Friday, April 30, 2010

Fabulous Friday

Well, maybe.  School this week was ok.  We are still not back on the MFW wagon, but we will be soon!  I know some families who are done or nearly done with school until fall!  I can't even imagine!

This week, we mostly did math and language with a little science and art thrown in.  I puchased these really neat geography games, so that's how we've been studying geography!  I saw them at our homeschool convention and regretted buying them until I found a store on ebay where I got them for a lower price. =)   They are called "10 Days in...  Africa, Asia, Europe, and the USA" and are so much fun to play.  I wish they had one for Central & South America.  Maybe they will some day.

We've also been playing blokus, which Emily and I both love. It's all about strategy. And we've enjoyed playing marcala as well, learning more about the African culture while playing it.

All things considered, I guess we did ok this week. We'll be in Florida soaking up the rays next week for a much needed vacation! Now that's something to look forward to!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


It looks like everything is good, praise God!  I went to see a specialist on Wednesday who said everything seems as it should.  She ordered another series of the same tests in six weeks just to follow-up.  There's so much I could tell, but I just don't feel that this is the right time to share it, or the right format.  I will say that we serve a glorious God who takes us through each step in life.  My experiences with Him are ever-changing and I thank Him for the marvelous gift of faith!  And I thank you, dear readers, for your prayers, concern, and kind words you have shared!  Thank you for going on this journey with me!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Clean House

It doesn't usually look this nice so I had to document it!  I finally put away the last snowman a couple weeks ago and have the normal stuff back out.  I'm thinking that I should paint my photo frames dark like the picture in the middle.  Hummm...


A box & duct tape made into a "stainless steel" refrigerator counts as art, right?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Almost Unschooling

Thank God for ample opportunity to learn through circumstances!  MFW has sort of been set aside since we've had so much happening.  We've managed to stick with math at home and have been playing word and geography games which I'll write about in another post.  Our time in the car has been great for science, reading, flashcards, and doing educational crosswords.  Trips to the hospital have provided their own learning experiences.

So this brings me to share amazing things with you!  After passing a kidney stone last week and anxiously thinking about getting back to somewhat of a "normal" schedule, the hospital notified me that further review of my xrays revealed questionable findings.  Having had cancer seven years ago, I became a little concerned and had to consiously calm myself and take deep breaths.  I went outside, away from my kids, and had myself a tiny breakdown.  It lasted only a few minutes before I managed to compose myself and hear a Word from God.

For a year or so after being diagnosed with cancer, I lived in fear, always wondering if the next time I walked into the doctor's office would be the time I'd hear the cancer returned.  Then, God freed me from the power Satan had over my thoughts and I truly claimed Christ's victory over my life.  Last week, I quickly realized that Satan does not have power over me and I refused to allow him to instill that spirit of fear in me again.  I had total peace.  On Friday, as I sat in my oncologist's office, I continued to claim that victory and I prayed through some Scriptures believing that this was all nothing to worry about.  I had an ultrasound Friday evening and even though I haven't gotten an official word from my doctor yet, the ultrasound technician didn't see anything abnormal!  Praise God!

I debated about whether or not I needed to share this.  But many people are held captive by fear.  If this post sends any message to anyone, I hope that it is to not let fear cripple you!  It will trip you up every time unless you speak God's Word over it and believe what you know to be true!  Satan is the author of lies and he wanted me to believe in them.  He wants us all to believe in them.  But we must stand up and rebuke him in the name of Christ!  I know that God has a plan, no matter what.  And His plan does not include Satan.

I'm thankful to have experienced God in a new and refreshing way.  To say we have faith is one thing, but to be able to honestly demonstrate it, to live it as we shoud; this is what it means to

As far as school goes, I'm hoping to get back to somewhat of a normal schedule this week.  Our last co-op day is Monday and I'm really hoping for a less active week!

May God Bless you all in the week ahead!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Time for Some R&R!

After much drama, I told the family that I’m planted on the couch for the evening! I told them to get used to me sitting here because I’m not moving! I’m not cleaning, I’m not doing laundry, I’m not giving baths, no dinner, no dishes…NOTHING! I’m done for the day! So, Hubby took orders for Penn Station and he and Emily went to get it. Katie is cleaning herself up and Maggie (the dog) is… well, she’s just being her loyal self with an occasional bark at people walking by. Life is good!  (And I'm no longer stoned!  ...kidney stone, that is.  Thanks for your prayers!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Set-back

The camping trip was a disaster.  On our way out there, I had to break hard in the car and the cupcakes went flying.  After we got there, Katie fell & scraped up her leg and hand.  About 10 minutes later, she had a nose bleed, and shortly after that, she slipped on the bathroom floor and fell on her bottom!  This was all on Friday.  Then Saturday came and threw all our plans out the window.  I started having really intense pain in my abdomen and back; so bad that I began vomiting.  Hubby had to take me to the hospital where a kidney stone was found, causing all the pain.  I was sent home with some pain pills and was told it would pass within a few days.  I'm still waiting, still in pain.  Please join me in prayer that this stone will pass very soon, thus relieving me of all this pain!

Friday, April 16, 2010


The past two weeks have my head spinning and I'm exhausted from it!  The whirlwind of events started with my daughter being hospitalized with pneumonia and having problems with her asthma.  Then, there were three days of the homeschool convention.  I was up late last Sunday making cupcakes & working on a project for a class I teach at our co-op; a project I should have done much earlier, but didn't have time.  We had co-op all day Monday, gym & swim on Tuesday and a Relay For Life meeting Tuesday night, and Bible Study on Thursday.  And I haven't gotten to bed before 12:30 in two weeks!  I'm looking forward to camping this weekend so I can relax!  Of course, we are celebrating Katie's birthday at the park, so there will be some activity.  We may have 25 or more attending her party, so I had to make sure all the shopping was done today and I made her cake this evening.  It's Birthday Week (yeah, our birthday celebrations last about a week!), so there's lots going on!  Unfortunately, not much of school is going on right now!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Homeschool Convention Finds

I'll start by saying that I still love My Father's World and we're sticking with it!  But, I'm very much impressed with many other unit studies out there!  Since we enjoy lapbooking, I was particurarly intrigued with the Time Travelers History Study Series that is available on CD in five different studies: New World Explorers, Colonial Life, The American Revolution, The Early 19th Century, and The Civil War.  They also have great timeline material and other activity packs available.  I didn't get any even though I was so tempted!  I'm trying not to do too much impulse buying!  Although, with this one, I keep thinking about it and I went back to their booth three times!  Something to think about!

Another thing that made an impression on me are games from Family Game Coach.  In particular, the geography games would have been perfect to use during our current school year, since we're in MFW Countries & Cultures.  They had a pretty good special but they were still more than I was willing to spend, but the wheels started turning as I thought about how fun it might be for the kids and I to spend some time during the summer creating our own games!  Could be fun and they'll be learning without even realizing it!

I ordered our RightStart materials for next year (which I actually plan to start one as soon as we get it and the other during the summer).  I only had to buy the worksheet books and some manipulatives since a friend is lending me her lesson books.

Rainbow Resource had a giant booth there but didn't have most of the materials I needed, so I placed an order.  Thankfully, all these companies offered free shipping when you order at the convention!  So from RR, I ordered McGuffey's Parent/Teacher Guide and two Spectrum Spelling books, one for each child.  I did buy a Parent/Teacher Guide for Intermediate Language Lessons that will be useful once we start on that book.

The only other purchase I made (besides a yummy burrito at Chipotle and some ice cream!) was a Kids Love Travel book.  The authors of these books spend lots of time travelling and have compiled loads of great places to visit into books on each state.  No more countless hours on the internet searching for neat, family friendly field trips, weekend trips, vacations, etc.!  It's all in the book.  I only purchased the book on our state for now but would love to get the surrounding states too.

I think that covers it.  It certainly was a lot to take in - I went all three days!  Being gone so much, away from the family, gave me a much needed break and revived me!  I'm excited and feel energized.  I hope it sticks through the rest of our school year!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Unexpected Field Trip

Our week started with a non-traditional Easter meal of New York Strip steaks, macaroni salad, corn, and fruit.  That's right - no ham!  My father-in-law marinated and grilled the steaks to perfection and my mother-in-law made a delicious lemon cake for dessert.  Dinner was followed by an egg hunt for the kids and I later took the dogs for a walk after feeling guilty for eating so much!  All in all, it was a beautiful and relaxing day.

On Monday, Emily woke up at 5am with an asthma attack and had a series of them throughout the day.  We went to co-op, taking her rescue meds with us, just in case.  By 2pm, she had four breathing treatments, turned ghostly white, and still struggled to breath normally.  We went home and she started vomiting.  My first thought was that she had strep throat, so I planned on calling the doctor first thing in the morning.  But, by 9pm, Emily was really struggling to breath and I decided it was time for a field the emergency room!

Thankfully, we are close to Children's Hospital.  There was no waiting for hours, they took her right in and almost immediately started her on oxygen.  Her oxygen was at 87% when we got there and she was dehydrated.  She was given zophran for the vomiting & nausea and then an IV with fluids and added antibiotics after diagnosing her with pneumonia.  By 2am, her color began to return and she finally cracked a smile.  By morning, the nurses were able to reduce the amount of oxygen they were giving her and within a few hours, they took her off completely.  By this time, she looked so much better.  She was released around 6pm on Tuesday.  Needless to say, we did not have school that day!

Wednesday was spent recovering from the previous two days and Thursday afternoon I volunteered at our local Homeschool Convention while my hubby stayed home with the kiddos.  Friday, I took Emily to her doctor for a follow-up, which went fine.  We met my hubby for lunch and while he stayed home with the kids (again), I went back to the conference to browse through the exhibit hall full of curriculum vendors.

As you can see, we had a very busy week and accomplished very little schooling.  I'm starting to wonder if we'll be catching up in the summer.??  I was hoping to complete our studies by the end of May but I'm not seeing that happen!  I already decided to continue math through the summer (and reading, of course), but hadn't planned on anything else.  My plans may change now.

I sure hope that others had a more productive, less eventful week than mine!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another Great Find

Stepping Stones to Literature by Sarah Louise Arnold and Charles B. Gilbert

I stumbled upon this book at the antique mall that has a copyright of 1902 (the original was 1897).  I told you I love old books!  It's loaded with quality lessons and says something I find interesting in the preface: "It is believed that the mastery of the new word is most easily achieved when the word is studied as it occurs in the text rather than apart from it."  So, it gives words for study after each reading.  I like this because the lessons put words into context before introducing them as words for study, giving them meaning, which ultimately helps children to understand them better, and probably remember them better.  I'm thinking of using this in conjunction with our Spectrum Spelling book.  We'll see.  I'm just happy to have found such great books!

McGuffey Eclectic Primer

I found the Eclectic Primer and Pictorial Eclectic Primer at an antique mall today that I purchased for our K graduate at a good price.  Interestingly, they were written by William H. McGuffey who was a professor at Miami University in Oxford, OH, where I grew up and went to college.  I even attended the McGuffey Foundation school in 5th grade!  I had no idea who this man was until I picked the books up and read the publisher's preface.

Rainbow Resource sells two versions of these books. Does anyone know the difference between them?  One version looks just like the ones I bought, pictured above.  Is the content the same?  The copy I bought says that it is presented in a more readable form but the stories, poems, and pictures appear as they did in the first edition.  So, I assume that this is close to the original.  I'm not sure about the others.  I would greatly appreciate any information anyone could provide!

Aside from my questions, I think I'm going to like using these.  I want to collect them all (I think), so I'll definitely be looking for them at used sales, book stores, and flea markets!  I don't know why I'm drawn to these older books; I just love them!