Monday, December 8, 2008

Pet Snake

Elijah begs for a pet snake. We have not had luck with pet snakes in the past. We can't keep em alive.
One day our outside dog was barking like crazy at this snake so Elijah grabbed him up and claimed him as a pet. He had to come inside to get dressed for town and the snake got away.
Elijah was so sad, but he was a very happy owner of a snake for a short while.

Deadbeat Blogger!

I've been called a deadbeat blogger a few times now, so I'm really going to try to do better.
I was on a roll but then co-op started and our life got so busy. We were only home one day a week most weeks and we tried to fit some school in if we were not too worn out. The co-op semester ended in November and we have been taking turns being sick and then all decided to be sick at the same time. We are finally better and I'm ready to blog. I do want to go back and finish the post on Elijah's disease so I will catch up with that. I have a lot of other catch up post coming also.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis - Day 2

Elijah was born by a scheduled c-section and it did not take long for me to wonder if something was wrong with him. He seemed sick from the get go. I was trying to breast feeding him, but it wasn't agreeing with him. He broke out in a full body rash and clawed his face up. He dug skin out on his cheeks. Poor baby looked so bad.

Elijah was returned to the hospital with jaundice shortly after we got home from being released.
While there we determined the breast milk was making him sick. So we tried formula and that wasn't any better. The first month of his life was very hard.

Elijah screamed 12 - 14 hours straight. He never slept no more then 2 hours at a time. He never had a solid bm, it was always green water with mucus. Very gross and smelled horrible.

I took him back in to the doctor and told her I thought something was wrong with him. She decided he had colic and told me it would pass around 3 months of age. I was watching the calendar. The poor baby never stopped screaming.

At 3 months old he was still screaming non stop so I took him in and they determined Elijah had reflux. He was put on reflux meds and they made things worse. We tried different reflux meds, but nothing helped, they all really made him worse. He threw up all the time and still only had green water bm and never a solid bm. During this time we tried every formula on the market, even the ones I considered to be pricey.

At around 4 months old I had went in to see my doctor. I was so run down and about to drop. I told him something was wrong with the baby. So he talked to me about it and he got us an appointment with a GI doctor in another town.

By the time of our appointment date at around 5 months, Elijah was really sick. The doctor and nurse were surprised at how much he cried. I told them he never stopped, but they probably didn't full understand that since they only saw him for a couple of hours.

Test were set up for Elijah that were supposed to be outpatient. The PH probe showed horrible reflux and the upper GI scoped showed him full of eosinophils. All I remember is the doctor coming out saying Elijah could not go home. He ordered a new formula called Neocate.
I missed all the information about eosinophils all I knew was we were getting a new formula and this was going to be the magic formula that he could take.

Elijah was diagnosed with eosinophlic esophagitis, eosinophilic gastroenteritis and eosinophilic colitis. Elijah had eosinophils from one end to the other.

At the time I didn't catch much of the diagnosis, I was just thinking this formula was going to make it all good.

After a few days Elijah began to show such improvement. After a week he had his first solid bm at nearly 6 months old. The first time it was green water! The hospital staff couldn't believe what a change he had made from screaming to sleeping. It was like having a new baby.

The doctor would not let us leave the hospital until we had a supply of this high dollar formula.
Neocate was $40 a can. Insurance would not cover the formula that you could only get with a prescription at a pharmacy. Once we got up a supply of this formula we were allowed to go home.

It was like bringing home a different baby. He was drinking his bottles and he was sleeping and he wasn't screaming 12 - 14 hours straight.

All was good for a few months until the doctor wanted us to start him on baby food. The night mare started all over again!

Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis - Day 1

This week I'll be blogging about a disease our 8 year old son, Elijah, was diagnosed with when he was 5 months old.
I had never heard of Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis before our son was born. We had big plans for this child to eat food. Our oldest son has an eating disorder diagnosed as adversions to food. So while I was expecting Elijah we told everyone this child was going to eat. God had other plans for our lives.
This week I'll share how Elijah was diagnosed and where he is today.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hurricane Gustav!

We did not expect Hurricane Gustav to cause such problems for us. I guess we expected some rain and some mild wind. I really expected it to die down before it reached us.

The strong winds started Monday evening and the rain started over night.
We lost power Monday evening, but it was back on by 9pm. We were so thankful for it to come back on.

At times the wind sounded like it was ripping our roof off the house.
It rained and rained.

Many homes here were without power for days. Trees were fallen over all over the place.
I know many families had damage to their homes so please keep them in your prayers.

Here are some pictures around our house that I took on Thursday.

This is our road.

This is also on our road.

This is a 4 foot fence on our road.

This is a cow pasture, usually full of cows.

Here are all the cows huddled together on a little island. The roof was torn off the little feed shed.

This is Miller Road.

This family is used to boating in and out whenever we have hard rains.

This family was probably wishing they had a boat.

This family built and ark!

Praise God, the water is going down and I will be able to get out soon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Tonight Jody got me a pink Sony MP3 Walkman at Best Buy. Thank you Sweet Honey!

Dakota loaded me up with music. The MP3 player will hold 4GB.
How will I ever listen to that much music?

So I was sitting here at my computer and had my earbuds in listening to Brad Paisley and Dakota was in here standing around like he was wanting to talk to me or something. I said to him "How does it feel for someone to plug up and ignore you?" ROTFL

I've only had my new toy a few hours and I already LOVE it!

Some of my favorite music on my MP3 player: Ella Enchanted soundtrack, Holes soundtrack, All 3 Shrek soundtracks, Taylor Swift, Sugarland, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks, Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts, Rodney Atkins, Toby Keith, The Beach Boys, Allen Jackson, 3 CDs of Tom Jones, Trace Adkins and many more.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I stopped making any lesson plans for homeschooling years ago. I learned that God's plans were always different from mine. I've never liked the idea of making plans and then not being able to do them. Even when I would make some great lesson plans and be all set for a great week on Sunday evenings I'd often wake up sometime Sunday night with a sick child and end up in the hospital for a week.

Then it got to where I didn't even have to make lesson plans, I could just think we are starting school and something would happen like Dakota getting bit by a snake and even me or Jody ending up in the hospital. I've learned to be very flexible. Over the years I always knew God was in control.

We've never been a homeschool family that's able to school Monday - Friday, 8AM - 12PM or whatever. We school on the weekends while Jody is working or sleeping and have family days during the week while daddy is off. Jody has always worked some type of shift work so we would work our schooling around his shift. You can often find us doing night school starting about 9PM. I've gotten up at 2:30AM before to use the restroom and found Dakota in the school room working on a lapbook.

I didn't make any lesson plans, but I did decide that this week was our best shot of getting a jump on some school work before co-op starts up. So Sunday night we got in the bed at a descent hour thinking we would get some school work done Monday morning while Jody slept after working graveyard. I woke up at 3:30 AM with it raining in my house!

About a week before we had some really strong winds that peeled up some of our metal roof.
This section was right over Dakota's room. Sunday night we had a steady hard down pour that went on for hours. I woke up and heard water, I jumped up and found water pouring from Dakota's doorway. Dakota and I did what we could with towels and pans. The rain went on and on.

It was the middle of the night, the kids and I were wide awake watching it rain. I mentioned that we needed to try to get some sleep because I wanted us to get some school work done on Monday and throughout the week, it would be our only shot before co-op starting. Elijah dared me to do school with him right then at 4:30AM. I didn't really want to, I was pretty upset about the raining in my house, but he dared me. So we did spelling at 4:30AM! Crazy Kid!
When we finished spelling we went to bed.

So needless to say Monday was not a school day for us, it turned into a work day and running back and forth to Lowes. Jody and Dakota got the roof fixed, it took all day. I'm sure Dakota learned a lot from the experience and had a great time with his dad, I heard a lot of laughing and both of them being silly all day, that counts for something.

Monday was not totally shot, Elijah and I did do that spelling in the early AM and I read a FIAR book to him at 9 last night.

A couple of months ago a friend told me her plans were to be more consistent with schooling this year. I laughed and said my plans were to not be consistent because then I wouldn't be let down when it didn't happen. I really don't want schooling to get in the way of our life. I want us to be able to wake up and decide to go fishing or go meet friends at the park.

I don't know what I'm trying to say here, but our hit and miss schooling works for us. In Louisiana we are required to school 180 days. We don't have to turn anything in, but that should be our goal. We pretty much school year round so if we get 15 days a month in, we meet the 180 days. Some months we don't get 15 days in and some months we go over the 15 days so it all evens out.

Don't be discouraged if life happens and your fantasy of schooling Monday - Friday from 8AM - 12PM isn't happening. If you make lesson plans and you have a week of Egypt planned and your little guy is all excited about Indians, go with the Indians. It's okay not to follow those plans.

I heard someone say they had to school Monday - Friday 8 - 12 so that their children would be able to handle college. Think about that for a moment. Do you know anyone in college student that has the same time schedule Monday - Friday? Everyone I know has a schedule that changes every day. Some days they have a 10AM class and some days they have a 2 PM class and then they might have a night class starting at 7PM. Mostly either their Monday, Tuesday and Friday classes are the same or their Tuesday and Wednesday classes are the same.

Most blogs I read talk about their lesson plans and their set schedule of when they do school which is usually Monday - Friday 8AM - 12PM. I'm just trying to be real, that ain't happening here and I do see my children learning and moving forward.
If Monday - Friday 8AM - 12PM works for you, then great, go for it, but there are homeschool families out there struggling trying to copy that and I just want them to know it's okay to be a nontraditional homeschool family.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Very Busy!

We are very busy these days!

I don't know if I have mentioned that our family is very involved in co-op. I know I've mentioned that we love it, but actually our family, I mean Dakota, built the co-op website.
We keep it updated and take care of registration that started August 1 and will end August 15.
It is a big job, but Dakota and I both enjoy doing computer work so it's not so bad.

Each of our co-op locations have Advisory Council members where we divide up the co-op work that has to be done to make our co-ops run so smooth. Thank goodness we all have different talents. I enjoy the computer work and I would not enjoy some of the other jobs. We all make a good team working together for good of co-op.

Over the next few weeks, I may not have time to breathe at all.

The week after registration closes I have 3 Advisory Council meetings in one week.
Then we have a CHA (our homeschool group) Mini Conference, that isn't feeling so mini to me.
It looks like we will have a lot of offer.

I will be doing a lapbooking/notebooking workshop twice that day, a homeschooling with special needs session and a workshop about using games in your homeschool. Some where between now and the 23rd I need to plan those 3 sessions/workshops.

The next week we have two co-op orientation nights and back to school bowling.

Then the very next week co-op starts! The WM co-op starts on the 3rd and the M location starts on the 4th. We are so pumped! Oh somewhere between now and the 3rd I need to plan out the 9 classes I will be teaching in co-op and make copies of pages for students. Jody has his 3 classes planned and ready to go and he enjoys rubbing that in. Dakota has most of his computer class that he is teaching planned also.

I also have to keep up with daily house work, laundry, shopping for groceries, cooking and pay bills. Sometimes I do feel like I am drowning, but then I take a step back and see what needs to be done first and get after it.

What was I thinking we'd start some school before co-op started? When?
Do you think life will slow down after co-op starts? We will have two days of co-op and Elijah will have two days of college. One of those college days will fall on a co-op day.

Sometimes people ask me why we do so much or they just tell me that we shouldn't do so much.
I know they are thinking of Elijah and they mean well, but I'm not one to say we can't do something because of him. I don't want him to grow up thinking he can't do stuff or be active. We do and go as long as he is able. Now at times he does get sick and we have to slow down or even come to a halt for a bit, but we pick back up when things are better. I don't want to raise him to think he can't, I want him to know he can as long as he is able.

Elijah does have good days and bad days and during those days he has good moments and sick moments. Many days he needs to lay on the couch for a little while in the mornings and he'll have times like that throughout the day also. If we are on the go we have pillows in the van and towels, wipes and a trash can that is used often. We also keep extra clothes in the van. That's just life for Elijah, we've had to learn to make the best of it. Elijah will sling his backpack of formula and feeding pump over his shoulder and head out to have fun just like any other child his age.

If you think about it, pray for us over the next 3 weeks as we have meetings and plan workshops and classes. We would really appreciate that.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Science Day

Elijah enjoys having what he calls a "science day." He is always asking for a science day.
Sometimes his timing doesn't fit with what we have going on, but I try to let him explore and experiment when ever I can.

The only rule is, Elijah is to clean it up when he is done! He's been good about that, because he knows me and I wouldn't allow him to have science days if he didn't clean up after himself.

Here are some pictures from a science day he had in May before the hair cut and new glasses.

Dakota and I were lost in Lost so I was glad to set Elijah up so he could have a few hours of experimenting. It's all about his education you know, it had nothing to do with the 3rd season of Lost. I must have snapped pictures on a potty break.

Here he has samples of plants from outside he checked out under the microscope.

I gave Elijah all sorts of things to mix and explore with, baking soda, sugar, flour, salt, coffee grounds, vinegar, water, ginger ale, coke and food coloring.

Playing "Scientist" keeps Elijah busy for hours!

Today Elijah asked if he could have a science day, he wanted to play with these little coke bottles that look like science bottles. He got out the food coloring to make colored water and mixed making new colors.

I have to say I did not realize what shirt Elijah had on until I uploaded these pictures. Too funny! This shirt used to be real big on him and he wore it as a night shirt. Now he plays in it around the house. I promise he does not wear this shirt away from the house.

He said he was making poison potions.

Turtle Eggs!

We had a surprise yesterday morning to find eggs in the box turtle's terrarium. WOW! Didn't expect that. Elijah has had this turtle just over a month.

Elijah was very excited. I told him I didn't think they would hatch, but after googgling, I'm thinking there is a chance. I guess time will tell. Oh it will be a long wait, any where from 50 - 100 days! This kid is going to drive me crazy waiting on that.

This is the turtle who likes to eat legs off the frogs in Elijah's story below.

Guess what we are studying about now?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Elijah wrote a frog story.

Dakota said "Elijah is demonic", after reading this story. I laughed so hard after reading this, you never know what Elijah is going to come up with.

Elijah wrote this story in Literacy Clinic at ULM.

Poor Frogs!
By Elijah Miller
Every frog in my backyard should be very careful around my pet turtles. Any time a frog does hop by my turtles, the turtles think, "if only I could move faster... I would catch those frogs again!"

I think that these turtles are always waiting for the frogs to fall asleep because they have bitten off their little green legs before! The turtles say, "frog legs are the best!"

I thought about giving my pet turtles more food to eat, but don't you think it is fun to wait and see which frog has been chewed on?

Ask my brother, he will tell you that we both like to check out which frogs have been snacked on every day after we get up.

If only frogs could fly! I should buy them a toy airplane to escape in. Those mean turtles should give the poor frogs a break!
The End
Is that a hoot or what!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Elijah at ULM

I have mentioned Elijah and his class at the college many times and several have asked me what is he doing at college.

Graduate students at the college need children to work with. They are required to get so many clinical hours. In August of 2006, I inquired about the speech and hearing clinic. Elijah had a couple of words he pronounced odd and he was having trouble hearing rhyming words.

Elijah loved going to college! He spent 2 semesters in the speech clinic then he moved to the literacy clinic and he has completed two semesters there. Clinic is held twice a week.

In the literacy clinic they work on reading and writing. I count it as part of our schooling.

This summer Elijah has been attending the summer session 4 days a week. August 29 is the last day.

Elijah loves to tell his friends he goes to college!

My Red Headed Indian!

I have called Elijah my little red headed Indian since he was born.

This weekend Elijah played Indian and spent a whole day trying to build an Indian fort.

He built this fort on his own, but it was very small and every time he tried to get in it the tee pee fort would fall down. I felt so bad for him.

Today while Elijah was in class at college I went to Dollar Tree and got him these bamboo sticks for his tee pee fort. So this afternoon he rebuilt his fort and he was a very happy little boy.

Oh the joys of being a kid!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our new carousel at the mall.

Over the past few months our mall food court has been getting a face lift. They completed the work this month and had a grand opening and now our food court has a carousel.

We had a carousel at the mall 19 - 20 years ago, back when Jody and I were dating and yes we rode it... a lot! Actually Jody's brother worked at the fun center where the carousel was so we really did ride a lot. We also took my little brother to ride it when he was 4. Jody and I kept Cody Joe a lot and sometimes Jody kept him if mom and I were both working so he would take Cody to ride the carousel. That carousel wasn't a double decker though.

Anyway, so we heard our mall was opening the carousel earlier this month so we headed to the mall to see it on opening day. Elijah announced over and over that he was not going to ride it. That's just to silly for him. He thinks he is too old to do anything that is fun!

We got tokens for Dakota, Jessica and Jennifer (my nieces - their grown), and Hannah (my great niece - Jennifer's baby) and of course we got a token for Elijah. They had to make him ride.
After the first ride Jessica made Elijah ride again with her and Hannah. He was not happy about having to ride it again.

As they were getting on the carousel some of our homeschool friends came up to say HI. Elijah was so embarrassed that his friends saw him on that thing. It was funny to me, but Elijah was mortified the rest of the day.

Elijah has decided he does like to ride it because we have went back and rode it again.
I haven't rode it yet because I want to ride on top and there is no way Elijah is going up those stairs.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Turtle Racing!

I was looking for a way to sneak some writing in for Elijah tonight, so I flipped through a Story Starter booklet I picked up at Dollar Tree. I found the perfect page for him.

I told him to make up a story about a turtle race. He asked if he could race his turtles and then write about it. I was smart enough to know to get some writing out of him first so I told him to write what he thinks will happen, then he could race and write the ending.

His writing has really improved lately and he did very well with spelling the words, I only had to help with a few words. I'm glad to see that he is finally leaving a space between most of the words. He also knew to put periods at the end of sentences and capital letters at the beginning of sentences.

Elijah decided to line up some shoes to make racing lanes. He wanted the red eared slider to win so bad he raced them about 30 times until it did. That box turtle is fasssst!

August 1st will be a year that Elijah has had his little red eared slider named Rocky.
He has only had the box turtle a few months and I think his name is Timmy.

Hot enough to fry an egg?

We started out wondering if it was hot enough to fry an egg and we all agreed it was.

I would like to crack an egg on a back top road to see if it fries, but we live on a dirt road so we needed to find a way to attempt to fry an egg. After some googling we decided to make a solar oven out of pizza boxes.

The first step had to be order pizza!

Today we gathered up something to cook in our solar ovens. S'mores and peperoni pizza crackers. We had to come up with something Elijah could eat. Who knew S'mores for him would be so expensive. Rice crackers, organic dairy free chocolate and vegan marshmallows are $$$.

As soon as we got home we started making the solar ovens. Here is Dakota putting tin foil in one of the pizza boxes.

This is our attempt to fry an egg. I had to keep Elijah completely away from the egg since he is allergic.

S'mores! The three on the left are Elijah's treats.

Dakota made peperoni and cheese crackers. Of course Elijah could not have these.

We covered the boxes with Saran wrap and took them outside to sit in the sun. I thought the hot black trampoline would be a good place to put them.

When we put them out it was 93 degrees. Thirty minutes later we checked the thermometers and it was 115 degrees in the S'more box.

Chocolate and cheese were melted so we declared them done!

The s'mores were yummy, but the peperoni crackers were not so good.

We left the egg out a little longer until it reached 120 degrees. It cooked alright.

When I took this picture Dakota was holding the box down sideways, the egg was not runny at all. So we learned it is hot enough to cook an egg, but we wouldn't want to eat it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Discovering Electronics

Today after literacy clinic at the college I took Elijah to Goodwill so he could find some
electronics to "work" on.

He hit the jackpot and found this big ole phone/fax/printer thing and he was one very happy little boy that wanted to get straight home so he could start working on it. He also found a small radio and an alarm clock.

As soon as we got home he ran got his tool box and began to destroy, I mean, work on his purchases.

His tool box has some little compartments with snap lids that he keeps all the little pieces in that he takes off of his electronics. I'll have to post a picture of his electronic treasures soon.
Elijah thought it was cool to find a magnet in the telephone handset.

While sitting here typing this I thought how cool it would be to have a Discovering Electronics co-op class for little boys next year (this school year's classes are already planned). I'll have to keep that in mind!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I was not planning on doing a spelling curriculum with Elijah at this time. I don't know why, I just wasn't.

My friend, Alana, came over one night last week and she went on and on about Sequential Spelling. LOL Hi Alana! Since I do have the program I thought about giving it a try with Elijah.

So we began it 5 days ago. I have been amazed at Elijah getting almost all the words correct each day. We just finished list 5 and he spelled beginning correctly!!!
I'm so happy! We are seeing so much progress with his reading and writing.
Elijah is really proud of himself too! :)

He's a better late then early boy!

Story Telling

This year I'm trying to focus on writing for Elijah. He has enjoyed creating notebook pages and I have him to write at least one sentence on the pages he has made so far. Once he is comfortable and the sentences are coming more easily I will step that up a little for him. It's a process!

I also want to get Elijah to the point where he can write stories.
I ordered the book Story Starters by Karen Andreola.

I think this is a great book, but Elijah's not there yet. I will have Dakota to use the book because he needs to get faster at thinking up stuff to write for essays and such, so this will be a good writing exercises for him.

While reading in the book I did realize something, both of my boys probably have trouble writing stories because they have trouble making up stuff.

Let me see if I can explain what I mean. I see some kids make stuff up all the time. Not that they are really fibbing, they just make up stories because they have such good imaginations. Good writers need to be able to do that. Because my boys have never made up stories, when they sit down to write they can't think of anything to say. So any moms out there who have kids who make up stuff just to have something to say, it's really a good thing that they can do that. Your child will probably be a great writer.
The book didn't really say all that, but that is what I took from the book.

Since my boys never did the "make up a story thing" when they were younger, I'm having them to do it now. Yes, Dakota thinks I've lost it.

What we are doing is making up stories together. One of us starts and then pauses to let another person add a section and we take turns adding to the story. It's been fun and now Elijah is always asking if we can make up a story. I'm going to start letting Elijah make up stories and I'll write it down as he tells it to me. Gotta work on my short hand to be able to keep up with him.

So what I took from reading Story Starters is that to be able to write a story you need to be able to tell a story. You have to have something to say before you can write!
I wish I had understood that when Dakota was little.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Double Notebooks

You know your a homeschool mom when you get excited over a 3 ring binder!

I found this cool double binder at Wal-Mart yesterday. 2 binders in 1. It says they are sold exclusively at Wal-Mart. They were $5.96

I thought this would be cool for co-op, so I got each of the boys one.
One side is green and the other blue.
They also had pink and purple for girls.

At the check out the lady rang up 4 notebooks so I told her it was only 2. She gave me a look like I can count and I see 4 binders. I had to show her it was only 2. So if you buy one you might want to watch out for that.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Nature Journals

I've been wanting to start a nature journal with Elijah. That is so right up his alley. He is all about some nature! Anyway I decided to do a nature journal class at co-op.

Nature Journals are diaries or notebooks recording your findings. It can be as detailed, colorful, and poetic as you desire. Our journals will be a speckling of pictures, notes, and poems we find that fit the season. It will become a record of our discoveries, memories, and an extension of ourselves. We will observe nature and learn to look at the details.

I ordered me the Handbook Of Nature Study by Anna Comstock and just got it in the other day so I spent some time pouring over it. I'm overwhelmed with the book. It is 2 inches thick and 887 pages!

I have also have these two books that will be fun to use with our nature studies.

This next book is from a series of books called One Small Square.
Here is a link to a list of all the books in this series.
I have three of the books, Woods, Cactus Desert and Seashore, but of course I want all of them,
especially Backyard, Pond, Swamp and Night Sky.

For our nature journals I'm thinking of 3 ring binders with copy paper 3 hole punched and some not punched, card stock, page protectors, zip lock baggies, colored pencils, clip board and a magnifing glass.
Dividers for different sections:

Here is the cover Elijah and I made for his nature journal! We can't wait to get started.

I'd love to hear from other's who have done nature journals.