Thursday, January 31, 2008

First ER visit

Well, we've never had to go to the emergency room until a couple of nights ago. Phoebe woke up at 11 pm coughing an awful cough and struggling to breath with rasping breaths. Once Phillip got her up she stopped crying, but she kept breathing awful deep breaths that sounded painful. So Phillip took her to the ER and they were there till 3 pm. A nurse told him right away that it was viral croup, but a Physicians Assistant came to check on her. Then a doctor. Then they needed to do some treatments. Then they had to wait an hour to watch her. All of this with lots of time in between. So Phillip didn't get a lot of sleep, but bless him for taking her! She hasn't had the breathing or coughing trouble, so she'll be fine, I think. She just got over strep throat a couple weeks ago. Poor girl.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Loving those Kids!

The kids made some clay creations and were playing with them in the water.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tea Time and Small Group

I'm trying my hand at leading a women's small group for the first time. We meet here at my home on Wednesday evenings when my kids have gone to bed and Phillip is gone for his small group. I'm loving it so far! I've had several wonderful examples to learn from in the past few years (Katherine in Iowa, Francine in Florida). There are six of us meeting right now, but I hope for it to grow! We're studying the book of James.

This tea set is what I use for our refreshment. The tea pot holds a whole pot of hot water and we take turns making a snack: decadent brownies, chocolate dipped strawberries, miniature muffins are the treats enjoyed so far. Aunt Mary gave this tea set to my family years ago (I believe she bought it in Vietnam); my mom is graciously lending it to me right now. I love it because it's just a little fancy, but very useful for our small group.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What Phoebe did during Exam Week

A brand new roll of toilet paper nicely piled up. To her credit, she did put it all in the garbage can.

Friday, January 18, 2008

First School Exam for Elizabeth!

This week we concentrated on the first trimester exam for school. I wrote up 16 questions for Elizabeth to answer and she did 3 or 4 a day. The first day she was tired and crabby and it's reflected in her answers. But even though she didn't always give long answers, I can tell she knows and understands quite a bit.

1) We've been reading through the Bible. Choose one of the following events to describe: Creation, Noah's Flood, Ten Plagues of Egypt. "There was a Flood. Boat. Animals."

2)We've worked on memorizing some Bible verses and other things. Choose one to quote: Genesis 1:1, Genesis 2:7, Genesis 1:31a, months of the year, days of the year, portion of poem by Moina Michael. (she chose Genesis 1:1 and quoted it after I gave her the first two words.)

3)Tell me the days of the week or months of the year. (She gave the days of the week without mistakes.)

4)Tell me something about a painting one of the artists we studied this term painted: Audubon, Monet, Mary Cassatt. "Audubon painted birds. Crane. Brown. Kind of tannish brown. And then there was white. A log."

5) Which musician did you enjoy listening to and why: Bach, Mozart, Chopin? " Don't have a favorite. I like them all. Chopin did the Polanaise."

6) Describe a heron to me: What does it look like? What does it eat and how? Where do you usually find one? "White. Sometimes does this (she crouched her head into her chest indicating the neck brought in as a heron does when it flies.) and this (she walked with stiff legs). And they eat together. You see them at the pond. It eats fish and swallows them."

7) Write your name below. (I love her creative mind. She wrote "Elizabeth" with the letters getting larger as she wrote. She wrote "Lanaya" below it with curly q's added. Then she wrote Gore within the letters in "Elizabeth".)

8) Tell me about an event in Laura Ingall's life. "They had Christmas. When Pa was in the Blizzard. They didn't have any candy or firecrackers." (Don't know where the firecrackers came from, but Pa had to eat the candy while he was stuck in the blizzard.)

9) Remember a fable from Aesop for me. "Was there one with a bunney and a turtle? They raced. THey wanted to see who was fastest. The turtle won. He was the slowest. The rabbit rested."

10) Draw parallel lines below. (she drew an angle instead :-)

11) County by 2's to 10. (she counted by 2's to 12)

12) Point out to me these objects (from a Spanish book). (I gave 13 words and she got all correct but two.)

13) Show me on a map where Paddle-to-the-Sea's journey took place. (She pointed to Lake Superior which is correct.)

14) Choose 5 pictures from the timeline and tell me about it. "Mary Cassatt: She did paintings; and we had a book from the library and I didn't know who the other baby was! Beethoven: he wasn't a very good player; he couldn't hear; he's the only one, I think, who was a little bit frustrated. Noah's Ark: There was a flood because the people were stealing? ; 2 by 2 animals; the ark; the people sunk but not Noah. Laura Ingalls: she was in the woods, prairie, Plum Creek, and Silver Lake; She traveled a lot and she wrote books. Moses: lots of water; 10 Plagues; some of the people were coming ~ The people who were mean; the first starting is the picture (the picture is the crossing of the Red Sea)."

15) Describe one of the plants we planted and tell what a plant needs to grow. "Orange tree and it's starting to grow. It has nice green leaves, but that's all it has. I hope it will grow. Plants need dirt, water, sunshine, and shade. Most people don't say the shade part."

16) Tell me what you remember about Benjamin Franklin. "He liked to sail on boats. He was a post-writer or writer or something. He ran away when he was a kid."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Monkey Bars

This playground in St. Augustine has a carousel and leafy shady trees which keeps the rain and sun out while the kids play.



Saturday, January 5, 2008


Inspired by friends and kinsmen who let us in on their goals and wishes for the New Year, I thought I would jot a few notes on ours. Well, my goals and wishes anyway; although Phillip and I think along the same lines. Though we haven't talked about 2008 specifically, we often talk about what we would like to accomplish in life.

We want to continue keeping our lives simple. In this world that we live in, it is so easy to get busy and be gone from home all the time and spend too much money on more stuff that complicates your life. With church stuff and homeschooling groups and classes and kids additional activities and then personal get away time ~ you just have to make yourself say no. I don't know that we do great at this, but we try.

I want to enjoy my kids more. They are so funny and want to have fun ~ I don't want to miss out on this time of their lives. Elizabeth will be leaving home in 12 years! So this means watching Jonathan when he says, "Watch me, Mom!" (which is constantly!). Working with Elizabeth when she wants me to help her with a project, have a tea party or play Webkinz with her. This means holding Phoebe or holding her hand or reading her a book while she sits in my lap.

I would love to get up earlier every morning to read my Bible and pray. I've always tried to do this, but it seems a lot harder at this point in my life. I pray for myself and for my kids ~ our whole family ~ to love God and to love others more than we love ourselves. I figure since those are the two most important commandments, then even if I just pray for that, we'll be on the right track! :-)

These aren't measurable goals, I know. If they were, I would meet the measure and then quit, so I just have things I want to work toward. Hopefully by the end of 2008, I can look back and say I did do those things more this year than I did last year.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Fishing at Whitey's Fish Camp


It's been cold here in Florida. It's gotten down into the 30's and we've had to pull out our coats and bundle up and even turn on our heat. But thankfully after this long arduous winter, we're getting back into the 60's today. Yep, it's been a long 3 days!