Friday, October 31, 2008

whooping cough -- again

It's been a very long day today.

Some updates -- when we went to get Junior tested for whooping cough, they told us that they would contact us on friday if Junior had whooping cough. If we didn't hear from them, then he was negative. I assumed that they told the same to the mom of Becca's friend (let's just call her Cindy). So I called Cindy's mom yesterday to verify that she hadn't heard, Cindy was tested monday, so she should have gotten her results thursday, as per the promises of the health department.

Awsome! ! ! We are out of the woods because Cindy's mom hadn't heard from the health department.

Today, Cindy's mom called and, well, Cindy does have whooping cough. The health department hadn't called because they are so busy but the mom went to the health department to double check. They got a little upset and told her she had to leave the building and get Cindy home before she infected more people.

ARGHHHH. So we find this out after taking Junior (who still has a bit of a cough) to Taekwondo and then to a fall festival at one of the local churches. He may not have it but we aren't going to find out for a while because they have so many tests to do (an entire school) and they can only process 17 at a time.

Does Junior have whooping cough? I don't know, I had a cold and he could have caught it from me and that may be the reason for his cough. OTOH, apparently in the beginning whooping cough resembles a cold.

I hope he doesn't have it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

For Women Only -- Go ahead. It's not that bad!

Ok, this post is for women only. Women who are 35 and over. Everyone else can either look at another post or go to someone else's blog.

Are they gone?

Well here goes . . .

We have all seen them.

You know what I am talking about.

The cartoons, the jokes about having someone park the family van on one breast. How a mammogram is absolutly awful, painful. Almost as bad as childbirth.

I had my first mammogram yesterday and it was not that bad. It wasn't fun, wasn't really comfortable but really the worst part was all the paperwork.

I have been more much more uncomfortable with my kids squirming in my lap at times.

There isn't a history of breast cancer in my family, so this was just a routine "baseline." All the same, because of mammograms and monthly self exams, it is now uncommon for breast cancer to lead to death.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and so if it is time to get your mammogram done, go call your doctor. Go have it done. It really isn't that painful.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whooping Cough

Sunday morning, Junior woke up with a fever, a slight fever but a fever. So we skipped church. Except for the fever, he seemed ok but you never can tell with kids.

Monday early, early in the morning, he woke us up crying. He was crying because he said he was coughing and his throat hurt and he was never ever going to get well and he was going to die.

Did I ever say he is a bit meladramatic?

I finally got him to stop crying because I told him that it would make his throat hurt worse to cry.

Until I mentioned that he had a fever. Then it started again.

Anyway, we have been staying at home mostly because it is cold and he is sick. Well, we found out today that whooping cough is going around and has been documented at one of the local schools.

A school that Daisy has a friend at. A friend that she was glued to at a 4-H food and nutrition workshop where they made food that they ate. A friend that has a cough. A friend that went to the health department and was told to call us.

So we went today to the health department, got Junior tested, and received antibiotics for the whole family.

I am so grateful that we didn't go see my in-laws this weekend. While my mother-in-law is done with her surguries, she still hasn't completly recovered (I posted about it on my other blog here).

So we need to stay home at least until friday and we find out for sure if he has whooping cough or not.

Last week I had wished for a quiet week at home. This isn't quite what I meant.

Marketing Class

This marketing class has been such an amazing blessing for me. I have learned so much not only about marketing, but also about myself. Last week's assignment was something different.

We had to divide up into pairs, something that is always stomach turning (which is why I made the previous post). One of my classmates, Donna, had reached out to me and we became partners.

Working with a partner was a learning experience on its own. So much of being a mom and homeschooler is done solo. Yes, you are teaching your children, but you are the teacher, you come up with the lesson plans, you follow the plans. Sometimes you may work with someone else, like a spouse, but usually one is more "in charge" than the other. In anycase, ususally you know each other somewhat.

This was different. We really didn't know each other at all, and we were equal partners. We had to learn to work together while not being face to face. Our entire "discussion" was email and "windows live messenger."

I have been so amazed at what we have been able to learn from each other. I don't know that I would have learned as much if I hadn't been teamed up with Donna.

One of the big things for me, I learned how to speak up. Donna had an idea for the title and so did I. She mentioned hers first, I had a hard time mentioning mine, (what if she didn't like it, blah, blah, blah). I did mention my idea, we discussed back and forth, we ended up using both in different ways, and the world didn't end.

As a shy person, speaking up is very hard for me. I realized though, if I didn't speak up, it would be her project and she would have to do all the work on it.

The project was to write a short sell and long sell sheet for a product. In our early conversations, we found out that I was eating wheat-free and her family had been eating gluten-free/casein-free (casein is a milk protein, and 3% of people are sensitive to casein. More are sensitive to lactose, but if you had problems with milk at a young age, it's probably casein.)

So we invented a gluten-free/casein-free cookbook that gives recipes, and how to make your own mixes, etc. I would really love to buy this book. It has everything I could possibly want. Unfortunately, it doesn't exist.

The project was alot of fun and I had an excuse to putter with graphics. I also found that brainstorming things that would make me want to buy a cookbook was informative.

What makes you want to buy something?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

One Random Thing I am Grateful for about Homeschooling

Ok, this is going to sound silly but I am so glad my children will not have to experience P.E. sports. Its not the athletics I object to, it's the way teams are divided up.

Choosing two captains and letting those two captains take turns picking who is on their team.

Well, someone has to be last.

Guess who that was at my school.

I blame my sister. She got all the athletic ability in the family. I don't care if she was born 7 years after me; she took more than her fair share of athleticism.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Our Other Child

We have two precious children who live with us, Daisy and Junior and every day I thank God for their presence and health.

We also have a little girl, equally precious, whom we haven't met. She lives in the mountains of Bolivia with her many brothers and sisters. Delia is 6 years old. We receive letters from her teachers and her mom because she is just learning her letters. She is able to go to school because she has been sponsored.

We sponsor her through Compassion International. Every night we pray for Delia and her family, this has broadened my childrens view. They know the money we send allows her to eat and go to school.

Please consider sponsoring a child. It is only $32 a month but it changes your sponsored child's life. You can either click here or click on the widget on the right.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Music Mania Module for September

Wow, The Old Schoolhouse September Planner module is wonderful! I love music and the classical composers but my children have looked at music as a chore. Music Mania will help me get them excited about music.

Music Mania has a brief biography of some of the major composers; my children will be able to pick which musician they are interested in studying during music. The information on the orchestra will help them understand how the music is performed, the difference between the 4 types of instruments, and where they are located in the orchestra. I didn’t even know the seating order for an orchestra was standard.

Music Mania has even more! There are links to research more of the top composers, games, word searches, coloring pages, directions for making your own musical instruments. I love the yummy sounding recipes, especially the Inside Out Green Peppers.

If you like your children to do copywork, there are pages of it. Each one is a quote by a composer, with a Fast Facts section which includes a space for their birthday, interesting facts, type of music and major compositions. If you do notebooking or lapbooking, these copybook pages would be an excellent addition to the lapbook

Best of all, Music Mania has stirred up my imagination on what to do for music. I plan on bringing out Benjamin Britten’s Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf so we can listen as we are learning the different parts of the orchestra. Music Mania has helped me think of ways to make music more fun and educational.

Now if I can find something to make math fun . . .

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I have been thinking that my thyroid is underactive for years. I have had it tested, and tested and it always comes out normal. After some research I found not all Drs think the T3 and T4 test is the be all end all. Some think that the "normal" range is too wide or to high (peek here) . With a list of my symptoms, I finally talked my dr into letting me try thyroid medicine. It has made a difference. I am less tired, temperature closer to normal, etc.

So I went back to the Dr Thursday. He still isn't happy about me being on this medicine, doesn't think their is a need for it, it goes against what he knows medically, yada yada yada. I think he was hoping I would lose interest in taking it. It is a bit of a pain to take.

I don't want a dr who hands out meds like candy but I am a reasonable adult who does alot of research before seeing a dr for something like this. I appreciate it when they don't treat me as just shy of illiterate.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Theology from a childrens book

Each night my kids each get to pick out a story for me to read. My daughter usually chooses a chapter in a book (right now we are reading The Princess and Curdie by George Macdonald) while Junior chooses a storybook.

The only exception is when it is way past their bedtime, I choose one book. Last night we had our 4-H club meeting and it was late when we finally got home. So I picked one they hadn't heard before but it was one of my favorites as a child.

The Little Red Caboose is about a caboose on a train that doesn't like being at the end of the train. Kids wave at the engine, the flat cars, the coal cars, the oil cars, and the passanger cars but they have walked away by the time he gets there. One day though, the train is going up a steep hill and it goes slower, and slower, and s-l-o-w-e-r, the car right in front of the caboose warns him that they are going to start going backward but the caboose puts on the brakes until 2 shiny black engines come behind him and help push the train up the hill. They tell the caboose that he is a hero because without him, the train would have gone backward down the hill so then he is glad that he is at the end of the train. All the kids wave more to the caboose because he is a hero.

So what does that have to do with theology? Just this, sometimes we are unhappy with where we are in life. Just because we think we are in (what we think is) an unimportant position, does not mean that we are not where God wants us. He could have us in that place to do some great work, then again we may never know why we were put there. But God has put us there for a reason.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What would happen it . . .

I did something without thinking about it, over-analyzing it, worrying about it? Well, I just found out and I'm not humiliated, dead, or any of the other things I would normally envision.

The Old Schoolhouse put out a call for people wanting to take a marketing class and normally I would not have applied. I still don't know exactly what happened, those usual thoughts of "why bother," or "you don't have a chance" were silent for once. Before I had thought about it, I had sent the email. When I got the followup email, asking for name, education etc, that was harder. I didn't finish college because of some stupid mistakes I had made. I've tried to go back a few times, but I finish one or two semesters and thats it.

Wednesday was a long day, part of me was hoping for good news, the pther part was sure that the news would be bad. I had completely given up when I saw the email. Four hours later, I was still shaking.

This marketing class is going to be such a blessing. I am so excited about the material we will learn and the people I will "meet".

Next time will I take a leap like this without over-analyzing. I hope.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Today while discussing poetry, Daisy (9) and I got to discussing various types of poetry and how they rhyme. After reading her a haiku, she decided to try her hand at writing one. Here are the results:

My Rabbits

I have six rabbits.

They're cute, white and black and sweet.

They love to explore.

To update on her reading, she still isn't fluent but she has been reading a story to her brother almost every night, just because she wants to. I don't know if she is on "grade level" or not, but she is catching up.

A great nature study idea:

Cindy posted a great idea of nature study here On Our Journey Westward that I am going to do, for nature study soon. I will use old socks though because they may not be usable afterward.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Earning Stripes

Well Junior has not been involved in Taekwondo for very long but he has gotten 2 stripes. One I am not 100% sure he deserves, but the other WOOHOO. They each had to stand up and do the form? where they say "get back" (high block) "leave me alone" (3 punches) "I'm safe" (stepping back) and Junior did it perfectly.

He is . . . very hyperactive, so him being able to do this is great. He is listening, sortof, to the announcements that they make at the end of class. His teacher was talking about the graduation that will be held on thursday, and Junior has taken it to mean that he will graduate on wednesday to an orange belt.

I tried to tell him but he is still pretty sure I am wrong. Wednesday's class might be interesting.