05 Dec 2013 Leave a Comment
Everyone woke up earlier than they have in the past few days, which was good. We started school on time for once this week. Hannah aced her spelling test, did vocabulary, read Josefina’s Story Quilt (after reading the first page she said, ‘Oh, I’m liking this book!’), did some math, writing and grammar. Grace learned about deep ocean currents, did some probability experiments, did indefinite pronouns in grammar and read more of The Secret Garden. Bethany finished up To Kill a Mockingbird and cobbled together her English paper out of her atrocious outline (the given outline was so clunky, you couldn’t see everything you typed nor could you copy and paste into the document, so she printed it out and filled it out by hand.)
Hannah pulled our Advent thing to do today and it was take a thankful walk.
Yes, I knew the forecast when I wrote that, but the weatherman is hardly ever right anyway, so I left it.
It wasn’t too hard to be thankful walking around in 10 degree temps.
I heard a lot of ‘I’m thankful for snow boots and coats and gloves and snow pants..’
We walked by the Platte river trail at Carson nature center.
For some reason we were the only people there….might have something to do with the 10 degree mark.
We ate lunch at Cafe’ 180 (yes, it was kind of a bribe for doing the walk.) They had the butternut squash soup today and it (along with my Mediterranean salad and Mediterranean pita wrap) made a great meal to warm me up. Bethany and Grace had huge slices of Hawaiian pizza and Hannah had her usual (meatball sub, no peppers, and a side of goat cheese.) We went by the library to drop off books and pick up more. Hannah got 2 grab bags of books, I do like how they do that, it does make the kids want to check out more books to read.
Now we’re home, fireplace on, clothes in the dryer and pork chops marinating for dinner. What a great day. Advent reading for the day:
Luke 2:6-7 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
04 Dec 2013 Leave a Comment
I think our high today was 9, it snowed all day, but most of that was very fine so we ended up with about 5″. We did school and I canceled the Ben Franklin lecture we were going to, I don’t think I could have handled driving one handed in the snow.
The girls got out to play in the snow, as you can see the driveway is not shoveled and the only way you know where the street is is because of Joel’s car.
The connecting road to our street is plowed, sometimes we get plowed on this street, sometimes not (I guess today was a not day.)
Thanks to the Internet, Christmas gifts are arriving left and right here. My Christmas cards are once again going to be late, but they are pretty cool, so it’s okay.
Tomorrow it’s just cold and school, those things go well together. Today’s Advent reading was from Luke 2:1-5 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. Did you ever think, why would Caesar make a ruling that required that all people go back to their hometown? Or why would God even put in the prophecy that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem? Caesar was doing the will of God, knowingly or not. Bethlehem was the place to be for a Messiah and Joseph took Mary and headed straight there, just in time! Our thing to do today was look at a hymn, we chose “I Need Thee Every Hour’ by Annie Hawks. She was doing the household chores back in the 1800′s when she suddenly felt God’s presence and wrote down the song. The song brought much comfort to people and many years later to Annie herself after she lost her husband. Here is a nice version by Selah.
03 Dec 2013 Leave a Comment
Oh, I had a good sleep on the couch last night. I can lie down and my arm is just in the right position protected by the cushions, nice. We did school and had lunch, Bethany worked on an outline for her English paper and Grace started on her oceans unit in Science. Our advent reading was from Luke 1:68-71 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us…” Which led to a great discussion on patience (Zechariah waited for his baby to be born and is so confident in God’s plans that he uses the past tense – He has redeemed His people.) We talked about people who weren’t so patient…Abraham…. and people who could not have known Jesus was the Messiah but did know when they saw Him….Simeon. We also talked about how, even knowing the prophecies, it must have seemed strange to them at that time that after all the years God was finally bringing about His promise.
We had an afternoon craft, painting mixing bowls at the library. These bowls will be fired and glazed and then returned to us in a few weeks, yay, more free presents. The colors look dull here and they aren’t quite the color they will be when fired and glazed. My pot looks pretty good for left handed painting.
Grace’s pot is red and orange, I know it just looks pinky-orange, and she wrote Bazinga on the inside.
Hannah’s pot is red and green and I think Bethany’s is too.
It will be neat to see the difference when they are finished.
It’s supposed to snow overnight, so our lecture on Ben Franklin tomorrow afternoon might get canceled, we’ll see. It’s going to be a cold recital day on Sat. with a high of 15 or so and a low of 8.
02 Dec 2013 Leave a Comment
I slept on the couch last night and got a better sleep, so I guess I’ll be down here for awhile. We started school on time, Grace had two end of unit tests to take in Math and Science and she got a ‘B’ and ‘A’ respectively. Bethany has a lot of writing assignments in English this week, so she got started on that and a quiz in History and the end of unit wrap up in Math (another Storify post.) Hannah did an entire vocabulary unit, just because she wanted to. I tried to take a nap, but never actually got to sleep. We went to the library (yes, I can drive with one hand) to make some fused glass items, thank you library for free Christmas presents.
The advent reading for the day was from Luke 1:46-55 “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Mary is overcome with joy and sings out to God. Out of all, He chose her to carry His son. Out of all, she was to bring forth the Messiah. What wonder when we are so overcome with God and realize that for these lowly people He did a marvelous thing, gave an incredible gift and we respond with joy. Our item for the day was ‘pick a game to play’ So, as soon as James gets home we are playing Denveropoly.
I found another library event for tomorrow, paint a bowl, so we’re planning on going to that.
01 Dec 2013 Leave a Comment
Today was the first day of Advent, but we didn’t read the selection until evening fell. Before that, I went outside to take pictures of the sunset, the clouds were swirling and changing colors by the second.
I wish I would have taken a few more of the advancing purple at the end.
Hannah pulled the papers out of the mountain marked 1 and we read Luke 1: 16-17 “He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
We talked about preparing for Advent like we do at Lent. We think about the fact that we need a Saviour, if we don’t need one then why celebrate His birth? We do some self-examination, probably not as much as we do before Resurrection day, but still we need to look at our hearts and prepare room for Him. We try to bring God centered anticipation to the season of Advent by reading books that are Biblical, watching movies that go with our concept of Christmas and doing things like the Advent calendar with fun things to do each day. (Tonight was make cookies.)
We try to focus on preparing our hearts and a giving attitude more than a receiving one and a fixation on gifts (though my kids are still kids, they have a list of stuff they want and they hope to get some of those things, the aspect of wanting at Christmas time is not likely to be erased so soon.) The last thing we are looking at is reading the Bible and writing down verses to memorize and have around the house. Christmas is just one day, but there is so much we can do to enter with joy on that day by preparing our hearts and minds beforehand.
01 Dec 2013 Leave a Comment
The days are blurring together as I stay (mostly) home. All would be good if 1 – my meds didn’t cause me to spend an hour at nights scratching all over with a backscratcher (at least I have one) and 2 – I could sleep the whole night through. But, that is impossible because once I get up one time, I can’t get all the pillows back into their proper sleeping-upright-shape, so I toss and turn (and take a nap in the chair during the day.)
We went by Mardel’s and Hobby Lobby one night, that must have been Friday. We haven’t been to either of those stores in awhile, and I found some cool gifts for the girls. Saturday I was working on finishing the advent calendars – mountains.
They look a lot better on someone else’s blog, but maybe she had 2 hands to use, and didn’t use her children to cut the templates out or just spent more that I did. I like how they turned out though. They are stuffed with the advent reading of the day (from here) and something they get to do that day (like pick out a storybook to read, bake cookies for neighbors, go on a walk.) James grilled hamburgers for lunch and we watched TV (and took a nap.)
That night we went to LoHi for the Littleman’s tree lighting/food/ice cream/pictures/hot cider/chestnuts roasted on an open fire/carriage rides.
We had hot cocoa ice cream, butterscotch, pumpkin chip, chocolate frosted cupcake, salted caramel fudge, and thai tea.
Joel was off work, so he went with us just like the old days. It isn’t often that we all get to go to places now that he works.
Sunday we went to early church and it was a fun time as the kids were in charge. We had rocking worship, a lesson on joy, songs and fun and videos. After church we shopped at the dollar store and then dropped the girls at home so James and I could go to Lola’s for brunch. My, my, so much good food. We had the donut flight which was maple bacon, honey jalapeño caramel, and cherry-fresno jelly filled donuts. The maple bacon was my favorite. Our brunch entrees were (mine): butter poached lobster, green chiles, onions, spicy avocado, goat cheese, and breakfast potatoes. It was creamy and smooth, a nice punch of taste with the cheese, very yummy. I was tempted to get the chicken and waffles and see how it fared next to Eucild’s version, but the lobster beckoned me. James had the Lola bowl -sweet potato chorizo hash, crawfish-pork estofada, grilled shrimp, chile rojo broth, fried egg, pico de gallo. It was more like a spicy soup with the chile broth and it was good with the seafood and sweet potato chorizo flavors mixing with the chile, but it was too spicy for my taste. I think I will try the chicken and waffles when we go again, the table next to us had it and it looked amazing.
I think we’re in for the night, the girls went out with James while I napped and they get to make cookies tonight (per the advent paper they pulled out.) This week is light for going out, just school, one library event and one co-op, then recital on Saturday, that will be exciting.
29 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
So, Thanksgiving day was great.
I slept a little better, James made pumpkin pies before we left for downtown and Joel was off work.
We got to the convention center at 10 and met briefly with friends who were helping out too (4 families from our homeschool group), then we got our tags and went to find our groups.
The girls and I were working in give-aways, James and Joel were front door greeters.
The band put us in a cheerful, singing mood.
While the guys manned the door, we put together crayons, puzzles and paper games for the kids.
They were using them while they waited for seating to open up. Our tables had the goody bags, hats, gloves, scarves and shirts that people could get when they were done eating. Time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to eat: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and pumpkin pie.
We decided to fix a ham for dinner since we were going to have turkey for lunch.
The tables were set with paper turkeys and Fall ornaments, Hannah got to see Noah so she was happy.
We handed in our vests and said ‘bye’ to friends, that was a great way to spend the morning and get into a true spirit of being thankful.
Back at home, I took a nap – 3 hours is the longest I have stood up for after surgery on Monday, so a nap was nice! James put the ham in the oven and went to pick up Grandma.
We had ham, sweet potatoes, broccoli au gratin, rolls, pecan and pumpkin pies.
Are those fingerprints in my pie?
Some thankful leaves on the window.
We had a good visit with Grandma and I was thankful for a quiet house (the girls went to play downstairs.) Hmm…I am still pretty bad at one handed indoor pictures.
I am thankful for food and friends and family – even if they are far from here. I am thankful that my surgery went well and that I will no longer be in debilitating and excruciating shoulder pain (when everything heals up.) I am thankful for a gorgeous day, children at play, a fire in the fireplace and fuzzy slippers. I am thankful for home and everything that goes with it.
Remember, every day should be a day of thanksgiving for all we are given.
28 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
A Thanksgiving Psalm
100 1-2 On your feet now—applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.
3 Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn’t make him.
We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
4 Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
5 For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.
26 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
Grace had another marine biology Skype call this morning all the way from Scotland with Professor Roberts who studies cold water corals.
(Wearing a whale shirt to a marine biology Skype session….why, yes.)
Grace had read through one of the posts on his site (lophelia.org) about the symbiotic relationship between cold water corals and worms. So she asked, what if an intruder tries to make a home in the coral and the coral doesn’t want it to be there? Can it chemically signal for a predator of that creature to come rescue it, like seaweed does when a snail is munching on it and it would rather not be eaten? Or does it have any defenses? Turns out cold water corals do have a defense, they have a harpoon like structure that they can jab into n’er-do-wells, nifty. Her next question was, if cold water corals live in the deep ocean, how do they make energy without the sun? Prof. Roberts said that the corals have tentacles and they feed on things like zooplankton….
no, not that plankton…Grace also found out that some cold water corals are over 4,000 years old! Since the slides wouldn’t work on Skype, Prof. Roberts e-mailed a powerpoint of them. Grace is going to do a post about all the Skype sessions, but today she added fun facts about Orcas to her site, go here to read it.
Yes, that’s Hannah wearing my camera bag on her head…
I managed to take a shower today, ahhhh, bliss. Add some pink dangly earrings and yay, almost normal. Still not used to one handed pics in the mirror.
Here are the surgery pics.
Let’s see, the upper left is the outside of the tendon, red from agitation and swelling. Next to that is the cutting of the tendon and so on for the ones on the bottom.
In this one the calcium deposit is the yellow piece in the upper left pic. The debridement thingy is working in the top right and bottom left, eating up calcium and tissue. Bottom left is the start of the sutures.
More suture pics, these are holding the rotator cuff in place while it heals.
So, that’s all. We did school today, I took a nap and now I’m off to watch missed Hawaii Five-0 episodes.
25 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
from surgery. I have noted a few things. Camera buttons are on the right – expect vertical picture because it’s easier to press the buttons. All the toilet paper holders in my house are on the wrong side – the right. I’m going to have to place some on the left side. Here I am, alive and messy.
Surgery went well, I might scan my glorious-color-inside-my-arm surgery photos tomorrow. The doc went in and removed a huge calcium deposit that was gritty and hard, then took the shards out of the tendon, then stitched up the rotator cuff. It took me a long time to wake up and I was very nauseous. So, it took me awhile to get home. Now I’m home with yummy food from friends (thank you, thank you Maura and Eileen, both of you need to post those recipes, especially those butterscotch brownies!)
24 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
It was good to sing and praise this morning, it took my mind off of surgery tomorrow. Today was the last day of the Psalm 145 Hallelujah message. So, here is my final Hallelujah poem (not really, I’m sure I will write more Hallelujah poetry), and some songs to go with it.
(NIV) 21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
(Jewish Bible) 21 My mouth shall speak the tehillat Hashem; and let kol basar bless His Shem Kodesh l’olam va’ed.
(The Message) 21 My mouth is filled with God’s praise.
Let everything living bless him,
bless his holy name from now to eternity!
I give Eucharisteo,
thanks to the Lord.
I speak gratefulness with a word,
To Him who is Great,
may my mouth open,
to speak Hallelujah praise.
To a Loving God:
Who is Righteous,
and enters our mess.
Slow to anger,
and rich in love,
with an open hand,
He guides from above.
He always is near
and listens with kindly ear.
He saved us,
rescued us from the depths.
for our cry.
So, I cry out
to the Living,
23 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
One cool thing about no fireworks in July is that we get to see them in the Winter. I just wish they would make the show shorter, my feet were freezing. We met up with a friend and went around the booths grabbing candy and cookies, light-up necklaces and those weird light-up mouth guard thingys.
We waited around for the star lighting, when it went off it only half-lit.
The crowd went awww, then ohhhh as it went out and flicked back on, yayyy? No, awwww, still half-lit. Then it blinked off and on and then finally it lit up all the way around, yay!
Fireworks went off behind the star and then across town. Cool.
I like this one, it looks like a galaxy.
22 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
So, we started our day with some PE AKA sledding. It takes a lot of work to go up and down that hill (well, less to go down it, unless you are referring to the energy created, then going down would be more.)
Bethany stayed home and worked on her FYP class and English, she was thinking a warm chair was better than a cold sled.
The mountains looked nice against the gray/blue of the sky.
That’s Mt. Evans, we always say that but that’s not the only peak there, just the highest one (Mt. Bierstadt is on the left, 2,000 odd feet difference looks like..not that much from this far away.)
Here are the Twin sisters again, from a different viewing point.
This set of mountains is called Indian peaks.
Devil’s head looks way different from this far back
as opposed to this view from the top.
When I came back to the hill Hannah was making snow angels and Grace was trying to make a giant snowball, but the snow was too dry.
We went back home to finish up school and then to Cafe 180 to eat lunch. We all wanted to try the butternut squash soup, but they were out, so we had chicken enchilada soup instead (and a southwest chicken wrap, meatball sandwich, cheese pizza, artichoke pizza and spinach salad.) After that we went to the MOA to see the new exhibit.
One set is a series of graffiti like paintings made with encaustic and ink. This is ‘City sizzle’, ‘Texas in my rear view mirror’ and ‘Push and pull’ by Patricia Aaron.
The other set is a series of clay tiles and clay mountains by Chandler Romeo.
The tiles are the artist’s representation of landscapes altered by man with systems of geometry and patterns. We take land and fence it in, plat out cities and roads, change the landscape and redefine it. Another set he made was representative of Colorado’s mountains.
The sound room had some cool music and the other room had sculptures with colored lights behind them.
That was a good Friday. Tomorrow is the Castle Rock star lighting and then Sunday I need to clean so that I come home from surgery on Monday to a clean house (of course, it won’t stay that way, but at least I won’t have to worry about it for a bit.)
21 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
About time. Bethany finished her History project, you can find it here. Hannah aced her spelling test, as did Grace with her science test. We ate lunch while Bethany did her on-line English class, they were going over a quiz so she wanted to be there. Then I wondered where we could go in the snow and I remembered that the zoo was free today. With snow and temps in 20′s I didn’t think there would be many people going today (and I was right.) Now, you might think….what animals can you see at the zoo when it’s snowing and 20 degrees? Well, lots….sure some were in their enclosures (like most of the African mammals) but some were out and some had enclosures you could go into. So here is the zoo today. First stop, the felines. One of the snow leopards is pregnant, there were two that looked fat, so we aren’t sure which was which.
I double-dog-dare you to lick that metal post.
Lazy polar bear.
Confused polar bear, he kept turning left and right, left and right.
Sea lion show.
Long-horn cow fish, no, I’m not making that up.
What the heck? This is a toad fish, it looks like a muppet.
What day is it? What day? C’mon, you know it…..
Some of the zoo lights are up.
On the way home we stopped at Fiddler’s Green to take a picture of Weidenblume in the snow.
Sledding tomorrow morning!
20 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
Don’t worry, it’s not 20 questions. This morning Grace glided through school so she would be ready for her Skype call with Alex. Alex found Grace through her Bob the Bag video and left a comment on Grace’s blog. Alex was supposed to be part of the Mission 31 crew, but the Mission got moved to April, so Alex is back at her grad work and experiments in San Diego. Grace left comments on Alex’s writings on Deep Sea News and the two have been commenting and e-mailing back and forth.
Grace was excited about being part of a Skype call that included 2 high school classes and a class from India. I know she doesn’t look excited, but she was listening when I took these pics.
Alex was talking about the impact of human chemicals on ecological interactions. It’s kind of like this:
(Source – Alex’s slide notes.)
In particular, she has a study in which she is noting the effects of chemicals, like copper, that are interfering with the predatory relationship between Ascophyllum nodosum (a seaweed) and Littorina obtusata (a snail), as shown in this awesome slide.
You can find her post here.
Then, the icing on the cake, the Skype call with Mr. Rothschild that was supposed to happen yesterday but didn’t, came through right after Alex’s call!
Grace was surprised, but sat right down and asked some questions like – how much did it cost to build the Plastiki? (More than he thought, but not too much.) Did the trip raise awareness of pollution in the ocean (Yes, he believes that it did.) Did you see the Garbage patch, was the garbage on top or in small pieces? (No he didn’t sail through the patch, but he did see lots of trash along the way. The Garbage patch is mainly made up of small pieces of plastic that have been broken down by light and are floating in the light layer from 1-12 feet deep in the ocean.)
He asked Grace what she was working on and told her that she can do anything she wants. That if she thinks she can do something and people tell her, no you can’t you’re too (insert reason here) that she should be stubborn and follow her dream anyway. He said that people thought he was crazy for building a boat out of plastic bottles and traversing the ocean for 4 months, but he did it and he thinks it was worthwhile and made people think about what goes into the ocean.
So, after all of that we went to McD’s for the EK meeting. Two other families showed up and the kids had fun playing games, drawing, talking and playing on the playland. It was good to bounce ideas off each other and get to know the new people in our group. We ran by Grandma’s place to pick up more clothes for her and then dropped them off at the rehab place. I think she likes it there, she’s making no attempt to get out of the wheelchair so she can go back to Quincy place. She has three more weeks of insurance covering this place, so I guess we’ll see where we are then. I would hate to have to move her again, but I think she wants to stay at this place and be pushed around in a wheelchair and that is her call. We went by the library and all but one of the eggs have hatched! (We think that one might be a dud.)
Aren’t they cute? We are going to try raising quail babies (no, not chickens) this summer. A little boy was watching them and when his Mom said it was time to go he said, ‘Can we go eat at Chick-Fil-A?’ She said, ‘You want to eat chicken after looking at these cute chicks?’ He said, ‘Well, I’m not eating them!’ And Chick-Fil-A is so yummy…..
Tomorrow we’re doing school and I think Bethany will be finished with her History assignment (she used storify instead of a power point), the girls want to play tennis and as long as it doesn’t snow we’re good on that. Grace got an e-mail from COCO, seems they are having this months Blue drinks in Denver, so we might go to that. My surgery got moved to Monday and will take place in the hospital, though they assure me that I will go home the same day. I’ll be getting everything ship-shape around here before then and thank you Maura for taking the girls to dance that day!