Sunday, July 31, 2005


The girls really embrace any art project you throw at them, of course Emily winning first place at the county fair for her artwork probably is evidence of such enthusiasm.

Yesterday we were at a yardsale and found three beat up old chairs. They were only $1 each, so the girls asked if they could get them and paint them. They even convinced their dad to go out and buy primer for them yesterday. They have been working on them off and on since then...I can't wait to see how they turn out!

Ironicially, over the past two days I have received through some of my email contacts, links to some great art sites. I spent about and hour today going through and compiling the details for some I would like to try. It is a pretty eclectic list, but I think the kids will have fun exploring the projects. You never know, if I get ambitious, I might even invite some of their friends over to explore the projects with us! For the most part, they use inexpensive supplies, most of which I already have laying around in the craft closet!

Here are a couple of the websites that I particularly liked ideas from:

I just love that their are so many fun ways to help the kids enjoy art and learn at the same time. Nothing to me is more boring than just looking at a picture, but the idea of exploring a technique with a little history tossed in really appeals to me! Of course I have always been drawn to the art of Jackson Pollock!

I can't wait to see what direction these ideas lead us in. Maybe Emily will have something spectacular for the fair next year, or maybe one of her siblings will give her a run for her money!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Dad is back in the hospital

My dad was transported back to the hospital via ambulance. He got up from his nap and was complaining of severe numbness in his left arm and leg and he was drooling. Mom thought he had another stroke, but they did a CT when he got to the hospital and they don't think it was a stroke. Possibly it was a bad reaction to some of his medication. He is running a fever, so they are keeping him for observation. Prayers would be much appreciated!
Tea Party

Emily decided that she wanted to have a tea party for her birthday and that she also wanted to have a slumber party. We ended up postponing it a few weeks from her birthday because she was at camp the week of her birthday and we had baseball games last weekend! Finally we decided on July 29th! We combined the ideas and had a "celebrity" tea slumber party! We asked that the girls come glammed out in their hollywood best (boas, glitter, etc). When they got here, we had everyone decorate straw hats to wear to the tea!

Before we had our tea we went over some tea party etiquette (check it out and then we served tea, tea sandwiches, muffins, veggies, fruit, hummus and pink lemonade. The girls had a BLAST! It was funny to watch and listen to them as they tried to behave like proper young ladies! One of the girls, Amanda, really took to Sophie and kept making sure she was included and had enough food to eat and tea to drink, it was so cute!

Following tea, they played a few party games and opened presents. Then the girls made picture frames. We sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Emily and had cake. Following cake, the girls played more games. Two of the girls couldn't spend the night, one was picked up at 10 PM and the other closer to 11 PM, so we only had 4 extras stay the night (taking the household count to 14!). The girls were giggly and silly and had a dance off and then watched some movies! I finally yelled upstairs at 4 AM that is was FINE if they stayed up, but could they PLEASE use inside voices!

The girls were still asleep when the moms started to arrive to pick them up at 10:40 AM! At least they got about 5 hours of sleep! Most of them grabbed donuts as they headed home!

Emily was so THRILLED with the party! It is so neat as they get older and take ownership in planning things. I heard Em and Hannah talking about "next year" already!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

OK I am a bit behind reading the comments left for my pal Lea tagged me with the following questions on 7-14....OK only took me 10 days to read the comment....

Q: What is your favorite night-time snack? My favorite treat is one of those shaved iced snocone things....preferably with some sickeningly sweet flavored topping. If you mean something I could grab out of the cabinet it would be chips and salsa/cheese.

Q: If you could choose 3 comfort items to take with you for a year on a desert island, what would they be? Q: Why did you choose each item? Comfort items would be one of my grandmother's handmade quilts (I can feel the warmth and love when I am wrapped up in it), a journal with pen (for putting my thoughts down on paper...heck with a year to myself I might just compose that book I have always wanted to write), and an endless supply of fresh brewed sweetened ice tea (do I really need to explain this ...I am gonna be on a HOT island and I will be THRISTY!). And although you didn't ask, you must know that I would have to have a RAZOR with my because I can't stand HAIRY ARMPITS! but I don't see the razor as a "comfort thing" it is a necessity!

Q: What is your first memory? Helping my brother (who is 3 years younger than me) chip his front tooth out on the slide in our backyard. Wonderful big sister that I am, I tried to push him up the ladder and he cracked his mouth on the top step! That or him throwing my favorite babydoll (named Baby) into the tile glue when my parents where finishing the attic in our house and ruining her hair...they both happened about the same time! My mom had to use a razor knife to cut the glue off Baby's head!
Here is one of Emily's pictures from her portrait session on her birthday! It is hard to believe how grown up she is starting to look!

I have always called Emily "brown bear" as a nickname because she gets so tan, even through SPF 30! Our native american heritage is apparent in her coloring and her facial structure. She is a BEAUTIFUL child but she carries herself in such a way that it isn't "obvious" that she knows it. She is taken aback whenever anyone comments on how pretty she is!

So there is the FIRST PLACE WINNING girl! I am so proud of her...and it has nothing to do with her being first place! It is her gentle nature, her loving spirit, her sense of fairness...there are so many things that make me proud of this beautiful child of mine!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

County Fair Awards Ceremony
Saturday July 23 7 PM
Clermont County Fairgrounds

I think I posted earlier about taking the kids out for the 4-H judging. Well last weekend we got letters in the mail for Grant and Hannah saying they were invited to the awards banquet, meaning their projects had finished in the top 5 in their catagory. I thought it was really weird Emily didn't get a letter, she had entered the same catagory as Grant and her work was far superior (Em is an artist through and through). She was really disappointed, I even checked with our advisor thinking her notice must have been lost in the mail or something, especially given the fact that we had moved and the letters had been forwarded. Despite the fact that she wasn't getting an award, I insisted that she go to the ceremony to support her brother and sister, even when she was invited to spent the night at her friend Ali's house.

We got to the fairgrounds and it was UTTER CHAOS! I dropped the kids + a family friend off at the building they were using for awards adn went and parked the monster van in the closest spot I could find. By the time I got back, the kids were registered and we were scrambling to find seats. Hannah came walking up to me and I noticed she had 2 numbers on her tag, indicating she had won in 2 different catagories....WAIT A MINUTE...she only entered ONE project! The light goes on, and I realize that maybe EMILY REALLY DID WIN! I rush around, trying to find someone in charge to confirm my suspicions! Turns out that they mistakenly used Hannah's scoresheet to score Emily's project! Hannah is so excited she RUNS and gets Emily and drags her over to the winner's area!

If it wasn't enough that she actually won....turns out she took FIRST PLACE and qualifies to take her project to the STATE FAIR to be judged! Grant finished 3rd in their catagory and Hannah came in 2nd in hers! Pretty great for our first 4-H/county fair experience! The kids are really pumped up about completing MORE projects for next year's fair!

Em gets to go to State Fair on August 4th! If your the praying type, say a little prayer that she does well!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Football, football, football!

Apparently we missed football camp, but we were fortunately still able to sign Grant and Jacob up for football. This organization looks phenomenal and the boys are REALLY excited! Of course it isn't going to be as "easy" as last year. The boys don't practice at the exact same times, but the field is less than 2 miles from here!

For Grant: Mon., Tues and Fri. 6:30pm to 8:00pm and Saturdays 9:00am to 11:00am

For Jacob: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur (6:30 – 8:30) until school starts, and M, T, TH (6:30 – 8:00) after school begins!

Think maybe I should pitch a tent at the fields???

The fun begins on Monday July 25th!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

GTC Bakehouse Tour
Tuesday, July 19 at 11 AM.

The GTC Bakehouse will give a tour of their bakery for young homeschoolers on Tuesday, July 19 at 11 AM. Come see how really good bread is made! This is an artisanal bakery, not a bread manufacturing plant, but younger people will still need close supervision around industrial-size mixers and hot ovens. They are on Montgomery Road north of Reagan Highway. The bakery and retail store are in the same place, so you can buy bread to takehome if you like.

To break up the lazy days of summer, we decided to join the younger homeschoolers on the bakery tour. The people who worked at the bakery were a very interesting and eclectic group (think pink hair, green hair, extensive body art and piercings). One of the employees even had her tiny daughter (and absolutely cutie!) there with her! What a cool and accepting enviroment to work in! They gave us a great tour. It was amazing the number of loaves they make by hand each month and the quantity of flour they go through. The girls and I thought it was funny because the flour came from Con Agra foods ...we had been right next to Con Agra's headquarters in Chicago and had no idea what type of products they made...well apparently LARGE bags of wheat flour would be on the list!

At the end of the tour we got to sample bread. Emily, Grant and I were in heaven, we LOVE BREAD! My favorite, cranberry walnut! They gave us a focassia (sp) bread to take home with us. They had made up 12 loaves and there were only 4 families there, so as we were leaving the gal who lead the tour handed my family the extras! Free bread! What more could I ask for!

Following the tour we went to the park for lunch. It was so HUMID we only stayed a short time....eating quickly and then feeding crackers to the ducks!

Thursday, July 14, 2005


OK, I will admit it....I have always been drawn to the signs in front of any church offering VBS. When they were little it meant "free" daycare and a few hours of sanity, as they have grown I have come to see it as a "free" taste of camp that I can't afford to send all of them to. The crafts are great, the staff (volunteers) genuinely like being part of VBS, and the message is always a wholesome one. The kids were THRILLED to find out that a closeby church was having Vacation Bible School this week. In past years they had always gone to one by our old house, but there was no way I was willing to make the drive this year, especially with the price of gas!

VBS kicked off with a free family dinner and carnival Sunday evening. I couldn't believe how nice the set up was and that it was all free. Cade and Sophie were so excited because there was free cotton candy and sno cones, they thought it was so cool they could get as many as they wanted free! We had hotdogs, chips, cookies and drinks for dinner. The kids got to play 6 different games. The boys favorite was the dunking booth and both Cade and Jacob managed to hit the target and dunk the youth director. Cade was so excited about the hip pack with binoculars that he won. Everyone standing in line was shocked at their aim, especially since most of the older kids couldn't hit the target. Grant missed on his 3 tosses (he must be saving his arm for the county baseball tournament).

The rest of the week the kids have been able to go at 5 PM and have dinner for $1 each. Monday was subs, Tuesday was bbq, Wednesday was taco salad and tonight was hotdogs. There is always a couple of side items, chips, fruit (grapes and apples) and something to drink. I certainly couldn't feed them at home that well for $1 each! Following dinner they go off into their groups and do crafts, watch videos, sing songs and listen to bible stories. The theme this year is the Serengetti so most things are animal/safari related. VBS runs from 6 to 9 PM.

They are having an absolute ball and really look forward to going each night. Cade and Jacob want me to find them another VBS to go to, I think they might be disappointed if it isn't a GREAT as this one has been!

Hannah has stayed every night and helped in Sophie's class. Sophie loves that her big sister is there and Hannah likes helping and meeting new people. She is very outgoing and mature beyond her 13 years. The teachers seem to appreciate her staying and come up and hug her as soon as we get to the church each night.

A friend from Grant's baseball team has invited us to their VBS which is the second week in August and is held in the morning. We might check it out, especially if it happens to be the week my mom goes back to work(she is taking 4 weeks off to be with my dad...this being week 1), because their church is only about 5 minutes from my parents house. It would be great to drop them there and then go and visit with my dad for a bit!

Anyone remember the Seinfeld episode "the summer of George"? Maybe this will be our "summer of VBS"!
Professional Portraits

Kas commented that she feels ashamed, her daughter Shelby, who is the same age as Sophie only has had professional pictures taken one time and I go and get Will's taken every before you start handing out the good mom award, I need to tell you all something...It is only out of pure spite that he gets his pictures taken so often!

I only go and get his picture done each month because JC Penney ticked me off when we had the family picture done last September. They wanted to charge us $9.99 PER PERSON sitting fee despite the fact that I had a coupon for a free sitting (read the fine print!) which would have cost me an extra $89.91 (fees for 9 people, one of us was free with the coupon) I HAD no choice but to pay $39.95 for their darn portrait club (saving me $50)....I looked at the manager as I paid for my puchase and smiled and said "you all will regret me getting this protrait club card" and I vowed to myself as I left that we would be back every month to take advantage of the "free" aspects of the card: free smiles by wire (they email me all the pics for each sitting) and a free sheet each time I go in!

So I buy the $7.99 package (and use a $3 coupon that is printed on the flap of each portrait package envelope I get back) so I pay $5.34 (4.99 + tax) each time I go in and am guarenteed a good pic for his scrapbook and also get the pics emailed to me for the web/blog.

I took each of the kids on their birthdays for pictures and plan to do a family one again this fall...we were there 3 times in less than 2 weeks in April for the boys birthdays... The stupid card doesn't expire until 9/ they have to deal with me until Brett is 19...they will be doing his "senior" portraits....heck probably even Hannah's too (I have never figured out what year she would graduate!). Hmmm...she turns 18 in Feburary 2010 so I would get her "senior" pictures done in the fall of 2009....guess I will do them in September!

JC Penney is the one who is losing out on this deal!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I am having a blast with this new feature!

Here is a picture of Brett and his friend Sarah at the homeschool prom that was held back in May! He had such a great time. They had dinner and dancing at A Touch Of Elegance and then after the prom ended they went glow bowling at a local bolwing alley. The final event of the night (or shall I say morning) was breakfast at IHOP!

It brought tears to my eyes to see my baby boy all dressed up. He looked more like a man than a child!

Just fiddling around with Blogger's new feature that lets you insert a photo in a post. This is another one of Will's first birthday pictures. He weighed in at 21 lb at his one year check-up and was 30". He is in the 25% for weight and the 50% for height, although you would never know it looking at his little "buddha" belly!

He has started taking steps, nothing all that impressive, his longest walk that any of us have seem has been 9 steps, but he is getting more confident each day! It is just so odd for me to see someone so small walking about!
County Tournament

Grant's team had their second game in the county tournament last night and to say it was a nailbiter would be an understatement. The game was tied after 5 innings so we had to go into extra innings. The other team (WT Sharks) were up to bat first and thanks in part to a poor throw on my son's part (he plays catcher) and a missed catch on the first baseman's part we ended up down 3 runs. The bad thing was we knew the first baseman was the first batter up in our half of the inning and he was crying because he hadn't made the play at first. Doesn't paint too bright of a picture when your first kid up to bat is that upset!

He did manage to make it to first baseball (only to be tagged out as he tried to slide home, but we managed to load up the bases. The other team had only one pitcher, so he was TIRED and couldn't get the ball over the plate. The bottom of our order was up. Jay told the boys to go up there and NOT SWING THE was HILARIOUS to LISTEN to him tell the kids "DON'T SWING THE BAT" and then have them swing anyway! One of the kids on the teams grandfather was watching and was LAUGHING and kept saying "what this, he is going to swing!" AMAZINGLY, they listened well enough to get themselves on base. The final batter in our order was up at the plate with 2 outs. Jay again said "DON'T SWING THE BAT!" and we all breathed a HUGE sigh as the 4th ball crossed the plate! We walked in the winning run!

It was hard to watch the pitcher from the other team cry as he left the mound. The weight of the world (or at least so it seemed to him) was on his shoulders. It is this point in the season where it really shows if a coach has developed any depth to his team.

So we advance to the semifinals in the tournament. The next game should be quite a battle. Hopefully I won't be the one with a crying child at the end of our next game! Hard to believe that baseball season is almost over! We will be putting on those football pads and helmets before I know it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Anti-homeschooling article

Home Schools Run By Well-Meaning AmateursBy Dave Arnold (a member of the Illinois Education Association, is head custodian at Brownstown Elementary School in Southern Illinois)

The article starts with.....
"There's nothing like having the right person with the right experience, skills and tools to accomplish a specific task. Certain jobs are best left to the pros, such as, formal education."

The entire text can be found here:

The link came through on one of the many homeschooling list I am on. Unfortunately, there is no link to email the author, poor guy would be bombarded by homeschooling parents if there was one!

Can't wait to hear what you think!

Laura<~~~teacher "wannabe"

Monday, July 11, 2005

Emily turns 11!

Time seems to fly sometimes. It is hard to believe 11 years ago I was in labor with Emily (she was born at 3:55 PM). Labor was fairly quick, only about 2 hours, and I transitioned quickly, yelling at Jay to go find ANYONE because the baby was coming NOW....fortunately he grabbed a nurse and not a janitor because by the time she reached the bedside Emily had completely crowned....but she didn't come out any further....just a HEAD....her darn shoulders got stuck. The nurse pushed the call button and SCREAMED for help STAT...a resident walked in and seemed puzzled as to what to do...thankfully the nurse was a "veteran"...she straddled my body...literally her butt was in my face....and she SHOVED down on my massive abdomen...the resident "caught" his first baby...Emily weighed in at a whooping 10 lbs 3 oz and only 20" (she was quite the butterball). She ended up with a broken collarbone, but wasn't too worse for the wear!

She is at camp today with one of her buddies from the dance studio. I am a bit sad that she didn't get to spend her birthday with us, but she will be home tonight for dinner and cake. She is only spending Thurs and Fri nights at camp, she didn't want to spend the whole week. Luckily her friend felt the same way!

Ironically Emily was supposed to be our "last" baby. She was the "perfect" baby...never cried, slept all night, was happy to just hang out in her bouncer seat (and later her exersaucer) and just watch what was going on around her. I sometimes joke that God gave us a "good" one so that we would be open to His plan for growing our family! I don't think I would have believed anyone 11 years ago if they told me she would be a big sister 5 times over!

Happy Birthday Miss Emily!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Happy Birthday, Philip!

Today is my brother's 29th birthday. Unfortunately it is also just 5 days shy of the 29th anniversary of his death. He was only home for 2 days before he died of what at the time they ruled SIDS. A bit of research, a copy of his autopsy report and a little research have lead me to believe he probably actually died of group B strep, the irony of this being that I almost lost my 5th child to group B strep 22 years later (hence my researching group B strep and coming to the conclusion I did)...but I digress....

Today there should be a big family cookout celebrate that last birthday before the BIG 3-0! But it wasn't to be. I was standing next to my mom when she found him dead in his crib, I will never forget how he looked. I will never forget the scream that escaped from her lips, at a pitch that sounded like every ounce of air was drawn from her body and in a way it was. She was never the same. Life was never the same. She distanced herself from my other brother and me because I think she feared losing us was easier to be distant than to risk being hurt. She returned to work to have something else to focus on, so not only did we lose our brother but also our mother.

I used to spend so much time as a child and teen wondering what he would look like, what he would be doing, what he would be like. As I became an adult, I didn't think about it nearly as much, until I was pregnant with Emily who was due in August. I prayed every day of my pregnancy that she not be born on my brother's birthday. God was good and she arrived on July 11, clearing his birthday by a whole 2 days. But I wasn't out of the woods, I had never thought to pray for her safety on the anniversary of his death. On July 14, I watched my mother fall apart on my front lawn as we had to have Emily emergency transported to Children's Hospital, almost 18 years to the hour of Philip's death. She wailed and stormed heaven with prayers, that her daughter not suffer the pain of losing a child and that her granddaughter live. Fortunately a week later, we brought Emily back home.

I focused on raising my family and I put thoughts of Philip in the back of my mind, until the minute I looked into my son Jacob's eyes for the first time and I saw a carbon copy of that baby I saw for the last time dead in my father's friend's arms (my dad's friend was the responding paramedic). When they wisked Jacob away to ICU, I feared I would lose my son as I had my brother so many years before. We were told Jacob was septic with group B strep and as I read and researched it I came to conclude that maybe that was what robbed our family of my brother (his autopsy shows the presence of strep).

There have been years when I have almost "forgotten" his birthday and of that I feel ashamed. There are times when I cry for all the "nevers" and "no" graduation, no wedding, no children. And there are days that I realize that only because he wasn't here did I become the person that I am.

Today, there was some cause for celebration on his birthday. Grant scored the winning run in the first game of the county knothole tournament. My dad was send home from rehab, almost a week ahead of schedule! Maybe Philip was looking down on us today, smiling.

Happy Birthday baby brother. I sure miss you!

Our little man is one year old! Can you believe it has been a year since he "rushed" into our lives? Posted by Picasa

Hmmm...what is this? Posted by Picasa

Cake, I like cake! Posted by Picasa

yummy! Posted by Picasa

Do you want some? Posted by Picasa

I just LOVE this face! Posted by Picasa

hmmm, maybe I should have used a fork! Posted by Picasa
Park Programs for 2005-2006

One of the things I have done since the first year we started homeschooling was set up park programs at the local parks. The first year I crossed my fingers that I could get the required minimum of 10 kids (and even ended up counting Cade who was a baby at the time) and now we are pretty much guarenteed that we have at least 25 or 30 kids.

September 13th 11 AM: Stream Study (at Sycamore Park, Batavia)-seining nets, hand lenses, and other collecting tools are used to sample and identify the macroinvertebrate population of a local stream and to assess water quality. Student data will be submitted to the Little Miami River Watershed Database.

September 27th 1 PM and 2 PM Fossils at Sharon Woods, Sharonville. Plan to wear old sneakers, watershoes or boots as we will be in the creek and getting wet. Meet by the vending machines in the Sharon Center. My family plans to get there around noon and picnic before heading off on the program.

October 11th 11 AM: Fossils Then & Now (Sycamore Park, Batavia) investigate a collection of Clermont County fossils, learn what our area was like 450 million years ago, what the creatures were like when alive, and how fossils are formed. What park would you recommend?

November 8th 11 AM: Kelley Nature Preserve(Loveland/Milford) Orienteering with maps and compass

December 13th 10 AM and 11 AM Woodland Mound: Bird Count. Meet at Seasongood Nature center.

January 10th : Owl Night Hike: Sycamore Park, Batavia...we have to double check the time, probably around 6 PM or 6:30 PM, whenever it gets dark!

Feburary 7th 11 AM: Local Habitat at Pattision Park Lodge, Owensville - looking at local examples, students will define habitat, the basic needs of all life, and discover what lives here. Beat cabin fever and pack a picnic lunch, we are welcome to stay and eat/hang out in the lodge once the program is over!

March 14th 11 AM: Awesome Amphibians at Crooked Run Nature Preserve, Chilo. The preserve is home to several species of frogs and salamanders. We'll discover what adaptations these amphibians have to help them live in the water. Then we will take a walk to the pond and discover which frogs and salamanders are active.

March 28th: 1 PM and 2 PM Salamanders at Sharon Woods, Sharonville. Plan to wear old sneakers, watershoes or boots as we may be in the creek and might get wet (we are supposed to be staying on the banks, but you all know kids and water!). Meet by the vending machines in the Sharon Center. My family plans to get there around noon and picnic before heading off on the program.

April 11th 11 AM: Spring Wildflower Walk Sycamore Park, Batavia Sycamore Park is alive with color each spring. Dutchman's Breeches, Sessile Trillium, Trout Lilies, and Virginia Bluebells are just a few of the flowers that will bloom along the wooded walking trail at Sycamore Park. Because each species of flower blooms at a certain time, each week is sure to have a different flower showing off it's colors.

May 9th 11 AM: Wondrous Wetland Expedition Crooked Run Nature Preserve, Chilo. Have you ever wondered why wetlands are important and what lives in them? On this expedition we'll visit the wetland, with nets, in search of clues. Waterproof boots are recommended.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Getting ready for 4-H judging

This is our first year involved with 4-H and the judging deadline is upon us. Tomorrow morning the kids have to take their projects to the fairground to be judged. They have been busy finishing up their projects. Emily and Grant are doing Art as Expression and Hannah is doing one that involves childcare/being home alone (can't think of the technical name for it). They are all a bit apprehensive about being "judged" but they are also excited.

The 4-H books are WONDERFUL and the girls are already planning what project they plan to do for next year. They decided on sewing and art and a handful of others. I have a feeling that the judging tomorrow with either inspire them or have them decide they don't want to do anything! Hopefully it will go well!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The city we live in has a rather LARGE 4th of July parade. The kids eagerly decorated their bikes so that they could participate. Hannah spend hours decorating the bike trailer for "princess" Sophie to ride it. Her hard work paid off...Sophie won 3rd place! There were probably 100 entires, so Hannah was THRILLED!

The parade was LONG but the kids had a blast. We walked home before the fireworks started, since Cade can't stand the sound of them. We would see them from the yard and they were still pretty loud!

Ended up with an impromptu dinner....hotdogs, brats, mac and cheese and baked beans since we had to leave the cookout we attended earlier in the day before dinner was served so that we could make the parade. I guess there are pros and cons for having the parade in the evening. It did work out nicely though, that we didn't end up with extra kids asking to spend the night because we left early...usually we end up with at least a few friends coming with us when we go to these types of gatherings.

Hoping everyone had a blessed 4th!

Last night as I was nursing Will, I noticed a bug bite on the right side of his head, towards the I ran my hand across the rest of his still bald head, I found another bug bite, in almost the exact same place on the left side of his head.

I looked at Jay and said "We better watch out, Will is growing horns!"

Will let go of my boob and LAUGHED when I said it. He must know something we don't!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

A mixed bag of news.....

I talked with my mom the other day. They are planning to release my dad from Drake on July 13th, less than two weeks from now. Although I am THRILLED that he is doing well enough to come home because even a month ago I would have sworn it would have never happened, I am really concerned with how this will all transpire.

First off, he reacted to the drug they were giving him for the multiple myeloma, the only hope for buying him time, and he has had to quit taking it. They were told that they had to see the oncologist again before making any decisions about whether to continue with it or not. I am not stupid, I know my father is terminal, but I was so hoping to buy him some more time. I am worried about how quickly he will deteriorate without treatment.

Secondly, he still needs dialysis 3 times a week. This means taking him to the clinic and waiting the 3 to 4 hours it takes for them to dialysize him. This also involves the "hassle" of transporting him with the wheelchair or walker because he is weak when he is finished.

Thirdly, my mother plans to continue working FULL TIME once he is home. OK don't get me wrong, I know she needs to have their benefits continued and needs to support them....

So, you see where this is leading don't you? She has read me the riot act about needing help...and I want to help....but I feel selfish because I want to put my children first. She said she needs someone at the house from at least 7 AM to 5 PM every day and on the days he has dialysis he will need to be driven there. She said she "needs" my help. I gently suggested that she bring him here (although I don't really like the idea) but he says my house is too LOUD and BUSY (he LOVES his grandchildren, but would prefer they sit still!). No, it would definitely be better if I could come to their house.

I have played through every possible senario to try to get this to work. I talked to Jay about maybe having the older kids (Brett and Hannah) each spend a day of the week with him, but I have my reservations. It is a HUGE responsibility to put on a young teenager. What if my dad was to pass out (as he often does following dialysis), what if he gets sick (no one likes cleaning up puke, but I think it is a lot to ask of a kid), and what about the diapers...hell, I can't get Brett to change the baby, I certainly can't ask him to change a man!

OK...and there is something else. My mom has NEVER been crazy about the idea of us homeschooling and we have never really explained to her that we actually unschool (she believes and we have never corrected her, that we are working with an "approved" curriculum). She was really upset when she learned Brett decided not to go to highschool. I honestly think that she sees this as her way of "making" me put the kids back in school. In her mind, if she gets me "away" from them all day, they would have to be enrolled in school. Kind of reminenscent of how in the early 1990s, she tried to get me to put Brett and Hannah in daycare by offering to pay for it and pay my tution if I would just go back to college and "do something" with my life.

So I sit here feeling like a complete SELFISH BRAT because I don't want to go and sit with my dad all day. I do worry about what it says to my kids, about "family". I guess the up side of having 8 children, is that they would each only have to pitch in less than once a week, instead of it all being put on one of them.

No real point here...just had to get it off my chest.