Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Health Update 2
Well, after a long wait, I finally had a doc appt today. Basically, it wasn't too helpful. My 24 hour heart monitor only showed 1 pvc even though I felt it and pushed the button 274 times. So my doc isn't sure what is going on there. The echo showed that I have a mild mitral valve regurgitation (not prolapse). The mitral valve doesn't close all the way so some of the blood trickles through. But, she said that I shouldn't have palpitations because of that. It is unrelated to the palpatations...

Next step is to go to a cardiologist, however she said that the cardiologist will probably want to put me on beta blockers. But, beta blockers lower your blood pressure and I already have low blood pressure issues, so I'm not going to do that. I can't be passing out with 4 kids around- can you imagine?!!!! I'll probably go to the cardiologist to see whether he has any other ideas or tests, but as of the reports, I have a mostly healthy heart. That's great, but I still wish they could have discovered some reason for the palpatations. They are getting pretty annoying.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Has anyone else tried to cancel something online but has completely forgotten your password and you can't even get into your account because you aren't sure which username it is under? AAAGGGHHHH! Tell me it's not just me! I'm going crazy trying to cancel my dial-up and have NO idea what my info is! I can't even call because it's all automated! Ok, breathe...breathe....breathe...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Health Update

Most of you already know about this, but for those that don't....

Three weeks ago I suddenly started having pretty severe heart palpitations. They were happening without any consistent regularity- every 20 seconds, then stop for 1/2 hour, then 5 minutes apart... crazy. I felt like I was timing contractions during labor!

After a few days of this I started feeling kind of panicked so I went to the doctor who did a quick EKG in the office. She showed that I have "a normal abnormality" (that just cracks me up!) to my heartbeat in addition to whatever this palpitation thing is. She gave me a referral for a 24 hour holter monitor (basically a 24 hour EKG) and an Echocardiogram and bloodwork to check my thyroid.

But, the next day I started having some pain in my chest- which really started flipping me out. So, we headed to the ER where they found I was "throwing PVC's". Basically the ventricle of my heart is contracting prematurely before it is fully filled with blood, so my body is not getting a full pump. She said many people live quite normally with PVC's- whew! My thyroid bloodwork came back negative and so did the results for a Pulmonary Embolism- which I am soooo glad I didn't know was an option in the beginning! That's scary stuff!

Anyway, this week I had my 24 hour heart monitor and my echo. I will get the rest of the results back next week. I'll keep you all posted! Thanks for praying for me through all this! I look forward to getting something resolved with it since it is quite annoying to have it constantly happening!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

2008-2009 School Year

This is my plan for this school year!

Memory Work
Many Bible Verses
1 Hymn per month
Children's Catechism

Daily Math Drill sheets
Caitlin- finish Saxon 5/4, begin Saxon 6/5
Grant- finish Saxon 5/4
Jacob- finish BJU Math 3, begin Saxon 5/4

All- Spell to Write and Read (modified!)

Caitlin and Grant- finish Junior Analytical Grammar, then do either Easy Grammar or Growing with Grammar
Jacob- grammar in Tapestry of Grace, possibly start Easy Grammar once reading is good

Literature, History, Bible, Art, Geography, Writing, Dictation, and some grammar
All- Tapestry of Grace Year 1 (Cait- Upper Grammar, Grant- both UG and LG, Jacob- Lower Grammar)

Cait- Apologia Elementary Land Animals of the Fifth Day
Grant- BJU Grade 3 Science textbook (only 11 weeks), after that, I have no idea!
Jacob- Early readers on science topics, then Nature Readers

Rosetta Stone Spanish

Cait and Jake- piano lessons
Grant- guitar lessons

All- running with Dad, swimming in summer

And, For Quinn, who is insistent on doing school:
Phonics- Phonics Pathways and games from SWR
Math- lots of counting and some from Simply Numbers
Reading- Five in a Row (I'm so excited to use this again!)
Writing- preschool workbook from BJ's! and a lapsized dry erase board that he LOVES!


Have you ever read the book Roxaboxen? It's a story of a neighborhood group of children who find a dirt plot of land and make-believe all sorts of things during their whole childhood. It's a favorite of my kids, so this spring I wasn't surprised to hear that our kids had their own "Roxaboxen" in the woods next to our house!
There's a catch though. Recently we had watched The Bridge to Terebithia movie which is heavy on imaginary creatures, The Lord of the Rings (don't scowl! It wasn't my idea! But they loved it!), and had learned about Fort McHenry in school. SOooo.... since my children are never at a loss of imagination, they created not one, but several Lands.
Their land was Roxaboxen, which they spent HOURS and HOURS in, digging wells...

pruning bushes

cutting down trees.... well cutting UP trees... Jake didn't actually fell this one...

and various other housekeeping duties (which often included bedsheets, play food dishes, baby dolls, toy guns and other things Mom wasn't aware of...)

Then, there is the enemy land known as Fort Irene. The leader of that land (also known as the big fallen log down at the bottom of the hill)is constantly trying to invade. They, thankfully, have a lookout post nearby that they can spy from called Fort McHenry. I say "thankfully" because, the "dark lords" and other night creatures are always trying to capture citizens of Roxaboxen. Many battles have been fought and there have been a few casualties (poor stuffed animals.... again that Mom wasn't aware of...), but in the end, the Land of the Light (aka Roxaboxen) always wins.
Maps were created, treasures buried, newspapers written and many other governmental institutions were set up. (They lean heavy on the democrat side with "big government" in the form of a bossy big sister, I think.) I was even supposed to sew a flag...maybe I'll get around to it this fall...
Anyway, this has been one of the most creative and fun things that I've seen them work together on so far and it has been so fun being a part of their imagination. One day, Brent and I even got in on the act and helped make a path and clear out underbrush and then pretended with them. It was such a great family experience that I will remember for a long time.

Washington D.C. part 2

Here are some close ups of the cherry trees, Mel. Sorry it's waaaaay late! LOL

We also were able to walk to the WWII Veterans Memorial. I have not been to a memorial since I was a teen and I was overwhelmed by the emotions that came over me. I was trying not to be too noticeable, but I couldn't help the tears streaming down my face the whole time we visited. It was incredible and an overwhelmingly huge and well made monument. I look forward to going again- with tissues!

Grant and Jake posed cheerfully, really! The sun's in their eyes, that's why they look annoyed!

Washington D.C.

This spring we were able to spend the day in Washington DC the same week as the Cherry Blossom Festival. (All in honor of Mel, since that is one of her favorite weeks of the year, but couldn't go because she was recovering from surgery. Finally, some pics, Mel!)

First, we went to the Natural History Museum. Last year we missed the whole Rocks and Minerals section and Ancient Times sections so we focused only on those.

We saw the Hope Diamond- not as impressive as I remembered as a kid!

These topaz's were what I remember as a kid.

That's probably why the Hope Diamond lost it's intrigue.The boys loved this purple quartz! After a while, though, we all started to lose interest because, well, rocks get kind-of boring...

Then we headed to the Ancient Times exhibit. We are studying this time period this year, so I was hoping to peak some interest by spending time in there. Cait became absolutely mesmerized by the information on Egypt. We especially enjoyed the sarcophaguses!

After the museum, we headed past the Washington Monument... isn't this a gorgeous picture that Brent captured?

Rewind to My Birthday

Ok, I need to go back to March when I celebrated my birthday.

Family tradition- birthday person gets to pick their choice of restaurant.

This year we were heading in the car down to BelAir going back and forth over which restaurant I wanted to go to. Outback- the old standby, Chili's- the kids' favorite, McDonalds-not an option, but Quinn wouldn't give up...when I laughed about how fun it would be to take the kids to Sakura's- but way too expensive. Well, Brent- who doesn't do the bills- wouldn't let money be a factor, and pressed for us to go. Then, on a whim, we called my parents to see if they wanted to join us since it is always more fun to go to a Japanese restaurant with a group!
At Sakura's they cook your food right in front of you and perform an awesome "show" as they do it. We had gone with our old neighbors, Herbert and Jessie Yee, when Jake was a baby and it was great!
Mom, Dad and Abbie, Sam, and Jordan met us there and we had a BLAST! We were all a little slap happy and silly over the whole spontaneity of the trip. The best part is when the cook tosses bits of chicken or shrimp into the air and you are SUPPOSED to catch them in your mouth. He went around the table and everyone else did great except me, of course! He tried 3 or 4 times and each time I instinctively shut my eyes and it hit me in various places all over the face!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Thanks to a Wild Blue Satellite dish that was installed this morning, I am able to actually post on my blog again!!!! Since the end of May I have had one computer problem after another that ultimately resulted in the death of my one year old laptop, loss of internet speed, purchase of a NEW laptop, then, resurrection of my OLD laptop (thank you Frank Ford!), and now.... High speed internet! WoooHooo! I'm so excited I don't know what to do first! Upload my pictures to Walmart, update the blog, download a John Piper sermon.............. hmmmm!

So, just so you are all prepared and remember to start regularly checking my blog again, be prepared for some serious pictures to be posted! I just need to find the time.........