Thursday, September 29, 2005

She made it!

Emily didn't want me to say anything to anyone until we knew the results.......2 weeks ago she went down and auditioned for the Cincinnati Ballet's production of the Nutcracker! We got a packet in the mail this afternoon letting us know the results....

Miss Emily will be a soldier with sword!

We think it is such a huge honor that she will get to dance in a professional ballet production and be on stage with professional ballet dancers. We see it as a reaffirmation of our belief that she is a very talented dancer. Not only was she cast, but she was cast in a role that is usually reserved for girls 13 and up! The only downside is that another girl from our dance studio (who isn't very kind) is also in the production......well at least she can no longer claim to be the better dancer!

I had to laugh at some of the info in the packet they sent us. One of the funniest things was a comment that per union regulations, parents are not allowed to touch the costumes! As a mom who has spent hours sewing costumes for competition teams, I find this so ironic! I told Emily I guess I won't be able to hug her before she goes on stage! Not like they let parents backstage at a professional ballet performance!

The parent meeting is Friday, October 7 at 7:45 PM. I will have more details then!

I am just BURSTING with pride!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Identity Crisis

Earlier this evening, Cade and I sat reading a book about dolphins. It was one of those books that poses questions and then answers them. On one of the pages it talks about mama dolphins feeding the baby dolphin and the comment went something along the lines of a mama dolphin nurses her baby every 15 minutes for the first year of it life. Cade started laughing and said "maybe Will is a baby dolphin."

He is right, Will still nurses almost constantly. I am going to assume though, that since a dolphin never really sleeps (1/2 of its brain stays awake at all times) that mama dolphin might be a bit more tolerant of the all night nursing fest! Jay and I have both stated of late that had Will been our firstborn he would have most likely been an only child!

So I suppose it might be possible I am raising a baby dolphin in least Cade finds humor in the whole thing!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

My beautiful son!
I just loved this picture that they took of Grant when his team played in the Kings Bowl.

His team doesn't usually wear the black jerseys but they were playing another Loveland team so both teams couldn't wear orange.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Interesting article

Below is a copy of an article that came across one of the list I am on, I really found it interesting. Forgive the formatting, it didn't copy and paste very well! If you get a chance, check out their website at there is even a newsletter you can sign up to recieve!

As a mom who believes in child led learning, the article really hit home with me. Having had my children home for so many years now, I am used to the blank stares and wide opened mouth expressions I get when I answer someone "we don't use a curriculum" or "we don't do school". Yes, some of my children chose to take classes, some ask for a textbook on this subject or that, some work through a workbook of their choice, but what we do most is just live our lives. When I look at my kids, the bright, beautiful, energetic creatures that I share my life with, I doubt that a lack of school is harming them in any way!


I don't know how keeping our children home during the day came to beknown as "Home Schooling," but I do have a theory: If I asked most adults, "What is the appropriate activity for every child, age sixto age eighteen, during the days Monday through Friday?" Most adultswould say, "These are the years when a child is being schooled, ofcourse." That is why we have such phrases in our vocabulary asthe "school age child." So, if a child is to be "schooled" duringthese formative years, the only real question is, "Where will he be schooled?" Today, the answer is, "He will either be public schooled,private schooled, Christian schooled, or home schooled."Assuming, then, that every child is to "be schooled" during the day,if he is home during the day, he will be home schooled during theday. Hence the origin of the label "homeschooling."Is "schooling" really supposed to be a child's primary dailyactivity? It wasn't until the advent of the modern public schoolmovement. Schooling a child was never meant to be the "constant"with the variable being where the child spends his or her day. Ithas always been just the other way around.What is so problematic with the term "Home Schooling" is what it hasdone to parents whose children are spending their days at home.Giving an activity a label means something to those involved in theactivity. If we are comfortable with certain words in the label andnot so comfortable with other words, those words with which we feelleast secure will take on greater significance. Insecurity is a niceword for fear. Whatever we fear becomes a driver in our lives as weattempt to overcome our fear and feel secure again.When we sent our children to school, we felt a sense of securitythat trained professionals were educating them. We didn't pretendthat we could do a job which others had spent years being trained todo. We might feel that we could raise our children in some areas,but not to provide for their education.Then, one day, we became homeschoolers. Insecure homeschooler; buthomeschoolers nevertheless. However, since what we were doing waslabeled "homeschooling," we, in our insecurity, actually became home-SCHOOLERS rather than HOME-schoolers. The importance of our childrenbecoming educated (isn't that what children do during the day?) tookon greater prominence than the importance of them being home. Thisis understandable when we realize that there is no cultural memoryof what having our children home really means to the family or tosociety.What did I mean when I told my son, "And, your kids won't behomeschooled"? During Seth's years at home, his academic educationwas never the main priority. In our home, we did have a rigidpriority structure, but those priorities were first relationships;second, practical skills; and, finally, academics. Seth grew up witha strong academic upbringing, but academics were never our priority.Seth is a skilled, very competent individual of the highestcharacter. He is also one of the happiest young men I have everknown. As I look back at Seth's time at home, I have come to realizethat he was never "homeschooled." He simply grew up in a mostremarkable place—his homeWhen our children were young we would take them with us to thestore. Other kids were in school. The check-out lady wouldinevitably ask, "You boys aren't in school today?" Since the boysknew we were homeschoolers, they would respond, "No, ma'am, we'rehomeschooled."STARTING OVERIf I could do it all over again, I would not callourselves "homeschoolers." I have actually come to dislike the termbecause I think it creates significant problems. If I were startingover again, when the lady at the store says, "You boys aren't inschool today?" I would teach the boys to say, simply, "No ma'am,"and let it go at that.In just the past year I have noticed a growing distinction betweenfamilies who are homeschooling and those whose children are home,but not being homeSCHOOLED. Are the "not-being-homeschooled"children receiving a quality upbringing, including a qualityeducation? Today enough research exists that I can honestly say anunequivocal "yes". I would even go so far as to say that the not-being-homeschooled child is receiving an education which is superiorto the child being homeschooled. [For a fuller discussion on this,see our article, "Identity-Directed Homeschooling"].The availability of what has come to be known as "prepackagedcurricula" is helping manifest a separation of the two types offamilies who were once grouped together under the oneterm: "homeschoolers." Many parents purchase prepackaged curriculabecause they don't understand what God originally intended when Hebegan this movement over twenty years ago.What do you think your children should be doing all day now thatthey are home? Probably the most obvious way to determine what youreally believe is to ask yourself, "Is my child the constant or ismy child's education the constant?" Look at the materials you use tobring learning into your child's life. Do you use graded,prepackaged, curricula? Is your child in a grade as he would be ifhe were in an institutional setting? Do you follow theinstitutionalized Scope & Sequence educational model? Or, have youstepped completely out of the lock-step, institutional way ofraising your child?This article is not intended to discourage, but to give hope. Inmost parents' hearts is the desire to reprioritize their livesaround what is truly important to them: having a relationship withtheir children. To bring your children home can be an immenselifestyle change. For some, making this change has to be done instages. If you have brought your children home it may have beennecessary (for a season) to place before them the everpopular "curriculum-in-a-box." Hopefully, that season will be short.Our children never went to school, were never in a grade, and wenever used a prepackaged curriculum. Nevertheless, it took us awhile to learn all that I am sharing with you here. Be encouraged.You are allowed to do what your heart tells you is right.IF WE AREN'T HOMESCHOOLING, THEN WHAT ARE WE DOING?Right now, nearly two million children are spending their days athome rather than "at school," thus putting an end to a 150year "detour" which began in the 1850's and which seriously harmedfamily life and Kingdom community as God initially intended them tobe lived. As families leave this detour and turn onto the road whose name is "Life As It Was Intended To Be," we will see vistas we have only read about in books. Let me offer some suggestions.

1 Don't send your children to school. Any school. Bring them home.Raise them to be the individuals God has created them to become.

2 Don't bring the school, any school (along with its "efficient",but arbitrary, grade levels, scope & sequence, and boxed curriculum)into your home. Allow your children to learn through life and therelationships around them.

3 Learn how to awaken curiosity in your children. (This is thesubject of a future EJournal.)

4 The only thing that should be prepackaged is your child. By thisI mean your child was born with all the talents, giftings, andcallings put into him or her since the foundation of the world. Findout what these are and let your child become truly good at what youfind. [For a fuller discussion of this, order the Davis'tape, "Identity Directed Homeschooling"]

5 Dad's heart must turn toward his children and the hearts of thechildren must turn toward Dad. Ultimately, this may bring Dad out ofthe corporate workforce to come home. This final step may takeanother generation to be fulfilled. But, for it to be fulfilled,Dads must at least begin moving in that direction (ie. Giving hischildren the option of becoming entrepreneurs).

6 In your own home, let "homeschooling" die. In other words, don't homeschool your children.God has asked us to raise a generation prepared for the future by becoming exactly what He intended each person to become. This willbe different for each and every child. Your home is the place wherethe acorn can become the oak tree. Or, the seed can become the mapletree. Or, the other seed can become the pine tree. Plant your children squarely in their own home and allow the individual God created to grow.

Chris Davis is the founder of the Elijah Company and a father of 4children."

Any article appearing on this website may be copied or forwarded electronically provided that proper credit is given and that thearticle is not substantively modified. No article may appear inwhole or in part in a publication sold for profit or as part of anycommercial endeavor without the written consent of The ElijahCompany.© Copyright 2003. Elijah Company 1.888.235.4524

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Granny's Garden "Homeschool" kickoff

Today the back gardens at the elementary school were buzzing with lively children. 26 homeschooled children ranging in age from 3 to 16 met to work in and learn from the beautiful gardens of Loveland Elementary School. I know, I know, homeschoolers in a school garden sounds so odd and I really can't help but find some irony in it all. We started out by touring the gardens and then divided the kids into 4 groups. The kids then picked a name and color for their group.

Here is a copy of an email I sent out earlier this week to all the garden group families:

Welcome everyone to the inaugural year of the Granny's Garden Homeschool Program! Our first meeting is next Wednesday, September 14th starting at 1 PM.

We will be meeting in the gardens on the hill behind the elementary school. Follow the driveway around to the back of the school. For those unfamiliar with the school's location, it is located on Loveland Maderia Rd next to McDonald's. To get there, you take I-275 to exit #52 (Loveland Maderia Rd) and turn LEFT onto Loveland Maderia Rd. Follow it a couple of miles until you see McDonald's and you have found the school!

Please bring your $10 fee per child to the first class. If you need additional time to pay, or need to break your payment over a few classes, just let me know!

There is a scarecrow building contest going on right now involving many of the classes that use the gardens. The scarecrows will be auctioned at the fall garden party (info on the fall garden party and scarecrow contest is at the homepage ) . I thought it might be fun to have the kids make some scarecrows after the first class. If your children would like to participate, bring any items you would like to use on the scarecrow to our first class! We would probably spend about 30 minutes or so following the class to make the scarecrows.

Below are the details about the garden program:
Homeschool Garden Program
Fall: Sept 14, Sept 28, Oct 12, Oct 26
Spring: Mar 22, Apr 5, Apr 19, May 3, May 17, May 31
Time is from 1 PM to 3 PM
Cost will be $10 per child for the entire program (basically it is $1 a week!) payable the first week of class
Organizer: Laura Riesenberg

Laura writes: Join Granny (aka Roberta) in the beautiful gardens on the grounds of Loveland Elementary School and experience Granny's Garden School. Through the course of this summer, Roberta and I have become quite close and she LOVES homeschooling families and is eager to work with our children. She has set aside 10 afternoons for our children to work in and learn from being in the gardens (and is hoping we will all decide to continue into the summer). The kids will have their own garden set aside for them. Each session will include gardening activities and some kind of related craft. All ages welcomed and encouraged. Roberta even said she would love to have some of the older kids plant and harvest veggies and then have their own produce stand next summer (talk about the perfect economics class!). The program will probably evolve as we go along, but here are a few ideas we have for this fall. You can check out her website at for an idea of what kinds of things go on at the garden and how beautiful they are!

Week 1: topic: Introduction to the gardens.
craft: pressing flowers/drying flowers

Week 2: topic: Gardening, collecting seeds
Craft: seed packs...then at home, younger children can draw and color a picture of the flower and write the name of the flower on the packet. Older children can research growing information to include on the packet, i.e. depth to plant, height and size of plant, etc.

Week 3: topic: Preparing the garden for winter/planting spring bulbs
craft: Rooting cuttings from the garden and planting to winter off inside.

Week 4: topic: Possibly harvesting produce from the gardens, digging dahlias for storage, composting
craft: baby scarecrows

Possible Spring topics:Planting an early garden of lettuce, peas, radishes, onions etc.
Starting perennials and annuals from seed.
Possible spring crafts: painted garden rocks, painted flowerpots, cutting jars, pressed flower cards/bookmarks, hummingbird feeder

If you are interested in this program, please contact Laura at

Follow up from Granny (During our first lesson, we pressed and dried flowers so Granny sent out the following):

Link to pressing flowers page

Link to hanging flowers to dry page

I really like having parents to work with the kids, however, it was obvious today that sometimes we have too much of a good thing. Today we broke the group into teams. I will leave it up to you all to come up with a way to identify the each team between now and when we get together in two weeks. This is what I would like to do when we get together in two weeks.

We will stay with the teams we designated today, with changes as may seem necessary.

Have an older child assigned permanently as the leader of each of the four groups.
This is truly a leadership position and the child will have regular responsibilities that will be laid out in another e-mail.

Each week one of the other children in the group will serve as assistant leader.

Each week two adults will be assigned to work with each group during their gardening time.
The ones who are not garden volunteers that week will be assisting with the craft/take home activity for that day. If you prefer garden or crafts, you may decide to do that activity all of the time.

This will allow us to provide a much better learning experience for the kids. It will allow time for exploring and learning something that can not happen with the herd approach. I welcome your feedback. Help me to develop a program that fills your needs.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

I had to share this picture of Emily. It was taken at nationals in Chicago and I just love it. She looks like she is having so much fun!

I finally have the scanner hooked up and the computer back from the shop.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Reds Hall of Fame

So many times in life, events and places do not meet with my expectations. Let me tell you now, the Reds Hall of Fame far exceeded every expectation I had. Since I am not a huge professional baseball fan, I expected to be "bored" with the tour I arranged for our homeschooling group. I was so surprised at how informative the "extra innings" program was and how hands on the actual museum was. My dad joined us for the outing, so I had an extra "kid" to keep track of! I took tons of pictures, I will post them soon!

The tour began with the extra innings program called "The Reds on the Radio" and Carrie, the education coordinator did a fantastic job presenting the program to the kids. The best part was at the end when she had the kids put on their own radio broadcast which she recorded for us to take home. Proud mom moment here, Grant, who really struggles with reading, raised his hand to do one of the reading parts in the program (I think in part because his friend Chris also took a reading part). He got through his part without stumbling, and even though it was only a couple of lines, it was a major accomplishment because he had to read along with the whole play to know when it was his turn to speak!

After we finished the extra inning program we were led upstairs to where the majority of the exhibits for the the hall of fame are located (although the Babe Ruth exhibit was on the main floor). As you head up the steps to the 3rd floor, you pass the rose garden and a white rose marks the spot where Pete Rose's record breaking hit (4192) landed. The wall leading upstairs is lined with baseballs, each one representing one of Rose's hits.

I was amazed at how hands on and kid friendly the museum was. The guides that led us upstairs were super friendly and seemed to really enjoy the kids (and I have to love the "they are so well behaved" comments). One of the guides must have thrown pop-ups to my little boys for 20 minutes so they could catch them while running into the outfield wall! The kids loved the pitching lane and the broadcast both. Beyond the kid friendly area where the areas that showcased the world series trophies (have to chuckle here because when I saw them all I could do was laugh and recall the Seinfeld episode where George destorys the Yankees World Series trophy in an attempt to get fired). Beyond that room is the final room with the actual hall of fame inductees (sp). Pete Rose, of course is not allowed to be represented in that room!

After spending about an hour in the Hall of Fame, we went down and ate lunch inside the stadium. The guides let the kids look at the field, we were hoping someone might be taking batting practice or fielding practice, but no such luck! After lunch we went back upstairs and spend another hour playing in the Hall of Fame!

The kids are eager to go back. Even Emily really liked it (I was surprised, since she isn't a big professional sports fan!)

Here are the details I emailed out to the homeschooling group about the tour:

Tour of the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum plus Extra Innings Program (see details below)
Friday September 9, 2005
10 AM (arrive by 9:45 AM as I have to pay as a group BEFORE the tour begins)
$3 per student (ages 3 to highschool senior)
$5 per adult
Free for those under 3 years old

The Hall of Fame is opening a lunchroom for our group so that we can stay and eat lunch. They will have a bin to put lunches in when you enter the Hall of Fame.

The Red's Hall of Fame and Museum is a Palace for the Fans! With the formation of the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, professional baseball and America's passion for the sport were born, and grew, right here in Cincinnati. Now, for the first time, the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum offers fans of the Reds, and of baseball, the first comprehensive look into the sport's heralded past. Nowhere else are fans able to see as complete of a collection of artifacts from the first professional baseball team and its rich history in the major leagues. And nowhere outside of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., are baseball fans treated to such an amazing visual history of the World Series and Opening Day. The Reds Hall of Fame, which opened to the public Sept. 25, 2004, is just west of Great American Ball Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds, along Cincinnati's riverfront. The facility features more than 16,000 square feet of exhibit space on two floors.

In addition, from May 13-Oct. 2 a rare Babe Ruth bat and ball - both with Cincinnati connections - will be featured this summer. The bat, used by Ruth in the 1921 season, was presented personally by the Bambino to Harry Borgman in January 1922. The Ruth ball dates to 1935 and was hit into the sun deck at old Crosley Field by Ruth during batting practice in the final days of his career.

Extra Innings program: Reds on the Radio! geared for those 3rd - 8th grade, but the coordinator knows she is working with a diverse group!
Long before television or the Internet, baseball games came alive on the radio. In those early days, radio announcers weren't always at the game but were receiving signals from a telegraph far away! In this program, students learn the inside secrets of an early Reds radio broadcast and help to create those sound effects that made the game sound so realistic. Then, using original telegrapher's code, they'll create an old-fashioned broadcast of their own!

The price of $3 per student (ages 3-grade 12) is an AMAZING savings, as it is usually $5 for anyone ages 3-12 and $8 for anyone over 12 years old. The cost is $5 per adult (again a savings of $3).

The tour begins with our extra innings program and it will last about 1 hour, followed by heading into the hall of fame. Once we are in the hall of fame, we are welcome to spend as much time as we like touring the museum.

RSVP to Laura with the number of partipants/adults.

The Reds Hall of Fame and Museum is located on the west side of Great American Ball Park along Main Street.

From I-75 southbound: -Take the Second Street exit on the left toward DOWNTOWN/RIVERFRONT.-Stay on Second Street heading EAST, and the ballpark will be on your right.

From U.S. Highway 50 eastbound:-Take the Second Street exit on the right toward DOWNTOWN/RIVERFRONT.-Stay on Second Street heading EAST, and the ballpark will be on your right.

From I-71/I-75 northbound:-Take the Second Street exit on your right after crossing the Brent Spence Bridge.-Stay on Second Street heading EAST, and the ballpark will be on your right.

From I-71 southbound:-Take the Third Street exit on the left toward DOWNTOWN/RIVERFRONT.-Turn LEFT onto Walnut Street.-Turn LEFT onto Second Street.

From U.S. Highway 50 westbound (Columbia Parkway):-Take the Sixth Street exit on the right.-Turn LEFT onto Sycamore Street.-Turn RIGHT onto Third Street.-Turn LEFT onto Walnut Street.-Turn LEFT onto Second Street.

From I-471 northbound:-Take the Third Street exit on your right after crossing the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge. -Take Third Street to Walnut Street. -Turn LEFT onto Walnut Street. -Turn LEFT onto Second Street.


The parking garage underneath Great American Ball Park can be accessed from the Pete Rose Way entrance (at the corner of Pete Rose Way and Broadway) or the Mehring Way entrance (facing the Ohio River). Once inside the garage, follow the signs for the Hall of Fame and Museum to access the elevator and stairwell that leads to the Hall of Fame entrance. Parking is $4 per vehicle. Nearby parking is also available on Third Street (parking meters).

Friday, September 09, 2005

There is no such thing as a normal homeschooler....

These where the words my oldest son said after I picked him up from an adventure camp retreat this past week! Of course he quickly followed that statement with the following "we are either weird, weirder or wierdest!"

I asked him which one he was and he laughed and said "weird". As I went through the list of the kids who had been on the retreat with him, I came to conclude that the "cool" kids were weird and some of the more stereotypic homeschooled kids were "weirdest". Unfortunately I tended to agree with his assessments!

He had a blast at the retreat which was held at Camp Kern. They did Pete's Peak, a High Ropes Course and a 40 ft. swing. There was plenty of time for socializing and hanging out. Of course the group, 12 boys, 12 girls, tended to break into smaller groups and my son happened to be in the only "co-ed" group (you know the "weird" kids)! One of the veteran homeschooling mom's organizes the outing (and she didn't even have a child attending this year!). It is such an awesome opportunity because the kids get to work on teambuilding skills while testing their own limits with a group of their friends!

I loved being the one to pick him up and get to hear his stories first hand while they were still fresh in his mind. I love that so much of it comes through uncensored (OK I am no fool, I don't believe my child tells me everything!). we even stopped at a "truckstop" and grabbed chili cheese fries so that I could spend more time listening to his stories. God, I love that kid!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

4-H kick off

Genny wrote:

I hope you enjoyed your summer and are ready to restart 4-H. The new year is about to begin. We will have our first meeting on Thurs.Sept. 8 at 6:30 pm at my house. The address is **** Elmwood Rd. Batavia OH 45103. Map quest directions are usually accurate.

We will be planning our year and setting up project groups. We plan to have art, bikes, and rockets project groups so far. I know more project groups will be set up at the meeting.
I hope this time will work for you.
Genny Green

The kids are really excited about kicking off the 4-H year and are even more excited because some of their homeschooling friends have decided to join them! We are even talking about forming a mini club called the HOMESCHOOL HIVE so that we can get together during the day to work on some projects. Grant missed this first meeting because of football, but the girls and I went along with our friends the Lelands.

My girls are really excited and we have already gone and picked up 15 books to look over and use this year. Grant was disappointed that the one book he really wanted wasn't available, but we are going to work on some other things until it comes in. Turns out his friend Christopher's dad might be able to help him do the small engines book (crank it up). I need to look over the book with him to see if it is something he might be interested in doing.

The girls books are mainly sewing and cooking projects. They each have areas that interest them and it is so great how 4-H allows them to explore the things that they really like. I did pick up the "horseless horse" book for Hannah, Kas says she has a real eye for horses, even to the point that she could probably train to judge horse shows. We will see if she decides to do the book.

Cade and Jacob will be cloverbuds again this year. Sophie wants to be a cloverbud so bad, we are just going to let her pretend!

Genny is going to offer art again this year. But this time, she is going to rotate it through the members houses. I found it really ironic that the mom that offered to hostess first is the same mom that last year said her kids can't paint in the house and that they have never dyed easter eggs because it is messy! I can't wait to see what projects she has in store for the kids! We will be hosting sometime later this fall or over the winter. We have plenty of space and plenty of supplies! The girls are already planning was kinds of projects they want to work on here!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

WEBN Fireworks!
Sunday, September 5

Grant had a football game at 5 PM, so we didn't manage to make it down to the Ridiman's house until about 7 PM. They live in the historic district of Newport and always throw a party to celebrate the BIG WEBN fireworks on the river. By the time we got there, traffic was getting thick, but luckily we were able to snag a parking spot at the Library on a few blocks from their home (at the ever so reasonable rate of $6!). The older kids were really looking forward to the fireworks and I was looking forward to seeing Kas. The added bonus, our husbands would be meeting for the first time (in the 2 1/2 years Kas and I have been friends, their paths never managed to cross!).

Everyone but me, Kas, Cade and Will headed down to the fireworks. It was so nice to get to sit and talk to Kas alone! She was stressed over her in-laws...they really were being quite butts! Even my husband noticed. As we were walking to the car Jay says "who the heck is the bald guy that is so stuck on himself? Does he ever shut up or does he spend all of his time telling everyone how much better he is than they are?".....And you wonder why they call him the "anti-Kathy"!

Emily, Hannah, Tabby and Sophie came back about 2/3 of the way through the fireworks because Sophie was freaking out! I am hoping she doesn't end up being as afraid of them as Cade is (the poor kid trembles at the mere mention of them!). He did great hanging at the Ridiman's with the music turned up to block out the sound!

The picture is of Sophie and Shelby hanging out and eating at the party. It is so cute to watch their friendship continue to blossom, they really are best buds!

We ended up leaving too soon. We got stuck in gridlocked traffic. We should have waited until closer to midnight. Ironically as I sat in the traffic, all I could think about was what it must be like fleeing a hurricane and sitting on the evacuation routes. I got frustrated because nothing was moving, but I wasn't fleeing impending disaster!

Thursday, September 01, 2005


I just can't put my mind around it. The pictures are unbelievable and I say this as I watch from my cozy house, far away from the destruction (well, unless you count the effect on the gas pumps). I have seen flooding firsthand; I have seen the aftermath of tornados firsthand. I have NEVER seen anything like this.

I spend last night watching the news programs. All those displaced families. I have to wonder, would I have been one of those who packed up and left or would I have thought it was OK to stay and ride out the storm. Where would I be with my 8 children? I have to think we would have left, but would the van have made it? Would we have had the money to put gas into it, on a good day it gets 12 miles to the gallon, how long could I have sat in traffic before the tank would have been empty? Would we have even made it out of the danger zone? If we made it out, would we have had the money for a hotel? Or would we have been among those with no place to go.

What got to me the most was a small segment on a national news program last night. They went into the only still functioning hospital in the hardest hit area. The hospital had evacuated everyone that they could, but the couldn't get the babies in NICU out. They were too fragile, too dependant on technology to keep them alive. They made all the parents leave, only essential personel stayed behind. They talked about how if/when the generators fail and the batteries run out they will have to manual ventilate the babies to keep them alive. They will have to do this at the exact rate that the machine was doing it. They have plastic draped over the isolettes to keep the water from pouring in on the babies. The one doctor commented the only upside is that with no air conditioning, the babies are staying warm.

As a mom who has had 3 babies spend a good portion of their first month of their lives in NICU, I broke into tears. Would I have been able to leave my baby behind? Would I have had to, in order to get my other children to safety? What would I have done, my boobs aching, filled with milk I couldn't get to my baby? Tears stream down my checks at the thought.

I wonder about my dad. How long would he make it without dialysis? They talked this morning on the news of patients who haven't been dialysized since early this week. They say many will die in the next few days. By now dad would have missed two sessions.

I feel helpless. Prayer is my only refuge.