slide show

Friday, September 27, 2013

Zoo through the iPhone

I'm going to send the wrong impression to new readers with two iPhone posts in a row!  I normally don't lean so heavily on it, but it's just not practical to carry my camera around the zoo.  And I always tell the moms at my workshops that it's better to capture the moment with whatever you have, instead of letting it pass you by.  So the iPhone it is!  I took more, but I settled on one shot of each child for the post.  It was an amazing day!  The weather was awesome and we learned a ton.  We are in the process of studying consumers and food chains, so a visit to the zoo worked in perfectly with our science lessons.  The kids enjoyed trying to figure out which animals were herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, and I thought it was interesting to find out what all of the animals were eating too.  So fascinating how God designed our world!  I can't help but stand in awe and wonder!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back to school for me

I always said I would never go back to school.  I really need to erase "never" from my vocabulary.  Ha.  Fortunately this is a non-credit class and I am actually pretty excited about.  Mandarin Chinese with my hao peng you once a week?  Yes please.

Terrible quality iPhone capture ... and I love it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's here

The feel of Autumn is definitely in the air in these parts.  And I love it, as do all the kids.  We celebrated the much-welcomed weather with a trip to a Cider Mill, a place I've been visiting since before I can remember.  It was still before the season had started, so we had the place to ourselves.  What a nice evening we had!  The kids ran around freely, we laughed a lot, and we goofed around with the camera. We drank apple cider and ate donuts.  Yes, we are definitely happy about the weather change.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

According to, "Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival in China. It takes its name from the fact that it is always celebrated in the middle of the autumn season. The day is also known as the Moon Festival, as at that time of the year the moon is at its roundest and brightest."

"Mid-Autumn Festival is an inherited custom of moon sacrificial ceremonies. The ancient Chinese observed that the movement of the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production. Hence, to express their thanks to the moon and celebrate the harvest, they offered a sacrifice to the moon on autumn days."

"On the festival day, family members gather to offer sacrifice to the moon, appreciate the bright full moon, eat moon cakes, and express strong yearnings toward family members and friends who live afar. In addition, there are some other customs like playing lanterns, and dragon and lion dances in some regions. The unique customs of ethnic minorities are interesting as well, such as “chasing the moon” of Mongolians, and “steal vegetables or fruits” of the Dong people."

"The Moon Cake is the special food of Mid-Autumn Festival. On that day, people sacrifice moon cakes to the moon as an offering and eat them for celebration. Moon cakes come in various flavors according to the region. The moon cakes are round, symbolizing the reunion of a family, so it is easy to understand how the eating of moon cakes under the round moon can evoke longing for distant relatives and friends. Nowadays, people present moon cakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life."

Xie xie ni to my hao peng you for presenting us with moon cakes in celebration of Mid-Autumn Festival!  I know it made Sweetie very kai xin!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The break

Words you don't ever want to hear screamed from a child: "SO-AND-SO FELL AND HE'S HURT REAL BAD!!!!!"

Especially when the "so-and-so" is your son, oh my it sends chills through your body.  I rushed out of my seat at our small group Bible study to race downstairs to the basement.  Not knowing what I'd find, my heart raced as I RAN.  Lovebug was laying on the floor literally wailing and screaming in pain.  The look of terror in his eyes made me nauseous.  Worrying about what kind of injuries he had, we quickly put together that the issue was his arm.  I pinned his shoulder to the ground so he couldn't move the arm while he writhed around on the floor.  I was shaking.  I could see the deformity.  His wrist and elbow both just looked wrong, and then I saw the bulge coming out of his forearm.  His ulna had completely cracked in two and I could see it.  In hindsight I am so very thankful that it hadn't been a compound fracture or that both bones hadn't snapped in two.  But in that moment, I can't describe how terrifying it was to see his arm so broken and him in unspeakable pain.

DH grabbed a towel and as gently as possible, pulled Lovebug's arm to his body.  He screamed.  We wrapped the towel around him, picked him up, and got him in the car.  I am so thankful that everyone from small group was there - we were able to just leave with no worry about the other kids being taken care of.  I held Lovebug in the backseat and sang to him as DH drove.  Within a few minutes he yelled at me to stop singing.  So I prayed over him out loud so he could hear me, hoping my words could bring him some kind of comfort.

When we got to the ER, the lady at the front desk told me there was a two hour wait.  I was respectful but firm, explaining that my son was in way too much pain to wait for two hours.  She told us she'd "try" but that she couldn't promise anything.  As DH and I weighed our options (including possibly going to another ER), they opened up the door and admitted him into triage.  Praise Jesus!  They gave him a narcotic for the pain, and he started to have a little peace.  He was still in pain, but it was more controlled as we got the x-rays and he was evaluated.  The team who worked with him was AMAZING.  They even managed to insert an IV without him knowing.  I am so thankful for the staff there.

We watched Nick Jr. while waiting for the orthopedic surgeon to arrive, trying to take Lovebug's mind off of what was going on.  We purposely shielded him from seeing his arm, concerned the sight would make him more upset.  He really did well.  He was so brave, such a trooper, so willing to go with the flow.  The staff prepped him for the resetting with an awake sedative.  When the surgeon arrived, he told us it was a 50/50 chance he'd be able to reset it.

By the grace of God, he was indeed able to reset it without surgery.  After the discharge procedure, armed with a prescription for hydrocodone and a pretty cool cast, we were on our way home about three hours after everything started.  The staff at the hospital could not have been more wonderful.  They were amazingly awesome and treated my little man as their own child.  I am so grateful for everything they did for him (and for me, ha!).

A week later, other than missing lots of sleep and a bit of swelling, Lovebug is doing very well.  During the day, you wouldn't even know he has a broken arm by his actions.  He has been awesome!  We only used the hydrocodone for sleep a few nights, but stopped that rather quickly because it didn't seem to be helping much.  He is just uncomfortable because he can't move around like he's used to.  He is sleeping in my bed with me so I can make sure the pillows are arranged just so.  I'm really missing my DH, but I know this is temporary.  The cast stays on for six weeks, and I'm told the bone will be stronger than it was before the break.

I have a new appreciation for ER visits and broken bones.  After never breaking a bone myself, standing by my son during this was a difficult experience.  But now that it's over, I am confident that just one broken bone is good for our family.  I don't want anyone to be in so much pain again!  So, my littles, when you are old enough to be reading this, please don't break anymore bones!  Now I need to convince myself that I can, indeed, let go of Lovebug so he can run and carry on again, like boys do, after the cast comes off.  Hmmmm.

Monday, September 9, 2013

And we're off!

So looking forward to this school year with my little ones :)  We had a great first CC day and Sunshine happily stayed in the nursery for the whole morning without me!  That's huge progress and such a big milestone for her!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

'Twas the night before CC

We are so excited about our first Classical Conversations day tomorrow!  I know we are starting school later than most, but that ended up working out quite nicely because there has been so much going on.  Especially with Sweetie starting school, I'm not sure there would have been much time for schooling anyway.  But we are ready to go for tomorrow and I am thrilled about what is in store this year!  I am planned through December and we have some really great stuff to look forward to!  Yay for homeschool!  It's hard work, but I love this lifestyle and am very thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my littles.