Sad homeschooling day

New regulations but this time, not in CA. It's DC. "Restrictive" is what the HomeSchool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is calling them. In brief, the way I understand the new regulations, homeschoolers must have a portfolio ready at any time as the superintendent's office may request to see them with written notice and may do so up to 2 times per school year. I don't know what their law said before but to give you some perspective, in Ohio, I only have to prepare a portfolio once per year and have it evaluated by a person licensed to teach in the state of Ohio. These regulations make it wound like the superintendent's office is the only way to get your portfolio evaluated. How scary! And, if the "whoever" decides that your child isn't meeting their standards, then the procedure will begin that can ultimately mean you would be forced to enroll your child in school (although leaving DC might be an option!). [Nathan's portfolio evaluation is next Thursday, August 7th and we'd appreciate your prayers as we not only go to the evaluation but as we also prepare for the upcoming school year which may include some changes.] From what the HSLDA reports, while they are greatly dissatisfied at the new regulations, they are happy to report that one item was taken out after many testimonies, phone calls, letters, and emails. The original regulations stated that someone from the superintendent's office would be allowed to make home visits. I can't imagine having that hanging over my head. I haven't read the original proposal so I don't know if that would be "unannounced" home visits or not but I wouldn't think it would be a pleasant experience regardless of whether they announced their arrival! It all makes me wonder what's next and how long it will take it to get to Ohio....


Another Timothy update

Yesterday was Timothy's orthopedic appointment for the curve in his spine. They repeated an x-ray which showed that the curve isn't as bad as originally thought. That could mean he was either in a bad position when they took the 1st x-ray or it has already started correcting. Good news for sure. However, this x-ray done specifically to look at his spine (the first one was done relating to his breathing issues, while looking more specifically at his airway) showed that his 12th vertebrae in his lower back, right around his diaper line, is "underdeveloped". If anyone has held him for any length of time, especially if he leans forward a bit, may have noticed he appears to have a bump there. I have felt it numerous times. That bump is, according to this doctor, because that vertebrae isn't giving the proper support to his spine in that area so his spine is pushing out. He said there wasn't anything to worry about right now but that we'd need x-rays every 4 months to follow both the curve and this area to make sure neither gets worse. He did not indicate what would need to happen should they start to get worse. That's all I have, as I understand it. I wished I had asked about whether or not these issues would affect his ability to sit on his own, which Timothy still hasn't done. Hopefully I'll remember to ask at our next appointment if he's still not sitting.


March 29

Heather went to the doctor today and we have wonderful news to report. Her OB said that either the issue resolved itself or the ER doctors didn't know what they were talking about 'cause there's nothing wrong with her or her baby! She's on track for her March 14th due date. Thanks for praying!

Now as for the title of this post -- March 29th. Well, it appears that my parents are going to be new grandparents twice in the month of March (and I only have 1 sibling so you do the math!). It's been a rough, emotional couple of days as I've really struggled with this bit of information. I've had 2 babies close together before -- John was born 13 days before his sister's 1st birthday so they're a little over 11 months apart. My pregnancy with John was very near miserable. I was in a lot of physical pain with my hips -- which have continued to give me problems since Timothy was born -- and with what they could only diagnose as muscle fatigue on my left side. Faithful friends and blog readers will remember I had a very short stint with those same pains while pregnant with Timothy. I'm really dreading them this time. But, only time will tell. Pray on, dear friends, as we hang on and see what these next couple of months will bring -- other than a new baby, that is! Check out the new ticker!


Urgent prayer need

My brother's wife is pregnant, newly pregnant, due March 14 or so (remember that date...it'll be important with another blog post that I'll be making in a day or two). Heather (my SIL) was taken to the ER with severe cramping. Didn't understand it all from my Mom and haven't talked directly to my brother but I do know they mentioned the word "cyst" and that there's a chance she could miscarry. This baby was a HUGE surprise to them (a theme around here lately) but, of course, they are excited about having another baby, their 3rd. They're understandably scared right now and Heather is still in some pain. Please pray for them. Heather will be going to the dr on Monday.


Link of the week

This week, a short news report about a home invasion that mentions my brother, Officer Kevin Thacker, and his K9 partner Figo.



Link of the week

Concerning socialization and homeschooling. Thanks, Paula, for passing this one on!



I'm excited

official dates coming later this week


7 months old and sparklers


Not much to say this month. Everyone here is much better, thanks for praying! Here's some new pics of Timothy at 7 months old.

And here's some pics of the kids playing with sparklers in the backyard (fully supervised, btw).



Lots of bloggers seem to be using personal signatures. Testing this to see if it works.


Evening report

Well, things progressed slightly this afternoon. Caleb and John still running temps 101-102 but all 3 of them independently came to us complaining that their mouths hurt. Phone conference with the pediatrician and we believe they have hand-foot-mouth disease. It's bark is worse than it's bite. It's a virus so no need for anything other than pain relievers and plenty of liquids while the virus rides itself out. Shouldn't be more than a couple of days. Moral of the story -- WASH THOSE HANDS!

Speaking of morals, here's a lesson learned today -- when you decide to let your soon-to-be 9 year old write his own birthday party invitations (some of which actually have to be mailed so need to be written in ink), have plenty of white-out on hand! Enough said!

Good news! Elizabeth stayed dry all day today other than a stinky issue a few minutes ago (trying to put it as mildly as I can). That's quite the improvement. Now if we can just get her to take care of those stinky issues where she should and wake up dry (no problem being dry after nap time, when she takes a nap), we'll be set! Going smoother than I thought it would!

Afternoon update

Thanks for praying. The Stevens children seem to be on the mend. We're guessing it was a 24-hour bug of some sort although we're not medical professionals, just parents. Elizabeth's fever just broke. She certainly had it the worst. Her fever this morning was over 103 again. She should have had another dose of tylenol or ibuprofen around 12 and didn't need it as her fever was gone by then. She's starting to be perky again and starting to eat. John's fever seems to be normal now and he, too, should have been redosed around noon but didn't need it. He's still not eating, though, and while active, is a little bit cranky. Nathan's fever never developed. So, right now, it's just Caleb we're watching. Temp a little bit ago was 101.5. Says his "mouth" hurts and I asked him if he meant his throat and he said no. That's kinda weird. He's not got much of an appetite but is running around here like there's nothing wrong. For Timothy, the doctor called in a different kind of antibiotic drops which, thankfully, our insurance approved so we'll be getting those tonight and get him on them a.s.a.p. He's been pretty cranky today, rubbing at that left ear. So, it doesn't look like I'll make it to church tomorrow but I'm just thanking God that this seems to be almost over. Provided, of course, that Nathan, Jonathan, and me don't get sick!


Prayers, please

Please pray for the Stevens family. We have 5 sick children and we've never before had all of our children sick at the same time. Timothy got sick first and has been diagnosed with an ear infection (see post below). 2 certain toddlers that shall remain nameless decided to "play" with his antibiotic eardrops and spilled out all the medicine. Pharmacy, insurance, and doctor issues and we still have no antibiotic for him as of tonight. We hope to get him back on antibiotics tomorrow. Today, Elizabeth started coming down with a fever around noon and has had a temp of over 103 all day long. John started getting sick around the same time with a temp hovering around 102. We are alternating tylenol and ibuprofen for the 2 of them but they're both very sick. Caleb started getting sick around 7 tonight with a temp of 101.5 so it looks like he's just getting started. Nathan's temp is slowly creeping up over 100 right now so we're pretty sure he's next. So far, it's just a fever and lack of appetites, just basically feeling pretty yucky but we're prayerful it doesn't get worse.


My Wednesday

Timothy started running a fever late on Tuesday. Woke up yesterday morning fine, went to nap around 11 as usual, although I could tell he was starting to feel really bad. Woke up with a high fever again and spent 20 minutes or so crying his head off, which is highly unusual for him. So, called around 1:30 and our pediatrician was actually able to see us. Appointment at 4:30 and Timothy has an ear infection. Nice. No infections before tube surgery but he gets one now?!? Now, I do understand that tubes aren't a guarantee against infection. I'm just saying I find it ironic. The "good" news is that we don't have to go on an oral antibiotic. Because he has the tubes, he can have antibiotic drops. 2 benefits -- 1 I already mentioned (no oral meds) and 2, the antibiotic drops have a steroid in them for pain relief. Much happier baby today, no fever.

Because it was Wednesday/church day, I decided yesterday while making my donuts (see previous post) to put a roast in the crock pot. Well, little did I know that after I made said donuts, I unplugged the crock pot not the deep fryer. So, when I get home at 6 last night (church starts at 7) after having a cranky baby to the dr and the pharmacy, wanting to sit down and eat, I had cold, raw roast. ARGH! Quick trip to Wendy's before Jonathan and the boys went to church (Elizabeth stayed home with me and Timothy) and then Jonathan said he'd get the boys some McDonald's on the way home. (We're having roast for dinner tonight.)

McDonald's...So, Jonathan orders 2 5-piece chicken mcnuggets, a 10-piece chicken mcnugget meal for himself, 1 plain cheeseburger, and 2 apple pies for me and Elizabeth who've already had dinner. His receipt showed the order with 2 egg biscuits (at 8:30 at night!) instead of the 5-piece nuggets but everything else was right. But here's the real interesting part -- what was in the bag:

2 4-piece nuggets (not 5 pieces)
Jonathan's 10-piece with fries
No sauce for any of the nuggets
Nathan's plain cheeseburger
a regular cheeseburger (?)
3-piece chicken fingers (?) (no sauce for that either)
1 chicken ranch snack wrap (?)
1 fish sandwich (?)
1 chicken sandwich (?)
and no apple pies

Seriously. The weirdest thing I've ever seen regarding fast food places. Thankfully, there was something there for my picky kids to actually eat! I don't know whether to laugh or stay far, far away from that McDonald's (please resist the urge to tell me to stay away from all McDonald's!).

Weird Wednesday, to say the least!


Lookie what I did!

While not the healthiest breakfst/snack (okay, so not healthy at all), I experimented and it worked! Don't these look yummy?

Homemade Donuts

*1 can refrigerated biscuits (cheapest work best) (I made a double batch so I used 2 cans of biscuits)
*Small circle to cut the holes out (I used one of the cups that comes with liquid medications)
*Cinnamon Sugar mixture
*Oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)

Heat oil to 350; I used our deep fryer. Poke holes out of biscuits and drop into the heated oil (I did 5 at a time). When brown on bottom, turn over (this happens really fast) and brown the other side.

Now, my directions at this point say to coat them in cinnamon sugar and the lady makes a note that she used a plastic zip bag for that. Well, I use the cheapest ziploc baggies I can find so the still hot donuts melted my bag! So, I put them on paper towels just long enough to get all of them out of the oil and then put my cinnamon sugar mixture in a bowl and coated the donuts one by one. I also used the centers of the donuts to make what my kids call Timbits (as from Tim Horton's). You can see from some of these dirty mouths that they were pretty good! I have no idea why John wasn't smiling. He's had about a handful of donuts and is laughing and carrying on.

I don't know what the total cost would be. I already had the cinnamon sugar mixture and the oil for frying on hand. The biscuits were 33 cents each can from Aldi. So, the 2 cans cost me 66 cents so even if 1 batch cost $1 but made 10 donuts AND 10 "Timbits", then that's 5 cents each. Tim Horton's Timbits are 15 cents each; I have no idea what their donuts cost. Timewise, the longest part was waiting for the oil to heat up. Start to finish it was less than 15 minutes to make all of them. I'm willing to bet they'd be good plain with some honey butter. Nathan says he wants these served at his birthday party IF I can find a good recipe for glaze. Found one already but haven't tried it yet. I'll let you know how it goes. He'd really like me to find a recipe for the sour cream glazed that Tim Horton's makes but I'm still looking for that!


Was this meant to be funny?

2 posts in 1 day -- I know, I know -- aren't you so lucky?!?!

Someone sent this to me and I'm not really sure if it's supposed to be funny but I think it's hilarious! (Maybe a warped sense of humor -- who knows?!) It was this picture that they had edited to make Jesus actually knock on the door:
followed by this caption:

Who is this? What is she doing? Revelation 3:20 is the most abused verse in the Bible. Jesus does not look like an effeminate, she-man hippie. Jesus does not beg at the hearts of sinners. His appearance is very different (Rev 1:12-18; 19:11-16); He opens the hearts of sinners by His great power (Acts 16:14; Rev 3:7). and Revelation 3:20 is for believing saints only! Get this verse right today, and never let anyone deceive you with it again!

"She-man hippie"?!?! That's so stinkin' funny! But, seriously, folks -- I have to agree that Rev. 3:20 is quite abused. Our salvation is a work of God's grace ALONE. We can't open a door -- we're DEAD in our transgressions and sins, right? (Ephesians is very good at pointing that out, among other places.) Since when can dead people open doors or "accept" anything? God's grace alone allows us to "accept" Christ.

You may now carry on with the rest of your day. I promise you won't hear from me again unless something big happens! :)

Sovereign Grace in Proverbs?

Just had to link this here -- this can be our link of the week (and, yes, I realize we missed last week). Mind you, this isn't something you can just scan. The folks at Team Pyro write some pretty heavy stuff but there stuff is very good!


I especially liked the last line:

The doctrine of sovereign grace is called Reformed, or Calvinistic. But Calvin and the Reformers got it from the Bible — all of it.