July 30, 2009

Peach Picking Field Trip

Today Alex and I went on our first field trip of the 2009-10 school year. We haven't officially started schooling yet but a field trip is a nice way to start the year off. We went to Forgie's Fruit Farm in Lewisburg, TN.

While waiting for other homeschoolers that were joining us on the field trip, Mrs. Forgie showed us this giant peach that they picked. They think it might be a world record peach. It weighs 2.15 lbs!! Just one peach! The world record peach last year was 1.8 lbs.

Once all of our group arrived, Bill Forgie took us on a tour of their farm. We all climbed on a wagon that was pulled by a tractor and went bumping along. First stop was the sorting room where they bring the peaches they pick themselves to sell in their store. They pick 150 of these double baskets each day to sell. The smell in this room is absolutely amazing...just delicious, sweet peaches!

Then he takes us further on and we see the rows of peach trees and sweet cherry trees. He drove us around the lake (beautiful drive) and then back to the orchard. We all got baskets and headed on down the rows to start picking peaches.

Alex sees a beautiful peach right away and put it in his basket. He proceeded to fill his basket rather quickly. I was picking some and putting them in my own basket...and then my little helper started filling my basket too. LOL! He wanted to keep picking but his basket was getting too heavy to carry.

We carry our baskets to the shop and pay for our peaches. We then load up in the van and head out. Just as we leave the farm property it starts pouring down rain. *Phew* What timing!

We had a great time and we will definitely be going back next year. Alex would like to go and pick cherries too. They usually ripen in May. The drive to the farm was just beautiful. If you are in the area...you have to make it a trip.

July 26, 2009

Schoolhouse Rock Live!

Morgan made the ensemble cast for Schoolhouse Rock Live! production at Maury County Arts Guild . She is very excited. We are very proud of her. She decided she wanted to audition, she learned a song, moved past her nervousness and did great. A friend of our's also made the ensemble cast so the kids will be able to practice together to learn the songs and dance steps. They start practicing the 2nd week of August and the performances will start mid-September. We don't have exact dates yet, the director is currently performing in a show. :-)

July 25, 2009

Satisfying Saturday

My recovery is going well. I have started eating regular food again although the right side of my jaw still hurts and I have to chew very carefully. I was so tired of soft food. So far I've had salmon, smashed potatoes, a pb & banana sandwich, and then shredded bbq chicken, sauteed summer squash, new potatoes & green beans. So, not bad.

I've signed us up at http://www.spellingcity.com/ to work on our spelling. Each kid will have a spelling list and they can work through learning the words on the list by playing various games. It is free and we are looking forward to playing there...and learning.

We've decided to give the kids a chance at earning an allowance again. They will have chores to do each week in order to earn their allowance. We've tried this before without success and there are guidelines that they must follow or they forfeit their money that week. We shall see how it goes.

Today, I took Morgan up to the Maury County Arts Guild to audition for the upcoming TAG production, Schoolhouse Rock Live! We should find out tomorrow if she made it or not. She is fine either way. She was the youngest to audition but did great!

Tonight after dinner the kids and I made homemade peach cobbler with farm fresh peaches from our CSA. Oh my...the yummy goodness! It was easy and delicious and we can't wait to make some with more peaches...or another fruit from the farm.

July 22, 2009

Oral surgery & recovery

Yesterday I had oral surgery. Corey stayed home with the kids due to some work obligations and my mom took me to the appointment. We arrived a little early and the waiting began. I was nervous and was trying not to worry too much. I paid my co-pay and received my post-op instructions as well as my prescriptions. I got called back a few minutes before 12 and they started setting things up. Within a few minutes they had me hooked up to the b/p machine & had oxygen on me (yea). Then the assistant freaked me out when she said that if I ran out of pain medication at the end of 2 weeks then to please call & they would give me more. Egads...still needing percocet after 2 weeks!! Whee...bet my b/p went up at that point. ;-) I looked at the clock at 12:35 and within a few minutes the dentist came in, put in my IV and that was that. They called my mom at 1:05 to let her know that I was done, waking up and she could bring the car around to the patient pick-up door. Wow! Mom took me to get a Frosty and Diet Coke from Wendy's. I ate most of the Frosty and drank some Diet Coke before going to lay down with ice packs on my cheeks. About an hour later I was up and around and feeling alright. Some of the numbing medication was wearing off, so my tongue and lips were feeling closer to normal but the rest was numb enough to not be bothering me. I took a pain pill and we brought me home, dropping the prescriptions off on the way. Morgan stayed with me while Corey took Alex to tumbling and picked up the prescriptions and some more gauze pads. I slept off & on in my chair with ice packs...don't remember a whole lot. I do remember the phone ringing and the dentist checking on me and friends & my mom calling to make sure everything was alright. I had some applesauce and pudding and was drinking tea. Around midnight I felt like I needed more food on my stomach before I took anymore medication but when I stood up it was like a roller coaster and I got sick. Thankfully it was not bad and didn't hurt anything. *phew* I made some jello for the next day, grabbed an ice pack and went to bed. This morning I was feeling good (still am). Every hour or so I put the ice packs on for 20-30 minutes like I was instructed. I'm taking my antibiotic but I haven't needed any pain meds. I took some regular ibuprofen this morning but nothing since then. I had some chicken noodle soup w/crackers broken in it earlier today. I must say that I am MUCH relieved that this hasn't been nearly as bad as I was thinking it would be. Hope the rest of recovery goes this smoothly.

July 21, 2009

Park Day

Yesterday was park day for us. We met up with 3 homeschooling families at a local park and let the kids all play together while the moms had a chance to chat. It was nice. The weather was gorgeous (mid-70's) with a gentle breeze. It has been quite some time since we've seen 2 of the families so the kids were VERY excited about getting together. We didn't expect it to be this long between get togethers but sometimes life happens and you just have to roll with it. :-) Anyway, school is gearing up for everyone and we are making plans to set a park day for the year (last year was Tuesdays...think it will be Mondays this year). We are also all looking into various field trips and we often are able to all go together, along with other homeschoolers.

I finished figuring out where we were in our current curriculum and where we wanted to go for this year and what we needed to do so. We don't have much we have to buy (Yea!). I filled out our enrollment forms for The Farm School and that helped me with some of our goals for the upcoming year. I called the ped and left a message for copies of the kids' immunization records. I just have one more thing left to do and we can submit all of our enrollment stuff. I have to write a learning experience summary for both kids and submit that with everything else. Not bad.

This morning I am preparing to go to the oral surgeon to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. I am not thrilled about it but it is something that should have been done a few years ago and got pushed back...life. So, now at 41, I am getting my wisdom teeth out. The 2 uppers have to be completely cut out (ouch!) and the 2 lowers just pulled out. I am not looking forward to afterwards. My surgery is scheduled for 11:30am central time today. Any prayers, good thoughts, healing energies....happily accepted. At the moment, I'm having a hard time with not being able to have a drink this morning. It is very difficult waking up and not being able to drink something. In preparation for my surgery I made some homemade ice packs. You mix 3 parts water and 1 part alcohol in a ziplock baggie, then double bag it and pop it in the freezer. This makes the ice packs that are gel-like and form to whereever you put them. I made 2 so I have one for each cheek! After this they will be great to have around for boo-boos and any other injuries.

July 19, 2009

School year prep

Our family is prepping for the coming school year. We have most of our curriculum set and just a few things to order or buy. We have decided this year to enroll with a CRS (church-related school) under the Jeter Memo. This is one of the homeschooling options in Tennessee but it technically, according to TN law, makes us a satellite of the school we are enrolling with instead of official homeschoolers. Semantics. ;-) We would *not* be doing this option if it weren't for the fact that we have a school that we feel very comfortable with...that is not a christian church with a school. We are enrolling with The Farm School in the satellite campus program . We are looking forward to our first year with them. We will be reporting a little more by homeschooling this way but we think being with them will be good for us.

Part of our prepping has been to clear out the small desk that we've had downstairs between the living room & kitchen. It used to hold the desktop computer that the kids used prior to getting their laptops. Then it just held the printer and some software in the drawers. Well, our printer is messing up and we decided to make some changes. We cleared out the desk and moved it upstairs to Morgan's room. This will enable her to work in her room if she wants to. It fits in very well in her room. We bought a new printer, an HP Officejet 6500 . It is an all-in-one but we REALLY needed a wireless printer so we could all print without having to plug into a central printer. I decided to move a small bookcase from near the front door to the spot where the desk used to be. Moving this bookcase forced us to sort through the books that were on that bookcase and we found some that we can donate. Yea! We shifted the books we are keeping to another shelf with schooling books and then moved all our cookbooks over to the smaller shelf. It worked and I think it will help us be more organized.

I am also starting to think about field trips for the coming year. I am looking at
Adventure Science Center , Nashville Children's Theatre ,
Honeysuckle Hill Farms for an apple orchard tour, and Tennessee Performing Arts Center . I know more will come up that others plan & we can attend.

In addition to all the prep we are doing for our homeschooling year, we are also prepping for Mom to take a class. I am signing up to take a Midwifery Assistant workshop at The Farm Clinic/Midwifery Center. I am so very excited.

July 18, 2009

Homebrew 101 - bottling

Corey likes to homebrew and the kids like to help. They are actually learning a bit about chemistry in the process so that's a good thing. The most recent batch is an amber ale that is a Phat Tyre clone. They have already created the brew, allowed it to ferment and now it is time for bottling. After this you just let it age a bit. The kids wanted to help with the bottling so I took some pictures of the process.

First, Corey brought the brew up to the kitchen. Here you can see my very happy husband with the 5 gallon bladder of brew. Behind him you can see that Morgan is already working on step 1.

Here is a close up of what Morgan was working on...sanitizing the bottles. The bottles are put into the sanitizing solution and needs 2 minutes of contact. If you notice the necks of the bottles are down in the solution while the bottoms have floated up. This happens and Corey ensures that the bottles are fully sanitized by allowing them to sit this way for 2 minutes and then putting solution into the bottles so that the deep inside has 2 minutes of contact as well.

Corey fills the first bottle. Then he starts showing the kids how. This is the first time he has used the bladder with the spigot for fermenting, usually he uses a bucket, so filling the bottles is a little different.

Here is Morgan filling some bottles. She figured out that the best way for her was to be on her knees so she could be eye level with the spigot to ensure good filling...and not overflowing.

Alex takes his turn learning how to fill the bottles. You can see Corey showing him where the beer is in the bottle and that they need to put some more in it.
Morgan decides to be brave and taste the beer. Here is her reaction. Think she likes it?

Now time for capping. Morgan has helped cap before and so she's an "old pro".

Alex is taught how to cap the bottles by Morgan and she gives him a helping hand by holding the bottle while he tries his hand at it. It takes some oomph to get the caps on.

Ta daaaa!! Here we have capped bottles of beer all ready to be stored and allowed to age a little more.

If you are in the area, give Corey a holler and he will gladly share some brew with you. :-)

July 15, 2009

Parker Bunny

Parker Bunny
a beloved member of our family
January 2, 2003 - July 13, 2009

Parker came into our family completely by surprise. We were at a park in Tampa, FL meeting up with some friends that I had known online since being pregnant with Alex. Sabrina & I had met and had gotten the kids together. We were both meeting another mom, her husband & her son for the first time. While there we discovered some boys messing around with something near a dry drainage ditch. They had found a rabbit...and you could tell it was a pet rabbit not a wild one. It wasn't their's and so we picked him up and kept him with us. He snuggled with us (and ate gummy bears...it was all we had) until we found a box. Corey and I decided to bring him home with us. We researched rabbits, bought stuff for him and that was that. Corey came up with the name Parker because he was rescued in the park. Parker was a good bunny and would have been a free-roaming house bunny except for his LOVE for electrical wires. For his safety, and our's, we bought a special bunny pen that gave him plenty of romping room. We had a friend in FL that bunny sat for us when we went out of town and I swear PB (Parker Bunny) loved going over there. He handled the move from FL to TN very well and became Corey's office mate since Corey was then full-time work-at-home. A year ago, Parker developed torticollis caused by a bacterial infection. It was scary to look at but antibiotics helped. I wouldn't say he was ever 100% after that but I don't know if it was just his age or not recovering completely. Last Thursday, July 9th, Corey asked me to come down to his office because Parker had suddenly started acting strangely. His neck was all twisted and he was scrambling around off-balance and almost appeared to be having a seizure. He wasn't...was just trying to regain his footing & right himself. He had torticollis again and this time it seemed worse than last year...and came on faster. We got him in to the vet and we discussed our options. He was given an injection and we were given syringes and medication to give him over the weekend. Rabbits are pretty frail animals and it was pretty much 50-50 if he would even respond to the medication at all. The injections Fri, Sat and Sun were to give him the best possible chance. Unfortunately, they did not help. We knew by Sunday that it wasn't looking good. We talked with the kids and we all knew that it was time to let him go. Monday we took Parker into the vet and had him put to sleep. I love our vet & all the staff. They are so wonderfully supportive. They knew we had tried all we could and that Parker had lived 6 1/2 great years with us. We don't know how old he was when we rescued him but even 6 1/2 is good for a small pet bunny.

Our little bun is romping in a huge field of fresh clover with all the other buns. We laid him to rest in the backyard and the kids made a marker for him. We love you Parker Bunny!

July 10, 2009

More furry worries

Well, took Trey to the vet this morning and they cleaned out his wound, put some granulation ointment on it to help it heal quicker, and rebandaged his leg. They also gave him a new e-collar since he practically destroyed the previous one. He must be taken out on a leash to keep him from doing donuts in the yard with Bella and he has to take antibiotics for longer since the wound was reopened.

This evening Corey calls me downstairs because he is worried about Parker, our bunny. Out of nowhere his head is tilted, seriously tilted, and he's scrambling around his pen. We've been through this with Parker before...last year. But the head tilt is worse than it was last year and his balance seems to be worse. Corey described one episode very similar to a seizure. *sigh* So in the morning we will call the vet to see about the bun. :-/ We've had Parker for 6 1/2 years and we aren't sure how old he is. I'm not sure what tomorrow brings...we shall see.

July 8, 2009

Trey - the injured pup

Our little pup, Trey, injured his paw just over a week ago. We took him to the vet and they stitched it up using subcutaneous (below skin, dissolvable) stitches and bandaged it & gave him an e-collar (cone). He was put on antibiotics and anti-inflammatory/pain relief pills. We removed the bandage 1 1/2 days later, as directed, and left the cone on until his follow up visit. Tuesday morning (yesterday) we took him in for his check up and he was doing pretty good. They removed the collar and said to put it back on if he bothered the wound. He ignored it for several hours but the kids and I went off & Corey was in a class and Trey started licking it. Last night it was looking more open than it had before and I was worried. So I scrounged around the house and found 1 large bandaid. So I applied antibiotic ointment and the bandaid and wrapped it with strips of fabric in a makeshift bandage. The fabric came off on his first trip outside but the bandaid was still on. Today I had planned to call the vet but got busy...ugh! The bandaid came off this evening and the wound was even more open than before...looking like the stitches busted. :-/ I am not a happy puppy mama. We washed it with warm, soapy water (as directed) and put a clean sock on it...but are having trouble keeping something tied around it to keep it on. I'm having trouble making sure the tie is tight enough to hold it on but not too tight for his leg. Frustrating and worrisome. The split open wound looks painful and thankfully he still has anti-inflammatory, pain relief pills. Calling the vet in the morning is an absolute *must*. I don't like the thought of any of my babies being in pain or not feeling good and this is what is bothering me the most about all of this. I'm not so worried about an infection because he's on antibiotics and we are keeping it clean. *sigh* It is hard being a mama...of kids or animals.

July 5, 2009

iPhone blogging

Hi, from Kelly's iPhone. I am now blogging for our family on the fly. My laptop has crashed for the 2nd time in just a couple days. At first it crashed & Corey rebuilt it. Then it crashed hard, as in harddrive death & strange clicky noises. So he calls Dell and gets a new harddrive on the way. It arrives the next day (yea Dell) and Corey spends 1/2 the day getting everything back up & running. Yea Corey! Fast forward 2 days and baaad blue screen of death and strange clicky noises from within. Argh! I can't believe it. He thinks it might be the motherboard at this point. Very frustrating no matter what it is.

In the middle of my computer issues, we've had a pet problem. Our little pup, Trey, managed to get 2 gashes on a front paw. It required sedation & stitches and the lovely cone collar to keep him from bothering the paw. None of this has slowed him down at all. He has so much energy that it isn't surprising. He goes in to have it checked Monday or Tuesday.

We have been taking it easy on the school front. We have a couple things that we need to wrap up because we just left them hanging. We have been volunteering at the animal shelter and really enjoying it. We have been able to visit with family quite a bit lately and it has been great.