Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chippy's taste of freedom



We picked pecans again today. It was 60 degrees and sunny, so we decided to bring Chippy out to the tree with us. This was risky, we knew, but we did it anyway. We tied up the dog, and put the cats in a cage first. Chippy loved it. Daddy had to climb a ladder to get him out when we were done, though. Chippy didn't want to come down. Here is Chippy with C in a small tree, and the other pic is of the big pecan tree.

Monday, December 29, 2008

You won't miss the prom


Your poor, homeschooled daughter will miss the prom. Every girl should have a chance to dress up formal and go to a dance their senior year.
Do you think so?
Well, God can even provide a formal dance for homeschooled teens. Mine attended one last week and was even escorted by a young man (to whom she was not related). She had a ball... pun intended. Here she is just before leaving for the dance.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bedtime Snack

We still have Chippy the squirrel. He is old enough to be released now, but he took a bad jump and injured his leg, so we will continue to look after him for now. Here is a video of him with C that I call "Bedtime Snack".
video

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Indian Spring pt.2



Today it was cloudy, windy, and 73 degrees! Dad took the kids out to fly a kite. Then we picked up bushels of pecans off our lawn. We have the largest pecan tree in KY in our yard and this year we had a bumper crop. Dad estimates we've harvested a hundred pounds so far. My squirrel will not go hungry this winter.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gingerbread Houses


We used graham crackers instead of gingerbread, and I let the little girls do it all by themselves. All I did was mix up some icing for mortar and snow. Cute, huh?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Indian Spring

You've heard the term 'Indian Summer'; now I propose 'Indian Spring'. It's what we had yesterday when it was 68 degrees and sunny. It felt like Spring, only in a creepy, dead sort of way. There were few birds or insects out, and the plant life was not awakening. Chippy (our squirrel) seemed really excited to smell the outdoors when we opened all the windows in the house. What a nice break from the dark, cold winter we've been having. Thank you, God.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Low-budget Christmas Pageant



Last night our church attempted a Christmas pageant. This is the first time we have done this, according to my memory, and I will just say that it was very cute and a lot of fun. Children way out-number adults at our church, so this show was all about the kids. The costumes were quite a hoot! You can see in the pics that the "wise men" wore cheesy beards and burger king crowns. The sheep were... well.... scarry? And our pastor, who was supposed to be King Herod...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant.

What?! I responded when my 14 year-old made this suggestion. "Where did you get that idea?" Not from the Bob Jones history book you are studying this year?"
"No, from ____(a friend of his)" he replied.
"Well don't take ____ as an authority on that. Lincoln kept the Union together. Otherwise we would be living in the 'Divided States of America' And we would say our pledge like this:
I pledge allegiance to the flags of the Divided States of America and to the republics for which they stand, two nations, under God, divisible, with liberty and justice for some."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Covenant College

Today we received an acceptance letter from Covenant College. We expected that Kate would be accepted, yet it was still exciting to formally receive the letter. Now the really challenging part-- how on Earth do we come up with the money? God owns "the cattle on a thousand hills"... If it is His will for her to attend there, He will make a way for her without a mountain of debt. We do not want her to be burdened for many, many years with student loan debt the way her father and I were. So we will apply, apply, apply, for aid and pray.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pigs, Goats, and Angels

This lady just drove up to our house to tell us that a large black pig, and a huge red goat are tearin' up her place, and did we know who they belonged to? She heard we had goats. Well, years ago we had some goats, but none now, and I draw the line at pigs. I'm looking to buy a milk goat, and as she was leaving I thought to ask her if it was the milking type, maybe we could catch it. I told Ricky to run out to her and ask her if it was a milk goat. He said, how would she know that? I said to ask her if it has an udder. He started laughing so hard at the thought of asking that, that she got away before he could catch her. Oh well, if you know of one for sale....

Here's the Christmas angel

video

Sunday, November 30, 2008

An Evening of Family Fun

Ahh...nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit like clean windows... You don't need to comment that I'm a neat freak-- I know. Anyway, after cleaning windows yesterday we decided to all go bowling and eat pizza out. Ricky was the high scorer with a 171. He had five strikes in a row! I mentioned that proffessional bowlers can make a lot of money, but he didn't seem interested in that career. Then we stopped and bought a Christmas tree-- a REAL one of course, and this evening we are decorating. Here's a new video of Chippy eating a piece of popcorn.
video

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Mighty Duck Hunters

Father and son had a successful duck hunt this morning. Ricky shot his first duck, a bufflehead. He's not a hunting fanatic like his dad, but he very much enjoyed it today. I spent most of the day cleaning all the ceiling fans and lighting fixtures in the house. (boring- I know, but you won't find me attempting to shop today.) I'm trying to gear up for doing the windows tomorrow. All the windows in the old section of the house are so old that they don't open well, leak air, and are difficult to keep clean. I only attempt it once a year in the fall after the insects and spiders have finished their damage for a season and the dust from the planting of winter wheat has settled.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Squirrels are Not Pets


I read the above statement as I was researching how to raise an orphaned squirrel, and I now believe it to be true. As Chippy grows quickly so do his wild instincts. He is still friendly, but now gets nervous easily and will be stressed if the kids play with him too much. He is not old enough to release into the wild yet, but he seems contented in his large cage with climbing logs. We still feed him milk three times a day, but he takes less, and eats more solid food. He has a beautiful bushy tail.

Big R is sick today with a cold. He's big enough to stay home by himself, but I elected to stay home from church to take care of him. Pretty soon he will be all grown up, so I need to take advantage of all the opportunities I have to mother him.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Disappearing Dog

Just a cute video...
video

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mishap

Lizzie has inspired me to share this embarrassing story with you, so here it goes... One day last week as I attempted to flush the toilet, the handle fell off. I mean it not only wouldn't flush, the little lever was laying on the floor. Well, I thought about recruiting help from my husband who just happened to be in the house at the time, but then I have at least a rudimentary knowledge about the working of toilets, and being the liberated supermom that I am, I attempted to put it back on myself. Well, I got it on, but it wouldn't turn, so I lifted the lid off the tank to see what the problem was, and as I did so, the hose that brings the water into the tank sprang loose and sprayed me ALL OVER like an unmanned fire hose. I instinctively used the tank lid I was still holding as a shield, but that didn't make the water stop, of course. So I did what all liberated supermoms do when cornered-- yell desperately for help from their husbands!

He didn't think it was very funny. He was concerned about all the water on the floor. But a few days later, the almost exact thing happened to my son. He and I were able to laugh about it then. And yes, my very handy husband eventually fixed it. Thanks Honey.

Kids are Wonderful

When I'm having a hard day, they never fail to lift my spirits. Take yesterday, for example. I was quite drained emotionally when we sat down for dinner (without Dad, again), then a montage of entertaining fragments ensued, refreshing my sense of humor and boosting my morale. Such as:
"Mom, when I'm eight, can I join an Indian tribe?"...
"I think I'm allergic to my bra."...
"The next person that says the word 'hate' has to do the dishes."... "Yeah, so don't say hate--oops!"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A walk by the lake

We visited Grandpa's house yesterday and had a lovely walk by the lake. On the lot adjacent to Grandpa's they are building a large log cabin. The interesting thing about it is that they are reusing huge old beams from another old house and then putting chink between them. It looks like a real old-fashioned, Abraham Lincoln log cabin. The children had fun playing on the wooded shore.

We finally finished Chippy's big cage. He loves it. He can climb up the logs and forage around in the sticks, rocks, nuts and other debris we placed in there for him. He still takes formula three times a day, but has trouble holding still now. His wounded toe has healed nicely, and I don't think will be much of a handicap. God makes His creatures incredibly adaptable.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tattle tales

It was hard day. I just needed a little rest and a little less confrontation. Maybe I was feeling a little experimental, too. Anyway, it was late in the afternoon, and I was laying down for a short rest, when one of the little girls came in and asked me for a cookie. Normally, I would either say, "Yes, you may have just one." or "No, it's too close to dinner time." But this time I said, "Sure, have as many as you want."
"Really?!" said my little one.
"Yes!" I replied. She ran to get her sister and told her what I had said. Then came back and asked if sister could have cookies, too.
"Yes, have as many as you want." They just stood there, shocked. Then they did a strange thing. They went to their older brother and told him what I had said. He advised them that they must be mistaken, and they should double check. So they came and asked me again. I gave them the same response. Then they did an even stranger thing. The 7 year old went in the kitchen, made herself a plate of left-over chicken and carrots and ate it. Then she had three cookies. The 5 year old didn't have anything. A few minutes later, Daddy came in. The 5 year old immediately told on me! --"Daddy, Mom said we could have all the cookies we want! That's not right, is it?"
Well, apart from being told on, I was proud of their moral responses. They felt that eating the cookies was wrong even with permission from their authority figure. So they didn't do it. Then they went to another authority figure for affirmation. (I guess it's OK to be told on.)
Cookies today, life decisions tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lizzie and Kate

Well, the sun still rose this morning. (And without Obama's help.) In fact, it was a perfectly beautiful day--high of 77 with pure sunshine and a gentle breeze. We spent most of the afternoon working on Chippy's cage. It is rather large--four feet high and 32 inches across. But we want him to have plenty of climbing room. He is beginning to play and bite on his monkey chow. Yes, I said monkey chow. It's what you're supposed to feed to squirrels so they don't get metabolic bone disease. Click the play button on the video below to see Chippy in action.

Last weekend Kate and I had a fun visit with Lizzie. She sure has changed. Here is Lizzie and Kate last year.

The pic below is Lizzie and Kate last weekend.
See what I mean? I think maybe she should cut back on theTwilight novels :) video

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting in Roaring Springs



We voted first thing this morning. That was pretty much routine, except for the view across the street from the volunteer fire station where we vote. Here are a couple pics of what is left of the triple murder scene. For those of you who are reading this from a distance and have not read it in a paper: The killer of the children, and attempted killer of their mother, has been arrested and we hope will be soon tried and executed. A motive has not really been explained other than that he was their DirecTV guy. I have heard that it may have been more of a stalking situation. Tell me, how does an otherwise normal guy, suddenly, and somewhat randomly, attack a woman, try to kill her, and then stab her three children to death, including a 5 year old little boy? It is unnerving having that intensity of evil so close to one's haven of home. Kristy, we are praying for you. Justice will be done, and although you may not see it, there is still Love in the world.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Undeserved Grace

C said the cutest thing at dinner today. Daddy had cooked some steaks and put one on each of our plates. C picked up the entire piece of steak on her fork and put it in her mouth. Daddy said, "Wait honey, and let Daddy cut that up for you. You shouldn't eat it that way, it's bad manners." To which C replied, "It's OK, I'm only sucking on it."

On a more serious note, little R said something profound. We were practicing our catechism and came to question 56: "How does God justify you?" The answer is: "God forgives all my sins and accepts me as righteous through Christ." I tried to explain that because Jesus took the punishment for our sin, God completely forgives us. And furthermore, when he looks at us he doesn't see us as sinners, all he sees is Jesus. So in effect, we are as clean and sinless as He is. Little R looked up at me with her sweet brown eyes and said so sincerely, "I don't deserve that." Exactly. None of us do. It's called Grace.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Accident!

Poor Chippy has had an accident! Apparently he caught a toe somewhere on the cage and in the effort of freeing himself, he broke the toe right off! The bone is completely severed at the first joint near the tip and merely hanging by the skin. I think it will heal OK, and we placed him back in a cardboard box for now. We will have to be quite careful when making his large cage. I feel bad about it, but I just didn't realize...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Open eyes


I have a bad cold and am staying home from church today. :( Church is the highlight of my week. My mother-in-law arrived on Friday for a visit. It is sooo nice having her here. Especially since I'm not feeling well, she has taken over the kitchen and children and given me plenty of rest. God bless her!

Chippy has opened his eyes! And he is becoming a chubby Chippy. He doesn't eat any solid food yet, but his upper incisors are coming in, so it should be soon. He still sleeps all day, but that should change soon also, and hopefully he will start to play. We can't wait for him to do more than just snuggle in our hands.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Demand-full day

Yesterday was what I call a demand-full day. The needs of others began at 5:30 in the morning and did not end until 10 that evening when I crashed exhaustedly into bed. Between my husband, children, and father, I seemed to have nary a moment to myself to catch my breath. Thankfully, this does not occur every day. It was just one of those days when I must remind myself that this is my ministry, that I am doing His will by meeting the needs of the people around me, and I thank Him for giving me meaningful things to do and stretching my endurance. How boring and useless is a self-pleasing life of ease. Lord, make me more like Christ.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Murder in Roaring Springs Pt.2

We in this small Roaring Springs community are relieved that the man responsible has been arrested, yet we are further horrified as each additional detail of the crime is brought to light. We are still uninformed as to the relationship that this man had to the family. We hope it was not a "random" act. But does that really matter? Would it make it any better to know that it was an estranged boyfriend or disgruntled employee? Not really. In my mind there is nothing that can make it better except to know that God is in control, and that His justice is perfect as is His love. Here is a news update: http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/31230924.html

Update on Chippy: We have had him now for 2 weeks and he continues to grow and develop. His eyes are still not open, but I can feel his upper incisors beginning to emerge. We have moved him to an extra birdcage we had in storage. He still has a little box and towel to nest in. He seems content there and is furry enough now that we have removed the heating pad. He begins to make small chattering sounds which entertains the children.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Murder in Roaring Springs

Roaring Springs is just a few miles from our house. Here is a link to the news story, however incomplete. http://www.kentuckynewera.com/articles/2008/10/16/news/free/doc48f6e13d1b502173048350.txt It is being investigated as a murder/arson. The way I heard it is that a house burned completely down, and a suspect vehicle was being sought in the area. I sure hope they catch him. Thankfully, it's raining today, so my kids will stay inside and I won't worry.

P.S. You were wrong, Lizzie. The electric co. actually came yesterday and successfully removed the tree!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bouncing for joy

You can't watch this and not smile.
video

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Riding a Camel


This weekend the kids had a blast camping at LBL with a group from church. They also had the pleasure of spending an entire day with their dad without their "safety-conscious" mom around. Mom made up for it though, by stopping at the Cadiz Hamfest with the little girls and letting Rose have a ride on the camel. When Cami saw how big the camel was and heard him making a "growling" sound she decided not to have a ride.

Chippy, the baby squirrel is doing very well. He is gaining weight and eating more and looking more like a squirrel than an alien now. Any day now his eyes should open. When I feed him, I can feel his two little incisor teeth coming in. We'd better start working on some kind of cage. I fear he will soon outgrow the shoebox. (see posts below for some background on Chippy)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Celtic Crossroads

Kate and I went to a wonderful concert last night at the Alhambra. It was a mix of singing, playing, and dancing by an Irish group called Celtic Crossroads. If you ever get a chance to see them, jump on it-- they are awesome.

Update on Chippy: He is still alive and doing fine. He is taking about 2 cc's of formula at each feeding, six times a day, so I stopped getting up in the night to feed him. We made a "nest" for him with a towel in a shoebox and placed the whole thing on a heating pad. See blog below to read more about Chippy.

Update on Bunny: She is still at my friend's llama farm, but the experts there believe that she may already be pregnant. See blog below for more about Bunny also.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A baby squirrel!

Meet Chippy. Our cats killed his mom. Rose found him laying on the floor of the barn. We decided to try to save him. We warmed him and fed him a salt/sugar/water solution with an eyedropper. He swallowed it. I got up at 2am to feed him last night, telling myself that he is probably dead. He wasn't. I drove to the vet early this morning to buy some puppy milk replacer. That's what was recommended on the internet by people who have done this before. We never have. Chippy took his new formula every 4 hours today, which consisted of 2 parts water, 1 part puppy milk, and 1/2 part heavy whipping cream. I'll have to feed him at 2am again tonight. I feel like a new mom. The kids are absolutely thrilled. They have been praying that Chippy will live, and acknowledging that it was a miraculous find. I must admit that this is exciting for me, too. I plan to teach at least two of the children how to feed him so I won't have to do it every time. But the first day I wanted to make sure he was eating. Cami, 5 years old, thinks it is so cool that you have to stroke his bottom with a tissue to make him go potty. I explained that the momma squirrel would lick him instead. Gross, but true. If anyone out there has raised a squirrel before we would be appreciative of your advice.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Breeding Bunny

We currently have two llamas at Honeysuckle Cave Farm, consisting of a female named Bunny, and a male named Charlie. We raised Bunny on a bottle after she was orphaned. Charlie came to us a year later. They are both about three years old, but have never bred. We were starting to think something was wrong with them, so today after church we brought Bunny over to a friend's llama farm to see if another male could be successful with her. Baby llamas are sooo adorable.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Will they ever come?


My husband was putting new siding on his shop today. Near the shop is a dead tree which was partially uprooted by the recent winds from hurricane Ike. This tree did not come down because it is leaning on another tree and holding on precariously to the power line. We called the power company and told them about the situation. They said they would come out and take care of it. This was over two weeks ago. Will they ever come? Will they wait until the tree falls and the line breaks?.... Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raising Butterflies

A project we did this summer was raising painted lady butterflies. We bought a kit with a pop-up netted butterfly house and a coupon for mail-order butterfly larvae. The caterpillars arrived in a plastic cup with their food already added. We watched them grow for about a week, then all 10 of them crawled to the top of the cup and made chrysalides. We carefully removed the liner on the lid of the cup and pinned it to the netting on the house. When the butterflies emerged about a week later, they were so fun to watch! The girls spent hours feeding them sugar nectar and fruit, letting them crawl on their hands, and watching them sip with their proboscis'. After several days we set all the butterflies free on some zinnias we had growing outside. This was a wonderful hands-on learning project. Click on the video below to see the butterflies in feeding action.


video

Flomar

We have an aussie mix puppy that we rescued from the pound. She's about 7 months old now, so yesterday we had her spayed. She's doing fine, although not her usual over-active self. She's very smart and needs lots of stimulation. If we don't give it to her, she will terrorize the kittens. OK, even when we DO give her stimulation, she terrorizes the kittens.

You may be wondering where the name Flomar came from. It came from the movie The Martian Child. It is about an orphaned boy who believes he is from Mars. He is adopted by a fantasy novel writer, and their relationship developes sometimes in reality and sometimes somewhere else. It is one of our very favorite movies. You've got to see it. Anyway, the name Flomar is Martian for "warm, furry friend".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jehovah's Witnesses?

Saturday, I was doing some yardwork when the Jehovah's Witnesses stopped by. I always drop everything and chat with them (Mormons also) when they approach me. Now before you condemn me as giving ear to heresy, please listen to my reasoning: First, you must realize that as a homeschooling mom, I spend a lot of time with my children, and don't have a large sphere of influence outside the home. So, when the mission field comes knocking on my door (literally), I view it as a God-given opportunity to share my faith. Secondly, I believe these misguided people are not the enemy, but people deceived by the enemy and in need of a Savior. When they find out that you are a "Bible Believer", they want to talk about eschatology and the end of the world. Now, the J.W.'s have been predicting the end of the world for almost a hundred years now. They also have a problem with God being a Trinity, an issue which we should never yield. And they have their own weird translation of the Bible, obviously to support their weird theology. Apparently, door-knocking is one of the requirements in their faith, because they all seem to feel the need to do it to be a "good christian".
I try to explain to them that salvation comes through Christ alone, through faith alone. It is a gift from God, not something anyone could earn. He gives it freely to all that have been chosen to receive it. Do you believe that Jesus is God? that when He died on the cross He took the punishment for your sins? Do you believe that He then rose from the dead? If you do, tell Him. He wants to have a relationship with you.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Drunk Bees


The bees around here have been acting rather strange. Ricky discovered the reason-- they are getting drunk from eating fermenting pears. You can poke them with a stick and they just stumble around. Some of them are just huddling together on the ground, I guess trying to stay warm in the 70 degree weather. It was such a beautiful day today, the little girls and I went for a lovely horseback ride this morning. (And we caught the pony on the first try which made it extra lovely.)
These are pictures of C with her kitten baby. Who needs dolls when you can cuddle a warm, furry, purry creature?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pears and Perseverance

We had an over-abundance of pears this year. We have just one tree but it was a boon. The thought of canning bushels of pears was daunting to me, so my resourceful husband decided to take over the job. He used a sweet cinnamon and clove sauce and filled several cans tonight. Let me tell you they are soooo good! This is the first time he's ever done any canning and I am so proud of him.
I am also very proud of R, my 7 year old. Here's the story: We have three horses, only one is really a welsh pony. He is very smart but very naughty and he does not like to be caught when he is at leisure in the pasture. I needed to treat him with wormer this morning so I send R out with the halter. Although she is the only person the pony usually will come to, today he would not be captured. So I had to join her in the 4 acre pasture and spend about an HOUR chasing him around until he surrendered from fatigue. R was ready to give up several times, but I would not let her. "We can't let him get away with this," I told her, "We've got to win." So through tired tears she persevered until the victory was won. What a wonderful character training lesson for both of us. I thought, if we do nothing else today it will still be a successful day in the eyes of a homeschooling mom.