Friday, May 24, 2013

A note from IDES

The below I received from IDES.  IDES is the organization that I have worked with several times (taking groups of teen homeschoolers with me), doing volunteer recovery and rebuilding work in Joplin MO, following their tornado.

IDES is a Christian organization that has been around for years, and provides relief world wide.


"40 Minutes of Terror" was the headline on the USA Today newspaper.  The article was reporting about the EF-5 tornado that terrorized the Oklahoma City area on Monday, May 20th.  In less than an hour, two schools and entire subdivisions were flattened in Moore, Oklahoma.  It is overwhelming to think how in such a short period of time thousands of lives were forever altered.
Immediately after hearing and seeing the tragic news about the damage in and around Oklahoma City, IDES' personnel began to pack their bags.  At daylight the trucks and trailers were loaded with equipment and supplies.  Disaster Relief Coordinators, Joe Luttrell and Kit Gentis, were soon on their way to offer help and hope to the churches and individuals devastated the day before.
Joe and Kit arrived at Draper Park Christian Church on Wednesday evening.  They spent Thursday surveying the damage and assessing the needs.  They had a very productive meeting with ministers and church leaders from several of the Christian Church congregations located in the Oklahoma City area.  They are assisting these leaders in organizing relief efforts.  Several of these churches have already opened their buildings for volunteers to stay and work in their community.  Supplies are being delivered daily and are being distributed to the families in need, as well as providing the basic necessities for the mass of volunteer laborers.  Because of the great out pouring of supplies being donated, finding space to store them is becoming a problem.  One item NOT needed is USED CLOTHING!  Most of the supplies can be purchased in Oklahoma City; it may be better stewardship of time & resources to give financial gifts so that supplies may be purchased as needed by the people at the site.  Beginning today (Friday) Joe & Kit are going to purchase materials and begin building storage sheds for families to securely store what few belongings they may have left.  The plan is for the local volunteers to mass produce the walls, floors, and roofs of the sheds, and have the out of town volunteers to assemble them on the home sites in the disaster zone.
Joe will be providing the IDES' office with the contact information of the personnel at each church that will be in charge of scheduling work teams and handling the receiving of supplies.  We will post this information as soon as it is available to us in the office.  Meanwhile, you may call the IDES' office and give us your contact information and we will pass it along to the coordinators when they are ready to receive it.
IDES was thankful to have some U.S. Disaster funds on hand to begin the relief efforts.  However, we do not have enough funds to sustain any lengthy recovery endeavors.  The total recovery and rebuilding of these communities will be in the billions of dollars.  Our involvement will be determined by the gifts you and other faithful partners provide.
Based on our experience in Joplin and Southern Indiana, we will need a minimum of $500,000 to sustain any significant recovery and rebuilding activities.  We need your immediate help.
Would you please consider a designated gift of $50, $100, $500 or $1000? Maybe, your church would receive an offering to help with the relief efforts.  We desperately want to assist as many churches and individuals as possible.  Would you please partner with us today in offering help and hope to the thousands whose lives were forever altered by this monster tornado? 
Thank you.
Rick Jett
Executive Director

Monday, May 20, 2013

Prayers for Oklahoma

This morning, I took my public schooler, Emily,  into school at 5:30 a.m. to catch a bus for Nashville, TN.  She is in her schools 367 club, which is for kids who have a GPA of 3.67 or higher.  The school chartered a bus, and they are on a trip this week to celebrate the fact that their hard work studying paid off.

Hours later, we heard of the tornado in Moore, OK.  We were very worried here, as we have family in Moore OK.  After several tries, I finally received a very welcome text that they were safe.  The damage was about 15 blocks from their home.

When Emily heard about the tornadoes (she was almost to TN by this time) and called me,  I was glad to be able to tell her that I had already heard from her brother, and that he, his wife and 2 daughters were safe.

Meanwhile, in the county I grew up in, and where my parents and brother live, thunderstorm warnings, tornado watches and warnings, along with flood warnings, was going on.

Spring storms, although awsome to watch, are dangerous and often deadly.  I will be glad when they pass.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Lesson in Electricity

When you home school, you can always stop a lesson and jump to something else, then return to your lesson.  Such was the case yesterday.

Our master bath light switch was popping, and the light would go out and we would have to wiggle the switch for it to come back on (yes, we have been putting up with this and are firefighters and safety trainers...bad, I know).

Yesterday I changed it out.  I had the girls help me.

First we turned of the electric to the entire house.  Many think that is over kill, but just in the event something from another circuit is crossed with what I am working on, I power it ALL off.  Then, I had one of the girls hold the flash light for me, as we were in darkness, even though it was a bright sunny day.

This is what we found.

See the blackened charred areas??  That should not be there.  The plastic was melted as well.

We were very close to having had a house fire.

I went through the house and changed another couple things out as well.  I think we are now good to go, safety wise.

Changing out an existing outlet or switch is very simple to do, you just need screwdrivers ALWAYS turn your power off first.  I know, some people brag they can do it with the power on, but, they are stupid (no other way to word it--sorry).  Power goes off-rule #1 always.

So, after our wiring lesson, we resumed to our regular SOS computer lessons.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Garden Club for Familes--Homeschoolers Welcome

Attention Homeschoolers,

 Beginning on Tuesday, May 14^th Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary
 will be having our first garden club meeting of the year. Garden club will
 be meeting each Tuesday until late August. This will be a great summer
 activity for families who would like to learn about the basics of
 gardening or even for experienced gardeners who want to learn about newer,
 experimental gardening methods. Activities will include lessons in growing
 plants from seed as well as planting, mulching, watering, fertilizing,
 weeding, and of course harvesting led by a naturalist in our designated
 children’s garden area. In addition to standard gardening activities
 we’ll also have hands-on lessons in propagating plants from cuttings,
 local native plant identification, and prairie and forest ecology.

 So far our plans for the garden include growing tomatoes, peppers, corn,
 green beans, squash, cucumbers, okra, carrots, pumpkins and several native
 plants including ground cherries. We will be experimenting with companion
 planting along with growing lettuce on compost in woven sacks; "Bag
 Gardening". Ideas for other methods are welcome. Program content from week
 to week will be largely participant-driven.

 Garden club will be meeting from 2:30-4:00 from May 14^th thru the end of
 June and will change to 9:00-10:30 in July in order to avoid the afternoon
 heat. The charge will be $5 per family each week. Attendance at the first
 program is NOT mandatory to participate in meetings the rest of the summer.
 Each meeting will be an independent program as we would like to encourage
 families to invite friends to gain members throughout the summer.

 Also, check out our EGADS summer day camps. These week-long camps center
 around a variety of nature-related themes. Check out our brochure at:


 If you plan to attend a meeting or have any questions call us at
816-781-8598 or send an email to We’re looking
 forward to getting garden club up and running. We hope you can join us this


 MLTNS staff

 Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary is located 1.5 miles east of the
 city of Liberty, MO. Our address is 407 North La Frenz Road Liberty, MO
 64068. Our phone number is (816) 781-8598. Visit our website at [LINK:] for a map
 and directions of how to get here.

 We are a private non-profit, educational organization supported entirely by
 donations, gift shop sales, and program and membership fees. If you enjoy
 and benefit from the nature sanctuary, please consider becoming a Nature
 Sanctuary member and supporting nature education. Members receive benefits
 such as _The Sanctuary_ our quarterly newsletter, discounts on all public
 programs, 10% off of gift shop items, member-only gift shop sales, and
 special member-only events.

Missouri Wester State University Children's Lifetime Sports Academy

Cary D. Chevalier, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology,
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Department of Biology
Missouri Western State University
4525 Downs Dr.
St. Joseph, MO 64507
Ph: 816.271.4252

The Health, Physical Education and Recreation department will hold its annual Children's Lifetime Sports Academy June 3-7, 2013 for children 8 to 12 years of age. The academy will be held from 1:30-5:15 pm each day here on campus. Activities will be held outdoors, in the Looney Complex and the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex.

The camp offers activities such as canoeing, archery, rappelling, swimming, fishing, gun safety, disc golf, rock climbing and several other activities. Faculty and students in the HPER department will coordinate the activities.

All equipment is furnished by Western. However, participants must furnish their own tennis shoes, swimming suits and towels.

To register, access a registration form and authorization form at

The discounted cost for MWSU employees is $65 for the first child in the family and $55 for each additional child. Enrollment is limited to the first 150 to register.

Britton T. Johnson Ph.D.
Department of Health Physical Education and Recreation
Missouri Western State University
St. Joseph, MO 64507

Sunday, May 12, 2013

This came from my brother.......I am a cat lover, and would never do such a thing, but it is still rather funny....Now, my husband and brother???  Well, they might do such a thing.....just to see if it really works...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Open eyes

If only adults eyes would open as simply as a kittens......

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The past few months have been crazy.  I had a ton of training classes to go through, and finally finished those all up.  I hold several different licenses, and for some stupid reason....I had them all coming due within 4 weeks of each other.  Ugh, so I had a ton of them.  I finished those up, then took, survived and actually enjoyed a fire training class that lasted a month.

Meanwhile, my shoulder has been hurting off and on since October.  Actually, it was hurting more on, then off.  So finally, I went to the doctor.  Since I have no memory of injuring it, we thought we would start checking the medical end.  So, I had blood work and a mammogram.  (That all came back ok).  But, while waiting for the results, I bumped my elbow and shoulder one evening, a Friday evening and it was rather painful.  Knowing I would be very uncomfortable I went into Urgent Care.  The doctor felt it, and then took an x-ray.  That proved to be interesting--it was dislocated.  I have no idea how, or when that happened.  However, I do (as embarrassing as it is to admit) have a habit of falling out of bed every few months (since I was a kid, I periodically fall-but usually when I have one of those weird dreams that I can fly).  So, all I can figure out is that I was flying and did a crash landing.

So, I have been having physical therapy on it a couple times a week now, to get the shoulder and arm muscles strengthen back up and stretched back out.  Evidently, since it was dislocated I was carrying my arm different and the muscles weakened as a result.

Normally, the girls and I would have the garden in by now, but with my shoulder the way its been, I haven't gotten to much done.  But, that ended up being ok, since on May 2 we got freezing temps and snow.

Along with the snow, came a new litter of kittens, with another litter due soon.  Momma Cat had them under my bathroom window on the deck.  Leaves had blown up on the deck and made a pile in the corner-Momma Cat made a bed there for her 4 little ones.

We also have a new calf that Daisy Mae surprised us with.

When I went out to check out the calf. Daisy Mae called it and they took off.  Then, my husband went out and they came right up to them.  Not sure what that was about, since I am the one that normally feeds them and usually she comes up begging for sweet feed.  (She likes to eat it out of the bucket, but it is rather comical as her horns get in the way)