Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chillin With My Peeps

I've known for about a month that we needed to construct a day run for the chickens. They have doubled in size and now that they are maturing they tend to fuss a bit. The top photo is our baby, Bella. A little Bantam that is incredibly sweet, she is actually the oldest of everybody and not part of the clutch of six game hens.

This day run comes off the front of the coop and goes around the side and all the way to the back. We just let everyone out and they are having a grand old time. Lots of space to explore, scratch and catch bugs.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Out of Touch

Probably won't be blogging much again until mid to late next week. Had to turn my only one year old computer over to be repaired. Probably the fan. See you next week.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away

Since day before yesterday we have received torrential rains for about the last 24 hours and letting up some today. I am talking crazy kind of rain. Yesterday afternoon right before dinner we had a storm pass through that could of easily been something similar to a tornado. High winds, hail, etc. Very scary for about four minutes. Branches blown all over the place. My poor chickens and their coop. We use a litter system for the flooring and it is just drenched. I have been working with it all day today turning it over trying to get it to dry some, but it is not going to dry much until tomorrow when the sun decides to come out for a little while. I also have a chicken question for some of you chicken keepers out there. Our small Bantam has a curved upper beak. Just curious if chicken's beaks ever need to be clipped. Doesn't seem to be interfering with eating. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fruit and Vegetables

In Grace's new Home Ec. course and Exploring Creation through Anatomy we are studying nutrition. In the Home Ec. course she was asked to keep a food journal and record everything she was eating for one meal each day. Once she started writing it down, she realized how much she was lacking in the fruit and vegetable department. So we made a deal to start eating better. Not to mention I have been watching some documentaries on Netflix about our food that are quite frankly disturbing. Last night I finished The Future of Food. I did not realize all the craziness that is going on with GMO and farming. Very scary stuff. So with all that in mind I went to our local produce store today. Nothing organic is available but better than a chain grocery store. I was able to find locally grown apples at a much cheaper price to boot. Local grown was .49 cents a pound and the other were anywhere from .99 - 1.39 a pound. Also was able to pick everything else from USA except for probably the bananas. So now we have plenty of bananas, apples, grapes, carrots, potatoes, cage free eggs, and lettuce to choose from. When we get paid this weekend going to buys some nuts and dried fruit to snack on also. On a side note Grace visited the podiatrist again today and had a small procedure. The doctor removed part of her nail in her big toe that was pushing into the skin, somewhat like an ingrown nail.

Monday, October 25, 2010

From My Front Window

This view is from our front porch. It is raining today but still can't detract from the beautiful changing leaves. The weather has been perfect this past month. 70's during the day and 40's at night. Haven't had to use the AC/Heat in about a month. Eager to see what our electric bill will be in the next couple of weeks. Busy week ahead of us. This morning we are accomplishing school, to the doctor this afternoon for an ear infection and then late to drama. Tuesday will be back to the podiatrist to perform the procedure on her big toe, then drawing class and drama again. Wednesday looks free so far except for school. Thursday we will go to pottery to finish up with glazing. This weekend a Fall Festival coming up at our church to look forward to.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goats On The Roof

There is a chain of stores in the North Georgia Mountains - Goats on the Roof. They actually have goats on the roof that you can buy food and feed. In the stores is your average tourist type stuff to buy.
There are contraptions throughout that you put the food in a cup and in this picture peddle a bike to make the cup go to the roof to feed the goats.

Here is the goat on the roof getting the food that Grace sent to it.
Yesterday my mom wanted to go to the new Goats on the Roof in Helen, GA and also walk around the old Bavarian town. We ate a nice lunch together and got out and walked in the pleasant temps. Here lately it has been in the 40's at night and 70's during the day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On the Reading Table

Been reading alot lately. Here is some of the material I have been perusing.
Fiction: Gotta have a little fiction in the mix. Two of my favorite authors that I haven't read in a while are Catherine Coulter and Michael Palmer. Haven't started these yet but working toward it.
Non-fiction: Okay this title has got to be the longest title known to man, Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, and their diverse tribe of counter cultural conservatives plan to save America (or at least the Republican Party), crazy, huh! I started this one last night and it looks interesting. I think the whole book is mainly about how conservatives that like to eat organic food, homeschool, take care of the planet and so on fit in with other conservatives. Also on the table waiting to be read are: Better Off Flipping the Switch on Technology, The New Woodburner's Handbook A Guide to Safe, Healthy and Efficient Woodburning, The Home Creamery, and Food Not Lawns. Trying to learn as much as possible in case it is every needed in the future.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top 24 Electricity Users in American Homes

As many of you know I have been working on reducing our electricity usage. Here is a list of the top electricity users in our homes, starting with the largest and going down to the least.
  • Pool/Tub/ Spa Heater
  • Pool filter/pump
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Water bed heater
  • AC
  • Lighting
  • Other
  • Large heated aquarium
  • Electric range top
  • Dishwasher
  • Secondary indoor heating equipment
  • Furnace fan
  • TV, cable, vcr/dvd, stereo
  • Electric oven
  • Well water pump
  • Dehumidifier
  • Computers
  • Printers
  • Microwave oven
  • Ceiling fan
  • Satellite dish
  • Clothes washer

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On the Agenda for Today

This morning will see us visiting the podiatrist. Grace has been battling an ingrown toenail for about 4-6 weeks. We have visited her regular doctor a couple of week ago and was put on antibiotic for the infection which has gone away. Some days it would look better than others and now we must go and make sure all of the nail is out. I'm sure she would be just thrilled that I am sharing this with everyone. After the appt. we will get a quick bite to eat before heading to her group drawing class, which she is enjoying very much. While she is in class I will be driving the art teacher's son to his chemistry class and then heading back to pick her up. Off to the library for a quick visit to pick up some on hold books. Next for the afternoon will be a visit to the high school drama class. Grace is blocking her scene today. Yesterday in the elementary drama class Grace did a fantastic job with her skit. I was so proud of her, not only does she have all her line memorized but her expressions were right on.We will probably be there until five. No real book work today due to the doctor's appt this morning.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Multiple Thoughts

  • Over the past couple of weeks I have been reading some great books and have many others on hold to come from library. One I just finished was Depletion and Abundance which really made me stop and think about alot. Now I am reading Choosing Simplicity, Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World, which was recommended to me by one of my readers. Really enjoying it also, lots of stories about how other families have chosen to live a simple life and how they achieved their goals.
  • We may have something exciting and different happening with my husband's work schedule in the next few weeks. Hubby is a talented artist and very creative. This past year he has really pushed to finish pieces and get them in to the two galleries that represent him. He wants to take it further and try to be represented in some of the bigger galleries in Atlanta. To accomplish this he needs more time to do his art. Well, a new schedule at work may be in his horizon that will let him accomplish this. This new schedule would put him home four days a week and working three days over the weekend. He has a five year plan. In this five year plan all our debt will be paid off except the house and he will be free to be home and do his art all the time. Maybe just get a part time job here in town (currently commutes 1 hr 15m each way to work) to cover some of the bills. Looking forward to him be home more and hope this works out.
  • Currently have not turned the AC/Heat unit on in three and a half weeks. Loving it. The weather has been great. We have had to fire up the wood stove a couple of mornings to get the chill out of the air. Also hung all the clothes to dry this week. Hoping next electric bill will be down another 40.00. Lots of baking needs accomplished this week.
  • We have a full schedule this week with two days of drama, group drawing class, private drawing class, pottery class, and a possible doctor's appt. Lots of school work to do too. Speaking of school work, I have been racking my brain about a foreign language to order for Grace to dabble in. I say dabble, because I don't want to do anything heavy until we can actually count it for a credit in High School. Been looking at Hey Andrew, Teach Us Some Greek and decided to order yesterday. Grace is really in to Ancient Greece right now due to her reading the Percy Jackson series so I thought it would be a great fit. Also order a Home Ec. workbook to get started on teaching some life skills.
  • Speaking of ordering - did some online Christmas shopping yesterday. Each of the kids will get three presents for Christmas. Purchased two for Grace yesterday. Travis is harder. What do you buy a 20 yr. old that can buy most of his stuff for himself. Lots of thought will need to go into his.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Annual Geography Festival

This year's Geography Festival marks our 4th year to participate. Everyone in the group always looks forward to this yearly event. In years past we have presented Japan, Brazil and the state of Georgia. This year obviously from the above photo was Denmark. The main reason Grace chose Denmark was that the man that created Legos is from Denmark. It was kind of crazy learning about Denmark right now because in geography at home we are also studying a couple of months long unit on South America and we are participating in the Passport to India project.
Any way, here is her complete display. She created the country's flag out of Legos and did another display of Legos just for the fun of it. Each family brings a dish from their country. Us being a dessert family brought Danish sugar cookies, they were all gone by the end of the evening. Grace and her dad also set up a slide show of photos of Denmark on the laptop.

And the Winner Is......

Congrats to Nikki at Joy in the Journey. Nikki I have sent you a comment about winning please contact me with your shipping information. Thanks everyone for playing. I will try to do another giveaway next month. I have so many homeschooling books, etc. that we have already used and need a good home. So I have plenty to choose from. Have a great day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Proud Momma Time

Just wanted to share some pictures of the drawings Grace has been creating lately in her art classes. I am really happy that she has moved on to drawing other things than just characters and manga.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Challenges for this Month and Two More Days for the Giveaway

Over the past year I have really tried to decrease the amount of electricity we have used as a family. Which has been very hard due to very cold temps in the South this past Winter and extremely hot temps this Summer. So when Fall came about three weeks ago I turned the AC/Heat off and it hasn't come back on. Believe or not this Friday night it will go down to 39 which means very cold the next morning in the house. We have two wood stoves that we will utilize for heat this year. I have already had to use it a couple of mornings to take the chill out of the house. I have also decided to go back to line drying most of the clothing and linens until it just gets to cold to do it. We usually was about 6 loads a week if I am also doing bedding. The new challenge I have put upon myself is not using the dishwasher. It is hard to tell how much money will actually be saved here because we have a well and need electricity to pump water into the house. So electricity is being used whether we use the dishwasher or the run water to rinse and fill the sink. We did over the summer gradually push the thermostat up to 80 and keep it there except for some nights while sleeping. This plus the early drop in temps did help drop the electric bill by 40.00. But I am looking for much more of a decrease. I will keep you posted as to what works and what doesn't work.

For those that haven't entered yet there are a couple of more days to enter the Life of Fred giveaway. I am sure that Grace is looking forward to pulling the winning name.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day in the Life and Three Days Left for Giveaway

Every once in a while I like to do a day in the life. Each day for us is different. There are quite a few classes going on outside of the home this year that determines how much we get done at home each day.
7:30 - Mom gets up, eats breakfast and spends some time on the computer
8:15 - Grace gets up, eats breakfast and spends some time on her computer, we are not early risers
9:30 - We try to get school subjects started at this time. Today is a lite academic day because of two classes this afternoon. Independent reading, math, science, geography,Bible and view Passport to India video.
12:30 - Break for lunch either at home or out depending on finances.
1:15 - A hour and 15 minute drawing class at another homeschooler's home.
3:30 - A hour and 30 minute drama class at Trinity Classical School. She was asked to do two small parts in the high school performance so now we have two afternoons a week of drama, which is okay with Grace because she just loves performing.
5:30 - Start dinner - I think tonight it will be bacon, eggs and biscuits.
6:50 - Let the chicken out of the pen for some supervised free ranging before their bedtime. They love it so much that we try to let them out 3-4 times a week. Country entertainment at its best.
7:30 - 9:30 - Grace spends time with her dad doing art, playing on the computer and watching a little TV. I usually go upstairs for some alone time and watch an episode of something while crocheting.
9:30 - Grace comes up for some reading and bath then bed.

Hopefully that wasn't two awful boring for you guys. Also wanted to remind everyone that there is three days left to get in on the Life of Fred giveaway. Just look at the previous post for all the particulars.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My First Giveaway

One of our favorite finds this year has been the Life of Fred Series. Very fun and engaging. We finished this Life of Fred Fractions book about six months ago and will be using the Decimals and Percents book by the end of this year. This book has been sitting on our shelf and I decided it needed a new home. Don't know why it has taken me this long to do a giveaway. Anyway if you would like a chance at winning this copy of Life of Fred Fractions this is what you need to do:
1. If you are not already a follower, please sign up to follow my blog and leave me a comment letting me know that you did for one entry.

2. You can also leave a comment about what your favorite math curriculum is and why for another chance at winning.

3. Also if you will blog about the giveaway on your blog you can receive another chance to win. Please leave me a comment letting me know.

At this time I can only ship to the U.S. and Canada. Sorry!!
This giveaway will be open until October 15th. Please leave your email address in your comment so I can reach you for shipping information.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Practicing Still Lifes with Shadows

Grace started a 4 week drawing course yesterday. They worked on still lifes with shadowing. The middle picture is the one she did in class and the other two are her homework assignments from class. She really got in to it. So glad to see her drawing more than manga characters and cartooning.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In Which I Cried Like a Baby

Okay, my daughter now thinks I am crazy. Over the past two years we have worked our way off and on through the Narnia Series. I cannot believe as a child myself I never even heard of this series of books, therefore never read them. I got to enjoy each book along with reading it aloud to Grace. All along my favorite book of the series was the first, " The Magicians Nephew", but I thinking after reading "The Last Battle", it may have to take center stage as our all time favorite. Grace thoroughly enjoyed getting to revisit with characters that had died many years ago that got to meet up with everyone at the end of the book. I could barely get through the last paragraph, reading aloud through the tears. This is were my daughter thought I had lost it.

"All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter one of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."

To think that Heaven is also like this. Getting to be with family and friends that have passed on before you and where every day is better than the one before. Amazing!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Over the past couple of months I have been reading alot about living a more simple life. Because of this reading I have learned that it is in our nature to want things and when we get them to still want more. I don't want to be that way anymore. I would say in the past year our purchases has declined immensely with the exception of learning/educational materials. Clothing just doesn't interest me anymore and if I have enough clothes to last through the week I am okay. Me and hubby did have to break down and buy sneakers yesterday, neither of use had bought new ones in 2-3 years. But we still didn't purchase high price sneakers. Today I decided to start weeding out alot of the items we just don't need or use. Grace's room was first on the agenda. Believe it or not, she does not like to spend time in there except at night to go to bed. Most of her day is spent in the school room, media room (not watching TV mostly computer work, legos, etc.), or outside. She turned 11 in June and really doesn't "play" with toys anymore. There were still some leftovers from her childhood that just needed to go. Kitchen playset, Littlest Pet Shop, purses, clothing, etc. Some will go to a close friend for her younger girls when we visit on Wednesday and some to the local charity. I still have much more to go. Attic, my room, son's room, etc. But little by little I will work through it. People just don't need this much stuff.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Some Future Plans

On the school front: In history we have been studying American history for over a year. Quite frankly I want to do something different. We have made it all the way to about 1912. About 8 months ago I won three books from a blog giveaway ( The Story of the World Vol. 1 & 2 and Greenleaf Guide to the Old Testament). We immediately started using the Greenleaf guide but I new since we would be in American history for at least another year that we would have to hold off on The Story of the World. Then a couple of weeks ago I decided what the heck and started also assigning a chapter a day for Grace to read along with whatever we were studying in A.H. To my surprise she actually loves reading the book. So I thought we would put the other on the back burner for a while and do something different while she continues to read The Story of the World Vol. 1 which she will probably finish by the first of the year. In January we me go ahead and start with Ancient Egypt. Until then Geography will take center stage. Our support group does a Geography Festival every year and Grace choose to do Denmark because of the lego factor. Also this week Passport to India starts through Sonlight and will continue every Tuesday and Thursday for six weeks. I also picked up a small unit study about South America that I want to use which works out well, we have been doing South American map drills for the last few months.

On the chicken front: Hubby and I have decided to enlarge the chicken coop to give them more running room during the day. They love being out so much, but cannot be out unattended and hubby's schedule has just been awful so the chicks haven't been out much. We hope to accomplish this in the next couple of week. I will be sure to show pics when it is done.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wonderquest Production

Every year we look forward to the Wonderquest Children's Production. This was our fourth year to attend. We have seen The Emperor's New Clothes, Robin Hood, Ice Dragon and today's performance of Briar Rabbit. We always have such a good time. This time we rode with friend's and ate at Chickfila afterwards.
Grace with Briar Rabbit.

Grace with Briar Fox.