Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some Christmas caroling 4-H elfs

The Eagles 4-H group met on Friday at a local assisted
living facility to sing some Christmas carols and hand
out treat bags to the residents that lived there.
The group of kids are all homeschooled children that
range in age from 5-12, there
are 32 kids total in the group, but the picture was taken
right before we left.
My 2 divas are on the front row in the
green shirt "smiling "and in the red shirt "pouting". I
reckon the little pouting diva does not remember the
song about "Santa coming to town"
Better not pout!!! Better not cry!!
I am telling you why,
Because Santa Claus is coming to town
and you are driving your mother crazy!

Leslie (miss pouty's mommy)

I am a "blogging slacker"

"Santa Tom" and a friend

Neil ("Santa's" helper and friend)

Seasons greetings to all, boy have I been a blogging slacker.
I have so many things to post and never the time to do it.
So today I will try to better. First of all my father is back
home after another chemoembolization procedure on
December 10. He did fairly well this time, some minor
complications thatresolved themselves. He is still in a lot
of a pain and battling fevers while at home.
We pray that this treatment will dosomething substantial
to the 3 liver tumors that he has.
This is his favorite time of year, he always loved to dress
up in his Santa suit and spend Christmas eve at the local
children's hospital there in Columbia. His health the last
couple of years has just made it impossible to play
"Santa Tom". I posted a couple of pictures above that
I love, these were actually done by a newsreporter a
couple of years ago. The nurses on the Pediatric cancer
floor had the local paper come and do a story on
"Mr Tom" and his yearly visit on Christmas eve to make
sure all of the kids with cancer get something that night
from him. His helper is a great guy named Neil who
volunteered to dress up in that elf suit yearly and go
with Mr Tom to hand out presents.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

My rFactor racing champ

Bad boys of racing series, my online racer and his
car. My son's passion has always been racing.
Since he was about 1 yr old he has always had
racing on his brain. Online or Sim racing is his
new passion, it takes time, patience and an eye
for detail to create ,paint and then run one of
these "virtual " cars on an online event.
The above graphic is from his first win on rFactor
more info on http://www.race1online.com/, this is the
next big thing in racing cars. Hopefully we
can take this talent and work towards a degree
in IT or computer graphics etc. A homeschool
momma always looks for potential future
endeavors :) right?

"Party Girl" is 5

Cool cake by cake artist Amy Murphy

Such a little diva

Look Mommy what I got!!!!!!Hannah

Love my musical cards "Who let the dogs out!!"

Last Sunday whe had an "Art Birthday Party" at the
Hickory Museum of Art. It was themed a fairyland
party for kings or queens. S was the special bd girl
guest, since she just recently turned 5 yrs old.
Hannah Montana had to adorn that cool cake that
was made by our most special cake lady friend.
Amy of CakesbyamyM http://www.cakesbyamym.com/
does all of our birthday creations. This one looked
just like a mini-wedding cake with a HM theme.
And boy was it good as always, vanilla with purple
buttercream icing (S's fav color and request) Amy
did her best to make just what S wanted.
The party guests got to create a one of a kind banner
for the birthday girl and paint anything they wanted
on it. They also made crowns, fairy /dragon wings,
and magic wands to turn any mommy/daddy into
little green froggies.
S loaded up on the presents, Hannah stuff galore,
(Thank you Teresa !! and Debbie and Karen !!)
in addition to all sorts of other wonderful things
that she is still talking about. My baby is growing up
so fast and getting cuter by the hour.

"Pink Warriors" October 18, 2008

There is me on the far right with my "Cancer sucks" hat

What a beautiful day ! for a 3 mile brisk walk!

Mommies Rock to "Save the Ta Ta's"

"Pink Warriors" was what we were last Saturday
for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in
Hickory NC. Our CFM team was among the
many people that ran or walked the streets near
Lenoir Rhyne University that cool and sunny
morning. I walked in memory of my beloved
grandmother, who died from breast cancer, in
honor of my cousin who survived and for the
future of my 2 beautiful daughters, may they
see the cure for breast cancer in the near future.
Together we can find a cure for this terrible
disease called "Cancer"
"Save the Ta TA's " , I want to keep mine :)

"Fire in the hole" or tank

Educational, or just plain crazy?? Well it was actually very
educational for my 3 kids to see just what can happen when you
play around with a propane tank and some fire. As a part of our
daddy's hazmat training for work as a propane truck driver,
he was required to attend this controlled burn exercise with a
local fire department. His boss encouraged them to bring
kids/spouses to watch what can happen to a propane tank
when it is open and comes in contact with fire.
They actually ran the hose from one of the propane trucks they drive
to the actual tank and could control the amount of gas that was going
to the fire. The firemen could then train on how to cut off the gas
and put out the blaze. Don't worry, the kids were far enough back to
watch, but not get in the way or near the flames. Safety first when it
comes to fire. As a part of Fire Safety month in September we went
over some fire safety tips and talked again about what to do when in
a fire.
Cool pictures above taken by my hubby. I was a work while all this
was going on, talk about a nervous Nelly. When he told me he was
taking the kids to see a propane tank explode.....I about flipped. But
all was well and he kept them safe and sound. Er nurses always think
the worst case senario :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Catawba Wildlife Club: National Hunting/Fishing Day 2008

Today was National Hunting and fishing day at Catawba Wildlife Club,
of which our homeschool warden (daddy-ha ha) is a member of.
So off we went for a day of learning shooting sports skills and safety
when around firearms. Part of homeschooling also includes life skills
that our children will carry throughout their lives. Our house is a house
of gun ownership and respect for any weapon is taught early on. We
as parents are active with prevention of injury education in children
inside and outside our house. I teach gun safety to kids of all ages, as
an ER nurse for 20+ yrs I have seen first hand what guns can do in
the hands of someone who makes a poor choice. Today I vowed to
learn more about the actual shooting side of gun safety. I can talk all
day about being safe, but to actually shoot a gun myself has been a
fear of mine. I grew up with guns, my daddy hunted and we always
had guns in the house, I knew to respect them. But as an adult I have
never had to desire to shoot anything. My husband on the other hand
is a "gun freak" he lives for shooting/hunting/anything to do with a
weapon. He has his concealed permit, has an small arsenal locked up
in our house that includes a custom built cedar chest that is layered
with bullets in alphabetical order and he also reloads his own ammo.
So as the phrase goes " as in Rome, do as the Romans do"....................
or "if you can't beat them join them" I guess I will have to join
them. Do you think I can get him to scrapbook?? NOT!!
No, I don't want a rifle for my birthday!!!

Trip to the big house 9/25

Above slide show is a few pictures of our trip to the Biltmore house
in Asheville, NC. for the fall homeschool festival. Our family and
another homeschooling family visited the estate on Thursday.
I was most impressed that they took time for all of the
homeschool families. The staff were most helpful and
answered dozens of questions about the house ,gardens,
winery, farm and grounds. My youngest was fascinated by
the history of the house and the people that lived there, she
is only 4, I could not believe some of the questions she asked,
and wanted to see inside Mrs Vanderbilt's vanity to see her
makeup. A very nice staff person accommodated her and let
her see inside the furniture that was hundreds of years old, they
did not have to do that. Then out the window
we saw a young bride getting her pictures made for an upcoming
wedding on the Biltmore grounds. S. was sure that was a princess
that lived in the castle. We had to follow her outside to the garden
area after we were done climbing all those stairs inside the house.
We plan to return to Biltmore for Christmas and see the wonderful
decorations. I plan on doing a little unit study and
lapbooking/notebooking about the estate and family, they gave us
wonderful workbooks that are
age specific for each child, even our teen. Check out their website
if you want to know more or visit http://www.biltmore.com/ ,
a wonderful vacation trip for your entire family.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An old fart update- good news

Yes my daddy is an old fart, that is what I have laughingly called him
for several years now. Today's procedure went well, mom called me
while I was at work tonight in the busy ER, taking care of the patients that
Broughton Hospital did not seem to want to accept and a few I wanted to
send there. Daddy's procedure was done within an hour , the doctor was
very skilled and also very good looking per my mother, he also went to
Duke. So daddy was happy that his doctor was a "Duke man" also.
Might have been better I guess if he was a "tarheel" but I guess we will
have to settle with the good looks :)
I wanted to blog as soon as I got home this early am because I know
several readers wanted an update. The chemoembolization hopefully will do
something to those liver tumors. If daddy behaves tonight, he may get to go
home today or tommorrow, just keep him and mom in your prayers,
God is good.......all of the time.


Friday, September 19, 2008

F. R. O. G. little life lessons

F.R.O.G. : Fully Relying on God !!

Little lesson's come in big and cute packages, thank you Sheri Allison
for our homeschool science lesson. My dear friend and photographer

took these cute little pictures and surprised me one night by posting
them on our "Mommy forum". Tagged "baby frogs aka : Leslie a
homeschool lesson" and "tadpoles, tonight's homeschool lesson".
Sheri, is the photographer that shot my favorite picture of all 3 kids

that adorns the top of this blog page.
I am her biggest fan (as you can tell) and think her talent is God given.
Enjoy them, we have, the kids are making lapbooks to show their

knowledge of frogs and the cycles they go thru from egg to tadpole
to adulthood. We have a pond in our front yard, and enjoy listening
to our frogs every night.

When you fully rely on God, you trust him for all you need.
Whether it be green water to swim in or bugs to eat, just like
these sweet little froggies. You are happy with what God gives
you and trust that your days will be filled with lots of juicy bugs :)
The last picture you see is a water bug/beetle, who seems to

"walk on water" So my kids now call this a 'Jesus bug" ,
a walkin on the water. Please stop by and tell Sheri Allison how
much you love her work, the links to her website and blogs
are to the right. www.sheriallison.com ;)


Update - chemoembolization

Chemoembolization, now that's a spelling word for ya. That's the word for the procedure that my daddy is having on Monday. Things moved sorta fast when his oncologist suggested something else besides chemo. My mom called today after they had visited the "advanced radiology" office and talked to the nurse who did his pre-procedure stuff. The nurse was named "Star" and my father seemed to find this amusing and had the nurse laughing thru the entire process, per my mother. Follow the Star Daddy!!! You old fart!! I'm not sure where I got my sense of humor.
The procedure on Monday (at Lexington Medical Center in SC) involves the passing of a cath thru his groin , up into his liver (portal circulation?) , then they stop the blood supply to the 3 tumors and insert some chemo "pellets or seeds" directly into the tumors. He will have to be still for 5+ hrs post-procedure and spend a couple of days in the hospital. He may have a
lot of pain and nausea, so no candy or Pringles chips Papaw!! Apparently they have had much success with this procedure , I am not sure why it was not offered before now. My dad has had liver tumors for 4 years now.
Pray for our Pawpaw at around 1pm on Monday Sept 22. I will try to post an update later that day or the next.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Results are in....Cancer Sucks!!!

"Go Duke Blue"

"Carolina girl and her Duke Blue devil"
aka: Ms Brenda and Mr Tom
aka: Mom and Dad
aka: "Mamaw and Pawpaw"
For those of you that know my family, you know that my father is battling liver cancer and has been for several years now. My mom called this afternoon to tell me the results of the cat scan that Daddy had last week. The news was good and bad, 2 of the 3 spots on his liver had grown and they would need to do something else more aggressive to treat. The "something else" would be radiation ablation of the liver tumors, not sure what that is, but rest assured this "queen of the search engine" will find out. All that is needed now is prayers, we are firm believers in the power of prayer. I am sorta glad that his doctor offered up something else instead of just pumping him full of chemo. All in God's plan, yes I believe.

Our homeschool day today was rainy,but went pretty good. I got up early and K got up with me, so he could take out the trashcans and grumble, oh well! He then disappeared back into the deep depths of our basement, he is having Xbox360 withdrawals. We had the dreaded "Red Ring of Death" this week and will have to send the Xbox 360 console back to the company for repairs. This can take up to 3 weeks----oh what will they do (as I laugh) He drug the old Xbox back down to the playroom and connected it to that TV, I knew he could not go without a controller in his hands.
S and I had to head out on the front porch to see where "the spiders go night night". She , for some reason, needed peace of mind that they were ok. We found a huge green frog hiding under one of my ferns out by the pond, I'm sure he wondered why on earth this crazy lady kept taking pictures of him. Our huge orange tomcat "Catboy" then felt the need to make the frog jump back into the pond. Now I have perfect pictures to add to our lapbook/notebooks about frogs.

L did very well on her math and then finished language with minimal help.I then let her get back on "ClubPenguin" and feed her "pets" that are in the igloo. I finally got K's "Switched on Schoolhouse" computer program loaded and up and running. He seems to like the format and daily lesson plans that are spelled out right there on the computer. I even updated the calendar with all his teen homeschool activites so he would always know what we are doing.
They actually then let me get some work done, I have a fall festival event for Encare this Saturday and spent the rest of my day and evening sorting/stickering and packing toteboxes to get ready. I have so much stuff now,I had to move everything out to our garage and organize it better. Now I just back the van up to the garage door and load up. The UPS man hates me now I think, the last shipment I had was 12 heavy boxes full of Injury Prevention literature/booklets/dvd's that I found free online. He really doesn't understand my passion, but now he backs up to the garage like I asked him.
In addition to the usual craziness of our household, our doggies:Daisy and Buttons have been playing the "humpy, hump dance " all week long. I know I need to get them fixed/spayed but I just have not had time or money for that matter. So the kids have gotten a sex ed lesson for 2 weeks in a row now. L yells to me "Mommy" they are doing it again!!!! Thank goodness they are both girls. I know our neighbors behind us think we are crazy, the dogs have been chasing each other all over the fenced in backyard area. And now our female cat is acting awful "lovey dovy" herself. I think the hormones here are driving these animals crazy, except for poor old Catboy, he was fixed yrs ago and is interested only in his "Fancy Feast". He is so fat I have to lift him up onto the washer/dryer to get to the food bowls.
And, I swear that crazy bird knows when I am on the phone now also, it only screams/shreeeks when I start talking, what's up with that. Sounds like a dang zoo here, I have to hide to call anybody.
Calgon/Haldol take me away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
~~~ Leslie ~~~

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The "Invasion of the basement"

As I promised in my last post , here is the saga of our "invasion of the basement". Our house is 2 levels, one level being a basement( about 1700 sq foot I might add) that is totally under the ground. We are in process of remodeling the partially finished mess that we purchased a few yrs ago. 2 of the kids had bedrooms down there until about a week ago. Our teen is now the only one who resides down there. When all the remodeling is done all 3 kids will have finished rooms and a large bathroom, TV/game room and my office /workroom space.
A couple of weeks ago I began seeing dead "bees" only in L's room. They were small yellow jackets that seemed to fall out of the ceiling onto her bed. Why???( the only child I have that is mortified of any bug she see's, had dead bugs on her bed. I had to tell my hubby and see if he could solve our mystery. He quickly found the problem the next day when the sun was up. He saw hundreds of "yellow jackets" swarming out behind our house. They seemed to be going up under the vinyl siding, ???? where you ask..........................into the basement ceiling rafters :)
Usually the cure for any yellow jacket nest in our yard would be to pour gasoline on them and light it, but this was our house!!! That Sat. evening after I got home from working a busy 12 hr shift in the ER, we crept down to the basement with many cans of spray, flashlights and ladder.

My doodle head husband proceeded to pull down all the ceiling tiles and take out insulation so he could locate the problem makers. Suddenly POW, he was stung by 6 yellow jackets, in the back of the head. He shouted in his deep voice.....MOVE NOW!!! And me and my fluffy self.... Moved fast!! He didn't have to tell me twice to get out of his way so I would not get stung also. He soaked the nest with spray that he uses at work for " creepy critters" and it killed them all. We went back later and took out the entire nest of invaders. I took pictures of course and we placed the nest into a plastic jar to use as a homeschool project, crazy huh!! I tell you that nest was a work of art, intricate little combs and amazing outside shell. God is at work in even the smallest creatures. Thank goodness no body else got stung. Here are some of the pictures I took.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What a beautiful day!

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and at the Blockhouse. We are starting our new school year today, even though we school all year long. Homeschooling is a 24/7 .......365 days a yr kind of thing, learning is always occuring, whether I am cooking supper,cleaning house or doing the laundry, the kids learn "lifeskills" that hopefully they can take with them one day when they have their own household to keep. Yesterday,Labor Day, we labored all day long. The girls and I worked to clean up messes they had made over the weekend while I was at work. And we moved L. and S. into the same bedroom upstairs so we could do more work remodeling our basement.

Stay tuned for pictures of what we found up in the ceiling tiles down there..........Yikes!!

Clif and K. were busy most of the day taking down and moving our huge weight center thing out to the garage so I can finish our schoolroom. I am working hard to move all of our homeschool "stuff" into the sunroom so I can keep track of it and S. can have a "kindergarten" classroom of her own. My dining room table is covered in all of her little projects...moonsand, paper cutting ,glue, stickers, plastic cups, Barbies, Little Pony's and assorted babydoll clothing. Not to mention the floor is covered in all of the left over "moon sand". My kitchen now has another "kitchen of its own" and a table with babydolls sitting all around ready for their "tea". I am slowing being taken over by "johnsie's", that is what she calls her baby dolls in addition to other pet names she makes up. The girl has a vivid imagination, if I can only harness the energy and turn it into learning to read now.

Here are a few pictures of S. the 4 yr old diva, we were at Carowinds over the summer and she was always posing for the camera.
Have a great and blessed day in God's wonderful world

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