Sunday, November 22, 2009

Field Trip - Falls Lake

I love field trip days.  I look forward to the time learning more about nature or history whatever out topic of the day may be in a fun and hands-on way.  I look forward to seeing our friends.  I just look forward to all the day has to offer.

As our field trip day approached last week, it was raining and the forecast was grim.  It was calling for rain and our field trip was an outdoor nature one.  I wondered what the day would hold.  We were assured that it would be a go - rain or shine - as shelters were available (unless it was storming). 

As we drove over to Falls Lake, a few drops were hitting the windshield.  A number of people had to cancel for various reasons.  When we arrived, we were a small group.  It was overcast and dreary  ... and yet beautiful.

The haze obstrucing the view.  The brilliant colors of the leaves, muted through the fog.  Can you see God in views like this?  So many times, I want my path to be clear.  I want to see where I am going.  I want to know what lies ahead.  I want God to tell me what His plans are.  I want.  I want. 

What I don't want is to wait, to wonder, to worry.    I don't want to let go of my hopes and dreams.  I don't want life to be so unfair for so many.  Again, it is all about what I want.  Sigh.  It is hard when you can see so clearly that your focus is on yourself instead of on God. 

I want answers to so many things right now.  Things I've been praying about for a long time.  It is hard to wait and yet I really do want what God wants for my life.  I know He loves me.  I know He is working in my life.  I know He is there - even when I can't see clearly. 

There is beauty in so many places if only we will stop and look.  There is often beauty in places that may at first not look beautiful at all.  My eyes see things so differently now than they did a few years ago.  I'm thankful that God has given me that gift.  I continue to pray that God would give me His eyes to see things.  It is an area in which I fall short often.  I think that the many struggles that our family has been through have helped to open my eyes to so much.  I'm not the same and for that I'm thankful - and yet there is still so much work left to be done in me.  I think the more I learn about Him, the more I can see that I lack.  I'm thankful that I don't have to earn His love, but that it has been freely given to me. 

Now, on to the field trip.  We split into 2 groups.  The younger children were learning about Dangerous Plants and Animals.  The Ranger talked with us about spiders, snakes, fire ants, bees, ticks, poison ivy and unfamiliar dogs.  He gave the children a lot of good information on what to do when you encounter these animals/plants.

We looked at pictures in order to recognize various species such as the Black Widow spider.

And even saw some that had once been alive.

The most dangerous snake in our area is the Copperhead.  It was good to see what it looked like so that we could hopefully recognize one we might see.   (Though I hope we never see one!)

Due to its coloring, this snake can easily hide among the leaves.

The Ranger also shared the most poisonous snakes have larger triangular shaped heads and eyes shaped like slits.  One of the snakes that breaks these rules though is also found in NC, though typically not near us.  It is the Coral Snake.

 In order to help remember this snake, the children learned a rhyme.

Red and yellow kills a fellow
Red and black, OK  Jack

They looked at some snake skins.

We walked around a bit and looked at the poison ivy vines growing on some nearby trees.  Then we just played.  It is a beautiful area and I'm thankful we had the opportunity to be outside today. 

While we were with the younger children, the older kids had a class on Compasses.  They learned about how to read and use a compass and then were tested on this by having to put their skills to a test.  There were directions given and then they followed them to see where they ended up on a numbered line.  The teams were given points based on how close they were to the right numbers.  I heard great reports on this class, but unfortunately have no pictures to share.  Please check out my friend Lynn's blog (click on her name) for more details and some pictures of this group. 

A couple of hours later, some of the fog had lifted and the view was a little clearer.  I love the reflection of the trees!

At lunch, we had a scare as Joshua's blood glucose numbers were very, very high.  I haven't seen numbers like this since the week he was diagnosed.  It was frightening.  I had him wash his hands again and then we did a recheck.  The number was accurate.  We treated it and thankfully he was down 200 points by mid-afternoon and another 100 points by dinner time.  Yes, it was that high! 

He ALWAYS spikes on our field trip days.  Always.  I'm not sure if it is just the excitement of being with friends on a fun outing, but I've come to expect higher numbers on those days.  Just nothing like this.  It usually evens out by later in the day too.  I'm not sure if there is more I could or should be doing about it either.  I have talked with his doctor about this.  I'm going to try to make sure he is well hydrated on these mornings and just continue to do our best.  (There is no other factor that is different in terms of food, carb counting or amount of insulin.)  It's a mystery as this disease often is.  It can be a hard thing. 

So often I'm asked if his diabetes is "under control".  I'm not sure if it ever will be under our control.  We are doing our best to manage it day by day and I think that is all we can do.  Just yesterday a friend told me that it was still a struggle for her dh who also have Type 1 and that he still has highs and lows.  I think part of the challenge is that so many different factors can affect your numbers.  We are learning though and hopefully we'll continue to improve and get better.  There is a high incentive to do well and with God's help we will continue to work at it each day.

I feel like I've been rambling and want to end with some things I'm thankful for.  I'm thankful for our health.  I don't think I'll ever take this for granted again.  I'm thankful for a wonderful medical team.  I'm thankful for friends.  I'm thankful for a great FIAR homeschool group.  I'm thankful for the many things in nature that God has made - each pointing back to a wonderful Designer.  I'm thankful for my family.  I'm richly blessed.

With love,