I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Random acts of nothing

I have been trying to do posts all week but blogger isn't letting me post pictures. It just keeps giving me errors. Words will have to make do for me I suppose.

We are getting ready for a beach trip for ten days. We have never had that much time away at once so we are pretty excited. (Beware internet thieves. We have a house sitter so rest assured our canned green beans and homeschooling supplies will be well protected. Such a pampered life we lead, I know.)

Basketball season for Lil is coming to a close. It has been a fantastic season for her and a God send since last year was pretty awful. Last year her coach rarely showed up and then screamed at the girls from the sidelines because they weren't doing anything she hadn't taught them. You know, totally fair. Anyway, this year, the two young ladies who have been coaching have impressed us. They have been reliable and fun and most of all have earned the respect of all of the girls on their team. They are undefeated so far with only one game to go. "LNA, uh!" (Team cheer, Lil knows what I mean!)

We are coming out of going through a round of sickness though I am happy to say it seemed rather mild and only half got the colds and half the upset stomachs. Containment is key to my sanity. That and a cold Diet Shasta.

I have been doing lots of "cook ahead" foods for our trip. The less cooking I have to do there the better. Also, cooking ahead means less ingredients that I have to pack. The kids have also been working ahead. They have worked very hard so that they can have this time away off from school. We will only take our language arts and read-a-louds with us. I am proud of them for having a goal and working to achieve it.

So that's it in a nutshell. Lots of living going on around here. Hopefully I can figure out what's going on with my pictures so I can post about our recent trip to the Fish Hatchery.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday...sweet Thursday

Thank goodness it is Thursday. The first three weekdays are very busy this time of year. Basketball takes up all three nights and Awana is Wednesday as well. I get very excited about Thursdays becasuse we have nothing planned and dinner can be at a normal time. We have been sick around here and while the kids are all on the mend it seems that it's my turn. The cold has taken over and I am now laying low. The kids are working on their basics and helping me put away all of the laundry we did yesterday between lessons.

A lot of motherhood is taking care of everyone else and I always feel like I need to not get sick. Steve needs to work, kids need to be schooled and fed and the house needs to be kept up. Who will do it if I am sick in bed? My kids and husband never cease to amaze me, though. Bub brought tears to my eyes this morning with a sweet gesture. He warmed up his ricebag, placed it my shoulders and said, "I thought you might like to use this." Oh, it felt so good on this achy body. Little gestures go a long way in making someone feel cared for. It really doesn't take very much.

I am off to the couch now to rest and correct math papers. I need to be well and rested up for girls day on Saturday. Shopping at the outlets with my mom and sisters and I can't wait!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'd like to kick asthma to the curb

Last night just as I was drifting off to sleep I heard it. That sound. The one that makes me brace myself. That deep bark cough and the wheeze that follows. It was coming from the room next door and it can only mean one thing. Lij can't breathe.

By the time I got to his room and turned on the light he was already throwing off the covers and in a panic and was shaking from the adrenaline already. The last year as he has gotten older and more aware the shakes have come making calming him down ever harder. The more he panics the harder it is to breathe.

I took him by the hand and we rushed back to my bathroom to get the nebulizer and supplies. He was in more distress than normal so we ran downstairs to run the machine in the family room away from everyone hoping they would all keep sleeping.

The albuterol wasn't doing the trick as well as it normally does. He looked up at me part of the way through the medicine and said, "Oh, I hate it when this happens." Me too, buddy. Me too.

After breathing in the medicine, he was still having difficulty. We grabbed his slippers and blanket and I decided to drive him over to hospital. The night air helps a lot and I figured if he was better when we got there we would just come home. But if not, we would be close to help if we needed it. In a panic I left without telling Steve hoping he was still asleep.

When we got there I had him climb out of his seat and come sit up with me. He was still struggling some though his nail beds were pink and so were his lips so I knew he was getting enough oxygen. I moved my seat back, wrapped him in his blanket and we snuggled while we both prayed. It's pretty moving listening to a five year thank God that he can breathe again and asking for healing.

His breathing started to return to normal as he relaxed. He still had the wheezy, barky sound some but was no longer in distress and just wanted to sleep. Just as we left the hospital parking lot Steve called to check on him and see where we were at. This has happened before and we have driven around so he had an idea but I filled him in on the way home. It was nice to be greeted by him when we got home. It's a tad stressful watching your child struggle for every breath and be helpless to do anything and seeing Steve was very comforting.

One side affect of the albuterol, however, is it makes your heart race. Once the meds fully kick in our little boy gets a bit of a second wind. He starts to talk really loud and move like crazy. We knew it would take a bit for him to settle so Steve went back to bed and I stayed downstairs with Lij and watched old Woody Woodpecker cartoons while the meds wore off. Fortunately for me it didn't take long for him to get tired. I'm not a big cartoon fan but at that point I was willing to give him just about anything he wanted.

I am grateful we were able to manage the attack without intervention but I really wish I could kick asthma to the curb and yell "And stay out!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010


There is so much "stuff" going on these days. Locally and globally. It can get so overwhelming at times. Where do I give my attention, where I can make the most difference?

My immediate concern is of course my family. We are doing well but there is always training to be done, papers to correct, rooms to clean and laundry to fold. All of that is in a fairly natural rhythym. But there are some other situations that we are closely involved with that make the load heavier.

Add to that the things going on in the rest of the country and beyond and it makes my "stuff" look so trivial. But these situations really aren't trivial, they are are in my everyday and are in my sphere of influence so I can't ignore them as much as I would like to. It does put them in perspective, though.

Sorry to be so cryptic. We are making some decisions, nothing earth shattering. But making them involves me saying I can't do something. And in that decision is wrapped a bright shiny package of failure. I realize saying no doesn't mean I have failed, I know that in my head, anyway. But I am a people pleaser so saying no for me is hard. Really hard.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A boy and his fort

I school this guy but he is on the young side so he also has some free time during school.

He loves building forts,

complete with important items as decorations.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fitting it all in

Things can get little hectic around here due to the fact that I have five children in four grades. Making sure that I am touching on all subjects can be a challenge at times. I am a very electic teacher. I love the methods of Charlotte Mason and her living book ways. I love the structure that the classical approach affords us. But I also love how unschooling lets the students drive their learning from their passions. Today I want to share how we mix a bit of the living books with classical. So in our house here is one way we get it all in.

Two to three days per week, when we have finished our 3 R's, I read from our current read aloud. Right now it's a book about a missionary named Jim Elliott. He went to Ecuador (yes Dad I finally remember you went there, ha!) to minister to the native people there. We have a dozen books on other countries and knowing we were reading about Jim in Ecuador, I pulled that book out. We talked about all the seven continents as well as continental drift, practiced our cardinal and intermediate directions and traced Jim's route on the ship from Oregon to South America. Also, on this page it has a picture of the Ecuadorian flag.

As I read from our story, all five children made their own Ecuador flags.

This was a great way to throw some art into the mix. Before I began to read, I showed them how they should make the outside shape of the flag but then start from the center and work our way out to get the dimensions correct.

Each of the five flags were very different depending on the skill level of each of the kids.

However, they all had the main elements, such as color and placement, making them all look like a flag from Ecuador. I love doing the extras this way. It ties in several subjects and helps what we have learned to "stick".

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pretending it's summer

We've been having a little bit of cabin fever around here so we decided to pretend it was summer.

There is not much better than hanging out getting warm by the fire roasting hot dogs to chase the winter blues away.

We've done it twice in the last 10 days and it's been great.

Those cute smiles have returned,

spirits have been lifted,

and a few more memories have been made.