Showing posts from August, 2010

Ariana's Final Cake: Yellow Mums!

Isn't this cake sweet? Monochrome yellow tones, topped with fuzzy mums. She was so very patient making all the dots. And her rosettes were perfect. Did I mention that she did a better job icing her cake than I did mine? Much smoother. I'm proud of my not-a-baby-anymore-girl!!!!!

She gave her cake to a neighbor. :-D

Cake Class Final Project: Hydrangeas

Cake designed and implemented by Alana Sheldahl, who is still very much a beginner, but who formerly was the producer of many birthday cake wrecks and now feels much improved.

Animal Therapy

Yeah, lets call it that. Good for the soul and all that. Bringers of joy, pee and poop. Teachers of responsibility, gentleness and vigilance.

Introducing the gerbils Merry and Pipin. More formally monikered Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took.




So, yesterday...Oh. my. goodness.

I woke up. I had a lot to do. So, coffee, wiping the blear out of my eyes, breakfast etc. and absolutely FORCING myself to do morning prayers around eight-ish. See, we are barely two weeks into the home school year and already my lazy tendencies are rearing their ugly heads and I want to lounge more than is beneficial of a morining. I am fighting it.

So, back to my story...regular start to the morning, the kids are all in their P.J.'s doing school work, when the phone rings. By some miracle I was actually wearing clothes and not my night gown. It was, after all, merely nine-ish. I think I was planning to go to Kroger to pick up the few items not available at Costco. That's why I was dressed. A woman with a purpose.

So, just for the sake of brevity (HA!), I shall share my To Do list with you here:

1. Start kids on school (a bit more complicated than saying "Hey kids, start your school work, as we do some read alouds, prayers a…

Take it to the Lord in Prayer

Yesterday, in the midst of all my grumpiness about not one but TWO root canals, I kept having the thought that this is going to be another way that God shows his provision to our family. And a certain peace did prevail. Really. I know it did not come through very much in what I wrote here, but it did nonetheless.

I didn't cry or get upset for one thing. That's progress, folks. I did ask God to provide for us, so that I can get this dental work done. The tech/nurse on the endodontist team told me that having infection in my mouth can cause my whole system to feel run down. No lie, really? I think my body already knew that. So this isn't just something to ignore. Ultimately it would end in an abcess if I don't.

Why is it that the place where the rubber meets the road, in our faith-journey as a family always about our health, and the expenses that our ill-health incurs? Well, I guess it prevents us from being smug.

"Lord, please have mercy on this day an…

Beyond Grumpeh

So, you know the Carecredit, or whatever it is, that NO ONE gets turned down for? Yeah, well, I got turned down. So I had to make a decision and so I made one. Mega big payments each month for the next few months...for the root canal.

And...drumroll....I need a second root canal. Which will also mean a second crown.

Cha ching!

No, we don't have the money. At all. And we have bad credit-something having to do with becoming apartment dwellers instead of home do the math. I guess this is our chance to start establishing good credit again.

We tallied it all up and it's coming to $3300 dollars. That's the part our dental insurance won't cover.

I could weep, but why bother? It's just money.

The thing I keep thinking is that I could go on a European tour for this amount of money. I could visit Switzerand for this amount of money. But instead, I get to go into debt to get these infected teeth fixed.

And why, you ask, ARE they infected? I floss. …


I have to go to the endodontist, like, right now. I'm blogging right quick to put off my departure. Dread does not begin to describe how I feel about this up coming experience.

Officially, I'm going to have tooth #14 looked at. But they blocked out time...just in case I need a root canal. Officially, if I don't get approved for a credit option to pay the more-than-nine-hundred and fifty dollars for this gig, I can walk out of there. But the lady on the phone was just fine blocking out the whole friggin afternoon for me, which tells me that NO ONE gets turned down for Carecredit by Citibank. Har har har. Because I've already maxed out my Delta Dental payout for the year, I'm gonna pay for this with money from our deep, deep savings account [coughnotcough].

I could go to Switzerland or on an Alaskan cruise for two (that honeymoon that we never took?), for what all of this dental work is costing. Considering how badly a vacation could be used, this thought …

Needs More Practice

Here are my latest cake pictures. Chocolate cake w/ chocolate frosting. Yum. Dots are difficult to do without making tiny little turds, or mini hershey kiss shaped things. And I need to practice my zig zags more. Fortunately I have some leftover frosting that is doomed to end it's life one some paper for just that purpose.

Ariana's Cake

Here's the cake my 11 year old daughter decorated in class tonight. More cake...just what we NEED.

Thoughts about the Dormition of the Mother of God

Troparion - Tone 1

In giving birth you preserved your virginity,
In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos.
You were translated to life, O Mother of Life,
And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.

Kontakion - Tone 2

Neither the tomb, nor death could hold the Theotokos,
Who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions.
For being the Mother of Life,
She was translated to life by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.

I especially like the Kontakion. "For being the Mother of Life, she was translated to life by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb."

Again, it's all about Jesus. He was the One who dwelt in her virginal womb. He did the translating of her into life.

I could use some of what she's having. Seriously. I am mostly dead most of the time. The spiritual struggle is ever present. This summer has been a struggle against spiritual lassitude and being busy has been the perfect "excuse". But it's not r…

My First "Real" Cake

Meaning, I sat in on the cake decorating class Ariana is taking and learned some stuff, and spent last evening practicing roses.

So, I need to pay for the class, since clearly I'm in it, too.

There's a bake sale at Church tomorrow, so this is for that. Inside is Devil's Food, and the frosting is buttercream with butter, vanilla and almond flavoring.

Yes, I know that the decoration style is a bit out dated, but that's OK. I might use some sewing money to pay for the next class in the series.

Life the Universe and Homeschooling

Oh my! Have I been busy lately, or what? Crazy busy. And for some reason I can't seem to put my finger on exactly what's been going on. Well, lets see...wonderful time with friends, taking kids (and a friend!!!!) to the zoo so they could do the sky trail adventure course and then taking them home due to heat exhaustion.

Ariana and I have been baking lots of cakes for her cake decorating class. Practice, practice, practice. I'm hoping the cake I make and decorate today will be worthy of the Ladies Society Bake Sale tomorrow, because I SO don't need to eat more cake. (Last night I practiced butter cream frosting roses until the frosting in the bag was gone. It's quite hard on the hands.)

I have another bride to take care of this week: adding straps/sleeve thingies to a strapless gown and making crowns. I already made her veil. Whew. Wedding's next week. starts on Monday. Home school that is. Am I really ready? Not so much…

Glory to God!

Well, we had our post-psychological testing results meeting today at Bingham Clinic. And I could leap and shout and sing for joy! Bethany does NOT have schizophrenia!!!!! This is such good news for her and for our family.

What she DOES have: Asperger's Syndrome with clinical Anxiety, NOS and clinical Depression, NOS. And yes, severe anxiety, the doctor explained, can cause a kid to shut down and seem catatonic, the way she did. Severe anxiety can cause somatic disturbances and movement disorders...everything she has going on.

This diagnosis gives us a vision for the way forward and good hope for the future. Things don't look nearly as bleak as they did before. This is treatable and can be managed very well with cognitive/behavioral therapy and medication. I'm hoping we can get in to see the psychiatrist soon, and talk about whether her medications needed to be adjusted in light of these findings.

I'm so happy, happy, happy!

And on the feast of the Transfig…

Current Read

Yesterday I finally picked up the book "Looking for God in Harry Potter" by John Granger, even though it's bees sitting on my shelf for quite a while.

I recommend this book. First of all, to all Harry Potter fans, as it will deepen your appreciation for the series. Second of all, to all Harry Potter naysayers who are afraid of the series for religious reasons. It might change your mind, or at least give you food for thought.

But most of all, I recommend, HIGHLY recommend, this book to people like me: homeschooling moms who are trying to tackle the great beast that is literature and how to present it to their students. This book goes a long way towards introducing me, the "teaching student"...for I will be learning alongside my kids) about such things as symbolism, themes, plot devices and so on.

Just from having read a few chapters of this book, I was able to have an intelligent conversation with Wes about Pride and Prejudice. P and P is a book I'v…

The Literary-Historical Cascade...

So I'm in the throes of trying to decide what literature to make my Highschoolers (freshman level) work on this year. We are also doing a World History overview. Very high level, broad strokes overview.

So I'm thinking Odyssey would be a good piece of lit to start with. And if you start with the Odyssey and ancient history, perhaps the Gilgamesh Epic would be a good thing to follow up with. But if you read Gilgamesh, you need to read Genesis along side it. After you read Genesis, it would be logical to just finish out the pentateuch followed by the other Old Testament Historical books. But if you are going to read those, you need to familiarize yourself with the Wisdom literature while you are at it. But if you are going to become familiar with Biblical Wisdom Lit. it would be good to read something like the Instruction of Amenemope for comparison.

And while we are at it, a thorough familiarity with Ancient Greek texts and philosophers would be in order.

And if one i…

Sick Day

Yesterday I came home from a fabulous and refreshing time of fellowship and Starbucksing with a new friend...only to suddenly feel ill. Queasy, achy...that sort of thing.

So I slept for 12 hours and woke up this morning, and still felt icky. Sent family off to Church and settled down for some peace and quiet. And an afternoon nap, as IF I needed more sleep.

Apparently I did.

So it's a sick day, which I think, is also a day of mercy. Because I've been overdoing it and pushing myself well past my physical limits for some time now. Whether this is "just" a fibro flare up, or a bug of some sort...who knows? I can never tell. But I AM glad that I had a physical (to fill out a scouting leader's physical form) scheduled for tomorrow, as my ear is hurting. I got water in it the other day and now it's hurting. Oh well.

I think I need another nap now. Typing this post has been exhausting.