A Brief Update

Sam had a massive stroke late Thursday night. She died at 4am on Friday morning. I am so grateful that she likely never knew what hit her and that, for her, it was incredibly quick even if it took her body awhile to catch up with her spirit.

I know that she is running free and eating what she wants and she has no pain. I know that she is finally free of fear and is truly happy. We loved her no matter what and that won’t change even with death.

Good rest and Godspeed, Sam.

If you want to make a donation in memory of my girl, her favorite organization: Labrador Life Line.

We Are in Pain

We are in pain today. Sam has had a rough 24 hours culminating in barfing up large amounts of mucus tinged with blood. We know this may be the end of a very long road for Sam. I claim I’m prepared; I claim I understand, but really, I don’t. I want her to keep going. I want her to be okay. I want her to go peacefully in her sleep rather than in a blur of confusion and pain. I am not okay with this. Not with one bit of it. And I have cried this morning. I fought tears when I talked to her vet, and I think he was fighting them too when he said, really, there’s nothing we can do for her at this point. We need to give her a bit, maybe through the weekend, and see how she is. I am afraid. I don’t want to lose her this way. Though why I think there’s a good way to lose her, I don’t know. I guess I just did.

P and I had plans this weekend, but now they are up in the air depending on Sam. As much as I love both of our families? I am not spending hours with any of them if this is truly Sam’s last weekend. She deserves our time and our attention. I know, we didn’t get to see anyone over Christmas; I understand that, but you know what? Sam is always there for us when we need her. If she needs us, then she gets us. End stop.

My heart is breaking because I can see she doesn’t know what to make of this newest development and she’s not sure what to do or how to cope with it. Peyton is running around looking panicked, which makes me think this may really be the real end (shamelessly stolen from Tim McGraw; I’ll give it back if she turns around. I promise).

The thing with Sam is in the last year, she’s had three very close calls. We’ve had two appointments scheduled to put her down and ended up canceling them because she rebounded and was back to herself. I don’t know how many more times she can go down and pull back up, but maybe she has one or two more in her. The thing is she has a pattern, and I’ve learned I have to let the whole thing play out to make a fair decision, otherwise I will spend the rest of what I imagine will be a long life second guessing whether it was really time or not. I know myself. No matter how many people tell me I will not regret putting her down too early, I don’t think that will happen for me. I think I will regret the missed time and the missed affection, such as it is from Sam.

We talk all the time about how much easier it is for pets because we can make this decision for them and we don’t have to let them suffer. Some even wish for this power for their loved ones. Being one with a dog who refuses to give a definitive sign of anything, I can say I am glad I don’t have that decision making power. The agony of trying to do the right thing for Sam would be magnified by 10,000 if I was trying to make the same decision for a loved one. At least, I imagine it would be.

So, for those of you who have made the decision for your beloved pet, how did you know it was time? What made you turn that corner and say, s/he isn’t happy anymore and it is time to let him/her go?

This Year’s Plans

As my husband of almost 20 (!!) years will tell you, the beginning of the year can be a little scary if you live with me. I am full of ideas, plans, and things I want to do. I make lists, I join classes, I find lots of ways to try to make our lives more meaningful and more fulfilling. And then, I lose track of all those projects and I fall off the wagon and I end up sitting there on December 31sttrying to figure out what happened. But not this year.

What makes me think this year will be different? Well, for starters I have a planner that I adore that makes me think about my choices more concretely and helps me to plan and organize in a fashion that is more suited to my style (read, I can ramble on a bit and it doesn’t seem to matter given that it is paper). I’m using personal sized Life is Crafted pages from here. What I like about these is the review aspects of the monthly pages and the other pages that give me a place to put the books I read and the movies I see and so forth.

One of my goals is to write more. Thanks to a random mention on Twitter, I discovered the Magic Spreadsheet. More importantly, because I’m not quite at a point where I want the world to see how many words I write in a day, I found a personalized one that I can use for myself and only myself. I am using it and it is helping me to be aware of how much I am writing.

Right now, I’m writing in word, but I finally made the decision to commit to Scrivener this year and I can’t wait to get started with it. I’m hoping to produce some more academically focused articles this year, and I think this a tool that can help me do that.

As for the other things that I’m doing, well, I joined Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class and Cathy Zielske’s Move More, Eat Well Jumpstart at Big Picture Classes. I’m not expecting miracles from the latter, but a bit more consciousness on my part simply won’t hurt anything. I’m starting a year long cross-stitch project in a few days (Once Upon a Time Sampler, some scripture memory work from A Holy Experience, and some other things designed to help me find and focus on the goals that I need to pursue to fulfill the person I am supposed to be. I’m also continuing with Digital Project Life. I truly love doing this project and I think we learn so much from what we used to do and who we used to be even one year ago. I may suck at scrapbooking in a traditional manner, but put me in front of Photoshop and watch out.

Finally, I am tackling the house. Anyone who knows me knows that my house is something of a terror zone. So I’m working on decluttering and clearing, and making space for us all to breathe. We’re going to tackle some small projects along the way to try to make things more workable while we decide whether this house is still a fit for us or if we need to do something different. Only time will tell.

One Word 2014

I have been following the one word trend for a few years now. I participated, sort of, in a one word class in 2011. My word that year was joy. My book stops at, probably, month four. I’m not sure why it stopped, although I think it was because we moved into scrapbooking techniques I’m not familiar with and I freaked out a bit. I didn’t choose a word for a couple of years after that. This year, I’ve chosen a word. I feel confident in my word and I believe that it says who I want to be and where I want to be when this process is over. My word this year is “brave.”

I honestly thought it was going to be write. I know that I need to write and I need to be creating and developing my ideas into things that people want to read and learn from. However, I realized that writing really isn’t an issue for me – it’s being brave enough to put my writing out there and let other people see it. It’s trying that new thing I haven’t done before. It’s discovering that yes, I can scrapbook in a traditional way as well as in a way that is more me – digital all the way, baby.

What does it mean to me to be brave? It means taking chances. It means standing up and doing the things I know I should and need to do. It means writing as much as I can and trying to do something with that writing. My goal is to write everyday. We’ll see if I can really do that and just keep writing until I produce things that other people want to read and maybe, just maybe, I’ll end this year being braver than I was when I started.

It means taking more chances with homeschooling. Giving Ben and Katie wings and helping them find their path in life. It means being open to possibilities and to change and allowing myself to follow the paths I find where they lead.

This may be one of the most honest things I’ve written in a long time. Being brave doesn’t mean not having a filter, it just means that I have to bring myself to the party, to the game, and do my best to show up.

So what is your word and how are you going to make it come alive in you this year?

Year in Review — 2013

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? Rode the Gator Falls flume ride at Lowry Park Zoo and got involved in Cub Scouts.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did not make resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, a friend from church gave birth to the most precious little girl.
4. Did anyone close to you die? My Uncle Brother died in February and my Uncle Delbert died in July.
5. What countries did you visit? None.
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? Peace. I would like very much for my life to be more peaceful
7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 29, the day that Katie managed to ask Dr. T all the questions on her list and get permission to do almost all the things that she wanted. June 25, the day that Sam was given six to eight weeks to live. November 30, the Iron bowl that none of us thought Sam would live to see. Surprise!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Accepting that I am not able to do regular classroom teaching at this time.
9. What was your biggest failure? Not doing a better job of defending Ben when needed. Not stepping in fast enough.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Usual assortment of colds and lung issues.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Time with Sam via medication. Pain pills are her best friend and mine.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Katie’s. She is definitely developing into an independent young lady (at 5).
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People who can’t see beyond politics and policies to people.
14. Where did most of your money go? Judy’s Dance Academy (and I will gladly give her even more; the kids are thriving there).
15. What did you get really excited about? The kids’ first real recital and going to see the Nutcracker (and having Ben express interest in being IN the Nutcracker rather than watching it).
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2013? “10,000 Reasons” — Matthew Redman; “I Will Be Here” Stephen Curtis Chapman; “Tunnel” — Third Day; “Don’t Try So Hard” — Amy Grant; “Live Like That” — Sidewalk Prophets; and, “Let it Go” from Frozen (movie version, not single version).
17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder? I am working toward happier. I have a handle on where the issues are and I plan to make a complete revolution of 2014.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Taking care of myself and my marriage.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Running around for other people.
20. How did you spend Christmas? With family. Although I went to Christmas Day service at my church and it was fantastic.
21. Did you fall in love in 2013? Perdue’s Simply Smart Gluten-Free Chicken Strips.
22. Think of something important to mention. Cherish every moment you get because you don’t know what will be your last.
23. How many one-night stands? None.
24. What was your favorite TV program? Top Chef and Undercover Boss.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don’t hate anyone. I dislike a number of people, but I don’t hate anyone.
26. What was the best book you read? A Million Little Ways
27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Sara Barielles.
28. What did you want and get? A planner that is more my size and more my style.
29. What did you want and not get? A pocket point and shoot camera that would take some burden off my iPhone.
30. What was your favorite film of this year? Frozen. Although, 42 was also excellent. Oh, and I finally understood Meet the Robinsons and it has now become a total theme for our homeschool. Especially, “Keep Moving Forward”
31. What did you do on your birthday? I spent the day with my best friends: Mel, Sam, and P.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having a clearer sense of purpose and structure for our family.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Capri pants and t-shirts. I’m pretty steady that way.
34. What kept you sane? Having a doctor who loves his dogs as much as I love mine.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Sticking with George Clooney. At this point, I think he’s getting to be a habit with me (name that singer).
36. What political issue stirred you the most? Healthcare. Seriously. Healthcare.
37. Who do you miss? My uncles. Seeing my extended family more regularly.
38. Who was the best new person you met? Andrea.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. I have to make my own choices and live with them.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder
Don’t you know the hardest part is over?
Let it in, let your clarity define you
In the end we will only just remember how it feels

Rob Thomas – Little Wonders

I Eat Elephants

Let me tell you a story. It’s sort of a long short story, so grab a mug of something and settle in for a few.

Most of you know me as an online adjunct type, but once upon a time, I spent five years teaching in the loveliest village in the Plains aka Auburn University. During that time, I, like some, became a rather rabid Auburn fan. Sam was a young dog then and a Florida dog to boot, so that first winter was impossibly hard on her. She didn’t have a true lab coat (never) and so she required sweaters, t-shirts, and so forth to keep her from getting sick (yes, dogs catch colds, no it is not fun and neither is the vet bill). Anyway, among her collection of shirts was an orange shirt that said “I Eat Elephants.” If you know the SEC at all, then you know that Auburn’s biggest rival is Alabama aka the Crimson Tide aka the folks who have an elephant as a mascot. Every year, the two teams come together on a Saturday in November and play what is called “Iron Bowl.” Sam wore her shirt every Iron Bowl since I bought it for her. Last year, I put it away suspecting it would be the last wearing for that shirt.

In January, you may or may not recall that Sam collapsed on the floor and was completely motionless for almost 20 minutes. I figured we were at the end and had a long, difficult talk with her vet early the next morning. We agreed to try drugging her with pain meds because P was out of town and I absolutely would not put down a dog he loved while he was away unless I had no other choices. 72 hours after Sam started the medicine she was acting like herself. So much so that I realized it wasn’t time to do what we’d agreed to do the following Monday, so I called her vet and cancelled.

He called me back. He told me this was a temporary solution and it wasn’t going to work forever and I told him that I knew that. I understood that she wouldn’t live to see the Iron Bowl this year (he went to Auburn and his cousin was her vet in Auburn), but if we could get her a couple more quality months, then I wanted to try. And so we did.

And here we are on the eve of the Iron Bowl and the old girl is still here. Damned if she didn’t eat the elephant in the room and outlast even my most optimistic projections for her. So now, I am frantically trying to remember where I put her shirt so she can wear it with pride tomorrow as she watches her beloved Tigers take on and hopefully beat the Crimson Tide. She lived to see this game, so it had better be a good one!

War Eagle!

Katie is Five

She insisted on bringing doughnuts for her Sunday school class and for her brother’s Sunday school class. We also bought doughnuts for the family. She served each member of the family their doughnut and made sure that everyone had their favorite kind. We brought enough doughnuts for everyone and she offered the leftovers to the Coffee Hour coordinator, so there were extra snacks at Coffee hour.

We gave her the option of skipping church after Sunday school, but she desperately wanted to go to church so she could take Communion. She had taken full communion for the first time the previous Sunday and was eager to do it again. There is nothing quite like watching her wafer getting dipped in the Communion wine and her mouth opening like a baby bird’s to take in the Body and Blood of Christ. And then, she wanted to pray when she got back to the pew. Now the thing about this is that our pews are not built for someone like Katie. She wants to use a kneeler like everyone else, but man it is a struggle for her to reach the top of the pew. But she stretches and she does it.

After church, we went to coffee hour and then we left to go to lunch. Katie was determined to go to Red Robin. She’d been singing the Red Robin song for the last few days in case we weren’t clear where she wanted to go for lunch. She had her favorite macaroni and cheese and carrots with ranch dressing (yes, she chooses the carrots over the french fries). She was startled and pleased to discover that she got a free sundae for dessert and they SANG to her.

Katie opens presents very differently from Ben. He rips everything open and immediately begins playing. Katie opens one at a time and checks out her presents carefully. Well, I should say that’s usually how she opens her presents. This year there were two intriguing big packages and she was very hopeful that Daddy had come through for her with her request for “PityPons” (PinyPons). When she opened the tow and go car, her mind was blown, and then to find the whole winter scene afterward, woah. She had the best birthday AND she got a new Lalaloopsy doll who is perfect for her: Bea Spells-A-Lot (perfect for the child who has taken to practicing her spelling with crackers). She got her absolute favorite book (we’ve checked it out from the library so many times she was confused when I put this one on her shelf last night):Red Knit Cap Girl.

For dinner she had her favorite: Red Coconut Curry Stir-Fry from Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking. After dinner, she had her Belle cake from Publix and blew out the candle. This is the point in the day that gets to me. She cried because I couldn’t have any of her cake. She didn’t want to have cake if Mama couldn’t have cake.

Once we got her dolls settled, we read her new book and she settled in for a good night’s sleep.

Oh, one other thing, I did her interview from Your Birthday Book. At five, they have me as this question: What are your thoughts about God?

Katie’s Answer: Him helping me and Him doing the things I really need Him to do.

That’s my girl and that’s her heart.

Homeschool Mother’s Journal — 2/9/13

 

    • In my life this week… It’s been tough. My Uncle Brother died Wednesday night. We were at church attending Wednesday gathering and I got a Facebook message from one of his sons. I raced out of the hall to make sure someone had called my mother (her brother). One of my friends stumbled across me in the breezeway crying. And then our closing song was Sidewalk Prophets’ “Live Like That. I would suggest listening to it except that I can barely do it without sobbing hysterically, so take that advice as you will. Katie had a devastatingly bad swimming lesson and we came home to discover that Peyton was lame. Our vet suggested taking her to the back up for the initial check because of the traffic, so she is being vetted by committee. We then got bad news about another friends’ dog and yet another dear friend had to make that final decision for her beloved cat. A friend said to me that I really need a calendar that doesn’t have February in it. I’m beginning to agree.
    • In our homeschool this week… it was all science fair all the time. And some math thrown in for diversity. We are a little over a week out and we are not ready. The experiment is done but the write up is going dreadfully. His science teacher has suggested that we might want to get him tested because he’s exhibiting a LOT of the signs of dysgraphia, and after a week where we barely have a sentence of the background paper written, I am inclined to agree. He’s dictated the whole thing to me with sources and everything, but even with the transcript in front of him he can’t write the words. He freezes.
    • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… When you have the evidence in front of your eyes that something isn’t right, it’s time to take on the pediatrician and convince him that testing is necessary.
    • I am inspired by… Peyton. Even hopping along as she is, she is still ready to mix it up and get into anything she can.
    • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… Katie made her first appearance in Sunday school since Dr. T said she could go. I think it went well, and she is looking forward to going back tomorrow. This week was zoo school. Ben learned about the colors of the rainforest. I knew we were in trouble when she wanted him to color a picture. He prefers to draw his own pictures now. This is a huge leap for him. I’ve been to Body Flow twice and man did I hurt after the second class. Katie went to a swimming lesson that was about as much of a disaster as it is possible for something to be.
    • My favorite thing this week was… Having Ben say, “no Mom, see it’s right here on this page in this book” when I was questioning something he wanted to put in his background paper.
    • What’s working/not working for us… Working: the iPad apps for Katie’s preK3 stuff. Not working: trying to wrap up this project. Ben loves the action but not the concluding. He’s going to be amazing if he can just relax and not freak out.
    • Questions/thoughts I have… One thing I learned during the last few days — shoeboxes are not acceptable storage for photos. I spent HOURS searching through them for a picture of my Uncle Brother with his sisters that I KNEW I had. I knew it. photo 2013-02-09193141_zps73b01917.jpg
    • Things I’m working on… Still trying to figure out how to find time to cross-stitch the frames for the project I am working on I have the February stitch pattern, and I’m not done with the frames. I’m not panicking (yes, I am).
    • I’m readingHelp, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
    • I’m cooking… Nothing. The Stevens in me is apparently taking a holiday. Maybe I’ll feel more like it tomorrow.
    • I’m grateful for… having known Uncle Brother for the first 43 years of my life. He left a legacy that will not soon be forgotten. Peyton is not seriously injured. My mind went to horrible things when I saw her hop out of her kennel.
    • I’m praying for my family as we gather to say goodbye to one of the elders of the family. My friends who are losing beloved animal companions. …
    • A photo, video, link, or quote to share

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This is part of the Homeschool Mother’s Journal blog hop. Go here if you want to see how others’ weeks went.

Uncle Brother

I think I was nine when I realized that my uncle’s name wasn’t actually Brother. My mother and her sister both called him Brother. I don’t really remember my grandmother calling him anything but Brother. My great-grandmother: Brother. My cousins either called him Daddy or Uncle Brother. Occasionally, someone said Charles Edward, but I have a cousin named Charlie, so I naturally thought that they meant him. So, I guess my cousin, David, is actually to blame for the fact that we all called him Uncle Brother because David was the oldest and really should have investigated further before leading the rest of us down the primrose path. After all he was ten to my zero, so . . . he should have known better.

All of this is to say that my Uncle Brother, man of many talents, clever in ways that most men in my family are not, passed from this earth yesterday in his sleep. He was an unusual guy, my uncle. First of all, he was never bothered by the fact that his nieces and nephews called him Uncle Brother. He was pretty even-tempered — probably a good thing because my aunt, his sister, was a firecracker. But he wasn’t a peace maker. He had a wicked sense of humor that bordered on the inappropriate at times. He LOVED to rile up his sisters. That trait I can see made its way to Ben. He had a deep love of family, but often very weird priorities.

I have two very strong memories of him. The first, was a trip to Wichita to see our Aunt Sissy and Uncle Frankie. The second, his remote-controlled airplanes. Please remember, folks, these are my memories and I don’t know if they are accurate or if they’ve become blurred through the annals of time.

My sister was still in diapers, so I couldn’t have been more than seven when he got a wild hair to go see Aunt Sissy in Wichita. This makes more sense when you understand that we were in McLoud, OK at the time for our somewhat annual visit (some years more annual than others). Somehow he talked my mother into this and we all loaded up in his conversion van (you remember those things, his was blue, big, lots of space very little actual seating — seatbelts? car seats? — who needed car seats it was the late 70s — we’re probably lucky we didn’t ride on the roof rack [I’m certain had someone asked he would have let us]. The coolest thing, to me, about that van was the fact that it had a fridge in it. It was about the size of a dorm fridge, and it was stocked with drinks (non-alcoholic, of course). And he let us have as many drinks as we wanted. Now, you may not realize this, but Wichita is NOT a short drive from McLoud. It was a day trip, but seriously the longest day trip I have every taken (excluding a certain trip to DC where we did the whole drive back to Florida in one day, but that was another crazy car guy and another time entirely and seatbelts were involved). The other thing you may not realize is that rest stops were not common in that area at the time (and may still not be, for all I know). Anyway, I drank and drank and drank — you’d think I had never had soda before in my life — actually, I probably hadn’t. At some point, my mother said, “Brother, if you let her keep drinking like that there will be a problem before we get to Aunt Sissy’s.” I remember him laughing at my mom and saying something to the effect of “Tiny, she’ll be fine or she’ll get wet.” I was very almost not fine, as I recall. And I was the first kid out of the van, did not even stop to give Aunt Sissy her kiss and Uncle Frankie, knowing Uncle Brother as he did, just pointed me to the bathroom. I could hear Uncle Brother laughing the ENTIRE time. I realize now he thought it was all a big joke and that my mother would be the one to deal with the consequences of that joke, even better. My mom was the baby to his oldest, so I’m sure there was some — let’s call it rivalry — involved there.

The other thing I remember clearly about our childhood are the remote-controlled airplanes. When I was very little, I thought he had to be superman because he could make those things fly with just a little controller box and it was amazing to me. I know I’d never seen anything like it before. He always had a few around. When we cleaned out the “old house” on my grandmother’s property when I was in my twenties I figured out how that would be — there were easily fifteen airplanes in there in various states of disrepair (no motors in them, though). He and the boys would tinker with planes on the picnic table for the first couple of days of the visit and then he’d say it was time to fly. Once again, a group of us (sometimes including the cousin closest in age to me and myself) would load ourselves into the van and drive to find a spot to fly. Key things for flying a remote control airplane: flat ground to take off from and land on, very few trees, and not a lot of vegetation — this actually describes A LOT of Oklahoma in the summer. We would find his space and we’d all get out and watch the preparation of the planes. In my memory his oldest son helped with this, but I’m not sure if the other son helped or not. I don’t really remember. I do remember that Gina and I would sit and watch. And then they would put the planes on the ground, taxi them down the makeshift runway and off they flew. I thought it was magic. Part of me still does. I don’t remember ever getting to fly one of them. I was probably too young, but it sure felt like girls can watch, but girls can’t do.

My uncle was a good man. He loved his family. He was an important part of our family and he is gone. He will be sorely missed and I mourn for his family, his friends, and those who never had the opportunity to meet him. What a loss you have had. Love you Uncle Brother! Catch you on the flip side :)

Homeschool Mother’s Journal — 2/1/13

 

  • In my life this week… It’s been a whole lot of busy. We have been to doctor’s appointments. We have been dealing with the elderly dog. We have found our way back to the Y. We are trying to excavate the house one layer of stuff at a time. We have continued to work on Ben’s issues with a huge breakthrough happening on Sunday.
  • In our homeschool this week… We have worked on math and reading. Everything else has been off the radar in order to work on Ben’s issues and cope with those issues. Katie continues to work her way through her three favorite learning programs: Letter School, Smarty Pants School, and Reading Raven.
  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… Some seasons the bare minimum is going to get done and that is a-okay.
  • I am inspired by… The book: Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. It has pushed me to try something and I Facebooked several people as a first step of that process.
  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… It’s been a busy week. Tuesday we went to see Dr. T. Wednesday, we discovered that the Y has not moved, we went to dance, and Ben was feeling good so we went to The Gathering at our church (if you’re local, it’s worth checking out the kids and I love it). Thursday, we went to MOSI class. Today, I had a good chat with Ben’s teacher at Zoo School about the science fair project that ate our lives.
  • My favorite thing this week was… going to Body Flow at the Y. I enjoyed the class and Katie got to go on the big kid side of the play center for the first time. She did great.
  • What’s working/not working for us… Working: Life of Fred. I cannot imagine our lives without that little boy teaching my kids math. We have such fun with it. Not working: Just about everything else. I think part of this is I set up a schedule. Wrote it all down and then we couldn’t do it. Also, Ben’s project learning is in the phase where he has to finish something for the science fair and he’s not having as much fun with it, so he’s frustrated.
  • Questions/thoughts I have… I need to remember that we plan. God laughs. I need to remember that my goals for us are not necessarily appropriate for Ben at this stage. He is way ahead in some areas and behind in others, but I think it balances out.
  • Things I’m working on… the 2013 Woodland Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.
  • I’m readingDesperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.
  • I’m cooking… not much. I’m still pretty much in an anti-cooking phase. P has taken over the kitchen and that is fine by me.
  • I’m grateful for… P, for putting up with my craziness; Robin for snapping pictures of the play structure for me so Katie could get approval to play on it; a work schedule that allows me to homeschool and be with my kids; Heather, for the advice that finally righted Ben’s ship.
  • I’m praying for… everyone on the parish prayer chain including my daughter. Robin, and her toe. My boss’s friend who has entered hospice. And all the kids affected by CHD, and my sister and her family who just got a 16 month old golden retriever, may he be well out of the chewing stage :)
  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share… this is probably my favorite picture of Katie from her trip to MOSI yesterday. I definitely have a musician on my hands. She was playing with the toy piano we gave her when she was a baby, and her dad said to her, you know now that you’re a big girl, you can play on the keyboard. She marched over to me and asked me to put the toy piano in the pile for Baby E (my nephew).

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This is part of the weekly Homeschool Mother’s Blog Link Up at iHomeschoolNetwork. If you are interested in seeing what other families are doing, check it out!