January 31, 2006

How I Think

Took a quiz to see what kind of major I should be. I have a masters degree in Communication studies in case you are wondering what my major was. The only thing that surprised me was that linguistics scored so low on my list, given the importance I place on words. Here are my results:

You scored as Engineering. You should be an Engineering major!





























What is your Perfect Major?
created with QuizFarm.com

Sirah B-I-B-L-E

this is an audio post - click to play

Carnival of Homeschooling

The 5th Carnival of Homeschooling can be found over at Palm Tree Pundit. Lots of great posts, including Serona's Boy's Will be Boys, a call to action for dads. You also get the added bonus of feeling the sun from the land of Hawaii while we are in snow and freezing weather.


January 30, 2006

Math Games and Lefties

Ciaran wanted to do school today. Not a typical sentence I hear from him these days. Much more often I hear "Can I watch a movie? or Can I play a videogame?" so I went with it. He wanted to play math games he said. He really wanted to try sudoku - I really was not sure he could but Rhia has several books so we tried some. He loved it and was great at it! I had to write the answers in for me but he gave me them. He even got to the point where he could figure out some that were not obvious. I was so proud of him and surprised. I never would have thought to do those puzzles with him.

We played some addition and subtraction games with pictures and little Sirah wanted to count things because she watched him doing it. Then Rhia and Ciaran had puzzle races. They both had 12 piece puzzles of comprable difficulty and they raced. Ciaran won first and then Rhia. Ciaran loves puzzles and has the patience and follow- through or tenacity to finish them. Rhia on the other hand does not. So they were probably evenly matched even with the age difference.

Then he practiced writing his letters. Today I discovered an interesting challenge to having a left handed son. He wants to write right to left on paper. He writes the letters the right way so when you read them they read left to right but he starts writing in the far right hand corner and writes the column down and then goes to the next letter to the left and writes that column down (if there are several lines) and so on and the last letter he does it what most people would do first. It was strage to see but then I realized - he can still see the letters and he does not write over his past letters. This will be an interesting challenge. Any parents of left-handers out there? Any words of wisdom?


Jesus Loves Me - by Sirah

this is an audio post - click to play

Rhiannon Recites

this is an audio post - click to play

Sirah Sings

this is an audio post - click to play

January 29, 2006

Unit Study/Coop Ideas

I recently brainstormed for some ideas for classes for our homeschool coop for 2nd-4th graders. Here is the list of ideas I came up with. Maybe some of you can use it for a unit study or class with your own cooperative.

Magic School Bus Science Class
- gStudents read the book ahead of time and the class will be science experiments and info digging deeper on the topic presented in the book.

American Girl History Class - Visit the town and time of each of the American girls.

Little House on the Prairie class - We could do a Little House unit based off the Prairie Primer (LHP curriculum) - can include (but would not require) the reading of one of the books. The Praire Primer curriculum outlines lessons to go along with different chapters. I also have compiled some LHP lessons that can be found here. If done in the spring this could be combined with a field trip to one of the little house sites. Two are relatively close (Peppin and Walnut Grove).

Country Class
- Spend six weeks in a country studying different aspects of it. Go deep into the culture, history, food, dress, animals, government, customs, geography of the country. Crafts can include, making a flag from the country, a detailed geographical map, and even making a welcome to my country type page of a child that lived in that country and contrasting it to the child themselves.

We did a geography coop where we spent one month in each country and my kids loved it. Here is a summary of some of the things you could cover, could easily add more. Countries of the World Lesson Plan. If you scroll down the page on the left hand side you will see a section that states all the countries we did and some of the lessons we did. If enjoyed it could be easily repeated over and over again with different countries. You could also make it two contrasting countries on the same continent if you wanted less time in each country but I honestly think you could spend 6 sessions in one country.

Illustrated Bible Class - Have kids make their own illustrated bible, or atleast part of it. Take one or two stories each week and the kids draw or paint an illustration of the story and write a short summary of the story. It is compiled together into a book. Teachers could also extend or discuss the bible stories being done as the kids work on their projects. Here is a sample of Rhia's from this year, the class one could be more extensive or keep it simple and try to do more pages.

Make a Book Class - Have the children make a hardcover book they illustrate and write. Do that with a class and let them have an author party. Have them present their books to the group.

Citizenship Class - How to be a good citizen. How to make a difference in your community and state. Roles kids can take including in church, politics and volunteering. The importance of patriotism and respect for those in authority. Hands on volunteer or community service projects included. During an election year you could take a political proccess focus and even volunteer for a campaign. Though parents would need to know that upfront as political parties vary. Next year our governor and senator seats will both be up. Might even be better for Seniors but I really believe it could be offered for both. Of course I campaigned with real little ones!

Minnesota Class - Learn all about Minnesota. There is a curriculum called Minnesotans for Minnesota available at MACHE, maybe someone has it. Entire class could be pulled from that. Easy tie ins for a end of semester field trip or suggestions for families to do on their own. Probably can get a speaker from MNHS as well.

Nature Class
- Learn how to create and maintain a nature notebook. Collect leaves, acorns, flowers, etc and use field guides to identify. Kids could collect items outside of class and identify them together in class with field guides. Nature notebooks are treasures to keep through the years and show both an increased appreciation for God's creation and improved art and writing skills. One sketch made each class. In the case of inclement weather items could be brought inside to sketch.

Famous People in History class - each child dresses up and presents about a famous person in history. Could do two or three people per class. Teacher could have one planned in addition to what students did.

Presidents Class
- Pick a few of the presidents and dive deeper into their lives in an interactive way.

Famouse Athletes - A way to show students the rewards of athletics and teach the basics of each sport as you learned about each famous athlete.

- soap or wood

Folk Songs and Folk Dance

January 28, 2006


Our dear little Rhiannon is down with Pneumonia. Yes since the start of this year she has had tonsillitis, the stomach flu, a tonsillectomy, a viral infection while recovering from surgery, dehydration and now this. Please keep her in your prayers. Please also pray for her hyper and cooped up siblings. Minnesota winter and sick kids and no place to play or friends to see is not the worlds best combination for a very active 4 and 2 year old! Someday my life will return to normal and blogging will resume.


January 24, 2006

Boys Will Be, well, Boys: a Call to Actions for Dads

National Review Online (see link below) has a great article that analyzes the recent Newsweek reports on the "boy crisis" in education.

Many of you will be familiar with Christina Hoff Sommers book The War Against Boys. But if you were like me, you were interested, you agreed (mostly) but were resigned to the reign of the feminist agenda in public education. As the Newsweek puts it (quoted in NRO), you were resigned to public education treating our boys "like defective girls".

For some of us this could be listed among our motivations to homeschool - or at least listed among the benefits received. It seems though, now science may be vindicating what every Father and every Mother of a boy knows - boys are different.

Compared to the fairer sex, we experience differently, we process differently, we grasp and understand and breakdown differently. We learn differently. That we do so is starting to be traced back to our fundamentally unique biology.

What it means is that the way boys are educated should be differently as well. This is certainly not to say that we as a society have produced a crop of stupid boys or ones so feminized as to not be able to relate to their fathers or each other as men. Neither is it to say that the effort to better educate girls according to their unique biological makeup and learning strengths was wrong-headed. Rather it is to say that in so doing, the pedagogical pendulum has swung too far. Indeed, it may even now support the idea of crafting another pendulum, another pedagogy. One that compliments the girls - one that focuses on how boys learn and thrive.

The article is clear, too, that the crafters of this boy-based pedagogy must be us, the dads, the fathers, the men in the lives of our sons and the friends of our boys.

"'One of the most reliable predictors of whether a boy will succeed or fail in high school,' Newsweek reports, 'rests on a single question: Does he have a man in his life to look up to?'...an adolescent boy without a father figure is like an explorer without a map."

As fathers of homeschooled boys, we need to ensure that we are there as men. Our boys need to be able to look up to us and see how to learn, how to walk, how to be men. This is not about teaching our sons how to shoot a gun or change the oil in the car. But it is about showing them, living out before them, how a man deals with challenges, overcomes problems, deduces logical conclusions from premises, wins competitively, and loses gracefully. It is about showing how to be gentle but firm, inventive but accomodating, excited but patient, passionate about being correct while empathetic to those who are not where we are just yet. It is leadership.

Dads, it is about being involved with the home schooling of our sons. The education of our boys is not the sole responsibility of our wives.

This is your call to action.

Read the article HERE (it is short)

Melting Ice Science Experiment

After our trip to the snow plow safety class we wanted to do a follow-up science activity from the snow activity list.

We choose to do a Salt Melting Ice Experiment.

We made two cups of water with two different color dyes, we chose red and blue. In one cup we added two teaspoons of salt. Rhiannon made a hypothesis that the one with salt would melt the ice and the one without would make more ice (only it would be blue ice). Rhiannon mixed up the solution and Ciaran got to pour the solutions on the ice in our driveway. We chose some of the thickest ice left. Here are some pictures from our experiment:

Ice Before Experiment.

Ice As we Poured Solution On - they both appear to be melting the ice a bit.

Ice After Solution Has Been on 30 minutes.

End Result. The salted water (red) melted through the ice and the ice nearby, it was easy to chip away at the ice with your foot. The unsalted water (blue solution) froze over the hole it intially made in the ice and made a layer of blue ice above the other ice.

Rhiannon's hypothesis was correct even though the intial observation would have made her believe it was wrong. Showing the importance of observing results at different time intervals.

This was an easy and fun experiment.

Krispy Kreme Donut Field Trip

The kids and I went on a field trip yesterday to Krispy Kreme donuts. We had about 40 kids plus parents (and even a grandfather) and divided into two groups. One group took the tour and the other group got to eat their free doughnut as they waited. Included with this FREE tour was every child and parent received a free doughnut of their choice, any type of doughnut.

The tour began in the back storeroom with a discussion of the supplies and the amount of supplies they go through and donuts they make. The particular store we were at makes an average of 20,000 doughnuts a day! Their number one seller is the original glazed and second is a close call between chocolate glazed and chocolate sprinkled. In case you are wondering, employees can eat as many doughnuts as they want during their shift. They also can bring one dozen home free with them. One of our students commented that there was not a single overweight employee there yesterday so maybe they don't really want to eat them.

We saw the big standing mixer they use. It looks like a giant kitchen aid, but it also has a spinning scraper that scrapes as it mixes. One mom noted we should contact kitchen aid about adding that feature to our home versions! We saw all the other machines used in making doughnuts. We found out that it takes about an hour to make a doughnut from start to finish.

Ciaran thought how they added icing was interesting. The have a big barrel of spinning chocolate that they dip the donuts into. Two people stand at the machine and each dips two doughnuts at a time. They have a machine that adds the filling into the donuts (there are no holes in the doughnuts ahead of time. Then our tour guide (the store's general manager) took us to the window where you watch the doughnuts being made. He explained that it takes about 20 minutes for the doughnuts to rise and then it only takes 2 minutes to cook them, one minute each side in 320 degree oil. The glaze is added by a small glaze waterfall.

The kids asked some good questions and seemed to enjoy themselves. This was a second tour on our field trip day. We began the day with our snow plow safety tour. It is a pretty short tour if you were planning on doing it by itself. However, it is free, informative and you get a free Krispy Kreme hat (parents wore them too) and free doughnuts.


Friends Standing in Solidarity

A friend of ours recently discovered that he has Hodgkin's lymphoma and recently began chemotherapy treatment. My husband has been friends with him since junior high even though they have lived in several different states. We were shaken to find out that someone our age who seemed to be healthy was having to go through this.

Serona decided to show his support and stand with his friend by shaving his head. As our friend will soon begin to experience hair loss Serona wanted to find some small way to reach out and support his friend over the distance. A small token to be sure. Another friend followed Serona's lead and posted pictures of his before and after as well.

Our hearts and prayers are with our friend and his family. Consider praying for them yourselves.


January 23, 2006

Coming Out of the Closet

Okay it is time I come out and admit something. I am a country music fan. I have been in the closet for awhile about this. I will admit I used to hate country music. I used to think of it in this way, something I have actually said.

"You know why I don't like country music? Because if you play it backwards you get your dog back, you get your house back, you get your wife back, you get your life back, and you are still drinking all the while through."

That is what I thought of country music for the longest time and I resisted it for years and years. So why the change in me? Because I love folk music and I love songwriters. Two of my favorite musicians are Dan Fogelberg and Pink Floyd. An unusual combination I will admit but they are both storytellers with powerful lyrics and interesting music, but the focus is definitely on the story they are telling.

-When I took the time to listen to it, right after 9-11 when my soul was searching for something to express the depth of pain and anger I was feeling there were some songs by Alan Jackson, Lonestar and Daryl Worley that really seemed to hit my emotions. But I never wanted to admit to myself that I was enjoying country music. Partly because of the stereotypes I bought into and partly because of all the horrible things I had said in the past (did not feel like eating more words). Also Serona would have teased me endlessly.

Well a few months ago I started listening more because a song on the radio would catch my attention and then I wanted to know more. I was listening to it on the sly as Serona would say for a few months and then one day I just fessed up and preprogrammed the country station in my car and saved country playlists in our musicmatch subscription.

I've even been brave and played some songs for Serona. While he is not a country fan there is an occasional song he can find value in like "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue" by Toby Keith. So there it is the truth is out. I like country music because it is real music, it is honest and it tells great stories. It is music that reaches into my heart and has even made me cry from time to time
-Skin, Sarabeth by the Rascal Flatts
Letters from War
-He Didn't Have to Be - Brad Paisley
_There Goes my Life - Kenny Chesney

It is modern day folk music. So there I have admitted it. Some bands and musicians I have been recently enjoying are Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Darryl Worley, Sara Evans, Allison Krauss, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride and Lonestar.


January 22, 2006

Snow Plow and Snow Lesson Plans

Since we will soon be taking a field trip to see the snow plows and talk about snow safety, I thought I would put together some resources to go with the theme. Since our field trip will have kids from a wide variety of ages I have included a wider variety of age material. This is not meant for you to do everything listed here, we certainly will not. Rather, you can pick and choose what looks fun and interesting to you. Parents should preread and prescreen any sites for their kids as I have not done that.


Snow Related Activities

Online Interactive Winter Storm Word Search

Interactive Blizzard Drive

Snow Printouts, Activities and Ideas

Building Snow Plows with Legos
Lego Snow Plow Lesson,
Sample Lego Snow Plow in stages,5th lesson with worksheet.

Snow Science Experiments and Information

Salt Melting Snow

Salt Melting Ice

Snow Density Experiment

Technical Description of why salt melts ice

Melting Snow density experiment

Grow a Snowflake


Avalanche experiment
Good info site
NOVA avalance

Arts and Crafts

Make Snow Goggles

Snow Crystal Art

For Preschoolers

Many Snow related themes and ideas

Snow Related Food

Some fun snow games and activities

General Info

Weather Channel Winter Lesson Plan

MnDot info

Create a Winter Survival Kit

Building an Igloo

Another Building igloos

Building a Snow Castle

History of Snow, Blizzards and more

Snowplow Pictures

Salt Truck Pictures

Types if Snowfall
There are many kinds of snowy conditions that you may encounter
1. Weather forecasters use many of these terms and you should know what they mean
2. Snow flurries
a. Intermittent snowfall that may reduce visibility
3. Snow showers
a. Intermittent but heavier than flurries
4. Snow squalls
a. Brief, intense snowfall with gusty winds
5. Normal snowfall
a. Steady falling of snow
6. Lake effect snow
a. Snow that falls downwind of the Great Lakes when a cold wind blows over the warmer water surface
7. Heavy snow
a. 4 to 6 inches in 12 hours or 6 inches or more in 24 hours
8. Blowing and drifting snow
a. Strong winds and poor visibility for a lengthy period of time
9. Blizzard
a. Steady snowfall with blowing snow
b. Sustained winds of 35 mph or higher
Taken from Bus Driver Snow Safety Guidelines.

January 19, 2006

1, 2, 3 Zebra

I forget how easy and even fun it can be to go shopping with just one younger child. Tonight Sirah (age 2) and I went to the bank and grocery store. She was a lot of fun and very cute to be with. Since it was just us she could walk and hold my hand. She insisted on carrying the basket until I put a few pounds of flour in it at which point it got to heavy. She kept asking about things and telling me about things, and just being cute and playing games. It actually made grocery shopping and reminded me of the days when I could walk slowly through the produce aisle and ask what each thing was and talk about the color, back when I did not have two other kids pestering to move on, or begging for things or just trying to survive my way through the store. Today reminded me how fun it can be to shop with one child that age.

She picked out one of her favorite snacks at the coop, a fruit leather (not to be confused with fruit rollups or sugar by the foot) and was showing everyone it. She proudly placed it on the checkout belt and talked to the cashier. On the way out holding her with one hand and the groceries in the other we headed for the door.

She was emphatic that I stop before the doors opened. I was expecting an "abracadabra" or something of the like, instead it was "1, 2, 3, ZEBRA!" and she jumped in front of the door to make it open. She was so proud of herself and so excited, full of smiles and giggles. At first I did not think I heard right so I double checked as we arrived at the second door, once again "1, 2, 3, wait, 3, 6, 5 ZEBRA!" Another big grin and laughter. I joined in with her and told her how special she was and how much fun I had as I strapped her into her carseat for the drive home.

I think it will be a long time before I see an automatic door and don't think of this moment. So if you ever see a grown woman stop before a door and state "1,2, 3, zebra" as she jumps to open the door you will know it is me.

Treasure those little ones and all these precious memories.

January 17, 2006

I am a Cruchy Con!

Tonight I discovered I am a "Crunchy Con". A friend mentioned the term and I thought she was just being clever with her words that we are cruchy conservatives. Of course being who we are when I came home we looked it up on google and what I found really surprised me. At times I felt like I was reading Serona and I's personal biography. More than once we pointed out passages and realized they were very representative of us.

Curious? Well read for yourselves and see why we are Crunchy Con.


January 16, 2006

Dinosaur Lesson Plan for Preschoolers

Today, even though I am sick I knew the younger two needed something to do. So I asked them what they wanted to learn about and both said dinosaurs. It has been awhile since I have done much with dinosaurs and it is very easy to make lesson plans around this topic so I went with it.

We started with Zoom Dinosaurs at Enchanted Learning. We read through several pages, discovered that this Hadrosaurus was discovered in Minnesota. TO find out fossils discovered in your state go here.

Ciaran and Rhia really enjoyed learning about the T-Rex and talking about the difference between herbivores and carnivores. We went through a few of the pages and they liked seeing the size diagram found here.

We printed out the pictures to make a diorama from here though we did not get to it today, maybe tommorrow.

We learned some songs and actions/movements to go along with them. Here are some of their favorites from today.

I'm a Mean Old Dinosaur
(Tune: I'm a little Tea Pot)

I'm a mean old Dinosaur
(Make a mean face, the kids make the cutest mean faces)
Big and Tall
(Gesture hands big and tall )
Here is my tail, here is my claw.
(Gesture hands behind your back for tail and make claw hands)
When I get all hungry
(rub your tummy)
I just growl
(have the kids exaggerate the grrroooowwwlll)
Look out kids I'm on the prowl.
(Here I tickle each one of the tummy and they all giggle)vvvvv

Found at Preschool Rainbow

The Dino Ditty

Submitted by Linda
Here he comes just a stomping with his feet
Singing Dino, ditty, ditty-dum, ditty do
Searching all around for something to eat
Singing Dino, ditty, ditty dum ditty do
He's huge (echo). He's strong (echo) He's huge, he's strong.
Wont be hungry very long
Dino ditty, ditty dum, ditty do
Yeah, Dino ditty, ditty dum, ditty do

Five Crazy Dinosaurs
Submitted by Sarah
5 crazy Dinosaurs sweeping the floor
1 got swept away, then there were four
4 crazy Dinosaurs chased by a bee,
1 got stung, then there were 3
3 crazy Dinosaurs playing with glue,
1 got stuck, then there were 2
2 crazy Dinosaurs out for a run
1 fell down, then there was 1
1 crazy Dinosaur acting like a hero
He went out to save the others, then there were zero

Dinosaurs of Long Ago
Submitted by Sarah
The Dinosaurs lived long ago,
And walked like this, and that. (Walk heavy like Dino's)
Some were large (Stretch arms apart.)
And some were small. (Squat down.)
Some liked water (Swimming motion)
And some liked land (Stomp feet.)
Some had wings that flapped and flapped. (Flap arms)
Some had long necks that stretched and stretched (Put hand above head)
The meanest, rudest one of all was ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex
These were the Dinosaurs of long ago.
Goodness gracious! Where did they go?

Dinosaurs Lived Long Ago
(sung to "London Bridge is Falling Down")
Dinosaurs lived long ago, long ago, long ago,
Dinosaurs lived long ago, That's prehistoric!

Tyrannosaurus was very mean, very mean, Very mean,
Tyrannosaurus was very mean, That's prehistoric!

Brontosaurus was very big, very big, very big,
Brontosaurus was very big, that's prehistoric!

Stegosaurus wore heavy spikes, heavy spikes, heavy spikes,
Stegosaurus wore heavy spikes, that's prehistoric!

Triceratops had big sharp horns, big sharp horns, big sharp horns,
Triceratops had big sharp horns, that's prehistoric!

Pterodactyl could fly in the air, fly in the air, fly in the air,
Pterodactyl could fly in the air, that's prehistoric!

All the Dinosaurs disappeared, disappeared, disappeared,
All the Dinosaurs disappeared, that's why their prehistoric!

Found at Everything Preschool.

Some other things were making dinosaur teeth out of air drying modeling clay (when dry we will string them on necklaces), we dipped plastic dinosaur feet into paint and painted footprints on brown paper. Then we dipped plastic dinosaur stencils into paint and painted dinosaurs in a scene.

Ciaran and I did some math with the big plastic dinosaurs. We counted, added and subtracted and matched numbers to sets. He also classified by colors and sizes. He lined them up by size and then we played a jumping game. We kept adding dinosaurs to see how many he could jump over, he got up to 9 before he touched one. Then we lined up the dinosaurs like hurdles and he had to jump over each one in a row without touching them. They were close enough to make this challenging and he eventually mastered it. In the meantime he burned energy and had a blast. Together we went on a dinosaur hunt where I hide the big plastic dinosaurs and they had to find them.

Some other ideas I found but did not get to today were:

The Jaws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex

Put a ten foot circle some where in your class. Hide large Dino teeth in different places around the room before they get there. Have the children find the teeth and bring them back to the circle. Tape the teeth around the circle. Explain to the children that the circle is how wider the Tyrannosaurus Rex mouth was. Let them see how many of them can fit in the jaw

From 123 Child and

Making Paper Dinosaurs (geared more for adults and older kids)
Found here.

There are many options for a dinosaur unit. Want more ideas just type dinosaur lesson plan and the grade level into google and you will find more than you can use!


January 15, 2006

Sea Monkeys - Day 2

The sea monkeys came at Christmas. My aunt and uncle and cousin sent them. Daddy helped us put them together. He had to mix it around a little and pour stuff in and put water in and then he would have to put the salt in and then the eggs and the end. You put special salt in to help the sea monkeys breathe.

The sea monkeys are white. They are very little. The sea monkeys float only they don't swim. They live in a bottle that looks like water and it has a magnifying glass that helps us see the sea monkeys. That is the end.

January 14, 2006


Okay so I am a bit late in this. But in the spirit of delurking week - a bit late please leave a comment and let me know you are around! Like Scooby over at A Place to Grow said it feels good to get comments and hear from those of you who are out there reading. I suppose I need to go delurk as well. But for those of you who regularly read you will understand why delurking week has been challenging here, for the rest of you scroll down to read about Rhia's surgery and recovery!

Anyway leave a comment, say hi, and let me know where you found me if you want. Be sure to include your blog in case I've never visited!


Best of Blog Awards

Best of Blog Awards are up. Feeling blog award fatigue? These are the original awards for the less recognized but still awesome bloggers out there. SCHOOL@HOME is NOT a finalist this year but three blogs I love are - go check out the awards and great blogs and let me just put in a pitch for:
The Wine Cask for the Best Cooking/Food Blog,
Cripes Corner for Best Inspirational Blog
The Education Wonks in the Ed/HS category.



Well it has been a very long week of recovery. Rhiannon has been a trooper though. Not only did she need to recover from the tonsillectomy but she also needed to fight off a nasty viral infection and keep her hydration up. Her temperature stayed in the 103-104 range from Monday straight through Friday. She coughed up blood, had difficulty drinking, was drained, dizzy and not wanting to walk or do anything. Her mood swings were often intense and it was challenging for all of us.

During this time both Ciaran and Sirah were also sick and we were all working on very little sleep. I am happy to say the fever broke today and Rhia was even up and playing quietly with her siblings. Things seem much better now.

We have so many people to thank for all their help this week. We had families bring meals, families drop by with cards or flowers and even one who brought blueberries and another who brought a smoothie maker over with a meal they prepared for us. One dear friend showed up Friday morning with big laundry baskets and filled them with dirty clothes and returned them today with clean folded laundry. Bless her heart!

Of course my parents were here to help out which was very helpful and Serona has helped out so much after work and on the weekend. It ended up being a much rougher week than I had anticipated. It was clear that we had strong prayer support throughout this time. From my FIL's church, to our own church, from homeschool support group to friends and family - we were covered in prayer. It is the only thing that allows us to make sense of the fact that for 5 straight days after surgery she had a 103-104 temperature, struggled with hydration, coughed up blood and still never needed to be readmitted to the hospital! Thank you for all your prayers and support!

Prayers go out to my future SIL in Cali as she recovers from a tonsillectomy as well. And to my brother as he takes great care of her! I would estimate regular blogging to resume in about another week.


January 11, 2006

High Fever

Rhiannon must have caught something viral. She has had a temp between 102 and 104 for the last two days. The fever really seemed to knock her down. It is so hard as a parent to feel so helpless when you want to help so much.

Both Ciaran and Sirah were also sick and the needs of the kids has been draining. I did manage to get some sleep last night as my father stayed up with Rhia. She was up and about more today. She even asked me to cook her eggs and played a board game with Grandpa. She managed a bath and walking around some, inclduing the staircase. Her spirits are slowly rising and we pray the rise in fever tonight does not bring them back down.

Grandpa headed back to New York today but grandma is here for a longer visit to help out. We have had very generous friends including two meals provided and another friend who wants to take all my dirty laundry and wash it for me! What blessings.

Well off to put the kids to bed and maybe get some sleep myself.


January 10, 2006

Tonsillectomy Update

Well it is done. After more than a month to prepare for the day - it has come and gone. It has been a long road and we are not yet through it.

Rhiannon has had recurring tonsillitis for the past several months. On average she gets a full blown case every two weeks. These infections never turned into strep throat just gave her terribly swollen tonsils, sometimes actually touching and extreme sore throats. The decision was made in the end of November to remove the tonsils and then we had to wait until Jan for various reasons.

The week before her surgery, she and her brother had the stomach flu. A few days later she had a raging case of tonsillitis. The day after both Ciaran and Sirah had a high fever and cold symptoms. We have been praying over her all weekend that she would be healthy enough for the surgery - which she was, praise God.

The surgery went well. Rhiannon was well prepared. She asked her doctor, us, and a friend who recently had the same surgery at the same location with the same doctor many questions. She read through a comic book her doctor gave her several times. In addition we worked through some of the online tonsil resources I located last year.

In addition the hospital we use is FABULOUS! Besides providing excellent medical care they truly go that extra mile for the kids. Everything is very child friendly. The staff truly go out of their way for the kids and you can tell they really have a heart for children. They do things like put bracelets on the child's doll, in our case Felicity, they really engage the child in conversation and provide resources, books and toys for the kids to play with.

We met each of the doctors, nurses, anetheseologist and so on who would be working with us through the day. We had opportunity to talk or ask questions and to learn from them. They walked us step by step through everything that would happen. They had pictures and hands on supplies for Rhiannon to look at and touch. They really do their best to make parents and child comfortable with everything that will happen. That sort of personal involvement and attention to detail makes all the difference in the world. I am so thankful for the staff their and all they did for our family.

When the time came for the surgery Serona and I accompanied Rhiannon into her room, we held her hands as she went under for the surgery. This was my second time holding a child as they were put to sleep. It can be a bit intense but we were thankful for the opportunity to be there with and for her. While she was operated on - we headed down to the cafeteria for lunch and to play cards to pass the time. We headed back up in about half an hour to talk to her doctor. The surgery went very well and as he said "Those were something to write home about" regarding the size of the tonsils and adnoids he removed. We then had to wait for Rhia to wake up and recover a bit.

In the waiting room I was crocheting a blanket and Serona reading his wine course book. We chatted with several other parents about their children and managed to pass the hour we had to wait for her. We headed into a recovery room where she struggled to stay awake and drink a bit. About a half hour after her pain meds she was like a different child. Until the pain meds kicked in she was rating herself a 10 or if we were lucky a 9 on a 1-10 pain scale. After the meds she dropped to a 3! We headed home just 4 hours after she went in for her surgery! I was amazed how quickly it all went.

Rhiannon is a trooper and doing a great job. She is in a lot of pain and unhappy but doing her best. She has found she enjoys popsicles and can not stand drinking water or anything for that matter. Thankfully she picked out all real juice popsicles! We will be up every few hours tonight giving her meds and trying to keep her comfortable.

I am very proud of her and know that we will make it through these next difficult days. Sirah and Ciaran are also both sick. Praise God that my parents are in to visit and help with the recovery period. Four adults to two sick kids plus one recovering from surgery is much better than just the two of us!

The future holds many movies, board games, puzzles, and of course many good books. We started the Besty-Tacy series today. I have been looking forward to reading this one with her for awhile but kept pushing it back so she could be the right age to start. Ciaran is really enjoying "Journey to the center of the Earth" right now. Well I must get off to sleep. I must admit to missing blogging and I look forward to getting back to it once we are all healthy again.


January 9, 2006


Blogging has been and will continue to be light as Rhiannon has recently had a tonsillectomy. The surgery went well and she is recovering. Please keep our family in your prayers as she is having a rough and painful recovery and the younger two are both pretty sick with fevers, lethargy and intense coughs!


January 1, 2006

Happy New Year

May you have a blessed 2006! May you remember fondly all the good of 2005 and move forward for a great year to come.

I hope your New Year's Celebration was better than my own. Sirah and I had a 24 hour stomach bug. Poor Serona had to spend his evening taking care of us both - though truthfully I was more work then she was! Thanks Serona

Happy New Year,