Friday, August 29, 2008

Update on Mother...

Well, mother is fine... no heart problems found.... all her cholesterol levels are where they should be and no plaque built up at all in the vessels. The doctor said he believed that she was having bad acid reflux and that it was causing a panic attack ..... he said he understood why it would cause a panic attack too with all of the family history of heart disease.

She cannot drive for a couple of days and has to take it kinda easy for a few days..... the only other thing the doctor said was she needed to loose some weight.

whew, at least that is one worry off of me..... now to wait on news for Travis.....

Travis........ and my mother

We are still playing the waiting game to know what the tests will show for Travis.... we went yesterday to the CT scan ..... it went well... but the results will be a few days...

Wednesday I got a phone call mid-afternoon from my mother.... as she was on her way to see a cardiologist .... ughh.... she's been having some chest pains and problems too for the last week.... BUT did not want to worry any of us kids..... I asked her if she wanted to give me a STROKE ...... ughhh..... so today she is in Nashville getting an angiogram ........ I cannot be there, so my sister and my nephew are going.... if they find anything they will go ahead and take care of the problem while she is at the hospital and so she may have to stay overnight.....

So, I will update with all news as soon as I hear...... Please keep us in prayers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Do you feel overwhelmed? Is the pressures of life getting you down? Do you feel there is more needed from you each and every day? Take heart. Take an attitude of gratitude. Rejoice that God is with you. Remember that He is the God of every moment.... not just the good and not just the bad. Be thankful that God has something new for you to do each day!

2Thessalonians 3:13 (ESV)
As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

Homeschool Agenda....... my first lesson plan.

Romans 2:21a (ESV) you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?

Well, as ya'll know this is my beginning year. And to tell the truth....

......I am not using any set curriculum or method to this years lessons. I have a list of the objectives that most 6th and 8th graders should be learning for the year and have built upon that..... mostly. I am not really following any set agenda other than loosely following that list. We decided that we wanted to do a more unit study approach on some subjects and on others a more back to basics approach to see exactly where the PS here had covered and how well the girls really knew what it was they covered.

I did find a math placement test (Saxon) online and had the girls take it. Amaris did fall a bit short of the 6th grade level so that is one subject we are really going to work on for her. Mia's test surprised us all.... she was insistant that she was really behind in Math.... just knew she would need to start out at the same level as her sister..... when I graded the test .... she placed a year ahead! She is looking at starting 9th grade math! She was more surprised than anyone.

I do have to admit I am going to be using an 8th grade Abecka Grammar & Composition book that I found at a local homeschooler's yard sale. She had the Teachers Manual along with the Test/Quizzes book and Key for very much under what it would have cost me to buy it anywhere else.... so I am using it to start with basics for the girls in English (yes, I'm using it for Amaris too). And since I have a time with Math myself I am looking at purchasing the Systematics Mathematics studies for our Math (right now we are doing reviews).

Other than that we are doing Tn History together this semester and we are studying Joshua for our Bible. I started this year with a Handwriting assignment each day. (Mia's handwriting is horrid!) and a Journal entry each day. I found some wonderful Spelling/Vocabulary lists for them and will will be working our way through that this year. And they each must read at least one book each month to do some sort of report on..... of those books every 3rd book must be from a classics list or approved by me. I am glad they read lots, but I want them to broaden their reading scope.

We are doing Science this year as well. With Science I am mostly going by the list of objectives for each of the girls. Mia will start this year on an early physics study (Newton's 3 laws and such) and then move into Chemistry (her choice). For Amaris, I am going to have her work through some basic physical science this year.

I have researched and researched again the internet for free information to help with our first year of homeschooling. I know that 6th and 8th grades here in the PS are mostly a review of what was learned in previous years so I do not have a fear that the girls will feel behind in any sort of way when speaking to friends still in PS.(As a matter of a fact, I believe they may be a bit ahead by the end of the school year.... Mia at least.) I know that next year (for Mia, at least) we will need to start purchasing more specific curriculum as she will be entering High School. (She has already told me she wants to study Russian for her second language!) I believe she has her sights on graduating early from High School .... she is very motivated.

This year we are just hoping really to have the girls to get the thought of having to do everything the same as PS out of their minds.... mostly why we wanted to go with a relatively method and agenda free year..... we want them to get back that love of learning they had when they were younger. That in itself will benefit them much more in the long run (I think) than any curriculum we decide to use or not use.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Update on Travis....

Okay, so Travis slept until noon today, so, I took him in to see the doc again..... well, the doc is kinda concerned because no near 15 year old should have this kind of chest pain.... so we are starting a round of testing.... today it was an EKG and a breathing test.... along with several samples of blood being sent off for lab work. The chest x-ray looked to be normal but the doc wants to send Travis for a CT scan on Thursday. Please keep us and Travis in your prayers.

Good Monday Morning All.............

I hope the weekend was good for all of you out in blog land..... Ours was not bad....

Friday, Travis woke not feeling well, he went on to school but my sister, Christy, called and said he had come to her class to tell her he was not any better.... after seeing the nursing teacher they decided to call me.... so I got him and took him to the doctor..... had a chest x-ray done... (he was due one anyway.... he contracted TB when he was 3 and had to go through the 9 months of INH treatments) .... I should hear back from that today. And the doctor said it may just be some inflamation in the cartilage around his breastbone and ribs so he put him on light rest and some ibuprofen 3 times daily for the next few days.....

Saturday, my most wonderful, terrific, thoughtful husband made breakfast! We had eggs, bacon and biscuits..... what a treat! Then, I worked on getting my lesson plans done for the next few weeks. Took the kids to my sister's house for my nephew's birthday party and then came home and worked more on lesson plans..... I got most of my lessons planned out through then end of September ..... yipee!

Sunday, we woke, ate breakfast, got ready and went off to services... David (our preacher) had a wonderful sermon. Then we came home and had a nice dinner then had a nice relaxing afternoon. I made homemade butterscotch ice cream for our Sunday night Ice Cream Social..... it was so much fun!

This morning, Travis woke not feeling any better than over the weekend.... so I kept him home again today..... and us girls (and Jed) went to my brother-in-law's graduation..... he has just earned his diploma in ........
Yes, he was the only man in the class!!! He is such a natural at it and loves it! His mom owns a salon and his brother's wife works there with her..... now he will join in and make it a whole family business!

Congrats Ryan!!! (we do get family discounts, right?) LOL!

So, since we did not start on time today with class we will be having school later in the day today... we might as well, since it is supposed to rain for the next 4 days! I will be going to see the doctor today about Travis' x-ray and to get a note from him for missing school today..... other than that I just plan on cleaning up a bit and enjoying the rain.....

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Dear Day...

So, yesterday Eric woke with a migraine..... and as many of our friends know... our house becomes the quietest house in the neighborhood when he has a migraine..... even Jed has learned to stay quiet....

So, I did not do a full load of class.... instead we had a DEAR day.... what is a DEAR day????


the girls got some reading done.... reading on novels, on bible, and on other things they have gotten behind on....I even joined in between checking in on them..... I don't get much done either on those days we are being very quiet for Eric..... it got them some schoolwork for the day done and it kept the quiet down for Eric.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Homeschooling .....

As many of my regular readers know we have begun homeschooling our daughters. (Mia is in the 8th grade this year and Amaris is in the 6th.) Although we have discussed homeschooling for several years, it was not until recently that we decided it was the right time to begin.

Now, for a bit about us...We are a family of 6 and we have 1 pet, Ripely, our Min. Schnauzer. We have just this year purchased a new to us home and put it on our land. (You can read more about it here.) Now, that we are a bit settled, we are beginning our homeschool journey. Our oldest son, Travis, is a sophomore this year and decided he wanted to just finish high school in the county's public school system. Mia and Amaris decided during the school year last year that they wanted to come home and be homeschooled. And Jed, our youngest at 2 years old, will be homeschooled exclusively.

Since we are in our first month of homeschooling I am still doing lots of research. We are looking at how to homeschool without purchasing many materials (for our small budget) and the internet is a wonderful source of lots of information... just sorting it all out is taking many more hours than I first anticipated....LOL!

I opted not to join the local homeschool group after learning that most of the parents had much younger students than my girls. I feared they might not enjoy being the oldest of the group (esp. since we are new at this). However, our children are very active in our Youth Program and the Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes program at our congregation, and I don't fear any "social skills" difficulty.

I have had some great encouragement from my best friend Denita and from a wonderful friend from church that homeschooled her daughters. I feel as if I can call or e-mail either of these wonderful ladies and pour out my distress and anxiety over this new beginning. I also hope that I may learn from reading others blogs and posts.

Wednesday's Word ~ The Good Shepherd

John 10:11-16 (ESV) I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

What a wonderful image Jesus gives us of His love and devotion to us. He is not just someone contracted to do what needs to be done.... He is vested in us... He is ours and we are His. And look, He also says He has others that are not of the fold.... but He is caring for them as well, so that when the time comes they will listen to His voice.... to be joined to His flock. How blessed are we to be looked after by the Good Shepherd.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Apple Paloozzzzaaaa! Part 2

Okay, as promised....

Here is Amaris peeling ..... thanks to David & Heather for letting us borrow the peeler.... it made the job so much faster! She has a bowl that she puts the peeled apples in with a mixture of lemon and water....

Mia is slicing and coring the apples. Then we placed the slices in another mixture of lemon and water to keep them from turning brown.

We used the church's kitchen... I used the larger stockpot and could cook up the freezer apples that much faster (did a double batch).

Here is the second bunch of canned apples.... after we took a short afternoon break.

I also dehydrated a good quart size bag (after they were dry) of apples too.

The jelly I made never set.... the jars sealed but the jelly is like syrup... so I have grape and strawberry syrup... I'm sure I'll find something to do with it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Apple Paloozzzzaaaa!

Just a quick note to let all of ya'll know that I was a very busy gal today.....

17 quarts of canned apple pie filling
8 quarts of freezer apple pie filling
10 jars of jelly (new recipe I was trying out.... not sure if its gonna set...)
a double batch of homemade Ranch Dressing Mix (dry)
and now I am dehydrating more apples

I have pictures and will tell more tomorrow... forgot my camera at the church building where I was doing all of it tonight after we cleaned up.... I'm one tired little pup.

I'll post a nice long post on our day tomorrow! With pics!

Friday, August 15, 2008

An Award......

My dear, sweet, wonderful, on the other side of the ocean friend.... Tina over at Red wellies, Ranbows and Cinnamon Whirls nominated me for a blog award! Thank you so very much Tina!

Now I have the joy of passing this award on to others!

Here are the rules:
- Only 5 people are allowed to receive this award.
- 4 of them followers of your blog.
- One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
- You must link back to whoever gave you the award.

Here are my pics.....

Denita over at Plain & Simple

April over at Clay in the Hands of the Potter

Michelle over at Michelle's Tidbits

Judy over at My life, after

Mari over at my house by the river

Mari, even though you live in the US..... you know that with you living in the North and me living in the South..... its like you live in another part of the world...LOL!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Eph 1:3-6 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.

How wonderful God's love is. Look at verse 6 ... In love He predestined us for adoption is God's wonderous love for us, His creation, that He has chosen us out from the sinful world ..... from the beginning of even time...... to be His sons and daughters through the gift of Jesus' sacrifice. But, some will still ask why God would do that for us..... this verse tells us ...... according to the purpose of His will ..... we should not have to look any further for the reasonings of our salvation. God has a purpose to His actions toward His creation (us) and we should not muddy the waters of His glorious blessings through Christ so that we may pick apart the causes of our salvation. In the previous verses God clearly tells us that He chose us before the foundation of the world .... that He had it all worked out from the begining of all time..... before He even spoke the world into existance. How can we question His devotion to us, His children, when He continually blesses us through Christ.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anniversary Dinner....

I invited my mother over for dinner tonight.... its always good to visit with her. I made fried apples (I left the peel on most of the apples.... they were so small I was afraid they would turn into mush) ..... I like to add a handful of quick oats in the last few minutes of cooking my apples... it gives such a great texture.

Squash fritters (they are so easy to make) ...... Travis loves these..... if there are any left I will be very surprised!

Squash Fritters:

Grate 2 medium summer squash
Add 1 cup self rising flour , and 1/3 cup self rising cornmeal
a dash of salt and about 2 tbsp sugar and 2 beaten eggs... mix all together to form a wet dough.

Then fry in a pan of oil (I use veg. oil) until each side is golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and serve.

I did a few bacon wrapped chicken fillets and then breaded the remainder of the strips.

We also had scalloped potatoes and for dessert... Mandarin Orange cake....


Due to the fast response of my good friend Denita ..... here is the recipe for the Mandarin Orange Cake...

Mandarin Orange Cake:

1 (18 1/2 ounce) package yellow cake mix

4 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (Cool Whip or store brand)

1 (3 1/2 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 Pyrex dish. In a large bowl mix the cake mix, oil and eggs along with 1 of the cans of mandarin oranges with the juice. Mix until smooth and you see small bits of the oranges. Pour into pan. Bake for about half an hour or until cake is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Let cake cool completely.

Mix the whipped topping, the other cans of Mandarin Oranges (with the juice) and the pudding mix together until smooth. Spread over cooled cake. Serve. Store remaining cake in the fridge.


Not a bad Anniversary dinner if I do say so myself.

Today is Our Anniversary .....

Today is our Anniversary.... 12 years. Can it have been that long already, and yet.... it seems that we have been together for a lifetime.

Eric, I treasure each moment. Each and every day I thank God for sending you to my door. And I look forward to the rest of our journey together.

I love you my husband, my lover, my best friend, my life......

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Here is the Living Room....

Here is the view from the dining area (see Ripely.... I can only get a picture of him if I sneak one in when he is not looking...LOL) The bookshelf by the front door holds our bibles... that way they are easy to find and can easily be gotten when heading out the door for services. Above the bookshelf is a letter rack with key hooks... my keys hang there now and I don't lose them ...... as much.

I am using my antique vanity as an entry table... and the chest acts as extra seating when the house is full of visitors. I keep large floor pillows under my "entry table" for the kids to lounge on while they stretch out to watch a movie.

Here is the view from the front door...those bookshelves hold our movies and a few picture boxes..... most of the furniture in the house is either yardsale finds or hand-me-downs.... I don't mind decorating on a tight budget! (See the nice new TV.... we had to replace the small 19" after Jed decided to help "clean" it with half a bottle of bathroom cleaner.... the poor TV dripped cleaner because he had cleaned it so well.....LOL! (The new TV was the last of our big purchases for a very long time!)

This is the view from the hallway leading to the kids rooms.... we don't have a coffee table.... with the kids taking up most of the floor space during a movie we just keep the center of the room open.

See the curtain on the TV cabinet.... that is where the TV traditionally goes.... the new TV was too big for the opening so we put in the sound system's woofer instead.... and to keep certain little hands from the woofer... I made the curtain and put it in place with a couple of tension rods.... I like the effect.

The sickies have visitied....

I was up most of the night with Jed.... he has caught whatever it was that Eric had over the weekend.... running a bit of a fever, sore throat, stuffies and all that goes with it..... then this morning I was given the news that the girls have it too..... I am letting them sleep in.

Travis seems to have a touch of it.... the stuffies and a sore throat, but thankfully no fever and he feels up to heading off to school. (He opted to stay in public school.)

So, I will be nursemaid to the sickies........

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Proverbs 12:14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.

Time and time again God tells us through His Word that we harvest what we plant. Just another testimony that it is our lives that the world looks to. What do you want your life to say about you?

Look and see what I've been up to today......

So Eric's grandmother had given us the last of the peaches off of her tree so..... I made peach freezer jam.....

Peach Freezer Jam


4 cups peeled, crushed fresh peaches
1/4 cup fresh strained lemon juice
1 package (1 3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
1 cup light corn syrup
5 1/2 cups sugar


Measure peaches into a large kettle; add lemon juice. While stirring with a wooden spoon, slowly add the pectin. Let stand 20 minutes; stir every 5 minutes to blend pectin with fruit. Add syrup and blend well; add sugar and blend well. Cook over low heat to about 100°, just warm to the touch. Do not allow mixture to become hot. Pour jam into jars to within 1/2-inch of top. Cover jars at once. Let stand until jelly consistency. Store in freezer until ready to use. Store in refrigerator once jar has been opened.
Makes about 8 half-pint jars. (I got 9 out of it today)

Then ..... you remember those fresh blueberries.....yep... more freezer jam....

I had such a hard time keeping Mia out of the blueberries.....

No Cook Blueberry Jam

1 qt. fresh blueberries (or frozen)
4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 bottle liquid pectin


Have ready 5 or 6 jelly jars (about 8 ounces) or freezer containers. Remove stems from berries; discard wilted ones; rinse well. Mash with large spoon or potato masher. Mix berries and sugar well. Mix lemon juice with pectin; add to berries and stir well for 4 to 5 minutes. Pour into containers. Let stand room temperature overnight. Store in refrigerator or freeze.

I doubled the recipe and got a total of 11&1/2 jars of the blueberry jam.

I have also hung out 3 loads of laundry and the girls have had their school lessons, and I made a quick trip out to Wal-mart..... now we are resting up just a bit before we go and take down the laundry..... it sure is hot....95 F but feels like 101...... whew.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Well, our very good friends David & Heather gave us a gallon of fresh blueberries! Whooohooo!!! How great is that! ........SOOOOOOO..... I made a Fresh Blueberry Crisp for dessert tonight......

Here is the recipe....

Blueberry Crisp

  • 2 cups blueberries

  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 cup self-rising flour

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 cup boiling water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Place the blueberries into an 8x8 inch square baking dish. In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Stir the flour into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Spoon batter over blueberries. Mix together the remaining 3/4 cup sugar with the cornstarch and pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle over the top. Pour boiling water over the whole thing.Bake for 1 hour then let set for 10 minutes to set..... serve with vanilla ice cream (or whipped topping).

Can you believe I even stopped long enough to take a pic before digging!

MMMmmmmhhhhhmmmmmm good!!!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Meredith over at Like Merchant Ships had this little test on her blog not long ago.... you know me, just had to take it...... and wow..... I think I would have fit in nicely!!!


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!