Monday, June 14, 2010

A place to rest

Rest (verb) 1. Cessation of work, exertion, or activity 2. Peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of an activity. 3. Sleep or quiet relaxation.
4. The repose of death: eternal rest. 5. Relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance. 6. Mental or emotional tranquility. 7. Termination or absence of motion.

With the exception of number 5, we all need rest. I am thankful for a place to find retreat and rest. Thankful that above all else there are times when we can retreat with our family and hide from the world for awhile. While we have internet here and TV neither of them are major focus' to our stay here.

Today was too cold to really be outside. We started a fire, we played a game, did a little bit of school, we rested.

John Lubbock says, “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time”.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Emily's Interview

The mind of Emily Butler.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

A: Jamaica, because it's tropical and has lots of fruits.

If you won the lottery what would you buy?

A: I'd give some of it to you, some of it to granny, some of it Lauren and buy a whole lot of webkins.

What is the saddest thing that has ever happened to you?

A: Grandma Butler dying.

What is the happiest thing that has ever happened to you?

A: Going to Dollywood.

If you could change one thing, what would you change?

A: Less buildings and more space for animals.

Who is your hero?

A: Abraham Lincoln because he was brave enough to go into war and free the slaves.

What do you think it was like being a slave?

A: Horrible. I heard some slaves got whipped.

Do you think it's easy to forgive people?

A: Sometimes. If they've done something horrible like stole all your money than I'm not sure I could forgive them.

Do you think God would want you to forgive them?

A; Yes.

What is one characteristic to describe God?

A: Strong.

Do you like being 12?

A: Because at the cabin I can drive.

What's one thing you want the world to know about you?

A: That I'm a Christian.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's a girl and her name is Charlotte

So happy for Angie Smith. What an incredible story of God's grace, love and mercy. I hope you will visit her website, Bring the Rain. You can find a direct link on the side of my blog.

The journey she and her husband were asked to walk on is one that no parent should have to experience. Losing a child, not matter how young or how old is an unnatural part of life. In God's plan sometimes I'm afraid but definitely not natural. I can't imagine watching a child of mine die. It would be unbearable and unimaginable.

Please visit her site. Please buy her book, I Will Carry You and most of all- welcome a new life into the world. Charlotte.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

10 Lessons Learned Homeschooling

Our 6th year anniversary for Homeschooling is coming up in August. It has been an adventure in learning not only our ABC's but what works for us as a family. We've made some mistakes along the way and have learned from them. We've also made many right choices and have learned from those too. Here's a list of my top ten lessons from the past 5 years. Can you add to my list?

1. What works for one family does not mean it will work for our family. Every family is unique and every child in that family is unique. This is the beauty of homeschooling. No structured curriculum or one size fits all.
2. In the grand scheme of elementary school the most important thing to learn is HOW to learn not necessarily WHAT. Math will always be math and will always be important-you should learn math and how to read. The rest is butter.
3. Consistency is crucial except when it isn't.
4. All homeschooling families are not created equal.
5. Socialization is not a problem. Well, actually sometimes it is a problem when there's too much of it.
6. Co-ops, learning groups,and other activities should never take the place of core studies at home.
7. There are some things I can not teach well. There is a network that can help without sacrificing our homeschooling goals.
8. May sucks. Christmas Break is essential.
9. Research many products, ask for samples, buy used.
10. The library is our friend.

Weather or not- We're Ready!

This has been one of the most brutal springs I have ever experienced. Rain, snow, hail, freezing temperature and fog has dominated the spring weather this year. It's frustrating to say the least. A few more weeks until we leave for the cabin. Actually 10 more days but who is counting? Trying to get my entire house cleaned by the time we leave. I love coming home to a clean house after being away. Although it usually doesn't last long once the laundry gets piled up into the laundry room and the kids realize they can spread out.

I have 14 more tutoring sessions, 1 more pre-school day, 3 more days of TCA, a end of the school year party, a field trip, a birthday party, 8 more TKD classes and then we are OUT OF HERE. Weather or not - we're ready!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Feeling restless

May is such a hard time for me. The end of the school year rush. Getting things done, attending end of the school year activities, planning for summer, advertising for new business and on it goes.

We are all in desperate need of a long vacation. Sadly, my husband does not have vacation with this contract job so he will only be able to come to the cabin on the weekends. It doesn't seem quite fair to leave him here while we go off into the mountains for almost a month. He would never ask us to stay and would be confused if I insisted. The kids love it there so much and it's a great experience for them. He doesn't mind driving back and forth each weekend and will probably be able to work out working 4-10 hour days to work a couple 3 day weekends in there.

I will enjoy the time completely. A break from running kids place to place and a full load of students. Time with just my kids to do nothing. Even cleaning the bathroom seems un-chore like when it's at the cabin.

For now I will trudge through the next two weeks. Anticipating what this summer will bring: bike rides, fishing, hiking, bears, picnics, smores, bears, Lake City, Sand Dunes, Creede, 4th of July, reading on the porch, bears, watching my kids have the time of their lives and anxiously wait for the weekends when Les can join the fun.

Who knows, maybe next summer he'll have two weeks of vacation again and be able to join us?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Cabin in the Spring

Almost 18 years ago (or is it 17 this year?) Les and I committed to be husband and wife. Beaver Creek, Colorado May 15th 1992 (or 1993). We spent our honeymoon at the cabin in South Fork, Colorado. I remember specifically overpacking. It was a little ridiculous. In our new red Isuzu we started a journey.

I will have to honestly say that this past year has ranked right up there with being one of the more difficult years. Between unemployment, flooded kitchens, medical bills, surgery and a host of other little beauties that you'll just have to scroll backwards through the blog if you want to know.

We're leaving for the cabin tomorrow. Just Les and I (and the dog). I can't remember the last time it was just the two of us there. We've had kids, company, family or friends every other time we've been. It will be just the two of us- no TV, no internet, not distractions. Just us. Just us and the dog.

This time I will not overpack. One tiny suitcase for me, the dog's food and a backpack for Les. A couple of library books. My tennis shoes and a comfy sweater. That's all. Just me and my life partner reconnecting and remembering why we got married in the first place.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Another dead end... a closed door.

Well, we heard back from our pediatrician who spoke with the specialist who works with pediatric neurology and sleep issues. She read Emily's reports and said that she is not concerned about the Carbon Dioxide level. She said they were borderline and not a reason to take out tonsils. She wants to see Emily and we've made an appointment for June 8th.

We are canceling the ENT appointment until after we see her. What to make of this.... we are basically in the same place. The doctor we saw that was concerned about her O2 levels specializes in adults and seniors. He did tell us this when we saw him but we did not know this meant he couldn't accurately diagnose her. Our pediatrician said it was past time for a second opinion and if the doctor's at Children's were not cooperating we were going to move ahead with another doctor. Her name is Dr. Litwin and she's in Denver.

I'm sure she'll want to run her own tests, do medication changes and other things but it looks like we are on the road to the VNS. We've done two sleep studies and they've come back normal. The only other thing left is that Emily's seizures are out of control. We've tried every medicine possible to no avail. It will be good to get a second opinion before we go forward though.

Hard to wait a month to see her but at least we know Emily isn't poisoning herself. Sometimes when it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, you just have to call it a duck.

My daughter has uncontrolled Epilepsy. There will be no miracle "oops, it's just this or that" solution.

Thanks for your prayers. We still need them.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

There is a ghost in my computer

Love that I've been able to reconnect with old friends through Facebook. Every once in awhile I run across someone who stirs my heart so much it's breath taking. People who are in the recesses of my mind and really matter to my heart. Because of time, because of distance, because of things- relationships have ended.

I'm not sure what to do with this upstirring of emotion.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Homeschool 2009-2010

This has been a GREAT! school year for us. Lots of our goals accomplished but still many more to be realized. The beauty of homeschool is that those goals can carry over from year to year and aren't grade level specific. Our goals were simple this school year: Learn, Give and Grow. Lauren is off the charts. I'm pretty sure she's on a great academic road for learning and achieving her goals and God's assignment for her life. Next year is even more exciting and she's asking for even more academic challenge. Very exciting.

Jackson is on his way to Kindergarten. I'm so glad we waited to send him. He's so much more ready for learning in a classroom setting than last year. Not sure how long he'll go to Public School before we'll bring him home. In my mind, 3rd grade will be his first year for homeschool but again, the beauty is flexibility. I love that I have choices.

Emily is doing well. Despite all of her challenges she's learning and growing. I'm looking forward to next year and spending some more one on one time with her. We have boundaries determined for us when it comes to school. Those boundaries set by Epilepsy. When she is in seizure mode there is no going forward. Lots of read aloud books. I look forward to those one on one times next year when Jackson will be learning and challenged at TCA.

The next school year is really shaping up for my children. Speech for both the girls, co-op for Emily, College Pathways for Lauren, Kindergarten, writing club, volunteering, the opportunities are endless.

Thought I'd list out our curriculum for next year: More to get it on paper than because I really think you care....

Math U See
History Odyssey- Middle Ages
Excellence in Writing
One Year Adventure Novel-Literature
Science- TCA/Co-op
Barton Spelling
Bible- Kay Arthur

Still undecided about Literature for Emily. Thinking of Son-light for her since they have a ton of read-alouds.

We have definitely decided on Tapestry of Grace for our main curriculum through High School. For Lauren she'll take Math, Science and an elective at College Pathways through High School. It feels good to have direction. To see the benefits and successes of this crazy idea of homeschool actually working.