Saturday, September 24, 2011

of Dinner and Crashes and Hospitals and Wheelchairs

Life can change so quickly! It seems like much longer than 10 days since we were posting about our first egg. (We've gathered eight now, by the way. We haven't figured out if we still just have one hen laying, or if a second friend has joined in egg production quite yet.)

Thursday the 15th, I had the joy and honor of attending the 7th annual I Hope You Dance benefit for Whittemore Peterson Institute. This is the 3rd year I've been blessed to attend and the first time I was able to go without my wheel chair. I have a few pictures to post (though I may have to "borrow" some from Lilly as most of mine turned out really blurry) and need to dedicate an entire post just to that event, so hopefully I will get back here soon to tell about that wonderful evening.

Due to some recent medication adjustments, my body did go into a "crash" after the excitement of Thursday night, so I spent most of Friday quietly in bed and in a fair amount of pain. It was a recovery day I hadn't mentally budgeted for, but it was doable. The kids were content to enjoy the spoils of my evening out and were great self-starters to get some school work accomplished on their own prompting.

Late Friday afternoon we received shocking news that there had been a tragic accident at our local air races, the third major disaster our community has faced since June. My Dad, who is a Chaplin for the Civil Air Patrol, was activated to go out and minister with the first responders. In the end, 11 people were confirmed dead and over 50 were hospitalized, many with injuries including amputations and other critical issues.

My sweet Daddy got a scattered 6 or so hours sleep in about 48 hours. On Sunday afternoon (while I was still home in bed in my own recovery phase) I receive a phone call from local EMTs that they had responded to a 911 call from his home and that he was himself in an ambulance on his way to the hospital. As the story was reconstructed, we learned that, though he had been intentionally conscious of drinking well, Dad had become severely dehydrated.

Between lack of sleep, the emotional strain of all he had witnessed over the weekend, and dehydration, he passed out, woke up and managed to call 911, then became totally paralyzed, unable to feel or move. Had God not provided the ability for him to make that phone call, and REMSA hadn't responded quickly, breaking down his door to get to him, he would have died on Sunday afternoon! He will be 69 in November and we are SO thankful that God still has more days planned for him here on earth.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I was running on adrenaline myself, spending many hours at the hospital and trying to care for homeowner's insurance claims (for the broken door) and care for other issues while my mom is out of state for her own medical treatment. (Mom's due home in just one more week now!!! She has seen dramatic improvement through FibroInnovations, another topic that will warrant its own post once she is back home and I can toughly interview her. :) ) I cannot thank my wonderful husband enough for all he's done to support and encourage me this past week.

Dad was released from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon and Rick brought him to our home for continued TLC. I was his transportation for the first few days, including getting him up to homeschool co-op to teach his Hermeneutics on Thursday (where the class met outside so that I could stay with them without triggering another latex reaction to the building that sent me to the ER a few months back), but he drove himself to his doctor's appointment yesterday morning.

Other than the need for later follow up on a blood sugar spike noted upon hospital admission (that was probably tied to the severity of his dehydration), Dad received a clean bill of health yesterday. He spent his first night back in his own bed last night. I talked to him on the phone this morning and he's going to take things very easy today. I'll probably ask him to join us for dinner again tonight if I have the energy to make anything.

In the meantime, both of our boys came down with nasty colds this week and our 11-year-old spent most of the week in bed. Even around all the craziness, we did manage to get most of a full week of school in and have studied world events outside the U.S. during the Civil War era this past week. We also read the entire Addy (American Girls) series in 5 days and started on our next Laura Ingalls Wilder book, On the Shores of Silver Lake.

In science we have looked at motion and velocity, acceleration, deceleration, momentum and force. Unfortunately most of the suggested science experiments called for the use a balloons, so we didn't do any hands on science activities this week as I find breathing preferable to latex reactions.

Surprisingly, while I am tired and have no doubt that my body has been pushed through both physical and emotional exertion over the past week and a half, I am doing better than I would typically have anticipated right now. I'm in bed this morning, but more by choice (wanting to give myself some down time to recover) than by utter necessity. I'm sore and not thinking as clearly as I would like, but I do have some reserves left to give if I need to use them, something I am not used to being able to draw on after so much upheaval from a week like this.

I'm doing well enough that Rick took our daughter away on an overnight trip this morning (the whole family had planned to go before the boys got sick), and I'm OK on my own to care for not only my own needs but for two sick boys and to be on call for my Dad too. This is so encouraging to me and helps me objectively see how far I've come over the past year. Doesn't this EMPTY wheelchair look wonderful?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Here's what we had for breakfast this morning. If you are wondering why it's so exciting, you may have missed our egg-cellent news from yesterday. :)

Big J. learned to fry an egg.

Yes, it was a small egg, but we split if 4 ways (Rick didn't want to try 1/5 of an egg) and each got one small, yet very tasty bite. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weeks 5-8

Don't you love my consistent, weekly blogging technique? ;) May I make up for my lack of writing by sharing my my rose garden with you?

Since my last update, we have finished school weeks 5-8 of My Father's World in our 1850 to Modern Times year (year 5 of the 5 year cycle for those of you who are familiar with the program). We've covered states and capitals (they have the states down cold, but we still have a few capitals to get straight), Abraham Lincoln (Did you know Thanksgiving was established to thank God for Civil War victories?), the Civil War, and lots of great science activities.

Big J. and I read "Across Five Aprils" last month and now all of us are reading our way through the entire Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder) series. We finished "On the Banks of Plumb Creek" last night and the kids are itching to start "By the Shores of Silver Lake" today. I don't want to get too far ahead in history with our reading as I love the way MFW paces reading suggestions to tie right into the history lessons, but I also never want to discourage my children from loving books, so we are reading pretty far ahead (and including a lot of extras as only two of the Little House books are directly scheduled into the year). This week we are talking about other world events that were happening at the same time as the U.S. Civil War.

J. Bear, or "Dimple Man" as I recently told him I should start calling him on the blog, is working hard on finishing Kindergarten so he's ready for 1st after Christmas, but he's already tagging along with his older brother and sister in much of what they do as well.

Princess R. (3rd grade) is making huge strides in reading! A few weeks back she struggled when letters were "too small" because reading was such hard work. Yesterday she brought me her Bible (small print!) and surprised me with, "Mom, I was reading this Proverb today and wanted to share it with you..." Then she flawlessly read me the entire verse and struck up a conversation about it. :) We are doing some math review with the Princess to really make sure her foundations there are strong before moving forward again, and Dimple Man (K) is trying to keep up with her review, even though it's first/second grade level. The sibling competitive spirit is an interesting dynamic to watch unfold as they each challenge one another to do their best.

I am greatly looking forward to having all three of them together on the same core program (obviously with age appropriate adjustments for each child) doing Exploring Countries and Cultures next year before Big J. (now in 7th) heads on into high school the year after next. Time is marching forward so quickly!

A couple of weeks ago the boys had a special day out with their Dad at the local water park while Princess R. and I enjoyed a Mommy and Daughter day. We baked cupcakes, did craft projects, and had a dolly tea party.

I actually forgot all about my planned culmination of the day, giving R. her Laylie Colbert A Life of Faith doll (I was able to pick her up on close-out pricing a few years ago, before the company retired the doll line), a wonderful companion for her as she starts "Meet Addy" in an America Girl glass at homeschool co-op this Thursday. I don't think R. minded too much that I forgot that day because she was a totally out-of-the-blue surprise yesterday. R. said, "Mommy, it feels so strange to get an amazing gift like this in the middle of the year!" :)

In addition the the doll class, R. will be taking an acting class (also based on American Girl history stories) and ballet. Big J. is taking a cooking around the world class, watercolor, and a class my Dad, Ralph Camp, is teaching on Biblical Hermeneutics (the art and science of interpreting literature). J. Bear will be taking self-defense, a world cultures class, and a preschool class that while possibly a bit too "easy" was the best choice for his attention span given the other possible selections offered that hour. I think my silly boy will need some time for snacks, play and run-around between his two more attention-demanding classes, don't you? (This picture captures his personality perfectly.)

And one more time, I have to share my beautiful roses. This garden is a gift from my husband, and planted in dedication of all our children, both these three living miracles and all their siblings in Heaven. Our oldest, Noel Alexis, was due just to be born 16 years ago, earlier this month.

First Egg!

I have a month worth of back posts to make, mostly school updates and a few medical ones, but I just couldn't put this one off. It's a day of great celebration in the Saake household. We have our first egg!

Thank you for joining with us in this "egg-cellent" adventure! :)

This was my great-grandmother's egg basket. How fun to be able to use it with our own chickens!