Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy CANDY Day with the White Family!!!

At our house, Halloween simply means dressing up and getting candy.  No demonic undertones, no scary costumes, no jumping out and scaring people...
My kids LOVE to dress up, and Halloween is a day when they can wear their costumes out and about and not get crazy looks from everyone we pass.  Well not for their clothing anyway! Haa haa

This is a photo of our first candy gathering!  We have a Wolf Ninja, a Wizard (we decided he was a young Gandolf, as his red beard matched his own hair perfectly!), a Peacock and an Ice Princess.
My oldest did not get to par take in this candy gathering as he was at basketball practice...he was sad, because this is the home office of my husbands 2nd job, and they give out the good stuff, and a lot of it too!!! :-)

Here is my oldest, he of course is a Centaur! 
Yes, he hates getting his picture taken so he looks very grouchy!

Here they all are at my husband's mothers house.

As you know my younger 3 are home schooled, so we dress up when ever we want, however, my older two attend Haas Hall Academy, and they allowed their scholars to dress up for Halloween, upon approval of their costume.
J had to resort to one of his past costumes...
Ghost with a Stache!
(still very funny)
His Centaur was too big to fit in the classrooms :-)

B went as the wolf ninja, minus the face mask.  He was very happy!

Even though she had on a mask, she wanted the extra bling on her face!  After she saw the Ice Princess make up, who could blame her!!

Ice Princess make up

Yes, the ice princess is very sad here, as many of you with Asperger kids know, one small thing can turn a very happy little one into a very upset one!  
Even though I THOUGHT I was curling her hair the way she told me she wanted it, I was not.  

Here she is happy again!

We have been very blessed for the past several years to have been invited to my friends Church for trunk or treating!  It's a great location, back away from the road, and you have to go through all the people to get to wear the kids get to play and have treats, so I feel very safe there!
This year it was even better than before!!
As you can see, one truck was decorated with Turbo, we saw a lot of "Duck Dynasty" trunks, Wizard of Oz themes, star trek, and our favorite was the Snow White with all the Dwarves and especially the Wicked Queen!! (Thanks Tammy for the invite, you were a super wicked queen!!)
Oh, yeah!  I almost forgot, my son's Centaur costume was the hit of the night!  Everyone would see him from the front, and think it was just a fat man or something, then their faces would light up with laughter when they saw the horses behind!!  He enjoyed all the compliments!!  (I have to admit it was a great pick!)

All in all, we had lots of fun, saw lots of great people, and most importantly we got LOTS of yummy candy!!
I sure hope your Dress up for Candy day was as fun as ours!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our homeschooling journey so far!!

Wow!  I can't believe we have made it this far into the school year! ( My older kids attend a Charter school so we are trying to stay within the same time line so we can all have the summer together!)

My 10 yr old daughter has had a lot of struggles with math.  I found that she was not where she should be with her multiplication tables, so we started out just working on that. I tried flash cards, jumping on the trampoline while saying in a sing/song voice the times tables, I tried looking for rhymes to help memorize, I felt like I was not making any progress!  So, I tried Math U See for 4th grade.  It was very repetitive all about multiplication. So I  thought it would be great!  However, I was wrong.  She still cried every time the math book came out.  I had been looking at Life of Fred Math, but I wasn't sure about it.  Then my friend was selling her 5th grade Life of Fred books.  I decided if they didn't work with my 10 yr old, then I could save them for my youngest.  I told Katie that I had some new math books that were 5th grade curriculum.   She looked at the books (there are two Ice Cream and Jelly Beans) and read the entire first chapter!  Today was our second day doing Life of Fred and she is already on chapter 4.  She was happy, proud of herself b/c she understood it and there were NO tears!!!  (although I had to hold mine back at seeing her so confident again!!!)    This is Katie doing math today, with a giant smile!!

My youngest daughter still struggles everyday with comprehension.  She just has such a hard time concentrating.  I have been using some fidget toys and a lot of physical activity to try and keep her more focused.  I know that sounds weird, but she has Aspergers and ADHD that makes it more difficult to just sit and listen!
I have taken her off most of all of her ADHD medicines, we are just on a very low dose.  I like her much better that way, more herself, with her sparkling personality!  She was just a zombie at home while on the dose she was attending school outside our home.  Which I guess is what the teachers want, so they can handle all the kids.  Know that I am not blaming the teachers out there, I know that it would be very difficult to teach a classroom full of children without issues with the guidelines that the teachers are given.  However she is not in a classroom setting, so I can do much more with her that will help her excel!    I have found that getting her involved with hands on activities, rather than sitting at a desk reading out of a book, is a much more effective way to her interested and learning!  We do a lot of things together as a family, like history, science and social studies.  I do have to do individual lessons for reading and math for Courtney.  The other two have individual math, but they are very close on reading level so we do that together.

We love Home Schooling, it has been the best decision!  Even though we struggle financially, and at times we don't even know where the money will come for groceries that week.  Somehow everything turns out ok.  We are a very faithful family, and God has provided for us so far, so why would He stop now?  I am so thankful that the Lord has allowed me to stay home with my precious children and that my husband believes in me enough to teach them!  He wasn't as sure about the decision as I was, but he has definitely seen the improvement in our children!

I don't want you to think that home schooling is wonderful everyday, but over all the good definitely out weighs the bad!!!  I actually look forward to school with the kids.  I find that the times I dread are not Monday mornings anymore!  I dread things like cleaning the bathroom or doing the everyone else!! :-)  

I would love to hear your home schooling adventures!  What have you done that works great?  What have you done that didn't work so well?


Thursday, August 22, 2013

An adventure in Endocrinology!

My 13 yr old son was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency about 2 years ago.  Which basically means his body does not produce enough growth hormones to tell his body to grow.

Since my 2nd son was about 6 months old, my husband and I both noticed that he was not growing at the same rate as our first born son.  At first we just thought he was just growing differently, most kids do!  As he got older and started school, we began noticing that he was a lot smaller than his peers.  I started asking the pediatrician about it at his check ups.  Which they would always reply, he is just small.  He was always below the growth chart for his age.  After several attempts at questioning the doctors, one finally did a bone growth x-ray on him when he was 7.  Results were nonchalantly reported to me, he has the bone growth of a 3 yr old, but he has plenty of room and he is fine.  So, since I was not a doctor myself, I took what they told me as the truth.  

Then when he was about 9 or 10, we had to change pediatricians because of his insurance.  We had to call a number and wait forever to try and get a spot with a doctor.  The only pediatrician in the surrounding area was one that I had never heard of.  I was skeptical, but I didn't have a choice.  God knows what He is doing.  We went for a "get to know you" visit, and about 15 minutes into the appointment, he asked, has anyone ever said anything to you about his size?  Of course I perked up!  I told him all that we had been through with the previous clinic. When I told him about the bone growth x-ray they did to shut me up, he questioned me several times as to whether or not they did follow up blood tests. (which they didn't)  The Dr. just couldn't believe that they did not follow up.  So we had another bone growth x-ray and blood drawn the next day.  The Dr. called me 2 days later and said that he had gotten the x-ray results and they were abnormal.  He said he had not gotten any of the blood work back, but he suspected it to come back abnormal as well, and referred us to the Endocrinology dept at the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.  Within a month we were on our first trip there.  Its about a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive one way, but we were happy to do it!  After several appointments 6 months apart to monitor his growth, they decided that he just was not growing.  The Dr. told us that they will accept no less than 2 inches per year for normal growth. My son had not grown more than a half inch in almost 2 years.  They scheduled the blood tests for him.  He couldn't eat anything after midnight, so we tried to get an early appointment.  We left our home about 4:30 in the morning!  The tests were not horrible, but they were not fun.  First they had to put an I.V. in, and then they gave him some medicine and drew blood every 15 minutes.  Thank heaven for the personal DVD player!

 But the 2nd round they gave him insulin and took his blood every 30 mins.  But that made him sick to his stomach.  Poor guy looked so sad, dry heaving into a little bowl, pale as can be.

 Once the test was done we headed home, by way of his favorite burger place.  He barely ate, but he got enough in him to calm his stomach.
He slept the rest of the way home.

Several weeks later, I got a call.  It was the nurse from the Endo clinic.  She told me that she had my sons results.  She told me several times that anything 10.1 and above was considered normal and 10.0 and below was abnormal.  I was thinking great, he is probably 10.5 or something.  She said every one of his tests came back at 1.7.  1.7!!  No wonder he was not growing!
After a CAT scan to make sure there were no tumors on his pituitary gland causing the lack of hormone production, we started our first round of Norditropin.  A nurse came to our house to show me and my son how to give him the shots.

72 Norditropin pens, 730+ needles and alcohol swabs, and several bruises later we are finally on the growth charts!!!  He hit just under the 2nd percentile on height and about the 5th percentile on weight about 8 months ago.   Our trip this week.... almost 5th percentile on height and 10th percentile on weight!!!  Hallelujah!!!  We still have many shots ahead, at least 4 more years, but we are actually seeing some growth!  He is delayed with puberty, but should get there about 14-15 yrs old.

I am so thankful that we didn't have a choice picking a pediatrician all those years ago!  God knows where He is sending us!

Here is what we did on our last trip to Little Rock.

Here we are on Junction Bridge over the Arkansas River.

This is what it looks like.  It was crazy high up!!
We had lunch at Riverfront Park.

Climbed on the spider web...

Checked out the History Pavilion
History Pavilion
The city skyline, visible from the park makes it difficult to imagine the area as it appeared to early explorers. Today we can only envision it through their drawings and maps, their descriptions of geographic characteristics and the natural landmarks they noted. The History Pavilion takes you on a trip back in time. Read about the history of Little Rock, and the state of Arkansas, in this great exhibit.
The History Pavilion is also home to an Indian Head statue which was carved by Peter Toth in 1975. This statue was one of approximately sixty Native American likenesses that he carved in all 50 states. The statue represents a tribute to Native Americans.

Stood like the statue...I can't remember who this guy is...

Do you see the photo bomber??

After we walked through the farmers market, the kids decided to cool off at the water park

It made for a very wet ride home...

Next time we will be more prepared!  We didn't know that there would be a free water park for us to enjoy!
Good thing the kids brought blankets in the van!

Here is N drying his hair on the Interstate!
(yes he does have a seat belt on, although you can't see it in this picture!)

We are looking forward to our next trip to Little Rock, we may even visit the Capitol building!
Only 4 months away! :-)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Week of Science Experiments: Day 5

Ok, I know I said 5 days of science experiments, but there were some days that had 2 experiments...
Today we took a "field trip" to Bella Vista and the kids were so good that we decided to have a treat.
The bonuses of Home Schooling...Ice Cream!!

We decided to stop at Dairy Queen and have Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones!
Here are my sweeties enjoying it!

Here is N's artwork that he drew on the back of this ice cream cone wrapper.
Its a little disturbing that the guys arms are ripped off..

Sorry there is not experiment...
But the Ice Cream was YUMMY!  
I highly recommend it!

Week of Science Experiments: Day Four Rain Clouds!

Day 4:

Today we did an experiment about how rain clouds work.
We used a large jar with water, Shaving cream as our cloud and blue food coloring as our rain drops.

Filling the jar with water,  then fill the top with shaving cream.
They all wanted to do this part!

The girls got a little crazy with the shaving cream!! 

Now, use the dropper to drop blue food coloring onto the top of the shaving cream cloud.

Then sit back and watch the "rain" come down!

After we watched the rain slowly saturate the cloud and start dropping through, we decided to add some water to make a storm!!

The kids enjoyed watching how the cloud worked.  I think they really enjoyed making the storm!

Tell us about your experiments!!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Week of Science Experiments: Day Three

Day Three!  I had a few issues with my email, so this is day three of our experiments.
I must say I think we all liked this one very much!!1!

Can you guess what we made???  If you guessed ICE CREAM, you are correct!!! And we were rebels and even made it BEFORE lunch!  He he!

Here is what you need

 Filling our large bags with ice.

Add 1/2 cup of salt ( it called for course salt but all we had was table salt...still worked!)

 Add it to the ice in the large zip lock bag.

Next, you measure one cup of milk, cream or half and half. We used milk.

Look, how sweet! N is helping his baby sister pour the milk into the small ziplock back!

Add 2 TBSP sugar

Add 1 tsp vanilla

Now set your timer


C got crazy with it!!

K thought it was COLD!!!

N was smart and figured out that an oven mitt would be a great idea!!!

Now lets see....

Looks yummy!!!

Everyone is enjoying it!!

Even Marley got some!!!

C thought hers needed Chocolate...Of Course!!

However, it was her turn to wipe the table....she was not happy about that!

Try some homemade ice cream at your house and add some flavors!  Let us know what your favorite flavor is!!!  

More to come....  hint  it has to do with the states of water!!!  :-)