Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Best Day Ever: Cast-off Day

At 8:40 this morning, we checked into the orthopaedic surgeon's office to do one thing: take off that blasted cast!! 

Thankfully, they doctor's office wasn't running behind schedule, so we were able to go back almost right after we checked in. The cast took a while to cut off, given that it was stretching from mid-thigh down to his toes - and had several layers of fiberglass wrapped around it. There wasn't any problems with removing it.

Moose had more x-rays done and they show AMAZING bone regrowth. He will continue to have x-rays to ensure that his leg is healing straight and that the bone continues to regrow. His next round is in the end of March, thank God.

Right now Moose is having a rough re-entry to the land of bipedalism, but nothing out of the ordinary. Those leg muscles are weak! But, he's a trooper and working hard to try and get less wobbly. That will come in time - we just don't want him pushing himself too hard or too far.

I'm glad that this is {mostly} behind us now. The worst of it is over and soon we can all look back at the time Moose broke his leg sledding!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
:: The roads outside are literally a sheet of ice. We've had warm weather, melting snow and even rain, which then all refreezes during the night. Last week the county Sheriff declared "emergency travel only" (which of course went out after Greg had gone to work, grr).

I am thankful:
:: We are nearing the end of Moose's leg journey. I'm beyond ready for that cast to be off. Tuesday we will be making some Valentines for the surgeon, his nurses and P.A.s, as well as the surgical center where his surgery took place. We can deliver them on the 15th.

I am thinking:
:: about summer travel plans...

I am working on:
:: beginning the Spring deep cleaning and decluttering spree. Greg and I have done the preliminary sweep, but I imagine we will need multiple sweeps in order to get it thoroughly decluttered and to allow for the many kid interruptions/hours in a day/etc. I'm so ready to fling the windows WIDE open and air this entire place out.

I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: for a happy and healthy pregnancy of a friend's fifth baby
:: for a happy and healthy pregnancy of a friend's fourth baby
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:

One of my favorite things:
:: Um, cast off day? The lovely tulips I have on the table to make it seem like spring is springing? Tea? :)

Clicking around on the web:
:: Have you heard about Nineveh 90? It is a group of men and women undergoing penance and prayers, in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima. It begins today (February 13) and you can find more information here. Don't be intimidated by the list of elements if you choose to do this - remember, the whole point is prayer and penance; not burn out to the max and run yourself into the ground.
This week's plans:
:: Science School
:: Parish patron celebration

Friday, February 10, 2017

Changes are a-foot

As you can see, there are some changes happening around here on ye olde blog. I pulled all the posts into draft setting, so I can check links/update pictures/polish and repost them back online. I'm also working on changing the focus of the blog from personal day-to-day events to more nuts-and-bolts about how we homeschool, how I teach subjects like Shakespeare, the nitty-gritty of running the house, things of that like. I'm envisioning something more topical and less mundane, as I finally feel like I have something to offer to the homeschool community at large (now that I've been doing this for about 4 years).

You can tell by the tagline that I also changed curriculum at some point (again). I detest changing curriculum, it's not easy to do and it's hard on the kids. So I don't take changing curriculum lightly.

I started off with Mater Amabilis, which was great. It fit well with our family. I love that it is entirely Catholic and has great books selected that are both beautiful and full of great ideas. Third grade, however; proved to be too hard to find the books and fit the budget.

We (tried to) use Kolbe for Peanut's third grade. We lasted a term. Over our Advent and Christmas break, I sat down with Greg and took a long look at what was working and what wasn't working for our house (this was before Moose's Great Leg Break of 2016). While I still love Kolbe, I need the lesson plans. Enrolling isn't financially feasible, neither is getting the lesson plans for each subjecct. I think with the lesson plans, it is a great program - maybe we will use it for highschool.

Greg asked me to make a spreadsheet of all the Catholic curricula to find one that would work. We assessed them based cost, science, math, history, accreditation, acquiring books, supportboth online and offline, and their educational philosophy. We then added in other curricula like Bookshark for extra comparison. We ended up back at Mater Amabilis, but we were both worried about finding books and staying within the homeschool budget.

We ended looking at Ambleside Online, which is not Catholic but still Christian. Greg liked AO better due to the easier accessibility of books (a bunch are in the public domain and on Librivox), the history selections, as well as the online support (website, forum, blogs, Facebook groups, etc). He wasn't impressed on the science, but thought it was a great all-around curricula and asked me to please give it a try with Peanut and Moose, supplementing in science.

Once Moose was off the heavy painkillers, we started AO. I made a modified Grade 3 for Peanut that combined the rest of Kolbe that she was working on, Year 3, and some of year 3.5. My goal was to transition her {and me} back into Charlotte Mason philosophy and prepare her for AO Year 4, if we kept going with it. Moose I put straight into Year 1, without any real modifications. I dropped some books like Trial and Triumph and added in Saint stories as well as Catechism; but overall it has been very easy to adapt to my family.

Currently we are 2/3rds of the way through the second term (which made more sense for us than starting at term 1 for the given year) and it has been wonderful. It has fit us like a glove and we really couldn't be happier. Switching to AO was part of rebooting everything and getting into a functional routine with life. Everyone is benefiting.

So that's what's going on around here. Ideally I'd like to get into some sort of a semi-regular posting schedule, at least once a week but shooting for twice a week. We'll see how life goes and what happens. But I do hope that you all will still stick around!