Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful Leaves

E's leaves:
My Family
Being able to pray and worship Jesus
Crunchy food
The Bible
The New Baby
The Fruit of the Spirit
My Imagination
The Right to Vote
A good education
A free country
Mommy and Daddy
The ability to play the piano
A soccer team
Jesus Died for me

R.'s Leaves:
Jesus and God
My brothers and sisters
Mommy and Daddy
The New baby
Soccer being fun

A.'s Leaves:
My brothers and sisters
The New Baby
The Day
The Bible
The New House
Mommy and Daddy
Our home

In the past we've done a Thanksgiving Tree and every night after dinner the kids would write on a fall leaf (paper ;-) ) something they were thankful for.  We'd then hang it on the tree.  We'd start the first of Nov. and by Thanksgiving, our tree was bursting w/ fall color and thanks. 

This year, I didn't get the tree up due to a variety of reasons, running here and there, sick kids, my tiredness from being pregnant, basically, the general busyness of life.  The kids would ask and I would think "Oh, I've got to do that" but never did "that". :-( 

I had an idea last night of how we could still think about what we're thankful for and display our thanks, w/ only a few days before Thanksgiving.  I still had some fall leaves from past years so I had the girls (the boys were playing outside) write on the leaves what they are thankful for, just like we did in the past, just write them all at once. :D  I then took their leaves and strung them on gold thread, that we had on hand.  I hung them from our entry window, where on this overcast day, they look quite appropriate.

As we prepare to spend time with family and friends, what are you most thankful for?  Today, I'm thankful for my beautiful family.  Thank you Lord for entrusting them to me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friendship Friday

I did this once, several months back and never got around to doing it again.   Mainly because most of the blogs were inactive and then I lost my "linked friends". LOL

I thought I'd give it another try and see how long I can keep it going. 

I often visit other people's blogs but don't leave a comment.  My goal with my Friendship Friday is to visit 4 blogs, leave comments and then share those blogs here with you all.

My first blog I visited today is from someone I know in real life!  Kim and I met years ago when her oldest, now 9, was just a wee little baby.  I have a picture of them in my backyard from a Welcome Tea I hosted, only I won't post the picture because I don't think Kim would like it.  It wasn't taken of them, but of the general setting.  The picture consists of her husbands profile, a glimpse of the little one and Kim's backside.  LOL  Kim's latest entry is videos of her kids in their tae kwon do tournament.  You should go check it out, they did a great job!  Love to Learn

The next blog I visited was Candace at His Mercy is New.  Candace is one of the many women I've "met" through the Five in a Row boards.  Her blog is full of things they do throughout their school day as well as things on her heart.  She has a beautiful family. 

I next journeyed over to my pal Kristina's blog at, My Family Life Rocks.  We met on the FIAR boards as well, and through this last year I've gotten to know Kristina better.  She is a beautiful woman, inside and out, with a beautiful family.  Kristina is a runner and inspires me with her dedication and talent. (I've never been a distant runner, only a sprinter ;-) ).  Kristina blogs about all sorts of stuff, cute pictures of her kids to video's of her pastors sermons.

I then journeyed over to Lynn at A Mother's Journal, and what a journey it was.  Lynn's blog is a wonderful peaceful oasis in the busy wide world web.  She loves nature and has oodles of pictures of her gardens and their nature projects.  Everything about her blog oozes peace and tranquility.  Lynn is someone that I also "met" on the FIAR boards, but got to know a little bit better when we were both part of a round robin letter exchange.  She is someone I long to meet in person one day.  She exudes such a calm demeanor, I'd love to soak some of that up along with her knowledge of herbs and flowers. :)

Well, that's four blogs, enough for today!  After visiting Lynn's, I'm inspired to go on a nature walk with my munchkins.  The weather is perfect, 77.  Cool w/ a slight breeze but lots and lots of sun!  First, I need to go leave a comment on Lynn's blog, I forgot.  Old habits die hard. ;-)

I hope you've enjoyed journeying through some new blogs today.  Maybe they are new ones, old ones revisited, either way, an encouragement to you today.  Also, I hope I've inspired you to leave some comments along your blogging travels today.  :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


With the days finally getting cooler (except for this week,  but we won't talk about our 89 degree weather!!! ) , I've pulled back a little on the schooling to let the kids have some free time outside.  We've still been plugging away at our normal studies, only about half time though.  We've added in some fun read alouds both from our public library and our home library.

Here are some of the books we've been reading:

Thanksgiving at the Tappletons' by Eileen Spinelli
Don't Eat too Much Turkey by Miriam Hoban
The Memory Cupboard by Charlotte Herman
Thanksgiving is Here by Diane Goode
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
Thelonius Turkey Lives! by Lynn Rowe Reed
Beauty and the Beaks a Turkey's Cautionary Tale by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
A Thanksgiving Wish by Michael Rosen
Turk and Runt by Lisa Wheeler
Fall Changes by Ellen B. Senisi
The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene
The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote
Apples by Gail Gibbons
One Fall Day by Molly Bang
An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott
Thanksgiving is... by Gail Gibbons
Silly Tilly's Thanksgiving Dinner by Lillian Hoban
The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell
Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson
The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern
When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
It's a Family Thanksgiving! by Deborah F. Fink
Possum's Harvest Moon by Anne Hunter
If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern
If You Were at...The First Thanksgiving by Anne Kamma
County Fair (my first little house books) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

What have you been doing to make fall extra special?  Are you all tucked in for the cool weather or are you like us desert dwellers just breaking out of our summer hibernation?

Our years spent in Ohio made me appreciate many things.  One was the changing of seasons.  Fall was by far my most favorite.  I loved the crisp cool air, the beautiful changing leaves and an overall anticipation of change in the air.  Fires burning, piles of leaves to jump in, family and friends gathered together for hayrides and bonfires, all in preparation for hunkering down for the cold months ahead.  Those times definitely kept you going through the long bleak winters where, come March, the anticipation of Spring was on everyones minds.  It's harder to find the same feeling here in the desert, but it's there, if you look hard enough and ignore the near 90* temperatures!  

Over the next week or so I'm going to take my kids out in search of fall in our neighborhood.  There are some trees that turn colors, although most have probably already peaked (peaking lasts about a day around here LOL).  Other trees are budding and blooming thriving in the cooler weather.  One big change is the citrus ripening.  We've already picked some lemons from our tree.  By Christmas the tree is in it's full yellow glory.  Maybe that tree would be a good place to start for the kids to note the changes in their nature journals.

Enjoy your fall weather, while it lasts, wherever you live!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rash update

I took my guy to the pediatrician yesterday to see if he could figure out what the rash was.  Fortunately, our pediatrician had an opening, so we could see him.  On Saturday when hubby took him in it was another pediatrician who focused strictly on ruling out strep and not much else.  Had she only been a little more thorough, we might have had our answer before he broke out in the rash.

Since S's rash was only a trace on his face, and the rash on the rest of his body had begun to fade away, still very much there but it wasn't continuing to break out and was beginning to blob together like his face had, I almost didn't take him in.  I thought for sure he would tell me "It's viral" w/ nothing more specific.  I printed off the pictures I took of him the day before, at the height of the rash and brought them with me. 

The dr. walked in admiring the  pictures, LOL.  He then asked me a couple of questions about him coughing, he wasn't.  He listened to his lungs, then he listened to his lungs some more, then he listened to his lungs even more.  I noticed the look on his face and could tell he was really concentrating on those lung tones.  I told the other kids (because yes, they were all with me ) to stop talking so the doctor could hear. 

The dr. then asked a few more questions, I told him how last week he had been complaining of a pain in his upper abdomen and chest area.  All sort of in the middle with no real specific area rotating his hand above that area. 

The dr. then told me what he strongly believed to be the diagnosis and why.  We also went through all the typical childhood rashes and why they didn't fit those patterns, which is what we had figured in our research as well.

My little guy has Valley Fever.  The rash was "textbook", his symptoms of  pain in his stomach/chest go along w/ the pneumonia he most likely has as well because yes, he heard crackling in his lungs.

He sent us for a chest x-ray, where they confirmed fluid on his lungs.  Poor guy.  No wonder he's felt so miserable. :(

So now I wait for the Peds office to get back w/ me on what we're supposed to do next.  The good news is he's not contagious, he's getting better and being a healthy kid, he should get better fairly quickly w/o complications.  His rash might scare a few people while we're out, but he's cleared to be out in public.

Unless you live, or have lived, in an area that Valley Fever is present, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about.  LOL  For those of us here in the SW desert, it's so common anyone who has lived here for an extended amount of time has probably contracted it.  Typically the symptoms are really mild and you don't even know you're sick.  Our ped. told us that he had just diagnosed a 6 year old a few weeks ago as well.  You can read more about Valley Fever here.

Thanks for helping us working through this and for your prayers.  He still needs prayers to clear his lungs quickly and w/o complications or long lasting effects, but for the most part, my guy is on the mend.

The hardest part now is keeping a 5 year old boy from running around non-stop all day long!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spelling Bee

E. has always loved to spell.  She's a natural speller and enjoys having people give her challenging words to spell. 

Tonight was our support groups Spelling Bee.  There were two divisions, K-2nd and 3rd-8th.  In our Bee the oldest kids participating were 5th graders, E. being one of them.

E. is in the brown shirt

The younger kids went first and went through round after round of words.  They were great spellers.  Finally, the winner was declared and it was time for the big kids to line up.

Waiting to spell

It was fun watching the kids get up there and spell.  Some went out on words you just know they knew.  You just felt for them, they were so disappointed.  E. got a word that she missed when we were practicing.  She spelled it perfectly.  When she got back to her chair she looked over at me w/ a huge grin.  Yeah. :)

As they advanced through the rounds, the final two people standing were E and her friend S..  In the end, S. misspelled her word which left E. needing to spell her word correctly to win.  She knew her word, spelled it w/o a mistake and won the Bee. 

At home w/ her certificate.

She was so happy and we were happy for her.  She was excited to get home to tell Daddio all about it. 

She is now eligible to advance to the District Spelling Bee.  We'll see when the time comes if we actually participate.  We understand how much different that bee will be compared to what she just did, a nice friendly non-threatening atmosphere w/ her fellow homeschoolers vs the "REAL THING".  She loves spelling and having participated in this bee might be enough to satisfy her, or maybe not. 

We're so proud of you SweetPea.  Congratulations on your win!  We love you. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We're seeing spots

My 5yo is sick. :(  He has a high fever and now a rash.  Poor little guy is so miserable.  Here are some pictures of his rash.

Last night as the rash began to spread

Stomach last night

This morning

His stomach this morning

His back this morning

Anyone have kids that had spots like this?  We're guessing it's one of the many viral rashes you can get.  It doesn't fit any of the "known" rashes in it's presentation.  He still has high fevers, it's itchy (but not miserably itchy), he has no spots in his mouth, but there are some on his palms and soles today. 

Wouldn't you know we went to the Peds yesterday morning to rule out strep (neg on the rapid and we'll hear about the culture tomorrow).  Too bad the rash hadn't manifested at that point.

Being pregnant, hubby wants me to stay away from him as much as possible.  We're praying that tomorrow, when he goes back to work, our little guy will begin to show signs of getting better.