Thursday, December 31, 2009

A good Christmas

We had a great Christmas. It was the first time in several years that we had all the kids at the house at the same time! We have had them in town at the same time before, but it has not worked out to have everyone under the same roof at the same time. It was wonderful. Taylor took the little girls shopping before Christmas, and Tysa took them shopping after Christmas. We had a beautiful white Christmas. Snow and sleet started on Christmas Eve, and we have had some daily since. Several days ago it was measuring 11 inches in the front yard and 17 inches in the back. Some has melted (it got up to 42 degrees once day, but not for long), but new snow has replaced what we lost.

One of our Christmas get togethers got snowed out, so we still have one to go with my family.

The girls have played in the snow, and gone sledding, we have been stuck in the snow, pulled out and even had one kind stranger with a CASE backhoe dig out the end of our driveway. Whomever you were, thank you!!! Tomorrow I think we are going to make some snow candy or snow cream.

All 5 of our Christmas calves are doing well. The little white one blends right in with the snow.

On the homeschooling front, we have taken a break for the past 8 days. We have done some reading, home-ec and history, but have taken a break on our other subjects. We will start back on it this coming week.

Even though the Christmas holiday is over, I pray everyone keeps the Christmas spirit in their hearts year long, and remembers that Jesus is the true reason for the season.

Everyone have a happy and safe New Years.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Notice I said Christmas as in CHRISTmas, not the holidays. They have taken Christ & God out of the schools, tried to remove him from our money and most public places, and now the movement is on to remove him from Christmas. What do people think Christmas is about? It is a celebration of his birth. How can you have a birthday party without the birthday boy? Someone didn't think this one through very well. We have several friends who are without jobs this Christmas season. One thing I have noticed however about the friends from our church and our homeschool coop is that those who have their lives centered around Christ are adapting well. I am not meaning materially, I am talking about their attitude. They are focused on the true meaning of Christmas, and not about what they can not afford to buy this year. It is a lesson many of us should study.

Our tree is up (finally), gifts are under it. I still am not quite ready, but getting closer. For today and tomorrow, all our daughters are in town. We had a good lunch today and then we split up for Christmas shopping. There is still a huge pile in my bedroom to wrap. I did a big part of my shopping with no kids and it was wonderful!!! Tomorrow we will have a Christmas with all the girls, then Thursday a Christmas Eve celebration with JD's side of the family, followed by a candlelight communion service at our church. Then on Friday, my family is coming up for Christmas. Three family Christmas celebrations in a row, all involving food. Wonderful!!

We have been moving slowly the last few days due to sinus infections. Not fun at anytime of the year, but worse yet when you have baking, cleaning, painting, sewing and shopping to do.

Sunday night the church had their Christmas program. It was very good. The story centered around the kids trying to decide what to do for their program. To help them decide, they watched videos clips of older programs--so we got to see some clips from 10 years ago--it was interesting and fun to watch the kids grow up during evening on video. Our minister and his daughter wrote the play and did an excellent job of it.

This week we have taken a break from our formal schooling, although the girls have been raking in some home-ec hours with their baking and sewing projects. I will post some pictures later in the week of some of their sewing projects, but since they are gifts, I can't post them now or the cat will be out of the bag.

Our new calves are doing well, and we are still awaiting the birth of the remaining ones--hopefully before next week when some are being sold.

I did get our upstairs office painted. I had hoped to also have the living room done before Christmas, but this sinus thing I have been fighting got the best of me. In fact 2 days I didn't even get out of bed until after noon. I think I am on the mend now, hopefully.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

couple #1, couple #2 and couple #3

We had another calf born today, as well as one on Sunday right before we left for church. That leaves us with 3 on the ground and we think 3 more yet to calve. Newborn calves are cute. Evidently coyotes must think they are cute too, because we had one eye balling them earlier today. Elizabeth ran outside and it took off.

We are getting ready to sell part of our herd probably next week, so this is a great time to calve. Everyone that is born to a momma we were selling is more money. (I think I hear a new dishwasher calling my name.) We intend to build back up the herd we keep, mainly Angus, and we have already had 2 added to it.

Sunday afternoon I took the girls and 2 of their friends ice staking in St Joseph. They all had a really good time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow days....

So, if you homeschool, do you have snow days??? Well, in our house, the answer is yes and no. A good deep snow, is just too hard to pass up. So, we do have to allow some time to go out and play in it--after all, that is something you just can't do every day of your kid life, and unless you live in the northern area of Alaska. But, we still manage to also do some lessons as well, mainly reading and math. I never have to argue with my kids to do their reading. They all love to read. In fact, often we have the opposite problem, they need to do their other lessons and quit reading. But for now, they are outside sledding and trying to build a snowman. I say "trying" because Whopper, their calico cat is also trying. Evidently she has understood that while the girls are piling the snow, it is her duty to knock it back down again.

At one point I watched the "cat rodeo" from the window. Whopper got on Elizabeth's back. Elizabeth has on several layers, the last being a carhartt coverall so her movement is rather limited. Whopper took advantage of that and climbed up her back. No matter how Elizabeth wiggled, bent, moved, jumped, or squirmed, the cat hung on, with a look of satisfaction and determination on her face (very similar to that I just caught a mouse look that they get).

All the schools are around here are closed today, and most were also closed yesterday. It seems like they have more snow days now then they did when I was a kid. Also, the snow doesn't seem to get as deep as it did when we were kids-remember when we used to get snowfalls that came to our knees? Emily once told me it was because I was taller now, so my knees are higher. Maybe thats it.

Our new calf continues to do well. It is starting to wander off from its Momma some. The momma doesn't like that and calls it back. If the calf ignores her, she goes after it in a dead run. I think the calf is beginning to learn to listen to Momma the first time. I wonder what it thinks of this snow....

Yesterday, in the sleet, the girls and I went to Aldi. I spent around $180 and got food by the case, as usual. This should last us 6 weeks. By the case I buy, mushrooms, olives (but Aldi was out of olives...), speg sauce, corn, green beans, chili and kidney beans, peaches, pears, mixed fruits, cereal, oatmeal and more. We filled 2 carts full. In addition to having an upstairs kitchen and pantry, we have a large pantry in the basement and are slowly making a smaller kitchen down there, to use while canning. Right now the basement kitchen has a refrigerator and stove. We still need to put a utility sink in and then that area will be finished. I try to keep my foods by the case in the downstairs pantry. My husband laughs at my pantry, he calls it the "emporium". But, I notice he shops it quite often.

After our Aldi trip, we went and bought paint. I think I will start with our office. I don't do ceilings, but plan on hiring a church friend to do those.

So, we have plenty of food, paint and corn for popping. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

Monday, December 7, 2009

PEARL HARBOR DAY a day that would live in "infamy"

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Sunday, December 7, 1941 the Japanese executed a carefully planned attack on Pearl Harbor, a naval base in Hawaii. Just 18 months previously, FDR had moved our fleet to Pearl Harbor in an effort to help prevent the Japanese from attack. A good website to learn more about Pearl Harbor, and to see pictures is Lesson plans are provided at

President Roosevelt said it would be a day that would live in infamy. Yet, people are already forgetting, just as they are forgetting other wars in the past, and some claim that Hitlers holocaust never occurred. Soldiers did not give their lives for us, for our freedom in order for us to forget.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Missouri Legislative Academy Jan 5, 2010

Capitol Legislative Academy

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m.
Jefferson City, Missouri Capitol
House Hearing Room 7

-Find your way through the Legislative maze and PROMOTE YOUR ISSUE.

-Learn the most effective way to approach your legislator.

-Gain knowledge from a mock hearing.

-Become skilled on how to present your subject matter.

-NETWORK with other like-minded Missourians.

Citizen lobbyist training
for the novice and the experienced!

Lunch and materials included.

RSVP by January 2nd 314-983-0680 or
Money must be received in advance to be assured of lunch.
$12 per person, children under 12 - $5

Checks: MO Eagle Forum, 229 Chesterfield, Business Pkwy, Chesterfield, MO 63005
Presented by: Missouri Eagle Forum
Concerned Women for America of Missouri
Families for Home Education
Missouri Family Network

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Life on the farm

Today we awoke to find we have a new calf. Last month I had told my husband I thought we had some new calves on the way, but this one was a total surprise. It is a pretty brownish-red color, like is Grandma. Its Grandma is a red shorthorn, but its Grandpa and Momma are Angus. Not sure about the daddy. Momma is named Ms. 54 (its her ear tag number) and is very very gentle. She loves to have her ears scratched. She is a first time momma and doing a very good job. The baby has been up some but doesn't wander too far from momma. It is nursing good and momma is staying right with it. I just wish she had had it a few days ago when it was warmer. Seems like that is a trend here on the farm, to have calves on the coldest days.

The girls put a heat lamp in the chicken coop last night. They also added more hay in the rabbit hutches and the pigs house. We had several inches of ice this morning in water tanks. Just a few days ago it was 70 degrees. What happened??

I just updated the prayer list on my sidebar. It was good to remove several, as they have been answered by our Awesome God. Susie's cancer is gone, Gracie's adoption is complete and she is now at her new home in America.

On the home front, I made some real good thrift store buys this week. In the last 3 weeks, we have managed to kill 2 vacuum cleaners. I went thrift store shopping and found a canister one (I hate bags), 2 velvet dresses for the younger twins for Christmas, some shirts for Emily, a pair of insulated carhartt coveralls, a couple books, and 2 educational math computer game CD's. All for under $30. Not bad in my opinion. The math games have been a hit. Rebecca hates doing her math and this is a good fun way to do some math and she doesn't realize she is learning from it.

Free Christmas events

This list came from my friend Bonnie.

Saturday, December 5, 2:00 - 7:00 p.m., Christmas on the Farm at Watkins Mill State Historic Site. Come see the Watkins' house all decorated in candlelight for Christmas including the Flaming Plum Pudding. For questions, call Watkins Mill State Historic Site at (816) 580-3387.

Sunday, December 6, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. Open House, 1602 Park Lane, Kearney, (Regency Park). Come see old time crafts (jewelry, crochet, weaving, pillows). Call Gerri Spencer @ (816) 628-4397 for more information.

Sunday, December 6, 4:00 - 8:00 p.m., Christmas at Pharis Farm, Clay County Historic Site, 20611 EE Highway, Liberty (off of H Hwy, east of Liberty, near the Liberty Hills Country Club). Come see a Victorian Christmas featuring music, period decor and costumed historic interpreters, guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. Refreshments will be served in the 1820's cabin. For questions, call Clay County Historic Site at (816) 736-8500.

Saturday, December 19, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Open House at the Kearney Historic Museum, intersection of Washington and Jefferson (33 Hwy), Kearney. Come see displays of Christmas during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

If your a KC parent of a 2010 Homeschool Grad....

and you are interested in receiving information about the Northland homeschool graduation, contact Tori Olson and Angelique Long at

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

For MO homeschoolers-a new site

I just found this website for field trips for Missouri Homeschoolers. Mainly it appears to be for those in the southern part of the state, but if there was something interesting, I am sure it would be worth the trip to join them. Their website is There are other things on their site as well, such as a printable form to record reading hours. Also, there is a list ring you can join to receive emails of upcoming trips.