Friday, October 29, 2010

In case you can't tell, Madeline is thrilled to be mobile--all over the house, she is!
I didn't realize until today that October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Erin at Tear & Mend so sweetly reminded us of all the many families out there who face a seemingly devastating diagnosis. One in a thousand (or so) babies are diagnosed with SB, and approximately half of those babies are aborted before their parents have the chance to realize that these babies are WORTH IT (as Erin said).
Being decidedly pro-life, Glen and I never considered or wanted to end my pregnancy. However, I do remember in that first rough day thinking that I could understand a little more why some mama's might consider it. It's terrifying to wonder what extreme difficulties your little one might go through. Today I ran across a blog written by a mother who struggled intensely with her decision. This was one of the most tear-jerking and eye-opening posts I've come across, and it hits so close to home, knowing the uncertainties that come with a spina bifida diagnosis. Also addressed are the varying reactions she received in response to her honesty and vulnerability. If you have the chance, stop by and celebrate her decision of life. Then continue to pray for peace for her and her family as she walks through the weeks and years ahead.
Today I can't imagine my life without Madeline, special needs and all. I wrote last year, "What did I do to deserve this?" Through ups and downs, challenges and victories, one smiley and determined little girl brings joy to our home every day, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Am I the only one?

I seriously need your feedback on the following question:

Am I the only homeschool mom that occasionally has to take the day off just to catch up on housework after a bizarre week? I hate to not appear perfect here (heehee) but I seriously couldn't take it one more moment. I knew I'd never have time to get done what needs done if we didn't take off. Kokomo is on fall break anyway, but we had decided not to take off since we didn't count all of our vacation as educational.

Still to go:
  • the rest of the dishes
  • mop the kitchen floor
  • laundry
  • kids' room
  • finally finish sorting through the fall/winter clothes and...
  • get those boxes out of the house
  • possibly make cookies for the campaign bus
  • go to a campaign rally
  • exercise
  • transcribe a sermon due back tomorrow
  • figure out the rest of school this week...

A mother's work and all that, but I have three Excedrin in me now to cover pain from wisdom tooth extraction on Tuesday, so I have lots of caffeine energy! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trip to the apple orchard

At the end of September, Olivia and her preschool friends went on a fieldtrip to a family-run apple orchard. We'd planned to all go along, but Carli ended up sick, so I left her and Madeline with Glen. I love spending one-on-one time with each girl.

Kissable, huggable, loveable, unbelievable.

Olivia and her teacher.

I took pics of this little guy for his mother, and I couldn't resist putting one up here. One of Olivia's favorite people! :)

I could just eat her up...figuratively speaking, of course!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Of Sign Language, Sippy Cups, and Sufi (OK! So my alliterative skills aren't as good as my Daddy's!)

Madeline Kate is making great progress with her communication skills, thanks in no small part to her incredible speech therapist, Ann, as well as her other therapists and sisters who speak non-stop to her. In the past week, she's been putting two words together using sign language--"Please cup" and "More please." She's also starting to answer "yes" or "no" appropriately. I love that she can get across her desires a little more.
In the feeding-tube arena: We're almost done with it! Madeline finally has 5 or 6 teeth and she can handle almost any table food from soft to semi-firm. She gets most of her fluids through the sippy cup with Thick-It mixed in to thicken it to a consistency she won't aspirate on. We use the tube only for her medicines and water now, and occasionally to get an extra feeding done if we don't want to wake her.
Tomorrow Madeline will visit Dr. Sufi in Indianapolis. Dr. Sufi is her new pulmonologist, and I'm really anxious to see if we can find some answers for her continued need of oxygen. If it's due to the DiGeorge Syndrome? If so, will she outgrow her O2 requirements? Will the kyphosis (sever spine curvature) correction in the spring help her breathing at all? So many questions, and only One Great Physician who has all the answers. We beg for your prayers, that the doctors will have wisdom in dealing with her situation, but more importantly, that His will will be done in her life for the primary purpose of bringing glory to Him.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

MFW Adventures, Weeks 7 & 8

Let's take a poll right now and see how many people think that this is a downward trend? I started out trying to get the weekly update in by the weekend of, and now has turned into every two weeks. Thank you to all my lovely readers who show such patience! :)

Besides keeping up with the three R's (or technically, the R,WR,AR)...

During the past two weeks, our Bible lessons taught about Jesus, the Bread of Life. We started off the week with homemade English-Muffin Bread (mmmm), and through the weeks, we tied in yeast experiments, dough making, and a fun book from our book basket.

Glen's boss sent home a huge bag of books home for the girls. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this book, so perfect for our study.

Mixing up the yeast/water/sugar combination for experiment

...which is poured into a bottle and capped with a balloon.

The yeast feeds on the sugar, producing carbon dioxide. The balloon expands.
Olivia documents the experiment
Cute, huh?Carli's narration of the experiment (She dictated it to me, but drew the pics herself).
Carli joins the littles for an afternoon nap, making mama very jealous!
In history, we studied the colonists in New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) and the pioneers in Michigan. Besides enjoying the Pioneers and Patriots book, we read several books from our book basket (forgot to take a picture). One of the favorite parts of our day is always the read-aloud, related to history. Carli begs to keep going. Our current read-aloud is The Courage of Sarah Noble, based on the true story of a little girl who accompanied her father to the wilderness of Connecticut in the 1700s.
We also made butter (in pajama bottoms with a sweatshirt that doesn't match, evidently)!
Lots of shaking...
...turns whipping cream into butter in about 15 minutes.
I chose Amelia Bedilia for Carli's reader this week. She laughed herself silly, as you can see.

Ooops, these should have been up further, but here's Carli making homemade modeling dough. The intention was to bake her creation and then paint it, but evidently Daddy didn't get the memo. After it was out of the oven, he picked it up, asking, "What's this?" while it fell apart in his hands. Ah well, she had fun making it.
Comparison dictated by Carli

Just for fun...One day we ran over to the Pointy Pencil to pick up some primary-lined paper, and they had a craft going on for Oktoberfest.
For a nature walk this week, I had Carli draw in her nature journal one item and take my camera (!) and take pictures of something that made her think of fall. Her pics included...
...fading hydrangeas...

...leaves starting to turn...

...the neighbor's bush changing color...
...herself in the grass (huh??)...
...the clear blue sky....

Our weeks were especially busy with extra activities. We took Kirsten to Indianapolis Museum of Art (more on that in another post),

...visited an apple orchard with Olivia's preschool (pics coming soon)...

...trekked clear over to Flora with our homeschool group to take in an Amish sawmill and honey farm...
...celebrated National Reading Day with books I'd saved back from my Usborne party (one for each girl..they were beyond thrilled and we had fun reading them aloud together).
Although I didn't get pictures, the girls also spent two nights with Grandma and attended Old-Fashioned Days at their aunties' school, and on Sunday we took part in a Life Chain to support the rights of unborn babies.