Friday, July 29, 2011

I'm baaaaack...

Been a while, hasn't it?

Wanna know why?

My mom got her transplant!!

I know, isn't that wonderful news?! Ok...let me back up a minute...

I have mentioned a couple of times since May that my mom's health had gotten worse and that her liver was failing. She was placed on the transplant list fairly quickly, but they told us basically to hunker down and wait. People can be waiting on an organ for months, even years.

Back to my happy dance...

We were so surprised when we got the call about 930pm on July 13. I mean, she hadn't even been on the transplant list for two full months. So anyway, call came through and they said that it was a 50/50 chance it was a match and they needed to head to the hospital. About 4am my dad called and said that it looked good and surgery was going to start around 6am.  So I headed to the hospital to wait it out with my dad and my little brother.

Surgery was finally, FINALLY done about 345pm. Can I say that could be the longest day evar?!

The transplant went great and her recovery thus far has been even better. I spent quite a bit of time with my mom, staying with her at the hospital and enjoying some girl time, lol. The doctors have all said that she has been amazing. She was even sent home just six days after the transplant! She has a few months of more medications than you count and several visits a week for blood work. Then she has a lifetime of a couple of medications for anti-rejection. But she has a second chance. And we, as a family, have been blessed beyond measure!

What else has been going on around here? A buncha nothin.' Kinda hard to follow up a successful organ transplant, isn't it? ;)

It's really hard to get back into a routine when you take an unexpected week off from things. I think the boys very much enjoyed my absence. When the hubs is in his office working, they pretty much have free reign, lol. They didn't burn the house down though, so things must have gone smoothly enough.

Our "school year" won't officially start until after Labor Day, but next week I will have them ease back into things with working a little bit on stuff like analogies, math vocabulary and more spelling. Always with the spelling around here...

I would like to thank those that sent prayers, happy thoughts, good juju, etc out to my mom and the fam. Mucho appreciated and most definitely not forgotten! :D

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend. Can you believe that come Monday, it will be August? AUGUST already! Sheesh.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

We are done!

For all intents and purposes, we are done with our school year! Turned in our last attendance records for the year this week. Yaaaaay! But as most homeschoolers know, we are never really done, lol. There is always some learnin' going on...we find it in just about everything we do.

I like giving them (and myself!) a break, but there are some subjects that we just simply cannot NOT do for an extended period of time. Spelling is most definitely at the top of that list. We can make so much progress, but if we skip a week or so, words they both just learned go right out of their heads.

Having said that, I don't want them to hate spelling. So we try to make it fun. The boys will play Words with Friends with the hubs and I, and we like table games like Bananagrams and Boggle. The boys also enjoy online spelling games like Hang Man and Hig Pig. Bailey is enjoying one in particular, Word Unscramble, which is kinda like Boggle.

We will sprinkle in some math here and there, I'm sure in game form, but mostly we will do a lot of reading and concentrate on spelling.

This week was good for us. I got some "couch time" here and there. We starting watching yet another SyFy show called Eureka and we are enjoying it so far. Yesterday, the four of us sat around the TV and watched the final shuttle launch. It was really cool. The boys, having just visited Kennedy in April, were really excited to talk about everything they were hearing and seeing...things like when the shuttle does a "twang" right before lift off. They also remarked on the necessity of the water that shoots out and the sparks that are ignited in the instant before lift off too. It's nice to know they do listen sometimes, lol.

This week will be busy, but not because of school or because of a lot of things on our schedule. We have some deep, DEEP cleaning to do around the house. By cleaning, I really mean throwing out. This is the time of year that we go through all of our junk (Clothes, toys, even dishes, kitchen stuff, some books, etc. What? So I have an impulse shopping problem. No biggie. That's why we give stuff away, lol) and give what we can to Goodwill, Salvation Army and local thrift stores. What we can't give away (if it's not completely unwearable/unusable, it's always given away...I don't do yard sales), we toss. I always hate doing it, but once it's done, I'm glad we did it.

Today, we are headed to a very special Arrow of Light ceremony. Zach (he's one of Tracy's, but we claim each other's boys as our own) has worked really hard, as well as a couple of other boys, to earn this award this year in Cub Scouts. Once tonight is over, those three will officially be Boy Scouts.

We are hoping to play a little Rockband after the ceremony. Our band is in need of some serious "US" time. :D

Ok, until next time. Hope everyone has a great weekend, followed by an even greater week. I want to leave you with something. Something with profound, deep meaning to me, and to my family...



Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm like...totally on a roll!

MORE pics, can you believe it?! ;)

Just a few more's really hard to sort through everything. This handful is more from our Kennedy Space Center visit.

Family shot at the entrance.
Full size replicas. Hard to really gage how big they are, but it was cool. :)
This was one of the neatest things...when they re-did mission control, rather than throw out the old stuff, they put it in the Apollo museum. So this was a full and complete mission control station from back when they had the Apollo missions. They even did a real (real is in a real-time, audio recording) from an Apollo launch. We got to see all the stations light up and hear what they said and how everything went during a launch. Super snazzy!
This is like *the* building. The one you see in movies and stuff. The one you generally picture when you think of NASA. :)
On our way out to the launch pad observation area. This is...well crap...I don't remember what it's name is. But its the honking big monster that carries the shuttle from the building you saw above, to the launch pad. It's massive. And SLOW, lol. I think they said it takes like 8 hours to travel the 3 miles from that building to the pad.
A better picture. And it's called a Crawler. I googled. ;)
The launch pad, with Endeavor. 
Kinda hard to see...but there in the back is a big rectangle thing. That's the barge (is that the right word?) that goes out when they go recover the rocket boosters and the fuel tank from the ocean. That big mamma jamma is what they use to bring the fuel tank back in. :)
Taking a boys absolutely loved spending as much time as they could with this little cutie.
Settling in to watch Hubble 3D in the IMAX there. 
This was a shot specifically for my youngest son. Braeden is obsessed with shoes, especially boots. Much to the chagrin of my "if you can only wear 1 pair at a time, why do need more than 1 pair?!" hubby. Heh. Anyway...of all the things that we saw, this was the one thing that had Braeden all giddy. Nose pressed, both palms sprawled on the glass kinda giddy. He walked around almost in a state of wonderment, repeatedly saying how he wished he could have space boots. So he got a dress-up/play pair from the gift shop. Best souvenir EVAR! :D 

Monday, July 4, 2011

I love sales and specials...

I know I have talked about our curriculum, Time4Learning, and how much we love it. I'm not going to keep you, talking about the why's and how's...I do that all the time, lol. But I did want to just throw out that they are having a special this month. Big savings! Just click on that cute little graphic above to find out more.. :D

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy 4th!

I can't even process that it's July already. Just crazy...I hope everyone enjoys their Independence Day with their loved ones! :)

So did you see my pictures that I posted this week? Aren't you proud of me? I hope it won't be another four months before I post more. I have plans (really, really, really going to try and stick to these plans) to try and post a few pictures each week. I know I don't need to showcase every photo from every event, but I would like to share at least a few from each thing.

Last night we went to see some fireworks with friends. That's always fun! We are so country, lol... the actual firework show is at the lake. There are TONS of people always there and it's not so bad, until you want to try and leave. Then it takes hours to get out of the park. Anyway, we try to avoid that. How? We are a few of many who, rather than go to the lake, go to the pasture behind the lake. The show is just as good, you can still hear the live music and the crowds. It's's a pasture. :D

Tomorrow we are going on an eight mile kayak trip. We have been going kayaking, at least once a summer, for the past couple of years but we have only been doing the four mile trip. This year we are doing the longer one and looking forward to it. Going to see if logistically we can pack a little lunch, and we can stop about half-way down the river to just hang out and eat.

Ok. I have to interrupt for a second to share this little tidbit that I'm sure you all just wanted to this day, every time I say the word "river," I still hear Chris Farley doing his "IN A VAN, DOWN BY THE RIVER" bit from SNL.  Hehe.  

Alrighty then, back to it...

We don't have a lot of plans for this week. Thank goodness. I'm needing some sloth time. We all are. Since we did the 4th thing last night with the fireworks, we will probably hang close to home on Monday. We may try and make it to a movie. We have seen tons of movies lately, but the one that has eluded us (and we really want to see in theaters) is "Super 8." Lots of people have recommended it, so hopefully we can find it still in a theater.

School will be light this week. We are in the home stretch now, for our end of year, and I think I'm only going to make them do a couple of days. 

Braeden is going to concentrate on spelling. I like to browse through some popular word lists and see which ones are age appropriate for him. This week we will work on 4th of July words and maybe summer fun words. 

Bailey is working on some fictional writing outside of his normal T4L stuff. The writing process for him isn't what it is for most writers, lol, but he is only 11. He gets ideas, sits at his computer, and jots everything down. He has really grown as far as sentence structure, grammar, character development, etc. It's awesome. He still has a lot of work to do with basic things like punctuation...but it's hard for me to be too critical, as I normally suck with that (anyone who has seen me chat in IM or text knows this). Every time I write, I just go with it, then go back and make corrections. Sometimes I catch everything, sometimes I don't. I guess I need to work on that too. ;)