Thursday, January 31, 2013

Article: Parents of children in Hunan GM rice trial were lied to

A statement on the website of the national Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday the three researchers, together with Professor Guangwen Tang from Tufts University in the United States, had given 25 primary school pupils in Hengnan county, Hengyang, 60 grams of "golden rice" for lunch without informing them, their parents or the school that the rice was genetically modified. 

 Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Truth Is... (On Unforgiveness)

I shared this thought on Facebook a few months ago.

The truth is..

...that the other person isn't affected very much by our unforgiveness. We can punish them with our silence or other ways, but we are limiting our fellowship with God. They may be seeing the difficulty in the relationship as an opportunity to grow stronger in faith while we are growing weaker. Their testimony will grow louder while ours stops speaking. They will be basking in His glory while we wallow in the filth of our rebellion against God's way of doing things. We will blame them for our misery, but our unforgiveness is self bondage. Choose this day whom you will serve.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dress Up Box

Hannah did not want stop playing to have her picture taken.

I refuse to pay box store prices for dress up clothes. Our smaller children have a large dress up box full of things I have found at thrift stores, dollar type stores, and clearance items. I once found a real wedding dress for $15 so the girls enjoy dressing up in that too. Recently, I found an adult sized princess costume complete with headband and gloves for $4.95! It's in the box for the girls to wear. A few clips here and there and they are happy. I keep an eye out for hats, scarves, dresses, costumes, and accessories and add to the collection as I find good deals.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Homeschool Tip: Increase Learning Through "Posters"


When we are learning about a topic, I will put up "posters" in our kitchen or bathroom to help the children learn. This particular set included approximately a dozen posters spread throughout our kitchen and covered orchestras, the difference between an orchestra and a band, instrument names, and different types of instruments. 

What I expect to accomplish with the posters depends on whether it is to increase general knowledge or a skill. I did not expect them to master the seating arrangements in an orchestra, but wished to build upon their knowledge in that area. Mastery is required of the posted spelling lists of which they must learn four of each night to keep their later bedtime. Each word is worth 15 additional minutes. They study these posters as they pass through the kitchen, take a bathroom or drink break from their studies, do a chore, or just hang out in the kitchen with me when I am cooking or cleaning.

I got the idea to put visual learning aids in common areas of our home from the book Cheaper by the Dozen which I read early in my homeschooling years. The book is much, much different than the movie. I highly recommend the book if you want to see what life was like inside of a family with twelve children, like to laugh, and want to pick up some useful tips from Frank and Lillian Gilbreth who were time and efficiency experts. 

Psalm 39:4-5  "Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Easy Crockpot Brats


12 Johnsonville Brats seared in a frying pan (Sams Club sells a package of 12 for $8.58)
4 large onions (sauted)
1 cup green peppers (sauted)
2 bottles of beer
1 can beef broth (optional-sometimes I put it in, sometimes I don't)

I brown the brats on a stove before putting them in the crockpot to give them a jump on cooking. I cook it on high for 4-6 hours and serve it in a casserole dish lined with rice.

Clint was blessed with a great second job that is hard to obtain. Not only does it pay well and allow him to work weekends only, but being on a resume can open doors should he look for another job. It is a nationally recognized brewery which gives employees free beer for meeting safety goals. Sometimes we get over 150 bottles at once! We don't drink beer, so I try to use some of it in cooking. Most of it is used as a treat for the horse which helps him keep weight on in the winter.

Friday, January 25, 2013



Brandon chilling with his childhood buddy, Miracle.
It's a running joke that Miracle isn't suppose to be in the house.

It is hard to believe my son will graduate in just a few months.
Time has flown by since he was in my arms as a newborn.

What a special privilege it has been to be his mother.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tip for Cleaning Stainless Steel

Many people have stainless steel in their kitchens. There are many commercial products available, but you can make one that works just as well with what is probably already in your cooking supply. Mix 1 tablespoon of Cream of Tartar with a few drops of water. Gently scrub and rinse.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Make Your Own Smoke OIl for Train Engines

For a smoke producing electric train we own, we had to apply smoke fluid for the engine to make realistic puffs of smoke. I am not too keen on purchasing an item if I can make it myself. Since I make soap and other toiletries, I have glycerine on hand. I learned you can make smoke fluid for the engines that use them by mixing 1 part glycerine to 3 parts distilled water. For higher concentrations of smoke, you can use up to 75% glycerine. 

Note: It has to be distilled water because mineral deposits can ruin the heating element in your engine. We got this tip from a model train expert who has been doing it for many years, and it worked great for us. Use at your own risk.

Article: Minor Ailments Linked to Alzheimer's

new study published in the journal Neurology has found that as problems not traditionally associated with brain health pile up, a person's chance of developing dementia increases.

To read more, go here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Article: Testing brain pacemakers to zap Alzheimer's damage

Then doctors at Ohio State University explained the hope — that constant electrical stimulation of brain circuits involved in memory and thinking might keep those neural networks active for longer, essentially bypassing some of dementia's damage.

Lozano's team found the first clue that it's possible by implanting six Alzheimer's patients in Canada. After at least 12 months of continuous stimulation, brain scans showed a sign of more activity in areas targeted by Alzheimer's. Suddenly, the neurons there began using more glucose, the fuel for brain cells.
"It looked like a blackout before. We were able to turn the lights back on in those areas," Lozano said.
While most Alzheimer's patients show clear declines in function every year, one Canadian man who has had the implants for four years hasn't deteriorated, Lozano said, although he cautioned that there's no way to know whether that's due to the DBS.

To read the rest of this article, go here.

A Faster Way to Multiply

This was first shared with me through Facebook from my friend Jen C.
This can help so many students with multiplication, I wanted to share it here:


The lines and numbers above may not make any sense at first, but according to William C. at "The lines over the circles are color coded. notice the single red line and 3 blue lines representing "13" group together while the single green and 2 black lines take their own group. [Simply] draw your first group of lines in one direction then your second group of lines going over the first, count the groups of intersections and there's your answer."

Here is a video that explains it in detail:

Take the time to read the comments about multiplying by zero.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Does Your Child Need Help with Pronouncing Certain Sounds?

If your child is having problems pronouncing certain sounds correctly, there are wonderful free resources available to you through the internet. The few I readily found when I was asked to look can be useful to parents, teachers, homeschool, foreign students, ESL, etc. 

To gauge how your child is doing in relation to his peers, you can use the free Speech Development Chart on  Home Speech Home. Most children will fall into the normal category. If your child doesn't please don't react in such a way you compound your child's problem. Love, acceptance of the situation, working towards a goal with patience and a lot of practice.

There are videos of speech therapy sessions you can use with your child. Henkel Speech Therapy says "This channel is designed for children, teachers, and parents. If you have a child that struggles being understood, saying a sound, and has low vocabulary-this channel is for you. Find the video that fits what your child is working on and practice 1x a day for 10 minutes." This is a wonderful resource!

Mommy Speech Therapy has detailed, easy to follow instructions on how to coach your child to pronounce the L sound properly. This site has many other free resources you can use and offers fee based online speech therapy sessions.

You can also find the full Articulation Differences and Disorders Manual online. This contains a great deal of information you may or may not find useful depending on the situation.

Many younger children say W for the L sound or have difficulty with the "TH" sound. Whatever the issue, search the internet and make use of the available free resources. There are many, many more of these types of resources out there. It is more comfortable for a child to work with a patient and gentle family member in familiar surrounding than be carted to an unfamiliar place with a stranger. However, if you do not see progress with consistent effort, find a good speech therapist and help your child before the issue becomes harder to correct.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Just Chillin



Snuggle time with the big sister is the best!!!


Miss Em loving life in two different socks, pj bottoms, and her favorite shirt.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Large Family Entertainment Idea


Clint telling the children good memories of his daddy.


Clint telling the story about the day the well was put in at his grandmother's house.


Clint's grandmother's house

Large families are often perplexed about what to do for entertainment. Sharing stories, even bad ones, in a positive light is a great way to bond. Children are naturally curious about their ancestors and there is no greater time to impart wisdom than when they are young. All this trip cost was some gas and some time. It was more beneficial to our family than going out to the movies where we would all be staring at a screen and not interacting very much.

Please keep praying for our family.

Family is worth fighting for. ~ Andy Stanley (son of Charles Stanley)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Satisfy Those Pre-Meal Munchies


Sometimes meal times are delayed which can make for some very hungry little ones. I've learned to keep fresh veggies in the fridge for hectic meal times. It took me less than 5 minutes to get this plate ready from start to finish. (I sliced the celery thinner.) The children get to take the edge off their hunger. I get peace while I am cooking and more nutrition goes into my growing children.

Your picky children won't eat vegetables? Put them out as the only offering when they are very, very hungry like after they have been playing hard outside. That worked for me. Stand your ground on things that count, and their health counts! Make the tough calls for the good of your loved ones. That's called parenting!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tip for Outdoor Animals

Outdoor animals, like livestock, benefit from a late feeding on cold nights. The process of digestion creates heat and helps them stay warmer. They also need the extra calories to keep weight on.

Real Manhood

“A man cannot be passive about what Scripture tells him to do for his family and expect to be found faithful to God in the end. He must see with spiritual eyes and realize that future generations are directly impacted by his daily decisions.” —The Resolution for Men 

It's men who give up doing the selfish thing to do the godly thing with an eternal perspective that exemplify Christ to their families and the world. These are the men who will leave their mark. My husband is such a man! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recipes: Black Eyed Pea Chowder and Honey Cornbread Muffins


I made 10 quarts of the Black Eyed Pea Chowder for our New Year's celebration.
Everyone, and I do mean everyone, loved it! I was hoping to have enough to freeze for a quick meal later, but it was G.O.N.E.!!!


I also made 144 of these Honey Cornbread Muffins for our party.
(I cut down on the fat by using less butter. Also, I think my baking powder was old because they didn't rise as much as they have in the past.)
Honey is a natural preservative and makes your bread last longer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's More Fun with the Little Sister

Watch Hannah in this succession of pictures:




Caleb is working on a puzzle in the background.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Baby Casting Call until 1/30/2013

I received this in my email and went to the website to make sure it was legitimate:
I'm writing to let you know about a casting call for your baby! A client I am working with is looking for baby sign language videos. Teaching a little one to sign early has been found to be one of the best ways for you to communicate with your child.
Here's the scoop:
Anyone who submits a video, will receive a personalized BSL t-shirt.
Videos will be displayed for everyone to see your little one signing away on Facebook.

Featured videos for the website will get $100 Amazon gift card.
4 videos will receive the Deluxe BSL Kit to continue teaching at home. There will be winners selected in four categories: Cutest, Special Needs, Most Creative and Funniest.
Babies are to be between 4-18 months of age and show the benefits of the Baby Sign Language system.

Check out the Baby Sign Language website for more details

Accepting submissions from January 9-January 30th 

Time's a wasting, so get those videos in!!!!

Eliza Ferree

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Playing Twister with a Sister (on her back)


It makes it a little more interesting to play Twister this way!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

FInally Getting to the Bathroom!

We had purchased the stuff to redo this bathroom a few years ago. It was stored in the barn. The one that burned down. We repurchased the stuff with the insurance money, but have had to settle other issues the fire created. Finally, years later from when we first planned it, we are getting to the bathroom!


While Clint and I painted it and put down leftover linoleum, it had not been touched much since the 1970s. We also changed out the toilet when a toddling Brandon threw a brick from the chimney removal into the toilet.


I pulled out two layers of bathroom ceiling. Joshua went behind me and removed the nails/staples so the new ceiling could be installed. I could not get the toilet out, so Brandon helped me. He couldn't break the nuts free either, so we improvised. He lifted the sink out after I got it free. I pulled out the molding and the flooring. I took out as much of the window as I could, but Brandon had to free up the last section and take it out. We did all we could to save Clint time.


Over a weekend, Clint put in the new exhaust fan and boards for the new ceiling. He put in the replacement window. Then, he put in the sub floor and hardwood floor.

We have had a hardwood floor in our downstairs bathroom for years now. We sealed it very well and have had no problems with it at all. Hardwood floors are the only kind of flooring that seem to last for our very active and larger than normal family.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Recipe: Cranberry Orange Muffins


I made 24 muffins, and they were devoured rapidly!


2 cups whole wheat flour (I ran out and the stores didn't have any, so I substituted all purpose.)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup orange juice (I used water, orange zest, and orange extract.)
1/4 canola oil
1 egg
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (I used dried that I soaked overnight.)

I made use of what I had on hand following this recipe.  

I added water to powdered sugar to make a thin glaze I could drizzle on top and then sprinkled them with sliced almonds.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

On Our Way to an Organized Workshop


Clint works two jobs and does so much for our family that he often neglects his needs.
While he worked on remodeling our bathroom, I worked on his shop.


Brandon helped me hang the cabinets.


And, he built the wood racks for me.
I could have done both (and have in the past), but am thankful I didn't have to!!


The children and I bought Clint pegboard and pegboard accessories for Christmas.
(I had planned to clean his shed for him ahead of time, but didn't know when it would work out so I could do it.)


It's a good start, but there is more to do. He has had such a time with organization since we lost the storage space in the barn that burned down two years ago in February.

The wood racks are temporary until I can clean out another building he plans to use for wood storage.

When your husband treats you like a queen, you don't mind treating him like a king. Ladies, the reverse is true too. Put your love into action and lavish it on your spouses, children, external family, and friends without expecting anything in return and see how God blesses you.

I started this last week and am still working on it today.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

None with My Name, a Handmade Gift, and a Memory


While everyone was opening their Wise Men Bags, Hannah, who turned four just three days before this picture, looked for her name on wrapped boxes.
"Mooom! I don't see any with my name on them!"
Did she really think we'd leave her out? :-)


Clint made this key chain display case for Brandon's collection.
It looks like he will need to make another one for next year!


When I was very little, my grandmother had a whistling kettle. She would put it on just so I could hear it go off when I visited her. After hearing hers, I thought all kettles were suppose to whistle, and if they didn't, I assumed they were broken and felt bad for the person. I shared that story with Clint and told him I wanted to be a grandmother like that. He bought me this kettle so I could share the memory with my children now and my grandchildren later. It is my favorite gift out of all the ones he bought me. I use it at least once a day, and it always makes me smile.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Bacon and Egg Muffins






Caleb loves them. My boy has had a growth spurt!

This is a bacon lined variation of egg cooked in muffin tins. These are so easy to make and so hard to mess up, all you need is pictures. Have fun experimenting with the egg filling! You can add onions, green peppers, spices, vegetables, croutons, bacon bits, etc. I have made a variation of these ahead of time and kept them in the fridge for fast breakfasts for the children. I have not had one, but Clint and the children have said they are delicious!

 ...or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:12-13

Monday, January 07, 2013

Webmasters Take Note

I sent this to a curriculum company, but it is an issue many sign in websites have. I am grateful to webmasters who have made it easier than this.

I tried to download a placement test. It told me I needed to sign in. I tried the email address I have used for most things in the last 10 years, and it was not associated with an account. Your site told me to set up a new account. I tried. Evidently the name or address triggered something, and it said I had an account and needed to log in or have my password reset by entering the email address associated with the account. I couldn't do that because I do not know the email address used. I had to enter all new information (good thing I have a second address) to find a way around this issue to get access to the placement test so I could figure out what I needed to order. This creates a burden and frustrates potential customers. Please correct it because as a homeschooling mother of seven, I do not need more hassle in my life. I need easy, and I order from the companies who make my life easy. Thank you very much for your time regarding this matter.

Article: Breast Milk Contains More Than 700 Species of Bacteria, Spanish Researchers Find

Breast Milk Contains More Than 700 Species of Bacteria, Spanish Researchers Find 

"Spanish researchers have traced the bacterial microbiota map in breast milk, which is often the main source of nourishment for newborns. The study has revealed a larger microbial diversity than originally thought: more than 700 species."

Click the title to read the entire article.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Chocolate Toffee Candy (Cracker Candy)


My family loves this cracker based candy and asks for it again and again.
The recipe is here.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A Representation of All of Our Children


This represents Clint's and my living and miscarried children.
We think of our miscarried babies every day. 
Clint bought these for me when we went to Wintergreen together.
It is a reminder that one day we will all be together.
I love looking at it and smile every time I see it.

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

If You Don't Know, You Can't Do

"Certainly the Bible is not just any book, and our goal is never just to know the information it holds. God requires us to let his Word affect our hearts; he requires us to change our attitudes and our lifestyles so that we think and do what the Bible tells us to. But surely we must begin by knowing what it says." Starr Meade

You say you want to change you life, do better, and grow spiritually. Pick up your Bible and read. You will only learn what God says by reading His Word. Reading what someone else says about God's Word is OK, but remember you are getting it second hand through an imperfect filter. Check what they tell you with the Source. Take the time to know your Father.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Wheat Germ or Something Else?

Having spied 3 bananas about to go to waste, I decided to mush them and use them in pancake batter. To add more nutrition, I grabbed something from the fridge and sprinkled it into the batter.

Hannah (3): Mom, what is that stuff you are putting in the pancakes? 

Me: wheat germ

Hannah: WHY are you putting wheat worms in MY pancakes!?!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

'bye 2012, Hello 2013!!

Our family has had an incredible year. It started off with challenging circumstances, but as we weathered those, the Lord sent blessing after blessing. We feel 2012 was a good year and are thankful for all the Lord has done and taught us through it!

We look forward to 2013 and all it holds for our family. 

If you are reading this, we hope you have a wonderful year in 2013. May each kindness you have shown to others be multiplied in your own life. May you grow as a person and find lasting joy. 

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

‎I think it’s helpful to remember that Christ has a vision for our lives that is about more than just surviving—making it to midnight—but really making progress in our faith and in our relationship with Him.-Nancy Leigh DeMoss

The purpose of new year is not to have a new year. It is to be constantly renewed by the One who makes all things new.-Israel Wayne