Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A long, busy day

So we spent half the day out and about.  Well, it felt like it!  After getting a few things done in the morning we needed to go out shopping.  The last of the month is the time to stock up.  This month was going to be a bit different.  We've had a situation arise here that is going to take a lot of our attention to address.  Because of that I was trying to think of ways to make myself more available to address any issues that come up (with the children that is).  Preparing food is a major business in this household.  And although I truly want to be eating high amounts of fresh fruit and veggies, and soak all our grains and what not, that takes a LOT of my time.  Time that I will not have this coming month, and maybe even into the next month.  So I sat down the other day and made up the menu for the whole month of July.  I made all of our dinners and most of our breakfasts things that could be frozen.  So we will have two or three bulk cooking and freezing days coming up so that all my cooking time can be done now, to save me that time during the rest of the month.  This made for a major shopping trip, shopping for the whole month in one day. 

We started out by stopping at the gas station to fill the tank.  Then to the nearest grocery store to grab some muffins and milk, for our breakfast, that we ate in the van.  A quick run to the bank for our grocery money.  Then off to the sporting store for new sneakers for me.  It's been a couple of years and I have been getting sore shins and knees when I am walking with my current shoes.  We then needed to pick up the book that Isa will be doing a group study with some other teens.  We ordered it on ebay but got a notice that it was out of stock and wouldn't be in stock till July 20th, close to the end of the entire study!  The funny thing was that when we got home today, the book was in the mail!  Oh, well, Jeremiah and I had already decided that we wanted another copy around the house anyways.  Thankfully a few of these stores were in close proximity.  Our next stop was BJ's.  We filled our cart to the brim.  I made sure to bring a big cooler and grab some ice so that our cold things would stay cold for the remainder of our errands.  After BJ's it was off to get a haircut for Moira and I.  I'm not exactly happy with my haircut.  I had wanted them to do the same thing they had done with Isa's hair a few months ago.  The stylist that cut her hair is no longer at this salon.  Bummer.  So when I explained what I wanted I was told that they couldn't do that.  Seriously, I was in no mood to try to find another place that could and got a cut that was sort of like what I wanted.  But it's not what I really wanted, and I have to resign myself to the fact that I am not meant to get a haircut that I really want.  It's a long story, but me and haircuts just don't mix.  Ok, after that it was on to Walmart.  We filled two carts to overflowing.  At the checkout I had Isa grab another cart to make refilling them a bit easier.  Our van was full, full, full.  It was way past lunch at this point and I was truly amazed at how all the kids were handling themselves.  So off to get some lunch before we went home.  I had everyone eat quickly as we had defrosting food in the van!  By then I was ready for a nap.  And I have to say that the prospect that we had to *unload* all of this food *and* put it away was a wee bit overwhelming to me.  Thankfully Isa's brain was working still and she suggested that we back up the van to the back gate.  That would save us all from going up and down our 12 steps in the front of the house.  Good thinking!  It took a while to unload and put everything away, but we got it done.  I think when I looked at the clock it was 5:10 when it was all said and done. 

I am very thankful that my brain was working the day before and I had managed to think of buying some frozen pizzas to cook up for dinner on our shopping day, knowing that I would be wiped out.  I almost forgot them, but as we were walking out of Walmart I realized I forgot our dinner!  The lines were all long and I was afraid that *I* was going to have a meltdown, ha, ha!  But I survived!  After all of this I was sooooo tired.  I laid on the couch for about 30 minutes.  But I can't say it was very relaxing.  The boys had been sitting all day, in the van, in the stroller, or in a cart. So they were active, active, active.  That meant Jonah in my face, or Jed crawling up over me, or Jonah crawling on me, or a sword fight gone get the idea.  Then Jed really wanted me, and only me, to read him a book.  This took care of the crawling all over me, but didn't help that my eyes were as heavy as one ton lead weights.  Finally, someone asked the dreaded question.....when's dinner?  Dinner?  Are you serious?  Surely you jest.  Even the thought of popping pizza into the oven was overwhelming.  I had one of the girls prep the stove and unwrap the pizzas.  So really I just had to pop it in and set the time on the timer.  I gained back some momentum and was able to carry on for the rest of the evening.  It helped that the kids went out and jumped on the trampoline a bit.  But playing outside makes for some dirty kids.  So I needed to wash up the boys before putting them to bed.  And now, now, I am heaving a sigh of relief that all is done and I can relax a bit before I hit the hay. 


Tomorrow is Jed's fourth birthday!!!  He's going to be four!!!  Unbelievable.  The girls made up his birthday sign.  Let's just say that future birthday sign designs will need to be preapproved :-)  Lots of dinosaurs and swords, oh and dragons too.  Don't forget the stick man people Isa says.  Jed has really been into things dying.  He will take one of his toy cars, make it crash and then proudly say to me, "Mama, a die." Or, "Mama, dead."  Then he will tell me they had ouchies and then miraculously they rise up from the dead.  He obviously doesn't comprehend the meaning of 'dead'.  Although.... Isa found a dead mouse today.  Hey, at least it was dead!  Anyways, she had a string wrapped around its tail so that she could 'escort' said mouse to the trash.  Upon seeing the dead mouse, Jed started crying and pointing at the mouse saying, "a die, a die!"  Poor guy.  Anyways, all this to then say the girls put a few dead guys on his birthday sign.  I know that sounds morbid, but it's quite funny how they drew the dead guys.  Ok, I'm probably sounding totally insane, I guess I will have to show you when I get a picture of it.  Anyways, you can see why all future designs will need my approval!  Ha, ha! 

Well, it is getting late, and I really need to get some sleep.  I still need to tell you all about the book Isa is reading and the authors' site.  Isa really loves this book, and that is a good thing :-)  Maybe tomorrow, if I have the time. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Finally, an updated video of Jed's speech

Don't have a lot of time to write, but I wanted to get this video up of Jed 'reading' a book with me.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chicken happenings

Yeah, I'm sure you are all very interested in our chickens :-)  But I just had to share this story.  We've had most of the expected chicken experiences.  Raising them from chicks, cleaning out their bedding, learning why there is a reason for the bird sayings that exist in our language, having our dogs kill the chickens (a few), chicken droppings on the porch, being chased by a rooster and there are a few more I am sure.  One that I am very glad that has not happened is for a wild animal to get in and take more than a few out.  I guess our dogs figured they'd give us that experience themselves.  There was one other chicken experience that I was hoping we would never see, but we did the other day.  I can be very thankful for a couple of things.  One for size and the other for nonvenomous.....yes we are talking about a snake!  The girls went out to milk the goats, feed the animals, and then pick up the eggs on the way in.  Except they didn't even get to the milking the goat part because as they were heading into the goat side of the barn one of them looked over into the chicken area to see a very large black snake hanging out in one of the nests eating an egg!  How dare he!  Or she, I certainly wasn't going to figure that one out.  The girls came running in all excited (not in fear) telling me how there was a 20 foot snake in the chicken barn.  Twenty feet did you say? I do think we need to talk about measurement at some point in math :-)  So what to do, what to do.  I made Jeremiah promise me before we moved south that he would be the one to kill ALL bugs.  Trust me to this day I have been known to throw something over a bug and wait till he gets home to deal with it.  But by golly who knew I needed to throw in snakes to the promise!  Granted I'm not afraid of snakes like I am of bugs, but snakes have *teeth* ya know.  So I called Jeremiah and he told me to contain the snake and that he was heading home (it was close to the end of the work day anyways).  So I went to get something to contain him in and headed out to the barn.  On the way out I saw the girls coming in....hmmm not good.  They told me that the snake got under the flooring in the storage room.  Ugh!  So we stood guard for about an hour to see if he/she would come out.  But no luck.  Where did it go?  Maybe it lives under there.  I am sure we will see it again sometime.  I was thankful that is was so large because I have heard stories of people reaching their hands into the chickens nest only to be greeted by the slithering beasts.  You couldn't miss seeing this fellow 50 feet away.  I wasn't able to get a picture of it, but Isabella did on her camera.  When she uploads it and posts it to her blog I'll let all of you who are just dying to see the creature know :-)

Besides chickens we made huge progress in the moving furniture department.  We got the boys room in and the computer room out, having to divide the furniture between other rooms.  I am very glad that is done.  Although I wasn't the one to move any of the furniture!  But there was a whole LOT of cleaning to be done.  Who knew there was a 'black' hole under one of the desks that sucked in a lot of the things we have been looking for!  I will make sure to take pictures at some point to show the differences.  But we still have a few more things to clean up. 

That's basically it, not much else that we've been doing.  I decided to make sure to stay home for a few days in a row to see if what I was experiencing was really what I thought it was.  So far it appears to be so.  I don't have a bunch of time to go into the nitty gritty of it all, but in short wireless activity has an effect on homeopathic remedies, and not for the better.  Wireless radiation antidotes the remedies making them ineffective.  I couldn't figure out why I had a whole week of absolutely no heart symptoms, but then this past week I started having small bouts of it.  Until I realized that the small bouts came after being out of the house.  Thankfully our house gets poor reception.  We used to think this was such a burden, but now I realize that it is a huge blessing.  I'm glad that the bouts I've had have been minimal, but still not pleasant.  So I made an effort to stay home the past few days....and no heart symptoms.  It will be interesting to see how I feel after church tomorrow as they run wireless.  Last week I had to lay down after church because of my heart pounding. 

Well I must be going.  I will be sharing a great site that I was told about.  Actually I was told about a book and when I looked it up I found the authors' website.  A must read for anyone with teens or upcoming teens.  Seriously you must check it out.  But I'll write more on that later.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What's been keeping me busy

So besides the norm...dishes, cooking, cleaning, diaper changes, bathing dirty little children, more cleaning, etc.  I have been busy making up some speech therapy games for Jedidiah.  These are not my ideas!  My brain doesn't work at the current moment :-)  So I take my ideas from people whose brains are working.  A lot of these are in the finishing stages.  Some are already done and we have been using.  We are hoping to buy one or two speech therapy books coming up soon.  One happens to be the book that his therapist uses.  However, being specialized books, they are not cheap (think 40-50 dollars per book!).  One of my ideas below came from a book that we had borrowed from one of his speech therapists in the past.  Again a 40 dollar book, but I made one up myself for much less. 


Can you guess what these are?  Anyone?  Look below if you can't figure it out:


They are paint chips from the local hardware store.  Read, "free".  Ha! The funny thing was that the girls kept asking me if we were allowed to take this many.  Well, there are no signs saying there was a limit.  I was hoping to go in and grab a bunch and head out unnoticed.  But something tells me that a woman with six children does not go unnoticed.  Not to mention I had a couple little ones excitedly (loudly) tell me about their finds!  Oh well.  So how are we going to use paint chips for Jed's speech you ask?  Keep reading.


Oops, one more picture of paint chips first.


Ah, there we go.  I got a pack of perforated letters, in the scrapbook section at Walmart, to add to the cards.  I was hoping to get the fancy colorful ones, but they didn't have any.  Oh well.  I wasn't about to travel way out of my way to the arts and craft store for some. These will have to do.  So these cards will be placed on here:


Here they are on the foam board. 


One set of the above paint chips were all textured.  Before I went in the store to grab my stash, I thought about getting some fine sand paper to make some letters for Jed to trace with his fingers.  It is important for him to learn all of this through as many senses as possible.  I was worried though that the sand paper might be too much texture for him to deal with.  But these textured paint cards are perfect, the texture without the scratch. 


Those ABCs will be put on paint chip cards as well (just got that done actually).  He can then trace them with his finger and say the sounds at the same time.  Then he can match them to the ABCs on the foam board.  Many children with apraxia have difficulty in reading and writing.  At first I was a bit concerned about this, but then realized that one of the reasons that 'they' are concerned for the children being behind has more to do with these children being in the school system.  So now I am not concerned anymore.  But I still realize that Jed may need more help than our other children with reading and writing and I am hoping with these added games we can give him a good start.


These are the hand motions that go along with the sounds for the letters. This came from his therapist. It is important that we use the same motions at home as he does in therapy.  I have to say at first I was skeptical that these hand motions were really going to help in any way, but they DO!  I'm not sure if it just gets him to focus on what he is supposed to be saying, or what, but when he keeps omitting a sound adding in the hand cue helps him get it out.


These big foam letters will be glued to wooden dowels.  I plan on using them to in many ways.  One being sticking them in the ground outside and asking him to find the 'b' sound. Then he would have to run around to find it.  Getting in some gross motor along with the speech.


These are some of the other games I have done.  One is a turtle in a pond game. He has to match the turtles with the same vowel sound.  The other is a paper doll game. We can work on some of the words he has been working on in speech (off, on, his, hers, names of clothing etc.).  The sheets at the top are his word cards from his therapist.


This one is hard to make out.  They are used with the book, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?"  I don't actually have the book, but we use the words, which just repeat for each page.  I also added in photos of all of us in our family since Jedidiah has a hard time saying our names.


This is a simplified version of "Going on a Bear Hunt".  With each page there are sound effects that you are to make, that I thought Jed would have a lot of fun with.


And last is the word flip book that I am making.  There are three of each card.  With apraxia children have a hard time with sequencing.  So you first start with the first set of cards.  Saying 'bee', 'bye'. 'bow', etc.  The beginning letters are the first letters that they say to start with as they are the easiest for kids with apraxia to say.  Then after they master being able to say the first set of cards, you add in the second set.  First starting with 'bee', 'bee'.  Then you work on two different cards, 'bee', 'bow'.  Then as they progress you add in the third set.


Here would be an example of using all three decks of cards.  The beginning sounds are 'b','d', 'm', 'n', 't', 'h' and maybe one or two more that I can't think of right now.

Phew, that's a lot of paper and laminating being used!  So that is what I have been up to in my *free* time. 


Here are two cute pictures of the boys taken pretty recently.  Feeling ill I've not been using my camera much at all.  Unfortunately for Jed the camera or his positioning makes it look like he's pretty filled out, but that is not the case.  Although with the discovery of being able to make our own custard ice cream that might change!!  I haven't made homemade ice cream in a couple of years.  We pulled out our ice cream maker and I finally got around to making some.  It's easy to make, but you have to let the custard cool before freezing it.  I would always be ready to make it come evening, not giving us the time to make it up.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but my oh, my it tasted just like our favorite ice cream store's custard.  It was divine.  And Jed thought so as well and wanted to eat more and more and more! 


This has been the boys favorite hide out, in our entertainment center.  They pull up a chair to get up in there and take turns closing the doors on themselves.  Too funny. 

Ok, off to work I go.  Well not really.  We have lunch then we plan on heading out to the children's museum, which we haven't been to since we got our membership!  With a high 90 degree day, what better way to spend the hot afternoon (not that we aren't living in AC luxury anyways, but still, too hot to be outside).  Then I am hoping to get some of the items off my 'to-do list' tackled.  We'll see though. Right now I am having good days and bad days.  Or good mornings and bad afternoons, and I can never tell which it will be until the end of the day :-)  Soon, very soon I should be past the bad days altogether and I *can't wait*!!!  Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I've not found time to get anything 'real' up on here.  I did make a video the other day of Jed talking....and it looks like our camera's card needs to be reformatted because I couldn't get it to upload to our computer.  Ugh!  I will see if Jeremiah can do something with it before I make another one. 

Today we went to a free movie.  Regal movie theaters are having their summer kid movie festival.  Each Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am they are showing two free movies.  You have the choice of a rated G or rated PG movie.  I found out about it just an hour before we needed to leave.  I wasn't going to go, but then the kids were highly motivated to get ready quick, so we went for it.  It was neat, and by golly cheap :-)  Save the gas money to get there, but still worth it.  So check out the website to see what theaters in your area are participating.  Go Here!

After the movie I decided to take the children to the airport observation park.  The movie theater was close by and it was a treat to go. Hot, hot, hot out, but everyone had fun.  The boys were awed!  I'm not sure if Jonah knew what to make of it all.  He was kind of stunned into silence.  After that we drove home.  Nothing like driving in 95 degree heat.....very humid heat at that, with no AC.  At these temps and humidity the blowing wind from the windows does nothing to cool you off.  I just keep reminding them and me that we still have it far better than Laura and Mary (Ingalls) did :-) 

I have been feeling much better these days, as far as the cardiovascular issues go.  I still have some nausea, not too bad, but  I;m really looking forward top feeling normal again.  Unfortunately for me eating does help with the nausea.  With not being able to exercise and the extra eating....lets just say I'm a bit plumper!  It's time to lace up and get moving (slowly to be sure).  Right now I seem to have a good day then two bad days, then a good day or two then a bad day.  For now that means we are just barely keeping up with things, but it will be getting better.  I just wish I had a bit more time before I got sick to make up those frozen dinner meals, as that would have saved us a ton of money on our grocery bill!  Yikes!  But these things happen, and like my sister and I were discussing, we need to just pick up the pieces and move on.  Keep moving in the right direction.  Talking about picking up pieces we also discussed about being the first generation to homeschool, and eat healthy, etc.  She is asking people for their input on what saw them through being the first in their families to tackle new territory.  We find it hard to keep on the path, we are always slipping.  Granted we always get back up, but how we would love to keep on the path.  So please check out her post and offer any advice you may have.

That's it for now.  Hoping to get that video up in the near future.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

An Awesome Give Away!!!

All you Charlotte Mason fans make sure to head on over to Modest Mom's give away!  She is giving away a 4 DVD set, the all day Charlotte Mason seminar!  I wasn't able to attend the conference that is held here in NC this year, and this would be the next best thing.  As most of you know we are embarking on this new endeavor in homeschooling by switching from all textbooks to the Charlotte Mason approach.  I'm excited about it.  These DVD's would come in handy as we set off on our new adventure.  Don't delay!  Go here to enter:
Charlotte Mason seminar give away

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The ultrasound said....

It's just one wee little babe in there :-)  So no 'good' reason for my very nasty symptoms.  I've been taking a remedy from our kinesiologist, and it seems like I am feeling better in the mornings, but the rest of the day is still yuck.  I suppose that is better than all day!  However, one of the not nice symptoms I am having seems to be a lack of a digestive enzyme.  This makes eating a normal size meal feel like I just pigged out on a huge Thanksgiving meal, with extra dessert as well!  And I feel that way for at least 5 hours!  That makes it very difficult to eat my next meal.  But eat I must or my blood sugar plummets.  Ugh.  So I was told I would have to go totally fat free for three days (eating only veggies and fruits) and going dairy free for two weeks.  However with my insane food cravings, there is no way I can possibly do that.  So I decided it was time to call our homeopathic doctor.  Although both systems of 'medicine' work on some of the same premises, there are differences.  I had my appointment with him this afternoon.  He said I should be feeling significantly better in three weeks.  Trust me, I'll be counting down the days!  It appears that there isn't anything wrong with my heart, just something messing with my cardiovascular system in general.  So he says I am in no danger, although my symptoms can be quite scary at times.  Not to mention that it has affected every aspect of my life.  Seriously.  Putting in a ponytail never left me breathless and my heart pounding before...ever!  Nor did I ever have to lay down to rest after unloading only half of the dishwasher. But alas, that has been my life for the past four weeks. 

The whole clan got to see our cute little blob :-)  This was the first time that we had an u.s. this early along.  The earliest before this was at 18 weeks, when you can see the arms, legs, face, etc.  So I made sure to prep the girls so they wouldn't be freaked out!  I told them it would look like a blob, or a large jelly bean.  And that is just what our babe looked like, how cute.

I wish I had more to write about, but seriously, there hasn't been much going on around here due to my 'couch rest'.  We were able to get to a picnic on Monday, and the day before we had spent two hours at the lake.  Once I start feeling better we will need to brush off some laziness that has infiltrated the ranks :-) When mom goes down, little people try to see what they can get away with.  Little Mr. Jonah was ever so surprised to see that I was feeling better today!  Ha, ha!  Now I catch him looking back to see if I am looking before he dives into trouble.  Hey, we're headed in the right direction now. 

I would post the u.s. picture, but I don't know where it is at the moment.  I'm ever so organized you know.....please don't laugh so hard.  I am hoping to be up to taking pictures again soon.  I did get a few of my children being really, totally silly.  They are on my facebook, and well, I'm too lazy to post them here too!  
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