Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Charlotte Mason

Happy Birthday, Charlotte Mason!


Charlotte Mason was born January 1, 1842 in Bangor, England.
Happy Birthday, Miss Mason!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

As Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor, put in to words exactly what I am feeling right now when she said, "I need a fresh start. I mean, I really need a fresh start. I have so much I want to do and share with my children and yet lack either the time or motivation or energy to do it all."  I have especially found this to be true since I found out what has been wrong with me and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  The lack of energy is one of my biggest struggles!  Many nights, I sleep "okay," and many other nights, usually for days in a row, I will sleep "miserably" at best.  When I sleep miserable, getting up by 7:30 is a true struggle for me.  It is something I have to force, and I mean literally force, myself to do. But to be a good example to my children, I make myself.  Oh I desire to wake up full of energy like I used to.  I used to be, and had always been, a morning person.  From the time I was a kid, and had to wake up my mom, brother and sister, I used to go in and start saying, "Rise & Shine!  Give God the Glory!"  Ask my older kids, they were less than thrilled to hear me come in in the morning saying this, much like my brother and sister were years back.  Now while I do still say that some mornings to my younger children who are still in the nest, I am not so cheerful and enthusiastic as I used to be.  When I first wake up, I am most always stiff and sore, and at first walking anywhere in the morning is painful, especially walking down the stairs to the main floor!!

So, what do I need more than a fresh start for this upcoming school semester in this new 2011 year?  I need fresh help!!!  And after reminding myself who this fresh help comes from, I am reminded that it comes from the Lord Jesus Himself.  

"I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me." Psalm 57:2

And another verse that says, "Be confident of this very thing: that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

I need the excitement and enthusiasm that I remember having had in the past.  This is our 18th year of home schooling.  18 years!  Home schooling in IA has only been legal for I believe 20 or 21 years now.  When we first felt led to home homeschool our children, it was new and very people heard of it, and even fewer dared to actually admit that they were doing it!  Back then, it was so new, and different.  Now, it is as common as flowers blooming in the spring.  I want and need that excitement again!  I want and need that enthusiasm and energy again!   Please Lord, I pray and ask YOU to give me that back again.  This comes from the bottom of my heart Lord, from the depths of my soul.  Please, Lord, perform all these things for me.

Christmas 2010

 We had a blessed Christmas this year, though only 7 of our 9 children could be here.  That part is always a little hard for me because I love when all our children and grandbabies can be all together (though little Samuel must look down from Heaven.)  Christmas Eve evening started off with spending a very enjoyable evening with Perry's family, our soon-to-be in laws.  Then Christmas morning, Perry got here at 6:45 AM, and we all got up and started opening presents at about 8:00.  It was a fun time for all, and Doug had gotten everyone, including Ashley & Perry, their own soft dart guns, and they battled in my kitchen while I looked on and the turkey was cooking away in the oven.  At about 12:45, our older daughters and their families came over, and we had our traditional brunch mix of summer sausages, different flavored cheeses, crackers, milk and egg nog.  This is a tradition that my siblings and I did with my father while we were growing up, and we have always done and still do with our children, and now grandchildren.  Later the kids all went outside to play in the snow, and then we opened presents all together.  The rest of the afternoon was filled with laughter, eating, snacking at will, and enjoying our family time together. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A New Cage For Emmi

We finally were able to get Emmi, our Marmoset monkey, a bigger cage.  She is fully grown now and I think she will be able to use this one for years to come.  It is "technically" a floor model for a ferret, but we think it will be perfect for Emmi, and much less expensive than the other ones we were previously looking at.  Plus, it's on wheels so we can roll her around from room to room easily.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Surgery for Cory

Well this morning we got up in plenty of time to take our 13-year-old to the hospital so he could have his tonsils & adenoids taken out, and tubes put in his ears.  On the way to the hospital, we blew out a front tire, totally unexpectedly.  Well to make matters worse, the tire had a hole and was flat to the rim, and yes, we had a spare tire, but have not had this van but for a few months and had never needed to access the spare tire before.  Well wouldn't you know it, but the piece to get the spare off was stripped, and the tire couldn't be taken out.  My husband worked on it for about 45 minutes.  We called, and called, and called one of our older daughters who was at home with our younger children, but she had her phone sound to "off," so needless to say, I ended up calling my friend (who lives 20 minutes from us) who drove over to our house to wake her up.  About the time my friend was heading to my house, a state trooper pulled up behind us and offered to help out.  We explained that our son was to be going in for surgery, and that we were to be there by 9:00.  It was now 10 minutes till 9.  Well he offered us a ride and we made it in time, PTL!  Then he went back with my husband to our van to stay with him till help could arrive.  My husband got to the hospital before out son went in to surgery.  The surgery got started later than expected, and took twice as long as expected because his adenoids were so badly swollen and infected that it took much longer to remove them, and he had issues with bleeding (you know how that is for us redheads), so his ENT had had to cauterize a lot more than she had initially planned to.  We finally arrived back home at 5:00 tonight.  It has been a long day and tonight, my poor son is in so much pain.  He has ear drops, medicine for nausea, nose spray, antibiotics and Tylenol w/Codeine.  He has a heating pad on the back of his neck, and an ice pack on his throat.  We have to be extra cautious about him starting to bleed for the next 10 - 12 days and have 4 emergency numbers to get a hold of the doctor on if need be.  We pray that this will make a world of improvement to him where his reading and hearing are concerned!

(12/30/2010) - Cory is much better, can hear so much
better now (the TV used to have to be at a level of 50,
and now he can hear it at 24), plus his sense of smell
is so much better that he can smell his dad's yucky
cigarettes sitting in the ashtray in the basement!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Life With Fibromyagia

This is something that I feel deserves to be repeated, though I know I have put it on here once before. It speaks volumes to what I wish people could understand.  I am not just trying to "be lazy" or am "just getting old."  To those of us who have this, it is very real to us! 

Having chronic pain means many things change.

I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion, and if you visit, sometimes I probably don't seem like much fun to be with, but I'm still me-- stuck inside this body. I still care about schooling my kids, about my family, my friends, and most of the time - I'd still like to hear you talk about yours, too.

When you've got the flu, you probably feel miserable with it, but I've been sick for over a year with this but it wan't diagnosed yet. I can't be miserable all the time. In fact, I work hard at not being miserable. So, if you're talking to me and I sound happy, it means I'm happy. That's all. It doesn't mean that I'm not in a lot of pain, or extremely tired, or that I'm getting better, or any of those things. I am merely coping. I am sounding happy and trying to look normal. If you want to comment on that, you're welcome.

Being able to stand up for ten minutes doesn't necessarily mean that I can stand up for twenty minutes, or an hour. Just because I managed to stand up for thirty minutes yesterday doesn't mean that I can do the same today. I never know from day to day, how I am going to feel when I wake up. In most cases, I never know from minute to minute. That is one of the hardest and most frustrating components of chronic pain.

Chronic pain is variable. It's quite possible (for many, it's common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I'll have trouble getting to the next room. In a similar vein, I may need to cancel a previous commitment at the last minute. If this happens, please do not take it personally. If you are able, please try to always remember how very lucky you are--to be physically able to do all of the things that you can do.

"Getting out and doing things" does not make me feel better, and can often make me seriously worse. You don't know what I go through or how I suffer in my own private time. Sometimes participating in a single activity for a short or a long period of time can cause more damage and physical pain than you could ever imagine. Not to mention the recovery time, which can be intense. You can't always read it on my face or in my body language. Also, chronic pain may cause secondary depression (wouldn't you get depressed and down if you were hurting constantly for months or years?), but it is not created by depression.

If I say I have to sit down/lie down/stay in bed/or take these pills now, that probably means that I do have to do it right now - it can't be put off or forgotten just because I'm somewhere, or am right in the middle of doing something. Chronic pain does not forgive, nor does it wait for anyone.

If you want to suggest a cure to me, please don't, except my the Lord's complete healing. In all likelihood, if you've heard of it or tried it, so have I.  It also includes failure, which in and of itself can make me feel even lower. If there were something that cured, or even helped people with my form of chronic pain, then we'd know about it. There is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with chronic pain. If something worked, we would KNOW. It's definitely not for lack of trying. If, after reading this, you still feel the need to suggest a cure, then so be it. I may take what you said and discuss it with my doctor.

If I seem touchy, it's probably because I am. It's really not how I try to be!!  As a matter of fact, I try very hard to be normal. I hope you will try to understand. I have been, and am still, going through a lot. Chronic pain is hard for you to understand unless you have had it. It wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. It is exhausting and exasperating. Almost all the time, I know that I am doing my best to cope with this, and live my life to the best of my ability. I ask you to bear with me, and accept me as I am. I know that you cannot literally understand my situation unless you have been in my shoes, but as much as is possible, I am asking you to try to be understanding in general.

In many ways I depend on you - people who are not sick. I need you to visit me when I am too sick to go out... Sometimes I need you help me with the shopping, helping me cook or clean something for me. I may need you to take me to the doctor, or to the store. You are my link to the normalcy of life. You can help me to keep in touch with the parts of life that I miss and fully intend to undertake again, just as soon as I am able.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ashley & Perry's Engagement Pictures

 The very much in love, and happy couple plan to get married this coming July. We are very blessed and so excited for them!  They even have a house out in the country that will be available in January, and it's only about 15 minutes from both families! :+)