wordless'ish wednesday

~ The Schuhmacher Family needs your prayers

~ Find their story on facebook

~ Read Meri's blog, Our Diabetic Life

"Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”(Matthew 18:19-20 ESV)


officially official

Homeschool ID Cards and our school mascot (& jr. mascot)

We are now 6 months into our homeschool adventure and thought it high time we made it official with a proper name, ID cards, a school mascot(s).

Name:  The Bellison School of Independent Studies. We spend quite a bit of time and energy coming up with this name. We wanted something we could put on a transcript that would sound 'professional', yet yearned for something personal. We also struggled with selecting to name ourselves either a 'school' or an 'academy'. In the end, we went with something we could all agree on and feel comfortable with.

Bellison = 'Be' for Ben, 'lli' for Ellie, and 'son' for Madison. 

Personally, I really wanted to go with: "Our Lady of Perpetual Yelling".

ID cards:  What is a proper school if you don't have a proper ID? I also have discovered many stores offer discounts to teachers/homeschool eductaors if you can prove either. I used this site to personalize our ID's with photos and names. It is free to print them out as long as you sign up for the free site membership. I laminated the cards for durability (and yes . . . I do have a laminator. So much fun!) and to better fit into my card slots in my wallet.

I used my home educator card for the first time today. Mads is working on a project and needed some supplies from Michael's craft store. We always look on the computer to check for coupons before we head out . . . and Michael's almost ALWAYS have 40% off one item coupons. Once at the store, I asked the cashier if they offerred a discount for educators. She said all I needed to do was show my Homechool ID card and they would take 15% off the entire order in addition to any other coupons.  Woo-to-the-Hoo!!!!!!

Mascot:  The children insisted we have a mascot for our school, so Maddi whipped up a design of a narwhal outfitted with a big pencil and graduation cap. Ben named him Oliver and we all celebrated the completion of our project. Then Ellie decided we could use a jr. mascot in case Oliver was unable to fulfil his duties due to impalement by a jealous 'capless' narwhal.  Stanley, Oliver's understudy, was designed with cap and diploma in hand, but we all agree he might be a little on the 'special' side.

So, there you have it.  The Bellison School of Independent Studies, complete with working ID cards and a mascot for all of our personalized stationary.


relinquishing control

artwork by nataliedee.com ~ words by me

A challenge was presented during our small-group night at church, last Wednesday. We were asked to spend our devotional time for the next week focusing on one specific message or theme we felt God was directing us towards.

LISTEN for what God is guiding us, as individuals, to change or pursue or to work out.

I believe God's message for me began settling in my heart and mind immediately. When we were asked for prayer requests, I said I needed help discerning when I *think* I can control my emotions . . like when I am feeling overwhelmed. In other words, do I give up on a bad or sad mood too quickly (accepting the black cloud and doing the bare minimum to get through the day) without asking God for direction or guidance?

The answer is yes. I give in to the emotion, micromanage the things I have to get done, then fall into bed. Even though I *feel* out of control, I am really just trying to control the situation to match and feed my feelings.

artwork by nataliedee.com ~ words by me

I prayed and meditated on these thoughts throughout the next couple of days. I began to feel more and more convicted of my need to control, and repented to God all the ways and situations I could recall 'taking the reigns' without asking Him for guidance.

I specifically asked God to help me relinquish control in situations where I feel I need to meet MY needs before I move on to help others . . . which is, sadly, too often.

God was good and presented a situation for me to relinquish control the very next day! (sarcasm here . . . I was not too happy to begin letting go so soon).

I trust in Him, in His plans for me, and His purpose in placing people in my life to walk with me during this life on earth.

BUT . . . . .

Now? You want me to give up control of THIS? (finances. Yep, hand the spreadsheets over)

The answer was y-e-s. Complete release and with a grateful heart.

So I did.

And you know what? My heart WAS grateful and WAS filled with joy for letting go . . . relinquishing control.

Original drawing by Maddi ~ words added by me
The message continued last night during an evening education session at church. The title of the lesson was "When Grace Doesn't Seem Amazing" and one of the sub-points was "You Are Not in Control" or "Hey Amy, You Had Better Sit Up, Take Notes, and Listen Vvveeerrryyy Carefully to This Part"

- "One of the most dangerous delusions for each of us is the delusion of our own sovereignty. And one of our most dangerous idols is the idol of control. If we spend our days trying to establish our sovereignty and our control, then we have not yet learned to rest in the Lord's control" ~ Paul Tripp
Alright Lord, I hear you loud and clear. I will unclench my fists and release the pressure . . . relinquish control. Let it fall away from me as I take a big step back. When my hands are open and empty, my knees firm on the ground, I will receive your word and direction. Accept it without question. These things I will do over and over until I have nothing left to let go.  

This process will take me some time, however. You see Father, you also gave me a daughter with T1D . . . . I still have LOTS of control issues to work through with this one. Please be patient!


good fridays

Oh Happy Day!  It has been a vvvveeeerrrryyyy long week and I am oh so happy to have woken up to find it Friday!  Extra bonus points for the fresh snowfall last night that is clinging to every surface . . . . simply beautiful!

1.  We have been experiencing a very mild winter this season, so I am tickled glittery pink when the snow falls.  I love living in the Midwest where we have seasons full of everything they have to offer.  I have been a little disappointed in the 'lack of action' this winter has presented, so waking up to a day bright and snow-filled has made me a very content Iowan. 

2.  Louise and I (I am Thelma) have a mutual friend who needs someone to watch her sleeping kiddos for a couple of hours, once a week. Just a situation where one parent has to head to work while the other is still AT work. Louise and I usually offer up our two eldest daughters to go and 'babysit'.  The two girlies like to chit-chat on the couch and keep an ear out for any kiddos who wake up and need a glass of water or such. Well, this week Louise worked it out so she and I could take over the babysitting . . . . US sitting on the couch, chit-chatting for an hour and a half or so.  B-l-i-s-s-f-u-l.  How wonderful to get a chance to reconnect and talk about nothing in particular.  Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.

3.  One thing I Love, lOve, loVe, lovE about homeschooling is having the opportunity to observe my children's quirky behavior while they discover a new concept or celebrate a learning moment. 

THIS morning I was sitting beside Ellie at the kitchen table while she worked on her math, Teaching Textbooks, on the laptop.  I was busy drinking my coffee and reading news on my iPad when she squealed in delight that she had finished another unit.  This means 'Bonus Round'!  I quickly turned the camcorder function on and turned the iPad ever-so-sneakily in her direction. 

Oh My.

This girl's excitement is enviable.  Enjoyable.  Immense.  Funny.  Fabulous.  and of course, AWSCHUM.

My favorite part is at the end when she mimics the computer, throws her hands in the air, and declares, "I am officially Amazing!!!!!"  Yes, yes you are, my sweet.

Have a great weekend!!!!


my take on wordless wednesday

I really can not attribute her sense of design to 'succumbing to classroom peer pressure'. Nope. She puts these pieces together ALL BY HERSELF.


We don't need no stinkin' meter

Oh aren't those meters pretty with their perfectly in range numbers!  If we saw blood sugar numbers like those for Ellie we would be testing 72 times a day! 


Not so.  Her last A1C in January was a big fat 8.  See how those circles in the number '8' are so round and fat and just staring at you like "Hey!  I'm loud, proud and here to stay and party!  I will leave a mess and cause some damage.  Just sayin."

I know, I know, I KNOW!  An 8 for an A1C is not horrible or even really 'bad'.  It's just that in 17 months since Ellie's diagnosis she has been climbing from . . . well, let's just look at the sidebar chart:

My frustrations lie in the trend of the numbers, as much as or more so than the actual big, fat 8 in January.  We know how to count carbs, we stay updated to her trends by plugging in her OmniPod PDM to the computer weekly to check overall numbers, we use the temp basal, yada yada YADA.  It's been 17 months . . . . I want BETTER numbers, not WORSE.

There.  I vented.  I whined.  I punched the desk a little bit.  I made myself another cup of coffee with a little something extra.

Now I am better.

On to the point of this post . . . . no. more. meters.  Nope!  Don't need them around here anymore.  Here is why:

How to know if Ellie's blood sugar is low, in-the-range, or high:

scenario #1:  (pale, eyes a little wide) "I feel shaky" = below 70 but above 50

scenario #2:  giggling like a maniac, fast and staccato-like . . . not saying much of anything comprehensible = below 50

scenario #3:  crying through a math lesson because 3+4 doesn't equal 9 = +200

scenario #4:  falling down on the floor in a tantrum or yelling/screaming at her brother because he 'breathed' too loud = +300

scenario #5:  (skin blotchy red) "My tummy hurts" = +350 and chance of ketones

scenario #6:  being silly, drawing, making up songs, reading for pleasure, riding her bike, dancing to music, giving hugs freely and for no apparent reason = 80-150 . . . right in the zone

See?!  Who needs to waste precious blood glucose strips when she so accurately displays her numbers through behavior and skin colors?!

Of course, we always check her sugar and treat accordingly, but this chart helps me know ahead of time to get out the fast acting sugar, or to prepare for an insulin pump site change.

And, most importantly, it helps me to see that I have learned s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g over the last 17 months, even if it doesn't show with that big, fat 8 of an A1C.


Back on the blog wagon

I am ready to hop back on the blog wagon.  You see, when I jumped off last November I intended to be back on after the holiday season.  When I exited, however, I caught my foot on the rail and smacked my head against the wheel.  Once I woke from passing out, I found the wagon had stopped and backed up over me in an attempt to loosen the hold of my shoe.  It worked.  I spent quite awhile in surgery, then recovery, and finally back home to lick my wounds.  Yep . . . I am ready to get back on the blog wagon; and that driver better watch his back.

Because I love a post with lots of pictures, this first post will not disappoint. 

May I present "Where the heck have you been and what in tar-nation have you been doing?" in cartoon drawings (credit to google image search / nataliedee)

To sum up . . . the break was nice but way too long.  I neglected my needs, my space here, and the ability to define myself outside of my roles as wife, mother, teacher, pancreas, and cRaZy cat lady.  As I have said before, it's all about the balance.  I need to find that sweet spot of tension where all is humming along AND I have time for myself.

I miss my blogging friends (Thanks to Denise, Nikki and Joanne for shouting out to me and making sure I hadn't fallen off a cliff.  Sorry to not respond . . . I was still sorting things out.)

I miss writing about my days and happenings.

I miss telling the family to 'leave me alone while I blog'.

I miss me.  I hope this brings me back in the right direction to finding myself . . . cause if I want an AWSCHUM life, 'I' have to be right in the center!!!!!