Sunday, November 30, 2008

Over the River and through the woods . . .

We spent Thanksgiving at my Grandmother's house and had a great time. My parents drove down and were there. One sister lives nearby and the other drove up with her fiance. My brother was there from college and my in-laws came as well.

My grandparents have lived there for 20 years, and every time we have gone to visit I ended up with a headache at some point in time. EVERY TIME. I thought there was something I was allergic to that grew there.

This time, I didn't have a headache.

The only difference is how I ate.

Typically, there are lots and lots of baked goods and I splurge.

This time, I severely limited the wheat products. Even for Thankgiving dinner, I only had tastes of things that contain wheat.

And no headache! There were a couple of days, I could feel some congestion starting and so I became stricter with myself. On the whole though, I felt great.

Wow. What a difference.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Tribute

I love Thanksgiving. I enjoy visiting with my family, trying new foods, the history of Thanksgiving -- all of it.

Well, except for one thing.

I miss my family who have passed away.

My Grandaddy (great-grandfather) died the Sunday after Thanksgiving when I was 17. He was the first close family member I lost and just a wonderful man. I was so blessed to know him, and to have him as long as I did. I just regret not learning more about him and his growing up years, but I thought everyone would be around for years more.

Each year I think about him as we are gathered around the table, as we watch the football game, and as everything gets quiet. He loved the family gatherings, and Cowboy football. We would all sit around and yell at the 'Boys when they weren't doing well, and cheer them on when they were doing well. I grew up knowing names like Roger Staubach, Danny White and Tom Landry.

I also miss my great-grandmother, she was such a neat lady. An amazing woman, many of my comfort foods are things she cooked. She taught me how to crochet a chain stitch, although we never got beyond that. I just recently realized that it was because she was left-handed and couldn't very easily teach me anything more.
One of my earlier memories, is me telling her that I liked boiled eggs, but not the yolk. She made deviled eggs and proved me wrong.

Then there is my grandfather who just passed away a year and a half ago. Not only do I have memories of him, but Junior and he had a very special relationship. Before he could talk, he just bonded with Grandpa and will mention missing him. I was blessed to be with my Grandpa when he slipped into the Savior's arms.

Thanksgiving is bittersweet for me. I treasure the time with my family, but I also miss those who aren't here anymore.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Little Boys and their brains

I will be famous, I will have statues in my honor. I have figured out the secret to why little boys do some of the things they do.

It may seem that they are not thinking, but really it is just how their brain works.

Let me back up.

Have you ever heard of the great scientist Mark Gungor?

This brilliant man discovered the difference in men and womens brains. You can click here to see a video of him.

Basically he said that women's brains are like large balls of wire, where everything has connections to everything else.

Men's brains he compared to a bunch of boxes; one box for work, one for family, etc. When a man is at work, he is in his work drawer. On the way home, he closes the work drawer and opens the family drawer. If you have ever seen a brief blank look of your husbands face when you ask him a question not related to what he is doing, you just watched him close one drawer and go to another.

Everyone knows what a junk drawer is, right?

That drawer that all the odd stuff goes into?

That is the largest drawer in little boy brains because they put everything in that drawer.

Just like they don't always put away their toys, they just dump every thing in there. It works fairly well, except when they get bored.

See, when they get bored, they reach in that drawer and pull out two or three things.

Any two things. They may not be related, in fact they probably aren't related.

It may be something like a seam ripper and walls which give the boy an idea of seeing what will happen when a seam ripper is used on a wall.

Or it may be makeup base and his sleeping sister, where he decided that she needs makeup (at 8) because she is a girl. Never mind that she is asleep, or that she isn't allowed makeup yet. She gets some of mommy's base on her face. The excess is just wiped off on some nearby furniture. Did I mention we weren't at home? We were visiting my grandmother.

Since you don't know what is in the drawer and what he is going to pull out, you can't possibly forbid everything he might get into.

Thankfully, Junior has been showing much better restraint since the seam ripper incident. There haven't been any more "experiements" lately. He may be done with his experiment phase, although I doubt we are completely through with it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Food and Nutrition Contest

Well this morning we had our county food and nutrition contest for 4-H. For those of you not familiar with 4-H food and nutrition, it's more than just being able to cook. The food is judged on appearance but not on taste (apparently there have been some food poisoning issues). The kids also have to learn the nutritional information on their dish. They are supposed to know

  • calorie content

  • subsitutions you can make, such as whole wheat flour for AP

  • primary nutrient and what that nutrient does, like calcium which builds bones

  • what food groups are on the food pyramid and which group your dish is in

  • they have to be able to serve it

  • and other stuff I can't remember

So its alot of information to learn.

Both kiddos were participating this year. Junior is in the Clover-Kids age group (5-8 yrs) and they don't really compete, they participate. They are "judged" by the older kids, but there is no scoring and all of them get green ribbons.

Daisy's age group is junior division which does compete with real judging. They go back individually, serve the judges and answer questions about their dish.

This year Daisy made Baked Apples Melt in the Mouth Baked Apples This was really yummy but since the judges didn't taste it, that doesn't matter. It also has only 90 calories. That is amazing for a dessert!

Anyway, Daisy won runner up this year (last year she won a blue ribbon and first place with Great-Grandma's Applesauce Bread.) If the other kid can't go to district, Daisy will get to go, but it's not likely. The kid who won, his family is heavily involved in 4-H.

Junior made Yogurt Parfaits He made them with vanilla yogurt, granola and pineapple -- I had my doubts that pineapple would be good with yogurt but it is wonderful -- just canned pineapple. We were able to hear his presentation. He did well . . . except he kept putting his glove in his mouth -- makes the gloves for serving food pointless.

I know he was really nervous, in fact I asked one of the older kids in our club to pretend to judge Junior so he could feel less nervous. I think that helped, but they judged the Clover-Kids last so he was nervous again by the time it was his turn.

All in all, it was a good competion, the kids learned quite a bit.

100 species challenge - Sweetgum and Greenbriar

I am finally doing my first 100 Species Challange post. With dead camera batteries and too much other stuff going on, this has taken longer than I thought.

  1. Sweetgum

  2. Greenbriar

Sweetgum leavesName: Sweetgum

Also known as redgum, american sweetgum, starleaved gum, gumtree and alligator wood. A deciduous tree with leaves that are deeply palmate, or star shaped. When crushed, the leaves have a very strong fragrance, kind of peppery, minty, mentholy. The leaves somewhat resemble maple but are alternately arranged rather than opposite.(see below for an explanation of alternate and opposite)

Sweetgum has a fruit that you would recognize if you ever stepped on one, looking more like a weapon than a fruit. It’s a spiny ball that will clutter up the yard.
Except for the messy balls, it is a beautiful landscape tree and is one of the top producing hardwoods. It is used to make flooring, veneers, furniture, paper pulp and basket making.Sweetgum leaf
The sweetgum sap has been used by oldtimers to make a chewing gum. Supposedly, the leaves when chewed and applied as a paste will releive fire ant bites. I have tried this on Junior and he said it helped, but it took awhile before I had the taste out of my mouth (think really, really strong mint gum). Since I avoid fire ant beds, I haven't tried this on myself. Yep, I am a wimp.


Greenbriar leavesName: Greenbriar

Also known as as horsebrier, catbriar, stretchberry, tramps troubles, blasphemy vine and hellfetter.

A common woody vine that grows in the same area as sweetgum. The leaves are very glossy, almost waxy looking and are broadly rounded. It is the only vine in the United States that has both thorns and tendrils.

The vine can form a thick thicket that is home and food to a variety of wildlife. The deer graze upon the leaves, birds eat the berries and cottontails make their home in its thick cover.
Greenbriar berries, notice the thorn poking out from behind
The berries can be mixed with the sap of the sweetgum tree, to make the gum stretchier. I have broken open these berries and there is a thin, clear stretchy membrane that really is elastic-like.

The young shoots, tendrils and leaves can be cooked as asparagus, ro eaten raw. The roots when crushed, washed and strained produce a red powder that can be used as a gelatin. This powder can be added to soups as a thickening agent or mixed with tannic acid as a soothing salve for bites, minor burns, or abrasions.


While looking this information up, I found this book which looks like a wonderful resource. I love the look of this book, I was able to veiw some of it and found it a huge wealth of information. That is where I got alot of the info on the Greenbriar.
Ok I must confess, I just borrowed the graphic from Amazon. So if you want to see inside the book, you have to go to Amazon. You can just click here.


I promised to explain alternate and opposite. Here goes. Then you look at a branch that has leaves they will be either alternate or opposite. Opposite leaves would be like your 2 arms. They are on opposite sides of the body. Alternate means they are not opposite. They can be very close to opposite, but if they aren't even, it is alternate. Here is a little diagram I threw together to give a visual.
alternate and opposite

Friday, November 21, 2008

three sixes

I saw this meme on Our Little Togginator's blog and thought it looked interesting. So here goes.

6 things I value

  1. My relationship with God-This has gotten me through 2 high-risk pregnancies, my father's cancer, my mother's and my MIL's open heart surgeries and more small crisis' than I can count. As for wondering if He exists, since both my children are alive because of miracles, you can not convince me He doesn't exist.

  2. my children-I love snuggling up with them and reading a book, I love the smell of their hair, I love how they are getting into deeper thoughts, I love how they are relating to each other - most of the time.

  3. my husband- I am blessed with one of those "prince among men." He is kind, generous, compassionate, cool-headed and as handy as a pocket on a shirt. Except for his horrible taste in movies and television shows, he is wonderful.

  4. my family- I have got such a wonderful family, I was blessed by Godly grandparents; parents who took me to church even when I didn't want to go;and my siblings whose very existence taught me necessary skills like being able to pick bathroom locks. I love them all dearly, even though there is no such thing as a secret in my family. Information travels faster in my family than it possibly could in cyber-space. I am further blessed by in-laws who love my children and would do anything for them. They also love me too.

  5. the ability to homeschool- I love the ability to be with my kids everyday most of the day. I love to see that little spark that says they get it. I love spending time with them. I will admit it, some days are not good days but the good days outweigh the bad.. I know homeschooling is not for everyone but it has been wonderful for us.

  6. Friends - both online and in real life. Enough said.

6 Things I don’t support

  1. Lying - It seems to run rampant in our neighborhood, kids telling lies about each other. I suppose I should be glad that the neighborhood kids are not good liars, but my two fall for it. They have both been taught that lying is wrong and so they don’t understand why someone would lie for no real reason. Its just a pet peeve of mine, since I knew people who would rather lie than tell the truth.

  2. Cruelty of any sort - I don’t care if it is toward a person or animal. No one and nothing deserves to be treated with cruelty. Physical, verbal, or mental - it is all wrong.

  3. name calling and other forms of political *%^&#Grow up. It is not polite and participating in it just means you need your mouth washed out with soap. I have seen 5 year olds fighting over a toy that behaved better than both political parties.

  4. creatures that creep me out - I am not particularly girly in the animal department. I like lizards and horned toads and daddy long-legs and all sorts of things that creep others out. I just don’t like snakes in my yard, any other place is fine; crickets and grasshoppers; roaches; and mice and rats.

  5. aspartame - I know the FDA says it safe kindof like they did with cigarettes but I have had problems with nutrasweet and I don’t want my kids eating it. Did you know though, it is nearly impossible to get away from? It is in all children’s chewable medicine (I wasn’t able to find any that didn’t have it), chewable vitamins (hard to find without aspartame) and Juicy Fruit gum which contains sugar but they still add aspartame.

  6. forwards - I get so tired of those. I have already read many of them and to be honest, it just annoys me to be told “If you don’t forward this to 15 people you will have horrible luck” or “send this to everyone in your contact list and see how many send it back. If no one sends it back, no one likes you.” I refuse to send them back on principle so don’t feel unloved if I don’t send one back.

The third 6 is people I have tagged, however I am not going to tag anyone. If you want to do this one, go ahead, I would love to read it. If you don’t, nothing bad will happen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I deserve an award of some kind

and I will be by to pick it up as soon as I have had a bath in boiling water.
* shuddering *

Most animals I like, there are very few things that just completely gross me out; roaches, snakes in my yard, mice, rats, and grasshoppers and crickets. yes, I know it's stupid to be scared of grasshoppers and crickets. They just creep me out. Bad childhood experience.

Daisy went out to feed her rabbits and called me out because she saw what she thought was a rat next to the house.

I don't want a mouse or rat near my house.

Neighboring town maybe.

So now what do I do? I can't leave it out there -- it could come in.

So I got a fishing net and trapped it. Put it in a huge rubbermaid tote that we had an outdoor goldfish in (long story, but the goldfish died and it was empty). I then got an empty fishtank that we use for the occasional small wildlife we catch -ususally frogs and turtles. I scooped the rodent from the tote into the fishtank and then went and threw up.

For those of you that think I should take it and release it in the country. Sorry, not me.

  1. I AM NOT getting in a small enclosed space like a car with a wild rodent.

  2. I live in the country. This could be one that someone caught in the city and released out here. Thanks for that!

By the way, I am now thinking it was a mouse not a rat. I held a ruler next to the tank and sizewise, it is the size of a full grown mouse. From some of the other things I read (tail lenght, ear size, etc), I am pretty sure it is a full grown mouse, rather than an immature rat. In any case, for my peace of mind, it is a mouse. If that means I won't get the award . . . still a mouse.

What am I going to do with it? I am going to wait until my wonderful husband comes home and he can do something with it. Maybe take it to the city, now that its vacation is over.

a few things

Its the oddest thing, I have run a low grade fever the past 4 nights from close to 7:30 until about midnight. Well the other nights have been pretty close to those times, tonight was the only night I paid attention. It's not really high, just enough to make me cold and achey. The rest of the day, I am ok. I dunno. Its just odd.

This morning, I got on the scale for the first time in a week and had a huge jump of joy in my heart. Then I realized that for me to lose 30 pounds in a week, something had to be seriously wrong.
I was right.
There was something seriously wrong.
There was a marble under the scale.sigh.

I was going to post a couple 100 species challange things, but my camera battery died and I didn't feel like looking for the card reader. Now my camera battery is charged but . . . I don't feel like doing that right now.

ummm. There isn't really a point to this post. I just thought I would share.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

an Attitude adjustment --NOT a rant

This post was origionally going to be a rant 2 rants in 1 day and none before that? Can we say hormones? I have realized though that God was apparently at work.

My patient husband was called to jury duty in the area we live in. Now being called into the county, state, federal, any of those I could see. But for crying out loud, we don't even have a post office, yet we have a court?!?! Apparently they only do 2-4 cases a year.

So he shows up for duty at 8:45, like they told him, and finds out that only 5 other jurors have shown up. No matter, they only need 3 jurors so they can all stay.

The case is this: Bob and Joe *not their real names* decide to go driving around at 2 am after drinking too much. Bob doesn't drive so well because of the beer and so they get pulled over. Joe had "fallen asleep" in the front seat and when his buddy was arrested for driving drunk, they woke him up. Joe said that he had had a 6 pack, but the officer was going to let him go with a warning if someone would come and pick him up. Joe couldn't get anyone to answer the phone, the officer couldn't leave him on the side of the road. The only thing he could do is give Joe a ticket for public intoxication and left him dry out in the drunk tank.

Joe now claims that he wasn't intoxicated; it was a 6 pack of water that he drank, and he was just tired from lack of sleep. Anyway they never did a urine or breath test so they can't prove he was drunk. Blah, Blah, Blah . . . .

I will spare you my rant about idiots who waste taxpayer's money because they don't want to admit they messed up. Suffice it to say, they found Joe guilty. Jury duty only lasted about 1 hour.

But then Hubby had the rest of the day off . . . so he went to work for a "few hours" at the church.

Our church is doing one of those Christmas light shows that is coordinated to the music this year. Well, they need a fair amount of electrical work in order to get it up and running, so this week hubby has worked about 16 hours on getting the wiring done. He was there today from about 10:00 until about 5:30. If he hadn't have had jury duty, he wouldn't have been able to do as much today and quite possibly the church would have had to hire someone to do some of the electrical.

So with that in mind, I suppose it was a good thing that he had jury duty.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Have you joined Freecycle?

I have. I am a member of 2 groups, one for the town I am in and one for the neighboring town.

Its a great concept, I have something i.e. swingset, baby stuff, etc. that I no longer need and post it on freecycle and someone who wants it, gets it. Or if there is something I am wanting, I might post a request.

Some people don't quite get the idea through.

I have seen requests like "My grandma is in the hospital and I lost her laptop. She is on a fixed income and can't afford to buy a new one. It needs to be one of those with all the capabilities of doing advanced gaming."
Are you serious! You think you are actually going to get something like that!
or My DVD player just broke and I am wanting one of those combination DVD/VCRs, if you happen to have a working one. yes, when I buy electronics, I always buy a few extra.

Not all of them are bad though. I saw one with a request for firewood, since I have a friend whose husband cuts trees and they end up having to have bonfires to burn all the trees he hauls off, I passed the information on to her.

So Freecycle does serve a very useful purpose, its just some people try to take advantage.

Does anyone have a giant screen tv laying around taking up space? I will be happy to take it off your hands.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Feeling Blessed

It's amazing how a humdrum, same-old/same-old Monday can be so wonderful.

Daisy had asked Jesus into her heart on Oct 3, 2006 --she was 7-- and since then we have had some fairly deep discussions. We have discussed things in front of Junior, but in a fairly toned down way.

About 4 months ago, we were finishing up the Narnia Chronicles, with The Last Battle (an absolutely wonderful series, I highly recommend it). The Last Battle **spoiler alert** deals with the end of Narnia, somewhat as a parallel to our end times. So she and I were discussing that, and how those who haven't accepted Jesus would go into the pit, according to the Bible. Because Junior was in the room, I chose pit because it was less scary than "lake of fire", "hell" or any of the other names. He didn't say anything but was apparently listening.

Then in early September he had a little problem with a slightly damaged wall and was completely convinced he was going to die.

This morning, a normal quiet morning, I was checking my email while the kids were finishing breakfast. Junior crawled up next to me and said "Mommy, how do you get Jesus in your heart?"

The laptop closed and my full focus was on Junior and his heavenly Father. I told Junior, what to pray and immediately he folded his hands and prayed. After talking with him, I found out that he prayed because he didn't want to go into the pit. Because we hadn't really been talking with him, he didn't know how much more there is.

I had assumed, silly me, that he was too young to think about something this big.
But God knew better.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pieces of my past

I hate that the modern life is so busy. No matter what phase of life we are in, we seem to fill it to the brim; sometimes we fill it too full and important things are washed out. Sometimes we keep putting something off until we have more time to devote to it . . . unfortunately we never seem to have more time.

Then the guilt sets in, the guilt that says "you've taken too long, it's too late."

I had some friends I treasured, friends from high school and college. But I moved, and we lost touch. We all had busy lives and things going on. I waited to call or write or email until I had time to do so. Time to devote to it, to do a thorough job.

Some of them, I was able to contact about 8 years ago but busy-ness got in the way and rather than send a quick email, I waited until I could send a longer one. Waited too long. I am realizing now, I should have just at least sent emails that said "I am thinking about you." Knowing me, once I started it would have gotten longer. But I waited . . . and lost contact.

These are friends that I laughed with and cried with. They hold pieces of my past, we share memories. We have all moved on with our lives, built new ones. But we don't have to throw away our past. We can still keep our old friends.

Can we be as close as we once were? Probably not. I would like at the very least to be on each others Christmas card lists. I know they are busy too but I think emails once a month or so would be nice.

Speaking of which, I have an email to write. I encourage you to get in touch with an old friend.

Make new friends but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold.
The circle is round and has no end,
that's how long I want to be your friend.

Cold weather has arrived

Yep, it got really cold last night. You won't believe how cold. We woke up this morning and didn't want to crawl out of our toasty warm beds.

Do you want to know how cold it got?

Are you sure you can handle it?

Well ok, it got down to (shuddering) 1 degree last night.

ok, yes that is 1° celcius . . . which converts to 34° farenheit . . . which I know is not cold for some of you. But for us, it is cold! According to accuweather our average low for November is 46°F and our lowest average is 38°F.

So we are bringing out the thick fuzzy socks, and making some hot chocolate with marshmallows.

My Darling hubby and house weather geek informed me that it was colder than 34°, he saw some thermometers in town announcing it was 27°. I hate being cold.

Friday, November 14, 2008

God's World of Extremes

I was looking for a way to enrich our geography lessons, make them more than just places on a map. The October Old Schoolhouse module is what I was looking for. God’s World of Extremes is full of amazing facts, such as the most rainfall happens in India with 500 inches! You will never guess what amount is the least average yearly rainfall.

God’s World of Extremes has learning opportunities such as maps of each continent; coloring pages for the younger ones; price comparisons for things like bread and gas; games kids play around the world; and a “which continent are we on” worksheet.

There are also loads of links:

  • Easy foreign language
  • More about countries such as Greece, Mexico, Chad and even the United States
  • A penpal website
  • An extensive resource list
  • And more

In God’s World of Extremes my favorite is the copywork pages, one for each continent with a fast fact section that includes things like land size, largest river, and number of countries. These would be wonderful for lapbooking or notebooking.

My daughter can’t wait to start this one. This is a fabulous module that can be used with the Old Schoolhouse Planner; however, owning the planner is not necessary.

God’s World of Extremes will get your kids excited about geography.

Prayers needed

There is a young man who used to go to our church who just graduated from high school this year. He has had an awful time of it recently. His mom battled cancer for a couple of years and passed away close to his graduation. To watch his vibrant, joyful mom waste away was hard enough, now I have found out he has even more sorrow.

His paternal grandfather died 6 weeks ago and then his dad passed away on tuesday. I don't know how or why, I know his dad's death was sudden but I don't know anything specific beyond that.

He is at such a fragile age and has lost 3 close family members in less than 6 months. He is either going to cling tightly to Jesus or become angry with God.

Please just keep him in your prayers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I loved my blog over at Homeschool Blogger but I found I wanted some of the bells and whistles that are over here at blogger. So rather than open up another blog, I decided to move everything over here.

This isn't exactly the way I want it Does anyone know how to put a graphic at the bottom of each post? but it is getting there. Its taking longer than I would like, partly because I have never messed with CSS, just html.

I plan on moving all (or at least 98%) of the posts over at homeschoolblogger over here, but it may take a bit. You are welcome to browse around here if you want to see what I have missed or what I haven't moved yet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

100 species Challange

I was over at the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival at Jimmie's One Child Policy blog (well worth checking out even without the carnival) and found this entry:

Faith Alterton shares a most creative post at Blessed Quietness -- And yet another use for mud. That got your attention, didn't it?

Of course I had to check it out, and then I looked around and found the 100 species challenge.

What is the 100 Species Challenge you ask?

Well, it seems the person who came up with this challenge had read a book that mentioned most people nowadays cannot identify 100 species of plants within walking distance. So she took the challenge and has challenged others to do the same, identify 100 species of plants in your area.

You can do this on your own or you can blog about it. If you blog about it, these are the official rules.

The 100-Species Challenge

  1. Participants should include a copy of these rules and a link to this entry in their initial blog post about the challenge.

  2. Participants should keep a list of all plant species they can name, either by common or scientific name, that are living within walking distance of the participant's home. The list should be numbered, and should appear in every blog entry about the challenge, or in a sidebar.

  3. Participants are encouraged to give detailed information about the plants they can name in the first post in which that plant appears. My format will be as follows: the numbered list, with plants making their first appearance on the list in bold; each plant making its first appearance will then have a photograph taken by me, where possible, a list of information I already knew about the plant, and a list of information I learned subsequent to starting this challenge, and a list of information I'd like to know. (See below for an example.) This format is not obligatory, however, and participants can adapt this portion of the challenge to their needs and desires.

  4. Participants are encouraged to make it possible for visitors to their blog to find easily all 100-Species-Challenge blog posts. This can be done either by tagging these posts, by ending every post on the challenge with a link to your previous post on the challenge, or by some method which surpasses my technological ability and creativity.

  5. Participants may post pictures of plants they are unable to identify, or are unable to identify with precision. They should not include these plants in the numbered list until they are able to identify it with relative precision. Each participant shall determine the level of precision that is acceptable to her; however, being able to distinguish between plants that have different common names should be a bare minimum.

  6. Different varieties of the same species shall not count as different entries (e.g., Celebrity Tomato and Roma Tomato should not be separate entries); however, different species which share a common name be separate if the participant is able to distinguish between them (e.g., camillia japonica and camillia sassanqua if the participant can distinguish the two--"camillia" if not).

  7. Participants may take as long as they like to complete the challenge. You can make it as quick or as detailed a project as you like. I'm planning to blog a minimum of two plants per week, complete with pictures and descriptions as below, which could take me up to a year. But you can do it in whatever level of detail you like.

Because of 4-H wildlife this year, we do have a bit of a head start. This is going to be a fun challenge for us, and may make it easier to study for Wildlife contest next year, a contest that 8 & 9 year olds compete with highschool kids. To be honest, I am not quite sure who is at the disadvantage, LOL.

The first plants will be posted later today. Because of wildlife, and because I believe the original author complaining of the lack of botanical knowledge was referring to wild species, I am going to attempt to limit us to stuff we have not planted. For instance, I have a lovely rosemary bush but I know what rosemary is, I know what it does, etc.

I don't specify native because . . . there are many, many invasive plants that are non-natives, not just kudzu but also pretty things like honeysuckle, which would be useful to know more about. Also, to be honest, with plants you don't know, you don't know if they are native or not until you research them. I don't want us to research and then find out they are non-native and tell the kids "oops, we can't use this one." Besides on the wildlife contest there are non-natives like honeysuckle.

Any one else care to join me on this challenge?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Here are some family pictures

I have been taking pictures of the kids doing 4-H stuff and the like. Just not so many just of them.

I do need to do that but here are some pictures taken in the past 16 months.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Veteran's Day Parade

Our homeschool group has participated the past three years in the Veteran's Day parade that our town does. This was the first year, we were able to join the group and I was so glad we were able to do so.

I have family that has served in the military and so Veteran's day reminds me of them.
I was saddened to see the low attendance to honor those men and women that have done so much for our country. I also realize that I have been guilty of doing the same. This is the first Veteran's day event that I have attended -- that I know of.

Anyway, we passed out candy to the kids and said a big "Thank you" to the vets we passed.

To any veteran reading this:

Thank you!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Ok, I can't lie and say I am happy because I am not really. I wasn't one of those chosen for a job offer.

On the other hand, I know I have so very, very much to learn. Some of the others already had prior experience in marketing. Others already were doing some work for TOS, like product reviews.

I was so richly blessed by this class. I have learned so very much, both about marketing and about myself. I tend to be shy and this class pushed me out of my comfort zone but in a good way. I have made some new wonderful friends, so that is wonderful.

My new friends and my new knowledge are very rich treasures indeed.



I don't know about the results of the class yet. I should find out tomarrow. All I can do is pray.

. . . and try to mess up my blog.

I put the facebook icon up tonight and somehow messed up the coding. Thankfully, I have a backup copy for the coding, but then I would have to redo some of the stuff I have changed since last making a backup. But with it I was able to figure out where I messed up the coding so . . .

its all fixed.

Now to update my backup copy of the coding.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I was going to put some mentholated rub on Junior's chest when he had his cough. First I let him smell it.

"This smells like frug." *said like rug,the kind on the floor*

I don't say anything, just look confused. He then says

"I don't know what they look like 'cause I just made them up, but this is what they smell like."


Well I did it.

I signed up for facebook the other day.

Ok, you need to sign up. I was able to make contact with people I haven't talked to in 8 years. I could talk to people I haven't talked to in 17 years, but . . . many of them are part of the reason I homeschool.

You can also keep up with current friends and family through Facebook.

Check it out.

Amusing Mathematics Old Schoolhouse November Module

I really enjoyed Amusing Mathmatics. which is pretty amazing since I have never really liked math.

Ok, the truth is I hated math.

I am still not too fond of math but I really enjoy Amusing Mathmatics. My daughter liked it too. In fact, I didn’t get to read through the whole thing at first because I had to stop so she could play with the tangrams.

Amusing Mathmatics. is a great ebook, even for confirmed mathophobes like me. There are activities such as

  • tangrams - ancient Chinese puzzles of shapes
  • jokes and riddles
  • Pattern Blocks
  • math puzzles
  • sodoku.
Tips are hidden throughout, like an easy way to figure out the answer to 9 x any other number.

I love the copywork for Amusing Mathmatics.! It has rhymes to help remember the difference between coins; the difference in measurement between cups, pints, quarts, and gallons; and other math rhymes.

If you want to add a little fun into your math studies, look no further than Amusing Mathmatics.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

whooping cough part 2

*happy dance* Junior's whooping cough test was negative. *happy dance*

I still have things to do for my class so I will update more later.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Homespun Holidays

I just love the smells of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  • The slightly smoky smell in the air outside from people using their fireplaces.
  • The spicy scent of apples cooking with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • The toasted vanilla fragrance of cookies baking.

These all make me anticipate the upcoming holidays. The Schoolhouse Store has got an ebook that will help you get that holiday spirit. Homespun Holidays is a wonderful ebook that has so many ideas and recipes for the fall and winter, ideas that come from homeschool moms like you.

With soups to chase away the chill, casseroles to keep you satified, and desserts to make you drool, Homespun Holidays is more than a cookbook. There are also crafts and other activites.

  • Play Thanksgiving ABCs, or Going to Mamaw's Bingo
  • Make a scarecrow or paint your windows.
  • Make a trashbag wreath or a handmade nativity. /li>

What is an e-book?

An e-book is an electronic book that you either download immediately or buy on a computer disk. You can keep it on your computer and read it from there or you can print it and then have it bound. (There are also ways of binding it yourself for very little investment, which I will cover in a later post, I will also discuss different ways of printing to save money.)

Look at Homespun Holidays here before any more time passes. I was absolutely thrilled with my copy.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's nearly over

Ok, I have been taking this marketing class for almost 4 weeks, and have loved every minute of it. I am so thankful that I was able to take part. From the beginning it seemed to be a God thing that I was able to participate, and when we chose partners.

It has been an intensive class with a fair amount of reading, but it's been amazing. It has gotten my brain thinking about thing I didn't know about.

  • I now see what we did wrong at our 4-H fundraiser, a food booth at one of the local town's celebrations. We tried to sell a food plate with a beef sandwhich, bag of chips, drink and cookie for $5, we did sell some but not nearly as many as we were hoping for. We really should have made it the lunch with a free cookie. The word free could have drawn them over. Not to mention we needed to let people know we were there, instead of waiting for them to meander over.
  • I have so many ideas. Ideas for my blog template, ideas for posts, ideas for sell sheets . . . .
  • I learned my creative bone wasn't broken when I got pregnant, it just hid.

As much as I have learned, I know I still have so much more to learn. I had never heard of a white paper until Wednesday night, but I can see applications for it. I may have even read some before, but didn't know what they were. I am not sure how many other marketing things I have never heard of.

On a personal level, this class has done so much for me. I can't even describe how great it is to be using my brain for something other than grocery list and planning our homeschool week. I do have periodic "projects" like learning html, or learning how to tat, but that's different. If I can't figure them out then no one has to know.

I have made friends, the ladies in the class are all wonderful. I am seeing myself as more creative and smarter than I have in awhile. I just feel that God's hand has been in this whole experience.

What a blessing!

Go Vote!!

Ok, I will be honest. Part of me wants to say go vote only if you are going to vote as I did.

However, I am not going to say who to vote for. I will tell you who not to vote for.
  • Don't vote for race
  • Don't vote for gender
  • Don't vote for "charisma"

Vote for policies, vote for politics, vote your conscience.

And remember -- who ever wins-- God is in control. He is not surprised. He won't be sitting up there in heaven saying "Darn it, I fell asleep and forgot to have _____ win." (Hah, you thought I was going to slip up and tell you who to vote for.)