{I am, however, praising my Heavenly Father that I have healthy children that are able to be cared for in our home, and not hooked up to tubes in the hospital.  Every time we have an ER episode (which is rare) my heart goes out to parents who have to tend to their children laying in hospital beds, and I say a little prayer.}

Sunday is Marvin and my 12 year anniversary, and we're heading out tonight and all day tomorrow for some R & R alone!  My goal today is to do a whole lot of nothing, so that tomorrow I can do a whole lot with my best friend!


School Update

School is going well so far, sort of...

In a mere 5 weeks time, I have decided that the curriculum I'm using is written in a way that isn't working for me

I now spend a decent amount of time each Sunday evening re-writing the lesson plans in a way that I can decipher in the midst of the whining and general noise that I wade through each morning

This new method is working quite nicely for me, but is making me think about using some other curriculum next year (such as Ambleside Online, which is FREE!)

The kids are enjoying being taught at home, and are already showing a more positive and tolerant attitude towards each other.

We've loosened up quite a bit with the school portion of our daily schedule, sometimes starting Alec on math or another "workbook subject" before breakfast.

We're still finishing around noon, which is great, but leaves way too much of the day still unstructured.  I'm working on that...

For any of you readers that are home schoolers, or are interested, here are the things we're using:

Math-U-See (we LOVE this!!)
Handwriting Without Tears (we LOVE this, too!)
My Father's World (I like the textbooks a lot, but the lesson plans leave much to be desired!)
Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons (I'm not sold on this yet, but I've been told it's awesome)
Pathway Readers (adorable, simple early readers)
I'm also incorporating several books from the Ambleside Online reading list for Alec (who is mostly in third grade)

I'm working on redoing our daily schedule, I'm sort of really into studying the way things naturally happen and then making a schedule that fits into those perameters.  That way, it's much less stress, and more likely that the schedule will be followed.
I'll post it when I'm finished.

For now, I will leave you with this delightful little snippet from Frog and Toad are Friends (Arnold Lobel)

"Think of it," said Frog.  "We will skip through the meadows and run through the woods and swim in the river.  In the evenings we will sit right here on this front porch and count the stars." 
"You can count them, Frog," said Toad.  "I will be too tired."

Wordless Wednesday


I've been...

and ecstatically happy
I have...
no pictures
nothing to say
a hole in my heart
and a smile on my face


Wordless Wednesday


I like to ride my bicycle!

On Sunday, we went on a long-anticipated bike ride.  We had heard about this trail from some friends and were looking forward to giving it a try.  Where we live, there is a program called "Rails to Trails" that has converted unused railways into multi-use trails.  They are generally flat, scenic and well-maintained.

At the four and 1/2 mile marker, this one boasted a train carcass and some exceptionally awesome sculpture art.  In fact, I was so absorbed in the budding relationship between it and my camera, I forgot to read the plaque that sat at the base.  I have no idea who designed it, or what it's supposed to be representing.  My camera loved it, though, and so did the children!

We had a great time, but riding 9 miles is a lot for little legs and the trip home was certainly not delightful.  We'll definitely go back, this time armed with more water, and much lower expectations!!






Ain't no .sunshine. when you're gone

First time we've been here since we said goodby

The park was deserted

The day was flawless

The kids played happily

I was sad

It was bittersweet

but we'll go back.


This is me

I'm not skinny

I teach school and clean the house wearing jewlery

I love mascara

I hate mullets

I hate it when people brush their hair in the car

I regret not traveling abroad as a student

I love my kids so much it hurts

I miss my friend so much it hurts

I've cried at every wedding I've been to

I cry whenever I see a birth story on TV

I love the smell of my husbands shirt when he comes home from work

I have a headache

I love cold carrot cake

I love the sky, all the time

My sewing machine is among my prized possessions

Who are you?


peek into Boy-Land

what you'll find in their Room

:: Legos ::
:: Legos ::
:: Legos ::

:: sky-high shelves with overflowing bins ::

:: a totally rad castle in various stages of battle ::

::an uninvited sister ::

:: a cool chair ::

:: a cognac and cream guinea pig named Bugsy ::
(sounds tasty, definitely NOT edible *grin*)

:: a Big Mess ::

:: the top bunk ::

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