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LynnG in Arizona

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Everything posted by LynnG in Arizona

  1. The Oz books were some of my favorite books when I was little! I've read them to all four of my kids at various ages, and can't think of any scary parts. (Not scarier than Wizard of Oz, anyway.) Some are (imo) just better or more interesting than others, however. My favorite sequels are Ozma of Oz, Rinkitink in Oz, and The Emerald City of Oz.
  2. I too would gently suggest that you see a pulmonologist. Quite possibly a cardiologist as well. This has been an issue for many, many years now, and it sounds like a very minimal work up at best has been done. I think you owe it to yourself to get some more answers, and it is likely that you will need to see a specialist to do that. It is possible that the military doctors were completely wrong, but it is also possible that this most recent doctor was wrong.
  3. Creekland, I do hope you get some answers soon. You've gotten some great suggestions here, but of course the next step is to see a doctor. I don't know if you had time to look into pulmonary hypertension, but here is the quick summary directly from the Mayo Clinic website. I'll post it here for you and as a general PSA, since the disease is not widely known: SymptomsThe signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension in its early stages might not be noticeable for months or even years. As the disease progresses, symptoms become worse. Pulmonary hypertension symptoms include: Shortness of breath (dyspnea), initially while exercising and eventually while at rest Fatigue Dizziness or fainting spells (syncope) Chest pressure or pain Swelling (edema) in your ankles, legs and eventually in your abdomen (ascites) Bluish color to your lips and skin (cyanosis) Racing pulse or heart palpitations Again, I wouldn't presume to diagnose you . . . but pulmonary hypertension could explain the years of (otherwise unexplainable) shortness of breath when you are otherwise healthy. Of course, there are *many* possible causes of that. I truly wish you the best in getting answers, and hope you'll report back here to let us know. Hugs!
  4. I was coming on to recommend the exact same food! My two dogs love it, and I feel pretty darn good about feeding it. The company is well regarded and uses quality ingredients.
  5. One more possibility to rule out would be pulmonary hypertension. I have an extended family member who specializes in that disease; I'm no expert myself, but I do know that it 1) COULD explain what you are describing and 2) is notoriously hard to diagnose. I too would gently encourage you to see a doctor and see if you can't get some answers. Good luck!
  6. It sounds like you are going in with many factors in your favor. Three close friends and a great tutor are HUGE! Hope you all have a great year. :)
  7. Really enjoying this discussion, as we are wrapping up 5th grade with my daughter and starting to contemplate our plans for 7th grade and beyond. We've just finished our second year with CC (foundations and essentials), and it has been an imperfect fit for us. There are so MANY lovely aspects of the program, and others that drive me completely batty! :) Having homeschooled for 15+ years and graduated 2 students, I am plenty confident in my ability to homeschool. I don't "need" CC or any other co-op group, except for the fellowship aspect, which cannot (or should not) be overlooked completely. And we haven't had any luck at all in finding a regular, sustained fellowship group in any other way. I know, because we tried it on our own when we moved to the area. As I research the details of Challenge, I am struck again by the impression that there are parts of the program that are a great fit for us, and others that are distinctly not. In a perfect world, I would start my own co-op, but this isn't my season of life to do something like that (extended family responsibilities). So it all boils down to this: should we enroll in Challenge because it is pretty much the only game in town, and does have many lovely components? Or is it such an imperfect fit that I am setting us up for failure? No easy answers!
  8. I understand a lot of your situation, as a former military wife whose husband recently retired after 20 years. We spent the last of those 11 years stationed in Hawai'i, and when we moved there we had to transfer my eldest daughter into orthodontics. Luckily, our dentist on the mainland had a recommendation for us. Long story short, we interviewed that orthodontist (as well as one other) and went with him - Steven Tottori in Kapolei, on the west side of Oahu. He did a beautiful job with both my eldest and our second daughter . . . complete round of braces for each. I have sent other patients to him as well, who were happy with him. Just in case this helps. I have no affiliation with Dr. Tottori, but am just trying to share a recommendation if it helps. I'm a big fan of trying to keep the family together. I was never the world's biggest fan of Hawai'i, and was ready to leave after 11 years, but it was a wonderful adventure to live there. All four of my kids have extremely fond memories of their time there. Best wishes to you, and let me know if I can help with any questions.
  9. Our first collie was around 75 pounds. Luckily, we got her as a youth (9 months old), and the breeder had warned me that collies had an iron bladder. When we did a massive road trip with her several months later, we became incredibly stressed when we realized she was going to the bathroom VERY infrequently. We would give her opportunities every 2 hours or so, but she ended up going only once every 24 hours. Never an accident . . . she just simply wouldn't go except once every day. One year we moved to the Minneapolis area and spent a single winter there with her. When it got to be miserably cold, she would simply refuse to go outside except once daily. I could open the door for her 10 times throughout the day, but she would just give us a dirty look and refuse to cross the threshold. Once every morning, she would zoom outside, do all her business, and be back inside within about 2 minutes flat. :lol:
  10. (edited) My original post was deliberately obscure in order to keep things non-specific and non-identifiable . . . but it ended up being incomprehensible as a result! Oh well, hopefully typing it all out released some frustration. :)
  11. For the record, I agree with this statement too. I was fortunate to get a truly excellent public school education, but I realize that public school opportunities are extremely variable, both then and now. And likewise, I've never thought that homeschooling was an inevitable guarantee of a superlative education.
  12. My feelings would have been hurt too, and I agree that your neighbor's post was unnecessarily inflammatory and offensive. I'm glad that you'll be able to maintain your friendship with his wife, and I would encourage you to extend as much grace as possible to the neighbor. Sometimes, these things take many years to reverse. Sometimes they'll never reverse at all, and that's ok. Just keep giving your children the best education you can, and remember that this is a marathon - not a sprint. The results of your homeschooling will take a long, long time to become apparent, but they will eventually bear fruit. I too am fortunate enough to have some serious perspective at this point. But when I was a brand new homeschooler, full of unspoken doubts and insecurities, I was cornered by someone in my husband's profession, someone who was literally at the top of his field and extremely well educated and respected. He flat out told me that I was crazy to be homeschooling my children and would very likely ruin them. Outwardly I remained calm, but inwardly I was devastated. Against all odds, we remained in touch through the years and would get together in person every year or so. He and my husband maintained a very warm professional relationship. And slowly, my young elementary age children grew and absolutely prospered as we homeschooled. Our friend has watched their progress with interest that morphed into enthusiasm; both are confident, articulate young ladies who attended university on merit scholarships and are now young professionals. This same person who warned me that I was ruining my kids by homeschooling them has done a complete 180, and now speaks admiringly about the benefits of home education! (And I respect him very much for being a big enough person to change his mind so completely and graciously.) This may or may not ever happen with your neighbor . . . but it doesn't really matter. Just keep doing your best, and one day the results will speak for themselves!
  13. I agree with the others. I like IEW very much, but would suggest waiting until 3rd (at the earliest), and probably 4th to begin. Writing With Ease 1 would be the perfect program to use. Very gentle but effective, and will build many important pre-writing skills. And I'm also a huge fan of AAR; it's a fantastic program. We're wrapping up AAR 4 with my rising 3rd and 4th graders this year, and have used it all the way through. Just an excellent curriculum! Feel free to modify it according to what works for you and your son. We haven't used the letter tiles past maybe Level 1. We read every word on the fluency sheets, but don't use the word cards at all. Your mileage may vary. Find what fits you, and keep the bones of the program. Good luck!
  14. I agree with every word . . . we got our first purebred collie in 1999 and are now on our second one. Collies are magnificent dogs. Our first one was almost literally perfect. Our current one is great but happens to be barky/easily excitable. They are almost always gentle, smart dogs that are excellent with kids, but of course there is some personality variation amongst them as individuals. Good luck! ps - Our first collie breeder, who was extremely experienced with the breed, had both rough and smooth collies. She explained to us that they were identical except for their hair length. HTH.
  15. Great invention, agreed. But a gentle reminder: make very sure you finish any prescribed antibiotics, despite feeling normal again. I worked with a young woman once who was prescribed antibiotics and pyridium for a UTI. She felt fantastically normal again after a day or so, and thought she was being conservative in discontinuing her antibiotics. The infection roared back, but she didn't feel the effects . . . until she got horribly ill from a raging septic infection. She had to be hospitalized and everything. As you can imagine, that made quite an impression on me!
  16. In addition to stories already mentioned, we have enjoyed the following: The One and Only Incredible Ivan The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Paddington Bear, read by Stephen Fry, as well as the sequel Pollyanna
  17. I started it with my 2nd and 3rd graders around October of last year. I think I might purposely stretch it out so that it takes about a year and a half in all to finish. The phonics are pretty advanced, and AAR4 contains a lot of other things such as literary terms and devices. I find it to be a very rich and wonderful program. It won't be baby-ish at all to be wrapping this up by the end of 3rd/4th grade, in my opinion. Just to clarify, we're also doing a bit of other reading aloud as well in-between the AAR lessons. Mostly high quality readers such as what are found in the Sonlight and Heart of Dakota catalogs.
  18. The Easy Grammar Level 2 is a bit different from the other levels, because it takes an all-in-one approach where the instruction is right there with the student worksheets. We are using this with my 2nd and 3rd graders this year. I think it is gentle but covers a good bit of ground: capitalization, punctuation, some beginning grammar concepts, and sentence combining. It's a great way to "get 'er done" for the 2nd/3rd grade crowd, in my opinion, and something easy to combine for these ages. I'm sure you are like I am: anything you can reasonably combine is a beautiful thing! :)
  19. I saw this set on Amazon and was considering it for next year. I'm not sure what level you're looking at. Anybody have feedback on it? http://smile.amazon.com/Kids-Animated-History-Pipo-n/dp/B008H6GHT2/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&qid=1424611025&sr=8-19&keywords=ancient+history+dvd+set I also have this one: http://smile.amazon.com/Ancient-Civilizations/dp/B0001MMGSG/ref=pd_sim_mov_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=1RDZYGAH7ZAP96JJWG1W We recently got this out to prepare for a special exhibit on Pompeii. It's a lovely mix of footage of actual ruins and computer recreations to show what the ancient civilization probably looked like. Very nice overview and interesting for all ages, in my opinion, though I haven't seen the non-Rome DVDs in a very long time.
  20. Did I miss anyone suggesting Paddington, read by Stephen Fry? Absolutely delightful, even for adults. And there is a sequel that is just as wonderful. :)
  21. Last year we moved to a house in Phoenix located near a desert mountain preserve. We have seen several varieties of wildlife as a result. Twice, we've found a 5 foot long snakeskin in our back yard; we're almost sure it's a king snake. (Scary looking but basically harmless to humans. And they eat rattlesnakes!) We now hear coyotes howling at night and at odd times throughout the day. On three different occasions, a coyote has walked down our street, bold as anything. And we've had a great horned owl move into one of our palm trees. He spends the days dozing up there, and giving us annoyed looks when we observe him from below. We thought this was super cool until we realized just how much mess an owl can make on our front sidewalk! He sometimes drops an owl pellet complete with fur and bones that are easily visible. We're definitely experiencing the circle of life around here!
  22. I would suggest going on Amazon searching for Naxos Junior books. We've found several this year by them that would fit your description. One on pirates (probably would appeal to your son - it did to mine! - but there are some genuinely gruesome parts about the icky ways pirates tortured or killed one another); another on tales of the west; one on Tales of the Arabian Nights that we are listening to right now. There are also quite a few on mythology, which I am saving for next year when we start the Ancients. HTH! :)
  23. I just love our great horned owl. I never, ever dreamed we would have one in our yard! He periodically takes up his daytime roost in one of our very tall palm trees. He is tucked away up there and quite hidden. The only reason we initially spotted him is that he left a very large bird dropping on the sidewalk below, and it gave his presence away. Otherwise, I'm not sure if we would have ever spotted him! His presence is sporadic and unpredictable; he seems to be there maybe 10-20% of the time. We won't see him for weeks, and then he'll spend three days in a row up there. He doesn't especially like us to spot him; he'll open a weary eye and look pointedly at us if we stand beneath him and point him out to one another. :) We can never figure out when he'll be there, or not . . . but he did show up on Thanksgiving Day and give us quite an interesting conversation piece for our arriving guests, as he was perched high above the entrance sidewalk to our front door!
  24. I will timidly jump in, as a new/wannabe birder. We moved from Hawaii to Arizona this year, and happened to buy a house with a few birdfeeders, and even some leftover bags of birdseed. Our house is located at the base of a Sonoran desert mountain preserve. So . . . slowly but surely, we have been drawn into the world of birds. We bought our Arizona bird guidebooks, brought out the binoculars, and have spent a fair amount of money at our local wild bird store, buying feed and other supplies. Our highlights are: Hummingbirds, many varieties and year round Goldfinches Cardinals Gambel's Quail Greater Roadrunner Gila woodpecker and other woodpeckers Kestrel We worked hard to attract the wild rosy-faced lovebirds that are unique to the Phoenix area, and finally succeeded! :) And our most exciting visitor has been . . . a great horned owl that has taken up sporadic daytime roost in one of our palm trees. He occasionally drops scary looking owl pellets (complete with visible bones) on our front sidewalk! And my kids have named him Hoot, naturally.
  25. That is truly wretched and rude. I am sorry. Reminds me of a young lady I know who was recently married. The bride's parents paid for the professional wedding photographs (many of which were of the groom's family in various combinations) and gave the groom's parents a copy of the CD full of wedding pictures. A year later, bride and groom visit groom's family. Many, many of the wedding pictures have been printed out and framed, placed all around the house. AND NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THESE PICTURES INCLUDED THE BRIDE. I am afraid this young lady is facing a future similar to yours. :(
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