Welcome to the blog and thanks for visiting.

We hope you enjoy our daily adventures...doing God's will.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Raven Rock field trip

After looking at today's tempature (70's) earlier in the week I made the decision to take a field trip.  JD worked so hard all week (and with just his vitamins) that we packed up and went to Raven Rock State Park.  It's about a 30 mile trip to the park.  We walked on two different trails for about a 3.25 mile walk.  I knew JD would complain, but geesh...

Daniel, Sarah, and the grandgirls came along too.  We stopped by Subway and picked up a foot long sub.  We picnicked at the bottom of the Raven Rock trail.  We had to walk down 50 long steps and 100 normal wooden steps.  But it was worth it.  Here's a picture of Daniel and Suri looking at the map.   

Since we walked down 150 steps we had to...you guessed it...walk back up.  Ugh!
Cool roots

Us at Overlook
A picture of JD at Raven Rock.  Look at the roots of that tree. 

The next trail was Overlook. 

Throwing rocks
The next trail was Fish Traps.  The Cape Fear River was so low that we could walk on the rocks in the middle of the river.   We were not the only homeschool families out there.  One of the moms commented about our homeschool t-shirts.  Mine says, "Homeschool Rocks!"  JD's says, "It's ok to use big words, I'm homeschooled."

Coming back up the hill was NOT fun.
Around the first bend
Up, up, and away
More stairs

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another good day

I know I keep recycling the words “A good day” but I’m happy that they are good days and not frustrating days. Today was another good day.

The devotion was about steps we take in life. When we first started learning to walk we stumbled, but before long we all learned to walk just fine. Making right choices is not much different. The first step is KNOWING what is right and wrong. The second step is DOING what what’s right. We know what’s right but doing it is a lot harder. Letting the Holy Spirit control our lives is the ONLY sure way to do the right thing. That means submitting to his control every day. It means committing ourselves to follow his lead and finally staying in touch with him through prayer and obedience all through the day.

Today in JD’s AWANA book he learned that God is his authority. He memorized two bible verses highlighting this fact. I asked him who has complete control over the decisions he makes. He answered, “God.” (Easier said than done.)

Math was our next topic. Today we learned more about percents, decimals, and fractions. It re-taught us how to convert from one to the other. I’m so jealous of JD’s mind. My hand gets cramped writing the steps out and he just does it all in his mind. I asked him a couple of times today, “How did you get that?” He was able to tell me and I even understood it.

The next thing we did was talk about personal letters. I wanted to get him to write a personal letter to an AWANA missionary way back on 3 Feb, but instead he chose to write “I don’t want to write this paper” 27 times. We research some North Carolina missionaries until we found the “right” couple. We finished the rough draft where he dictated the letter; I typed it, and printed it. The next step for JD while I cleaned today was to retype it. I sent the AWANA missionary (David) an email explaining who I was and why we were writing and attached JD’s letter to him. David responded within five minutes. He was excited we wrote to him and promised to write JD back. In JD’s letter he introduced himself and told David a little bit about himself. It turns out David is an AWANA Citation Award recipient. JD expressed his goal was to also obtain that same award. Part of what JD wrote was, “I have two questions for you. How fun was AWANA’s for you? I only like game time. Music is embarrassing to me. Book time is distracting. Council time is boring and not much fun. Can you offer any advice for having fun in AWANA’s.” This makes me feel “great” as the current AWANA commander. JD’s main problem is he’s not comfortable reciting verses in front of other kids.

For science today JD and I played with his magnetic kit. We made the kit compass and labeled some round magnets with the applicable north and south pole stickers. This was fun because the magnets were true to nature and repelled one another and all 14 magnets were sliding all over the table. Then we played the target game it came with.

We did not do a social studies lesson today.

While I cleaned JD read his book called Hoot.

JD is still only taking vitamins and fish oil and doing just fine. He is still active and impulsive though. I don’t know if it’s just me or not but I think one of the side effects of ingesting 2,170+ Concerta pills, but JD’s teeth are getting whiter. Ever since he gained his adult teeth, they have come in yellowish. They got progressively worse over time. To the point that I had JD whiten his teeth with whitener. But over the last two weeks they appear to be whitening on their own. There are others out there questioning this same phenomenon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A good day

Today was JD’s routine doctor’s appointment. I told his doctor that I cut the umbilical cord between JD and the Concerta. The doctor was impressed. I then told her I had JD on a multi-vitamin with iron and a 1000mg fish oil capsule. She thought that was a good idea. I asked her about the benefits of zinc, magnesium, and the B vitamins. She said to be careful to not overdose these. If given improperly it could be potentially toxic. I asked for a blood test to see if JD was vitamin deficient. She agreed t that request and added a liver panel, and I think she even added another thyroid test. JD had his blood drawn like a champion boxer. I have another appointment on 28 Feb to discuss the results of the blood work.

We left Pope AFB after we stopped by the bowling alley, only to find out it didn’t open until 11:00am. I thought a quick game of bowling would be a fun bonding time. But they were closed. (Sad face) When we got home I set the reading alarm on the stove. He’s still reading the book Hoot.

The devotion today was about precepts (instructions or commands.) They listed things like: don’t walk, merge right, refrigerate after opening, and tear here to open. These help us function more easily and comfortably. God has also precepts that we call commandments; 624 specific commands. These are not a bunch of do’s or don’ts; they show us God’s principles. God’s nature defines right and wrong. They help us live more easily and comfortably too.

Before we got started with math today I had to call Time4Learning to let them know about the problem we’ve experienced with the program. She appreciated my call, thought the developers fixed “that” problem, and promised to call the developers. Once we signed in we moved onto a lesson dealing with scale again. Today it focused more on distance on maps. JD was all over this lesson and scored a 100% on the lesson and a 90% on the quiz.

My friend emailed me a picture of a fictional character and asked for possible names. It was a simple character designed on the computer and it’s made of ovals, circles, and sticks. Once we emailed her back I thought, “I just got an idea. I should have JD design one and tell me about him for the language arts lesson.” So this is the character he He also typed 10 of the 14 sentences here.  
Oogy Aogy Eggy
Oogy is almost 2 years old. His build date was 26 Feb 2009. We share a birth date. He lives in Los Angeles, California. He was built by ARA, (Army Robotics Association). They were built to help American soldiers in war. He was also built for combat. He was designed to be a robotic soldier. His line of duty is an engineer. He is one of thousands of Operational On-line Geometric (OOGy) robots. He and his community of robots think they are human. Their human companions treat them like they are humans to. They play black jack with them. They also play paint ball with them.

Because of doctor's appointment we only had time for a half day.  We did not do science or social studies today.  With spring right around the corner I think it will be harder and harder to keep those full days. (smile) 
I forgot to tell you…yesterday I asked JD for an explanation of what he thought ADHD was or the characteristics of ADHD. Some of the answers are truly his responses. Some sound like things I’ve told him about. He explained ADHD as: hyperactive, more friendly, more caring, need more alone time, can’t get rid of it, controllable, a gift to some people, don’t want it, make good use of it, not too many friends, too young to control, and need an ADHD diet. The two things he didn’t say was lack of focus and impulsivity.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A good full and focused day

JD is nothing short of hyper but he IS focused on the lessons. It's a little like trying to homeschool an octopus on speed.  Dispite the movement distractions (for me) we managed all of our subjects.

The devotion was about a small boy taking his first airplane flight with his uncle as the pilot. He was full of questions about this knob or that circle on the panel. One of his questions was how do you see when it’s foggy or cloudy. His uncle informed him about the control towers job of safely landing them. Sometimes in life we get confused and things get foggy. One person tells us one thing and another person says something different. When things get fuzzy we should make a call to our control tower. That is God. We need to rely on his Word and wisdom. He’ll always help us safely to our destination.

Today in JD’s AWANA book we completed challenge 4:4 by reading multiple chapters of the bible in order to answer multiple questions. They were all related to trusting God, results of not trusting in God, and having speech that is pleasing to God. We also read Psalm 23 to find out what benefits God provides us.

The T4L website is messing up when we complete quizzes or sections. We got through a lesson and quiz yesterday but it doesn't show the quiz as completed today. It makes it difficult for us to see what lesson is next. It’s a good thing I keep such extensive notes. I did yesterday’s quiz again today and it's still not closing. (Grr!) We did another lesson and quiz today but it's doing the same thing. The lesson today was all about scale sized drawings and measurements. For example if 1 inch equals 3 feet we should be able to find the equivalent measurements for the real object. JD was all over this lesson. And it showed on the quiz when he scored a solid 100%.

Today for language arts I had JD decipher a code in his AWANA book. If the number 1 is the letter Z then the number 26 is the letter A. There were four coded sentences related to God’s authority and His word. He decoded all four. They were 1.) Let your conversations be always full of grace, 2.) Do everything without complaining or arguing (**that would be nice for a change), 3.) You shall not steal, and 4.) Let us behave decently.
I called JD’s Dr. for a routine follow-up appointment. It is scheduled for tomorrow at 8:40am. I want to talk with her about JD’s Concerta (or lack of) and a couple of vitamin questions. Like I stated yesterday JD is no longer, nor will he ever, taking his Concerta. Instead he is taking a multi-vitamin with iron and a 1000mg of fish oil. So today for the science lesson we researched vitamin deficiencies in children misdiagnosed as ADHD. This has happened to many children because the symptoms are very similar. We looked at the multi-vitamin label and research what each vitamin or mineral does for the body and where it can be found in the foods that we eat. After hours of independent research it looks like the multi-vitamin with iron and fish oil takes care of the focus factor. However, JD may need zinc, more B's, and magnesium to help control his impulsivity and hyper active behaviors. All of this new found information will be discussed at the Dr. office tomorrow.

The social studies lesson today was all about Ireland by reviewing some fast facts. We learned about geography, nature, history, people and culture, and government and economy. Some strange facts we learned under the nature category is: there are no wild snakes in Ireland. The sea stopped many animals common in mainland Europe from reaching the island. Also, there are only two wild mouse species, one type of lizard, and just three amphibians.

The last thing I had JD do was read for thirty minutes. That timer works wonders. I can’t wait for him to finish reading that book so we can watch the movie. He told me yesterday that they cuss in this book. When he was a little guy “stupid” was a cuss word. But he gave me enough clues to figure out what words are being used. Now I’m going to have to read that book when he’s not reading it just to see for myself.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A vitamin filled day

One of our main goals during our homeschooling adventure was to eventually remove JD from his ADHD medication all together. Another reason was added to our list Friday when I saw the septic tank full of “undigested” Concerta capsules. The medicine left though the holes on either end but the capsule itself was intact. I reduced his medication dosage by half this same time last year and his behavior was acceptable at home during our homeschool time. Of course there were still many distractions and “moments” but I deal with them better in our setting verses the public school experience with one teacher and 25 other bodies stuck in room all day. All the research over the last couple of days regarding holistic ADHD treatments has paid off. Search after search led me to question if JD was vitamin deficient. I think that’s the main part of the problem because Sunday, 13 February was the first day we gave JD a Flintstone’s multi-vitamin with iron and a 1000 mg fish oil capsule instead of his Concerta medication that he has taken since Kindergarten. It has now been 9 days since his last Concerta pill and JD doesn’t even miss it. Which is thrilling to me since it is a controlled substance and because I’m worried about him becoming addicted to it and others like it. JD behaved within “normal” and acceptable limits while in Sunday school and church yesterday. Besides the army guy toys that were dug out of some deep dark pocket while in the church service. (Smile)

We started out the morning with the vitamin and the fish oil. I volunteered to take one of JD’s very first (First Baptist Church daycare) teachers to a medical appointment. So I left JD with specific instructions to work on. He was under the supervision of Daniel, Sarah, and a timer while I was away for 2 ½ hours.

First I set the stove alarm for thirty minutes so he could read his book Hoot. When that alarm buzzed he was to push a specific button 10 times for a 10 minute break before the dreaded writing lesson. It was a pre-printed page that listed 10 reasons why he loves his daddy and me. I knew he would read and take a break, but my outlook on the writing assignment was bleak at best.

When I got home I found the language arts writing lesson on the kitchen table. I was amazed! It was neat. It had complete sentences. It was genuine answers. And it was completed! (You can click on the picture to enlarge it and print it.) I’m told by Sarah and Daniel that he read for thirty minutes, turned off the alarm, and sat down at the table without a break to complete the writing assignment. They told him he gets a ten minute break but he opted out of it. I’m so proud of him. Another goal this year was to build up a self-sufficient, self-motivated, and independent working student. I think we’re on our way.

After a short lunch break we work on the math lesson. It was about ratios. It was problems like 1 foot equals 12 inches, so 2 feet equals 24 inches. Other ways ratios are used is converting miles per hour problems and prices for only one item verses multiple items. It was fairly easy and the vitamins were still working. As a matter of fact I don’t see a difference from his 36 mg pill to the vitamin and fish oil. (smile)

We kind of worked backwards today. The last thing we did was our devotion. The title was “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Of course that who is God. The devotion was about a boy who hung out with another boy who taught him about computer stuff. By the both getting to know one another they learned from one another. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” In other words if you know God you know the one who is always right. If you only know of God what others say about God, you have limited knowledge of God and can’t know what’s right and wrong. Get to know God through his word and gain the knowledge needed to result in understanding.

It was a good school day and I'm proud of my independent working student.  That means I reward him with dropping science and social studies.