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 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.


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.


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.


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...

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!

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 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'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 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!

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 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 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!

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.

  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.

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!

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!

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.

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...


Happy Soapin'!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Round about the Table: Balderdash Answers and Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner...


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 blogging is way behind our support group meetings) and  24 Hours Is All You Get!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in: Week 5

Click here to enter my give-away
of 24 Hours Is All You Get!

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!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Double Digits

There is still time to enter my current give-away
of one copy of 24 Hours Is All You Get!

As I type this there are two very excited boys jumping on my bed and yelling,


Toy Story 2 was one of their favorite movies when they looked like this....

Orville, 23 months

The Birthday Boy, Wilbur, 10 months

Orville was almost 2 years old at the time, and his favorite word was two.  He said it all. the. time.

Wilbur, who was almost one at the time, would sit on the couch beside his brother and clap and squeal when I would put in their favorite video.  Then he would jump up and down and say, "Ay!  Doody Time!  Doody Time!" 

Doody was one-year-old speak for Woody.

Just thought I should clear that up for you.

Then as the title would appear on screen one word at a time, both boys would shout in sync with the graphic...




Today, sweet Wilbur turns 10, and he looks like this....

Wilbur constructs "water works"
at the beach at the Isle of Palms
while on vacation in SC.
July, 2010

The Pixar people were kind enough to release Toy Story 3 to DVD on his birthday, and that is his birthday treat today.

That and an entire package of Oreos.

There is much rejoicing in the land.

So, if you'll please excuse me, it's Doody Time!  I'm off to have a good cry and avoid the Oreos.


All photos included in this post are the property of Homeschool Dawn.