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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

1/3 tsp = one peanut!

Today's OIT peanut blogpost is brought to you by:    

 


Lol.  That's right, you read correctly.  Today, we're sponsored ;)
It was our second time going to CHOP after it opened up about a month ago.  We wear masks and drive instead of taking the train.  Other than that, everything is the same. (I miss the train 😕)
Ella was particularly nervous today - (enough that she mentioned it various times throughout the last week) - because she made it to her final updose!  Why did that make her nervous?  Because it was 1/3 tsp of peanut flour, which equals (drum roll...) ONE peanut!  In case you didn't already know, that's a big deal :)
So, to help calm her nerves, I posted on FB the night before and asked for prayers that she remain calm and carry the "peace that passes understanding".  Feeling anxiety actually increases the chances of having a reaction - which we didn't want!  My wonderful community responded.


I decided that before we entered the building, I would let her read all the comments.  I gave her the phone after we parked the car, and I told her what I had posted.  Her first reaction was - "wow!"  cool! :)  She was overwhelmed by reading comments from people she's known since she was little, people she doesn't know, and people from NC, FL, PA and a couple from Peru :)  So, thank you.  You made her feel encouraged, loved and a little famous ;) lol
Once we made it inside, we checked in on the ground floor, then took the elevator to the 6th floor which has become all too familiar.

We check in the second time and wait to be called.  She seemed pretty relaxed.  But let me back up.  I mentioned above that this blogpost is also sponsored by Hamilton.  Let me explain.  We watched it for the first time over the weekend and Ella was very inspired.  I was as well...but for different reasons. lol.  She was inspired because she loves singing and acting.  I decided to download a few new songs for us to listen to on the way there and back, and imagine my surprise when I found the entire Hamilton soundtrack available on Amazon prime music - for free!  So, I downloaded some of the songs we really liked and surprised her with it on the ride down.  She belted out the words to every song and then we repeated them again :)  It was an awesome distraction.  So thanks Hamilton, Disney+ and Amazon for making that possible ;)
When she was called back, they took all her vitals (she's still 4'11...just can't seem to get to 5' 😂) and we got placed into a room.  CHOP has fun murals in every room and it helps us keep track of which ones we've been in.  Today, we got a new room with umbrellas...I tried to get her to take a picture with them but she declined ;) lol
The nurse and doctor were thrilled that she'd had no reactions with her last updose.  This was a long time coming!!  This process was supposed to be over in 3-5 months.  Instead, it has dragged on for 10.
I forgot her OJ to dose with so she had to dose with their applesauce.  She wasn't excited about that, but afterwards she said she wants to use applesauce everyday now!  So, I'm glad I forgot ;)  1/3 tsp is a LOT of peanut flour when you're mixing it with a bite of food 😝, but she put on the nose clip and ate it like a champ!

The nurse thought the nose clip was brilliant and said maybe they should provide those to all patients!  I said go for it - then they can't smell it!
She immediately dove into her popcorn and lemonade which is now her go-to after dose snack.  Your stomach has to be full beforehand, but you also need to snack afterwards.  This has become her ritual.  Once the taste in her mouth is gone, she removes the clip ;)


When they checked on her 15 minutes later she felt perfectly fine and an hour later, the same!  NO REACTION!!!  So incredible.  Although it was peanut flour, we still feel the celebration of her ingesting the equivalent to one entire peanut and having ABSOLUTELY no reaction!  CELEBRATE!


The next step is to go back in 2-4 weeks (depending on any reactions during that time period) and take with us a peanut M&M.

She will eat that (I keep telling her it tastes good but she's not going for it) as her dose for the next two years.  After that, she is welcome to try and increase her tolerance, but that is up to her...and it's a long ways away so we don't need to think about it yet!

We had a few questions now that we are nearing the end of this and our CRNP Elizabeth Hanna answered them all -
1.  if Ella accidentally ingests peanuts and we KNOW she has, do we skip the dose?  YES
2.  Once she is eating the peanut M&M every night, does she still need to rest 2 hours afterwards?  FOR THE FIRST YEAR OR TWO, YES.  THEN THEY START TO TAPER IT DOWN UNTIL IT IS JUST 30 MINUTES
3.  How often do we come in once she starts "maintenance" (one peanut)?  EVERY 3 MONTHS FOR THE NEXT YEAR.
4.  We didn't ask this, but she volunteered this helpful info - HOLD OFF ON EATING "MAY CONTAIN" PRODUCTS FOR 6 MONTHS.

Obviously, when we go to Peru we won't be able to go back every 3 months, but we'll continue the one peanut M&M per night and jump right back into the appointments once we move back to the States.

So, there you have it.  It seems like a miracle - although when I see her eat an actual peanut in a few weeks, I think it's going to hit home even more.  For now, we're enjoying the non-eventful dose today and praying that all her doses for the next few weeks will be the same.

------

PLEASE SHARE!  This blog/post is not private.  I am writing them because so many people don't know about this treatment.  Doctors and Allergists don't tell you.  It's something you have to find out on your own.  If you ask them about it, they will try and answer your questions, but if they don't offer the treatment themselves, then I guarantee you they aren't freely telling patients that OIT is an option.  So, please pass this on to anyone you know that has an anaphylactic food allergy.

This is the go-to page that explains which OIT doctors are recommended and the homepage has all the private practices that are offering OIT.  Just search by state.  But now, like CHOP, a few public places are jumping on board.  If you aren't sure about your local hospital, CALL them!  If they don't offer it, look into the hospitals in the biggest cities closest to you.  Do your homework and check out their protocols (make sure they aren't just jumping on the bandwagon but actually know what they are doing!).  If you have to drive an hour or two every 2-4 weeks, it's worth it.  Believe me.  I've even met people that drove 4 hours.  One even flew across the country!  It's worth the minor inconvenience, I promise.  In addition, any age can do this.  When Ella took her first food challenge there was a 1 year old in there doing the same.  Ella said she wished she could've done it earlier - kids that young don't understand the implications of what they're doing so there are no nerves/anxiety.  If you can get it taken care of before they start school that would be a huge blessing.  Sending a food allergy child to school is terrifying.  They're in an environment (possibly for the first time) where you have very little control.  As much as you want to protect them, you just can't.  It starts to fall on their shoulders - at the age of 5 (which is too much to ask from a 5 year old 😕).  So, look into as soon as possible!!

I started writing about our journey back in August 2019 when Ella went in for her "food challenge" - here is the first link:

https://laurieslittlemonkeys.blogspot.com/2019/09/peanut-oit-my-first-food-challenge.html

From there I tried to write (sometimes Ella helped me) every trip, although I missed a few - and then we couldn't go for 3 months because of COVID.  If you're interested and want to know more, go back and read our journey!  We want everyone to have the freedom of living without the fear of dying anytime you put food in your mouth!

https://laurieslittlemonkeys.blogspot.com/2019/10/my-first-updose.html
https://laurieslittlemonkeys.blogspot.com/2019/10/boring-weekjust-what-we-want.html
https://laurieslittlemonkeys.blogspot.com/2019/12/ellas-thoughts-on-this-adventure-and.html
https://laurieslittlemonkeys.blogspot.com/2019/12/updose-5over-halfway-there.html
https://laurieslittlemonkeys.blogspot.com/2020/01/trip-6but-still-updose-5.html
https://laurieslittlemonkeys.blogspot.com/2020/02/trip-7-updose-6-almost-half-peanut.html

God bless and thanks for following our journey!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Fear and Trust


Friends,
I have watched your videos, read your emails, received your texts, talked with you, read your posts, seen your faces during Zoom calls, browsed through your social media, scrolled through your pictures and I just want you to know - you aren't alone.

I see the loneliness in parents' faces who feel utterly alone, trying to entertain toddlers and preschoolers.  I feel the pain in the words written by someone who has lost a loved one but can't be near them.  I see the sadness in the pictures of the seniors who won't get to see their friends again before graduating and who won't get to have prom or a ceremony.

I feel the frustration and the loss of what was to come - plans being canceled, trips postponed, anniversaries and birthdays spent in isolation.  It's hard.  It's hard to listen to family members far away who are struggling and you can't help.  It's hard to imagine children, youth and adults stuck in a house that is abusive.  It's hard to see the tears of a friend on Zoom when I can't take their hand and comfort them.

But most of all, I see the fear.  In your faces, in your words and in your eyes.  I feel it to.  We all do.  So much fear.

The fear of being alone - The single parent taking care of kids who has no energy or patience left to care for themselves.  The empty nester with no one around to talk to or take care of; the elderly, those in the greatest generation ever, now spending their time in a retirement home being isolated from the world.  Loneliness.

The fear of the unknown.  Will I get sick?  If I do, will I pull through?  Will my loved ones?  Will I have a job in a month?  Will I have enough money to make the next payment?  Will we get to have a summer vacation?  Will we be able to go to school in August?  The unknown.

The fear of sickness and death.  Even worse, the fear of going through sickness and death all alone.

The fear of the future - our own future, our country's future and the future of our world.

It's a fear so deep it sucks us in to the point where we can't crawl back out.  We feel paralyzed.  I read the fear in your words on social media.  I see the fear in your eyes on zoom and on video.  I hear the fear in your voice when we talk.  I see it everywhere.


Where is God?  Why is this happening? 
Fear prompts these questions.  We ask them because we don't understand what is going on and we fear the outcome.
Where are you God?  Why are you letting this happen?
Fear.
Fear causes us to think and do things we normally wouldn't do - like snap at a loved one, cry over nothing, and question things we normally don't question.


Friends, 
God knows this fear.  God understands it.  We know this by how many times we can find do not fear in the Bible.  In the NRSV, you can read it 99 times.  

For those that fear weakness, failure and being alone...


Isaiah 41:10 says:



Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.  

For those with fear of the unknown...
read Deut 31:8:

"It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed."  

And so many more...

No mortal person can answer those questions above - except by saying that we are not God and we can not understand God.  God is before us, God is with us and God will be after us.  All anyone can say to these questions is - Trust.  God never promises that all will be good, that our life will be perfect or that bad things won't happen.  But God does promise us that we will never be alone.  God tells us that he is always with us, that he will give us strength and that he loves us.  Trust.  



When you are in the midst of a crisis, a meltdown, or a panic attack, say that out loud.  "God, I trust you."  It's not easy.  Because it may not be true.  We may not trust God in that moment.  But say it again anyway.  

"God, I trust you."  
I trust you to love me.  I trust that you know the future.  I trust that out of evil, wonderful things can happen.  

"God, I trust you."
This will pass.  Life will be different, but that's ok.  You are with me.  Our lives may change, but You don't.

"God, I trust you."
All that fear that is causing us to lose sleep, to withdraw and close ourselves off.  We give it to you, God. 

"God, I trust you."
Do it.  Say it.  Over and over if you need to.  Give your fear to God until you trust Him to actually take it.  

Don't spend these months paralyzed by fear and grief.  God loves you and wants to take that from you - just release it, trust him fully, and He'll do it.



God bless you friends.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Virtual egg hunt...or any other virtual hunt!


  

Virtual (Egg) Hunt!
After searching online for a while on how to do an egg hunt "virtually" during the coronavirus, I stumbled on this app called Xnote.  Think geocaching meets Pokemon Go :)  You plot out a point (or points) on a map and then add a graphic or message at that point which the "seeker" can find.  Once you finish your point(s), the app gives you a link which you send to the "seeker".  The seeker opens the link in Safari or an app like safari (you must have data and you must give permission for the app to use GPS) and then goes on their treasure hunt!  

I decided it was worth a try so I went ahead and bought it ($3).   I tried it out in my backyard and it worked!  So, I plotted 3 points for a friend and sent it to her - it also worked!  So, I decided what better way to give my church kids an egg hunt then to hide them in their neighborhoods myself!  If I can't do it at the church, I'll do it virtually :) 

A few things to note after working on it for a while...(I contacted the creator and he is working on updating the app, but for now, use the tips below until/if he does).

1.  you have to have an apple device to create the hunt. 
2.  You can not enter an address into the address field.  The map hasn't been updated and won't work that way.  HOWEVER, I was still able to find the house/neighborhood that I was looking for by looking on googlemaps (on my laptop) for the house (and looking for landmarks like water/school/etc) and then zooming out on the xnote app, looking for the landmark, and then zooming back in.  It takes a little more time, but totally doable.  
3.  You can make as many "stops" or "points" as you want.  Once you finish your first clue, click "send message".  Then, at the bottom click on "link messages" (see above).  I'm not sure there is a limit as I created a joke scavenger hunt for my own kids and had 15 stops.  

I decided to create an Easter egg hunt that could be used twice - once as just a fun, egg hunt with jokes; and then a second time with Scripture and a journey through Holy Week.  As you see in the pic at the top of this blog, I included in the graphic which stop it was (one of 10) so they knew how many more they had left to find, a joke (without the answer so they could try and figure it out before arriving at the next stop) and a scripture/part of Holy week.  In addition, I decided that in the message, I would include a "talking point" so that the family could answer the question together or whatever it was I asked them to do, while walking to the next point.  Sometimes it was a question, sometime pray together, etc.  There's an example before for clue number 2.

I am putting this egg hunt up on my teachers pay teachers page if you would like to download all my graphics and my discussion questions.  It's free!  

Hopefully this helps you this Easter - and in the future!  There are so many things this could be used for!  Scavenger hunt, treasure hunts, riddles, educational walks, etc.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Games to play on Zoom with your kids/youth group


Everyone is having to adjust to their new "temporary" normal.  One way we're adapting in the church is to have virtual meetings with our kids/youth.  I've seen a lot of threads looking for Zoom games (because I have as well!) so I decided to compile all the ideas I found and put together a list.  Here are around 20 ideas...if you have more, add them in the comments below!  If you are using some other form of media - like facebook live, instagram, etc - some of these may or may not work.  Maybe you can tweak them though.
A lot of these games have a clear winner.  My sister's youth director delivered a quarantine package to the winner.  If you're up for it, that's a cute idea :)  What would be in a quarantine package?  Why, TP of course ;) And maybe some chocolate, puzzle book or other book, and anything else you may have on hand!


1.  Famous for two minutes - our youth director found this game :)  Let each youth (or those that want to participate) be Famous for two minutes!  Go all out and have them pretend to be on the red carpet if you want ;) All of the youth send questions just to that person that they want them to answer (many youtubers are doing this with their followers).  Encourage totally random, funny questions!  For younger kids, you'll probably need to give ideas and suggestions to get them started.  A few questions our YD and kids asked..."What movie have you starred in (or what movie would you have liked to have starred in)", "Do you like camping?", "Do you like raisins", "Who are you wearing?", "hot dog - sandwich...yes or no?!", "Favorite game", etc.

2.  Emoji games! - My sister's YD did this with their youth group on facebook live.  Fun idea!  The leader typed in 5 random emojis and the first person to type in the same emojis in the same order wins!  For younger kids (like elem or young elem), you could just do words, phrases or number/letter combos.
    GUESS the Bible Story - Emoji game!  I wanted to play this with my kids because they love this game...but couldn't find a good Bible version.  So I made one!  $2.50 on my teacherspayteachers page.
  There are a LOT of other Guess the Emoji games on teachers pay teachers.  Here are a few that your kids would probably enjoy!
Various Guessing categories - movies, historical event, sayings, songs, etc. $1 - probably best for high school but possibly middle school.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Emoji-Trivia-Game-2382330
Guess the movie - for middle and high school - FREEBIE
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guess-the-Movie-with-Emojis-Virtual-Meets-Game-Freebie-5547287

3.  Virtual Name ball - probably better with 12 or more participants - 
You've probably played this game in person - you sit in a circle, call someone's name and throw them the ball.  Then, you have them speed it up, change the order, reverse, etc.  I'm thinking we could adjust this for Zoom...once a person's name has been called, they mute themselves.  So the person has to scroll through and look for someone that isn't muted (?).  I'm still contemplating this, but I'm sure there's a way to do it :) 

4.  Scavenger hunt - This has been popular.  You can do it with any age group.   Set up some ground rules for safety though - no running through their houses :)  Send them on a hunt for random things that everyone would have in their house - milk, plate, toothbrush, blanket, etc.  As a parent, I think it'd be helpful (so that they don't have a pile of stuff to put up when they're done), to have them return the previous item before getting the new item.  

5.  I spy with peoples' backgrounds - this is probably self explanatory.  Scroll through the people in the group and whoever is "it" says they Spy something that can be found in the room behind someone.  After a few rounds, have everyone do a 180 if they can (if they're on a desktop they can't) so the background is different.

6.  Headbandz - This was suggested by a few people but I'm not sure how it would work.  You wouldn't want the person to see what is on their forehead.   If you've figured out how to do this, comment below :) 

7.  Bingo - email bingo cards beforehand (there are lots of free ones on the internet), or, make it simple and have them make their own 5 x 5 cards at home and then have them fill in the blanks with letters...or numbers 1-50...or give them a list of bible characters to choose from, etc.  I made a fun Quarantine Bingo game - keeping it light and silly.  What do you think of when you hear "Corona virus"?  toilet paper?  Zoom?  no hair cuts?  There are 28 cards for $2.50.

8.   Jackboxgames.com for 8-10 or less people.  I bought this and have played a few games with it.  My 4th/5th graders LOVE Fibbage.  We have also played Drawful but it's probably better for older kids - like middle or high school.  Make sure and select "family friendly" when playing or you may end up with sketchy/PG-13/R clues!  My daughter and I tried out Spud and Lie Swatter and weren't impressed.  We've also tried Survive the Internet and got mixed reviews.  I saw one YD recommend the game tee KO - you design your own tshirt - graphics and slogan and your friends vote (I think that's how it works).  At the end, the shirt that gets the most votes you could actually buy as a prize for the youth who made it.

9.  Charades - this one is pretty self explanatory I think.  We've all played this.  I suggest that the leader use the private chat feature and type what the youth has to enact so that they aren't on their own coming up with stuff (that could be dangerous! lol).
EDIT - someone suggested Reverse Charades which sounds even more fun!  Have one youth put down their head, show a word to everyone else and then THEY have to act it out and see if the youth can guess it!

10. Skribbl.io - https://skribbl.io/ - My son suggested this because he had seen youtubers play it together online.  It's like win, lose or draw or pictionary.  You can create a private room for you youth to join.  Play around with it first as I believe there are some nuances that make it a little different.

11.  A Quarantine Would You Rather game :)
 Here is a Google Doc link that another youth director created with some questions as well as some objects for the scavenger hunt. (I think this was created by Matthew Benz-Whittington, if not, my apologies to whoever created it...I can't find it now!)

12.  Dissent is a board game recommended for older youth (maybe senior highs).  Someone suggested this as only the leader would need the game and then the youth could make their cards that go with it.

13.  2 truths and a lie - everyone is familiar with this one I believe :)  Each person thinks of 2 truths about themselves and a lie.  Everyone else has to figure out the lie.

14.  If you want to do more of an activity rather than a game, these sounded like fun from another YD on facebook.  My apologies again as now I can't find the post so I don't know her name!  
"With our high schoolers, we had a couple people teach the whole group a Tiktok dance (they were really excited about it!), recorded everyone doing it at the same time, and are going to splice them all together (we have a pretty small group so that’s not too overwhelming.) With middle school, we each got a roll of toilet paper and tried to “pass” it from one person to the next in the grids on Zoom. Also recorded it and hope to share with the congregation. It was fun!"

15.  Conference call bingo.  Ok, so this one probably wouldn't work, but it made me laugh 😂  Maybe an idea when you meet with staff or your committee??

16.  Read my lips - sounds fun and very simple!  Someone says something on mute and others have to guess what they're saying.  Again, I would have the leader send the phrase over chat otherwise things could spiral out of control ;) 

17.   Psychiatrist  - A popular game that many of us have probably played - I'm thinking there is a way you could play this on zoom as well.  

18.  Follow the leader -  adjust for zoom!  Is there a way to block someone from hearing what's going on?  If not, you'll have to ask someone to leave their room or plug their ears...somehow you need to pick a leader without "it" knowing:

From the website 
How to Play
Ask everyone to stand and arrange the group into a circle, facing inwards. Ask one person to leave the room for a minute. This person will be the guesser for the round. While he or she is gone, the group decides who should be the “leader.” The leader will be the one who sets the movements for that round. When this person is chosen, invite the guesser to come back. The guesser stands in the very center of the circle.
When the round begins, everyone starts swinging their arms up and down. The leader will eventually begin to do other movements, and everyone else mimics the leader’s actions, without being too obvious to reveal who the leader is.
19.  Rock, paper, scissors tourney - pick a partner - you could do this with actual physical movements or with emojis!  Whoever wins against their partner moves on to the next round and whoever they beat turns into their cheerleader.  Keep going until you have a winner - go all out and make brackets!



20.  Sherlock - seems easily adjusted for zoom!  Just have someone cover their eyes or put their heads down, then send one person something via chat they should change about their appearance or their background.  See if Sherlock can figure it out!
Participants needed: 5 or more.
Assemble students in a line and have one person be Sherlock. Sherlock leaves the room and the students remaining change one thing about their appearance. They can pull their hair up or down, put on a jacket or take one off, put a sticker on, and so forth. Sherlock reenters the room and tries to identify as many changes in the appearance as they can.

There you go!  20 ideas for Zoom games!  

Here's another game that I LOVE to play and I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to do it over zoom...
What do you think?  Ideas?

Good luck everyone.  These are weird and surreal times - keep your spirits up and the joy and peace of Christ in your heart 💓💓

EDIT:  After a few weeks, I have seen some more ideas that would be fun to do so I'm adding them to the list!

21.  With my little ones (prek-1st grade) we had a "color hunt".  We did it for Easter but you could do it anytime!  Read a book about colors or the rainbow (we read a story about the Easter story and spring) and then have them bring you something that color!  My littles loved it :)


22.  Another game I'm going to play with my littles is "FREEZE!".  Don't know why I didn't think about it before :)  There is a cute little book called "Go! Go! Go! Stop!" which talks about how the working trucks "go" and "stop".  I will probably read the Bible story from John 21: 1-14 to go with this since it's right after Easter.  The disciples fished all night (go! go! go!) and then had to rest (stop!).  Jesus stood on the shore and told them to fish again (go!).  Once they caught a lot of fish, Peter realized it was Jesus and swam to him (go!).  Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, Peter said yes and Jesus told them all to Go! and love his people :)

23.  Another game that I saw suggested was "5-second rule".  I hadn't thought of that, and it would be fun over zoom!  There is also a "5-second rule Jr".  You could also come up with your own.  You don't need the actual game.  If you would like a Bible version, I actually made one a few months back before all this happened.  It has 40 cards (all Bible related) and the cards that have a definite answer (like the 12 disciples), I also have an answer card so you can see if you can name them all :) You can get it here ($3).

24.  if you're in your 40s then you probably played this game in school :)  "Good Morning, Mr. Judge".  Here are the rules...
How to Play: Have a student be the “judge” and put his or her head down on the table. Choose a student from the group to come up behind the judge and disguise his or her voice and say, “Good morning, Mr. (or Mrs., if it’s a Girl) Judge.” Then the student goes back and sits down in his or her original spot. Have the judge look up and try to guess, within three guesses, which student spoke. If the judge is right, the person he or she guessed will become the next judge. If the judge is wrong, he or she must do it again.

25.  Drawing on your head!  This is so simple and so funny :)  Have the kids put a piece of paper on their heads and then give them instructions on drawing something.  Then show the result to everyone.  You could make it more of a game by giving them a category and they pick something from the category to draw and everyone tries to guess (a farm animal, piece of clothing, something from nature, a fruit, etc).

26.  Kahoot!  All the kids have played this in school and have most likely made a game.  One of my kids actually made a kahoot game about himself and we played it :)  You could have them all type you something about themselves that no one else knows and then you make a kahoot game seeing if they can guess who said it!

27.  Family feud!

28.  Scattergories!

29.  Talent show!  i LOVE this idea :)  And I'd love to see some recordings of your shows! lol.  Not sure my kids would be up for it but I may give it a try!

30.  Mad Libs!!  Look for some fun summer ones :)  Or, I made 3 you can get.  One is a silly one about being in quarantine - you can personalize it with 9 different names from your group.  $1 here. And another is "We aren't going to make it to your zoom class today and here's why...it's true...I promise!" ;) lol.  $1 here.  "Grocery Shopping during Quarantine" $1 here.  Or get all 3 for $2.25.
31.  Virtual Escape room!  If you're on any of the facebook groups for educators, you can find a number of them - harry potter, disney and more - for free!  I've written many escape rooms but just attempted my first Virtual one!  It's a parable break out box on powerpoint.  details here.  $4
32.  Wheel of Fortune!  I'm sure you can find all kinds out there, but I made 6 Bible themed powerpoint games - each one has 10 puzzles.  $1.25 each or $6.25 for all 6 (buy 5 get one free ;) )
33.  Spot it is a fun game.  I saw one on teachers pay teachers and I thought it'd be a fun game to play on zoom!  This is a Bible themed one for $3.  We're working on a Disney themed one as well!  There are two "cards" on each slide and you have to find the image that is the same. (fire)

if you want to follow my blog or get updates, like my facebook page Laurie's little Monkeys :) 








Wednesday, March 4, 2020

News from the Juarez family




We have some news to share with everyone!  For years Noe has been in communication with friends and contacts in Peru, and has been feeling nudged to return to help the community where he was born.  If you don't already know, he was born in Ayacucho, Peru, right before the era of the Shining Path - a communist terrorist group that started in Ayacucho and then spread throughout many parts of Peru.  His community was hit hard and it was very dangerous for Christians and Quechua Indians specifically.  The Churches in Peru got together to help the members in Noe's congregation and flew them to northern Peru so they would be safer.  It is a fascinating story if you haven't heard it - next time you see him, ask him to share it with you :)  In total, almost 70,000 people were killed - half at the hands of the Shining path, a third at the hands of the Peruvian government and the rest were attributed to other miscellaneous groups.  7,500 were killed just in Ayacucho.  Noe has felt a longing to return to his community to help the Quechua people and I have never lost my passion for wanting to teach and minister to the kids in Peru.

Ayacucho is a short one hour flight from Lima and also not far from Cuzco.

Why am I telling you all this? As if you haven't guessed already ;)  After much prayer and discussion and more prayers and more discussion, we decided that the timing was finally right and that we will be returning to Peru at the end of the summer for one year.
Plaza in Ayacucho

Once we decided that this was a possibility, Noe called a contact of his in Ayacucho about a job possibility.  In less than a week he had a job and job description!  Definitely a confirmation of call.  In addition, after making a few more phone calls, we felt that we would be able get enough support to get us started. This was also a blessing!  He is going to be working with a non profit organization that focuses on literacy and education.  It's called "puriyninchik" which is Quechua for "nuestro caminar" in Spanish and "our walk" in English.  Noe explains the name in more detail:

"Puriyninchik is a Quechua word that reflects the Christian and intercultural journey in the Andes of Peru.
'Puriy' means to walk, to advance, to be in pilgrimage.
'Ninchik is a suffix that means our; but it also means equal, side by side, same accord and belonging.
So, putting all of this together it means, our pilgrimage, our journey together."
They are still working on a website but they do have a facebook page.
One of the things that has caught my eye with this organization is the "portable library" that they do 2-3 times a week throughout the city.  They go to public parks and take their library.  The children have a chance to read the books on their own and then someone reads a book to them and they do a short craft.  You'll recognize the book below "Where the wild things are" and their origami of monsters :) 



The teacher in me LOVES this :)  I will most likely search for a job when I arrive that involves teaching prek or teaching English to young children.  I am also hoping that my "teachers pay teachers" site continues to generate some extra money monthly that will supplement our income while we are there.  As the non-profit is just starting, they will not be able to pay Noe enough to support the family so he will also be searching for other opportunities - like teaching in a university or college.
The "Department" (like our State) is called Ayacucho, but there is also a city called Ayacucho.

  
The children will get to experience Peruvian culture as well as learn the language as they will be studying part time in a local school and part time online in English.  They have already started studying and playing duolingo :)  Oh, and if you're wondering, yes, Gemma our puppy will be making the trip with us :)  We are teaching her commands in spanish ;) 


This will be a difficult transition for all of us because we love our Highland family so much.  The kids are attached to the church, their schools and friends.  So, although we are excited to follow God's calling to our "year of adventure" in Peru, we are very sad to be leaving Lancaster and Highland.  
Noe's last day will be July 26 and the kids and I will stay until August 16.  This will give him time to find us a house to rent, furnish it and get everything set up.  We are very happy that we get one last summer with our Highland family - especially our mission trip to WV!
A beautiful location in Ayacucho called "Aguas Turquesas" that we hope to visit while we're there!
Thanks everyone for your love and support and for reading about the upcoming chapter in our lives!  I  plan to blog while we're there so if you want to see what we're doing, subscribe ;) 

God bless,
Laurie, Noe, Paul and Ella :) 





Friday, February 28, 2020

Trip #7, updose #6 - Almost half a peanut!!

Trip #7 to  CHOP

I thought it would be fun for this blog to interview Ella about the whole experience.  Once I started asking her questions though, I realized that wasn't going to happen ;)  lol  She was in no mood and she's done with the whole thing.  Had everything gone as planned she'd be in "maintenance" by now, but instead, she has two more updoses to go. That being said, because we were stuck so long at the last dose, only TWO more updoses sounds awesome :)  So, maybe the interview can come at the end when she's feeling more up to it.  For this blog, we decided to walk you through a day at CHOP...

Almost all of our appointments are around 10 in the morning so we catch the 7:30-8:30 train.  
The train is soooo much easier than flying or driving. It's a little disconcerting that there are absolutely no security measures, but we can arrive just 15 minutes before our train and wait at the door until we see that it's arriving.  So simple.  On the train sometimes we play games, sometimes we just chill on our phones and sometimes she has homework that needs to get done.
this is waiting for the train...she normally has some math to do so she either does it on the train or waiting after her dose
The train station in Lancaster only has a little store where we sometimes grab her a muffin since she needs to eat on the train.  But the station in Philly is huge and has tons of food options.  This week, we had enough time once we arrived to grab some breakfast.  As you can tell, she is less than excited to be there :) lol  Taking the train and doing OIT was at first an adventure...but 5 months later she is ready to be done and stop missing so much school.  
Tired, grouchy and fighting a headache :( 
From the train station, if the weather is nice (which it hasn't been since november), we walk.  If it's too cold, we take an Uber.  It's a mile and we always have our bookbags, so we normally take the Uber.  But the few times we were able to walk were nice :) Although a little complicated at first (trying to figure out where to meet the driver at the station), we've become pros and can now do it with our eyes closed ;)
chillin' in the uber and sporting her headache "preventer" on her hand
When we arrive we check into the Buerger building downstairs and then again to the allergy department upstairs on the 6th floor.  The initial wait is never long - then we get called back to our room.  The rooms at CHOP are nice and have really nice paintings/pictures on the wall.  Ella likes taking pics with them :) 


  After they check her vitals and get a baseline for everything, they give her the new dose.  We bring the stuff to mix with it (currently still OJ).  She's figured out that if she plugs her nose (see pic lol) she doesn't smell the peanut :)  

After the dose, she walks the halls for a few minutes.  She can't raise her body temp or heartbeat so she has to gauge how much she walks.  So, she usually walks a lap, we play a game while she has a little snack and then she walks a few more.  She's so creative that she makes it fun :)   see the pink on the floor?  She can only step on those ;) lol


If she doesn't have a reaction, we leave after an hour.  If she has any kind of reaction, we stay an extra 30-45 minutes.  The wonderful nurses and doctors are so great - checking in on us every 5 minutes or so.  When we finish, they send us on our way with our new dose, new spoons and new peanut flour.  This week was updose number six - almost a half a peanut!  Isn't that unbelievable?! She can actually eat a half a peanut and be okay!! I still can't believe it.

finally got some big smiles from her at the end :) 

Thank you for following our journey.  If you know someone with a life threatening allergy, please share OIT with them and let them know it's a choice.  It could save their child's life.  <3 

If you are just jumping in with our journey, check out the previous posts:





updose 2 (first real updose after getting the first small dose) http://laurieslittlemonkeys.blogspot.com/2019/10/my-first-updose.html