Thursday, April 30, 2009

Collecting labels

I collect labels or several Christian groups. If anyone doesn't save labels and would like to help me save them, feel free to pass yours on to me! Unless designated for a particular group, I divide them up.

Johnson County Christian Academy, Centerview MO and New Life Homeschool Fellowship, Kearney MO both need Best Choice UPC codes and Box tops for education. Also, campbells soup labels.

You can either send them directly to me or the school or the coop. Send me an email or leave a comment if you would like an address.


Great website for younger homeschoolers

This is free for a limited time. Below is a copy of an email I received. I used this site a lot when my daughters were younger, and still do some for children I babysit. Little ones like to do "seatwork" while the older ones do their bookwork.
This message contains graphics. If you do not see the graphics, click here to view.
Our way of saying thanks.
In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week from May 4-8, Learning A-Z is thrilled to announce our annual Open House. As thanks for everything you and your staff do on behalf of our kids, you can explore our websites free of charge! Explore our dynamic, interactive sites and sample many of our downloadable resources, from reading and writing to vocabulary and science.

We’re on a mission.
That mission is to provide teachers and students with flexible and affordable research-based resources for differentiated K-6 instruction. Especially now, during these challenging economic times, that mission can only be fulfilled if we have strong partnerships with education professionals like you.

Last Chance to Pre-Register!
Registration for the Open House is still open! Sign up now and receive a full schedule of our Open House events. This is a great opportunity to see what Learning A-Z has to offer, not just as a provider of learning resources but as a partner committed to helping your students realize their full potential.

Kind regards,

Bob Holl
Cofounder and Publisher
Learning A-Z, Inc.

P.S. Spread the word! Be sure to forward this announcement to your colleagues so they can take advantage of this rare opportunity!

Learning A-Z
1840 E River Rd Suite 320
Tucson, Arizona 85718

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stormy day projects & going green

All day it has been foggy, raining or misting and thundering. So much for my idea of doing some tilling today while the girls went to the woods to look for mushrooms. Meanwhile, the potatoes and horseradish continue to sprout on my dining room table....(yes, I am aware they were supposed to have been planted in March, but it rains every time my husband is off work to work the garden soil up for me...)

So instead, we are cleaning house, sewing and hitting the books.

My current project is trying to figure out how to make a shopping bag out of men's bib overalls. I have several pairs that JD has worn the knees or rear end out of, that would make good shopping bags.

Reusable shopping bags are just one way we try to be "green" in our home. Being green not only helps the environment, but also keeps our utility bills lower as well. Here is a list of some of our ways.....

1. reusable shopping bags
2. CFL and LED light bulbs
3. rechargeable batteries
4. garden/can/freeze our own food. We reuse the same jars every year & save packaging as well as fuel to and from the grocery stores.
5. Baking from scratch and using reusable silicone pans, liners and cupcake liners.
6. Keep our heat between 63 and 67 during the winter
7. Keep the AC off unless it is really hot and humid. Then the AC is around 75.
8. Lights off when not in the room
9. Combining trips
10. Bulk shopping. I make an Aldi's run once every 4-6 weeks and buy items we need by the case when possible. This eliminates the shorter in between trips. I also buy flour, sugar and such in larger containers.
11. Reuse bags--smaller plastic bags are reused for trash bags. Large feed sacks and dog food bags also make good trash bags for the large sized kitchen trash cans.
12. We replaced our traditional Kenmore clothes washer with a Bosch front loading washer. Even the largest size load (which is twice the size load of the old machine) only uses 8 gallons of water. At 3 loads a week, it costs only $13 in electric per year to run. It has dropped our rural water bill by 60%.
13. Line drying when possible, although this spring, with the rain, it has not been possible. I could dry them in the basement, but right now our basement has baby ducks and chickens in it.
14. Combine baking. I usually bake several days worth of bread at the same time, and in with something else, so the oven is not used daily.
15. Use the crockpot and microwave more.
16. Refill ink cartridges at Walgreen's or recycle them for $3 coupon at Office Depot.
17. Print on both sides of the paper--that is a simple setting change on the printer, also set it to use less ink in the draft mode.
18. I am a mean mom--I limit my daughters showers to 5 minutes each. If I didn't they would be in them all day long!!
19. Keep your window glass and light bulbs clean of dust and dirt--it lets in more light and saves having to turn another light on.
20. Change your heating and cleaning filters more often--or buy the type you can wash.
21. Keep your dryer vents clean as well as the area under the refrigerators and freezers--it allows the motors to not have to work as hard and saves electric.
22. Aim for 1 or more "no drive days" a week.
23. Once a month have a "Little House on the Prairie" Day. No TV, and read as a family by candle or kerosene light (be careful!)
24. Check out freecycle, craigslist and thrift stores before buying new. It saves someone else from possibly putting a needed item into a landfill.
25. Don't clean with chemicals--I do most of our cleaning with lemon juice, salt, baking soda and vinegar.
26. Make your own soaps --I make our own laundry soap, dishwasher soap and sometimes hand soap.
27. Cut down on disposable items--such as disposable razors--use ones that only take a blade instead, cloth diapers for disposable ones.....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring program

This evening was our spring program at homeschool coop. As usual, it was very good with lots of talent shown. Elizabeth performed with her baton class, and she and Rebecca both had their scrapbooks on display, as well as some science projects. Rebecca had several of her water color pictures on display as well.

I taught 3 classes this semester--2 on our presidents and one on Missouri. I had tables set up with some of our class work on them as well.

Coop is now over for this semester, but will resume in September. We will miss going for the next few months, but will stay in touch with several. Also, during the summer months we will be doing other projects such as spelling bee and field trips, church camp, science camp and the county fair with 4H.

I had hoped to work in the garden some on Wednesday and Thursday. We have had so much rain the last few days, acutally all month and the garden is hurting for its seeds and plants. But, wouldn't you know it, it rained while we were in the girls program tonight. It is still too wet to disk, but if it doesn't rain anymore, maybe by Thursday I can till a couple of rows. Right now I have potatoes and horseradish sprouting on my dining room table. The ponds and wells are full, time for some sun. I think maybe tomorrow I may send the girls out to hunt for some mushrooms....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

We tried....

We went to the KS Speedway. We caught the last of the qualifying for tomorrows race and the first 50 laps of today's race. Then the rain hit, followed by a tornado warning. We went into one of the womens restrooms for shelter--along with about 200 other people-men and women (yes men, much to my daughters horror...). The kids were all disappointed, especially my nephew who had never been before. The race has been rescheduled for Monday morning. We will wait and see what happens with tomorrows race.

While we were taking shelter at the KS speedway, our home county back in MO was also getting tornado warnings. Then we came home and had another warning. According to the radar, we may get hit again within the hour, so will stay up until then in case we need to take shelter in the basement.

Cheap Ice Cream!!!! Baskin Robbins

**On a personal note, Emily is a fire cadet, so please support this one!!**

Head to your neighborhood Baskin-Robbins for 31 Cent Scoop Night on
Wednesday, April 29th from 5 to 10 P.M. in honor of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) National Junior Firefighter Program. Participating stores will reduce prices of small ice cream scoops to 31 cents*.

A donation of $100,000 will be made by Baskin-Robbins to the NVFC National
Junior Firefighter Program. At select local stores throughout the country, you may also have a chance to donate to your local fire station.

Last day of coop

Yesterday was our last day (until this fall) of homeschool coop. Tuesday evening is our spring program. The girls and I have made a lot of friends at coop. It is really a good program that they have.

Although we will miss not being at coop, this is the time we will be doing some field trips instead. Local places include, Jessie James house and muesuem in Kearney, Pony Express attractions in St Jo, Shatto Dairy in Osborn, Fort Osage in Sibley MO, Mt Gillead in Kearney MO, Liberty has 2 water spray parks, a water park in Independence, numerous conservation parks around, Smithville Lake, Watkins Woolen Mill, Arrowrock MO, Harry Truman Library in Independence and more.

We will also be involved in 4H horsemanship and getting ready for the fair.

We homeschool year around so there will be plenty of things to do.

This afternoon the girls, my nephew and my brother and I will be heading to the Kansas Speedway for the truck races. Hopefully the rain and storms will hold off until after the race. Tomorrow we will be back at the track again, and then in September. I have a cooler packed for eating in the parking lot, water to take (I'm too cheap to pay $4.50 for a bottle of water), trail mix and other snacks. I also packed 6 of the little walmart rain ponchos--FYI they are 88 cents at Walmart. $7 at the track.....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Upcoming events in the KC area

Overland Park area:

Fourth Friday Concerts in the Park

Live music and free food will be center stage at the fourth annual Fourth Friday Concerts in the Park series, sponsored by Hillcrest and HyVee (91st and Metcalf). Join us on the fourth Friday in May, June, July and August at Franklin Park (Somerset and Roe)!

Mark your calendar for these 2009 dates:

May 22 - Moon City Big Band (big band and swing)

June 26 - Recess (rock 'n' roll)

July 24 - KC Rain Dogs (old country blues, boogie-woogie, and early rock 'n' roll)

August 28 - Prairie Pocket Pickers (old time and blue grass)

Bring a lawn chair and join us this summer for Fourth Friday Concerts In The Park!

Sponsored by HyVee at 91st and Metcalf and Boy Scout Troop 284!


Music in the Park: Bring your family! Bring a picnic! Bring a chair! But leave your wallet at home because these concerts are always FREE! Music in the Park is offered each Sunday, in the summer, from:

7 to 8:30 p.m.
Santa Fe Commons Park
81st and Santa Fe Drive

Dogs may join their families provided they are kept on a leash and other applicable animal control ordinances are followed. Alcohol is prohibited in city parks.

2009 Music in the Park Series - Sunday nights

June 7
Overland Park Orchestra

June 14- July 5
Overland Park Civic Band
Showtunes, Variety

July 12
The 312th US Army Reserve Band
Patriotic, Standards

July 19
The Dixie Doodlers

July 26
The Rain Dogs
Modern Bluegrass

Aug. 2
51% Blues Band
Blues and Jazz

Aug. 9
Jim Cosgrove and the Hiccups
Children’s Music

Aug. 16
Heart of America Barbershop Chorus
A-Cappella Barbershop

Music in the Park is brought to you by the city, the Friends of Overland Park Arts and the Music Performance Trust Fund in cooperation with Musician's Union Local 34-627, which provides assistance for performers and instruments.

For more information on arts events, call 913/344-8656 or e-mail


Date: Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Time: 9am – 12pm

Place: Heartland Church of Christ
6120 NW Prairie View Road
Kansas City, MO 64151

Contact: Mindy Akright (preferred)

It's back by popular demand and it's coming up fast and furious! We
are having the sale in a different location due to renovations at
Midwestern Seminary. This year the sale will be held at Heartland
Church of Christ (where the monthly CPHE meetings are held).

While the facilities may prove to be larger, we face a different
challenge this year. There are a very limited amount of tables
available for use. The pricing is based upon members/non-members as
well those who use a provided table and those who bring their own or
just use floor space. A space of about 6' will be assigned to you
(please take that into consideration when you bring your tables).

The pricing is as follows:

Free for current CPHE members who bring their own table or use floor

$3 for current CPHE members who use a table provided (tables are
limited and will be assigned first contact first serve).

$5 for non-members who bring their own table or use floor space.

$8 for non-members who use a table provided (tables are limited and
will be assigned first contact first serve).

The tables provided are both round and the standard 6' length. For
those who would like a provided table, please indicate if you have a
preference. Remember, book shelves are a great way to display your
books as well.

Please use extra patience with me this year as I adjust to the new
challenges. It's only 3 weeks away. We have been able to put
together a good sale in 3 weeks time in the past so I anticipate this
will be a success as well. Spread the word and mark your items. I
look forward to seeing you then!!!


Do you subscribe to the shatto Milk Companys "moosletter"??? If not, check out this link....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Drama on the farm

Yesterday I came home to a mess. When I left, it seemed simple enough--the girls were going to catch 2 of our horses and load them up to take to 4H for their yearly coggins and shots. Then when I got home, we would jump in the truck and go.


First, I called Emily to let her know I was almost home. Her reply was "can't talk now mom". click. That should have been my first hint....

I pulled into the driveway to discover nothing loaded up and COWS IN MY GARDEN. Why, why, why when stock gets out do they have to go to my garden????? JD and the girls are standing out there, and JD is looking at me shaking his head. At least, no one headed down the driveway and out the entrance.

Rebecca handed me a bucket of grain and I got the cows back in. Ariel (a charlois cow) was easy. She and I have been through this routine before. Too many times before. I pulled her around my her ear tag (she really hates that, but it is effective) and headed her to the gate, while yelling at her to get home where she belongs or she will be in the deepfreeze with her brother....

Elizabeth's Angus heifer was another story. She had different things on her mind and for some reason didn't think she needed back into the pasture, but we finally got her there as well. (You know, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence).

Then I am told we also had a horse that had been out as well, but they did get the horse back in already. (Whew)

Now I think we are ready for the easy part. The horses are already caught, have on halters and lead ropes, so we only need to walk them to the trailer. Well, evidently Bandit was an easy catch, but Double ran them all over the pasture to the extent that they had to use the truck to go back to the very back and get him. (Doubles new nickname name may become "Glue".) We start to take the 2 horses out when horse #3 throws a temper tantrum that far outweighs any that a 2 or 3 year old child could have done. She runs, whinnies, stops her feet, digs a hole (yes horses can dig with their front feed) and carries on. Now I see the problem. Apparently horse #3, Beauty, is in love with Bandit and doesn't want him to leave the farm. Beauty is not broke to the halter or the trailer, so she can't go with us (which would have easily solved this whole mess).

Now I find out that is how the cows got out--she kicked the gate open in an attempt to get out and follow Bandit and her brother Double.

Finally we get them loaded. During the entire process she is pacing the entire front fence whinnying and kicking and he is carrying on from the trailer.

I hope this is just a fast and furious crush that will burn out quickly, and not be a long summers love affair. I don't think we can do this for every 4H practice and show........

And the chickens are mad because the compost/kitchen scraps we are now giving to the hogs instead of to them....

At least the rabbits still love us.

Oh--and when we brought the horses back? Beauty was still at the gate throwing her fit and waiting for her man, or gelding rather.

Elizabeth and Rebecca impressed me at the 4H vet day by drawing their horses blood themselves and giving some of the vaccinations. They both plan on being vets when they are older.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fun at the park

Today was the day we volunteered at Watkins Woolen Mill State Park. We were there from 10-4, and dressed in period costume. Several from our church and our homeschool coop where there as well, as both volunteers and as visitors. The day started out in rain, but by 12:30 it cleared off and the sun came out. It was perfect, neither too hot or too cold (well, not too cold after we dried out!).

The assignment my girls and I were given was to man the chicken & turkey coop. I was surprised how much some people knew about chickens and little others knew (speaking as a chicken farmer for real at home on our farm). First, all hens lay eggs after they reach maturity, which depending on their breed is anywhere from 4-6 months, provided they are fed plenty of protein. Numerous people came through asking if a hen has to have a rooster to lay an egg. No--the rooster is only if you want the eggs fertile to add to your flock. Second-yes, chickens can fly. Several petted some pullets and said that was the first time they had ever touched a chicken.

Events included rope making, gardening in the heirloom garden, chickens, cooking in the summer kitchen (and for the volunteers eating it!! It was good), sheep shearing, toy and game making, visiting a shorthorn cow and a pig, and 4 bottle lambs, and washing laundry in the yard with a washboard. There were other events as well, but those where the only ones I got around to.

My girls also played a game of hoops with some friends on the lawn after our volunteering was over.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Our homeschool coop

Someone emailed me and asked where our homeschool coop was located. We go to New Life Homeschool Fellowship where we meet each Friday while coop is in session. It is located in Kearney MO. I would highly recommend it to any homeschooler in the KC, St Joseph or Cameron area.

Here is the link to the website.

Our coop has 2 semesters a year--fall and spring. Each is normally 10-12 weeks in length. We run from 12:30 to 4:30 and students take 4 classes each semester. On a normal Friday, we have 2 classes then a break for snacks and kids can play in the gym, then we resume for our last 2 classes.

The website shows the last semester class offerings and schedules. We offer classes for newborn through 12th grade.

Our coop has 2 open house/programs a year. Our next one is Tues April 28 in the evening. We have a talented group of teachers and students.

On another note, pray for nice weather tomorrow. From 10-4 the girls and I will be doing some volunteer work at Watkins Woolen Mill for spring on the farm. I will plan on getting some pictures, as we will be in the costumes of 1870.


Hesston College Science & Computer camp for homeschoolers

The Hesston College Science and Computer Camp for homeschoolers will be held May 11-15, 2009. New this year is computer programming. Other topics are Environmental Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and MicroSoft Office/Adobe Photo Shop.

Registration information is at

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pig pen is done!

Yesterday afternoon and evening we worked on the pig pen. It was the first day that was dry enough to get out and work without sinking into the ground (we got over an inch of rain Wed-Sun of last week). We were almost done when we ran out of daylight. This we finished it up and moved the pigs into it. It was the first time they had ever been outside or on the ground, but it did not take them long to figure it all out.

One of the roosters came to check them out first, then he called to the hens who came and greeted the pigs. The dogs are not sure of what is going on yet, and the cows are jealous of the grain the pigs are getting...

The girls are having fun playing with them, and we will be adding pigs to our animal notebooks next week and learning more about them.

KC area book fair & curriculum sale & homeschool info

4th Annual Used Curriculum and Scholastic Book Fair

Come shop, swap or sell at our DHA sale!!

Tuesday April 21 from 5-7p.m.

Front Entrance of First Baptist Raytown, 10500 E 350 Hwy, Raytown, MO

If interested in a "seller's table" or have questions, please contact Anne Rudeen by Friday April 17th at or 816-524-6892 for details and registration.


Now Enrolling!

Come join Discovery Homeschool Academy from 9am to 3pm each Tuesday at First Baptist Raytown off 50 hwy. Students in grades Kindergarten through Eighth grade will enjoy Music, Art, PE, Computers, Spanish, Science and Social Studies. Our qualified Christian staff, who are experts in their field, create hands-on lessons that students enjoy and look forward to each week. Parents and Grandparents look forward to our music concerts and art displays. Students will enjoy class parties, field trips, PE field day, and much more! Enjoy your day off while the kids have so much fun, they don't realize they are learning.

Please contact us for a tour or information at 816-778-1139 or Check out our website at under "schools".

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

MO Homeschool field trip @ Arrowrock

Reservations are still being accepted for our Home School Days April 22 or May 20. This year we are offering some new experiences for students including games, voting with a quill pen and touring the George Caleb Bingham house. A “chore course” will be set up for younger children. Information about registration follows. Please forward to others who you feel would be interested in this program. Thank you.

Arrow Rock, Missouri

April 22 or May 20, 2009

Same program will be held each day.

10:00-12:00 a.m.

Arrow Rock, Crossroads of the Missouri Frontier

Learn of 19th century activities of daily life for the first inhabitants of the Boonslick area where Arrow Rock was founded in 1829.

Students and accompanying adults will rotate among five stations (including some hands-on experiences) at their own choosing during a two-hour period.

• Flintknapping at 1828 Academy

• Old-time games such as hoops and sack races

• Voting with a quill pen in the 1839 Court House

• Making candles and marbles in Arrow Rock State Historic Site

• Tour of 1837 George Caleb Bingham house with “chore course” for younger children.

Reservations beginning March 4: call 660-837-3330 or 1-800-334-6946 (ask to be transferred to Arrow Rock State Historic Site) between the hours of 8:30 and 3:30.

There will be a $4.00 fee for each student age six and over. Supervising adults are free. Please have the total amount due for your family ready at check-in at State Historic Site Visitor Center. Checks payable to Friends of Arrow Rock.

You will receive a confirmation letter and map. Please be sure you are familiar with the map and check-in instructions.

For information about the village:

You might wish to take advantage of three marked trails to the Missouri River and through a woodlands area. These hikes can be made following the two hour program. Maps will be available at the Visitor Center upon check-in.

An additional program you may wish to attend:

May 28: 8th Annual Teacher’s Workshop (adults only):

“Paddle Wheels to Wagon Wheels: The Missouri River and the Santa Fe Trade” 8:30-3:00. $45 registration per person includes fried chicken dinner at the 1834 Tavern, tour and speakers. Further information will be sent later.

Kathy Borgman, Executive Director

Friends of Arrow Rock, Inc.

PO Box 124

Arrow Rock, MO 65320

ph. 660-837-3231

fax: 660-837-3230

Celebrating our 50th Anniversary 1959-2009!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Is it really spring?

According to the calendar, it is spring. But is sure is cold outside. Tonight it is supposed to be in the mid to low 30's. I am waiting for the 60-70 degree weather. It has rained yesterday, today and supposed to tomorrow.

Yet, it is spring and we have babies here on the farm to prove it. To date, 6 pigs, 9 baby Peking ducks and 4 chicks. The baby chickens and ducks are in a rabbit hutch in the basement under a heat lamp. They are directly under my desk, so even now I hear peeping.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Watkins Mill state Park

Today, for the first time, the girls and I went to Watkins Woolen Mill State Park and sate Historic Site outside of Lawson MO. We were very impressed. We have a friend who works there and numerous friends that volunteer there. We liked it so much, that we signed up to become volunteers ourselves. Our first "gig" (for lack of a better term...) will be next Saturday, April 18 from 11 to 4, during their "Spring on the Farm". We will be dressed in period clothing and helping with the demonstrations. Demonstrations are to include gardening, wood stove cooking, rag doll making, toy making, weaving, rope making and more. This is a free event, although there is a small fee for the building tours.

For more information, call the park or visit their website at

You will want to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring your camera. Be sure to take the kids to visit the sheep, turkeys and chickens as well.

At the same state park, there is also a camp ground, a swim beach, lake and and a dam. There is a paved walking path around the lake and dam that is perfect for walking or a stroller. A young friend of ours from church and homeschool coop, Caleb, took the girls and I on a personal tour of the park. Caleb and his family ave been volunteering here for years. His mom was one of the people who encouraged me to come check it out.

The girls and I plan to use some of our volunteer time as a history credit.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

money saving tips for your printer

Most homeschooling families have their own printer and use it on a daily basis. We generally use a lot of information off of the Internet, and there are many free lessons online. But the cost of printing does add up.

Here are a few of my tips to help keep those printing costs down.

Walgreen's will refill black cartridges for $10. However, several times a year they will run a coupon to refill them for only $5. The coupon can be found online at their website in their circular, or go into the store and get one of their circulars free.

If you have an Office Depot nearby, check them out. Ours will give me a $3 credit for each empty ink cartridge I bring in.

Office depot often has paper sales or paper by the case sales. Now, combine that case sale with several empty ink cartridges and you will save even further. Once I got a case of paper for only $7 this way.

Print on both the front and back of your paper. You will maybe have to reset your printer options to do this.

For everyday school work and notes, don't print in high quality. It uses more ink. Instead print in the lowest quality setting your printer offers. To change that you will have to go into your print options.

On some printers, you can turning your printer off will recap your cartridge, and prevent the ink from drying out. (It will also save electric).

Store unused ink cartridges in the refrigerator. They will last longer.

If your ink acts like it is quitting, clean off the head with some rubbing alcohol. Often you can get several more sheets printed that way.

Don't change ink as soon as you get the low ink message. Mine will keep printing another week or two before it actually runs dry.

When you buy a new printer, don't go only for the printer price. You also need to compare what the cost of the cartridges are as well.

Don't be afraid to try generic cartridges. Save your receipt. If they don't work, take them back where you bought them.

Check prices. For my printer, it is $2 cheaper at Radio Shack than it is at Walmart for a cartridge. But, if I have an empty one or two to take in , my best deal is at Office Depot.

To stretch your cartridge the longest, refill it a few times before you take it in for credit. Mine seem to be OK refilled twice, but I loose quality after the third refill-I think the print heads wear out.

Most homeschooling families are single income families, or run on 1 and 1/2 incomes. Simple tricks like this can add up to major savings when combined with other savings at year end.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

MO Extension Center News

Many homeschool families use the local county extension office for some of our class projects-such as the hatching of chicken eggs. Also, many homeschoolers belong to 4H or do projects for their local county fair.

Please see the below email from Barry Crudup and help support your local extension office. The state has tried to cut the funding to our kids. Let them know how you feel!

I am sending this e-mail as a strong supporter of the University of Missouri Extension Program. In a previous e-mail I asked for your help in contacting the governor's office and your Missouri state representatives and senators. Hundreds and hundreds of you participated and voiced your concerns. The House of Representatives passed a bill which restores the extension funding cuts and the senate has started working on the budget and it is critical that senators hear from us in the next two weeks. Please tell them how important extension is to you a voter and ask that they support House Bill 3 and thank them for their support of Extension.

It is very important that your senator hear from you. There was much attention by the media and others reporting on the phone calls, letters, etc. that extension supporters sent to their representatives and the governor's office.

NOTE: It is just as important that you continue to participate in this political process by contacting your state senator.

Oh, and as a reminder to the governor, you might want to call his office again just to make him aware that cuts to the extension service continue to be one of his "not so good ideas."

I apologize in advance for sending this e-mail to you unsolicited. However, as a supporter of extension I hope you might forgive the intrusion.

Barry Crudup
Cass County Extension Council

Find your state representative at
Find your state senator at: the governor at:
Office of Governor Jay Nixon
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 751-3222

Senate Appropriations Committee considers higher education budget
The Senate Appropriations Committee began consideration of HB3 last week. Each appropriations bill is reviewed by the entire committee twice. The committee should begin the mark-up process this week when amendments to the House of Representatives budget suggestions can be offered.

The committee amendment process takes approximately five to seven days. It is predicted that the full Senate will take up all the FY10 budget bills when they return from a short Easter Break April 14. After approval by the full Senate, conference committees will be appointed for each bill. All 13 operating budget bills must be passed by 6 p.m. May 8.

Barry Crudup

Monday, April 6, 2009

Northland KC area Homeschool Spelling Bee

I just received this in an email and thought I better share....
Announcing the Clay Platte Home Educators Regional Spelling Bee

Friday, May 8 at 10:00 a.m.


Northland Cathedral
101 NW 99th St.
Kansas City, MO 64155
This relaxed spelling bee is for students who want a friendly bee but
with real competition. It is open to any homeschool student* who is in
grades one through twelve. A copy of the rules, guidelines and word
lists can be found at:
To have a successful bee we really need volunteers, so please consider
serving your homeschool community in this way. We especially need
judges for each of the rooms. You do not have to have a child
participating to serve as a volunteer.

New for 2009 – Registration Deadline! Registrations are due April
24th. We need to have at least two spellers in a level to hold the bee
for that grade. If there are not enough registered spellers in a
particular level the speller will be notified by April 27th and will
be given the option of competing at the next highest grade level.

To register, volunteer, or ask questions you may contact Kellie Wiersma
Cost to participate in the bee:

CPHE member :$3 per speller - ($9 max per family) plus one plate of refreshments to share with group

Non member : $4 per speller - ($12 max per family) plus one plate of refreshments to share with group

Those registering should send the following information :

Student Name
Student Grade
Parent Name
Parent Email
Parent Phone number

Once this information is received you will be given instructions for sending your payment.

Volunteers should send the following information :

Name, email and phone number.

* CPHE defines a homeschool as one that is in full compliance with
Missouri homeschool law for ages 7-16. Students outside this age group
must receive at least 50% of their education at home, exclusive of
enrichment programs and/or college courses. Students from other states
should be homeschooled according to their state law.

What do homeschoolers do all day? What do they study?

I have had a lot of people ask me what my kids do all day since they don't go to school. Sometimes I think that people don't realize that we do school at home--hence the term homeschool....

We really don't have a typical day. Sometimes we start a subject that should only be 30-60 minutes and if the kids are interested, we will stay on it much longer. Or, we may get sidetracked and end up on a different subject. But, we are still learning, so that is ok.

Daily we read 60 for minutes, do math, JBQ, spelling, home-ec and reading comprehension. 2-3 times a week we also do history/social studies/geography, typing, science.

Some of our subjects overlap. It may not be our day to do history, but we may be spending our 60 minutes reading a book on Thomas Jefferson-so, we did get our history in-just not from "THE history book". I use factual reading comprehension books. Each day our reading comprehension is on a different subject. So far this year some of the subjects have included the history of clocks, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, the beginning of the US railroad and more. So, there again our subjects overlap. For our family size, recipes are usually doubled (or tripled)--so there again the girls get a math lesson in doubling fractions while cooking.

We also watch several programs on the history channel, the military channel and the learning channel. In addition our library has a good supply of educational videos.

Numerous trips out are educational--even routine errands such as going to the bank or grocery store.

In many ways, I think homeschooling offers more opportunities than traditional schooling. If we don't understand a subject, we can repeat the lesson until we do, instead of worrying about holding the entire class back. If the lesson is too simple, we can skip it and go onto the next one. We also have more time during the day to do other things such as volunteer work at a crisis center and for the local fire station, being fire cadets (public schooled cadets miss the school day fires).

We have a smaller class size, so we get done with our lessons sooner and have more play time--time for a kid to be a kid.

Home-ec doesn't have to wait until jr or senior high--we do it on all grade levels in our home. All the girls can sew with a sewing machine, knit, read and cut out a pattern, cook a full meal (even bake a turkey or bake from scratch!), do laundry, fold a cotton diaper (how many 10 or 12 year olds do you know that can do that one??). Also, the 12 year old can drive (not on the road, but on the farm) and the 10 year olds are learning!

If I am working (I nanny part time) they have the option to go with me if JD is working. They have learned a lot about childcare this way--not to mention being a big help to me!

On a more personal note, it snowed AGAIN today. None has stayed however. Tonight we have a hard freeze warning out. My trees and flowers are budding, I home I don't loose any....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A full Sunday

This morning we headed off to church as usual. Attendance was way down, as a good number of our congregation went to Springfield for the weekend to the Missouri Christian Convention. While we were in church it began to rain then snow. This afternoon I got in a much needed nap, then this evening the twins and I took Emily to youth group and dropped her off.

Then the twins and I headed to Independence to Sheffield Assembly of God to watch an Easter play. It was wonderful. Good acting and costumes and great music. Several of the girls friends from JBQ and homeschool coop were in the play, along with one of our homeschool coop teachers. You could tell the group had put in a lot of time for practice and set design. When we came out of the play it was snowing again. However so far no snow is sticking on the ground.

I am ready for spring. Of course I have been saying that since February, but really I am ready!!! I want to get my garden in.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Time to enroll for Pizza Huts free program

Now is the time for homeschoolers to enroll for the 2009 Pizza Hut Book-It program for this fall. This program allows students in kindergarten through 6th grade to earn a free pizza each month from October through March if the students meet their reading goals.

So, sign up online now. Then, take the extra minute to send Pizza Hut an email thanking them for including homeschoolers in their program.

Getting ready for pigs

This next week we are getting pigs. Our plan is to only keep them during the warmer weather and butcher or sale barn them in November or when the weather gets cold. So, for the next few days we will be setting up fencing and getting their home all ready for them.

We had a good day at coop Friday. The kids were all attentive and we went right through our lessons.

This morning the girls and I went to Lathrop. Our county 4H horsemanship group was running the concession stand as a fundraiser for our upcoming horse show and activities. We made several hundred dollars so it was time well spent. It was good we were inside with the food, as it was very windy outside where they were playing.