Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Enjoying the beautiful spring day!

Today I thought we'd do a little something fun.  I had not taken Rebecca to an optional function and was feeling a little guilty.  I thought I'd make it up by treating everyone.  I encouraged them to work to finish their schoolwork and we would go have a picnic lunch at a park.

We worked and then we focused on heading out.  To top off some school frustration, some arguing and not listening was added in.  I felt my frustration rising.  By the time we all finally got in the car, I was really aggrevated with them.  And I let them know it too.  :-(  I had promised to take them out though and I want to make sure I keep my promises.  I will say that I didn't want to however. 

Why is this such a struggle sometimes?  Why can't I just go with the flow, let things roll off my back and not get so frustrated?!  Even yesterday as I was praying, I asked God to help me be more patient and then even clarified that I didn't need additional opportunities to practice patience as the days had enough of those!  LOL

We picked up lunch and headed to the park and it was a beautiful sunny day!  Windy too.  As soon as we stepped outside, I could feel my frustrations melting away and I apologized to my children.  I know it's good for them to have me apologize, but I sure wish I could get things right with them all the time.  I know that I would be unbearable then as this surely keeps me humble.

After lunch, the children played some on the playground.  (I should mention that Christopher stayed home to work, though he was also given the option of coming with us.) 

Then we went for a hike on a piece of the American Tobacco Trail that is near our house.  Its a lovely walk and I hope to make this a regular part of our weeks - hiking, biking or searching for geocaches.  I want to enjoy the lovely weather before it gets so very hot.

Isaiah found this large stick at the beginning of the walk and carried it the entire time!

We saw some beautiful flowers and stopped to get a closer view.

And my camera got me even closer.

Next time we'll need to bring our nature notebooks and make a drawing.  Of course, then I'll need to figure out what things are and I'm terrible at that!  Any suggestions for helping me?

On our way back, Joshua felt low.  We stopped and tested him.  53.  That came out of nowhere.  I'm so glad he felt it!  I do hope that he will get to where he can feel all of them as I would hate for one to go unchecked.

I'm thankful we have the flexibility to go outside and enjoy God's creation.  I'm thankful that God loves me and is quick to forgive me.  I'm thankful that my children are too.  I'm thankful for my precious family and that I get to spend so much time with them.  Thank you God for blessing me abundantly.  Give me your eyes to see and your heart to love that I might live more fully.



Monday, March 29, 2010

JDRF Easter Egg Hunt

Yesterday we went to the JDRF Easter Egg hunt.  I had hopes of meeting some other kids there, but honestly it was hard with moving from activity to activity.  Its alright though as it was fun anyway!  I'm hoping maybe a picnic or something will be coming up with more opportunity to just hang out.  We'll see.  I know God will provide all that we need and I'm trying to just be content with that.

The weather was threatening all day - but thankfully the rain  held off and we were able to have a fun time!  We arrived and checked in and there were lots of different activities to enjoy.  There were bags to decorate (in case you didn't bring a basket).  We had baskets and none of mine wanted to decorate bags (no surprise there!).

There were balloons and my boys each chose to have one made into a sword.  LOL  No surprise here either. 

Eliana got a balloon flower.  She probably would have been happy with a sword too.

There were bubbles, hula hoops, chalk and face painting areas.  The hula hoops captured the attention of my crew.  I think it's been a long time since we've had a functioning hula hoop and this was fun.

They picked it up pretty quickly - well, some of them did.  Even Eliana wanted to try it out.

Soon it was time for the hunt and everyone lined up.

When it was time to go, it was chaos!!!  Things move so quickly that it is hard to get good photos!  The little children had playdoh set out in addition to the eggs.  Eliana was thrilled to get some "day-doh".

After the hunt, the kids showed us their eggs.

Then they looked inside to see what they had gotten.  It was a sugar-free hunt - so NO candy.  This was a bummer to one of mine, but I thought it was great.  They received stickers, little toys, chalk eggs, bubbles and play-doh.  As we sat down to look inside the eggs, we noticed a father walking up with his children and their baskets.  They had missed the hunt.

I quickly asked the boys if they could put some things back into the eggs (we had been asked to empty them and return the eggs) to give to these children.  I was glad that they were happy to do this and then go give the full basket to those children.  I stopped and talked with the Dad for awhile.  His little girl was just diagnosed a few weeks ago.  I was glad to have the opportunity to chat with him.

Next on the agenda was games.  I had no idea that there was going to be so much going on!  First up, were the sack races.  Mine loved this!

Even Eliana, who just walked in her sack.  (She had a great big sister helper with all of this too!)

They also did egg and spoon races.  If your egg fell off you had to go back and start again.  This was hard as it was really windy.

There was also an egg toss.  It was a plastic egg filled with birdseed and the goal was to move further and further from your partner without your egg cracking open.

After the races, there were prizes that you could pick out.  It was a fun afternoon.  I'm thankful for this organization and the volunteers behind it that work to help these kids have some "normal" fun.  So many holidays seems so focused on sugar and it can be hard to break these traditions.  I guess though, it's a good time to learn some new traditions that are better for all of us. 

In other diabetes news, we got a call today to schedule our pump training class.  It will be in mid-April with the doctor that we saw last time.  I was really hoping it would be with my favorite endo.  Oh well.  I'll let you know more when we get closer.  He should walk out that day with his pump functioning.  :-)  I'm nervous and excited at the same time.  Even as I write this, there are tears welling up.  Why do so many things make me teary?!  I didn't use to be this way.  LOL

Hope you are all having a delightful spring day!

with love


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Look what arrived!

Late last night, a large and heavy box was delivered.  Can you guess what it is?

Joshua was excited to open the box. 

At first glance, it isn't that exciting.  It's boxes and boxes of supplies.  (A three month supply)

 We had to look a little deeper in the box.  I love how it was packaged in a fun way.

This is it!  Joshua's pump.  The pump is on the left and the meter (or "Ping") is on the right.

The timing has gone pretty quickly in terms of the process of getting our pump.  I know we are fortunate on that front and know that this isn't the experience of everyone.  Now, we are waiting on a training session to occur with his doctor (I'm really hoping it's our favorite doctor!) and other people.  I'm really not sure who is to be in on this.  I was told when I called to set it up that it may take several weeks to get it coordinate.  I hope that they pick any day but our field trip day to do this!

We'll spend our waiting time learning.  Joshua has a workbook to go through to see what he knows.  This will be good for both of us to work through so that we understand as much as possible before he starts wearing the pump. 

I've already started reading the book Pumping Insulin.  There is a lot to take in!

We haven't quite finished with the box.

This is no light reading!  Its over 200 pages.  I think this will keep us busy until we are able to have our appointment!

Today was a beautiful day filled with lots of outside play time!  I also spent some time working on a chore system for our family.  I'm not finished, but have made good progress.  I need to do some training before we can hit this running, but that needed to be done and I'm hoping this will help us. 

I also spent time today shopping with Rebecca.  It was fun to spend time with her.  We also worked on our Bible study.  We are doing a study on the book of Esther and it's been wonderful!

God also blessed me in another way today.  This morning, my readings centered on anger.  It wasn't really something I planned, but after an incident with the boys, it was something I really needed.  I was able to have a really neat conversation with one of my boys about anger and what the Bible has to say about anger.  We also talked about how to deal with anger and made a plan.  I am so incredibly thankful that God prepared me for this time.  I know He probably wants to do this much more frequently with me if I only stopped and listened.  Today I listened and He blessed me!

We also faced a challenge tonight.  As I was serving dinner, Joshua checked the carbs on the package of rice for me.  The number seemed high and I asked him to check again.  He confirmed the numbers and we went with it.  I dosed him and he went back out to play.  In less than an hour, he told me he felt low.  He was 43.  His lowest number ever.  I'm so very thankful he felt it as I wouldn't have checked him for at least another hour.  We spent the next couple of hours working to bring his numbers up - but not send him sky high.  We read a book together and figured out where we had made a mistake.  Again, I'm thankful, so very thankful that this time he knew.  He doesn't always feel a low, but this time he did.  Thank you God for watching out for our boy!

Tomorrow we are going to an Easter  Egg hunt sponsored by the JDRF.  It's a suger free hunt!  I'm hoping that the rain holds off and even more I'm hoping that Joshua will be able to connect with another litlte boy with Juvenile Diabetes.  I would love for him to have a friend that understands what he is dealing with.  Even tonight as we were working through the low, he said "I hate diabetes".  I had to agree.  "Me too!"  It's a horrible disease that I never truly understood.  I never knew how hard it is to deal with on a daily basis.  Hoping and praying for a cure!

Hoping your tomorrow is a blessed one as we anticipate the Holy Week.

In His love


Albert - FIAR Vol 4 Co-op

This happened a week ago, but was the same day as Daniel's eye appointment so I  haven't gotten it posted. 

We had another delightful day at co-op.  These are honestly some of my favorite days.  I love the creativity and energy put into it by the other moms.  I also love seeing the expressions of creativity by the children.  I always learn new things and just love spending a fun morning with friends!

As always, we start with reading the story.  We spend our time outside as often as weather allows.

The children had a discussion about illusion because in the story Albert, he checks the weather to see if it is a good day for going outside.  It is, until he hears a "bad noise" and then he decides to stay.  The excuse is the weather when in reality that isn't the real reason at all.  Isn't that a great thing to be talking about with children - to help them understand and deal with reality.

Miss Lynn had some examples of things that she partly showed them and then when they saw the entire thing, they realized that it was not as it had appeared.  Then they spent some time looking at some puzzles and optical illusions.

This is the book that was used and it is a really neat one!

In the story, when Albert holds his hand out to check the weather, a bird drops a twig in his hand.  Surprised, he stands there and watches as the mama and papa bird continue to drop sticks into his hand until a nest is built.  To explore a little about birds, each child was given a tag with a picture and description of a bird.  They could use this to talk and ask questions and share which bird they happened to be.

One of the highlights of the day was ... egg-speriments.  My boys loved this!

One of the experiments including observing what happened to an egg soaked in vinegar (a chemical reaction that causes the shell to be gone/absorbed (?) and turns the egg into a rubbery form that bounces.  Another demonstrated the strength of the egg shell.

Next, what happens to an egg when you light a match, place it in a bottle and place an egg on top of the bottle (blocking the entrance)?

The lighted match creates a vaccuum pulling the egg into the bottle.

Learning how to tell if an egg is boiled or not by spinning it, stopping it with your finger and then watching to see what it does.  (The raw egg starts spinning again due to the yolk still being in motion from the prior spinning.)

The children were given more pictures of birds while they looked at a poster with a variety of bird's nests on them.  They then took turns placing the birds with their nests.

The children were then given the opportunity to express themselves by decorating eggs.  They could chose to do one that had been "blown" or one that was hard-boiled.  They could use paint, markers, colored pencils, and/or tissue paper/mod podge to decorate the eggs.

Each egg was unique and different.  It's always a treat to see the children express themselves.  (And I had to try not to laugh when one of mine painted his egg ... white!)

The children played with some of the extra eggs with some making nests by the creek and others made

Egg bombs.   (One of those moments you don't envision when you first become a mom of boys!)

I just thought this was a neat picture of the egg flying through the air on its way to a tree.

The last lesson was on noise and how it moves through the air (waves) as well as the decibel level of various items.  The children learned about the effect of loud noises on their ears too.  Each child was given a slip of paper with a noise on it - from jet plane to a whisper and lots more.  Then then tried to guess the decibel level and were able to see if that item was at a sound level that was dangerous for their ears.

We finished with a yummy snack - egg, nuts, seeds. 

The children were given a cute little fabric nest for their eggs. 

Thanks Lynn and Vivian for a wonderful morning!  We had a blast!

Hope you enjoyed a peek into our day.



Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blue Jay Point

Today was field trip day and we visited Blue Jay Point County Park.  We had a lovely day for our program and it was nice to be able to spend time outside learning and the playing.  I was thankful to have some time to just chat with the other moms.  It's been awhile since we have had weather condusive to just playing and hanging out at the playground.

Our program today was on tree identification.  We tried this earlier in the week during our nature studies and I realized how very hard it was (for me) to identify trees without any leaves).  It was so interesting to hear all of the various ways that you can tell what type of tree it is without any leaves.  Bark, stems, and buds were all a big clue to the type of tree.

We split into 2 groups for our program.  The younger kids went first (5-10 year olds) while the older and younger kids could either play a game with one of the nature boxes available from the park or visit the education center.  My oldest two took Eliana with them so that I could focus on the program with the younger boys.  It was a lot of fun!

We stopped at various trees and looked at its features.  Like the musclewood with the trunk looking a little like a muscle.  They had lots of opportunities to touch the bark and look for details - and remember them later when we came up to other trees of the same variety.

Or the beech with red, cigar-shaped buds AND the leaves hanging on to the tree even though they were dead.  (This is the tree I picked up on today and hopefully will remember.  I figure that I'm doing well if I learn at least one new thing!)

We lookd at maples, sourwood, ironwood, hickory, holly and more.  We learned that the hickory has a "monkey face scar" where branches once were that help you to identify the tree.  They also discussed deciduous and evergreen trees.

The program ended with the children working in pairs with one child leading a blindfolded child to a tree to try to identify.  They then had to try to find the tree without the blindfold.

When we finished, the younger kids played a game in a nearby field (and I have no photos because my camera died) while the older kids went on their walk.  They went on a different path with more trees and a longer walk.  I listened into the beginning of their program.

They were in a picturesqe place in front of a pond.  (Don't look at the next picture if you don't like reptiles!!!)  I took some pictures of the group and then one of the pond.  I'm not putting in the close up for a friend that won't want to see it - but can you see what is on the log?  I thought it was a fake - a statue just for looks.  Turns out that it was real.  A snake that mimics a copperhead.  Lovely.  Thankfully we didn't see any on our walks.

Had to share at least one photo of this little cutie.

We briefly visited the educational center which was for the most part was very nicely done.  One of the exhibits was a little offensive (on a personal level) and sadly one of my children pointed it out to me.  Its was good opportunity to talk about how the world's view and God's view are sometimes different and that you don't have to believe all that you read! 

We stayed for a picnic lunch and several hours at the playground.  A lovely day.  Eliana had a delightful time playing with the other children and in the sandbox.  It was fun watching her.  We look forward to coming back another day.