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Friday, February 11, 2011

Archeology adventure

I did not get a chance to research ADHD medicine alternatives last night because instead I was researching all I could about septic tanks. Yep, ours went on the blink. (Ok it was full.) Who would have thought that after nine years it would need to be pumped? Yep, you saw correctly…nine years of “stuff” backed up.
Second tank with the lid
So today we stood outside and watched the septic guy from 10:30 to 3pm. He was very busy digging here and there all around our backyard. I even joked about him digging a garden plot for us. The company promised a $175 fee if they didn’t have to dig or $190 if they did have to dig. Problem #1 they sent a AAA tow truck driver to empty my septic tank. What? (Apparently he took a septic tank class and knows what he’s doing.) He opened up our concrete lid and emptied the tank. Boom $175. **Fleeting thought… there’s only liquid getting sucked up. He said, “There must be another tank for solids.” (Dig, dig, dig.) He found it about two feet from the concrete liquid tank. The tow truck driver, Daniel, and I had to lift and pull to remove the concrete lid. Then he said, “That’s weird…that’s connected to the liquid tank.” I think his first clue was the fact that the tank was empty. The next clue might have been all the sunlight shining in from the first tank. He tried to snake a possible clog from the second tank into the pipes from the house but he kept hitting something. **Another fleeting thought…where do the solids go? He then said, “There must be a solids tank around here somewhere.” He had a long metal pole that he spiked into the ground to touch the pipes. This went on for about forty five minutes. He was trying to figure out what angle the pipes bent at. Surely there’s a clog there. That led to the discovery of the third tank. (Dig, dig, dig.) **Um, is this still going to be around $175? Because I don’t want to get hit with a bill for $1000. Yep, still $175. Oh, okay, dig away. Now comes the completely gross part.
The solids tank.  Yuck!
Our tank was jammed to the roof of the concrete lid. It was all dried out like hard clay. Once he broke though that it got a bit easier. But he reversed the vacuum and blew water into our tank to mix up the “stuff.” He had to do this six times. There was so much “stuff” in our tank that a gear on his truck broke doing all that heavy work. His boss called asking where he was and he made the comment that “This is the worst tank I’ve ever seen.” Among the different articles found in our tank was: Q-tips, candy wrappers, disposable razors, material, garbage bag, pills (JD’s unusable ADHD meds), hairballs, baby wipes, cigar wrappers, and tooth paste tops. I know this because I started a written list. That’s all we could see and identify.

JD was off his medications again today. That was fun watching him run around three huge open holes that he could possibly fall into. He was a wild child out there. (Try dressing up Mowglie from the Jungle Book and passing him off as a homeschooled child.) (You get the visual right?) I told the tow truck driver that he was homeschooled. It wouldn’t surprise me if social services showed up here very soon. (Smile.) Then when all these strange objects popped up in the tank I would ask JD, “Do you flush razors (or candy, etc)?” His response was, “Why do you see that down there?” (Cheshire cat grin.) I offered him a free pass to tell me what he’s flushed before but the only response I got was, “Why what did you find?” (Funny boy…you give me laughter.) I told the tow truck driver, “It would surprise me to find a couple of G.I. Joes floating around in here.

Total time spent on our archeology adventure: 4 ½ hours
Total cost: $185
The discovery that the rubbery case of JD’s medications don’t completely dissolve (even in bacteria and acid.): Priceless

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A hyper and unfocused day

JD has not swallowed any Concerta or Zertec in 5 days. He was so quiet while we were sick in bed I just didn’t give him any of his medications. So we’ll see how our school day goes today. Because we spent four days in bed recuperating from a bug we only did a half day today.

The devotion today was called A Snake in the Grass. It was a modern day story of the conversation between Eve and Satan. The serpent told the woman in the story “God doesn’t want you eating this fruit because he wants to control you, but I think you’re old enough to make those decisions yourself.” She of course caved in and ate the fruit. The serpent told her at the end of the story “Let me show you some designer fig leaves that I can sell you real cheap.” She not only took a piece of fruit from the serpent, she took something that belonged to God…the power to decide good and evil.

We tackled math next. It was about figuring out rates. The lesson itself wasn’t terribly difficult but it usually takes both of us to figure out the processes/formulas and answers. It gave us a formula of “I = P x R x T” (interest = principal x rate x time). This is real world stuff so I really wanted JD to understand the concept. If he deposits $500 in the bank and they promise him a certain percentage in interest what will be in his account in five years. So some of the questions would have question marks for the missing value and our job was to figure it out. (Grr! Frustrating.) Then add the completely unfocused child sitting next to me. Usually when I get frustrated with JD and his self-distracting methods I want to throw something. Today I wanted to throw the chair through the window next to us. So after our lesson we huddled together and called for a MUCH needed break. We came together after the allotted time and tackled the quiz. We managed a 70% on the quiz. (Hopefully those kinds of questions won’t be on the assessment.)

Speaking of the assessment. I ordered his assessment 28 Jan. His test week will be in May. I can’t remember if it is the 16-20 May or 23-27 May. Anyway it’s on order.

I sent Jeff an email that said something along the lines of “What was I thinking!? Trying to do math without medications…” After the “suck-o-meter” math lesson JD asked for a T4L language arts lesson. I was not even going to try to have him write today. So I allowed him to do a “Think Aloud” fictional story. He likes them and I do too. It asks him questions to consider while reading and asks him to answer question on the screen. This lesson was not officially scored.

According to Fox News today “an estimated 1.5 million children are home schooled and that number's growing. In the span of eight years, home schooling has grown nationally by almost 75 percent.”

- 36 percent of home schooled children stay at home for religious reasons.
- 21 percent don't like the environment in traditional schools.
- 17 percent are home schooled because their parents are dissatisfied with the academic instruction that’s available to them in traditional schools.
We of course pulled JD out because the school system was failing him, not him failing them. He needed the one-on-one interaction and we all three love homeschooling.

**Note to self...before breathing, peeing, or eating...research ADHD medication alternatives!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Four days of sickness

JD and I started feeling pretty bad on Saturday night.  By Sunday morning we were both stuck in bed.  Jeff went onto church and JD and I suffered in my big bed. 

We quarantined ourselves for a couple of days.  I started feeling better by Tuesday but JD is still down with the bug. 

I guess it's just one of those bugs that needs to run it's course. 

Here's a picture of the gruesome twosome and our Wi-Fi experience.