Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When it rains, it pours!

The daughter I was worrying about seems to be getting better, but something else has come up — my sister. Last fall she was diagnosed with leukemia. I had some preliminary blood work done back then to see if I could donate stem cells to her when the time came, but I’m only a “half match” which means that only two of the four traits, or markers, that they look for match. Thirty-five potential donors have been found, but this week the results of her latest bone marrow test came back bad and the oncologist wants to do something now, so they’re going to see if I can donate to her after all, rather than wait for the several-week process of clearing the other potential donors. There’s another batch of blood work that I have to do — that kit will arrive tomorrow and then I’ll have to overnight it back to the lab. Yesterday when my mom called with this news, the doctor wanted us all down at the hospital in Houston on Thursday! But there are insurance problems (naturally) that are slowing things down. So I don’t know — I may be flying out to Houston in the next few days.

On top of all that, we’re trying to move to Missouri! Late last summer we bought 39 acres with a little house that needs to be renovated. We were finally able to start work on it just before Christmas, and Mike was planning on taking our oldest son and a load of stuff out there next week, leaving them both. #1Son was going to do as much work as he can on the house to get it ready so that the younger kids and I can move out there, along with all the animals (you must not forget the animals, Best Beloved), as soon as may be. That’s all on hold now though, pending news from the oncologist.

So, if I seem a little distracted, that’s why. I’ve been packing since last week so the house is a wreck, and we need to meet with our real estate agent because we’re not going to put this house on the market till after the younger children and I are moved out along with all the animals (you didn’t forget the animals, did you?), and life is generally nutty right now. :-p

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I’ve been looking over the Simply Charlotte Mason website that Margaret mentioned in the comments earlier, and have found some good stuff I wanted to point out.

First is the Scripture Memory System, which I use, thanks to Margaret, though I’d forgotten where the info came from.

They also have a downloadable book called Masterly Inactivity that I skimmed over. It looks pretty good and addresses something I think is important — the art of letting your children alone. I believe H. Clay Trumbull also talks about this in his excellent, highly recommended (read: I wish I’d paid better attention to it when my oldest kids were young) book Hints on Child Training. Letting your children alone is something (please excuse me if I step on any toes) that nearly every young mom I’ve ever known was no good at. Young dads, too. And many older parents who ought to know better.

Last, they have a planner called A Year of Smooth and Easy Days that I’m ordering for myself. I’ll let y’all know how I like it when I’ve had it for a few months. It’s rather pricey — $20.95, including standard shipping (2-3 weeks), but it covers an area that has always been my biggest weakness: training your children in good habits. So I’m hoping it’ll give me some practical help in finding a place to start, and encouragement to continue. **NOTE, added 7 February 2011** The original link no long works, and the book is now available as a free download, no longer a planner with calendar pages, but a booklet with brief encouraging chapters on developing habits, lots of interesting quotes from Charlotte Mason’s books, plus her list of habits.

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