Friday, September 30, 2011

Egg Production is Up

The Buff girls are doing most of the work. In the bottom photo you can see the two green eggs. Betty started laying again during the end of her molt. She was laying 5-6 eggs a week and is now down to about 3 a week. The Buffs are cranking it out with 5-6 eggs just from them each day. So we are overloaded with eggs right now. Some days we are getting a total of 6-7 eggs a day. What you see below is what is leftover from using 5 eggs in a pound cake a couple of days ago and 9 eggs for dinner one night this week. Tomorrow I hope to make egg salad for sandwiches and I also need to make a couple of desserts for the week to snack on.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Glenn Beck TV

I know alot of people will instantly bypass this post as soon as they see it is about Glenn Beck. There are alot of people in the United States that really don't like him and his views. But if you lean conservatively, I really think you should take a peek at what he is doing. Yes, he is still telling you like it is, the truth that the mainstream media just doesn't tell us. But I predict great things for his new online television channel. On Monday they are debuting a new show for kids, "Liberty Tree house" at 4:00. Two payment options are available, $4.95 and $9.95 a month. Go check out

Incredible Movie

Everyone should take the time to view Ray Comfort's new video 180. It blew my socks off last night when I watched before bed. So many young people in our country really need to take the time to view this 33 minutes video. Going into it I was unsure what the message was until about halfway through the video. Please take the time to go to and view this short video. It will make such a difference in your life and hopefully many, many more.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Something New To Us

In all the years I have owned cats and dogs (including 17 years of working for an animal hospital) I have never had a cat or dog go in to a heat cycle before being spayed. Remember the kitten we found in the parking lot of the local Mexican restaurant? Well we couldn't find a home for her and we also fell in love with her sweet little self, so decided to keep her. The first visit to the vet gave her an age of 9 weeks. But when we returned in three weeks for her next visit she had gained enought weight to actually age her older than we thought. Kittens gain about one pound a month until six months of age. I had a discussion with the Vet about when to spay her and how much time she thought we might be able to wait. I just didn't have the funds yet to do the surgery (the going rate for feline spays in this area is 181.00). She assured me that waiting till mid October would be fine. Four days ago Silver started meowing alot especially at night. Low and behold she is already in her first heat cycle. For two night no one got any sleep because she was loudly meowing all night long. Last night we knew desperate measure were needed. We set up the small dog crate with all the necessities and had her spend the night out in the backyard shed. Wonderful, blissful sleep for all. Hopefully she will be finished with this heat cycle by mid October so I can think have her spayed.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Different Route Than College

We have always known that the traditional college route was not what Grace wanted. She has mentioned more than once that she might want to go into the mission field. Our church has recently started supporting two children and two missionaries through Gospel for Asia. On the way home from church yesterday Grace said she would love to go to India someday and help the children. After lunch I started doing some research about Gospel for Asia and found out that they have a one year school at their headquarters in discipleship training. While getting intensive training she would also be working at Gospel for Asia at their headquarters and would go on a two week mission trip to India. This morning when I told her all this, she was beyond excited. I know she is only in the 7th grade and could change her mind many times, but you just never know where life will take you. This week we are going to sit down and pick a child to sponsor and maybe decide about an extra gift each month for supplies. To find out more information about Gospel for Asia visit at .

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A More Relaxed Homeschooling Experience

We pulled Grace out of public school in the beginning of 2nd grade and now we have started 7th grade. So if my calculations are correct we have started our sixth year of home schooling. When I look back over the past six years and can see lots of changes in the way we actually school. In the beginning the only thing I knew was school at home. I bought a boxed curriculum and went to work. After boring days and crying on both of our parts, we knew there had to be a better way. After that first year we slowly found our way to Charlotte Mason's teachings. It was a bright ray of sunshine brought in to my life. At that point the decision was between using Ambleside or Simply Charlotte Mason's curriculum guides. I researched Ambleside alot and felt with Grace's personality it just wasn't a good fit. As she grew older I am so glad I made that decision early on. Grace is not a motivated student. She has definitely gotten better over the years but Ambleside would have crushed her with their heavy load of reading. The choice then fell to Simply Charlotte Mason and I just love Sonya Schaffer. I have attended three of her workshops/seminars. After two years of using the SCM curriculum guide I started second guessing our choice just because again Grace is not a motivated student and we just weren't making any progress. Next we tried Unit Studies and just studying what we wanted or what looking interesting. After much thought we returned to SCM. That was the best decision we ever made. I am very committed to sticking with SCM and learning through living books through graduation. I follow the SCM guide pretty thoroughly but take it slower that some. This year we have more out of the home activities that I feel are very important for Grace. She is at that age where she really needs interaction with kids her own age. Now we get to the title of this post. The past few weeks I really haven't felt myself and we have had to step back and take things more slowly. I am finding that I kind of like it this way. We may not get through every subject that was assigned for that day - but you know what, it is okay. She is learning. She is making progress. Schooling into some of the summer is not a bad thing if we need to finish up some of our history or science. So we are taking it one day at a time and in a very relaxed manner at this point. It has taken us 6 years to reach this conclusion. I sometimes wonder about all those new home schoolers and thinking they need to sit at a desk for 4 1/2 hours every day doing book work to meet their state mandated hours. I don't think I could go back to that. We use exercise, drama, reading, classes outside of the home, etc. to meet those hours as well as sit down at the table work. Relaxed home schooling is a good fit for us at this time in our lives.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday and Friday = Busy

Thursday and Friday of this week proved to be very busy and time consuming. Not in a bad way, just time consuming. As I wrote before sleeping has not come easy to me in the last 6 nights so I tend to sleep later in the morning to make up the difference. Grace is taking advantage of this. She is a night owl anyway and now tends to stay up as long as I am up. So she sleeps late too. That means school work doesn't get started until 10:30 or 11:00 on those mornings. She can't roll out of bed and start right away with breakfast and work. Thursday I specifically scheduled school work lightly because of this and the fact that she had an art class and drama ministry team practice on the same day. Today I also scheduled lightly. This morning we worked on a math lesson, her Japan project for the upcoming Geography Festival, literature reading and some homework from her chemistry class. After lunch we headed out for our group's first Rec day which consisted of organized games and fellowship. Once Rec Day was finished we meet Grace's friend from drama for dinner and brought her home with us to spend the night. They plan on running lines and practicing Robin Hood plus drama ministry skits most of the night. Looking forward to some quiet time tomorrow to catch up on a few things.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mor Spider Study

Thought I would share a couple of the daily assignments Grace has been working on for our spider study. I would also like to mention that she is really enjoying her middle school chemistry class on Mondays. Yesterday they built an atom and made some atomic cookies as well as went over more information about elements, compounds, etc. Her homework this week is to take the 11 elements she made cards for last week and write on the back of the card an interesting fact about that element. Anyway, back to the spider study. The top picture is what we did today. Grace created a chart of three different types of arthropods. Insects, crustaceans, and spiders. She was to write a few characteristics of each and then select an example of each.

A few days ago Grace was to select a spider and do a little investigating. Scott brought a black widow back from the garden the other day for her to see so she really wanted to do her assignment on the black widow. You can't see it in the picture but each leg of the spider has a fact written in pencil about the black widow.

The Sound of Silence

Sorry I haven't been posting lately. As I have mentioned in some previous posts I am dealing with some health issues. All my tests so far have come back good with the exception of low vitamin d and slightly anemic. But I still don't feel normal. Joint and muscle pain ebbs and flows, no stamina or energy, hard to get through 30 minutes of a walk without feeling like I have run a marathon. This just isn't normal for me. Well I decided to go to the local health store and talk with the owner about something to help me. He was very informative and seemed to know his stuff. I left the store with New Chapter's zyflamend softgels and One "n" only Superior Tonic Multiple Vitamin. The zyflamend is a bunch of high potent herbs that create a good inflammation response in your body and helps with joint, muscle, tend, or nerve inflammation problems. The vitamin is super potent and has alot of B vitamins as well as some herbs to help with energy. The first day I took the zyflamend I woke up in the middle of the night with a full blown panic attack and couldn't go back to sleep. In the past I did suffer from anxiety and was on medication for about 3-4 years right after I had Grace. I know what an attack feels like and thought maybe after three months of not feeling right it was starting to get to me. So the next day at lunch I took both pills and again had trouble sleeping and was up much the not with anxious feelings. I read further about this herbal supplement and discovered the anxious feelings were probably coming from it. I took it one more night which was last night and sleep more than the first two nights but did wake up twice with feelings of anxiety (like I was scared to fall back asleep). Hubby also took one of the pills last night to see if he had some of the same feelings. He did feel quite a bit of energy and didn't need to go to sleep at his normal time. So for know I have decided to stop taking it even with it being very expensive. I just can not go around feeling tired as well as amped up on drugs all the time. My nerves would suffer to much. I am going to try to continue you the vitamin supplement and hope it will help with my problems of lack of energy. So sorry for no posts, I could hardly form some coherent sentences over the past few days. Prayer would be greatly appreciated for calm and healing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kind Of A Wonky Week

Let me explain. This week was the first with all of Grace's outside of the home activities starting. Monday is Chemistry for two hours, Tuesday is Drama for one and a half hours, Thursday is Art class for one hour and Drama Ministry Team for another hour and a half. So to make a long story short we are finding it a little daunting to fit all the at home academic work in. Now to top things off I was sick on Wednesday and Grace didn't feel well on Thursday. Friday we needed groceries shopped for as well as a birthday present then a recheck appt. at the vet for the newish kitten. Put all that together and I feel like we didn't get much accomplished. But I should say that Grace was much more motivated this week with finishing her work and really liked her Chemistry class, even finished the homework without me really having to tell her to do it. Luckily the Chemistry class is only for 8 weeks then Monday will be back to normal. One of our main problems is math taking so much time. Today it took 2 hours and she wasn't even dawdling. Sometimes the lecture takes 20 minutes then 25-30 problems. She is still doing her best and scores in the 80s and 90s on each lesson. I am proud of her that she is sticking it out and not throwing any tantrums, which two months ago would have been exactly what she would be doing in the same situation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2011 Fair

This week our annual county fair has been going on. It is a small fair in comparison to others I have seen on blogs, etc. The main reason we attended (because normally we feel it is a waste of month and Grace never wants to ride anything) was to see if Grace's drawing won a ribbon in the art contest. We were very excited to see that Grace won 2nd place in her age division.

Probably my favorite part of the fair is the Birds of Prey show. I love owls and they had 6 or 7 different kinds. They flew for us and we learned some interesting tidbits along the way.

Next favorite is always the petting zoo and you get to feed them too. Exotic animals up close.

I took lots of pictures but decided not to overflow this post with them. We also made a break through with Grace, she rode the scrambler and loved it. Matter of fact hubby and Grace went back tonight to ride all the could because it is family night and the tickets are reduced quite a bit. Unfortunately I do not like rides anymore, they give me a queasy stomach and I haven't felt well today on top of it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Great Food Documentary

Last night I watched a very eye opening documentary on Netflix. Forks Over Knives is about the whole foods/plants based diet and how it can resolve major illnesses and diseases. The whole foods diet advocates not eating meats and diary products. I think I could try the no meats but I would be a very unhappy camper without my daily glass of milk and cheese. But the evidence they produced was pretty convincing. Over many years during the 80s and 90s two doctors did separate studies about the effects of meat and diary and how they correlate with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and hypertension. The scientific data they showed is astounding. After watching this documentary I am even more assured they getting rid of processed foods is the right answer. The problem is just doing it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A New Week of School

This week has many plans in the home and outside of the home to live, learn and laugh. Today was Grace's first middle school chemistry class. I was very apprehensive about her taking this 6 week class because she has not had alot of higher science experience. This is a very hands on class with experiments and building atoms, etc. with a little written work thrown in for good measure. She came home with a small amount of home work (making cards to go on a metal ring of 11 elements from the periodic table). We are also diving head first in to our Spectacular Spiders unit. Most of the spider books from the library are elementary age level but have good information. Early Fall is the best time to find spiders, especially at night. We have three of the spider that make a web then come out at night to sit on it. Hoping to get some good pictures.

Also this week we have started a study of a new artist. We are again using a Picture Study Portfolio from Simply Charlotte Mason. The next 6-8 weeks we will be studying paintings by Giotto who lived 1266-1337 during the tail end of the Medieval period. It is a nice change of pace after all the dark paintings of Rembrandt.

Tuesday will consist of drama practice for Robin Hood. We will have somewhat of a free day on Wednesday and Thursday will be art class and practice with the ministry drama team. Friday will be back to the vet with a recheck on our kitten and Saturday a birthday party for a friend.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Egg Production

Over the past month egg production has been way down due to one set of birds molting and the other set being right on the cusp of age ready to start laying. As my previous post mentioned we received our first egg from the Buff two days ago. Well today we got another one. But here is the funny thing. I haven't been checking the nesting boxes for the game hens because they are still looking ratty and continuing their first molt. Today I thought I saw something in the third nesting box. I opened the hatch door and their wasn't anything in the third box but beside in the fourth nesting box Betty had been very busy. I found a clutch of five eggs that she had not been sitting on yet. This is the same bird that was broody off and on all Spring and Summer and would sit on absolutely nothing in the box. Now that she has a whole clutch she didn't want to sit. I feel so dumb for not checking the boxes and wasting five perfectly beautiful eggs. I will definitely be checking day from now on. It would be great to get back up to 3-5 eggs a day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Look What We Found

Very momentous occasion today. Our Buff laid their first egg. Hopefully this is the first of many before the time changes. So exciting to raise babies from 3 days old to laying eggs. We saw her go in the nesting box this afternoon and waited every so NOT patiently for her to come out so we could check. Chickens are so much fun!

Talented Young Artist

Please check out to find a young talented artist that lives in my area. Soon she will have a website to purchase her art on line. The art she creates with pressed flowers and natural elements is just amazing. Please make sure you scroll all the way down to entries from June and July to see some amazing work.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Drama Season Has Returned

Last week we began the new drama season for 2011-2012. It will probably be a shorter season than in years past because of our group splitting and us now being on our own. Logistics, finances, participation, location availablity, etc. all play a part in having the program run for one semester or two. This semester all the participants are home schoolers and we have a well rounded group of a couple of 3rd graders all the way up to high schoolers. We ran in to trouble ordering from our regular musical theatre organization so we will not be doing a musical first semester. Robin Hood was chosen as our play for the first semester and we are happy with it as well as the kids participating. After having the lead in Alice Grace decided she wanted a bit of a smaller role this go around. She auditioned for and got the part of Salome the daughter of the Sheriff of Nottingham. With 45 lines to remember it is really what would be considered a medium part, but the most appealing to Grace was that this character is very comedic and silly. Much out of her comfort zone. She wanted to stretch herself a bit with something different. Another endeavor we are starting this week will be the Drama Ministry Team with 11 talented teen home schoolers. We will practice once a week in September and October then twice a week for November and December to prepare for performances at very churches in the area next semester. We hope to take the teens on a weekend/workshop retreat in October for some intensive training and bonding. This first semester should be very productive and rewarding.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Rain and lower temperatures. In our area we haven't recieved a drop of rain in 4 weeks and the temperatures have been in the mid to high 90s for over two months. This week we are finally getting some relief. Expecting 3-6 inches of rain today and tomorrow. The temperatures will be between 71 and 79 all week. What a relief! Not running the AC all week would be just grand. Also other than the rain I know my chickens will really appreciate the cooler temps and my newly planted seed will apreciate the cooler temps and rain. Looking forward to Fall so much.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Shining Dawn Books

Grace will be starting a Chemistry class for middle schoolers in another week. This week we will finish up our review unit on the human body. The Chemistry class will only be two hours on Monday for 8 weeks. Lots of experiments and hands on activities done in class with some studying at home for quizes. I didn't want to start something in Science at home that would be heavy duty until the Chemistry class was finished. For at least a year I have toyed around with the idea of ordering a nature study series from Shining Dawn Books. Well, today I took the plunge. I asked Grace to pick which she was most interested in doing and Spectacular Spiders won. What I like most about ordering is that the download is ready as soon as you pay. No wait. I was pleasantly surprised at all the suggestions that are available through this unit even to help stretch for students about 5th grade. So this week I will be gathering some items for hands on activities and field guides from the library. Now if we can just get over our fear of spiders to actually collect one to observe. I urge you all to check out the website and choose something for your nature study. After this unit I may go back and purchase again either the unit on Rain or Clouds.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What I am Reading and What We Found

The Locavore Way, Discover and Enjoy the Pleasure of Locally Grown Food.

A message came through our home school group's email loop about a new creamery that had just opened. Up till now there was no one that I knew of that you could buy local milk and diary products from. I was so excited today to go to Mountain Fresh Creamery and check out what they had available. The milk comes from their dairy farm 5 miles down the road. This is just one county over from us. Of course we live in the country so that averages out to about a 30 minute drive. Today I purchased a gallon each of chocolate and regular milk, vanilla ice cream, and three pounds of local, grass fed beef. This is also the first establishment I have found to purchase the local, grass fed beef without having to purchase a whole or half cow. The color of the beef was deep red and beautiful. Can't wait to cook with it. I think I might start this as a twice a month endeavor to get milk and beef. The only disappointment was they weren't making butter yet. I really want the local butter too because I bake alot.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Welcome Surprise

Today was our every 2 month trip to the big library. Because of gas it has gotten to the point that we can only about every two months due to the new library being 50 minutes away from us. But their selection of books, magazines, dvds, etc. just can't be beat. We actually had a special reason for going; Grace is getting ready to do a project on Japan for our group's Geography Festival and needed lots of materials about Japan. Ok, now we can get to the surprise. Every Thursday in the parking lot of the library is a farmer's market. Small (maybe 15 vendors) booths filled with fresh veggies, home made desserts and breads, and crafts. We didn't have alot of cash on me with tomorrow being pay day. We were able to put together enough cash between the three of us to get a multi-grain loaf of bread, choc. chip cookies, and farm fresh eggs. It was alot of fun looking at what everyone had and how much they were charging for future reference.