Friday, September 30, 2011

Best. Movie. Ever.

Okay, maybe not the best ever, but it certainly ranks up there very near the top! 



We attended Homeschool Day at the Movies last Friday.  We went to see the movie Dolphin Tale.  If you haven’t seen it, you must go see it!


We had a crazy theater experience, and it turned out to be close to a private showing for 4 homeschool families from our homeschool group.

It was such a great movie!  I think we may even take Mr. TD to see it again this weekend. 

Our Way to Learn Geography

 IMG_5325 In January of this year, one of my brothers realized his boyhood desire of driving an 18-wheel truck for a living.  I am not sure what inspired this dream, whether it was our neighbor across the street who also drove a truck for a living or the endless number of movies about truck driving that were filling theaters at the time, I do not know.  Either way, he is driving all over the United States and at least once a week, he sends me a text message with his pick-up and drop-off locations for the week.  We have been tracking them on a large map.   Princess TD and Little TD take turns adding cities to the map.



We ended up changing the original small map pins for larger ones that would show up in the picture.  We have also decided to track Daddy’s travels as well.  The white pins are where my brother travels, and the dark purple pins are where Mr. TD travels.  We are on track to learn most of the states in the continental US by the end of the school year.  I think it is time to pull out our Star Spangled State book and learn more about each of the states where our family travels.


Happy Birthday Uncle Brian!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Princess TD’s Super Summer

It is hard to believe summer went by so fast this year.  It is also hard to believe I am so behind on posting pictures. 

Princess TD has had a very eventful summer! 

She started with her first ever ballet performance, where she was a flower.  She performed beautifully and is now enjoying a more challenging year of ballet lessons. 

Next came AHG summer camp.  We had so much fun with our friends in TX1318!  For Princess TD, camp gave her a bit of a challenge.  She attempted the ropes course.  While she was waiting for her turn, she lost a tooth!  She did a great job climbing all the way to the top, but once there, she couldn’t make herself navigate the ropes.  I was very proud of her for even trying…that was WAY up there and many of the moms who tried couldn’t believe the girls were doing it so well!

In July, Princess TD had her 8th birthday!  She participated in the local parade ON her birthday.  It was a special treat for her!  One of the badges she completed last spring with her AHG troop, was Social Skills & Etiquette, so she wanted to have a tea (lemonade) party with her AHG and ballet friends.  It was a sweet party and all of the girls were great!

I would say the highlight of her summer was ordering and receiving her American Girl doll.  She saved her own money and purchased the doll herself along with 1 outfit.  That was all she could afford.  She is saving now for more clothes.  I do have to say that she takes really good care of Lilly Anne, much better than her other dolls.

At the end of the summer, we had to make a hard decision to change to another AHG troop in the area.  We were asked to switch our ballet class to the regular meeting day of our original troop, so we were forced to look for another troop.  We just had our first meeting and Princess TD did a great job helping the girls (all new to AHG) perfect the sign and the salute.  I will be forever grateful to the wonderful trio of  A.N.E. for starting AHG in this area and for introducing us to the awesome program.  It is wonderful to see how many new families are being touched by this great ministry!

Here are a few pictures to give you an overview of Princess TD’s Super Summer!

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First Day of School

Our first day of school was very unique this year.  I had planned to spend a year and a half working on the current curriculum because I thought it was a bit of a stretch skill wise for both of them.  So, we didn’t “begin” a new level of our curriculum this fall.  I guess it wasn’t strange for the kids, but it was very strange for me.  It just doesn’t seem like a new school year without new curriculum.  We will be finishing up soon, since both kids are just cruising through their work!  Here are pictures of both of them on the “first day” of this school year!

bts2Princess TD


Little TD


Best buddies!

Apparently in the craziness of last fall, I missed taking first day of school pictures.  That is likely because we were doing our first day of school in the basement of my mom’s condo as she was recovering from major cancer surgery.  In case you would like to see how they have grown, you can see their first day of school pictures from 2 years ago here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Weather Explained by a 5 Year Old

It was raining the other day when we were working on school.  Yes!  Drought stricken Texas was blessed with rain!  We received almost 2” over the 3-day period when it rained.  Both Princess TD and Little TD were jumping up and down at the sight of the raindrops falling from the sky. 

I digress.

The rain was just a nice pitter patter, no thunder or lightning that day.

Little TD jumps in with his explanation of the weather. (This is what he said to the best of my recollection…I was trying so hard not to chuckle, that I am sure I have left out a detail or two.  My thoughts will be in green.)

“You know Mom, the rain is God pouring a glass of water.” I instantly wanted to go check to see if there was some water spilled somewhere in my kitchen since he had just refilled his water cup.

“And the thunder is Him banging on a drum, or maybe bowling, it just depends on the way He feels.”  Okay.

“Oh, and the lightening is him turning off and on the light.  It could be turning off and on a flashlight too.”  Mmm hmm.

“And those one clouds that look like those things, um, cotton balls.  Those are Mrs. (long pause)…those are what Mrs. (draws a blank again) uses to take off her nail polish.”  Here’s where the holding in the chuckles begins.

“Oh and Sissy, you know those dark clouds.  Those are the ones she’s already used.”  I thought I was going to lose it here!  I had to get up and go check my kitchen floor at this point.  Oh, and no water was spilled.


At the homeschool conference we attended recently, we attended a seminar about killing dreams of the people in your life.  I do believe I could qualify for this title, since I am not much of a dreamer and I attack everything logically.  Mr. TD is more of a dreamer than I am, however, he’s pretty logical too.  So we have been gently reminding each other not to kill our kids dreams, especially when reality will come along and fix some of the assumptions naturally.  This was an opportunity for me not to kill the vivid imagination of my sweet 5 year old son, and hopefully provide the few people who read this blog, a really good chuckle!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Long and Winding and Very Hilly Road

I really have the best intentions on keeping up with this blog. I know I haven’t done a great job. Really, I haven’t done a great job at anything lately. I haven’t been a good wife. I haven’t been a good mom. I haven’t been a good homeschool teacher. I have not been good at any of my roles lately. I have been thinking about what to do with my mom and about my mom and her health and what seems to be the lack of concern on her part. I have been consumed with these thoughts day and night for nearly a year now.

When we started down this road a year ago, I didn't expect it to be so winding and hilly.  I expected a straight path from problem to solution.  (My engineering brain at work again.) Life this last year has proven to be like our drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway last fall; up and down, left and right, and sometimes you go down so quickly, that it makes you a bit sick to your stomach. 

In talking with my uncle a couple of weeks ago, he suggested for me not to be obsessive about my mom and all of her needs to the detriment of my family. That was just what I needed to hear. It is time for me to shift responsibility back to where it belongs. It is her responsibility to fight the cancer. It is her responsibility to keep hydrated. It is her responsibility to take her medicines on time. It is her responsibility to eat 3 meals a day. It is her responsibility to quit smoking. I can’t make her want get better and live. It reminds me of the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” That is where we are with her now. We have lead her to the place where she can receive care from those who love her, but we can’t make her WANT to get well.

I will continue to be responsible for her finances. That is something I can do without harming my family. I will continue to pray for her healing and for her desire to live. I can love her, even when it is hard.

For the last 2 weeks, I have made the trip from home to Louisiana twice to help deal with the doctors’ appointments and the plan for the future. We have been so consumed by the recurring UTI, that we didn’t even consider the possibility that something else might be wrong. This last Monday, we went for a follow-up appointment with her urologist and found out about the mass in one of her kidneys. This was the first we had heard of this. He began to scramble to get a CT or PET scan done, indicating that he wanted to do surgery this week.

As I type this, we are waiting to get approval from her insurance for a PET scan to further investigate an abnormality in her kidney. She was supposed to have a CT scan this morning, but she has not been keeping herself hydrated, so her kidneys are not functioning properly, so she can’t have the contrast. My sister and I were both there with her last week and even with both of us watching, we couldn’t keep her hydration at a level where her kidneys function properly. It is out of our hands.

Please pray for my sister, my brothers and me to have wisdom as we make decisions about the future of my mom’s care.

For now, we rest in the knowledge that this is only temporary and that someday we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.