Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Boy and a Ripstik

Earlier last month I was able to spend two full days at the LDS Homeschool Conference.  It was absolutely wonderful!  I left feeling so encouraged and renewed.  

Saturday afternoon, after having not seen my family since Friday morning, I got a phone call from my husband.

"Where are you?"

"I just pulled into the garage."



I walked into the house and heard little Mowgli crying, but it wasn't just a regular cry.  My husband walked over to greet me and said, "He broke his arm.  You have to take him in."

Just moments before I pulled into the driveway, Mowgli had crashed on his ripstik and had a serious break.  It was obvious just by looking at his arm that it was definitely broken.
We loaded him up (along with Bud) and I took him to the Insta Care near our home.  The doctor said he didn't even want to bother checking him in because he knew he couldn't help him and that Mowgli needed to be seen at the ER.   They put him in a sling and then we drove the 20 minutes to the hospital.

In the emergency room it was confirmed that he had fractured both the ulna and radius.  He was sedated and had the bones set.  I sat at his feet as he was put to sleep.  I thought I'd be fine to sit right next to him as his arm was set as well, but once the doctor did a major yank on that broken arm, I stepped out and watched from a distance.  

It took him a couple of hours to fully wake up.  He sure gave us some giggles as he acted a bit silly!  We took all sorts of video of him because I knew he would love to see himself like that.  And he did!  He was showing it to his cousins over and over again!  

At home that night he spent a lot of time resting and trying to manage his pain. 

Nine days later we visited the pediatric orthopedist for his cast.  We were seriously disappointed when we were informed that he wouldn't be getting a cast but rather he required surgery the following morning.  It was definitely not the news we were expecting.  The bones weren't healing properly and needed to be re-broken and set in place with pins.   

This news was given on a Monday afternoon.  Due to another major comitment that week, I had a couple of hours of panic and was so relieved when my mom offered to drive the four hours to come help.  She was a lifesaver!

Tuesday morning we headed to the hospital.  Everything took longer than expected and I felt so sad for Mowgli and his starving belly.  There was a mix up with insurance and so for over an hour we thought the surgery wasn't going to be able to happen at that hospital.  Phone calls were made around and around.  There was talk about the surgery taking place the next morning instead.  I insisted that could not happen.  He was already fasting, my mom had driven four hours, the surgery had to happen today.   I nearly had tears at this point, nearly.

The surgeon said he would make sure the surgery happen that night and that his staff would find an opening at a different hospital.  I spent time on the phone with my insurance company on speakerphone with the hospital reps and we were finally able to get it resolved.  I was so relieved! 

Mowgli had the most wonderful nurse.  She explained things so well to him.  He learned SO much that day! Here she is showing him photos of the operating room.   He also had a visit from an OR nurse, surgeon, and the anesthesiologist.   
I wish I had a photo of him being wheeled away to surgery.  He was so chill.  He had his legs crossed and his arms folded behind his back.  The staff commented on how relaxed and pleasant he was.

After surgery he spent a couple of hours resting.  Poor kid was in a lot of pain. 


Two pins in place.  

One week later we were back in the surgeon's office for a check up and a cast. 

He chose red (which surprised me, because he'd been talking about getting pink or yellow the whole time.)  After his dad saw it he said, "That's our rival's color!"  Mowgli laughed and couldn't believe he had picked the University of Utah color!  He's a BYU fan through and through!  :)  

 Writing BYU all over his cast seems to have solved the problem for now.  :)

A few weeks after the accident he took this photo so he could sell his ripstik.  He has since changed his mind and is back to riding that thing all over the place.  

Well, this story doesn't end here.  This cast will stay on for one more week and then he will get the pins removed and will have a second cast put on.  Hopefully in 5 or so weeks, he'll be cast free. 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy Kids Songs {Review}

Happy Kids Songs Review
Today I have something super fun to share with you:  Happy Kids Songs.  We've been listening and jamming to these fun songs this summer.  For review, we received three sets of songs as well as the Happy Kids Songs Workbook.

Each set includes five songs.  The sets we received are:
 Let's take a look at the song titles to give you an idea of what these songs focus on:
  • Better Together
  • The Golden Rule
  • Sharing Friends
  • Happy as Happy Can Be 
  • H-O-N-E-S-T-Y
  • Who Knows What's a Kudo?
  • Be Good to Yourself
  • Everybody Wants to Find a Friend
  • The Magic Word
  • Quirks
  • Six Little Kids
  • Sharing Friends
  • Together
  • Sailing on the Seven C's
  • Shake It Out and Dance
I downloaded all fifteen songs into iTunes on our computer so that I can turn them on as we're working in the kitchen or to have as background noise as the kids are playing.   I also burned the songs to a Cd to keep in the car.  I've always been big on taking advantage of car time to teach and connect with my kids.  (They're my captive audience in the car!)  Music has always been a big deal to me as well.  We all know how quickly we remember something that is set to a tune and what a powerful tool music is.  (A friend's daughter recently sang their address to me.  Guess what?  I didn't have to write their address down, because I memorized it after just hearing it twice!)  The power of music is a great thing but it can also be a negative thing, if the music we are exposing children to glamorizes morals (or lack thereof) and behaviors that are contrary to the values we are trying to instill in them.   

My kids range in age from 1-8 and all of them enjoy these songs.  (I'll tell you what, that little one year old of mine likes to jig!)  They are catchy, fun, uplifting, and totally not cheesy or annoying--even after listening to them a zillion times.  :)   They have interesting beats and sounds.  But what's best of all are the words.

Here's an excerpt from Sailing on the Sevens Cs:
C stands for caring and consideration.
C stands for commitment and communication.
Just add concern, curiosity, and cooperation,
And you've got the creation of the seven Cs.

Here's the chorus from Everybody Wants to Find a Friend:
Everybody wants to find a friend.
Everybody wants to find a friend.
Just say hello.  Let "another body" know
That you want to play with them again.

H-o-n-e-s-t-y..."Why?" Yeah, let's repeat it.
H-o-n-e-s-t-y..."why?"...We really need it.
It's one of those greatest gifts that money can't buy.
That's H-o-n-e-s-t-y.

Happy Kids Songs Review
If you want to use the songs in a more structured way, the workbook is a great addition.  There are 125 pages of activities, worksheets (coloring pages, mazes, word finds, etc.), and lyrics.  This is a great addition for a classroom or for a family devotional.  (That's how we've used it.)  

Here's an example:
We've had a little problem up in here with little people being kind to their beloved siblings (I'm sure you know nothing about that) so we listened to "Who Knows What's a Kudo?" I explained to them a "kudo" is something true and nice about someone else.  As suggested in the workbook, we wrote acrostic poems about one other and then each person read aloud what was written about them.  I was surprised to see how they beamed as they read their kudos.  After we finished, I continued on with my stuff and was so happy to see my 8 & 6 year old sons remain at the table and write kudos for their cousins.
I can't help but laugh at the fact that my son said I am "zippy fast!" I suppose "Z" is a tough one!

 Look how happy he is to read his kudos!

I appreciate what Dr. Mac of Happy Kids Songs has created and find the music and activities to be very enjoyable and beneficial.  

Each set of songs is $4.95 and includes a download of 5 songs.
Happy Songs Workbook is $12.56.

To listen to samples of the songs, click HERE.
To read more Crew reviews, click HERE.  

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Family Reunion 2014

Every year over Pioneer Day weekend we have a big 'ole family reunion in Wyoming.  It just might be my favorite thing.  

Day 1:
We participated in what must surely be the world's smallest parade, something we do every year.  

We played fun (and perhaps a bit ridiculous) games like a sawing competition.  (There are other families who have reunions at the same time and they have matching shirts too.  It makes for a little friendly competition!)

Nail and hammer relay.  

The bunny hop.  This was right before the bunny chases.

There was a chicken dance right before the chicken chases too.)   

Thankfully no one in our bunch caught a bunny or chicken this year.

After the Pioneer Day festivities we gathered back at my parent's home for some fun on a giant, inflatable waterslide.  It may or may not have taken me 5 minutes standing at the top to get the courage to go down that thing.  It didn't help that the irrigation water that was flowing through it was FREEZING!  My hometown is pretty darn small and inflatable rentals like this aren't something available there, so they had this brought in from a city in Idaho--2 hours away!  They are pretty great grandparents! 

These two are certainly outnumbered.   There are only 3 girls out of 16 grandchildren. 

The water slide fun lasted until dark.  
There seems to be a tiny Pokemon obsession among these kiddos.  

We had many rounds of stick pulling.  Young and old all participated.  I think a few egos were hurt!  

These two received the Aaronic Priesthood and they were over the moon about all that candy!  

There was a pinata, because pinatas are awesome.  

One evening we headed up to my brother's house for a roasting marshmallows and I had SO much fun taking photos of this little lady on his property.  She will be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints later this year.   This is my brother's driveway.  The views from his house and my parent's house are incredible.  I never get enough of it. 

Then there was a day at the lake.  I love this lake soooooo much.  It is the place I remember spending so much of my youth boating with my family.  I loved seeing my children enjoying it just the way I did many years ago.  

I was so darn proud of this guy!  He got out there and kneeboarded all by himself.  I wasn't sure he'd feel confident about being all the way out in the lake by himself, but he did it and LOVED it!  

Here's The Mr.  He just learned how to waterski a few years ago and he really enjoys.  Sadly, there are no photos to be found of me waterskiing.  Surely, I need some proof for these kids of mine that I did awesome stuff back in the day.  :)  

 Until next year. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Day in the Life {Summer}

I can not believe it is already August.


I've only shared one of our summer days here and I suppose it is time for another. 

Our day started at 7:00.

I turned on a workout DVD.  The kids got themselves some cereal (Raisin Nut Bran--my favorite!) and played with LEGOs nearby.

The kids got started on their family work: vacuuming, hygiene, cleaning their rooms and all that jazz.

There was some piano practice in there.

Some minecraft on the iPad.

Some math practice for Mowgli.

We had our devotional.  Today it consisted of reading about a boy named Pedro from Brazil out of an LDS magazine for children called The Friend.  The kids found Brazil and the cities mentioned in the story.

Bud asked if he could do a science experiment.  He filled some petri dishes with various liquids and put them outside to see which one would attract bugs. 

Bud received a letter from his penpal and was anxious to write him back immediately.  So I helped him draft a reply.   

Mowgli wrote more thank you notes for his baptism gifts.   He may or may not have thrown a giant fit when I corrected his spelling and grammar and insisted he start over.  :)

I spent a couple of hours on the computer catching up on emails, bills, and scheduling while much of this other stuff was going on.  

We had lunch. 

Mowgli asked for some time on the computer.  He scoured through the ebay auctions of LEGOs commenting on the prices and times remaining on the auctions. 

Hawk asked to paint.  So paint he did.  

Tigerlily kept climbing on the table and attempting to grab the paint, so I set her up to paint too.  

I cleaned up the kitchen and then put Tigerlily down for her second nap of the day.    I attempted to begin reading before putting her down for a nap and decided that was a bad idea.  So I paused after a couple of sentences and said I'd be back.  

I read the story of Perseus and Medusa that we were all dying (not kidding) to read.  The boys begged me to continue reading last night but I made them wait.  :)  We have been studying Ancient Greece for about four months now.  I never would have dreamed I would love Greek mythology so much!  The boys are totally captivated by it as well! 

Then we watched the same story on DVD and talked about the differences and similarities.  They followed that up with another DVD on Heracles (Hercules).  I may or may not have taken a tiny nap during that one.  :)   

Around 3:00 we had visitors.  Cousins!  They are all obsessed with Pokemon. 

They spent some time playing outside together.

And Mowgli and Bud were excited to show their cousins the Greek myths they've been reading and viewing so they turned on the DVDs to watch again.  (That's 2 hours of TV today, in case you are counting.) 

We were happy when this guy walked in the door.  A certain someone got a few more kisses than she knew what to do with. 


We had dinner.  (Just keepin' in real here, folks.)  Yes, our dinner was a relish tray and hot dogs with leftover footlong sauce.  And yes, I ate on a tiny plastic plate.  We don't always have gourmet feasts up in here.  

Then we were off to Scouts and the activity for the teenage girls at church.  Mowgli went to scouts, with his cousins and little bro in tow. 

I was just down the hall leading the activity for the Young Women (girls ages 12-18).  We had a great activity discussing the standards in the For the Strength of Youth manual (it's a little pamphlet that talks about media, entertainment, family, friends, language, dating (and more) and lists expected behavior for each topic.  Think of it as a code of conduct.)  We discussed being women of integrity.  We are striving to be women whose behavior aligns with our beliefs.   

We watched this video, which led to a great discussion.  (It's a good one to watch with young adults/tweens.  I let my 8 & 6 year olds watch it too and a great discussion followed.) 

Somehow those crazy kids convinced me a trip to Walmart was in order on the way home because they would surely die if they didn't buy more Pokemon cards.  Mowgli and Hawk didn't have any cash because all of their money is in the bank.  We have a 10 day spending policy in which you must consider purchases for a minimum of 10 days before buying.  These guys have been asking for more Pokemon cards for over a month (and researching them online all that time) so I decided it was probably a legitimate purchase.  I paid for their cards and then taught them how to transfer the money from their account to our account online. 

After that we were home for more Pokemon trading, another Greek story (The Six Pomegranate Seeds), and lights out at 10:15.

Our routine isn't a whole lot different in the summer except we tend to have later nights, more time with our extended family, more traveling, I seem to be more easy going, and they watched more TV today than they normally do in a week (even in the summer).  But I'm sure they'll survive.

That sums up our day, minus a few arguments, diaper changes, hugs, tears, kisses, timeouts, and a child who refused to sleep in his own bed.  (But don't worry, that only happens every night.)    

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