Friday, January 20, 2012

Homeschool Myths Debunked

Some of you have probably seen this, but if you haven't, you HAVE to watch!! I haven't laughed this hard in a long time!

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Prayer Request for a Homeschooler

I’d like to ask everyone for their prayers this morning. 

Michelle, a homeschooler who writes over at Eagle EyeAcademy, had a niece in a bad car accident last week.   Bailey broke her clavicle and pelvis in three places.  Last week she had surgery to repair her pelvis.  Doctors inserted one plate, eight screws, and external hardware.  Yesterday, Bailey had surgery for her clavicle.  Doctors inserted one plate and seven screws.   This young lady has a long road of healing and physical therapy in front of her. 
Michelle will be on the road to Iowa from the west coast in order to help her family.

Please say a prayer for Bailey’s recovery, for guidance for her doctors and nurses, for strength for Bailey’s family, and for Michelle’s safe travels to Iowa.  I will keep you updated on Bailey’s progress as I receive news. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year

Arby was standing at the stove cooking dinner, listening to the sounds of the kids playing in the living room, when the house became deathly silent.  He heard General Mayhem say, “Oh, Captain Chaos!  Oh, Captain Chaos!  I am SO sorry!  Are you okay?”  Captain Chaos wasn’t answering.  It was one of those parenting moments when you have to choke down the rising panic, force yourself to remain calm, and face the unknown.  Our source of perpetual sound and motion was silent.  As he turned from the stove, Captain Chaos walked into the kitchen, walked directly up to her dad, and held out her hand.  He reached out, and she deposited her two front teeth in his palm.  Flashing a bloody smile, she said, “General Mayhem kicked my two front teeth out.”  Then she threw her arms straight in the air and shouted, “YES!”

You read that correctly.

Our little girl had her front teeth kicked right out of her mouth and she was celebrating.  If her teeth were a football she would have spiked them.  Apparently, while play fighting, General Mayhem performed a front snap kick at the exact instant that Captain Chaos leaned forward.  He claimed he barely touched her teeth with his big toe.  The resulting double extraction was fine with Captain Chaos.  She hates “wiggly teeth.”   Both were already loose.  General Mayhem saved her the effort of playing with them until she could pull them out with her fingers, something she did earlier in the year with a lower tooth. 
That’s our boy girl!

Captain Chaos charged into 2011.  Last January she walked into her bedroom, saw an Eveready CR2032 wafer battery on the floor, and thought, “Hey, that looks good enough to eat!”  Why did the Eveready CR2032 wafer battery look good enough to eat?  We’ll never know.  The girl isn’t saying.  We’re just happy that she told her mom after she enjoyed her snack.  That gave the ladies an opportunity for an extended ambulance ride while the driver became lost and took them to the wrong hospital.  Captain Chaos enjoyed three days at Children’s Mercy and a procedure to remove the battery that was lodged in her esophagus.  Blessedly, the battery was dead, so it did not discharge in her body.   Two months later, at her annual cardiac exam, Dr. Drake told her he had read her recent medical history.  “What did you eat?” he asked her.  Tired of lectures on what she should and shouldn’t put in her mouth, Captain Chaos dropped her chin to her chest and replied with equal parts resignation and disgust, “A battery!”  
And we always thought it would be one of the boys who kept us visiting the emergency room.

2011 was a busy year.  The Boss travelled more last year than any other year in her twelve years at TRAC.  She started a second Masters Degree program, because you can never have enough degrees.  She’s studying geospatial information systems through the University of Denver.  For the first time in a decade Arby understands what she is talking about when she speaks of work.  That’s because he understands the word “map.”  The Boss also started an American Heritage Girls Troop. The boys have Boy Scouts.  We wanted a scouting experience for Captain Chaos.  She loves it.  AHG is a Christ centered girl’s scouting program “dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country.”   Their first meeting was held in September.  The troop filled to capacity on the first night and has been very active this fall.  Between work, school, and scouting, The Boss has been very busy, so she suspended her karate studies. 

General Mayhem’s feet made it to the end of 2011 without causing any more trouble.   It was during the summer of 2010 that his big toe and its nail parted company on a water slide at General Mayhem’s Ark water park.  The new nail required more real estate than its predecessor, so it grew in.   The subsequent infections required frequent trips to the podiatrist.  His foot finally healed last July, after he repeatedly soaked it in warm Epsom salted water in hopes that he would be healthy enough to swim in the hotel swimming pool on his Space Camp trip to the Johnson Space Center in Houston last July.   Honestly, some parents have to talk to their teenagers about safe sex.  We have to talk to ours about safe toe.  General Mayhem started his freshman year of high school last August.  He advance to Life Scout in Boy Scouts, and became his troop’s Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.  He’s looking forward to testing for his Black Belt in Karate this March.  It’s been a long journey.  He started the martial arts when he was in the first grade.

Major Havoc’s favorite memory of 2011 was fishing with Grandpa Mares in Wisconsin.  Major Havoc loves fishing, a trait he did not inherit from his father.  Arby fishes like his dad. That involves maliciously drowning live bait while pre-battered fish jump into the frying pans of fishermen a few feet away. Major Havoc will catch fish with anything on hand, including string tied to a stick or to a soda can.   He’s done both last year.   Santa brought the Major his first fishing pole in December.   Major Havoc became a Webelos I in Cub Scouts last year, and enjoyed camping with his den.  He’s still studying Karate.  He tested for orange belt in December.    The results will be announced soon.

The biggest change at home last year was in our homeschool.  We added Captain Chaos as our third fulltime student last fall at the same time that General Mayhem started his freshman year of homeschool high school.  Teaching three at home changed the dynamic, but this is our eighth year of home education.  It gets easier each year.   Last year, Captain Chaos spent half a day at our local public school taking art, computers, gym, and music classes along with her therapy.  Some of them were successful while others less so.  She had to learn that she could not vigorously shake the computer monitor in computer class when it wouldn’t talk for her, and that she shouldn’t exit programs with which she was bored. She was quite adept at getting herself kicked out of gym class, too. Captain Chaos is fun to work with.  Her learning style is a lot like General Mayhem’s was at that age. Major Havoc is at the point of the school year where he has completed some of his third grade work.  He will start fourth grade math, spelling, and vocabulary after the holiday break, which effectively makes him a 3 ½ grader.   General Mayhem is working hard in his course work, and still prefers learning at home rather than attending our local public school.

It was with a bit of sadness that we ended the year without George, aka The Big Fuzzy Rock.  Our 11 ½ year old husky/lab mix spent a great deal of his life curled-up and asleep in the back yard.  He developed an extremely bad case of arthritis that left his hind legs paralyzed.  Properly medicated, he was bright and alert, but walking was a real drag.  We made the difficult decision to put him down after Thanksgiving.  George was a good beast.   We added George to the family when General Mayhem was four.   It was General Mayhem who named George weeks before we knew whether the next dog would be a boy or a girl.  “What will you call the dog if it is a girl?” we asked him.  “George,” he replied.    After George’s departure, our black lab Reggie immediately claimed her spot as canine queen of the household and chief chicken herder.  We still enjoy our flock of birds.  

2011 was a year filled with blessings.  We hope that yours was, too.  We hope you had a very merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.  We pray your life will be filled with God’s blessings. 

Arby, The Boss, General Mayhem, Major Havoc, Captain Chaos, and 2nd LT Henry Flipper