Saturday, April 23, 2011

Freak Accident and a Miracle

Yesterday, I had a day that I don't EVER want to relive. Robb went shopping for a shirt for The Boy to wear for Easter, and he also got me a new dress. When he got home, he draped them over the back of the couch. A little while later, Sassy Pants went running around the back of the couch and then let out a scream like I have never heard before. Apparently the hanger on my dress was at the exact height of her eye, and as she ran around the couch, the hanger caught in her lower eyelid. I don't know if I will ever get that sight out of my mind. I was not the most level-headed mom because I immediately just started screaming and becoming hysterical. Thankfully Robb remained calm and got the hanger out of her eye. I immediately took her from him, and raced her to the local ER.

On the way to the ER, she was amazingly calm and quiet, which made me afraid that maybe she was going into shock. Every now and then, though, she would cry out. The Boy, who went with me, spent the trip alternating between assuring her and praying for her eyesight. When we got there, Sassy Pants was quite a trooper. I ran her inside, and quite hysterically tried to explain to the registration desk people what had happened. They took her right back, and the triage nurse was able to check to see if she could see. I was amazed when Sassy could tell her how many fingers were being held up when her good eye was covered.

They called for the ophthalmologist on call, who came and said that it looked like the tube connecting her tear duct and her nose had been severed and set us up to go down to Charleston to the medical university for them to do the repair. So I called Robb and asked him to pack a bag for Sassy and me, and I would swing by and pick it up on our way out to Charleston. When we got home, Robb scooped up Sassy in a huge bear hug; he had been so worried about her (as had the girls) and was thankful that her sight was fine.
What he hadn't gotten to see was that after about an hour in the ER, Sassy was back to her usual feisty, spunky self. She was singing at the top of her lungs, making up songs about getting a hanger in her eye. While she was singing, I asked her if her eye hurt, and she told me "no."

This is what her eye looked like before we left for Charleston.
We left Florence at 6:15 to make the 2+ hour trip to Charleston. Thankfully they were already expecting us at the pediatric ER there, so we were taken right back when we got there at 8:30. During the trip, I spent my time calling friends and asking them to please pray for Sassy Pants, specifically starting around 8:45 or 9pm when we would be getting there and they would be prepping her for surgery. Once we got checked in and Sassy Pants was in a room, I got to see the power of prayer first hand. At around 8:45, the swelling in her eye started to reduce significantly. At 9:15, the ophthalmologists came in and checked her eye. They found that the laceration, which the doctor in Florence saw severing her tear duct tube, was only superficial and didn't think it went all the way down to the tube. After probing it, they found that the tube was intact and all she would need were a couple of stitches to minimize scarring.

They had to sedate her to put in the stitches, and she was a trooper through the whole thing. She only cried a little bit when they put the IV in her hand. I got to stay in the room with her the whole time, for which I was extremely grateful; there was NO way I was going to leave my baby.

After stitching her up, we had to wait for the anesthesia to wear off and for her to be able to eat and drink without problem, and then we were free to go home. So at 1am, we left the hospital to head home, arriving at 3:15am at which time I promptly collapsed on the couch with Sassy Pants next to me so I could keep an eye on her.

I can't explain why she had so little pain, why her vision wasn't affected, or why the laceration that appeared to sever her tear duct tube earlier was only a superficial wound. I can only say that when God's people approach His throne, He answers their prayers. Thank you, God!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

B is for Bible

Last week I joined in the weekly meme of The ABC's of Homeschooling by linking up a previous post from when we studied Africa. This week's letter is B.

Bible - It's the way we start our homeschool day, studying the Bible. I love our Bible time. It is the one subject that all of the small people do together. We begin with our Bible memory verse. It is so important to me that my children memorize Scripture. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11 I strongly believe that by giving my children a strong base in Scripture knowledge, they will be able to rely on that in times of trouble. Even little Brittany amazes me with her ability to memorize and recite the Scripture verses that we work on.

Next, we do our Bible reading. I read the verses to them, and then we discuss them.

We end our Bible time in prayer. Each of them have an opportunity to pray aloud, and it just touches my heart to hear them pray for each other and for others outside of our family.

This year we used the Bible scheduled with My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures. We've been slowly going through the book of Matthew. Each week, the small people have memorized at least one verse from Matthew as well. We have also had a missions emphasis through reading Window on the World and focused on character issues in our reading of Hero Tales.

Prior to this year, I used a curriculum called Bible Study Guide for All Ages. I absolutely LOVE this curriculum, and I'm waffling a little on whether or not to return to it next year. I like how it gives me guidance on the Bible reading, including questions on key points to see if they are truly understanding the Bible.

So, my question for you, do I return to Bible Study Guide for All Ages next year or should I use the My Father's World Bible curriculum that will go along with the Rome to Reformation year?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Special Olympics

This year, our Bible time has been a study of the book of Matthew. For the past few weeks, the small people have been memorizing Matthew 25:34-36, 40.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Yesterday, we had an opportunity to put these verses into practice. Since Robb's company volunteers annually at the Special Olympics, we decided to join them and have a ministry opportunity in which the whole family could participate. 
Our first assignment was to carry the sign for one of the schools and lead them around the track during the opening ceremony.
After the opening ceremony, we were tasked with helping pass out drinks at lunch time. Until then, we had time to play, enjoy our time together, and even hang out with the Chick-Fil-A cow.













There was even a balloon guy out there; at various times, we ended up with a sword, a dog, and a hat.



When it was time to start getting the drinks ready, we all got to work. Soccer Girl helped Robb out in the trailer with getting the drinks organized, while the rest of the small people and I prepped the cups with ice.



While we were putting ice in the cups, we danced with the music - one of the favorites was YMCA. (The Boy was dancing until I pulled out the camera. He really had a good time, but didn't want it caught for posterity.)
On the way home, all of the small people talked about how much fun they had helping at the Special Olympics and about how they want to do this again next year. My small people were able to see how being a blessing to someone else can turn around and bless you even more. They loved seeing how excited the athletes were to get to participate. Even though we played a relatively small part in the day for the athletes, they made a huge impact in the lives of my children. This was definitely a ministry opportunity we want to turn into a tradition.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Socialization

Anyone who homeschools or has thought about homeschooling has probably heard a question similar to this, "But what about their socialization?" I often joke that my kids are some of the most socialized, unsocialized homeschoolers ever.

First of all, there are 5 of them. My philosophy is that they have to learn how to get along with each other first so that they can interact with others. Now, I'm not saying that they ALWAYS get along with each other. There are a lot of days where the bickering drives me batty, but for the most part, they get along fairly well.

Second, we have a wonderful church where there are many opportunities for them to make friends. My children love going to church and have many friends there.

Third, they have the activities they are involved in. The Boy and Soccer Girl have made many friends playing soccer, and Ballerina and Little Red have friends at dance class.

Finally, homeschooling allows them to develop social skills that are important in life. My children are able to interact with others of many different ages. While they aren't always the most articulate when speaking with adults, it is a skill we are working on, and they usually do a pretty good job.

I think a lot of people have a misconception about the socialization done in a traditional school setting. To most, this seems to be the only place that children can "be socialized". In actuality, quite the opposite is true. Children in a traditional school setting are only around other children the same age as they are for 6 to 8 hours a day. For the majority of that time, they aren't allowed to "socialize". They usually have about 30 minutes for recess in which to do all of the socialization that most people assume is so important for children to get at school.

I've said before that homeschooling isn't for everyone; I understand that and place no judgment on anyone who chooses a different means to educate their children. I just want people to understand that socialization (or the lack of socialization) is not a reason NOT to homeschool. The definition of socialization is "a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position." This process can and should take place in MANY more places than a traditional school setting.

We had the opportunity to "practice" our socialization skills last week with some friends. We love getting together with this family, and the kids always have a great time. It was so much fun watching my children get filthy hands making mud pies, play on the tire swing, and just hang out with friends.












Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Journey to Russia

Two weeks ago, we left Japan and headed into Russia. We learned about the Russian flag.

We had some really good books in the book basket. Here are a few:
We learned Russian numbers.
The most fun activity we did was to make Russian jeweled eggs. First, we poked holes in the ends of the eggs and blew out the yolk. After that we rinsed out the eggs and let them dry overnight.




The next day, we used puffy and glitter paint pens to decorate our eggs. We also had jewel-like stickers to use. I made mine simple for them to use as an example.

They went all out decorating their eggs. Here is Little Red's.
Next is Ballerina's.

Soccer Girl made hers into a little egg person. Very cute!

The Boy's egg had a soccer theme, of course; specifically his favorite team Barcelona and his favorite player Messi.

We also had some fun with our spelling words last week. We used M&M's to spell out our words. Sassy didn't want to be left out so she also got a little cup of M&M's, which she used to make shapes.




I think what they loved the most, though, was getting to eat their cup of M&M's at the end of the lesson.
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