Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Friday but Sunday is Coming

This is why I am still able to go on every day.

A video here, another here

They both help us remember the promise! The promise that even though this life is really crummy and horrible things are happening all around us, the promise that even despite all of this, God has won the fight. He's in charge. He's coming back to take us home. Are you ready for Sunday? I know I am.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of Second Grade

Emlyn's first day of second grade is today. She is in the same class with her friend Anaya, whom she has known since they were six months old. We bought this fabric during Spring Break and I had promised matching dresses for her and a friend. She reminded me yesterday that I needed to make them, so we had a sewing marathon. I love the way they turned out. They are specially designed for twirling.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Update on Orion

I was able to make the hour drive to Temple, TX to visit with Orion and his parents today. Sondra, my cousin, is holding up pretty well under the strain of being in the hospital. I will be going again for the weekend with my sister. Ben and Sondra were very thankful for the snacks some friends sent. As people came and went the snacks were enjoyed.

Orion is not doing very well. I was there for about 3 hours and he never said more than one word at a time, he never sat up on his own, and he was hardly moving or eating. The doctors are going to start radiation treatments tomorrow but I don't know what effect they are supposed to have. Ben and Sondra are looking into getting into the Ronald McDonald house which would be nice for grandparents and siblings. Right now both of the parents are up at the hospital full time, and the siblings are with Ben's parents who live in Waco. I want to be hopeful, but this truly requires God's intervention and a miracle.

Sondra, mom, seems to be holding up okay but she is the only acceptable person as far as Orion is concerned, which makes it hard for her to get a break. We were thinking that since he will be sedated for radiation treatments that would be a good time for her to get out of the hospital for a while.

It breaks my heart to see a 4 year old boy who is supposed to be jumping around and yelling and learning and laughing just being in the hospital bed. I can't help but compare him to Denali and it is just WRONG. I wish there were something I could do more than what I am doing. I wish I could take away the pain.

I am so thankful for the health of my children and for the friends and family I have that are making it possible for me to go up to Temple to "help."

My mom and sister Grace are here in town and are considering extending their stays so they can be more supportive of my cousin.

Love you all. Go give your kiddos hugs. Give them ice cream. Let them skip cleaning up tomorrow. Let them break the rules without consequences every once in a while. It's not all about discipline.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wonderful Summer Day

Today I dropped my sister Grace off at work downtown (she's visiting for work and staying with us) and decided to take the kids to the children's museum. We ended up having a great time there, creating and playing and learning. We love the museum. They have updated a lot of exhibits but there were still some familiar favorites.

At lunchtime we wandered down the street to a sidewalk cafe called Jo's. It was great! Most restaurant kids' meals are not all that, but for $4.50 we got a large sandwich and about a pint of fresh fruit. We were able to split it between the three of us (the kids and I) and it was really delicious! I highly recommend this little cafe. We stopped on the sidewalk to look at the clock tower on Lady Bird Lake and saw a friend running on his lunch break.

We went back to the museum for a couple more hours, and then I talked to Grace. She was not ready to leave work yet so we went to the downtown library branch. I spent a while looking for good books for Emlyn to read and then we all read a book called "The Bears on Hemlock Mountain." It's a Newbery Honor book from the mid-20th century. It was a really cute book. Then we went upstairs and learned about what a librarian does, asked her some questions, and learned about encyclopedias.

After that we went to Whole Foods and bought snacks and played on their rooftop playground. Even though it was super-hot the kids really enjoyed the whole day. It was a great way to end the free days of summer in anticipation of school starting next week. It was also a very nice way to enjoy life and enjoy spending time together.

Monday, August 17, 2009

This dumb world

I am home finally from our trip. We had a lovely time in CA and on the road trip back to TX. Joel cleaned the house before our arrival home and that was lovely.

I will be posting pictures and stories from our trip soon.

But today my heart is breaking because this stupid world has pain and sorrow.

My closest cousin has a four year old boy named Orion who has an inoperable brain tumor infused in his brain stem. He has 6 mos to 2 years to live.

I want Jesus to come back NOW, to take away this pain and sorrow forever. People ask me how I can believe in God. My answer is if there is no God then this world has no point, no hope. My belief in Christ gives me a hope and a future. Christ is returning, and when He returns, He will take me home to heaven where there will never be any pain, sorrow, sickness, or sadness. That is the only reason I can get through days like today.

To see pictures from our visit with Orion yesterday and other pictures from our trip please see this link.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Summer in CA










Thing 23

First of all I am so glad I was able to participate in some professional development this summer. It is so hard to find quality online classes and this one was really great. I wish I had time to do the next one but I guess I will have to wait until next year.

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
My two favorite exercises were Thing 19, where I discovered swivel, where you can see lots of kinds of infographics. I really think that would be useful in finding a way to communicate a particular idea to a class. I also really liked Thing 6, where I found retrievr, an artistic site. I can see using that in quilt design or helping kids see how different people have different perspectives.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
It surprises me how much the world is changing now. I am nearly 30 and still cannot stop learning the new things out there. If I stop even for just an instant I can get really behind. I consider myself fairly technologically savvy, considering I am a stay-at-home mom right now, but I found lots of new things out there. This will help me remember to keep setting goals, keep putting myself out there to learn new things, and appreciate the professional development for what it's intended to do.

Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I was surprised at how involved learning new things is. There were some days where I was able to learn about 2 or 3 new things, and then other days one of the discovery exercises would overwhelm me completely and it would take a few days to process the new item enough to be able to write about it.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept? It would be nice if you could offer it during the school year as well for people like me. I am not teaching right now but trying to keep up with my professional development so I can keep my certification current. On the other hand I understand that most people organizing and taking advantage of the program are too busy during the school year to do this.

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate? Definitely.

How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities? Joyous and amazing

Thing 22

A ning is a social network that one can create. It is similiar to Facebook in that one can post pictures, blogs, and discussions, but a ning can be tailored to the interests of the person creating one. You can have a ning related to teaching, recipes, quilting, parenting, etc.

The idea is pretty good I guess but I feel that it is very similar to things already out there. I use Facebook regularly, and I can tailor Facebook to different interests. It is also similar in idea to Livejournal communities.

I am not sure I would be able to use it effectively in a classroom. I can see perhaps for a high school class one could make a ning especially for that class, or for teachers to share information. I would probably not use it though.