Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Measuring Emotional State and Its Aftermath!

After watching the news this past weekend, besides the typical parent grief I felt, an added measure of grief burdened my heart.  Adam was said to have had Aspergers.  So does my son.  What will the world learn about Aspergers?  What associations will they make between Adam and my son?  Will the facts of Aspergers be told or will just the emotional outbursts be exploited?  Many questions swirled in my head while I mourned the loss of all those beautiful children and grieved for a community in shock.

As the subject of emotional stability among those with Aspergers was discussed, I began to ponder my own son's emotional state and began to wonder if there is a way to predict and measure the emotional state of a person with Aspergers. 

Seriously, is it possible to measure a child's emotional stability?  I'm not a trained psychologist, but I do live with a son with Asperger's Syndrome who can rev up from 0 to 60 at a seemingly non-existant trigger.  I have seen the pendulum of emotions go from pleasant to violent in no time flat.  So, does that make me qualified to create a scale to measure emotions on, no way!  But, After last Thursday's school shootings I have been thinking lots about my own son's fragile emotions and outbursts. He is in no way as troubled as Adam must have been but he can be emotionally fragile nonetheless.

Like many people on the autism spectrum, my son, age 14, has his own share of preoccupations.  His longest lasting fascination is with the weather.  He has wanted to be a meteorologist since before he was even able to pronounce the word. 

We are constantly informed through our Jr. meteorologist about the current and upcoming weather conditions anywhere in the world! "Dad, did you know there was a typhoon in the Philippines today?" would be typical dinner conversation in our home.  We do our best to humor these conversations but as those of you who live with a kiddo with this type of preoccupation know, it can sometimes be difficult to care after your child monologues about his our her favorite interest without taking a breath for minutes on end! :O)

So, what to the fragile emotions of people with autism or other emotional / social or mental illnesses and weather have in common? As I have pondered this past week I have learned that they have much in common! 

If you spend much time at all watching The Weather Channel, you will soon find out that storms and other weather and geological phenomena are categorized by a scale.  Some scales are used in making predictions such as the TORCON model for predicting the likelyhood of tornadoes.  Environmental conditions, and the whereabouts of an approaching storm and surely other factors as well are all taken into consideration to determine how likely a tornado will form for a given location. My son is facinated with this prediction factor!  This scale goes from 1 to 10; a one meaning there is only about a 10% chance of a tornado developing in the prescribed area and a 10 would mean that you better just spend the day in your basement! If we were under a TORCON of 8 or higher he would  actually be excited rather than terrified! If you ask Caleb who his favorite storm chaser is, he actually has one!  Its too bad they don't make cards for storm chasers like baseball cards!

OK, to put the TORCON idea into practice in our house, we have to take into consideration the environmental factors such as temperature, noise, time of day, hunger and sleep levels and then we can probably make a pretty accurate prediction of our son's emotional state.  Is he well rested, well fed, sitting in a quiet room (Where his sister is not singing...) in comfortable clothes?  If this was the case we could probably assign him an emotional factor of about a 2.  No big emotional storms to worry about at the moment!  Within minutes however, these conditions could change! Any little irritating, repetitive noise could aggrivate him. His tummy might begin to growl.  A tag might start rubbing him... His emotional stability number would begin to rise! As his number rises it would be like hanging out in Kansas, a.k.a. Tornado Alley, in May!

Combined with environmental factors are stress factors.  When Caleb was younger, the environmental factors outweighed the stress factors.  It was the environment that caused him stress when he was little. A smell or itchy tag could leave him reeling. At 14, however, he handles environmental factors with a little more finesse and has "bigger" teenage stressors:  responsibilities, school and being made to show respect (This is especially hard for a person with limited abilities to read social cues and understand his own tone of voice.).  Being made to do any of the above things can royally stress out his fragile nervous system!  We hope and pray that the environmental factors are in place if we have to ask him to do school, show respect or carry out a responsibility.  If they are not in place, immediately his emotional reaction (and often his compliance) will go south!  So to make a most accurate prediction of how Caleb will handle a situation emotionally, we have to combine both the environment and what is being asked of him.

I have decided to call my scale the Emotional Stability Factor! ESF for short! :O)Because all good medical and scientific things are abbreviated, right?  When taking all of the stressors into consideration, at any given moment, what level of emotional stability can we expect our son to be able to perform? On a scale of 0 to 10 here is what I came up with:

0 = Complete emotional control!  No environmental or stress factors.  OK, as you may have guessed, for a child on the spectrum, this is fairy tale land!  There is always something to stress him out!

2 = Presence of one or two stress or environmental factors.  Perhaps he's just tired or hungry and but being made to do math. Or, the other way around, if he is doing math, to stay at a 2, he has to be well rested and have his tummy full! He can probably still be expected to have emotional and respect control at this stage.

4 = Presence of one or two environmental and stress factors. We are nearing emotional shutdown here! (and yes, I'm only at #4, but keep in mind, these kiddos are emotionally fragile to begin with.) If he is tired AND hungry AND made to diagram sentences when the weather is changing outside, we can be assured that he will soon be loosing control and escalating off this scale if at least one factor is not taken care of Immediately!

6 = Presence of many environmental and more than one stress factor.  For example, if he is tired AND hungry AND doing math AND made to show respect when I point out that he forgot to do a step in the process he may not be able to maintain emotional control even if he wanted to

*At this point on our scale, nine times out of ten, Caleb will enter into an anxiety ridden tantrum and there will be no turning back to a more restful, calm emotional state!  Nine times out of ten if we reach this point, Caleb's fight, flight or fright preaction kicks in. The base of his brain is in full control, not the frontal, thinking, rational part of his brain.  At this point we have to have no emotional, social or respect expectations of him if we want him to calm down.  He is beyond the point of regaining control without removing ALL of the stressors and adding in time for emotional recovery.  If ALL the stressors AND parental expectations are removed, if given enough time, he may move back down the scale even before he sleeps it off.  The key is removing all expectations.  That's hard for a parent who has principles and wants their child to gain control while showing respect on his own, despite the stressors.   "Just get a grip," and "Just suck it up and be obedient and respectful" are not neurological options.

8 = Presence of all the stressors in #6 without removing any of the stressors.  When an emotionally disabled person is already to the point where they can not think rationally, adding the extra stress of MAKING them "return" their emotions to "normal" is like asking a fish not to live in the water.  It just can't be done. (Or at least so extremely rarely that I don't know if I have ever seen it happen!) At this point, the response of the emotionally spent person is likely to fight!  Even when his dad is still 100 pounds heavier and a foot taller, Caleb's brain does not notice!  At this point, if we insist he does what we ask without removing all of his stressors, it gets physical! 

10 = Moments or days on end with no respite from the emotional stress mentioned in levels 6 - 8.  When a child's brain has no rest from this kind of processing, it begins to shut down and avoid stress at all costs.  We have seen this at our house in the forms of delusions and suicidal thoughts.  This is also very emotionally exhausting for the parent as well!  When a brain is under this kind of stress an "escape clause" seems to be the only way out.  For me, escaping means getting an extra sugar buzz or reading a good book! Pepsi and snacks are my nemesis if I don't take the time to give these moments of extreme emotional exhaustion over to God and just rest and pray in Jesus lap.  For Caleb, being unde this kind of pressure for days on end leaves him creating his own reality. (Medication really helps keep him from going here.) Our doctor told us that his imaginary "friends" and created "reality" is an easier world to live in than the real one.  At his worst, Caleb longs to escape the emotional pressures he feels trapped in by longing to leave this life and go be with Jesus.  (That's a nicer way of saying he has had suicidal thoughts.)  He does know that there is a better place called heaven with a completely healthy brain waiting for him some day and quite honestly I don't blame him for wanting to be there now! 

WOW, now that I have actually written that Scale down, I can see the days of my life in numbers.  Today we fluctuated between a 3 and 4 at worst!  Not Bad!  Then again 2 weeks ago we were at an 8 for a few hours!  Three years ago we traveled all the way to 10 for a couple of months. That was when we decided homeschooling was the best option for our family.

Maybe I should share this scale with Caleb.  I wonder if he could see the progression of his emotions in a number pattern rather than in just words, feelings and emotions.  He can relate to numbered scales on The Weather Channel so well; maybe he could begin to see the numbers he wants to try to stay at and avert a full blown meltdown?  I wonder if it will help him conceptualize his emotions or just embarass him?  I'll have to pray about the sharing!


As I mentioned before, the TORCON model predicts tornadoes. AND the Emotional Stability Factor predicts the chance of an emotional outburst.  The following scale, which I am going to call The Emotional Fallout Scale (I made this one up too!) measures the aftermath of an emotional meltdown.  This scale is like the Fugita scale.  If you watch The Weather Channel, you know that the Fugita Scale measures he intensity of tornadoes AFTER they have struck!  It measures the destruction and damage in terms of how much the tornado "eats."  After an emotional meltdown at my house, we often feel like we live in the debris path of wrecked emotions and sometimes even wrecked furniture, torn clothes and bruises!

The Emotional Fallout Scale only goes to 5.

0 = no damage emotional or physical
1 = minimal emotional and physical damage
2 = some remembered emotional and physical damage that takes a while to recover from for both the child and parent
3 = more emotional and physical damage for both child and parent
4 = much emotional and physical damage for both child and parent
5 = irreparable emotional and physical damage for both child and parent

I know these are very general and pretty vague descriptions but I need more time to think through more specific consequences.  

So, just because my son is emotionally fragile and prone to outbursts and meltdowns, should he be categorized with a psychopathic killer? I think not, but rather than explain why in my mom opinion, the following link is one of the best responses to Friday's tragedy.  Take the time to read his more educated opinion:

John Elder Robison 
John Elder Robison is the author of "Look Me In The Eye," one of my favorite books about living with Aspergers.  His article is called, "Aspergers, Autism, and Mass Murder" and is the best I have read concerning Friday's murders and Aspergers.

As I sit at my laptop tonight, the ESF in the living room is quite good! Probably only a two.  We are watching a movie that Caleb is enjoying, he just ate dessert, hasn't taken his melatonin yet, and is in a great mood.  We are all relaxed and enjoying this family moment!  While I am not naive enough to think this moment will last forever,  I am enjoying it while it lasts!  

p.s.  Our area of Indiana is getting ready for snow in the next few days.  AND you know how I know the most up to the minute weather forecast for our zip code!  :O)

 

 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal 12/7/12

Welcome Back Friday!
 
In My Life this Week...we finally had our dead trees cut down!
The kids had a blast making a fort out of the pieces!  And since it is December and we are busy, busy, it will take a few weeks to clean up the mess!  The fort can stay for a while!

Caleb took the screen out of his window to take action pics!

 
Also this week...we are attempting to have school as usual.  We have a kitten, Simon, who loves to snuggle while we read!

He doesn't wlways sit still and just listen, though!
 
Helpful Advice or Tips to Share...It's ok to postpone school 'till the afternoon when one of your kiddos forgets to take his ADHD meds.  (Hypothetical, NOT!)  When kids and brains get used to functioning attentively with the meds it is very difficult and frustrating for both the parent and child to try to consentrate without them.  *Climbing on fallen tree debris is also a GREAT way to burn off extra steam while waiting for them to kick in!*
 
In our homeschool this week...In the midst of one kid going to work on Monday and another going to the ballet on Friday and the general excitement of the Christmas season, we are trying to have school as usual, but it's not all that easy! 
 
I am inspired by...my great-grandmother!  I found all of her recipe cards this past week!  They are all handwritten.  I am trying to decide what kind of album to put them in!
 
Places we're going and people we're seeing...Friday, my daughter and I are going to see The Nutcracker!  I'm very excited for a girlie day out! 
 
My Favorite thing this week was...
Another Girl's night out!  My daughter, sister-in-law and I went to the Botanical Conservatory in Fort Wayne.  Their seasonal display was based on The Grinch! 

 Little Miss Cindy Carolyn Lou Who!

 
 We ended up at the Conservatory on accident.  We were on our way to another display that we didn't realize was over when we saw a Grinchy Bush outside the Conservatory!  We were so glad we checked it out!
 
 

 
There were other great "rooms" at the conservatory also...like the desert room!
Josh just finished reading about the sagoura cactus!  I'm going to have to take him soon!
We started our very fun evening with Chinese food and finished it off with fried ice cream, making it a night to remember and smile about for a long time!
 
I'm reading...another Bodie Thoene Novel, The Danzig Passage.  I LOVE her historical fiction! This one takes place in pre-war Europe.
 
Questions or Thoughts I have...I have been pondering the purpose of my blog.  Why do I do it anyway?  I have come up with two reasons.  #1, I have a lot of pent up steam.  Much of it comes from the joys and frustrations of having kids with "labels."  Writing is a good way for me to let some of that steam off!  #2, I pray that while venting my frustrations and sharing my joys, some other parents will feel encouraged and feel like they are not the only one to have these struggles.  Here are some links to some of my recent "vent" posts...
 
 
 
 
I'm Cooking...
Tonight (Thursday) we are starting out first two batched of Christmas Cooking to take to a Homeschool get - together tomorrow night!
 
I'm Grateful for...
the fact that we live in a place that allows us to freely celebrate the Christ in Christmas!
 
A Link to share...
I cut my Christmas Card list from over 100 down to 40 this year and most of my friends received a cyber card instead.  Here are the "Christmas, Then and Now" pics.  The link on the first pic will take you to the letter we mailed out with them!
 

 
Merry Christmas!
 
 
 
 
 
 


Christmas Then & Now!


ChristmasThen and Now!
 
2004

2012
 
Life for the Ivins’ was much different in 2004 than it is in 2012!

Then, all the kids were shorter than the adults!
Now, one of the kids is taller than his mom!
Then, bedtime was always 8:00.
Now, we rarely have a quiet moment before 10:00!
Then, we read bedtime stories to the kids.
Now, they read chapter books.
Then, Josh loved LEGOS.
Now, Josh still loves LEGOS and K’Nex!
Then, Caleb wanted to be a meteorologist!
Now, Caleb wants to be a meteorologist AND a storm chaser!
Then, Carolyn loved her baby dolls.
Now, she paints her nails and styles her own hair!
Then, the kids all had short hair.
Now,  not so much!
Then, we laid the kids’ clothes out each morning.
Now, they tell us what they will and won’t wear!
Then, we had a few cats.
Now, we have lots of cats, a dog, 2 parakeets, a dozen chickens and a hamster!
Then, the kids were all little and sweet.
Now, the kids are adventurous, curious and great fun!
ThenLife was different more than 2000 years ago as well.  The world longed for a savior even though they might not have known it!  But that all changed when a baby was born in a stable in Bethlehem.
Now We can celebrate that Savior’s birth every December!  Take time this Christmas season to thank Him for Coming to this earth and
changing everything!

Merry Christmas, Then & Now!  Cory, Shelly, Caleb, Josh & Carolyn

Monday, November 26, 2012

Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This....

There'd be days like this my momma said...



And, judging by the title of this post, my day has not been as cute as the song! 

When beginning our homeschool adventure a few years ago, I did not kid myself into thinking that every day would be the perfect combination of academic and character success.  I knew there would be days when the kids just didn’t want to do school.  I even knew there would be days when I didn’t want to do school. 

*Have you ever noticed that public school kids “Go to School,” while homeschool kids AND moms “Do School?”  When homeschooled, there’s no getting out of going to school.  You are there whether you like it or not!  And when it comes to doing school, your mom will most likely make you whether you like it or not.  Today was one of those kinds of days!*

We had the typical *for homeschool at least* “Monday after a holiday weekend” delay.  All the weekend’s chores were wrapped up last night so even after sleeping in we got going (aka “doing school”) by 9 a.m..  Not bad!  That’s way better than having to have the kids ready for the bus at 6:40!

The reality of what this day could be like hit me hours before the 9:00 school bell.  In the predawn semiconscious state I am in when my husband leaves for work it hit me!  It’s the day after a 5 day weekend! (We took Wednesday off too.) One son usually has a less than stellar behavior the day after any weekend let alone a long one,  and another son will not have his ADHD meds refilled for 2 more days! (Gotta love our insurance! NOT)

Have you watched “The Christmas Story” with Randy and Ralphie?  Remember the part where Ralphie gets into a fight with the bully and a torrent of swear words comes out of his mouth before he realizes that his mom is there?  His friend is trying to get his attention so that he won’t swear in front of his mom.  When the friend realizes that it’s too late, he makes a face and says “Oooohhh!”  That’s the face and sound I made upon realizing the kind of day we might have today!  There was no turning back!  The sun came up; the day had to go on!  Even after a very pleasant Bible reading and prayer time this morning I knew what likely lay ahead despite my best efforts to lay my day at Jesus' feet!

Before I tell you about my day with ADHD and Asperger children (some on and some off meds) the day after a holiday weekend, let me tell you the good news!  I do not have PMS this week and woke up with no neck pain today! (Pain from an old injury sprung up over the weekend and I had fire shooting through my neck and shoulders.)  Really, this is a good thing!  It’s harder to hide those every day reasons why some of us don’t want to go to work when you work at home with your own offspring than it is to hide it in an office or workplace with a tangible boss and paycheck.  Today would NOT have been a good day for irritable mom to have been the teacher!

For those of you who send your ADHD kiddos off to school in the morning let me just say that if you ever have to send them without their meds, make sure you send chocolate along with them for their teacher.  She may need it by 10 a.m.!  My middle man was so off today that it even frustrated him to the point of tears.  He knew he couldn’t focus.  He knew he would misspell words and forget basic math facts all day.  He knew from the get go that he would have an uphill climb all day.  By the way, he did forget how to spell things he would have otherwise known.  He did forget how to do long division (and cried over the pure frustration of it!) until I reminded him. But those were the EASY things to overcome for his teacher!

Unfortunately not only is he inattentive, he is VERY distractible and hyper.  A soft noise in the kitchen kept him from focusing on math.  His sister was simply sitting too near him and he couldn’t take his science test unless I reminded him to read and DO each problem.  Often I had to ask him what he just read and make him re-read it.  When we were trying to read his novel and history book he fidgeted so much I thought he must be burning 1000 calories a minute! During our Bible time which was on the floor he rocked (not completely untypical for our house) and he also poked his sister with pens and wrote sloppier than usual.  I had to remind him over and over to just try to sit still and listen, just try to make all of your letters the right size, just try to put spaces in between your words....  And that was just the first subject of the day!  

When he was getting a snack (about his 100th because the meds weren’t suppressing his appetite today) I was filling a load of laundry.  He had to RUN to the utility room just to watch me pour the soap in!  “Oh! You’re pouring the stuff in!”  Seriously, that excited him!  He is also used to his meds (stimulant like) waking him up the rest of the way in the morning.  So even though he was like the road runner all afternoon, he was a sloth this morning!  About 10:00 he decided he needed a shower to wake up!  He couldn’t wake up enough to do spelling but at the same time he was on his knees in his chair, falling out of his chair and letting his every thought slip out of his mouth.  Needless to say, it took him 2 extra hours to do school today! 

*I asked my husband to bring a Pepsi home to me after work today!  We have to limit how much we keep in the house, not because of the kids but because of me!  If I’m going to self medicate on food and drink, apples and water would be better but are by far not as tempting on a day like today!*

One aspect of typical school I was hoping to eliminate (at least partly anyway) was bullying.  Today, I overheard one of my kids tell the other, “Would you just stop bullying me!”  It was the above mentioned son that was bullied, not the bully!  He may have been hyper and inattentive today but he was not the bully.  His brother was.

Another aspect of parenting or teaching a kiddo with Asperger’s is knowing that after his routine has been changed for 5 days, after he has eaten foods not regularly part of his diet for 5 days, has not had his regular bedtime for 5 days etc. etc…. He will likely be easily agitated, more anxious and more emotional in the aftermath.  As I look back on this day however, I at least have to cheer for the baby steps he’s making! He did get loose with his negative comments, blamed his sister somehow for his problems with spelling??? And in general was just plain cranky, but in spite of all that, THERE WERE NO MELTDOWNS today!  Woo Hoo! 

He even took his punishment after teasing his brother for taking sooooo long to do school today without having a fit!  He took losing the privilege of TV, the computer or laptop like a man!  Not having the Weather Channel on the TV or laptop for this Aspie is like denying him of oxygen, so having them taken away without getting physical was a HUGE milestone!  He even came in and apologized ON HIS OWN!  Wow!  The bully repented! How cool is that!?

So, to the rest of you parents out there with hyper, easily agitated, overly emotional kiddos, take heart, again, you are not alone!

The moral for today’s story is twofold:  When teaching ADHD and Aspie kiddos, especially after a long weekend when one or more is un-medicated, in a school or in your home, always have chocolate and Pepsi on hand!  Don’t wait on your husband to bring it home from work! 

Secondly, make sure you always have a quiet place to retreat or pray throughout the day!  The bathroom or a closet works nicely!  And even better than that, make sure you start your morning totally giving your day and YOUR children over to your Heavenly Father!  Remember you are never alone in your parenting!  He is always there as a listening ear and for a hug!    

p.s.  My husband was late coming home from work today!  He did bring a Pepsi but it is too late to savor it or I will be up all night! Ugh!  Last Moral of the story, don't rely on Pepsi to meet your emotional needs!  Jesus is the real emotional filler of my soul!
 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Veteran's Day Tribute...

This post is not your typical Veteran's Day tribute.  Although I do highly esteem and give thanks to those who serve and protect this country at home and on foreign soil, I want to pay tribute to a different kind of veteran tonight. These veterans are more battle weary than you can ever imagine.  They have stayed many long hours in the trenches, have carried loads far beyond what they ever imagined and few escape the battles unscathed.  The veterans I want to honor tonight are those who parent children on the autism spectrum. 

I can't even imagine what Vietnam must have been like for my dad.  I have seen enough of his puctures to know that the experience surely changed him from the inside out.  I have heard it said that not too many Vietnam veterans came back as the same people they were before they left. 

 The same is true of parents of children with autism.  I can only imagine that few of us are the same people we were before being assigned this difficult task.  Most people have no idea of what we go through to make it through a day.  Most people don't know how many of us lay awake at night crying and wondering if our children will ever live successfully as adults.  Most people have no idea what it takes to be successful academically, socially and emotionally within our homes.  Just like I have never been to Vietnam and experienced it for myself, I truely have no idea whawas like.  If you have never lived with autism and experienced it for yourself, your idea of what my family life is like. This is no different that watching a doccumentary on TV about the Vietnam War and really having been there yourself. 

Tonight was one of those nights when I had to don my helmet and sword to escape the battle at hand.  I was "shot" at from every possible angle imaginable for a mom of a 14 year old Aspie returning from a weekend retreat at a waterpark hotel, complete with Mt. Dew, junk food and a 3 hour bus ride each way. (I can just hear my Aspie parenting comrades moaning over the thought of it!)  The battle began as soon as I saw his eyes when he climbed off the bus and lasted 'till we turned off his light and tucked the weary soldier in.  He was tired, unlike any tiredness you can imagine from a typical teen.  He was high strung from sitting 3 to a seat on the bus and  he spent the whole day coming down off a junk food buzz.  Unlike most teens who may have been tired and irritable this afternoon, the veterans at our house will be dealing with the fallout from this conflict for at least a day or two longer. 

  Now don't get me wrong, we are not in a constant war in our family and home, we just experience more battles on more occasions than a typical family with teenagers.  My admiration goes out tonight to other veterans living through these battles as well.

We also experience some pretty sweet victories too.  My husband explained one to me tonight when I was about ready to throw in the towel.  (OK, I did throw it in! I was sobbing on his shoulder wondering if our son will ever be capable of "just getting over it!")  In his wonderful, calm manner he reminded me that even during the heat of the battle tonight, it did not become physical:  No one had to physically handle our son to keep him under control.  The worst of the battles lasted thirty minutes max!  He went willingly (not without a little verbal backtalk...but physically willingly) where we asked him to go and reletively soon after we asked him!  "See," my husband reminded me, "Baby steps.  We are making baby steps!"  He went on to remind me that God didn't make our son to be like the rest.  He won't ever be like the rest and we can't expect him to.  He will live life and it won't look like the rest, but it will be his life, the one God intended him to have. 

My gratitude tonight goes to my superior officer (aka my super, fantastic husband!), because he was the superior one tonight in seeing past the current battle to the scope of the whole war.  Did we lose a little ground tonight?  Maybe.  Did we gain some ground tonight?  Yes! We did!   

To those of you fighting these battles alongside such a wonderful spouse, my charge is this:  Make sure you thank them for being your rock and helping you keep your sanity! 

To those of you fighting this parenting challenge alone, make sure you find support somewhere, from a friend or another parent who is raising a similar child. You have to build an army of support staff.  A real army can't stand up under an attack for long alone and neither should you.  I know I couldn't!  If you don't know another parent personally who fights these kinds of battles, email me and we'll talk and cry together!

So, whether you are feeling battle weary tonight or celebrating a victory, my hat goes off to you, parents! We may feel like enlisted soldiers now, but some day we will be veterans.  Some day you will celebrate all of those battles won.  You may never receive a change in rank or have a medal pinned on your shirt, but you are praised in my book!  I salute you and your efforts tonight!  My prayer for you all is that God would  protect you emotionally from the battles that sneak up on you and grant you many victories in the days ahead !

Friday, November 9, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal 11/9/12

Welcome to that time in my week where I share what we've done, not done and hope to do!  Click below to see what other homeschool moms have been up to!

 
I have spent most of my blogging time this week on an article about what I am learning in history along with my kids these days.  Click HERE to see why my little brain has just been absorbing US history like never before!
 
Because it took so much of my time, my journal will be short and sweet this week!
 
In our homeschool this week...
My middle man, Josh, has started a chapter on chemistry and has a new passion for mixing things that he finds around the house just to see what happens as well as watching chemistry experiments on youtube to see things happen that  his mom won't let him do in the kitchen!  These almost always involve fire and or explosions!

 
Our oldest bud, Caleb, just finished his poster on the revolutionary war.  He knows way more about it than I did at his age! Here is the back of his poster before it was finished. Now both the front and back are covered with facts! Kudos to everyone out there on the internet who provide free materials that I can use to supplement my kids' textbooks with!
 
I didn't get any pics of my daughter's projects from this past week so here is a cute one, just because!  She has been busy doing a book report on one of her American Girl novels, studying insects and practicing for her first Bible Quiz Meet!  In the practice meet she amazed me with her amazing memory!
I wish the yard and trees were still that green!
 
We also spent much of the day Tuesday playing social studies games and watching the election results come in!
"Take Off!" is one of our favorites!  *I also won this time! Go Pruple Plane!*
 
In my life this week...
I have nothing very notable to talk about! :O)  I have simply been mom, housewife and teacher, stayed in my jammies past noon many days and am just content with where I am in life right now.
 
I'm even more content knowing that as soon as daddy gets home tonight, one kiddo is going on a youth retreat, the other two are going to grandma's and I am going on a date!  Yeah for date nights!
 
I hope that you are finding contentment wherever you are...and that you soon get to go on a date as well!