Archive for February, 2007

Heart of Wisdom Approach

February 28, 2007

In my previous home schooling post I referenced a methodology that I thought I was favoring.  I have researched (at least on a minimal level), a lot of curriculum and methodology.  I have reviewed A Beka, Sonlight, Christian Light, Tapestry of Grace, Father’s World, Konos, and many more.   When I stumbled across HOW, I was immediately attracted to it.  HOW only offers one year of curriculum but their goal was to teach an approach more than provide teaching material.  I spent hours purusing through their website and I ordered the HOW Approach book.  Since I haven’t read the book yet, nor finished my exploration, I am not absolute about HOW but so far it’s by far my favorite approach.    If you read my previous posts on my home schooling objectives and likes/dislikes, I think it will be easy to see why HOW is probably one of if not THE best approach for me to use.

Bible Centered Core

Instead of adding bible teaching as part of the curriculum, HOW uses the bible as the core of the curriculum.  The bible is the first book opened of the day.  The children will read through the entire bible every year.  The first bible they suggest is a One Year Bible for Children called “The Day by Day Bible”. It seems a tad advanced for 1st grade but I think I could tailor it a bit if I choose to use this one.   

Uses a Hebrew Education Model

The education models that we have had handed down to us over the last two thousand years have been primarily Greek influenced – with Greek philosophy.  The Greeks were concerned about education with the purpose of serve state and self.  The Hebrew approach centered on religion and serving others.  Their education was primarily religious and then extended outward from there.  Greeks taught in reverse manner.  I believe that my first obligation to my children is to train them in the way they should go so that even when they are old they shall not depart from it (Proverbs).  I believe scripture defends that healthy education begins with spiritual teaching and all other learning is secondary to that first goal.  The ancient Hebrews taught this way and they were the one’s that God entrusted with His Word.  If you are interested in more information and resources on Greek versus Hebrew Education Models click HERE .

Teaching Approach

The HOW teaching approach is a combination of several teaching methods organized around a two sided curriculum base:  God’s Word and God’s World.  This method is specifically designed for multilevel teaching.  This approach includes a four-year suggested course of study designed to be repeated every four years through three cycles.

GOD’S WORD – Direct Studies using the Bible and study tools.  Half the school day is occupied with Bible studies. The family reads through the Bible each year utilizing Bible study aids while incorporating language skills through writing assignments (narration, summary writing, composition etc) and adding to a Bible portfolio.

GOD’S WORLD – Derived Studies using thematic unit studies, living books, and the internet.  History, science, and arts are filtered through divine truth.  History is studied chronologically and science is studied in Creation order.  All studies incorporate God’s Word.  The unit studies incorporate language skills through writing assignments (narration, summaries, composition etc.) and adding to unit portfolios and a time line book.

Therefore writing, reading, and language skills are integrated into all studies.

Students spend half the day studying God’s Word and half studying God’s World.  A primary reason why I am gravitating to the HOW approach.

There are several methods that HOW uses to teach:

A Return to Biblical Hebraic Education – reasons for this were stated above.

Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy – Students should develop a love of learning by reading real books – classical literature as opposed to “dumbed down” literature.  These are called “Living Books”. 

The Four Step Lessons – Excite, Exam, Expand, Excel – This method allows for both freedom and flexibility AND structure.

Unit Study – The term “unit” refers to the idea of studying a topic as a whole instead of several separate subjects.  A unit study takes a topic and lives with it for a while integrating science, social studies, language arts, and fine arts as they apply.

Lifestyle of Learning – Lifestyle learning approach is a way of watching your children’s interests and passions and helping to expand upon them.

Delight Directed Learning – Students acquire basic concepts of learning during the process of examining the topic they are interested in.

Writing to Learn – Students think on paper.

Scrapbooking to Learn – Students create scrapbooking pages, timelines, and portfolios as they work through unit studies.

Above information take from HERE.

All the above methods need more of my research time but so far, this seems right up my alley! 

Unit Studies were an exciting discovery for me.  This approach allows you to teach multi grade children at the same time by using the same core resources but varying the exercises as appropriate for each child.  They also allow you to dive into topics and study them more thoroughly.  Instead of purchasing curriculum for every subject, the Unit study encompasses most every study except for science and mathmatics (and there is a separate science unit).  Here is an example: Unit History Study – Adam through the Messiah – Week 1 Creation:   HISTORY Segment – Teach on Creation  READING Segment – Read books related to Creation - HANDWRITING – Copy verses related to Creation – Small children could color pictures, make a creation related craft, retell the story and color pictures in short sentences to work on handwriting and grammar – Older children could write an essay pertaining to Creation, or choose a debate topic like long days versus short days to give orally, scrapbook and journal on creation days. etc.  In this way, you have covered the majority of your core curriculum without ever leaving the topic.  Why have separate reading/writing/handwriting/vocabulary/grammar/spelling exercises when they can all be applied to your unit history or science study of the day?  That just makes sense to me. :)   I also think they retain more of what they learn by exercising it on so many different levels.   You also have the opportunity to use the bible reading of the day as your core unit from which the other segments get developed that day as opposed to your History unit.  I visualize doing both (branching outward from God’s Word or God’s World).  Maybe handwriting for the day will be copying our verse of the week but our sentence writing will come from our unit study?  Just thinking out loud.

Curriculum Cycles

The HOW approach to cycling through curriculum really impressed me.  I have seen a few other curriculum cycles posted (like Tapestry of Grace) and HOW’s has been my favorite.  This is a 12 year plan! 

Their approach is to teach History in chronological order from ancient history through modern times over a 4 year cycle.  This 4 year cycle then gets repeated 3 times so that each student has the opportunity to learn about all the historical eras three different times learning at different levels of maturity.  The first year is ancient history and begins with the history of the Israelites and then branches out towards the other world figures after that.  I love this approach because I want my children to understand world history as “His Story”.  I want them to have a very strong understanding of Hebrew culture, manners and customs because this will give them better tools in understanding scripture as a whole.  When I then advance into ancient Egypt and Rome, I will enjoy pointing out which biblical characters were on the scene during those times.  I love history and am most excited to teach this subject!

Science is also taught in 4 year long cycles that will repeat 3 times.  Science though is taught in creation order. 

Here is the HOW suggested curriculum plan:

Overview

Year 1:  Ancient History – Physical Science – Life Skills for Upper Grades
Year 2:  World History – Earth Science and Botany – Life Skills for Upper Grades 
Year 3:  American History 1 – The Animal World – Life Skills for Upper Grades
Year 4:  American History 2 – Anatomy – Life Skills for Upper Grades

Detailed Plan By Year

Year 1

God’s Plan – Ancient History – Adam to Abraham, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, The Messiah

God’s World – Physical Science – Creation, Light, Energy, Matter, Motion, Electricity

God’s Kingdom – Life Skill Studies for Upper Grades – Wisdom, Diligence, Personal Economics, College/Apprenticeship, Specific elective courses in child’s interest and foreign language

Year 2
God’s Plan – World History – Early Church, Vikings, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation

God’s World – Earth Science and Botany – Weather, Oceanography, Botany, Geology, Astronomy

God’s Kingdom – Life Skill Studies for Upper Grades, Driving/Vehicles, A Virtuous Woman/A Godly Man, An Effective Citizen, other electives and foreign language

Year 3

God’s Plan – American History 1 – Age of Exploration, Thirteen Colonies, Colonies to Country, New Nation, Civil War, Reconstruction, American West

God’s World – The Animal World – Marine Zoology, Ornithology (Birds), Entomology (Insects), Earth Zoology

God’s Kingdom – Life Skill Studies for Upper Grades – Courtship, Marriage, Homemaking, Interior/Exterior Design, other electives and foreign language

Year 4

God’s Plan – Industrial Era, World War I, Depression, World War II, Holocaust, 1950 to Today

God’s World – Anatomy – Cell Design, Brain/Nervous, Skeletal/Muscular, Respiratory/Digestive, Heart/Circulatory, Reproductive

God’s Kingdom – Life Skill Studies for Upper Grades – Home Education, Spiritual Fruit, other electives, and foreign language

The author of HOW did write the units for the first year but due to illness was not able to complete years 2 through 4.  I may or may not use her units anyhow.  What I wanted was an orderly process for cycling through my children’s education and I really LOVE this plan.  I may adapt the first year units for Tanner and then after I get the hang of the unit study, use her suggested schedule to gather my own resources through “living” books, videos, the internet, and other sources for the following years.

I also love the idea of keeping biblical and unit scrapbooks and timelines.  I prefer video scrapbooks so I have already been thinking through this for the boys.  Possibly letting them arrange their pictures and ideas on a page without tacking them down, then taking pictures of their finished product to put in a DVD album for them for the year.  I could have a whole treasure box full of “props” they could arrange.  REAL crafts are fun too so I could let them truly “build” and still take pictures of their work for their DVD album.  Just thinking out loud :) !

Some of the other unit curriculum studies are similar to this but I think I like the arrangement and methodology of HOW the best. 

If I choose this method, I will need to choose a math curriculum and decide how to expand on my phonics curriculum the first few years.  I’ll need age appropriate grammar reference books so that I can direct their writing through their unit study exercises. 

So that’s a bit about why I am in love with HOW.  I’ll tell you if I fall “out of love” after I read the book (which is in the mail).  I really think I have found what suits me though and I am EXCITED!

P.S.  I think I am going to add a separate blog for Home Schooling.  I have a lot to say about it and I want it organized for easy reference for ME as I go through this journey.  Not to mention the fact that this would bore 90% of the population in a major way :) !

 

 

A Broken Heart

February 28, 2007

Brooke emailed this to me last night and it really needed to be posted.  Noah is so hysterical!

*************************

This was so funny last night, I just had to share!

Since the broken femur, Noah has been very detailed in telling us what is hurting when he gets injured. He is really trying to describe bones and organs in a way that we understand where he hurts. So lately we have been telling him where his organs are and what they do and so forth. Tonight he was moving on all fours like a monkey and his arms gave out, which in turn made his little nose hit the tile pretty hard. After he had settled down he tried to explain to me the depth of his pain and with the most serious expression he said, ” Mom, when I hurt my nose my heart broke into a lot of pieces and I think  I swallowed my guts.”  I tried desperately to keep a straight face and be compassionate but later Daniel and I have been laughing. I guess we need to work on the anatomy lessons!
BTW – for those who don’t know, Noah’s surgery to remove his pins is March 9th!!!!
Lots of Love
Brooke

HS – Mission Statements

February 27, 2007

Disclaimer 1:  I am at risk of boring you out of your skulls with Home School blogging.  If Home School chatter doesn’t “float your boat” ;) …ignore these posts.  I am so excited about all my research and I can’t refrain from writing about it.  My purpose in blogging about this little journey is (a) so in the future if I get discouraged, I remember what my mission is (b) to record this leg of my journey in parenting and (c) so a few of my friends who are interested in homeschooling will have the opportunity to take this journey along with me so that when their time comes, they have more resources  and ideas.

Disclaimer 2:  If you choose to read these posts and are not intending to home school OR you are homeschooling and don’t agree with my critiques or methodology…please do not internalize it.  My intent in blogging about this is NOT to convince ANYONE to home school or home school differently.  See disclaimer 1 :) .  I believe that there are good reasons to home school and good reasons not to.  Each family has their own specific dynamics and what is appropriate for one family is not appropriate for another.  Even within the homeschooling circles there is a diverse crowd.  Totally different methodology, approach, and curriculum.  In fact, using Heidi as an example…I think we are likely to make very different choices in methodology and curriculum.  One isn’t better than the other.  We just have different and unique needs and desires.  

Disclaimer 3:  If you have read my blog long enough, you may be concerned that I struggle with grammar.  Secondary Education with English as my focus was my college major :) !  My blog does not reflect my education because when I “free write”, I don’t take time to edit/revise.  I am usually in a hurry and just want to get my thoughts down.  So no worries :) .

Now that I have THAT out of the way :) …..

I was up until 2:00 AM last night studying and researching.  I had so much fun!  Health wise things are really changing for me.  God has been good!  I am getting my energy back and feel so much better than last year.  As a result, I have been able to pour into this without that “overwhelmed” feeling.  I am walking away from this so excited for September!  As I was researching last night, it occurred to me that my love of learning came from my parents.  My mother loves to research and study and she passed that on to me.  My father was also a great influence.  In fact, he helped me with my education more than my mother.  It was my dad that had more influence in my writing than any of my teachers.  He taught me to outline at a very young age.  I acclimated to it so well I actually THINK in outline form LOL.   When I was in Junior High my dad was working on his Doctorate of Theology.  He used to take me to the college libraries with him and called me his “research assistant”.  I had to look up books relevant to his thesis, and go through them looking for the “nuggets” he would need for his paper.  I was only 13 at the time but that “real life” experience with my dad is what spurred my love of knowledge – to seek it and find it.  Even at that young age, I felt like I had something valuable to offer in my assistance.  He always used yellow highlighters for everything, note cards, and outlines.  I learned a lot by watching his methods.  Even now, Dad and I love to trade books with all our highlights so we can have our attention drawn to what the other most appreciated.  I remember more of what my parents taught me at home and in life than what my teachers taught me (and I was public schooled).  

I don’t know when my desire to home school was first sparked but I do remember that when Jim and I were dating he expressed the desire for our kids to be home schooled.  At first, I was scared to death of the thought.  Little did I know I would have SEVEN years to think about it and settle it in my heart before my first son would be born.  Over the last 13 years I have been thinking about this.  What did I want?  How did I want to do it?  What was most important to me?  Why do it?  What do I want the outcomes to be?

This week as I have been studying, it has occurred to me that I would be wise to start answering those questions before going further.  If I don’t know what my goals are, I could arrive at an unknown destination and wonder how in the world I got there.

As it stands though, I do know what my goals and objectives are.  The more I research, the more I realize that most programs don’t meet MY objectives.   Weeding out what I don’t want has helped me to really cement in my mind what I do want.

So homeschooling mission objective number one is this - create my mission objectives and use this to determine what methodology and curriculum I use.  I think I have a strong inkling about which methodology I will choose post research but I’ll share that in my next home school post.  For now, I want to take the time to write out my objectives.  This is a work in progress.  Over time it will be edited and fine tuned but it’s a start!  (And Jim wonders what my point is…but I know what I need to ground “me” :) ). 

I am sure I have more to add to this but this will do for now.  I read this tonight to Jim and he wanted to know why I would post it in my blog.  Was that his way of saying “Babe this is a real snooze?”  :)   Oh well.  It made me happy to write it out.

MISSION OBJECTIVES

  • God’s Word to be the central theme and focus – not a piece of the curriculum but the core of the curriculum.  Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way that he should go and even when he is old he will not depart from it.
  • To shepherd my children’s hearts
  • To give them the foundation they need to be a true follower of Jesus
  • To raise men of character (and hopefully someday women ;) )
  • To educate them in such a way, that as they grow and mature, they will be able to draw upon a fountain of knowledge that will help them in making right and wise choices, thus enabling them to be equipped to better serve Christ.
  • To teach from a Hebrew model of education as opposed to a Greek model.
  • To teach first from a Hebrew historical viewpoint and then branch outwards.  Our Creator used many men of Jewish descent to give us His inspired scripture.  In order for my children to understand God’s word in proper context, an understanding of Hebrew history and culture is necessary.  From Abraham to the Messiah, God’s Word was protected by the Jews.  Therefore, I want to teach the ancient histories as it relates to the Hebrews first – and then bring into context what other nationalities around the world were doing simultaneously.  In this way, my children will follow the story God wrote – from what I consider “His” perspective.
  • To observe the interests, talents and passions of my children and help direct them in line with the gifts God gave them.
  • To realize that secular education is important but secondary to this primary spiritual objective. 
  • To give my children a love for literature.  “Leaders are readers and readers are leaders”.
  • To equip my children to articulate their thoughts fluently and eloquently with all the passion bestowed on them by their Creator. 
  • To equip my children to articulate their thoughts fluently and eloquently with all the passion bestowed on them by their Creator – through writing.  “I don’t know what I think until I read what I wrote” :)
  • To help my children develop a love for history so that as they age, they see themselves as significant in God’s grand love story for mankind.  In this way, they will also see the continuity of God’s story from beginning to end.  “Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.  A proper perspective of history will aid them in making and defending good and right choices.
  • To challenge their minds in such a way that they deeply root in truth.  Unafraid to explore, debate, decipher, and test truth so that the fruits of their labor will grow in fertile ground where the storms of life will not shake them.  2 Timothy 2:15  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
  • To equip them for a successful college career and offer extra resources to them for their hobbies, interests, and talents.

 

General Likes/Dislikes

  • An education full of diversity – not a prepackaged education based on the standards and interests of another.  For this reason, I will likely avoid curriculum packages.
  • To teach from “living” books – true books of life and character and brilliance avoiding textbook teaching that can be dry and dull with little practical relevance.
  • I love Unit Studies because:  1.  It will allow me to teach more than one child at the same time using the same basic resources with tailored exercices.  2. One thing I love about Bible Study Fellowship International is that you get the same information in 4 formats.  First the notes, then the homework, then the class discussion, and finally a lecture.  This method helps solidify the teaching in my mind.  A unit approach allows you to live with a topic for awhile and really dive in.  You get your history, your reading, your recitation, your spelling, your writing, and sometimes your science…all at once.  The varied exercises allow expanded education in both reading comprehension, grammar, and writing as well as reinforcing the topic itself.
  • While spending tedious hours laboring over curriculum is not my goal, I would rather use real literature and articles found at the library, in magazines, on the Internet to develop my unit studies as opposed to someone else’s choices.  I will only use the resources of packaged curriculum eclecticly – if that “piece” meets my objective.  Math will probably be the primary exception.
  • I want my children to be able to test well but I don’t want to consume too much time testing what I should already know about their skill sets in regards to subject mastery.
  • I want freedom with how I teach, what I teach, and when I teach it.  Thankfully the state of Arizona allows me that.
  • I want to be part of Home school Co-Ops for P.E. and for extra curricular activity but I do not want to share the teaching experience by giving certain subjects to another parent.
  • I want Jim to be involved in their education as well as reserving some skills for Daddy to teach.  He has already agreed to this lucky me!  :)   For next year he has agreed to thus far teach telling time, counting money, and rope tying to include shoelaces :) .
  • I want to work at our own pace without having to record hours.  Again, another benefit to living in Arizona.
  • I don’t want to keep tedious records of scores.  Again, I will know their level of mastery by my involvement in their education.  This would be a tedious chore for ME.
  • I want to avoid redundant tasks and pointless exercises.  Which probably means very little workbook activity with the exception of possibly mathematics. 
  • I want our school day to be more than just book learning. 
  • I want to teach all subjects from a Christ centered world view.
  • I want to teach my children to be patriots and “One nation UNDER GOD” will be recited in our home.
  • I want to read through the bible every year with my children.  I read the One Year bible for 7 years straight before moving on to book studies (7th to 12th grade).  I would love to help my child read it in it’s entirety 12 times before reaching adulthood.  The boys and I have completed 3 children’s bibles and are working on the fourth.  I want to ALWAYS be disciplined about this!!!!  This should be at the very top of my list.
  • I want to teach the truth about the foundation of this great nation without being censored by a secular curriculum or agenda.
  • I want to present secular theory’s alongside biblical truths and allow my children to explore the arguments.  I am not afraid of the truth.  I don’t want them to be.  I want my children to be exposed to secular viewpoints and have the opportunity to formulate their own arguments.  I want them to seek out the truth as they mature and teach them to excel in Christian apologetics. 
  • I don’t want a traditional classroom environment.  While I do want my kids to have the ability to sit still and focus for lengthy periods of time, I want to have more flexibility to cater to their varied learning styles.
  • I appreciate many “unschooling” theories and believe that much of what is taught that “sticks” was learned through life lessons and practical application.
  • I want to put much more emphasis on reading, writing, and public speaking than my kids would likely get in a traditional classroom.
  • I want my children to love learning at home and for the family bond to grow tighter because of this shared experience. 
  • I want to teach them elective subjects that they wouldn’t have as much opportunity for in school.  (Daddy will be good for a lot of that).
  • I want my children to know that Daddy and I consider them our greatest treasures given as gifts by God.  For that reason, we want the privilege of watching them grow and mature for as many hours in a day as we can.  They grow up so fast.  Jim and I have more invested in these precious ones than anyone and I don’t want to miss a thing.

I am sure I have more to add to this but this will do for now.  The next posting will contain information on the methodology that I am thus far preferring based on my above objectives and interests.   I read this tonight to Jim and he wanted to know why I would post it in my blog.  Was that his way of saying “Babe this is a real snooze?”  :)   Oh well.  It made me happy to write it out.

It’s that time!  I am starting to dive into my homeschooling studies now.  I am so excited about this. As I have many friends that are homeschooling or are considering homeschooling, I am going to add some reference pages to this site for future use.  The first thing I need to figure out is curriculum.  I intend to start Tanner with First Grade curriculum realizing that I may have some catch up to do since I did not enroll him in traditional K-Garten.  I am still figuring that as long as he is reading by September, which we are on target for, we should be good with a 1st Grade start.

I am having trouble figuring out correct scope and sequence for the first grade though.  It seems to be a moving target depending on where I look.  (Scope and sequence are the basic requirements of education that should be met by the child by year end).

I think I will need to teach Bible, Reading, Handwriting, Vocabulary, Spelling, Math, History, Science and incorporate Physical Education as well.  That should be daddy’s job:).  Am I missing anything?

But what curriculum?  I think I want to be very ecclectic with this.  I also am not sure I want to use much curriculum at this grade.  If I have a clear understanding of the goals, I think I can develop most of my own curriculum that will meet Tanner’s needs.  First though, I need to check out the available curriculum to determine (a) if I want to use any and who I want to use and (b) what is being taught. 

So now I need your help.  If you are a homeschool parent and would be willing to answer a little survey on your curriculum for me, please comment on this post and I will email you my survey.  My intent is to post many of the comments on curriculum so that others can have this resource as well.  Thank you!

Doni – The Wicked SIL

February 24, 2007

This week Brooke accused me of trying to kill her off.  Death by poisoning to be exact.  Little sisters have a way of exploiting situations to their advantage so I figured I should submit my defense early.  I do have a defense.  It’s a good one.  It was just a series of unfortunate events…simple as that.

I am a comforter eater.  This week I was in need of comfort food but I am low carb dieting…sigh…again.  (And yes we have a forum on Grace for Weight Loss and I refuse to even open it).

The day after Alex’s accident, my MIL, Aubrey and Avi were at my house – just all needed to be together.  We were sitting around the table and I was wishing for some munchies.  I am not usually a snack person so this is rare.  On Valentines Day, feeling sorry for myself, I bought 3 whole bags of Russel Stovers Sugar Free Candies (all chocolate of course).  Turns out they were awesome!  Unfortunately, a good diet candy has all the same risk of bulk sale shopping.  True you may have the initial sense of reward and gratification but there is still such thing as “too much”.  My grandmother never could understand that it wasn’t really a bargain to purchase the shirts on sale for 5 bucks if you were going to buy 30 of them.  Immediate cash flow still has to be considered irregardless of the long term investment :) .  Jim may disagree with that statement.  He would have loved my grandmother.

I have some eating habits that need to be changed but I am not a binge eater.  Eating way too many sweets is not my normal vice.  This particular day though I was caught up in the moment and since the dang things were practically labeled “guilt free”…I just kept on keeping on.  I think I ate about 7 by day’s end.  (They were only bite size and one portion was 5…still though 7 would be a lot for me).

I did notice the “laxative effect” warning label but equated it to the warning on diet coke cans - has shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.  How often do I pay attention to that warning?

By evening I was in agony.  My stomach hurt so bad.  The cramping was terrible and I was starting to hyperventilate.  It took hours to find the right medicine to help.  Russel Stovers uses sugar alcohol as their substitute and obviously – I just need to stay completely unleaded all the way around.

The next day Brooke came to visit.  She needed a snack and I didn’t have anything for her that had real sugar in it.  So I said, and pay attention to this statement because I may have to defend this in court, “Brooke I do have some sugar free candy that is awesome.  In fact, it is so good you can’t tell it’s sugar free.  If you like it you can have it.  I think I might be allergic to it because I ate about 7 pieces yesterday and I got really sick.”

Here is where I went wrong.  Before she had her first bite, I should have made her sign a waiver releasing me of all responsiblity.  Lesson learned.

She had exactly 2 point 5 candies.  About an hour later she was accusing me of calculated and premeditated abuse.  When Jodi and Aimee came in shortly thereafter, she threw me right under the bus and warned them not to accept any gifts from me without a personal taste tester who was dispensible.  I offered her medicine and she wouldn’t even take that till she approved it through Daniel.  Years I have invested in her.  Years I tell you and all the work of trust building collapsed with a single mishap.  Such a shame.

My favorite diet chocolate bars are Pure Delight.  Since low carbing is out of fad, you can’t find them.  They had maltitol and never bothered me a bit.  I have been mourning those few hours of guilt free chocolate so I went back to the health store today determined to buy back my pleasures.  The clerk told me about a certain bar that tasted like Girl Scout Chocolate Mints.  That was just the bait he needed.  Jim had the nerve to bring home 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies this week and I wanted to hurt him.  He was so excited though because he thought ahead and bought me sugar free Girl Scout brownie bites.  They were hard as a rock AND still had 5 carbs PER small bite.  Sugar Free doesn’t mean carb free.  This was such a disappointment that when the clerk made the Girl Scout comparison AND I saw they had maltitol, I bought the whole box.  (Don’t tell Jim!)  I got a little OCD about it - I have NEEDED chocolate this week and one can only stand this kind of depravation for so long without the risk of being committed.  Just had to be done.  I KNOW Heidi will have my back on this point.

I got up too late to eat breakfast this morning.  At lunch I had a small…very small taco salad from Del Taco.  By 4:00 I was starving.  I took the boys to the mall and bought them chocolate cookies – which I only had a BITE of and now I NEEDED a snack.  That’s when I ate one of the above mentioned bars.  It wasn’t awesome but it was pretty good.  Very filling.  By 7:00 I was still satisfied.  I finally ate about half a salad for dinner.  Then my ulcer pain started.  Was it the chocolate bar?  Was it the low carb coffee drink I also bought?  Was it not eating enough until it was late?  Whatever it was…I was in a world of pain again.  

When I got home tonight at 11:00, I was hurting so bad I was hunched over.  Tanner, being just like his daddy, ever watchful and quite nurturing, say’s the following:

Tanner – Mommy what’s wrong?  Does your tummy hurt?

Doni – Ya

Tanner – Did you eat too much?

Doni – No (can’t say I appreciated that question a whole lot)

Tanner – OH!  I know.  Too much diet stuff.

You know the phrase “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result”?  I think that was Tanner’s point.  Hmmmmph.

Earlier I also had a raging headache and took two Excedrin Migraines.  After that I remembered that the caffeine keeps me awake.  Then I took Alka Seltzer for my stomach.  Now it’s midnight and I am still hurting but can’t sleep.  Do I get the stupid award for the day?  Don’t answer that.  Hearing it from my 5 year old was punishment enough.