Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lost friend

This Wednesday morning we lost a dear lady from our church, Genevieve Seedorff, whom I have known all my life. She was one of the church piano players. She also could yoodle. She was a very musical talented God fearing woman. She passed her talent on to her children and it is always a pleasure to hear them all get together and sing as a group. She was married for 63 years (to the same man!) and had 8 children, 5 who are still living. She more than achieved her goal of raising a fine upstanding family.

Early Wednesday morning she left this earth to join her family in heaven. Tears that are shed will be shed for those left behind who will miss her. But, being a Christian woman, she is now where her heart was set to be-at the feet of Jesus.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What to get homeschoolers........

I had an elderly lady ask me, by email "What can I get for my neighbors? They home school 5 children and have helped me a lot since my husband died. They shovel my snow, mow, bring up my paper and mail, and bring me food when I have had the flu. They refuse money. Is there something you can recommend that they would use?" I emailed her back, and told her I would answer here in my blog, so that all could see.

First, what ages are the kids, and what attractions are nearby? Is there a zoo that you could buy them a family pass for? swimming passes, or another attraction? Maybe pay the way for one of them to go to church camp?

Do you have a skill you can teach them? Sewing, knitting, jewelry making or crochet? Can you bake?-if so, invite them over for "lessons". Can you teach them to play an instrument?

Tell them stories of your childhood and put them on tape for them.

How about a subscription to a kids or family magazine? Or, give them one of yours or a newspaper when you are finished reading it.

Almost all homeschooling families can use the following:
paper, notebooks, poster board, crayons or markers, construction paper, microscope and/or prepared slides, garden or flower seeds, bird feeder and bird feed, paper, paper and paper, paint, easel, scissors (ours always disappear) dictionary, calculator, flashlight, books, folders, walkie talkies, pens, pencils, erasers, board games, craft supplies, fabric, beads, science kits, office supplies, calendars, index cards, printer ink, batteries or a battery charger with rechargeable batteries, weather instruments, ant farm, butterfly net or garden, hummingbird feeders, sewing machine, timer, maps, gift certificate to a teacher supply store, fun posters, outdoor games, such as horseshoes....

Anything that can be studied, watched, read, taken apart or put together or safely eaten!

Can you watch a little one(s) while the older ones or parents go out?

Most homeschool families are single income families. This often means that there is little left for some of the extras or that sacrafices are made to have the extras. Even a simple gift such as a 12 pack of pencils will be appreciated and used. Or, having the kids come over and you read or tell them a story so mom can take a nap or mop the floor without tracks! Your gift needs to be from the heart, not necessarly from the pocketbook.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Storm damage

According to our rain gauge we received .75 of an inch yesterday. According to our wind sock in the front and the wind gauge in the back, we had 50 mph winds coming from the south. That would explain why the farm looks like it does right now. The north fence line is covered in trash. We have several large branches down, meaning the Lord has blessed us with more firewood. The birch tree has a broken branch, yet in a nearby tree a birds nest with baby birds is fine. Before the storm even started, the wind also picked up my garden work table, made of heavy plywood and smashed it against the swingset, bending it, and then on top of a wood bench, and smashed that. After the official storm start (according to the TV weather) is when we got the trees knocked down. We were under a tornado watch for awhile, but it never went into a warning. I knew it was going to be windy, as the chickens all went in early. They don't care for the wind at all.

Yesterday before the weather hit, we went into town and bought a storm door and some horse raddish to plant. We eat a lot of horse raddish and it is easy to grow. In fact, if you don't watch it, it will take over, like garlic does. What I am thinking of doing, is cutting a metal barrel in half, length-wise and burying it, then filling it with dirt. I will put the garlic in one and the horse raddish in the other. That will prevent them from taking over the farm. I am going to get some other herbs going this year also. I had a small herb garden before I moved here, and I miss it.

The girls worked some more on their geology unit today, and we watched a video about the geology of Missouri. Later we will do some more work on the US Presidents and of course our math, spelling and reading. A lot of our homeschooling is done in "split shifts".

We also check the history channel schedule daily. This morning we watched a program about Lincoln and Booth with fit right in as the girls just finished reading about Lincoln a couple weeks ago.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Inapproperiate Ad

Somehow an ad has found its way to this site that should have never been here (or anywhere else in my opinion). It slipped through the filters. I have gone to the ad-sense site to remove it, but have been advised it could take several hours for it to take effect. Please be aware I see it, and have taken action. I am very sorry it appeared, and trust me, I am not in favor of what it is advertising.

471 miles later...we are back!

We are back from Springfield. We had a very good trip, no trouble and a lot of fun. We left Friday morning and returned very late Saturday night. This was our annual trip for JBQ districts. JBQ is Junior Bible Quiz.

We stopped at my parents in Warrensburg on our way to Springfield. Mom fed us all brunch, which is a nice way of saying we raided her fridge. My brother and his family live next door, so the kids ran over there for awhile too. My brother had just bought a new craftsman tiller so I checked that out as well. They are putting in a garden with my parents.

Our next stop was at Fantastic Caverns on the north side of Springfield. We have been learning about caves in our homeschooling and this fit right in with our lessons. The girls loved the tour. They also have a nice (free) walking trail. We did not opt to go on the walking trail as we had to be to the hotel in 2 hours. The cave tour is all a riding tour, with no walking required. I highly recommend a visit here if you are in the area. It is very interesting and a comfortable 61 degrees.

We then went on into town and quickly checked into our hotel, changed into our team shirts, ate and went to quiz. We quizzed 5 rounds Friday, and the remaining rounds on Saturday morning. Our team placed 6th (? I think) place. Several of our quizzers also received individual awards for their individual scores. Emily and I served as judges.

Our hotel was a really nice one, with a small kitchen in it. The kitchen was ideal with a roomful of kids. Since we knew we would have one, we had taken down a cooler full of food.

As usual, on the way back we stopped at Osceola Cheese. They make the best chocolate cheese. Sounds icky, but it actually tastes like a chocolate cheese cake. It is real good. I also got some smoked chedder and smoked swiss and the girls got some stick candy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Surprise tomorrow

Early tomorrow morning we leave for our JBQ districts in Springfield MO. We have a cooler all packed with snacks, drinks and a couple of meals. We plan to eat out only 1 time. The hotel we are staying at is supposed to have a kitchen we can use. 3 times now I thought I had us all packed, only to have someone bring down something else they forgot to pack. I guess they are missing the fact we are only in the hotel for 1 night???? Do we really need all the stuffed animals and sweet blankies?? YES. Because if they don't sleep without them, I don't sleep.....

What the girls don't know, is that we are actually leaving 2 hours earlier than the rest of the team. (The rest of the team is in Centerview/Warrensburg MO, so we stop there first). We did a unit on caves and Missouri geology, and as a surprise we will stop at Fantastic Caverns outside of Springfield on the way down. The girls have never been in a real cave before, so it will be quite the treat for them. Fantastic Caverns is a neat cave that you ride through. Little to no walking is involved. I haven't been there since I was a kid, and I loved it. The tour takes about 50 minutes. If I remember correctly, I think you also watch a short film before going in.

By the time we are done with our tour, we should pull back on to highway 13 about the same time that the rest of the team drives by. I plan on waiting to tell them till morning, or maybe even wait until we turn off at the exit to the cave.

We have to be to districts no later than 6 pm, so 2 hours to Warrensburg, an hour layover to visit Grandparents (and probably eat at Grandmas) and show off the trophy from last week (we have to turn it back in this weekend-each team member gets the team trophy for a short time to show it off), then 2 hours on to Springfield, visit the cave, a buzz by the hotel to check in and eat, then we quiz. Needless to say, we will be leaving no later than 7:30 or 8:00, and I have 2 other short errands to run on the way there.

Sadly we will miss homeschool coop tomorrow as a result, but I have a couple of great teachers aids that are filling in for me. Thanks Cerise and Stacy!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

3 days until spring

It was 88 degrees today according to the thermometer on the south side of our weather station. The girls got spring fever and decided this afternoon to put up a tent in the front yard. Their camping days may be short lived however, as tomorrow it is supposed to be cooler with a chance of rain. It seems like every time they put it up it rains. JD reminded me of the time they put it up on a day much like today, and an hour later a storm came through and we had a tornado. My little Girl Scout daughters took the tent back down in record time and made it inside just before the storm hit. Hopefully that won't repeat itself today.

Our old black lab spent most of the day just laying around in the sun, soaking it up. Our little beagle however, spent part of her day on the chain, after she got caught playing tag with a chicken. She wasn't playing fair and letting the hen have her turn.....

We have one interesting and rather entertaining hen that was given to us by some friends from church. Apparently, no one ever told her she is a hen. She follows us everywhere, including trying to get into the car, the house, the tent....just like having another kid around!

Since this was the first really nice day, we cut lessons short today. We did our math and history. Later tonight we will watch a science video. We are watching a good video series "Animals that Defy Evolution"

I noticed in the yard my lilacs are budding and my live-for-evers, and irises are coming up. Friday is the first day of spring and they are right on time. The grass is starting to green up. Hopefully we will only need to feed hay to the cattle and horses a couple more times until the grass is tall enough.

Since the weather was good, we finally got the windsock mounted.

I went into town today and bought our food supplies for our upcoming trip to Springfield for JBQ. I made up a big batch of trail mix to eat on the road. We are supposed to have a small kitchen to use at the hotel, so that will save us from eating all meals out. In my trailmix (I never make it the same way twice..)I have Cheerios, small pretzels, m&m's, peanuts, sunflower seeds, dried cherries, apricots and cranberries, milk choc chips, and popcorn. While was in town, JD made up some corn beef and cabbage in honor of St Patricks day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2nd place at JBQ!!!!

The twins team placed 2nd at JBQ!! We quiz in the Kansas City area division. I am very proud of the team. We now go to Springfield MO for the district competition March 20 and 21. The trophy stays with the team, but each family gets it for one week to show it off. We are now starting to study up for its kickoff again in September.

They are on their old team from back home at Johnson Co Christian Academy. However, there are quite a few homeschoolers that also quiz on other teams and we have several quizers from our homeschool coop on other teams. We are going to see if we can possibly practice with some of them during the summer. That is one of the neat things about JBQ, even though we may play against another team, we can still practice together.

It is a good program and I highly recommend it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Piglets and Hail

Friday it was warm and in the low 70's. Friday night we got some rain and it cooled of on Saturday and was overcast most of the day.

Saturday morning the girls and I headed to Warrensburg and took my parents and my brothers family some beef from the steer we butchered. We went in the truck and brought back a load of firewood, and a sign and magazine rack for the church library. My mom, Emily and I went to an antique mall/flea market (Emily never did find the fleas!) where I found some tuperware lids to replace some I had lost or broken and 3 peices of yellow fiesta ware. JD and I both collect fiesta ware.

The girls had fun checking out Grandpas baby pigs, which have grown a lot since they last saw them. We should be getting our pigs shortly.

Elizabeth took her baton to show them what she had learned in baton class at homeschool coop, and was surprised to find out that Grandpa also could twirl the baton.

We came back late Saturday night, which was probably a mistake (should of come home sooner) as we ran into a bad storm with high winds and heavy rain, and that was also the night we lost an hour of sleep due to the time change.

Sunday morning at 4 a.m., we woke up to hail. What a switch. Then around 7 a.m. we got a little more hail. The largest hail was nickle sized which acording to our weather info is 3/4 inch.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I wished for a garden and got snow instead......

Not quite what I had in mind. Saturday we got 6+ inches of snow. The wind was blowing so we also have drifts. Some drifts are 12 inches, some are 36 inches, and some come halfway up the barn. The only way we can get in and out is with 4 wheel drive. My little 4 cylinder car is sandwiched between the garage and a 3 1/2 foot drift. Its not going anywhere.....I thought I would clear off some snow with the bobcat, but its so cold the battery is dead. So, I am staying in where it is warm. JD and I are having to share his truck when we go out. I have decided though we will not venture back out tonight for youth group. The county roads have not been cleared, and there is a 4x4 truck stuck at the end of our road. Thankfully 4H which normally is the first Sunday was changed to next week for this month.

The kids on the other hand, are outside sledding. The cold doesn't seem to effect them unless it is chore time! Yesterday they even had the dogs going down the hill on sleds.

Orginally I had thought that Saturday or today we could plow the garden. HA. I never do manage to get the potatoes planted on March 17.

The produce from last years garden is about gone. I used the last of the bell peppers a few nights ago (chopped and frozen). There is just a little zuchinni, green beans, waxed beans, and okra left in the freezer, and a few jars of green beans, and the pantry. There is also a little applesauce, jelly and jam left, but not much. So, its time to plant again.

Yesterday the girls and I started a new series of history in our homeschooling. It is a 2 week series, but we will probably finish it early as they really liked it. It is about Colonial America. Last night we learned all about Ben Franklin. Did you know one of his inventions that usually is not credited to him, was scubba flippers???