Monday, May 19, 2014

This n' That....End Of School, Planting Garden, and Malia's Surgery

We are done school for the year!  Hallelujah!  We finished last week and I couldn't be more relieved and excited!  It was the most intense, insane, frustrating, difficult, and stressful 9 months of my life!  However, I do think it was worth it!  My kids are happy...for the most part.  They are confident.  They learned as much if not more than they would have in school. 
I asked all 3 kids a few questions. Here are their answers.
What was the best part of being home schooled?
Alex:  Shorter days and finishing school in the middle of May.
Morgun:  Shorter days and not being rushed.
Malia:  Having no homework.
What was the worst part of being home schooled?
Alex:  Not having many friends.
Morgun: Not having as many friends.
Malia:....didn't have an answer.
Do you want to be home schooled next year?
Alex:  Yes!
Morgun:  Yes!!
Malia:  Yes!
I am a bit surprised that they all want to do this again...even with less friends.  We're not 100% sure that we will home school next year, but do know that some serious changes have to happen at our local school in order for us to feel comfortable having our kids in that environment again.  We have expressed our desires to the appropriate people, but these changes will likely not happen.  It will take a miracle!
We finally finished the patio (aka School Room) sometime in March.  I love how it turned out and I love that it will be very easy to convert from patio during the summer to school room during the winter. 
I had a bunch of old chairs that the kids and I repainted.   I bought the folding table and love it!  It is very versatile with 3 drawers on each side and it folds so that it's only about16 inches wide.  It was perfect for the kids to store their pencils, etc and it will be great to pull out and use as an extra table during the summer.
 I also had an old bookshelf that I repainted.  I love this piece!  It actually makes me smile!  I added a few white tins and a cutlery rack for all the markers, etc.  Once all the school stuff is put in storage these containers will be used for cutlery, napkins, etc. and the shelf will be used for storing paper plates, cups, and for serving food.
These chairs sit right across from the bookshelf and create a cozy spot for reading.  I love that they can be used for both the school setting and during the summer too.  Best of all...we LOVE the view of the river from this room!  Sometimes the kids get distracted, but that's OK!
 So far we've spent our summer vacation relaxing...well, some of us anyhow...being served like a king!  lol!
We planted the garden.
I spent about $120 in seeds, but will have enough corn and beans for next year.  So that works out to about $100.  I still need to buy my tomato plants so that will add another $20 or so.  I added some "for fun" plants like ornamental corn, ornamental pumpkins, sweet peas and will be planting some marigolds to discourage the potato bugs from claiming this patch as their home.  


I'm trying a few new things this year.  I purchased some reusable ground cover that is suppose to add approximately 2 weeks of growing season at the beginning and end of the season.  I figured that living in Sk. with all our cool weather, my garden could use all the help it can get!  I weighed it down with rocks and as the plants grow the cover will likely only cover one row instead of the 2 it now covers.  I only bought 2 rolls of the ground cover so it only covers portions of each kind of vegetable.  Hopefully it works!  I also had Martin put pegs in so that once the peas are growing we can string some baler twine between the posts so the vines grow upward instead of spreading all over the ground.  As you can see, I plant my rows very close together...less weeding and less space needed.  Martin also built a little can see it in the far corner, almost at the center of the picture...for growing potatoes.  I've read that it's possible to grow 100 lbs of potatoes in a 4 ft square plot.  I don't actually think it will work.  I researched it a bit and most people had very little success.  However, I thought it would be fun to try.  At the rate I'm increasing the amount I need to plant, my garden will have to get bigger.  I love having my garden where the kids play and do not want to till  up more grass area, nor do I want to move my location.  So, my goal is to learn to garden in a more compact space.

This picture was taken from the edge of my garden.  I have a spectacular view, however, the down side is the cool breeze that comes off the river.  My garden tends to be a bit behind the average garden and I'm hoping that using the ground cover will change that.

The kids have been spending a LOT of time outside on the swings, riding their bikes, "hunting", coloring on the cement and, best of all...

...having a wiener roast!

With all the wonderful smoke!  :)

We've been enjoying the back deck too!

And even though we are not officially "doing" school, the kids are still learning!  In this case...learning to measure your little brother!  lol!

 We had planned to finish school at the end of May and then take a week or two of vacation prior to Martin's really busy season.  We had our sights set on Banff or Jasper.  However, we got news that Malia's surgery date has finally been scheduled for May 26th.  We pulled up our socks and did 2-3 days worth of  school work each day to finish 2 weeks earlier than planned.  Now the only thing left for me to do is suck in my lower lip and get over the fact that there will be no summer vacation for us this year...again.  :(

This is a "big" surgery for Malia.  She's had 3 procedures since coming home and this one is the biggest.  I will try to explain the procedure as best as I can...keep in mind I am not a doctor and am using terms that I understand.  :) 

This is the surgery where they take a small piece of  bone from her hip to create a gum line, attach her rotated teeth to the gum line, causing a hole to form in the back of her palate.   A sliver of tongue will be used to cover this hole and will remain attached to her tongue for about 2 weeks until it has grafted properly.  After about 2 weeks the sliver of tongue will be severed completely.  This surgery requires a 2-3 day hospital stay and will require a soft food/liquid diet for several weeks or longer. 

We waited to tell Malia until the last possible moment because she is very worried and nervous about this surgery.  I will be helping to sedate her so she will not notice that I am leaving her.  This alleviates some of her concern.  She HATES the smell of the sedative!  She does not want anyone to know that she is having this surgery...not even her cousins.  She is concerned that her mouth will look differently on the outside.  She is happy to have her front teeth looking nicer, but at the moment stress is clouding that thought.  I haven't told her that she will not be swimming for 2 months following surgery...not sure her little heart could take it...and mine isn't ready to see her sadness at that news.

If you would keep Malia, the surgeon, and us in your prayers this next week and especially on the 26th, we would be very grateful!



Kathy said...

so glad you finished school before the surgery, hope you guys can at least do some fun things before the surgery.
we will definitely be praying for her and you guys as the day approaches and after, does not sound like an enjoyable time for any of you. good luck with the liquid diet, she is going to need a big burger or her favorite meal after that ordeal and she feels like eating again.
I'm so glad to hear your kids liked homeschooling and want to do it again, you did more than just teach your kids in that case.
super jealous about your garden, I hope that the cover works for you and the potato plot.

Alison Wollf said...

Wow! Our problems sound so minor when I hear all that Malia has to go through! Oh how I wish we could come out and see you guys that week! Sending our love!!! ❤️

Marie said...

We appreciate your prayers!