It is my hope that through this blog I can share experiences and challenges from day to day life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ready to pop!

After 3 pregnancies this is the only pregnancy that we have been able to take prego pics.  It has been fun to just be pregnant.  With the first two we started with good intentions to take lots of pictures, but then so much happened during the pregnancies that taking pictures was over shadowed by just getting thru them.  

This picture was taken at 33 weeks--at times we still find it hard to believe all that has transpired over the past 8 months, especially when the first 3 months eluded us.

Week 34 was met with a minor bump in the road.  I got out of my chair one evening and was greeted with a sharp pain in my left side.  Suddenly reeled with reminiscent pains of the past I hoped the pain would go away.  After 30 minutes it did not, but instead was joined by feelings of nausea.  So to the ER we went.  After meds for the nausea and pain I was admitted for observation.  Morning ultra sound on my kidneys revealed what I hoped was my imagination.  Kidney stones.

However, because I am familiar with the symptoms and with the help of fluids and lots of prayer, I think I was able to pass the stones without more pain.  Now I concentrate more on keeping the fluids going--as if I was not already drinking like a fish.  And I am drinking juices to help keep the deposits moving.  

Now as I start week 35 I feel fine but VERY big and ready to pop.  Jody feels baby will be here this week if not before the end of the year.  Doctor still says January 17th.  I think baby will be early but not sure when.  I am bigger now than when I gave birth to #2.  Honestly, I don't have much more room.

Baby is very active.  He is head down, and I noticed he has dropped some.  I have started stress tests which monitor baby's movements and heart rate.  These will continue till he comes.  All this because of my "mature age."  I would be happy if baby came in the next few days.  I am ready to have my body back and able to breathe and eat without discomfort.

Thank you for all your prayers.  Please continue to pray for the last few weeks and transitions after baby comes.  Also that when baby comes my OB will be able available to do the C-section and not the on-call Doctor.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

And the count down is on...

To say this pregnancy has been an interesting ride is a true understatement, especially since it still feels surreal at times. As we head into week 31, I am in awe of just how amazing God truly is. Not that I doubted or ever thought otherwise, just in awe of how gracious he can be.

Seeing how we missed the 1st trimester, I am truly grateful not to have gone through all the morning sickness and such. The 2nd trimester was as much a breeze and downward slope. I am thankful for God's answers to prayers and promises kept... as if GOD would ever break a promise. It is just so comforting to see him in action.

I went in for my check up this week, and was again reminded how he is watching over this pregnancy and answering prayers. At 30 weeks, blood tests are good and iron levels are very good. I was even stunned to find I had not gained any weight in the past 4 weeks. Even more surprised, that since we found out we were expecting I have only gained about 10 pounds in the last 17 weeks. Baby is doing well and I am now starting to feel the full affects of being "just pregnant."

I have a large beach ball on my belly that wiggles and jiggles inside me constantly reminding me that there is a little one in there. Aside from frequent trips to the bathroom and the ever growing challenge to get into bed let alone find a comfortable position, I feel fine. I know I have officially come into my 3rd trimester as I have the wonderful fat feet to prove it.

Some of these things, which for most pregnant woman are everyday complaints, are great joys for me. These were things that totally evaded me in the first 2 pregnancies, due to all the other "stuff" I was going through.  So to me it seems strange to be aware of these little experiences, I am thankful.

Today I was reading about doing "kick counts," a way to see that baby to active and healthy. After eating or moving around a lot, you sit and wait for baby to start moving around, then you count the kicks, jabs or flutters you feel. You count watching the clock to see how long it takes to get to 10 kicks. It took this little guy about 10-12 minutes to get to 10 kicks. As I am writing this, he has been moving, and now he has moved about 10 times in a minute. Yeah, I would say he is quite healthy.

I am learning (more so in the last few weeks) that I am not what or who I used to be. I am learning to be more humble in my weaknesses and more reliable on other people... not easy for me. I realize I am not as young as I used to be and can not do all the things I used to. Often I think, "Oh no problem; I can do that." Only to find that was not such a good idea. So I am depending more on my kids to help with little things around the house. This is good practice for them for when baby comes.

7-8 weeks to go and I am feeling fine... well feeling very large and off balance, but good none the less. So hard to believe this prego journey is almost over and being a mom of 3 kids is about to start.

The countdown to meeting baby C. is on.  Josh has been very in tune with just how much longer we have. So here we go...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

12 weeks to go....

So here I sit. Now at 27 weeks, and aside from a very strong cough a few weeks ago, we have had a very smooth uneventful pregnancy. It is hard to believe that in 12 weeks or less we will have another baby boy.  Praise the Lord!! I sit here writing one foot swollen and the other normal.  My upper body and belly much larger at 27 weeks than with the 2nd pregnancy. My belly looks more like a large beach ball and often feels much heavier. Thank fully I have only gained 14 pounds and baby is VERY active.

They say no 2 pregnancies are alike.  I can vouch for that. I see the Doctor this coming Monday, and will have go through the wonderful normal 28 week tests, but I have resolved to be okay with it all.  I really do not like the blood sugar test, but I think I will be fine. I really want to show the doctor wrong.  ;)

I really can't complain and I don't. I think from what others tell me I am actually experiencing a "normal" pregnancy.  It is still hard to take in. It is getting harder to move around. I have moments of absentmindedness, which hubby likes to tease about. I am thankful for smaller children willing come to my rescue and pick up things off the floor so I don't have to try and bend down. I have hot flashes at night, and according to hubby and daughter I snore something awful--you try sleeping with someone laying on top of you....

I can't help being thankful for the smoothness of this pregnancy, and how God has answered prayer. And although I try not to think about it too much, I can't help but look back. 8 yrs ago at this time in pregnancy  I was in the hospital with complications and doctors not knowing what was wrong. That of course--a week later resulted in Josh coming into this world at 28 weeks. 5 years ago at this time in pregnancy I had just gotten over a severe flu virus (given to me by same son) and was soon to experience a whole round of new symptoms in the 3rd trimester. Even so, the 2nd pregnancy made it to week 38, when Shelby had to come due to not enough amniotic fluid.

On the home front school front. We finished out unit on Stewardship. This week we began a new unit on Patience. In this unit the kids will learn what it means to wait by looking at how things grow. More lessons on baby to come. How ironic that we should be learning all this and I am pregnant -- talk about a living classroom.

Josh is doing well in 3rd grade. He is beginning to get some of the basics that just did not come last year.  Miss Shelby, to smart for her own good at times, continues to be a challenge, but she is a smart one. She advanced from Kindergarten this quarter and is now in 1st grade.  She is so proud of herself--of course we are proud too. I still am amazed at what she can do--not that I should be as I see it with my own eyes. She has begun to pick up some of Josh's lazy habits and tries to play the "I can't do it" card. So I leave the room because I will not play that game. Something kicks in, and suddenly she can do it, and perfectly and neatly too.

Thank you, and please continue to keep us in your prayers through the next few months. And may God bless your home as He has ours.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I LOVE MY HUSBAND! Reflection.....

So here I sit, 24 1/2 weeks pregnant, I have been sick for the past week.  I think I had strep throat or something like it--sore enough that I gave up talking for 3 days because it hurt so much.  (Kids got in some good practice with sign language.)  This weekend hubby made me breakfast 2 mornings in a row.  I am truly blessed.

The other day I sat reflecting on the past few years--easy to do when you are too tired to do anything else.  It is amazing to us both that we are expecting our 3rd child; especially since neither of us ever thought we would have one, let alone with each other.

I realized last night that we have now been married half as long as we have known each other.  We met a little over 18 1/2 years ago.  There was a period of 8 years when we saw each other only briefly if at all and yet the whole time he was in my prayers with out knowing I had been praying for him.

See I began to pray for my future husband when I was 12 years old.  When I met Jody I never thought he was the one God had in mind for me.  9 1/2 years ago I was sure he was not the one, and yet as we started dating again, I would pray for him as a friend for he was a very good friend.  I was also still praying for my future husband, and became amazed as I watched God transform this man before my eyes.  

The day he proposed, I knew without question that he was the one; and I have grown to love him more each day.  Tomorrow, October 8, 2012 we will celebrate 9 years of marriage.  It is hard to believe at times that we are together, and have 2 children AND one on the way.  Our journey has had it many moments of challenges--each one drawing us closer together.  

We have worked hard to grow together through each trial.  We have never argued or fought as we have seen in many relationships.  Hard to believe I know.  Granted we have not always agreed, but we have always talked and prayed about everything.  We learned very early on that lines on communication must be open and transparent, and that above all else we must bring everything before God.  We know it is the only thing that has brought us through the many ups and downs this life has brought our way.

We are blessed to have two children who know without question that God is the answer when things are uncertain.  We have been doubly blessed when our children come to us and either ask us to pray with them when they are scared or offer to pray for us because they feel moved to do so.

So now as we embark on this next journey, we do so knowing that God IS in control and HE only has our best interest in mind.  We are in awe that God would entrust us with another life and look forward to the blessings this little one will bring.

I continue to pray for my husband and now for our marriage and our children.  I know he prays for us, and we see great miracles when we pray together.  I am blessed at how Jody loves me and shows his love and sacrifice for his family.  We may have only been married for 9 years but at times with all we have been through it seems longer.  We look forward to all the Lord as in store for us.  I am blessed to know that I have a man who will whole heartily walk with me.  I look forward to when I can say we have been married twice as long as we have known each other.

I love you Jody--and I look forward to growing old with you and those wheelchair races.  :)   

Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 19 +/-

So as we embark on this new journey, I am happy (WOW!  There's a thought.) to say so far so good.   So far things have been well.  Minor incursion with uncooperative veins when trying to get blood work done, but after two days trying and 4 vampires and many sticks blood word is done and now waiting for results.  Beyond that I just simply feel pregnant.  How nice is this?  It's very nice.

I will say we are still adjusting to the whole concept and at times it still feels very surreal.  But the kids are excited and we have been blessed with a few baby items that makes it easier to comprehend.

On other areas of the home front, we are now in our 3rd week of school.  I was surprised and pleased as the first week went much smoother than I anticipated, so I know the kids were ready to start.  We are learning about being good stewards and how it first means we learn how to care for our bodies.

In preparing for this years lessons, I was intrigued how several of the lessons focus on our bodies and how they were made.  I had been thinking of how to tread lightly when talking about exactly how our bodies were made, being not too deep when it came to anatomy--of course that was before we found out I was pregnant.    Now with baby coming there are more questions than I never expected to cover quite yet.  So I have had to rethink again what details to go into and which ones to go lightly on.  It shall be interesting.

Here is a sampling of the questions that I have had thus far-most of which have been vaguely answered or when probed for more have all been told, "we will talk about that later in school...."

"Mom, how did the baby get in your tummy?"  "Mom, how does the yolk get into the egg?"  "How will the baby get out?"  "Will that (all things baby from daughter) happen to me?"  (To which we answer, "yes but not for a long time.  Like when you are 25."  And she replies, "oh no!  I will wait until I am 40!!!")  We like that answer!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thus the journey begins--again!

This October Jody and I will celebrate 9 years and marriage.  We have had some wonderful times and some hard times and always we have watched God move in amazing ways.  We have been stretched in many ways and every way possible.  Or so we thought.

One thing that has always amazed us yet never surprised us is God's sense of humor.  We have been blessed  with our 8 yr old son Josh and 5 yr old daughter Shelby.  We have met challenges with both over the years, but find comfort in knowing God has plans for them both.

Recently, Jody and I were discussing the past few years--they have flown by so fast.  We were even dreaming about a much needed get-a-way and time for ourselves.  This past year has been rather challenging with Jody having knee surgery last year in August and our son under going surgery on his legs to help lengthen his muscles and allow him to walk taller and stronger.  We began our first year homeschooling to accommodate for his surgery and  various Doctor appointments.

We were finally starting to settle into a "normal" routine and looking forward to the coming year.  Then I started noticing some changes in my body.  After some figuring we thought menopause was the next stage for me.  Then a few weeks ago I noticed some things that seemed strange.  After a couple of tests we learned that I was 13 weeks pregnant.  WOW~~~TALK ABOUT A SHOCK!  We did not see this coming.  We thought we were done. We had tried 2 and 3 years ago but as nothing happened, we felt we were to be a happy family of 4.

Today as of this writing, we had our first visit with the OB.  The OB confirm I am now 17 weeks along.  It was kinda nice to skip the 1st trimester.  I felt nothing and had no clue to even think I might be pregnant.  So we embark once again on the baby journey.  We are praying for an uneventful pregnancy.  Baby boy is due in January 2013.  So much for settling down this year.  Here we go~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Captivity---is good

For some the word captivity brings negative thoughts to mind.  If you look the word up you may find various meanings.  Here are some I found: "the state of being confined to a space from which it is difficult or impossible to escape."  "The keeping of either domesticated animals (livestock and pets) or wild animals."   There are more to be sure.  But at looking at these I started thinking of other instants where the concept of being captive may be a good thing or a positive thing.  

Think of those who are helped by "protective custody" or "witness protection."  In these cases there definition is not much different from captivity.  Protective custody is a type of imprisonment (or care) to protect a prisoner (or other person) from harm, either from outside sources or other prisoners.  Witness protection is protection of a threatened witness or any person involved in the justice system, including defendants and other clients, before, during and after a trial, usually by police. While a witness may only require protection until the conclusion of a trial, some witnesses are provided with a new identity and may live out the rest of their lives under government protection. 

For many the above all sounds the same.  But is got me thinking about how all of this can benefit us in other ways.  Weather you are being held so as not to hurt another or being held so that another does not hurt you it can be considered captivity if you have no freedom to do as you like.  

2 Corinthians 10:5 says:  "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."  (English Standard Version)  The NIV says: "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  It is this verse that got me thinking about all the above.

Many of us when faced with trials and hard times can get caught up in a battle of the mind.  Our mind is good at playing tricks and keeping us from focusing on what is true or important.  Now I realize the verse is talking about removing false ideas about God, but I think we can also move it to thoughts we mistake for ourselves. I am not trying to change the meaning of this verse I simply saying that we can apply it to other areas of out lives and thoughts.  Read the passage again and read from verse 4-6.

So how to we take captive our thoughts??  Not easy I KNOW!..   I am sure you have been in that place where you are overwhelmed about something or fearful about a coming event or many other times when the mind runs wild.  It is these times I am referring.  Alone times and night time can be the worst time for these battles.  So as I thinking about this I was reminded of other verses that address the issue well.  My favorite is  Philippians 4:8  "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  Whenever I hear the word "whatever" I think of this verse; and often throw it back at a person I am talking to if they have said it as if giving up on something.  

When we are bombarded by thoughts that bring fear or lies our way we can take this verse and rest on it's truths.  Doing so we can accomplish two things: 1) taking captive the bad thoughts, those that have no truth or go against the character of God; and tossing them far from us.  2) taking captive or a hold of the good and true thoughts--those that lift up God name and his character.  Those that remind us of his promises, and linger in them.  

Lastly I think of the other verse that ties in so well in helping to defeat the battle of the mind.  Ephesians 6:10-18 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.   Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.   For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.   Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.   Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.   In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.   Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."

This verse for me sums it up well.  The devil's scheme's are to deceive us and mess with our heads when we are most vulnerable. So I encourage you; no matter what you may be struggling with don't let the battle of the mind get to you.  Soak yourself in the word. Think on His promises--you can find them in the Bible.  Use captivity to your advantage. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Hiatus

Wow!  It has been awhile.  And every time I think "oh I need to write something!" I get interrupted and then forget and then days go by and it starts again.  We finished our last week of school June 8th.  Kids did well this year and we are more than thankful that we chose this path this year.  We have spent the last few weeks running errands or playing games or vegging together catching up on our new favorite movies.

A few weeks ago we sat down for a pizza dinner and the kids wanted to watch a movie.  We (mom and dad) did NOT want to see Star Wars, Cinderella or any other flick they have watched 100 times before. Kinda burned out on those.  So we thought they might enjoy something they had not seen before.  We put on Star Gate SG-1.  WOW never thought they would enjoy it so much! And thus for the next days and weeks to follow they happily did not want to watch cartoon or play video games.  No they wanted to see the  next episode of SG-1 or play in their rooms.  I obliged them quite nicely.  We have the 1st season and I found Season 2 & 3 at the Library.

It has been fun to see them really get into the stories. And what I have more fun is they are actually learning and not knowing it.  If you are not familiar with the series it takes a team of 4 people (military and scientists) thru a gate to other planets to make allies and search for ways of protecting themselves from a common enemy.  The main theme being that aliens many years ago took humans from earth to other planets.  And they find countless similarities to civilizations here on earth (go figure).  So as we watch the story the kids have learned about ancient Egypt and Greece and many other cultures.  Needless to say, we pause A LOT to explain things that are happening and talk about history and how it affects us.  Fun in my book.

They are currently taking an art class on Creation at our church and are having fun with that.  I am getting ready for the next school year and again becoming excited with the tings we will talk about.

Blessings to you and have a wonderful rest of the summer!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baa Baa Black Sheep....

The next few weeks till the end of school in June we will be focusing on Psalm 23 and our main topic of trust..  We spent the last 2 week learning about deception and magic and what it means to trust and who we can trust.  For reasons beyond my understanding this is an area of great struggle for Shelby with me--and an area of much prayer.  We have learned David and Goliath and King Saul and his mistakes that led to God choosing David as the new King.

This week we began our studies about sheep and how we are much like sheep.  We will end our studies in 3 weeks with a visit to a sheep farm.  It is my hope that the kids lambs will learn much from these lessons.  We already have learned about a really cool sheep called a Jacob Sheep. Because 2 horns are not enough.

We will also spend time learning about planes and   boats because it takes a great amount of trust to board these large vessels in hopes they will get you where you want to go.  Let me know if you have any plane or boat stories you have about you first travels I can share with the lambs.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Crime & Punishment

Last week we finished our last chapter--Crime & Punishment in our Obedience unit.  Boy was that a fast 11 weeks and Ooooh the obedience issues we had.  However, I have learned as we focus on a quality trait it is that trait that seems to fight the most.  So, this has also been a more significant unit in prayer for my husband and I.

I especially liked the last chapter as it ties in neatly with the passion week and Passover.  We are blessed that both our children have accepted Jesus in their hearts and they know what it means.  So as we were taking about crime, punishment and obedience we spoke of Jesus and the other men who hung beside him.  We watched several different versions of Christ's death and I was touched after watching one, which focused on his life and death, and ended with him on the cross and the credits rolled.  Immediately, Joshua became very upset, "Mom! That's not right! They did not finish the movie.  It's not supposed to end there!"  So I asked him what was missing.  "Mom, they have to bury him and then he comes alive again!"  Needless to say I was proud.

So this weak we are taking a break.  Monday, an hour after breakfast, Josh comes to me and says, "mom when are we going to start school?"  Wow, was that a surprise.  They are okay with it now and I can spend time getting ready for our next unit on Trust.  I don't have to say that it should be interesting.....

We will look at deception and magic to discuss who can be trusted.  We will learn about sheep and Shepherds.   (I have a couple of very enthralled Zoologists with all the animals we have studied.)  We will revisit Airplanes and Ships.

I trust you will stay tuned for the next post....

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Tinted Poodle

This past weekend was a blast!  We started Thursday night going to the theater and watching a performance of BLAST!  They were a group of musicians and if they come to you neck or the woods do go see.  The kids and us enjoyed the performance very much.

Friday with great excitement the kids helped to pack their suit cases and the car for our 3 hour + drive up to Palmdale, CA for our weekend at Painted Turtle Camp.  This is a camp for kids with special needs.  What is even more amazing is they not only engage the "special" kids but also the siblings who may seem left out because so much is done for or with the "special" kid.

We arrived and were greeted by our PAL Annie for the weekend.  Annie like many of the PALs is a medical students and volunteers at the camp for experience hours.  The camp puts a pal with each family to assist with getting around the camp.  Shelby took to her right away.  We had our picture taken and then had dinner. relaxed start getting to know other people and signing up for activities for the next day.

  Saturday was a busy and full day.  We had the choice of sitting back and enjoying the quiet while Annie took the kids to and fro, but as this was a first for many things was wanted to be part of it all.
 Also because we had 2 kids we were given another pal--one for each kid.  Nick turned out to be a lot of fun for Josh--he could imitate Yoda's voice and knew a ton about Star Wars-Josh was excited.

Shelby was not older enough for some of the activities but had fun hanging with Annie and do a ton of crafts, walking, running and skipping all over the camp and just being silly with someone who gave her undivided attention.

In the end, between the various activities on Saturday and Sunday, the kids went fishing--but did not catch anything.  Both go into a canoe with me and went around the lake.  Shelby even got in a paddle boat with me around the lake; a first for all.

Josh rode a horse for the first time and climbed the ropes course and went down the zip-line--amazing to watch.  They both had a lot of fun and tried many things for the first time.

Saturday evening we enjoyed skit night performed by all the kids.  Ironically there was another Snyder family there with 2 boys who like Star Wars and who like to play music. And as we sat and ate breakfast their skit came to life.  So for their skit, one played the drums, one guitar, Josh played lead and sang while Shelby danced.  What did they sing you ask??? Only Josh's favorite song--thanks to dad:  "Cheeseburger in Paradise" by Jimmy Buffet.  They were saved for last as the finale'--Snyder Rock  and rock it out they did.  

Saturday night after dinner the pals came to our cabin and played with the kids while we went to the dining hall which the staff had transformed into a romantic hide-away.  A fireplace and only candles lit the room.  Rocking chairs were brought in and the cozy atmosphere gave couples a few hours of quiet.  Something many have not had in several years.

One highlight, I enjoyed, was watching Shelby engage wholeheartedly.  The first night as they kicked off, the grandpa type MC welcomed everyone to the "Tinted Poodle" and without regard Shelby blurted out "no! It's the Painted Turtle!"  The MC said oh the "Tinted Poodle".  And to my amazement, she stood up from her seat walked up to the MC who leaned down to her, took his face in her hands and looked him in the eye and corrected him once again that it was the "Painted Turtle." This banter continued throughout the weekend.  I was surprised again on Saturday when the MC stopped by the art room and once again started the debate with Shelby and she again face in hands instructed him to repeat after her as she showed him phonetically how to say the words.  He in turn repeated after her exactly and when  instructed to repeat the whole thing again said it wrong. (But now I know she is listening in school.)

In the end, Jody and I came away feeling very blessed.  We have been through some hard times, dealing with doctors and surgeries, insurance red tape and struggles finding people who can and will watch our children, but in spite of it all we have been very fortunate.  We found many families have had to hire lawyers to help fight those battles, and many we felt did not have or did not know the hope that Jesus can bring.  It is the one thing we seemed to be missing among many we encountered.  It is our hope that as we make friends and return again we can bring that light and hope to those we touch--something Josh has been doing since he was born.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mushers home in Nome--part 2

The excitement grew as each musher got closer to Nome.  Sadly my kids still do not understand snow.  We had hoped to take them this year but there did not seem to be much of a winter here or nearby...maybe next year.

On with the race.  We had to figure out how much food they would need for the race and how much they would have to pick up at each check point.  We learned about Alaska's history and how people got to Alaska in the first place.  Shelby built a bridge to get from the USA to Russia.

The race started with 66 mushers in Anchorage.  At midway 8 mushers had to scratch either for their own health or that of their dogs.  The weather was brutal averaging 23* to -25 and lower with the wind chill.  There was also a great concern for moose, as they are known to attack or hold their ground on the trail.  (The trail is easier to walk on the the powdered snow.)  Dogs can loose life with a single kick from the moose.

Both of our mushers worked hard and yet 220 from Nome Josh's mushers had to scratch due to concern for his dogs.  Two days before scratching we had noticed his team slowing down. Josh was sad but here is his report:

Shelby became hopeful that she would win in spite of the fact that she was 35th in position.  Tuesday evening march 13th came -- 9day, 4 hours and 29 minutes after leaving the starting line the first musher crossed the finish line in Nome.  He was a rookie (first time to run the Iditarod), but from a long line of past mushers and he also claimed the youngest to win.  Shelby was not too happy but allowed us to talk about good sportsmanship.

The kids had fun and we watched until the last musher crossed the finish line: Monday, March 19, 2012, after 14 days, 11 hours and 57 minutes. We learned the race is not over until the last musher comes in and blows out the Widow's Lantern; which was lite after the first musher left Anchorage announcing that there are mushers on the trail.  It stays lite during the entire race until the last musher blows it out signifying that all mushers have come home.

The race is over now.  The mushers are in Nome and they will celebrate with all and return home and most will begin preparations for next years race.  If you want to follow all the excitement you can check it out at the following link:  http://iditarod.com/.

HIKE! (They don't say mush...)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mushers home in Nome--part 1

A much needed rest in the sun after
crossing the finish-line in Nome.
Well it has been a grueling and exciting race for the 66 mushers that started the Iditarod race on March 4th.  As part of our lesson on obedience we decided to follow a musher and see what it takes to care for the dogs and what was needed to cross the finish-line.

Both Josh and Shelby chose a musher to follow.  We read books about the Iditarod and watched a few movies to get an idea of what it would be like.  The movie Balto tells the story of the first run across the Alaska terrain to Nome to bring much needed medicine to the children of Nome sick with a deadly diphtheria epidemic in 1925.
Today, the Iditarod runs the 1049 miles from Anchorage to Nome commemorating the run with the medicine, helping to keep the tradition of dog sledding alive and encouraging good sportsmanship and care for the animals.

During the race the kids would check-in at each check-point as their musher arrived.  They had to hey would read an email "from their musher", and then answer questions to help their musher to the next check-point.  The had to figure out how many times the city of Kink fit into their town; how many skyscrapers it would take to reach Mt. McKinley and then make a banner to welcome them to Finger Lake.  

The made their own igloos.

They had to figure out what would be needed if their teacher were to run in the race next year and make a list or write a story about their teacher on the trail.  We looked a Inuit art and they had to sculpt their own carvings.  (They made cameras to take pictures of their musher crossings the finish line.

Josh constructed a sled.

And everyday they checked on their musher.....

Friday, March 9, 2012

Friction and then some

Although I am not surprised, I am often amazed when you focus on specific character qualities no matter how minute, that you then seem to struggle more significantly with those qualities.  So this week we studied about friction and learned about Newton's 3 Laws of motion.

Actually a lot of fun.  I think the kids had more fun with the projects and not real sure if they understood the relation of the project to the concept--then again maybe subconsciously they did get it.  The science side of friction I think they got.  They had fun seeing how fast an object dropped from one point to another when gliding down a fishing line, piece of yarn and a rope.  This is where the project was more exciting and the concept seemed lost however, I caught them later trying to re-enact to experiment.

When it comes to motion Shelby had fun with the motion concept; for when she took a bath one night she called me in to show me how she could make motion.  Moving her body back and forth she then proclaimed she was "causing motion because even when she stopped moving the water was still in motion."

Science side not too bad... spiritual side---that has proved more challenging.  When we started our experiment on friction they seemed to catch on real quick and then as the moment was right I transferred the examples to their attitudes and they were very quick to follow giving appropriate responses of understanding. And yet this week there seemed to be more than usual friction and less obedience.

However, I am somewhat hopeful about mid-week we went outside for some PE. time and I suddenly got a brilliant (so I thought) idea to play Mother-may-I?  They actually did pretty good in that they understood the rules, although they had difficulty in remembering to "Mother-may-I?"  Therefore causing them to have to go back to the beginning--let's just say it took a long time to play the game.

Today (Friday) was a rather long day even though a short school day.  Both kids were in a state of testing their limits.  Despite their attitudes near the end of the day Shelby seemed to be more polite that usual and responded like we want her to.

Funny how when a child acts the way we want in the manner we want, WE suddenly look at them with skeptical eyes as though they are up-to-something; which the may or may not be.  I have found that it is hard to believe the manner being portrayed is in fact a true manner they are showing and not a ploy to get something they want.

In any case, we move from Newton and his wonder laws of motion and all the friction to a few weeks on a favorite subject of mine--HORSES.  To bad I am not in a place or position to have a horse and be able to go deeper into the subject.  Oh how I wish we were back in Colorado now.  (Someday maybe...)

I am hoping they have some fun during the next few weeks.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Royalty out--friction in...

So our life of Royalty has come to an end.  We have learned about Kings (King Arthur, King Saul, King Henry) and Queens (Ann Bolin, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Easter), the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot, and the kids favorite Sir Fartsalot (really look it up).  We have learned about Castles and the myriad of  people that worked in and around the castle to keep the king happy.

We have had fun reading endless stories about kings and Camelot a knights fighting dragons and saving damsels in distress; all of which showed us the importance of obedience.  As Queen Vashti  learned, when you don't obey you can get banished from the castle and the kingdom; or in the case of other Medieval queens, get your head chopped off.

We ended our Royal lessons with a Grand Feast--at least Shelby thought it was real cool, as the table was covered with food--at least food the kids would eat.  And the king in our house was well bloated after all the merriment.

We will now turn our attention to  our military offices and learn about the different branches and how obedience plays a roll in serving our country.  Josh is very excited about going to visit some of the branches and hope to be able to talk to a soldier.

After we learn about our military we will turn our focus to friction and how that relates to obedience.  It looks to be very interesting and eye opening.  I am looking forward to some fun experiments.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Scholastics--Joys of teaching

One of the reasons we chose to start Homeschooling was the surgeries Josh was having this past year.  We knew there would be many physical and emotional challenges and did not feel adding the pressures of keeping up with the district scholastic schedule would be possible or fair.  As we have progressed in this school year we have covered a LOT of topics and areas of learning.  Josh thought it was cool that he could be considered an Ornithologist--one who studies birds as my friend informed him.  

The core elements of learning--reading , writing and arithmetic--have been a challenge for him, and I have been ever more thankful that we decided to Homeschool.  As he would be in 2nd grade this year I was aware that this is the time when schools give students the State Standards Tests in Language Arts and Math.  We have the option to take it or not.  I knew he would not be ready, but I wanted to give him the test to see where he was and where we need to focus his learning.

The past week has been test week for him.  There are A LOT of questions on this test had he been "in school" I know he would have failed and the questions would have confused him and so he most likely would have just guessed.  I know that the teacher would have been reading the questions to the students, but I don't think they would have taken the time to ensure that each student really understood what the question was asking.  So once I felt he understood the question then he would choose the appropriate answer.  It was hard to refrain from asking "are you sure that is the right one?"  No worries, I did well.  I knew as he took the test he would struggle and I was sure the math would be his greatest challenge.

To my surprise and amazement he did better than I thought.  Sometimes a question would come up on something he had struggled on during regular lessons and I cringed knowing he would mark the wrong answer.  Then he would get it right and I could not help myself and had to kiss his cheek and sing with glee when he got it right.  Which of course make him real happy.  Once he noticed that he got one right and leaned hos cheek over for a kiss--can't resist.

So after a week of testing, I am pleased that he (we) is doing very well this year, in spite challenges and not covering EVERYTHING "he should have learned in school this year."  We still have 5 more months of school, and I have a greater understanding if where we need to concentrate.  But I am so excited that he is doing so well.  I just had to share.  :) 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bird in the hand--sort of

For the past 3 weeks the kids and I have been learning all about birds.  We set out a humming-bird feeder which I was instantly rewarded by a hummer buzzing up close so fast it about knocked me off the chair I was standing on.

As well we have been graced by a covey of quail--about 20 or so in all, a dozen or so finches and several sparrows; all of which daily come looking for the bird seed we lay out on porch.  There are a few quail who are daring enough to literally come pecking on the glass door if we have not laid out seed in due time.  And not to be forgotten is a little sparrow who will perch on a chair outside or the bell by the door hoping to get our attention and some equal seed.

This past weekend we had a wind storm upwards of 75 mph as well as cold dark clouds throughout the day.  At one point I looked out to ponder the strong winds only to see the little sparrow desperately trying to find food and not get blown away.  In spite of the wind several times literally blowing the bird away he hunkered down to get close to look for food.  In pity for the poor thing I took some seed out to a small pot I had, within seconds the little gut was in there feeding protected from the gusts of wind and soon accompanied by another bird.

Today, I noticed the little guy hoping around foraging.  I stepped outside and he came close and hopped back, again and again.  And I wondered...; so I got some seed in my hand, stepped out, squatted down and held VERY still waiting to see if he would come closer.  HE darted back and forth watching; came closer and closer.  An inch from my hand he nibbled some seed on the ground--watching.  Hopped closer and very quickly pecked from my hand.  And again and again.  Never got on  my hand but he did eat from my hand.  A reluctant trust out weighed by hunger.  It got me thinking; I wonder how often that is how we are with God...

A few feet away were several quail not quite are daring as the sparrow, but cooing all the same--wonder what they were saying.  Now as I look out the seed I had in my hand is gone; the birds all back in the bushes waiting again for my appearance.  To think--I have made a few friends--nothing to brag about and they won't stick around long, but their necessity is my pleasure.  So glad it is not that way with GOD.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tweet Tweet

As in the animal with wings--not the social media network, although I am coming to find that we may have gotten out twitter ideas from the little critters.  Sometimes I find it would be so nice to be able to blink and then print or post the picture we was.

As we have been learning all about birds the past 2 weeks (with one to go) the kids have really enjoyed learning about our fair feathered friend.  Our daughter, Shelby has really enjoyed going out early in the morning and sitting quietly (a feat even I am impressed with) and eating breakfast while she watches the birds.  Or standing just inside the sliding door and watching the birds gather around to get the seed.  This morning was one of those moments I wish I could have posted my sight.  I stepped out side to pour seed out for the many waiting Sparrows that had gathered.  But instead of just throwing out on the patio, I stepped out, leaned over and poured in a small area, and before I could stand a dozen little sparrows came flickering over to eat the seeds.  So I froze wanting to see just how close they would get to me--all the while Shelby was watching behind the curtain.  They came to within a few inches of my reach.  I slowly stood and walked back in the house.  It was very cool to say the least.  Now to get the humming birds to gather.

I am anxiously awaiting our next unit.  First we will look at Lighthouses and their importance in guiding others to safety.  Then we will spend some time looking at Kings & queens, castles and knights.  I anticipate some fun posts.

Does anyone have some fun experiences with or in lighthouses?  Anyone have any cool pictures they can share?