Friday, July 23, 2010

Take my word for it

I had the post below artfully laid out just the way I wanted it. Blogger started helping me out and rearranging it. I finally gave up. So just imagine it all in perfect symmetry, ok?

Summer Reading

One thing I love about summer is the extra time available for reading. Are there any readers out there who feel like you there are "so many books, so little time"? During the school year, I read, but in the summer, I READ. I enjoy getting up early to brew a pot of coffee, sit in my easy chair with my Bible and stack of books. In the morning I generally read my Bible and a Bible-study book of some sort, journaling along with it. And on days when we don't have an extra-busy morning schedule, I read a little more from books listed below.

I know, I know, it doesn't sound very productive to sit around and read, but summer is my time to catch up on things I want to learn for myself. I view it as part of my job description to research and learn. And what's wrong with having fun along the way?

This summer I've reading a lot about...well, reading. Reading aloud to be more specific. These books are ones I've read or I'm working on now.

The Read-Aloud Handbook shares studies showing the difference reading aloud to children can make in their lives. Mr. Trelease also lists excellent books that children love. (I LOVE book lists.)

Reading Magic is a great handbook on how to read-aloud, how to bring excitement to the reading adventure.

What to Read When not only has great book lists for appropriate ages, but also what books are "right" for certain occasions, such as going to the doctor, losing a tooth, the first day of school, the death of a grandparent, the birth of a sibling and on and on.

Honey for a Child's Heart is an invaluable resource for families in love with reading. Gladys Hunt offers a Christian perspective on this key building block of family life.

Those who love Honey for a Child's Heart will enjoy Honey for a Woman's Heart. I haven't started it yet but the subtitle tells why I am excited to read it: Growing Your World through Reading Great Books.
When I began researching curriculum for the coming school year, I fell in love with My Father's World curriculum. On researching further, I found that the program incorporates a lot of Charlotte Mason's methods of "the gentle art of learning." A Charlotte Mason Companion has been a treasure to me as I work toward understanding this way of education. Charlotte Mason's methods incorporate a lot of reading aloud from living books, many of which are listed in the books above...especially, Honey for the Child's heart.

For the Children's Sake was one of the first books written during the revival of Charlotte Mason's teaching methods in the last several decades. She offers great insight into practically applying the methods in home education. As a side note, the author is the daughter of Francis and Edith Schaeffer.

Speaking of Edith Schaeffer, I currently have The Hidden Art of Homemaking checked out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jesus Saves--Travis Cottrell

I'm always thrilled to the depths of my soul when we sing this as a choir with the congregation. I can imagine what it will be like to sing it around the throne, every tribe, every nation joined together singing in praise to the One who redeemed us. (You'll need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to pause the playlist box before listening to this. Believe me, it's worth it.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

A big thanks to Monica at Discover Their Gifts
for the Versatile Blogger Award.

I found Monica's blog when I was researching workboxes.
She's also a member of the My Father's World Blog Roll
2010-2011 along with many others of us.

The rules for the award are as follows:
  • Thank the person who gave it to you.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass it on!

7 things about myself (I'm trying to decide whether I should be serious or funny):

  1. I'm thankful for a growing relationship with Christ and His Word coming alive to me every morning.
  2. I'm blessed with a husband who is my best friend and three darling girls, 7, 4 and 2.
  3. I hope there are libraries in Heaven.
  4. I have to eat something sweet after my meal, even if it's only a bite.
  5. I've lost 30 lbs since January...if you round up a couple pounds. I don't diet. I'm just trying to listen to hunger and fulness cues. I hate to exercise, but I do enough to count to get paid for the wellness program at Glen's work.
  6. I love Gibbles Fire potato chips and Pad Thai (not necessarily together), and anything chocolate or cheesecake-y.
  7. I'm learning about Charlote Mason.

Passing it along:

Hope you enjoy these sites as much as I do. I could go on and on, but I have two little ones that want fed immediately if not sooner.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Madeline Kate!

Though she was not like the other girls...

...they thought she was the best.

And through all the years of struggle...

...Neither whispered one regret.

They remembered the words that God had spoken...

And they both broke down and cried.

See to them it just did not matter
Why some things in life take place.
They just knew the joy they felt
When they looked into her face.

They learned sometimes miracles hide.
They said, "God has wrapped our blessing in disguise."
--Bruce Carroll

Monday, July 12, 2010

Updates on Madeline


...acts more like a "big girl" everyday (notice the eye-roll).
(Pictured here in a museum in Mobridge, SD)
Please excuse the horrible spacing issues on this post. I've "fixed it" several times and it keeps going back to run-on paragraphs.
It's been way too long since I've provided an update on Madeline. I'm not even doing that great at putting updates on Facebook. But I'm not putting that kind of pressure on myself. (Ha)
Madeline Kate is turns two this week (Wednesday). Since her ear-tube/Nissen/g-tube/vesicostomy/clubbed-feet-correction surgery last September, she has really taken off in a lot of ways. She continues to receive four, hour-long therapy sessions per week: occupational, physical, developmental and speech. A dietician visits once a month.
Ida works with Madeline in occupational therapy. She works a lot on oral motor skills, i.e. stretches around the mouth, introducing lots of textures, feeding skills, etc. Madeline loves anything salty and will allow about anything near her mouth as long as it's food, so she has become a lot less defensive when Ida works with her. Ida also oversees seating options for Madeline and is working on fine motor skills with lots of tactile fun.
We were very sad to say good-bye to Dex for physical therapy, but he has moved on to focus solely on his own clinic. (He told my girls that I fired him, and the girls still think that happen, even though I would never have wanted him to go, and I've told them that many times.) Amanda has joined our team and is working Madeline hard (and that's good!). She has Madeline use 1/2 - 1 lb weights on her arms and Maddy is finally accepting that well. She does sit ups, balancing on therapy balls, four-point balancing (hands and knees) and on and on. Maddy has made a lot of progress physically. She can roll all over the living room, and is now pulling herself along on her belly using solely upper-body strength. She is such a determined little girl and you can see the immense pride that she has in herself when she accomplishes something new.
Madeline has made such great strides since Ann has come on board with speech therapy. She is vocalizing a lot now (though only "da da" for words) and is signing a ton. Ann uses books, flashcards, finger plays and songs and lots of awesome toys and Maddy really enjoys that session. Maddy can sign mama, daddy, Lisa, monkey, cookie, dog, car, truck, train, fish, all-done, more, milk, eat, play, elephant, book, baby, and lots of other things I can't think off right now.
Erynn continues with Madeline in developmental therapy. She is a big help to me since her little boy (9?) has spina bifida as well. She's my own support group! She works a lot with Maddy on stretches, sit ups, rolling, playing, and lots of other things.
Madeline is up to 19.2 lbs, at long last, and Dr. Escobar (neurodevolopmentalist) is thrilled with her progress in this area. She is down to two g-tube feeds per day, for her PediaSure which she still aspirates on a lot. She eats chunky purees, either State 3 baby food or purees from our meals, yogurt, cottage cheese and on and on. We're planning to use ThickIt soon so that we can try to get off the tube completely. She still has no teeth, though we can feel bumps all over her mouth. Dr. Escobar said this is due to the DiGeorge Syndrome which caused hypocalcemia. We resolved this quickly after birth--by 3-6 months, she was no longer needing calcium supplements. But that was 9 months plus 3-6 months in which she was hypocalcemic, which put her behind in the tooth department.
Dr. Escobar is not completely thrilled that Madeline isn't speaking more than she is, but suggested that within six months or so if she isn't talking yet, he will order more hearing tests and look into other devices for communication, possible an iPad. Who knew? :)
Dr. Escobar also has referred us to Dr. Wilner, a physiatrist or rehabilitation doctor. She will be the one who will oversee any equipment that Madeline will need, such as a stander.
From a pulmonary standpoint, we haven't had much change. Her last sleep study in late winter showed continued apnea without oxygen, but since she's on oxygen continually, she does great at home. We continue with 1/2 liter of flow, and we're working at getting better with daily breathing treatments. I've said this on FB, but if I could change anything for Maddy, it would probably be that she wouldn't have to use oxygen at all, even over healing her paralysis, etc. Would you join with me in praying for this miracle?
So what a long update, eh? She's our little angel and we are very pleased with her overall progress.
And so I must wrap this up. Here's a quick look at how much Maddy's hair has finally grown! Yeah, Mommy experiments a little too much, probably.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Hosted by Peggy Hostetler


Outside my window... rain.

I am thinking...about the quote I just saw: "For Christians, the beginning of the day should not be burdened and haunted by various kinds of concerns that they face during the day. The Lord stands above the new day, for God has made it. All restlessness, all impurity, all worry and anxiety flee before him. Therefore, in the early morning hours of the day, may our many thoughts and our many idle words be silent and may the first word and the first thought belong to the one to whom our whole life belongs " ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I am thankful for...a great physical therapy session for Madeline. She impressed the therapist by scooting clear across the room, pulling herself along with quite the show of upper-body strength.

From the learning rooms...I'm still reading a lot about Charlotte Mason, visiting homeschool sites for inspiration, and thinking about workboxes.

From the kitchen...Just got a call from Kirsten that she's feeding Carli and Olivia. Glen is in Indianapolis, so it's me. Tempted to make something fattening! :)

I am Create? Ok, how 'bout a sense of balance and peace in our home? What? That's not what you mean? Oh, I know...Plans for Carli's b-day party.

I am where tomorrow, for the first time in a long time.

I am reading...For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, daughter of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski to the girls.

I am hoping...that I have what it takes to implement what I've been learning from Charlotte Mason.

I am hearing...Rain and the a/c and Madeline blowing kisses.

Around the house...I need about an hour to whip it back into shape.

One of my favorite things...a cup of coffee during my quiet time with Bible and devotional book (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, which is what we're reading for Bible study).

A few plans for the rest of the week: Finish transcribing a 55-minute sermon, sleep til 8 on Saturday and read on the couch until Carli's party on Saturday (maybe that's a little optimistic), read a big stack of library books to the kids, kiss Glen, cuddle Madeline.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Snow White, Meet Uncle Sam (and praise for Miss Nancy)

Most of you with children in the kids department at Kokomo First Church of the Nazarene know that Nancy Beaver (aka "Miss Nancy") is awesome. She teaches Olivia's 3s and 4s Sunday School class. I've had the privilege of helping her once a month during second service, and let me tell you, it's not a myth. She has pages and pages of notes for one class, and you can tell that she puts much prayer into the planning. She knows how kids think and work and she gets right on their level in bringing a story to life, instilling a love for God's Word, and finding ways to help them create. She teaches them respect for herself and others, to listen quietly and obey quickly.
Sunday was, of course, Independence Day, and one of the crafts for the day was this darling hat. She folded a gazillion newspapers during the week and brought stickers, feathers, foam stars and napkins (the flag folded over the edge) for the kids to decorate with.
And now to the other reason my kids love Miss Nancy. I was helping in Miss Nancy's class this Sunday, but Olivia wasn't in church due to a brief bout something or other. Miss Nancy insisted I take hats home for all three of my girls to assemble, along with coloring sheets and fruit roll-ups, too. They had alot of fun putting it all together.
We love you, Miss Nancy!
Olivia wearing her hat. She loves to dress up, so I guess she was doing double duty being Snow White and Uncle Sam! :)

Nature's Miracles GIVEAWAY

Living Sola Gratia is hosting a giveaway for the Nature's Miracles book series, which includes the following titles, great for read-alouds or science readers:

Once there was a Tadpole
Once there was a Seed
Once there was a Raindrop
Once there was a Caterpillar

Also here is a link for the TOS (The Old Schoolhouse) Crew Blog Walk (week 2) at Living Sola Gratia.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday, Carli Brooke

"Sometimes I wish...

...I could freeze...

...the picture...

...and save it from the funny tricks...

...of time...

...Slipping through my fingers all the time.

Monday, July 5, 2010


I'm making some changes to my blog. Please bear with me the next couple of days while I work on it! New pics coming soon.