Friday, August 24, 2012

Another Season

Wednesday morning's hazy sunrise.

One year without internet access has gone by quickly.  And I survived it!  Having my hands very full with other things helped to pass the time. 

Our second daughter arrived on March 8th.  She was born with a congenital heart defect called critical pulmonary valve stenosis.  Basically, there wasn't a hole where there should have been.  We spent the first eighteen days of her life in the CTICU at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH.  My daughter Ava, now five, thought it was quite a vacation staying at the Ronald McDonald House.  She is a big fan of ol' Ronald.  We even saw him in the Fourth of July Parade.

Savannah Joy is 5 months old now and doing fine.  You'd never believe the difference between how blue she was as a newborn and the big, healthy baby she has become now.  We spent our first month home tied to an oxygen concentrator and a pulse-ox monitor.  Now she squeals and "sings" with some very powerful little lungs.

I had originally coerced my husband to give up the internet, X-box Live and Netflix in an effort to tighten our belts and make a deliberate drive to get out of debt.  We made the last couple of payments on our car and managed to pay off two credit cards.  Although we hit the catastrophic cap on our insurance for this year, paying off those debts has freed up our monthly budget to pay comfortably on a few medical bills.  And we have an adorable, cherub-cheeked, baby girl to show for it.  :)

Ava and I just started our first week of homeschool "tendergarden" and we had a blast.  She is really enjoying the extra attention and togetherness and has applied herself wholeheartedly to everything I have asked her to do.

Today we began a science unit study on insects. After reading and discussing our lesson, we played a game of Cootie and discussed the different parts of insect anatomy and their functions. 

We capped off the afternoon with a scavenger hunt and took many pictures of insects we found in our own backyard. We'll come back to our pictures on Monday to attempt to identify them all and Ava will make drawings of them in her observation sketch book.
Here are a few of our finds:

This busy mason bee carried a thick load of pollen on his hind legs.

We were distracted from our hunt for an ant by this cute little roan filly that belongs to our new neighbors.  She came over to say 'hi'.

Of course we saw plenty of honey bees.  My solitary hive is still going strong, although I've not worked them once this year.  If they are still there next spring and I can fit back into my beesuit, I will take up earnest beekeeping again.  Right now I am merely a "bee-have'r", but I'm ok with that.  They are getting along fine without my intervention and I have to admit there is only so much I can keep up with right now, in this season of life.

Wasps...not my favorite!

Here we have one of those weird moths that look like a hummingbird.

And the Pièce de résistance...

A very large moth, the most beautiful I've ever seen.  What a lovely shade of pink delineated on its wings!  Ava was impressed with the large "eyes" on the moth's hind wings, used for defense.  It was like God gave us a special ending for our first week of homeschooling. 



  1. Welcome back! You've had a very eventful year! Thank goodness your new bundle of joy is doing great. Love your homeschool lesson on insects. Great photo of that huge moth! What a beauty! Take care and hug those sweet girls often. Take care.

    1. Hello Joan! I am so glad to be back online again. I stopped by your blog the other day and it's good to see little Miss Lulu is still living large and lovin' life. :) Blessings to you and yours!

  2. Dear Journey 11,
    I have so enjoyed your wonderful post on Tendergardening!! How creative and lovely! We did many of the same things with photos and study of the insects we 'captured'.
    I am so thankful for your dear little daughter, and the successful surgery!
    Also, I think your huge moth is a antheraea polyphemus. It is a gem of a specimen and you want to help them, not harm them :) Great photo!
    Thank you for sharing on the Lonk-up...I hope you will come often and bless us with your sweet blog!!

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jacqueline. And thank you for the positive ID on our pretty moth. I am really enjoying your lovely and encouraging blog and am so glad to have found it.