Friday, December 31, 2010

Have a Safe and Happy New Year

We are celebrating at home this year as we normally do. Stuffed mushrooms, cheese sticks, pizza, little smokies, jalapeno peppers, several chips and dips and more. We have the Wii set up and movies to watch.

I asked the girls if they were making any New Years Resolutions, and they all said no. I have heard several people say they aren't as it is too hard. Maybe that means they are setting their goals to high. Instead of vowing to loose 50 pounds next year, make your goal to loose 20 or 25, or to simply walk for 30 minutes a day, instead of vowing to keep a spotless house, make it your goal to deep clean one room of your home every week or two weeks. Then, reward yourself when you do well.

The new year brings all sorts of hopes and new opportunities. But remember, you don't have to wait for a New Year for a new beginning. Every day brings a new beginning, as the old saying goes "today is the first day of the rest of your life".

Thursday, December 30, 2010

We got Chicago beat!

Right now it is 62 degrees here on the farm and windy. Very very windy. I have been watching my ducks and chickens, and one of my ducks just flew into the side of the house, thanks to a gust of wind.

The wind and warm weather is nice though, we turned the heat way down and have opened windows for some fresh air.

Today I plan on starting to take down the Christmas decorations, although we usually wait until Jan 1. I am really wanting them down because I want my bedroom back. Since the tree is up in the living room, my bedroom is holding an extra rocking chair and toy box from the living room. The outside Christmas lights will have to wait, as it is too windy to get on a ladder.

Later today I plan on making next years supply of laundry soap. I always make a years worth at a time, but then I give part of it away, so it usually only will last around 6-9 months. For detailed instructions look here. Then, I also plan on going through the clothes the girls have outgrown, get them all mended and washed and ready to donate (that is another pile in a corner of my bedroom that will go away).

That should give me my room back. Did you notice that doing one chore (of cleaning my room), first requires me to do the other chores? (taking down the tree to make room for the chair, making more laundry soap so I can wash the clothes to donate...) No wonder moms don't get much done!!

Last night I made a list of 365 journal entries for next year. I'll post them under my homeschool happenings.

This is the time to save on buying wrapping paper for next year. Also, its a good time to buy marked down Christmas blankets or sheets that you can make cloth gift bags out of. You can make them like a cloth shopping bag, or like a pillowcase with a draw string top. Also, the sheet fabric is great for making next years Christmas PJ's out of for little ones. Much cheaper to do it this way than to buy the fabric.

Friday, December 24, 2010

New Life on the Farm

On Thanksgiving, we were surprised with two new calves, which we named Turkey and Pumpkin. Turkey is all white, while Pumpkin is the color of...pumpkin of course! Turkey doesn't seem to know the meaning of a barbed wire fence, and we have found her all over the farm. She just kind of walks right through them. However, she has never left the farm and always comes back when her momma calls her. She is very curious. Pumpkin tends to stay right beside her momma. Once these calves are ready to travel, they, along with their mommas will be moving to Oklahoma.

Last week, on one of the coldest days, Hershey, an Angus, gave birth to twins, which the girls have named Tator and Tot. They will be staying here on the farm. Tator and Tot were born very tiny, much smaller than our black lab. However, they are very lively and eating well.

An interesting note about cows, they all help take turns watching each others babies. While the mommas eat or for a swim in the pond, they send their calves over to another momma to watch. The 'babysitter' cow will even feed them if need be. Sad that cows often take better care of their young than some people. We have also at times caught one of the horses watching the calves, while the mommas are all at the pond. It is rather fun to watch the interaction between the animals. In fact, when the dogs are in the pasture it even seems they can communicate with them also.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2 down, 3 to go....

So far, we have had 2 Christmas, and we still have about 3 more to go...

This morning, we had Christmas with all 5 girls. One of the older ones will be leaving in the morning to head back to her home, (and hopefully beat the snow and ice we are supposed to get), and the other one just got in last night, so today was the "overlap" to have a Christmas with all the girls home. We opened presents, then ate a German casserole my husband made. He loves German food, and just got a new cookbook that had some recipes in it he wanted to try, and this was one of them.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE all the gifts I have received, but wanted to share some unique ones the 3 younger girls and I received. They were made by a relative of my stepdaughters, who is an artist. One cool thing is she works with metal art, and her last name is Eisenhauer, which in German translates to "metal worker". Anyway, we received angels, made out of screen wire. She also makes wreaths, flowers and more. She works with other metals and paints also. Visit her online store, called Village Designs.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Missouri Work Permits

I received this in an email. I am in complete agreement with this new change! I think if the parent is the primary educator, then this should be up to the parent. Many homeschool students also do work "internships", where they learn skills related to a certain trade as part of their education. This would allow students who do that to also receive pay if the business pays. Great examples would be-working in an office to learn or refine computer skills and programing, filing, phone work and also hands on things similar to the public schools votech programs, such as working in a mechanics garage, or farming (similar to some FFA programs).

"In an exciting nationwide first, Missouri now allows parents to issue work certificates for their own children if they follow certain requirements.
Formerly, parents had to work through the public school bureaucracy. This often involved red tape, delays, and inconvenience. And it was illogical. How would the public school system be in a position to know whether the proposed job would conflict with the student’s homeschool program?

But now a parent can be the “issuing officer” for a work certificate if the various requirements are met. HSLDA has posted an article explaining all requirements, and a blank work certificate form, under our “forms and resources” section for the state of Missouri (available to members only). This article explains who needs a certificate, how to issue or obtain one, what hours and days of work are allowed, the difference between a work “certificate” and a work “permit” (they are not the same!) and related information.

There is nothing particularly difficult about the various requirements, but there are quite a few! A parent wanting to issue a work certificate for his own child should take the time to read the HSLDA article, or educate himself carefully some other way.

Missouri child labor laws are primarily found in chapter 294 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. The specific statute that deals with parents issuing work certificates is §294.045.

Public school superintendents continue to have authority to issue work certificates for homeschooled children, and parents may choose this option if they wish.
In a related breakthrough, teens who want to work are no longer bound under state law by one monolithic public school schedule. Revised Statutes of Missouri §294.045.4 says that a child’s work hour limitations shall be based on the calendar of the school the child actually attends. For homeschool families, this generally means their own homeschool calendar. This is important to keep in mind whether you issue the work certificate yourself, or you ask the local superintendent to issue it.

Families for Home Education (FHE) deserves the credit for these important changes. FHE has spearheaded this, and many other changes that are very helpful to homeschoolers."


Saturday, November 27, 2010

My $5 find

Friday, one of the girls and I went into town to pick up a couple of things at our local Pamida store. Down one aisle, they had a selection of upholstery pieces, of various sizes. Regardless of the size, they were all priced at $5 each. I found a piece that was 8 yards long and 90 inches wide, for $5. It was a nice dark green with some tan in it--the exact same color as the love seat in my dining room. So, needless to say I bought it and brought it home. I had exactly enough to reupholster my dining room chairs and also the piano bench for the baby grand, which is in the same room. I still have some left over, which I think I will use to make some pillows for the love seat. Several years ago I took an upholstery class at a community center and I was finally able to put my class knowledge to use. It was really fairly simple, and the only tools required were a screwdriver and the staple gun. All for $5. The only downside is, I wish I had found the fabric sooner, and could have had it done for Thanksgiving, since this year we had people from both sides of the family at our house. But, on the flip side, I did notice a couple new stains on the chairs after the dinner, so but not having it done, I saved the stains from being on the new seats. (The original seats were white, which I don't recommend for dining room chairs). Next time I am out, I will see if I can find some spray scotch guard for the chairs and bench.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Last week the grocery store had all their pumpkins, regardless of size on sale for $1. So, I bought 10 of them. Last night and today I have been processing them. The method I use, ensures nothing goes to waste.

First, I wash them well, and remove the stem and bottom part of the pumpkin from where the pumpkin blossom formed. Then, I cut them into chunks and scoop out the insides where the seeds and stringy stuff is. The chunks I put into a stock pot to boil until tender. After they are tender, I remove from the pot, drain (saving the water) and let cool. After cooling, scoop out the meat part from the peeling part.

The meat part is now ready for pumpkin pie, bread or any other recipe requiring pumpkin. Remember though, this is just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix (there is a difference, as the spices and such are not added).

Now, separate the stringy stuff from the seeds. Wash the seeds well, removing any pumpkin stuck to them.

By now the water you boiled them in should be cool, so you can either can it, or freeze it. This water gives a nice kick to soups or even for mashed potatoes--just use it like you would chicken stock.

The remaining peel and stringy stuff (if it has a "technical name" I don't know what it is) goes to the chickens and ducks.

The seeds are then roasted. This is how I have done my first batch of seeds-(per my husbands request.)First, I boiled the seeds in apple juice for 10 minutes. Then I drained them off, and mixed in a bowl some melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and sea salt. Lightly oil a cookie sheet, and put in the oven at 275 degrees and roasted until done--took mine about 20 minutes-you want them roasted and dry, not sticky.

See, nothing went to waste-The birds love what is left if you don't have chickens, we even reuse the water for soup stock-it contains loves of the vitamens that boiled off.

A good way to recycle your halloween pumpkin is to wait until the day of to carve it, or instead of carving it use non toxic paint to decorate it.

The next batch I will use olive oil, garlic and sea salt.


You have probably noticed I have not been on here much lately.

Our family has had a lot going on the past month and a half. For starters, a class I had been on a 2 year waiting list to take suddenly opened up and I have been attending class 3 evenings a week, with an hour commute each way, in addition to 12 hour shift clinicals. Also, we have had numerous family members in the hospital for a variety of things. This includes my dad, 2 uncles, an aunt, a cousin and my sister n law.

My sister in law has been diagnosed with lung cancer. She is a non smoker and just turned 41 (yes, I can give her age since I didn't give her name-she can't get me!). This came as a real shock to our family. She was hospitalized in the city for a few weeks, then opted to go to the Cancer Treatment Center of America. Please keep her and our families in prayer. We believe that God will heal her, so pray for a healing and guidance for the doctors taking care of her.

As a result of her illness, I have been doing a lot of reading and research on cancers and diet. Did you know that cancer is mentioned in the Bible? It is not a new disease, but certainly has been increasing over the past few years. Everything we do now involves chemicals it seems--they are added to our food while it is growing, and added to it when it is commercially processed. We are now slowly changing how we eat in our house. We are getting rid of the junk foods, sodas and cutting way back on what we fry. After the holidays, we will be making even more changes with our diet. I will be posting more of those changes as time goes on.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Living History Program

Below is the email that was sent out two weeks ago. As you’ll read below we need at least 50 people to pull off a quality program We are ½ way there! Spread the word.

This is an AWESOME program! Most information you need is below but if you have other questions please email or call me. Older kids, Jr. and HS age are welcome too. I personally was able to watch this program last year and learned quite a bit. It’s very educational and informative.

We will give you a Teacher Packet that will have information we covered during Heritage History Lab (HHL). It will have worksheets and activities that will allow you to go back and continue learning with your children.

Heritage History Lab

Friday, October 15th

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

$6.50 per student ($7.00 if not a Jo Co Resident)

(parents free)

Take your students “back in time” at Ernie Miller Nature Center as they encounter three different people from Kansas’ past in the outdoor setting of the park. During the 1700’s they will meet a French Canadian fur trapper, who describes his life on the waterways and prairies and how he trades with the Indians. They will also meet an Osage Indian who tells of the ways of his people and his interactions with the Europeans. During the 1800’s they will meet a pioneer, who relays the hardships of traveling to Kansas. These living history presentations will be followed in the afternoon by “hands-on” participation in pioneer games, erecting a tepee, and information to acquaint students with the prairie ecosystem.

· How do we pay for the program?

o Payment must be made in advance. No refunds unless program is cancelled by Ernie Miller Nature Center.

1. Field trip will be cancelled if inclement weather OR if we have to cancel due to low enrollment* (see below)

o By phone: Call 913.764.7759 to pay with a Mastercard, Visa or Discover card

o By check: mail payment to Ernie Miller Nature Center, Attn: Cindy Lawrence, 909 N 7 Highway, Olathe, KS 66061

o In Person: come by the Nature Center and pay with cash, credit or check.

· Deadline to register and pay: October 8th – extended until October 12th

· We are holding all payments and will not process them until Friday, October 15th. This will save us time and money on issuing refunds if we have to cancel due to weather.

· How can we discuss what we have learned at HHL when we get home?

o You will receive, via email, a Teacher Packet with activity sheets and resources you can use at home.

· Does Heritage History Lab meet any KS Standards?

o Yes, this field trip meets KS Social Studies Standards: H4B1I3, 4, 6; H5B1I1*, 2, 3*, 4: H5B2I4; G5B5I1.

· What grade or ages are appropriate for this field trip?

o This program is geared for 3rd thru 6th grade. However, we understand with homeschool groups that it is beneficial for children of all ages to be able to participate so we encourage you to bring children of any school age. However, due to the length of the field trip, the various locations along the trail and the content we advise not to bring children under the age of 5.

· What time does Heritage History Lab begin?

o Heritage History Lab begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. In order to present to you a quality program we must begin on time as the schedule is tight and we have many fun things to show you.

· What do I need to bring?

o LUNCH: You will need to bring a sack lunch. We will reserve the shelter for you use which will hold approx. 80 people. We do have more space available in front of the building if we need to use it as well.

o Water bottle: you will be out on the trails from 9am until approx. noon. The children sometimes get thirsty so we suggest you bring a water bottle along with you. We do have water fountains in the building if you need a refill!

· Anything else we should know before we make our reservation?

o We do ask that you wear closed toed shoes, spray with bug spray and be ready to have fun!

o Our gift shop will be open during the hours of 9:00a.m. and 4:30p.m. We have books, educational bingo games, t-shirts and much more that you might be interested in.

*In order to put on a quality program we will need at least 50 people registered for the program.

Please forward this on to other Homeschoolers you might know that would be interested in attending.

If you have any questions please contact me at the number listed below or reply to this email. THANK YOU! We hope to see you on October 15th!

Cindy Lawrence
Interpretive Assistant
Johnson County Park & Recreation District
Ernie Miller Nature Center

909 N. K-7 Highway, Olathe, KS 66061
Phone: 913.764.7759 Fax: 913.764.1109 Email:

Visit the District website at
Consider the environment. Print this email only if necessary.
Note: Kansas has a broad public records law. Your e-mail communication may be subject to public disclosure.

Monday, September 27, 2010

4H and Scouts

How many of you are involved in either 4H or Scouting, or both? This is the time of year when both groups are adding members to start off their new year.

For our homeschooling family, we find it is a great way to supplement our homeschool learning. My girls have learned many new skills through these activities.

I have one daughter who could care less about math, yet is is the treasurer for our 4H group and loves it. (A rather sneaky way to sneak in some math and learn how to keep a checking account). By taking this duty on, she had to meet with the bank and learn some basic banking. She also was involved by setting up a new checking account for our group.

Other daughters were, or currently are president and vice president. They learned Roberts Rules of order, which many adults don't know! They also have learned how to present themselves in front of a group of people, how to conduct a meeting, maintain order within a group and public speaking skills.

Also, they have learned many projects from 4H and scouting that include sewing, animal care, working in a vets office, flying (including actually taking over the controls of the plane while in the air), learning to fold a flag and the history of the flag, public speaking, working with seniors and with preschoolers, all sorts of crafts, cooking, baking, and survival skills. (can you set up a tent and catch your own supper?? or create a shelter should you not have a tent??)

Dues for various groups vary, but are well worth the learning experience. If your group doesn't fit your needs, move to another group. But, this is the time to join should you or your child be interested.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I had someone request the Clinton County Missouri freecycle link. It is and

We are a brand new group, but we already have some offer posts and our membership is slowly growing. Help spread the word and we will grow faster!

This new freecycle group is not just for Plattsburg, but all of Clinton County and the surrounding areas.

Thanks but no thanks, internet explorer......

I hate how the hardware/software computer people try and force a person into always buying upgrades.

I have not been able to access my blog from home for quite awhile. I was getting messages that my browser was too old...So, after taking some advice from friends, I downloaded Mozilla Firefox and once again I am able to post!

I had been adding some photos onto facebook, when suddenly I got a message that they would no longer accept ie6 (after I loaded 6 photos). It refused to allow me to load the last 3 photos. And, none of our computers would accept the upgrade to ie7 or ie8....

So, now I can access sites that before I was unable to-including my blog and some online textbooks. It is still slow, but I am a step ahead of where I was. But, slow is to be expected since only dial up is available in our area.

A lot has been happening since my last post.

New homeschool coops are forming, (and later this week I will be posting some information about those), the girls are enjoying volleyball (they are on the local Christian School team along with a slew of other homeschool girls), we have been processing food.

The girls have also started guitar lessons with a wonderful Christian lady from our church who is in our praise band, and plays numerous instruments and also sings. The best is-she is better than most other teachers, it is the perfect location (at church, right after church-we just take a quick sack lunch to eat first) and I love her prices. Since all my girls are at the same level, I can have them all in one lesson and she teaches them together and the same price I would have paid for just one. Otherwise, I don't know that I could afford private lessons for all of them. Later, we may add piano to it as well, but first we need to hunt down a couple more garage sale keyboards. They have already learned a few songs, and will be in a recital around Christmas time.

I have been busy canning peaches, apples, applesauce, apple jelly, and dehydrating food-mainly apples, peppers, and onions. I felt I was spending too much time in the kitchen, so went and spent some money on a little gadget that will peal, core and slice an apple all with the crank of a handle.

I also bought a food dehydrator. I could have used the oven, but this is much more energy efficient, and does not tie up the oven for long periods of time. My dehydrator even came with a jerky maker and the device to make fruit roll ups as well. Our apple chips have come out well, and I am waiting for bananas to go on sale to make banana chips. I am also going to try and make soup in a jar, or in a ziplock bag. I intend to dry my peppers, onions, tomatoes, rice or barley and other veggies, and meat, and then add broth powder and seasoning. I will divide it up into bags or jars and then on a busy winter day morning, just dump the entire thing into the crockpot, add water and simmer all day. By suppertime it should be ready to go.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do you freecycle?

A friend and I have started a new freecycle group for Clinton County MO. If you are in our area and freecycle, check it out. We just started and only have a few members so far, but have had a couple of items posted. There was not a group for Clinton County, so several of us have belonged to all the surrounding areas that require more driving than we like. This will be an additional resource for us with less driving.

If you aren't familiar with freecycle, its a great program where you can post items you don't need anymore and pass them on free to someone who does need that item. You can also post items you are needing.

Its a great way to pass on and receive books, furniture, crafts, sewing machines, pianos, just about anything that is legal. It keeps items in use and out of the landfills.

As I have stated several times before, most homeschooling families tend to be single income earners, and freecycle is just another tool we use.

So go to and find a group near you to join!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chess League for Kids in Lee's Summit MO

Lead Bank Kid's Chess League (sponsored by Lead Bank)

League Results are a

When: Friday 6:30 – 8:00PM - 6 Weeks

Who: All kids from grades Kindergarten to 12th Grade can play.

Exact Dates: November 5th, 12th, and 19th. December 3rd, 10th, and 17th.

Where: Lead Bank, 9019 SW 7 HWY, Lee's Summit, MO 64064

Three Sections: Kids will be grouped by age, grade, and ability.

Lesson Focus: Players will learn about important rules, chess etiquette, strategy, openings, endgames, and tactics. Research says chess improves test scores on Math and Reading! A link:

Chess Teacher: Your chess teacher will be nationally rated chess coach Ken Fee. Ken has played tournament chess for the last 40 years and has coached numerous Missouri and Kansas State Chess Champions. Ken is also a nationally certified tournament director who runs the Kansas City Chess Club and teaches high school Communication Arts.

Activities: Free play from 6:00-6:30. Chess Lesson from 6:30-7:00 by expert chess teacher, Ken Fee. League Game from 7:00 to 7:30. Kids play one league game per week.

Resident Entry Fee: $29.00 for six weeks. Each player will have a page with his/her tournament results and graphs.

Awards: Chess Books and Awards for all kids.

Registration: Online at (Click on "Events" > click on "Lead Bank Kids Chess League" > Register )

League Schedule: There are 3 leagues per year. Each league is six weeks.

Information: Visit for more information.

Questions: Call Ken Fee @ 816.399.3703 or e-mail


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pre-ACT Test

Dates and locations have been set for the pre-ACT test, the PLAN, for the fall of 2010.

Thursday, October 21, 2010, at Brighton Academy, 10100 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park KS 66212 (located in the Emmanuel Baptist Church)
Monday, October 25, 2010, at Harmony Vineyard Church, 600 NE 46th Street, Kansas City, MO 64116
Monday, November 1, 2010, at Coronation of Our Lady Catholic Church, 13000 Bennington, Grandview MO 64030

This is a test designed by the ACT college entrance exam company. It is specifically designed for 10th graders, but all high school students are welcome to take it. The test covers the same areas that the ACT test does: English, Math, Reading and Science Reasoning. Test results can be used to obtain good student discount rates with insurance companies, as well as giving students practice for taking the college entrance exam. After the test, you will receive the test questions, along with the answers your student gave on the test, and the correct answers, if any were wrong. This will make it very easy for you and your student to understand what they missed that day and why it was missed.

It is a one day test. You may pick the most convenient date and location for your family. Testing will begin at 9:30 a.m. and be over no later than 1:30 p.m. The cost for the test is $20 for the two Missouri sites and $27 for the Kansas location. You need to send the registration form and 2 self-addressed business size envelopes, one with a $.44 stamp and the other with a $.61 stamp (we should have the results back before the post office increase for postage in January), along with the check made out to Monette Anderson. Registration deadline is October 12, 2010. If you have any questions, please contact Monette Anderson at whereismonette@ or feel free to call at 816-781-5531. (Most days calls are being screened due to homeschooling needs.) I will email you confirmation of receipt of your registration when I receive it, so please print all information very carefully. Thanks.

Students name: ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _

Address: ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _______

____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _____

Phone # ____________ _________ _______ email: ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________

Parent’s names: ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _

Please send all information by October 12 to: Monette Anderson
901 Cambridge Circle
Liberty, MO 64068

Great website
I got word of this site from

Check it out. I have been using worksheets from this site for our math review. Its also a source to print of graph paper or handwriting paper if you only need a sheet or two.

It also has timers, so you can have your child to the sheets online and timed, or print sheets off.

LifePac Confusion and Civics

My poor girls. I guess in the past I had told the girls when to do their LifePac unit tests. LifePac's by Alpha Omega is what Emily uses for all subjects, and the twins we are slowly phasing into it as they use up their other books.

Anyway, each book is a unit, and each unit has its own unit test. The test covers the entire book. (Each book also has various worksheets and smaller test that you do as you come to them). Well, the test for the entire book is located in the center of the book, but designed to be taken out and tested with when you get to the end of the book.

All last evening and this morning, the twins have been struggling with this test. They were able to do the first part, but kept telling me they hadn't learned the 2nd part. Being a typical mom, I simply told them to reread the chapter....wrong answer. It was after I finally sat down and tried to do it myself that I realized they were doing the unit test and not the self test. They say I owe them one...I probably do.

I gave Emily some time last night for Civics. She and I, along with other fire department members attended a city council meeting in support of our chief who gave a presentation to the council to update them on our department. It was the first such meeting she had attended. She was very interested in it, and has expressed a desire to go back and sit in on more. She also just had her 14th birthday, and is now old enough to participate in 4H Congress (along the same line as Girls State) so I expect that is in our future as well.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Any high school homeschooled girls up for Volleyball?

If you are in the area of Holt MO, Northern Hills Christian Academy has opened up their 9-12 girls volleyball team for homeschooled girls to join. Practices start next week, so if you are interested, you need to call now. Below is the email i received regarding the team.

Homeschool girls grades 9-12 are welcome to join the Northern Hills Christian Academy volleyball team located between Kearney and Holt. They will begin practice when school starts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from approximately 3:30 – 5:30 and games will be on week nights excluding Wednesdays. Contact the school at 320-3204 or Amy Ragseale at 510-4425 if you are interested. Cost will be approximately $35.

Emily played on their team several years ago when the girls went to school here and really enjoyed it. She is playing for them again this year.

If you are not in this area, but the idea of organized sports appeals to you, contact your nearest Christian School. It is very very common for Christian Schools to open up their sports teams to homeschoolers. Many Christian Schools are smaller and this enables them to have teams they may not be able to have otherwise. Also, most will allow you to "buy" a single class from them--such as math, or science or a foreign language. This is a win-win for the school and the homeschooler--the school gets some extra revenue without extra expense (the teacher is already in place) and it can provide a break for a homeschool parent or be used as a teaching tool in an area the teaching parent is not strong in-esp areas such as foreign language, band, music, or math. Others, will let homeschoolers tag along for field trips or school programs. So, check out your nearest one and see what they may offer!

School Notes & Spelling

Our new school year for our homeschool started July 1. According to the state, we are to have in 1000 per school year, with 600 of the hours in core subjects. As of today, Emily already has 550 and the twins have almost 500. However, everything is not in a core subject. Emily always has more than the twins as I count part of her church camp, and she goes in July where the twins go in June (although this year they went twice with the last time being in July). From church camp she gets some Bible time, and PE time, and depending on the topics of discussion, possible time in other subjects as well. One year we had a missionary from Asia, so we counted some geography and social studies in there as well, as each day he gave them a 30-45 minute lesson and slide show of his village.

I found a new site for spelling words for this year. Right now we are using from Zaner Bloser for the twins. It contains 34 units of spelling words, which will last us about 16 weeks. Each unit only has 10 words, so we will do 2 units a week. I like the lists as they are grouped by subject matter or by language and spelling rules. They also have a set of Spanish units, so if you are taking Spanish, you can add those right in. I like finding and using free resources when I can. Some resources I can find or make entirely for free, others I just use to supplement in here and there. We are using the "preview" section. If we like it well, we may decide to purchase later on-we do have a few of their texts in our library already.

One thing I have trouble finding is handwriting for middle school and high school. I find it for younger students, but not older.

Our garden is finally slowly growing. It was late getting in, and then the chickens and ducks thought it was their private banquet. But, the tide has turned. Our fence around the chicken coup is not complete yet (we still have the top row of fencing to put on, as well as a net over the top), but we have enough up that they can't get out unless we let them out--except for a black hen and a duck, and 2 bantams. The rest either don't realize they can fly or are too big to slip through the opening where we have a temporary gate. So, their days of eating the blooms off of the squash, peppers and tomatoes have come to an end. For some reason they liked to hide from the sun in the shade of my okra plants, and that has also come to an end. It may be too late for this years garden, but next year I hope to have a nice garden again, as I did in my "pre-chicken" free ranging days.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Cousin Week Continues"

So far, the heat has not beat us. Not yet anyway. The kids have been keeping busy here on the farm by riding horses (that takes a dedicated horse to give rides when it is 100 degrees outside), swimming in the pond, playing wii, and board games.

This morning we went to Shatto Dairy in Osborn MO to get some cream to make ice cream this evening. If you go to the dairy, they will bottle it for you in half gallon bottles which you can not get in the store. We met two of my cousins while we were there, and took the tour of the calf barn, milking station, bottling plant and got samples in the new addition they have built. The kids also like to milk, and see the baby calves.

After we left Shatto we intended to have a picnic. We had a cooler full of food, including a big batch of potato salad that I made yesterday, and charcoal but went to 3 different parks and none had a BBQ grill. So, we came home and ate what was going to be for supper for lunch, and grilled our lunch for supper. It did feel good to get in out of the heat though.

On the way home we stopped by at the Conservation catch and release area and drove around for a bit.

The kids were good, and have been so far. My biggest challenge is getting them to use the same cup all day, and to remember to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher! Really, they have all been getting along well.

This evening I canned up 14 quarts of Nodaway County peaches. I am listening to the lids "ping" sealed now, and the last few jars are boiling now. I would have probably had another 5 quarts, but we ate them before they managed to get processed. They are good. My apple trees continue to look good, so that will be my next big project-apple sauce, candied apples, apple pie filling, apple rings, apple juice, apple syrup, apple jelly and apple jam.

Yesterday was Emily's 14th birthday. She picked going out to eat at Pizza Hut (fine by me-got me out of the kitchen in this heat!) and had a friend over. So for a period of time my husband had 9 females in the house. He does have the dog and a little 3 year who is spending the evening with us to keep him company. But they have been out numbered by the girls!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Do you have a college student going to school in Warrensburg MO? Or, if you are a military family moving to WAFB and need housing--I've got it!!!

3 bedroom home for rent across street from park.
Shaded yard.
All electric with seperate heat pumps for upstairs and downstairs
laundry room
hardwood flooring in bedrooms and hall
tile in kitchen, 1/2 bath and pantry
carpet in dining/living room
carpeted large game room
2 woodburning fireplaces--one in master bedroom & one in kitchen
lots of cabinets and storage in kitchen
walkin kitchen pantry
upstairs bath has built in storage
master bedroom has built ins on either side of fireplace
1 bedroom is standard size
2 large bedrooms
1 bedroom features 3 closets
Very nice house in quiet neighborhood. Can walk to park, library, stores and more.
email for more info

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Its cousin week

As usual, the day of the family reunion I bring back a vehicle full of kids. Or, as in last year and this year 2 vehicles of them. This year we are currently down 2, but added one. We were going to add one more, but that would have made him the only boy, so, when the other 2 get to come, we will invite him as well. That way we will have my 3 girls, one more girl and 2 boys who love to go fishing for the second go around.

We got home about 40 minutes before dark. Just enough time for the girls to catch one of the horses, and for me pull weeds in 3 rows of okra. One of my cousins went to a peach orchard and I bought 2 flats of peaches that tomorrow we will work up. Not sure yet if I will can them or freeze them.

I guess I am getting old. When I was a kid and my parents, cousins hung out together. On Sundays, holidays or during the summer they would gather at one house or another and visit, or butcher or build a barn or share some harvesting task. Now, people just text each other.

I think for cousins to get together during the summer and spend a week or more, or a few days if that is all that fits, makes wonderful memories. My dad, and his cousins (in the 67-70-80 year range)(sorry dad,I let the cat out of the bag for anyone who thought you were still 29!)still tell stories at get togethers about things they did as youngsters. I think family visits are starting to become a lost art, along with baking our own bread and hanging clothes out on the line (yeah, I do that stuff too and I even IRON!) So, I am trying to keep the tradition going for my children's generation. I will admit though, I need to work some on my own generation as I have cousins close by that I don't see nearly enough. I'd rather see them for dinner or meet at a park now and then instead of saving it all for the weddings and funerals. Especially the funerals.

I think it started to fade when more moms started working out of the home full time, and electronic gadgets entered the picture. I know many moms work to pay the bills, or very often to pay for the health insurance if dad is self employed. I've had to in the past, and I still do bits now and then to help out.

But, how many moms work to buy the things they really don't need? Such as a new car, the cell phones for every family member except for the dog , the new TV, new carpet, the new appliances, the prepared foods, the nanny, the housekeeper... Is that what our kids are going to grow up remembering? Nope, I'd rather mine remember we may not have had everything, but remember how we got to get together with our cousins every summer, or how mom got to go to camp and be dorm mom with us, or chaperon for an activity?

Don't even get me started on the activity every night families--you know, baseball on Monday, Tues is swimming, Wed is horse riding, Thursday is Karate, Fri is ball practice, Sat is piano lessons and Sunday? Well, we are just too tired for church. Nope, I'll save that for another day...

If your the busy sort and don't know how to get out of the rut, start slow. Drop one activity a week and replace it with hands on--play board games, hang out your laundry and have your kids help you one on one-laundry hanging time is good talking time. So is time you may use by washing dishes by hand. Have a night each month where you do activities that don't require electricity. That means no Internet, no texting, no cells, no girls used to call those "Little House Days". In the winter we even carry it as far as cooking over the fireplace, or in the summer cooking outside over the fire pit.

I guess what I am saying is, I'd rather keep our simple homeschooling life that allows time for family and memory making.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Can you work and homeschool at the same time?

Yes. Lots of us do it.

Most homeschooling families are single income families. But not all. There are many moms (and dads) who also try to work part time or even full time to supplement the household income.

First, my girls are older, and are able to complete most of their work without my constantly looking over their shoulder. If they do run into trouble, they can often skip that part until I get home.

Second, our family home schools year around. Year around means our days schooling days are shorter. So, if we do miss a day here or there, we still get our hours in. Last year we ended up with close to 1600 hours, way beyond the 1000 hours the state requires.

We also count things that some may not think to count--such as trips to museums, or art gallery's, or even the bank or grocery store if they learn from it. When we travel each girl has their own map to plot our trip and they get some geography time. If we watch an educational TV program, such as "How Its Made", we count it as science, even though we may watch it as a family outside of our normal schooling hours. If we go bowling, swimming or skating, we count is as PE.

I require my girls to read one hour a day, EVERYDAY-even holidays. That isn't hard, as they often get books for birthdays and Christmas, so they are wanting to read it anyway. If the subject is fiction, it normally counts as reading under language arts. But if they are reading, say, a book about Ben Franklin, we may count it as history rather than reading. They also have a history lesson as well, but this will help give them extra hours in that subject.

We also do at least 3 times a week, reading comprehension. I as a general rule, use true stories for reading comp. That counts for another subject as well. Last week we had a reading comp about the history of clocks. (That credit goes to the Chinese-did you know that?)

I sub teach. Since we school year around, that is 3 months a year that I don't sub, in addition to spring break and Christmas break. When you sub teach you have the option of accepting or turning down the call. I try to take my calls on days my hus band is off. One of the schools I sub for is a private Christian School. At times they have me allowed me to bring my daughters with me, who in turn get to eat lunch and go to PE with their friends. At times they have stayed in the library, and at other times they have taken their work and actually done it in the classroom of their peers. The small school is open to this idea, because several years ago my daughters attended there. I am sure they would not allow this every day, but once every 8 weeks or so they do.

I have several homschooling mom friends who work 10 or 12 hour night shifts at hospitals once or twice a week. That schedule works for them, and brings in an extra $1000 a month for their families.

My girls take all their classes at home. But some friends of ours kids go to public schools on Tuesdays and Fridays and take art, music and band for 3 hours in the afternoons. The mom has elected to work nights on Mon and Thurs nights, then naps while the kids are in school for those 3 hours. She takes them in after lunch, but they get to ride the PS bus home.

I also do some child care one or two days a week. The ones I watch love to "do school" when my daughters do their work, and we also do work while the little ones are napping. I treat them as if they were my own children, just as a homeschooling mom of toddlers would treat hers. Another option here is to provide over night care in your home. Many parents who work nights have trouble finding night care. For child care, check your local and state regs.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This and Thats.....

Teh 3 younger girls are at church camp again this week. (The twins are campers and Emily is staff. Not sure how that is going, with her getting to tell her sisters what to do in an official capacity, but I am sure I will hear all about it.) I will be giving them credit for camp as homeschooling hours. Some will be under the subject of Bible, and some will be under PE, as they go swimming or bowling daily.

Today is also the twins 12th birthday, and they are spending it at camp. Hopefully the weather is nice there, as here on the farm it is pouring, thundering and we have lots of lightening. About 3 minutes ago, a branch just came off a tree out back. I don't think it was from lightening, but it may have been as the wind isn't that strong. We did have high winds during the night, so it may have been weakened then. We have been having temps around 100 and the rain has brought it down to 69 degrees right now--a much needed break from the heat.

The garden is in, but so far it has not produced much. We got our first tomato, and that was about it.

I have not been posting on here as often as I should. I am getting error messages that my browser is out of date, and blogspot kicks me off. I get that on all our computers, but then again, they are all at least 10 or more years old.

Last weekend was my class reunion. It was my 30th. It was good to see everyone. Some people never changed, and others I didn't recogonize at all. Some I have seen throughout the years, and others I have not seen since the night we graduated. We all enjoyed ourselves and had a lot of fun.

Another one missing...

One of our daughters is friends with this family.

Ashli Rauscher and her daughter have been missing since Wednesday July 14th 2010. She left with her husband Chris who may have forced her to go, no one has heard from her since. They may be driving a 2010 hyudai sonato silver in color.

If anyone has seen them or may know their location please contact the Dexter Police Dept. 1-573-624-5512.

For more information, see the local TV broadcast at

Trolley in Independence

Truman trolley begins today in Independence. One buck buys rides all day. To catch the trolley at Union Station, call 816-512-5555. For hours, days and route details, go to

for details, go to or call the Truman Trolley hotline, 816-512-5555
The “Truman Trolley”, a partnership between the Independence Square, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and Independence Tourism, is set to begin on Tuesday, July 6 and run through October 2. ( no service during the Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival, September 3-6).
The trolley can be boarded Monday through Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at Union Station for a nonstop ride to Independence (with advance reservations to 816-512-5555). Enjoy a convenient day trip to the one of a kind shops and restaurants on the Square as well as twelve of the city’s highlight attractions without the need to rent a car, take a taxi or ride the Amtrak train. A nonstop return trip to Union Station will leave the Independence Square at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
In Independence, the trolley will run continuously from 10:30 to 5:30, Monday through Saturday beginning at Clinton’s Soda Fountain, 100 W. Maple, on the Square. All day tickets cost $ 1 for ages 6 and up for a full circuit. Riders may get on and off at various stops without paying an additional fare.
After leaving Clinton’s, the trolley will stop at the following attractions in this order:
• National Frontier Trails Museum and Chicago and Alton 1879 Depot (both at 318 W. Pacific), as well as the Bingham-Waggoner Estate, (across the street at 313 W. Pacific).
• Mormon heritage sites at River and Walnut (Community of Christ Temple and Auditorium, and Mormon Visitors Center, Church of Christ Temple Lot )
• Truman sites (Truman Home at 219 N. Delaware and Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, 500 W. U. S. 24 Highway)
• Vaile Victorian Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty.
• Truman Home Ticket and Visitor Center, 223 N. Main (see an orientation film here and buy tickets for Truman Home Tour) and 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home, 217 N. Main.
Listen to a narration by the driver about city highlights and watch tourism videos as you ride..
For more information, call the Truman Trolley information line at (816) 512-5555. For a complete list of all tourism attractions and summer events, go to

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

She has been found

The Amber alert that I posted yesterday is one of few that has a happy ending. I received an updated text from the system around 3:30 this morning. She was dropped off in a parking lot by her kidnapper and released.

Prayer does work!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Amber Alert

Please check for more information, or to subscribe to get alerts sent directly to your email or as a text to your cell phone.

Incident: Louisiana, MO
Issue Date: 07/05/2010 19:35:57 AKDT
Incident Date: 07/05/2010
Incident Time: 00:00
Missing From: Louisiana, MO
If you have any information please CALL
Missouri State Police at 573-754-4021 or 911
Incident Summary: Subject was playing in her front yard with her brother when a black 4 door passenger car pulled up and took the child from the yard.

Victim(s): Alisa Maier
Name: Alisa Maier Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Brown Age: 4 Year(s) old
Ethnicity: White Weight: 40 lbs
Gender: Female Height: 3 feet and 0 inches

Identity Features: No Information Provided

Clothing Features: a white t-shirt and blue jean shorts.

Suspect(s): Unknown Unknown
Name: Unknown Unknown Eye Color: Unknown
Hair Color: Unknown Age: 20 Year(s) old
Ethnicity: White Weight: 0 lbs
Gender: Male Height: 0 feet and 0 inches

Identity Features: teens to early twenties, has dark hair and dark skin

Clothing Features: No Information Provided

Vehicle(s): 0 Black Unknown Unknown
Color: Black Year: 0
Make: Unknown License State: XX
Model: Unknown License Plate #

Description: 4 door passenger car
This is an activation of the AMBER Alert System.
We have just received this important information regarding an abducted child in Louisiana, MO Pike County. Missouri State Police is looking for a child who was last seen at Louisiana, MO and is believed to be in danger. The child's name is :

Alisa Maier, she is a 4 year(s) old White Female with Brown hair and Brown eyes. She is believed to be 3 ft, weighing 40 lbs. She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jean shorts..
Authorities say that the child may be in the company of a 20 year(s) old White Male . They may be traveling in a Black vehicle. If you have any information on the whereabouts of this child please contact 573-754-4021 immediately.

Details surrounding the description are vauge, as the only witness known at this point is her 5 year old brother who she was in the yard with.

Trail Mix

Since the 4th, it has been raining off and on to the point it is too wet to mow or work in the garden, so I have been doing some indoor chores.

Today I made up a huge batch of trail mix. I never make it the same way twice, but today I used pretzel sticks, O's cereal, peanuts, M&M's, dried cherries, dried apple slices, dried pineapple, mango's, cranberries and apricots. I only used half of the dried fruits that I bought so we can make another batch in a few weeks. I spent around $9 in fruits, m&m's and such. It made up about 5 pounds worth, with only using half, so that comes out to less than a dollar a pound. Can't buy it ready made for that. I do buy my ingredients for it at either Aldi or Dollar General and that normally makes a substantial savings.

We also have been cleaning the girls rooms and going through all their clothing. This week we are concentrating on Rebecca's room. All her clothes were taken out, washed and sorted (half were on the floor-couldn't tell the clean from the dirty...typical kid I guess). Today we took all the summer outgrown clothes and donated them to the Ministerial Alliance. It amounted to two large totes and 3 trash bags full. We have an equal amount of winter clothing that will go to them later this year. With the clothing picked up and put back where it belongs or donated, she now has a decent room again! I don't think my room ever looked like that, but, I am sure my mom will say that it did. I do remember hiding stuff under my bed, but her bed sits so low, she can't put items under it. Meanwhile, her twin sister is a neat freak with a spotless room...raised the same, just different personalities....

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Free site for reading comprehension test

I have plugged it before, but I like to remind people of during the summer. It is a free site, sponsored by Sylvan Learning. It is very simple to use.

First, the parent sets up an account for their child. Then your child reads a book and you find it on the site. Then up pops a reading comprehension test for that book. If you don't answer enough questions correctly, they can review the book and retake the test.

Kids earn points as they do this. Then the points transfer into prizes. Prizes can be as simple as a bookmark you download and print off to a 6 month subscription to Highlights Magazine.

The Ants Came Marching Two by Two.......

Evidently the shortest route to go from southern Clinton County to northern Clinton County is this : go up 2 stories on the back outside of my house, slip under the siding, come in near the floor joist, come up under the backside of the trim around the tub, go along my bathroom floor for 9 inches only to disappear behind JD's sink and reappear under my sink. Then you must trek up the vanity cabinet across the top and back down to the floor. At that point you disappear under the trim and go down to the basement ceiling walking upside down until you get to the north wall. Then you proceed back up about 4 feet and go through the wall and exit out on the front porch.

I hate the little buggers. I had a whole trail of a couple hundred of them. So, I put out the Terro. Now the Terro works well if you have some patience. I have no patience when it comes to bugs, snakes, bats, spiders or anything else that looks ugly and invades my house. Terro works by wiping out the entire nest after the ants carry it back home. Trouble is, they all have to tell their buddies that this good looking sweet syrup is there, so EVERYONE comes to get some, and makes several trips. So, in the mean time my couple hundred ants has increased to 178,435 of them making the trek across my bathroom....

I can not put the Terro outside because it rains daily, and we have cats, dogs, chickens and ducks that I don't want to kill.

Chickens love to eat ants. They are eating them by where they come in, but just not fast enough.

I have observed some interesting facts about ants by watching their migration through my house. #1) they don't give up and are rather stubborn #2) they are night sleepers and are most active around 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. #3) ALL of the worker ants work. There is no boss or bosses standing around watching. MODOT should take a lesson or two from them. You think I am kidding?? Why does it take 4 MODOT workers standing around to watch one guy put cones along I35 to block off a lane that isn't going to be worked on for 2 more weeks...OK, now I am getting sided tracked...#4)It is true that queen ants live for several years and have millions of babies. A good part of them live here! #5) An ant can indeed pick up 20 times its own weight. and #6) Ants don't have ears, (so those talking ants on the TV shows got that one wrong) They hear by vibrations. If you want to freak out an ant, stomp by it several times.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Escape the summer heat wtih a movie for $1 or free bowling

The site shows the various $1 moves this summer

Go to for locations for for kids to bowl free, and parents at a discount. You signup and they email you your coupons.

The County Fair is over

Well, it is mostly over. All the events are finished except for the horse show and produce judging which takes place in July. But, the girls are finished for what they picked for their projects this year. It was a rush at the end (it usually is) for the projects are due the same day the younger girls get back from church camp. We arrived back home with just enough time to shower and go.

I am proud of them for their work. Their projects included sewing (winter coat, shirt and walking shorts),self determined (project with the fire dept that created a smoke detector program and public education regarding fire), photography, showing ducks, rabbits, chickens and cats. In all, we came home with blue ribbons, 1 white ribbon (the white was in fashion review--Emily showed her bunker gear and it didn't really fit into any of the divisions, but she did it for more of a public ed thing), one trophy, and Emily was selected for Junior Queen. We also have one project that is going to state and interstate.

I really love 4H. In addition to learning through their projects, they also learn public speaking and gain self esteem. They also get to meet kids from other 4 H clubs and see their projects as well. The majority of 4H are ones that teach life skills or ones that kids can actually make a living doing. Projects include animals (future farmers or just to raise your own meat), photography, sewing, baking, cake decorating, welding, electronics & electricity, child development, small engines, computers.....the list goes on and on. If your not into 4H, check it out. If there are no groups in your area, you can do it independently as well. It is a great way to supplement your homeschooling.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Catching up

Its been awhile since i have posted a regular post on here. I have been out of my normal routine the past few weeks.

Since my last post, Emily has been to church camp at Mission Lake Christian Camp in Horton, KS, and today I just picked up the younger twins from camp in Oregon, MO at Flaming Spirit Christian Service Camp. Flaming Spirit is where JD and I went when we were kids. )Also where we had our first kiss-in the chapel during senior week, and decided that one day we would be married) Even though Flaming Spirit has updated a couple of the buildings and added a new dorm to replace the cabin, and replaced the mess hall with a new one, it still hasn't changed much. (I also have been told that the new bathroom doesn't have snakes or frogs in it either) I also attended a few other camps as a kid, but Flaming Spirit was always my favorite. For old times sake, we took a walk back the to the waterfall at camp.

Tysa has also come back for a weeks vacation in Missouri, but that is drawing to a close on Sunday.

We haven't gotten the garden finished yet, and probably wont as late as it is getting. Every time we have time to work in it, it rains and rains and rains.

Tonight is the beginning of the county 4H fair. The girls have all worked hard on their projects and tonight they turn them in and discuss them with the judges. Next week they will be showing their animals. Rebecca made a winter coat, and has a photography project, Elizabeth a shirt and walking short set, and Emily did a self determined project of fire prevention/education and PR with the local volunteer fire department. They also earned some homeschooling hours working on their projects. 4H not only teaches new skills through the projects, but also responsibility through the animals and various officer positions, and public speaking skills. It also allows for kids to work on projects either together or independently, and to share what they learned with others either during demonstration day or within their club.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Free DVD

NASA is sponsoring:
You may also order activity sheets that go with the DVD.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Homeschool materials-Try Before You Buy

This is from an email from Floyd Bowlin on the FHS Region 3 loop.

Do you ever wish that you could really get a good look at a homeschool product before buying it? Sure, each company's ad says that it's the best, but you're still left wondering "Is it best for my family?"

With our new Homeschool Freebie Directory, you can find out for sure. We've pulled together over thirty different homeschool companies offering a wide variety of products for you to try. Just visit our online Freebie Directory page to learn how you can claim the freebies that interest you.

No strings attached.

You'll find new and exciting gifts in the 2010 Freebie Directory-from handwriting and reading products to science and math products, subscriptions, educational websites, unit studies, E-Books, art lessons, fun homeschool products, and more!

You're welcome to come back to the site as often as needed to check out all the offers. In fact, you have an entire year to explore and discover the many engaging resources and interesting products that are featured.

Everyone loves to try samples! Why do you think Sam's Club and Costco stores are such a hit? Surely we aren't the only ones who frequent the yummy sample tables? (We just love those scrumptious, tantalizing little eggroll thingies!) Having a "taste" truly is the way to try before you buy.

Here's more great news: There are plenty of freebies for everyone! Tell your friends and homeschool support groups so they, too, can enjoy the free gifts-no strings attached! What a fantastic way for them to discover new homeschool resources and products without having to actually buy anything! (Unless, of course, they want to.)

Maybe you're starting to think about curriculum for this fall. Why not try something new with these great freebies? You're sure to find something that will be a wonderful addition to your homeschool!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Does TV cause homeschoolers to keep weird hours?

We keep weird hours. (In fact, most homeschoolers I know do). Part of it is due to my husbands hours. He works weird hours, and we tend to rotate towards whatever shift he is on. If we didn't, we would rarely see him.

But, I am noticing we can also blame part of our staying up till 3 a.m. on the TV. For some reason, there are late shows on that are good shows. Real good shows, especially for homeschoolers. Why can't they put these shows on during prime time?? Or during the day??

In the last 3 months, we have stayed up to watch shows about octopus, sunken ships, Egypt during Moses time, history of the Nile River and all about its flood cycles, JFK, The Grand Canyon, Weather, searching for Noah's Ark, numerous medical shows, genetics, the heart, the liver and more.

I suppose I could tape the shows--if I could figure out how. I have tried numerous times, and it doesn't work. (I guess I will need to get Tysa to figure that one out for us next time she comes home.) Our TV has so many things plugged into it, Wii, DVD, VHS, adapter, stereo equipment....

I am just wondering if we are the only ones that have fallen into this cycle.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Where have I been??

I've had several emails asking where I have been, as my posts are way behind. That is because I am way behind.

First, I have been undergoing a series of back injections and physical therapy. I had a MRI several weeks ago which revealed the sources of my ongoing back pain. Now that we know what it is from, we are trying to fix it. After the injections, I am pretty well out of commission for 24-48 hours. We have been targeting the discs in my lower back and this week we are going to add in the neck as well. So far, I have responded to the injections and PT favorably, except for an allergic reaction to the liquid that they cleaned my back with prior to injections (I had a very nasty set of the hives).

Secondly, the weather is not helping. It has been cold and rainy (which only makes me hurt more) and the grass in the yard won't stop growing. I have about 2 days a week that I actually feel good and have some energy, and I have been spending them on the lawn mower. Mowing actually feels good to my back--the mower has a gentle vibration and the back of the seat is slightly warm from the mower engine, so it has a spa therapy effect which is rather relaxing.

Hopefully the weather will dry out and we can finish getting our garden in. Right now the majority of it is sitting in planters on our porch and in the garage.

So, if I'm not on here, its because I am either resting or trying to catch up!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Young Eagles

Twice I have posted information about the Young Eagles on this site. Finally, scheduling allowed us to go to an event and we were so favorably impressed.

Saturday, as a surprise I took the twins to the Lee's Summit Airport. They had no idea where we were going or why. We got there in time for the pancake breakfast. It was $5 each and very good (although at the time I was wondering if I should be poking food down them before flying, but that turned out not to be a problem). It was while we were eating, that it dawned on the twins what was going on. It was also about the same time it started to rain a little harder.

After we ate, I filled out the permission form for each of the girls and we turned them in and sat down to wait and read the brochure they gave us. We are doing a science and history study on aviation, so it fit right in. The twins were the first names called and they went to meet their pilot Chris. He went over a few things with them, put them on the plane and fitted them with a headset each, and they took off.

They flew over the Royals and Chiefs stadiums, Worlds of Fun, Bayer, the Missouri River and more. The look on their faces when they landed and taxied to a stop was priceless. I will say however, Rebecca did look a little green, but it didn't last long. Once on the ground they had their pictures taken with their pilot and received a certificate.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't improve, and as we were preparing to leave, they were suspending the flights until the ceiling cleared.

Later this year we plan to return so Emily can also join the ranks of the flying Young Eagles. She was at a Basic Fire Fighting class and was unable to attend. She has flown once, but she was just a tiny baby at the time, around 8 weeks old. As I recall she slept through the entire flight.

I highly recommend this program as a great kick off or wonderful end to the study of travel, aviation or famous persons in history, such as the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart and more.

EAA Young Eagles Program
Get A Free Flight!
If you are between 8 and 17 years old, the EAA Young Eagles programs wants to offer you the chance of a lifetime. Turn your dreams into reality on a free Young Eagles flight and become one of over 1 Million Young Eagles! To find out where and when check out EAA Chapter 91 Young Eagle Events.

Young Eagle Events at Lee's Summit Airport (Breakfast is available 7:30-11:00 on Lee's Summit dates.)
Date Location Time
June 19 Lee's Summit Airport 8:30-noon
July 17 Lee's Summit Airport 8:30-noon
August 7 K.C. Downtown Airport 9:00-3:00
September 18 Lee's Summit Airport 8:30-noon
October 16 Lee's Summit Airport 8:30-noon

What will the flight be like?

The biggest question on your mind might be about the actual flight. So what should you expect?

First of all, your pilot will explain what will happen during the flight. This might include talking about the airplane; reviewing an aeronautical chart (or map); identifying reference points during the flight; completing a careful "walk around" preflight inspection of the airplane and identifying the parts that control the airplane.

Once you are ready to go flying, your pilot will help you buckle your seat belt and describe the interior of the airplane, including the instrument panel. Pretty soon, it will be time to go flying!

Once in the air, you’ll see the earth and sky in a new and exciting way. You’ll experience the wonderful freedom of flight that many people only dream about. If you are like most Young Eagles, you’ll remember this experience for the rest of your life.

Most Young Eagle flights last between 15 and 20 minutes. Once back on the ground, there will be additional time for you to ask questions about the flight. Ask away! Your pilot will be happy to tell you more about flying and their particular airplane. And don’t forget, you’ll also receive an official Young Eagles certificate, which is signed, by your personal pilot and our Chairman Harrison Ford.

We look forward to adding your name to the ever-growing list of EAA Young Eagles!

For more information, visit the EAA Young Eagles Website.

The program

EAA Young Eagles
program was launched in 1992 to give interested young people, ages 8 - 17, an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free of charge and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers.

Since 1992, more than 1.25 million Young Eagles have enjoyed a flight through the program. Young Eagles have been registered in more than 90 different countries and have been flown by nearly 40,000 volunteer pilots.

Participation is easy. Simply contact the EAA Young Eagles office to find the closest volunteer pilot. From there, arrange a convenient time to go flying. We hope you enjoy a Young Eagles introduction to the exciting world of aviation. Make sure you come back to visit this web site after your flight to continue exploring the wonderful world of aviation!

For more information, visit the EAA Young Eagles website.

Spelling Bee

Last week, the girls were in an area Homeschool Spelling Bee. They did quite well. Emily came in first for the 8th grade, Elizabeth 2nd for 6th grade, and Rebecca placed right behind Elizabeth at 3rd.

There were words on the list that I had never heard of and many we could not begin to pronounce.

We also got to meet some of my blog followers and one whose blog I follow.

Not only to the kids get to socialize, learn and have fun, but such events are also a great way for parents to get together and exchange ideas as well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Vickie Danner

Vickie Danner is a young mom who lost her battle to cancer on April 29. She leaves 7children behind whom she homeschooled. Vickie was a member of our homeschool coop.

For a child to loose a parent is a horrible thing. To add to it, her husband also got laid off at the same time as her death. Now, they are being foreclosed on. They need $200,000 by June 1.

A local Catholic radio station is hosting a drive for the family. If you can help or pass this information on to your church or local newspaper, please do. I am posting the website below.

No mom, no income and now no home. These kids need a break. If enough people see this and pass it on, we can help.

So far over $50,000 has been raised. (the webiste as of now has not been updated, but I just got off the phone with John, the site manager--he is enroute to the bank now with more funds and plans to update the site shortly). That leave $150,000 to raise. If we can spread this news to all homeschoolers nationwide, we can do it!

Happy Birthday Tysa & Taylor

Today the older set of twins turned 23.
Happy Birthday Tysa and Taylor!!

Meanwhile, last night the younger twins decided to spend the night in the small tent. Bear in mind the small tent is a single man tent. Yet, they both managed to be in it for 12 hours with numerous stuffed animals, clothing changes, DVD player, a 103 pound lab and a beagle dog.

At some time during the night,the lab brought them 3 firewood logs. Now I don't think he wanted a fire, but that is what he plays fetch with and he evidently wanted them to wake up and play. The beagle had another game in mind. While the girls where sleeping she removed all their stuffed animals and deposited them down the driveway.

Two days ago the girls gave the beagle a new bone to chew on. She promptly buried it. The funny thing is as soon as we left the dog from watching her bury it, she dug it up and reburied it in a different spot. Apparently she thought we would steal it back. It has been a game for the girls to try and locate where she moved it to. So far they have not found its new home.

On the downside, my rental house back has a new unwanted occupant--a raccoon. Efforts to catch it from the walls have been unsuccessful. Tomorrow we are setting live traps and hope she will climb in to check them out. Any ideas on how to catch her are welcome!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Civil War Days for Kids --Cass Co-Harrisonville MO

Civil War Kids Days

Admission: FREE for all ages

At the Sharp-Hopper Log Cabin
in front of the Harrisonville Cass County Library

May 7 & 8
Friday 5pm to 7pm
Saturday 9am to 9 pm

Candle Light Walk 7pm Friday

Civil War Encampment
Civil War Skirmish Noon & 3pm Saturday

Period Games & Skits Friday & Saturday

Dance 6pm Saturday

Vendors: Gourd Banjos by Roy McClure
Mercantile Store
Music: Southern Travelers

This is the big event each year for The Civil War Kids Club (2nd Annual).
The group is based in Cass County, MO, for kids ages 6 and up. The group has 2 homeschool officers of it's 5 officers. The group membership is also just less than half homeschooled members. If you live in the area and your kids are interested in Civil War or Living History, this is a great group to join. If you're near the Civil War Kids Days would be a great History field trip!

HOME meeting in St Jospeh

The Board of Directors of HOME invites you to the informational meetings scheduled for Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 8, at 10 a.m. at the East Hills Library Branch in the lower level conference area.

Who we are and what we are doing, plus how we’re going to do it will be discussed. More information can be found at or find us on Facebook under H.O.M.E.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My coupon book

Every time I shop, I have someone ask to look at my book. I have shared it on here before a few years ago, but will again to kick off this new section of my blog on saving money.

First, understand I only use a coupon on an item IF that allows me to get it cheaper than the generic, or cheaper than at Aldi. Often, when combining coupons with sales, CVS bonus bucks, or Walgreen's rebates, I get items free--such as toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo... But, to take full advantage of this, you usually can not be brand loyal.

Also, remember that often stores such as Dollar Tree and Dollar General also take coupons and also have name brand items at much less. This allows me to get name brand cereal often for $1 a box or sometimes free.

My coupon book goes everywhere with me. (My kids and husband will attest to this-we can't leave the house without it!) You never know when you may come across an unadvertised special or discounted item that you have coupons for, and you want your coupons with you-not at home.

After having my coupons in folders, envelopes, boxes and coupon holders, I came across keeping them in a 3 ring notebook binder. Inside the binder I have clear plastic photo sheets (the type with pockets that hold pictures).

Each pocket is labeled with a different category, and they are arranged in alphabetical order. I don't like standing in a store searching, so I have lots of categories--so I can find a coupon quicker. I have around 50 pockets. Some of my pockets are labeled as followed--air fresheners, baby, baking goods, batteries, beverages, bread & crackers, candy & gum, canned goods, cereals and breakfast foods, chips,.... You will want to adjust your categories for your needs.

After my pocket section, I then have a section of my book that has the large plastic page protector sheets. I have around 7 of those. Inside those sheets, I keep the current weekly ad for a store. Each store has its own protector sheets. As I study the ad, I move coupons for the sale items to that pocket for the store I plan to use them in. As I enter the store, I can easily flip to that ad and see those coupons for that visit. So, I have a page for Dollar General, CVW, Walgreen, Price Chopper, HyKlas, HyVee and Office Depot.

For my area, most of these stores are just a couple blocks from each other, so I don't waste a lot of time or fuel going from one to another. Also, I generally do not hit all these stores in a week.

As my coupons expire, I pull them out and pass them on to a military family who can use them. (Most commissaries take expired coupons.)

I generally spend about 90 minutes a week clipping my coupons and organizing them with the sale ads. My time to do this is on Sunday night while the kids are in youth group. We live 30 minutes from church, so I take them and then go to an empty Sunday School classroom and do my coupons. Sometimes a couple other moms join me in doing the same.

If you see an item you can get for free or next to free that you don't use--get it anyway and then donate it. I have given several blood sugar testers to our local food pantry to pass on to someone who could not afford one. They were ones I got free at CVS after rebates and CVS bucks. When you donate them, be sure to ask for a receipt for your taxes for donation purposes.

Also, check your area and join the free frequent shopper programs, such as CVS bonus bucks, Price Chopper frequent shopper and Office Depot work rewards....and many more.

Another book sale!

These sales are a great way to stock up on books and curriculum for the next school year. Here is another one in the Kansas City area.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

First Baptist Raytown (Front Entrance)

10500 East 350 Hwy., Raytown, MO 64138

DHA families and the homeschool community are invited to sell and shop for used books and curriculum resources. Families are encouraged to shop before our annual DHA Spring Concert (7-8 pm) and Art & Class Displays. There is a $5.00 fee per table for those individuals interested in selling books & resources.

Registration Guidelines

•Complete registration form below & send in payment for a "Seller's Table" by Tuesday, April 27th. Email questions to: or call the DHA office at: 816-778-1139 or call Anne Rudeen at home: 816-600-7932.

•Sellers may set up tables by 4:30 p.m. in the church foyer on May 11th.

•Sellers will handle their own pricing and selling. (Be prepared for cash purchases & making change.)

•Tables and chairs will be set up for the seller's use and complimentary water will be provided. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!


(Detach & Complete Form for Registration and Table Reservation)

Name: ______________________________________________ Number of Tables: ______________

Phone #: _____________________________ Email: _______________________________________

For Office Use Only:

Check #: ___________ Date: ___________

Amount Enclosed: ______________

Homeschooling bookstore closing

The Good Shepherd Academy Bookstore will be closing at the end of May. While this has been a hard decision to make, it comes after much prayer and consideration. It has been our sincere joy to serve the area homeschooling community for the past 10 years.

Deep discounts and sales will begin immediately and will continue until the end of May (or until the inventory is gone). Also for sale will be all of the bookcases, counter furniture, copier, laminator, and all other bookstore fixtures. If you, your church or business would like to know more about the fixtures (prices, availability) please call Michelle.

All consignment inventory must be claimed by May 1. All gift certificates and store credit must be redeemed by May 1.

We are located at 1105 W. Main, Suite C, Blue Springs, 64015. (The entrance is next to Accessorize Yourself and Marshel’s.) We are just west of 7 Highway at Main, which is between 40 Highway and I-70. Phone 816-295-1481; website; e-mail Hours M-F 10-4, Sat 10-2. We anticipate staying open until the last weekend of May.

Thank you for your support over the years and for your help in spreading the word about our final sale. Everything must go, so plan to visit us soon.

Blessings to your family, The GSA directors and staff.

A reminder and a little more info

I posted this once, but since have received more info. It was added as a comment on the orginal post, but I am afraid that it may be missed. So, it is again.
Parent meeting scheduled for APRIL 30th at 6 p.m.
300 E Bird Street
Hamilton, MO 64644

If you have never belonged to a homeschool coop, they are WONDERFUL. We would be lost without ours. It is a great way to meet other homeschooling families, for your kids to meet new friends with the same interests, parents to find support, and a great way for your child to get those classes that are harder to do in just your family, such as band or choir, PE, and to learn what you may not know, such as Spanish, French.....
Home school families of NW Missouri ,

LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) Home School Cooperative has been presented with the opportunity to rent rooms in the old Hamilton High School, in Hamilton Missouri, which has been acquired by Christian Legacy Academy .
We would like to begin holding cooperative meetings there when school starts for the 2010-2011 school year.

We will meet each Friday, September to May. Parents must be willing to teach or volunteer in some way for coop classes. It would not be a drop off program. We hope to keep fees very low.

The school has a gym with a stage, kitchen, science room with sink, numerous classrooms of various sizes, a large play area with playground equipment. It looks like the perfect opportunity for our organization. We will be able to use classrooms as needed.

Are you interested in meeting weekly for 3-4 hours? Sessions would be 8-12 weeks. Let us know the number of children in your family who would be participating.
Please send this on to any families you think would be interested.

Reply to Sasha Grove at
Or Deanna Gordon at