Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sewing Aprons


I love vintage patterns - and sewing. This "musical" apron was a quick Christmas project for one of the Princess's music teachers.  Other versions to follow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

State Travel Log


visited 36 states (72%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Notes:
*I did stop for a few hours in the airport in Detroit - I don't think that can count as visiting MI.
*How did I miss WV - maybe I went through a point of it on the interstate - but I know I have never really been in WV.
*Favorite vacation states in order of preference:
1. Utah
2. Ohio
3. Maine

Friday, November 20, 2009

Biscuits and Gravy Morning...


This was a first for me. I have never made good biscuits - and I have never made gravy at all. That has now all changed.  They were a big hit with the family! (The picture is not especially appetizing - but how do you make biscuits covered in gravy look good unless you photograph for Cracker Barrel?) 

Here are the recipes. 

From our local newspaper - the syndicated column "The Amish Cook"

Homemade Biscuits from Elizabeth Coblentz (2001)

2 cups sifted four (I didn't sift)

1 T. of baking powder

1 t. salt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup milk

1 t. sugar

In  a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Drop by T. onto a greased cookie sheet - or fill 12 muffin tins 2/3 full. (This is what I did and it worked great.) Bake 18-20 minutes at 375. When done the biscuits will look a light golden brown in color. Makes 12, 3 inch biscuits. 

While the biscuits are cooking - make your gravy. 

Mother's Sausage Gravy from Lovina Eicher (daughter of Elizabeth Coblentz)

1 pound (bulk) sausage, browned

4 T. flour

1 qt milk (I only used 3 and 1/2 cups - I like it a bit thicker.)

salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage in an iron skillet. Pour off grease. Add flour and brown lightly. Add milk and stir until smooth. (I added only 2 cups and then gradually increased it another cup and a half until it was the consistency I liked.) Bring to a boil and add more milk until the desired consistency or thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

*Note: I do like a slight kick in my gravy - so I may try adding a pinch of red pepper next time. 






Thursday, September 3, 2009

President Obama

So that there is no misunderstanding, I want to start by saying that this is not a political posting - it is about teaching character to our children. Our President is going to address the school children of America at noon (EDT) on September 8, 2009.  Some adults take exception to that - I have seen words such as "Hitler" and "brainwash" crop up fairly regularly on some sites. I have seen some noted leaders addressing our President as Mr. Obama, and the jab is not lost - especially since it was repeated often in that particular national publication. Just in case you didn't know - the correct terms to refer to the President of the United States are Mr. President or President Obama. (And the English teacher in me can't resist pointing out that while the word "president" isn't routinely capitalized when used alone - it is always capitalized when referring to the President of the United Sates of America. )

That is the end of my prefaced remarks - now on to what I want to write about....

There is a lie that is bandied about as if it is Truth; a catch-phrase of sorts that says; "I will respect the office, but not the person holding that office." It is a lie from the pit of Hell because it isn't possible to do this. The person is the office and the office is the person - that fine line does not exist in reality, only in the fantasy world of semantics. Can a child respect the role of parent, but disrespect the person who is their parent? Can one respect the office of pastor, but disrespect the person preaching the Sunday (or Sabbath) sermons? If the enemy can get us to disrespect the person, he knows that rebellion can germinate and grow. 

I am not talking about blindly following a leader who rejects God and godly principles - and I am not talking about reproving sin. John the Baptist reproved Herod of his adultery, but he never disrespected him. In 2 Samuel 16 Shimei curses King David - but in chapter 19 he repents and admits to his grievous sin. The Messiah, Jesus, was rejected and despised by Israel and within one generation the city of Jerusalem was destroyed. 

If in our homes our children hear us speak with loathing and disrespect about the man elected to the highest office in our land (and the Scriptures teach that he can only be elected because God allows it) then we are sowing seeds of rebellion and disrespect into our homes. Instead Scripture teaches that God wants families to bow down in prayer for their elected leaders. To cry tears of grief over their wrong doings. To take actions to let their leaders hear what God says on a matter.  To train our children to pray for godly character qualities in our elected officials. And to teach the Holy Bible in our homes so that our children can clearly see the lie from the Truth. 

Parents will reap what they sow into their children. (Galations 6:7)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Homeschool Evaluations Continued

A question was asked on an earlier posting relating to Florida homeschool evaluations. 

Question: "How do I find an evaluator such as you described. One who understands homeschooling?"

Reply: Do a lot of phone calls and ask a lot of questions. If comments come up relating to such things as state standards, attendance record, immunizations; or it is implied that you must have things like pre-made lesson plans, test grades, and specific subjects taught at pre-determined grade levels - those are big clues that the teacher does not understand the Florida home education laws. 

But it even goes beyond this. There are several evaluation options available to you in Florida. Be sure you understand all of them. If you chose to use the option of a Florida certified teacher to evaluate your portfolio - also realize that there are various ways that is also interpreted. Ask details of how the evaluator conducts their review. (Remember it is a review of the portfolio, not a quizzing of the child.)  - Some means used that I have encountered are:

1. The 10 minute approach. The evaluator meets the child, looks over the portfolio, certifies progress and you are done. A variation of this entails mailing your portfolio to the evaluator and the child speaks with them briefly on the phone after the portfolio arrives to the evaluator. I am not implying this is necessarily a wrong way - but it gives little assistance and assurance to the parent, which is a service our clients expect from us. If this style meets your needs it does fit within the scope of Florida law. 

2. The evaluator meets with the child, reviews the portfolio, and then writes a detailed analysis of the year on the evaluation form - including strengths, weaknesses, and expectations for the following year. While many parents want us to give specific helps to them personally - we feel it is a detriment to all home schoolers for this approach to be utilized on official forms and gives false expectations to school officials. The law never states this is the job of the evaluator.

Before you make any phone calls to an evaluator have a list of questions you plan to ask. Their time is also valuable, so keep the list fairly short, but target areas that are important to you. Some of the best evaluators are also ones who home school their own children. Decide if it is important to you if the evaluator is male or female. Ask other home school parents what they do. Decide if cost is a factor to you - how much are you willing to pay? Decide if distance is significant for you (we have clients that drive up to 4 hours - one way - to come to us.) Sometimes the county office maintains a list of possible choices. There are also a number of internet home school  sites that keep a database of evaluator choices - even if they aren't local to you, call some of these to gather information and educate yourself as to how you want your child's evaluation done. 

And finally - I pray over all my education choices for my child. What is God's best for that child? Direct me to the person you want me to use - that can best help both my child and myself. 



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meet the Husband.....and learn some American History too.

Go here for the story. On that page is a link to see the video - Yup, that is my Mister - Mr. History. 



Sunday, July 5, 2009

And the Winner is.....

Kathy - the mom of many (10 children to be exact). 

I was going to do a fancy photo of the drawing - but alas, the battery is dead in the camera. I was going to have one of my family chose the winner - but they are all asleep of busy farming on FaceBook.  So I just put the 6 names on paper (Tobitha had two entries) and picked a name - and it was Kathy.

Kathy - do you still have my personal address? - I need your mailing address, but don't want you to put it on a public board. My blog address is fourkidnubians@yahoo.com.

Congratulations and thanks of all of you entering. While I had many, many hits - the homeschool curriculum was pretty specific to one group of people and I am pleased that books that helped me immensely will be loved in a new home.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My First Blog Giveaway!!!!

My blog theme is Poured Out - I don't cover one topic exclusively; it is a compilation of my thoughts and experiences as my life is poured into the lives of my family, friends, and community - both live and virtual. This is a small group, though for me, it has never been about numbers, but about touching lives. 

Okay - serious stuff done --- now the fun. Because I recently won a giveaway myself (thank you for picking #82 Debbie Cook!) - because I have actually broken the 1,000 mark for visitors - and because I am letting go of some homeschool curriculum that I have treasured, but no longer need, I am doing a giveaway. Simple enough - just leave a comment and you are entered. If you mention this giveaway on your blog or other web venue, then leave another comment telling me where you did so, and your name will be entered a second time. I will ship it anywhere. The winner will be chosen on The 4th of July! I probably should have a cut-off time, but I can't hang out at my computer until midnight - so I will just choose from all those commentators that have a date stamp between now and July 4th and announce the winner on, or about, July 5th. (precision is not my stong suit!) 

Soooooo......what is the prize? Homeschool books (4 of them), and one casette tape set from Barb Shelton.

1. Lab Science: The How, Why, What,Who, 'n' Where Book.

2. The Homeschool Guide-a-Log for Real-Life Home Education.

3. The Homeschool Jumpstart Navigator for Younger Children.

4. A Christian Homeschooler's Guide to Field Trips and Extra-Curricular Activities.

5. Casette tapes: Out of Fear & Burnout; Into Freedom, Refreshment, and (Re)Focus. A 2 tape set with handouts.

See them described by linking Here.

(**Note: though I keep my comments on moderation to prevent spamming - which has already been attempted once - I assure you that all comments will be posted and counted for the deadline.) 

Hand the Kids the Camera and You Get....



...and I love every one of them. Each picture speaks to me about an aspect of my child's personality. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Home School through High School - Part 3

(I recently wrote a series of postings to a closed list on how our family manages high school using the ATI curriculum. Since most of that information is general to all home schooling, I am adapting and posting the information here on my public blog.)

Each of the following courses are listed on one sheet of paper and then filed in my one master notebook under the main headings I noted in Part 2 of my post. At the beginning of 9th grade these started as pretty much blank pages with ideas just sketched in. As the years progressed they were adjusted, changed, or added to as needed. (Remember I only update the notebook once or twice a year, so I don't spend a lot of time doing this once it is set up.) Now entering the 12th grade the pages are pretty well set for the most part - but some tweaking will still be done as we go. At graduation these pages will be the "proof" on which I hang the final one page transcript. These are just the barest of notes of what we have done. The "guts" of the courses are all kept elsewhere. Those would be the actual Wisdom Books, workbooks, text books, papers and such that are/were done. 

 
Note: You will see a line often repeated: WB #1 - ? This means that the Wisdom Book is a significant part of this credit. We started at WB 1 and I will write the final number of wherever we get to at the end (there are a total of 54, but we will probably only get to the 30's). I do not feel a need to make detailed notes on the content in the WB - if proof is ever needed, we have the WB's to show.
 
The course sheets are:
 
 Math -3 credits
(this one is a bit tricky for us - I will see how it ends up after this year (09/10) is finished. She was behind in math at the end of grade 8 - a tough subject for her to tackle, but she finally broke through the blockage about 9th grade when we changed to Math-U-See. So her first two years were spent catching up - which she did beautifully, but what to do about those two years of high school while she was catching up? Here is how I am categorizing it for now...)
 
*On the single page listed as General Math - 1 credit
This includes catching up in 4 levels of Math-U-See, and the Key To series of general math workbooks and Level 6 Complete curriculum book, math portion. I will also list WB's #1-? here since there are many practical math concepts learned in the WB's. 
 
*On the single page listed as Pre-Algebra - 1 credit
(finish Math-U-See book)
 
*On the single page listed as Algebra 1 - 1 credit
(finish the Math-U-See book) 
 
She really should have another math level - but we will see how it works out. This may just have to be where we stop for high school and deal with it from there - if all the rest of her studies are ready to be done, I won't hold her back from graduating just to do more math that won't really be needed for her field of study.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
English - 4 credits
Note: We don't do one level of English and then go on to another. All of the 4 English credits are worked on simultaneously, or in units, over the full 4 years of high school. I have just grouped them into yearly levels for the sake of convenience. (Speech would also fit under one of these credits, but this is not something that ever came about for us.)
 
*On the single page listed as English 1 - 1 credit
1. WBLA - Level Red books 1-8 
2. Spenserian Handwriting program - (5 or 6 books done with dip pens.)
3. Level 6 Complete curriculum book, English portion
4. Character Sketches Crossword Puzzle books, volumes 1 & 2
5. finish all spelling books not yet done
6. complete all vocab workbooks
 
*On the single page listed as English 2 - 1 credit
1. WBLA Level Green 5-8
2. ACT test prep book with 10 practice tests (very extensive work)
 
*On the single page listed as English 3 - 1 credit
Literature (some books need to still be logged on. Pretty much she just read these and we talk about them from time to time.These are pretty much student chosen)
Pride and Prejudice (video 2 hrs.)
Sense and Sensibility (audio book and DVD)
selections for the Aneid by Virgil
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Robinson Crusoe
Moby Dick
A Tale of Two Cities
 
*On the single page listed as English 4 - 1 credit
1. Poetry Unit
2. Short Story Unit

3. Play Unit - She was in a small play in the local youth theatre. (I plan to use that experience here rather than as a speech activity. We also viewed the DVD's of various plays and musical plays. I will list them on her paper later. There is some overlap here with Fine Arts - but I will divide it out - though it is also acceptable to count these experiences in both.)

4. Research Paper

(note: it is possible she will do a dual enrollment credit for Eng. Comp - so we will adjust accordingly.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Science - 3 1/2 credits
 
*On the single page listed as Creation Science (1/2 credit with lab)
Video: Evolution:Fact or Fiction from SM Davis
volunteer at the Creation Expeditions lab (about an hr/week - at least 40 hours)
Peace River fossil trip (8 hrs.)
Read:
The Answer Book
Men of Science
The Young Earth book
Wisdom Books #1-?
 
*On the single page listed as Chemistry (1/2 credit with lab)
1. Read Exploring the World of Chemistry by Tiner
2. Eyewitness book on chemistry
3. use of chemistry set
4. WB's #1-?
 
*On the single page listed as Physical Science (1/2 credit)
1. WB's #1-?
2. Read BJ Physical Science book (we do this as we do our WB, but probably won't do the entire book.)
 
*On the single page listed as Earth Science (1 credit)
1. WB's #1-?
2. Read the BJ Earth Science book (we do this as we do the WB)
3. Read The Astronomy book by Henry (probably also the Weather book as well.)
 
*On the single page listed as Biology (1 credit)
1. Wb's #1-?
2. (This item was deleted as the book was loaned out and never returned - on to something else....)
3. Complete the Horse Anatomy coloring book
4. Visit the Chattanooga Aquarium (4 hrs.)
5. Visit Sea World, Orlando. We had a pass for a year and went 5 or 6 times. (about 30 hrs.)
6. Biology for Christian Schools, BJ. We just read this as we do the Wb's.
7. Read Character Sketches books volumes 1, 2, &3. This is also done during WB time for us.

8. MOSI museum in Tampa, The Body Works Exhibit. (4 hrs.)

(note: it is possible she will do a dual enrollment credit for Earth Science - so we will adjust accordingly.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*On the single page listed as Health - 1/2 credit
 
1. WB's #1-?
2. Driver's License drug course
3. Read the following:
Fasting Can Save You Life
Your Body's Many Cries for Water
Nutrition Made Simple
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*On the single page listed as PE - 1 credit
 
Membership at Curves for one year
horseback riding lessons weekly for 2 years
weekly bowling for one year
swimming seasonally in our pool
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fine Arts - 2 credits (but may go to 3)
 
Right now I have all the music experiences listed on just one page - I have not yet broken it down into credit groupings. This is my daughter's focus and there is a lot here. I originally had a page for a music credit and a page for an art credit. We never did do much art, and I just tossed that page out last week, it wasn't even worth 1/4 of a credit. But the music page just keeps filling up. This isn't final - but I am currently thinking that I will make one page for a piano credit, and one page for a flute credit, and maybe one page for a band/orchestra credit. So that would be 3 credits for Fine Arts. With all the hours over the past 4 years it is certainly valid to do it that way. 
 
I won't list all the individual experiences, but there are piano and flute lessons for 4 years. Plays and concerts attended. Two years of a community band. Sound Foundations. And Hymnology and Hymn Worksheets as studied in the Wisdom Books #1 -?  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
History - 3 1/2 credits
 
*On the single page listed as US History (1 credit)
1. Wisdom Books #1-?
2. Books and events as noted in #3-9 
3. Seminar with former Tuskegee Airman (2 hrs.)
4.Seminar with Bataan March survivor (2hrs)
5. DVD (2 hrs) Freedoms Song, 100 years of black history
6. Visit Agrirama, Tifton, GA (5 hrs.)
7. Chickamauga Battlefield, GA (4 hrs.)
8. Video - Panama Canal (2 hrs.)
9. Visit The Hermitage, Nashville, TN (3 hrs.)
Read (in progress) A Greater Republic, A New History of the US, published 1899.
(Possibly list some chpts. from the BJ American History book.)
 
*On the single page listed as Geography (1/2 credit)
1. Read: Don't Know Much About Geography (done)
2. Wisdom Books #1-?
3. map work
4. Visit Rock City, Chattanooga, TN (3 hrs.)
(I think there is more for this - but I will have to hunt it down.)
 
*On the single page listed as World History (1 credit)
1. Wisdom Books #1 -? 
2. DVD - The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain (3 hrs.)
3. Read The Hiding Place

4. DVD - The Longest Day (3 hrs.)

5. The Story of the World by Susan Bauer (4 volumes.)

(There is a bit more for here too, but I will need to add it later.)
 
*On the single page listed as Economics (1/2 credit)
1. Read Whatever Happened to Penny Candy (and workbook)
2. WB's #1-?
3. Crown Financial Course (8 hrs.)
4. Financial Freedom Seminar (20 hrs.)
 
*On the single page listed as Government (1/2 credit)
1. Read Whatever Happened to Justice
2. WB's #1-?
3. Read The US Constitution
4. DVD: A More Perfect Union; America Becomes a Nation
5. DVD: US Constitution Study Series 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bible - 2 credits
 
*On the single page listed as Bible 1
1. Viewing SM Davis videos and Dvd's. I am not going to try to list them all here - we have done well over 30 of them. If I ever needed a list, they are on my shelf.
2. Way of the Master videos Beginner and Intermediate levels. (we have not yet finished these, but will be in the next year.
3. Rd. - The Good Shepherd and His Sheep by Phillip Keller (done)
4. Rd. Mary Jones and her bible by Mary Ropes (done)
5. WB #1 - ? Scripture Meditation Worksheets.
 
*On the single page listed as Bible 2
1. Camp Meeting, Valdosta, Ga (abut 30 hours - done)
2. Beth Moore Bible studies: Daniel, Jesus the One and Only, Esther, ? (two done, one in progress, and one more will probably be added this year.)
3. Visit the Ink and Blood exhibit in St. Petersburg, FL (a history of our Bible)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*On the single page listed as Computer - 1 credit
I don't actually have anything listed on this page as yet - but she does so much on the computer that I will make a list of the skills she has learned and call this a credit. It isn't something that we set out to do, it is just life and the things she has learned on the computer over the last 4 years. She especially likes to do art work on the computer, so that I will just list programs she uses as a one portion of this credit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*On the single page listed as Life Management - 1 credit
 
On this page I list all the conferences and such she has done. I may move these to other subjects, but right now my husband likes this as a separate course listing. On this page I list the Home school Conferences we went to and what my daughter participate in while there. I list the Basic Seminar. The Passion for Jesus Seminar. WorldView Weekend. The 10 part Courtship Series from SM Davis. I expect a few more entries by the time of graduation.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Italian - 2 credits
 
*On the single page listed as Rosetta Stone Italian level 1
*On the single page listed as Rosetta Stone Italian level 2
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Home Ec. - 2 credits
 
*On the single page listed as Home Ec. 1
 Home Ec course from Christian Light (1 credit)
 
*On the single page listed as Home Ec. 2
1. Wholesome Food Preparation course form IBLP
2. Unit study on spinning and textiles
3. crocheted an afghan
4. make a quilt
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There may be some errors - if you have a question feel free to ask. I had to type this over the space of several days, and had one section I failed to save and had to re-do it, so it is possible I have a gap or two - or a repeat. Remember - this isn't for someone else to copy - even in our own family each of my children's high school studies and credits looked different. I just know it helps me generate some creativity for my own use when I see ideas from others. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Home School through High School - Part 2

(I recently wrote a series of postings to a closed list on how our family manages high school using the ATI curriculum. Since most of that information is general to all home schooling, I am adapting and posting the information here on my public blog.)

Using a 3-ring binder - I start with a Master Framework Page from the shf-l book. (see Friday, January 2, 2009 entry) On this one Master Framework Page, I list the categories of subjects and the credits earned (or anticipated to be earned.) This is adjusted about twice a year. 

As of now I have listed:
Math -3
English - 4
Science - 3 1/2
Health - 1/2
PE - 1
Fine Arts - 2 (but may go to 3)
History - 3 1/2
Bible - 2
Computer - 1
Life Management - 1
Italian - 2
Home Ec. - 2
 
Total (if I added correctly) - 25 1/2 credits
 
I define a credit hour as 150 hours of work, but I use mostly content focus, not counting actual hours. Actually by doing content credit, most of these courses are well over 150 hours of work. 
 
In FL a student needs 24 credits to graduate. I went to the FL DOE website and used their basic titles for the credits. Some of these that I listed above will be broken down into different course titles. For example, the history category will become Am. History, World History, Government, and so on. For now, on this Master Framework Page, I just keep them in generalized categories. 
 
After this one page of my Master Framework, I have dividers for each category. Under each category, I have one page for each subject that is in that category. This is my master list of each course name and the main content that fills that course. This is where the personalization comes in. We do not do one course all the way through in a semester or a year - they are pretty much all spread out over the 4 (or more) years we do high school. 
 
I will write a third part that has the course information under each main category.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hermitage Pictures (vacation)



Top to bottom: Magnolia in bloom. Slave cabins. The brook out in the forested part of the grounds (and #3 son). 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Home School through High School - Part 1

(I recently wrote a series of postings to a closed list on how our family manages high school using the ATI curriculum. Since most of that information is general to all home schooling, I am adapting and posting the information here on my public blog.)

Once a year, usually during the summer, I update my student's high school information. I plan what our main goals for the upcoming year should be. I gather information and make a generalized plan first. I get input from the student, and then I give it to Dh. He gives his input and then I make adjustments (if any) and we are ready for the next year. It isn't really complicated and once it is initially set up at 9th grade, I just tweak it as needed. I just grab bits of time over a couple of days to do this. This year the process was about a week in length - with most times being 15 minutes here and there - but the final write up (since this is my daughter's upcoming senior year) did take me an hour or two to finalize. This plan is the basis for our final transcript after we finish all the courses. While we have it set up for this final year - there could still be variations. As the Lord gives opportunities or takes them away, we just adjust. I do this all in pencil as we go.  

It is important to note that our main focus is the Wisdom Book (WB). Most of the rest of the content of the courses is in some way related to the WB, and often done as a result of a WB project. We add other courses as needed, and as time allows, keeping the direction aimed to our child's bent. If you let the student dialogue with you and observe their interests - it is pretty easy to know their direction by the time they are at 9th grade - and it will only be refined as the years go along. 
 
I will write further entries with the general categories I have just done for my daughter - just as a point of information, not to copy, since each student will have a differing focus for their high school career. My daughter is heavy on music, but lighter in the history and science categories. My 3rd son was very heavy in computers but very little in the way of fine arts. The content for each course is based on doors that open for us along the way. Or shut. I had great plans for some hands-on art courses - they just didn't work out for us. 
 
It is also important not to panic the first year of high school, and don't worry that there is soooo much to do. Yes there is a lot to do, but you only need to take one day at a time. 


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vacation - Rock City and The Hermitage

We just returned from a week long vacation.  The focus was four days of a homeschool convention - but we wrapped the front and back ends of the trip with stops at some fun places. At the front end we visited Rock City. Yes, we were drawn by all the roadside ads on barns and birdhouses! We enjoyed it very much. The above picture is just one of the spectacular sites. What we didn't quite understand was the picture below:

Why the need to pipe in distracting music? While it was nice music, the kids were the first ones to ask why it was needed when the birds, bugs, and water were all so wonderful and noisy on their own. The music only competed with the beauty of the natural that surrounded us. 

On the back end of our trip we visited the Hermitage (Pres. Andrew Jackson's home.) When asked what their favorite parts of that site were - we all had some variation of the beauty of the grounds. I loved the walk out through the far fields. There was a brook along the way and beautuiful wildflowers, trees, and fields. Dh liked the formal garden best - just now in spectaular bloom with lots of magnolias and roses just to name a few of the magnificant flowers. No piped in music here - just lots of robins, squirrels, noisy bugs and babbling brook. It was wonderful and so peaceful.

God does the job of creation best - and it is best when left to him. Our messes are only the noise of piped in music.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Book: How To Resolve 7 Deadly Stresses

Is. 58:8 ...thine health shall spring forth speedily...

I am currently reading a book on 7 deadly stresses and the root issues of health care. 

Anger - Cardiovascular System
Guilt - Nervous System
Lust - Endocrine System
Bitterness - Digestive System
Greed - Immune System
Fear - Respiratory System
Envy - Musculoskeletal System

And the 5 Causes of all diseases.

What we think.

What we say .

What we do .

What we eat.

What we inherit.

"Simply taking a drug to treat a symptom is saying, 'It does not matter what you think, say, do, eat, or inherit;  just take this pill, and you will feel better.' The result is often a side effect that requires another drug." (p. 14)

Also see this website for additional information.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Miracle Mist Spray

I love this product. It is one of the three main "medicines" that I use in our home. (The other two are Betadine for cuts, and Watkin's Petro Carbo for some abrasions.) I have been using the Miracle Mist for my roseacea and it is working! My skin is the clearest it has been in years. I keep two bottles out and spray every time I think about it - at least 6-8 times a day - and if I get up in the night, I spray again. If anyone has roseacea, you know how difficult it is to treat - and I just can't bring myself to go on daily antibiotics or steroid creams (the only treatments that are currently prescribed, to my knowledge.) 

We also use Miracle Mist for burns. It brings immediate relief to sunburns. And for those cooking or ironing type burns - we spray it on immediately. Then repeat the spray when it starts to hurt again. Continue to do that each time it begins to hurt (usually about 3-4 times.) Our burns never even blister - they just fade away. 

There are many other applicable uses that we have never had to personally test, thankfully, but for any type of skin issue I would try this first. They are limited to what they can advertise on their website due to government regulations - but this is a great cure for skin issues.

Oh, and it seems the label has been updated - so even though my picture doesn't match the website's - it is the same product. We placed the order for this latest shippment on Monday - it arrived at our home on Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why I Like ATI and Wisdom Books

From the website

"In the ATI program, children learn along with their parents through a unit study approach to education. This approach increases the motivation of children as they are part of a “learning team,” rather than studying on their own." ... "Through the ATI approach to higher education, young people learn to solve youth and family problems and discover the purpose that God has for their lives." 

The entire Wisdom Book #4 is available for viewing here

So why do "I" like using ATI and the Wisdom Books? Because it does exactly what it said it would do - we were given the tools to solve family problems and help our children discover their individual life purposes. This is no step by step manual to put on and all your problems fall away - but through the skills we learned - and applied - we have seen the Lord alive in our home in ways that we thought were for times past, or for other, more "spiritual" people. It is a way of life - not a curriculum, but it has been worth the effort for the sake of our family. The biggest changes had to come first in my husband and myself, or we were just teaching hypocrisy - "Do as I say and not as I do." That end result would be worse than where we started. But as we were humbled and broken (and the process continues...), then we have seen the promised results in our children, not because a program worked - but because the Lord now had the freedom to work - and that has made all the difference. 

Oh, and it has sound academics too.

Monday, May 18, 2009

See the USA....by FedEx.

Conclusion: The package did finally get here. I ended up keeping it, though it was useless to me for the coat for which it was intended. It is nice fabric and I will use it for other projects. I just did not want to have to deal with the company on any further level (even for a refund), so I decided to simply cut my losses at this point - keep the fabric - and just never order from them again.

Update: the package has now made it to Orlando (3 days to fly from Atlanta to Orlando?) But the expected delivery date is now pushed back to May 23... 

May 18, 2009 2:43 PMDeparted FedEx locationATLANTA, GA
May 18, 2009 3:02 PM
Arrived at FedEx location
ATLANTA, GA
May 16, 2009 12:26 AM
Departed FedEx location
DALLAS, TX
May 15, 2009 10:16 PM
Arrived at FedEx location
DALLAS, TX
May 13, 2009 7:06 PM
Departed FedEx location
ATLANTA, GA
May 13, 2009 3:47 PM
Arrived at FedEx location
ATLANTA, GA
May 13, 2009 2:33 AM
Departed FedEx location
EARTH CITY, MO
May 13, 2009 12:08 AM
Arrived at FedEx location
EARTH CITY, MO
May 12, 2009 4:51 PM
Shipment information sent to FedEx

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ship date May 12, 2009

Estimated delivery May 22, 2009

Well, since this needs to be made into a coat to be worn on May 23 - I think we have a problem, Houston (oops, that would be Dallas!) So we took a jaunt into town (an hour away) and bought alternate fabric. It is coming out of the wash now and will be cut out tomorrow - that still gives me four days to get it cut and sewn. I have had worse deadlines - now if the rest of life would just hold still so I can get caught up - LOL. 

So whats up with that side trip to Dallas anyway? - up to that point it was going well and on time scheduled to be delivered to me today!!!  I am glad we can't see with the eyes of God - I am sure I don't really want to know the answer to that - it will work out fine this way and I am sure it is much better this way. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

MOSI Trip

For her birthday last month, the Princess requested a trip to MOSI. This is the first chance her dad has had to take her. (I chose to opt out and have it a Father/Daughter day.) The Body Works exhibit is still here. A very good biology class.

             And here is a friend from the Butterfly Garden. 

Pastor Anderson Beaten and Arrested by Border Patrol!

The story can be viewed from here

Surprised - no. 

Sad - yes.

If the Border Patrol felt they had probable cause - all they needed to do was get a search warrant.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Brake Pads

I love that my kids all like each other and help each other out. This was definitely a 2-man job. #2 son (under the car) needed new brake pads on his car. #3 son (kneeling) helped out.  

Old - left side.

New - right side

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chocolate Pie


This is based on a recipe I found in a Taste of Home magazine - but I changed so many things, that I can truthfully call it my own creation. 

In a double boiler melt 4 or 5 squares (1 oz. each) of semi-sweet chocolate along with about 1 tsp. of shortening. Hold to one side. You can adjust this to personal preferences.

Bake a single bottom pie crust. (about 10 mins. @ 450 degrees) Be sure to use a fork to make holes in the crust so it won't puff. I often use the Pillsbury pie crusts you get in the refrigerated section of the grocery store - but you can make your own single crust too. Let it cool. 

In a bowl place:

6 oz. of softened cream cheese

1/4 c. butter, softened

1 and 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar (10X powdered sugar)

1/3 c. baking cocoa

2 T. milk (I have used 1T. powdered soy milk and 2 T. water or you could use canned milk - and I suspect just 2 T. of water would be okay too. )

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix it all smooth. Then scoop into the chocolate mixture most of a regular sized container of Cool Whip and fold. Sometimes I also use fresh whipped cream. (Then you would fold in about 2-3 c. after whipping ) 

Meanwhile....

Pour in most of the melted chocolate (to taste) into the cooled crust and spread it over the crust. (This is the secret bottom layer you don't see in the picture above!)  Let the chocolate cool for a few minutes to set.  

Then scoop in the whipped chocolate filling mixture. You can use a pastry bag to make a fancy design on top with the rest of the whipped cream - or just drop it on as I did in the picture. Then drizzle with the remaining melted chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator. 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Flute Ensemble

video



The Princess playing at the community college flute ensemble she was invited to join under Concert Master Shaul ben-Meir (pictured with The Princess below.) She played the third flute part. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Family Helps

This is a poster you can download and print (it probably needs some resizing) from the website of Dr. SM Davis. We probably have about 70 of his videos now - and we have viewed almost all of them - only a couple still waiting for us to watch - and some we have seen multiple times.  They have been a huge help to our family. As with any help, we take that which is of benefit to us, and leave the rest, but with Dr. Davis we have never had much we didn't take to heart. 

The Lord has given Dr. Davis an extensive ministry helping families.  Parenting is hard work, and it seems that most of our society is inclined to activities rather than training. Even the most well-meaning parents have little to follow in the way of godly examples.  

We beagan with the Wisdom Series he offers, and now have the Anger Series, the Courtship Series, most of the Parenting Series, and the Doctrinal Series. We also have various tapes/dvd's of other sets we haven't yet completed, but will eventually purchase. 

Last year Dr. and Mrs. Davis visited our area and preached in our church. Funny, he was just the same as on his tapes! We were so privileged to meet him and his wife. But even if you can't hear him in person, you will feel he is there with you after watching several of his illustrated sermons.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A New Purse to Sew

Last Friday I had lunch with some friends, one of whom is an avid (and gifted) quilter. She found out that this on-line store, Piney Patch, is locally based in our neighborhood!  On the last Friday of each month, Linda (the owner) opens up her home to let us drop in and shop - so we concluded our luncheon get together at the home of Piney Patch. Linda's home is gorgeous, her business so professional, and her helpfulness is amazing. I bought this kit to make a purse. The kits that were made up did not have the fabric I really wanted - no problem - Linda just helped us all (it was a group effort) select the colors I liked and I now have a customized kit all ready to sew. Below are the 3 fabric choices the group helped me to come up with.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Children of Character

This is a great book. I have known Mardy and her family for many years. She has helped me sort through some tough issues. For more about Mardy and the ministry the Lord has given her you can visit her website here.  You might want to sign up to receive her Mary Heart Newsletters (and read the back issues at the blog here!) 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Knitted Shawl


This is a shawl I am knitting for my SWAP entry for an outer garment. The colors of the variegated bamboo yarn match the skirts I made. I like this bamboo yarn very much. It is very soft and not too difficult to knit. The pattern, however,  has been a test for both my abilities and my perfectionist tendency to do it right or not at all. I dropped a stitch at one point, but didn't discover it until about two inches later. It would be impossible to take out a portion of this and get it back on the needle correctly. It was too far along to weave it back to the needle. And I wasn't ripping this all out to start over! So my mom helped me tie off the dangling piece and I just went on. Only I would be able to see it. 

More noticeable is where I accidentally added stitches, tried to fix it and went on for about 3 inches trying to get the required 48 stitches back on and going in a correct pattern. Still, it isn't too bad, and I am keeping on. In the end with the type of yarn, its coloring, and the knitted pattern, the mistakes won't be easily spotted - I hope. 

The pattern and a sample finished product can be viewed by clicking on here

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Christ-Responders by Francis Frangipane

I was out early one morning riding my bicycle when suddenly, to my left, came the horrific sound of an automobile accident; it occurred about eighty feet from me at a stoplight. I turned just in time to see one car sliding sideways, while the other car, with the hood and grill pushed up like a pug, was rocking back and forth from the impact. 

Yet, other than dial 911, I didn't know what to do in this emergency. In fact, even as I walked toward the crash site, I found myself wrestling against a barrier of fears and apprehensions: What would I find? Would the passengers be bloody, seriously hurt or even dead? What would I do if a car caught fire? 

When I arrived, I found there were only two people involved, the drivers of each car. Thankfully, while each was emotionally shaken, neither was physically hurt. 

Yet, I wasn't fine. I was troubled by my inability to quickly respond. After the police arrived, I left pondering my reaction to this accident. I realized a significant part of my fear was due to being untrained. My lack of emergency first aid training left me unprepared to cope in a crisis situation. Without the knowledge and skills provided by training, the best I could offer is to call 911. 

Why am I sharing this story? As Christians, many of us are unprepared to cope with spiritual emergencies in life. We are "saved" and we can pray, which is the spiritual equivalent of calling 911. But we are not trained to deal with crises and life issues. Many are not adept at spiritual warfare; they don't know how to effect reconciliation when divisions arise; they are not confident in ministering healing or discernment about issues. 

You see, our salvation experience is the first step in a life of ongoing spiritual training and equipping. We may not all become pastors or missionaries, but we still need to know how to respond in an emergency. 

Consider King David. He said the Lord, "trains my hands for battle" (Ps. 18:34). David didn't just fight, flailing at the wind; God trained him until David could bend a bow of bronze. David became mighty in battle. When others fled, intimidated by the sight of Goliath, David made plans to cut the giant down. Why was David confident? God trained David in previous confrontations with a bear and a lion. David knew what to do in a crisis. 

Today, we are living in a state of national emergency, but most Christians are only dialing 911 in prayer. We need to be a first responder - a Christ-responder - who knows God and can do exploits (see Dan. 11:32). 

Indeed, anyone can see our society and economy is failing, but God calls us to rebuild the ancient ruins, not just walk among the ruins and wonder what happened. We are called to be repairers of the breech, restorers of the streets in which to dwell (see Isa. 58:12). The Holy Spirit has redemptive answers for our cities and neighborhoods, creative remedies that will bring peace and prosperity back to our communities. 

There are people who are hurting that God wants us to touch. Yet, before we can go out, first the Holy Spirit must train us. He says in Isaiah 50:4, "The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple." 

Christ wants our tongues to be trained so we can speak as His representatives. People are weary, yet the Lord wants us to minister heart-to-heart resuscitation to those exhausted by their battle. 

You see, it's not enough to be a Christian and simply try to be good. We need to be trained. Such training can come to us directly from the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit can use previously trained people to train us. Indeed, if we see someone who is Christlike in a particular area, who responds to life's emergencies with calm authority, we should not hesitate to ask them to train us in the area of their maturity (see Eph. 4:11-12). 

The book of Hebrews urges us to "remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith" (v. 13:7). 

We are not to merely copy other people, but upon careful examination of their virtue - considering the outcome of their way of life - seek to learn from them. Jesus Himself said, "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher" (Luke 6:40). 

Beloved, our goal is to be like Christ. With our focus upon Him, it is not a weakness to seek spiritual training from others whom He sends. Just as I desired to know how to serve in a physical emergency, so we need to know how to serve in spiritual emergencies as well. 

The present conditions in our world are not merely judgments from God; they are opportunities for the church. Current conditions are making people ripe for evangelism. 

God needs disciples who have been trained and tested. We cannot stand paralyzed by fear, watching the catastrophic events of our times unfold. We must become Christ-responders.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Please feel free to forward this message to others; acknowledging our web site would be kindly appreciated. 
www.frangipane.org  

Reprint Agreement 
Duplication and re-transmission of this writing is permitted provided that complete source and website information for the Ministries of Francis Frangipane are included, unless the article is an excerpt from a book by another publisher. If so, please contact the cited publisher for reprint permission. Likewise, publications that are sold need written permission. Finally, material may not be taken out of context to slander or defame this ministry.

Monday, March 9, 2009

This article (above) recently appeared in our local paper. 

And now the rest of the story......

The paper box in question sitting in the big, rumbly van.  

The big, rumbly van that rescued the paper box from the deep-dark-scary woods.

Note: Reason for #3 son being in the deep-dark-scary woods? He collects aluminum cans and scrap metal to help pay for the gas for the big, rumbly, always-hungry van. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If You Sew - What Are You?


Over at the A-Dress-A-Day blog site, Erin remarked on using the term "sewist" for a person who sews. It generated a bit of a discussion in the comments section (see the March 2, 2009 entry). So (pun intended) I was wondering if you are a person who sews, what do you prefer to use as a title to describe yourself? Some options that have come up are: tailor, seamstress, sewer, sewist, stitcher, seamster, dressmaker, (or other?)

Note: The machine above is my little 1955 Singer Featherweight 221. 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Freedom of Speech

 

Above: This Saturday afternoon while three local Pastors preached for an hour on the lawn of our County Courthouse, there were about 14 of us holding signs and lining Main Street just a few steps away.

Below: All the family joined in.

Bottom: This is one end of our line. It extends up to the real estate office past the lights at the intersection. The folks that passed by were so kind and supportive. Many waved or gave a thumbs up - we even got a "God bless you!". Only a few turned their heads away. None were rude.

So why street preaching? 

1. The Word of God is always fruitful, whether we see the results or not. 

2. It can provide a point of discussion for those that see us. This could be a discussion with us, other vehicle occupants, or friends and family.

3. It can stir folks to think about their lives and whether they are ready for eternity or not. 

4. It can encourage other Christians to live boldly for the Lord. 

5. And it is obeying the Lord to take the Gospel to the lost. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adventures in Tree Trimming

Ignoring the dirty front door (note to self: must wash this!) - here is the last we hope to see of these gadgets! They have been a part of Dh's life since Saturday, December 27th. I don't want to be a tattle-tale, but think "chain saw", "big tree limb", "step ladder", and I think it will all become more clear. We praise God that it was not more serious, but a fractured rib and tibia are good reminders that tree trimming is best left to the professionals - or at least be sure you know what you are doing!

Skills learned:

*How to call for an ambulance and give good directions.

*How to spend 6 weeks in a recliner, walk on crutches, and bathe with just a sink.

*How to pry Dad out of a recliner while listening to yelps of pain.

Results:

*Two cords of good oak firewood. (courtesy of #2 son and a huge, now-on-the-ground, tree limb)

*Dh is banned from chain saw use.

*Lots of praise for a merciful God.

The Power For True Success

I use this book in conjunction with Achieving True Success. The same 49 character traits are listed, but this book is all from a biblical perspective. You can click on this top image in order to read some of what is written concerning the character trait of hospitality. The cover of the book is below. Around our house it is actually known only as "The Blue book". It is available at the IBLP website, here

Knitted Baby Blanket


I am finally nearing the end of my first "big" knitting project. I began knitting when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I can remember my dad teaching me to knit on some pretty pink, plastic knitting needles. My mom has been a knitter (though never a sewer) from when she was young  (and makes beautiful projects), but since I am left handed she could not quite make knitting understandable to me. My dad figured out how to translate it all into "lefthand".
At first I would just knit rectangles which were then fashioned into doll clothes - mostly Barbie, but some baby dolls too. Then over the years I have done simple hats, scarfs, and slippers. I recently started knitting more in the last four or five years. I have done many (many) of those simple dishcloths, both for gifts, and to use in our home. About a year ago I decided I wanted to take a step beyond simple projects, but I also wanted to be sure that they were projects I would  actually finish! I found this free pattern on-line. The picture  above is my work to date, and the pattern link is here.  (The bottom corner isn't quite square as I haven't blocked it yet.)
This baby blanket is actually based on the dishcloth pattern, but is a much bigger project. I felt this was the perfect challenge to prove my staying power and get something large completed. I am almost done! I actually don't have a specific use for it right now, but I will put it in the cedar chest for a future grandchild. Then on to the next project. I am planning to do this one next as  one of my SWAP entries - we will see.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Achieving True Success


This is one of the main books I use for practical, daily character training. There are 49 character traits listed. Each is defined - and it's opposite trait noted. When there is a negative trait I am seeing in a child (or myself!), I look for that negative trait listed in the book in order to train, pray for,  and notice the opposite positive trait that needs to be developed and instilled in the individual. The book also notes practical ways to show this trait in the home. And my favorite part of the book - the 5 "I Wills" that are always included with each trait. I write the "I Wills" on posters to hang on the wall, we say them out loud to memorize them, we try to spot them as we go about our day, and we rejoice to see one of those "I Wills" in use. The "I Wills" give us a handle on what to aim for and spot in others. Praising a child for a character trait is affirming and character building. One place to find it is here.

Dinner


I had to use up some hamburger I had unthawed, and the weather was hot, so I didn't want to heat up the oven - so I made this concoction. It turned out pretty good, everyone enjoyed it. 

Saute an onion (I hate having a leftover piece of an onion, so I always just use one whole onion for any recipe.) and brown the hamburger in a little olive oil. I use my cast iron frying pan for this. Then I just sliced up 5 red potatoes, skin and all and added that in with a drizzle of olive oil over the top. I flavored it all with salt, pepper, garlic (lots of garlic), a tiny dash of red pepper, some paprika, and a dash or two of Teryaki sauce.  I laid a lid over the top of the frying pan (it has no actual lid, I just use one from another pan that fits down over the food) and let it cook. I stirred it once in a while. In about 20 minutes it was done (when the potatoes are soft.)  A quick and easy one pan meal. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hoodies!


I finished a second hoodie for #2 son. You can read more about it (if you want the details) by clicking on the "My Reviews" side bar to the right. This picture also shows you our front yard. We have had a few hard frosts in this area of FL so the grass is all brown - but no snow!!! And the migratory songbirds are coming through the area now as well - lots of singing robins in the mornings. 

Friday, January 30, 2009

Pattern Review


Kathy asked me about Pattern Review in one of her comments. The actual web address is linked here.  For anyone that sews, this can be a valuable site to visit. There are many thousands of members and many patterns reviewed. Granted all of the fashions aren't necessarily  ones I would find suitable, but there is much that I do like.  A couple of examples of specific helps to me have been:

*An alert that the "cow" bag I made the Princess has 3/8" seam allowances (it is standard to usually have 5/8".) The "cow" bag pattern only notes this little (but critical)  tidbit in one obscure spot - so that PR alert saved me much grief. 

*The fleece hoodie I recently made runs rather full through the sleeves and shoulders, but is also a bit on the short side in length. By knowing that ahead of time (from reading reviews others had done of the same pattern) I was able to be alert to fitting adjustments that I needed to make. And when I wrote my review of that same pattern - I reminded folks that make length adjustments to also adjust the pocket placement (something I neglected to do.) 

You don't need to have a paid membership to read the reviews there. And you can get a free trial membership for 30 days. That was what I did at first to see if I liked it. After discussion with my husband we decided that I would buy a yearly membership for at least the next year or two.  The annual membership cost is minimal - and as a member I get discounts on classes, among other things. The on-line classes have been great for me. I just can't commit to taking classes outside my home, yet I need regular structured help to move ahead in my sewing. If you read my sewing story you will know I have sewed for many years, but have never been really good at it - just enough to do basic items. At this season of my life the Lord has brought sewing back to me in a significant way and I need the on-line classes, tutorials, and message boards at Pattern Review to help me.

I am currently working through the Beginning Sewing Labs 101-104. While I do know the basics and am not a "beginner"(I rated my sewing level as "advanced beginner" at the site), my sewing experiences have been so hit and miss over the years that there are many, many simple things that I have never learned. These classes have been great. I also did a fabric oriented class that covered all about knit fabrics. It was hugely helpful for me as fabric knowledge is one of my two weakest areas. The other is fitting and alterations. That is the subject I will work on next when these basic classes are done. 

I have also joined my first PR contests. While I am not contest competitive - I am contest motivated. I love having contest goals and focus. I also am learning interesting ideas from other PR members. As a result of the current "Stash Contest" I learned from "Ody" how to add length to one's blankets and sheets. With a Dh that is 6"4" keeping sheets tucked in and feet covered can be challenging. I would never have thought that just by stitching a length of fabric at the bottom of our top sheet where it tucks under the mattress is a way to give just that extra comfort zone. 

So for me a membership at this time is a benefit, but even if this is not a place the Lord is leading you to invest with your time or money, I would still suggest checking PR before tackling any sewing project in order to see what others have to say about a pattern you are considering using.