called to serve

psssssssttttttt . . . . Hi!  How about we just ignore that little bloggie break and pretend it didn't happen, okay?!  It's not like I have been busy with starting Ellie on an insulin pump, beginning homeschool and spending weekends without my favorite boyfriend (he has been working crazy long hours/days lately).  Nope.  No excuses.

Let's move on.

1.  The Omnipod insulin pump system is f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s-i-t-y and I promise to devote a couple of posts highlighting our transition from MDI to podding.

2.  Schooling the kids at home is f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s-i-t-y and I promise to devote a couple of posts highlighting our roller coaster of a learning curve. (with pictures of the school room!)

So, what made me jump back on the computer to dust off the old blog?


Today our lesson plans called for service.  A field trip!  And two other very awschum homeschooling families joined us in volunteering for Meals from the Heartland

We signed up to serve a 2-hour shift of food packaging at HyVee Hall in Des Moines.  This is their annual fight against hunger, 4 day event.  Their goal is putting together and boxing up over 4 million meals to be shipped to countries in need.

Our team of 10 Hunger Fighters. (I am the photo taker and the other helper had run ahead ~ so excited!)

Some of the displays set up on our way into the convention hall.  They artistically recreated tent cities.

The top photo is what the food packaging area looked like BEFORE the volunteers came in, and the bottom photo is after hundreds of hunger fighters appeared for their shift.

Today I am so grateful to be called to serve . . . . and to have the opportunity to do it with my kids!


good fridays

Another Friday come and gone . . . well, almost.  Three moments I am grateful for this week (no T1D allowed) as the temperature and humidity crawl back up to August standards.  Ugh.

1.  We survived the first 2 days of going 'off the grid!'  No, we haven't moved to an eco-communal living farm.  We just took a flying leap off the public school grid and began homeschooling.  It was a surreal experience to wake up Thursday morning and head down to the 'school room' and begin teaching my kiddos the three R's . . . while adding in current events, science, art, music, geography, history and bible study.  I am not gonna lie, I was more than a little scared and anxious about how it was all going to play out.  Not only was I surprised at the ease of the transition, however, I also grinned and giggled knowing we could work at our own pace and change up the 'rules' when we needed.  Today was no different, and I dare say a little smoother, and I am beginning to believe we are actually going to make this adventure happen.  Woo-To-The-Hoo!!! 

2.  One of the best moments of the week was spent swimming at a church-friend's backyard pool with our 'other' family.  It also happened to be during the first day back to school for our community.  HeHe.  Yeah, we had ourselves a good old-fashioned 'not-going-back-to-school' party while most of their friends were sitting at a desk in a classroom listening to lectures.  Really, though . . . did you expect anything less from us?!

3.  The last grateful moment involves an appointment with my favorite 13yo and my hair stylist.  Maddi and I had our locks trimmed and colored, with her opting for a bright red hair extension and me selecting a overall dark chestnut full color with purple undertones.  Don't worry, it sounds so much more dramatic than it looks.  I guess I could prove it with a photo, but I would much rather let your minds wander and wonder. 

Yeah, it's definitely Friday an I am feeling a little spunky and snarky.

"Hey, did you SEE Amy and Maddi's hair?  What were they thinking?!"


oh. my. lantus.

First of all, I want to express a HUGE 'thank you' to all the wonderful comments and supportive sentiments regarding our homeschooling curriculum.  You all are so encouraging and such a positive influence in my life.

And boy do I need love and encouragement today, because

Oh. My. Lantus. 

(Another great phrase from my friend, Ceesa.  It replaced OMG in just about every situation.  Do YOU have a 'Ceesa' in your life?  If you don't, I recommend finding one and hanging on tight)

I will begin at the end of this tale because the beginning is too long ago to correctly recall.

Ellie is officially 'live with insulin' with an Omnipod pump . . . TODAY!!!!!  Or, 5 hours at this point.

Notice I didn't say "OUR" Omnipod pump?  Yeah.  About that.

Our insurance gave the green light verbally after we submitted our paperwork 30 (thirty!) days ago.

We have done our part.  Ellie completed the week-long saline trial and our Endocrinologist's office was on top of the requested documentation.

Omnipod was on top of things and did what they could in response to our insurance company's many requests.

Yet, here we are today, pumping with insulin on the Dr.'s office loaner Omnipod pump.  The same one we took home for the saline trial.


Because the insurance company is a piece of ($*%&^#*( work.  A business who doesn't care who my daughter is or why she wants a better T1D management system.

So we have to prove it by flooding them with doctor certifications, proof of training calenders, blood sugar logs, carb counts, plans of actions and payment plans.  Really?

Okey-Dokey then.  I will play along nicely until I just can't anymore, or they approve and send out OUR pump . . . . whichever comes first. 

I really don't have time to be mad, anyway.  The learning curve on pumping and the zig/zag nature of T1D will have me busy enough. 

Oh yeah, and our first day of homeschool is t-o-m-o-r-r-o-w. 

I'd say this is a pretty good representation on my inner self today.  Anyone else feeling this way, too?


our homeschool 101

Today Yesterday was the first day of public school in our city.  I felt a little out of sorts not getting my kids up early, packing lunches and taking our traditional 'first day of school' photos.  I  even half expected a truant officer to come knocking on my door asking where my children were and why they were not in school . . . even though I turned in all the necessary paperwork for competent private instruction.  I might have even experienced a moment of panic after I signed on to facebook and saw the photos and read the stories of all the kids in their new clothes and backpacks heading back to school.

Then I looked in on my sleeping children all nestled into their beds, enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee and bowed my head in thankful prayer for His plans for our family to be 'different.'  Or, as my friend Ceesa says "to go off the grid."

We spent our day at a church friend's backyard pool with our second family (Ceesa's) who are also choosing to school at home this year.  What a great start to our new adventure!

So . . . when DO we begin our homeschool? 

Thursday.  Nice and slow and easy.


We are going to be educating in a Charlotte Mason'ish manner, with some classical nods and traditional fares thrown in for good measure.  I think most people would call it eclectic; we call it 'us.' 

~ Maddi will be using Teaching Textbooks, pre-algebra level.

~ Ellie and Ben will use Math Mammoth, levels 4 and 2 respectively.


~ Maddi will work her way through Apologia's Creation through Physical Science

~ Ellie and Ben will be introduced to the subject by participating in Maddi's labwork and using a couple of fun unit studies here and there.


~ All three kiddos will participate in learning about history, geography and the bible by utilizing Simply Charlotte Mason's module 1; Genesis - Dueteronomy and Ancient Egypt.  We will use the sugested curriculum guide and move through the unit using living books, suggested readings and activites.


~ Maddi will use Wordly Wise 3000 level 8 and a daily online grammer prompt.

~ Ellie and Ben will each work through their own levels of Spelling Wisdom, complete daily copywork and utilize daily online writing prompts.


~ Maddi will continue with weekly guitar lessons, self taught art through Drawspace and PE through family activities and a membership to our local YMCA.

~ Ellie will resume piano lessons, her third year, with Pam Gaulke.  PE through family activites and games and Art through online prompts and local mini-classes.

~ Ben will follow suit with Ellie with our PE and Art ideas, and is interested in beginning percussion lessons.  Oh. My. 

Daily Together Time (water cooler talk)

~ We plan to begin our day looking through and discussing several 'for this day' online one stop shops such as:

Astronomy picture of the day

Botany picture of the day

Daily global prayer prompts

This day in history

A word a day

National Geographic photo of the day  (we will change our computer desktop photo to this picture and discuss or use as a writing prompt - when appropriate)

~ All of these daily prompts are intended to develop and strengthen family discussions, narration practice (for dinnertime discussion when the hubs gets home) and writing prompts. 

Literature and Writing

~ I believe we based our curriculum decisions and homeschooling style with these two subjects in the forefront of our minds.  We want our children to develop a deep love and respect for classic literature and feel it is very important to expose them to a large variety of literature. 

The kids will all receive reading 'lists' and books chosen from this resource, based on Charlottle Mason's literature philosophy.

In order to foster a solid foundation of comprehension, narration and writing, we will rotate having the children complete 1 of 3 options when they have completed a book. 

1.  An oral narration of the summary and prompted question / answer session covering key points, character development and story time lines.

2.  A written report either prompted in 'book report' form or free-style writing in a comparison side-by-side writing style.

3.  A Power Point or other multi-media presentation covering the main parts of the book.

Downtime/Play/End of day

~ Yes, a plan for this too.  Lots of lots of this.

School begins on Thursday . . . . and the story will continue.


good fridays

It's Friday!!!!  What a fun name for a day of the week.  Don't you think it just sounds happy?  And happy I am today . . . . so let's get this started.  Three moments for which I am grateful (no type 1 diabetes talk allowed) this week.
Hi Ben!

1.  I am amazed and astounded at the relative 'smallness' of this great big world in which we live.  The photo above is of Ben, our Red Dolphin whale watching tour guide.  I wrote about our fabulous jet boat tour here, and told about what a great time we had in Juneau, Alaska.  Just this last week I log on to Blogger to find this message staring back at me:

What you need to know to understand the complete awschumness of this message is that I have NO IDEA how Ben found my blog!  I never mentioned blogging, did not link directly to the Red Dolphin website nor did I exchange any contact info with Ben, so seeing this comment caused my brain to explode with wonder.  I LOVE connections like these! 

Thanks, Ben, for stopping by and saying hi.  And yes, the rest of our Alaskan vacation was very memorable!

2.  While gearing up and organizing for our first homeschool year to begin, I had an idea about a central 'school supply center' to house many of the items we would be using on a daily basis.  I wanted it to be mobile (so I could put it away) and user friendly.  Well, this week was the time to see my vision come to fruition. 

All our schooling needs (sans paper and books) right at our fingertips.

~ lazy Susan from IKEA = $7

~ 3 sizes of Bell/Kerr canning jars = already had

~ supplies to fill the jars = mix of what we had at home and about $10 spent at the store

~glue gun to adhere the jars to the lazy Susan = already had

~ Total spent = $17!!

And the best part?

It spins and nothing flies off!  Whhheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

3.  All of our cats/kittens are getting along smashingly.  It was a little tense at first bringing in 2 kittens to our household of 2 adult cats, but after some nose-touching, butt-sniffing and circling around trying to establish dominance they all decided to get along amicably. 

Here is Alice and Piper (old and new) snuggling and bathing each other in a too-small-for-them cat bed.

And in other good Friday news, our kitten Rosy was finally released to come back home after having to go back to the ARL (animal rescue league) for a nasty kitten cold.  Our cRaZy cAt family is complete!!!


What good things happened to YOU this week?


on belay

Amazing how a "couple of days" away from the blog (since I posted everyday in July) quickly turn into e-l-e-v-e-n days.  Even I cannot stretch the definition of a 'couple' to include eleven.   

I will, however, provide a definition to my title phrase; on belay

      Belaying is one of the most important climbing skills you will learn and 
     master in the indoor climbing gym. Belaying is the basis of climbing
     safety, of ensuring both your and your partner’s safety. Belaying, simply
     put, is a simple process of holding the rope and the climber in the event of
     a fall. The rope links both the climber and the belayer together in a safety
     partnership, allowing the climber to fall without fear of hitting the ground
     and suffering injury or worse.  (source)






So real that my mind is 'on delay' as a safety measure to prevent catastrophic anxiety attacks.

What do I fear?

~ hitting the ground and not getting back up

~ failure to educate my children to standards

~ my father requiring more help than I feel I can give

~ type one diabetes winning (2 young girls dies this week from t1d)

~ retreating inside my head and missing what is real

What is False?  My perceptions and interpretations of these situations.  I am looking at one piece to the entire puzzle and attempting to see the big picture.

What is Evidence?  My ears and eyes catching bits and pieces of the whole conversation, sending those tiny pieces to my brain for processing - then spit out jumbled with personal emotions. 

What is Appearing?  When I allow my mind to go 'on delay', appearances are deceiving.  They are self-serving.  They are skewed to reflect what I can mentally process.

What is Real?  My sin of fearing ANYTHING but the Lord. 

~ He knows when I fall (He probably pushed me down to teach me a lesson!) and will reach down to pull me up.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

~ He placed in my heart a desire to educate my children at home and He will provide all I need in His perfect timing; not mine.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."  Proverbs 22:6

~ He is waiting for my father to acknowledge Him. 

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father"  Romans 8:14-15

~ He made my daughter perfectly, WITH type one diabetes.  A disease doesn't 'win' and He has promised a purpose for Ellie

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11

~ He tells me what is real, and it is NOT the voices inside my head.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths"  Proverbs 3:5-6

Being 'on belay' is trusting God with all your heart and all your mind . . . . even when (especially when!) your mind is 'on delay'.