Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Change of Plans

I'm bummed! We had to cancel our plans for camping this weekend. We were hoping to go camping over Labor Day, and then next Saturday paint the house. But... a business trip came up that my husband has to make next weekend and we decided that we better not put off painting the house any longer. Weather in north Idaho can be very unpredictable starting about the middle of September. So... we will paint this weekend, go to Boise next weekend, help somebody move the following weekend... and then maybe still go camping the last weekend of September? We have it pencilled in, so we'll have to see if that will work out.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Concert on the Mountain

We got free tickets to a Phil Vassar concert tonight on "the mountain"! When dh asked if I was interested my first reaction was "Who's Phil Vassar? But, yes, I want to go!" Going up the mountain is a real treat, because you have to ride a gondola to get up there... and gondola tickets are spendy so we don't do it very often. I think the last time we went was Labor Day weekend 6 years ago! From what I can tell on the web, concert tickets are a 2-for-1 deal. You get another ticket to ride the gondola again another day!

If the music's too loud or we don't like it, we don't have to stay! And we can go up any time today, even though the concert doesn't start till 7:00. However, we had already made plans to go to the North Idaho Fair today... which opens at 11:00. So we'll do that first. Then come home and change clothes (we'll need to put on long pants and get coats and blankets), pack a cooler, and get the dog. It will be a full day. But fun!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Lost Child, Part 2

Remember the little naked feller who showed up at our house a couple weeks ago? Well, he came back last night. Appropriately clothed this time. He didn't come into the house, but probably only because the kids were in the back yard. He was just milling around again, like he belonged there! Some of the other neighbor kids were also here, but they are school age kids, and come around frequently. This little guy is definitely too little to be out alone. I just took him by the hand and started walking around the neighborhood with him. Sure enough, his mother was looking for him. She said something about the garage door being accidently left open. I asked her where they lived so I would know where to take him if it happened again, since this was the second time. "The second time? This has happened twice?!" She seemed shocked. So I told her what happened the last time. She didn't know anything about it. I said, "I think a friend of yours was watching him that time." Anyway, they live just across the alley from us (our houses are back to back), not way down the street somewhere. So the police officer must have been thinking about a different little boy. That comforted me to know that he really hadn't gotten very far... but still, the fact that he will just go into a strange house is really scary!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gorgeous Weather

The weather is gorgeous! Sunny and 70s. Just perfect "enjoy-the-outdoors" kind of weather. I sure hope we get to go camping for Labor Day weekend. And it would be lovely if the weather holds!

We haven't had a chance to go camping all summer, and most of the National Forest campgrounds close after Labor Day. There is one State Park campground in the area that stays open later, so we could go there sometime in the fall if next weekend doesn't work out, but I like the National Forest better. Besides, I need that "down-time" over the holiday weekend to get psyched up for school. I always take my teaching materials and a notebook along to get the semester planned. Then I'm ready to start when we get home!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Puppy Training

We went to the library last night to see if we could find some books on dog training. Our pup is still a little young for "formal" obedience school. They usually start at 4 - 6 months. Cookie is just now 3 months old. We thought we oughta start training her a little anyway! And we're very much amateurs when it comes to dog training. We just let our last dog do whatever... However he was at this stage 15 years ago. And that was pre-kid! Now we know a little more about training babies/children, so we thought some of the same principles oughta apply to little dogs! There oughta be a book! Well, this was the one we found on puppies, and it's a good one. Very practical advice. For example, we didn't know we shouldn't let her be "mouthing" us. It's cute and it seems like play... but according to this expert, by allowing her to "bite" us (even though it's not aggressive and it doesn't hurt) we are actually showing her submission. Dogs are pack animals and humans need to let the dog know that we are the pack leaders not them! I dunno. Sounds kinda silly, but if it will make the puppy mind us better, I'm all for it! I know we will enjoy a well-behaved little dog much more than a "wild thing"!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Da Puppy's So Cute!

Cookie

All together now... "Awwwwwwww....."

I'm taking her to the vet today for her puppy shots. We had to wait a couple weeks after she was over the Parvo to make sure her immune system was built back up. I'm also taking the cat. She has some hair loss at the top of her tail that I'm concerned about. Boy! It oughta be an interesting trip with both the cat and the dog in the car!

The cat has learned to tolerate the pup, but I'm not sure she's real impressed. Yesterday, I took Cookie outside and the cat was in the yard. Cookie immediately bounds over and starts trying to herd the cat! Border collie coming out in her, I guess. She was bouncing around, her little front paws manuevering this way and that way. That cat wasn't going to go anywhere the dog didn't want it to. The cat just crouched into a ball and looked at the puppy like she was crazy. Pets are so much fun!

Getting Ready to Paint

We're getting ready to paint our house... It is currently a funky green color... bright green... not exactly lime... kind of a medium shade of mint. Just not the most "trendy" color. Oh, and the trim is dark brown! I am really curious as to who came up with that combination to start with... and why?? No, it's not *the* most awful combination ever, but it sure wouldn't be my choice.

We've been driving around looking at houses trying to decide on a new color. In the new housing developments all the houses seem to be neutral colors with white trim... pale taupe, cream, shades of pale gray... just boring! I do like the white trim, though. I would go for light blue with white trim except the house next door is that combination. So I'm thinking of pale sage with white trim... maybe even dark sage accents. Sage would cover this "weird green" nicely. And then we would just have the trim to have to do multiple coats to cover the dark brown. I originally wanted white with navy trim but DH said that he didn't want to have to cover the green with white. So I'm trying to decide on a "color" that is at least as dark as what is already on the house, without going too much darker because of the fade factor.

DH used a power washer to wash the house Saturday. Now we just need to touch up a few places with primer, and we'll be all set for the youth group to come help us paint! We scheduled a work day for September 10th. Since this is the church "Youth House" we try to involve the youth in the maintenance of it. They enjoy it, and it's good training for them! I'll get some sandwich fixin's and cookies and a cooler of pop on ice, and they'll think it's a party!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Registered for Co-op

We got registered for homeschool co-op. The kids are excited about the classes they get to take. My youngest is signed up for: All About Horses, Little House on the Prairie (unit study), P.E., and a unit study about the Holidays. My older daughter will be taking: piano lessons, Sign Language, Science Lab, Medieval Life (my class!), and Sewing. Oughta be fun!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Old Readers

I'm getting school figured out for the coming year. I plan to start school the day after Labor Day. Just too much going on this month to start any sooner.

We will be continuing where we left off with Sonlight Core 6 (World History, part 1) in the spring. I am hoping to finish by Christmas and start Core 7 in January. I got Apologia General Science ordered for my oldest. She will be taking a lab class for that at the homeschool co-op. That will help keep me accountable to make sure we get Science done this year! (Up to now I've been a pretty faithful member of HENSE--Home Educators Neglecting Science Experiments!)

We had an appointment with a neurodevelopmentalist this morning who helped us plan a program of study for our youngest for the next 4 months. I am very excited about that. It will help us focus on some developmental issues she has. I can't wait to see the progress she will make now that I know what to focus on to help her.

One thing that was recommended was the Dick & Jane books. No, they aren't phonics based, but for now that's what she needs. I was happy to have an excuse to buy these darling books. My mother remembers learning to read with Dick & Jane!! I had Jack & Janet... with their pets Tip & Mitten, when I was in first and second grade. I have been able to find all of the first grade level (and some of the second grade) Jack & Janet books at thrift stores and the like over the years. I am also collecting the Ginn Basic Readers. I never had those in school, but my mother had picked up a few of them at garage sales or whatever when we were growing up and they were very appealing. I have about 10 in that series so far. I love old Readers!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Lost Child

Last night a small child (maybe 3 or 4?) walked into our house stark naked and acted like he lived here! We had no idea who he was or where he came from. He just wandered in and started going in and out of rooms, touching things and picking them up. He wasn't upset or agitated. He just made himself right at home! My 12yo daughter about freaked out. My husband and I both tried to ask him who he was and tell him he didn't belong here but he was just oblivious. Then I remembered that this was something that my special needs nephew might do, so I picked up the poor baby and wrapped him in a blanket. I called 911 to report it, and then took him out on the porch to rock him on the porch swing until the police arrived to help us find where he belonged. My husband walked out to the alley behind our house to see if he could see anyone looking for a child. He heard someone calling way off around the block and down the street, so he went over to see if they were missing a child. Sure enough! He brought the woman back to our house. I asked the little boy if that was mommy (not that I expected an answer, he hadn't replied to anything else I asked him), but the woman said no, she was mommy's friend. Apparently she was babysitting. As she took him she said, "Just because the gate is open doesn't mean you can wander off!" It was just so pitiful! And we still don't know why he didn't have any clothes on! Not a stitch!

A little later a police officer arrived. We told her what happened. When we described the boy she said she thought she knew who he was. He lives several blocks from here! And this is not the first time it has happened. He goes into neighbor's houses, always either naked or with just a diaper on. I b'lieve I'd be getting me a childproof lock on my door, if I was his mama! I asked the officer if there was something wrong with the little boy mentally, but she said, "No. He is just quiet." I think maybe she just doesn't know.

The only time either of my children ever did anything like that was when my youngest was about that age. One day at nap time I went to check on her and she wasn't in her bed. I searched the whole house and couldn't find her. I really started to panic. I went outside to look and found her in the dog house with the dog!!! (Shoulda known! That child loves her animals!) But, believe me, I locked the outside doors at naptime every day after that!

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Puppy is home!

Puppy is home! Yay!She is very, very weak and very, very thin. We are feeding her baby food (pureed meat) to start with. She likes the little "meat sticks" (the ones that look like Vienna sausages) the best. I'm only letting her have one at a time, until her tummy gets used to digesting food again. I'll try to transition her to regular puppy food in a day or two. She has slept a lot today. We are just happy that she is eating and drinking again, so we can take care of her at home. Hopefully she will be back to normal soon.

Monday, August 8, 2005

I want my puppy home!!!

She has just been very, very sick... and I guess it's something of a miracle that she's still alive. She did finally begin to improve yesterday. Is able to keep a little water down. They will probably offer her food later today... and when she can tolerate that, then she can come home. It has been a lonnnnng week, worrying about the poor baby!

The thing that is most frustrating to me is that our regular vet is gone for a few days, and I don't like the "relief vet" nearly as well. I'll be so glad when the whole ordeal is finally over!

Medieval Life

So I agreed to teach a class on Medieval Life... Then it dawned on me... What do I know about the Middle Ages??? Hmmm... castles, knights, the Black Plague, the Catholic Church... I think that's about it! And all that gleaned from novels!! (See! Reading novels does enrich one's life!) So I went to the library today and checked out a stack of books on the subject as big as I could carry. Some awfully dry-looking tomes, at that! No novels! The first thing I need to figure out is exactly what is considered the Middle Ages. I know it comes between the Fall of Rome and the Renaissance... so what? About 500 to 1500 A.D.? Yep... I just googled it. I was pretty close! Okay, so I know when the Middle Ages were. Now I need to come up with an 8-part outline of what to cover in the 8-week class. I think I want to focus on what life would have been like... so maybe I can cover a different aspect of that each week... types of homes, clothes, religious life, medicine, food, travel... Now we're rolling! There's my rough outline. Now to fit in the research between now and then!

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Homeschool Co-op

We are going to participate in a homeschool co-op this coming school year. It meets one day a week for 4 class periods. I have always been reluctant to get too involved (over commit myself) before, but the selling point for me on this one is that one mom is offering to teach a science lab for Apologia General Science... which is the science program I had already decided on for my soon-to-be-7th grader. I had worried that I would never get around to doing the experiments, so I will be very happy to take advantage of the lab class!

There will also be a professional music teacher, offering piano lessons. I have been wanting to get my oldest in that, too, so that will be convenient.

Moms have to agree to teach at least one class a year, and help other times. I told the coordinator that I would just as soon teach as be a helper. She said that was great! Most people would rather help than teach. So I signed up to teach 3 classes for the fall trimester. (8 weeks, so not too bad at all.) I will be teaching Medieval Life, Character Qualities, and Family History. Medieval Life because that's the period we are studying in history. Character Qualities because that's what I've been teaching at Youth Meeting for several months, so I've already done the prep work. And Family History just because I think it would be fun!

Friday, August 5, 2005

Sick Cookie

Cookie is still in the hospital. (See previous post.) She did get to come home Wednesday, but she was sick again with a couple of hours and all through the night. So I took her back to the vet yesterday morning. I called to check on her late yesterday afternoon, and the vet said she was still pretty sick. I'll call again in a bit and hope the report is better. From what I've read about Parvo, if the puppy survives the first 3-4 she should make a rapid recovery and be back on her feet within a week. Today is Day 4, so I am hopeful! I sure hope we get to go get her later today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Our New Puppy

We got this little bundle of sweetness on Saturday at our family reunion in Missouri. One of my uncle's dogs had puppies this spring. She is a beagle/border collie mix. We traveled home with her Sunday and Monday. Yesterday morning when we got up "Cookie" didn't seem to feel very well. I thought it was strange that she didn't get sick on the trip but did after we got home. So I took her to the vet. The diagnosis was not good. She has Parvo. It's a puppy virus that is often fatal. However, the vet said that with treatment she has a 90% chance of survival. They can't actually treat the virus, but they can give her an IV to keep her hydrated and supplied with nutrients. I guess it's the dehydration that usually kills. So Cookie is in the hospital. The vet said it usually lasts 1-7 days. I am praying she will recover quickly, not only because we want her home and healthy, but because I don't need a big vet bill! I will call in a bit to see how she's doing.

If it doesn't offend you to say a prayer for one of God's little creatures, would you remember our sweet puppy?

Update: Just talked to the vet's office. Cookie is up and barking this morning, which is a good sign because she was so lethargic yesterday. She also was able to eat this morning. Another good sign because she had no appetite yesterday. If she keeps her "breakfast" down she will probably be able to come home today!