Friday, January 22, 2010

Oklahoma Man Faces Significant Transplant Expenses

Dear Friend,

Michael Geurin is fighting for his life.

He was born with an undeveloped tricuspid on the lower right side of his heart. At just four days old he received his first heart catheter, and at 10 months old he underwent his first open-heart surgery. When he was two years old, the first of many pacemakers was implanted. Even with these challenges, Michael was able have a relatively normal life as a child, aside from the fact that he was unable to play sports like the rest of the boys his age.

Sadly, in 1994, he began experiencing shortness of breath and learned his heart was enlarged. With tears in his eyes, Michael’s cardiologist told him he needed a heart transplant to survive. Michael was only 17. Thankfully, he received a heart transplant in 1995 and lived a healthy, active life for 14 years. Recently Michael learned veins around his heart were closed off and no longer working properly. He is currently undergoing evaluations for a second heart transplant.

Despite his health issues, Michael remains positive about his life and is hopeful for a long, happy future with his soon-to-be wife, Anne. He loves his work as a youth pastor, and hopes to continue working with the young people in his church until his health forces him to stop. He wants nothing more than to feel healthy again. But he needs your help.

Unfortunately, Michael’s hope for a new life comes at a very high price.

A heart transplant costs approximately $775,000. And that’s only the beginning. Michael faces significant medical expenses related to his transplant. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. The cost of post-transplant medications can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month—and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

What if your life depended on the compassion and generosity of others?

The National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) is working with volunteers and supporters to help relieve the growing burden of expenses for Michael and his family. NFT has been assisting transplant patients with advocacy and fundraising support for 26 years. Your gift—of $25, $50, $100 or more—will enable NFT to provide Michael with the financial support he desperately needs.

You can help by visiting www.transplants. org/donate/ michaelgeurin to make a donation to NFT in honor of Michael.

If you have any questions about NFT, feel free to contact the NFT staff at 800-489-3863.

Many Thanks,

You guys, this is my best friends fiance, so this is not a scam or a anything like that. They are due to get married in April, if he makes it that long. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I never send these types of things out, but this one is so personal. Thanks you guys.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting started in Home Schooling Part 4

Ok, so you have written out what you want your kids to learn this year,and are thinking about,or may have figured out how you want to teach, and are ready to go out and purchase all your new books. WAIT... First, I want you to take a look around the house. You may be surprised at what you might find. First, go through all of your childrens books. See if there are any books that would be educational in any way. They do not have to be strictly fact books, they can be story books that still teach something.
There are so many out there that you may be surprised at how many you have. If not that's ok, you can start building your collection soon.
I want you to take all of your children's books that you deemed educational, and put them together on a bookshelf or a special spot in the house.
Next, go through all of your books. You may have biographies, auto-biographies, books that teach a certain skill, reference books, books on weather, gardening, astronomy, history, etc... Add these to the book shelf.
You may or may not have a lot of books already, but you can never have enough books for your childs education.
I highly recommend that you build a home library. Your child will learn so much just from reading good books. It will be such a blessing to be able to go to your own bookshelf and find a book on the topic your child is wanting to learn about. It will save you time and the effort of going out and getting all these books. You may not have every book, or a specific book that you are looking for, but as you build your library, you will likely have a different book on the same topic that will work just as well.
You will not have to worry about turning the books in on time if your child is not done with the book yet, or getting late fees because you forgot again.
Reading is fundamental to your child's education; both your child reading and you reading to your child.
Make time for Read Alouds, daily if possible. This will be a time that you read aloud to all of your children, even if they are different ages. They will treasure this time and they will be learning at the same time.
We are currently reading Liberty Letters right now for our read aloud.
I will admit that I need to work on this more myself. My children love this time and look forward to it when I am consistant.
So, how do you build your home library without breaking the budget?
I will tell you how I do it. I have obtained thousands of books over the last couple of years, and rarely, if ever, did I pay full price for a book.
I go to garage sales all the time and usually find quite a few books this way. I have found Little House on the Prarie books, tons of books on animals, books on the planets, classics such as Robin Hood, Heidi, Little Women, biographies, auto biographies, etc..I will get these books for 10 cents to 25 cents usually, so I can get quite a few this way.
I go to the thrift stores. There is a really good thift store around here that always has great books there. I just recently found Paddle to the Sea, by Holling, C. Hollings, which is on every home schoolers wish list, there for like 50 cents or something.
I also go to You can go to the home school section and then click on the side bar to "at least 90% off". They have SO MANY great books there. I have gotten books on the senses, animal habitats, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, Sojouner Truth, etc., there. I usually pay $.75 to $1.99. They have really good shipping also, so this is not expensive and these are brand new books.
I also look at Borders in their bargain section. Here I have gotten books on weather, insects, trees, wild flowers, animals, etc. here for $3 to $5
If you put a little effort into this, which really is not much of an effort at all, you can easily and fastly build up your library. Just keep an eye open.
You can also ask for certain books for birthdays and Christmas also. Many grandparents are glad to help out. (We will talk about what to do if your family does not approve sometime in the future.)
You can take any book on your shelf and make a study out of it. Pick a book on planets, for example, you will read it to your child, or they will read it, and you take words from that book and make a spelling/vocabulary list, they could draw pictures of all the planets and write the name of the panet if they are younger, or they could notebook what they are reading if they are older. They could draw pictures of a particular planet and underneath the picture they could write all of the interesting and important facts about that planet. They will have a nice little notebook when they are done with that book. You could even lapbook a book. If you do not know what lapbooking is, just google it and I will disscuss it more in the future.
I think that you are seeing that even without a lot of money or curriculum, you can get started on your home schooling.
Just pick up a book and GO!
History and science really adapt well to this kind of learning. There are many books out there that work well to teach these topics. There is so much that can be said about books, but it would take forever. LOL
One thing I do want to add though, is to make sure your books are worth reading and that they do not portray values or character traits that you do not want to teach your children.
Before you go out and spend too much money on curriculum, really think about how you want to teach your subjects. You don't nesessarily need a curriculum for every topic, but there are some great ones out there.
Ok, next time I will disscuss what can be done for Grammar, Spelling, writing, Language Arts, etc.. so before you go out and buy a curriculum for each of these subjects, you may want to read the next article first.
Have fun reading to your children. (and learning at the same time.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Clean House for the New Year?

I ran into a friend today and we were discussing organizing so I thought I would share with you what I told her and some other tips for getting organized this year.
I told her that the ONLY way she would ever get anything organized is to get rid of everything possible. She was kind of in shock of what I said but it is true. There is no way to really feel peaceful and serene in your home if you have clutter or nick knacks around the house.
I have been working on this for years, and I have come a long way. I am not there yet, but I am a lot better than I used to be. I am still unorganized though and will work on this with you all this year.
A few years ago, I had 2 friends come to my house a couple times a week and help me.
This is my first idea:
Tip 1. Get a friend or 2 to come over and help you. You really need someone else to help you decide if you really need to keep something or not. Your friends are not attached to your stuff like you are, so they can put things in a new perspective.
I needed them to ask me such things as “Do you really need this?, What will you use it for?, When or how often will you use it?, Where will it go, etc…” It is hard to get rid of your stuff, so having a fresh perspective and someone to remind you of your goals is a very helpful idea.
After my friends helped me, I have kept up with frequent decluttering. Whenever I feel the need, I go through things and see what we can get rid of. I will frequently ask the kids to go through their stuff and see if there is anything they can get rid of.
Each time I do the laundry, I look at everything to see if it still fits a child or if it is really worn out and if it fits one of those, I will toss or donate. Also, if you find that there are pieces of clothing in you or your childs closet that never get worn, get rid of them because they will inevitably end up on the floor or in the laundry or at minimum are taking up valuable closet space.
Tip 2. Go through room by room and see what you have not been using. I realized there are so many things that I do not use and do not need. A lot of it is knick knacks and odds and ends;decorative stuff. I find that I can do with little to no decorative stuff laying around the house. I like pictures or things that hang on the wall but things that sit on a surface are just clutter and make it hard to dust and keep clean. If you have too many on one surface, it just looks messy and does not give you that peaceful feeling.
So, go through each room, each cabinet and get rid of everything possible.
Tip 3. For keeping things up, I will periodically throughout the day, say to the kids, “Ok, lets all pick up twenty things from the living room” and then it is picked up and it was fast and the kids could know exactly waht was to be done and do it fast.
Sometime I will say,”let’s set a timer for 5 minutes and let’s all work in the kitchen reals fast.” When you are hurrying, you can get a lot more done than you would think.
Tip 4. Go through each room and write down what the trouble areas are. For instance, if you go into your bedroom and you have paper all over the place, write that down. You will need to come up with something to organize your papers. This is what I really need to work on myself. If you go into the bathroom and there are items out that shouldn’t be, make sure you have a spot for them and then practice putting it away.
Which brings me to my last point, at least for now, because I need to go.
Part of your becoming organized will have nothing at all to do with the organizing itself. This may be the most important thing to know. You can organize till the sun goes down, but if you do not keep it up, you will just have to keep doing it over and over. If you are constantly organizing but everything is still always falling apart, you will have to train yourself in the habit of putting everything back. Once you get organized, you may have to work really hard at making sure you are putting everything back in it’s place. I am a master organizer. I love organizing, but I can completely organize a room and a few days later it is back to disaray.
I know that more than the organizing itself, this year I will have to practice, practice, practice, until it becomes a habit that I am actually keeping up what I have already organiized.
Ok, well I have to run. I like this idea of all working together on this this year.
Oh, Wait, one more thing. We have been getting ready to move and have had a lot of our stuff packed away in the garage. I have found that we havn’t even missed hardly any of it. So, if you just can’t bear to part with some things, try packing them up in the garage and if after a certain period of time, you find yourself NOT thinking about it or needing it back, then go ahead and give it away, but at least you gave it a chance and know that you will be ok without it.
Ok, bye for now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January Fast

My sister-in-law and I, and some friends of ours have decided to fast certain trouble foods this month.
We all see that we have let our flesh overpower us when it comes to certain foods.
We have decided to turn this over to the Lord and fast this month as to allow God to help us overcome these strongholds.
We all want to become closer and stronger in the Lord and stronger in this particular area, rather than weak.
I am going to fast these foods this month:

Burgers (fast food burgers, made at home is fine)
Candy (mints and gum excluded)
Sonic Happy Hour (A lot of time I go to Sonic and get a half price drink, and I also usually get an order of tator tots with cheese also)

I am going to work on these this month. I am not doing everything all at once because I know it is too hard to attempt. I have tried before and fail, so I going to do it more slowly this time and hope to actually get it under control this time.
This month will be more about overcoming the flesh, rather than just trying to stop eating junk foods.
For those of you who don't know, I also have another reason for getting my weight under control. We really want to have more chilren and I need to lose some weight first because it is too hard to be pregnant and over- weight.
So, please remember me in your prayers. Thank you very much.
You can read what the others are doing on their blogs:
If you would like to join us for this 30 day fast, just let me know by commenting on this and leaving me your blog and I will add you to our list!
Hope to see some more of you joining us!
Love Ya~

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Poem written by my daughter

The Lonely Lighthouse

I am a lighthouse, so big , so tall.
Ships of all sizes, I've helped them all.
But now I am crumbling, about to fall.
Does anyone notice me, with my red striped wall?
"Wait, what's going on?" I say.
Tourists have come to visit today!
Now I am famous, they all adore me.
Just as much as they used to ignore me.
I am a lighthouse, so big, so tall.
Ships of all sizes, I still help them all.

Kayleen, 12

Friday, January 1, 2010

Getting started in Home Schooling Part 3

Now that you have written out your mission statement (if you have not yet, that's ok, just keep working on it), I want you to really take a good look at it and see where you stand.
If you have a lot character training and relationship creating in your statement then you have a big focus on family and relationships and you may be able to teach more relaxed than you thought.
If you have lot of emphasis on eduaction and degrees in your statement, then you may do better with a pre-made formal curriculum.
You may be somewhere in the middle of these two and that is ok. That is probably where most of us are.

Now I want you to list the grades that your children are in and what you want them to learn this year.
After you have your list, label them with a 1, 2, or 3 for 1st priority to third.
If an item on your list has a one by it, then you need to make sure that you do these things this year. I want you to decide how you want to teach this to your children.
For example, if you have a kindergartner and you want them to learn to recognize their letters, you may choose a phonics workbook and flashcards or you may choose to make a game out of this. You may place letters on the floor and play "Hop to the " " letter. You may place letters on the wall and play "Pin the tail on the letter". You may listen to phonics tapes out loud and sing songs. You may let them outline their numbers in maccaroni and glitter; the ideas are endless, but the stress comes from NOT knowing what you want to teach and how you want to teach it.
If you have an older child, the process is still the same. List what you want them to learn this year and a few ideas of how. Especially if you have older kids, they may be able to add their input and take some initiative in their learning.
Be sure that you don't list too many things that you dont leave any room for spontanaity. Part of the fun of home schooling is having the freedom to explore what you are intersted in and having more time to delve into those things interesting to you.
Pick the key things and then let the mood strike you on the rest.
This way you know you will cover the basics and the most important things, but still have the freedom to explore.
After you have all of your items listed, take a look and see if there are any things on your list that you could combine between more than one child. If you have children close in age, you could combine their lessons and take a lot of stress off of yourself.
The more you can teach them all together the better.
History and science lend themselves to this very well.
You may not be able to do this on every subject but any that you can will be helpful.
Ok, so now that you have a good idea of what and how, it is time to look into some of the different methods of home schooling.
If you really prefer the textbook approach, I recommend Bob Jones for a good curriculum that you can get all of your lessons from.
If you are not afraid of mixing and matching curriculums, you can really get a good variety of books.
I highly recommend Apologia elementery series for science, Christian Liberty press for history, A Child's Geography for geoography, Easy Grammar for grammar, Writing Strands for writing, and Bob Jones for math.
I also like The Mystery of History.
Just google all of these to find out more info on them. The reason I like most of these so well is that they take a textbook approach but use a Charlotte Mason approach as well. For example, Apologia, you would read your lesson, and ask the child to narrate back to you what they just read/heard. There would be hands on activities to go along with the lesson and your children would notebook what they learned instead of the typical Q and A approach.
If you are more relaxed or would like to be, you could do a lot of your learning from Living Books.
You can learn almost everything you want to learn through a good living book.
Just think about how you learn. Your children learn the same way.

You may want to try a Unit Study approach. To do this you would pick one topic and all of your subjects would stem from that topic.
For example, trains; if you picked trains, you would read books about trains, how they are made, how they are useful, who invented the train, what different types of trains there are, etc...You would take your spelling words and vocabulary words from your reading. Pick words that have to do with some aspect of trains. You could have your children write a report on some aspect of trains, or if your children are younger, they could draw a pictures and do some copywork about trains.
You can learn the history of trains, when they came about , who invented them, the science of how they are made, etc.. The possibilities are endless.
You would still need to supplement math, however.
There are a lot of different methods out there. I will try to go into more detail on some of these methods in the time to come, but for now, I will give you some information to research yourself.
There is too much for me to possibly cover.
Google Charlotte Mason or look up home schooing with the Charlotte Mason method. A great book for this is A Charlotte mason Companion. Cindy Rushton has a book and audio on this also.
Look up notebooking and lapbooking. Cindy Rushton also has seminars on these topics. She has been very valuable to me and my home school.
Cathy Duffeys top 100 picks home school curriculum book is very valuable for helping you decide which curriculums you may like to try.
Try to read The Heart of Home schooling by Christopher Klicka. This is a great book. There are many good books out there on home schooling and you need to do some research to find ot what suits you best.
If you are anything like me, you will be a mixture of several of these methods.
Take this time to do some research, keeping in mind your mission statement. It will help you in deciding which approach to use.
Cindy Rushton has and audio, and a book I think, on Creating Your Own Philosophy of Education.
For a little while just delve into all of the options ot there and get excited and insipred, and please try not to get overwhelmed. Remember, you do not have to do it all!
Enjoy your research time and I will be back soon!
P.S. If you want to make sure your kids are still learning during this process, just get out some good books and read away and learn to play some education games!!! You will learn more as you go.

Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday !