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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The 411 on Ragweed & Hayfever

My poor girl.  She is really suffering with Hayfever this year.  She's been experiencing lot of different kinds of symptoms, and it's so frustrating to her as well as to me.  I feel like I never know what symptom to deal with first.  She takes a well-known prescription, as well as some OTC meds, and although they free her breathing, they do not stop the headaches.  I was beginning to wonder just what all the symptoms of Hayfever could be -- so I did a little searching.

I found out that there are MANY symptoms of Hayfever.  Following are just a few from this list.
  • Stuffy or runny noes
  • Sneezing
  • Irritation to the eyes
  • Coughing and Wheezing
  • Headaches
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep deprivation due to other symptoms
  • Allergic Rhinitis which in itself is: Symptoms of a 'permanent cold'
  • Blocked stuffy nose
  • Headaches and earache
  • Constant sore throats and postnasal drip
  • Poor concentration

GREAT!  What a nice way to kick off the school year.  All of that crud, PLUS poor concentration.  Poor girl.  The Ragweed Allergy site also states that any one of these symptoms alone may not be Hayfever, but if you suffer from several, it's likely that you are a... victim (my word).

Not ragweed.  Just a place to rest your eyes...

So what's a mom to do?  The above-mentioned site recommends staying indoors with the windows closed, and driving places rather than walking.  Of course we've been enjoying the open windows and doors, and the breezes blowing through the house on these less humid days.  Guess it's time to turn the AC back on to see if she notices a difference.

ALSO - we are trying some nose drops (a sample that the doc gave us last summer, and she didn't end up needing).  I've always been so hesitant to start nose drops... I grew up with a friend who experienced allergies.  She used nose drops all the time, and had a constant *sniff*.  It was part of her rhythm -- like breathing.  I swore off nose drops FOREVER after that.  Famous last words, huh?

I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile,
do YOU suffer from Hayfever?
What is your best remedy?
Tell me about it!  (Please?) 

Interesting side note:  I also read this: *"People with Ragweed Allergy may also get symptoms when they eat cantaloupe and banana. Chamomile tea, sunflower seeds and honey containing pollen from Compositae family members occasionally cause severe reactions too."

Wow, who knew?  That made me do a little more searching, and I found this great site:  http://allergies.about.com/od/foodallergies/a/oas.htm, where I learned that the symptoms my daughter feels when she eats raw peaches, carrots, or apples are not just in her head - but related to a Birch pollen allergy! 

*CREDIT:  This and all ragweed/hayfever information in this post was gleaned from http://www.ragweed-allergy.com/.  There's all kinds of interesting information at this site.  Check it out!  They didn't ask me to tell you.  I just like to share good information.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Note Jar


No lie - it's really strange to send your child to school after homeschooling for so long!  All day, I think of things to tell him!  It is for this reason that I have started a note jar for my son.  I wonder about things at his new school.  I have questions.  I think of things to tell him that I know I'll forget later.

My mom will say that I've become my grandma.  I willingly accept that compliment.  Gram was a smart lady!

A Note Jar ~ It's a good thing!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Misc. 3

One, Two, Three
Have you noticed that I seem to be doing a lot of listing lately on the blog?  Yeah, well... keep it under your hat, okay?  I'm not sure what's going on, really.  Perhaps it's just my over-busy brain trying to compartmentalize things.  Right.  Let's go with that.

 Oops! 
After my second "Miscellany Monday" post, I realized that there is a note on Carissa's blog  that says, "miscellany monday from my lens."  OOPS.  I haven't been including a photo with every bit of miscellaneous information that I post.  My bad.  So far, they haven't kicked me off the team (so to speak), so I'm thinking her rules aren't too hard and fast.  =/  {note to self: add more pics!}  Perhaps my approach needs to be to take the photos first and report on that miscellany.  Oy.  Why can I never follow the rules?  Oh look, let's call the Miscellany Monday button a PICTURE, shall we?
 
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters


Be Patient!
That's what I keep telling myself.  My computer has a virus, and my husband is wonderful enough to #1: eradicate the virus, #2: reload the computer, and in the meantime, #3: hook me up with a spare laptop.  My photos are all safely on my computer, which is unavailable to me at the present time -- so talk about MISC.... These photos don't even GO with the Miscellany!

Retrieved from a thumb drive...

Final Answer
I thought you would like to see a photo of the refrigerator that we finally decided on.  We've had it for a few weeks now, and I really like it.  You might remember that previously we owned a side-by-side.  You can read all my opinions on refrigerators HERE.  The bottom line is yes, I like it a lot.  Yes, it has been strange to get used to - but in an oooh-this-is-new kind of way.  So, mostly, I am just so thankful for good refrigeration that I wouldn't complain about any configuration of freezer/refrigerator, you know?  'Nuf said.
 
Computer progress!  Snagged a photo!

True Story
My son walked out of the cafeteria the other day at school, and the lunch monitor, who was also leaving, struck up a conversation with him.  She asked his name.  He introduced himself, and said, "I'm the kid that drank the poison the other day."  "Oh!  I heard about you!" she said.  Oy.

One Additional Sad Fact
I did not know how to adjust my computer monitor so that my pictures were not distorted.  This was driving me nuts, but I found this ANSWER: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/technology/personaltech/21askk-001.html


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Homeschooling: Our Story - Part 3

...continued from Homeschooling: Our Story - Part 2


 So, what have I learned?
  • In hindsight, FEAR was the wrong reason to start homeschooling.  That said, we did what we thought was right at the time, and I don't regret it.
  • Schooling options MUST BE about what is right for your family.  The best advice that I ever received was to take it one year at a time.  I never committed to homeschool our children through graduation.  The thought can be overwhelming, and I never knew what was around the next corner.  (Thank the good Lord!  Amen?)
  • It's okay to have different schooling options within your family.  What works for one child might not work for the other.  Be okay with that so that your kids know it's okay.
  • If you're struggling with moving on from homeschooling, you may need "forgive yourself" like I did.  I needed to get over myself, and move on -- remembering that really, this is all about my son and not about me.
  • Listen to other people's stories, but be brave enough to do what's right for your family.  This might mean deviating from the "norm."
  • Be still, and know that God is God.  (Hard, hard, hard, but vitally important!)
Closing Disclaimer
Please know that even if it seems I have expressed my opinions strongly, it is only due to the unequivocal JOY in knowing that we have traveled down the right path.  Your journey may be entirely different - and your decisions entirely different (as well they should be).  May your journey be successful.  Go with God.
    The end
    (Of the beginning!)


      Saturday, August 27, 2011

      Homeschooling: Our Story - Part 2

      Disclaimer
      This post is not for everyone.  Oh, everyone is free to read it, but not all will understand or appreciate it.  I am writing it for the one person who may.

      ...continued from Homeschooling: Our Story - Part 1

      Connections and Confirmations
      We started pursuing schooling options for our son.  We pursued a few things that didn't work out, and ultimately enrolled him in our own local school system.  I dreaded the day that we would meet with the guidance counselor and principal.  I had heard some frustrating stories about what homeschooling parents had to do to enroll their children in public school.  (I have since heard that the particular school systems in question are known for being difficult, and that this is not the case across the board - or as we have since experienced personally.)

      Freshmen and new students were to start on Aug. 24th.  They called it "Connections Day," and it was to be a day of abbreviated periods where students met teachers, as well as a day of get-to-know-you activities.  That day dawned dark and stormy, but turned into a beautiful one.  Around 2PM, I received a phone call from my son saying that he drank a substance accidentally after walking into a teacher-directed experiment LATE, and having not heard/received the proper instructions.  The liquid was... not meant to be ingested.  (He thought it was... water.)

      Suffice it to say that Poison Control needed to be called just to be on the safe side.  Turns out, my son did not swallow, and everything is really fine.  Also suffice it to say that I made my own "CONNECTIONS" that day - with several office personnel, the school nurse, and the Assistant Principal!  Every one of them was so kind and considerate, and wondering after my son and his welfare.  {The Asst.Prin. even offered to personally drive my son home rather than send him on the bus!}


      The first "real" day of school started off with much nicer weather.  There were no phone calls from my son, but he did get called to the office.  You might think that's a bad thing, but, they merely wanted to check on how he was feeling!

      We have had a good laugh over the fact that much of the school staff knew our son by name before the first official day of school.  But I believe it is a "God Thing."  You see, my son started building relationships right away -- and that might not otherwise have happened.  God definitely has a plan for our son right where he is.  I truly believe this.  And, to satisfy a worried mom, God has shown me that he has placed people around my son who are really watching out for him.  God has truly confirmed to us that this is how it's supposed to be. 

      He came home the first day, and stood in the kitchen for 40 minutes telling me all about his day.  He shared details about each class and teacher, and is sure that he's really going to like them all.  It was really all this mom could do to keep her mouth shut and her jaw from dropping.  (This is my son?)

      I am beyond thankful at this point.  I'm not naive enough to think that there won't be struggles.  The work hasn't started yet.  It's still the honeymoon, I know.  But -- I have seen God provide, and I know that he will continue to do so.

      to be continued...


      Friday, August 26, 2011

      Homeschooling: Our Story - Part 1

      Disclaimer
      This post is not for everyone.  Oh, everyone is free to read it, but not all will understand or appreciate it.  I am writing it for the one person who may.

      Our Story
      When our son was due to start school, I was filled with fear.  The neighborhood that we lived in was... declining, and I am sad to say that the neighborhood parent practices seemed to be as well.  I was struck by the behavior of the children that I observed walking to and from school, and I was fearful for our impressionable son to be in their midst.  My sister had always planned to homeschool her children, and she encouraged me along that path as well.  And so it began...

      The first years were great.  We had lots of fun, and when our daughter was kindergarten-age, we began homeschooling her as well.  As I look back, things went well until probably towards the end of 9th grade for our son.  Then, it became more of a struggle.  It's hard for Mom to also be Teacher, and I believe that he sometimes (or often) resented me for imposing rules related to his schooling, or giving assignments that proved difficult for him.  I knew I wasn't motivating him enough - and yet I struggled with pushing him.  We "threatened" (probably a bad word choice, but bear with me) school for 10th grade when he didn't yet want to go to school, but we ended up doing 10th grade work at home as well.  By 11th grade, he was ready to go to school, but I dragged my feet.  I guess I looked at sending him to school as failure, and I was unwilling to admit defeat.

      Part-way through 11th grade, we realized that it simply wasn't working for him (or me) anymore.  This was a HUGE PILL to swallow.  Again, it really felt like defeat to ME.  When I really started praying about it though, God showed me that, in fact, it wasn't about ME at all.  This was all about what was best for our son -- and obviously, THAT was what we wanted.

      to be continued...





      Wednesday, August 24, 2011

      "Connections Day"

      Today was yesterday's routine repeated.  Basically.  Allowing, of course, for a wardrobe change due to the fact that it was POURING DOWN RAIN and COLD.  Huh?  Is it still August?  Oh right, we're in Ohio.  All bets are off.

      Dear Son is off to "connect," and is out of touch.  I've gotten used to being "in touch" this summer.  He has gotten so good at calling when he was transitioning from one spot to another in his busy social life.  I love his wise-guy greeting, "Hi Mommy!" before he proceeds to tell me where he and his friends are off to next.  There are no phone calls today.  Just quiet.  He walked to meet the bus in the dark, and the pouring rain - way too cool to allow me to drive him down the street and wait with him.  I offered, and made it his choice.  Umbrella?  No thanks.  Coolness at it's ultimate.

      I don't mind telling you that my daughter and I are a little lost.  We aren't officially starting school today... more like tomorrow.  Sort of.  Today, she promised to bake cookies for her brother -- for his after school snack.  That's my girl.

      I can't wait to "connect" around 3:00.  I want to hear all about his day.  Maybe when he walks in the door he'll say, "Hi Mommy!" -- in that wise-guy way of his.

      Tuesday, August 23, 2011

      Trial Run

      5:30AM
      Mom wakes Son, and heads downstairs to start lunches, make Son a cup of tea, and Hubby a cup of coffee on this chilly morning.  Sun not up.  Darkness hovers, making the neighborhood tree line indistinguishable. 

      5:45AM
      Son wakes Dad, and heads downstairs.  He is surprised by the cup of tea, and sits down to eat and organize his new organizer.  He is dressed as if he'll soon head out the door.  But, today is only a "fire drill" as dear Daughter put it.  Son will NOT walk to the corner for an imaginary bus. 

      (Pause to remember his first day of Kindergarten homeschool, when he came down to breakfast bright and early in his church clothes!)

      6:00AM
      Dad wakes daughter, and heads downstairs where coffee is ready and lunch is made.  Dad IS really going to work.  Those who talk in the morning talk.  They feel they must.  Those who don't talk in the morning (and we have BOTH in our household), don't talk.  They roll their eyes at the talkers.

      6:25AM
      Mom heads upstairs to check on Daughter, who is laying in bed awake, and wondering ?REALLY? at the "fire drill."  Yes, really.  Time to get up.  This is a new schedule, and we'll all abide by it, and eventually get used to it.

      6:40AM
      The sky is lightening, although there is no actual view of the sun just yet.  Like clockwork, Hubby is out the door with hugs and kisses, and wishes for a good day.  Tomorrow, Son will follow, walking to the end of the street for the bus.


      It's a funny thing:
      The other day, I was talking with my parents and sister about wanting to snap a picture of my son walking to the bus stop - this being his first time, and all.  I mentioned that the picture would probably have to be "on the sly" and from behind, because he'd be too mortified to stand outside for a photo shoot with his mom in the morning.  MY mom said, "Let him start walking to the bus, and then CALL him so he turns around." 

      My response:  "I can't CALL him -- he's not supposed to have his phone turned on!" 

      Mom: "CALL HIM.  You know - CALL his name?  So he turns around?  I taught you how to CALL someone, right?"

      WOW - did I really just convert to the thinking of the younger generation there for a minute?  Scary.


      And in summary:
      I'm glad we did the trial run.  Tomorrow will be a good day, and I won't wake up wondering if we can get the guys out the door on time.  It'll be fine.  Right about now, I'm realizing that the hard part will be holding on to the idea that we'll all abide by this schedule and get used to it... when what my daughter I really want to do is go back to bed.

      Happy Back-to-School!
      (I can't believe I just typed that!)


      Monday, August 22, 2011

      Monday Misc. 2

      1. Julie & Julia
      I borrowed this movie from the library recently, and completely loved it.  Meryl Streep does a fabulous job as Julia Child, and well - I've never seen anything but good come from Amy Adams.  I thought it was a sweet movie - sort of inspiring in a "yes, I'm a blogger" kind of way.

      2. Welcome Wagon
      We have officially received two telephone calls and one mailing from... wait for it...
      our son's HIGH SCHOOL!
      A few days after our initial appointment, we received a phone call letting us know about important things we need to know for the upcoming school year.  We received another call today about the new traffic patterns, since the high school is in the beginning stages of a building project.  We also received a newsletter in the mail.
      In addition, his name has been posted with a homeroom number assigned.
      We are on "the list." 
      As Martha would say, "It's a good thing!"

      3. Today's Predominant Pollen
      I just looked at today's allergy forecast, and the predominant pollen for the day in our area is ragweed.  Of course it is.  That's why my daughter has her annual August sore throat.  A long time ago, I signed up to receive a personal allergy alert e-mail containing a 2-day forecast that is specific to the region in which I live.  Just go HERE, and you can sign up too!  It's a great way to keep ahead of allergy or
      asthma issues that your family may experience.
      (Just sharing something that has been helpful to our family!)


      4.  Sweet Reunion
      As a child, we attended family reunions, and I always felt in the minority
      -- a child in the midst of a lot of "older" people.
      For many years, we were not able to attend reunions,
      or reunions were not held.
      Yesterday, I went to the first family reunion in years.
      Again, I felt in the minority
      -- an "older" person in the midst of a lot of children.
      Oh, how the tables have turned! 

      5. A Prayer
      This is Paul's prayer for the Philippians.
      I'm thinking it may be a good prayer to pray for my son this school year
       as he takes on new challenges, and learns new ideas:

      "And this is my prayer:
      that your love may abound more and more
      in knowledge and depth of insight,
      so that you may be able to discern what is best
      and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
      filled with the fruit of righteousness
      that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."
      Philippians 1:9-11

      Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
      Write down your random thoughts and join in!


      Friday, August 19, 2011

      Friends Are Friends Forever

      *If the Lord's the Lord of them...
      Last evening I enjoyed a night with friends.
      Just the girls.
      A sweet hostess who cooked for us, and pampered us.
       and entertained us way past her bedtime.
      True story.
      There is nothing like the JOY of true friendship.
       
      The table was set beautifully.  Paella was served.

      A special gift box was set at each place.

      Filled with this!
      Biscotti with caramel bits and chocolate covered pretzel bits
      dipped in chocolate, drizzled with caramel,
      sprinkled with sea salt.
      Oooh la la!

      friday favorite things | finding joy

      *Title reference is from the song "Friends" ~ lyrics by Deborah D. Smith, music by Michael W. Smith.

      Thursday, August 18, 2011

      Rambling and Venting

      (Actually another vent would help get rid of these paint fumes!)

      There is something absolutely cleansing about admitting to you that my house is a mess...

      ...and then showing you pictures to prove it (as if you doubt).

      This summer we took on two-too-many projects (out of a total of two).  I'm not entirely sure when it would've been better to do these projects.  Just not both at once perhaps.  We didn't exactly plan it - it just sort of happened.  Peeling wallpaper turned into partially stripped walls in the bathroom.  Next thing you know, there was a sample of paint covering almost an entire wall.  I love the sample - a peachy "Autumn Mist."  The rest of the family... well, not so much.  I might use my veto power on this one, though.  I mean really.  If they wouldn't spend so much time in there!  (At this point, I will not make a reference to extended shower times.)


      Second project - our son's bedroom.  Needed a new paint color & a little updating.  And oh, while we're at it - let's order carpet because -->  the room is practically empty.  Right.  And really, the boy needs a desk, so let's build one.


      This brings up another little problem.  We live in a small house.  When one room is empty, that means another room must be especially FULL.  Guess who lives right next door to our son?  My husband and I.  I told said son that he could move a few things into our room.


      Let's just say that our room is currently the most in need of help.

      And I...

      am. ready. to. explode.

      (Or maybe implode.)

      I hate this feeling of chaos.  It makes me want to put everything  I own into a heavy-duty contractor-strength black trash bag, and take it to Goodwill -- and then just start all over again.

      "Live Simply," I tell myself.

      While my other self says, "Where in the WORLD did all of this STUFF come from?"

      Can you relate?  I want so badly to solve this problem.  At the same time, the very problem itself has frozen me into a state of helplessness.

      I actually said to my husband this morning, "I almost can't wait for school to start."  I don't know what I was thinking.  I guess... at least THAT gives the illusion that everything will be "routine" and orderly.

      Wow, thanks for letting me VENT.  I'm actually smiling a little as I write this.  What a state we've gotten ourselves into!  Go ahead, laugh.

      But just to make me feel better, tell me that you've gotten yourself in over your head once or twice.  C'mon.

      Wednesday, August 17, 2011

      Simple Thoughts on The Golden Rule

      I've always tried to teach our kids that building relationships
      (even casual ones) is important.
      I especially want them to be kind to people who wait on them.
      Learn names.  Use names.
      Recognize these servants as valuable individuals.

      *
       Don't text while a bank teller is waiting on you.
      She is giving you her attention.
      You should be giving her yours.

      ** 
      Have a conversation with the lady at the pharmacy about her vacation.
      She took the time to tell you about it last month.
      This month, ask her how it went.

      *** 
      When our kids were little and would go on grocery adventures with me, I would always encourage them to look at the cashier's name badge and talk to them.  They were friendly faces in our routine.  Once, when my daughter got separated from me in the store and felt "lost", one of these friendly faces found her, and then came to find me.  On another occasion, a different friendly face showed up in the pew behind us on Easter Sunday.  I'm glad to have formed these community relationships.

      ~~~
       Speaking for myself:
      It's easy to get so caught up in my own busy life
      that I forget that others have their own busy lives too!
      Their lives are as important as mine
      whether they are the person that bags my groceries,
      or signs my paychecks.
      And besides...
      who doesn't like to be treated kindly?
      How can I expect such behavior towards me
      if I don't show it towards others?


      Luke 6:31
       "Do to others as you would have them do to you." (NIV)



      Tuesday, August 16, 2011

      Mary Anne's Yummy Salad

      I confess that this was a recipe that I tried cautiously at first.  My friend Mary Anne brought a salad that she said we just HAD to try.  The original recipe calls for red onions, which I don't generally care for -- and I had never tried feta cheese.  Well, I tried the salad, and am so glad I did.  I loved it - cautiously eating around the red onions, and yet liking the flavor that the onions gave.  Mary Ann said you could also substitute green onions, which I prefer -- so that is how I have always made this Yummy Salad.


      And now, without further adieu, the recipe:



      Mary Anne's Yummy Salad
      1 tomato, diced
      1 cucumber, seeded and diced
      1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
      1 red onion (or 1 bunch green onions), chopped
      1 block feta cheese (I use the "traditional" flavor), crumbled
      salt/pepper to taste, if desired

      Mix all ingredients and refrigerate.
      The flavor gets better & better!
      ~~~~~~~~
      My kids call it the "Stinky Salad," but they're just jealous because I love it more than them.  (Not true.)  What IS true is that I am the only one in my family that will eat this salad.  It just doesn't appeal to anyone else.  I've even made it for a gathering with extended family, and it really wasn't a hit.  You know what that means, don't you?  When I make it, it is MINE-ALL-MINE!  (You can see where my kids might get the idea that I love it more than them - ha!)

      Typically I make it, and it serves as my lunch for several days -- assuming that I don't snack on it here and there.  (Don't judge.  It's mostly vegetables for crying out loud!)

      Try it, you'll like it.

      p.s.  By the way, there's NO sneaking it!  I mean, you can try.  Usually though - if it is in the refrigerator, the kids know as soon as I open the door!  Yep - it's that stinky........(chuckle) * I MEAN, YUMMY.*

      ENJOY!


      Monday, August 15, 2011

      Monday Misc.

      1. A little blast from the past!
      In cleaning out our son's closet, we found this little gem.  We purchased it a long while back to keep a certain little guy busy on our trip to the beach.  This time - I'm hooked on it!  I haven't been able to put it down!

       

      2.  Second Sunday
      This is a time that our extended family gathers for lunch.  It's usually a time for sunshine and silliness during the summer months -- but yesterday it rained.  I mean, it really rained!!  My dear hubby offered to grill.  First umbrella: too small.  Second umbrella: huge with a leak.  Third umbrella: just right.  This has the makings of a childrens' book!  Here's the ending: when it was time to eat lunch - he was DRENCHED!

      Pouring rain.  Good sport!

      3.  Up at 5:45a.m.
      Despite my intentions to sleep in today (after 9 weeks of rising early to get the troops out the door to our day-camp jobs), I was up at 5:45 to make lunch for my dear hubby.  Once I was up and moving, that was it.  It is now 7:04, and I have found my way to the blogs.  I've gotten a lot of reading done in these early moments, while watching the sun come up.  Actually, today it's just sort of the CLOUDS that came up.  That's okay with me.  After 9 weeks of praying for sunny days, I'm ready to slow down with a few rainy ones!  (Hmmm, how interesting that my son -who growls at me if I wake him too early on a non-working day- is up at this hour!  Apparently his body is still on camp-time as well!)

      4.  Groceries!
      Apparently we need them.  Milk we have.  Cereal?  Not so much.  We squeaked by on Saturday's dinner, using leftover (uncooked) burgers I had frozen from a get-together last weekend.  Second Sunday lunch at my parents saved the day yesterday.  But today, we need toilet paper.  Honestly - that may be the real motivator.  Just sayin'.

      5.  Truth
      I am really missing the beach today.  This will be the second year that we've missed our vacation.  Last year, we were all saving up for the big 50th Anniversary trip.  This year, the whole schooling thing was too uncertain.  Since it was possible that our son would've been starting school this week, we knew we would not have time between camp and school to grab that beach vacation.  Next year, we'll know how to plan better.  In the meantime, it is cool enough to open windows and hear the birds, and that will have to do.


      I hope that you enjoy your day.
      I am linking up with:
      Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
      Write down your random thoughts and join in!


      Sunday, August 14, 2011

      You Don't Think I'm Crazy! (Right?)

      Thanks to my friend Cha Cha @ The Heartfelt Home and her Sentimental Sundays, I met Michele from Imperfectly Wonderful World.

      I knew that Michele and I could be friends when I read this on one of her blog posts:

      "Most of my real life friends don't know that I blog.
      I'm not sure if they would get it
      or if they would think I'm crazy. 
      I'm so thankful for you, blog friends,
      because you get it (get me)
      and you don't think I'm crazy."
       
      (Well said, Michele!  I feel the same way!)  I think that there are probably LOTS of good reasons to get to know Michele.  Here's one: she is hosting her first giveaway -- a  $25 shop credit for The Pleated Poppy.  The only problem with this giveaway is that everything is so cute that I don't know how I'd ever decide what to buy!  Check it out, and you'll see what I mean.  

      While you're at it, check out Michele's BLOG as well.  That's where I'm headed next!  (That's also where you'll learn all the details of the giveaway!)
      Photobucketthe pleated poppy blog

      Saturday, August 13, 2011

      Transition

      An update on our visit to the Principal's Office:  All went well.  We actually met with a Guidance Counselor, and the Principal poked her head in to chat for a few minutes.  Both ladies were so kind to us, and very positive and encouraging.  This was (truthfully) much more than I had hoped for after hearing the experiences of other parents trying to enroll their previously homeschooled children in school.  OH ME, of little faith!


      Once again, I was humbled by how much God was willing to show me of himself, when I was too caught up in myself to have enough trust in him.  It is such a wonder that he doesn't completely give up on me.

      And so, it seems, our son is ready to enter into the hallowed halls of high school.  We now will have to take back-to-school shopping seriously -- something we never did as homeschoolers.  Guess I'll have to get over that sick-to-my-stomach feeling when I see or hear the words "back-to-school."  Guess we'll actually have to shop before school starts.  (We are used to bringing up the rear, catching all of the back-to-school clearance items!)

      Oh yes, things will definitely change around here.  There will be HOMEwork for goodness sake -- something that we never had to worry about as homeschoolers, since we were HOME all day!

      For this year at least, I will have one foot in public school, and the other still at home.  Our daughter has not caught the "school bug" - and is happy to stay at home for another school year.  I fully expect her to change her tune after she observes her big brother this year.

      We'll see.

      Stay tuned.

      Do you have a good
      "homeschool to school"
      transition story?
      I'd love to hear about it!

      Sit Relax and Read






      Monday, August 8, 2011

      The Principal's Office


      Tomorrow, I am headed to the principal's office.  After years of homeschooling, we are enrolling our son in high school to complete his Junior and Senior years.  Homeschooling worked.  And then - not so much for this man-cub of ours.  He is a social animal (so to speak), and we agreed to agree that it was time.

      Hard. To. Swallow.

      Feels. Like. Failure.

      I know it is not failure.  I know -- HURRAY for us, for figuring it out... that it was time.

      I don't feel like "HURRAY" just yet.

      Tomorrow, my husband and I will escort our man-cub to the principal's office for the very first time.  (May it be the last. Amen.)

      Proof of residency required.  Proof of birth required - as if the man-cub's mere presence isn't enough.  Proof of studies studied required.

      Also, I want to prove that we believe that this is the very best next step for our son.  That we want this to work (and work well) for him.  I want to prove that we are a good family, and that we love our children well, telling them every day, and often -- and that this is where we believe God would have our son at this point in time.

      But perhaps more than anything, I want to prove that I can get through this meeting without throwing up.  Then, and only then will there be cause for celebration.

      {I know -- sometimes HONESTY isn't pretty.}

      Monday, August 1, 2011

      And Then There Were Nine!


      Only nine days left of camp.  We still have lots of fun stuff to look forward to.  The kids and I have been able to enjoy moments like this.  Only two girls at the Archery Range, and one of them was mine -- so I got a chance to get a lesson from - who else?  My son.  I learned archery back when dinosaurs roamed the earth - so this was a serious refresher course (like I vaguely remember seeing a bow before...)  He was very kind to me, and only said, "Oh my GOSH!!" a couple of times when I was being unbelievably dimwitted.  {But seriously, I'm lucky I didn't shoot myself in the face!}


      Oh well, as we like to say around here, "Camp is for the camper!"  So, here's to enjoying the next nine days while making them the best days of the summer for each and every camper.  {No pressure!}

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