Thursday, January 31, 2013

FREE Homeschool Lesson on Ice Glaicers

A friend emailed me this link about icebergs/glaciers the same day someone asked me how to homeschool on the cheap.

Perfect timing.

What Kathy sent me is a perfect example of a free science lesson.  Use your imagination and you can come up with many more.

First, adapt for the age of your children.

Look up the terms iceberg, glacier and glacier calving in the dictionary.  If you don't have a dictionary, use one of the many online ones.

Read this background about the video:

On May 28, 2008, Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland . The calving event lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water.

Watch the video--warning--it has one word in it so you might want to preview or leave the sound off.  The video is here.

Discuss the video.

Do a simple experiment with ice and water--put ice cubes into a clear glass bowl of water and observe.  How much of the ice is above the water surface?  How much ice is below the water surface??

Make your own earth out of dirt and sand on a box flat.  Add a large chunk of ice, and tilt it to a slight angle.  Watch what happens as it moves across the earth.

Then, check out some of the free websites about glaciers for worksheets and such.  Google and you can find more..

You can also take the terms you learned and make them spelling words for the week.   Also use one of the free crossword puzzle makers online to use the words in a crossword puzzle. 

There you go.  A free science lesson.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Missouri Weather Study

A Springfield MO TV station has a free weathersite for educators.  KY3 Weatherschool site  has a mad science video and several printable pages, puzzles and games.

Also, teachers in the Springfield area can sign up for the KY3 Weatherschool Forecasting Contest, including Homeschoolers! (starts Feb 4, ends Feb 22).

If you use this unit, perhaps you or your children can figure out how it is that on Monday it was 74 degrees and on Wednesday we awoke to snow and below freezing temps???

Have you discovered Groupons??

Several months ago, a friend introduced me to Groupons.  Until then, I had heard of groupons, but really had no idea what they were.

Now, I am in love with groupons.  As a homeschooling family, we like to take field trips.  And, field trips can be expensive.  That is where groupons come in.  Groupons are coupons, that you buy online and print off or have sent to your smart phone.  (I only have a dumb phone though, so I print mine off).  They are coupons for a group to attend an event, or have a meal at a largely discounted price.

The first groupon I bought was to a water park.  3 girls and I got in for a total of $10.  Normal price would have been around $36 for the 4 of us.  So, a $26 savings.

Our second groupon experience was to buy a family year pass for the Truman Presidential Library.  We got a year family pass for less than it would have been for 3 of us to visit for one day.  And, we can go back as many times as we want for a year.  Since we have the year pass, we also got a free gift and we now get a discount at the bookstore/gift store there.  We have already reused it several times.

If you lose your printed groupon, don't worry.  It stays on the website and you can re-print it.

Also, you can buy more than one groupon for the same event.  So, if you have 20 people to get into an attraction and the groupon is for 5 people, you can buy 4 of them and still save.

You might be a homeschooler if.....

Closet Crash

Yesterday and today we have had some much needed rain.  Along with the rain has come thunder and lightening, which has put our fence mending project that we had scheduled for today on hold.

Early this afternoon there was a crack of thunder, followed by a crash.  The crash came from our bedroom, so being the chicken that I am, I sent my husband in to check.  I thought a picture had maybe come off  the wall, but he informed me it was much worse.  After  following him in, he was right.

Our walk in closet system has come down a couple times on my husbands side the last few years.  (Although it was his side of the closet, I did have a few items on that side as well.)  It did it again today, for the 3rd time...  Hopefully the last time....  I went and got a steel pipe to replace the broken wood clothes rod.  Then, I discovered that when it was installed, it was all screwed into the sheet rock instead of the studs.  So, I added more screws into the studs.  I also added another support board, and another bracket to help hold the rod up.

I also went through and pulled out some clothes I haven't worn for at least the last year, and put them in the donate box, and found a couple of items I listed on e-bay.

The odd thing is, each time it has come down, its been storming outside.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

In Warrensburg MO?? Eat at Wendy's Jan 30

Before we moved here, and started homeschooling, we lived in Warrensburg and the girls all attended Johnson County Christian Academy in Centerview MO.  If you are in that area, you can help the school on Jan 30 by printing off this flyer and taking it to Wendays and eating there.

If you decide to eat in the town of Warrensburg on Wednesday January 30 anytime between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM please consider supporting our students by eating at WENDY'S and showing them this flyer.  Please let them know you would like to support JCCA so that we may receive a percentage of sales during that time period.  God Bless You and Many THANKS!

Off to the repair shop

We came home from church this morning to find Randy loading up the girls explorer on his flatbed.  The insurance totaled it out, but did not salvage it out.  She needs a new fender, bumper, tie rod, spindle and radiator.  Then she will be good as new.

Progressive let us keep the vehicle and paid us well for the damage.  If we use used body parts, we think we can have it all done for about what the check was for.

Progressive was the insurance company, and it was the first time EVER that I had a claim with them.  It was also the first time EVER I have NOT had to fight to get what a vehicle was worth.  It was also the first time an adjuster sat down to explain the process to us.  On this vehicle, the blue book said it could be worth anywhere from $800 to $2600.  But, it had some extras on it, so that added to the amount.  And, prior to this, it had no body damage, another plus.  It also had good tires, another bonus. And, the shocker to me--the inside was clean and well maintained.  Did you know, they pay you more for your vehicle after an accident if it is kept clean???  The end result was, they paid more than the blue book price.  We had a $500 deductible on it, so after the math was done, we got to keep it and the girls can get it repaired.  It is built like a tank, all metal, and I'd rather they drive it than a plastic compact car.

(So, having learned a clean vehicle is worth more, I cleaned out my suburban as well, and even found some money in it!)  A clean vehicle is also a safer vehicle as there are less objects to fly around in the event of an accident.  Many people have been in accidents and were not injured by the impact of the car, but rather by the impact of flying objects unsecured in the car.

So, we got to keep the vehicle, have the money to repair it, and it is still insurable.

I am glad we had full coverage on it.  If we had liability only, the girls would have had nothing left, and since they inherited this SUV from their father when he died, it also has some meaning to them.

It has been a big help to me having daughter #3 do some of the driving.  She has been able to haul her sisters to events, dentist visits and such when I have been doing childcare or volunteer work and the husband has been at work.  The girls have been splitting the insurance payment on it, and Emily pays for the gas as she does the driving.  So, it has been very affordable, as well as teaching the girls some responsibility, as well as auto maintenance.

After talking with the adjuster, they have now learned more about how auto insurance works, the importance of keeping a vehicle cleaned and well maintained, and the reason we have insurance, and the differences in the various types of coverage and deductibles.  A good lesson for homeschoolers learning to drive would be to go and visit your insurance person.  We did at the time, and then also had this visit with the adjuster a year later who explained his end of the insurance business.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

We are Blessed-No Major Injuries

2 minutes before my alarm went off this morning, Emily called me very upset.  Seems her Ford Explorer and a deer and met, and it was NOT a friendly visit.  This is common in our neck of the woods, as deer are thick and deer hits are very frequent.  Every few miles you spot a dead one along the road.  But, this was her first deer hit, and first accident.

Urgent care didn't want to see her, as she had whacked her head a few times.  They don't like head injuries there, although to me it was more of a face injury.   So, I took her to the ER where they did nasal and back x rays.  Nothing is broken, but she has pulled a muscle in her back.  The same muscle she pulled a couple months ago and just recovered from.  Her nose is very swollen, and her chin is some as well.  The bruises are starting to come on.  Luckily, her teeth are OK, but her mouth was cut up from her braces. (her braces are due to come off in a few months and I was afraid of what may have happened there).

Tomorrow the insurance is sending someone out to look at the vehicle.  From what we can tell, she has a broken tie rod, front left fender is bent and bumper needs to be replaced.  Her new radiator is history.  We are praying they will NOT total it out.  Its a tank, and I want my girls to drive a tank.  It protected her during this accident.  If she had been in my little car, she would have been very seriously injured or dead.  The Lord was with her this morning, for sure.

Oh--the deer--not hurt-he kept on running......

For those of you in Missouri, you may be interested to know that there is a MO state law (statute 474.250 "exempt property of surviving spouse or minor children"), that states if a parent dies, at least one vehicle, owned by the deceased parent, upon request, can be pulled out of the estate, and put into the name of any unmarried minor children.  That vehicle then goes to the children, even though they may not be old enough to drive it themselves.  This is how my daughters got this vehicle.  This ensures whoever is taking care of the children has transportation for them.  I would think other states may have that law as well.  You have to ask the probate judge or your local license bureau-I'd start with the license bureau as they new more about it than the court did, and they are the ones with the paperwork and the list of documents you need to produce, such as birth certificates, death certificate and such (they won't volunteer that information to you, you have to ask about it).

When the girls got the vehicle, it had been sitting awhile, and then it sat awhile more here.  When Emily's 16th birthday got closer, my husband and Emily began to work on it to get it maintained--new plugs, new radiator, new tires, new belt, A/C work.....They did a little each month and when she got her license it was all done.  Now this.

This day is only getting weirder.  Now we have a hen repeatedly flying at the windows, trying to get inside because of the cold...All she has to do is get into the hen house or the barn......(bird brain?)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Civil Air Patrol, a Great Supplement to Homeschooling

One way our family supplements our homeschooling is with Civil Air Patrol.  Civil Air Patrol, is the Auxiliary Unit of the United States Air Force  (also known as CAP) and is for ages 12 thru adult.  Those aged 12-18 are cadets.  Those over 18 are seniors. Many of the cadets are planning on joining the United States Air Force.  Many of the seniors are former Air Force.

CAP was formed one week before the attack on Pearl Harbor, so it has been around since 1941.

CAP is very affordable.  The uniforms for the cadets are provided.  Cadets work hard learning and test their way up through the ranks.  Their squadron also performs volunteer activities.  They have the opportunity to learn to fly a plane, learn communications (radio), leadership, learn about aerospace, rockets, remote control planes, scuba diving and more.

They are also involved in search and rescue, disaster relief, Air Force support, counter drug activities and more.  Every week they learn new skills and practice old ones.

To learn more about the Civil Air Patrol and to find a squadron near you, visit their national website.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Tuesday (tomorrow!), Swagbucks will be having a bunch of swag Codes – 65 in all. They’ll be on Swagbucks’ Twitter, Facebook, and blog, so check in to get your codes.

Lincoln, the Movie

Tonight Emily and I went and saw the movie Lincoln.  It was a good movie, but they could have left out some of the language. (Why does Hollywood think they have to put bad language in everything they produce anymore?)  

I found the movie to be factual, based on what I have read about Lincoln in history books.

I would not take young children to the movie for two reasons--one being the language (not a lot, but more than it needed), and also because the movie shows scenes of the Civil War, which are rather graphic and would most likely be too disturbing.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

It all adds up

I have a confession...I am a baggie washer.  I have been for years.  My children laugh at me for it, but I keep on doing it anyway.  I added up once, several years ago, how many baggies we use in a year.  It was a lot. Then, I added up how much I save by washing and reusing baggies (except those that had meat in them) for 7-10 times each.  Each lunch uses an average of 4 baggies, then ttake that times 5 daily lunches....I am saving $157 a year.  (And, the price of baggies has gone up since I figured that out, so it could very well be double that now, plus we only packed 4 lunches a day at the time I figured it out)  I also use sandwich keepers, the hard plastic kind, so that is further savings.  But, some things like chips, grapes, cookies, just don't go into hard square containers without breaking or smashing.  They go best into baggies.  We don't all pack lunches daily, but one daughter and the hubby does.  For the rest of us, we do if it is co-op or field trip day, or if I am out with daycare kiddos.

$157 isn't going to make or break the world piggy bank.  But, combine that with other things that save $50 here, and $300 here and by the end of the year, it all adds up to a much bigger sum.

I think I paid $7 for my baggie dryer at Dollar General.  By the way, officially it is a laundry dryer. I originally bought it to hang in the shower of our RV to hand laundry from to dry.  When we go on a trip, it gets moved back to the RV.  The rest of its life, it is hanging in my kitchen, over my sink from an upper cabinet and dubbed "the baggie dryer".  I earned the $7 back within the first 2 weeks I had it.

On a lighter note, the husband out of the blue, shaved off his moustache today.  We grew up together, and I have not seen him without one since we were 14 years old.  That was many many moons ago, as 50 is now in our rearview mirrors.   I don't think the girls have ever seen him without it.   But, I think, just as cute as he was at 14...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This weeks project- kitchen cabinets

Earlier this week, I prepared our evening meals for the rest of the week.  This was to free up some time to work on other projects.  So, yesterday I cleaned out the baking cabinet, and this morning the Tupperware cabinet.  Then I noticed my set up could be more efficient...In one corner of my kitchen cabinets, my upper cabinets have all my spices and baking ingredients.  The counter top holds my flour and sugar canisters and my kitchen aid.  And, the bottom cabinet holds my  Tupperware??  Tupperware?  How does that fit in?  It didn't.  Across the kitchen, a lower cabinet held my cake pans and mixing bowls....Humm.  That is when the light bulb went off.  So, I switched the contents of the two lower cabinets.

Easier said then done.  First, I had to make sure all my Tupperware, Gladware and Rubbermaid had lids.  What didn't have a lid, found a new home-- in the trash.  Then I pulled out about 20 more containers that I had duplicates and triplicates of, and put those into the donation pile.

For about an hour, every inch of the kitchen was covered in plastic wares. Square containers and lids were on the stove, round ones on the butcher block, and baking pans and mixing bowls on the table.

I found containers I didn't even know I had, and a few long lost favorites.  (I still have not found my green Tupperware lettuce keeper however.....Its been missing about a year now.)

Now, everything is in its new home, all nice and neat, with containers separated by shape and lids all accounted for.

I still have to move the labels from the one cabinet to the other--the labels read round containers, round lids, square containers, square lids.  (I ran out of time as we had 4H tonight.)  It keeps the kids organized when they are helping to put away dishes.  I still think I have too many storage containers.  So, I will probably go through them again in a week or so and move some to downstairs.  Holidays and family dinners I need them, the rest of the year I don't.  I am slowly going to more corning ware and glass containers, as I don't heat foods in plastic anymore, I don't think it is safe.

I also went through the pot and pan cabinet, and got rid of pans I have not used in years.  The ones I do use on a regular base are hanging from the pot and pan rack, the others are just taking up room in a cabinet, so out they went as well.

So, this week I managed to get all my drawers and cabinets cleaned out....but, now I have a huge pile of items to donate, and the center isn't open until Tuesday.  So, for a short time it will be stacked up on the table in the kitchen.  If I move it to the basement, I will forget about them.

While I did the cabinets inside, Rebecca scrubbed down the outside of them.

Tomorrow, I tackle the kitchen floor and a couple sewing projects

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Focus on Health

First, I received this in an email.  I have researched cancer, actually read a stack of books on the subject when my sister n law was diagnosed, and they all agree with this article.


Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins: 

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body.. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients
that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size. 

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime. 

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors. 

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has 
nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, 
but also to environmental, food and lifestyle factors

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing 
diet to eat more adequately and healthy, 4-5 times/day
and by including supplements will strengthen the immune system. 

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc., and can 
cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc. 

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs. 

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size.
However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction. 

9.. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications. 

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply. 


a. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc. are made 
with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute 
would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus.. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved. 

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based 
diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little other meat, 
like chicken. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer. 

d.. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked
food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw
vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).. 

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or
filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it. 

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

13.. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the
body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells. 

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy
cancer cells.. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or
unneeded cells. 

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.

A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to
have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells. 

1. No plastic containers in micro

2. No water bottles in freezer

3. No plastic wrap in microwave.. 

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. 

 This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don't freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital , was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. It's just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food.. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

Then, I received this email from my mother.  

It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish... All before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners...
God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body!  God's Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.
A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.
Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.
Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.
avocados, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods. Modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them.
Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow.. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.
Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.
Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells.. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

It makes it all seem rather simple doesn't it??  Eat healthy foods, avoid plastics and artificial foods and be healthier for it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kori Quinn of Missouri has been on the prayer lists since she was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma in December 2008 at the age of 13. Now she is 17, she has relapsed for the 3rd time. They are running out of options since the chemo and radiation is not working but they are now going to travel to Texas to try a clinical trial.
This young girl has been through so much in the past 4 years. Please pray for her and her mom and dad, John and Krista.

Loving the Warmer Weather....

Much warmer today.  It felt good to have some sunshine.

This morning I took a small load of clothing into the local Ministerial Alliance to donate.  It wasn't as much as I normally take in, but I only got through one dresser.  Hopefully this week I can get thru some more.

With the economy the way it is, many people are hurting for warm clothing, coats and food, as well as help to pay their winter utilities.  If you have clothing taking up room in your closets and dressers that you are not using, why not donate it??  Most centers will give you a tax receipt for it as well.  If you take them food, have it rung up separately so that you have a good dollar amount as food pantry donations are tax deductable.  Items that food pantries hurt for the most include peanut butter, jelly, pasta, canned tuna, diapers (even partial packages your child has outgrown) spaghetti sauce, canned veggies and fruits, laundry soap, soup, bath soap and TP, toothpaste and deodorant as well as fem hygiene items.  If you are a couponer or stockpiler, how about sharing some of those items with someone who has none?

I have a load of t shirts in the washer now that haven't been worn in so long that they have yellowed--if they come clean, they will also get donated, if the don't, they will go into the rug pile.Once they go into the rug pile, they get cut into strips and rolled into a ball.  Then, with a large crochet needle, they get crocheted into a round or square rug.  Cost nothing to make, and very easy to wash.  They are great by the door during nasty weather.

I got supper all made for most of the rest of the week.  Tonight is taco night.  Tomorrow night is chicken with wheat pasta, and with 4H on Thursday, Thursday night will be potato soup night with grilled cheese, as we can crockpot it.  Friday night will be taco salad with the leftovers from tonight.

I made 3 loaves of bread today.  Within 2 minutes of coming out of the oven it was getting cut.  I think we are already down to 2 loaves now, and its only been 2 hours.
I washed a couple of our coats today.  Its been so muddy out that we have rubbed up against the cars and gotten it on our coats.

 I still have one kiddo getting over the flu--no fun as she is still having issues keeping food down, but strangely chocolate chip cookies with creme soda do stay down fine....

In my off time, I have been reading Mom At War, but Todd Parnell.  I first learned of this book during our recent trip to the Veterans Museum in Branson MO.  It is an interesting look of WW2, told by the son of a woman who lost her first husband to the war, and responded by joining the American Red Cross and going to Europe to feed the soldiers donuts.  It contains a lot of history, photos, and pages from her letters and diary of her take on the war.  It is suitable for all ages to read.  After I finish with it, my next book is the  Candy Pilots.  It is another interesting true look at history.  Both books I got for free, by using my points eaned from SwagBucks.  I traded my points in for a bunch of $5 Amazon gift cards.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Basic Car Info for Women

Years (many, many years) ago, I took a powder puff mechanics class.  I have used that knowledge many times.  It was a more extensive class (it was a 18 hour class over 3 Saturdays), but anytime a young lady can take something like this I recommend it.  No one wants their daughter broken down along the road...  This would be a fun couple of homeschooling life skill hours!
Ladies who are new drivers or ladies who need the basic information about vehicles, this class is for you. A class called Basic Mechanics of Autos for Independent Women will be held on Sunday, February 10th at 2 PM and again at 4 PM. This will be a hands-on class teaching about basic vehicle maintenance and mechanics. The classes will be given by Jeff and Amy Poole of A&J Poole & Sons Mobile Mechanic at 10375 NE Highway 69, Cameron, MO. Call any time to make your reservation at 816-632-5552. The fee is only $10.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Few Frugal Tips

Make your own safer version of a bleach by mixing lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide.  I only mix up the amount I will need, as it tends to go flat after a day.  I keep it in a spray bottle.  Use it just as you use bleach.

Lime and hard water stains won't build up on your tub shower walls if you use turtle wax on them.  ONLY use the wax on the shower walls, NEVER on the shower or tub bottom.

Toothpaste often takes permanent marker off of wood floors, furniture, dry erase boards, refrigerators and more.

A paste of baking soda and peroxide often removes built up grease on baking pans and cookie sheets.

Baking soda and vinegar often clean out kitchen drains.  Dump the soda down the drain, then add the vinegar and watch the reaction.  Let it sit 30 minutes, then pour in boiling water.  May need to repeat a few times.  This is also a good way to get rid of that sewer smell in a drain that has an empty trap.

Make your own swifter covers by using an old bath towel.  Depending on the size of the towel, you may be able to get 2 or more covers out of it.  For best results, I double the towel.

Refill your 32 oz Frebreeze Spray bottle by making your own fabric freshener:

1/8 Cup of Your Favorite Fabric Softener
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
Hot Tap Water - To Fill the Bottle to the Top
Shake it before each use

Stain Remover
2 parts hydrogen peroxide
1 part Dawn dishwashing soap

Trailer, Trash and Soap

I been busy since 7 this morning, mostly running errands and such, and have very little to show for it.  But, I did get the horse trailer picked up from the trailer repair shop,  It still needs some work, but the last part has to be ordered.  But, we again have lights and wheels.  You can drive without working lights during the day, but having the wheels on it was rather important.  Some how, half the lug studs broke off on two of the wheels.

We have two bulls to take into the stock yard, but without wheels on the trailer it would be rather difficult.......

Next, is getting the rest of the trash out of the trailer.  Since we were under a burn ban during the summer we put the trash and brush into the trailer (to keep the coons out).  We got rid of one load of it, but getting rid of the second load had to be postponed due to the wheels....

After getting the trailer home, I started another load of laundry (number 3 for the day), and a batch of laundry soap.  The batch I made today SHOULD last a year, but people ask to try it and it usually only goes 6-9 months.  It cost me around $4 for a years worth, and its easy to do.  It is also safe for septic tanks and evaporation lagoons such as ours.

I have a top loading machine.  This is a liquid/gel type of soap.

 Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- 

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda   NOT BAKING SODA
½ Cup Borax-

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with the water. 

Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.- 

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.
Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.
Stir well until all powder is dissolved.
Fill bucket to top with more hot water.
Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water.
Shake before each use. (will gel)
Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)-
Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads) 

Notice this makes 10 gallons worth.  So, if storage is an issue for you, make as above and cut the ingredients in half  OR, fill the containers all with the soap and then when you are ready to use it, dump half into an empty container and fill with HOT water and shake well.  If you do that, you will need a wide mouth storage container though, as the gel will be very thick with only half the water in it.

I sometimes use milk jugs, old laundry containers, 2 liter bottles or mason jars for my storage containers.

If you rather use a powered version, here is the recipe for it:
Powdered Laundry Detergent- Top load machine

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax-
Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered.
Mix all ingredients.

For light load, use 1 Tablespoon.
For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons.

Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads) 
This can easily be stored in a large jar.

If you normally use bleach or oxy-clean added to your laundry, you can still use it as normal.  I have had people tell me their whites are not as bright, but when I quiz them the usually tell me they didn't use bleach with this soap.  If you bleached before, you will still need to bleach.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Truman Library, Independence MO

Saturday, January 12, 2013 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Truman loved Independence...and so does the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. To honor the hometown of America's 33rd President and to thank the city for its support, the Truman Library will host the Sixth Annual Independence Appreciation Day this Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • $1 Adult Museum Tickets
  • FREE Youth Admission (15 and younger)
  • FREE Talkin' Truman Program (see below)
  • FREE Guided Museum Tours
  • FREE for Kids: Make-and-take campaign buttons and Buck Stops Here signs
All are invited; discounts apply only to Independence residents. Please be prepared to present a valid driver's license or current utility statement for proof of residency.

Talkin' Truman

11 a.m., Saturday, January 12, 2013

In honor of Independence Appreciation Day, we invite Museum visitors to learn more about the history of the Truman and Wallace families in this city. Many landmarks in Independence are named for the relatives of Harry Truman and Bess Wallace Truman. Join archivist Pauline Testerman as she shakes the Truman-Wallace family trees and shares rarely seen letters, artifacts and photographs from the Truman Library's collections.

This presentation is one in the series of "Talkin' Truman" programs, offered each Second Saturday at 11 a.m. The program is included with Museum admission; seating is first come, first served.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mardel Christian Bookstore deal

Mardel has FREE laminating (up to 10 feet) through the 19th of January 2013 with coupon!! I got my coupon through email!

They also carry homeschool supplies.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Amazing Snow Art

Artist Simon Beck must really love the cold weather! Along the frozen lakes of Savoie , France , he spends days plodding through the snow in raquettes (snowshoes), creating these sensational patterns of snow art. Working for 5-9 hours a day, each final piece is typically the size of three soccer fields! The geometric forms range in mathematical patterns and shapes that create stunning, sometimes 3D, designs when viewed from higher levels.

How long these magnificent geometric forms survive is completely dependent on the weather. Beck designs and redesigns the patterns as new snow falls, sometimes unable to finish a piece due to significant overnight accumulations.

The main reason for making them was because I can no longer run properly due to problems with my feet, so plodding about on level snow is the least painful way of getting exercise. Gradually, the reason has become photographing them, and I am considering buying a better camera. - Simon Beck

Schlorship for Female Homeschoolers in Eastern Jackson Co MO

December 17, 2012

Dear Eastern Jackson County High School Counselors,

My name is Chrissy Durham representing The Junior Service League of Independence, Bess Wallace Truman Scholarship Committee.

Please note, completed applications should be mailed to (this is a change from the previous application):
Bess Wallace Truman Scholarship Committee
c/o Truman Heartland Community Foundation

4200 Little Blue Parkway, Suite 340,

Independence, Mo 64057

Attached is our information and application for the annual scholarship in memory of Bess Wallace Truman. I would appreciate you adding this information to your scholarship opportunities offered at our school.

· Current resident of Independence, Missouri
· Graduating female high school senior attending public, private, or home school
· Support study at the undergraduate level at any accredited university or college
· Demonstrate community service, school involvement, academic merit, and financial need
· An essay and letters of recommendation (one documenting community service)
· Deadline for application is February 13.
· Daughters, granddaughters, or stepdaughters of JSL members are not eligible
· Scholarship recipient will be awarded $2,000 with an annual $1,000 renewal for each of three additional years of college.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. To ensure receipt of this email, please send me an acknowledgement.

Thank you,

Chrissy Durham
I did not receive the attachment, so you will need to call her for it

Monday, January 7, 2013

The cure for leaving a trail.....

For those of you with kids, this is absolutely brilliant!

Going to the birds?? Why not??

Its time for the Great Backyard Bird Count, or, the GBBC, as it is also known.

This is a fun way for anyone, homeschooled or not, kids, seniors, retired, anyone who has access to see birds, to learn more about birds, and for little ones to learn to identify, and count.  You can just do the count and be done with it, or you can turn this into a 4H project, Scout project and get really involved.  Its up to you.

Check it out here.

Basically, they are looking for volunteers to count birds for 15 minutes at least one day, between Feb 15 and Feb 18 of 2013, and turn in your results.  If you check out the website, it will tell you how to register, what to look for, and how to turn in your results.  There are also educational materials available, a photo contest and more.

Its in the US, Canada and other places as well, as this year they are going global.

“The GBBC is an ideal opportunity for young and old to connect with nature by discovering birds and to participate in a huge science project,” said Gary Langham, Audubon’s Chief Scientist. “This year, we hope people on all seven continents, oceans, and islands, will head out into their neighborhoods, rural areas, parks, and wilderness to further our understanding of birds across the hemispheres.”
Participating is easy. Simply watch birds for at least 15 minutes at the location of your choice on one or more of the count days. Estimate the number of birds you see for each species you can identify. You’ll select your location on a map, answer a few questions, enter your tallies, and then submit your data to share your sightings with others around the world.
Red-breasted Nuthatch, Christine Haines, WA, 2012 GBBC
The global capacity for the count will be powered by eBird, an online checklist program for all of the world’s 10,240 bird species. Participants will be able to view what others are seeing on interactive maps, keep their own records, and have their tallies recorded for perpetuity.

“The popularity of the Great Backyard Bird Count grows each year," said Dick Cannings, Senior Projects Officer at Bird Studies Canada, "and with the new features, participation will be even more exciting.”

Great Day

Today we had a wonderful and full day visiting with friends and family.  We had 2 separate events scheduled, and managed to squeeze in a 3rd one as well, as they were all close to each other.

First, we went back to my home stomping ground, and attended my old church in Mayview MO for a surprise birthday party for one of the church pillars who had turned 80.  One of her sons arranged for a full house of close to 200 in the little country church.  Many were like me, past members who had moved out of the area.  It was standing room only in the back, and a dinner for her followed after church services.  She was very surprised to see so many people from her past keep entering the building.  She has helped with many VBS, worked in the nursery, led music, taught children's church and Sunday School for most of her life.  It was good to see people I had not seen in years.  Some had changed, aged and looked different.  Others had not changed at all, and a few even looked younger.  Ones I had last seen as children were now adults, married with their own kids.

After the dinner, we ended up at my friend Kelly's home for a visit.  Kelly and her boys have gone with us on our Joplin trips to help with rebuilding after the tornado with IDES.  Kelly has one of those homes where anyone is always welcome at anytime, and when you walk in the front door you feel it is your home away from home.  And, her kitchen is the focal point--perfect for a large family (such as hers) or a gathering.

After a visit, we then headed to my parents home to have our Christmas.  It was a nice visit with the highlight being my parents gift all of us went together to give my parents a new computer.  Their old one had bit the dust.  My brother set it up for them before we all left.  It was our first Christmas as a family since Debbie passed away, and this week will mark the one year anniversary of her passing.  Please keep all our family in prayer this week.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Missouri Co-ops and Homeschool Groups

For many homeschool co-ops and groups, it is time for a new semester or to start back up again after the Christmas break.

Can't find a homeschool group or co-op in your area??  Look on the right side of my page, under pages, and I have listed the ones who have sent me their information.  If yours is not listed, then you need to send me information!

Some of what is listed are a regular co-op, others are simply groups that get together for activities, such as music, band, PE or mom's day out.

Also, search facebook.  Many co-ops and groups have a facebook page.

Still can't find one??  Send me a comment, and I will see what I can find for you, through my homeschool connections.

A Case of Spring Fever....

I feel spring fever coming on.  Now that the holidays are over, I am ready for milder temps.  It is nice to have cold and snow for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but, I'm ready to move on to warmer temps now.

I have been thinking out the garden for this year.  Last year I did all raised beds, and it went so much easier, until the drought hit.

I will be rotating some of the beds around.  And, be checking which beds have bottoms and which ones don't.  Last year, somehow carrots got planted in a 4 x 8 bed that had a plywood bottom in it.  So, we had tons of L shaped carrots.  The tasted fine, but were a bear to pull as they were all tangled up underground with the carrots on either side of them.

We compost year around, so next time we have some mild days, I will get the bobcat out to turn over my compost tub.  I use an old stock tank that would no longer hold water as my compost tub.  About 2 times a year, we turn it upside down and dump it out, then scoop it up and put it back into the tub.  I do that fall and winter, then in the spring I dump it again, but mix in cow and horse manure and dump it on top of the garden beds, about 45 days before I plan on planting.  That gives time for it to break down further and take the heat out of the manure.  Then, right before I plant I will hoe in some new black dirt with it.

Normally I try and start my plants inside in late February or early March.   But last year I bought a mini greenhouse,  and I noticed the plants grew faster in it than normal, so I think I will start them a couple weeks later.

I won't start tomatoes this year from seed.  I found a good local source where I could buy huge plants for a quarter each, so I will go that route again.  For some reason, every time I try to start tomatoes from seed, they only grow so tall, then get spindly and fall over and die.  My dad can do it, but not I.  Volunteer ones sometimes come up in the garden and they do fine if I ignore them.

As an experiment last year, I grew okra in a pallet.  It was a failed experiment, but not sure if it was the way I did it, or the drought.  I might try it one more year and see.  I had seen it done elsewhere and it worked well.

My blueberry bed needs to be made deeper.  And, the strawberry bed needs more protection from the chickens, dog, and the birds.

Last year was also the first year that I planted my row plants  north south, instead of east west.  They did better (again, until the drought hit).

I am also planning on some changes in the chicken pen, but haven't quite got that one figured out yet.

So, until its warmer, I am cruising pinterest, seed and chicken catalogues.

cucumber trellisdeck herb garden in cratesColdframe #2raised beds with trellis

For more garden ideas, follow my garden board on

Thursday, January 3, 2013

science fair in St Joseph for ALL homeschoolers

14th Annual
St. Joseph Homeschool Science Fair
Sunday, February 10, 2013

6:30 -- Set-up Time
7:00 -- Judging Begins
8:00 -- Awards

St. James Catholic Church
5816 King Hill Ave., St. Joseph, MO 64504
(Tables located in the School cafeteria, on lower level;
enter the north door under maroon awning; parking across street.)

$5 donation per family; Bring a snack to share; Drinks provided.

Rules and General Information:
1. All homeschool students in grades PreK – 12 are eligible.
2. Any science project, experiment, invention, or report is acceptable.
3. Parental involvement should be minimal, depending on the age of the student.
4. Projects should be age-appropriate and reflect the student's current studies or interests.
5. Science fair display boards are encouraged. These can be purchased at hobby stores or homemade.
6. Please protect the table and floor, if needed, with a drop cloth. Nearby outlets are permissible for use.
7. Judging will consist of a private interview (about 5 minutes) between the student and two judges.
8. A suggested donation of $5 donation per family covers the speaker and prizes. Awards are given at the conclusion of judging. Everyone wins a prize. Please mail to Candise Schmidling, 18 Eastwood Drive, St. Joseph, MO 64506.
9. Register by emailing the student's name and grade to by Feb. 8 so I can print certificates.
10. Bring a snack or treat to share with everyone. Drinks, cups, and napkins are provided.
11. Any family members and friends who want to observe are welcome. Everyone may listen to the special speaker while the projects are being judged.
12. Questions: call 816-671-0562 or 816-261-9852

Judging Sheets will have a scoring range of 1-20 for each of 5 criteria (for a total of 100 points):

*Scientific knowledge (20%) -- Does the student understand the scientific concepts within their specific subject area? Is there a solid background of learning that accompanies the project work?
*Proper procedures/documented results (20%) -- Is the hypothesis presented clearly? Is the student following a logical sequence of scientific procedures? Has data been collected carefully? Are the variables utilized properly? Is the conclusion well stated?
*Oral presentation (20%) -- Does the student explain the details of the project well? Does the student answer questions from the judge thoroughly? Speaking plainly and loudly enough?
*Visual presentation (20%) -- Is the project summarized in an organized manner? Shown neatly with graphics? Are the results portrayed in an effective manner? Was extra creativity and/or originality incorporated into the student's display?
*Level of difficulty or creativity (20%) -- Has the student chosen something appropriate for his age/grade level? Does the student have an understanding of the science beyond the specifics of his project? Was extra time and work involved in choosing this type of project? Has the student worked independently to demonstrate his skills and knowledge?