Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thankful Thursday - September 18

It has been a roller coaster week with my health and some days it's been hard to feel thankful. I am thankful for my 12YO who made dinner Monday night. I am thankful that through this all, I've been able to help friends with meals. I am thankful kitchen work has been something I can do most days. I am thankful my kids can help with sweeping and laundry and dishes. I am thankful we found a way for all 6 of us to attend Grandma's 90th birthday celebration this weekend. I am thankful my husband's work is flexible enough for him to attend doctor appointments with me. I am thankful he got his first Master's degree paper done, and I am thankful I could help him with proof reading it. I am thankful I do not need to try and drive to a job every day.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Homeschool Mother's Journal - September 13

Weekly Wrap-Up

Collage Friday link here
In my life this week…yesterday was my husband's 45th birthday. We started the celebration by going to our favorite bakery, The White Rabbit, just the two of us for breakfast. We brought home cupcakes for birthday celebration with the kids. We had quite a few hours devoted to errands and tests which is not the most exciting way to spend a birthday, but necessary. For dinner, the two of us went to Luis' Taqueria which is only a few minutes walk from our house. We brought home food for the kids and then settled in to watch Captain America Winter Soldier. Low key but overall I think a pretty good celebration.

I was surprised to get a message from my specialist about the tests I took yesterday. Evidently in addition to the ulcers in my colon, there are cysts on my right ovary. I am trying to wrap my brain around this new development and praying there isn't a third issue.

In our homeschool this week…ODD and I attended our first Spanish class with Living Water Spanish. She really enjoyed it; I enjoyed it but struggled to sit through 90 minutes of class time. The class is set up to meet high school requirements which is very nice. I am looking forward to seeing how this year in a classroom goes.

This week's art . . . my girls collaborated this week:
Spontaneous Panda Hero Cosplay. (Song below) Pictures taken by YDD

1 - A Hawkeye doodle ODD did on a Post-It. 2 - A drawing Kemmy did and ODD inked.
What we are reading . . . ODD has started reading the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan. YDD has about 5 books she's currently reading and leaving about the house which is both awesome and not. I haven't been reading much lately which always makes me sad.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…This is going to be an interesting year for me. I am not a huge going/seeing person, but my girls have different activities they want to be involved in. So this week, YDD went to swim class. ODD went to open art studio at our local art center, Bible study at a friend's house and Spanish class. Kemmy went to open art studio and high school youth group at our church. I am thankful for all the local activities with 3 minutes of commute time. We have dropped voice lessons for ODD because she wasn't practicing without me hounding her and I am not going to do that. We do have a deal in place for her to get them back if she practices, but so far she hasn't.

Things I’m working on…minimizing! I have not been getting rid of stuff every day, but I keep working at it and it's making a difference in our home. This week, we've gotten rid of a dying recliner couch and a DVD player, I cleaned out a drawer in my bathroom tossing expired medicine, I cleaned out 2 drawers in a filing cabinet, and I've used up lots of stock from my freezer supply.

My favorite things this week . . . the care and concern from my girls, and the NFL is back!

I’m cooking…soup. I love cooking beans in stock and then blending them with veggies to make soup. My people eating all kinds of stuff blended they wouldn't if it was whole.

I’m thankful…I have been able to help friends with meals and I am thankful for the chances to do this some more in the coming weeks.  I am thankful for the slow building up to our school year. I am thankful my husband celebrated his 45th birthday. I am thankful his post-transplant health has been so stable. I am thankful for the strength and stamina I do have. I am thankful for the help from my kids in keeping the house clean.

Friday, September 5, 2014

My Homeschool Mother's Journal - September 5

Weekly Wrap-Up

Collage Friday link here
In my life this week… this was my first week on the prednisone and what I've discovered is that I'm a hormonal teenage girl. *sigh* What has been particularly discouraging is that after a week of taking it, I am not feeling better. I had expected to. I am getting stuff done which is a huge blessing, but I get pretty wiped by 3p.  Of course I am wiped whether I get stuff done or not, so there's little point in taking it easy.

In our homeschool this week…YDD started swim lessons. I was frantic we were going to be late; not only were we 5 minutes early, but we were the only ones there! Since she got a new teacher and it was a man, it was very awesome she got to spend this first lesson one on one. We've stripped down to bare bones and its working better. The girls are spending about 5 minutes telling me their memory verses each day and 15 minutes playing on
Today we celebrated Not Back to School with our local homeschool group and ice cream! It was good to see the size of our group. We've got some new faces which is nice since we also lost some.
ODD and Kemmy hanging out at the Ice Cream Social.
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…don't be afraid to adjust your plan. My summer plan was to do our whole God Time period and it wasn't happening which meant the girls were losing their memory work. Adjusting to just doing the memory work and leaving the devotion aside for the summer is working much better.

This week's art . . .
This is a scan of a pencil drawing ODD did of Hawkeye.
ODD inked in her drawing with Manga Studio 5.
Fully colored picture. I love seeing the progression of her work.
An original Hawkeye cartoon she drew.
Favorite resource this week . . has been awesome this summer. It's free and I can customize the subject matter to focus on what I want the practice on. It's going to work well with us for the coming year, too, because I can focus on fractions or percentages which will be ODD's math focus with Life of Fred.

Places we're going and people we're seeing… Wednesday we visited the Portland Art Museum. ODD has started attending a Bible study at a friend's house. We're going to be busier this school year than previous years. Will be interesting to see how that goes.

Things I'm working on…getting rid of clutter. A group of friends is doing the Minimalist Game and using Facebook for accountability. I participated in August and thought I'd be done, but I was wrong, so I am participating again in September.

I'm cooking…my favorite quick and easy dish: fish and jasmine rice. My kids prefer the Panko Breaded Tilapia we find at Costco which cooks in 18 minutes from frozen. DH and I prefer a "naked" tilapia loin we also get from Costco. I usually defrost that and then cook it over the rice in the rice cooker. Wednesday I dressed it up a bit with Thai curry to drizzle [or drown] over it. Little effort, healthy yummy food. Beautiful.

I’m thankful for…food in the freezer; it's made it much easier to get dinner on the table each night. I am thankful I am not bedridden or hospitalized; I've had little patience with feeling poorly, but in all honesty, I could be doing way worse and I am thankful I am not.

I’m praying for…patience and healing and for new meds to start working.

I rewarded my kids this week by…
buying bagels after we saw a sculpture that I said looked like a bagel. :D

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
YDD took this picture of a butterfly in our backyard. ODD used her art program to circle and label it. YDD was not happy with the quality of the picture, but she's learning to use the camera and its limitations.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thankful Thursday - September 4

I am thankful we live close enough to my brother that the cousins get to see each other often. I am thankful driving up to my parents on Monday did not make me feel worse; driving has been very hard for me. I am thankful for Facebook which allows us to see pictures of events we aren't there for like my niece's first day of Kindergarten [today]. I am thankful I was well enough to take my girls to the art museum yesterday; I did not want to miss that exhibit. I am thankful my girls aren't missing out on activities because of how I feel. I am thankful swim lessons are so close to home and that YDD only has one other girl in her class. I am thankful the NFL seasons starts tonight AND I am thankful I get to watch my favorite Packers in this first game! I am thankful I could double dinner tonight and bless a friend with a meal.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Another Visit to the Portland Art Museum

A bear spotted on the walk to the museum.
Today we headed off to the Portland Art Museum. ODD and I had not yet seen The Art of the Louvre's Tuileries Garden and wanted to see it before it left. With this visit, she and I have seen every traveling exhibit of the last year which is cool.
ODD sat and sketched this painting by Grandsire. I like the picture of the 3 girls sitting together a lot.
One of the first pieces in this exhibit and ODD knew it was Hercules.
Lunch time! 1 - Kemmy and ODD who is drawing the girl in picture 4. 2 - YDD wanted to add her goofy self to the shot. 3 - ODD showed the piano player the sketch she had drawn of her. 4 - A close up of the piano player for future art reference.
YDD next to Coyote #6 She snugged on it all through lunch.
One of ODD's favorite pieces from the This is War! exhibit
YDD checking out a new piece in the Japanese art room.
All 3 girls loved this Japanese pieces. It's details are below. 

Beholding the beauty that is ODD's all time favorite piece of art. We are very much looking forward to an exhibit coming October 2015 which will have at least one more of Monet's water lilies.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Homeschool Mother's Journal - August 31

Weekly Wrap-Up

Collage Friday link here
In my life this week…it was a long week, but has culminated in all tests have been taken and prednisone has been started. Thursday and Friday I did not feel as lousy which is a step in the right direction. I am very nervous to be taking the same steroid my husband took post-transplant, but I am very hopeful it will have a big impact.

In our homeschool this week… I have to admit I am doing the happy dance because we still have a month of summer break left. It seems like the whole world is going back to school on Tuesday [homeschool and public school] and we're not! I am loving it! This week, we did much better on fitting in math practice and memory work which makes me happy, too.
A very happy girlie who has been on a writing spree this week. Yeah no schooling going on here during summer break!
Another very happy girlie with a latex glove on her head!
This week's art . . . LOTS! But ODD wants to share it on her blog first and she hasn't done it so I can't share it with you. Hopefully next week.

Favorite resources this week . . .Swagbucks and Bing. Again, but for a different reason this time: I was able to buy some PrismaColor colored pencils when they were on a great sale because I had a giftcard balance at Amazon because of my Swagbucks and Bing. I could just buy them when on sale and not even think about whether there was money from DH's paycheck. Same thing for a baby shower gift; I could just buy from her registery and not worry about where the money was coming from.

What we are reading . . . my oldest girl is speeding towards adulthood so we do lots of talking about serious issues like modesty and waiting to have sex. I've shared how I didn't and the problems that created. Along those lines, I came across this article this morning and this one a few days ago.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…so we've added another person to our home. Last Saturday, DH and DS spent almost 12 hours driving north of Seattle to pick Kemmy up. They got home before dinner which was good. YDD was nervous all day about Kemmy's arrival, but planted herself in Kemmy's room while she was unpacking so that broke the ice nicely. ODD was feeling uncomfortable and not sure how to get included until I sent her up to ask a question and then all 3 girls hung out during the unpacking. Things have gone smoothly in the week since. There's been lots of this:
Girlies hanging out
ODD up a tree and Kemmy to the left.
Kemmy up the tree.
Even the boy has come out to join the family. {It's difficult to get him to do this which is why there aren't many pictures of him on this blog.}
Things I’m working on…getting back in the FlyLady groove. Adding another kid to the mix who needs jobs made me realize I need some help thinking up jobs. DS now just sweeps the kitchen every day while Kemmy sweeps another room. ODD and YDD don't have set jobs, but do whatever is needed. I'm using FlyLady's zones to help us focus and rotate our work. So far, it's going well. And I've continued to fling stuff which makes a HUGE difference.

My kids' favorite things this week . . . adding Kemmy to our household. ODD and Kemmy have gone for long walks almost every day. She has successfully pulled DS from his room a few times.

I’m cooking…DH and DS made pizza again this week with the boy making the dough by himself. HUGE step for him. I processed about 40lbs of tomatoes from the garden. I just blanched, deseeded and deskinned them before tossing them in the freezer. I am very much appreciating having lots of freezer space.

I’m thankful for…my husband's health. We need a long narrow dining room table and don't have hundreds of dollars to buy one. My husband came up with a plan to take the top off our remaining table [we donated the other 2] and replace it with a bigger table top. I am thankful he has the strength and stamina for this project. I am thankful for his paycheck which is making this $100 project possible. I am thankful for my husband's skills which also make this project possible. I am thankful for the three day week and his break from school that give him time for this project.
1 - The before table. This has been our homeschool table and it's going to become our everything table. 2 - The original table base with the new unassembled table top. 3 - DH extended the table base and is attaching the assembled table top.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…YDD found this online and listened to it for days. I bought it from amazon and now she's walking around with it playing on her iPod. LOVING these tunes!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thankful Thursday - August 28

I am thankful my husband took matters into his own hands yesterday. I was waiting for my doctor's office to call me about insurance approval. He grew tired of waiting and called, and got things moving. He drove me to the last test this morning and now I can start taking a medicine which should make a big difference in the pain I've been living with. I am so very thankful I am not trying to work outside the home during this experience.

I am thankful that things have gone smoothly with adding Kemmy to our home. The pickup went off without a hitch. The drive home went smoothly. The girls both connected with her the first night. I am thankful she's slid into our daily life smoothly. I am thankful for her willingness to help. I am thankful for the walking she and ODD have done every day.

I am thankful for all the stuff I've tossed this past week. I am thankful my house is showing the effects of all the cleaning we've been doing. I am thankful my family had an enjoyable trip to Disneyland and most are home safe. [One brother isn't home but he id safe.] I am thankful for all the connections reinforced last Sunday at church. I am thankful for the bounty of tomatoes coming in from my garden. I am thankful for the pumpkin that is almost ready to pick. I am thankful my husband gets two weekends off during this break from school. I am thankful he will be starting on his master's degree [instead of the bachelor's level work he's been doing].