Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25, 2011

My mom had to spend a couple of days in the hospital and she is doing much better now.  Her lower extremities were very swollen and it was causing her to stumble and fall a lot, which is very dangerous for her as she takes anti-clotting medication.  They were able to treat her and get her swelling down very quickly.  They also did a lot of tests on her heart.  They did not find anything significant, although her test results will go back to her cardiologist so he can compare them to the tests he did this past summer and see if there are any significant changes.  I think we all learned a lot through this whole experience (preventative) though and hopefully my mom will not be falling every day now that the swelling has gone down.
I am very tired and sleepy as I spent the past couple of days at the hospital with mom.  Both mornings I woke up early (3:30 and 4:00 am) so I could get to the hospital early and I didn't come home until late.  My sister's daughter stayed with the boys and even taught them their lessons those two days.  She made cookies with them and cooked for the boys and the husband.  She was really an answered prayer, as my sister had to work and my mom really needed me to be with her.  The husband was actually off those days but it was still so wonderful to have my niece to help out at home.

Today the husband was back at work and it was just me and the boys.  We took it easy and just had a fun, relaxing day together.  It has been quite some time since I have been away for any length of time and they were so happy to have me home.  They were very cuddly and loving and sweet and I could have just eaten them up!  I missed them bunches too and it made me realize that it would probably be beneficial for me to be away a day/night or two once or twice a year.  It is good for me and for them.  It makes us all appreciate each other more.  I definitely need to plan another trip to a homeschool conference in the spring.  I didn't go to one this past year because of building the house and moving

Tomorrow we are having our Thanksgiving at my sister's house.  We delayed our Thanksgiving celebration because my sister had to work and it turned out to be a good decision because mom was in the hospital.  I am looking forward to tomorrow though.  It will be nice to spend time with the family and visit with everyone.

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

Well, I noticed it has been a while since I have posted so I thought I would get a quick one in now.  Things here have been quite busy.  We have pushed forward with our schooling and we are also getting over colds.  We are mostly over them now, just in time for Thanksgiving (Yay!).

School is going pretty well these days.  We are now starting our school day off with read-aloud time.  We are currently reading two books from the Mother West Wind series.  One is the Where book and the other is the Granny Fox book.  We are almost finished with them and have really enjoyed both books.

After reading about three chapters of our book, we read from Leading Little Ones to God.  We are also going through a booklet from our church children's program that has scripture reading and memorization and also some other related stories.  We just recently started this and I think we're really going to enjoy it.

Next, we do our memory work and after that we do phonics.  We are actually doing four phonics lessons in one sitting on most days now.  Now that the boys are reading so well, we have stepped up the pace a bit.  We do two review lessons and then we do two new lessons.

After phonics we move to the kitchen island to do math.  Sometimes they sit while I teach something using the chalkboard.  Other times I sit in the middle with a son on each side of me while we work through problems.  After math we do reading and penmanship.  One of them works on his writing while the other one reads to me and then they trade places.

It is currently taking us about 2 hours to go through everything.  I am contemplating when to start adding other subjects and time, ramping up slowly towards more of a 1st grade work load.  I think I will probably start adding other subjects after the new year, but I have not made a final decision yet and I still have some things to purchase.  We will eventually be adding history, geography, literature, grammar, writing composition, science and art....I think that's it.  It sounds like a lot but it will all be at a very age appropriate level.  Grammar and writing composition start out very slow and gentle and take very little time for 1st graders.  I will wait to add that in until we are finished with phonics, which would be sometime in the spring (last time I checked).  The two subjects together would take less than we currently spend with phonics so that won't be a problem.  I still have to work out a schedule and figure out where we might be able to multi-task.

Anyway, that's school.  Right now, all of our subjects are coming along quite nicely and it is very rewarding to see the results.

In other news, I have to be quick now because I am getting sleepy.  My mom has been falling a lot lately so we are trying to figure what is making her do this.  She is fortunate that she has not broken something already.  Thankfully we have a very good RN and a very good doctor in the family to help.  I hope we get to the bottom of it soon because this falling thing is very scary.

The weather here is finally getting cool enough to require jackets on some days, such as today.  Dancer has been begging to go outside every day but I'm not feeling to badly about it because he was just so so skinny when we finally got him back home again.  Little Tinkerbell is not so little anymore.  She is growing up quickly but she still acts ALL kitten, including the continued attacks on poor Dancer.  She is relentless.

I  got a new toy the other day.  I bought a Kindle Fire and it is really great, so far.  I just need a few more hours in my day though.  There is just not enough time to do everything I want to do.  And, on that note, I must turn in for the night.  I have been staying up too late and I'm running on empty.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011

We were having dinner this evening and I received a phone call from a lady saying she thought they had our cat.  She said she knew he was a special kind of cat because of his coloring and markings.  She and her husband found Dancer in their garage.  I didn't get the whole story but they had also seen him outside, swatting the neighbor's dog, when the dog got too close and nosy for comfort.  She had asked a couple of neighbors if they were missing a cat and the second one she asked told her about my signs.  Her husband went out to get the phone number off of the sign and he said when he saw Dancer's picture, he knew that was the cat.

I'm not sure how long he was in their garage or when they found him.  He sure is thin though and he went straight for his food dish when he came in the house.  I gave him some special treats too.  Now he is curled up asleep in his basket next to my bed.

I am so happy and thankful to have him home.  Thank you all so much for praying for him.  I truly do appreciate it.  I had been so sad over the past few days, wondering what had happened to him.  It is such a relief to have him home safe.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

November 8, 2011

If you are so inclined, please pray for my old friend/cat Dancer.  We have not seen him since Sunday afternoon around 2:30pm.  I have put up signs around our neighborhood, posted flyers at the local shelter, on facebook and twitter and at many of the vets offices around here.

We have been having lots of hard rain and thunderstorms for the past couple of days so I am hopeful that someone might have taken him in, will see our signs and call us.

He is really the sweetest cat I have ever known.  However, he has always, always wanted to go outside.  It was his hearts desire.  He was an escape artist and would constantly watch for opportunities to catch people coming in and out of doors unawares.  Over the years, he escaped more times than I could count.

He loved going out into our garage and exploring out there and it was a place where he could get some respite from the attack kitten.  About a week ago I let him go out in the garage, not realizing the husband had left the side door to the backyard open.  About 3 hours later we realized he was outside somewhere so I quickly put on my shoes and started for the back porch to go out and look for him.  He was sitting on the back patio, just outside the back porch door, waiting to come in.  He had been exploring the back yard for all that time, I guess.  After that experience, he was crying and howling all the time to go outside.  He was constantly waking me up at night and I even had to put him in the laundry room one night.  Finally, I decided that maybe we should start letting him go out.  After all, he is almost 14 years old and he has been wanting to go out all his life.  We live in a pretty low traffic area now, with lots of open areas (pastures, fields and forests) so it seemed like a relatively safe environment for him to be out.

When I was growing up, all of our cats were indoor/outdoor cats.  They came and went as they pleased.  They did not have nearly as long lives as Dancer and Zoe have had but they lived for quite a while.

The first time I let him out, he stayed in the back yard for a couple of hours.  The boys were playing out there most of that time and they kept going over to him and petting him.  He was so happy.  He was walking around with his tail straight up in the air, smelling everything and eating grass.

The next time he went out, he was gone for about 4 hours or so.  He spent some of that time in the back yard and then was off out of sight for the rest of it.  When he returned, he came to the front door so I felt pretty sure that he knew where home was.

Then on Sunday after church he went out.  This time he was wearing a collar because I wanted to make sure people knew he had a home.  He never returned.  It stormed really badly that night and has done so off and on since then.  I am so heart broken.  I feel so guilty now for letting him go out at all....but then I remember how happy he was too.  So I feel guilty for letting him out and I felt selfish for keeping him in.  Either way, I am heart broken and I miss him so much.  Please pray for him, if you are so inclined.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

November 5, 2011

Well this was a first for me!  I was just sitting here, doing some on-line reading while watching an old episode of Friends.  Suddenly, I heard a low rumbling noise that seemed to get louder and louder and then the house started trembling and then it was really vibrating!  I reached over and woke up the sleeping husband and we were both just shocked.  My heart was really beating fast.

This morning I had read that Oklahoma had had 5 or 6 earthquakes starting around 2:00 am-ish and going until mid-morning.  The biggest one was the first one and it was around a 4.2.  It will be interesting to see how big the one we just had was.  Edited to add that it was a 5.6 earthquake!

What a really strange experience.....not something you really expect in Oklahoma!