Saturday, June 30, 2012


104 degrees! Enough said. This weekend has been all about the heatwave and trying to keep the chickens from dying. Wetting down the runs with the hose every two hours, changing waterers often, and placing frozen two liters bottles in the run to stand up against. I feel so sorry for them. One more day of 100 degree temps then down into the 90s and back to the high 80s by the end of the week. The 80s will surely feel incredible after this weekend. Can't imagine having to live like this all the time like Texas, etc.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Index Card Challenge Week 4

Prompt - Snowman
Prompt - Recipe
Prompt - Draw an Ice Cream Sundae
As you can see my drawing leaves something to be desired. Each week the challenge actually wants you to accomplish 7 index cards, but creativity is not my strong suit. So I get out as many as I can. This week only three materialized. But in my defense I was working on many other projects this week also.

Last Child In The Woods Chapters 9, 10, 11

Reading this book over the past few weeks has definitely opened my eyes to some of the things we are doing right and wrong in our household in regards to nature and free play. Something that really stood out to me in chapter 9 was that most children don't view activities such as team sports, etc. has fun but as work. Some of these kids are relieved when they come home from school in the afternoon and know that don't have to be anywhere else and can just be free. I have mixed emotions with The Bogeyman Syndrome chapter. Let's face it folks, the world has gotten worse since we were children and bad things do happen. My 13 year old daughter is already asking for independence with running on our street alone, walking around stores on her own while I shop, etc., but I still can't let go of that fear that something may happen to her in the process. In the chapter The Death of Natural History I do agree with the statements made about people being oblivious about their activities affecting nature. The information about ATV use in the desert and how children, and parents for that matter, could name all the different brands of ATVs available but couldn't identify the snakes, lizards, hawks, and cacti in their local areas. It is sad but true. My husband is currently working on learning everything about herbs and the local edible flora in our area. It has become a lost art. We have turned our backs on what is important and put all our money on technology saving and entertaining us. What is even more disturbing is graduates that went to college to study biology and are not even taught identification and are taking jobs in these areas but don't know the information. There are very few people left in this world that have all this knowledge. Small programs across the country and world are being set up to conquer this problem but I fear it may be too little too late.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Every Once In A While You Get A Surprise

Can you see the tiny yellow yolk?
This afternoon we found the smallest egg ever from our birds. From the top photo you can see the egg is no bigger than a quarter. After showing it around to the family we cracked it open to see what was inside. A very tiny yellow yolk.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Too Busy For a Post

So sorry for the absence over the past few days. Lots going on around the house to keep me busy.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have become part of TOS review crew and am already busy reviewing four different products. The reviews will be posted in July and August. Of course gardening and chicken care is taking up alot of our time too. I have beans running out my ears. Dehydrator running night and day. Worried about the 102 degree heat coming on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (mostly with the chickens). Stacks of library books to read about opening a new business, forming 501 non-profit corporations, puppetry arts, and art journaling. Preparing lessons plans for two classes I will be teaching in the Fall and cataloging all my books for the lending library I will one day open. Add in to this Jazzercise classes 4-5 days a week, average care for the house and children, dentist and eye doctor appointment, and a little summer fun. Hopefully you can see why I haven't posted much since the weekend. I promise to get back on track soon. May God bless you all and have a great day.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Index Card Challenge Week

Prompt - Your Name
Prompt - Perfume
Prompt - Pocket
Prompt - Swirl

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Idea of a Fun Day

Books from Good Will and Used Book Store
More Goodwill Books
Goodwill books
Our idea of a fun day is drastically different than alot of other families out there. Our first stop of the day was to Goodwill to purchase used books for my lending library. Also found some supplies for the upcoming puppetry arts class and Christmas presents. Next we were off to the big library in Spout Spring that also has a Farmer's Market (summer bucket list) on Thursday afternoons. We stopped in another nearby town on the way home to eat at Red Lobster and take a quick run though JoAnnes. I was super excited to say many sales at JoAnnes and was able to purchase 20 pairs of gloves for the puppetry class for just $5.00 plus some more supplies for art journaling class.          

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Recent Artwork By Grace

Anime is Grace's life.
Anime drawn on computer with paint.
Sketching while playing with her ferret.
I would estimate that Grace draws in her sketch book or on the computer 3-6 hours a day. This is her passion. She is so excited to be going to Anime Con in Atlanta in September to see all the pros of Anime.

Two More Items Off of Summer Bucket List

We can mark two more items off our summer bucket list. Last night we went to Helen to play miniature golf and eat ice cream. For those that don't know, Helen is a wonderful little tourist town 10 minutes from our house. Google Helen, Ga. sometime and see the German town in the woods with lots of little shops and tubing on the river. The second item marked off our list was Grace finishing her volunteering at two kids art camps.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Harvest Time

Harvest Time for green beans that is.
I just realized that I haven't really posted anything about the garden lately. Right now we are focusing on harvesting three types of beans and drying alot of them in the dehydrator. We also are harvesting spinach and lettuce. This year the garden has been kind of slow due to little rain and quite a few of the organic variety of seeds that didn't germinate. It was very disappointing but we are still limping along. Lots had to be replanted.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Index Card Challenge Week 2

I didn't do very well this week, only three cards out of five were accomplished. The prompts were black & white, chaos, and quilt.

Birthday Party One Week Late

Since Grace performed in the Jungle Book on her birthday and one of her close friends shares the same birthday we chose to have a party one week later. Last night her closest friends came over to have dinner, games, and fellowship. This group of kids are all drama students and get along so well. The girls stayed over and went with us to church this morning. So the sleepover takes care of one thing on our summer bucket list.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Last Child In The Woods Book Club Week 2

This week for the book club we read chapters 4 through 8 in the Last Child in the Woods. The more I read this book the more I realize how much children in general really need to spend as much time outside in nature as possible. The 8th chapter is really what struck me the most. This chapter is about how nature can possibly help in treatment for ADHD. My son was diagnosed with ADD in 4th grade and struggled throughout his academic career with it. We tried medication for about 6 months but the side effects just weren't worth it. Trouble sleeping, no appetite, and for every year of taking the medication you had the possibility of not growing a 1/2 an inch, he was already the smallest kid in the class. He is now 22 and through maturity has learned to control some of his focusing problems or to just work around it. But how great it would have been to realize some of the relation between nature and being outside with the treatment for ADD and ADHD back during the really rough school year. Now with my younger child we are lucky in the area that we live that all we have to do is walk out the front or back door and we are in nature. Plus windows throughout the house that show us nature even when we are hitting the books.

Something else that stood out to me was some of the children used as examples in the book that haven't been in nature all their lives. The children that live in the inner city that haven't traveled farther than the next suburb. It is quite sad. I really enjoyed reading about the inner city kids that traveled to Alaska as a form of punishment. Most of these kids had not been anywhere and were very amazed at the sights they were seeing for the first time. Can you imagine being a child that had never seen a mountain, waterfall, wild animal, or a beautiful meadow. Interested to see what else this book shows me in the next 4 chapters.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Remember These

Photo from

Today I was visiting our local hobby/art/antique store. I needed to visit the restroom and went to the cashier counter. For one reason or another the store keeps the bathrooms lock and had to give me a key. I looked down at the key ring and what did I see....... Fisher Price Little People connected to the key ring. I grew up playing with the older version of Fisher Price toys. I found out while looking for a picture that their are sellers of vintage Fisher Price toys. I think the farmhouse was selling for like 54.99. We had about 8 different sets (house, hospital, houseboat, camper, farm, etc.) and on rainy or really hot days all the kids in the neighborhood would come to our basement and we would set up Fisher Price towns. I always wanted the houseboat or camper. I wonder what that says about me. I certainly didn't grow up to be a traveler. Anyway, it just brought back alot of memories.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

So Excited!



I sent in an application to the TOS Crew Review and got accepted this week. So excited to get started!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Some Random Updates

Exercise - The Jazzercise challenge is going well but Couch to 5k is being put on hold, maybe forever. I noticed after running for two weeks that my feet were really starting to give me a problem. After taking a week off from running and just walking instead my feet are feeling much better. Maybe some people are just not meant to run.

Church - I have recently come to the conclusion that church should be a verb instead of a noun. I have felt off and on for the past year that it was time "to do" instead of "sit and learn". I'm not saying that I know everything in the Bible, because I sure don't, but it is time to go out in the community and show God's love to everyone. In the past two months we have started supporting a missionary through Gospel for Asia and I just left a comment on another blog about wanting to help out with collecting book bags and supplies for children in Ethiopia. I'm not telling you these things to seem prideful just some of examples of things I would like to do more of. I am super excited that my home church seems to be following in this same direction. It is past time to be sitting in the pews and fellowshipping with other church members, it is time to go and a spread the love. In September our church will be starting more small groups and each group will be responsible for a certain mission in the community. The problem is there are too many great things to choose from. I am currently praying about leading one of the groups, but know that my time in the fall will be limited. Currently I am thinking/praying about a mission for the homeless in our community or nursing homes/shut ins. I also want to make sure it is something Grace can also be involved in.

New Cooperative - Things with the cooperative are moving along very fast. We currently have 10 families signed up and that is just from our homeschool support group and a couple of friends. The press release will go out in the local paper the 1st of July. Something new for me is that I will actually be teaching two classes for 3rd - 6th grade, art journaling and puppetry arts. If you know of any great resources in both of these areas please let me know. I am researching like crazy and starting my lesson plans for the first semester. Very exciting times but kind of scary too.

Busyness - Grace and myself are actually very busy for it being summer. The next two weeks Grace is volunteering with little kid art camps and in July she will be attending a chemistry and anime camp. Before we know it August will be here and back to school again. Also lots of doctor's appts to attend to over the next couple of weeks. A few posts back I talked about our summer bucket list, things have been so crazy I haven't been able to cross any of them off. Thursday Grace will have a friend over for the day and Saturday two different friends will be over to spend the night and another family coming to help celebrate her birthday.

Something interesting- In the big blog world sometimes it is really smaller than you think. I recently started reading a blog and found we both attended the same high school only a few years apart. Also discussed certain places in that town that hold very fond memories for me while growing up. That is just plain cool. Plus our daughters are very close in age and love theatre and animals. Very small world out there.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Index Card a Day Week 1

In a previous post I mentioned I had joined the Index Card a Day Challenge. I actually joined this a little late so only have four cards to show instead of five. Each week we are given 10 prompts to choose from - this week I choose dragonfly, collage, doodling name, and yellow. Please be gentle. I am so not an artist. The main reason I joined the challenge was to learn beginning art journaling for a co-op I will be teaching to kids and teens next spring.

Birthday Present

Okay it wasn't exactly a birthday present but Grace did get this guy the day before her birthday. A friend at church really needed to find a home for him because they don't have AC and ferrets apparently don't sweat. So Mr. Gwen (named after the ferret in Inkheart) was free with all his supplies and cage. The cage is huge with three tiers. Grace is having a blast with him. With three cats and three dogs in the house he only gets out 2-3 times a day for exercise with supervision. When you add in the 20 chickens in the backyard - Just call us the local zoo.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Last Child in the Woods Book Club Week 1

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit DisorderI joined this online book club through There is still time to join up if you are interested. I'd like to share my thoughts on the first 4 chapters. So far the major points the book has dealt with is the effects nature has on the mental and physical well being of adults and children. Up until 10 years ago we lived in the urban sprawl and didn't really think that much about our relationship with nature. Fast forward to the last 10 years, we moved to the North Georgia mountains and life has changed dramatically for us. We live in a cabin on a very wooded lot. We go on walks and hikes 2-3 times a week and even raise chickens in the backyard. A few years ago we read Little House series and that sparked alot of things that we wanted to change about our lives. Living more simply, gardening and knowing where are food comes from, as well as improving our relationship with nature. Being homeschoolers I think through nature study, etc. we spend alot more time outdoors than alot of other kids. But even with that we could spend so much more. Whenever we really want to get in touch with the natural world around us some of our favorite places to go are just right down the road - a neighbors creek and yard that has many specimens, hikes to local waterfalls, or a simple walk down the road to see the cows and their newborn calves. So far I have enjoyed this book and now that The Jungle Book as wrapped I hope to spend more time really plunging in to the study.

The Jungle Book

Grace in full makeup as Bagheera.
Bagheera and Baloo discussing Mowgli's fate.
Monkey Business song after Mowgli is captured.
Cast photos.
Cast photos.
Tiring, exciting, fun, rewarding, and over. The Jungle Book has been performed and put to bed.  Now we have a two month summer break before starting the next project. Looking at The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Pilgrim's Progress, The Robe, and the Nutcracker. So many wonderful plays and musicals to choose from and only two can be selected for the upcoming year.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Drama Week

Playing a drama game. They were told to create a bus in 20 seconds.
This week is all about drama rehearsals and performances. Monday - Thursday is rehearsals from 10 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. We have tried to work in some games and fun time too. All of the kids really get along and have fun together. Practice for the Jungle Book started back in January with one day a week practices then this long week with performances on Thursday and Friday.
Grace in makeup as Bagheera
The background was painted my very talented husband.
Going over notes after one of the run thrus.
At the end of a very tiring day.

Art Journaling

  Some thing new I am looking at for a co-op class next year to each is Art Journaling. Doing alot of research at the moment and came across this great challenge for June and July. You can go to this website and get all the information about how to journal on index cards. I think I might try it to start with something small instead of staring at a large piece of paper each day and trying to figure out what to do.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

What I'm Reading

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)I first started reading this book to see if it would be appropriate for Grace to read (it isn't, probably more for 16yrs and up). But I have been drawn in the the world that was created for the series, so unless something changes I will probably finish the series.
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit DisorderThis one is for an online book club. Currently on chapter three and really enjoying it. Of course it is kind of depressing about how far all most of the kids in the world have been drawn away from outdoor play and nature through many sets of circumstances.
The Illustrated Guide to Chickens: How to Choose Them, How to Keep ThemBeing a family that raises chickens this one was a no brainer. The illustrations are in water color and so great. Yesterday I tried my hand at copying one of the chickens in my own painting. Let's just say it will not be seen on this blog. lol. Something I found very interesting was the forward was written by Prince Charles. Evidently his grandmother was a huge fan of Buff Orpingtons and had a flock of her won. Even Prince Charles keeps chickens (of course he probably pays someone to keep them for him). But still the same it just proves how many folks around the world really love chickens.

Friday, June 1, 2012

8th Grade Curriculum

I think we have finally decided on everything that will be started the beginning of August.

Logic -Daily Warm-ups and Critical Thinking with following directions.
Math - Teaching Textbooks, Pre-algebra
Science - Master Gardeners Class on Monday mornings along with Exploring The World of Biology and God's Design Our Planet Earth
English - Beginning Essay Writing class on Thursdays, Language Lessons for the Secondary Child and Independent reading
History - America the Beautiful 1800s - the present along with some lapbooks from Hands of a Child

Fine Arts Co-op - On Tuesdays Grace will attend art and drama. On Thursdays she will take dance and show choir.
Acts of Faith - In August we will start our second year with this traveling ministry drama group.

I am sure other fabulous classes and groups will pop up along the way for us to join. As always we will probably be overbooked and stressed. Just too much great stuff to choose from.

Happy Birthday X 2

Last night was the family birthday party for Travis and Grace. Travis turned 22 and Grace will be 13 in six days. They are exactly 9 years apart. Both of my kids hate birthday cake so each year is either a choc. chip cookie cake or ice cream cake. This year me and Grace baked and decorated our own choc. chip cookie cake. Travis asked for items for his new apartment/home. He will be moving out of the nest by October. Grace mainly wanted money for itunes games and music. We had pizza and salad for dinner.