Monday, January 26, 2009

This Week's Preview

This weekend was somewhat busy and I didn't get the pictures from our co-op and pancake dinner posted. Becky posted some....check out her blog at to see some of our activity.

This week I will not be posting a menu as we are leaving Wednesday morning for Kentucky. We will be going to Mammoth Cave on Thursday and on to the Creation Museum on Friday. Jeff will be interviewing Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum ( ....Jeff has a really neat job if you like meeting people. And we sometimes get to tag along. I hope to have some really neat pictures to share when we return.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just Because

Just because...she is one crazy girl!

Just because... he is sweet and cuddly (and drooling like there's no tomorrow!)

Just because...he's the cutest, little rootin', tootin' cowboy around.

Just because... I rarely have a picture of Jeff to post and he was willing.

Day One in New England

We are studying a good bit about the early whaling industry of New England this week. Last week Aaron read an abridged version of Moby Dick and this weekend they watched Moby Dick with Gregory Peck. You can learn a lot from a movie.

Monday was our first official day in our New England study and we are already behind. I have this problem with planning too much for one day without considering that 1) I have a very active four year old, 2) I have a 3 1/2 month old 3) I have three official students with one of them being a high schooler that needs lots of discussion time and 4) I also had to buy groceries.

We did get our New England boiled dinner prepared for Monday evening. My older children enjoyed eating this in the past when we have done this unit before. The meal consisted of corned beef brisket cooked with potatoes, carrots, onions, turnip, parsnip and carrots. We needed some green, so we had broccoli on the side. Here are some pictures of the kids peeling all of those veggies and a prepared plate. Thanks for looking!!

Aaron peeling parsnips.

Jackson cutting up carrots. He was so funny. He kept panting and saying, "This is really hard work!" He's a little blurry 'cause he was working so fast!

Kaelan slicing sweet potatoes.

Ready to go into the oven. Don't you love the overalls? Reminds me of another little girl who used to live here but she has grown up and would never wear overalls now!

Jackson drinking a CRANBERRY Sierra Mist. We'll be making several cranberry dishes this week as well.

Dig in!

And to top it all off, a cranberry-apple crisp topped with vanilla bean ice cream!! YUMMY!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How to Tell if Your Four Year Old Is Ready for Schoolwork

This is a dialogue I had with Jackson after reviewing the letter F.

Me: This is the letter F. It says...fffff. This is a picture of a bell...b...b...b...bell. This is a picture of a fork...fff.ffff.ffff...fork. Which one starts with fffff?

Jackson: Ting!! Ting!!! I want chocolate.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Monday--New England Boiled Dinner (corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, turnips and onions), broccoli, apple/cranberry crunch

Tuesday--chicken kabobs,couscous, tzatziki (a dip made with plain yogurt and cucumber), homemade pita bread

Wednesday-BBQ sandwiches, cole slaw, country fries

Thursday-clam chowder, homemade rolls, spinach salad, cranberry cake and maple crunch muffins

Friday-pancakes with maple syrup, bacon, sausage, eggs

Saturday-turkey noodle casserole, Boston baked beans, Boston brown bread, cranberry/apple pie


Confession and a Pre-view of the Week to Come

I have a confession to make! I am now addicted to blogging and Facebook. Why, oh why did I start on this slippery slope? Because of this addiction, my house is not in order, we didn't complete everything for school last week and I haven't even checked Jordan's work from Friday and maybe even Thursday. This is getting bad. I must discipline myself, but this is such a temptation to me.

Because of my addiction, we didn't get any cute pictures taken of our KONOS activities this last week. However, I AM going to be strong and resist the desire to check up on MckMama, Kelly, Butterfly Catcher and all my local friends throughout the day.. I mean, really, isn't once enough? This is crazy.

OK, now for this week's school preview.... We are heading up to New England in the morning. We will begin reading one of our all-time favorite books Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, learning about whaling, learn some sailing songs, learn how maple syrup is made, how cranberries grow and study about clams and lobsters. Along the way we will stop to make a New England boiled dinner, cranberry bread, maple crunch muffins, pancakes with maple syrup and clam chowder. My stomach is growling already!! The children will be doing LOTS of independent reading and continue learning the location, abbreviations and capitols of all the states with some interesting facts thrown in there. Hope to have some good pictures of all our fun to post next weekend.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Book Review by Jordan- Do Hard Things

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris may sound like a scary book to most teens, but it is truly revealing. It makes you feel like our culture is plotting secretly to steal our minds and bend them to it's purpose. While you may think this sounds crazy, bear in mind that that may be exactly what the world wants you to think.

So, the reason they wrote this book was to bring to light this underhanded conspiracy to turn us all into lazy, incompetent, unsuccessful, irresponsible adults? Maybe. But it goes further than that. The Harris brothers encourage teens to not fear doing hard things or tackling challenges.

Early on in the book, the Harris twins give the illustration of an elephant who was taken as a baby and trained to stay in one place by having a chain tied around it's leg and staked into the ground. The elephant learned that no matter how hard it pulled, it would never be able to move. Then, the elephant's owner would take it and tie it by a piece of yarn attached to a stick buried an inch in the ground. The elephant would attempt to move, but as soon as it felt resistance, even a small amount, it would give up because it was so used to the chain.

What does an elephant have to do with teens? The world tells us that we shouldn't have to do hard things, that the teen years are for partying and having fun. This lie is like the chain that held the elephant in one place, and it is because of this lie that most teens today avoid all work, and grow up without a good job, and either still live with mom and dad or move back in. The Harris brothers call these people "kidults".

The Harris brothers give many examples from the past of teens who did "hard things", but just in case you think "Yeah, but those were the old days" they give several other examples of teens who did hard things, who they knew personally.

After reading this, you'll come away thinking, "Why not? What's so bad about doing hard things?". This is a short, easy to read book with a scary title. Read it, and then do something hard and productive. And cleaning your room does not count.

What a Funny Daddy!!

Last week Jeff had a little cold and every time he cleared his throat, Caedmon started laughing. We thought it was cute and caught him on video.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Caedmon is Three Months Old

Caedmon is now three months old and is such a joy. I have to admit that I was in shock just a little over a year ago when I realized I was pregnant. You see, I had just decided a month earlier that we were too old and too busy to have any more children. In fact, I had given all my maternity clothes away. It took me a while to get over the shock (and the morning sickness which is more like evening sickness for me). But now I feel so blessed to have a baby sleeping in my arms, to look up at me with a milky grin and just to love on. God's plans are way better than any we can come up with. Yes, I'll be 62 when he graduates high school (a year after one nephew and a year before another),but I'm sure he'll be okay with it. He'll have so many older brothers and sisters to watch out for him throughout his life. I hope he will realize how blessed he is at a young age.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday during his floor exercise time. You can see he takes after me in that he doesn't like to exercise very much.

How many push-ups do I have to do?


Hey, this isn't so bad!

Oh! My arms are shaking!

Ahhh! This is more like it!!

Make New Friends but Keep the Old

Make new friends but keep the old,
One is silver and the other is gold.

So goes an old verse and it is true.

I do a terrible job keeping up with friends, old and new!! Yesterday, I heard from an old friend from over 20 years ago. Her husband was a deacon in the first church we served in back in Cleveland, MS. Her daughter and Lauren were best friends. What good times we shared!! I hope to keep up with her a little better from now on. She did comment about how difficult it is to develop and maintain friendships nowadays and she is so right. It takes so much effort to do....just like anything else does. I hope to make new friends this year and work much harder to stay in contact with the old ones. Hoping Facebook, blogging and email will help in that resolution.


Monday-sesame turkey nugget salad, homemade rolls

Tuesday-*sweet potatoes,*squash casserole, broccoli,butter beans,*homemade bread

Wednesday-turkey/rice soup, *homemade bread

Thursday-*beef enchiladas,tacos,*Mexican rice

Friday-*lasagne, salad, Italian bread

Saturday-fried chicken,*hash brown casserole,broccoli,purple hull peas, cornbread

*denotes already prepared and in freezer

Saturday, January 10, 2009


"What are words? What do they mean? Why do songs have to have words to sing?"

So began a short tune that I composed in college for Dr. Moore's music theory class many years ago!!

Words are very important and we find their importance throughout Scripture. Adam is given the task to name all the animals, memorials were given distinct names to reflect God's mercy and provision, the many names of God describe His character. And, we are told by John that Jesus Himself is The Word.

How we use our words can have eternal effects. If I use harsh words with my children, they will in turn be harsh with each other and with their future children. If I speak with kindness and gentleness with my children, they are kinder and gentler with their words as well.

My words can encourage, edify, rebuke and instruct or they can discourage, knock down, condemn and destroy. Words are very powerful....especially those coming from a parent.

Ephesians 4 has a lot to say about our words: We should not speak lies, we should not speak in anger. We should not speak corrupt words, but only what is good and graceful. We should not speak with bitterness, wrath, anger or clamor, but speak with kindness and gentleness.

This is a high standard that all Christians are called to hold. Many times I fail to use my words carefully with those that I love the most.

Psalm 19:14 should be a prayer for each of us.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Getting Older/Nursing Mother's Disease Part 4

Yesterday I had typed up a very witty and engaging post about how I was losing my mind...I needed to tend to a child, so pushed the SAVE NOW button.. When I returned it was no longer there (my post)!!!...When one is getting older and has nursing mother's disease these types of mishaps can send one over the edge.

So about losing my mind...

The children and I needed to make a trip to town...I haven't taken them to the library since before Caedmon was born..(he was three months old Tuesday!) and we needed to buy horse feed as well as some salad fixings. We had all gotten ready to leave (which is a major undertaking) but I COULD NOT FIND MY WALLET!! We searched for about an hour to no avail. So, we squeezed into the truck (six of us in a five-seater....which is enough to make me lose my mind as well). We were headed to Jeff's office so I could pick up the check book and his debit card and it occured to me that I left my wallet in the car that he drove to the office. Great!! I will now be able to get it and use the cash in it to pay my fine at the library, so I can now check out more books/movies that I will probably get late fees on as well.

Well, my wallet is not in the car....So I think..We were at Barnes and Noble the last time I had my wallet...which was on Sunday. Now, we normally adhere to the no shopping on Sunday, the Lord's Day, but I really needed to get Shakespeare's Henry V which Jordan needed for Monday's know, our first day back to school in a month!! So we drive to B and N and I leave the kids in the car...go to B and N and ask if anyone turned in a wallet.... Sorry, but NO!!

So on to Scrugg's to buy horse feed then to the library and Kroger. Back home to put it all away and try to get a little bit of school work done. Then Jeff calls and I rehash my wallet story to him and it dawns on me that we had gone to B and N in the TRUCK, not the car on Sunday and I sat in the backseat with Caedmon and I had put my wallet at Caedmon's feet as he sat in his car I run out to the truck and guess what I find? MY WALLET!! RIGHT WHERE I LEFT IT ON SUNDAY!! I am hoping this will be my last post in this series. However, I am getting older every day and I am still nursing....So....who knows?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Week One of Our Trip Across the USA!

Phew!! What a busy start back to school this year! Yesterday we started back full throttle after being off for Christmas break. We hadn't done much with our KONOS studies last semester due to having a new baby, so we were eager to get back to the FUN part of school.

Lauren and Chase have been here since yesterday morning....James has to travel a good bit with his state trooper job and Lauren doesn't like to be home alone. So far the last two days of our school we have had a full house: me, Lauren, Devin, Jordan, Aaron, Kaelan, Jackson, Chase and Caedmon!

Our KONOS unit this semester is the states and regions unit from Cooperation, vol. 3. This is my all-time favorite unit and is also the favorite of some of my older children. This semester, due to time conflicts, we are only co-oping with one family and meeting in my home. This will be like the old days when we first started a KONOS co-op here.

We have been looking at US maps (I have them on the dining room table under a clear plastic table cloth) and playing the Scrambled States game that I found at Barnes and Noble. Today Kaelan and Aaron began their poster sized versions of a US map. We first made a grid and labeled with letters on the top and numbers on the side. They then began filling in the northeast states. Each day for the next several days they will work on this map until completed. Next week we begin our study of the New England states. This unit is full of geography, history, great literature and terrific food. I hope to post pictures at least weekly of what we have been doing in this study.

Hope you can join us as we learn more about our great country! We would love to receive a post card from your state....drop us a line at and I will email you our mailing address. Thanks!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Menu Monday

Monday-- *bbq sandwiches, home fries, cole slaw
Tuesday--- *little cheesy meatloaves, baked potatoes, spinach salad
Wednesday--- *seasoned kidney beans, corn on the cob, corn bread
Thursday--- *spaghetti, garlic bread, spinach salad
Friday--- *chicken pot pie, green beans, homemade bread
Saturday-- almond crusted turkey breast, *squash casserole, sweet potatoes, rolls
Sunday--- leftovers

*denotes food already prepared and in freezer

A Prayer for our New School Year Beginning This Morning

This poem was in my inbox this morning. How appropriate as we start back to school this morning. Prayers for all of you who are getting back to order and routine today.

Another Year Is Dawning

Another year is dawning,
dear Father, let it be

In working or in waiting,
another year with Thee.

Another year of progress,
another year of praise,

Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies,
of faithfulness and grace,

Another year of gladness
in the shining of Thy face;

Another year of leaning
upon Thy loving breast;

Another year of trusting,
of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service,
of witness for Thy love,

Another year of training
for holier work above.

Another year is dawning,
dear Father, let it be

On earth, or else in Heaven,
another year for Thee.

Words by Frances R. Havergal, 1874. She wrote these words as a poem for her New Year's greeting cards.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

More Christmas Pictures.....the end

Grandmother, Devin, James and Lauren

Caedmon getting some help opening a gift

Our Christmas tree

Jordan with some new Henty's

Aaron with his Confederate soldier sword

Kaelan with her new Jubilee doll

Jackson...all tuckered out!!

More Christmas

You will notice that in all of these pictures, there are none of ME, JEFF, JORDAN, MY MOM or JAMES....Hmmmm....

Devin and Aaron

Devin and Grandmother (Jeff's mom)

Devin and Kaelan

Lauren and Chase

Devin and Lauren

Devin and Chase

Jackson marching around in his new cowboy boots with his Continental field soldier's drum


Beautiful Sisters Devin and Lauren

Playing games at my mom's

Chase under Nana's Christmas tree

Lauren and Chase

Devin and Josh, my sister Tracy's son, age 21

Devin and my sister Amy

My brother Chance with a few of his nieces and nephews

My sister Amy's daughter, Emily, age 11

My dad, Roger, and Devin

Howard (my mom's husband) and Haley, age 9 (my sister Amy's daughter)

Colby (my sister Amy's son) and Chelsey (my sister Tracy's daughter) both sixteen


Devin, Aaron, Kaelan and Jackson

Jackson playing his arrangement of "Away in a Manger."

Jackson and Caedmon playing under the Christmas tree
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