Galatians 2:20 & 21 "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lines in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing."

Friday, April 30, 2010

Vegas......oh my!

We drove into Nevada and through the middle of No-where-ville, over a big hill and then there it was. In the middle of the desert. Our first stop was Ethel M Chocolates. The tour was a let down since they weren't making any chocolates at the time. Then the gift shop. The kids and I drooled over the display cases trying to make some decision. Greg told me to get what I wanted (which was dangerous!) and reminded me that he like those big chocolate covered strawberries. So, we walked out with a box of 12 assorted chocolates that we picked, 3 chocolate covered gummy worms, the strawberry, and chocolate covered marshmallows. Thank you Lord for chocolate and an indulgent husband!

Next, we drove into Vegas and found the KOA, in a parking lot at Circus, Circus. Walking was next on the list. The idea was to walk during the day down the strip, take pictures of hotels, eat, and walk back up the strip. We walked for hours and hours. We ate lunch/dinner at Margaritaville. I decided it was only appropriate to eat a "Cheeseburger in Paradise", and it was yummy. Then we saw the dancing fountains at the Bellagio, which was wonderful.

I don't know what I expected here but I was shocked. There were men everywhere trying to stuff pictures of "not nice girls" into your hands. Trucks driving up and down the road bearing pictures of those same girls. And evidentally, its ok to come to Vegas and "forget" to wear proper clothing or undergarments. Since when did a man's dress shirt become a dress? And the people throwing away money in the casino's. We walked through 2 of them. The atmosphere is one of "check your morals and good upbringing at the door and forget everything your mama taught you" and just do what you please. 1 day is enough here. Its interesting but I have no desire to see more, can't imagine that it would get any better.

We are headed to Hoover Dam tomorrow.

I've got pictures but downloading them would involve getting up and my legs are tired! And my pictures are G-rated, family friendly!

Sleep!

Sleep is becoming a precious commodity on this trip. Last night was the 2nd great nights sleep that I've had, so today will be a good day. We are protected from the winds in this campground, so the RV wasn't rockin' and swayin' all night. Its hard to sleep when the awning is slapping against the RV because the wind is ferocious! We've had alot of fun watching the road runners dash back and forth, the one in the bush beside us is building her nest. The kids got a picture of her with straw in her little beak.

Last night Greg made stir fry for dinner. It was steak and lots of vegies served over brown rice. We've not eated all of our normal vegies for dinners and last night the kids were picking the brocolli out of the stir fry to eat. I got all the carrots that everyone else left. Tonight will be either "Dirty Rice" or chicken strips & cheddar broccoli rice & vegies. We will decide later on today. Then we will need to get to a grocery store. Our food supply has lasted a week but the dinner "foodstuffs" is getting low.

Today we are headed to the real Las Vegas (not to be confused with the one in New Mexico). The KOA campground is in the parking lot of the Circus, Circus hotel. This will be interesting! We've got our chocolate factory all picked out and at this one you can do a "self guided tour".

More later!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

WOW- Canyon



The Grand Canyon was wonderful. Pictures you see in magazines don't do it justice. The pictures I took, just aren't as great as the real thing. (And I only have one on here because blogger is being soooooo slow and then deciding not to load)

The trip to the Canyon took all day. Travel was horrific. 40 mph winds with gusts up to 70 mph, a big dust/sand storm, and closing Interstate 40. When we were able to get on the expressway, we inched along at 20-25mph for miles and miles. This is the storm that is going to hit Miss. this weekend. We got off the freeway to make our way up to the Grand Canyon and finally got there about 5 (made one stop on the way). We kept hearing that it was going to snow at the Canyon Wed. night. We couldn't camp there because out RV is too long for their campsites.


After we left, we drove to the KOA RV park in Williams, Arizona and spent the night there. Greg looked up the weather forecast and the wind was supposed to die down by 10pm...they lied! It stopped blowing at 3am. I didn't get alot of sleep last night!

This morning was cold and still windy, but nothing like yesterday. We decided to go out to eat breakfast. We found a really good cafe in town on Old Route 66. The breakfast was amazing. Katie got a cinnamon roll that was about 2 inches tall and the size of a dinner plate. Amy and I split an Omelet meal and we had plenty of yummy food to eat. Greg & Will got their own meals and made a good sized dent in them.

Then we strolled up a block and over a block to mail Mothers Day cards at the Post Office. On the way, Greg spied a studio that did Old Timey pictures. So after we mailed the cards, we went and did pictures. It was lots of fun. Greg bought the copyright from the guy so we can make all the copies we want! They still have to get downloaded onto the computer, but we all like them. As we were about to leave, Amy spotted snowflakes. We drove in and out of several squalls, it was so pretty.

Afterwards, we went in search of a Ghost Town. We found it after a perilous climb up the side of a mountain on what must have been a donkey trail. The signs kept saying it was Historic Route 66, but they sure didn't believe in guard rails. And of course, it was on my side of the RV. So, I ended up holding my breath and staring at the other side of the RV...I don't do steep places, no matter how "cool" they look! OH, and the ghost town was no more...it looked like Gatlinburg with cowboys and donkeys. We couldn't even park the RV anywhere.

Now, we are at a campground in Needles, California. Another state to mark on our RV map that we have visited...even if we are only 1 mile inside the border.

We have been looking for a roadrunner for days. I spotted one jumping up branches in the bushes beside our RV. Greg got some pictures of it in its nest and the kids took the cameras outside and got more pictures and found a second bird and nest. They also got pictures of it standing on the ground but no running pictures.

Don't know what tomorrow holds...hopefully we will get a full nights sleep tonight!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Great American Road Trip part 3 (I think)

There are very few words to describe what I saw today. The best one I can come up with is MAJESTIC! The Lord painted some beautiful scenery that we were privileged to see today! The pictures are great, but they aren't like the real thing! "Be Still, and know that I am God,; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth." Psalms 46:10








How can anyone say there isn't a Creator. Scenery like this doesn't just happen! What a fantastic Creation!

Daybook

Outside my window... Sunny & beautiful

I am thinking...That the Lord is such an awesome Creator, his creation is beautiful!

I am thankful for... time with family and a Loving Husband

I am wearing... black shorts & a flowered t-shirt

I am remembering... that my kids are growing up and I can't solve all their problems

I am going... to the Painted Desert & Petrified Forest today

I am currently reading... Proverbs & "The Second Mayflower" by Kevin Swanson

I am hoping... for beautiful weather the rest of our trip

On my mind...traveling

Noticing that...there is NO humidity in New Mexico, my nose misses it!

From the kitchen...Katie and Amy cooked pancakes for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and a cook out and s'mores for dinner

Around the house... how 'bout around the RV. Its tidy and we are ready to roll into Arizona.

One of my favorite things...truth in advertising. Don't advertise something thats not there!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Great American Road Trip part 2

Well, I hate to admit it but the Chocolate shop we found was a total bust. They were "wise in their own eyes". It was all dark chocolate (which I like ok) and not what was advertised. So, no money was blown there. We did walk around Santa Fe for a while. If you like Indian blankets and turquoise, you would have loved it. We just looked. We did like all the architecture in the town. Almost every building is made of adobe, so its very classy and understated. We even did some shopping at an Adobe Walmart (this one still had a fabric dept.). The kids got their spray paint, so we are ready for the return trip to Cadillac Ranch.

Then we hopped in the RV and headed west on I-40 for Gallup, NM. Whats there? Well, a town and more importantly, a KOA kampground.

Now, I did learn a few things today. Who knew that New Mexico had volcano's? Not me! We saw them and their lava flows. The first one was 17 miles long. The second we saw was longer than that. Now, since we were told they last erupted 150,000 years ago, there was nothing to worry about! But the red, tan rocks everywhere were replaced by black rocks in the landscape. I also figure NM must have given land way and maybe houses too. Why else would people be living under or right at these huge cliffs when there is a constant danger of falling rocks? Looks like a really stupid place to put houses to me, I am sure the insurance is unbelievable if even available (thats the daughter of a former State Farm agent speaking). Now here is some more house observations...people either live on huge ranches or small-medium size houses with postage stamp yards or 15 trailers on 1 lot. There isn't a lot of in between. Also, do they really need windsocks on the expressway and signs stating there are gusty winds? You can feel the gusts! But here is the kicker of them all....cattle guards at the entrance and exit ramps to the expressway! Now this tells me there has been a problem in the past. But whats to keep the cow from walking on the dirt beside the road and accomplishing his objective anyway? Just some thoughts from this GA/Miss girl!

Tomorrow we are headed to the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. Also, going to find some cliff dwellings to take pictures of!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We are here...where is here? We have wondered that same thing more than once in the last couple of days. We left our house at 1:45 on Friday afternoon. Our intent was to beat the awful storms that were headed our way. It kind of worked...till 1 am Sat. morning. Then the bottom of the sky dropped out and landed on our RV complete with lots of thunder and lightning. Several waves of the storm came through and at 5:30, Greg and I gave up sleeping and got dressed. We drove the 20 or so miles into Dallas, TX. There we found the X that marked the spot where Kennedy's limo was when he was assassinated, walked around the book depository building and the grassy knoll. The 6th floor window where Lee Harvey Oswald was supposed to be standing is behind and catty corner where the limo was facing. Someone would have had very clear shot from the grassy knoll. Greg's investigation indicated that Oswald was not working alone. But, they didn't ask Greg to help investigate, since he was only 10 months old at the time.

Then we decided to head to Amarillo. They are not close to each other at all. The one thing I know that is bigger in Texas is the land...its massive. It took so long to get to Amarillo. The wind blew 40-45 mph the entire day. Greg had to fight the wind to get us there safely. When we finally arrived in Amarillo, we were so tired and ready to eat dinner and relax. We went into a Welcome Station and found a lady there who was a fountain of information. We asked about RV camping and she told us about a couple of local campgrounds and then told us about a state campground that was 30 miles south. It was Palo Duro Canyon. This is the 2nd largest canyon in the country. So off we drove. We got there just in time...2nd to the last campsight. We drove down a steep incline into the canyon. It was gorgeous. Such a good choice! We had a nice, peaceful dinner, everyone got showers in our "spacious" bathroom (its slightly larger than an airplane bathroom) and then we played a game for a couple of hours. My sister in law gave us the game "Apples to Apples" for Christmas and we played it for the first time, and second-sixth time. Fun game...thanks Bri.

Then bedtime. That was the best nights sleep I have ever had in our RV. One big plus to this night was we put our Tempur Pedic mattress on the bed. My arthrity hip has been happy on its own mattress! A huge thanks to Greg and James for moving it for me.

We spent the morning driving around the canyon and taking lots and lots of pictures. I know that in Genesis it says after the Lord created everything it was good. But Good is such a benign word for what we saw. I like magnificent, awesome, & incredible not just good! What a beautiful thing to witness and experience on the Lord's Day. Got pictures of Texas Longhorns also, Then we hit "Amarillo by morning". We wanted to find a Walmart or HomeDepot to buy spray paint and then go to Cadillac Ranch. But we found the cadillacs before the paint, so thats a stop for the return trip. (If you haven't heard about Cadillac Ranch, there are 7 cadillacs, buried about 1/2 way into the dirt, and you are permitted to paint). Our info lady encouraged the kids to get the paint and have fun, so grafitti is in our future. Then we drove on Historic Route 66 and found the Midway Cafe (saw this diner on tv), Sunday lunch in the diner! However, the grafitti opportunity was not completely lost, I did sign the bumper of an old pickup that was parked in front of the diner. Traveling with a sharpie marker is a "good thing".

Next was onto New Mexico. Our ultimate destination was Santa Fe. The lady at the welcome station was somewhat informative and showed Greg a way to get to Las Vegas, NM and then over to Amarillo. I say somewhat because she didn't tell us that when we left the freeway, we would be driving through desolate ranchland and over a huge mountain then more ranchland to get to LV. And it was a dud. Not worth the trip, it was interesting, we did it but wouldn't repeat the same trip. (However, Brenda is you want to construct another rock garden, or rock wall, rock pack, rock home & rock church, then I know where you can get all the large, huge boulders for your project...just have to climb over an electric fence, up the side of a steep hill, roll them down, back over the fence, and load them up...watch for rattlesnakes) Oh, and we are at some unbelievable 1000's of feet above sea level.

So, that brings us to tonight. We are at a KOA campground in Santa Fe. Its in Comanche Valley, so we are hoping the natives don't get restless tonight. Tomorrow, we are exploring Santa Fe. Amy and I found out they have a "Chocolate Trail" so we decided it was a good fieldtrip opportunity. Then I don't know what is next. This is really the first trip we have ever been on with no schedules or restrictions. Since we left, we have eaten out 2 meals, the first was a quickie, cheap dinner at Wendy's when we were driving on Friday and the 2nd was the diner today. We've "cooked" sloppy joes and tacos for our 2 dinners. Breakfasts were cereal, fruit, grits, bacon, and muffins. Lunch yesterday was turkey and ham sandwiches.

Tomorrow, we find the chocolate!

Blogger is being pokey and won't download my pictures...so I'll have to bore you later!

Oh Jennifer, I read your comment, I want to do the Yellowstone Trip sometime. Thats sounds like a blast!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Travels West

Round up the wagons, we are headed west...well that sounded more exciting than get in the RV. Greg, Katie, Amy, Will and I are going to the Grand Canyon and many other places. We are going to roam around for 2 weeks, give or take a couple of days. We've got specific plans for some places...Amy and I are planning to fully enjoy the tour at the Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas. Forget gambling, give us chocolate! We will bore y'all with pictures of cactus's or cacti, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas (would be cool to be there at night and see all the lights), Hoover Dam and I don't know what else. But, they will be my pictures and memories and thrilling to us!

The kiddo's are going to be doing lots of scrapbooking/notebooking about our trip. This is a learning/exploring/fun time. We will get to add lots of states to our US map on the side of the RV. We are packing the laptop, lots of reading books, crafts, fishing supplies, and food. I baked 4 loaves of bread this morning and 16 rolls about the size of hamburger buns. Never done the rolls before, so I hope they are good with burgers or cold cuts and cheese.

Please pray for travel safeties. There are storms coming through here tomorrow afternoon and Sat. morning. We are leaving after co-op to try to get past the bad stuff.

Happy Trails to us, until we meet again (or have a blog update!)!!!!!!

Why GOD made Moms

I got this in an email from my husband.....


WHY GOD MADE MOMS Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:
Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2.. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring..
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

WHEN YOU STOP LAUGHING -- SEND IT ON TO OTHER MOTHERS, GRANDMOTHERS, AND AUNTS....and anyone else who has anything to do with kids or just needs a good laugh!!!--

My favorite is about the eyes in the back of the head...when my 2nd son was about 5 he got behind me on the sofa one day and started looking through my hair. He wanted to see the eyes on the back of my head. I explained that its something God just gives you when you have kids and no one else can see them. And he would understand when he had kids.




Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pictures


We have peaches! This might be the biggest one so far, on the tree! They need to get alot bigger before we can harvest for Peach Jelly & Peach Salsa!




Love my Flowers!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

MOTHERS

Real Mothers don't eat quiche;
They don't have time to make it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils

Are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors,

Filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough

Doesn't come out of carpets.

Real Mothers don't want to know what

The vacuum just sucked up....

Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?'

And get their answer when a little
Voice says, 'Because I love you best..'

Real Mothers know that a child's growth

Is not measured by height or years or grade...

It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother........

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn’t know everything!


14 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother? She wouldn’t have a clue.
.
16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's so five minutes ago.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it!

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom...

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair..

The beauty of a woman must be seen from within her eyes,

Because that is the doorway to her heart,

The place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,

But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she
Shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

---------------------------------------------------

Daybook

For today.....

Outside my window: its sunny & warm with a slight breeze

I am thinking: about my husbands friend, who just found out he has cancer and will start chemo on Friday. Also, about my #4 son who needs to find a new job with a steady salary (he's a waiter right now) and he needs a new roommate who is honest.

I am thankful for: time. Time to homeschool, cook & bake, play games, read books, sew, blog, chat with friends

From the learning rooms: Katie finished with her geometry today and ended the course with a 95 average. Amy and Will are almost finished with Pre-Algebra. Last co-op classes are on Friday!

From the kitchen: Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, brownies

I am wearing: jeans, pink tank, pink blouse and comfy shoes

I am creating: I made a pheasant style blouse yesterday for me. I am still tweaking the blouse because the pattern was too big. Also cross stitching a Friends, Family, Faith picture for my home.

I am going: on a great vacation with my husband and 3 youngest children. We are headed to the Grand Canyon! Lots of exploring in the RV for a couple of weeks! We leave Saturday!

I am reading: "The Second Mayflower" by Kevin Swanson and "Davy Crockett: His Own Story", with the kids. Yesterday I finished "Killer Angel" by George Grant. (If you ever want to know the true story behind Planned Parenthood and its founder, Margaret Sanger, then this is the book for you)

I am hoping: when I get to my friends house, her twin baby girls are awake! Can't wait to hold these little blessings.

I am hearing: nothing. Will is upstairs, the girls are at dance, and the dogs are outside.

Around the house: getting ready for vacation and finishing lessons

One of my favorite things: spending time with my Mom

A few things for the rest of the week: visit and hold babies, homeschool Mom's meeting, quilting class, bible study/prayer at church, baking for trip, co-op classes, Westward ho!


You can read other daybooks at http:/thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review

Greg, the kids and I are participating in the Vision Forum's literary "conference" that is computer-cast every Thursday night for 6 or 7 weeks. He ordered us the set of books that accompanies the different authors for each week. The following is one of the books...



This book is written by George Grant. Its "a short Biography of Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger".

This organization or its founder is something that I have never "studied", read about or even been interested in. It is a well written, concise account of the evils of this organization. She was a firm believer in having a strong race and eliminating, in her opinion, the weaker, inferior races of people. Before anyone objects and claims she took her ideas from Hilter or Stalin, let me assure you that they took some of their ideas from her. Its frightening the extent of the power this organization has and is enjoying charitable Tax-exempt status from the IRS.

This isn't a book about the validity or use of birth control. Its about the background and beginning of a powerful organization. Why they do, what they do and where they choose to do it. Their reasoning is frightening and far reaching.

Katie and I are the only ones that have read this book. And we have both reached the same conclusion.....

Read the book for yourself and see what conclusion you reach. It can be ordered from Vision Forum.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Garden Pictures

The onions and garlic are taking off. We planted them in November and are anxious to harvest, but its not time yet.

My roses are blooming and are gorgeous. Greg bought me this bush for Mothers Day 2 years ago. James bought me one last year that is covered in buds but no blooms yet.

Maybe one day I will figure out why some lines in between my pictures are plain and some are underlined. I'm not doing anything different, maybe I have a non-conforming computer also!

One of my JoAnn's deal was the book "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholemu (spelled wrong I am sure). I had checked this book out from the library but hadn't bought my own copy yet. Mom found it for me and we got to use a 50% off coupon on it. So the final price was $10! It will be a well read, much referred to book!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happenings in Mississippi

*We are back in Miss. from a wonderful week in GA. We got to spend lots of time with Mom and did lots of shopping. The girls both got new swim suits and Will got some cool plaid shorts and polo shirts. I got Greg a pair of Sperry Topsiders at a great Belks sale. Katie and Will both bought some topsiders with their birthday money and Amy bought a pair of sequined, pink flipflops. I got a crocheted sweater and sleeveless top to wear with skirts to church.

*My baby girl turned 14 this week. I cannot believe she is that old! She had fun celebrating with gifts, oreo ice cream, cupcakes with tons of gooey icing, and a special lunch at Bahama Breeze. She is maturing into a lovely, Christian young woman.

*I got to visit JoAnn's 3 times. Ahhhhhh, fabric paradise! We found lots of cool stuff. I came in under budget...by .02! Greg has decided to raise the fabric budget in months we will be in GA! Whoo Hoo! Rie, there is a JoAnns in B'ham. We can go sometime!

*Used lots of Chick fil A coupons because we ate there 3 times. We all love chicken!

*Went to our most favorite Chinese Restaraunt in GA. Brought the leftovers home for Allen.

*Katie did great at the State Bible Drill this morning. She only made 3 mistakes and got an excellent rating. This is really awesome considering she has only done bible drill since January!

*James dog & garden sat this week. My dogs are fine and my garden is alive and thriving. All the fruit trees look great. Greg did decide that Amy and I should have picked more peach babies off when we committed peachacide a couple of weeks ago. He will have to pick off the others. They are now the size of marbles and we have a bunch of them.

*We started getting the RV ready for our trip to the Grand Canyon. The girls and I cleaned out all the cabinets and organized. We've got some dinners planned but not enough for the 2 weeks. And I'm sure we will find some unique places to eat. Greg caulked the shower and fixed the clothes bar that fell in the kids "closet". Will packed all our foldup camping chairs and ran lots of errands. We are excited about going and exploring parts of the USA we have never seen before.

*Our co-op classes and math lessons will be over this week! The month of May will be spent exploring between here and Arizona. We are also going to do a "Government" unit study and find out how its supposed to work.

*Be looking for another guest post from my beloved! He wants to do a "how to lose weight" post. Won't be what you typically think of, but his imagination is working overtime on this one!

*I am going to be baking bread to take on our trip. I will need to replenish our muffin supply also. Would love to make and freeze some waffles to take, but don't know how much time I will have. Making our pizza dough ahead of time has been a great time saver. We just made our regular bread recipe, split it in 4 parts, wrapped each part and froze. Then we take out 2 parts, let thaw and bake for the dough.

*We are excited to be back in our church tomorrow since we were in GA last week.


(Swim suit shopping with 2 young ladies is a "challenge". The suits have to be approved by me, then Granny, then Dad. They tried on lots and lots to find the 2 acceptable ones. You folks with little girls...watch out. The older they get, the harder it gets.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some Great Gardening Advice


How to Plant Your Garden

First, you come to the garden alone,
while the dew is still on the roses....
cid:4737582615D94F4F94BAD1C39343DCAB@lindamb826f03m

For the garden of your daily living,
PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS:
cid:D0C6F074AACF4AB8ACE7056C8975B47B@lindamb826f03m
1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH:

cid:5B5AA27DCE614DF588AA8BCFD7D3A4E2@lindamb826f03m
1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness

PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE:
cid:B31B4C84ED8B41FEAA40C26A471E85EF@lindamb826f03m
1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another


NO GARDEN IS COMPLETE WITHOUT TURNIPS:
cid:16579699BC614A15B1AB246C660FFDE1@lindamb826f03m
1. Turnip for meetings

2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another

TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN WE MUST HAVE THYME:
cid:8FDF4666AC8F4D8189916993B88AE8B8@lindamb826f03m
1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends
4 Thyme to pray!

WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE WITH LOVE..
THERE IS MUCH FRUIT IN YOUR GARDEN BECAUSE YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW.


I got this in an email from my friend Miss Pat. This is great gardening and daily living advice!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Daybook Entry 4-13-2010






Outside my window... its sunny, warm and pollen-y

I am thinking... about how much fun we had yesterday on Amy's birthday

I am thankful for... funtimes at Granny's house

I am wearing... jeans, short sleeve shirt, clogs

I am remembering... Greg's prayer this morning and how its already being put into action

I am going... to the Mall of GA today. Granny is taking the kids birthday shopping. I am along as a fashion consultant and lunch at Chick Fil A.

I am currently reading... "Biblical Economics" by RC Sproul Jr.

I am hoping... that Greg's meetings in Buckhead are interesting

On my mind... my older boys

Noticing that... you had better be prepared for answers or results when you pray

Pondering these words... "Private control tends toward efficiency, while bureaucratic, government control brings inefficiency and a distortion of the market process" from Biblical Economics page 50

From the kitchen... ~ don't know.

Around the house... washing, drying, ironing and cutting out fabric for Katie & Amy's log cabin quilt squares

One of my favorite things ~ family

Pictures to share...

Getting a "nasty" kiss from my sweet nephew, Bobby


Cousins
Amy, Bethany, Ben, Katie, Bobby, Will on Amy's 14th birthday



You can read other daybook entries at http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 12, 2010

JoAnn's part 2





Thats the haul from the 1st JoAnn's store we went to today! Gorgeous fabrics.








Yes, they expect you to pay for what you get. Everything was 30-50% off. So the grand fabric total was $20.

Did ya notice I said 1st store? We went to 2 today. The total at the 2nd store was $10.

So not too bad! We will go again before we leave at the end of the week!

JoAnn's Part 1





Well, I can't get the pictures to do what I want...

Grumpy took us to JoAnn's (well, he wasn't really grumpy but he takes me so I don't get grumpy)




Amy and Katie were successful in their search for pink & green fabric fat quarters for their log cabin quilt.












You know its going to be a great shopping day when you walk in the store and are greeted with so many 50% off signs.

Spring Break

We are in GA! Got here Saturday night. We had a great drive over from Miss. but ran into traffic in downtown Atlanta (I guess all those spring break folks were coming back into town).

Sunday morning we went to church with Mama. This was the church I grew up in, so I knew lots of people. Their youth minister preached his 2nd ever sermon yesterday and he did an awesome job. He is in seminary at Mercer University. Then we went out to lunch with the Woodall's and Ana L. to Old Hickory House. Super yummy! I haven't had their brunswick stew in years and it was wonderful.

Yesterday I started downloading more of Mom's slides. These were really interesting, church youth trips when I was a teenager. Some of these pics I can't post on facebook. Some ideas that were great then seem really "stupid" now. But regardless, they happened, my parents knew about this and my daddy took pictures, I have the evidence. Last night, I email the pictures to the other parties involved and I haven't heard back from them yet. Surely, they didn't forget this costume party for a church get together. Nuff said! I am sure you are thinking weird things but I don't think you will ever guess this. We did win "most original" costumes!

My sister and her family came over last night. We feasted on pizza and key lime pie. My youngest 3 blessings and her youngest 3 blessings had a blast swinging, climbing trees and being kids in the backyard. Ages 4-17 played together for hours. But Amy is paying for all that fun and frivolity in the GA pollen. Her sinuses are going absolutely crazy. We left the pollen in Miss. to get the pollen in GA.

Today is a big day! My baby girl is 14 years old!!!!! My how time flies when you are having fun. We are going to "Bahama Breeze" for lunch. Its almost time to open presents. I'm sure the day will involve shopping. Later, we will feast on the cupcakes Amy picked out at Kroger yesterday. Lots of colorful, sweet icing. Happy Birthday Amy Lynn!

For the rest of the week...a trip to Mall of GA, fabric shopping at JoAnn's, sleeping late, sewing, and fun!

Friday, April 9, 2010

We are really gonna do it.....

Its true! All the crazy things you heard about us are true! We are really gonna do it!

We are homeschooling COLLEGE!

Yep, we are not just jumping in the deep end...we are diving in.

Our life jacket is "College Plus". You can read all about it at www.collegeplus.com.

Katie has applied and been accepted. Now, the next step is enrolling, talking with her coach, and starting the program. All of the coaches have been through the program and know what to expect.

The plan is to work the program, study & take the tests, take online classes and have a 4 year degree in 2 1/2 - 3 years. She is smart, she is dedicated, she is determined, and she has some great cheerleaders (Greg & I). After all, she did 4 years of highschool in 3 years. And after that program is done, if she wants to continue on, she will only be 20. Plenty of time to earn more credits or degrees or whatever.

And before anyone sends emails questioning our sanity, her socialization, can we afford college, etc. We all 3 prayed for months about this and this is the answer the Lord led all of us too. You can question our sanity, but we like being "insane". Her socialization is fine. She wants to get a job (part time) and be able to travel with us when we go, this way she can. Yep, we can afford to send her to college...this ain't about money.

It is about flexibility, its about relationships, its about protection, its about getting a quality Christian education, its about learning to think and be independent.

Its exciting!

Keeping it Real.....

I've talked alot about the advantages of homeschooling. And I think its the best educational method for our family. It is a blessing but its also a challenge and its hard.

No one is perfect especially me. Some days are incredibly hard. Some days I don't want to get out of bed. Some days I want to do what I want not school. Some days I wish we didn't have so many activites so that we were home more. Somedays I wonder what its going to be like when I can sleep late, sew all day, and stay home in the peace and quiet. And then it thrills me to realize that hopefully by the time "someday" comes, I will hear my future grandchildren run in the door to visit, color, watch a video, swim in the pool, or pick an apple from grandpa's orchard.

There are days when I sit back in amazement/horror that one of my children has told me a whopper of a tale about schoolwork. That one of them "forgot" to finish work for a co-op class. That they could mark off a subject as complete in their book that was never done. That they could hear the concept of a math problem and get it right for 2 weeks and then act like they never heard of it. That they would tell me their problems were right when some were clearly wrong. That they treat some assignments with complaints, eye rolls, shrugs of shoulders, etc. That learning how to read could take several years.

Just because we homeschool doesn't mean everyday is perfect. Perfect doesn't exist. They get tired and I get tired. We are reaching that tired time of year. There are many more things I would love to be doing than school right now. But, our year is almost done. Math will be finished in 2 weeks. (AMEN! And I don't know how this happened, but I learned some Algebra this year. What a scary concept) It could be finished next week, but we are going to Granny's and not taking it with us...spring break!!!!! But, it will be finished before we go to the Grand Canyon. May is going to be filled with travel, reading, a government study, and notebooking/art projects. June & July are going to be vacation months.

Homeschooling is hard work. Its constant. You deal with not only school subjects but character flaws in your children. And they deal with character flaws in you. Somedays, the teacher calls the principal and says "you deal with this". Its those days that I am thankful I am only dealing with 3 children and not 30.

Somedays you may wonder why you ever started homeschooling. Then right out the midde of no where you get that unsolicited hug, or you realize they started the laundry, or they fix lunch, or you hear them drilling each other in the Bible, or you have a life altering discussion about Christ, or you play a game, or they come to you and ask really important questions about their future, or you get to discuss family values and commitments based on a news story you all heard. These moments happen everyday. They are beautiful moments to be cherished and remembered. They can make the bad memories fade into the background and you get up the next morning ready to start the next day.

Its time to figure out curriculum for next year. We have to figure out what worked and what needs to be changed. I still wouldn't trade homeschooling for anything but there are those moments........

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Mama

Today is my Mama's 71st birthday. I've had hours of fun this week going through Daddy's slides and transferring them to my computer. So I've got 600+ photos and 20 years of memories loaded onto my computer. Last night I hacked into Mama's facebook account and loaded about 30 pictures onto it. I guess she hasn't gotten on there yet, cause I haven't had a phone call or email.

We will be going to GA on Sat. then these 600+ pictures can be downloaded onto her computer and I can work on the rest of the slide boxes next week. (Hey Brenda. we are going to put these on a disc for you or have the boys bring a laptop over and we can put them on there)

Here are a few pictures for your viewing enjoyment......(ok, more than just a few, I got carried away...again!)



Mom and me...1959

My sister Brenda, Mom, & me at Hilton Head Island, SC. Probably about 1965 or 66.Fast forward to our 50th/70th birthday celebrations at Walt Disney World. Mom, Katie, Amy and Me at Epcot.Tigger, Me, Pooh & Mom....we know how to party!

Love you Mom...see you Saturday!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Whats the Point?

Whats the point? Why? Aren't you being overprotective? Do they ever see any other kids? Are you qualified to teach them? Whats wrong with school? What about socialization? It was good enough for you, why not for them? You're already done with school for the day? They need to learn these things sometime. They won't be prepared for life. And so on and so on and so on.....

I hear these comments and more about homeschooling. However, I could ask any public school mom the exact questions. What kind of answers would I get?

Honestly, I would love for my children to start saying..."No, we never get out of the house and see any other kids, Mom chains us to the kitchen table all day and we work". Or "when we go to church on Sunday, we have blinders on so we don't see other people".

The point is...giving our children the best education we can. Infused with our values, a "real" study of American History, and understanding of the world we live in from a Christian perspective. This education can be accelerated for concepts quickly grasped or slowed down for more intense study. We do this all the time. Actually that answered the why, too!

Aren't you being overprotective? Absolutely, without a doubt we are. We are protecting them from promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, world views, politically correct mumbo jumbo, poor habits, and being a "follower". Oh yeah, school violence...they only have to worry about that if I go ballistic! (It could happen, we do have some very frustrating days) But, they don't have to worry about knives or guns.

Do they ever see other kids? YES (out the window, while they are chained to the kitchen table...heeheeheehee). They are involved in science & history co-op classes with our homeschool group, quilting classes, dance lessons, bible drill at church, & youth group at church.

Are you qualified to teach them? That would be a yes too. No one in this world is going to care more about what they learn and how they learn it than me and their dad. But, if you want to get technical...I graduated from a 2 year technical college with a diploma for early childhood education with a 3.98 average.

Whats wrong with school? Some are great and some aren't. Here goes...lots of schools "teach to the test" for their federal funding, they teach or facilitate classes in tolerance while being intolerant to Christians, they belittle the role of parents in a childs life, they ridicule or tease children for sticking up for their values, and they create "cookie cutter" students who all think, act & look alike. They don't teach reading, writing and arithmetic. Many kids graduate and can't function in the world or in college. They haven't been taught independence, taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, study skills, how to balance a checkbook, standing on your own 2 feet, being a leader, etc.

Socialization...go up 3 paragraphs. We do have to stay home sometimes and do school! Besides, school isn't about socialization, its about learning.

It was good enough for me....Schools have changed alot since I graduated. There was no hidden agenda to indoctrinate me. I got the grades I deserved whether I liked it or not. If you failed, you failed...no social promotion. Children behaved, they didn't need drugs to sit still, metal detectors to make sure they weren't sneaking in a weapon, etc.

You're already done with school for the day? Some days we are done at noon and sometimes afterwards. Everyday is different. But I only have 3 children. We don't have to stand in line for the bathroom, stand in line for lunch, wait for computer time, or wait for anything. Do you realize how much time is wasted? We just start and keep going...much for time efficient.

They need to learn these things sometime....well, yes. But children or young teenagers don't need to be exposed to everything in the world all at the same time. My opinion...I am entitled to it.

They won't be prepared for life...HA! They can balance a checkbook, plan a menu, study on their own, find and read interesting books, read a map, talk to adults & children, discern right & wrong, cook a meal, plant a garden, plan their futures, be their own person, serve the Lord, etc. They can also dance, shoot a bow & arrow, sew quilt squares, cross stitch, cut the grass, work on a wood project, gain Bible knowledge, rest when sick, take care of others, go on Mission trips, etc.
To me, that seems to be pretty well rounded with life skills that will be helpful and useful.

I know that homeschooling isn't for everyone. But I do think that most of the questioners and scoffers would realize what a blessing it is if they tried it. We all have to do whats right for our own family. Just ask the Lord to guide you in making your choices...don't make them based on what everyone else is doing or on what people will think about you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Southern 10 Commandments

THE SOUTHERN TEN COMMANDMENTS
This is much easier to remember !!!


Ten Commandments


Some people have trouble with all those 'shall's' and 'shall not's' in the Ten Commandments. Some folks just aren't used to talking in those terms. So, in middle Tennessee they translated the 'King James' into ' Jackson County ' language....no joke (posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Gainsborough , TN ).


(1) Just one God
(2) Put nothin' before God
(3) Watch yer mouth
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin'
(5) Honor yer Ma & Pa
(6) No killin'
(7) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal (or another gal's fellow)
(8) Don't take what ain't yers
(9) No tellin' tales or gossipin'
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff


Now that's plain an' simple. Y'all have a nice day now, ya hear! And God bless your little pea pickin' heart....

 Got this in an email from my mom. This is short and to the point....any questions?

Daybook for April 6









For Today...April 6

Outside my window: Sunny, pollen-y, warm 80 degrees

I am thinking: about my friend Rosana and her twin girls that will be born tomorrow morning

I am thankful for: My Mom, her birthday is this week! I am thankful that we are going to drive to GA on Sat. and spend the week with her!

From the learning rooms: Amy & Will are doubling up on their math lessons, so we don't have to take math to GA.

From the kitchen: Peanut Butter cookies x2, double chocolate cookies x2, dinner is meatballs, baked potatoes, green beans. These are cookies for the cookie jar plus some to take to Mom's, plus some to freeze and take on our Western vacation at the end of the month.

I am wearing: blue/yellow flowered t-shirt, jeans, tennies

I am creating: still on the retro picture but now its 8/9ths done. I made 2 tablecloths & a window valance last week. Want to smock a dress to enter in the state fair. I am also creating a great birthday gift for Mom, she will love it!

I am going: to GA! Get to visit Mom, my family, get wonderfully yucky kisses from my neice and nephews, visit friends and celebrate Amy's 14th birthday next week.

I am reading: "Miracle Food Cures from the Bible" looking for healthy alternative ways to deal with the Rheumatoid Arthritis I was diagnosed with last week. Any hints or ideas would be helpful and appreciated.

I am hoping; our fruit trees grow, tall, strong and give us lots of fruit. And our garden produces an over abundance of vegetables.

I am hearing: kids in the kitchen fixing lunch, Will setting up our "Waltons" episode to watch

Around the house: planting, weeding, watering trees and garden boxes

One of my favorite things: baking! I love it from beginning to end starting with grinding the wheat and ending with delicious goodies for my family.

A few things for the rest of the week: dance classes, bible drill, co-op classes, and did I mention going to GA!

You can visit other daybooks at http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/


Trying Hard to get a good Picture



My kids complain that it takes too long for me to take pictures. They complain about the number of pictures I take. They complain that in those pictures, they look goofy. Thats because this is what I get...
No one looking at the camera! Hello, its up here.

A blowfish imitation.
Not sure what Andy was doing. Rob looks like he going to be shot. James looks bored. And Will, Katie & Amy are looking at the camera and smiling...obedient children!

This is our shortest to tallest picture. L-R Katie (17), Amy (13), Andy (22), James (26), Rob (22) & Will (16). Will has beat 3 of his older brothers! Allen had to work but he would have been to the right of Will. He is the tallest of them all. And sometimes the photographer (not me) get creative with his camera angles!
Cute kids and I love them, but I think its pretty apparent why it takes so long to get ONE (1) good picture. Its not the photographer...its the subjects!