Thursday, April 30, 2009

All's Quiet(er) on the Chamblee Front

UPDATE: Caedmon is down for a nap and not in my arms as has been the case for most of the week. So Jackson and I decided to make some delicious chocolate chip cookies for our snack time. We LOVE chocolate! Ting! Ting! I told him he could have 4 because he is four years old and I get forty- four because....well, just because ; ). He wanted to know if that was a lot. I assured him it was. His response, " Well, just don't eat the last one!" He's a funny guy!

It's pretty quiet around here today. Vary rare. The middle children have enrichment classes later today, then the last day of chorale for Kaelan and Aaron and shopping with Devin for Jordan. Then Devin has rehearsal with a violin group that will be playing at our homeschool group's graduation tomorrow night. The chorale will also be singing and Jeff has several responsibilities with that as well.

So, today, at home, just me and my precious little men!! I don't have to do math with anybody or give writing assignments or say, "No, you can't get on the computer now." Just me and the littles!! And I am so thankful for these little men. They will keep things interesting around here for many more years.

But that also means that nobody is here to take care of cooking lunch or dinner or do the laundry or do any cleaning....It's all me, unless I can get Jackson to get some things done. This week we have been working on his Responsibility Chart from Melissa and Doug. I hope to be diligent in training him to get his jobs done. Right now we need to get the hundreds of Legos picked up from the den floor so mobile Caedmon can get out of his high chair and have some floor time

And because Caedmon has been sick all week with the croup I have gotten behind in a lot of things. School work needs to be gathered and put away and there are several loads of laundry that need to be done, but first I think I'll HELP Jack pick up the Legos and then get another load of laundry going while we snuggle up for a good read. Reminds me of when I began this homeschooling journey with two little girls ages 4 and newborn. Now they are 25 and almost 21! We've come a long way! And have a long way to go! Thankful for the journey.... (and getting weepy thinking about it!)


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Over Populated?

The secular media has told us for years that the world was over populated. That is not true. I have recently watched a revealing documentary entitled Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family. This film documents how the population will actually be in a fast decline within the next 50 years. Population replacement rates are 2.1....that means each couple needs to have 2.1 children to replace themselves. Several European countries fall far below that rate and are now seeing the results of what having fewer children born means to a country. Fewer children today means fewer workers tomorrow, fewer tax payers, fewer care givers for the aging baby boomers. Many demographers were interviewed in the documentary and one particular man stands out in my mind. He paints a pretty bleak picture and notes that the only people who are having chlldren are Christians, Jews and Muslims. He himself only has one child...and that by adoption. He is not a man of faith, but says that what he is seeing in regards to the population may lead him to faith. It is very haunting and I think everyone should see this. Click on the link to the right with the title Blessing or Burden to find out more about this important film.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bits and Pieces and Preschool in a Box

My computer crashed while Jeff was out of town last week. Jordan's IMac wouldn't let me look at my email or make a new blog post. We need to figure out why! Jeff has taken my computer to work with him to get a diagnosis from some of the computer geeks up there. I hope it's not too serious! Study guides, downloaded e-books, lapbooks, worksheets, the children's stories, my seminar notes, recipes, and much more are on that computer. How did we get so dependent on these bizarre machines?

In light of my post Regarding Television of a few weeks ago, I have been hesitant to say anything here, but here goes nothing! My dear husband has a new project that we are all excited about....and it regards television. Namely a homeschool television channel that will be launching this summer. Crazy, I know, but here we go anyway! The Homeschool Channel will be available this summer on Sky Angel and other outlets and also through high speed internet. We have some friends who are longtime homeschool business operators and curriculum writers who are very excited about this new oppotunity and things are rolling. The official website will be opening up later this week and there will eventually be bloggers there with nifty homeschooling ideas....hmmm...I wonder who they have in mind. Anyway, if you have a moment later in the week check it out at This is turning into a family project so our lives have been/are being turned upside down. Shake-ups can be good, right?

My six month old baby boy is sick....with the croup....and I have been up for the past two nights with him. He can't sleep lying down. I have started him on breathing treatments, saline up his nose, humidifier, trip to the chiropractor late last week. If we are up again all night, I think a trip to the peditrician will be in order. I'm tired and sore. I haven't posted pics lately because, well...the camera was broken at our field trip to the automobile museum and we haven't replace it, but my baby boy is a big 'un. At least 23 pounds and toting him around has done some damage to my left arm and shoulder. Bengay and a heating pad are two of my new best friends.

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of motherhood for me! In other words, it was Lauren's 25th birthday. She is not too happy about being 25. It's better than the alternative, darling!! She is now the YOUNG mommy to two growing little boys under the age of two. I cannot imagine....most all of mine were 4 years apart. Potty trained and ready helpers for the next baby. She is learning a lot!!

Lauren and James are planning on homeschooling their little men (are you surprised?) Lauren went to childcare at Delta State University while Jeff and I worked on our degrees, but just after her fourth birthday, we were home for good. James' dad was a principal and James went to kindergarten....for one semester and then began his family's homeschool journey. So they will be a second generation homeschooling family! How neat is that?

I have been thinking that for grandson Chase's second birthday in July, I would pull together a Preschool in a Box for him and his mom. She is excited about this, so I think it will be great. Of course, having had preschoolers in the house for the , ummmm....last 25! years, I have lots of ideas (and I have a whole bunch of them on my remember from above? The one that crashed?) Two great online sources are and (sorry, I haven't been able to get the linky thing to work--just cut and paste.) preschoolprintables has some great file folder games and I have made several for my own four year old and will be able to use them again with the baby in a few years. Activity bags are great little games and manipulitive actitivities that you store in gallon sized ziploc bags. We made several of these a couple of years ago and they were a hit. Do you have any ideas for things to include in a Preschool in a Box ? I am thinking handmade toys, a file box of different activities and resources on index cards for Lauren to read, file folder games, activity bags, flash cards, manipulatives, items for nature study and outdoor play....I am even going to make a rice box.....underbed storage box with lots of rice and cups from my laundry detergent bottles. Anyway, if you have some ideas, please leave a comment and let me know....I have a couple of months to work on this project, but you know....we are like so many of you and time is limited!! Looking forward to reading your ideas.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Used Book Finds

My post follows this rant. : )

I've been working on an EXTREME post for the past two days and can't seem to get all the links and such to work. Maybe I don't need to post it....Just suffice it to say that we are now on the Homeland Security's checklist as extremists. Just in case you didn't know. And if you haven't heard about this new memo from the Department of Homeland Security you haven't been listening to AFR Talk radio. I know, it can be scary, but you must be aware of what is going on and the secular media is not going to let you know. You can go to to find a station near you or listen online 24 hours a day. Not that I do! I do have other things to do.


A couple of weeks ago a sweet homeschool mom decided to purge her bookshelves. All of them. I don't know how she could do it, but I racked up a good deal for my cookbook collection and Lauren's. Brand new in shrink wrap 2005 Southern Living Annual Cookbook (I was nice and gave it to Lauren...her birthday is Sunday!) Two versions of the Fix-it and Forget-It crock pot series. Once-a-Month cooking, and many others all for 20 bucks. Good deal!

Yesterday we made a quick dash through the library and their used book store where I found:
CS Lewis' The Screwtape Letters pb for $2. Not a great deal, but it was on Jordan's Want-to-Read list.

Five Little Peppers Grown Up by Margaret Sidney hb 1937 copyright for $1 to add to the other Peppers books on our shelf.

Bob Jones Heritage Studies 6 which covers ancient history. I don't use textbooks for history but it will be a good resource for $2.

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard J. Maybury (an Uncle Eric Book). We have several other books in the series and highly recommend them. This book as about the economy...Jordan is eager to get into this book...especially in light of our recent economic woes.

The Hound of Ulster hb by Rosemary of our favorite historical fiction writers. 50 cents!

Mississippi Yesterday and Today...a hardback MS history text printed in the year of my birth for $1. We are planning a MS study either this summer or next.

Do you take advantage of used book sales? What are your absolute favorites? We have over 100 Childhood of Famous Americans that I get for FREE when our library purge the children's section several years ago. A priceless treasure!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm Counting!

Many years ago my mother was given a gift of a little glass trinket dish with a moma hen and four little chicks, a symbol, I suppose, of my single mom and her four children. A caption was also painted on the little dish with the following words, "Count your blessings!" I have felt like that moma hen many times in my 25 years of motherhood and have counted my blessing many times as well. Nowadays, I struggle as we gather at the table to figure out exactly how many chicks I have and how many will be at the table. I have 7 children with one married and I have one little one still at the breast and not at the table so we generally have to set the table for seven people, except when married daughter comes home for a visit. And then I have to do the math again and add three more unless we also have grandparents visiting which means two more than that! Which gets to be more math than I can handle! All I know is...I need a bigger dining room!

But, back to counting.

1. I have an almost 5 week grandson stretched across my lap as I type this.
2. My 6 month old baby boy is asleep in his bed.
3. My 4 year old son, 9 year old daughter, 12 year old son and my 21 month old grandson are running in and out of the house playing.
4. My 16 year old son is at work...across the street from his dad's office and we actually got a good algebra lesson done and lots of other school work done before he left for work.
5. My 20 year old daughter is safely in Memphis and will be safely back home again this evening, Lord willing.
6. My 25 year old (next week) daughter is visiting with her two sons...she was here last week as well...I am thankful she likes to come home and can...and I am thankful for her nifty new van.
7. I am thankful my husband has not one, not two, but three jobs that keep him busy and provide him with an income to support our growing brood.
8. The laundry for the day is done. I washed 6 or 7 loads, but only put two in the dryer. The rest were/are drying on the clothesline or indoors on hangars.
9. Dinner is thawing on the countertop.
10. In the midst of all of our busyness of this day, WE ACTUALLY GOT OUR SCHOOL WORK DONE.

Are you counting your blessings today? Try it. All your cares will somehow disappear!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

History Products Are On Sale at Vision Forum!

Note to Self

I Took His Hand and Followed
Mrs. Roy L. Peifer

My dishes went unwashed today,
I didn't make the bed,
I took his hand and followed
Where his eager footsteps led.

Oh yes, we went adventuring,
My little son and I...
Exploring all the great outdoors
Beneath the summer sky

We waded in a crystal stream,
We wandered through a wood...
My kitchen wasn't swept today
But life was gay and good.

We found a cool, sun-dappled glade
And now my small son knows
How Mother Bunny hides her nest,
Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.

We watched a robin feed her young,
We climbed a sunlit hill...
Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,
We plucked a daffodil.

That my house was neglected,
That I didn't brush the stairs,
In twenty years, no one on earth
Will know, or even care.

But that I've helped my little boy
To noble manhood grow,
In twenty years, the whole wide world
May look and see and know.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's a TEA Party and You Are Invited!

Hey! Have you heard that there is a National TEA Party tomorrow in your hometown? Everyone is invited to join a peaceful rally to let Washington know that we are Taxed Enough Already. We are taxing those who are not even born yet! Get more information at Hope to see you there!

A Little "Common Sense"

What would Mr. Jefferson think now?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Regarding Television

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set
Or better still, just don’t install the idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotized by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink-
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?


‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:

They’d READ and READ and READ and READ,
and then proceed to READ some more.
Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine fantastic tales
Of dragons, Gypsies, queens and whales
And treasure isles and distant shore
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars.
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ‘round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope!)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Toad, the Dirty Rotter,
And squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How the Camel got his Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost his Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please,
We beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start--oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts.
They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Friday, April 3, 2009

Batch Cooking--It Works for Me!

I used to mega-cook with some of the other moms in our area, but in the last couple of years we have done batch cooking and that works out better for me. This week I baked three whole chickens and froze them in gallon bags, cut off two packs of chicken breasts from the bone and made two recipes from them, boiled the bones and used the rest to make fajita nachos. I also cooked up 10 pounds of dried beans with lots of bits of ham, lots of garlic, onion, red and yellow peppers, RoTel, salt and red pepper flakes and seperated them into meal sized portions for the freezer. And finally, I made three loaves of bread, two pans of sandwich rolls, one pan of sticky buns and two recipes of flatbread. The bread will last about a week...I am really trying not to buy bread from the store and make a more healthy bread here at home.

I am hoping to make up some dressing this weekend. I have a good bit of turkey broth in the freezer and have been saving up bags of leftover bread and cornbread to put in the dressing. Trying to see how frugal I can be! I also have lots of chopped turkey in the freezer as well. Remember those $.29 a pound turkeys we found after Thanksgiving? I still have 3-4 in the freezer! In addition to eating baked turkey, I have made sesame turkey nuggets, turkey salad and a few casseroles. I think I will make up a couple of turkey rice broccoli casseroles this weekend as well. I found some reduced ground beef yesterday during a quick run through Kroger. It will become taco meat today!!

I find batch cooking to be much more to my liking than cooking 25-30 different meals in one to two days like I used to do. This way I can cook as I find bargains and time and in huge quantities so that my freezer never gets empty.

Do you do cook for your freezer? Do you have a favorite recipe? I am always looking to add something new to our freezer stash. Send me your ideas if you have time.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poetry for Copywork

I have always wanted to incorporate more poetry into our school, but have failed to make it an ongoing activity. This week I am changing that....God is changing a good many things around here and I am trying to include those things that I never seem to have time for, but in the long run may mean more than some of the other things we can seem to find time for... Do you regularly incorporate poetry in your school day? Do you have a favorite poem? Is anybody even reading this?

This is Aaron's copywork for the week. I hope to have him memorize it or to at least read it to the rest of the family as per an old-fashioned recitation.

Our Heroes
Phoebe Cary

Here's a hand to the boy who has courage
To do what he knows to be right;
When he falls in the way of temptation,
He has a hard battle to fight.
Who strives against self and his comrades
Will find a most powerful foe.
All honor to him if he conquers.
A cheer for the boy who says "NO!"

There's many a battle fought daily
The world knows nothing about;
There's many a brave little soldier
Whose strength puts a legion to rout.
And he who fights sin singlehanded
Is more of a hero, I say,
Than he who leads soldiers to battle
And conquers by arms in the fray.

Be steadfast, my boy, when you're tempted,
To do what you know to be right.
Stand firm by the colors of manhood,
And you will o'ercome in the fight.
"The right," be your battle cry ever
In waging the warfare of life,
And God, who knows who are the heroes,
Will give you the strength for the strife.
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