Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Light the Night and Other Cancer-related News

Last Friday night our whole family went to walk in the Light the Night Walk in the downtown historic district of Savannah.  We had Team Carpenter put together, and Bobby was the Honored Hero for this year's walk.  Our team had set a goal of raising $1,000, and we actually raised more than $1,500.  Praise the Lord!  Eric's mom, Charlotte, walked with us, and so did our friends Bobby and Jessica Auner, with their three kids, Jessica's sister Julie with her baby, and our friend Heather Upton with her son Robert and his friend Jake.  It was really beautiful looking out over Forsyth Park filled with lighted balloons.  The red balloons were carried by people who are supporters, family members, and fundraisers of cancer patients.  The white balloons were carried by cancer patients and survivors.  The gold balloons were the ones that really got me.  They were carried by people walking in memory of a loved one or friend who has lost the fight with cancer.

After a brief program at the park, we headed north out of the park and walked a two-mile route through the historic district of Savannah, lighting the night and raising awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  More than 2,000 people walked!  We are already planning Team Carpenter for next year.....

Another cancer-related story:  We have some dear friends here, the Peavy family, whom we know through the homeschool co-op.  I have taught (and am currently teaching) their son, Joshua at co-op and taught him piano, and I currently teach their daughter Lydia piano. (She and Mary are friends, too.)   I have met their church's assistant pastor, Matt Fray, a few times, and was part of a Boy Scout Eagle Board of Review for Josh along with him.  Matt's wife Erin gave birth to their third child last Tuesday, on then on Friday she found out she has breast cancer.  Their two older children are only 3 1/2 and 2.  They are recording their experiences at a blog called Joy in the Journey.  Please pray for them.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wii and Peaches-and-Cream

First, I said I would write more about the Wii game system we bought.  I have been using it (Wii Fit Plus) to exercise, and the whole family has enjoyed the Wii Fit and the Wii Sports.  The Wii Sports has baseball, tennis, bowling, golf, and boxing.  The Wii Fit has TONS of fitness activities:  hula-hoop, rhythm kung-fu, step aerobics, running, cycling, and so forth.  It also has fun games like Snowball Fight, Segway Circuite, and many more.  Eric and Bobby like to play doubles tennis, and last night I bowled a 277!  Woohoo, I'm a pro.  But perhaps the most fun part of the Wii is the little Mii characters that we can make.  Each of us in our family has made one, and we've made several others just for fun.
Here I am as a Mii:

And here are some we made for fun.  Do you recognize them?

Second, Mary's sweet little dwarf hamster, Lizzie, died yesterday.  I wrote about her when we first got her a year and a half ago.  She was a great little pet and we loved her, even though she bit me a few times.  God showed Mary yesterday that He even cares about her desire for a pet.  Before we even knew that Lizzie had died, (in fact, she was running on her little wheel in the morning,) we got an e-mail from some friends letting people know that they wanted to give away their guinea pig, Peaches-and-Cream, to a good home.  She is a 3-year-old guinea pig, very sweet and really beautiful.  I immediately called to talk to the mom of their family, my friend Cindy.  I discussed guinea pig care with her, and why they wanted to give her away (Cindy's boys have had guinea pigs for years and are just tired of taking care of them) and I mentioned to Cindy that I was afraid Lizzie was going to die any day because she was getting old for a dwarf hamster.  I arranged to adopt Peaches, which made Cindy and her boys happy.  A few minutes later I went to check on Lizzie.....and she was dead in her little cage.  How sad!  Mary was upset, but at the same time she was excited to be getting Peaches as a new pet.  We buried Lizzie in the back yard and thanked God for providing a new pet for Mary at just the right time.

Peaches is a lot smarter than Lizzie was.  She's also big enough to hold and pet---did you know guinea pigs purr?  I also learned that guinea pigs can get scurvy if they don't eat enough Vitamin C, so we have to feed her lots of leafy greens and broccoli in addition to her regular food.  While we are sad that Lizzie is gone, we are happy to have Peaches.  She's so cute!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

On How Our School Year is Going...

It has been an eventful August and September, and October is already shaping up to be busy as well.  I love the new planner I bought.  It has helped Mary and Bobby be a lot more self-directed in their work.  We've (I've) also done a lot better staying organized this year, and keeping up with all the corrections and grading I need to do.  Here is our each of us are doing:

I am still teaching all three kids at home.  I also teach piano two afternoons a week, and have more people interested, so that may increase to three afternoons a week.  In addition, I'm teaching two classes on Fridays at our home school co-operative, Kingdom Builders.  The two classes are Expository Writing and Biology; I have a dozen students in each class.   I challenge anyone who thinks home schooling isn't a full-time job to come spend a week with us!

Caroline is working about 15 hours a week now (Chick-Fil-A) in addition to doing her Senior year. At home she's taking Pre-Calculus, Advanced Chemistry, Health, and Literature/Language Arts/Grammar.  Through the co-op she's taking my writing class to supplement her language arts at home, Art, and Yearbook/Advanced Photography.  She is a very busy girl!  She will graduate from high school next May, and is already in the process of college applications.

Mary is an 8th grader this year.  At home she's studying Algebra I, Sonlight Core 7 World History and Literature, Human Anatomy, BJU Grammar & Writing;  through the co-op she's taking Geography, Cooking, and Art.  She's also teaching herself to write left-handed this year by using an elementary-level handwriting book to make herself write left-handed every day.  She draws ALL the time, too.  She has also just joined a local American Heritage Girls troop, and will begin to work on badges for that.

Bobby is in the 6th grade, and he's realizing that school doesn't get any easier as you get older.  He's taking Geography, American History, and Art through the co-op; at home he's doing Math 7, Zoology (Land Animals,) Handwriting, BJU Grammar & Writing, and for Literature (the pièce de résistance) he is doing Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings.  It's a great curriculum that incorporates Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Shakespeare as well as the LOTR trilogy.  Right up his alley.  He is also a Tenderfoot rank scout in Troop 47 and is working on merit badges for scouts.

Obviously, we are all pretty busy.  Our other current events:

#1    My sweet husband will be stepping down as pastor of our current church at the end of October.  He has explained this over at his blog, in the post I linked and in another called "Reasons for Resigning."  We love the people at Chevis Oaks!  We will continue to be friends with them and I hope we'll continue to sharpen and edify one another as Christians.

#2   We were able to buy a nice four-year-old van a couple of weeks ago, thanks to the incredible generosity of my in-laws as well as the dogged efforts of our friend Rickey Tyre, who found the van for us at an auction.  It's such a relief to have an newer vehicle and not be worried about breakdowns, A/C not cooling well, etc. The van is a Dodge Grand Caravan SXT.  Nice.

#3    Bobby is the Honored Hero for the Savannah Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk on October 15th.  Our family has a team, creatively named Team Carpenter, and we'll be walking that night along with hundreds of other Savannahians who are trying to raise money for people with various blood cancers.  Our team page is here.

#4    A month ago we bought a Wii, with Wii Fit Plus.  I'll write a longer post about it later, but we are all loving getting off the couch and playing sports as well as other fitness games together.  I have started to lose weight and tone up, and I feel so much better.  More soon on that.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Homeschool Organization for This Year

We have started our 2010-2011 school year, and things are going really well.  I'm doing something different this year for planning and organization.  In the past I have kept all our lesson plans/schedules on the computer, and then printed each child out a weekly form with their assignments.  This has worked okay, except they would lose the paper, or I would not get it printed out in time for them, and there was a separate sheet for each child.  I also felt like we were wasting paper, and the time to type it all in each week was excessive.

This year I actually regressed, technology-wise, and bought a good, old-fashioned paper planner from Home Education Family called "The Well-Planned Day."  Now the kids don't need to worry about keeping their lesson sheet from getting lost.  They can just look in the planner and see what they have to do.  I also changed my planning in this way:  I used to figure out the whole year, roughly, and then only write lesson plans a week at a time.  This meant spending a LOT of time planning.  This year I took a day and planned out six weeks worth of lessons/schedule.  We've done two weeks already, and in about another week or two I'll take several hours and assess how the school year is progressing.  Then I'll plan out another six weeks.  The planner also has report cards that can be used for each child, a gradebook section, and other household planning helps like budget lists, reading lists, tear-out to-do lists, and year-long planning sheets for each child.

Another nice thing this year is that I'm only doing the planning for two of them.  Daughter #1 decided over the summer that she would plan out her own Senior Year, with my help.  Awesome!!!  She sat down and figured out what she has to do each week and day in order to be finished with her school work by her graduation date, which will be May 21, 2011.  She's working now in addition to doing school, so she has to stay organized.  It's so nice to see her becoming a young adult and being responsible!

So far the school year is going well.  This week we'll add a little extra work for each of them, since they are taking classes again through our home school co-op, which starts on Friday.  I'm teaching two classes at the co-op this year: Expository Writing and Biology.  Fun.  I have14 students in each class, so I'll be busy with that!

We never took first day pictures this year.....I'll have to take some "first month" pictures and post them soon.  I love home schooling!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ligonier Follow-Up

We came back from the Ligonier Conference over a month ago, and I can hardly believe it.  The day after we returned, we jumped straight into our church's VBS, and Bobby went off to Boy Scout Camp.  Right after that week, we had a nice week of "staycation" while Eric took a week off work, and we went only 45 minutes from home, over to his parents' condo.  We enjoyed the beach and the pool as well as the peace and quiet.  For the past nine days Eric and Mary have been gone on a mission trip to Rochester, N.Y.  They should be home tomorrow afternoon.  And finally, three days ago Eric's parents came home from spending eleven months in Kenya, teaching at Rift Valley Academy.

The conference itself was intense.  From Thursday evening through Saturday morning we listened to nine speakers address a variety of tough questions that Christians face.  We skipped three of the sessions--one to go to bed at a decent hour Thursday night, one Friday afternoon so we could enjoy the pool at the enormous World Marriott where the conference was held, and one to be able to leave at a decent time Saturday afternoon.  If you're interested in listening to these speakers, you can do it here under the Video Archives section.  I'm going to list the sessions here by speaker and topic, and Scripture reference if they used one main passage.  If anyone is interested in reading my notes on any of these I would be happy to type them up and e-mail them to you.  Just ask.

John MacArthur--Why Did Jesus Have to Die?  2 Corinthians 5:18-21
Michael Horton--Is the Doctrine of Inerrancy Defensible?  2 Timothy 3:14-17
R.C. Sproul--What is Evil and Where Did It Come From? 
Derek Thomas--How do We Know Which Interpretation is Right? 2 Peter 1:16-21
Steven Lawson--Is the Bible Just Another Book?  2 Timothy3:16-17
Alistair Begg--Is the Exclusivity of Christ Unjust?  John 3:16-21; 7:37-44, Acts 4:8-13
Al Mohler--Why Does the Universe Look So Old?  Genesis 1:1-2:3
Burk Parsons--Is Calvinism Good for the Church?  Ephesians 4:1
Derek Thomas--If God is Good, how Could He Command Holy War?  Joshua 6:1-21

If someone asked me who my favorite speaker is out of this group, I would be hard-pressed to pick one.  MacArthur, Sproul, Thomas, Lawson, Begg, and Mohler were all phenomenal.  I had a much harder time following and staying focused while listening to Horton and Parsons, but they were okay, too.  Al Mohler's session on creation was absolutely amazing, as was R.C.'s talk on the nature of Evil.

It was a blessing for our family to be able to all go together to this conference.  I thank God for it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tough Questions

This week we're going to the Ligonier national conference in Orlando, Florida.  I'm excited to once again hear great teaching and wonderful music.  This year's topic is "Tough Questions Christians Face."  A few of the questions they are tackling:

Why did Jesus have to die?
What is evil and where did it come from?
Why do Christians still sin?
Is the Bible just another book?
Is the exclusivity of Christ unjust?
Why does the universe look so old?
Can we enjoy heaven knowing of loved ones who went to hell?

It will be interesting to hear the various speakers address these questions, some of which I have actually been asked by non-Christians or by recently saved Christians.  I hope that they do point out, collectively, that the answers to some of these questions are based on faith, which is itself a gift from God.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I knew my kids were having an effect on the world.....

But How Do I Do It?

Philippians 4:6 tells us to "not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests by made known to God."  (ESV)

Okay.  I understand that.

But how do I DO that?  Practically speaking, how do I just NOT be anxious?  It's not possible for me to spend my entire day on my knees in prayer and supplication every time I feel a twinge of worry.  I have three kids to home school, laundry to do, house to clean, food to cook, and so on....So what do I do?  Do I just try to be in an attitude of prayer and supplication all day during all these activities?  How do I let go of worry and anxiety?  What if I've told God my worries and requests over and over, and still see nothing happening to lessen them?  HOW do we have faith when we've asked for it time and again, and yet feel like our faith is weak?  I know that God is Sovereign.  I know that He is good.  I know that He is loving.  I DO trust Him.  I have to just cling to those facets of God and trust that things will work out for His good and loving plan.  Just writing this post has helped me somewhat as I've been thinking about God's Word and what it has to say about these things:

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  1 Thess. 5:18
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matt. 6:34
"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his life?" Luke 12:25
"And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on."Luke 12:22
"Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief."  Mark 9:24

So....being in an attitude of prayer, and meditating on Scripture both help.  Any other ideas?

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Changed My Banner.... a beautiful shot I found, again from Puerto Rico.  The picture is taken from up on El Yunque mountain, in the tropical rain forest, looking down toward the north coast and beach.  El Yunque was another place I loved going as a child.  The waterfalls, mists, enormous ferns, and cool towers to climb were all great, and then our family would usually take a picnic lunch and eat it in one of the shelters on the mountain.  Fond memories.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Banner Picture.... a view of Old San Juan taken looking back from atop the walls of Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the fort that sits on the promontory overlooking the entrance to San Juan Harbor.  The fort was one of my favorite places to go during my childhood in Puerto Rico.  My college senior picture (in the Houghton College "Boulder") was taken of me sitting on the top level of El Morro.  When I was in high school our National Honor Society did a walk-a-thon from our school to the top level of the fort.  I can't remember now what the cause was.  I do remember the exhaustion we were experiencing, walking all day.  I think we walked about 12-15 miles.  When we got to the road leading up the long slope to the fort, several of us felt a new energy, and we ran the last bit up the road and then up the long ramp inside the fort to the top level where a pile of cannonballs sits,and climbed it, too.  It was exhilarating!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It Isn't Cancer!

The doctor called me this afternoon and told me that the cells from the biopsy are NOT cancerous!  Praise the Lord!  I'm so grateful for the sense of peace that I had for the past week!  I realize now that I was holding on to some stress about it since when the doctor said it was benign I let out a huge sigh of relief.  He said they will keep an eye on it, see what it does, and do another ultrasound in a year.  Meanwhile, I'll be having a sleep study in a few weeks and then discussing with both my primary care doctor and the ENT the idea of increasing my thyroid medication in order to surpress this nodule.  We'll see.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Still Waiting..

I called the doctor's office yesterday to get my biopsy results, to be told that the doctor is not in the office until Wednesday.  The nurse with whom I spoke said that she is not authorized to give me any information, even though she had my chart and the results right in front of her.  Supremely frustrating.  We are not actually in control of our medical care no matter how much hospitals and doctors talk about "patients rights."  I guess we won't be finding out anything until tomorrow.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Still Waiting for the Results

The Lord must be teaching me patience.  My doctor's office told me twice today that I would find out my biopsy results by this afternoon.  They never called.  Hmmm.......or is it Grrrrrrrr..........No, I'll wait patiently.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

On Having Needles Stuck in my Neck

It wasn't really that bad.  They numbed my neck up with lidocaine and then took three fine-needle samples out of my thyroid nodule.  Now I have to wait until Friday at the earliest to find out what dear little Lumpy is doing in there.  So now we just play the waiting game....

On a "cool technology" note:  Candler Hospital just got some new ultrasonography machines on Monday.  The ultrasound technician, Denise, was having a blast using her new toy, which she said weighed 150 pounds LESS than the previous machine, which weighed 400 pounds.  They have to push these machines around the hospital sometimes, so the 150-pound weight loss is a blessing to the technicians.  I was teasing Denise that she was having just a bit too much fun looking at my potentially diseased thyroid.  She started to apologize and then realized I was joking.

Laughter is always good medicine.  Just look at Proverbs 15:13 and 15, and 17:2

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Azaleas in Bloom....

Spring has finally really sprung here in Savannah.  We have gorgeous azaleas in our front garden, and a mommy duck has been bringing her eight ducklings to eat under our bird feeders.  The birds have discovered our bird-friendly back yard with its two seed feeders, suet block, and seed bell.  The only feeder that hasn't seen any action yet is the hummingbird feeder.  Or, more precisely, I haven't seen any hummingbirds at it yet.  That doesn't mean they haven't found it! Down at our pond, the parent turtles have been bringing the baby turtles out on shore to sun themselves.  If you get anywhere near them they all immediately sploosh back down into the pond.  They are really cute!

I love the re-birth of the trees and flowers, and the baby animals we've seen.  It's yet another reminder of God's power to bring life back to things that are dead and brown.  Even though the pollen which precipitates the gorgeous flowers and tree leaves is my mortal enemy, I still appreciate what it accomplishes.  Oh, and does anyone besides me think our Sago Palm is getting TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ENT Visit *UPDATE at the end*

So....I went to the ENT on Monday.  He is going to send me to a sleep center at a local hospital for a full sleep study.  That was the not-so-surprising part of the consultation.  The surprising part was when the nurse practitioner, who did my work-up before I met with the doctor, was palpating my neck area and asked, "Now Alice, when is the last time you had an ultrasound of your thyroid?"  I told her I've never had one done.  She proceeded to ask me a lot of questions about my hypothyroid condition.  Then she told me that I have a "nodule" in my thyroid......yup, a "nodule."  Nice medical-terminology for lump or cyst.  She had the doctor come in and feel it also. He found it right away.  He explained that 95% of thyroid nodules are benign and just need to be watched, while 5% are malignant.  My next step will be to have an ultrasound with a fine needle aspiration (biopsy.)  I love how in the medical community everything has a nice, neat euphemism or acronym:  nodule, enables us to speak about serious things without saying scary things like "lump" or "biopsy."    They also talked to me about the possibility of my thyroid problems actually being Hashimoto's disease, which would explain a lot about why I'm having such a hard time getting my thyroid medicine regulated.

Here is a link to the Google Health page on thyroid nodules.  You'll notice that they say "lump" right away. They also have a link to Hashimoto's if you scroll down the page.

I'm so glad that I know Who is in control of all of this, and that He is the same "Who" who loves me and gave Himself for me, to ransom and redeem me, and who works in me to conform me to His image.  He has taught me to rest in Him and have peace.

UPDATE:  My biopsy is scheduled for next Wednesday 10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Verdict on the Sleep Study is in....

.....and what a surprise!  I have sleep apnea!  It's a relief to get an actual diagnosis.  The next step is to go to a specialist on Monday, March 29th to discuss where to go from here.  Is there a good night's sleep in my near future?  I'm praying so.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Fountains are Green Again in Savannah

You can see pictures and read about it here.  This, of course, is because Wednesday is St. Patrick's day, which is HUGE here.  What saddens me is how many people will pour into Savannah to booze it up and party, not knowing what Patrick really believed.  And here from National Geographic, nonetheless, is an excellent article from last year about who Patrick really was and what he believed.  No snakes.  No wearing "kelly green" (Patrick wasn't even Irish!) and no public drunkenness.  As for the real Patrick--I am currently reading a good book to Mary and Bobby about him.  It's entitled Flame Over Tara by Madeleine Polland.  We highly recommend it.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

What a difference a tuning makes....

Yesterday we had our piano tuned.  YAY!  It had gotten to the point where I didn't want to sit down and play anything because it had gotten so out of tune.  One key in particular, the F just below middle C, sounded flatter than a board-book, and in the lower register there was a whole octave that wasn't playing right--all the keys were moving downward when you pressed just one.  But when the piano tuner was done yesterday, it sounded like a wholly different instrument, and playing was once again pleasurable.  Now, it took about two hours of painstaking work for the tuner to bring the piano back into tune.  It isn't an easy thing to do.  I watched and listened as he carefully tested each note, comparing it to the electronic tuner he had, twisting the pin to tighten the string or loosen it until the key played the note perfectly.  If even one note is off, an entire song can be ruined.  So he tested them, tuned them, and played them individually and then together to make sure the sound was right.  He fixed the F that was out of tune.  He found a pencil that had rolled into the piano in the bass section and, voila, those keys began playing correctly again.

So....this morning I'm ruminating on the piano tuning, and thinking that God does a lot of similar things in our lives as Christians.  He sometimes twists and turns us, tightening things in our lives to bring us in tune with Him.  He shows us "pencils in the works," things that have rolled into our lives (or we've invited in) that are keeping us from functioning correctly.  He removes those things from our lives when we ask Him to, and carefully aligns us with Him.  What a loving and gracious God!  

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our Family

On Sunday evening we asked someone to snap a quick picture of our family.  Here it is:

Okay....So I'm the overweight one second from the left.... next to my handsome husband and surrounded by our three cute kids.  I think it's time to go back on a strict diet.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's late at night....

...and I'm still up listening to Caroline and her friends giggle and laugh....but they are having such a good time! I'm going off to bed....

Today I made everyone breakfast, went to co-op, taught British Lit, taught Beginning ASL, helped in Chemistry class/lab, took Caroline and three of her friends to paint pottery and out to eat (late birthday celebration), came home and watched a movie with them, and now am definitely ready for a good night's sleep.  Hope they all go to bed and get a good night's sleep, too.

God is so good.  All day today I've been thinking about how blessed I am to have a Saviour!  And beyond that, to have a great husband and wonderful kids is just icing on the cake.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Today is Caroline's Birthday...

...and I can't believe she's 16 years old already.  Especially after seeing a baby born yesterday, I keep remembering the day she was born.  She was nearly nine pounds, extremely alert, and ravenous from the get-go, not just for food but for knowledge.  Sixteen years have flown by in a flurry of learning to sit, crawl, stand, walk, run, talk, sing, read, write, play the piano.....and a blur of birthdays, growth charts, new clothes and shoes, first tooth, first tooth lost, and so much more.  Now she's 5'9" and I think she's absolutely beautiful.  She's not just my daughter, she's one of my best friends.

What I Did Yesterday....

....was just as amazing as the first time I was present for a baby's birth.  I was honored once again to be able to assist my sister-in-law in child birth.  They had a beautiful baby girl, and my S-I-L did an outstanding job!  I'm so impressed with her labor and delivery skills.  Here I am with my sweet, precious niece:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Scarlet Amaryllis....

...sure adds a gorgeous splash of color to our kitchen during these cold, gray winter months.  Here it is in various stages until full bloom:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It Snowed!

We got about half an inch of the white stuff last night, but by this morning it had all melted off.  We all ran outside and acted like kids.....It was great fun.  Caroline heard our little three-year-old neighbor exclaiming "Daddy, it's snowing!"  She had never seen snow before.  Our poor sago palm and azalea bushes didn't know what was hitting them.  There has not been a snowfall with significant accumulation here in Savannah since 1989.  Eric is tossing around the idea of getting T-shirts made that say "I Survived the Blizzard of 2010."

Friday, February 12, 2010

We May Actually Get Snow....

here in Savannah tonight!  Weird.  The weather guys are predicting we could have a whopping 1-3 inches of snow accumulation.  (smile)  That may not seem like much to anyone living in the north, but down here it's a nasty business.  Consider:  no salt or sand for the roads, no snow plows, and most people have no idea how to drive in snow or on ice.  Most of us are just going to stay inside until it all melts off, which should be tomorrow by about noon, I guess.  If it does snow we'll take pictures.....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sleep Study Failed, Semi-Trailer Prevailed

Last night I was supposed to be doing an at-home sleep study with the device pictured here:
But it was not to be.  (And yes, it's a little annoying wearing the device, but from what my Mom tells me it's a lot more comfortable than the sleep study they do at a sleep center, with multiple wires/leads hooked up all over you.)  As I lay down to sleep, I pushed the tiny "ON" button to start the device.  I heard a woman's voice say, "Unicorder is ON."  Great, I thought; I'm on my  way to finding out if I have obstructive sleep apnea.  But the nice lady's voice continued:  "Call tech support.  Internal check failed.  Study cannot be performed.  Code 5."  I called tech support.  I got an automated system.  There were numbers to push for Code 1, Code 6, and other general alarms, but nothing for Code 5.  After two more tries at starting the thing up, I removed it from my head and went to sleep.  I took the machine back to my doctor today, and my sleep study will be re-scheduled for whenever my doctor's office can get the little device fixed.
On my way home from returning the WM Ares Unicorder, I thought it would be nice to get my kids some junk food/fast food for lunch, a treat they don't usually get.  So I pulled through the drive-through at our nearest Wendy's, which is adjacent to our Walmart.  Fast food: got it.  I pulled out the access road from the Walmart parking lot, and stopped at a red light.  I was on the phone with my sister-in-law Esther (It's not illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving in GA.  Maybe it should be, but nevertheless....) and I saw a Walmart tractor-trailer turning in front of me into the entrance road on which I sat.  I was commenting to Esther that the semi seemed HUGE, when I suddenly realized that  he was not going to make the turn but was in fact going to hit my van in some manner.  My words to Esther went something like this:
"Are they making semis bigger than ever, because this truck seems enormous....he's taking the turn REALLY tight and awfully fast....I think he's going to hit me!  He's going to hit me!  HE'S HITTING ME!  HE'S HITTING ME!  Aaaaaaaahhhhhh! (screaming like a little girl)  Oh, okay, he's stopped!  THANK GOD!!!! He stopped!!!!"  Poor Esther.  Here is my little diagram of how the accident looked:
He stopped just before his back wheels were going to hit the front of my van.  Thank God he stopped!!!
So, to make a long story short:  I called the cops, they came, they wrote up a report, it wasn't my fault, the officer in charge was really nice and told me there was nothing I could have done without backing into the pickup truck that was behind me, and I am okay physically although rather shaken up emotionally.  There was actually a split second there where I thought that I might die.  It ran through my mind that it would be pretty terrible for Esther if I died while I was on the phone with her.  It also ran through my mind that I really don't want to die yet.  
Here is what our van looks like now.  It's really not that bad considering what could have happened.

Isn't it nice of God to give me some interesting things to write about now that I've determined to get back into blogging?  I'm only kidding.  I did learn some patience today through the sleep-study delay, and I learned once again that God is in control and has complete charge over our lives.  I'm grateful to be alive.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Was Shocked to Discover....

...that more than 3 people actually read my blog!  Oh, the pressure to perform..... : )  Just kidding.

So....I went this morning to my doctor's office and picked up this thing.  I will wear it tonight while I sleep, then take it back to the doc's in the morning.  It will tell us if I have sleep apnea or not.  Then, if I do, we'll figure out how to treat it.  My doctor says that having my tonsils/adenoids out is one possible treatment option.  OW!!!

The kids are busy doing schoolwork.  Caroline is still all stuffy and not feeling good.  I still think it's allergies.  Our tree pollen has already started, and mold is really high in this area from all of the rain.  It's beautiful and sunny here today, although only about 40 degrees and feels like 30.  I can't complain, since we aren't getting pounded with snow.

Last night our Women on Mission (still called the WMU at our church) group had a good meeting.  I'm always encouraged to see ladies come out to discuss outreach, and last night we talked about local, national, and international opportunities.  It was great.

We have this week off from our home school co-op, which is a much-needed break.  Of course, I'm still doing work on my classes this week, but it means we have Friday off from co-op.  Sort of.....I'm inviting my British Lit. students over to watch the movie of Pride and Prejudice.  It ought to be fun.

Maybe more later from my perch at the dining room table.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The More Things Change....

The more they stay the same....
If things go much longer this way I may have to give up the blog entirely. I have so many things floating around inside my head, brewing and boiling, and yet rarely have time to sit down and write about them. Even now, as I'm writing this, there are other more pressing responsibilities that I'm ignoring. If I don't blog, I feel guilty, and if I do blog, I feel guilty. It's time to go somewhere and indulge in a primal scream.
I wrote that in September 2006 before we headed overseas. Here it is 3 1/2 years later and it's still the same story. I think I need a new approach---perhaps just blogging a little here and there about more mundane things, not thinking that I have to expound on a subject and sound smart all the time....

So here goes:

Today we're doing school as usual, and Caroline isn't feeling well.  I think it's allergies.  It's cloudy and rainy, which I'm sure people will complain about, but we need the rain after so many years of drought.  My scarlet amaryllis (which my friend Allison gave me for Christmas) is starting to bloom.  I'll post a picture of it when it does.  Later today I have piano students, and then tonight I have Women's Missionary Union, which should both be worthwhile endeavors.  I'm currently reading or re-reading several books:

Pride and Prejudice (teaching it in my AP Brit Lit course)
Frankenstein (will be teaching it in a couple of weeks)
Pontius Pilate (Christian historical fiction)
The Time Travelers Guide to the Medieval World (just for fun)
David Livingstone (YWAM biography)
The Bedside, Bathtub, & Armchair Companion to Jane Austen
Genesis, Mark, Job and Romans (reading through the Bible in a year using this resource)

So there you have it, all three of you who still read this blog!  More later today....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A T-shirt I wish I had....

My reaction to seeing some people in Walmart with body parts exposed or obscene words on their T-shirts.
You can order this on a T-shirt, by the way.....