Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thankful Tuesday 8/16/2017

I know I'm a day late, but I still wanted to post :) This week I'm thankful for:

So thankful to have friends that listen and are so supportive.  I've had one of my friends since I was 15! We've birthed 5 children between the two of us, survived a cross country move as well as a move to another state.  Another dear friend I met when I was pregnant with Zachary.  We shared a love of books, General Hospital and Krispy Kreme donuts.  Other friends I've know for a few years or even less.  Some homeschool, some don't and some I've never even met in person. If not for the internet I wouldn't know some of these wonderful ladies.  They all bring a unique and special perspective to my life.  There have been good and bad times, but I'm so thankful for them all.  

Yesterday I got to spend time with two special friends. One was a planned visit where the moms got to talk as well as the kids hanging out. There was even a little Nerf war happening :) I picked up a cat from the Spay/Neuter clinic and I'm thinking what's for dinner?? I decide to run into Food Lion to grab something and my daughter runs right into a friend I haven't seen for several months. I used to see her weekly at our homeschool co-op, but she's moved out of the area and we only see each other once or twice a year. It was so great to be able to chat with her unexpectedly and it seem like I just saw her yesterday. So thankful for all the wonderful ladies in my life. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Tessa Bauer believes she's in love with Hans, but he doesn't return that love.  He only has eyes for Betsy Zook.  Tessa wishes that Betsy will go away, so that she can have Hans for herself.  She never imagined that Betsy would be captured by Indians and taken away from them.  Hans is beside himself and because of his grief starts to do things he might not otherwise do. Tessa feels it's her fault that Betsy was taken.

Betsy struggles in her new life, but she is soon left in a place that changes all that for her. She is taken in, cared for and loved. As time goes on she starts to feel somewhat comfortable. During this time she makes a friend in Caleb. He ultimately becomes a larger part of her life than she could ever imagine.

Out of the blue Betsy reappears back at the Bauer home.  Everyone is amazed that she is alive and Hans feels like life will go back to what it was.  Nobody could imagine the turmoil within Betsy and the struggles she now feels on a daily basis.

Checkout this contest for a chance to win your own copy of this book.

** I received this item free for my honest review.

Review: Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan

I truly enjoy reading books about times where life was much simpler.  In Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan we are transported back to a time where farming was deeply ingrained in most people's lives.  We meet Grace who has longed for a family, but with her husband having passed away she feels she's lost that chance.  She's trying to maintain the farm while caring for her ailing father.  It's a daily struggle and she just doesn't know how she'll make it.  She finally decides she must place an ad for help in the local mercantile.  As she enters the store she notices three unkept children that are eyeing the candy display.  She buys them each a stick of candy and wonders who they belong to.

Unbeknownst to her Robert Frasier has arrived in town with three children.  When he married he had no idea he was becoming a father to three children.  Now that his wife has passed he feels he's to take care of them. Not knowing he was going to be a father, having no experience with children and needing to provide for them all has made life a daily struggle.  He's looking for a way to support them and goes to the mercantile looking for work.  He's told about Grace's job opportunity and decides it's something he'll go speak to her about. He is given the job, but not believing that someone will hire him knowing he has three young children to watch over he leaves them at the campsite each day.  One day on a walk Grace happens upon the children and is shocked to find out they have been left alone each day while Robert is working at her farm.  Always longing for children she insists they come to the farm and live.

Grace had longed for children, but would never truly know that joy until the children came to live with them. Life seemed so much happier for she and her father. There was life on the farm now and a truly wonderful reason to get up each day!

** I received this item free for my honest review.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Week Ending 8/12/17

Spent some time working on school this week and of course reading :) I know with school starting on the 21st that my reading time will be cut WAY down. I'm trying to finish the stack I have and somehow managed to request about 20 new books to add to it (LOL) This week I've read the following:

The Perfect Stranger

The Doctor's Blessing

An Amish Christmas

Plain Promise

Marshall's Law
 A Reluctant Bride

A Reluctant Bride

A Road Unknown

I ordered the last thing that I needed for Brianna's school which was Wordly Wise 10 and the answer key.  I also ordered The Smart Alex Series: Reading Comprehension 4.  Issac's reading has really improved over the last year, but I still don't want to push him too much. He enjoyed the 180 Days of Reading Grade 4 that he did last year. When he did his CAT testing at the end of the year I paid an additional fee for curriculum recommendations. This is one that was recommended, so I figured we'd try it.  I've ALMOST decided to order Math Mammoth Grade 4 to use for this year. He was ahead in math for a few years until we hit multiplication/division. That really slowed us now and we haven't moved forward much really in the last year.  After two reviews this past year: Times Tales the Fun Way and Math Mammoth multiplication/division got better for Issac. I had planned to finish using Teaching Textbooks 5 this year, but he doesn't want to work on it anymore. He really liked Math Mammoth and it seemed to click for him, so I thought we'd do some of their units. When I looked at the placement test I realized he probably couldn't even pass the 4th grade placement test. I decided we might try using their entire level this year and see how that goes.  We just got some exciting news this weekend that we got the Let's Go Geography review, so I'm SUPER excited about that. I think it's going to be one of Issac's favorites this year.  I was able to prepare the dividers, his passport and the first two lessons today.  I've got a few more things to prep before school starts and hopefully we'll have a great year.
The two youngest kids and my husband are in WV this weekend for a karate seminar.  I hate to admit it, but it's been SO NICE AND QUIET since they left yesterday (LOL) I love my family, but it's nice having no music/tv/kid drama/etc :) They'll be home tomorrow, so I'd better enjoy the rest of my evening and what time I have tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

UDN PEER Group's First Newsletter

I've written a few times about our experience with the Undiagnosed Disease Program.  Issac has been followed by a geneticist since he was one year old. When we moved to NC our new doctor had some different ideas and some different routes to take. While getting some information that didn't exactly give us answers we were invited to be one of the first to attend Duke's new Undiagnosed Disease Program.  We spent a week there and despite the 12+ tubes of blood taken, issues over an IV for a brain MRI and all the appointments Issac STILL asks when we get to go again!! That's my boy. He loves pretty much any appointment he has to go to and is always great even when he's not happy with them.

I was asked in late 2016 if I wanted to be part of a new PEER group to connect parents, patients and medical staff to help spread the word about the UDN.  I was very nervous about flying alone to Boston and meeting tons of people I didn't know, but I really wanted to be part of this group. We all met in January and have had several phone meetings as well as emails passed back and forth. We decided we wanted to put together a newsletter that would be shared with people that have gone through the UDN program. Most parents that have any type of medical issue with their child feel alone and struggle with all the unknowns. We wanted to let people know that we have been through the program and are here to help answer questions or just be a friend for the future. I'm super excited to say that our first newsletter came out this week and can be found HERE. The second newsletter is being worked on as I write as well as additional in person meetings in October and January.

I'm so thankful to all the people involved in the UDN. We learned information about Issac, but yet in some ways we really don't know much still seeing as there have only been 6 people found. Check out the participant pages and see some of the people that the UDN is working hard to help.  Our little guy is #5.   I think whether you have a specific answer or not you are always worried about your child and their future when there is a medical issue at hand. I'm thankful to all the people that are working so hard to find answers for us all.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Thanksful Tuesday 8/8/17

Today I'm thankful for my deep freezer! We bought it used, it's beat up and not very attractive. I can't imagine living without it! We are a family of 5, but we have had some kind of deep freezer since Carl and I got married. I just can't imagine life without one!! This is such an old freezer that I have to scrape the ice out every so often. Today I decided to do that and organize everything in it because it was getting messy.  It's not beautiful, but I love it and am truly thankful for it. 

Thankful Tuesday 8/16/2017

I know I'm a day late, but I still wanted to post :) This week I'm thankful for: So thankful to have friends that listen a...