Saturday, February 27, 2010

Peaceful Saturday

Got up this morning and fixed breakfast for the family. Just biscuits, but it was good. Started cleaning some of the house and starting a loaf of bread. It is really hard to live frugally when you have no time to do anything. Haven't had fresh bread in days. Decided to do a little school today and play catch up. The first two photos are of a lapbook we finished today about the Olympics. Took about three weeks, also read plenty of books about Ancient Greece and the First Olympics Games. The Percy Jackson movie fit in nicely with all of this.

Grace's newest passion is designing. Got this little sketch book with stencils from Walmart for 10.00 that her papa gave her. He is always looking out for her and giving her money to buy herself things. This has been a good buy, she has used it every day and enjoys it very much. She also got the new Percy Jackson book. Speaking of my dad, he is much better and came home today. I am going over in a little while to cook dinner for my parents. My mom is pretty tired. Hopefully life can start getting back to normal and she can get some rest before having to go for her chemo treatment on Wednesday. It will be good to see everyone at Emory, haven't been in about 3-4 weeks. On Monday I have to go get the dreaded mammogram. Please pray that everything will be fine, because quite frankly I do not have time to get sick. Taking care of too many other people.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Good News For a Change

Dad has not had anymore TIA episodes since yesterday around 5. They removed the heparin drip this morning and he is continuing to receive the injections in his stomach every 12 hours of another blood thinner. If he continues to do well he can go home tomorrow. We will have to give the same injections at home and he will have to be watched closely. Thanks so much for all your encouraging comments. Everyone is tired and ready to get back to a somewhat normal life. Whatever that means. Hope to report that tomorrow he is home.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Life Has Kind of Halted

Managed to get a little bit of school done this morning. Me and Grace went to the hospital after lunch to sit with dad and mom. Most of the day dad did real well, just weak. After we left around 3 he had another TIA (pre stroke episode) and then another around 5. Medication they were using just wasn't doing the job, switched over to a heparin drip tonight. Praying this will get the episdoes under control before he goes in to a full blown stroke. Mom is real tired and not able to stay up there all night. It is hard to leave him there through the night until the next morning. Please continue to pray that dad will repond to medication, that mom's stamina will hold out, and strength for me and my sister to hold everything together. Thanks so much for your comments of pray and encouragement.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dad Update

Mom had to call an ambulance for my dad this morning. Couldn't function very well and there was no way we could have gotten him up and in the car to get him to the hospital. Ran many tests this morning and passed them all. Once we got the results back I sent my mom and her friend to mom's treatment down at Emory. 45 minutes after leaving dad had another pre stroke episode. Had to call them back, so treatments will probably be put off for another week. Next test will be on the arteries in his neck, if blocked or narrowed will be transferred to a larger hospital for surgery. Otherwise will be treated with medication. Very scary to watch your father lose his ability to communicate, etc. right in front of you, and I was the only one there to handle it. He is resting in his room now and probably won't have the test run until tomorrow morning. Please pray that no surgery will be needed and that the medication will do it's job.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When it Rains It Pours

Got a call from my mom today that my dad possibly had a pre-stroke episode. We called the doctor and he wants to see dad tomorrow. I was to take mom to her next infusion tomorrow, now we are looking for another ride for her so I can stay home and watch my dad as well as take him to his appt. Please keep my family's health in your prayers. On a lighter note, took Grace to see the Percy Jackson moive last night and she loved it. I have to admit it was pretty good. She is already wanting to get the second book in the series to start reading. We did a little school this morning then after lunch headed to a playdate at a friend's house. Tonight making home made pizza. Yum!

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Pot Rack

New pot rack is up and functional. As I mentioned before my hubby can make just about anything. He collects all kinds of hardware and holds on to it until he needs it. This time he had everything we needed to make the rack and I have to say it turned out great. I will also go ahead and mention the copper counter tops. When we moved in the counter tops were white tile and the grout looked awful. Luckily my husband was blessed with some scrap copper and we decided to make the new tops out of it. We have a very small kitchen so the pot rack will really come in handy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

So, today was the birthday. The big 43. Some days I feel every year of that. On a lighter note had a great birthday dinner and cake at my moms. Mom and Dad got me a Martha Stewart cookware set. Yeah! I really needed one. We have a very small kitchen so not alot of space to house the new cookware. Hubby is building me a pot rack as we speak. I will post a pic tomorrow of the finished product.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thrifting and Arts Festival

It is a beautiful day today. Practically a heat wave at 55 degrees. Even had to open up the windows this afternoon to let some cool air in. Just as everyone else had stated we were suffering from some cabin fever. Decided to get up this morning and go out for the day. This morning found us at two of the local thrift stores. Not much to find. Did get three baskets for gift giving at .45 cents a piece, some books, an art book for art study at 2.00, and a ceramic crock with a lid for 3.65 that I intend to hold flour. After lunch we headed to a higher end Arts Festival at The Lodge in Unicoi which is in Helen. Very nicely done. Had about 50 artists including: paper cutting, copper works, oil painting, water colors, doll making, yarn, soap, wood works, and the list goes on. Hubby mainly wanted to check at the venue as a possible festival for him to try next year with his art. He does have two festivals coming up in June, both here in Georgia. It was really wonderful to get out for a while. Now on to some housecleaning. Well, somebody has to do it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

You've Got to Love Homeschooling

First a quick note to let you know I am better and my mom is better also. She is getting a week's rest before going back to Emory next week for another infusion. This week has been challenging as far as school goes. Monday - to the hospital for my mom. Tuesday - I was sick. Wednesday - some school, I was still recuperating. Thursday - fine arts classes took up most the day, but managed to get some work done this afternoon. Here's were my title for this entry comes from - I was going through our books putting together lessons for tomorrow, Grace was watching me look through some new books. She swiped the Easy Grammar book I had which was for Middle - High School age kids and is downstairs right now doing lesson after lesson to prove she can do it just for fun. This is the same kid that two hours ago was fussing at me about finishing her math. Go figure!! She has already finished about 5 pages and keeps asking me to check her answers and is thrilled when she has most of them right. These are the moments you wait for when you choose to homeschool.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Update

Of all things to happen, in the middle of the night I came down with a stomach bug and was unable to go to the hospital today. Still feeling icky, hope this ends soon and that no one else in the family gets it. My dad called earlier and mom has passed all her tests and they are releasing her this afternoon. Unsure if Emory will still want her to have an infusion this week. Need to call and talk to our nurse practitioner at Emory and give her the low down. Thanks for your prayers and thoughtful words.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Prayer Request

As many of you know my mom started a clinical trail about two months ago. Many side effect go along with her chemo drugs. This afternoon she had chest pains and her blood pressure was high. Went to the local hospital. She was good on her ekg, bloogwork, and chest xray. Keeping her over for observation. Tonight they are running a Chest CT Scan to check for blood clots and tomorrow a stress test. If she passes everything she can go home tomorrow. This is very discouraging. We go to Emory on Wednesday or Thursday for an infusion. It is possible with these kind of side effects that they could kick us out of the clinical trail. Please pray that everything checks out okay and that we can safely continue on the trail.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekend Projects

This is my Valentine's gift. My brother in law gave us some wall paper that is dry erase. Hubby glued it to a board and built a frame. We also had the part that holds the dry erase pens. My husband is great at repurposing items. So excited to have a big dry erase board to show math problems on, of course Grace just wants to draw.
Today was full of projects, some new and some unfinished for a month or so ago. We were to have our group's Valentine party on Friday but due to weather had to postpone it until Monday. Grace finished making her cards and we both made the cookies. Of course now we are expecting snow again, hoping we can still have the party tomorrow.

As I mentioned before hubby made me more shelves for Christmas and one required a door. Finally got that finished today. We also hung a cork board on it to hang art work and such.

This is where you can find Grace in her free time.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


It has been teasing us for weeks, flurries here, 1/2 an inch there, but finally we got some real snow. A whopping three inches. To us here in Georgia that is a good snow. It was all gone by mid afternoon, but the kids had a blast. We might be looking at some more wintery stuff in the next couple of days.

While the family was out in the snow, I baked another loaf of bread, caught up on some episodes of TV programs on the computer. If you haven't checked out please have a look. You might find something free to watch. I also crocheted a couple of more washclothes, and three coasters. Tonight was our church's annual Valentine's Banquet. Grace was asked to be a server. She had a really good time and got $15.00 in tips. We decided to skip the banquet this year and went out for a quiet dinner for two at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Our heat is still out but we are doing just fine using the wood stoves. I have two birthdays for men coming up in the month of March. If anybody out there has any ideas for gifts that I could make or thrift, give me a hollar and let me know. I am trying this year to make all gifts or thrift. Purchasing nothing new if possible.

Friday, February 12, 2010

School Update

I have been posting so much lately about our new frugal lifestyle that I haved missed some posts on school. As I mentioned before we started a lapbook about the Ancient Greeks and the Olympics. The above book was borrowed from the library and Grace has really enjoyed the activities in it. The next two pics are hands on crafts from the book (the symbol for doctors which is still used today was started in ancient greece, the mask was used in theaters for performing).

We also just finished our Social Insects unit for our Zoology book. Today Grace wrote a notebooking page to sum up what we had been reading about bees over the past two weeks.

It has just started snowing, hopefully we will get the 1 -3 inches that is being forcasted. I know that is nothing to all you folks up north with 30-50 inches, but we really want some snow.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Baking Questions

Now that I am cooking alot of items from scratch we are going through alot of white and wheat flour. I was looking online for buying these bulk and was curious if anyone has ideas of where to purchase larger quanities at better prices. Here are some of the items I am looking to purchase when tax refund comes back, any help would be appreciated:
Mozarella Cheese
Yeast in powder form
Baking soda
Baking powder
Nonfat powdered milk
Cocoa Powder
Fructose sugar
White Flour
Whole White Wheat Flour

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Last night, sometime in the middle of the night, our heat stopped working. When we woke up this morning it was 63 in the house. I knew something was wrong because we keep it set on 66. Normally the smaller of our stoves is ran all day and in to the evening until we go to bed and then eventually it burns out which makes the heat kick on during the night. Here is the blessing part, we actually have two wood stoves in the house. The bigger one pictured below runs very hot so we don't use it much. If we didn't have these two stoves we would be calling someone to repair the electric heat which we don't have the money for right now. We have decided to continue running the stoves as long as we can before calling anyone about the heat. The wood we burn was all free and has been every year since we moved up here. Hubby forages for fallen trees and cuts up for firewood as well as getting many pallets from work that would normally be thrown away.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Laundry Recipe

I have had a couple of requests for the recipe I use for laundry detergent. I can't take credit for this one, a friend of mine turned me on to it. It is very similar to another recipe I have seen on the net but you have to mix with boiling water to make a gel. This one just stays a powder. I use to plastic containers that sit on my dryer. In one container I mix half of borax and half of baking soda ( the recipe actually calls for washing soda but in our small area I have had trouble finding it, the baking soda seems to work just as well). In the second container I use shredded ivory soap. I keep a tablespoons in one of the containers to transport to the machine. I usually use 3-4 tablespoons of the powder mixture and 3-4 of the ivory soap. So far I really can tell no difference other than the overpowering fragrance that you get from Gain. Soon I am going to start experimenting with how little of amounts of each to still get the same results.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My New Frugal Life

Today I went thrifting. I am really trying to stick to the plan of not buying anything new for the next few months. This book is a huge time line of the world and it was 2.95.
I have been collecting baskets recently for the purpose of using them to give gifts in such as baked goods. These were 1.00 each.

This is my new jar to use for homemade cookies and sweets. The jar was 3.00. I was looking at a ceramic canister set for 18.00 but thought that was too much. I really need one to store all the flour, sugar, etc. that I am using now for cooking from scratch. Depending on what the monthly bonus is will determine if I go back and get it in a couple of weeks. I am not buying any cookies or sweets anymore from the store, baking all our own. I finally got the bread to start rising and here is a pic of the first one, already baked another.

Living this way is hard work. Last night we went to get groceries that need to last us for 2 weeks. I am feeding 4 people, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a bunny. I decided I needed to start writing out a grocery list and estimate all the prices to get an idea of what we would be spending, because there wasn't much there to spend. I also wrote out a menu plan to ensure that there would be no extra trips to the store. I was pleasantly surprised to come in $20 under budge with $144.50. So that is $72.25 for the week. I have crocheted three more wash clothes. We will not be buying any more paper plates, or napkins and cutting way back on paper towels. This past year I cross stitched about 20 ornaments for gifts and never got around to making them. Couldn't find what I needed in the crafts stores to finish the gifts in an economical fashion. I had a brain storm the other day and will be getting them finished for this Christmas. I will post a pic when one is done. I have to say I am really enjoying this new lease on life and trying to find new ways to save money. Oh, almost forgot, also made more laundry detergent today.

Art Giveaway Winner

A winner has been chosen:

Congrats to Wendy! She has been contacted by my husband via email.

Thanks for all the entries.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Drama, Snow, and Schoolwork

Got up this morning to go to fine arts classes. I dropped Grace off for her chorus and handicrafts class so I could go check on mom and see how she was fairing after the infusion yesterday. I had seen her worse. Some nausea and vomiting but not as bad as the times before. Got back for drama at 12:00. We have about 25 kids in the drama department and right now we are practicing for The Music Man. You would not believe how pumped these kids are about dancing and singing. Even the boys. They are loving it. The costumes are going to be fabulous. During the last hour of drama it started snowing. No snow was was in the forcast for our area or anywhere close to us. It snowed and sleeted for the next three hours. It snowed pretty heavily off and on but not much stuck. Did some schoolwork this afternoon ( Tuesdays and Thursdays are always our light book work days due to fine arts classes). Finished The Sign of the Beaver. Baking bread again, hopefully this one will rise just like the last. Crossing my finger. Taking a school day off tomorrow to go have a play date with friends, then off to dinner and the grocery store with hubby.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Typical Day and Update on Mom

Typical day. Do homeschooling families actually have typical days? I would have to say that no two days really look the same around here. We are constantly studying different things and going different places. Here is what a Wednesday looked like at our house:

  1. Science- Started back reading our Zoology book about flying creatures. New chapter is Social Insects.
  2. Math - Working in our new Life of Fred book about Fractions, also working on the new Pet Store Business math book from Simply Charlotte Mason.
  3. Just about finished reading The Sign of the Beaver. Grace really has enjoyed this book. Next on the agenda for History will be a book about James Monroe. If I haven't mentioned it before we are going through American History chronologically using the Truthquest History Guides.
  4. Olympics Lapbook - I purchased a lapbook from Currclick about the Winter Olympics and Ancient Greece. So far this has interested Grace more also. I am trying to get her to start working a little more independently with the lapbooks.(i.e. reading and finding answers to questions, research, etc).
  5. Finished the third spelling book in the series from Queenhomeschool and now starting a dictation book from Simply Charlotte Mason.
  6. Grace is reading Mr. Popper's Penguins for fun for 15 minutes each day.
  7. Proverbs Bible Study and Scripture memorization.
  8. Pronouns for grammar.
  9. Grace also reads for 30 minutes each night a book of her choice. Lately she has been spending her reading time with either Percy Jackson or The Warrior Series.

Grace also enjoyed working on her new crochet project today. We had to get school finished early today because I had a doctor's appt. (just yearly physical). Blood pressure is up a bit and will have to watch that, both my parents have high blood pressure. Speaking of parents, my mom started her infusions again today and will be every week for another three weeks. We did get the CT scan results and there has been no new growths and the tumors that are there have not grown. So all in all good CT results.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Field Trip

Today our handicrafts class went on a field trip. First we headed to the yarn store and each student got to pick out yarn for a new project. Grace will be making a scarf and hat. Then we were off to brunch at a local cafe owned by one of the students in our class. The cafe specializes in tea and light meals. Each girl got a sandwich, soup, and tea. The hot tea of choice was vanilla and the cold tea was a special concoction from their cafe which was made out of tea and 10 different fruit juices. Yum! Grace got a peanut butter sandwich in the shape of a butterfly, grapes, and a piece of chocolate cake. The girls felt very grown up with all the beautiful dishes.
I had a chicken salad sandwich. They students are already planning the next trip to the cafe.