Thursday, June 03, 2010

Things I'm Celebrating

1) We were told that we could owe a very significant amount of money for Curtis' hospital bill. A few days ago we found out it would be a tenth of what we were expecting to pay. PRAISE GOD. Whew!

2) Curtis just had his last check up with the surgeon and was told he would not need to be seen again. Woo hoo! We were anticipating another scan to check for remnants of the appendix that might need to be removed. He was also going to have a colonoscopy (sorry, was that TMI?) to rule out some other possibilities but the doctor sees no need for that now. We're so glad to put this behind us and move on. Thank You, Lord!

3) I just got a new work computer and it's a Mac! I love it so far! It helps that my hubby's had one for years and can help me.

4) Jackson is sounding out words and we're having so much fun with that. We've been working on some of the words on the inside cover of Hop on Pop. He did the at, cat, sat, hat, bat, pat, that series a couple of days ago. It really was thrilling and I got a small taste of why homeschooling is so popular. I want to go with this while he's interested, so if any of you moms or teachers have advice for me, I'm open to it. I have no idea how to teach a kid to read! But I do remember my mom teaching me and those are sweet moments to recall.

5) We got letters from our Compassion kids this week. Our boy in Honduras, Marlon Alexander, wrote about a recent death in his family and how God had helped his family through their grief. We were amazed and so blessed to hear about his relationship with the Lord. It's been neat to see how his letters and drawings have changed as he's grown up. It really is a privilege to get to invest in a child's life, however that may be.

6) I cleaned out my closet. I was on a mission to purge it of all the post-partum clothes that, a year later, are known to me as enabling clothes. Glory to God.

7) Jackson's twice-a-week summer day camp starts next week. Amen.

8) I finally ordered new curtains for my very red living room. The existing red curtains from the previous homeowner are very nice but with my red couches they're just too much. The ones I wanted were going to be $600 (in your dreams, Ballard!) so I just said forget it and went with plain white linen ones. We'll see how it looks. I'm horrible at window treatments and pretty much everything else that has to do with decorating.

9) The sound I heard yesterday as a thunderstorm came rumbling in was not, in fact, a tornado but rather a weed eater.

10) I forgot to take my favorite tea with me to Missouri and had to use some little pansy tea bags I found at the grocery store. They tasted fine but there was no oomph! I'm celebrating being home with my PG Tips and their strong flavor and effectiveness. I heart them. I also heart my 100 Calorie Chocolate Covered Mister Salty Pretzels. Seriously. Buy those and think of me when you fall in love.

PS (because I don't want to make a #11) - I forgot to mention that my daughter slept in a very dark room while we were in Missouri and woke up AFTER 9 every day. It was amazing. Praise the Lord.

I am blessed!

52 comments:

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

During college, I would go home with my friend Cara to her parent's house in NC. Her bedroom was in the basement of her parent's home and therefore had no windows. When I say we slept late, I mean WE SLEPT LATE.

Goodness gracious, I miss those days.

Lacie said...

Praise God for the blessing of Curtis's health & good report!!

What is PG Tips tea??

Tara G. said...

We home school but seriously, I have little how-to wisdom on teaching a child to read because my daughter just did after learning short vowels. I think that when you share the joy of reading and learning and are able to discern his interest and attention span to work on it, then run with it. Learning is a natural thing. Have fun!!!

Every single house we move into {every few years} has bedrooms that seem to face east and of course, I must buy new window treatments to fit new windows. We're waiting on black out curtains now so the kids sleep later and I can regain some sanity!!!!!! :)

Love Being a Nonny said...

Love the dark room and the after 9!!

Missy said...

Sounds great - many praises to our Lord!

dgsandbjsmom said...

My kids have slept in almost pitch black rooms since birth. Makes a huge difference. In fact if there is a nightlight they will not sleep unless they cover their head with a blanket.

Ginger said...

Sounds like you're on your way to a great path in reading. I found sight reading to be a great asset, as well as, making flash cards to encourage the process. You just can't stop there because they still have to learn to sound out and recognize word patterns as they grow.

And, you know, Hooked on Phonics, is also a good resource. I would recommend making your own flash cards of commonly used words and place them throughout the house. This will encourage the association.
Praising Him with you,
Ginger

Rhonda said...

Praise the Lord for the good reports! I must confess I did snicker at "colonoscopy" and "putting it behind" together. Immature on my part but I needed a snicker;)So glad Jackson likes to read.Have a great weekend!

Erin said...

My sister loves the 100 calorie pretzels, too! She has been so successful on weight watchers as well. Now, my turn to start! I've done it before, it's just a matter of doing it again!

Mandi said...

Sitting next to a child when he/she has that light bulb moment when learning to read is an incredible experience! I taught kindergarten for several years and witnessed it many times. If you have any specific questions I would be more than happy to help. Happy reading! :)

Cecilia said...

Here's a website I have bookmarked for when I have preschoolers (I have used some of them with my niece): http://prayerofhannah.blogspot.com/2010/03/preschool-websites.html

Heather said...

We home school yet I am no scholar on any ideas. I am convinced the whole process is the utter and shear grace of Jesus we make it through every year. I think when the desire is there then He orchestrates it all and works it all out for His glory. It was kind of funny the other week when my 14yob said how I don't help him with anything and my husband replied, "um...she has only taught you how to read, write, do math, tie your shoes and basically everything else you know how to do" It was funny. It really is rewarding :)

HappyascanB said...

#6 ~ I'm 3 weeks away from my due date with our first, and I'm already worrying about what clothes I'll wear post baby. Enabling clothes are kind of a must for a little while. No? I love that you call them that; I will surely remember that in an effort to keep them for only a season.

The P.S. makes me wonder if I shouldn't add a black out shade to the baby's nursery... Hmmmm...

Anna said...

Hurray for all the praises!! Doesn't that feel wonderful?!

PG Tips - Amen, sister.

The absolute best way to teach a child to read? Is to read to them. I'm a former teacher, and now homeschool my daughter (wrapping up kindergarten this month!). And the best way I've ever found for a child to learn to read so that they truly understand and comprehend what they're reading, is to sit down and read with them. Have them fill in the words that they know as you read aloud, and teach them a new word to recognize with each book. And they'll quickly get there!

This is how I learned to read, this is how my daughter learned to read, and we're avid readers in our home! She is turning 6 this week, and is reading on an early 5th grade reading level...I think we're doing ok, lol! =P

Alison said...

Great reasons to celebrate! Love it! So happy for ya'll!

chesley said...

yay for all your praises...just had to say that i'm obsessed with the yogurt covered Mister Salty's. They are sooooo gooood!!

Jamie said...

Counting blessings always makes me feel better!

I wanted to add that the Right Bites Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies are AMAZING!! I get frustrated with some 100 calorie packs that are supposed to be a dessert but are hard like a chip, and this is like eating mini, but very real Keebler soft and chewy cookies. I could eat a 1000 calorie bag of them :) Just wanted to share!!

But more importantly, I am so happy to hear all the good news about Curtis's health! I am thanking God with you :)

The Oakes said...

Our sons are close to the same age and my little guy has been doing the same thing. He will sit outside with sidewalk chalk and sound out words to write. I just got a book from the library called "The ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading." I think we are going to give it a shot this summer. If we like it I will let you know!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I heart anything 100-calorie...

Love your list and I know that the dark room was a mighty big blessing! I tint our windows with the easy to hang cling tint and it helps my little grandbabies sleep too.

Marla Taviano said...

I loved this post, and I can't remember anything I was going to say except that I love the term "enabling clothes!"

Jennifer said...

So many blessings! Praise God! And truly loving the dark room and after 9. I still have a four year old who crawls in my bed at 5am like clock work every morning. Even though I am tired it is a precious time because I know it won't last forever.

Corrie said...

I am a homeschooling mother of 3 (just one of them isn't in school yet!), but my oldest started reading on his own right after he turned 4. I recommend The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. It's easy breezy and my son is an amazing reader...about to be 6!

Blessings....

Sugar Mommy said...

So thankful to hear all of your praises! God is good. All the time!

I'll have to give the Mister Salties a try. Sounds yummy and guilt free! ;D

I used www.starfall.com to teach my son to read. We did it the summer before his kindergarten year, as sort of a homeschool-practice-run before diving in. He loved it, and was reading on his own 1/2 way through the long vowel stories.

All stories are online (and there are several levels-from "getting ready to read" up to "it's fun to read!") and every word is "clickable" meaning you click it and the word is sounded outloud for you.

They start with the short vowels and move to long vowels and then vowel pairs. They use neat animations and graphics, but there is also a downloadable section where you can print the books out (cut and staple together) and some writing, phonics, and vocabulary practices, too (most of which are also in fun online format).

We are using it with my daughter now who will start kindergarten soon, and also my 2-1/2 yo to learn her letters. They beg to "play" on the computer!

And, as someone who once said, "I'll NEVER homeschool!", and who is now doing so only because she felt that's what the Lord had called her to do and not what she WANTED to do, I have to say that I am truly enjoying it. I have fallen in love with the benefits of homeschooling and am motivated to make our homeschooling experience the best it can be. This is a place I never thought I'd be, and yet I am being so blessed by it. God is teaching me many lessons while I teach my kids!

Michele said...

Here is what I love about this week's posts - you are experiencing your God in a real and tender way. You have called to Him and just as He promised, He is answering you! Had it not been for the disappointments and circumstances that would leave you with questions, you would not have the priviledge and blessing of hearing Him answer you. It sounds like He has been showing Himself to you in great ways! I love that!! And I love Him for it! May He continue to pour it out upon you!

I am a homeschool Mom and it is the joy that I experience as my kids learn from me that keeps me coming back for more. We have our challenging days that is for sure but because I know that this is my calling I also know that the enemy loves the challenging days! I just make sure my hubs is ready for girls night out! :)

CAROL LIVIN FOR GOD said...

You make me laugh thank you for the updates and I am glad Curtis is on the mend and that he got a good report.
Blessings
to you and your family
Carol

Kristen @ Moms Sharpening Moms said...

Amanda,

I taught my boys to read using the book "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" by Siegfried Engelmann. It's a super easy method that even I could figure out! Just a suggestion!

Have a wonderful night, sweet girl.

Heather said...

PTL about Curtis!! That's awesome news!!

Erica said...

Those are all very exciting things to celebrate! I love sleeping in dark rooms!!!

Hupoclo said...

Very cool that you only owe a "tithe" of the total hospital bill. Praise GOD!!!!! Glad to hear the other good news about Curtis' health as well.

Amanda Rooney said...

LOVED this post!! And I was tickled when I saw you got a new MAC computer b/c I just got my first MAC ever this week, too!! It's a bit overwhelming b/c I've never worked on one before, only PCs. It's going to take some time to get used to, but I'm confident I will love it!!

Hope you guys have a wonderful summer!!

ME said...

You are doing a wonderful job with Jackson's reading. I'm a teacher and all my students who have parents involved in their children's reading. Those kids are more advanced. The Cy-fair website has kindergarten sight words you can work with Jackson on. Also ask Jackson to retell you what he is reading as well as what you read to him. Ask him to predict what will happen. You can also work on sequencing of events.

I'm sorry to hear about Curtis' grandmother. What a blessing she was to your family.

Fran said...

So so happy Curtis is ok and got the clean bill of health report. Bless your heart...you have been through a lot.

Happy weekend to y'all! Hope its full of something fun. :)

The Barfuss Family said...

So much to celebrate! We can talk reading soon. :) That is super fun for you and Jackson!

The Mom said...

We homeschool and used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We started at the age of 4 when the child showed readiness and it was truly easy. My kids are strong readers and ready beyond their grade levels.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Oh, I'm so HAPPY for you that Curtis' bill came in lower AND that he's done with doctors (for now). Way to go God.

And you know that #9 made me laugh out loud. ;-) Would you believe we haven't yet seen a tornado in the entire state of Minnesota this year? We've had a super beautiful, super mild spring. I'm itching for some big storms. (Wanna trade places?)

Kelly M said...

Oh I completely agree about PG Tips! They're just a superior tea bag.

Holly said...

I used Veritas Press for teaching Noah and Kylie to read. I homeschooled them for two years in Texas. Here's the link: http://www.veritaspress.com/products.asp?dept=1008

Steph said...

Amanda,

I also love the 100 Calorie Chocolate Covered Mister Salty Pretzels. The 100 Calorie Yogurt Covered Mister Salty Pretzels are also very, very good!!!! They stay in my pantry at all times for a healthy study snack.

Steph

Lisa said...

PG Tips? Ive never heard of that brand. What flavor do you buy? I might need to get some!

Allison said...

the white linen curtains will look crisp and fresh. you will love them.

So happy Curtis is well and good. And for all of the other blessings in life!

Lindsey said...

I just started Hooked on Phonics (Kindergarten Level) with my 4 yr-old, and he is FLYING through! I was shocked! I had been doing all of the same stuff in the program on my own, but he just wasn't getting it. Not sure if it's the presentation of it or what, but he loves it. Oh, and I got it from Target for less than $30! (Online they go for $70-$80!)

Lindsee Lou said...

When I student taught kindergarten, we were going through the -en family. I was having them all yell out words that ended with -en and I was trying to get them to say the name "Ken" so I asked what Barbie's boyfriends name was. One little girl, so sure of her answer, yelled out, "Duh, it's Elvis!" I about lost it. Who knew Elvis and Barbie were so tight?!

jen said...

I had no idea how to teach a child to read either, but keep using Hooked on Phonics! It is amazing! My son learned to read with that program and it was so easy to work through it with him! We do homeschool and used HOP as part of our lesson time. The best part is now he reads on his own and has graduated to bigger books. :) Froggy books are the current must reads :) You CAN do it!

Terrie and Carley said...

Hi Amanda,

Kudos to you helping Jackson learning to read. The "Bob" books series is a great series to help young children learn to read. The Bob books series emphasizes short words with short vowel sounds. There are about 10 books in each box. A child can be reading a "book" in a week or less. I think you can buy the books at Target.

I did homeschool my children K-12 and both are in college now. I still have those Bob books to use with future children that I may work with on reading skills.

Hayley said...

Great list! I LOVE the BOB books - you can find them at Mardel (around $13 for the 12 book series) - they are awesome! I highly recommend them! I homeschooled this year, and will be sending my soon to be 1st grader and soon to be kindergartner to public school in the fall. It was absolutely the best choice for us this year, and public school (at a much smaller district) is absolutely the best choice for us next year - you know what your babies need more than anyone else!
Love reading your blog!

Kristie said...

Love your reasons to celebrate! We home school for real...but it primarily started (even though I really do have a teaching degree) because I realized that I was already teaching MB a ton of stuff at home, and she enjoyed learning with me! If you are really the tiniest bit interested in homeschooling as a future option for your family, I strongly encourage you to check out www.classicalconversations.com
This wonderful ministry has been such a huge blessing to us this past year! It's kept me accountable to actually get up and "do school"; it's brought my first grader the challenge of learning some really tough material that I probably wouldn't have expected her to learn otherwise; and it's also given my social butterfly enough interaction with other kids (from somewhat like-minded Christian homes--PRAISE JESUS!) to keep us all sane. Classical Conversations has been a God-send for us. I would encourage anyone who considers homeschooling a beautiful thing...that they just don't feel like they could actually do--but beautiful, nonetheless....to check out their website before giving up altogether. :) Blessings!

Bev Brandon said...

Loved the bullet post! I kind of think that way in my mind. Shout out to God & the hospital for a reasonable bill. My husband fainted at the wheel and had an auto accident & his 2-day hospital ICU stay was as much as my whole year of cancer/3 surgeries/radiation/etc. Shocking!
The hospital called & said if we paid it in full they would cut it in half. Nice gesture but didn't work for us. Trusting God in the dark. He's so good no matter what & so glad for Curtis' good report!

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Carey and Jon said...

Just came across your blog, love it!

I LOL'd at the weed whacker sound thinking it was a tornado. I would think the same thing!

You got a new follower :)

Lori said...

This is a great resource for teaching early readers.

http://ponderedinmyheart.typepad.com/pondered_in_my_heart/2010/03/early-reading-strategies-for-little-learners.html

katiegfromtennessee said...

Good updates!:) Everything is working out well for Curtis and Jackson is learning and Compassion blessings abound (my man and I are finally donating to Compassion!!) and you are getting new curtains and tea that makes you happy! You heart them, love it:)

Blessings,

katiegfromtennessee

Joni said...

I'm a retired school teacher--taught 1st and 2nd grades. The following website has free printable booklets for sight words (words children need to recognize by sight because you can't sound them out) and word families (words that have the same ending sound--like Dr. Seuss books. http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/printable_booklets.html