Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer is FINALLY here!

Life is so crazy sometimes for us. I am going to admit it here and in writing. I am worn out! This past school year has been crazy busy for me as a teacher, mother, wife and business owner. I am ready for summer time!

I've been dreaming of gardens and pools... lakes and campgrounds... sweet tea and lazy summer afternoons.

Technically summer started a couple weeks ago for my crew, but given the demands of a busy lifestyle I don't really feel like we started until yesterday. That was the very first day I slept in. 9:00 AM to be exact. Now, don't hate me. I fully made up for it this morning at 5:30. Anyway....

I've been so excited about a project I am determined to do. One of my favorite things is crafting! I never have time it seems to actually do what I enjoy. I'm making a purposeful effort this summer to do at least 30 days of Creativity. I do adore Pinterest and have a ton of pins I want to try! Here is my link  if you want to follow

So lets get started on reviewing these ideas and see how well they actually worked, shall we?

First up on my list was the Glow in the dark ring toss. is the original source for this idea. Fireworks were banned and the forest was on fire so this mom got creative!

Knowing that we had a week long camping trip coming up to Roaring Rivers State Park, I decided to run to the Dollar Tree and stock up on a few tubes of these bracelets just in case we had time. I got 15 bracelets in each package.

I'm so glad we did. The occasion of Amy's 22nd birthday was an excellent excuse to get some family competition on! We teamed up into pairs (3 teams total) and drove a couple of long tent stakes into the ground. We wrapped the stakes with a glow in the dark bracelet so we could see them.

The darker it got... the more your eyes played tricks on you and the harder the game became! Seriously, we had planned to call the winner at 22 (in honor of Amy's age) points. However, the birthday girl and I took the game, 2 hours later with a leading score of 5. Yes, thats right! F-I-V-E and both hubs and I have played Frisbee golf for about 20 years. VERY challenging. I would suggest that you use a necklace or actually connect 3 bracelets instead of 2 together if you want this game to move along quicker than ours did. Another thing to note, here in the Midwest the days are getting longer. You might have to start this game earlier than planned if you are at a campground that has a quiet time. It was 11:30 PM before we realized just exactly HOW LOUD our laughing had become.

Here are some fun images from our camping trip.

The darker it got outside the more these glowed. If you plan on taking night time pictures of your family fun, be sure to turn off the flash first.

Birthday girl showing off!

I rate this game at an 8 for family friendly and lots of laughs.

 One of the FEW mornings that the girls actually got up at 5 to go fishing... Amy and Abby are pictured here with their ultra light poles.
 And Miss Hali... before she became frustrated with fishing and decided swimming was a better option.

 Aaron having fun with his first catch

 The birthday girl caught a lunker! Way to go Amy!

 Hali showing off her beautiful rainbow trout

For a young lady who has never been trout fishing, Amy sure had a great time

In this picture Abby was just saying "I'm not helping clean these"

  Some more hamming it up from the princess

 Pretending he caught all of those fish!

 Here we are measuring out Kyle's Lunker. It qualifies!

 Sometimes Boys just have to be boys no matter how old they are

 This was one of my 3 Lunkers that I was actually able to reel in without breaking my line. She made a fine filet!
 On the last morning before having to head back super early, Kyle and I caught a fine mess to add to those from the day before. The trout limit in possession is 8 trout per person and you must have the tags with you. We ate our fish the first two days for dinner then brought the rest home to smoke.

One of our most favorite places to camp as a family and as a couple is Roaring River State Park. Its nestled in the Ozark Mountains, in the Mark Twain National Forest. Fish are released daily from the hatchery depending on the amount of tags sold the night before. It's a very family friendly and fun campground for the kids.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One Year Follow Up

Some of you know our story, some of you do not.

This last year has been an incredible faith walking journey. You see, a year ago my beloved son Nick was admitted to the hospital after 10 days of flu like symptoms.

Only it wasn't the flu. In fact for several days they had absolutely no idea what it was. Every 2-4 hours we got a new diagnosis. Leukemia, single cell cancer, testicular cancer, spinal meningitis. For a week they kept him in isolation and treated him for TB. They slit his throat and went behind his windpipe down to right above his heart and did a biopsy of a lymph-node. Still no answers.

All the while his condition deteriorated. He got 244 different medications. They were trying everything.Time was of the essence.

Prayer to the Lord was the only thing that was working. And we did a ton of praying.

As you can see from this photo, Nick was a healthy young man. He was QB for his high school football team, ran track and worked for our tree service. All very physical things. He worked out at the gym and ate healthy.

This just didn't make sense!

Since today is just an update, I won't go into those deep dark emotional days. The days when the doctors told us he wouldn't live. The days they said he wouldn't walk for at least 6 months.

We had days where Nick had to learn to stand again, to walk, to talk, to bathe, to text, to sign his name...

And our enemy? They finally decided on a diagnosis of Acute Histoplasmosis with advanced Cranial lesions.

It was an airborne exposure (from where we don't know) that first attacked his Lymph-nodes and then spread into his spine. From there it traveled up and into the brain. It caused lesions on the brain that swelled and began shutting down his faculties.

33 days in ICU....

Here are a few milestones along the way...

Here are the boys all suited up and ready to go in to see their best friend and brother. These boys didn't leave Nicks side. In fact, his best friend James came into the hospital with him and said he was walking out of the hospital with him... and that is what he did.

Pre biopsy

Nick went from 225 pounds down to 186.3... and this weight was taken 2 weeks into his sickness. He got down into the 170's... Over 40 pounds on such a tall and slim person. NONE of his pants would stay up!

In his room. His bed was huge because they don't make them long enough for people his height. Three football players can fit in this bed! Here he is reading with his friend words of encouragement left on his facebook wall.
The cookie monster hat and shirt haven't been worn since he was in the hospital. He can't bring himself to do much more than look at it!

Finally in March we said Good-Bye to that hospital and came home.


So how have things been this last year? It's been a long and stressful road. We often have to remind ourselves that NOTHING is too big for the Lord.

One month post hospital. Got to get a little mud on the tires...

And then drove to St. Louis when his best girlfriend got married...

And then we got to graduate his baby brother (whos only a year younger)

And see our best friend off to college...
 Helped coach his old football team....

Went to a few of his sisters soccer games...
Swam and got my strength (and color) back...

Did a little fishing...

Returned to his part time job...

Watched a little baseball... and more football...

Went back to work for the family business...
Helped cook a few family dinners...

Was supported a great deal by friends...

And lives for every moment.....

And this became his favorite song
Blink by Revive
 Teach me to number my days 
And count every moment 
 Before it slips away 
 Take in all the colors Before they fade to grey
I don't want to miss Even just a second More of this
It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash It happens in the time it took to look back 
I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time What is it I've done with my life?
It happens in a blink  
It happens in a blink
When it's all said and done
  No one remembers How far we have run 
The only thing that matters Is how we have loved
I don't want to miss Even just a second More of this
It happens in a blink,
 it happens in a flash
  It happens in the time it took to look back 
 I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time  
What is it I've done with my life?
It happens in a blink 
It happens in a blink
  It happens in a blink
  It happens in a blink
Slow down Slow down Before today becomes Our yesterday
Slow down Slow down Before today becomes Our yesterday
It happens in a blink,
 it happens in a flash 
It happens in the time it took to look back 
 I try to hold on tight,
 but there's no stopping time 
 What is it I've done with my life?

Join me in taking a moment and just listen to this song and how powerfully it can move a heart.

Today Nick weighed 209.4 Lbs

His blood pressure was perfect. His lungs were clear. Lymph-nodes were not noticeably swollen. His doctor said that it appears that Nick has had a complete healing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We will be returning this month for a follow up MRI of his brain. His blood work was finished today along with a chest image.

His doctor said that he would be shocked if any of the tests came back positive.

Now, when the wind and the waves come... Keep your eyes on Jesus!

When the Giant is looming over you... remember it takes just one smooth rock

 I would like to say a special thank you to all of my friends and family for praying and standing with us. I can't imagine what this would have been like with out you.

And for everyone who might be interested... I have begun writing out Nicks full testimony. I hope to have it done within the  next couple of months. It goes into detail on how this kind of storm just takes you by surprise... and just exactly what you can endure with the help of the Lord!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Biology and Twister?

Q. What do you get when you cross Biology class and Mrs. Seaholm as a substitute?

A. Biology Twister! Yes, you read that right! Mrs. Young had to go out of town this week for business. This necessitated the need for a sub. She didn't have much problem getting her lower level classes covered but, for some reason NO ONE wants to teach Biology for High Schoolers! I wonder why that is?

At any rate, Mrs. Young left me with 2 pages of terms and definitions with the simple instructions of "have them study for their test on next Tuesday"...

So I sat and I thought.... and quickly came to the understanding that I needed to act fast! HOW will we all endure a whole week of just flash card reviews? I mean, I understand the upmost importance of making sure these kids get this terminology down, understand the concepts and review the material... What can be done? HOW do I encourage each of these students to learn and study hard to make a good grade.

The first part of the week we play a fun little boys against girls game... great competition and a lesson about waiting until the question is fully given before answering...

The girls brought home a solid win by 1 whole question! Well, that was fun.. now what?


Just beginning the fun! Everyone on the mat. We had a secret word we could use at any time of we felt uncomfortable or needed to remove ourselves from the game... Just cry "uncle"

I'll have to say... Justin has got to be one of the most competitive boys I've ever met!

In the end, while they all did a fantastic job... they were wiped out and needed a little rest! The good news? There were only 2 definitions they still struggled with...
bionomial nomenclature and one even I can't remember!

Good luck Biology students on your upcoming test... and THANK YOU Mrs. Young for the privilege of teaching your class!

20th Century History

Those who follow me and regularly read my blog understand my love for history. While for some it makes absolutely no sense... to me it's fascinating!

What does history really mean? 


Really, it all comes down to one thought. God has known since the beginning of time...

On our first day of class I asked the kids to always keep in the back of their mind, and ask themselves this question: "Can I see His footprint?"

You see...
History ALWAYS repeats itself!
The question is... will we learn from it?

With all that said, let me take some time to introduce my amazing history class and some of our doings...

 Day one... Yes, we do have chairs... however... sometimes the floor just needs used!

This year I am teaching 20th Century History, Assisting in Chemistry, Subbing for Biology, harassing the kids during study hall and teaching a wonderful class called Fascinating Woman.
Obviously, if you read this headline you already know I want to share my amazing history class today!

Q: What are we doing in history this year?

A: Visual timeline of the 20th century.

Q:How will this work?
A: We will visit every decade from 1900-1999. I have sectioned out approximately 3 weeks of class for each decade. Because I want learning to be FUN and because I would like them to actually remember something from history class later in life, I try to mix things up. My main focus is on 10 interesting facts in each decade. Each event has a visual object that they can touch, move, arrange and mentally order.

One of the activities I am doing is printing off pictures from each decade. I made 2 sets of each picture with a caption of what it was. I then give each group a stack and ask them to put them in order according to decade. By looking at the pictures and the clues that each give they have come remarkably close. They will know all of these events by heart at the end of the school  year.

I have alternated the pictures from week to week so they learn something new each time.

Sometimes there are great debates about what came when... and then there are funny little remarks like "Elvis really died on the toilet?"

Here is a glimpse at our cell phone center... Still not complete but this gives you a good idea what I'm getting at here in my class. ALL cell phones go on the shelf! This shelf sits just inside my door so.... 

 This pic was taken on Back to School night... See that young man over there? Yep, that's my boy Nick!
We are still thanking God every day for his healing! Those shoes? That would be Miss. Hali... aka... Two socks! The other day at Target I saw another young girl with the same pair, only opposite feet. Secretly I don't mind this fad. I no longer feel guilty about pairing up socks!

Lastly, this is an example of one of the visuals I brought to class. In 1900 Kodak manufactured the Brownie Camera. It changed the world of photography. On Kodak's 50th anniversary they released an updated version of the Brownie and give it to kids 12 and under during the celebration. Having this Brownie camera, touching it, looking through the lenses.... and placing it in order of it's time in history has been priceless!