Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Heartstopping Week that Turns Out All Right

Monday - We started our week off with a full morning of schoolwork before Mason and Mom needed to head to the hospital for yet another appointment (we were only gone for 3 hours, so this was relatively short compared to last Friday's almost 7 hours). Daddy is home on Mondays so we started with everyone gathered on the couch to read more in the Book of Mormon. Then kids scattered to the four winds to do their assignments, grabbing a parent when needed. I did a lot of new math lessons today.

Caleb pulled out five activity pages from All About Reading level 1 and read 20 different words, then found the picture they went with on those activity pages. He did great! Oliver read another few pages in Grasshopper on the Road. It was the end of the chapter about the beetles who love mornings. Daniel did his math on the dry erase board today and enjoyed the change, so I fully expect him to continue doing so this week.

Late in the afternoon things came to a stumbling halt. The orthopedic surgeon's office called. During the abdominal x-ray taken Saturday for today's appointment with a different specialty something was flagged. The people who read that scan flagged it because part of his thigh bone looks like it may have bone cancer (tumor). The x-ray that was done just happened to capture a partial image of his thigh bone and it is suspicious enough that his orthopedic surgeon wanted to do full x-rays asap. There were other possibilities, this is an area where Mason broke his femur 2 years ago so it may just be a bone callus. We already had a checkup with this doctor for 2 weeks from now, but they wanted to see him sooner. Wednesday. Two days from today.

Nothing like a reality check to shuffle the priority list, right? Perspective comes when we least expect it. I will share more about this another time.

Tuesday we had already planned to begin potty training Samuel, so that is exactly what I did. This was one of those mornings where I truly appreciate the routines and independence we have built in our home and homeschool. The kids did their chores, they helped one another, they worked without me needing to stand over their shoulder and keep them on task, and they came to me when they needed help or wanted mom to buddy up with them. I praised, encouraged, corrected, and spent a lot of time just focusing on making the potty training experience pleasant for my 8th child while keeping an eye on the other 8 children.

In the potty training arena it was a typical first day with a mix of peeing in the toilet and peeing in his underwear. I know that he will figure out his body signals and how to manage pausing those long enough to get to the toilet sometime in the next week. And my floors will get extra scrubbing for a while.

Playing Scrambled States
We cancelled school for Wednesday. Mason's appointment was not until mid-afternoon and we spent the morning playing, reading together, and just being a family. After lunch and a long drive to the surgeon's office Mason had several x-rays. Happily the doctor is confident that what we see on x-ray is simply the remodeling of a bone callus from the broken femur Mason had two years ago. Nothing to worry about. My heart started beating again. On the way home we made a stop at the orthotist to pick up some of Mason's braces that were getting adjustments.

Daniel made the Batmobile.
The evening contained youth activities, a Pinewood Derby for my Cub Scout, and school work for my husband.
The Pinewood Derby track.

Thursday morning brought us happily back into our routine. Seminary, breakfast, chores, and homeschooling were the order of the morning. Swimming or running at the Y for a couple of us in the afternoon. Then making caving jeans for Joseph's camping trip this weekend with the Boy Scouts They'll be camping in caverns in another state, doing a service project while they are there.

Caving Jeans for my Boy Scout
What are caving jeans? They are jeans that you've added carpet and fabric to the inside at the knees for built in knee pads to make crawling on rock more comfortable.

The Thursday potty training report is mixed still - he's had a couple times where he just peed in his clothing, and more times where he used the toilet. I left longer periods of time between required potty visits today because now that he's getting the idea of using the toilet he needs to take ownership of recognizing and responding to his body's signals. Again, it won't happen overnight, but Samuel is well on his way.

Tomorrow is Friday and it's time for our Homeschool Book Club to meet. This month we're hosting, we'll be talking about Little Women and doing some games they would have played at that time in history. I'm just going to go ahead and put this post up tonight instead of waiting for tomorrow.
My three youngest boys playing piano together.
And just because they're all super cute here is another picture from that piano playing session:
Yes, they really are that adorable.
Left to right: Tobias age 13 mos, Mason age 5, Samuel age 3.
Books I'm Reading or have Finished This Week - These are all mine!
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen - Finished. This is actually for my Reading Challenge for February. I love Jane Austen and had not read this book yet. Because I had so much time driving back and forth to the hospital with Mason in the last week and sitting in appointments I decided to start listening to the audio book. I plan to listen to it all the way through a second time during February before I share my review of the book. This one is FREE for Kindle and when you get the Kindle version you can then add the Audible narration (audio book) for 49 cents. I adore the Audible reader who does this one, Juliet Stevenson, she's my go-to narrator for Jane Austen's books.
  • The Landmark History of the American People: From Appomattox to the Moon by Daniel J. Boorstin - Still reading. This is the second in a series I'm considering using as a spine for our history studies. I've not read the first book, but this one came in at my library so I'm reading to see if I like it enough to share with the kids.
  • Becoming Beauty by Sarah E. Boucher - Finished. I enjoy fairy tale retellings and this one caught my eye so I picked it up on Kindle for 99 cents. It was a very interesting book, one I'll probably read again some time. 
  • A Spy's Devotion: The Regency Spies of London by Melanie Dickerson - Finished. I read this one at night when I was up with Tobias, my teething 1 year old. I've read some other books by this author and enjoyed them. This one was good mix of light romance, mystery, and history.
  • The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep - Finished. I picked this up when it was on sale for just over a dollar. It tells of an English woman who ends up in colonial South Carolina married to a stranger and caring for his young child. The romance was a bit more intense than I usually like, the history was really interesting as it was set during a time when Cherokee and colonists both loyal to England and readying for revolution were rubbing against one another and some characters straddle several worlds.
  • North and South by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell - Just Starting. In case you don't know, this is NOT an American Civil War novel, which the title might lead you to believe. It captures the uniquechanges industrialization brings to 1850s England. I've never read this one so I'm excited to finally do so. Note: You can get this Kindle book FREE and then add Audible narration (audio book) for $2.99. I got both because I can switch back and forth between reading at home and listening when driving and it synchronizes my position in ebook and audio book automatically.


  1. I thanked Heavenly Father in my prayers this morning for your good news about Mason. What a blessing!

    What a week you've had! Now I'm praying that you all can recuperate from the stress of the week and just get recentered again.

    Those three little faces at the piano are to die for. How can you hold so much cuteness in one place? :)

    I'm a tiny bit jealous that potty training is working so well for Samuel. My Little Brother is 4 and has been working on potty training for 6-8 months . . . with an untold number of months ahead of us before he is done. I'm thankful for pull-ups.

    1. I understand on the potty training! Samuel is 3 1/2 years old, my oldest potty trainer so far. Hang in there, I know Little Brother has his own challenges that will make potty training a longer process. I agree, pull ups are wonderful. We have a different potty training experience with Mason since he really has no physical control with the paralysis. So between catheters and an enema program it's been totally different and diapers are still a part of the picture sometimes, with underwear and a pad most of the time. Things are always interesting! LOL

  2. Praise God for a good report! The rest of the week looks good, but nothing comes close to being better than that news!

  3. Amen! I am so glad the health scare was just that ~ a scare and not reality. What a lovely productive rest of your week.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. OH, thank goodness for the good report... my heart jumped out of my chest when I read cancer. My boys love the Scrambled States of America game.

  5. I'm so glad you got good news about Mason! The caving jeans are cool, I've never heard of that but it makes perfect sense that he'd need them!

  6. So glad to hear the good report from the x-rays! Sure wish I'd had caving jeans that time we crawled through ice caverns when I was a teen - my knees hurt just thinking about it! Thanks for sharing about your week on Homeschool Highlights.

  7. looks like a great week! AND YEAH on the hope that it's just calcification..

  8. So glad it didn't turn out to be horrible news. Best wishes with the potty training.

  9. SO, so thankful for the results of that xray!! Love the photos too!

  10. Such a relieF about Mason. I can only imagine what you must have been going through. Those three little boys sure are cute.


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