Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homeschool Spirit Week Day 1

Last week I found out that the 4th week in September is always Homeschool Spirit Week! This is our 9th year of home education and we are just now finding this out! Haha
On Monday, the first day was Homeschool away from home. It worked out beautifully because Monday was also Homeschool Day at the Tennessee Aquarium.
We got there as it opened and spent most all day. It was terrific! There was special exhibits and animals out to touch and get up close and personal.
We packed a picnic lunch and the weather was just right to enjoy some time outside and let the kids run and play off some energy.
The aquarium has beautiful grounds and when the weather is really warm there are places to wade and play in the water. It was a bit too cool for that, but the kids tried their best to talk us into getting in. Rascals.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Saturday's are for Family

Over the weekend, I wanted to do something fun with the family. I think oftentimes we think to do something fun, we have to *go* somewhere, *buy* something, be entertained or whatnot.

My guys are gearing up for the annual boy scout camping trip to Skymont. I thought it would be a fun thing to use our fire pit and do some dutch oven cooking.
 The guys worked on building a good, hot fire. We gathered kindling and ended up getting a few pieces of charcoal too, just so we could put them on top of the oven.
 All the while, the younger ones and the big girls made a zip-line from tree to tree. They had a lot of fun climbing down and trying to make it from tree to tree without touching the ground.
 I decided the best recipe for the boys to start with would be something VERY simple. Apple dump cake was the choice. I got them a jar of apples that I canned recently. On top of that, we added a box of yellow cake mix and then topped that with butter. Easy peasy.
 Shannon and Eli tended the fire and afterwards we enjoyed the reward of their labor. Dutch oven campfire cooking is great fun and yummy too.
We all enjoyed the afternoon in the garden, football on the radio and kids all around. It was a perfect Saturday and we didn't have to spend a dime.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Lessons from my Sweet Potato Patch

Homestead Revival Button 2, New Vertical Button This year was a first in our garden for MANY things. Pumpkins, butternut squash, sunflowers, potatoes, okra, and so on.
It was also the first year for sweet potatoes.
I planted a whole bed of sweet potatoes. Very eager to see how we would do. Once I saw that they were established....well, you just basically let em go.
Yeah, really.
They have a running vine, looks like ivy. It's pretty. All summer they grew. The vines ran this way and that. I would find one trying to climb out of the bed and I would tuck it back in and that was all I did to them.
I really didn't know.
I was curious, but I knew that I didn't want to disturb the bed. I wanted them to have plenty of time to grow. I knew that you were supposed to let them grow all summer and then early fall you could check.

On Saturday, we had a little time to get outside and play in the dirt (aka, gardening). I decided while we were weeding some of the beds, I would check and see if I had any sweet potatoes.
I pulled up one of the vines only to see it was attached by a long slip. Nothing else.
All this time and all these vines and nothing more than this?!?!
I was a bit distraught.
I reminded myself that it was not a waste. I would learn something from this lesson. Maybe I needed to make the bed deeper. Maybe they needed more room.
I kept clearing, I kept digging.
While I was digging out some of the weeds among the vines I felt...  something.


Something was in the bed!
Down deep!
I pushed the earth back, the beautiful black soil.
I see a tinge of dark pink.
As I reach in, I found it.
A prize!
A jewel... to me! :)
I grabbed it up. I jumped up off the ground and began dancing!
Hollaring to the family!
Thank you, Jesus!!!!
We got one!

Of course by that time, I had several more hands eager to help me.
We all dug, we all danced.
I hear...
           LOOK MOMA
                        LOOK at this one!
What fun!

Sometimes, we have to look down deep to find the treasure. It's not always something we can skim the surface and see.
Sometimes you have to put  more effort into something to see the value.
Sometimes you just have to dance, to laugh, to hollar in victory and smile.

Let your family see, make your husband laugh, make sure your children enjoy.
Work is hard, work is necessary.
Talk, smile, laugh and let your eyes shine. These moments are fleeting.
Love deeply. Work diligently. Never give up.
Give thanks openly and frequently.

All these things and more, the Lord brought to mind while I was in the Sweet Potato Patch.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's September!!!

September.... GLORIOUS September!
The weather around here has been fantastic. Chilly nights and mornings, warm days. Perfectly wonderful transition into our fall season and schedule.

Speaking of schedules, we moved into Homeschool 2012/2013! Our 9th year of home education! We absolutely love being home. Schedules are tricky. Sometimes they work... sometimes not so much. This year, thus far, has been a dream! I hope it continues!
Here are my sweet, dear 'students'.

 Our first breakfast of the homeschool year. I took our cinnamon rolls and shaped them like hearts... sorta. haha

Something new for this year, is we will be continuing our ASL classes. With gas at almost $4 a gallon our 1.5 hour trek was pretty much out of the question. We so desperately wanted to continue and to be able to spend time with our family, but we HAVE to keep within the budget. VIDEO CHAT, I LOVE YOU!!!!
What a great time we had today, we were able to have our lesson without leaving the house. It was incredible!!!

The timeline just KEEPS on growing! I love our timeline!
We had a VERY scary storm come up on us one Sunday afternoon. We were under a tornado warning for several hours. Not fun after going through what we did just a little over a year ago!

The littles participated in Bible Drills at our church. I was so proud of my children. They all received excellent ratings for learning EVERY. ONE of their verses.

Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee...
Psalm 119:11

The farm is still hanging on. I feel like it has been sorely neglected due to homeschool mode being in full swing right now... but truly it isn't. Our chickens have been picked off yet again and so we are only about 18 in number and over 75% of them are young and not laying yet. No eggs around here.
Yeah, bummer!
Sunday, we were blessed to get to see some family and I was thrilled to get to hold a precious newborn during the morning service at church. Church, family, babies... some of my favorite things!  
I hope you are enjoying your journey into September as much as we are!