Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last Call for GiveAway Winner!

Deborah...you won the drawing for Mrs. June's book. Please contact me by Wednesday evening! Ladies, if I don't hear from Deborah by Wednesday night, I'll draw another winner on Thursday morning. Stay tuned!

Did You Know?

That we own over 30 pillowcases?

Can you even imagine why a family of four would need more than 30 pillowcases?

(Especially if you take into account how often the sheets get changed around here.)

I know this because we have this huge cedar chest that used to be in my grandmother's house. We use it for a coffee table sometimes.
That's the cedar chest there. 

But it used to be at the foot of our bed and we store our sheets in it.

It fits a LOT of sheets.

And pillowcases.

I haven't even counted the sheets.

Needless to say, I will be weeding out a bit this week. 'Cause now the TV and electronic stuff is on top of it so sheets must be stored elsewhere.

Good grief. 30 pillowcases.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I've Decided Some Things

I believe I have blogged on and on lately about how tired I've been. may have mentioned lately about being tired. We had all last week off of school and I went out of town to a ladies' retreat this weekend. I've had some time to think. Here is what I've concluded:

I do not want to go back into that homeschool room!

It may look pretty, but it feels like jail.

It finally hit me last night as I was lying in bed. I have lost me! I know that sounds dramatic but folks I think I have been having a bit of a homeschool burnout. I've never had that before, but this is our 5th year and I found myself thinking of the old Reba McIntyre song "Is There Life Out There?" (Except I don't want to go back to school like she did in the video thankyouverymuch. Nor do I want to be married to Huey Louis.)

Anyway, I think the disdain I feel for walking back into that homeschool room is because for the last 6 weeks, I have been sitting in there for 4-5 hours a day. Then what else do I do with my time? Well, meal planning and prep, grocery shopping, mom taxi, errands, housework, laundry, and then on the weekends we do family stuff. And in the middle of all that---I realized---I am not ever doing anything I want to do!

Don't get me wrong--I WANT to homeschool my kids. I WANT to be a homemaker. I WANT to go do things with my family. But everything these last 6 weeks have just felt like I run from one "have to do" item to the next with no stops for other things along the way. There has to be joy in the day. This should not all feel like one big job that I don't even like!

I have to make it where I can enjoy these two loves!

What am I doing wrong, I wondered? What happened to "just live life and your kids will learn long division along the way?" (I've never bought that, by the way) Isn't homeschooling supposed to be a way of life....not a job?

So I decided to try a little experiment this week. You remember our wall schedule, right?

Well, I'm going to rip those suckers right down and shove them in a cup. Then we are going to start our day with a prayer or some Bible reading (that has been missing this year too) and then I'm going to set the girls loose to get their school work done. I am placing the responsibility on them. I am tired of the homeschool sun rising and setting with me. 

Of course there are lots of things they need me to do with them during the day. So, I'm going to clean off the table in the homeschool room and announce there is no more "assigned seating." Just plop down where ever you like and if I'm needed (like for 100 Easy Lessons with Little Bit), well I'll just plop down next to wherever she sat. Variety is the spice of life, right? Why should we sit in the same chair every day?

As they pull cards from their cup and think about what needs to be done, they can decide where to work for that particular task. Handwriting? They have 3 choices: their desk in their bedroom, the dining room table, or the homeschool table. Read-alouds? I want those to start happening on the couch. I've made a place under the lamp table to store the Sonlight binder and the books. The girls will be responsible to come find me, ask if I can read with them right then, gather the materials, and meet me on the couch. If I am not available--they can pull another card and work on something else until I am. Math? They both know how to put in the DVD and watch their own lesson and get started. I'll probably join them to make sure they understand it, but they can take the initiative to get started!

So what am I going to be doing, you may wonder? Well, I decided I'm going to be a mom. And a wife. And a homemaker. I'm going to go ahead and wash those dishes. I'm going to switch the laundry out. I'm going to sew on those quilts the girls will need soon. If I'm sewing in the dining room, and Sweetheart is having trouble with math, well she can just join me at the table in there. I realize I will still be doing a lot of school with them, but I hope it will be broken up and done all around the house and not feel like such drudgery.

Now this is just an experiment and I'm sure it will need some tweaking. I suspect it may drive me crazy to have them interrupting me all day long just as I get going on a task. We may need to make some rules about "these subjects first" and "then these." But something needs to happen where, between the 2nd grader and the 6th grader, the mom has a break or two in the morning.

I'm happiest when I have some sort of project going and right now, I really need to start working on Christmas presents. Hopefully, with my new plan, there will be time for that. I'm done being in control of each little item. It's their schoolwork and they need to get it done. I'm letting go of a lot and letting them take the reins.

I'll let you know how it works out! And if things work out like I hope they will, we may be moving back to the smaller homeschool room.

Mama's gone off the deep end, but it's gonna be OK!


Your slightly crazy but it's OK because I have a plan friend

Friday, September 23, 2011

Date Night and Giveaway Winner

Well, I said I was going to pick the winner of the True Christian Motherhood book last night, but what I really did was go out with my husband. Sorry! (But we had fun!)

Remember I'm going out of town today so spending some time with my husband was very nice. The girls spent the night with Grandma and Grandpa so a good time was had by all. Now the girls said they "already missed me last night" and now I'm "leaving today." Poor babies. They are used to having me 24/7. But Daddy has some fun planned for them while I'm gone so I'm sure they'll have a good time.

I'm spending the morning packing and figuring out what I'm going to take for snacks. You know I've been tired and shaky hungry lately. Last night I got a smoothie--strawberry/kiwi infused with protein--and it really helped! But alas there are probably not many smoothie shops in the heart of Texas where we are headed, so I'm going to need to figure out some good snacks to take in case I get shaky while I'm gone.  That, and how to fit my Mom's 3 giant pillows she sleeps with into the van are my only concerns right now. Also, if I'm going to have room in the bed to sleep.

Now, on to the winner!

#8--That would be....Deborah! Congratulations Deborah! (Your profile says "not available" right now. Could be my computer....will you shoot me an e-mail? Thanks!)

Thank you to everyone who participated. I encourage you to look out for other giveaways around the web right now if you still want to win a copy. There are several going on.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Resting and Doing

So I had made a doctor's appointment earlier this week to go see if there was  reason why I've been so tired. Then Tuesday I left the house at 12:15 and when we got home at 3:30 or so, I realized I felt...normal. I continued to feel good all evening and even stayed up until 10:00! I know!!

And surprisingly, I felt fine yesterday morning at 6:45. I didn't even feel the need to go back to bed after S left for work. So....maybe I have finally caught up on rest? I cancelled the doctor's appointment (which is good because then I saw I had a voice mail--them cancelling b/c the doc was sick!) and am just going on with my week.

I really think one reason why I have not felt that good is diet. We have been trying to be frugal, frugal, frugal with the grocery shopping and that boils down to eating a lot of non-food, really. After I eat, I still feel like I need something else. But what is it? I've decided I need to get more real food in me. I don't know how we will afford it, but it must be done. I believe I will start with green smoothies. Only I'm making mine purple (just add berries) because drinking something the color of Shrek is just wrong. Also I bought steak today and I'm eating it for lunch. I've been craving it.

In other news, I am going to my first ladies' retreat ever this weekend. I never went to retreats when the girls were little because I didn't want to leave them and S worked a lot and I didn't see how it was possible. They are much older now and childcare worked out fine, so I am going. It is a long way away and there will be a lot of driving involved, but I hope it will be fun and even relaxing. My mom and a friend from church are coming with me. There are many questions in my mind:

1. How will S fix the girls' hair while I am gone?
2. What will they eat?
3. How will the house look when I get back?
4. Will I be even more tired from this long trip?
5. Will it be wonderful and refreshing?
6. Will I ever get everything done in time to leave?
7. What will we eat and what should I pack in case I don't like the food?

I have many concerns. The main thing is I need to get things done around HERE before I go THERE because we get back late Saturday night and boom! school starts back on Monday. And I'm not ready.

I'm off to cook my steak for lunch and see if I can get this shaky empty feeling to leave. If I'm not feeling more normal by the end of the weekend, I suppose I'll go to the doctor next week.

And I've also decided that starting school "on time" is NOT the be-all, end-all proof of a successful day. Sure, we have a lot to do and need to start in a timely manner. But if I need more sleep, I'm getting it. That's it. Homeschooling is not so important that I need to run myself into the ground for it, you know?


Your tired hungry friend

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Encouragement for Mothers and a Giveaway

I have such an eclectic mix in my Google Reader. Some blogs make me laugh. Some give me great homeschooling ideas. Some are about household organization. Some are just friends telling about their day. I love reading my blogs. And one of the most encouraging ones in my Google Reader is Mrs. June's blog.

If you already read A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, then you know what I am talking about. Her blog is a consistent place to receive encouragement and uplifting words. Always positive, always encouraging women in their walk with the Lord...well.

Imagine a whole book full of Mrs. June's encouraging words! Imagine no further--she has written a book!  I am sure you already knew that.

I started reading True Christian Motherhood the other night and I'll tell you what happened the next morning. As I woke up and lay there thinking about the upcoming day and what I needed to get done, etc., I started thinking about my girls. Suddenly I was remembering what life was like when I had to drop them off at baby sitter's houses and daycare when I was a working mom. I remember the horrible feeling driving away from them each day and how I would pray all the way to work for their safety and well-being. I hated being apart from them. Hated getting the call that they had fever and trying to find a way to get to them. Hated asking my parents to take my daughter to eat lunch for her birthday as I was at work.

Now why is this all significant? I'm getting to it. After I thought about all that, I was SO profoundly thankful for the last 4 years that I have been at home with my girls, homeschooling them and raising them each and every day. Praise the Lord for His providence that allows me to be home with them!

And here is the significant part: I rarely wake up thinking about being a mother. 

I wake up thinking about what I need to do.
I wake up thinking about what I'm going to fix for breakfast.
I wake up thinking about the errands I need to run.
I wake up thinking about something my husband asked me to do that day.

I almost never wake up thinking about how I can mother my children that day. 

Does that sound odd? I have gotten so busy and full of things to DO, that I have forgotten the main thing*: raising and training my children!

Mrs. June's book caused me to remember that. I am a MOTHER--not just a homeschooler. I am a MOTHER--not just a homemaker. I am a MOTHER--not just a stay at home mom.

Oh it is such a high calling!

The book is full of quotes, scripture, Challenge Questions at the end of each chapter, warnings, and encouragement. It will truly give you a vision for your very important role of motherhood.

And the best news is that Mrs. June has offered a free copy of True Christian Motherhood to one of my blog readers! If you would like to win a copy of this e-book, simply leave me a comment on this post and I'll draw a random winner on Thursday evening. If you already own a copy, let your friends know about this giveaway so they can enter!

Go here to learn more about the book or to buy your copy!

*I know being a helper for my husband actually comes first--but motherhood is part of being his helper!

Monday, September 19, 2011


I wouldn't mind a prayer or two if you think about it. I have been trying to get more sleep but you know how it goes....I'm a mom. I rarely have a night of uninterrupted sleep. And counting up all the hours you slept doesn't seem to work out if you have to subtract the hours you were awake in the middle, you know?

We've been running a lot on the weekends. I have a small infection my body is fighting. School has been going on for 6 weeks and it's tiring. Add other normal issues (Is that better, K?)  I suppose all of this could add up, huh?

I'm not thinking I have a major medical condition just yet. :) I am thinking I need to work hard this week to get lots of sleep, eat well, drink a lot of water (or tea....flavored water!), etc. Just take care of myself in general.

In good news, it's our first week off on our "Sabbath Schedule" (6 weeks of work, one week of rest). So I plan to sleep in, get some things done around the house, and make plans for the next 6 weeks. But I have all week to do it and I don't have to be in a rush. For this week at least, I DON'T have to worry about being "on time" and "getting getting started on time" and "hurry, hurry." That in itself is a rest!

Tomorrow I will have a review and an announcement about a giveaway! Looking forward to that AND my week of rest.....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up--Week 6

Huh. What happened to week 5? Oh well.

This week I followed our morning through pictures one day. Just thought I'd share.

Sweetheart kicked off the morning at 8:50am finishing her writing from the previous week. Labor Day really threw us off. 

Little Bit and I kick off the day with a reading lesson. Sweetheart is in her room working during this time. 

9:30am--Sweetheart reading in living room. 

9:40am Little Bit making a craft to go with My Father's Dragon. 

10:00am Sweetheart re-reading Bible because she couldn't tell me what she read about. :)

On to map work...

10:50am Play break for the 2nd grader. Who then picked up all the clothes behind her!

Sweetheart getting snacks for me and her before read-aloud time. 

11:30am Spelling lesson with Little Bit

11:45am Writing
12:00pm Zoology together. 

Then we broke for lunch and I didn't take any more pictures. That wasn't our whole school day but it was the morning. We are busy this year!

Other than normal school this week, we ran way too many errands, started way too late several days, made way too much of a mess in the house, and whined way too much about school.

I say it is time for a week off!!! (next week YAY!)

We also had dinner with some sweet friends, went to gym day with our homeschool group (Where the children again spent a large portion of their time beating one another with swim noodles. It's good to have a hobby.) and bought a new pencil sharpener.

I did not fully realize this before, but not having a quality pencil sharpener can take a homeschool down FAST! We searched and scrambled all week for pencils with leads. If someone broke their pencil lead it was a disaster of epic proportions, and when Little Bit found some spare pencils with SHARPENED LEADS there was great rejoicing.


The most important thing about week 6 is that it is almost over and it's time for our break!!!

Oh and that I found a solution about where to put the stupid All About Spelling board. Anyone else struggle with that? The kids hated sitting in the floor and I hated sitting or leaning over them. I'll show my solution later. It won't work for everyone!


I went to bed at 9:30 last night. Pretty sure I was asleep by 9:35. And so of course i was wide awake at 4:00 for about an hour. But...I managed to go back to sleep until 6:45.

(I still wanted to sleep some more.)

(But I didn't go back to bed after S left.)

I have gone back to bed a few times this week and all it does is make school last longer and I get fewer things done around the house. NO idea why I'm so tired. It must be time for our week off next week. Yep. Can't wait! This mama/teacher is ready for a break!

I have more to do today than is humanly possible. School takes a lot more time this year. I knew this day was coming--when we would not be done by lunchtime. Honestly, I kind of miss when I had a 2nd grader and a 3 year old. School was so easy then and I don't think I fully appreciated that.

But homeschool is not about being academically superior. So we will get our school work done and then we will live life---knowing they are learning both ways.

Must run a few errands today and also go grocery shopping. But it's also gym day with our homeschool group and I don't want the girls to miss that. Which means we will be running crazy today and I need to be really organized before we leave the house. I like grocery shopping on Fridays or Saturdays better. I hate when it falls in the middle of the week.

I can tell you now that Friday will be a very abbreviated school day. Because I am tired.

So, to sum up:

1. I am tired.

That is all.

Monday, September 12, 2011

From Drowning In...to Drowning Them Part 2

So, last week I shared about our struggle to deal with our daughter's Tourette Syndrome earlier this year. Things were bad. We drove around in the car many times late at night trying to keep her mind off of the tics so she could relax enough to go to bed.

Little Bit, let's count how many flags we see, OK?

1....2...SCREAM....3.....now let's look for SCREAM 4.....oh look! SCREAM There are a lot in that parking lot! SCREAM 5, 6, 7, 8....Let's go see if there are any down SCREAM this road.....

On and on. In spite of the screaming tic, we really did enjoy those drives. She couldn't wait to get out of the car and tell Daddy how many flags we saw.

During all of this, we started researching online. It's hard to find anything but basic information on TS but I was determined. I stumbled on some forums of TS parents who were trying natural remedies and diet changes and various other medications. I read and read. It was totally and completely overwhelming. I spoke with a friend whose 13 year old son is autistic because they have been dealing with all this for years and know a lot. I told her my frustration of just not knowing where to start.

I read that if we eliminate X from her diet, it will help.
I read that perhaps her gut is full of Y so should tackle that.
I read to avoid A,B, or C foods and it would help.

So our friend told us to ask for a nutritional panel at our doctor's office. That would give us enough information to start. Is she actually low or high in this or that? Why should we go to all the pain and turmoil of changing her diet if we weren't even certain that was the problem?

It was overwhelming to say the least.

And I told you earlier this year about how, when I got to our primary care doctor, the nurse asked me how to spell Tourette Syndrome.

Not a good sign. I have never been shoved out of a door so fast in all my life! Our doctor would have nothing to do with us. "The neurologist can help you. You should go see him." Boom. Kicked to the curb (and $20 poorer for that!)

The only thing I read about that even seemed doable was Epsom salt baths. I read that they help. The magnesium helps. This we could do. Poor Little Bit, she sat in that bath for a long time each evening. And sometimes in the middle of the day. I read she needed to stay in about 20 minutes for it to "soak in" and that's a long time to be in the bath multiple times a day.

So, that's where I stopped blogging about it all. But I wanted to tell you the wonderful conclusion to our story.

We had a friend over for Bible study one night. She was sitting on the couch visiting with us when Little Bit came in crying and screaming and ticcing like crazy. S told me to go put her in the bath and while Little Bit and I left to go do that, he explained the Epsom salt baths to our friend.

And that is when the most wonderful news ever reached our ears.

"Magnesium helps?" asked friend. "Because I take a magnesium supplement every night." (for another reason)

Friend proceeds to tell us how she read that we are all magnesium deficient in America because we don't eat enough dark, leafy greens and even if we do, our soil is depleted and our water so treated that we don't get enough magnesium in our bodies naturally.

The next day she brought over her magnesium supplement and showed me how to prepare it.

And that night, Little Bit fell asleep in 20 MINUTES!!!!! What had been taking nearly 2 hours was cut down to 20 minutes. There was much rejoicing in the House Revised.

So now, every day, Little Bit "drowns her tics" by drinking orange juice with her magnesium supplement mixed in. She has been almost completely tic free since that night. Over Sweetheart's birthday weekend, we forgot her "drink" several times and the tics started to come back. We upped her dosage a bit for a few days until things got back under control.

I am still in awe that something so simple and so easy to do could have such a profound effect on her! I have no idea if magnesium supplements would help all people with TS because certainly it would be more well-known if that were true. Right? And also many people suffer from co-morbid disorder where they are dealing with TS in conjunction with other acronyms all at the same time. Our daughter simply has TS--and it worked.

Boy did it work! Just. Like. That. Life was back to normal. She sat through church. She started sleeping in her own bed. She stopped worrying about going out in public. Over. Just like that.

I am not a doctor, but if you are dealing with TS in your family, please feel free to e-mail me and I will be happy to share specifics on what we use. (Not trying to do a commercial on here or get sued for giving out medical advice!) We are thankful each day for the Lord answering our prayers to help us with our daughter. I have no idea if the tics will come back one day in spite of the supplements. We might be searching for other answers in a few years. But for now, things are good.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Place Where We Relax

Oh I love going to the beach with my family.

 S just instantly turns into a relaxed person at the beach. He smiles.

He doesn't have that "I'm rushed and thinking about many things" look he has on his face so much of the time during the week.

And me? About half way down there I can't wait to get my feet in the sand and the sun on my skin. I love the beach.

The girls love it too. They are right at home there.

Wanna see what they are looking at?
Can you see the sand crab? He was tiny!

This was their second time surfing.

They did great.

They make it look so easy.

I'm already dreading when it gets too cold to go. NO! We are just going to do what Masto Mama's family does and take hoodies and hats and blankets and still go!

'Cause it's where we belong!

And that little crab we caught? Totally counted as science.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Just For The Record

Trying to cram a 5 day week into 4 days was NOT worth it.

Next time I will just get a day behind. School has been brutal here at the end of the week.

It's only 89 degrees outside right now so I'm decorating for fall this weekend. It's just downright chilly around here. I don't care. It's September. I'm decorating.

Also I have not caught up on laundry or dishes all week. Taking Monday off really messed me up.

But thankfully, in about another hour or so, we will be done with school and I can start in on this house!

Or play on Pinterest.

Or some combination of the two.

What can I say? Pinterest inspires me to work on my house.

My house that is cracking in half because of this drought. No idea how we are going to be able to afford all the repairs from the effects of this drought. We need rain badly.

But at least I can decorate all around the new cracks with fall stuff, right?


Right. Right after school.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

From Drowning In...to Drowning Them

Earlier this year we were drowning. Our family felt like it was going down a big ol' whirlpool and we were desperately trying to claw our way out. Something had taken over our life and absolutely everything we did--from sleeping to eating to going to church to running errands--everything was rotating around one thing: Tourette Syndrome.

Our younger daughter (7 year old Little Bit), was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when she was 4. We thought the tics had been bad before. We thought it was awful that our little girl had to live with such a thing.

What we did not know is up until this year, it had been a walk in the park. With balloons. And possibly cotton candy.

When she was diagnosed the neurologist told us he would not consider medication for her unless "she just isn't able to function in daily life." Well let me tell you, we were there. But still we did NOT want to put her on any of the drugs that are offered to control the symptoms of TS.

You may ask why? Why would you refuse to get medicine that might help your daughter? Well, the medicines are big and bad. And none of them work on all people with TS. And she is so tiny. I could not even imagine having her take some of those medicines. We still thought there was more we could try before we got there.

Before I tell you what we tried, I'd like to tell you how life was. It all feels like one big blur, but I will try to describe how our definition of "bad" changed.

You know, there are two kinds of tics: motor tics (any repetitive movement that they "have to do") and vocal tics (any repetitive noise that they "have to make"). Little Bit had mostly had motor tics since she's been showing symptoms just before she turned 2. Lots of motor tics. Lots and lots and lots of motor tics.

Jumping, shrugging one shoulder, touching her thumb to her head, tucking her chin towards her chest, touching the arm of whoever is next to her, touching her tongue to whatever item was in her hand, head shaking, blinking, touching her tongue to each shoulder, raising her eyebrows, clenching her fingers, tightening her neck,  wiping her eyes....the list goes on and on. There is no way to record them all. The motor tics, they are aplenty. I remember one night when she was 3 or 4, her motor tics were going so crazy that S just picked her up, put her on his lap, and wrapped his arms completely around her trying to help her calm down and be able to be still for a just a few seconds. She would get so exhausted from all the movement all day long.

But the vocal tics were very few: clearing her throat (the one that prompted us to the doctor originally), making sort of a huffy breath by exhaling quickly, repeating certain words or sounds...not that much to report.

Then, around April, everything changed. We aren't really sure what set it off. Usually, her tics tend to get worse around her birthday and Christmas. That makes sense, huh? Exciting. Anticipation. But in April? One thing that did happen was my Dad was in the hospital for about a week. We thought that might have had something to do with it. But even after he was home, things continued to get worse.

This time the tics were mostly vocal. Here was the tic: screaming. As loud as she could. Until the veins in her neck stood out. Her whole body would tense up during the scream. Rest a few seconds. Repeat. For HOURS. In between screams she would fuss and cry that her throat hurt and that she didn't want to do it anymore. She was exhausted. The screaming carried on off and on throughout the day. It went away while she was swimming so we did a lot of physical activity! But no matter how the day went, at bedtime it all got worse. The girls share a room so we pulled Little Bit out onto a mattress in the living room so Sweetheart had some hope of getting to sleep. Although she could certainly still hear the screaming, she eventually went to sleep each night. Back in the living room, S and I tag teamed trying to help Little Bit get to sleep. We tried everything: ignore it, rub her back, give her the iPhone to play Angry Birds (which seemed to help calm her down because she was concentrating), play soft music (couldn't hear it), drive around in the car, go on a walk, get up and play longer until she was so tired she would surely be able to fall asleep, pray (throughout all of it), rocking her, reading to her (couldn't hear it). The list goes on. No matter what we tried, it took almost 2 hours to get her to sleep each night. The entire time punctuated by screams.

And church? Or outings in public? Oh dear. We switched churches during this time (a good change--less stress actually). At our old church, the music was so loud she could actually scream into a little pillow we brought and no one would hear her! We had to leave early as she couldn't hold it together very long and didn't want to go to class. At our new church, she and I would just go sit in the cry room or go outside where she could scream. We went out to eat for S and my Dad's birthday one evening and she was worried about "what if I have to scream?" I was so over the tics by that point I told her to just go ahead. I honestly knew that I wouldn't have cared who looked. But, she was horrified by the thought, so we went to the parking lot.

The screams really did hurt your ears. We tried to not cover our ears or react as though it was hurting but one time I did rub my ear after a particularly loud scream right by my ear and Little Bit just dissolved into tears. "I'm sorry Mommy! I'm sorry I hurt your ears!" Oh my heart. Sweetheart is sensitive to loud sounds anyway so she came to school each day with cotton in her ears so she could get her work done. School was done in segments. There is only so much frustration a 1st grader can handle. It was during this time that I realized--we are definitely at the point where she is not able to function in daily life.

We were drowning in tics. She was drowning in frustration and exhaustion.

Tomorrow I will share how we drowned those tics and what is working for us (right now!). If you have a child with TS, then you know how difficult it is to find answers on the Internet. I am sharing our story so that it might help others who are dealing with this. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So About That Adventure

You know, I've been feeling sort of sorry for us about the no rain thing. We have new cracks all over our house and the grass is dying and we are very weary of having no rain.


We went to my dad's hometown for the weekend. We bought the girls some clearance swimsuits to make it through the rest of the swimming weather (their old swimsuits are another story!) at Wally World in the next town over.

But Sweetheart's didn't fit. So Sunday after lunch we headed back to return it. We didn't make it very far down the road until we started seeing this:

And this...

They turned everyone around.

On the way back, in a completely different area, we saw this.

And this.

And then, back in town, we saw another wild fire.

I'm happy to report that no lives or even homes were lost. Just some out buildings. But that was a bit closer to the wildfires than I wanted to be! The wind was insane and that surely wasn't helping anything.

So Sunday evening we headed home. But less than half way home, we ran into this.

Oh dear. We never saw the fire, but apparently there was another fire that had both sides of the interstate shut down. Needless to say, what should have taken an hour or so took 4 hours.

And several passengers in our car needed "the facilities." But my husband always takes care of us. So he pulled over and found us some facilities in a dry creek bed under the traffic. And kindly took a picture of us climbing back up.

Us? Why...we were just sightseeing, that's all. 

Much better.

Later I smashed Little Bit's finger in the car and made it bleed.

And about 10pm we called it a night and checked into a hotel.

Where we all slept and came straight home the next morning with no problems.

I fretted a bit about spending the money on that hotel. S reminded me that's why he mows (for extra money). So, I think we are supposed to have a moment of silence every time he leaves to mow in thankfulness for his hard work and care for us. I have no problem with that.

Because the whole trip was wonderful and no one was upset and everyone was flexible and calm and rolled with the punches. What could have been a stressful time, was really just a fun weekend with a few unexpected  stops.

And a lot of smoke.

We Had An Adventure

But you'll have to wait to hear about it because the pictures are on husband's phone. It was a good weekend and this morning it was in the 60s when we woke up. HEAVENLY!

Now we are back to a normal week (in which I will not know what day it is all week because Monday will mess me up all week long) and need to get back in the swing of things. We have this week and next week and then a week off! Yay!

We add 2 more things to our schedule this week: physics and piano lessons. We are officially doing all parts of school now.

The Texas wildfires have been crazy this weekend and found out last night about several friends who almost had to evacuate and a friend's parents who did have to. We sat here last night and realized we are totally unprepared to evacuate quickly. With hurricanes, you have days to know that a hurricane is headed your way. With fires? Not so much. I realized last night I know where things are--but many things are not easily grab-able or in the same place. Need to fix that. Also thought through what we would take--one list for "just get out and take what you can" and a longer list for "you have a few hours but be ready."

All of this drought and these fires have made me really think about how we are NOT in control. We cannot make it rain when it's needed and we cannot make it stop when we are flooding. We can fight fires, but honestly if that fire wants to burn, it's going to burn. We are totally dependent on the Lord and I think we very much forget that in America.

In case you don't live around these parts, take a look at this fire map and then pray. (By the way, our family is in no danger---we were just thinking about it.)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee

We ran down Friday after work to get acquainted with ol' Lee. We THOUGHT we might play in the sand, boogie board, or surf a bit and eat some hot dogs.

Well, there was no sand. The water was really high. And with all the wind, (sandy wind) there was no eating on the beach.  But we did have fun!

We really had to watch Little Bit! The wind kept blowing her away and the water kept taking her  away!

Sweetheart thought it was great!

Dad's turn...

Then they just wanted out of the sandy air and to get in the truck  and eat hot dogs!
I'm glad we went. It was fun and a very different beach experience than we usually have!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up--Week 4

Man, I'm not sure there is anything to wrap up this week! We did school. We got behind. We caught up the next day. We're still plugging along, but it certainly wasn't the most exciting school week in recent memory.

However, we DID have some fun! Finally some homeschool group events are kicking in. We have missed our friends! We had our first "gym day" this week and a whole lot of families showed up. Gym day is pretty much every week and the moms just chat and work out the world's problems while the children play. We had a lot of new families and apparently, our children all had some aggression to work through because they ran around beating each other with swim noodles for about 30 minutes. It was awesome. I took blurry pictures from far away. You're welcome.

Little Bit, Sweetheart's friend who is also named Sweetheart, my Sweetheart, and their friend K. 

And also this week a friend invited us to another home school group's fun day. This homeschool group is just a little farther than ours but I really liked all the moms (and knew a few of them) so I'm thinking about doing some things with them this year as well. (Yes, I DO know how blessed I am to have so many homeschool groups around me! On the other hand, you might have clean air.) Anyway, we sat and melted in the shade while the kids played in some local fountains. Good and fun. I took blurry pictures from far away. You're welcome.

My kids are there somewhere.  It was all homeschoolers anyway because kids are back in school!!

And last night, S and I rearranged the living room. We moved stuff 15 different ways and most of it ended up right back where it started. Sigh. With our "new" furniture there is just a very limited amount of ways it can be moved. All we were doing is trying to find a way to be able to sit and watch a movie on the computer without having to look to the side. And also we have too much furniture and I may do something about that next week. And it may involve shrinking the toy room.

But that doesn't really have anything to do with school other than that today is school movie day and we will try out the new arrangement. We're watching this. 

Now we're off to finish up everything we didn't finish so far this week and watch our movie for lunch. Oh, and clean the house so we can enjoy the long weekend!! Hope you all have a great weekend too!