Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CM Blog Carnival

The newest edition of the
is ready.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Finding Books

We've begun a bit of the planning for our 2010-2011 school year ... we're starting to discuss which topics to study ... courses to take ... learning objectives to target ... and of course we're discussing which resources we can use.

As I plan each year, I usually begin with a series of conversations.  Together, each Cherub and I formulate a rough mental-sketch for the year (for each child).  

Then, in the first few planning sessions, I scroll through many of the "free" resources online (picking and choosing very selectively -- when they're free, it's easy to over-plan.  What's one more book / project / etc, right ?!?!?!).  Sometimes our Cherubs check them out too ... pre-reading test driving them.  (and sometimes certain Cherubs test drive particular books all the way from page 1 to the last, which means we have to find another book for use later.   HA !)

I check out topic and reading lists at Ambleside Online, along with other "curriculum" type resources and reading lists.

And then I browse books at Project Gutenburg, Classic BookshelfBaldwin Online Children's Project, Perseus Digital Library (c/o Tufts University)The Rosetta Project, Read Books Online, Books By Gosh, UPenn's Online Book Page, Many Books, Questia, Chest of Books, Classic Book Library, BibliomaniaFull Books, Internet Public Library, University of Virginia's E TextClassic Reader, Bored.com, Read Print, The Literature Network, LibriVox, Bartleby, as I look for ideas and options.  Often these older books are of much higher quality (literary language, illustrations), often the topics are covered with much more depth (there are many living books to be found through the above websites !), and of course the pricetag is very appealing.  We've used vintage books for literature, free reading, topical studies, phonics / beginning reading, history, science, natural science, poetry, geography, grammar, and more ....

So, just when I thought I'd found "all" of the enough sites ... I stumbled across a lovely website called Happy Hearts Homeschooling Library which contains many free online vintage books for subjects like history, civics, handicrafts, nature study, and more.


Monday, June 14, 2010

"If you hear a voice within you say
'you cannot paint'
then by all means paint,
and that voice will be silenced."
~Vincent Van Gogh

Multitude Monday: One Thousand Gifts

426.  Wonderful hospital staff monitoring and caring for Cherub 3.
427.  All of those Nature Studies – and Cherub 3’s fast recognition of a Black Widow.
428.  God’s protection of Cherub 3 from the worst of the Black Widow’s venom – Praise God !!
429.  Cherubs attending Horse Camp.  Good times, good friends, great fun.
430.  Dr. A.B., horse camp director and fun-time-creator.  (Thank you A.B.)
431.  Cool flowing clean river nearby on hot sticky days.
432.  Cousin I coming to visit.
433.  Fresh picked garden lettuce – yummy !
434.  Plants loaded with little green “maters” – it won’t be long now !
435.  A successful Outdoor Expo for 4H and Scouts.
436.  The opportunity to coach, and watching the players smile as they learn.
437.  Our beautiful horses – SunnySocks, Smokie, and Cinnamon.
438.  Celebrating Sunny’s FIRST birthday with dear friends.
439.  Fly masks for our horses.  What a difference they make !
440.  Blooming flowers – daisies, coneflowers, black-eyed susans, and more.
441.  Our Father holding J.B. in his arms as docs work to find answers.
442.  DadToCherubs’ job – we are so thankful !!
443.  Cool-blowing AC on humid, hot, sticky summer days.
444.  Assembling shopping lists for next fall – we’ll be back to school in August.
446.  The whirl of bicycle tires, and giggles of passing Cherubs.
447.  Watching Father Bluebird, and then Momma Bluebird, and now fledged Baby Bluebirds.
448.  Butterfly watching.
449.  The scent of sweet fresh hay.
450.  Crepe Myrtles covered in blooms.
451.  Peanut M&Ms … a treat from DadToCherubs.
452.  The icemaker --- and big glasses of icewater to beat this heat.
453.  Summer thunderstorms – and the blessing of plenty of rain.
454.  A new Soccer Season.
455.  Watergun battles and hearty laughter.
456.  Playing in the sprinkler.
457.  School plans coming together.
458.  Volunteer opportunities for Cherub 1 with the Forest Service.
459.  Fuzzy “blooms” on our Chestnut trees.
460.  Summer Reading program.
461.  Merit Badges, new skills, and lots of “out of the box” learning.
462.  The scent of grilled chicken wafting on the air … yummy !
463.  Garden blooms – squashes, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers ….
464.  Sunshine !!
465.  Cloud watching with Cherubs.
466.  The Farrier’s visit today.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Cherub 3 vs. Black Widow

We have good news to share.  And we are Praising God for His Protection of Cherub 3 !!

 Cherub 3 is doing well this morning after a rather frightening experience last evening.

He was helping with mowing at a friend’s home and was bitten on the forearm by a Black Widow Spider who was hidden inside a log laying in high grass.  He flipped the log over with his boot and rolled it around before reaching down to move it (watching for snakes and black widows), but obviously didn’t see the Black Widow until it was too late.  He thinks she was inside a knot on the log.  Incidentally, he did say that the black widow’s bite felt like he was stabbed or cut with a razor – much more painful than usual bug bites or stings.

Thankfully, he managed to kill her just after she bit him.   So, with spider in a sandwich bag so that hospital staff could make a positive ID (even though we already knew exactly what she was) ………  Ewwwwwwwwwww.

DadToCherubs immediately took Cherub 3 to our local hospital after the bite (bite occurred at 630pm), and then I arrived shortly after.  After 2 hours there, Cherub 3 was transferred to a Children’s Hospital as a precaution.

The bite site was red and hot and swollen, and the affected area was spreading. At both ERs, lots of labs were drawn and then were repeated several times, vital signs were taken every 10-15 minutes, a large bore IV placed just in case, and the outline of the reaction was marked every few minutes.  Then, the waiting game began ….

Cherub 3 had a brief period of tachycardia last evening in the ER, but stabilized without medical intervention after about 45 minutes.  Otherwise he had no organ system issues.  HOORAY !  His labs remained great the whole time, his vital signs remained stable, and 8 hours after the bite the docs decided the “worst case scenarios” were unlikely to happen.  The docs suspect that because Cherub 3 killed the spider almost immediately after it bit him, and he probably only received a low dose of venom.  PRAISE GOD !!

The docs were thrilled that he was seen by medical personnel so quickly, with the spider “in hand” …. there was no guesswork, his baseline labs and other precautionary tests were completed very early in the “game”, and so all of this helped the docs monitor him more effectively.  His reaction to the venom could have been soooooo much worse.  Black Widow bites are very serious, more serious than most people realize because there is no “anti venom” available for black widow bites.  Doctors just have to deal with any issues that arise – issues that arise very quickly within the first 8 or so hours, often involving the heart, lungs, other critical organ systems, and major muscle groups.  And docs also have to be prepared to deal with rapid tissue breakdown (necrosis) at the bite site, which can bring on serious infection.

Cherub 3 was discharged early this morning from Children’s ER, and we arrived home just after 4am.

Today he is exhausted.  He has a very hot red area on his arm, 4” x 8” around the bite site.  He continues to have some minor muscle cramping and pain in his abdomen and back (and his arm hurts a lot of course), but we’re told this is appropriate as his body tries to process and dispose of the venom.  The docs said he may still have some bouts intense nausea, severe vomiting, severe migraine-type headaches, severe rigid muscle cramping in his stomach and back through tomorrow.  He has medication for pain control, but so far he is doing ok with just Tylenol and rest.  And a good book to read while he relaxes, of course.  (Cherub 3 is a major bookworm !)

The docs expect that he will be back to normal tomorrow …… or at least whatever is “normal” for Cherub 3, anyway.  HA !

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers, and assistance.  We are so blessed .... we are thanking God today for a great local hospital ... a fantastic Children's hospital .... experienced medical professionals ... friends and family ... and PRAYER WARRIORS.