Friday, June 7, 2013


For many around us, summer just began.

Our summer began about a month ago.

Yes, homeschooling does have its advantages.

I've been asked by some if I plan to continue homeschooling and the short answer is yes.  The long answer?

Well, the long answer is that God has given us a peace about homeschooling and a real contentment with it.  He hasn't directed us to do anything else right now.

I told a friend that for me it isn't "Are we going to homeschool again?" but more of a "How can I make homeschooling better for my family?".

Have I ever mentioned that I never would have pictured us here?  Seriously.  NEVER!  Homeschooling families were always "weird".  And once we had our kiddos, I started to look forward to my "break" when they would be at school.  Sending our kids to school all day was just what was expected of all of us to do.  So when God started tugging on our hearts to homeschool, I was more than a little surprised.

But I like this journey we are on.  Altho, if I were really honest, there are days that are not easy and kinda wish that I could send them to school.   I love the opportunity of being with my kiddos more, tho.

So, I have already changed some of our curriculum in an effort to find something that is a "better fit" for us.  I am still in the process of fine tuning our daily schedule.  I am also looking at making some additions to the expectations I have of the kiddos.

One of the things that I want to do is have a "routine" for the mornings - where we all get up and get some things done BEFORE school starts.  Again, if I were to be honest - this is as much for me as it is for my kids.  I NEED that routine because it is easier to be lazy if I am still in my pjs.....and have already lost myself into the black pit of the internet.  ;)

Yep, getting the routine started early helps to keep the chaos from ensuing (too much)


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

God doesn't change

In March, I had to take Maggie in for her 6 month scan.  In all reality, it was just a tiny blip on our calendar.  We had to get there early - about 7:15 a.m. so she could have her IV inserted and be ready for the "contrast" for the MRI.

Everything went smoothly.  She breezed thru the IV insertion (and blood draw) and the MRI.  Then we went upstairs to actually see the pediatric oncologist.

We met the new oncologist that day.  She is the #2 for the head of the dept.

She walked in and said that Maggie's blood count looked good.  Because we had been waiting for so long, the radiologist had actually already written up the report on Maggie's MRI.  In the oncology world, this never happens.  If you get a report back on the same day it is usually just a verbal one. So we had THE written report.

The report said that the spots on Maggie's liver are growing.  Let's back-track a little.  The docs have been seeing tiny little spots on Maggie's liver.  Everyone had kind of chocked it up to iron (the more technical term  for it is Ferritin) that people can get when they have lots of blood transfusions.  Maggie probably had 60+ blood transfusions.  I lost track. the spots are BIGGER.  She hasn't had a transfusion in close to 3 years.  My stomach flip flopped.  Maggie was watching the Disney channel and was pretty much oblivious to what was being discussed.

Of course, having gone thru ALL that we have with Maggie and always being afraid of relapse as there is no known cure for relapsed Neuroblastoma (since they throw everything at it to begin with...) this is never anything you want to hear.  Spots.....MRI..........Bigger..........Second Opinion from Riley.

I was scared, but couldn't show it to Maggie because it could be nothing.  A blip.  But it could be.........  We came to church that night and sat in Rod's office and I remember the fear and the tears and the choking it back down.

I was more than afraid I was terrified.

What if the cancer is back?

What if our world gets turned upside down?

What if I have to travel all over the U.S. to find the right specialist?

What if our family is spread out again?

What if we miss out on things as a family?

Somehow,  God started speaking to me.  That isn't the "somehow".  I should say that God started speaking to me and SOMEHOW I heard him thru my fear.  He told me that the lessons that he taught me during her cancer battle are not null and void.  They are still true.  He is still the same.  He is still the same GOD.    He healed her.


And even if.....even if cancer came back....He was still the same God.  It would be ok.  She would be safe in his arms.  My family is safe with HIM.  I AM SAFE WITH HIM!

The next evening, I had to go teach a class for a local college.  I asked for prayer about the scans and spots with Maggie.  They all showed concern and prayed.

I never mentioned it again.  Why?  Because God has it all handled.  I have peace about it.  It is a done deal.

On the last night of the class, one of my students asked me about it.  I told her that we finally heard back from Riley and that no one thinks that it is cancer.  It is growing too slowly.  If we want to, we could do an ultrasound and double-check it.  We would be doing the ultrasound the next morning.

She asked why I wasn't asking for more prayer about it.

That question startled me.  WHY WASN'T I?  Why wasn't I asking everyone to pray for the ultrasound and those tiny little spots freckling her liver?

Partly it was due to not feeling connected to this class as I often do with other classes.

More so, I felt like I already knew the answer.  God had it under control.

She did the ultrasound and they took more blood.  Her liver looks fine and they couldn't see the spots on her liver in the Ultrasound that the MRI found.

God has it all under control and we are still SAFE - even if the worst happens.

Friday, January 4, 2013

It is 2013 already?

2012 ended in a flurry!  Not only were we crazy busy but then we all got sick.  Not at the same time but all with different ailments that made the month of December not quite what I had hoped for.  First Jared had pneumonia then Maggie had a sinus infection then I had Shingles AND pneumonia (at the same time) and Christmas night Rod came down for the stomach flu.  It seems to be running rampant ... this illness stuff - but I dislike how it sets me back!  I am still trying to catch up on laundry!

Because of illness, we had to postpone a followup apt to Riley Children's Hospital for Maggers hearing aids. For clarification, the new audiologist (audi) had just upped the volume of the aids - we still weren't ecstatic about where they stood but they were much better.  So like for the first time in 18+ months Mags could hear the beep of the timer on the oven, hear the microwave bing and tell us it was done and even hear our van brakes squeal as I would slowly back out of the garage.  So we headed back yesterday for a follow-up.

Maggie's hearing is mild/moderate in low pitches and drops to profound really quickly.  That means she can hear bass or low pitches but a lot of speech sounds are really hard for her to hear.

The audi decided to try a different brand of hearing aids.  Very quickly, we realized that this different aid could give Maggie access to much more hearing.  It was exciting to see.

The problem is that we've had these "ears" a little less than 3 years and insurance only likes to replace aids every 5 years.  The audi is going to write a letter with the request for new aids.  It is not that her current aids are "bad" it is just that they do not meet all of her needs.

Please pray that the insurance sees the need for Maggie.  If she could hear better - it would help her speech, her spelling (as she attempts to sound out words), and interact better with her peers.

After we left the audi we ate lunch at Riley - felt like old times, but the kids thought it was so fun.  It was weird to eat in the cafeteria with them instead of rushing back upstairs with our food.

Then we went up to see our nurse friends on the stemcell unit.  I was filled with such jealousy as they had just recently moved to a brand-spankin-new unit.  The rooms are large.  Each have their own bathrooms, multiple tvs (one for patient and one for parent) and fold out bed for the parent and it was "pretty".  I was/am so excited for the families that have to endure that treatment - that at least there are a few more conveniences for them.

Family portrait on the People Mover.
Then we took a ride on the People mover...  this is an elevated train that connects all of the IU hospitals in downtown Indy.

Then we stalled for a little bit.  I had remembered that the first Thursday of the month the Children's Museum offers free admission from 4p-8p.  So we ran thru the newer exhibits quickly and were on the road for home by 5:45.  It was a full day and a LONG one but lots of fun!

I also did some school prep on the way down in the van.  I am looking at some fun places to do fieldtrips - preferably low-cost ones.  My goal is a weekly fieldtrip.  That may not always be realistic but if we could do 2 a month I will feel good.  Also, I am getting excited about getting back into school - we are going to start with Cursive! (yikes!) and really trying to delve into things that the kiddos are interested in.  For example.... Jared is really intrigued by the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.  I am wanting to also include a lot more character building schtuff.  (yes, my family is Jewish.....just several generations ago...its all good).

That would be a BRIEF catch up.  God is good and challenging me all of the time to give up more of me for more of Him.  Just got done reading Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place.  My mind is still swirling over that one!

Live Big!