Friday, August 10, 2012

The Week We Didn't Go Back to School

In my last update we were less than a week away from starting school on August 1st. Those plans were abruptly changed one day before we were scheduled to start. As of today, we've actually only had 2 days of continued summer lessons, but we truly hope to start on Monday, the 13th.

Amber and I awoke on the morning of July 31st, ready for a fun last day of summer break. Amber planned on spending part of the day playing with Fred's parents while I kept my mom company at the hospital with my dad. Mom had been sitting with Dad all day (and most of the night) in his ICU room for several weeks, and everyone tried to visit often.

Amber and I also had some shopping planned and maybe a special "dessert in the middle of the afternoon" at Longhorn.  I called my mother-in-law to arrange drop off time for Amber and just as I finished talking with her, my mom called me. She was in tears because my dad's heart was failing. He had been doing well earlier that morning, but had taken a rapid turn for the worse.

I quickly called my husband at work, in tears myself, to let him know and have him cancel the arrangements I had just finalized with his mother. Amber and I both showered in record time and were ready to dart to the hospital when my husband arrived home to drive us.
Cousins, playing in the hospital waiting room
At my arrival, Dad's wonderfully compassionate nurse stopped me from going in and asked if I understood the situation. The nurse looked at me with sad eyes while she explained they had to stop the continuous dialysis he was receiving because his blood pressure was so low the blood wouldn't return to his body. His blood pressure had been hovering around 38/19 until they gave him large doses of medication that would damage the rest of his body. It was now 89/32. His heart rhythm was very unstable.

Blood tests also showed that he was severely septic, again. Even though it had been 12 days since his emergency colostomy surgery, he had not healed at all. Additionally, it appeared that more of his intestines had perforated. He was still on the ventilator and had no hope of surviving the day. They were actually keeping him alive with medications so that my sister and I could arrive. Through all of this my dad was awake, responsive, and knew the prognosis. Thankfully, the pain medication he finally accepted allowed him to sleep peacefully after we all said goodbye.

At 3:45 pm on July 31st my daddy went home to be with his heavenly Father. He is no longer in pain and no longer suffers the effects of emphysema, heart disease or diabetes. I miss him terribly.
Obviously, school did not start on August 1st.  Amber and I decided to start school a week late, on August 8th. The morning before school was scheduled to start, again, I awoke and just couldn't even contemplate school in 24 hours.  After discussion with Fred, we all decided to return to summer-like lessons for a few days and attempt to have our official first day on August 13th.
Instead of school, I have spent the time keeping myself busy cleaning the forsaken house, playing with Amber & kitty, and remembering my daddy. I miss his expressive and clear blue eyes. I miss his sense of humor. Most of all, I already miss his spiritual guidance. I'm not sure what I would have done without him during Fred's illness early this summer.

Amber has been watching a lot of Olympics the last few days and working on her United Kingdom study, mostly without me. She really has enjoyed reading through the unit study on the iPad and following all the links to the videos and websites. She has actually learned quite a bit and excitedly comes to tell me all she learns. Her favorite part so far has been the author biography of C.S. Lewis.  Go figure. 
Reading the UK unit study while watching / listening
to the Olympics.
The United Kingdom unit study from Amanda Bennett has proven to be a great resource for us the last few days. It is really easy for Amber to use alone, especially since we are not using it as a standard unit study. She has been able to follow the information and pick which links she wants to follow. She has found everything to be interesting and engaging. It is very well organized and the links are more than just websites with text to read.  There are videos to watch (changing of the guard was fun!), pictures, receipes, British author biographies, and castles tours.   I just wish we had more time to do a better study, like we had envisioned.
We, originally, had great plans for baking different breads and desserts from the various countries in the United Kingdom. I'm sure we will still make a couple of them, but nothing like what we had planned and definitely not finish before the Olympics is over.

Next week I hope to have a much better update, full of fun from the first week of 5th grade. But for now, Amber and I both have sad hearts. We rejoice that my daddy was able to receive the reward he worked his whole life to achieve, but so sad for ourselves because we are without the father and grandfather who meant so very much to us.
Ready for a day out with Mom & Grandma.
Time for some fun again!

Linking with:

Favorite Resource This Week


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your sweet Daddy. I know how hard it is to lose a parent. Sending up prayers that you find comfort during this time. That is what is so amazing about homeschooling, we can adjust it to fit our lives. 4 years ago when my Mother was so sick, my then 8 year old daughter and I spent half of 3rd grade at hospitals and the nursing home.

    We love Amanda Bennett's Passport series. Keilee is doing France.

    1. Thanks Karen. I am so relieved that we are homeschooling during this time. I'm not sure how we would have been ready for parochial school and the schedule that it brings.

      We may have to do other Passport series studies during the summers. This worked out really well.

  2. I am so sorry to read about your Daddy. I have tears in my eyes for you even now. I agree with Karen...homeschooling is such a blessing in that it is so flexible to our lives. I'm glad you were able to find and use such a helpful sounds like your daughter is getting a lot of value from it.
    Thanks for sharing with Favorite Resources.

    1. Thanks Susan. I have tears in my eyes often these days, but also joy in my heart. We are so blessed to be homeschooling. This summer has really shown us the benefits of that flexibility.

      I love reading your Favorite Resources each week. We have found a few things there to use, and a few others that I wish we had time to use.

      This is our first full year of homeschool and I'm using mostly curriculum with teacher's manuals, textbooks and workbooks, then supplementing those. I might be brave enough next year to use more of the smaller resources that we have found to build a full year of lessons. Especially in Social Studies and Language, but in Science we will need all the help we can get. We are scheduled for Life Science next year and we both despise Life Science. I'm a one-time physics major who can't abide anything remotely organic. Amber seems to have inherited that ;-)

    2. I'm glad you've been able to find some things to use :)

      I am sure it will be very difficult to do something you both despise! I hope you are able to find time to do some of the projects you'd like to do. I find that the absolute best part of the flexibility of homeschooling is the flexibility to choose what works for us, and what doesn't...what we want to focus our attention on, and what we don't need to concern ourselves with right now.

      I hope you have a great school year!

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. We have found homeschool to be such a blessing during my husband's heart transplant. I am so glad it's a blessing for you guys at this time.

    1. I can't imagine what it must have been like for you during your husband's transplant. I'm barely surviving the summer with Fred having been sick and my dad's passing. I admire that you managed to keep everything going. I'm glad homeschooling was a blessing for you and your family as well.

  4. Hi Christy,

    I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I'm so glad you could have that time with him though- what a blessing. I hope the extra week was restorative.

    Thank you for the link on the unit study. I don't look at unit studies as much for some reason, but I'm off to see what that's all about!

    Good luck next week!

    1. We don't usually use unit studies either, but this was great for a summer study of the UK. I have to admit we don't use them correctly. We don't tie in all our subjects as a true unit study. We just use the resources provided to learn about the main topic.

      I also purchased the Amanda Bennett Election study that we will use later in the year. Again, it will only represent our Social Studies subject and not be used across subjects.