Sunday, August 31, 2008

Curiosity 2

You've got to read the post below for this one to make sense.
Asbell didn't even mind when she pulled his whiskers! He did not growl or even meow. He took it in stride. He just wanted to be near his fascinating find....a baby human!
It was very interesting to watch these two interact this afternoon! I wish I had had the camcorder. I was talking to Emily the whole time, but you'll notice she did not look towards the camera once. She was captivated by her new friend.

Emily didn't really start messing with him until he had been following her around for a while.
At first, he'd walk near her, pass her and then stop and look back at her like she was the only human he had ever seen. He was truly captivated with her.

She kept trying to get him to lay down so she could pet his fur. Falling on him seemed to accomplish that the best. :-) He did not mind one bit.

If Clint or I try to touch this cat, he will run. If we do catch him, he will claw and bite.
This animal behavior with humans...where they seem to know to be gentle with babies...has been observed many times on our farm in horses, goats, dogs, cats, ferrets, etc. I really did not care for this cat much. I feed him, catch him and risk injury to give him his shots and worming and he is just not very grateful. He earned some brownie points today though.

Emily has had a good bath since her encounter with the cat. :-)
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This cat's name is Asbell. Caleb named our grey tom when he was a kitten. Asbell has never seen Emily before today. He was fascinated with her and kept following her around.

Asbell will not let any big people touch him. In fact, Caleb and Bethany can barely pet him. He doesn't seem to care for people much...other than what food we can send his way. He's a very aloof feline.

He didn't mind Emily one bit though.

So far Emily has only been interested in the dogs (she calls them "dog dog") but I think she found a new species in the animal kingdom to enjoy today.
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Thank you Grandma Susan!!

Bethany's quilt from Grandma Susan arrived yesterday!
She LOVES it!
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Caleb Helping Mom

Here's Caleb helping me move heavy boxes around.
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Saturday, August 30, 2008


Our children have public schooled friends and get along very well with them. This past week however, my 13 year old daughter participated in a horseback riding camp where she was the only homeschooled student there. There were some girls who made negative comments about homeschool (probably parroting their parents) and she had trouble initially making friends because the girls kind of excluded her on the first day. This is the first time someone's negative ideas of homeschool affected one of our children, but Amanda did not let that deter her.

Yesterday was the last day of the camp. She now has several new friends! After they took the time to get to know her, they didn't find her all that "strange." Not only that, but she performed the BEST in the entire camp ...even beating out riders with more experience and to her delight...two boys. (She had to TEACH the boys how to tie a safety knot and pick up hooves because they didn't "get it" the first time.) She won 7 first place blue ribbons, the championship ribbon, the trophy AND she was honored for her abilities by being asked to carry the American flag in the parade they taped for the soldiers.

I think having the girls find her different and having to prove herself to gain friendships was a good lesson for her too.

Let those parents and ps students think about how a "weird, undereducated, undersocialized" homeschooled child excelled over every ps student there.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Amanda's Riding Camp

Amanda is having a blast at the horseback riding camp. Today is the last day and they are performing in and taping a parade for our soldiers.
Amanda is really excited about that and has been talking about it all week.
They got to watch and ask questions to a farrier that came in yesterday.
There is a foal named Mystery born last week which they have been petting and enjoying.
Today they find out who wins the trophy after the final test has been taken.
Amanda has the camera again today too.
I'll post more picts soon....very busy here this week/weekend.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


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Caleb was excited to spot these turkeys in our driveway. There were two females with 4-5 babies between them. I went to where (braving the pollen) they were to see if I could pinpoint their path. I could hear them, but not see them, but I know their trail. We will leave them some corn to encourage them to hangaround.

The New Cast

Click the bottom picture and you will see what she did with the sticker.
I didn't see it until I was posting this.
Her Daddy took her for a chocolate milkshake...which is on her shirt.

She got her new cast on today. Clint let her pick the color just knowing out of black, blue and pink that she would pick pink.
He had to go buy paint pens so we could sign her cast.
She and I painted our fingernails with blue glitter polish last night. :-)

Clint said yesterday, she kept the doctor and nurse hopping by asking them tough questions.
She wanted to know the names of ALL of the princesses on the stickers they gave her.
The doctor could not name them all, so she consulted with the nurse who took the time to look it up for her.
The kind nurse treated it as if it was just as important to Bethany's health as her care instructions.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bethany Showing Off Her Cast

She wanted Grandma Susan and Teresa to see her cast and stickers!!
Christy, thank you for your words of encouragment to Bethany.
She says she doesn't want to be like you (ER visits, broken bones)!
I told her she was off to a good start to being just like you. LOL!
She's cutting up in that last picture. :-)
Bethany is 5.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

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At Clint's former employer, Siemens, the employees were throwing away 14' long pine shipping crates. Clint asked if he could have them and was given permission to take his saw and cut them so he could bring them home in his truck. Since they got these in all of the time, we obtained quite a pile of them.

We used them for MANY, MANY projects, but our favorite was using them for walls in the cottage behind our house (now attached). I pulled the nails out. Clint cut them to length and used a router on the edges and then I stained them and nailed them to the walls. We have received so many compliments on the walls, we now wish we had done the same thing to other rooms in our house. If you enlarge the pictures, you can see where the metal straps went around the boxes.
We just moved a large shelf from this corner so Brandon could install 5 longer shelves for the bookstores. I figured I had better get a picture of it while I could.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Joshua's Job Offer

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Joshua rang the groceries up at a self checkout recently. He did such a good job a nearby clerk told him to wait a few years and come back for a job. He really enjoyed the compliment! It just took a moment for the lady to give him encouragement and a big smile that has lasted two days. I need to remember to do that for other children we see when I am out.
Right now Joshua has the job of helping look out for his younger siblings. He takes that job so seriously, he recently bought himself a knight set to defend his little sisters. (He is modeling the mask to that set above.) So far, the only real "threat" to his younger siblings and sometimes to himself is the Tickle Monster that strangely only shows up when Mom or Dad is around. :-)

Homeschool Persecution in Germany

I could not find the url for this story.
Homeschool Persecution in Germany - CBN Video and Story

"NUREMBURG, Germany - It certainly looks as if the German government has declared open season on Germany's tiny home-schooling community." Watch a short and moving video and read the rest of the article at

Our homeschooling friends in Germany desperately need our prayers as imprisonment, heavy fines, and the removal of children continue to be imposed on them. Recently, the courts ruled they would continue to hold five school-aged children out of the nine in the Gorber family. The children were removed in January. You may follow the case via the HSLDA website.

If you would like to send a note of encouragement to the Gorber Family, write to them at this address: Family Gorber
88662 Ɯberlingen

Thank you to Bob and Genie for passing this along

A related story is at:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Homeschooling not easy, but rewards are many

found at:

Recently, the Hickory Daily Record published a guest column by Mike Koivisto in the absence of Scott Hollifield of the McDowell News. I thought the readers of the Hickory Daily Record might like to read about our homeschool experiences, since I offer a different view of homeschooling from Mr. Koivisto.

We began our homeschool journey in 2000. It was during that fall that we discovered that our oldest child, who had been on the "A" honor roll all of her academic life, did not learn any math skills in third grade in public school. Her entrance exam to fourth grade showed that she had the math skills of a child finishing 2nd grade.

She was unable to complete assignments in her fourth-grade math book because she did not know basic multiplication and division.

Did we, her parents, know that she was not being taught multiplication? No. We assumed that she was doing well in third-grade math, based on her report cards.

What we did know about third grade was that it was all important to know how to take a standardized test. She spent third grade learning how to color in the little bubbles on the test. And, miraculously she passed that test at the end of third grade, because she was promoted to fourth grade.

Thus, our homeschooling journey began. I spent two years working with her on mastering basic math skills. And I began teaching her younger brothers at home as well. What I found is that I was equipped to teach them as well as a certified teacher. Yes, they are able to pass the end-of-year standardized tests.

And to correct a fallacy in Mr. Koivisto's article, they do not have to "pass" it to be promoted to the next grade.

My philosophy of teaching them is the mastery approach. We do not move on to a new skill until they master the current skill being taught. There is no pass or fail. There is only a pass option for a course. If they do poorly on a test, they study the material again and retake the test. This does not happen often, but it does happen. They are learning that they cannot take shortcuts in their education.

I am teaching five of our six school-aged children. Our youngest child is only 2, so he isn't on our school roster just yet.

To give you a bit of perspective on the grade levels that I am teaching this year, I have a 12th grader, eighth grader, fourth grader, second grader and kindergartener. Is it a lot of work for me to teach this range? Yes. Can it be done successfully? Yes.

We are stronger as a family, because of our homeschooling experience. I can see growth in my children's educational abilities first-hand, and it is just amazing to see the light bulb moments when they master a new skill. I would not give that opportunity away for anything.

Is homeschooling for everyone? No. It is something that takes time, commitment, money to buy books and a desire to foster the love of education in your child.

There are 38,000 homeschool families registered with the North Carolina Department of Non-Public Education. These are families who have children who range in age from 7 years to 16. There are many homeschool families who have children under the age of 7 or over the age of 16.
I do not feel that I am shattering my children's dreams. I feel that I am facilitating their education to meet their needs as adults.

I will be giving my oldest child her high school diploma at the end of this school year. I could not be more proud of her accomplishments since we began our homeschool journey eight years ago.

Tami Fox, a resident of Taylorsville, is a homeschool mom to six children.

I believe this article was written in response to:;jsessionid=A46B94F22DC5270199F17A7D02F86176?contentguid=FmdYLZKk&full=true

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Water 4 Gas Link

This is for all of the people wanting more info: has a video showing Anderson County in SC using the HHO conversion kit in their police cars to save on the budget. You can also get details of how it works and info on buying a kit through this site.

Some websites and scientists say it's a scam and cannot be done. On the other hand, real people are saying they have done it with good results. Our local news featured a story you can find here.

Other than what we saw on the news and shared in this blog, we do not have any other information for you.

Looks Who's in Control

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She loves the buttons on the remote control.
She is 13 months old now.

Onsie for the New Baby

We picked this up at Walmart for $3.
Nope, we do not know what gender the little one is yet.
Everyone voted again to find out what we were big surprise there.
I am eager to start going through the clothes in the attic and set things up.
The ultrasound has been rescheduled again due to a conflict with another appt.
I've felt a lot more movement this week. Baby is very active!
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Emily Playing Shy

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Prayer Request

Brandon accidentally let the two new goats out while he was trying to get one for milking. One jumped a 5' fence while the other tore two fences down to get free. They are very skittish and took off for the woods. We have not seen them since. We have separated two other goats from the herd so they will call to the others hoping it will lure the new ones back. We've put feed down in strategic areas to lure them closer. Please join us in prayer that they hang around and that we can catch them very soon. They both need to be milked and we would be blessed by having the milk. We are concerned someone will shoot/turn their dogs loose on them for sport or the coyotes will get them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Norfolk man pumped about savings with water-for-gas conversion

NORFOLK – 13News viewers want to know whether Art Green is really saving money turning water into fuel to run his pick-up truck.

A month ago, he installed a water-for-gas unit on his Chevy Avalanche.

It's based on Mason jars filled with water and baking soda and wires that create a current of hydrogen.

He learned about it online and ordered instruction manuals. He installed the items in three hours.

"It's a brand new truck, Joe. It has been reborn. It has power from a cold start. It just picks up and puts you back in your seat," he said proudly.

“My over the road mileage is 40 miles a gallon. It used to be 20. That's another 50-percent increase, so it's either 50- or 60-percent increases depending whether it's city or highway."

Green says his truck got eight miles a gallon in town. Now it’s 20.

He says it’s been well worth the $80.00 in parts and $95.00 for the manuals.

"I tell people if they don't do it and they complain about the high prices of oil, they're being less than honest with themselves. There is a way that it will pay for itself in one or two weeks that will bring their mileage or double their mileage is another way to put it."

Also see: for another article and video

Homeschool Freebie of the Day

"Every weekday, Monday through Friday, we’ll post a new homeschooling “freebie” to this site. What kind of “freebies”? Stuff like: Unit Studies… Ebooks… Audio Programs… Games… Samples… Lesson Plans… classic books… and other quality resources! This is the REAL THING.
Many of these will be products that you would normally pay for on their regular websites… but here on the Homeschool Freebie of the Day site, they’re 100% free… at least for that one day! Just download your copy and enjoy! It’s as simple as that!"

Thanks to aardvark for sharing with the local list.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Amanda Riding Lessons

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Because of the dust, animals and hay, I can't go to riding lessons until the allergies are gone so Clint is taking me pictures at the lessons. I really miss going and watching Amanda ride.

Amanda Riding Lessons

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Amanda is in the light blue shirt and the horse she is riding is Cody.

Friday, August 15, 2008


My children have enjoyed the news about the Bigfoot "body" and we watched part of the press conference online today. (scroll down to CNN's coverage) While it saddens a couple of my children to hear me say this, it's most likely a fake. I hope those men have good criminal attorneys. (good criminal attorney--oxymoron)

For sake of argument, let's say it IS real. Why would someone search out something that has obviously made an effort to stay hidden from this world that is 7'7" tall and weighs 500 lbs? I am thinking some things are best left alone. This is not something you want to tick off!

The fact their story keeps changing isn't all I question....The people who made the discovery claim there were three other Bigfoots (Bigfeets?) "paralleling" them through the woods. Faced with three creatures that large with some apparent intelligence, I'd have dropped the body, apologized profusely and booked it out of there. Common sense tells you to haul butt in those kinds circumstances. Not these guys, they claim they kept dragging that heavy body out at a snail's pace over the course of a day and a half.

Who picks up a dead body and decides to keep it anyway?! Around here, we'd kick some dirt on it to cut the stink and leave it be. :-)

They say the three creatures following them did not show any aggression. Yeah, well dude, you go right back and see how they treat you after you have stolen their buddy's corpse, thrown him into a cooler, filled it with water, made some dumb YouTube videos, took pictures for the media and then told everyone you want to make as much money off of the body as you can. I don't think they will 'cotton' to that boys.

My best guess is that thing they found may be one of the inbred men from the movie Deliverance which was also set in Georgia.

Bigfoot hunters are looking in the wrong places. Everyone knows you can find a big, hairy, ape (of a man) in southern America. I live in southern America and I personally invite the Bigfoot hunters out to our local area's Bubba hangout (an all night convenience store) one Saturday night. I guarantee sightings of several good natured, large, hairy, sometimes smelly beasts. You can easily catch one by pretending to be a or out of hunting season. :-D

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No Ultrasound Today & Horseback Riding Camp

I am just doing what I have to online until I feel better. The goldenseal* & echinacea capsules I made seem to be working to clear that up the sinus infection. I am not getting much rest at night because I can't breathe well. The vomiting once a week was easier to deal with than this. At least I could sleep then.

I threw up a few days ago, but it was not HG related. I tried a nasal wash to help with the congestion. The first two days I did it, it went barfing. The third time, I hurled so much for so long Brandon told me he did not think I should do that again. It did not help with the congestion as it seemed like it came back worse afterwards.

We canceled the ultrasound that was scheduled for today because Clint wants me to spend the day resting as much as possible. I am wiped out. I have to take care of book sales and the 40 lbs of tomatoes Amanda picked from the garden yesterday and then I am back to bed for the rest of the day. Amanda is helping me with the tomatoes and Clint said he'll finish whatever I don't get to. I will get to all of the e-mail when I feel better.

*Goldenseal is contraindicated for pregnancy because it can induce contractions. As a certified herbalist educated on dosage amounts and who makes her own capsules, I have been able to take small quantities of it without a problem. You should consult your doctor, midwife or a certified herbalist before taking it yourself.

Dee kindly offered for Amanda to have a day camp instead of spending the night to alleviate our concerns about her sleepwalking and other issues, so we are going to let her go to the horseback riding camp. She has already met two of the girls who will be there. Clint will drop her off and pick her up each morning and she is very excited to be going.

Thank you to Jeanne and Stuart for your gift to our family! We were touched that you would do that for us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Prayer for Jim L.

We just heard today that Clint's friend and co-worker, Jim L., was out of the hospital for a short while. He has been put back in the hospital for blood clots in his legs and is on blood thinner under close observation. They can not give him too much blood thinner because of the bleeding he had in his abdomen that required surgery. They don't want to have any more problems like that.

Jim has been and is very sick. When he had the abdominal surgery, they did not know if he would be strong enough to survive it. Please keep him in your prayers. I am not sure of his relationship with God.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Homeschool and Christian T-shirt Sale

T-shirts are 5.99 from 8/10 to 9/10.

Our family hopes you enjoy your day of worship!

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Yesterday, we were blessed with a short visit from Susan and Dennis M. We haven't seen Susan in many months so it was good to see her. Thank you Susan and Dennis for the venison roasts and the blankets for Nala.

Clint is not working this weekend either, but plans to work the next few. He was scheduled to work Friday night at his part time job, but had to return unexpectedly to his full time job to handle a problem there.

I have a praise! I have not thrown up in 10 days! I really thought I'd be sick Tuesday or Wednesday, but it passed. I never made it this long with Emily and it is the first time I have made it this far with this pregnancy. The stomach pain is gone too, so I think it finally was able to heal. PTL for His tender mercies!

I am battling allergies though so I am not resting well at night. My immune system is so suppressed during pregnancy that things that normally do not bother me become major hassles. I am spending most of my time in my bedroom where the air is filtered and I have a vaporizer running. I miss going outside. I miss being active. The garden and yard are looking pretty bad too. I plan on moving an exercise bike into my room so I can at least do that to burn off some energy. I miss having a treadmill but do not know where we'd put one now.

Amanda was offered a free week at horseback riding camp. While that is a very generous gift and very flattering for her, I do not think we will let her go. Her sleepwalking creates safety concerns and just being in a new setting can trigger a sleepwalk. She did get a nice compliment from Dee who said Amanda reminds her of herself when she was that age.

Brandon, Amanda and I canned spaghetti sauce from our garden last week. I was very grateful to Brandon for stepping in to finish when I got too tired to complete the last batch. Amanda is enjoying learning how to preserve fresh, organic foods from the garden. Amanda picked corn and pulled up the spent stalks to save for winterfeed. We'll use them for fall decoration too.

I have been enjoying our homeschool "behind the wheel" lessons each week with Brandon. My time with my firstborn is growing shorter each day and I am cherishing the moments. It seems like God sends us something to observe and discuss each outing. This week, we observed a perverted man who was openly lusting over a very young and immodestly dressed young woman. The man's actions were gross, very blatant and disgusted other people too.

Caleb, our leading family entomologist, is happy the praying mantis he released is staying in the flowerbed. He kept it indoors and fed it for about a week or so and watched it grow. It is not afraid of people now. He also released a toad he caught in the same place, so I am not sure how that will work out. Caleb enjoys his discoveries of God's creatures so much he captures the entire family's attention with his enthusiasm. I get a horrified look from him when I suggest he feed a bug to the chickens. :-) Hey, it's free protein!

Joshua and Amanda have been building a large hut out of branches and grass clippings. They have been having a ball together. Joshua is flying through his Switched on Schoolhouse lessons.

Bethany is coming up with some uh, colorful combinations to wear. Amanda or I choose what she wears when she goes out, but around the house, I take a relaxed approach. She is enjoying herself. She's been changing frequently, but she hangs the clothes back up so it's not creating extra work. She's very curious about the pregnancy and still wants for us to have twins even though we know there is only one baby in there.

Emily stole the show at Applebees when I took Brandon there for lunch this week while he was getting behind the wheel time. She was the center of attention and knew it! There were a lot of senior citizens there and many came up to talk to her (ignoring her mother and older brother) or touch her head. I have never seen her quite so full of herself before! She is chasing the kittens around on the deck. A couple of them must like abuse because they let her catch them. The others clearly have more intelligence because they run like the wind.

4 days to the ultrasound!

Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hey Mom, What Do You Want

me to do with these two knuckleheads?

We are blessed that our children can play and rough house and everyone has a good time.
On the rare occasion someone gets their feelings get hurt, we give apologies and stop playing with that person until they want to join in again. Everyone here likes to play, so it's rare that happens.

You know, Brandon is going to stop growing and those two (Joshua and Caleb) are going to catch up.
It will be interesting to see what happens!
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Moving the Sister

Here's Brandon moving Amanda.
The night time settings on the camera come out like that.
If I use the regular flash, they are too dark.
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My Little Goof

I have big goofs running around too. :-)
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