Sunday, July 24, 2011

School Days

Can you believe July's nearly over already? We've had a great first two weeks of school, though I'm very, very tired. The rest of my house is in shambles, laundry is way out of control, I haven't couponed in a month (see my growing pile), but school's going beautifully. :)

Science, beautiful science. Who new studying surface tension could be such an artistic venture?

Here J-Bear is learning foundational math concepts. If he stays motivated, we should be finishing up Kindergarten before Christmas (a good month or more before his 6th birthday) and ready to officially move on into first grade.

I'm pleased to say that Princess R. is making huge strides in spelling this year over last, after mastering the idea of letter pictures.

Speaking of pictures, here's her self-portrait with the chickens. ;)

Big J., having had very little formal language arts training through elementary school, pre-tested in at a solid B for his English assessment last week. I was truly impressed with this since some of the testing involved terms he had never been directly introduced to and I was unable to offer any instruction or explanation during testing, so he had to figure out some terminology based on context and his working knowledge of how language should flow, without the advantage of always knowing all the labels. He mastered several concepts with 100% comprehension and only has one area, out of 27 evaluated skills, that he is yet unfamiliar with.

There have been times I have doubted myself in the wisdom of a purely literature-based approach that holds off formal instruction in parts of speech and so forth until jr. high (especially when others challenge me on why we have taken this approach), but his test scores have made a believer out of me. Now that he has gained a natural feel for English through reading challenges, we have an excellent foundation to build upon this year as we explore the formalities of why English works the way it does and the technical labels for all those rules. I anticipate his end of the year scores will show a dramatic improvement this year! Thank you again, My Father's World, for your guidance in our schooling adventures.


While this isn't my primary health blog - see GivenMeaThorn if you are looking for that one, I am honored to learn today that InfertilityMom has been selected as #22 in the top 100 blogs at 100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Information. Thank you! :)

My mom's just completed her 2nd week at week at FibroInnovations. She's sore from all the work they are doing on her, but the results have already been more than we had dared to hope, and she still has another 10 weeks of on site treatment to go before several months of at-home follow-up. After basically falling into this treatment in a way that can only be described as Providential, it truly seems that it is an answer to our prayers for her after over 20 years of pain! Here she is with Dr. Kingston. I will admit that our family was highly skeptical about this program in the beginning, after too many years of "sure cures," but hearing the hope in her voice now makes me feel like this really is going to be a life-altering change for the positive for her.

Speaking of hope and life-altering changes, will you help me keep fighting for change by using your facebook account to join me in daily voting for the Whittemore Peterson Institute? If they can hold onto their current #1 spot in the Pacific region over the next weeks, they will win $100,000 of desperately needed research funding. If we could move them up from their current 6th place (contest-wide) into first there as well, they would be awarded $250,000. Voting will only take moments from your day and every vote counts! You can learn more about the importance of the Whittemore Peterson Institute in my life by reading back through my many posts on XMRV.

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back to School

My mom's on her way to Logan, Utah for the next 12 weeks where she will be receiving innovative treatment for fibromyalgia beginning tomorrow. Thank you to everyone who helped get her there by voting for her to win this Mom of the Year contest. We are praying this will be a positive and life-changing trip.

The kids and I are getting on track with a new school year today, starting 7th grade, 3rd grade and finishing up K towards starting 1st. Here are our traditional first day of school pictures.

Lots of you are asking about our chickens. No, they aren't laying eggs yet, but we think that should happen sometime in August. To our pleasant surprise, it looks like we ended up with all five hens, so we aren't going to need to find a home for any roosters after all. :) I'll try to get out there and post some current pictures of the ladies soon.

I'm really struggling with allergies and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) that's impacting pretty much every aspect of my life. I'm also back around to the anger stage of grief over limitations and would appreciate your prayers in this. I know God's got a plan, but chronic illness is just so "chronic" sometimes...