The Anticipated Day

Glad to be home and watching Harry Potter movies.

Glad to be home and watching Harry Potter movies.

Today we finally learned the name of Sparkles’ nemesis: Ulcerative Colitis. We still need to wait for lab results to confirm. However, her doctor was certain enough to give us paperwork to read and prescribe medicines to begin her treatment.

She’ll never get over it. This is forever. No cure.

I have not even begun to work out my thoughts and feelings. I cannot even imagine how my little girl will process all this new information. Right now, she just wants to feel better. And I want to make this forever disease go away but all the wishing in the world cannot change her life story now.

 

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Sunday Journal: Sparkles and the Specialist

Sparkles and Boots

Sparkles and Boots

This past week was mostly a quiet week with one really long day. On Tuesday we met with the specialist to discuss Sparkles’ illness. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but after filling out reams of paperwork the last words I want to hear from a doctor include; “So, why are your here?” Really?!?! Did you not read the file??! I didn’t say that but I wanted to. After a discussion Sparkles was sent for an x-ray and more tests.

Middle Boy reading a bedtime story to Littlest

Middle Boy reading a bedtime story to Littlest

The next day the nurse called to let us know that Sparkles would have to endure a “cleanse” (trust me you do not want to know). She also explained to me they were waiting on one test result. If the test result comes back normal then she just had a blockage and infection and once this clears up she will be just fine. If it comes back abnormal then she will have to be sedated for a scope for a proper diagnosis. Hopefully we will hear about the test results this week. The day of the cleanse started at about eight in the morning and went until about three in the morning. I think we are

Sparkles leaning on Daddy

Sparkles leaning on Daddy

all still recovering. Littlest stayed up with his sister for a long time and ended up napping the next day. At a certain point my husband sent me to bed and he finished out the really long day with Sparkles.

This week begins our soft start to the up coming school year. I plan to spend the next two weeks re-establishing our Morning Basket time. For now out Morning Basket time includes our read-alouds, character studies and poetry memorization. This year we are going to work through Mensa’s “Year of Living Poetically”.  After listening to Andrew Pudewa on the importance of poetry

planning for the week

planning for the week

memorization and language development I knew that I wanted to add this to our home education lifestyle but I did not want to purchase a curriculum. I was going to put together my own list of poems. However, once I stumbled upon Mensa’s free course I went with it. The kids will also begin keeping a “word journal” for collecting interesting phrases or quotes. On Friday they will have to share

Middle Boy

Middle Boy

three entries from their word journal. We’ll also continue the art journaling once a week. We hope to return to poetry tea time this week now that Sparkles can handle the occasional treat in her diet again.

I participated in a photo challenge on Instagram this month that I have enjoyed and plan to post my pictures later this week. Photography was our practice the engage in this month in a homeschool community I belong to. It was fun to have a project to work on even though I know nothing about photography…

 

Sunday Journal: Doctors and the Computer Interface Misappropriation

my little helper

my little helper

Monday morning was horrible. Sometime during the night Microsoft stole Windows 7 and replaced it with Windows 10.

WTF Bill Gates??? What a dreadful thing to do on a Monday! Well…any day of the week, really. I am not happy with you sir!

The rest of our week was slow and rather quiet. We took lots of walks around the neighborhood. The boys played outside and worked on some schooling. Sparkles slowly began to show some signs of improvement. She tires very easily and is still very ill. She received a get well card from one of her aunts this week and it just brightened her day. She carried it around for hours and it is still sitting at her spot at the table.

waiting for the doctor

waiting for the doctor

I took Sparkles to see our new family doctor this week. He is wonderful and didn’t want to wait for Sparkles to see a specialist to begin tests. He spent lots of time asking questions and ruled out several possibilities already. The nurse had a hard time collecting blood samples because she is so dehydrated. I’ve noticed that Sparkles is trying harder to stay hydrated after that experience. The doctor also sent us home with a five gallon bag of sampling equipment to bring in tomorrow…and I’ll spare you the details. I am glad a friend recommended this doctor to us. We’ll be able to go to the

morning sunshine

morning sunshine

specialist’s office with the results from these tests and get answers and possibly a diagnosis much sooner. We love out new family doctor…who just happened to have been homeschooled!!! Sadly, we did learn that Sparkles has lost ten percent of her body weight since her trip to the emergency room…in eleven days. Frightening. We also got a call this week and her appointment with a specialist was moved up to June 21st.

Good night

Good night

For those of you who have been praying for her–Thank you so very much!!

I haven’t any big plans for this week. I plan for the boys to continue with some schoolwork…math and such. I am considering getting Oldest started on his science for seventh grade. We could do some one on one time together and get him prepared for working and learning on his own. Dr. Wile suggested this method to me when I asked about teaching science at the middle grade levels. I can also spend more time with Littlest too

pool time

pool time

as he learns to read. I had lots of plans for group learning over the summer but I think I will switch over to one on one time with each kiddo. Sparkles can rest this summer. She has participated in the art and nature journaling this week and even wrote a little essay on her trip to the emergency room. I will simply let her choose when she can work on schooling. She tires out rather quickly.

page in art journal

page in art journal

I’ve spent time reading this week and working in my art journal. I’ve nearly completed the Sarah Mackenzie book and plan to begin The Living Page by Laurie Bestvater next. I finally came up with an idea for my art project for the Brave Writer retreat and plan to do some sketches to work on how to approach the idea. Maybe I’ll have something to show next week…

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

Sunday Journal: Hint of Spring

Littlest at Elkhoen Creek

Littlest at Elkhorn Creek

Our week was pleasant, filled with sunny days and rain. We took nearly every possible opportunity to get outside to enjoy the sunshine and watch the grass turn a bit greener. We noticed the arrival of the robins and daffodils. Spring is just around the bend now. Finally…

Middle Boy's co-op art project

Middle Boy’s co-op art project

One of the mornings was so nice that we went for a walk around the neighborhood (one mile) before starting up our school day. The kids were so better focused for the rest of the morning that I plan for us to start our day with a walk so long as the weather is agreeable. I worried about the delay during our walk but we actually finished up early. I guess they were able to focus longer and we ended up wasting less time adjusting for wiggly bodies. I’ve been getting up every morning and walking two or three miles before getting the kids up. A leisurely extra mile with the kids won’t hurt a bit on nice mornings.

Oldest at Elkhorn Creek

Oldest at Elkhorn Creek

I’ve managed to keep getting up early (most days) for the past couple of months now and walking. My weight hasn’t changed much but I do sleep and feel better.

I went ahead and ordered some of the kids upcoming curriculum for the next academic year. My kids actually asked for poetry curriculum! They want to learn about the different kinds of poetry and famous poets. I didn’t see that coming at all! Who knew? An

morning walk

morning walk

unexpected benefit of poetry tea time…I guess.  After tons of googling and homeschooling blog searches I found this set from Blackbird and Company Educational Press.

The folks from Beautiful Feet Books were kind enough to send me the extra-curricular reading list for our American history studies. I was lucky enough to find many of the books for three dollars or less. After looking over the list I decided to eliminate Oldest’s reading curriculum since he’ll be reading some heavy classics this year like Les Miserables, Last of

first part of  extra-curricular book haul

first part of extra-curricular book haul

the Mohicans, Moby Dick, Tale of Two Cities…etc. I had originally chosen ten books but after flipping through Les Miserables I think it could easily take the place of three novels. It is massive, over one thousand pages!!! Maybe I’ll switch it to the read aloud pile…I dunno yet.

Sparkles and her poor tortured cat

Sparkles and her poor tortured cat

We’re moving into a two-year cycle of American history. The kids are excited. We’ve already started with a study of the America’s before the arrival of Columbus. I’ve picked out a few books from the library for us to read about the Native American cultures. Next, I’ll assign each of the kids to give a report over the tribes that lived near and within Kentucky. This study is also the beginning of our state history study. I could not find any state history that wouldn’t bore us out of our minds so I am creating my own literature approach to Kentucky history. At some point I will add a new menu to my site listing all books and projects for

poetry tea time outside

poetry tea time outside

learning Kentucky history. The study will include literature, map work, natural history, local Native American history, art, projects, field trip ideas, movies, recipes and whatever else I come up with. I have the first part of this written up but due to my work load from the Review Crew I will not get it on the blog this month.

This was another week spent in research. But other than our Kentucky history homemade curriculum I have everything planned out now. I am glad the first part of planning is done since the rest of the month is going to be so busy. I have three reviews coming up for the TOSReview Crew, the Hymn Fest in Western KY with the kid’s piano instructor and the homeschool convention in Cincinnati. I’m a little tired just thinking about it all.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

2016 Word

A new year full of promise, hope, new adventures, and dreams.

Not exactly…

Just more of the same-old, same-old.

I’m not one for keeping New Year’s resolutions. I’ll let the fitness hype go this year. But, now that we are getting settled in the new house I’ve returned to working out a bit. My youngest loves Wii dance games and I like to join him. I try not to think about how awkward my attempt at dancing (especially to some of the hip-hop songs) must appear. Sometimes I jump (not literally) on the treadmill and walk a bit. New songs on my iPod would be motivating…but every year it seems the learning curve for iTunes grows exponentially.

Progress in healthy eating of the slow and steady variety is coming along nicely too. Not out of desire for health though. Mostly to escape pain. So many foods (the stuff that actually tastes good!) aggravate my stomach or ignite my inflammation troubles. I quit trying during the move but time to get back to taking care of my health. The joints in my hands and wrist are so painful. I expected the pain but not the weakness or the crunchy gritting sound in my wrists. I’m back on my ginger now that all of the holiday travel is over so some of the discomfort is already starting to ease up a bit. Sadly, the strength doesn’t come back…I’ve learned that sad fact this year.

I wanted to choose a word this year. A point of focus. Originally, I had clarity or perceive in mind. But as I spent time meditating, praying, reflecting and remembering my reaction to this year’s trials…well, those chosen words were without meaning.

my childhood in a picture

my childhood in a picture

Fear beat me down this year. Fear brought on by rejection. My wee little black hole, you know, the one in my soul? The core center of my very self. (Please see my series on Made To Crave if you are interested). As this year’s events unfolded my black hole began to grow in strength. My deep sense of unworthiness threatened to overwhelm me as I felt discarded…again. I’ve broken down and cried many, many times since July. All of the fear from my abusive childhood returned. I felt like an unwanted little child all over again. Unloved and not even worthy of being loved.

I’m wise enough to know that I’ll never be rid of those feelings…not entirely. I’m blessed to be loved by an ever patient man. My husband is the warmth that keeps those old demons away. I should have been a pillar for him this year but he supported me instead. Only out of love for my husband did I not torch and burn a few bridges to lifeless ash. I am consumed with fear.

I do not want to be ruled by fear. I do not want to be that nearly lifeless child pleading to be loved.

My word is brave. My word terrifies me.

Let me be brave…

 

Sunday Journal: Butterfly Funerals, Addictions and Hello Fluffies!!!

my mother is visiting this week

my mother is visiting this week

We opened a bunch of boxes this week…and still have a ton to go. I worked with the kids in their rooms on the days I could concentrate on unpacking. Their rooms are slowly coming together. Sparkles bed was broken during the move so she just has a mattress on the floor. Her room is a bit of a mess until we can get her a bed frame. My plans for toy storage was to just use bins under the beds. Oldest’s room is coming together. We need to hang window treatments and pictures to complete his room. Middle Boy and Littlest are sharing a room and are having a grand time together. Their room is the most organized and completed other than window treatments. We did order blinds and bookshelves so hopefully by this weekend we will have their rooms in final order…if everything comes in this week.

I did have to take a break from unpacking this week due to an unexpected antihistamine addiction. I only take the medicine during ragweed season which is only about eight to ten

my Angry Bird boys

my Angry Bird boys

weeks in late summer and early fall. This week when I went off of the pills my body didn’t take it very well! My body itched like crazy for a few days. I also alternated between feeling sad and irritable. My mind was so scatter-brained that concentrating was just impossible. The day we went to purchase blinds was my worst day mentally. My poor husband was just on his own with all the decisions that evening!

My crew enjoyed a fun week with the neighborhood kids. I’m not sure why but Sparkles and her friend were just determined to save any butterflies they saw with torn wings. The two of them spent a couple of days chasing butterflies. They would carefully collect them and house them in an insect habitat. All of the wounded little butterflies ended up dying despite the great and tender care they received. So, naturally, the neighborhood kids got together and held a funeral service. They lovingly made and decorated paper coffins for each little creature and buried them by the maple tree. Sparkles has also developed a stormy friendship with one of the boys. They had a

hunting for butterflies

hunting for butterflies

bit of a scuffle when they first met but seem to be buddies now. His grandparents told me that all he talked about one evening was my sweet girl. Why do little boys show affection with aggression? I wasn’t too sure if I should feel parental pride that some little boy is smitten with my daughter or…maybe we do need a ten foot fence with razor wire.

I’m sooo not ready for the impending teenage years. Just no!

The kids and I worked for a while in the school room. We couldn’t do much without book cases but those will arrive soon. The room is ready enough for us to start back tomorrow. We’ll begin  with just the basics and history this week.

Skyping with Mrs. S...they were delighted to talk with her this week

Skyping with Mrs. S…they were delighted to talk with her this week

Hopefully we will locate our poetry books sometime soon so we can restart our weekly poetry tea time. I’m not sure about the kids but I am looking forward to getting back into routine with school. I am also going to restart my exercise time and developing healthy habits again. I let too much slip during the craziness of this move. I think I will better serve my family by taking care of my health than unpacking boxes.

This weekend my husband drove out to our former home to finish up a few projects. He also dismantled the bunny cage to bring it here. My lovely friend (you know our friendship is true and deep since she agreed to care for our two bunnies for an indefinite period of time!!!) brought the bunnies to my husband so he could bring them to our new home. We worried over how they would handle the long trip here but they made it just fine. I’m very happy to see my sweet fluffies again!

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sophrosyne: Riding Shotgun

My thoughts while exercising

My thoughts while exercising

I’m stressed this week. I was stressed last week too. All because I do not like to drive. I would rather visit the dentist and get my teeth cleaned than drive. And that is saying a little something because I have sensitive teeth and haven’t been to the dentist in about nine years. Last week and the rest of this week I will spend two hours a day driving my boys to Lego camp. Three more days to go and it is over! Thankfully one of the trips my husband will drive for show-and-tell-day. And the-powers-that-be are doing construction on the interstate too…a little extra stress for me.

The really interesting part of this to me is that my husband loves to drive! He is a total car guy. I know what a Mustang motor sounds like because I married him! I love riding shotgun but hate the driver’s seat. So this week (and last) because I am in the driver’s seat I am really having a hard time with food…stress eating. Give me all your Little Debbie cakes!!! I need them to cope with my reality!!

Only three more days…and this will be over.
My two oldest boys are having a wonderful time at Lego Camp and so it is worth the personal turmoil and pain for me…that’s just a mother’s choice. Three. More. Days.

Anyway, I’ve recently started reading the All About Healthy Choices blog. He just issued a healthy “Creative Lifestyle Planning” challenge or weight loss challenge for eight weeks. I am always motivated when there is a challenge…I just love these kings of things. So I started the challenge today… in the middle of my need for Little Debbie cakes!!! HA!

Just for total transparency I did not meet all of the challenge requirements…I totally stress-ate today. And I over did it on the whole six ounces of water before and after a meal. It wasn’t until dinner that I decide to measure what six ounces of water looks like!!! I was downing about twelve ounces of water before and after every meal today!!! I had enough calories today from stress eating that I skipped dinner…I’m not hungry. But I totally nailed my water intake today!!!

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I will not stress eat! My breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are planned for tomorrow. There are no Little Debbie cakes in my house. I am ready to deal with any stress-eating that comes my way tomorrow.

I hope!