Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gotta love it!

I wanted to share a day in the life of our school day... I am so grateful that Steve and I have agreed to home school the girls, it bears repeating.

Without agreeing with a lot of what Oprah says, yesterdays show on the recession and how it is affecting real people, caused me to alter our prayer time today. The girls have a point of reference thanks to the Kit Kittredge movie about hard times and people losing their homes. I wanted them to hear a little of what is going on in this land, and maybe even feel different about asking for non-essentials.

We then finished dissecting the 23rd Psalm, and what a chance to share about how those scriptures have reminded me of "dwelling in His house forever."
Anyone gotta rake to take care of these leaves? Oh my!
Check out those jiffy store feet! Shoot howdy!

Off to math, reading and history. We have been practicing some test taking strategies lately, and my oldest keeps surprising me! Yahoo! We beat the Lewis and Clark horse again today, but she loves it and we have put it all in a book. Lately, when her nose is not in a book, music is in her ears, and Olivia is not far behind. She has a new found love in Taylor Swift's Fearless. This is what happens once school is done and it is another pretty day around here. Gotta love it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Date Night

My apologies to the president for missing his first big speech...well, not really....cause I was out with my dashing man last night. We had our first date night in so long I cannot even recall in my sharp mind when it was, and it was so nice to be alone. Alone in a crowded Bone Fish Restaurant. In the villages, where we were some of the youngest in the building. It was even better because we had a gift card that was picking up the tab!!

We then headed to one of our favorite places on a date night....a book store. We both went and gathered some good reading, and ordered a hot coffee, and settled into our space. Some might think it a very boring night. The Bachelor would never have one of these dates on his one on one, but we love it. It is relaxing. Just being together we find strength in our commonness. Maybe I should let the producers in on our date, it could help in this time of economical hardship. It might make reality set in too, after all, it is a reality show!

Last, we came home to our trustworthy 17 year old niece who was babysitting...she is so great. She informed me it was a great evening. They played outside, cooked dinner, watched a movie and did not BURN the popcorn. But, there was a kitchen incident... she tried to broil the cinnamon tortillas for dessert, and they caught on fire. Smoke billowed.

I think I might just leave her a $20 next time for the drive thru. All is well, I could not even smell it. Olivia did have dreams of using our fire exit plan and breaking the window to escape. Funny!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Great news!

Today is a day to celebrate and praise the Lord! Stephanie had her stitches removed and the pathology report declared her biopsy "clear and without concern". This is how Steph expressed herself when I asked her to show me how she felt about the report. I believe we all felt the same with that great news. I will tell you with 100% of my heart I was not surprised. I have walked, slept, ate, played, and lived with the assurance of our Lord's protection over Stephanie. Long ago, when I carried her, the Lord required of me to understand that she is not my own...She is His, always will be. She knows it. She lives it. She walks it. She rests in it.

He is a good God. Even if the report had been different, the lessons learned and the altars that have been built in the wilderness of Stephanie's life will be there forever to look back and see His goodness.

6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' 7 tell them that... These stones are to be a memorial... "
Joshua 4:6-7
Thank you all for praying and loving us.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thanks George and Abe

President's Day around here offered us a chance to discuss again the honor and privilege we have in living here in this great country with a heritage of an adventurous history. It was also a day planned to have a "real" field trip with our growing home school group.

Since the All About Animals are concentrating on Rivers and Lakes this month, we made plans to go over to the Homosassa Wildlife State Park and view the Florida animals, the huge fish bowl, and get up close with the manatees. We did not get to touch them, feed them or even swim with them this time, but they are amazing creatures. The kids loved it. We saw more fish in one area than imaginable. The water was so crystal clear because of the springs, we could see details of all the animals.

One of my favorite parts of the day was pushing my good friend Krista around in one of the free wheelchairs provided in the park, because she has a broken foot. It looked more like a grown-ups stroller, and she was a good sport, and we got that thing up to a pretty good speed going down hills. Sometimes I just like to stir the pot!

Whirlwind of activity

It seems like Valentine's Day was last month, how could it only be less than a week ago. That goes to show you, my sun has been setting a little more often than everyone else's, but not with the extra sleep....Let me see...

Saturday, we rough and tumbled down in Tampa at the Florida State Fair. There was a plethora of "fair food" with every info-mercial booth set up to sell us the most amazing cookware, it practically cooks food by itself, or a blender that could act like a wood chipper it is so powerful ! We skipped all the rides, thank goodness...but our little home school "nerds" I say that with the utmost love and compassion...loved the Department of Forestry building and the whole Cracker village set up representing ol Florida life. Olivia apparently is starting a new collection of bonnets...she is up to three. I guess every prairie girl needs a choice and who knows a good wind could come along and rip it off or it could fall out of the wagon as we travel west.

Steve and I celebrated with a romantic movie night, joined by the lovely and memorable Joker in Dark Knight. Not to worry, my homemade cards had won my heart, and it was a great day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update on Stephanie

Everyone, I wanted to fill you in on our afternoon. Steve, Stephanie and I went to the doctor's for the surgery. She was a brave little girl. She amazed me. Her trust and faith was so evident.

The surgeon changed her measurements of the surgery once she was able to see the initial sight of removal. We were ready for a large portion with multiple stitches, but were happily witnesses to much less. Stephanie's doctor took less than 1cm of tissue and only ended up with 4 stitches. The numbing cream and shots did what they were supposed to, that was one of many answered prayers.

Thank you for praying. Thank you for caring. Thank you for your words of encoragement.

We are due to go back in one week for stitches removal and for the second pathology report.

Dairy Queen helped soothe the pain, then we came home and celebrated with homemade mini pizzas. Flowers from a friend made all of us feel loved, and Stephanie stepped into a new place of knowledge this week and I am sure it will be a spiritual marker in her life from this point on. She knows she is loved, cared for and surrounded by a community of people who want only the best for her.

Again I declare, we are a blessed people.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lab report in...

We received the pathology report yesterday on Stephanie's biopsy. The mole that was removed showed moderate signs of irregularity, (along with about twenty other words that you can only understand if you have been to medical school).

So, after an evening of wondering what it all meant, the doctor's office called and suggested surgery on Thursday. Of course I said okay. Apparently Stephanie will have a 2cm diameter of surrounding tissue removed in order for any remaining tissue to not be of issue. She will not be put to sleep, but will be given a shot to numb the area. That does not sound like fun to me...but who am I to ask, I can barely use a q-tip in my bellybutton without feeling squeamish.

Seriously, please continue to pray for us. Healing... Good report... Maybe even a bargain, two for one special this month from our dermatologist.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

February's Co-ops

Friday we had our monthly co-op class. All About Animals studied the arctic animals. Olivia's animal was the arctic hare. She was not real thrilled about it at first and protested the rhyme I suggested which was "The arctic hare lives in the arctic and has hair." I thought this might be all she learned since we had quite a few weeks of serious germidge around here...but she pulled it together and shared some facts.

The group made some adorable bag puppets that matched their individual animals, and were so proud. They also made the cutest snow owls with cotton and pine cones. What a fun day.

The big girls wrapped up their study of the 18th century with the American Revolution and the birth of our country. Stephanie made me so proud with her narrative she wrote on Wyn Mabie who was a spy and helper to George Washington. She is growing up so fast, she is a fabulous reader and a whiz at math. She loves the challenge of learning her bible verses too. I love it!

Here is one for the memory books...some of you will sing right along and it will bring back memories of your childhood Saturday mornings. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Africa, stateside

We were able to go with our great friends to the African restaurant called BOMA, this past Saturday. We felt like we had to have something to celebrate, so my birthday was the quick choice. Let me tell you folks, if you are interested in having a pallet experience that you will not soon forget you need to add this to your "dining want-to-go-there" places. It is not for the faint of heart. If you are one of those who is thrilled with a $3.99 happy meal from McD's, don't waste your time or money. There is a time and place for those meals, don't get me wrong, but this evening was set aside for the adventure of tastes.

Serious music players...we hit the gift shop in the resort as well...big kids!

Half eaten plate, I thought of the picture after I had started...that is the salad and the juicy prime rib.
This is a posed picture of a man enjoying his soup. It was simply fabulous !

We sat down at a beautiful place, of course, Disney does it up right. We were in the Lodge at Animal Kingdom, and there were a variety of areas to go and start the first course. We went for the soup area. If we had only had the soup, we would have went home content. People, I tasted a soup that will haunt me until my return. It was a carrot-ginger soup. It does not sound that great, but I had two bowls, and some of Steve's. We all loved it. Brent was a FAN! The salads left Amy and I acting like we were in a taste off, and we kept trying to figure out what could be making this one particular salad so grand. It was a tomato-watermelon-blue cheese refreshing encounter. The meats were phenomenal, with cashew crusted salmon, a spiced rub on prime rib and a roasted chicken to choose from. YuM! I was not a fan of the desserts, but that is just me. Amy and Steve loved the banana bread pudding and Amy almost burst over the coconut tiramsu.
It was a great evening which we made even better by stopping by our favorite store, World Market. The entertainment was not lacking either, since we had a Tom-tom who was constantly reminding the driver that he was a "HOSER!" and going the wrong way. We laughed and laughed.

So, save your money, and save your taste buds for the next adventure.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lightening the load

I am asking all of you who read this blog to help lighten our load.

Today Stephanie and I went to a regularly scheduled dermatologist appointment for the removal of a wart. It has been bothering her for a few months, and so we went to Dr.Bond and he took care of it. He is a great doctor, and has kept charts on the girls since we began going to him because of our family history (my mother's cancer battle began with a cancerous mole). He did not like the way the mole in her bellybutton had changed in size and color, so he decided he needed to biopsy it.

Now, those of you that have known me for any length of time know that a battle I have fought for years is one of worrying. Fear. It does not always consume me, but today was an opportunity for it to rear its ugly head. There were glimpses -of what it could be, but I am here to ask you to help Steve and I carry this weight. We are not looking for a report from the lab for about three weeks, so we are asking you to pray for a good clear report. One that is accurrate and sure.

Please pray for me. As I sat in the waiting room reading, Traveling Light, by Max Lucado, I was again challenged to not carry a weight that I was not meant to carry, and reminded of this scripture from a few friends just recently.

Isaiah 43:1-3 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. "