We're studying biology this year in our rotation. We spent much of the fall learning the kingdoms and studying a little more specifically about bacteria, plants, and animals in specific. We spent much of our time doing experiments from The Science of Life and reading library books about whatever we happened to be studying.
We've moved into the very specific genus of homo sapiens. Our first step in human anatomy was to study the skeletal system. I decided the best way for the kids to be involved and really understand it was to build a basic skeleton.
I traced our Ellie on one of the boxes and cut her it out. Then I cut bones from the foam that was used to pack the pieces. It was a bit simplified, using one piece in place of a few in the cranium and leaving out over lapping bones in preference for one layer of the bones as seen from the front. Our rib cage is open so we can continue to add organs as we learn more. The finger, toe, hand, and foot bones, being so small, I cut from paper. I labeled the bones, and then the kids put them in their proper places. We used school glue to hold them in place.
Meet our sk-ELLIE-ton (named by Gabby).
Please note, I do not receive any benefit from any link, it is purely informational!
Ever have one of those weeks? Oh my, have we had one!
On Friday, Justin started a project to pull some warped trim off of the front pillars to replace it, and discovered that rather than replace just the trim, the bottom quarter of the pillars had water damage, so it has become a much larger project.
Gabby was diagnosed with pneumonia on Saturday, and Ellie was a bit out of sorts.
Our Christmas was wished away as we waited for our medical practice to open on Monday, as Ellie grew sicker. On Monday we called as soon as the office opened, just to find that they weren't open--they took the day for the holiday. So Monday I took Elliana to Urgent Care and then we were sent on to the E.R. Justin and the other children stopped by to bring us a few things and to fill my tank with gas, as I have never ran the car below a quarter tank, and I wasn't sure how long it would hold out with all the back and forth I'd done, not wanting to stop with the sick girl.
We were so grateful that all she needed was the same antibiotic that Gabby is taking, at her own dose, of course. It was a long three hour wait to be seen with a little gal who oscillated between talking about people (directly in front of us) who wear shoes without socks and being weepy and tired.
Tuesday morning, we had an inspector come by to look at some damage that had developed in our wood flooring in the dining room. It is engineered hardwood, and had some spots that looked like they had gotten wet. We weren't too concerned until we saw that it was in several spots instead of just one or two. We found out we have termites...
We've spent much of the rest of the week attending follow up appointments, squeezing in repairs to the posts, and dosing girls with antibiotics, probiotics, and fever reducers, as needed. And neither Justin or I have slept through the night in over a week. We
are up every night checking for fevers, sometimes staying up as we work
to get them back down with medicine and cool cloths. We are tired.
Then, tonight I went to load our dishwasher. I saw some discoloration, and tried to clean it up. I found that the tub had a small crack in it. The dishwasher isn't that old. We purchased it when we moved in, as the one in the house was not working.
I had to laugh. It's almost Shakespearean, this comedy of errors. And it is a lot of mess for a week. But soon enough the medical bills will be paid, the posts mended, the termites gone, the floor replaced, and the dishwasher repaired. We'll look back and joke about what an interesting Christmas we had in 2016.
I can see through it all--the girls are both going to be fine. I have thanked God so often this week for the medicines that have brought down high fevers and are getting rid of the pneumonia. There was a day we would have likely lost Ellie and maybe Gabby too, instead I get to hear giggles and pattering feet. The termites preferred the floor to the structural supports of the house, so those are intact and I could see the damage to know there was a problem. Though a great deal more work, Justin can repair the posts himself, and somehow has all but the trim work done around the mess of the week we've had. The dishwasher, well, I've hand washed dishes before, and I'll do it again. I just pulled the drying rack out from the top of the pantry, and went on with it.
We have been protected from the worst of it. I am so grateful.
Our youngest children have a worship service led separately for them. They learn little catechism songs, and do more repeated songs than the main worship service, so they learn the words well. The young woman who leads the worship music most of the time, uses some simple call and responses to help get the kids to focus. The first week Ellie moved up from the nursery to this program, I asked what she learned and she proudly announced, "One, two, three, eyes on me!" Now she has decided the teacher's name is, "One, two, eyes on you!"
We had a nice visit with my parents and sister before Christmas. While we were away, Gabby began to run a low grade fever off and on. She was tired, but made it through. We got home on Friday and tucked her and Ellie in to bed, both a little on the sick side. We were awoken early on Christmas Eve morning, to hear Gabby cry on her way to the bathroom. I assumed an upset tummy, but she said she had pain in her chest. After a few quick questions, we decided it was about her lung and not her heart. She was breathing okay, so Justin sat with her while I started the process to find an urgent care that accepted our insurance, and was open. No one was at that hour. We kept a watchful eye, and I left with her to arrive just before the clinic opened.
We were seen quickly--such a blessing! No flu, but the PA we saw suspected pneumonia and ordered an x-ray. We were told it was hazy, so we got her prescription for an antibiotic and we went on our way. Grateful.
Poor Ellie has spent the past day getting more sick though. Justin set an alarm to get up and check children in the night, as he had the night before, but before it went off I heard Ellie thrashing. I found her with a slight fever, but very agitated. In the time I checked on Gabby and got her some medicine to reduce her fever, her temperature had shot up three and a half more degrees. We fought to bring the fever down with cold compresses, then we finally tried a different fever reducer, as nothing else we did was bringing her temperature down.
The other children, not knowing how ill she had been in the night, woke her with excitement for Christmas morning. She perked up a bit for presents, but slept through breakfast and stockings. She has had two more rounds of the higher than we like fevers, so that's been Christmas here.
We are so grateful their illnesses have not needed hospital stays, but it has been a bit of a melancholy Christmas here. We had plans to have our turkey on Saturday, go to a candle light service, worship with our church on Christmas, and visit with some friends. Things had to be shifted, including a grocery trip on Christmas Eve, since our turkey wasn't baked and we would be home all day on Christmas, where I oscillated between such gratitude that Gabby was well enough to skip the ER and being upset for the change in plans, which culminated when I gashed my finger on the cart as I was moving my things to the conveyor belt. I don't even know how I did it, but it stings and doesn't want to close up, an aggravation and pain on top of the other things. The meringue on my pies went flat. It hurts to wash the dishes. I haven't slept through the night in days. But in the scheme of things, we are beyond blessed. We are safe; we are together; we have medicine and clean water; we have food to eat. We were even able to give our children presents, as we celebrate the birth of the Jesus who came to save us from this fallen world, where kids get sick.