Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sports Camp alert--time sensitive

Northern Hills Christian Academy in Holt MO (nearby towns of Kearney, Cameron, Liberty, Plattsburg) is offering for homeschoolers to participate in this camp.

 Please see the attached flyer re NHCA Sports Camps scheduled.  We have received very little response to date and we must have a minimum of 10 participants per camp scheduled to actually hold the camp.  The camps planned are as follows:
Basketball (boys & girls) and Cheer Camp       August 5-7th        9:00a.m.-11:30a.m.
Volleyball (girls) and Soccer (boys & girls)       August 12-14th   9:00a.m .-11:30a.m.

We have extended the deadline to register for all camps until  12:00 noon, this Friday, August 2ndIf you want to attend, please contact the school office immediately and then plan to drop off your registration form & payment that day.
If you have already registered we will let you know over the weekend if camp will be held on Monday, August 5th and $$ will be refunded if we do not have the needed participation numbers!

Go Patriots!

17211 NE 180th St.
Holt, MO 64048

Phone: 816-320-3204
Fax:     816-320-3226 

Kansas City area Robotics Team Info

 FIRST Robotics Team 3528, Up Next, is gearing up for the 2013-2014 season. We will be holding a Recruiting/Information Night for 8th-12th graders and their parents on Thursday, August 1 at the Metropolitan Community College- Business and Technology Campus (1775 Universal Avenue, KCMO). The evening will begin at 7:00 pm in room TC200. Enter at the first (south) entrance by the awning and go upstairs. Team members in pink shirts will be there to welcome you.
  FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The primary focus of FIRST is to encourage young people to pursue STEM related activities. They accomplish this by designing competitions which require hands on learning- and are really, really fun.

 Up Next is a team primarily composed of high school aged homeschooled students, who compete against other area high schools both in the KC area and around the country (even world). Eighth graders are welcomed if their maturity level is sufficient to handle the responsibility and commitment.

 In its three year history, Up Next has received many awards for its work both on and off of the competition field. We participate in many community outreach events in order to spread the word about FIRST and its mission. Please visit our website,, to learn more about our team and FIRST. Questions may be sent to

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Independence MO Consignment Sale

As teachers, we get to shop the Here We Grow Again kids consignment sale during presale hours before the public!!! So starting at 5pm today (Tuesday), get on in there!! They are located next to Price Chopper on 23rd St in Independence. Just let them know at the door that you are a homeschooling teacher. By the way, all donations left over at the end of the sale go to help clothe foster children.

The day you have been waiting for is here! Pre-Sale shopping at Here We Grow Again Independence! Tuesday, July 30th, volunteers get to shop starting at 3:00pm and Consignors get to shop starting at 5:00pm. Please spread the word: teachers, daycare and homeschooling teachers, too. Military, new moms and foster moms, first responders all get to shop the presale too starting at 5:00pm. We have some really amazing items thanks to our fantastic consignors and the sale is loaded to the brim!

I doubt I make this sale, as I am scheduled to work at the local NASCAR track this afternoon (unless we get rained out) for practice for the Grand Am race.  (I supplement our income--AKA our propane for the winter money) by working as a firefighter EMT at the track for races, tire testing, driving schools and events. If I worked them all, it would be around 25 days a year.

Monday, July 29, 2013

It has been awhile, so I want to give another plug (no, I don't get paid to do this) to

Need a resource?  Check here first.  We have used it numerous times since we started homeschooling for the periodic table, games, to learn ASL (American Sign Language), numerous videos and more.

All the resources and links on this site are free.  They are for ALL ages.  You can sign up and get free updates via email from them.

Another great resource is our Department of Conservation (state level). For Missouri it is located here but you will want to check on all the links and the entire site as well. From this site, and mailings we are received from them we have learned to identify Missouri trees and plants, and have learned about our wildlife and some Missouri history as well. You can also visit a state park and receive lots of brochures and information as well as talk with a park ranger. Many parks also have free hands on programs for kids as well.

The little a trash man

This post will probably sound silly to city people, and a waste to farm/off grid/self sufficient people....but, we got a trash dumpster!!!!

Such a silly thing to get excited over.  We have not had one in the entire time we have been married.  The husband had one at one time, but the company he used then backed into the barn with their trash truck and that ended that....

We have been burning our trash, and taking the recycling elsewhere.  But, that leaves the pain of having to empty the trash barrels.  Dogs and coyotes get into them--(even the cats and chickens have had their share of being caught in the trash barrels, and I have even had a hen who laid eggs in one.)   And, not to mention the barrels are always needing to be replaced, at $15 each

So, we signed a year contract and will try this for a year.  An entire farm, and all kinds of space...but we finally think we know where to put i., at least for awhile to see if it does or doesn't work there.

We will still burn items we don't want blowing around in the dump, such as papers, especially those with personal information on them or bills.

I will still recycle the glass, metals and most plastics, and some cardboard. (Other cardboard gets used to cover or be the bottom of our raised bed gardening).

Sounds like there should be nothing left to trash, but their always is.  Our basement got wet awhile back and that was when it really hit us--what to do with all that wet ruined stuff.  So, for a year, we will try to do trash like the "city people".  At least that will get us through the basement cleaning.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tonights Yield

Not enough to can, dehydrate or make salsa...but, it is enough for BLT's and taco's tomorrow.

A few questions answered

So, over the past few months, I  have had some questions sent to me, and I will answer a few of them over the next few days.

1.  Are you on grid or off grid?  How to you survive without electric?
We are on grid.  If you thought we were off grid, then you probably only read a few posts from when we were out of power.  We can easily survive off grid, and have several times.  We are on rural electric.  We loose our power several times a year.  Sometimes it is off for a short time, such as during a power surge. But, we have also lost power due to farmers cutting a buried line or getting equipment caught up in a line, a squirrel in the substation, blown transformers and ice storms.  In 2007 we were without power for close to a week.

We supplement our heat (propane furnaces) by burning wood.  So, when the electric goes out during cool weather, we can still stay warm.  When my husband built the house, he had the exterior walls put in at 6 + inches instead of the normal 4 inches in our area.  That extra 2 inches of insulation helps the house to hold in the heat. We can also cook over the fireplace in cast iron, or fire up an antique propane kitchen stove that is in our dining room, by connecting a propane bottle to it.  We are in the process of moving an old wood cookstove to the basement for the ability to cook and heat downstairs as well.

We also collect antiques, which are all in working order.  We have oil lanterns, cast iron, all sorts of kitchen items, lots of non-electric entertainment items (over 1000 books, plus board games, puzzles...), and a few solar powered lights.

We do have a generator which can run the freezers and refrigerators.  If worse comes to worse, we can also move into the camper which is smaller and easier to heat with its propane furnace.  We also have a small power inverter, which can recharge our phones/laptops/cameras from a vehicle.

We have a large stocked pantry, to ensure we won't run out of food if snowed in.  A good part of our food is canned or dehydrated, so it won't require electric to keep it fresh.   We stock up on feed during the winter for the animals, and also have extra hay on hand.

So, basically, as long as we have food, water and warmth, we are ok.

During the summer, if the electric is off with no A/C, we can go to the next town over to cool off at the library, or the kids will go to the pond for a swim to cool off.  We have several large trees around the house, so we can easily access shade and a breeze.

The only issue I have when we loose the power in the winter is how to keep the stock tanks from freezing.  We are still working on that one, as we use electric heaters in them.  I am considering getting a propane heater for the stock tank, but am a little leery of the open flame involved.

Friday, July 26, 2013

WOW. This never happens...

Up at my usual 6.  It isn't even 8 yet, and dishwasher has been switched, laundry started, kitchen cleaned, dusting and vacuuming don't need to be done, as I did them last night (so late, it technically was this morning), ceiling fans cleaned and all the light globes washed, and windows have been cleaned.

I'm watching a couple of little ones today, so after they arrive I will start in on another load of food for the dehydrator--tomatoes in one and potatoes in the other.  I need to do some peppers, but they are hot peppers and I would rather do that outside, but since it is raining, they will have to wait,

Husband was planning on taking the 2 little ones to the pond to fish today, but unless the rain lets up, that won't happen.  Neither will my finishing the rest of the mowing, as I only got the yard half done. But, things have been dry--too dry and we need the rain badly.  My grapes, fruit trees, hay fields and garden beds are begging for the rain.  The rain has also brought some cooler temperatures which I hope hang around awhile. I'd like to be able to open the windows and let the breeze in (plus, I need to clean the screens with the vacuum as well).

                                                                  Zucchini Chips

Minutes to Prepare: 10
... Minutes to Cook: 30
Number of Servings: 4


1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 t seasoned salt
1/4 t garlic powder
1/8 t black pepper
2 T milk

2 1/2 cups (1/4 inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in dry mixture. Place coated slices on an oven proof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Easy Pickles

Icebox Pickles

6 cups sliced, unpeeled cucumbers
1 cup sliced red onion
1 cup sliced green bell pepper
1 Tablespoon celery seed
1 Tablespoon salt
2 cups white sugar
1 cup white vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar or crock. Cover with water and refrigerate. You can eat them immediately, but I will tell you that the pickles are tastier if you let them sit in the refrigerator for a few weeks. They will keep up to 3 months in the fridge.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Homeschool Co-op

NLHF  is back!!!!

(New Life Homeschool Coop)

This was our original coop, close to home.  We lost our building and our dedicated leader has been working hard for 3 years to find us a new location, and she has!!!  We will be meeting in Holt Missouri.  Holt MO is in Clay County, within a mile of Clinton County. Nearby towns include Kearney, Plattsburg, Liberty, Cameron..... To join or get more info, send me a message and I will forward it to her or one of her team.

We had a "spin off" coop for awhile that we belonged to, but our only problem for our family with that one was the distance.  It had many of the same families in it, and same teaching style, but with my part time childcare and other activities, it was sometimes a push to get there.

Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:30 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

"Krista Wine" 

Okay all, words I have waiting YEARS to be able to say to you! NLHF is
back!!!! It will look a bit different than your memories at least to
start with but we have tried to keep much intact. Just think of it as
UPDATED J. Please read this ENTIRE email as there is a ton of info and
questions within! I need response ASAP if at all possible! J

We will be partnering with Northern Hills Christian Academy and their
students will have the option to join in some if not all of our classes!
I'm really excited about this possibility for the opportunities it opens
up for both our groups! For one, we will be able to participate in many
of their school activities such as field trips and perhaps even parties
and etc! One great big opportunity is SPORTS! I'll say it again

They will be starting up junior high and high school level sports
teams this fall and adding as the numbers on the teams grow!
They will
be holding some camps in Aug so be sure to watch for information on
those. I'm sure information for the camps will be at the meeting
tomorrow night as well! One of the best things is that even if you don't
participate in some of the co-op classes you are very welcome to
participate in the sports! In fact ,its encouraged!  

As for the co-op- itself. We will be starting out after labor day with
a 12 week session. It will meet on Tues AND Thurs afternoons from
approx. 12:30 on. (TBA) Yes you can come for just one of the days but
I'm hoping you will want both days so that you can participate in more
things! J We will be starting a Band up again this year so if you have
a student ages 10 and up that has been wanting to be in Concert Band,
get your instruments out! Band will meet both Tues and Thurs so the
students have more opportunities to play however, again, both days will
be optional. By the way, cost will be a bit higher than in the past to
help with needs but not much! We are aiming for about $50 per family
per session of classes and (up to) $10 per class hour. (note: band will
have outside costs of book and of course your instrument that will be
higher than this amount)

We will also have Choir (at this point both days but that may change if
we get more class options) and hopefully drama , some foreign languages
and perhaps computer and photography! Just to name some of the options.
We have a huge list from you of interests and are working from that!

Now, the part I need from you:

We are needing the following to make things flow (unless otherwise
noted, we need to cover both Tues and Thurs)

I will attach the syllabus form to this email. If you are interested,
please return asap. I'm VERY behind on prep on this and they really
wanted to enroll us all tomorrow night but I just didn't make it! I'm
sorry about that, We will have enrollment as soon as possible though so
keep a watch!

Keep in mind that at this point, we only have about 4 hours to work with
and can offer multiple classes but do have to be able to fit into the
area so even if we can't take your classes right now, we may be able to
next round!

Pre-grammar teachers - you can teach one, two or three hours

Early -grammar teachers - one, two or three hours (suggestion might be
five in a row curriculum so there is a theme of the day perhaps)

Teachers for things like: (these would be for Tues OR Thurs your choice
OR both if you would like)

Art (any type- ideas might be recycled art, watercolors, drawing simple
gift making, etc.

PE (could possibly have two separate teachers so it could be offered
both days)

Science classes! We own dissecting tools so if someone would like to
teach it...! J

Foreign languages - Sign is always a big one.

Many other possibles

tags for searching: homeschool coop, homeschool co-op, homeschool support group, Christian homeschooling, group, sports, volleyball, track, soccer, basketball

Redneck swimming pool

This has nothing to do with anything, but I think its a cool idea.  Its a redneck pool, made out of tarp, hay bales and water....My girls want to make one.  Ours would be bigger, because we have large bales instead of the small squares.

Meanwhile, we had to take ours down for a couple of days, due to misquotes laying in it...yuck.  I need to mow that part of the yard anyway, so we will get it back up in a day or two.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Birthday Girls

Today the youngest set of twins turned 15.  Hard to believe it was 15 years ago that they were born.  Time has gone fast.  Too fast.

2 very tired little girls in the camper!

They used to call playing "house", "future mommy training"

Rebecca, Emily and Elizabeth

JBQ (Junior Bible Quiz)


Elizabeth doing the "beard rub"

All grown up now, at 15....

Rebecca shoots archery and .22 for 4H.

Elizabeth has been learning to fly small planes.  This is from a field trip with her Civil Air Patrol Squadron.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Mint & Taters

I finished dehydrating the onion crop and have now started on the mint and potatoes.

Rebecca and I picked a couple grocery bags of mint from the mint bed.  Originally, it had been my herb bed, but the mint sort of took over, so I moved things around so they could have their own bed.

Then I rinsed it off with lots of cold running water, and striped the leaves off.  Any brown leaves I discarded, along with a couple of ants that rode in the house on them.
The leaves then went into the dehydrator.
So far I have several quarts of mint, and it will continue to grow.  We only picked a small portion of it.  It should keep me in tea all winter long.

As an experiment, I also started one batch of dehydrated hash browns (with onions).  I tried it several ways--blanched part of it, and part I did not blanch but treated with lemon water, and part I did not blanch but soaked in lime water, and then I blanched and limed the 4th tray.  It had been several years since I dehydrated potatoes and onions, and I tried all 3 methods before, but could not remember which worked best.  So, I had to repeat.  the winner is blanching them first then treating them with the lime water (ascorbic acid).  So, I will be doing up more, now that I know the correct way.  Incorrect will still work, but you will have discolored (black) potatoes instead of nice white ones.
One quart jar of dehydrated hash browns, or sliced potatoes, will feed our family.  It will double to 2 1/2 quarts when soaked with water prior to cooking.

This years crop of kittens......

This years crop of kittens is like none other that we have had.  I've had cats for almost all my life, at least since I was 4 or 5, (yeah, like a half a century....)but this batch...well, they get into more trouble than all the other ones combined.

We thought we had pawned given the ringleader off onto a friend of mine, along with one of the litter mates.  But, they got a new ringleader to lead them into trouble.  So far, I have had to help boost Elizabeth up into a tree on a rescue mission, pull them out from several car motors, rescue them off a large hay bale they could climb, but couldn't maneuver back down....and then tonight, we had to rescue them again.

Both our big cats had kittens within 2 weeks of each other.  The calico had normal sized kittens and she is a good mother and took good care of hers, feeding them often.  Those have all found new homes, except for one that has a bad foot.

Then, the black cat had 5 tiny tiny (much smaller than normal) black kittens.  And, being young, and a first time momma, she didn't take as good of care of them (she is starting to do better now). They are now 4 months old, but about the same size as a 6 week kitten.  For the first few weeks, we had to hold her down to feed her kittens, as she had it in her cat mind that she had better things to do than to feed those babies.  Finally, the kittens learned that if momma wouldn't feed them, then their grandma would, and they started to do much better.  Now they are eating canned and dry food and starting to get a little bigger.

Anyway, back to tonight.  Elizabeth and I had to make a quick run into town.  As we left the house, we heard a loud racket (no other way to describe it), and the lab was acting a little odd.  When we got off the porch, both momma cats were at the guttering off of the garage, digging in the gravel frantically at the base of the gutter.  A terrible scratching noise was coming out of the guttering.  My first thought was that the cats and dog had cornered a skunk or raccoon in the guttering.  However, further investigation revealed that the 5 tiny kittens had climbed up the guttering, followed by the bigger kitten with the bum leg.  Problem was, the big kitten was a little too big, and he plugged up the downspout, thus all 6 kittens were stuck in the gutter, at the elbow where it makes a 90 degree turn.  I doubt the big one was thinking of his dignity, but rather relief, as I pulled him out by his tail, which was the only thing I could get a grip on.  Once he came out, the others came sliding out the gutter, fast and furious, with their ears down flat.  (If you know anything about cats, you know that their ears tell if they are mad, happy or sad, and when they are down flat, they are not happy).  All 6 kittens are now locked up in a rabbit hutch, AKA cat jail.

There is never a dull moment around here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Free handwriting website

We use this free site for the little ones to practice writing their names.

You can type their name or address or short phrase, then print it out for them to trace over the letters.

Onion update

Last week, I told you that I had pulled up all the remaining onions from the garden.  It was 2 three gallon buckets worth, in addition to another bucket that was sitting in the kitchen.  What I pulled, filled my garden wagon.
My plan was to put it in my food dehydrators.  I have 2, a Nesco and a Green Country.  Both came with jerky or fruit roll up makers as well.  The first, I got at a half price clearance sale at the farm store.  The other, I bought brand new, still sealed in the box at a thrift store for $7.

Another thrift store trip revealed some extra screens that fit the both, for  quarter each.  They  were on a table of weird things-most likely because they didn't know what they were--but, I did and snatched them up before someone else spotted them.  (Yes, I am a thrift store junky).

I washed, peeled and cut up the onions (recycling the peels into the garden compost pile, which means I will later have some volunteer onions come up from the roots).  That was the most time consuming part of the adventure.

Then, into the dehydrators they went.  I tried to load one screen into one, then the next screen into the other, to keep the driving time even between the two dehydrators, so they would all be done at roughly the same time.  Most I cut into small peices, a few of the larger ones I cut into rings.

I mixed them all up--white onions, red onions, purple and yellow.  The smaller ones I cut the green tops up to dry as well, but used my kitchen scissors on them--it went quicker than the knife.

As I loaded the dehydrators, I rotated the drying racks--very important to do.  They ran off and on for about 3 days.

Normally it would not take that long, but it was humid, and I don't feel comfortable letting them run when I am not home.  During this time I had Rebecca doing her county .22 shoot, and kiddos running around, and a husband on night shift, and I did several days at Kansas Speedway as EMT for tire testing, so they got turned off a few times.  You need to be sure they are good and dry, before you stop running them for good.

I ended up with 3 quarts of dehydrated onions.  Two are diced, and one of onion rings.  They are very good.  They can be added as they are to soups, chili, on salads, to dips, or in casseroles.  To rehydrate for breakfast eggs or pizza, they need to first soak in water.

Later, I plan on doing up some quart jars of dehydrated hash browns with onions, as I have a ton of extra potatoes right now.  I also have some chili peppers that need drying as well.

They did make the house smell like onions for awhile, but it wasn't too bad.  Yes, I know I could have done it outside on the kitchen deck (we have outside outlets), but it was even more humid outside, so that would have been a loosing battle.  Plus both barn cats have had kittens who like to poke their noses into everything, and a lab who would have thought those were there just for, I did them in the upstairs kitchen.

Of course, I had to taste a few, and they are very very good.

Monday, July 15, 2013

In this house......

In this house, we:

Eat "all rotten potatoes" (augratin potatoes)

Eat "chickens afraid of dough" (chicken alfredo)

Drink cow juice (milk)

Know that I know EVERYTHING because "old people know everything and she is really really old so she knows it all"

Don't make cookies that have green beans or lima beans in them because that would be yucky.

Don't allow others to come into the bathroom when we are in there, but its ok to walk in on others...  (we are still working on this one big time)

We don't understand the difference between Adam and Eve and Obama and Michelle, because how can they all be the first man and first lady...(still working on explaining this one too).

Fight naps if we are under 6, while those of us 7 and older would love to have a nap.

Never have a toy free yard or livingroom.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Sunday Afternoon Project

After we got home from church and I ate, I pulled all the remaining onions in the garden.  It came out to one wagon full.   I've been sitting on my garden bench cutting the tops off, (with the help of 2 momma cats, their kittens, and the dog) preparing the onions.  I plan on putting them into the food dehydrator, after chopping and slicing them.  Then, they will be stored in glass jars.

For soups or baked items, I just add the dehydrated onions.  For pizza or salads, I will soak them in water to rehydrate them first.

It looks like I will have about 5 gallons of onions after the tops are cut off, so probably about 4 gallons after chopped.  When it is all said and done, this will probably be about 2 quarts of dehydrated onions.

They will taste pretty good this winter when I start using them.

Now, I need to figure out what I want to plant in the raised bed that held the onions.....

Missouri 4H County Fair .22 contest for Shooting Sports

Saturday night was our county's shooting sport contest for .22 and air rifle for 4-H.

During fair week, we had archery and BB at the Youth Building.  However, the black powder, .22, rifles and pistols can not shoot in town.  So, those events are held later on.

Rebecca took 3rd place.  Next we have the 4H State level shoot in Columbia in September.  This year it will be a little different, as they changed weeks and times.  While Rebecca is shooting, Emily will be in the state speech contest at the other end of Columbia.  Rebecca actually qualified to do the state speech as well, but as she can't be 2 places at the same time, she picked the shooting contest.

Now, since I mentioned the Missouri 4-H shooting sports and speech contest, I will have people being led here by google searching to find the paperwork to turn in.  So, here are your links.

For the 2013 Missouri 4H State Shooting contest in Columbia MO click here.

For the 2013 Missouri Speech Contest in Columbia MO click here.

And, if you are just trying to find a 4H club in Missouri, try here.  4H is for ALL kids, city, and rural.  There are 100's of projects for you to choose from, ranging from cooking, sewing, baking, chickens, cats, dogs, first aid, arts & crafts, electricity, scrapbooking, photography and more.  Also, if you can't find what you want-then pick the "self determined" project, which means you make your own!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Family Range Day

Missouri Corrections Officers Association
is hosting a
Family Range Day
on the
 Restricted Access Shooting Range
at the
Pigeon Hill Conservation Area
(Take I-29 south out of St. Joseph. Go east on Highway 169 0.25 mile, south on Route FF for 2.5 miles, west on Route O 1.5 miles, and south on SE 50 Road to the area.)

Labor Day – September 2nd  Noon til 6pm

Range Officers and Instructors
will be present to maintain safety.
Gun Safety & Range Safety Rules will be practiced.

This will be a family friendly event
to enjoy or learn the shooting sports
with Safety as the Priority.

Targets will be provided.
Instruction and coaching will be available.
Guns & ammunition will be available at a nominal cost.
Pre registration is required
call 816 287 0505

Friday, July 12, 2013

Garden and Yard Woes

Last summer we had the drought.  It continues to effect us this summer as well, even though we have had rain.
These apples should be 5 times bigger, and 10 times more of them.

So far, I think we have lost 1 oak tree for sure, possibly 3.  Our weeping willow has also given it up.

In the orchard, my grapes are looking poorly, and I think I have lost 4 grape plants. They do have grapes on them, but few and small.

I lost all my blueberries, but then I found a small wild blueberry bush which I will try to transplant.
The peaches are tiny, few, and bees have stung them all. 

Half of this peach tree is dead--another reminder of last summers drought.

This peach tree is full of little holes in the leaves. I have not found any insects on it.  Any ideas??

Yes, we are still alive...

It has been awhile since I posted, and I got a note asking if we were still alive.  I am. June and early July are our busy time of the year.

Since my last post, we have had several weeks of church camp, put up hay, been gardening, put in some days working at Kansas Speedway, doing some part time child care for the summer, had company from back home and Ireland, thrown our annual July 4th bash, lots of mowing, broke the mower, then did more mowing, been to the local races, worked on the basement, had the county fair, and more.

Rebecca has been shooting the 22 in 4H.

Rebecca has also been doing archery for 4H.

The pool sure helps beat the heat for the little ones when they want to go out to play.  And much better than being cooped up inside all day.

 My "office" at Kansas Speedway.  I was stationed at turn 3 for tire testing.  The 90 car takes 31 seconds to go around the track--that's around 174 mph

Our tomatoes have started to ripen!

 Rebecca backing up the truck and trailer so we could unload the mower.

 A surprise pumpkin plant.  It came from beside the compost pile, growing out of the remains of last years jack o lanterns.  So, I just fenced it off and let it go.  I am afraid if I move it, I may kill it.

Elizabeth heading out to the pasture to help move up hay bales.

Dog was after the cat.  Cat won.

Cat also won this round of tag--she is on top a 6 ft pole pretty much laughing at the dog.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 4

July 4. Our countries birthday. It is on this day that we celebrate the approval of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776. (Yet it was actually approved on July 2 1776 and most didn't sign it until in August.)

In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million.

I find it odd that the majority of our US flags are made in China, as well as most of our fireworks used in our celebrations. (Yet, we make most of Mexico's flags...)


As we shoot off our fireworks, attend parades, visit with family & friends, cookout & BBQ, go camping, we need to remember what our founding fathers fought and died for. Our country was formed for freedom. Freedom of religion, speech and from Great Britians rule. Some of our freedoms we are now loosing, such as the freedom to pray in schools. We need to pray that we will not loose sight of what our country was created to stand for.

On July 3, 1776 John Adams wrote the following letter to his wife Abigail:

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

John Adams had the idea right, he just predicted the date of celebration wrong. Notice that he mentioned "God Almighty"? That is the same God who some people are wanting all notions of removed from our money.

Another interesting set of facts:

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, founding fathers and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence that later become president, both died on the same day July 4, 1826 just hours apart on America's 50th anniversary. President James Monroe died five years later, on July 4, 1831, but he was not a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Be careful this 4th, remember to remember the past and thank God for our freedoms. Even if you are not a supporter of the current president, we still need to pray for him and guidence.