Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review

If I had to sum this year up in only a few words, I would call it a roller coaster year. 

The constant motion of life, jostling from peak to valley, made me feel a bit woozy at times, exhilarated at others, and occasionally a tad bit nauseated.  But in the midst of life's ups and downs, our family has clung to the one constant in our lives... Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:17-18)

It was a pleasure to serve the Lord this year in my home and with this blog and a comfort to know that though life is ever-changing, God's love for His people remains unchanged.  I give Him thanks for all He has done for my family in 2010 and ask you to join me on a little trip down memory lane....

In January I made sure none of my children will ever win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  I also shared a little about living in the South.

In February, we participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count.  I tendered my resignation from the TOS Homeschool Crew due to the return of chronic pain and then posted several reviews to complete my Crew commitments.

In March we celebrated National Pi Day with lots of fun activities and tasty Pi(e)!  One of my sons shared a little dream he has about a Yellow and Blue Kitchen, too.

April brought the Youth Birding Competition where we started out prepared to bird in the rain.  However, the Lord was pleased to send the rain while we drove and stop the rain as we arrived at each birding location.  I also began my series, Considering Homeschooling?.

I dedicated much of my writing time in May to journaling our homeschool journey and telling you all about Our Year with Tapestry of Grace, Our Science Choices, Writers' Workshop, and how I've Got Rhythm.  Michael and I celebrated our fifteenth anniversary, too!

In June, I completed Considering Homeschooling? with a post with a weird title.  We vacationed in Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, SC...a trip that was almost entirely free!  (I should have written about that!)  Instead, Michael and I turned our trip pictures into a photo journal which we called Summer School.  I also finally finished my series on birding with children, Birding 101.

I completed the Summer School series in July and destroyed my camera during Our Day at Six Flags over Georgia

In August, we held Wilbur's 10th birthday p-ART-y.  I shared how to make the invitations, to make the cake and treats, and to prepare art-themed activites

In September I took a little break from active blogging and shared some of my reader's favorites from the archives.  I did manage to write one of Our Family Stories about a special day sixteen years ago when I found a handsome young man kneeling behind a tree.

I returned to the blogosphere in October fully refreshed and ready to lose weight!  Wednesday Weigh-ins have kept me on track!  Thank you for your support!!  (Oh, and I took an Unintentional Horseback Ride that month, too!!!)

In November, I was Drowning in Soap while preparing to open the soap shop.  I also injured myself in a way That's Just So Dawn

The year ended with a visit from the Kingdom Arrows, our Top Ten Christmas Moments, and The Injured Party where Orville broke his arm!

On behalf of the Olive Plants family, I want to thank you for reading and invite you to join us here in 2011 for more homeschool help, bird watching tips, and funny moments.  We wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!

Blessings,
Dawn

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Top Ten Christmas Moments

10.  The boys opened game cartridges for a new Nintendo DS before receiving the game system.  My parents had bought the games (and a new system) for them, and I had arranged beforehand for the games to be opened first.  All the adults pretended that Nohnie had bought the games for the wrong system and that we would just have to do a return on Monday....

9.  At dinner, Orville kept calling the Watergate salad, "Waldorf" salad.  After being corrected for the ump-teenth time, he sighed, Well, I knew it was some hotel salad.

8.  No one got run over by a reindeer.

7.  We saved Buzz Lightyear by surgically removing his Radar Rash and Battered Blaster. 

6.  Wilbur opened the package containing his pop rifle, and we heard pop, pop, pop for the next 2 hours.

5.  I got the high score on Bop-It!  (Another noise that lasted for 2 hours)

4.  When Orville opened his new Reformation Study Bible, Wilbur read the front cover as the Re-form-ta-tion Study Bible.

3.  I got the flu....

Oh, ooops....

Wrong list.  Never mind.

2.  When the boys finally opened the new DS from Nohnie and Papaw, they ran around the great room yelling, "Woo Hoo!  We got one!  We don't have to take the games back!  Nohnie didn't buy the wrong games!  You all are tricky!!"

1.  It snowed in Georgia!!!

Merry Christmas!
Dawn

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Kingdom Arrows Visit the Olive Plants

Our dear friends, The Kingdom Arrows, travelled to Georgia this week...
 just to see us!

Michael and I were excited to get to visit with our dear friends from our college days,
and Orville and Wilbur were just as thrilled to see their children.

We hung paper snowflakes from the ceiling in our classroom
hoping they would arrive to a winter wonderland.
You can see the piano that took my toenail.
It's a great piano...especially for FREE!
I'll like the piano again
when Orville's broken arm heals and he can play it!

The boys colored welcome messages on the windows
with Crayola window markers.
We also wrote Merry Christmas in a variety of foreign languages
on the dry erase board.
We found a helpful list here.
 
When the Kingdom Arrows arrived,
we had so much fun together!
The dads played Settlers of Catan
with Kae Kae and Orville.


All the children had fun together, but Orville thought Kae Kae was the Bee's Knees, and they formed a "music group".  They plan to email lyrics back and forth and write a song together.

The Arrows introduced the Plants to Shaun the Sheep...
so funny!

And of course, we went bird watching.

We went to a spot by the lake which is not far from the OP house.  We often spot Belted Kingfishers and Killdeer there, and I so hoped we would see them that day.  As we sat down to eat our picnic lunch, Joy-Bug was the first to identfy a Killdeer (by call)!  Good job, Joy-Bug!

After lunch, I heard a Kingfisher, and we started looking for it.  It flew across the water and perched on a boat dock allowing us all a peek!  Kingfishers are one of my favorites, and I am always excited to see one.

Then, sadly, it was time for the Kingdom Arrows to return to their home.  We said our goodbyes in the parking lot, and moments after they left, about 15 different species of birds starting singing and flying around the trees surrounding the parking lot.  Michael and I spent about a half an hour identifying them and added a new species to our life list- the Golden-Crowned Kinglet.  Sorry you missed it Kingdom Arrows! 
 
But don't feel bad...I've told other local birders about this spot and they never see or hear much there.  On the other hand, we always leave there having seen or heard 15+ species.  I think the birds like us there!  LOL!   Orville didn't get to participate, either.  Using binocs is difficult with a broken arm.  Wilbur was coming down with a cold and not very interested, so he stayed in the car and missed it, too.  But Michael and I had fun!  

Now, for those of you who didn't know this already, Heather and I were bridesmaids in each other's weddings.  She posted a picture of us from her wedding here.  So, how could I not do likewise?

from left to right
Esther, Kristi, Me, Tonya, Heather (Kingdom Arrows), Heather S.
What fun!  Hope to see the Kingdom Arrows again very soon!
Dawn

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 12


Well, no loss...no gain this week.

And I'm happy about that.  Every day this week, except for one, we were either at the ER or a doctor's office which doesn't sound like a diet obstacle, but it was.  Lots of driving to get one or both boys to a babysitter, then lots of time at the doctor's, then back to pick up the boys, then off to get prescriptions, late nights watching fevers and nursing migraines....  Completely blew our schedule and kept me from logging my food faithfully.

Sunday, we had a small Christmas celebration with the Kingdom Arrows (more about that in another post), and I enjoyed (and you must sing this to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock to fully enjoy it) Tater Tot, Tater Tot, Casserole and a piece of pie!  Yummo!

So this week gives me hope that when I have reached my goal weight, I will be able to maintain it without having to count calories for the rest of my life.

I will not post next week because we will be visiting my in-laws and I will have limited internet access.  My goal is to maintain a loss of 20-21 pounds until the New Year.

I will check back in on January 5, 2011 and let you know how I did!

Keep praying!
Dawn

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Update and Praise

Just a quick post to let you know what the podiatrist had to say yesterday...

There is no infection in my toe.  It is healing nicely and should return to normal in a few months.  He was even optimistic about the growth of a new toenail.  I had been told by two other doctors that it would not return, or if it did, it would be deformed and ugly.  He gave me an antifungal cream to apply which may allow the toenail to grow back normally.  It will be a few months before we'll know for sure, but YAY!  At least it's possible!

Thanks for your prayers.  When my primary care placed me on a second round of antibiotics and scheduled an "emergency" visit with the podiatrist, I was pretty shaken. 

I am so thankful all is well and praise God for the good news.

Hopefully that will be the last you will hear of my toe.  Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...
Dawn

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 11


Bad week, y'all...
I gained 0.4 of a pound
lowering my weight-loss total to 20.8 pounds.

Isn't it nice that My Fitness Pal rounds up so my little badge in the sidebar still says 21 pounds lost?!!!

Ah, well...it was a strange and difficult week, so I won't be too hard on myself.  There was a Christmas party and a broken bone.  I have not logged into My Fitness Pal since the injury because life has been a little "off" since then. 

I took Orville to orthopedist on Monday.  He did not need a cast; the break is really high on the humerus, making a cast difficult/unnecessary.  The break is a greenstick fracture which will grow back on its own.  Still, we have to keep the arm in a sling and immobilized.  And he is disappointed that he has a broken bone but no cast for his friends to sign.  I'm trying to think of something we can make, like a paper mache cast or a memory book, that his friends can sign. 

And keeping his arm still is REALLY HARD TO DO

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rosetta Stone Give-away

Michael and I had a talk just last night with Orville about his Japanese studies.  He has been "studying" Japanese for a couple years with Rosetta Stone and really enjoys it. 

Why Japanese, you ask?

We don't know. 

He just always wanted to learn it, and God provided two levels of RS at a price we couldn't pass up.

Well, last night we were discussing our goals for next semester and decided that it would be more profitable for Orville and me to study Korean together.  I am currently tutoring two Korean children and learned last week that I have been adopted by the Korean community.

It seems my Korean friends actually consider me to be "Korean".

Isn't that sweet?

Well, if I'm Korean, then I need to know a little of the language.  Orville wants to join me and sees the value in learning a language that he can practice with native speakers.

Now, here's a chance for us to win a Level 1 Homeschool edition of Rosetta Stone for the language of our choice.  If we win, can you guess what we'll choose???

You can enter for a chance to win, too.  Here's how...

Now is the perfect time to give your child the gift of possibilities for the holidays with Rosetta Stone Homeschool — and you can WIN a Level 1 Homeschool program, language of your choice (valued at $249)!



Right now Rosetta Stone is having a special Holiday promotion on our Homeschool Edition program and we’d like you to help spread the word! Everyone can save up to $150 on Rosetta Stone Homeschool by visiting our website at http://www.RosettaStone.com/hsw1110.


By helping us spread the word you can win a Rosetta Stone Homeschool Edition Level 1 program, language of your choice, valued at $249.


This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever!


Students participate in life-like conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone incorporates listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing along with speaking and pronunciation lessons. For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program to allow parents to easily enroll up to ten students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, grade completed work (the program grades the work automatically as the students progress), and you can view and print reports for transcripts. Homeschooling a lot of kids at your house? This program is designed to enroll and track up to ten students (five users on two computers) and will work for nearly all ages — from beginning readers up to college students.


To win this program, copy these paragraphs and post them in (or as) your next blog post, and/OR post about this contest on your facebook page. Then go to the original page at


http://www.othersuchhappenings.com/2010/12/rosetta-stone-giveaway-yay.html


and leave a comment saying that you’ve posted about, or have linked to, the contest. Please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post, and good luck!

Quoted from http://www.othersuchhappenings.com/

Blessings,
Dawn

The Injured Party

So every year our church has a caroling party.

And every year, one of us is injured or sick on the date of the party.

Four years ago, Michael stepped on one of my sewing needles.  I thought for sure I had put that thing back in my little magnetic storage case which had been placed back inside my sewing basket.  Evidently not, because his heel found it, and he had to go to the hospital and have it surgically removed.  It was millimeters from the bone.  Ack!  He stayed home to recover while the boys and I went caroling without him.

Three years ago, I had just had major surgery and wasn't quite back up to speed.  Brushing my hair was an accomplishment then.  Walking the neighborhood while singing would have felt like climbing Mount Everest, or something really hard like that.  So Michael took the boys, and I stayed home to recover.

The next year Michael had pneumonia.  It was just me and the boys again.

Last year, I was sick (not with pneumonia, thankfully, but just good and sick) and Michael took the boys and a batch of Nutter Butter snowmen cookies.

When I injured my toe two weeks ago, I jokingly said, "Well, it's almost time for the caroling party.  Someone in this family had to get hurt."  I wondered if I would be able to attend since wearing a shoe felt like torture at the time. 

However I was able to wear my loosest-fitting pair of tennis shoes by Monday without passing out, so I decided to go.  I was determined that our family would finally attend the party together.  I guarded my foot (because even though I'm back in shoes, it is not completely healed and if someone stepped on my toe...ahhhh!), and we all made it there.

At Last!

However, I was not to be the only injured party....

While playing outside, Orville fell from the play equipment.  His left arm took the impact, and he has a greenstick fracture in his humerus

Which isn't very humorous.

But it's not too serious, either.

He is currently in a splint, and I am taking him to the orthopedist this afternoon to have it set.

He is doing well and being very brave.  The ER doctor prescribed a pain reliever, and it is keeping the pain in check.  He had trouble sleeping Friday and Saturday nights...difficult to find a comfortable position.  He did sleep well last night, though, and is adjusting to life with one functioning arm.  He should heal quickly and be good as new within a couple months. 


Some might say The Injured Party is a thing of bad luck or a stroke of fate against us.  However, we believe that 
Providence says, Whatever God ordains must be; but the wisdom of God never ordains any thing without a purpose. (Spurgeon, God's Providence, Sermon on Ezekiel 1:15-19), and through it all we are learning when trouble comes, disease comes, pestilence comes, smile at it, and say:


"He that has made his refuge God,

Shall find a most secure abode;

Shall walk all day beneath his shade,

And there at night shall rest his head."

Let this be thy shield to keep off the thrusts of distress,
let this be thy high rock against all the winds of sorrow. Sing,

"Though the way may be rough, it cannot be long,

So smooth it with hope, and cheer it with song."

We are thankful for God's protection and trust in His Providence. He has a purpose for all things, and we give Him praise.

Dawn

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 10


So here's some good news...

I'm wearing shoes again!  I was able to wear my loosest-fitting tennis shoes yesterday.  It was uncomfortable, but not excruciating.

I was able to do some light exercise on the Gazelle yesterday, too!  Thank you for your prayers.  The Lord is healing my toe, much faster than I anticipated.  He has blessed my dieting efforts this week as well.  This week...

I lost 1.6 lbs.
bringing my weight-loss total to 21.2 lbs!

Okay, since I have lost consistently for ten weeks (there was one week with no loss, but no gain either), I want to share a little tip.

This is the first time I have dieted that I have not tried to eat particular foods in particular amounts.  For example, dieting in the past has always meant eating at least one salad every day.  For some reason, in my world, diet = salad.

Well, after a week of salads, I get tired of them and my stomach begins to cramp.  Not pleasant...and after a few weeks, I start "cheating" and eating things like potato chips. 

That restrictive feeling of having to eat a certain number of fruits and veggies each day while keeping the fat to a minimum and watching carbs... aaaahhhhh!  It always backfires.  It makes everything except for salad seem like the forbidden fruit, and I want the "bad stuff" all the more.

Before I began this diet, I evaluated my eating habits and found they weren't really that bad.  Most nights I cook dinner at home and include lean meat and a couple veggies.  Breakfast usually consists of something good, too.  Lunch was my most problematic meal where I often opted for something fast, like PBJ's.  I have made the biggest change there, substituting lean meat sandwiches or lower-calorie soup.

Simply put, I am counting calories but I don't get too worked up about how those calories stack up.  I'm eating fruits and veggies every day, yes, but not a salad.  And I'm not eating according to any set diet plan.  No counting carbs or eating cabbage or counting sevings of each food group or points.  I eat as best as I can each day and keep track of it, stopping at 1500-1600 calories.

I make room for some things I enjoy, too.  For instance, I like to start my day with a soda, not diet, the real thing, so I have that one soda each day.  It's my cup of coffee, y'all.

And there is plenty of room in my food budget for snacks.  Sometimes even potato chips...not the whole bag.  I have to keep to the serving sizes but I remind myself that getting to have 14 chips occasionally is better than no chips at all. 

I am trying to learn to live with self-control which I know is a fruit of the Spirit and so I pray about these things.  I know when I am lacking in one of the fruits that I am sinning and must repent.  When I am struggling with patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, etc., I must pray for extra measures of grace.  Those fruits are not my work but the work of the Holy Spirit. 

I covet your prayers and appreciate them so.  Please pray for me this week as follows:
  1. Complete recovery of my toe.  Praise the Lord and give Him thanks for the healing thus far and that I can wear shoes again.  Ask Him to help me as I get in small exercise routines each day and work back up to my norm.
  2. For continued self-control, particularly through the holidays.  There's a lot of blogging going on about how we are to celebrate and about the bah-humbug syndrome.  Not trying to fall into that category...there's no inner-grinch residing within me.  However, this is, for me, not the time for grand and long-lasting celebrations.  I plan to enjoy particular days with family, but cannot use the holiday season as an excuse to indulge day-after-day.  Though there are many who are in a position to let the wine and cookies flow and can celebrate His goodness and abundance this month, for me, that would not be worshipping God but self serving.
  3. For my friends who are dieting with me.
  4. For God to be glorified.

Happy Healthy Living!
Dawn

Monday, December 6, 2010

Olive Plants Sale! 50% OFF!

All of my soaps make great gifts or stocking stuffers!
Don't miss this sale!


I am getting ready to close down the soap shop for the year which means I'm ready to move the remaining inventory.  I have marked down everything to my rock-bottom prices, many items are 50% off.

Don't forget...if you buy 3, you get 1 free.  Plus I offer free shipping on orders of $25 or more.

Earn an additional 10% discount by helping me advertise the sale by posting on your blog!  Comment below with a link to your post to receive the discount.

Click here or the "Olive Plants Soap" tab above to see my Christmas specials!

Happy Soapin'!
Dawn

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Olive Plants Soap for Sale! Last Week Sale!

Because there is only one week left for me to guarantee shipping in time for Christmas,
I am offering a...

LAST WEEK SALE!
Buy 3, Get 1 Free!
through December 10, 2010
Free shipping on orders of $25 or more!

Earn an additional10% discount by
posting on your blog about my sale!
Email me at homeschooldawn (at) gmail (dot) com with a link to your ad
to receive your discount.  Thanks! :)


I am happy to announce that I am now selling Christmas novelty soaps online, right here at Olive Plants.  To see my full line of olive oil, goat's milk or glycerin soaps, click the "Olive Plants Soap" tab beneath my blog header, or click here if you are a subscriber.

I think you'll like what you'll find.  Like this...


Mmm...cupcake soap!
Do I eat it or bathe with it???
Makes a perfect teacher gift!
And comes in a gift box!!

or maybe this...

I have lots of fun soaps for the kiddos on your gift list!
Great stocking stuffers
and they encourage hand washing!

or perhaps this...

These sparkling snowflakes will make your bath glisten!

Have I got your attention yet?  

Good...hop on over!  I have many more soaps available, all of which make great stocking stuffers or Christmas gifts.  They're all reasonaby priced, too.  Plus, shipping is free on orders of $25 or more!  

You will find prices and ordering instructions on the Olive Plants Soaps page.  I look forward to doing business with you!

Happy Soapin'!
Dawn

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 9



I was really worried about this week's weigh-in.

Really, really worried.

But...
I lost 4 lbs
bringing my total weight loss to 19.6 lbs!

Since the toe incident, however, I have not felt well and have not eaten well.  When I went to the doctor, I received 3 shots...tetanus, antibiotics and steroids.  The combo knocked me for a loop with some major side-effects.  So some of my weight loss can probably be attributed to a lack of appetite.  Plus I was pretty sick last week and did not eat much then either.  I think that weight loss just kicked in.  So don't try to lose 4 lbs in a week like me.  I have not gone about it in the healthiest of ways.  :)

For those of you keeping up with my toe saga... currently I can't wear a shoe on the injured foot.  I can barely stand for the bandage to touch my wound, meaning my regular exercise routine is out for a while.  The pool is out too since I have to keep the wound dry and clean for a few weeks.  I am giving myself a few days to recover from all the meds (I was given 3 prescriptions in addition to the shots) then I will plan a new exercise strategy...sit ups or pilates maybe.  Not the cardio I need, and it's going to be tough to work around this toe, but I am determined to do something....

20 lbs. lost is a BIG milestone for me, and I don't want my injury to interfere with my progress.  I am at a weight I have not seen since we have lived in Georgia.  I have officially lost what I call the Tennessee-stress weight (very stressful events prompted our move from TN to GA).  After I lose 10 more lbs, I will weigh what I did when I found out I was pregnant with Wilbur.  Having lost 20 lbs, 10 seems not as hard as it used to.

For those keeping up with the chronic pain saga, the doctor recanted her statements concerning fybromyalgia.  She forgot that she had mentioned anything to me about it the previous week and told me to go back to previous doctor...that he could better advise me.  For now, I plan to get through the foot thing, continue to lose weight, and pray about returning to see previous doctor or see a rheumatologist or some other plan that has not yet been made known to us.

Disappointing, yet I know God has a purpose and a grand plan that I cannot comprehend.  I am resting in Him, trusting His sovereignty, thankful that His mercies are new each morning.   

Here are my prayer requests this week:
  1. For the pain in my foot to subside, at least enough that I can find some way to exercise.  Also for the quick healing of the area where the toe nail should be and the small puncture wound, created when the nail dislodged.  It is doubtful I will get a new toenail; there was extensive damage to the cuticle which leads us to believe the nail bed is severely damaged.  If the nail returns, it will be a deformed, ugly looking toenail...so I've been told.  All of that really means very little to me.  My main concern is for the wound to heal over and the new skin to callous so that I can wear shoes and regain full mobility.
  2. That I will continue to lose weight, or at least maintain what I have lost, even though my physical activity will be limited for a few weeks.
  3. For wisdom concerning which doctor to see about my chronic pain problems and what testing, if any, to undergo.
  4. For my two friends who are dieting with me.
  5. For God to be glorified.
Happy Healthy Living!
Dawn

Sunday, November 28, 2010

That's So Dawn: Episode Two

I have been waiting for months to publish Episode One of what I imagine will be an on-going series, That's So Dawn.  I have already written the introductory post which better explains just how very Dawn I am, but it can't be published without pictures.  It just won't make sense without visual aids.  Since I killed the camera at Six Flags (you can read about that here in what could easily be titled That's So Dawn: The Prologue), Episode One is woefully stuck in the queue, awaiting the day that pictures will return to my life and this blog.

Well, today brought about one of those unexpected Dawn-like events that's just such good blog fodder that I just can't hold on to it until after I finally get a camera and publish Episode One. I have decided to jump straight to Episode Two (hey, if George Lucas can begin with Episode Four, I think I am within my rights).  Besides, this post needs no pictures.  Words will suffice.

And trust me...you don't want pictures.

You will thank me later for keeping this one image-free.

I suppose this episode really began a few months ago when I decided to buy a cheap violin.  I can hear all you violin teachers out there gasping.  Yes, I know.  I have learned my lesson.  I may not have spent much money on the violin initially, but boy, did I pay for it today.

I took Wilbur's sad, little violin, which stays in tune for all of 6.3 seconds before it needs to be worked on again, out of its case so I could tune it before his practice time.  I could not find our pitch pipe anywhere, but joy of all joys, there is a new piano sitting in our classroom.  It had just been delivered two days before, and this was my first chance to sit down at it and do something productive.  Read: not play chopsticks.

It's not really a new piano, just new to us.  A friend of ours gave it to us for free, and it's a very old piano, one of those very tall, very solid uprights, a monster of a thing.  Given its age, it is in really good condition, and we only had to pay to have it moved.  Again, not much money spent, but boy, did I pay for it.

I sat down at the piano and placed the violin in my lap.  I tinkered and fiddled (hee hee) until it was tuned.

Which took approximately 3,042 hours because the pegs on that cheap violin won't stay in place.  And I had to reposition the bridge about 283 times.  Which means releasing all the tension in the strings and starting the tuning process completely over each time.

Aaaaahhhhhhh!

Once it was finally done, I felt a real sense of accomplishment and, while exclaiming I did it, I jumped up from the stool, hit a slick spot on the hardwood floor (created by all the furniture polish I had used to clean the piano when it arrived), and fell backward, plopping back onto the stool.

I guess it could be said that this was an instance in which pride really did come before the fall.

Thankfully, I didn't hit the floor.  On the way back down (you know in that split second between when you start to fall and finally hit your landing, when time seems to slow down and your life flashes before your eyes) I imagined I would hit the stool which would flip out from under me and I would go crashing to the hard floor. 

But none of that happened.  I just plopped back onto the stool and didn't hit it that hard, either.  In fact, initially, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Falling and further damaging my back or causing a sciatica flare up is a big fear of mine, and I had avoided that.  Phew!  I was out-of-the-woods.

Or so I thought.

However, when I slipped, my left foot flew forward and slammed into the bottom of the piano, jamming my toes into the teeny little crack between the piano bottom and the floor. 

Instead of being out-of-the-woods, I was stuck smack dab between the woods.

As I freed my foot, all I could feel was pain.

I started screaming.

Michael and the boys came running.  Generally, I'm a quiet person so they know when I start screaming, it ain't good.  Then, suddenly, I couldn't talk.  I couldn't tell them what had happened.  Everything was growing fuzzy, and the room was starting to spin.  I feared I was about to blackout.

Then I looked down.

My big toe nail was about 90 percent dislocated.  I won't be too graphic, but let's just say I gross out easily and seeing my toenail standing on end, saluting me, just about caused me to lose it.  I made a mad hobble for the bathroom where I spralled on the floor and placed my head strategically in the tub.  I couldn't reach the toilet. 

And my college biology professor wanted me to switch my major to pre-med.  He thought I would make a good surgeon.

Ha...ha...ha...ha...ha....

I told you, Dr. Fuller, I would pass out in the OR.

Forget that...I would have passed out in A & P class and failed to complete my undergrad work.  There's no way I would have even made it to med school. 

So I'll just stick to teaching English and music, though it will be a long time before I tune another stringed instrument. 

Or play that piano.  Just looking at them makes me feel a little light-headed.

Anyway, back to the story...  We decided not go to the ER.  The toenail was beyond repair, and Michael got to play Operation and remove it for me.  Then, I pulled myself together enough to hobble to the bed where I cleaned my wound with iodine and wrapped it in gauze.

Let it be known... that was no easy task.  I thought, however, I might pass out if I didn't apply the iodine myself.  I had to be able to prepare for the exact second it would hit my exposed flesh.

Gag...bleck...ugh.

I told you that you would be glad there are no pictures.

So here I sit with my big toe bandaged up, unable to wear a shoe or walk or cover my foot with a blanket or wiggle my toe because...OUCH!  I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to make sure there's no infection and see what, if any, other treatment is needed.

I have a feeling I will be wearing a flip flop on my left foot for a while, and that it will be a year or two before I have a toenail again, if at all.

I mourned my toenail last night.  I actually cried at the thought of it not returning.  I wrestled with worries from what will happen to my toe to whether or not I will be able swim or exercise over the next few weeks.  I prayed a lot and felt comfort in the reminder that God ordained this.  And that He has protected me from so many other, potentially worse injuries.  I know this sort of thing is so very Dawn, and if it were not for His constant protection and care, I would be in really bad shape.  When I think about it, this injury could have been much worse. 

I thanked Him for modern meds...things like anticeptic and tetatnus shots.  Without them, I would be in big trouble.  Like my friend, a dentist, often says, "When you feel nostalgic about the good-ol' days, think dental care."  Think infection and amputation, too.

I have also thought about Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, about how we should exercise our gifts without pride and value all members of the body of Christ.  About how our chief duty toward our fellow Christian is love. 

A seemingly insignificant member of my body is now missing, and all of me is hurting. 

It makes me want to love my fellow Christian all the more, to love the Body of Christ, to faithfully perform my duties and respect and appreciate the duties of others, to be mindful of how all our gifts and works are for the good of the whole...for the glory of the Head of the Body who is Jesus Christ, our Lord.

And that's not something that is naturally so Dawn.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit, and I thank God for His presence and His constant working out of my salvation so that even a trivial little injury can be used to further my sanctification.

So each time I look at my big toe, I will be reminded to pray for the Body of Christ.  By God's grace, may we be united and strong so that we may serve Him with gladness and bring Him much glory.

Happy Serving...
Dawn

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving List

The holiday season is upon us, and it seems that many lists accompany these special days...menus, shopping lists, to-do lists, guest lists, wish lists....

The most important list of all, however, should be the list we make today as we stop, reflect and give thanks for all God has done for us.  From the seemingly more grand things to the smallest details of the daily grind, all things are the work of His providence for His glory and our good.  Today is a day to revel in the glory of God and thank Him for all things great and small.

Here is just a small list of what I am most thankful for this year....
  • For God adopting me into His family by grace through faith in Jesus Christ
  • For the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit
  • For the Holy Bible, available to me in my native language that I may know God and grow in grace
  • For my church and its leadership; for their faithfulness to the Word of God; for the conviction and encouragement in the preaching and teaching; for the edifying fellowship; for the joy, unity, and love God has given us as a local body 
  • For my husband who, imperfect as he is, strives to love me as Christ loves the Church; for how he works hard to provide for us; for his faithfulness and kindness; for how he helps me when I ache; for the laughter and fun he brings to our home. 
  • For Orville who keeps me on my toes (and on my knees) but who loves me with the deepest, most unconditional love I have ever known (other than God's love) and that every hug and kiss from him reminds me how blessed I am to be a mom; for how smart he is and for his natural-born leader ways; for the hope of a son who will grow to be a godly man and serve the Lord all his days
  • For Wilbur who brings energy, joy and life to our home; for his artistic abilities; for his kindness and cuteness and all the smiles he puts on Michael's and my faces; for how he still likes to cuddle and makes me feel happy and at ease; for how he loves his brother (and his brother loves him), that God has blessed us with children who are friends; for the hope of TWO sons who will grow to be godly men and serve the Lord all their days... for a woman who was once told she would likely not have children, TWO is an awfully big number!
  • For my mom and her recovery from knee surgery, that she is able to walk again, though slowly and with a walker; for her help and friendship; for how she is always Mom and Grandma first even though her life is wrought with pain and discomfort
  • For my dad who chose to move to GA so he and Mom could live near us again; for the ways he has helped Michael and me over the years; for the way he loves the boys and steps up to be a role model and friend to them; for how he supports Michael and me in our discipline and training of them and always backs us up
  • For my parents-in-law who raised my husband to be the man I like so much; for their constant prayers for us; for their help and support that comes from across many miles
  • For my brother-in-law and his wife and children; for their willingness to host our extended family at Christmas each year and their hospitality toward us
  • For my sister-in-law and her fiance, Tim; for the faith God has given her to persevere through a difficult, but Biblical, divorce; for the provision of a godly man who loves her and her children and wants to provide them a loving, Christian home
  • For my irl friends who are like brothers and sisters to me, who understand my issues with chronic pain, even though doctors don't seem to; for the love, help and support they offer; for the joy they bring to my life through fellowship, help and prayer
  • For my long-time friends whom I am able to stay in touch with through the internet
  • For Dan and Heather, long-time friends, who continue to grow in grace and serve the Lord with gladness despite very trying circumstances
  • For their daughter, Kae-Kae, and how God is working in her life, providing doctors and medicines to help with health issues and the grace to face each associated trial
  • For "cousin" Sallie who loves us very much and demonstrates it by always remembering our birthdays and offering good advice
  • For my bloggy friends who offer me so much encouragement, particularly in recent weeks with my diet
  • For how blogging has reunited me with some friends, like Heather and Kathleen, given me something to share with irl friends, like Molly, and introduced me to some really great new friends, like Kellie and Celee
  • For the homeschool association and being able to serve them this year; for the opportunities this group provides for our family; for the friendships it deepens; I love you all!
  • For my Korean students and their families; I could write an entire post about them and how much I love them and what a blessing they are to me....
  • For the doctor saying the word "fibromyalgia" earlier this week and for the hope of a diagnosis
  • For the grace God gives me each day to live with chronic pain
  • For the forgiveness He gives when I don't live with that pain as graciously as I should
  • For the promise that all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose and that my suffering is not in vain; for the joy and comfort of knowing that suffering can glorify Him; for the humbling and sanctifying effects of chronic pain; for the hope of a resurrection body and eternity with Jesus Christ!
And so much more....

Happy Thanksgiving!
Dawn

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 8


Okay, so I have a confession to make.

I did not log into My Fitness Pal three days this week.  I did not go to the pool at all.  I only worked out on the Gazelle once.

I know you don't want to hear excuses but I gotta tell ya anyway.

Stomach virus for me, followed by a BIG pain flare up (had to do the soap sale in agony), followed by more stomach virus for me, followed by stomach virus for Wilbur. 

It was a difficult week, y'all, but still there's good news.

I lost 0.2 lb.!
That takes my weight-loss total to 15.6 lbs!

And MFP has graciously rounded that upward so my little badgie thing in the sidebar now says 16 pounds lost!  After such a tough week, I'll take it!!

In related news, I went to the doctor yesterday because I needed refills on a prescription I take for Restless Leg Syndrome. 

Yes, it's real.  I know you've seen the RLS commercials and snickered.  The name alone makes me snort every time I have to say or type it.

However, it really is no laughing matter.  It is torture.  I have managed RLS for about 10 years, the first seven of which I tried natural, homeopathic treatments.  I have rubbed on creams, taken vitamins, eliminated caffeine from my diet, hooked my legs up to a crazy squeezy contraption, done yoga (at 2 a.m.), pilates (at 3 a.m.) and an assortment of other stretchy-cises (at 4, 5, and 6 a.m. each morning, cause I couldn't sleep)...

All to no avail.

Torture, people.  TORTURE!

So about three years ago, I gave in and went the prescription drug route.  I have slept well ever since.

The real point in sharing this is that I went in for a routine check-up so I could get the refills, and the doctor noticed that I had not come in to have my vitamin D levels re-evaluated.

After the last BIG pain flare up in January, it was determined that my D levels were dangerously low.  I was put on a 50,000 unit mega dose to be taken weekly for two months and then every other week for THE REST OF MY LIFE.

I didn't go back for a re-evaluation because life got really busy and I had spent all of our med money for the year on MRI's and EMG's and myriad other exams...all to hear your vitamin D is low.

I didn't take it too well at the time and have to admit that even if time and money had not been issues, I still wouldn't have gone back.  I needed a break from doctors, tests and less-than-favorable diagnoses.

Well, yesterday, Doctor was not too happy with me and insisted I have the level evaluated immediately (wouldn't give refills for RLS meds unless I did).  Okay, fine, whatever....I was thinking at that point.

Then she began to talk about Fibromyalgia...as if I had been diagnosed.

Which I haven't. 

No doctor has ever used that word with me.

Exept to tell me no, it's probably not fibro...you're overweight and you are probably depressed.

She was not the doctor who has been managing my pain or had ordered all the testing initially.  She just saw the red flag on my file regarding the vitamin D thing and needed to take care of business. 

But...while telling me all the reasons why skipping the re-evaluation was wrong and dangerous, she said the little magical words that made my heart leap with joy... this looks like fibromyalgia.

That all the symptoms are there.

For 20 years, I have been seeking a diagnosis, and no doctor anywhere from Memphis to Atlanta would call my pain problems anything other than a weight problem, a vitamin D problem, or a mental issue.

I have been praying about seeing a rheumatologist thinking it could be fibro or something in the arthritis family.  I haven't gone yet because I have feared more expensive tests with no real outcome.  Plus, I wanted to lose as much weight as possible before I saw another doctor so that the red herring could be eliminated.

Yes, being overweight doesn't help.  That's why I'm working as hard as I can to lose.  However, this all started when I was 19 and was at the best weight and fitness level of my life so I don't think it is just a weight problem

And I definitely don't think it is a mental issue.  Depressed women do not manage a household, homeschool, help their husbands, tutor ESL students, make a zillion bars of soap in a month, and serve as the president of the homeschool association.

Just sayin'....

So the fact that someone called this something makes me feel things that I don't quite know how to put into words...good things. 

For starters... hopeful and thankful. 

It's not that fibro or anything else arthritis related is good news, but knowing what is wrong with me, being able to explain to people why I hurt all the time and have them understand, to give it a name...it would just be too good for words.

So my prayer requests this week are short and sweet:
  1. I go back to the doc on Tuesday to get the vitamin D report.  I intend to have a serious discussion with her about fibro/arthritis and next steps to take. 
  2. Please pray that we'll recover from the viruses that are still making their rounds through the family in time for a great Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow. 
  3. For my two friends who are dieting with me.  I am not the best weight-loss team leader, but we are lifting each other in prayer which is most important.
  4. For God to be glorified.
Thank you and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Healthy Living!
Dawn


Friday, November 19, 2010

Navigating History

I just received an email that I wanted to pass on to you about an exciting history, geography and worldview teaching project, Navigating History.  Rather than try to explain the program myself, I will let you read what team leader, Isaac Botkin, has to say about it.  It sounds exciting!

Here is the email from Isaac Botkin....

Dear Friends:


In less than two weeks, Lord willing, I will be in the oldest nation in the world. For the past seven months, I have been preparing to take a small team of film professionals on an international adventure that will be the history and worldview lesson of a lifetime. Starting December 1, my three team-mates and I will be filming our journey and discoveries, and broadcasting them to you live.


It will be quite an expedition, but the project is more than a simple travel show. We're hoping to examine the history and culture of Egypt in a presuppositional way, and look at the consequences of the ideas that have shaped them. The four dominant ideologies of the globe – ancient paganism, Greek humanism, Christianity, and Islam – have all owned Egypt at different times. A hike down the Nile will reveal pyramids, Roman ruins, early Christian churches, and modern mosques, and the effects that their opposing theologies have had on the surrounding culture.


We're calling this the Navigating History project, and we're hoping that Egypt is just the first of many seasons to come. You can read more on www.navigatinghistory.com. We'll be posting images and video there at least once a day once we hit the ground in Egypt.


In order to maximize the teaching power of the series, we will be giving viewers the ability to interact with the team and ask questions, following the video episodes. This "hands on" approach to the subject matter will provide viewers with as much of the unfiltered perspective of global travel as possible from the comfort of their own homes.


We hope to demonstrate how young Christians can hone their worldviews, and emphasize a true understanding of history by focusing on the events and influences that have shaped nations, illustrating that ideas have consequences and that culture is not neutral. Along the way, we will be providing book recommendations and pointers for further study. (With a little creativity, this could make a great unit study.)


I'm looking forward to learning all that Egypt has to teach about statist bureaucracy, Islam, the history of the Church, and the power of the Gospel. I hope you will consider joining me there.


Sincerely yours,

Isaac Botkin

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 7


I am a woman of few words today.  Mostly because my weigh-in results have me tongue-tied.  It was a tough week with lots to do in preparation for the soap sale along with homeschool, home life, tutoring, homeschool association, church and doctor appointments.

Go! Go! Go! was the theme this week and eating right and exercising were challenging.

And every day that I had planned to go swimming it was rainy- cool and rainy.  It's just hard to get into a swimming mindset when faced with dreary, chilly weather.

Okay, it was still 50-60 something degrees, and the pool is indoors.  But I'm a Southern Gal and those kind of  temps coupled with rain make me feel icy all over. 

I was wrapped up in my Snuggie drinking hot tea and reading Narnia.

Plus the pool closes if there's lightning or strong winds.  I always imagine getting there, just getting in and wet and then being told we must leave immediately.  That would be immensely frustrating.  And COLD!

There would not be enough hot tea and Snuggies to help me recover from that.

So to settle my southern heart, we just skipped going to the pool this week.

We also had later-than-normal meals which always equals needing to feed the crew something quick and easy.

That used to mean let's eat out or grab a frozen pizza or something else dreadful like that, if I didn't have meals in the freezer.  Which I don't right now because I have not had time this month to cook ahead.

We did eat out twice, but at Wendy's and Arby's where I could meet my calorie goals and still be nourished and full.  We also only bought our main dish, a grilled chicken sandwich or roast beef sandwich, from the restaurants and I steamed veggies to go with it at home.  Add in some yogurt for me, cheese cubes, fruit cups and toast for the boys and we had ourselves a very filling, mostly nutritious meal.

I also visited the Wal Mart deli twice.  Their rotisserie chickens are FABULOUS, inexpensive (I couldn't make it myself for the same price), very low calorie and with carrots, celery sticks and fruit makes a great, filling dinner.  Again the fellers also had mashed potatoes (from the freezer), cheese, okra (from the deli) and bread.  (I can tell Orville has hit early adolescence.  His plate is piled high EVERY SINGLE MEAL with about six snacks in between!!!)

I replaced swimming with five, 30-minute workouts on the Gazelle, too.  I have been so cold that it felt great to sweat!

So with all the eating out and changes in exercise, I expected to step on the scale this morning and see no change or maybe even a little upward movement.  But instead...

I lost 2.2 lbs!!!
That brings my total weight loss to 15.4 lbs.!!!!

Yea!!!  Praise the Lord!!!

So, let me know...how did you do this week?  Make sure you check in with me via comments, email or My Fitness Pal.  I am encouraged by all of you and love to hear your results!

Here are my prayer requests for the week:
  1. 15 pounds is ALWAYS where my diets take a turn for the worse.  I guess I feel a sense of accomplishment and start to grow tired of the work it takes to lose weight.  It has always been the point at which I decide I don't need a weight loss service any more and drop out to do it on my own.  Not doing that this time.  Pray that in the midst of feeling good about the lost weight, I will be mindful of how far I still have to go...that God will grant me perseverance.
  2. I am starting to prepare for the holidays.  I am making a plan for each holiday so that it will be ONE  day of celebrating.  I will be eliminating lots of tempting little treats hanging around the house for days before and after.  Pray that food will have a proper place in my life and that I will flee the temptation of holiday excuses.
  3. The Gazelle continues to be a good alternate exercise.  Pray for my stamina and pain levels as well as my commitment to workout each week day.
  4. There are two friends who are dieting with me.  Please pray for their continued success.  What a blessing they are to me!
  5. That God will be glorified.
Happy Healthy Living!
Dawn 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: The What Would You Do Edition

Visit WUHS for more weekly wrap-up fun!

In a nutshell, we're on track with all subjects... except for science.

Surprise.  Surprise.  Surprise.

3 modules completed.  18 modules in all to complete.  1/2 a school year down.

I may stink at science, but my math skills are good enough to crunch those numbers and know that we have a problem on our hands. 

I know Orville will complete modules 4 and 5 by Christmas.  I doubt we will have time for more.  Completing those 2 modules would keep him working at the established pace, devoting the same number of days each week to science.  I doubt during the busy holiday season that we will be able to add in more science time.

So, the way I see it two things must happen.
  1. After Christmas, science gets bumped way up on our priority list- from a 3-times-per-week subject to a five-days-per week priority.
  2. We need to be prepared to continue science classes into the summer.
However, I am open to suggestions.  What would you do???

The other big issue this week has been bullying and name calling.

We have been meeting Tutoring Student at the playground twice each week.  The boys and TS have a great time and get along just great.  However, because he is public schooled, we have to meet after ps hours, and the playground is teeming with a variety of personalities. 

The boys have encountered many children this week who have taken issue with them for a number of reasons...being homeschooled, being short, wearing glasses, being socially different, etc.  In part, it has been an issue of "kids being kids".  In part, the kids just don't get our counter-cultural ways, and the boys are reaching a place in their lives that they must face that uncomfortable decision to fit in without compromising or just not fit in.

They have been called an assortment of names this week.  The playground kids have also tried to get the boys to do things that are against our family rules.  When the boys would not comply, they were once again teased and called an assortment of names.

Okay...
  1. I see the silver lining in this.  They are obedient even in the midst of provocation.  We have been reading Proverbs this month, and the applications at the playground have been quite obvious, even to my 10 and 11 year olds.
  2. We are raising them to be prepared to "speak with the enemy at the gate".  I don't want you to think that I consider children to be the "enemy"; however, this is the type of practice and training the boys need to grow to be men of integrity, filled with grace and wisdom, ready to give an answer for what they believe and to counter lies with the Truth.
However, who called whom what and "how do I deal with this?" have been almost constant topics of discussion around here.  The boys have bombarded me with hard questions this week.  I have to admit that earlier in the week, mostly because I was tired, didn't want to have to deal with this type of issue, and hoped it would just go away, I gave the "turn the other cheek" and just ignore it answer.  But that did not satisfy them nor did it properly equip them when the name calling continued. 

We have had more talks and made an action plan, but I'm still interested...

What would you do?  Leave a comment or send me an email.  I'm all ears.
Dawn

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 6


I don't have much time this morning so I'm going to get right to it...

I lost 1.4 pounds this week
bringing my total weight loss to 13.4 pounds!

Before I joined My Fitness Pal, I took notes for a few days in a spiral bound notebook.  I was headed for disaster that way and am really glad I found the free, on-line journal (much easier).  However, I had recorded a loss of 0.4 lbs. in that notebook and I did not initially record it on MFP.  I entered my start weight as what I weighed on the day I created my MFP account and not on my true start date.

How was that for confusing???

I hope you've had some coffee before you read that one because I haven't and I'm not sure if that made any sense.  lol

Anyway, I corrected my start weight yesterday, and my weight loss from last week's post to today's seems like1.8 lbs when my true weight loss is 1.4 lbs.

Not that anyone is probably following that closely, but just staying honest.

Plus, I lost that initial 0.4 pounds, I intend to claim it!  lol

On a more serious note... my studies have been in 1 Cor 15 this week, and I wanted to share this verse with you. 

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.  1 Cor 15:10

This weight loss thing is hard work, yet it is not my work but the work of grace in me that enables me to stay the course.  Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, and I am continually praying for more of it.  Losing weight may not seem like a "spiritual" thing to do, but as a Christian, I want to serve the Lord in whatever I do, and His grace is sufficient in all things.

Thank you for your prayers, and I am continuing to pray for you.  Feel free to share your progress in comments or email me.

Here are my requests for this week:
  1. For clarity of thought and purpose when writing these posts.
  2. For continued success with diet and exercise.
  3. For two of my friends who are dieting with me.
  4. For holiday preparation...I don't want to "blow my diet" but want to reasonably enjoy the holidays and be able to celebrate with family and friends.
  5. For God to be glorified.
Happy Healthy Living!
Dawn

Monday, November 8, 2010

Welcome to Olive Plants!

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!
The Homeschool Blog Award nominees have been released, and voting has begun.  I am excited to announce that Olive Plants has been nominated as Best Encourager!

 If you are visiting from the HSBA Post, WELCOME!  I am so glad you stopped in.

You will find the posts that my regular readers have deemed "most encouraging" linked under the heading "Words of Encouragement" in my sidebar.  I am honored to receive this nomination because I want this blog to be encouraging more than anything else.  Thank you to those who nominated me, and if you would like to vote for Olive Plants, click here to head over to The Post.

For those who are visiting, I thought you might want to know more about two regular Olive Plants series: Round about the Table and Wednesday Weigh-ins.

Each week in Round About, we pull up a cyber chair to "talk" round about our cyber table about issues important to us homeschooling moms.  In the first four segments, we have been getting to know each other, playing games, and winning prizes.  I am currently working on a When School Gets Tough devotion which I plan to post soon.  Please stay tuned!

On Wednesdays I step on the scale to see if I have lost weight and report in to my readers.  I have struggled with chronic pain for years and am working to lose the weight I gained from an inactive lifestyle.  It's a struggle because exercise is really hard for me, and the encourager needs encouragement in this area.  So I write with the hope that the Lord will bless my readers in the process, too.

Thank you for stopping in.  I hope you will leave a comment and let me know you were here.  I love comments!!

Thank you again for the nomination and for your votes!  Olive Plants readers are the best!!

Happy Voting!
Dawn

p.s.  Make sure you check out Blue House Academy, Kingdom Arrows, SouthForte Farms, and Counter-cultural School, four blogs which are also nominated and that I think are just great!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: Drowning in Soap!

For more weekly wrap-ups, visit WUHS.
Help!

I'm up to my ears in soap!!

There are two weeks left until the crafts fair at the local mall where I will sell my soapy creations.  Last year, we had a teeny, tiny little sale at a neighborhood church.  We were hit by a monsoon that night (not really- we don't get monsoons in Georgia, but you know what I mean), and almost no one came.  I still managed to sell about 200 bars.

This year we scheduled to set up at the mall on the day of an entrepreneurial expo and when Santa arrives.  I imagine the mall will be a happenin' place that day and that I may sell a lot of soap.

Which means I have to make A LOT of soap.

I am making cupcake soap, gingerbread soap, ducky soap, Christmas tree soap, snowflake soap, soccer ball soap, froggy soap,  soapy bands (kind of like soap on a rope but with silly bands instead of rope), sugar plum fairy soap, soap bars, soap balls, soap....

This could go on forever.

I'm kinda like the Bubba of the soap world.

Bubba Gump Soap Company... Momma always said  life is like a bar of soap- you never know what kind of  mess you'll have to clean up next.

Anyhoo, what I'm trying to say is that this week has been all about the soap.  We are all very clean, and the house smells wonderful.

What's that?

Oh, you came here to read about homeschool.

Oh yes, forgive me.  Well, let's see... we kept up with the basics.  That would be Omnibus for Orville, Rod and Staff for Wilbur, DGP, History, Math, and Latin for both. 

We also did 3 science experiments!!!  And I took pictures with my loaner camera.  However, the software for it would not install on my computer.

VISTA...nuf said.

So even though I took pictures of the cardboard boat race that transpired in our bathtub, once again I have nothing visual to share.  

And the boat race involved SOAP!

Boat soap...

now, there's an idea....

We did take a day off from school on Tuesday for Wilbur's birthday, and he ate almost half a package of Oreos while he and Orville watched Toy Story 3.  We had not gone to see it in the theater.  I'm sorry to say that we couldn't get a second mortgage so we could pay the cost of admission.  So our kids had to wait for DVD.  It was an exciting day!

Maybe if I sell enough soap in two weeks, we will be able to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader at the theater.

Boat soap, so we can go see a movie about a boat!

Oh, never mind.  I better get back to the soap.  I seem to have soap on the....

...brain soap???

I wonder if anyone would...

...nah!

Happy Soapin'!
Dawn

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Round about the Table: Balderdash Answers and Giveaway Winner!


We have a winner...

Kellie

She answered all three questions correctly!!!  Impressive, especially considering we have never met irl.

Congratulations, Kellie.  Your copy of 24 Hours Is All You Get is on its way!


Now for the answers.

1. I have done each of the following:


  • A. worked as a radio DJ.   TRUE- At 16, I auditioned for a part-time opening at a local AM radio station.  I worked there for almost 2 years, until I graduated high school and moved to Memphis for college.
  • B. created a photo journal of the Cows of Missouri   TRUE-  When I was a child, each summer my family visited my great grandparents who lived on a farm in very rural Missouri.  We usually stayed for two weeks,  and there wasn't much to do.  To pass the time, I started taking pictures of every cow I saw.  And let me tell you, that was a lot of cows!
  • C. played flute in an orchestra   BALDERDASH-  I play the flute but have never been a member of an orchestra.

2. I have tried each of the following:
  • A. running a 5K only to pass out half-way through  BALDERDASH- I'm sure if I tried running a 5K, passing out would result!  However, I have spared myself the embarrassment and avoided running races altogether.
  • B. retaking the ACT four times to improve my science score which only went down with each subsequent retake   TRUE-  My other scores went up each time, but my composite score remained the same because science really went down each time.
  • C. growing a garden, flower and vegetable, only to kill every plant I touch  TRUE-  I even bought a "fool-proof" Topsy Turvy this year, and my strawberries and herbs died.  It must have something to do with my science deficiencies.
3. The most embarrassing moments of life have been the following:

  • A. TRUE   While working as a deejay, I finished my announcement and removed my headphones. i could not hear the broadcast from the speakers in the room and thought something was wrong. I began to panic and yell, "I've blown up the tower! The FCC is going to throw me in jail. I can't go to jail...I'm only 17!" As I was having my melt-down, I noticed I had left my microphone on, which is why the speakers in the room were silent-to avoid feedback, and everyone in my hometown had heard my panic attack. (well, at least those who were listening to the radio) 
  • B.  BALDERDASH  (This really happened to the mom of a good friend of mine, and it could easily happen to me since I confuse the two languages all the time.  I'm a former French major who married a man who speaks Spanish fluently.)  While attending a wedding in Venezuela, I must have made a disapproving face when a pit was dug and a whole pig thrown in. The bride asked me what was wrong, and I replied, "En Los Estados Unidos, comemos gateaux." I had intended to say "In the U.S. we eat cake." I had unintentionally used the French word "gateaux" which means cake, but the bride heard the Spanish "gato". I realized my mistake when a cat walked across the lawn and everyone started laughing and pointing at me.
  • C. TRUE  (I was 17 when I did this, too.  What an interesting year that was.)  After work at the Girls Club one day, I was the last employee and had the responsibility of cleaning and locking up. Once my chores were done, I decided to sing into the microphone of the PA system, with the speakers all turned on, of course. What I forgot was there were speakers on the exterior of the building and around the grounds. When I exited the building, residence of the apartment complex across the street were sitting outside laughing hysterically about my little "concert". They applauded me as I ducked into my car and made a quick exit.
I'll meet you back Round about the Table soon for a Welcome Back Devotion (even though we're well into the school year...my blogging is way behind our support group meetings) and  24 Hours Is All You Get!
Dawn

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 5

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This week sure had its challenges!

On Sunday we celebrated Reformation Day which brought two temptations my way.  First, we enjoyed a celebration meal.  I felt unsure how to approach it at first.  Part of me wanted to be the strict dieter who calls all enjoyable food bad and completely abstains.  Part of me wanted to be the excuse maker who, with a "we-only-live-once" attitude, dives right in to the smorgasbord and over-indulges.

That, I'm learning, is one of my problems which makes weight maintenance so difficult.  Here's where I could insert an entire series on 1 Cor 8, where eating meat sacrificed to idols is addressed. Instead, I will encourage you to read this, Matthew Henry's commentary on the chapter. 

In short, the application for me is to pray for the grace to approach food with a proper sense of Christian liberty.  Calling what God has declared good to be bad is wrong.  Sinning by abusing Christian liberty through over-indulgence or partaking in those things which I know cause my weaker brother (in this case me and anyone who is watching my diet) to stumble is nothing short of sin, either.

So I approached the party prayerfully and with a plan.  I knew the menu in advance and logged in my meal plan before I went.  By God's grace, I placed on my plate what was on the plan, ate a good, filling and enjoyable meal and felt fully satisfied afterward.

The other temptations were candy from the party and Wilbur's birthday.  The boy wanted Oreos for his treat and I did not want him to feel punished because of my weakness, so I bought some Oreos.  I allowed myself one mini Milky Way and imagined all the other candy in their bags had a sour middle to help me deny myself.  I also allowed myself two Oreos and prayed and gave myself the talk about abusing liberty and sinning each time I wanted to reach into the bag for more. 

That probably reads like I am so strong.  So spiritual.  So full of will-power. 

I'm not.

I am so weak and so dependent on God. 

I feel like this diet could crash and burn at any moment because I know who I am.  A sinful woman.  There is a constant wrestle and I find myself at the Throne of Grace over and over again. 

This weight loss is not my work, but a  work of grace in me, and I praise God for this week's results!


I lost 2.4 lbs.
bringing my weight-loss total to 11.6 lbs!


Praise the Lord for sustaining and blessing my efforts this week!

Since no one linked in last week, I will leave the Linky off this week.  If you want to link in, email me and I will add it.  Otherwise, continue to pray and email me.  Look me up on My Fitness Pal, too.  I am user homeschooldawn.

Please pray this week for the following:
  • That I would continue to mature in my attitude toward food and my commitment to exercise (I did get in all my swimming and Gazelle work outs- for those keeping me accountable).
  • That the weight will continue to "fall off".  It's not really "falling off", but you know what I mean.
  • Swimming not only does not cause my pain to flare up, but relieves it when there is a flare up.  This is a praise, and I am praying that it will continue to be a help.
  • For the extra measures of grace that I need to develop a Biblical mindset regarding food and exercise and to resist true temptation.
  • For two of my sisters in Christ who are dieting with me.
  • That God will be glorified.
Happy Dieting!
Dawn