Friday, January 30, 2009

Too many eggs = chicken & noodles and angel food cake

The hens went back into overdrive. So, last night we made chicken and noodles and an angel food cake. This is the best way I know to use up 14 eggs at one time. Rebecca made the noodles. I did separate the eggs for her, as I wanted to make sure it was done. The noodles only use the yolks and the cake uses only the whites. So, this is our standard meal here at the farm when we need to use up some eggs. Rebecca got one hour credit of home-ec cooking out of her noodle making for homeschool.

There are many recipes out there for egg noodles. But this is my favorite:
8 cups flour--white or whole wheat
12 egg yolks
4 eggs
8 teaspoons salt
3/4 to 1 & 1/2 cups water

Put flour and salt in bowl. Make a well in the middle and add egg yolks and eggs. Mix in water a little at a time until dough is stiff but easy to roll.

Flour a cloth covered board or wood surface well. Roll out dough to desired thickness and cut noodles 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide.

Let noodles dry. For thin noodles cut in thin strips they may dry in 2 hours. For thicker noodles cut wider, it may take all night to dry.

**After they are completely dry, boil in salted water 5-7 minutes or until done. Drain and serve.

**If I am making chicken noodle soup, I make my soup first, then add the noodles in at the very end, right before serving.

Angel food cake
*requires an angel food cake pan*

Preheat oven to 375.
12 egg whites whipped until they form white peaks
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together powered sugar and flour and set aside.
beat egg whites and cream of tarter till foamy and forms peaks. Add in the granulated sugar on high speed about 2 tablespoonful at a time. Add vanilla, almond extract and salt. Continue beating till very stiff. Do not under beat.

Sprinkle in the flour and sugar mix about 1/4 cup at a time. After each addition, fold it over, then add the next addition. Spread batter into ungreased angel food cake pan. Cut through it with a metal knife to remove any large bubbles.

Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. Cake top should be springy and dry and crumbly looking.

Remove from oven and invert upside down until cake is cold or room temp. Then remove from pan.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Icy out...

It has been snowing and sleeting off and on all day. It had been light, until around 4, then it started coming down harder. Roads are getting bad, so 4H for tonight is cancelled. They really need the practice, as it is for horse bowl and horse judging, but its not worth the risk. However, the girls got a Wii last night, and used it for the first time today, so they aren't too disappointed to stay home. If horse bowl and horse judging were a Wii game, Clinton County would probably have the highest ranking team.

I think the high today was 15? The girls brought in eggs while ago, and one was frozen. I am thinking of making up a big batch of egg noodles in a little while and maybe fixing chicken and noodles tomorrow night (don't tell my hens). JD said earlier today when the girls let the chickens out of the coop, they didn't do their usual scratching in the yard. Instead they ran 90 miles and hour straight to the barn to the hay, where it is warm. He said they would make good nascar chickens.... A leghorn was in the lead, followed by a Rhode island red and third was the rooster. As usual, the white duck follows up the rear.

In March, Orschelons will have their baby chicks and ducks. I am thinking of getting some more ducks, and a few guineas. Guieas are very good at eating pest bugs--such as ticks and misquotes. Before we get the garden put in, this year I want to fence in the chicken yard. Last year the chickens ate more pumpkins then we did. I'd rather fence in the garden, but then I would not be able to get the tractor in and out. So, when the garden comes to harvest, they will be confined to their new larger pen.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Owl Prowl and a coyote in my trash barrel

Saturday night was "Owl Prowl" for all the north KC and surrounding area Girl Scouts. The name serves it well, as you basically stay up all night and prowl like an owl.

This was our first time attending the annual event, and we absolutely loved it. It was held at a city middle school, which is connected to the community center by a hallway. That gave the girls access to 2 gyms and an indoor pool. Girls rotated from station to station learning about other countries, making crafts, playing games, making friends, eating food...They made friendship bracelets, origami, did face painting, several bead activities and more. Just a few more things to do and they will have earned another badge. They learned about several countries and continents. It was a very well attended and well organized event. I would highly recommend it to any Girl Scout in the area.

On the way home, it began to snow. The further north we got the heavier it came down and as soon as we crossed the county line it turned into sleet. We took a 3 hour nap (well, I tried to nap-I had so much mountain dew in me by that time I couldn't sleep) then got up and headed back for Sunday School and church. More sleet had gathered and we were slow going for the first 17 miles or so, then it gradually turned back into snow and then nothing. By the time we got to church there was almost nothing on the ground. There always seems to be an line that we are always just north of. Usually we get it a little harder.

Yesterday morning, I looked out the upstairs office window to see a coyote (aka devil dog) in the trash barrel. Usually they don't cross the back pasture fence, but this one didn't seem to care. I didn't let my birds out of the coop and pen yesterday as a result, as I didn't want him to be thinking he could be visiting to be served chicken. I complained to JD about him and he reminded me that I knew where the guns were at....So, next time I will shoot, providing no horses, cows, kids...are near. Lately my birds have been venturing further into the back pasture to scratch (one even tries to lay in the horses hay bale), into coyote territory so I am afraid when it gets warmer we may loose a few. The next pasture over has lamas and no coyotes, so maybe we need to put a lama in this pasture. A lama will kick and fight a coyote and kill it, so usually coyotes just avoid areas with lamas.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm ready for Spring

I am tired of the cold weather and mother natures tricks. Once again we had weather in the 60's, followed by a day like today--cold and very windy. All day today I have had trouble feeling warm, even though I have several layers on. I just hope I am not coming down with something, I don't have time to get sick!

Today the girls and I slept in. Tonight we will stay up most of the night watching videos so we can sleep tomorrow. Saturday night we have an all night Girl Scout Owl Prowl. Owl Prowl is a non sleeping event, so we are gearing up so we can stay awake and enjoy it. The hardest part will be staying awake for church after Owl Prowl, and driving back home! I have children's church on Sunday, so I am sure the kids will keep me awake. But, I do plan on sneaking a mountain dew in...

Yesterday the I took the girls to the library in Liberty for a homeschooling class. It was an art class about Paul Klee. Emily has been helping with the class as Miss Susie's assistant.

This afternoon we worked on math, and health. Tonight we have some science and history videos to watch, and we will probably also watch a movie or two, and maybe cut more squares for the girls quilts.

Yesterday JD went and bought 20 foot of iron pipe to mount the windsock on for our weather station. We had planned on working on that this afternoon, but the weather was just to cold and windy. He says if I can have a windsock, he should be able to have a helicopter....... Maybe I can find him a toy one somewhere. Several years ago there was an auction on eBay of a John Deere helicopter. It sold for around $90,000. It was right before we got married, and he was convinced that I should get that for his wedding present. Needless to say, I was not convinced, so he didn't get it. He has never let me forget that. Anyway, JD has been studying up on windsocks. You can tell the speed as well as the direction of the wind by the angle the windsock is at. I knew it told the direction, but I was not aware there are charts on the wind speeds as well.

This semester I am teaching a class on American Presidents. I worked on my lesson plans today. There are a lot of interesting little facts that most people don't know about the presidents. Also a lot of untruths and myths. For example, George Washingtons false teeth were not wood, they were ivory and had real teeth wired into them--teeth from donkies, humans and horses. He did not chop down his fathers cherry tree--his father had no cherry trees. Did you know he was a redhead in his younger days? He helped design the White House, but never lived in it. He was the first president to be elected unanimously and was inaugurated in both Philadephia and New York. Do you know why some records say he was born on Feb 11 and others say Feb 22? And, both dates are technically correct??

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back to normal

The girls loved camp. We picked them up Monday afternoon. There were around 60 campers there for the weekend retreat, a good number to be able to make some new friends. They didn't want to come home. It was the first time I had been there, and it is a very nice camp, with old fashioned cabins. So many camps are now changing to dorms, but this one still had quite a few cabins. On the way back, we stopped in Atchison KS, home of Amelia Earhart. So, that prompted a quick lesson on her when we returned home. Monday was also Martin Luther King Day, so we had a lesson on that.

Tuesday my girls had their dream idea of school. They spent the day from 9-5 in front of the TV! Actually, we watched the swearing in of our new president, the parade and some programs about the history of the white house and Washington DC, as well as the history of some presidents. A good day full of history. Along with the inauguration came a list of new spelling words associated with the inauguration and our new president.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Missing my baby....

Emily (and my niece Molly) return tomorrow from their youth group winter retreat. They have been at camp since Saturday. I am anxious to see how it went for them, as this was their first time to this particular camp.

After church, the twins and I went to Walmart. Rebecca picked out her fabric for her quilt, and preshrunk it. We got a few squares cut out tonight. Elizabeth is ready to start cutting hers out as well. Since this is their first one, we are going for something simple--a 4 inch square pattern with 3 colors or patterns. Their goal is to make their quilts twin size, but since it is their first they may stop at a lap quilt size. We will see how it goes.

After they get some experience from this, they will start making quilt blocks for Girl Scouts. Their troop is made up of 12 girls. Each girl is to make twelve (one for each girl) blocks of twelve inches. Their block is to represent their personality. Then the troop will put them together and each girl will have their own quilt with their own twelve inch quilt block (square) in it, and one from each other troop member. I think that is a real cool idea and a good way for the girls to remember their troop. Most of the girls in the troop have grown up together, so it will hold a lot of meaning.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Reorganized Basement Pantry

I finally got the pantry straightened out. After our last trip to Alidi, it was sort of a mess. The girls put everything away, and some of the shelves were too high for them to put cases up on. It took the twins and I about 2 hours to get it neat and rearranged. Emily will be glad that we got it done while she is gone on her winter retreat at church camp.

I had someone ask me why most homeschooling families have large stock up pantries, or as my husband calls it, the emporium... I don't think it is a matter of being a homeschool family, but rather I think it is being more common for single income families to have a stock up pantry. And, most homeschooling families are running their household on a single income. Therefore, we tend to be a little more frugal.

I don't stock up on everything. I don't on TP, paper towels or paper items, because I have lost those items before due to a broken water pipe, and they are bulky to store. Items in plastic or cans are easier. I also don't stock up on short shelf life items.

Most of my stock up non food items come from sales at CVS, Walgreen or Dollar General. CVS and Walgreen will let you use both their sale flyer coupon and the manufactures coupon on the same item. By doing this you can often get the item for free. Yes, I have a years supply of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, soap, dish soap, deodorant, razors, shaving cream.....but a good part of it I got free or very close to it. For example, this week CVS had V05 shampoo on sale for 77 cents. I had 4 coupons for V05 for 75 cents off. So, I got 4 bottles and paid 2 cents each, so 8 cents for 4 large bottles of shampoo. If I just waited to get it when we needed it, I would be paying full price possibly, my current coupon would be expired and they may not come out with another sale and coupon combo when I needed it.

I also am not brand loyal on many items. This allows me to take advantage on any shampoo that is on sale and combine it with coupons, instead of having to wait for a certain brand to come on sale. Each week you can count on at least one brand being on sale.

Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can get some more work done in the basement and make the pantry a little larger. Right now it is just along one wall and I am wanting to make it in an L shape to also go along a short wall. Then along the opposite wall I would like to set up our sewing area. That wall is long enough that I could set up an area where each of my girls and I could sew and leave our machines up all the time. But, for now, that is a future project.

Today it got up to almost 50 degrees, and the sun was out all day. All our snow and ice is gone. I am ready for spring, but I am sure we will get hit with more cold weather shortly.

Our windsock arrived in the mail yesterday, so as soon as the ground thaws enough to drive in the conduit, we will get that added to our weather station. It is bright orange, aviation style. JD says we are likely to have airplanes landing in the yard.

Sending Emily off

This morning Emily, and my niece Molly, leave for a weekend youth group retreat in Kansas. I think they are both rather excited. The will return on Monday afternoon. The rest of us girls will be meeting with our girl scout troop at church for most of the day working to get things ready for an event next weekend.

Girl Scout cookies are in!!!! Too bad they always arrive at the time people start their diets over for the new year. Thankfully though, people order them in December when dieting is not on their mind.

Our cold weather continues but at least for now the sun is shinning.

I'll try to maybe get another post in after we return this evening.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Heat wave on the farm.

Yes, it is up to 22 degrees. Yesterday was not a good day. The night before one of stock tank heaters caught on fire. The yesterday it was so bitterly cold that the remaining heaters could not keep up and the one tank froze despite 2 heaters being in it.

Then the hydrant handle broke. JD got that fixed, but while he was working on that, the hose froze, so we had 1 frozen tank and one empty tank. Hopefully today we are back in business. The hose is now thawed out from being in the basement all night, the hydrant handle has been repaired, and Oreschleons replaced the heater that burst into flames the first time it was used.

We woke to about an inch of snow this morning, and a fine snow is still falling. It is very fine, you almost have to squint to see it.

I like winter, but not the cold. I think at least part of our animals agree with me. The rabbits have hay in their hutches, and are buried deep in it. During the winter we put their hutches in the barn to block the wind. Our old black Lab is mainly hanging around the barn in the haypile. Elizabeths calf likes to stay in a stall. Last night Elizabeth found our little beagle pup hiding in the basement. She is a outdoor dog, but she managed to sneak in at some point. Usually she sleeps in the barn in the hay where it is warm. But during the day she likes to dig in the snow. Some of the chickens stay in the coup and never leave, others go out like it is summer and a few even try to dust in the snow as if it were dirt.

At least it is nice and sunny out.

Maybe later the girls will make some snow candy.

I worked some in our downstairs pantry yesterday, and will hit it again. About another hour of work and I will be done.

Fantastic Caverns Homeschool Days-Southern MO

Dear Home School Educator,

For many years, the Fantastic Caverns Science Research Program has offered special tours and educational materials to area schools. In the past, we have offered special group rates to schools when they had a minimum of 20 participants. This requirement does not meet the needs of most home schools in our region and we would like to change that.

February 1-14, 2009, will be Home School Days at Fantastic Caverns. We will offer our school group rates for the educational cave tour to area home school groups regardless of the number attending. These rates are $6.00 for children age 12 and under (discounted from $13.50) and $15.50 for age 13 and above (discounted from $21.50).

The all riding tour addresses geology, history, cave life, karst and groundwater. The trip through the cave takes about 55 minutes and is available from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily. While we do not require a deposit, we do anticipate high demand for the tour. Please call or e-mail with your plans so we will be certain to have enough staff to serve you.

A free study guide, “Living in Cave Country”, and the cave-related magazine Ozark Adventure, is available at to assist your teaching efforts.

Our hope is that this time period of special rate availability will allow you to incorporate more learning opportunities into your curriculum. This is a time of year when we have available staff to devote to our educational programs and the cave is a Warm 60°, no matter how cold it is outside!

If you have questions or would like to call for reservations, you may contact us at:
(417) 833-2010.

Thank you very much,
Kirk Hansen
Fantastic Caverns
Science Research Program

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Homeschool Days at Kansas Citys Union Station Jan 27-30

Additional information regarding shows and exhibits can be found on our web site at

During Home School Days….

• $10 off Family Membership (for 4 or more people) purchased January 27-30

• Special science demos each afternoon

• FREE educational materials

Special discounted rates:

Science City: $6 per person

Regnier Extreme Screen: $4 per person

The Tsar & The President: $6 per person

KC Rail Experience: $4 per person

Dialog in the Dark Exhibit:$10 per home schooled child. $18 for one adult chaperone.

(Add’l adults and guests pay regular public rates. Advance reservations are recommended for Dialog. Please call 460-2020 to make a reservation.)

Dialog Exhibition is open Wed-Fri, 9:30 am - 1 pm. Last ticket sold at 12noon

For additional information please call (816) 460-2020.

Fire by the barn!!

It is cold on the farm. It has been below freezing for several days, so all the tanks and waterers have heaters in them. Or did. Last night one of them burst into flames and caught on fire. It was a brand new stocktank water heater, that is the worst of it. If I can find the receipt, I am going to try and take it back to Orscheleons and get a new one in a few minutes. Luckly when it caught on fire, the girls and JD were in the barn and were able to put it out. That is the second fire we have had in less than a year. The first one was in the chicken coup. (Proof that chickens are dumb--they all ran INTO the buring coup..)

This is the time of the year when the girls and I really do not enjoy farming. The water hoses freeze, and we have to watch the tanks. For some reason the cows and horses delight in pulling their heaters out of the tanks. The rabbits water bottles have to be switched out several times a day with thawed ones. Eggs have to be gathered several times a day or they will be frozen.

Emily enjoyed her internship yesterday at the library. This afternoon she will also be helping with the Discovery Club class. She got to check in and out books and pack and unpack books for library to library loan. Now she is talking of being a library page when she turns 16.

Later today, I need to work in the basement pantry. After my last Aldi trip, the girls put the cases of canned goods away, and some of them are not in the right places. I also need to make sure items got rotated out. The girls are pretty good at doing that, but I still like to double check.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesdays are sooooo quiet at my house....

Wednesdays are getting to be the quiet day at my house. On Wednesdays I often don't have all 3 of the girls as that is "internship day". I want all my kids to "intership" at a business each month to see how they operate. Emily has chosen to work at a branch of the Mid Contient Library (it took awhile for that to happen--supervisors had to approve and such...), and Elizabeth has chosen to work for Crain Vet Clinic in Grain Valley--my cousins Jerry and Robbie Espey are the vets there. They don't all go on the same Wednesday, but on opposite ones of each other. When the weather gets a little warmer, Rebecca will join them-but we haven't quite figured out where yet-but she wants something outside. I do have my eye on greenhouse/nursery nearby that is run by a semi retired couple who homeschooled all their children. When they open back up at the first of March, I will approach them about Rebecca working one Wednesday a month. That will give us 3 quiet Wednesdays a month. Something about having an odd number of children makes it noisier. I have noticed that when I have my neices and nephews (from either side of the family) here also--if one leaves, it is quiet again when we get back to an even number of kids.

Tonight Emily has a training session for an all night girl scout (non-sleeping)event coming up. So, when I go to town to pick her up from the library, I will be there until her training is out at 8:30. I think the twins and I will kill part of that time at the library, Walmart, and CVS.

St Joseph MO Science Fair for Homeschoolers

Homeschool Science Fair 2009

There’s still time to consider an entry for the Science Fair!

any type of report, experiment, invention, or display

that relates to your science studies or interest

(grade appropriate with a little help from your teacher).

Sunday evening, Feb. 22

St. James Church Cafeteria (King Hill Ave.)

Preschool through 12th grade divisions

6:30 pm =Setup

7:00 =Will Stuck, Science Show

8:00 =Awards

$5 per family entry fee suggested; prizes for all;

Drinks provided; bring a snack to share.

Register ahead of time with by sending the children’s full name and grade

Or mail with payment to: Schmidlings, 18 Eastwood Drive, St. Joseph, MO 64506

My best tips:

1Watch the sales and coupons at Hobby Lobby to buy the science fair display boards and headers more cheaply.

2Younger students seem to like making a report, middle elementary seem to really enjoy doing an experiment or making an invention, and high schoolers needs a greater level of difficulty.

3The library has experiment books and “Kids Discover” magazines to coordinate with the science subject you are already studying at home.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Homeschool resources-time sensitive (some are free)

I received these by email this morning, and thought I would share.

#1. If you are in the St. Joseph or Kansas City areas of Missouri, this is for you!

You can share the experience of the Pony Express Legend with many educational, hands-on exhibits and activities during the upcoming
Family Day
Saturday, January 17
9:00 - 5:00
Free Admission to Community Room (courtesy of United Missouri Bank)
Pony Express National Museum, 914 Penn, St. Joseph

Whatever your age, you are sure to be captivated by the Cowboy stories and Wild West images during our “Ridin’ the Trail” event. Inspired by many requests from children visiting the museum, Family Day gives kids a chance to step back into the 1860s job of a Pony Express Rider. First, they choose a horse (stick horse) and travel across six states until they reach California with their handmade mochila. Several crafts and a good imagination will help at each stage of the trail.

Admission to the Museum is half price all day to encourage families to take a tour after their Family Day workshop.

With gratitude to M. Karl Goetz and the Goetz Pony Express Foundation, along with aid and support from the Chamber of Commerce, the citizens of St. Joseph, and the St. Joseph Museum, Inc. who helped to save this historic structure. The Museum is open daily from 9am - 5pm Monday-Saturday and 1pm - 5pm on Sunday. Admission rates are $4 for adults, $3 seniors, and $2 for children under 12. For further information about programs and events please call (816)279-5059 or visit the museum website at .

#2. Possibly interesting lesson plan to use/adapt with the inauguration:

Free—for a limited time only. Bring the historic Presidential
Inauguration of 2009 into your classroom! "Presidential Inauguration:
History, Tradition, and the Constitution" helps your students learn
more about Inauguration Day from constitutional, historical, and
current perspectives.

...If you do not own the curriculum, you can download the lesson for
free for two days only: January 13-14.

3. This is in regard to CoCo Key (indoor pool and swim park) at I 70 and Blue Ridge in Kansas City MO. Home School days are now Monday's from 10am to 3pm and Thursday's 3pm to 9pm. They will not honor home school prices on holidays although they are making an exception for this coming Monday, January 19th, home school prices will apply.

When you access the website you will need to enter your groups code. Then enter how many tickets you want, this will access their calendar.

If you are part of a group that does not have a code you can go to the website listed below and click on "Apply Now" and fill in the information for your group and you will be given a code to get the $8 home school rate.

4. This one has a fee, but I am sure it will be great--I know the teacher.

There are a few spots left in this class.

Whole Grain Bread 101
Tues, Jan 20th, 6:30pm-9pm
Oak Park High School, 825 NE 79th Terr

Learn all the basics from grinding fresh flour (or not) to how to freeze
your bread. 3 breads will be made start to finish with samples to taste
and take home - whole wheat oatmeal, cinnamon raisin swirl, and crunchy

To register, call North Kansas City schools at 413-5494
or register online at
Fee $25, optional class text $16

#5. Again, in Kansas City for homeschoolers:
Linecreek Community Center offers a discounted price of $4.00 per person for Homeschoolers during the Public Skating on Fridays from 1-4pm.

You have to tell them you're a Homeschooler before they start ringing up.

You can find out more information at their website :

#6. Also Kansas City:
Science Pioneers Teacher Resource Day is Saturday, January 31, 2009
at Pierson Auditorium at UMKC Campus

If you could make one stop and receive:

25 proven lesson plans for today's science curriculum with master teachers demonstrating
Opportunities to collect information and visit with 35 organizations that provide information, classroom visits and/or field trips
Choice of 3 NASA workshops at 10am, 11am, 12pm
Attend and environmental education roundtable 11am to 12pm
Door Prizes and freebis galore
A free CD with the lesson plans, plus 8 powerpoint presentations of Saturday Science Seminar topics, exciting website links AND MORE...
This is a come and go event... it is probably best to come before noon.

Deadline: January 28, 2009
for Teacher Resource Day
ScienceWise Teacher Share-A-Thon
Teachers Investigating Science Resources Expo

When: 10am to 1pm, Saturday, January 31, 2009
Where: UMKC Pierson Auditorium

Register at

Still room in our remaining ScienceWise course, check them out!

#7. In Columbia MO

Post-Secondary Education Fair You are invited to attend the Second Annual Post-Secondary Education Fair for home-schooled students. This event will take place Friday, March 6th, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Woodcrest Chapel, 2201 Nifong, Columbia, MO. This fair is a wonderful opportunity for home schooled students and parents to visit with many different universities, four- year colleges, community colleges, and vocational-technica l/trade schools at one time. The 2008 fair included 45 different types and styles of schools, not only from Missouri, but also from states as far away as Wyoming and Tennessee. The schools in attendance will showcase their degree and certification programs and the relaxed environment encourages students to converse with the school representatives. The fair not only gives students and parents information concerning schools and their offerings to our home-schooled students, but it also allows home schooled students to explore the variety of opportunities waiting for them in post-secondary education. We will again offer the mini-seminar, "Preparing your High School Home-schooled Student for Post-secondary Education," lead by Cindy Campbell, a home school mom of three. Mrs. Campbell's seminar was much appreciated by the families that attended last year. She guides and advises home schooling families as they prepare their home-schooled high school student for college. The seminar will address what subjects and records are needed to assist your students with their college preparation. Mrs. Campbell's oldest child is working as an ASL interpreter and will be beginning a master's program this fall to prepare for a career in speech pathology, her middle son is a full-ride-scholarsh ip graduate of Westminster College and is now earning his master's at MU on a full scholarship, and her youngest is currently attending Westminster College and will be transferring to MU this fall. If you have any questions about this Post-Secondary Education Fair, please contact the sponsors, Ron and Brenda Crowe, home-schooling parents at rcrowe@ktis. net or at their home-based business number 573- 642-0659.

If anyone has any homeschool resources they would like to add, feel free!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Busy Saturday & Sunday, Slow Monday

Our big news is that Rebecca was on the front page of the Liberty Section of the Kansas City paper on Friday. (You have to live in Liberty to get that edition of the paper, so we even missed it, as we don't live in Liberty.) A reporter had come to the library during the Discover Club class last week and took some pictures, including ones of her. They came out very good and she is rather proud of herself. Discovery club is a weekly class for homeschoolers at the public library. This area of Missouri has so many homeschoolers that some libraries repeat their classes 2-4 times a week so that all the kids can attend.

Saturday the girls and I went to Sheffield Church in Kansas City for JBQ. Emily and I were both judges, but in different levels. Rebecca and Elizabeth are on the same team and they quizzed. They are on their former school team, from Centerview MO, Johnson County Christian Academy. They were grandfather in on their old team when we moved here, as there was no JBQ team on the Christian School we went to for the first year we were living here. (JBQ is Junior Bible Quiz-similar to Bible Bowl).
Elizabeth and Rebecca were both called up front to be recognized for receiving their first seal. A seal is an award that they get for testing and answering a certain number of JBQ questions correctly.

After JBQ, we headed home and stopped in Liberty at Aldis. Aldi used to be my favorite store, but lately I have noticed their prices have gone up, but then again so have they all. Still, there are some products that are cheaper to get there by the case then elsewhere. I bought a case of mushrooms, chili beans, red beans, koolaide mix, cereal, green beans, corn, peaches, and pears. After I got home I realized I forgot to get a case of olives. I generally buy everything by the case at Aldi. That way it lasts for several months. I go about every 2 months, and get a different set of case items each trip. If you are not familiar with Aldi, it is a "stock up store". Prices are cheaper, you sack your own groceries, and they only take cash or debit and no coupons. Most items are their own brand, but they do carry some name brand items as well. They have very good produce, and it is much cheaper than that at a regular grocery store. Also, you need to take your own bags and a quarter to get a grocery cart, but, once you return the cart, you get your quarter back.

Sunday after church the girls delivered some of their Girl Scout cookies. It was our first Sunday in awhile that everyone was home. Lately it seems one of the girls has been gone or JD has been working. Next Sunday Emily will be gone as she is going on a youth retreat with the youth group.

Then Sunday afternoon the youth group helped one of our church families move. Last month a tree fell on and into their house and their insurance company moved them into a rental house. The tree came all the way through the roof and attic and into the living areas.

Sunday night, the youth group continued their project of revamping the church library. Emily helped enter the books into the computer. I had been doing it, but had a committee meeting during the same time frame.

Today we took it easy. We did the chores, math and spelling. Emily made two pineapple upside down cakes. (For math we use Saxon)

I finally got my coupon book reorganized. The little coupon folders just don't work for me as they only have 12 pockets and I need about 40. So, I made my own. I used a 3 ring binder and photo refill sheets. Then in the back I have larger plastic protector sheets to put the weekly sale ads in so that I can match up my coupons. I mainly use my coupons at CVS, Dollar General and Walgreen. By using coupons on sale items, I often get our dental and hair products, as well as deodorants for free. But, this doesn't work as well if you are brand loyal. I am loyal only to the brand on sale.

Here is a picture of Emily entering the books, and my coupon book. I did not make the quilt the coupon book is on. The quilt came from Shipshewanna, Indiana, an Amish town in La Grange County. It is an awesome place to visit or vacation. You can camp in Shipehewanna or nearby Howe, Indiana. Shipshewanna rolls up the streets about 8 p.m. During the summers, on Tuesdays they have a huge flea market--several thousand booths. If you go, wear your walking shoes. If you want a good meal, go to the Blue Gate Restaurant. You won't find fast food there. Also, don't plan on driving fast. There are more buggys on the road than cars (except for Tuesdays).

Friday, January 9, 2009

It could have gone better.

It was one of those days...

Our plan for today (well,actually it started out as yesterdays plan, but got moved to today) was to go over to our other farm and get a load or two of hay (big bales). First we had loading issues, then, while on our way home, we lost the two rear bales. One was on top and the other was a bottom bale. (They were stacked 2 high on the trailer). I was driving the truck with Emily and Elizabeth, pulling the trailer while JD and Rebecca were following in the tractor with 2 more bales on the front and rear bale spikes. Suddenly the trailer jerked, felt a little lighter and I just caught the security strap slide off with the last bale. That no sooner happened then Rebecca's voice came over the radio ("Mom, did you know you lost some hay?")Duh.

The bad new was, we were on a county road and at an intersection. The good news was, it was a straight a way and there were no deep ditches for the bales to be lost in. (Currently they are selling for around $45 a bale in our area). It was a bear to reload as the school buses kept going buy, and for a very quiet county road, we suddenly seemed to get a lot of traffic. Traffic out of no where with nothing better to do than to come and watch us reload.... But, could have been much worse, or in a bad place in the road, or have hit a vehicle. And now, our horses and cows, rabbits, ducks, chickens....have a stockpile of food. Our farm is warm and snug again.

Only homeschoolers could have so much fun at school....

I did notice while were were there, that the iris bulbs are trying to come up. Some are as high as 4-6 inches. I am afraid though that tomorrows and future freezes could kill them for the year.

That scenario however, caused us to miss our girl scout cookie pickup, which was from 4-5, so we have to get them tomorrow or Sunday now.

Then, it appears the bidder on one of my eBay items retracted their bid....but, I did get the windsock off of eBay, for $2 less than the buy it now price. So, the gamble to auction instead of buy it now paid off.

This afternoon it was in the 60's. Now it is in the 40's with a very gusty wind (thankfully it wasn't windy when we were loading and unloading hay). Tomorrow it could be in the 20's and they are predicting snow and possibly some ice. We will most likely have to go back to using the stock tanks for watering the cattle tomorrow.

Tomorrow the twins have a JBQ tournament in Kansas City. Emily and I are timekeepers. This will be a bittersweet meet as it will be our first monthly meet since there leader, Mrs Linda McDowell passed away unexpectedly. She had led the teams for years. But, she would want the kids to go on, so that is what we are doing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

JD's new tractors....

Rebecca and I saw these at the grocery store. Since JD collects anything John Deere, including a barn of seemed fitting. The girls are hoping he will open the box soon and share with them.

The girls had most of their school work done by 2 pm today, which is rare, but nice. Most days we don't start till around 11, but today they started around 9. We went to the library for awhile this afternoon as the girls were wanting some computer time. All they offer in our area is dialup, so the library is a nice treat with its DSL.

Tomorrow we are planning to go to the farm in the morning and get a trailerfull, possibly two, of hay. Then in the afternoon, JD will be taking one of his EMT tests for the National Registery. While he is doing that, we will go pick up our Girl Scout cookies that the girls sold last November. We possibly may get some work down on the church library again as well--if anyone else is working there.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A tip from my friend Shery

A friend sent me this and I too had to go check!

I had to go into the kitchen and check this out for myself. Whoever looks at the end of your aluminum foil box? You know when you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.

Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, Press here to lock end. Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up.

Day of Science

The twins have been working on a badge for Girl Scouts, "Science and Technology". They have been working on it off & on for days, and most of today. They have worked with a pulley and weights, batteries and lights, robotics and more. The came as a "badge in a box". Its a box that has everything in it to do this badge, and the box goes from troop to troop. It has been kind of interesting. Girl Scout rules state you can't use a school project for scouts....but, Mamma's homeschool rules don't state you can't use a Girl Scout project for a science grade... So, I am counting the time they have been working on it towards their science hours.

We got the rain gauge and a thermometer mounted in the weather station today. I am still the leading bidder on eBay for a windsock, but have 2 more days till that auction ends. The windsock will mount on a piece of conduit that will attach to one of the wooden poles. My idea is that the windsock will be about 10-12 feet off the ground. It needs to be high enough to not interfere with the instruments below it.

I sold a pair of outgrown snow boots on ebay yesterday, and shipped them off today. I also listed an identical pair yesterday. My goal for the year was to try and list one thing a month (I am starting out small), and so far I have done two.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Weather station progress

This afternoon, the girls and I set the final post in the weather station. I also put the concrete in to set it. Ideally I was going to mount the rain gauge, but the batteries in the drill were dead (someone had unplugged the charger). So, weather permitting, I will mount the gauge tomorrow. Right now I am ahead in an auction on eBay for an aviation wind sock. It also will mount in the station along with a thermometer and some other instruments. After giving the concrete a few days to cure, I will dump a load of dirt in with the bobcat to fill up the tire some more. Probably in the spring we well put some flowers in their as well. Our weather station is mounted on posts set inside a large tractor tire. (Those tractor tires are around $600 a piece, so I am getting our money out of this old one...)

This morning we went to the library for a homeschool class. It was a painting class this week. A reporter from the KC paper was there taking pictures. He said it should be in either this week or next, we will wait and see.

The chickens are still laying again. However, our little beagle has suddenly discovered them and is chasing them. Each time we catch her she is getting scolded and put into an empty rabbit hutch for 30 minutes hour. (How demeaning is that? A rabbit dog in a hutch for punishment.) Since she is a puppy, I am hoping she grows out of this soon. It is funny to watch our old black Lab bark at her when she does it, it is as if he is scolding her. Sometimes I think he is grinning at her when she is inside the hutch.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Library work & shopping trip

Today the girls and I spent a good part of the day working at the church library with one of the youth group leaders. The youth group took on the library as a project and is organizing, listing books, moving books and setting up a check out system. They have worked on it the last 2 Sunday nights and 5 of us hit it again today for about 6 hours. We are making some headway. We are finding a lot of good books and videos that have been hidden away behind other books. We are also moving it to a different location where it will be more visible, with the idea it will get more use. There are several hundred titles so far, and we still have another bookcase and many boxes to go.

After we finished at church, I headed to Walgreen's and CVS and did some shopping. Many people don't realize that at these 2 stores you can combine the store coupon out of their ad with the manufacturers coupon. If you then combine these 2 coupons with the sale price, each week you can get many items free. Walgreen's also has a free by rebate program each month (and now you can enter it online, instead of mailing in your receipts), and CVS has their bonus bucks program. Tonight I saved a total of $27 by combining coupons with sale items, and got free shampoos and toothpaste. I also got 3 rain checks for sale items that they were out of, and those items will be free after I use my coupons with them, and will also earn me more bonus bucks. I was pretty pleased with tonights trip. I have to go back to the city on Wed and Fri, so will go again to get more free shampoo and toothpaste to add to my stock up pantry in the basement. Tomorrow when the girls and I go to the library, I will also stop by Dollar General. They also have some items on sale that I have coupons for, and I should be able to walk out of there with paying $1 for around $7 worth of items.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More cold weather & we got eggs again!!!!

Yesterday we went to a wedding. It was one of the best weddings I have been to. The weather was perfect for it, in the 60's. Then last night it very suddenly got real, real cold. And windy. One of those bone chilling goes right through your coat kind of cold winds. It is still cold today. I often think God has a sense of humor, and this wild weather is one of his jokes on mankind....60 on Saturday, 30 on Sunday, 70 on Monday, 20 and ice on Tuesday... Then he laughs at the people in shorts....

The only downside is somehow I managed to sprang my left thumb getting ready for the wedding. (I did it putting on pantyhose, you don't even want to know the rest of that story...) It is still quite sore today. (Another reason why not to wear those darn things)

I have been very lazy lately on my coupons and rebates. I used to be into it very big, and after I moved to the farm I kind of slowed down into granny gear. My brother teased me something awful when I moved, because he had the job of moving my shampoo box after I packed. With coupons, sales and rebates, shampoo is very easy to get free at Walgreen, CVS and Dollar General. So, I had about 48 or 49 bottles of shampoo and conditioner. (Why would i turn it down when its free??) Well, I have now used up my FREE supply (yes Tim it is gone-it lasted 2 1/2 years) so time to start back. The best items to get for free are shampoo, conditioner, deoderants and toothpaste. Our Dollar General often will sell shampoo for 75 cents so I have a lot of fun when I get a 75 cent off or more coupon. (Usually suave or white rain). Doesn't take much to entertain, me does it??

I think I am going to try and grow some celery (Amish wedding food) in the garden this year. I hear it is fairly easy to grow, but difficult to find the seeds. I have only made it through one seed catalogue so far, so am keeping an eye out for some seed.

After church, we stopped at the store to get a paper, and since my hens quit laying some eggs. Let me tell you, it really hurt to buy eggs when I have a coup full of hens and a rooster. Needless to say, I paid $1.99 for a dozen of white puny city eggs, and came home and found my hens have decided to start laying their nice big brown ones again.....

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

What a present for the new year. The mail lady brought 6 flower and seed catalogues in the mail!! It is warmer than it has been, all the way up to 50 degrees today. Finally the wind gusts seem to have stopped as well. I am hoping for an early spring this year. In just 8 - 10 weeks I can start planting seeds here in the house to transplant outside.

I am still seeing some cardinals outside, the males are very pretty- a bright red. It seems strange seeing them without snow on the ground.

Later this afternoon, the girls and I are planning a trip to the library and to the store. We are going to a wedding tomorrow afternoon and need to get a present, although I may end up just giving cash. It is a very young couple and I am sure they could use the cash.

The concrete seems to have set well where I set the first post for our weather station. Later we have to put out a bale of hay, so I think while the tractor is out I will go ahead and drill the hole for the second post. The post hole digger is mounted on the rear of the tractor already to go. And, yes, I can drive the tractor. Actually we have 4 plus the lawn tractor. I drive or have driven all but one (it is in a stall waiting to be restored). JD has a "thing" about collecting John Deere tractors, well really, John Deere anything. I also operate a bobcat. No farm wife should be without a bobcat. You can do anything with a bobcat on the farm. I have pushed fence post in the ground with it, and pulled them out, dug for potatoes in the garden with it at the end of the season, moved hay, moved firewood, dug holes for trees and grape vines, filled holes, dug holes, moved heavy things, knocked over dead trees, moved brush, moved chicken coups (that was a fun one to do, let me tell ya)....makes it all much easier.