Friday, January 23, 2015

Week in Review #23-24-2014-2015

So my Week in Review seems to be 2 weeks in review lately. Okay so I am trying to get it out weekly. 

For Week 23 we had a full week of school. We finished off our read out loud of Masada. The kids really enjoyed the story but,as you can imaging that the ending of the story surprised both kids. 

Little Man has been writing stories with his Bob Jones 3 Writing and Grammar.He started out his week planning a story. He had to choose a game to explain as his topic. He choose to explain the rules of Red Rover.

Bug had a lighter week as she wasn't feeling well due to her arthritis flaring up. She did some schooling online with ESL and CTC Math for the most part.
 She got back in the saddle again and started horse therapy again after having a few weeks off. She is doing strengthening exercise on her upper trunk area.
If you look closely you can see that she is pushing herself up in a standing position. Not an easy task for a child who has low muscle tone and strength. I don't think I could do it.
 Little Man attended a birthday party that included ice skating.
 He enjoys ice skating.
Bug and I were content watching him ice skate.

Week 24 started out the week with a trip to the hospital to have four teeth extracted. Bug has to do it in the hospital due to her medical complexity.
 This particular hospital has you go into the pediatrics ward for check in and afterwards for post op after the surgery.
 She is just waiting and trying not to be nervous about the surgery.
 Little Man playing a game to pass the time.
 Little Man must of took this pictures after the surgery. My poor little girl.
 My little girl is not happy.
This was suppose to be an outpatient surgery and it ended up with Bug having to stay in the hospital overnight due to complications. 

She was miserable. She had an extraction break off and one of the roots got left in so they had to do a bit more work in that area. It didn't want to stop bleeding. Then on top of that she had a hard time with the anesthesia as she wouldn't stop throwing up and it lasted until 2:00 in the morning. Even after giving her an medicine to stop throwing up. 

Throwing up and teeth extractions are not a good combination. Then add her blood clotting disorder on top of it. Being dehydrated is not a good thing for anyone. With some one that has a blood clotting and stroke history makes it even more complex. She has never had issues with the anesthesia before with all of her other surgery's. I was very glad to be home in my own bed after this ordeal. 

Bug is doing better despite having some pain and not being able to eat much. She's a trooper. 
 We had an overnight guest stay with us. One of the girls came up to visit the porch light. Bug was afraid she would freeze to death overnight as it was too late to take her into the hive and very cold. So we captured her and let her go the next day when it warmed up and she could fly without freezing up.
 The girls love the porch lights. I didn't think one of them would be crazy enough to venture out on a cold night. She was pretty stiff when we brought her in.
 I never now who to expect anymore as an overnight guest.
 We had a field trip the next day after she got out of the hospital at the Wichita Toy Train Mueseum.
 Bug wasn't quite her cheerful self and was a bit dazed from the pain medication.
 Who doesn't like playing with trains.
 This particular man is retired from being and engineer for the Sante Fe after some 40 years.
 Little Man learning about switching on the tracks.
 Bug is learning about passenger trains.
 Despite having a good time, she felt horrible and found a quite place to set down and watch the trains roll on by.
I'll share more about our field trip in another post. Both kids got hats at the museum. Little Man thought it would be a good idea to let Bug curl up on the couch and watch a movie on the Kindle.

As for school the rest of the week, life happens and we didn't get any done. I'll share with you why next week.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Honey Wassail Recipe

Nothing is better on a cold winter day then a hot drink. I prefer hot tea over coffee. I just don't care for the taste of coffee. 

Then there is cider! Yummy! If you want to take that cider up a notch in flavor that is where Wassail comes in. Wassail in basically an Old English word that means, "be you healthy". There are several different variation and flavors for Wassail. This particular one caught my attention because of the honey in it. I can't help it with all the honey from our beehives. It's hard to ignore it when you are selling honey and your house always seems sticky.

Honey Wassail

1/2 Gallon Apple Cider
1 Quart Cranberry Juice
1 Cup Honey
4 Cups Water
4 Cinnamon Sticks
1 TSP Whole Clover

Directions:

Put the cinnamon and cloves in a spice bag. Simmer all the ingredients for 15-20 minutes. Remove the spice bag and serve.

I actually leave the spice bag in around 30 minutes as I like a stronger taste of the spices. Enjoy.

Friday, January 16, 2015

34 Weeks of Clean Week 2-Pantry



I am trying to get a bit more organized around my house. I am linking up with the 34 Weeks of Clean at Family, Faith, and Fridays. This is Week 2 challenge and I guess I am a week behind but, my pantry is organized!

 I didn’t do Week 1 as we didn’t have any Christmas decorations to take down. I guess I could have done a post on taking down Hanukkah decorations.
http://www.familyfaithandfridays.com/2015/01/34-weeks-of-clean-week-2-pantry.html
This pantry drives me crazy. It's pretty much a snack pantry. The kids just throw things back in there once they get their snack. You have to dig around to find what you want. A lot of times things get left on the table instead of back in the pantry-grrrr!
Really it's not a lot of things in there as my family pretty much doesn't stray from their favorite snacks-often. Little Man and me are the ones who like a bit of variety to our snacks.
Here we have it all clean and organized. I even wiped down the cabinets shelves. They didn't look that dirty until I actually cleaned them and seen the dirt on the rag.

I had all the containers here already. They used to be in the classroom. I was glad I was able to find a new use for them.
I decided to put the cereal up higher so you can just reach in the back and grab your cereal without taking everything out or knocking stuff over.
I put the granola bars on the bottom for Bug. That way she doesn't have to reach as high and it will be easy for her to grab if her arthritis is giving her a bad day. 

This is Bug's favorite food. I hope they never stop making these granola bar as it is the only brand and flavor that she will eat. Pretty much the one of maybe 10 things she will eat!
I am at a lost to what to do with my plastic containers at this time. But I do keep in organized so I can grab what I need. I just have to take things out to get to certain ones. Except I actually put it back after I find what I want!
This is our down stairs pantry that we keep extras and stock up on things when they are on sale or we have a great coupon. Notice the large pile of granola bars! Not to much in here but, it's nice having a bit extra knowing you saved money buying it when it was on sale. We also shop at Sam's Club for certain items. 

I can't take any credit for this area. It was already organized by my beloved husband who made this his project when we moved into the house. He even puts the food down here when we come home from the grocery store.
 He even found a place for the growing supplies we need for the beehives. Unfortunately, this is only the empty pails. Our basement is a bit cold and we don't have a bucket warmer for the honey. The 5 gallons of honey that are filled our in our bedroom. It takes up a lot of room but, it works for now.
This is behind the door of the pantry and holds all the paper goods, utensils, and a few more odds and end. Including a few of our masonry jars.
We use to store plastic utensils in here. Now its pretty empty except for a few candles, latex gloves, and brown lunch bags. I just need to figure out another use for the empty drawers.
My beloved keeps a permanent marker on the shelves and writes the expiration dates on the boxes. He also rotates when he puts things on the shelf.
This is in our office downstairs on top of a bunch of file cabinets. It drives me crazy but, it's minor compared to the other beehive supplies elsewhere in the house. My beloved also takes care of this area. Except I put the lids in the plastic shoe boxes as I didn't like how he had it at first.

One area is nice and tidy and I don't know if I'll get the Week 3 challenge cleaning the kitchen cabinets!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tying Shoes

This is a previous post but, I thought I would give you an update. We still pull this shoe lace board out often. Bug sometimes regresses with her skills. Sometimes she just needs to focus on working on her fine motor skills. This is one of the items that I still use often in helping her at home. She has more control of the board than a shoe. She can also move it to a position that is comfortable for her. Between motor skill delays and arthritis with her it's best for her to get in the best possible position. The reality is that the only time she really wears shoes that lace up is during horse therapy and when its absolutely needed due to weather. She only wants her Crocs and has a lot of sensory issues that go on with tennis shoes. I'm afraid she will lose the skill of tying her own shoes again. We had to retrain her a few times with this task as she wasn't using the skill. Bug is now 12. We started this endeavor of tying shoes starting at age 6.

Learning to tie shoelaces is a complicated task for any child. For my Bug, it has been an extremely hard task for her to accomplish. It has been an ongoing task for several years.  years. Honestly, I was at the point of being content with her just putting on shoes with Velcro straps. Bug's occupational therapist has also worked with her over the years with it. Bug has fine motor and gross motor skills that are extremely delayed. 

SHE DID IT! She tied her shoes yesterday. She came running to me after her occupational therapy session. She was hollering and has happy as can be. She sat down on the floor and said, "look Mommy what I can do by all by myself now!" She tied her own shoelaces. Everyone in the waiting room clapped for her and rejoiced with her accomplishment. She has showed everyone with much excitement.

This year I had Grandpa make me a little gadget to work with the kids at home. It has been very helpful with them learning the concept or should I say the art  of tying your own shoelaces.

All it consist of is a  piece of scrap wood 2x4 cut around a foot with two holes drilled into it. I then bought some shoelaces at the dollar store. Make sure you use two different colors.

Are you wondering why the two different colors on the laces? It helps them to see the differences in each step they are taking. They can see that the black and white have different functions. It is much easier to explain shoe tying if laces are different colors. Instead of saying “the right one” or “the one in that hand” you can say, “put the white one over the black one.” Different colored laces can make any shoe-tying technique easier. This is also a good time to help with the left and right. I would say, "black lace which, is your right hand" and so on.

We would put these in our workboxes once or twice a week. The lesson would go like this:

First of all I would do it in steps, I would make sure that the first step is mastered before you go onto the next step. Just step one took awhile to get across for my Bug. You don't realize how much work as just crossing the shoe lace underneath one another on the first step if you have any motor skill delays. We who don't have delays take the small things for granted.

1. Place the untied board on the table. Take a lace in each hand and demonstrate crossing the laces into an "X." Instruct them to insert one lace through the bottom of the "X" and pull both laces tight.

I won't go into all the step because there is all different kinds of methods. You will have to find which one works for your child.  I think I have tried them all. In the end it was the traditional method that worked for her. I thought it would be the two bunny ears loops! Here is a great website for teaching your kids that I found helpful.

I hope this simple gadget works for you. You should be able to find all these items around your home. Make sure that the laces are not shredded at the end as it will be easier if they are new. You can also put tape or a bit of glue on the end to keep it together if you are using old shoe laces. For me it was a matter of sensory issues, texture, and being a distraction for Bug. Also, when they do start tying their own shoes having not to deal with shredded laces will be much easier for our special kiddos who need a bit of help. How many times have you fought with trying to lace old shoe laces that are shredded. Trying to get those pesky shoe laces in the holes can be a pain at times. I prefer to avoid a major melt down with Bug and to build up her confidence by not having shredded laces.

Blessings to you all. What have you tried with your kiddos to teach them to tie shoes?

I am also joining a link up with all of our therapies being canceled to help me at home to be accountable to work with her more at home. Stop by, As He Leads in Joy blog and see what other mom's are doing with therapy at home. 
http://asheleadsisjoy.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Therapy%20Thursday
  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Can't Help but Not to Notice Stories about Insects! Thanks to My Bug Loving Daughter

What can I say, Bug has trained me well and she was pretty excited when I shared this story with her. I don't buy into the Charles Darwin theory that is quoted in the story. I believe in an amazing God who is creator of all things.


Bug would love to have this pinned!

 

You can read the story on this website also.

Extremely Rare Find

 

Butterfly displays bilateral gynandromorphy.

Chris Johnson was on the final task of his to-do list before the museum opened to the public when he stopped dead in his tracks.

“I thought: ‘Somebody’s fooling with me. It’s just too perfect,’” recalled Johnson. “Then I got goose bumps.”

What the volunteer in the Butterflies! exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University saw was an extremely unusual butterfly—emerged just hours before from its chrysalis—spreading its delicate wings wide to reveal that it was exactly half male and half female.
Its two right wings—brown with yellow and white spots—were characteristic of a female of the species, and its two left wings—darker with green, blue and purple coloring—were typical of a male. The right wings were shaped differently than the left wings, and the body’s coloration was exactly split lengthwise down the middle as half male and half female.

“It slowly opened up, and the wings were so dramatically different, it was immediately apparent what it was,” said Johnson, a retired chemical engineer from Swarthmore, Pa., who spotted the delicate creature one day in October as he was emptying the Butterflies! exhibit’s pupa chamber.
Volunteer Chris Johnson (left),  with entomologist Jason Weintraub and the preserved Lexias pardais. Photo by Doug Wechsler/VIREO
Volunteer Chris Johnson (left), with entomologist Jason Weintraub and the preserved Lexias pardais. Photo by Doug Wechsler/VIREO

The pupa chamber is where exhibit staff place the chrysalises and cocoons that are shipped from overseas in order to allow the butterflies and moths inside to develop and emerge properly. Then they are released into the exhibit.

Johnson and his supervisor, Butterflies! Coordinator David Schloss, carefully isolated the butterfly and contacted Entomology Collection Manager Jason Weintraub, a lepidopterist. They knew it was important to save the butterfly for research by turning it over to Weintraub rather than let it loose in the exhibit, and run the risk of something happening to it during the handful of days it would live there.

Weintraub immediately confirmed Johnson’s suspicion. The butterfly was Lexias pardalis, and it had an unusual condition called bilateral gynandromorphy
.
The Academy plans to put the butterfly specimen on public display for a limited time starting Saturday, Jan. 17.

What does it all mean?

Gynandromorphism is most frequently noticed in bird and butterfly species where the two sexes have very different coloration. It can result from non-disjunction of sex chromosomes, an error that sometimes occurs during the division of chromosomes at a very early stage of development,” Weintraub said.

This condition is extremely rare, but scientists don’t know just how rare it is because it is usually overlooked in most species where the two sexes look similar to one another.
So how did this unusual butterfly end up at the Academy?

This particular Lexias pardalis had been shipped in October as one pupa among many from a sustainable butterfly farm on Penang Island in Malaysia. Similar farms in Costa Rica, Kenya and the Philippines also keep the Butterflies! exhibit supplied with pupae that then transform into butterflies.
The right wings of this preserved Lexias pardais are characteristic of the female of the species and the left wings are typical of the male. Photo by  J.D. Weintraub/ANSP Entomology
The right wings of this preserved Lexias pardais are characteristic of the female of the species and the left wings are typical of the male. Photo by J.D. Weintraub/ANSP 
Entomology

Lexias pardalis does not have a standard colloquial name, but it is a member of the butterfly family Nymphalidae, commonly known as “brush-footed” butterflies. Lexias butterflies live in tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. The males sport iridescent black, greenish-blue wings, while females are larger and have brown wings with yellow and white spots.

Such differences in the sexes are the result of what Charles Darwin called sexual selection. They evolved over many thousands of generations as a result of “choosy” females. These butterflies use color and wing pattern as signals during courtship. The mates they select pass their traits on to the next generation.

Preserving the unusual specimen in the Entomology Collection provides scientists with an important source of information for the study of comparative morphology, anatomy and evolution—an important reason why natural history research collections such as the extensive ones at the Academy are so important.

Collecting insects from natural environments consistently from year to year also allows scientists to track how a population’s numbers rise and fall over time. They can understand how factors like climate change and environmental damage may be affecting insect populations.

Given the large size of the Academy’s Entomology Collection, which contains more than 3.5 million specimens, it’s very difficult to determine if it contains other gynandromorphic insect specimens, and
even more difficult to know how frequently they occur in nature.


“In most cases, such specimens are ‘discovered’ in museum collections by a researcher who is carefully examining reproductive organs of insects under the microscope and stumbles across a specimen with both male and female characteristics,” Weintraub said.

For Johnson, a naturalist and Academy volunteer for more than five years, his discovery was a thrill of a lifetime. “It’s something when you realize how special a phenomenon it is,” he said.

This special butterfly—preserved and pinned—will be on display at the Academy for visitors to see from Saturday, Jan. 17, through Monday, Feb. 16.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Meet the 2015 Schoolhouse Crew Review

I'm returning to the Schoolhouse Review Crew for 2015 for another exciting year. We are excited to review some amazing products this coming year. 

I wanted to share some of my fellow Crew members with you. The entire Crew can be found in the Blog Roll.

Lots of good information about homeschooling and different teaching methods. Stop by their blogs and you may just find one just for you. 


Schoolhouse Review Crew

Every Bed of RosesBen and MeFootprints in the ButterUnder The SkyCircling Through This LifeHomemaking OrganizedPea of SweetnessAs We Walk Along the RoadSunnyside Farm FunLife with the TribeFor the Display of His SplendorBe The OneHome Grown Hearts AcademyAs He Leads is JoyCounting PineconesCounting Change AgainDaily LifeMom's HeartSuper Mommy to the RescueTots and MeTreasuring Life's BlessingsHomeschool Coffee BreakHome Sweet LifeChickens, Bunnies and HomeschoolFarm Fresh AdventuresFinch n WrenWestWordBlogsimplelivingmama.comOur Good LifeA Moment in Our WorldGolden GrassesHomeschool DreamsAt Home: where life happensThe Mc Clanahan 7Homeschooling 6Life at RossmontPuddle JumpingLadybug DaydreamsMarching to a Different DrummerEverything Then SomeOne Mama's JourneyTenacity DivineOzark RamblingsA Learning JourneyAdenaF blogJensen Family CircusI Choose Joy!A Glimpse of Our Life photo BlogButtonDelightfulLearningcopy.jpgThrough the Calm and Through the StormMama's Coffee ShopThe Open Window Autism BlogPhotobucket HomeschoolingforHisGlory
ElCloud Homeschool Blog



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