Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Homeschool Field Trip #2

We went to see The Bodies Exhibit today and it was SO COOL! It's in Atlanta until September 10th (although website says only until 4th but they extended it.)

If you're even remotely interested in learning about human anatomy, you should seriously consider making the effort to see it before it is gone. Just look close enough at the website that you know exactly what you're getting into. Some people will not want to go but for for anyone who is nervous about it, I can ASSURE you the displays are incredibly tasteful, respectful, and educational.

I had heard how awesome this exhibit was and wanted to take the children while it was in our general area. After looking at ticket prices online, I decided to make this a "homeschool field trip" and invited homeschoolers from all over to join us. The arrangement worked and we got a GREAT discount on each of our tickets (we were all allowed in for $10 each!) I feel so accomplished to have pulled this together :)

Friday, August 25, 2006

My Front-Page Darlin'

Anyone notice that was my eldest on the front page of the local paper this morning?? Here's the picture from the paper and then a picture I took afterwards.

This is from our first Homeschool Field Trip to see the famous Jim Fowler speak at the Home Of The Senators. (Jim is from the old Wild Kingdom shows and had a spot on the Seinfeld episode where Kramer had the old Merv Griffin set in his apartment!)

Anyway, it was a GREAT field trip and a really cool opportunity to meet this fascinating man.


In case you didn't know, that's the sound of the chop that was done to my hair. Here are a couple of angles. The second one is an homage to fellow blogger, Crystal :)

After the hair-do pics you see how big I have gotten.

Thanks to Rocky for being the photog.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Upcoming Survivor

I told my sister, "Maybe I'd like a train wreck, too!"

I personally find the premise of the upcoming Survivor to be very intriguing. Talk about your social experiment! I'd NEVER, however, want to be ON the show this season! These people's lives are definitely going to be changed and marked forever.

Thanks to Uma for tipping me off about this.

What do you all think?

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Dream

I woke up in a bad mood. I had a very bad dream. It was ugly and really messed me up.

In a nutshell, Henry was expecting another child with another woman and was due to have this baby BEFORE our baby was due. In the dream, I found out about it, talked to the mother of his child (a friend we have both known for a long time), confronted Henry about it, and then told both of our families at a luncheon that I was leaving him and that he was a scumbag. I basically told them to take care of my other children for a few days while I spent some time alone.

It was terrible.

I had to call Henry, who was already gone when I woke up. I needed to hear from him that things were fine and that he definitely wasn't sleeping around :)

It's amazing how easily a bad dream can put you in a funk. It's also weird how hormones and anxiety (which I was having a little bit last night with some big things I was "in charge" of that I don't want to be "in charge" of...) can be a perfect mix for a nightmare.

I pray for sweet dreams tonight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Yesterday I finally received the completed version of my Christmas gift from Henry. A massage.

As nice as the gift certificate was to look at, it sure FELT better to take it to my guy and redeem it.

Again I must say, "Ahhh."

I had not intentionally waited this long to redeem my certificate but it seems there just hasn't been a good opportunity to take the time for this. Now that I'm getting rounder in the front, I figured I better hurry if I wanted to do this thing. I don't know if I could have laid on my belly if I had waited even another week!

THANK YOU AGAIN, Henry for this awesome gift! You are so sweet to take care of me like this!

If anyone needs a good massage guy, let me know and I'll pass you his name and number!

Friday, August 18, 2006

SIL Farnsworth

I don't know how many of y'all know that my sister-in-law, Farnsworth is in Iraq. THANKFULLY this is a shorter-term tour than her last big trip away but....you know it's still tough.

Please pray for her while she's gone. Pray for safety, quick-time-passage, safety of her husband and 2-year-old at home, peace.

Explanation of the picture:
Farnsworth emailed us a picture of her at her desk so Henry emailed a picture of him at HIS desk while looking at the picture of her at her desk.

And y'all thought I was lame.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

4 Days Down, 166 To Go!

Hardly Working
Originally uploaded by glycofamily.
Finally, a homeschool update. I really appreciate that some of you are anxiously awaiting this :) Others of you might not even make it through the entire post.

Sunday Night - going to bed early. Girls are excited and want to jibber-jabber. He-Man zonks out pretty easily. Henry is nervous and says, "I don't know how to do homeschool." I assure him "I don't either but we will figure it out together."

Monday morning of Day 1 (out of 170) - Henry's still nervous. He truly has no clue about this. We've been talking it up so much but not really explained exactly what would happen during a day. He wiggles and stares off at the girls' computers. He is jealous that he doesn't have his own computer and makes small comments about it. We start the day with scripture reading, writing the selected verse in index-card sized binders for memorization, then Ray prays for us. It's 8:15 and we're ready to crank it up a notch.

The girls put on their headphones and dive into their Switched On Schoolhouse programs. They were already given a small overview over the weekend and knew how to dig in by themselves. I pull out Rocky's 1st workbook - Bible. He is not impressed. There is much sighing.

The 1st grade work is just super-duper basic. Too easy for him. Too lame for him. Too boring. Stuff his baby brother could possibly do.

I prod him through it. Moving on to next book.

The same struggle ensues. Over and over. My mind races for a solution. I send him to bed because he continues to say, "I'm tired of this." Since he says he is tired, I put him in his bed to rest. He hears that he can come back to the classroom whenever he is rested and ready to work.

He comes back. He apologizes. He says he's ready. (Bed is more boring than classwork I guess.)

Journal time rolls around. He really doesn't want to do this either. He's in a bad mood at this point. I finally tell him, "Just write down 3 reasons why you hate this so much." Here's what he writes:
"Bring" (boring)
"To Esie" (too easy)
"Tiried" (tired)

I am pleased.

During all of this, the girls have numerous questions about their programs. We see, right away, how "picky" this SOS program is. One of the chief complaints anti-SOSers have about it is the strict requirements of the answers. For example, if the question is looking for the answer "vowels" then you are counted wrong for answering "vowel." Thankfully, for daily grade "lessons," I have allowed for 3 attempts at each question. Usually, by the 3rd attempt, the girls figure out what the coursework asks of them.

I must say that I find myself impressed with my ability to multi-task. As much as this makes some of you sigh, I KNOW that my increased intake of PLUS (because of the pregnancy) is helping the most. I remember times in the past that any of the singular hours of Day 1 would have nearly killed me. It's amazing how often I must jump trains of thought to help with the needs of the 4 children (yes....He-Man wanders in and out and finds that a morning poop-time is perfectly suitable for him). I am certainly not bragging on myself but I am bragging on the fact that God makes us well-suited for what He asks us to do. He more than provides. I have been amazed at the large amounts of patience and joy that are bubbling up from my soul.

Day 1 ends on a really high note. Grumpy Rocky actually gets a bright face when we start our Spanish unit. It's also by Alpha Omega and it is very well done. I guess it's newness him made it enjoyable. It isn't boring to him at all and he smiles through the whole thing.

We close in prayer a little after 1:00. It takes much longer than I expect to get this day under our belt, but it's there now and we're all happy. Even Rocky.

Henry & I talk to him before bed. We begin to understand that much of his issue is in anxiety over what to expect. After explaining some things to him and encouraging him that Day 2 will be MUCH better for him if he just gets the work done, he seems happy and really never complains to Henry. He says he likes school.

Day 2 - Amazingly, the days starts at 8AM just like it's supposed to. Rocky is a new kid. He FLIES through his work and does it VERY well. He colors his required assignments like an artist. He is diligent and successful. I praise him constantly and he soaks it up.

The girls glide through their work. They have the hang of it. They find "ah-has" that make all our little questions about the program work themselves out. We see upcoming quizzes on Wednesday so we learn how to review for them. The program is just really cool.

I get sweet little emails from the girls telling me how I am the best teacher in the world and how they love homeschooling. I write them back thanking them for encouraging me and urge them to not be disappointed when every day isn't a barrel of monkeys. We talk about realistically getting tired of all this but then we end up reminding ourselves of all the wonderful aspects of being at home.

We end the day at 11:00 this time. YES!

Day 3 - Clockwork. We know what we're doing now. Rocky decides to be a little grumpy again, though. I decide to boost him forward in his assignments in a couple of areas. He appreciates the increased difficulty and is happy to move away from some of the very basic review stuff. It is a good day for Rocky.

Day 4 - Reality check for the girls. Quizzes. NOT as easy as expected. Even with having figured out the quirks of the program, and working through those quirks, the girls realize that this coursework is NOT a walk in the park. Ray particularly struggles with some of the questions. They are NOT just repeats of questions seen earlier in the week. They are questions that require comprehension and not just rote memory. I am actually thrilled with this.

Both girls are a little discouraged at first. I write them each an email (which they love receiving) while they individually work on their "Penmanship To Praise" (handwriting curriculum) and they read it when they get back to their computers. Ray prints hers and keeps it beside her to read throughout the day. Indie hugs me. The notes basically say that I am proud of them and certainly not angry at them (they were a little fearful that I would be disappointed in their "Bs" on a couple of their quizzes) and that I am confident they will do well. You know....the pep talk kind of stuff. But I mean every word of it.

Must go to bed now. Enjoy the Flickr pics below because I'm sick and tired of messing with blogger! I just can't get it to upload my pictures! (is it just me??)

By the way, I still say, "Homeschooling is awesome!"

Monday, August 14, 2006

Homeschooling Is Awesome

But completely exhausting...at least it was for us today as we stumbled our way through it.

Therefore, I just can't squeeze out a detailed post tonight. Tomorrow should be better.

Night night :)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's A School Night!

We'll be going to bed early so we can start our FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL early! Of course "early" is relative. For most school kids, we're going to be "lucky" to start at 8:30 or 9:00, but for ME...this is really going to be a big adjustment and discpline issue. I swear this is my biggest concern. This "getting started on time" thing is what has me questioning myself, "Can I do this?"

We'll be fine, of course.

The computers were picked up Friday and they're all loaded up and ready to go. They are very cool! We do need to get internet hooked up to them soon but that's not a huge rush. (By the way, we're looking for someone to help us drop the cable down out of the attic. Our internet providers say we have a "built-in network" and that all we have to do is split the cable in the attic and drop it down wherever we need it. We would like connections in 3 more spots - so if any of you have a clue about this, we'd be interested in speaking with you!!)

Our adventures continue...Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

WWW things

First - UGH about myspace.

I haven't logged on in months because it often stalled out my computer. So I just stayed off and assumed that if anyone commented or messaged me that I would be notified by email.


So when I logged in today to check out a friend who I heard was on there, I found TONS of messages and comments that had been sitting there IGNORED. Oops.

Very frustrating. And another apology to anyone I accidentally ignored.

Second - the internet is just about the coolest thing though, isn't it? I mean without it, I probably would have never seen THIS PICTURE (yes, I got it to upload! WHOO HOO!)

Roll Tide Elliot!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Dang Short People Maternity Shirts

***edit note***

I am sick and tired of the problems I have with posting pictures to my blog. Is anyone else having trouble? I have often resorted to pointing to an "img src=" somewhere else on the web because I couldn't upload my pictures to blogger. Anyway, I end up writing the entry and hope to try editing the post/adding the picture later. Now I am having more trouble than ever.

Any ideas??

So, the post below is obviously missing a picture. Grr.

***end of edit note***

This is NOT a picture of me (I don't know if I'll be posting ANY belly pictures but I'm definitely not going to do it yet) but it gives a pretty good image of what I'd like to tell you about.

Remember me grumbling about maternity shirts being too small for me? Because I'm so doggone tall? Well, today was a problem. I wore a cute little pair of capris that have this kind of elastic waistband (you know, the oh-so-sexy kind!). For a top I wore one of those Motherhood Maternity shirts that I said I'd probably only be able to wear for a short while. Well, I realized today that the "short while" might have already come and gone. My doggone shirt just wouldn't cover the elastic in the back. It was fine when I got dressed and rushed out the door but as I moved about and definitely when I sat down, the back would rise up and expose the hideous nature of the stretchy maternity pant. Blech.

I think I might be pulling the shirt a little forward in the front now, too. I'm not really a huge belly yet but I am definitely getting round. I noticed some people at church casting their gaze at my midriff and pondering, "Is she or isn't she??" I know the blossom is about to REALLY burst forth.

I had a doctor's appointment today. It took the OB a painfully long time to find the heartbeat with the doppler (Hey Ryan...is this tool anything like the Doppler you use??) Doc was holding the transmitter part in his left hand and the wand thingy in his right. He prodded and pushed and rolled that thing around but couldn't find the sound we were both longing to hear. He finally put down the boxy part and used his left hand to pull and stretch on my abdomen until, at long last, that "swooshy swooshy" heartbeat was heard. Whew. I really wanted to remain calm but those seconds seemed mighty l o n g. It was a relief to finally hear that washing machine action, for sure.

And I have saved the best news for last. OK, it's not really "good news" like hearing a heartbeat is "good news" but it was something that really made me smile. My weight gain has now totaled ZERO POUNDS! The couple of pounds I had gained over the last couple of months have now been lost and I'm back to a level playing field! I think I probably sweat and walked those pounds away at White Water last week but whatever it is, I am happy about it. I know that the baby is doing good and that if I do right with my diet and nutrients and exercise, I could actually expend some of my FAT to energize the growth of a new baby!

And to anyone who might be concerned...I ASSURE you, I am making very smart decisions about eating and am not in ANY way obsessed with my weight. I promise I am eating PLENTY of food and am most certainly going to be gaining plenty of weight.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Not Today

Homeschooling didn't start today. We learned we'd have to postpone when the computer place we're working with told us we wouldn't have our new stuff in time. HOPEFULLY we will have it so that we can start next Monday.

Part of it was a procrastination issue. We waited and waited and then decided that since we'd waited so long that we might as well wait for the tax holiday weekend. Well THAT didn't work out because the only thing tax exempt were products under $750. And you couldn't break down the pieces for separate invoices (i.e. You couldn't get a monitor without getting the rest of the computer with it). So, we missed out on that little special.

It has turned out to be a fine thing. We were able to do some things today that we would not have done if today was a school day. One thing in particular was that we visited a family who is wanting to find a new home for their 4.5 year old female boxer. Yes, as in 'dog.'

I don't know if we'll get her or not but she really is a cool dog. I bonded with her immediately. You see, she's had 3 litters of puppies and....well...her teats make that pretty obvious. I told her I could totally relate.

Anyway, we've really got to think about it and be rational about it. Do I REALLY want a dog right now? Yes I do. But are we ready for the expense and responsibility? I'm not sure. I love the breed and am very drawn to the idea of her being an adult dog (and past all that puppy nonsense.)

Isn't she cute?

I'm open to comments about getting a dog while pregnant and starting to homeschool. Feel free to call me a complete lunatic for even considering it :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Those Sad Commercials

I REALLY dislike watching those "Christian Children's Fund" commercials that come on numerous times every day. I don't know exactly what it is about them that frustrate me but I have to turn it away every time. I think it's because the children seem like actors...one little boy even looks like he's going to smile just before the camera cuts away. I just picture the director of the commercial coaching them on their sad-faces. It seems too orchestrated or something.

BUT, since I don't want to bad-mouth a charity without looking into it first, I did a search for them at Charity Navigator. I was pleased to find out that "Christian Children's Fund" is actually a 3-star charity (4-star being highest ranked). That made me feel better. At least the charity is legit and doing good with its money. So, even though I still choose a different (and 4-star) charity to give my money to, I will provide a link to this CCF one in effort to make-up for the disgust I've had over their commercials.

I highly recommend checking Charity Navigator for EVERY charity you wish to support.

Oh My Achin'


Sometimes I am just too confident in my abilities.

You know, I've been very blessed with great pregnancies and this one is no different. I feel good, I have a decent amount of energy, and I want to be able to take part in all things normal. It is a disgusting idea to think that I have to be "delicate" in any way because I'm pregnant.

So, when Donnie & I scheduled the day that we would fulfill our promises to the big kids, I was 100% sure I could handle the load with only minimal tiredness.

The promise we made? Back when the big kids' birthdays rolled around in May and June, we asked them if we could forego the big birthday bashes (since we were in the middle of a crazy ball season) and just take them to Six Flags or White Water instead. They agreed and we've all looked forward to doing this before school started. So when we realized our time was running short, we scheduled the trip for this past Thursday.

Obviously, the pregnancy DOES prevent me from a really rewarding trip to Six Flags and since David isn't quite tall enough to ride all the thrill rides, he agreed with me that it would be best for us to do White Water while Donnie and the girls went to SF (Hudson stayed with my sister's family for the day). It was a great arrangement and we were all excited about it. I knew I should be able to ride the tame slides without any problem and if exhaustion began to set in, the lazy river wasn't far away.

So we started our day when the park opened. IT WAS A HOT, HOT DAY of course but once we were inside the turnstiles the shade trees and sound of running water helped us forget about the true scorcher that it was. David was SO excited and as soon as our stuff was packed away in a locker, we rushed over to the first of our innertube rides.

Oops. Stairs. I KNEW there would be stairs, of course....but in my mind we would walk up them slowly, while standing in a terribly long line and taking a teeny one-step-at-a-time climb. Uhhh, no. The crowd was small and we basically walked STRAIGHT UP TO THE TOP of the attraction without pause.

OK, that was fine the first.....hmmmmm....five times. But it wasn't long before I was out of breath and my calves felt like fire. I much preferred the rides where the raft was waiting for you at the top, as opposed to the one where you had to lug it up by yourself. Those nearly killed me. In fact, on the double-tube (an 8-shaped innertube that allowed David & I to ride down together) I did not enjoy the ride at all because I was so busy calming down the ache in my lungs.

Thankfully, David got pretty exhausted, too. He ENJOYED the lazy river so we drifted many laps around in it. But he wanted to re-do all his favorites after lunch and....who I am (SuperMom) to deny him??

So we go at it again. Goodness.

Kiddie area you ask? Yeah, I tried but my little 6-year-old took one look at it (from an aeriel view at the top of his favoritee "Runaway-River") and said, "No, Mom. That's pitiful."

So we survive it and actually had a really great time. I didn't think about the heat even once (the park really is nicely shaded except for a few spots where you are in the water) and my determination to DO THIS for David gave me the strength to get us back to Donnie & the girls.

But once we were with them, I became a whiny baby. I needed my bed. And I needed the assurance that I would be allowed to be as lazy as I desired on Friday.

Thankfully, Donnie was off work so we all slept late (I don't think anyone made a peep until about 9:30am.) But it didn't take me long to realize that Friday was "recovery" day for me. My legs HURT. And I mean REALLY HURT. My back was aching. My arms reminded me air-filled innertubes are NOT as light as one might think. Oh my. I barely moved but when I did, there were sounds to let everyone in the house know that I was not enjoying it.

Thankfully there is a wonderful invention called "Sport" and by taking it every few hours, all my pain was gone by evening, except for my legs. Oh my poor legs.

And today is Saturday. They still hurt. But I'm hoping that with continued Sport, I will be pain-free by nightfall.

Moral of the story? Waterparks are possible but should be taken in small doses.