Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Charlotte's Web

If any of you are local, I'd love to invite you to attend a production of Charlotte's Web.  The cast has been working on this for a couple of months and have done a fabulous job!  I think it will be a fun play! 

Here is the cast.


Here is the information on the play.  If you want or need more details, please email me.  I have a really cute pdf but can not figure out how to post it here.  The performances will be on April 22, 23 and 24th at the Holly Springs Cultural Center.

Thur 7pm

Fri 2pm and 7pm

Sat 2pm

You can buy tickets on line at $4 each at the cultural center or online.  They are hoping for sold out shows! 

Sorry this is short.  I'm beat and going to go to sleep soon.



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Update on the pump, heart day and more!

Sorry I'm slow in posting updates, but things have just been super busy.  This week looks to be more of the same.  We'll all be ready for a break by the week-end!

The Pump

Friday morning, Joshua got up and ready and had his "last shot" (at least on a regular basis).  We've been told not to get rid of the syringes as there may be times that they are needed for a back-up.  This was still a big milestone though.  The last shot. 

Joshua has gotten on average 4 shots a day for the last 10 months.  That is approximately 1200 shots that I've given my sweet boy.  I'm thankful that I can care for him at home, but I won't lie, it's been hard too.  It's hard being on call constantly.  It's hard being the only one that can take care of him.  We haven't been apart from each other for more than a couple of hours ... for close to a year.  I'm still thankful though.  And I do love being close to my children.  A few hours is usually plenty of time to do all that I need to do apart from them.  I love being a mom and though I hadn't planned on working on my "nursing degree" at the same time as caring for my young children, I'm thankful for all that I've learned.  I know God has used much of this to teach me, humble me and show me how to be grateful for so much more!!!

I'm rambling.  We headed to the hospital for our 9am appointment.  Roger met us there and we were seen in a small room with a rep from Animas (the maker of Joshua's pump).  We talked with her for almost 3 hours.  Learning about the pump and how it works.  Practicing putting in the cartridges, learning the various screens, putting in the inset (into Joshua).  He was getting restless (and hungry) and 2 hours into the session, he was finally hooked up to the pump.

He was very excited.  We found a snack.  I had brought some Nabs.  Typically, he has only 1/2 of the package for a snack so that he doesn't have to get an additional shot.  If he chooses a snack with more than 12 carbs, he is due for a shot.  Usually he will choose a lower carb snack and forego the shot.  (Can you blame him!)  Sometimes though, he will opt for the snack if it's a really good one.

We figured out his insulin needs using the calculations in the pump and he gave himself his first bolus (dose of insulin through the pump replacing a shot!)!  I love that it can give doses in small increments!  His first dose was .85 of a unit.  In the tiny syringes that I use, the markings are .5.  It's really hard when he needs a dose in between the markings!  This will be a really nice feature. 

Again, a very excited and proud little boy!  He was very excited to get home and show every how it works.  (Though it is very quiet and fast so there isn't too much to see.)

Heart Day

We planned a picnic in the park for dinner to celebrate Eliana's heart day - and also Joshua's getting a pump.  My sweet friend Rebecca  planned a lovely dinner and brought delicious food for all of us!  We tried to get a watermelon (too early) and found cantaloupe instead.  Rebecca (my daughter) made some heart "lollipop" cookies.

I love Rebecca's desire to do things special and her effort into making things for others .  It is a gift and she uses it well.  


It was a beautiful day.  We all thought that this was something we should do more often - and especially while the weather is nice!  I didn't get a lot of photos though, because soon after we arrived, I realized that I had forgotten the scale so I ran home to get it.  Then shortly after I got back, Joshua told me that his pump had an error message.  Ack!  I wasn't ready for testing quite so soon.  LOL

We were at a park close to home, and I had left not bringing all of our extra supplies.  Thankfully, there is a 1-800 number on the back of Joshua's pump with 24 hour assistance.  I called and she walked me through repriming the pump and getting him set again.  She also tried to troubleshoot to find out why we had gotten the error, but we couldn't find anything.  We then fixed plates, checked blood glucose and got another error!  The same one.  *sigh*  I went ahead and reprimed the pump and called again.  I have to say that the customer service at Animas was very good!  Helpful, kind, courteous - and they had the info from the last call so I didn't have to go over it all again.  She told me that if it happened again, I would need to take out the cannister (with the insulin) and put in a new one.  We made it through dinner just fine.

The kids liked having both cookies ... and cupcakes (made by my friend Rebecca).

Eliana was delighted with all of it.

We had fun enjoying her!

After we got home, we got the error message again.  I redid the cannister.  (I may not be getting all the names right, but too tired to look it up in the manual.)  I talked again to one of the reps that walked me through the steps (even though we had this in training) which was helpful.  We haven't had a problem since then.

So, how is it going on the pump?  So far, we like it.   It has given Joshua more freedom and control over things.  He sets up his bolus and gives it (though I like to look over the numbers just to make sure that I agree with the pump).  Only once have I disagreed with the pump and it was due to some unusually high numbers.  I didn't want him crashing and so gave a lower dose.  It worked out well.  

I like that he can eat more  - especially at snack times.  His numbers were very good for the first 24 hours.  They were a little higher after though - with an almost low thrown in for good measure.  Tomorrow we do or first site change.  It will be nice to get that done and under my belt so I feel more confidence on doing this too.  I know I can do it though and don't have nearly the fears I did when I was facing some of Eliana's changes (of her feeding tube). 

I have talked with an Animas rep each day since Friday.  She has called to check on us and to see how things are going.  I'll send her his numbers and we'll see if any tweaking needs to be done with his insulin.  Again, I'm very impressed with the service we are getting!

Overall, I have to say that we are pleased.  I think this will give all of us more freedom and flexibility.  I think it will give Joshua more confidence.  We still have a lot to learn, but as beginners, things are going well.

The Play

Rebecca is in a play this week.  It's Charlotte's Web.  If you are local, it is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I can send more info if you are interested.  This week-end, they did some monologues in costume at some of the local libraries.  I loved hearing them!  The students did a great job figuring out their characters and giving them even more dimension.  I really enjoyed seeing them and am so glad Rebecca is having this experience.  It has been a lot of work, but a good experience.  I think the play will be wonderful and encourage you to come if you can!

The Race

After church today, Christopher ran in another race.  This was a 10K.  Its his 4th race this year.  He came in FIRST in his age bracket.  Way to go Christopher!  I'm proud of his hard work and his diligence.  The race today was a benefit for Habitat for Humanity.   It was a gorgeous day for a race.

This week is another crazy, busy week.  I'll try to post more on our co-op last week as I'm able to.  I'm trying to go into this week with low expectations of what we will accomplish.  I've planned simple meals, tried to catch up on laundry and kept plans for schooling at a minimum.  I want this to be a fun week and for us to enjoy the blessings - not be stressed about things "to do".  Praying that in the midst of the busy, that we will still listen to God's voice as He directs our plans and plans our paths.  I'm excited to see what the week will hold for us.



Friday, April 16, 2010

A date to remember

This date is one that is engraved in my mind and heart already.  One of the hardest and also most joyous dates I've experienced.  A date in which I handed to God something that was His anyway and trusted Him for the best.  It was one of the most difficult things I've been called to do as a mom.

Its a date that is in my heart, and one we have celebrated as a family.  Did you notice the "ticker" at the top of my blog?  The one right under Eliana's picture?  It doesn't look much like a ticker, but it is there counting the days nonetheless.  I remember putting the ticker on my blog.  It was the day that we "picked" a date for Eliana's heart surgery.  What an odd thing to pick a date for in my mind. 

Three years.  It has been three years since my baby started the day with two holes in her heart.  Started the day being kept alive with medications.  Started the day in heart failure.  Ended the day with a repaired heart.  At the time there were still many unknowns.  Would she smile?  Would she have complications?  Would she be here long?  The answers were all the best.  Yes, she smiled.  I still remember that first one - in the hospital at Christopher.  Thankfully, no complications which also sent us home early. 

This is Eliana's Heart Day.  A day in which we celebrate the life of our little  Princess.  A day in which we give thanks to God for healing her.  A day in which we give thanks.

Our celebrations have been small, but still sweet.  I think it's good to have markers like this in your life in which you give thanks.  I remember before Eliana's surgery having to come to the point of being able to give thanks to God regardless of the outcome.  Of having to know that He is good, regardless of how things turned out.  That may sound easy, but even as I type, tears are brimming in my eyes.  I'm so very thankful that He chose to use our surgeon's hands to bring healing.  As a tear slips down my face, I'm again thankful for this sweet girl he has placed in our family.  Indeed, God is good.

I haven't firmed up plans for later in the day since we have another big event this morning.  Thankfully, I do have a precious friend that is helping me to make plans.  She remembers this date too.  That is precious to my heart (especially since I'm *terrible* at remembering most dates!!!)  More later on our heart day.

For now, this day holds another milestone.  We are once again headed to the hospital for something that will make a change in our lives.  This one though on a much smaller scale than heart surgery.  This appointment holds no fear, no worries, no letting go.  It's something we are excited about and ready to handle.  We are off to get Joshua hooked up to the pump.  He is ready.  I am too.

Will post more later today if I'm able to.  Give those you love a big hug today.  Thank God for the time you have to spend with them.  Make the most of this day.  Cherish the moments.  Thank God!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crazy, busy week!

Just a short note to say that I'm here and we are all doing well - just very busy.  Here's a glimpse at our week.

2 Play Rehearsals - Rebecca is in a production of Charlotte's Web.  If you are local (or not and want to drive), we'd love to have you attend!  If you want me to send you the flyer, let me know and I'd be happy tot do that.  The performances are Thur 22nd, Fri 23rd and Sat 24th.  They have put a lot of time into this play and I know it's going to be great!

Co-op - It's my turn to host and co-teach.  We are rowing Roxaboxen this week.  It's one of my favorites and I'm looking forward to a fun day. 

10 Medical/Therapy appointments - That is a lot for any one week.  The bulk of that was dental.  I took all 6 of the kids on Monday.  It was mostly good.  Eliana cried the entire time.  Our dentist is fabulous though and really is not phased at ALL by a child that is having a hard time.  He is so laid back.  Did I say he was great?  So far, it looks like we have skipped braces for the first two, possibly the third.  We are not going t luck out with Isaiah though.  He will be getting braces as soon as he gets a few more baby teeth out.

Speaking of Isaiah, on the ride over, I was telling the children who would be going in first and with whom.  (They are split into 2 groups as they can only see 4 at a time.)  He then asked if friends were going to be there.  I told him no and was puzzled.  He thought since we were splitting into groups that we were going on a field trip.  LOL  At least he thought it was going to be a fun outing, I guess. 

My biggest surprise at the dentist was Daniel.  He needed x-rays.  I was worried about how he would handle them and he did a great job!  He was chatty, happy and able to handle it all without  me being right beside him every moment.  I am proud of him and excited that he was able to do this!

Our other appointments included 2 therapy appointments - some of which will soon be discontinued!  One eye appointment which thankfully held no surprises!  The last appointment is the most exciting one of the week ... our PUMP appointment!

We'll be going on Fri to learn all that we can - and to get his pump placed!  I'm excited and nervous.  I think this will be a good thing, but am expecting a period of transition as we work out the kinks.  It sounds like we will have great support while we are doing this and I'm thankful for that!  I've already talked with the gal that will be teaching us several times.  Joshua has been reading up and learning about the pump (as have I) so hopefully we'll both be prepared - as much as we can be anyway.

I'll post more after he gets his pump on Friday.  For now, I need to do a few more things, poke Joshua and then get some sleep before co-op in the morning. 

Just a funny.  Last week-end we were at Christopher's football game.  We spent some time with friends that we hadn't seen since last fall.  The little boys were playing and after awhile, one of the boys (from the other family) had this conversation with Rebecca and  Daniel.

Friend  to Daniel - "When you came to my house, you were very quiet and wouldn't play with me.  Now you are more outgoing and are playing with me."

Friend to Rebecca  - "How old was he when he came to my house?"

Rebecca "Five"

Friend "How old is he now"

Rebecca "Five"

Clearly puzzled that age isn't the reason that Daniel is now playing with him, he looks at Daniel and asks what has happened.

Daniel - "I upgraded." 

LOL  I love the things kids say!

Hope you are enjoying your week.  Praying you are seeing God's hand at work in your life.  Praying for you to find joy in Him and the blessings He has given you.  Thank you God for our health (I'm always so very thankful for health!).  Thank you for my precious family and wonderful friends.  Thank you for loving me.



Sunday, April 11, 2010

Camp Chestnut Ridge Field Trip

I love field trip days.  I love going on field trips.  I've been planning group field trips since Christopher was two.  I started with a little playgroup that wanted to meet at different parks and also explore some fun things in our area.  I loved planning them and have enjoyed doing it now for 15 years.  I'm thankful to have other moms come alongside and help with planning these trips as it would be too much for just one person to take on!  Plus you get the added benefit of new ideas.

This was a field trip we did last year and was a huge hit so we thought it would be great to do again.  I know we'll add this to the list for next year as well.  I highly recommend going to Camp Chestnut Ridge if you are local!  We don't typically repeat our field trips from year to year, but this site has a lot of variety in what they offer and the ropes course is something really special for the older kdis.

We divided into three groups.  The two oldest groups went on a ropes course.  This is a team building exercise where they have to work together to solve various problems.  In one of the activities, they were each given an animal name.  They then stood on a log.  They were to arrange themselves in alphabetical order without talking.  If they fell off the log, they had to go back to their starting place. 

I have no pictures of these two groups because I was with the younger kids.  I hate missing out on this part of the field trips, but I'm thankful that my kids get this experience with their friends!

The younger kids had three classes.  First, they learned about seeds.  They went on a short walk to look for seeds. 

They brought back their findings and were given knives (butter) to dissect what they had found.

They were also given large butter beans which had been soaked to cut open to see the beginnings of the sprout.  There were bowls of others seeds which they were able to examine and then to sort into smaller bowls.

Next we talked some about animal tracks.  They had a project to make a track.  They were given a small cup of plaster of paris to which water was added.  They stirred this with a stick (with their name on it). 

In the sand, they pressed an animal track and then poured the plaster into the track. 

This activity was a little difficult.  Much of the plaster dried too quickly.  (We should have waited to add water until they were ready to pout it into the "mold".)  Unfortunately, not many of the tracks made it - though I did see one that looked great.  Daniel's didn't harden and Isaiah's got broken.  Oh well, it was a fun idea and something I'd like to try to do again.  This would be a really great thing to do at the beach.  Maybe we'll try it there.

We then rode a bus to the "farm" area.  This is the bus we rode.

The children were so excited to ride a bus!  You have to remember that because they are homeschooled, many have not been able to ride a bus before.  They loved this!

At the farm, we saw horses, cows, chickens, a pig and goats. 

The children were able to touch and pet some of them. 

Eliana was fascinated with the chicken's food.  lol

Next we learned about plants and the children talked about the 4 things that are needed for plants - sun, water, air and soil.  On the farm, they compost to give a richer soil for the plants.  The children helped add "brown" and "green" things to make the compost. 

After looking at some of the fruit trees and learning about the bees, we did another project that we could take home.  They made seed strips.  A paste was made from flour and water and then put on a long strip of paper towel.  You could dot the strip or make a line with the flour paste.  You then added your seeds about every 3 inches.  We added a second strip (or folded a long strip in half) on top of the seeds and then rolled it to bring home.

Isaiah was excited about doing this.  We really have very little luck with gardening in our yard (not enough sun), so I'm not too hopeful that this will grow.  We'll try it though.

When we finished, we headed back to meet the others - another trip on the bus!  We had a picnic lunch and then just enjoyed talking and hanging out while the children played.  I took a short walk with two of my boys by the lake.

It was a lovely day.  I was so thankful for the beautiful weather as we had a threat of rain earlier in the week.  It was a delightful day and I loved spending it with my children learning about some of the magnificent things that God has made.  Adding friends to the experience made it all the more fun!  I have much to be thankful for!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Making Memories with Family

This week has not been such a great one when I look at what we accomplished in school.  However, when I look at it with a different set of lenses, I can see that it was a wonderful week with something accomplished that is far greater than marking things off of my to-do list.  We made memories.  We spent time with people we love.  I can't find anything on my list of things to do that is more important than that.  I'll gladly give up school time for something that will matter for much longer than a math problem or history lesson.

We spent the week-end with good friends (see last post).  We got home late Sunday and were delighted to get a call while we were on the road that we had company coming!  We spent Monday morning cleaning like crazy in anticipation of a visit from my parents!  Everyone was thrilled to see them!  It's been too long - since Christmas and it's always fun to have them here.

I love watching my children with my parents.  It's fun to see my parents appreciate them and their unique traits.  Eliana was particularly delighted to hang out with both of them.  At one point, Roger came up to take a picture of my Mom and Eliana.  When Eliana saw the camera, she placed her hands on my Mom's face to turn it toward the camera so she could say cheese.  I think Eliana may have even prompted her by saying "cheese" too.  Well, this cracked my mom up.  I could hear the laughter from the next room.  Can't you just see how much fun they are having?

My Dad is not immune to her charms either.  Honestly, we are all taken by this little cutie pie!

This was just a sweet photo.

I didn't get many photos - the visit was just too quick!  (Hint, hint, please stay longer next time!  We love having you here!)  The boys were busy creating a meeting place for their "League of Boys".  Here they are sharing some of this with my Mom.

Rebecca made an adorable little bunny finger puppet for Eliana.  Isn't it cute?  The pattern was found at The Crafty Crow.

You can see that Eliana enjoyed the bunny!

Also this week, Rebecca and Eliana had a little cafe for the rest of the family.  I love the sweet ideas that Rebecca has for making memories.  I know that her siblings appreciate it too.  Earlier this week, Isaiah was talking about Eliana and how he thought she was the cutest sister!.  I asked "What about Rebecca?".  His answer "She's perfect". 

The owners of "Eliana's Cafe".

The patrons choosing from a delightful menu offering main dishes, sides and desserts to choose from!

Thanks Rebecca!

We also had a wonderful field trip yesterday (more pictures coming) with incredible weather.  It could not have been a more beautiful day!  I had some time out last night with a friend.  We had dinner tonight with friends.  It's been a good week. 

Thank you God for the gift of family and friends.  Help me not to take either for granted.  Help me to make time for the important things and to worry less about all of the things on my list that I want to get done.  Give me eyes to see and know what is truly important and the ability to let go of the other things.



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Easter!

We have had a fun and full week and now it's time to play a little catch-up on my blog.  :-) 

We spent Easter week-end with our dear friends in VA.  It's a new tradtion we started after they moved.  The kids all look forward to this and really appreciate it and look forward to spending the holiday together!  We weren't sure it was going to happen this year due to some sickness.  Thankfully all who were sick were well enough by Fri morning and so we decided at the last minute to head up. 

The kids spent a lot of time playing outside and just having fun.  I didnt' get a lot of pictures, but here are a few. 


I loved the group effort in helping Joshua to skate!

Eliana loves playing in sand.

She is not alone in this either as Aaron and Caleb also love the sand!

Some of the kids decorated eggs.  First, we blew out the insides.  (Not everyone was interested in doing this part of it!  Catherine had to do more than her fair share of them.  lol )

The kids wrote their names or drew a picture on the eggs with a wax crayon before dipping them in the colors.

They were very pretty, but I didn't take any pictures of the finished product!

We attended a play at their church called The Lamb of God.  It was in Spanish.  We still understood most of the story, but it would have been helpful to have known more Spanish.  I think I knew the most and mine is SUPER rusty!  The benefit though of my learning Spanish to do missions work is that I know a lot of words that aren't taught in Spanish 1 or 2 - like sin, miracle, cross, etc.

He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!  Someone took my camera and made some beautiful pictures.  I loved this one.

We attended church on Easter Sunday and heard a convicting and encouraging message.  Jesus chose just 12 ordinary men - ordinary - just like me and just like you.  They falled him and turned away, even after having walked closely with him for three years.  Jesus saw not their failures, but all that they could become with the power of His Spirit.  This is true for us too.  We each have a destiny!  We each have access to His power to accomplish His will and purpose in our lives!  I love that.

Pretty little girl in her pretty Easter dress.

After church we had a lovely lunch.

Then we did an Easter Egg Hunt.  Each child had a different color egg to look for.  We thought this might make it easier. 

It certainly helped us to be able to choose what each child would get in his or her eggs.  They were very excited about the hunt.

This girl was thrilled that there was candy in her eggs!

Joshua's eggs had some candy, but more of them had a variety of snacks (with a piece of paper including the carb counts on them).  Thank you Catherine for getting these for him!  He loved trying new things and found two new things that he really loved!!!  (He wanted three !!! on that sentence.  lol )

I'm thankful that he is flexible and willing to do things a little differently.  I sometimes hate that we even have to.  Others are asked to give up far more though and we have much to be thankful for!  (One of the little things I'm thankful for is that there are no more candy holidays or birthdays for a few more months!)

I hope you were able to celebrate our Risen Lord!  We do have much to be thankful for indeed.  Happy Easter from our family to yours.