February 21, 2008

Thursday Strikes!

She was up early again today…’round fourish. She wandered into our room and demanded a movie. Pop growled something unintelligible and Mom didn’t even flinch. Sunshine kindly gave up on us and wandered on downstairs, where we heard cartoons come on TV. We both just lay there and rotted.

She’d given me hope yesterday when the fever dropped down to nearly normal, but when I got up this morning she was all hot again. I made a feeble attempt at temperature taking, but sadly my daughter can NOT stop talking for the twelve seconds or so that it takes the froggy thermometer to register a temperature. It beeped at 101.6 the first time, and since my half-hearted, froggy-weilding pursuit of the Energizer Bunny around the kitchen did not result in anything more accurate temperature-wise I decided to just say yes, she has a fever again, and leave it at that.

I took her to see the pediatrician today because the length of time and resurgence of the fever had me mildly concerned. After listening to her back (since her front was glued firmly to her mother’s chest, razor-sharp little fingernails digging in for dear life), peering in both ears, and having a gander down her throat (a process that involved me pinning the arms and head while our kindly doc pried her clenched jaws apart and gagged her with a tongue depressor–she may be related to her brother after all–and thank goodness we didn’t have to swab for strep), he concluded that it’s most likely influenza. Joy. At least we ruled out a bunch of other things–the barking cough she’s developed doesn’t mean she’s caught the bronchitis that had Mom and Pop sequentially laid out for weeks in December and January. At any rate, the current prognosis is that she’ll likely be over her fever in the next few days, but the other symptoms will probably drag on a while after that. Pop is already planning to stay home from church with her again this week. I tried to talk him into teaching my class of 9-10 year-olds for me and letting me stay home, but no dice. He says he’s scared of them.

Sunshine is currently having a long nap, which enabled us to finish off Charlemagne today and do some mineral identification for science without her “help”–that was nice. It probably also means she’ll be up before the crack of dawn again tomorrow, but I suspect that would have happened anyway. I need to go start something for supper soon, and I’m debating whether to wake her or just let her sleep. It’s not as though she’s been eating anything recently anyway. I think today she’s had a few cups of juice,  nibbled two corners off a granola bar, and eaten a packet of fruit snacks. Unless you count staring at a bowl of oatmeal for half an hour or listlessly poking a couple of cheesy macaroni noodles as “eating”. She did eat a bit of macaroni yesterday, which is the only reason I made it again for her today when she demanded it after utterly refusing to even consider the hot dogs I was feeding everyone else for lunch. I think I may try some cinnamon toast and applesauce this evening and see how it goes. If she wakes up. Or something.

So, tomorrow’s Friday. I had intended to take both children to a homeschool group “thing” in the afternoon. Now I need to decide whether to just take Cricket, or keep everyone home. Friday and Saturday I have GOT to catch up on the laundry and see what I can do about making a dent in the chaos created by having a wild five year-old girl home all day. Sunday is church…better look at my lesson at some point. And Monday I get to drive up north an hour for jury duty. By 7:30 am. Oh, and please come early so you can find parking in the parking-less area where the courthouse dwells. And I’m not far enough away that they’ll pay for me to stay at a hotel. Gripe. Gripe.

In other words, life goes on. More later.


February 20, 2008

And now it’s Wednesday.

And I’m all foggy…sigh. Last night I was desperate for some alone time. Truly, truly ALONE time. So I stayed up a couple hours after Pop went to bed. Of course, since he’s a major night owl, he didn’t go to bed until 1:00 am. And a couple hours after that is 3:00 am. And naturally, just as I was packing up my laptop and heading off to bed, who should holler for me from the top of the stairs, but Sunshine. She was hollering that she felt like she was going to throw up. Yay. So I whisked her off to the bathroom and aimed her at the toilet. Nothing happened, but sitting there holding her I noticed that she felt VERY hot, so I took her temp, which was pushing 103. I don’t like 103. So after we decided she wasn’t going to throw up after all I put her in a cooling bath and went to look for some ibuprofen–only to discover that we were out. I could’ve sworn I just bought a new bottle a couple of weeks ago when I noticed it was getting low…sigh. So after she’d cooled off in the bath a while (and “played swamp frog” while I was in the other room, turning the bathroom into a bit of a swamp –how on EARTH do you have that much energy with a temp that high?) I parked her in front of a video with a popsicle and ran out to the all night grocery. When I got back she was well setttled into the couch, of course, so I gave her some ibuprofen and left her there. When I was pretty sure her fever was down a couple degrees I went to bed. At 5:30. Shudder.

But this morning Pop got up and fed both children, called Sunshine’s school, got Sunshine a new movie to watch, and took Cricket to his speech appointment. Except for a brief and bouncy visit from Sunshine while Pop was out (to inform me that she threw up last night after all, after I went to bed, and it was green because all she ate at dinner was green beans, but she got it all to go in the toilet so she didn’t call me), they all let me sleep. Until noon.

Can I just say what a fabulous husband I have?

Now if I could just get my brain to somehow make contact with reality, I’d be in business…


February 19, 2008


Well, here it is Tuesday. No new election installment yet, sorry. Sunshine has been ill the past few days, and still has a fever today. If it goes on much longer I may need to take her in to the doctor. But I have a suspicion they’ll just tell me she’s got something viral and we’ll just have to wait it out. Pop evidently woke at 4:30 this morning to the sound of the TV downstairs, and upon investigation he discovered that Sunshine was flopped out on the couch wide awake. He said he knows how it is to be sick and not be able to sleep, so he just left her to it. So between being sick, not sleeping, and not eating much, she’s been CRANKY. Today was one of those homeschool days people warn you about–trying to get through Charlemagne with a feverish, whiny five year-old draped around your neck getting her little fingers into everything (which is why the Charlemagne stick puppet has a yellow nose, and his son Lois’s face is half green….sigh. But we made it. We also survived some long multiplication. And she did take a nap this afternoon. So, it’s been a Tuesday. (No flying frogs though, thank goodness.

Nevertheless, I’m taking a few minutes out to write down some recent cute five-ishness so as to ease my motherly frustrations.

  1. “Mom, will you please count the pieces of salt on my Ritz crackers? I need to know which one has the most pieces.”
  2. (I had just applied the brakes more firmly than usual at a stop light.) “MOM! You just knocked down my SHADOW!”
  3. “My voice is scratchy. I think my voice box needs new batteries.”

February 7, 2008

Election Notebooking Pages - 3

Better late than never! Here’s installment number 3, focusing on campaign advertising.

***Click Here to Download***

Contents of this installment:

  1. “Political Advertising” section page
  2. “Production and Propaganda” info page 1
  3. Info page 2
  4. Campaign Ad Production Analysis Worksheet - page 1
  5. Worksheet page 2
  6. Worksheet page 3
  7. Instructions for propaganda pages
  8. Propaganda page 1
  9. Propaganda page 2
  10. Propaganda Booklet: Name Calling
  11. Propaganda Booklet: Glittering Generalities
  12. Propaganda Booklet: Transfer
  13. Propaganda Booklet: Testimonial
  14. Propaganda Booklet: Plain Folks
  15. Propaganda Booklet: Bandwagon
  16. Propaganda Booklet: Fear
  17. Propaganda Booklet: Faulty Logic

18-34. Black and White (B&W) versions of the above.


[*Note: Much of the information about propaganda on these pages is adapted from PropagandaCritic.com.]

January 28, 2008

Election Notebooking pages - 2

This week’s installment of election notebook pages focuses on the primary season. With “Super-duper Tuesday” coming up, I thought it would be fun to track the winners of each state and the delegate count for each candidate.

You may notice that for some states the Democratic Party has a delegate count of zero. This is not an error. Those states have been stripped of all their convention delegates as a punishment for changing the date of their primary election or caucus in a way that violated Democratic Party rules. So the Democratic Party will not allow those states a voice in choosing the Democratic presidential candidate this year.

***Click here to download PDF file.***
(You will need Adobe Reader)

Contents of This Installment:

  1. “Primary Elections” section page
  2. “Preparation and Primaries” info page 1
  3. info page 2
  4. Blank “Primaries and Caucuses” tracker page
  5. Republican “Primaries and Caucuses” tracker page 1
  6. Republican tracker page 2
  7. Democratic “Primaries and Caucuses” tracker page 1
  8. Demcratic tracker page 2
  9. Blank Primary Election Tracker Map (Choose a color for each candidate, and color the states according to who won)
  10. Republican Election Tracker Map
  11. Democratic Election Tracker Map
  12. Blank “Race to the Nomination” bar graph (Candidates across the bottom, number of delegates up the side; color in the bar up to the number of delegates awarded to the candidate)
  13. Republican “Race to the Nomination” bar graph (Top four candidates; use blank graph for additional if desired. The “magic number” is marked on the bar.)
  14. Democratic “Race to the Nomination” bar graph (Top three candidates, plus one space for a write-in fourth candidate. The “magic number” is marked on the bar.)
  15. B&W “Primary Elections” section page
  16. B&W “Preparation and Primaries” info page 1
  17. B&W info page 2
  18. B&W Blank “Primaries and Caucuses” tracker page
  19. B&W Republican “Primaries and Caucuses” tracker page 1
  20. B&W Republican tracker page 2
  21. B&W Democratic “Primaries and Caucuses” tracker page 1
  22. B&W Demcratic tracker page 2
  23. B&W Blank Primary Election Tracker Map
  24. B&W Republican Election Tracker Map
  25. B&W Democratic Election Tracker Map
  26. B&W Blank “Race to the Nomination” bar graph

Links–Preparing to run for president:

Primary Election Links:

*Note: CNN’s website also has information about Democratic “superdelegates” and Republican “unpledged” delegates, which may be helpful in clarifying who these people are, what they do, and why they’re important.

Next Week’s Topic: (I confess I haven’t decided yet. Political Parties? Propaganda? Do you have suggestions?)

January 22, 2008

Free Election Notebooking Pages

I’ve just begun creating a series of notebooking pages to help us in our observations of the U.S. presidential elections in 2008. In the spirit of “we’re all in this together”, I’ll be posting them here a few at a time as they’re finished, about once a week, give or take, depending on what’s going on in our lives. I offer them at no charge for anyone who’d find them useful. Please note, however that they are copyrighted. You have my permission to make as many copies for your own use as you’d like, including for co-op groups and schools, but I reserve all other rights. This means you may not redistribute the file by uploading it on another site. If you’d like to share with a friend, and I hope you will, please link to this page.

This installment focuses on learning about each of the current candidates for president. Most of the pages are in color, including a page for each of the current Republican and Democratic candidates. There is also a blank candidate page to use if you wish to research additional candidates from the minor political parties. (Depending on the age, interest level, and attention span of your student, you may want to choose only a few of the leaders in each party rather than researching all the candidates.) Also included are five election-themed notebook pages to use for any purpose you like, such as adding news clippings about your favorite candidate, collecting memorable quotes from the debates, listing constitutional requirements for the office of president, the duties of the president, and so forth.

***Click here to download pdf file***
(You will need the Adobe Reader)

Contents of this installment:

  1. Cover page
  2. “Meet the Candidates” section page
  3. Blank candidate page
  4. John McCain
  5. Mitt Romney
  6. Mike Huckabee
  7. Rudy Giuliani
  8. Fred Thompson
  9. Ron Paul
  10. Hillary Clinton
  11. Barack Obama
  12. John Edwards
  13. Dennis Kucinich
  14. Mike Gravel
  15. Blank page with header
  16. Lined page with header
  17. One box with lines
  18. Three boxes with lines
  19. Six boxes
  20. Blank page with footer
  21. B&W Cover page
  22. B&W “Meet the Candidates” section page
  23. B&W Blank candidate page
  24. B&W Blank page with header
  25. B&W Lined page with header
  26. B&W One box with lines
  27. B&W Three boxes with lines
  28. B&W Six boxes
  29. B&W Blank page with footer

Helpful links for research:

Candidate Websites

John McCain
Mitt Romney

Mike Huckabee
Rudy Giuliani

Fred Thompson
Ron Paul
Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama

John Edwards
Dennis Kucinich
Mike Gravel

If you have additional links that would be helpful, please share them in a comment!

***Next week’s theme: “Primary Elections”

January 7, 2008

Sometimes he really amazes me!

Today at church the father of one of Cricket’s friends came over to chat. He said he just had to tell us how impressed he was with Cricket yesterday. Yesterday Cricket went to the park across the street to play in the snow with his friend. Other children had the same idea, and there wound up being enough for a great big snowball fight to break out, girls against boys. There was no adult supervision. No flames, please, that’s the kind of neighborhood we live in–it’s safe for a pack of tweens to play at the park. We can see the park from our window from one side, and the friend’s family can see it out their window from the other side. It’s okay, really. But at this moment in time, neither of us was looking. Evidently, friend’s little sister, who is six, came home in tears because somebody, she didn’t know who, had splatted her in the face with snow. A few minutes later, Cricket knocked on the door and said he’d come to apologize, which he promptly did. Friend’s dad was really impressed, and so is Cricket’s mom. Cricket had mentioned to me that there was a snowball fight and a lot of people, including him, got snow in their faces and one girl got upset and went home. But he didn’t mention who the principle parties in the incident were or what happened after. I am pleased to know that by the time I heard about it from the girl’s dad, Cricket had already done the manly thing and taken care of business on his own. He’s still trying to figure out where the “line” is in play “fights”–things like what to take seriously, and what’s all in fun, and when someone is having a good time, or when someone’s gone too far. But he has a good heart, and he really, really is trying. And things like this make me think he’s really catching on to some of these social skills things.

(We had a minor melt-down later in church and wound up out in the hall, so it’s not like I’m doubting his diagnosis or anything, but I have serious HOPE for him anyway.)

December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas!


December 24, 2007

Please pray for my sister

My youngest sister, L., has a very painful case of shingles, which started in her eye this past week. Depending on how she’s doing, she may need to be hospitalized on Christmas Eve. Her doctor has also said it is possible that this could permanently affect her vision. If you feel so inclined, please join my family in prayer on her behalf.

Thank you.

December 20, 2007

Of Elephants and Guinea Pigs

Today I’ve been listening to talks on my cordless headphones while doing some catch-up housework. I really appreciated a Women’s Conference talk by Mary Ellen Edmunds, “It’s About Time”. Here’s one snippet, of many, I particularly enjoyed. The part I bolded really made me giggle, in light of my current life circumstances–I wonder how long it will take for us to add our new child(ren) this time. Which will we resemble most, the elephant or the guinea pig?

We all have a long list of things to do, whether written down or rattling around in our brain: pray; study; exercise; plant a garden, eat it; raise brilliant, cheerful, reverent children; clean a basement; write in a journal; avoid fat, calories, show house popcorn, and evil thoughts; pray for your enemies; do visiting teaching; store a year’s supply of food (but not on your body! We’re not supposed to look like Welfare Square); say yes to everything anyone asks you to do and hunt for more things to do; plant trees; remember the pioneers . . . .

You know there’s a lot. And we want to do everything so quickly. We hunt for fast-food, shortcuts, one-hour photo developing, express elevators, condensed books, instant soups, and ten-minute oil changes . . . Personally, I look for labels that say “Just add water.” I can do that. And I have a 72-minute kit . . . I don’t want to be around to clean up.

But there’s much in life that isn’t instant and isn’t fast. Skills and relationships and testimony and character traits—there are a lot of things that take time. They don’t happen just in an instant. But you can tell something is happening all along the way as line is added upon line, slowly, steadily.

Pretty much everything takes time. Mothers don’t sign up for an easy plan to have a baby in a few weeks. It’s almost always around nine months—longer for elephants, shorter for guinea pigs. (Oh, I thought of that myself! My mother didn’t even help me with that!)

For the most part, the things in our life that matter the most will have to be attended to. We will have to budget some time—make and take some time—for them. It’s a process—sometimes a lifelong process.

transcript link: http://ce.byu.edu/cw/womensconference/archive/1997/edmunds_mary_ellen.htm

audio links can be found here: http://www.byubroadcasting.org/womensconf/?selectedYear=1997

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