Monday, August 27, 2012

Wanderlust..It's bad!!

I have it bad...and it's not even's..well..fallish..kindof.    Around here anything below 90 degrees feels cool right now.  And those days that begin cool with a brilliant blue sky,  big fluffy cottonball clouds,  slight breeze, and just the right music on the radio make me want to take off...ANYWHERE!!!

Here are some blogs of places I would LOVE to visit...and can I just say REALLY?  These people actually live's not a dream.


This blog post caught my eye because it had the word BLUE in it.   Here are a couple more pics from that blog...if you like it..go on over and visit...

Port en Bessin

At the café

That's me in the red polka dot dress...I mean that's where I WANT to a red polka dot dress..reading..and enjoying....

Here is another blog about living in France..

I drooled over these photos..

Seriously,  who takes a vacation here? me me..please!

So, if you call, and I don't answer..I will be off in one of these least in my dreams and on my computer. 

I know I shouldn't dream too much about places I will probably never see..but I think of it as God's way of saying I was meant for more that just here...and that where I am WAY more beautiful than this,  and believe me..I long for heaven as much or more that these fantastic places.  And that gives me hope...I may not enjoy France in this world...but whatever God has designed heaven to be like will FAR out way anything I desire here...and I wouldn't trade a trip to France for my final home....

If you find yourself longing for these far off getaway's...ask yourself if it is because your heart knows you were created for much more than this..Do you know where your forever home is?

thanks for reading,


Monday, August 6, 2012

School Daze

Yes...I mean daze....I finally got everything together,  the notebooks, the book lists,  the schedule thought out...I was planning on a great first day...

We got up at the crack of dawn..6 am for some, 6:30 for others.  Chores, Bible reading,  and then off on our first day of 5K training...WHAT??  Yes,  we are training for a 5K run..all of us.  I had my eldest look up an 8 week program and it looks like we can do it.   We walked 1 1/2 min. then ran 1 min.  Not too bad.  My heart ended up in my throat the last run...I had to chase down a child who kept wanting to nap on the side of the road...but it went very well.  One day down,  23 more days to go.  

My eldest made breakfast for us...yeah for kids learning to cook.  We were very thankful for those oatmeal pancakes. 

After showers to stop the showers, (of sweat!!!  It's ENORMOUSLY  hot and humid here in the mid south!)  we began our school.  The kids are so much more independent this year.  A little scary...and yet very freeing.  I get better at organizing and having things all set for them,  they get better at reading and execution.   It  helps to have goals.....get this done this week,  done well, done cheerfully or no birthday for you, missy!!...Ok, so not that drastic but we do have some sleepovers and rewards that need to be earned.

All was going well son reminded me to call about when his orthodontic appt was.  Uh,  today,  in 10 min.    Out the door we go,  praying the girls would keep plugging away.  They did pretty well...but I really don't like last minute dashes. 

Anyway,  it seems this year is off to a good start.  If you have begun school,  how did it go?  If not,  do you feel prepared?

dashing off to scrape a ceiling,


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thoughts on the Word ...and some chicken pics

I have been reading chronologically through the Bible this year.  LOVE IT.   I think it makes the prophets and their prophecies come alive.  Here are some thoughts on today's reading. 

Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he?

We puff man up here on earth.  Books (and shows) about self help,  about pefecting our beauty, knowledge  (ouch!), homes,  gardens,  food.  It is all to puff ourselves up.  Here God is saying "of what account is he?"  Ouch again!  Other scripture talks of the shortness of life.  

Job 7:7  "remember that my life is a breath."

Psalm 39:5  "Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath !"

Psalm 78:33  "So he made  their days vanish like  a breath."

Go ahead..take a breath.  That is how fast our life here on earth will seem from the viewpoint of eternity.  I don't want to be like the Israelites in whom God was quite unhappy.  He looked at their big houses,  fine food,  beautiful gardens,  rich clothing,  false worship,  broken relationships,  and led them to be exiled.   I want my breath,  my short time here to bring honor to God.  Thanks to the Lord for all my "counselors"  (parents,  pastors, friends)  who also desire this and can help me get back on the righteous path when I vere off. 

Take time today to evaluate your "breath".  Is God saying "of what account are you"  because of your misplaced sense of self importance...or are you making your breath be counted worthy of Christ?

a little heavy today,  but such a good reminder!!

And here are the chic pics.

   I bought 10 white chickies from TSC in April.  I hoped they were good for this area and for egg laying. 

Here are all 10 of them in a plastic bin.  My son and I quickly made another for longer term.

I think it is wonderful.  So did the chics.  We made it with pvc pipes we had laying around,  zip ties, and fencing.  I think knowing a little geometry would have made this job a lot easier. 


Here is what they look like 11 weeks later. 

Here is a pic with a comparison to the 1 1/2 yr old layers and the crazy rooster.  (Story coming's ...well...long.)

It turns out I bought White Leg Horns,  which are great egg layers and tolerate heat very well.  Good thing!!  We already had one Orpington die from this heat.  I have 3 others and some Red Sex Links.  I pray they make it. 

Last pic for you with a question.  What do chickens do when it gets hot?

Go swimming.  Sheesh!!  It IS the south.  (In case you can't see it,  that bin has water in it.  The chickens were lining up to get in and cool off.  I may need to do that myself.

Stay cool,  drink water,  and go play with your kids.  Mine beat me HAPPILY AND GLEEFULLY at Parcheesi.



Friday, June 29, 2012

Outdoor showers

Is anyone else thinking of water conservation...since we have a drought going on?!!  I am actually saving water from washing dishes in the sink to pour on my plants.  I just read about putting a bucket in the shower while it is warming up and then pouring that on the plants.  My sister is swimming at the local pool 3 or 4 times a week, and they shower there instead of at home.  HMMM...all good ideas.

Then I began thinking,  why not shower outside?  NOOO, not in the a swimsuit..or something. Not that confident..I mean, NO,  that's not nice!!  I'll figure it out as I go.  Here are some pics of ones I found on the web.  I also pinned some to my Pinterest.

Pinned Image

Simple Outdoor Showers : Outdoors : Home & Garden Television

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Here is a "If I had a million dollars"  version  I love!!

I will let you know what happens.  I would really like it to be moveable.  That way I could water the yard AND clean off the dirt.  I love duel purposes....I think my 13 yr old son needs  a job and this seems right up his alley.  

Have a cool..clean day,


Five Question Friday

1. What do you keep a stock pile of? 
  Books...I bet you knew that though.  I really don't stock pile..don't believe in it...except books.   Husband and I were thinking of ways to simplify what we have...and I STARTED on the thought (didn't say it aloud..shesh)  that maybe I should get rid of some books,  and then I shook myself awake from that really scary nightmare and went over to the book shelf and hugged and kissed a couple.  I felt much better.  No toilet paper?   Just grab some newspaper.  No shampoo?  Sprinkle some baking soda on you hair.  No books... well,  that wouldn't even be heaven now would it?


2. If Ben & Jerry asked you to invent an ice cream, what would it be?

I am such a fan of Baskin Robbins choc chip and choc mint that I would LOVE for those to be mixed.  But that would be awkward asking Ben and Jerries to make Baskin Robbins flavors.  

3. How do you blow off steam? 

 Seriously,  I pray,  walk outside,  go watch the chickens,  picks some weeds,  water the flowers.  If I had a million dollars,  I would catch the next flight to Europe and then ride a train and visit castles, museums,  local eateries,  small hotels,  walk some hills, and come back a very well rested and cosmopolitan woman.  Ah,  dreams.

4. What would you do if you had an hour to yourself anywhere within a ten mile radius of your kids, no hubby, just you? 
 Ten miles from my house would only get me to Sonic,  a gas station, and my friend Kelly's house.  So I would have to choose taking Sonic OVER to my friend Kelly's house for a crazy hour of laughing our heads off.  Kelly,  I'll be over soon.  What flavor Blast you want?

5. When you were 16, what was your curfew in the summertime?
  I guess 10.  I didn't like staying out late...loved to be in bed by 10, still do..and still don't like being out late.  I think my parents knew that and we never really had to talk about this.  The more I think about my teen years,  the wierder I think I was.  What teenager doesn't like to stay out?  I guess that means my house was more fun than anything else.  Or else I was just weird.

Now you know MUCH more about me.   If you have time,  copy these questions and let me know about you...if I still have any readers other that my mom..  Thanks, mom.

catch you later...but hopefully not too later.


Thursday, June 28, 2012


Summer is here and it's HOT!!   I have had a difficult, crazy,  busy,  exciting,  fulfilling spring...and now it's time to begin blogging again.  I think...we'll see.

My garden has done well this year.  I have been excited to see how much I am improving on my knowledge of growing things.  Here are a few pics...

Here is lettuce,  carrots, broccoli, spinach, onions.  We ate and ate...and harvested over 100 carrots.  The chicken got into the broccoli and it grew slowly and never really recovered.  They are in a pen now and CAN'T get out...the little boogers.

My husband is trying tomotoes in a bucket upside down.   It's going much better now that it is in the sun...don't we all..

All the kids planted a raised bed garden this year with what they wanted..some more reluctantly than names will be mentioned my darling eldest....Here is my son's produce.  He wanted cucumbers so he could make pickles.  I didn't think he liked them and when I asked him about it he said he didn't.  HUH???   Sweet boy.  He just wanted to make pickles for others...HMMM..there is hope. 

This child REALLY wanted sunflowers...and they are beautiful and huge.  I was trying to picture the tiny bees working on this big helianthus annus...I could see the pollen collected in their sacs..I had not seen them in real life before. .  So let's play find the bee.  1,000,000 points if you find it.  (By the way,  hlianthus annus is the scientific name for sunflower...helios is  Greek for sun,  anthemon for flower, and annus for year. Interesting, you say!!  Yes, we do homeschool.  No, my kids don't know this. No judging.)  

  Yes,  there is more in the garden, but that is for another post.

The rest of the Spring/feels like dog days of summer are going very quickly.  Some things are a little different this year.  My two youngest are not swimming on the team...I wanted a slower pace for them this year...HAAAA!   What does that MEAN?   Please...someone help me know how and when and where.   We just finished   That is a post for another day.  Hopefully before next year's camp.  SOME of my children are still working on school.  HE HE.   Oh yeah,  that means I am still helping in school...UGH.  SIGH!

so much more...later.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oscar the Grouch

When I was growing up,  my parents made the decision NOT to have a t.v. in the house.   I don't ever remember thinking it was strange or feeling left out.  I am sure at times I did,  but it obviously didn't leave least I haven't discussed it with my therapist...yet!!

 One show we did see occasionally was Sesame Street...and I LOVED Oscar the Grouch.  My granddaddy's name was Oscar...but I don't think he was a grouch...I just liked the name connection and the character of Oscar.  I was fascinated with his trash can little on the outside, but full of treasure on the inside.  And he was NEVER happy...

That's me.  I have felt very GROUCHY the last few months.   I have struggled to find the joy in life...the little things that I should smile about...the laugh of my 7 yr old,  the hug of my 13 yr old son (I should rejoice...I KNOW!!),   my 16 yr old fixing my fake coffee,  my 10 year old playing her psaltry.   But I have been so weighted down with life that the little things that SHOULD  matter I overlook, and the little things that SHOULDN'T matter, (like messy counters or rooms not picked up) do.  I guess all the months of stress  have made me want calm and order and things done the way they should be (or at least the way I THINK they should)....and I live in house with those four plus a husband who is having to work 2 jobs.   ( You may begin playing the violin music...but I need wine and cheese first, please!!)

I don't want to live like this...I don't want my kids clamoring to find adventure out there...another woman or man who smiles and says nice things to them...I want that to be ME!  I want to wake up with a quirky song in my heart and on my lips...not reminders of chores not done.   I want to take adventures to parks,  glamping (he he) or fishing...not mowing lawns,  feeding chickens, and disciplining yet another child.  (These are all important but should not be ALL IMPORTANT!)  I want to notice these little things and thank my kids. 

I want my 16 to want to shop with I guess I should take her shopping
I want my 13 to still want to talk to me about EVERYTHING! I should go fishing and listen.
I want my 10 year old to share her thoughts on her favorite I should read the book and take her to Starbucks for coffee and laugh or cry with her.
I want to my littlest one too remember a fun, happy momma who wasn't so worried about the floor of her room, but who loved her spontaneity or joy of life...and to share those moments with her.

Sooooo......I am looking for ways to bring these things in.   That means not having as clean a floor as I would like,  not picking up ALL  the stuff I want picked up.  Maybe having an extra load or two of clothes to do because we were having so much fun somewhere else on laundry day.  Maybe making more crock pot meals and worrying less about ACT scores and college.   I am not sure what it will look like...but I want to strive for something.  YOU know the old saying,  if you don't aim for something,  you won't hit anything.  (I think that's it...let me know if it's not...I tend to mix sayings around to suit my thoughts!!) 

This has been a little heavy,  but I needed to write it out...accountability for myself I guess.  Wait until you see what has been going on at our house.  Here is a sneak peek at tomorrow's post. 

thanks for reading,


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was a huge blow to the Confederates but a victory to the Federals. It was Genaral Lee's idea to attack. So he found about 150 guns in the camp, gave them to his men, but in the end he lost.

The Battle

The Results


A God of Order

Numbers....who would have thought that this book would teach me about who God is and what He likes?  I like helps me stay sane...and God likes order also.   The first 3 chapters far...are about order..a census is taken..the Israelites are told how to arrange themselves in the camp and in what order to leave and exit camp.  There are specific people to do specific jobs....this tells me that not all are called to do the same thing.   Thank goodness... you would not like my color choices and lay out of rooms if I were asked to decorate.  But give me some books and a shelf...boy howdy,  I could make you (and me) very happy and orderly. 

Which brings me to the book sale.   We had the first of the three for the year at the main library this past Fri.  It goes through Sun.  but I try to only go one day..I spend less that way.  Yes,    I spend 4-5 hrs in a basement looking at books..and I am NOT ashamed or give ANY excuses.  It is pure fun. 

I have an ORDER to my search.  This time I took all my children because I couldn't be at all the places at once.  What I mean by this is....there are different sections of the sale, and I look for specific books from each section,  history,  children's,  religious,  the old this time I needed more than one person so we could run walk calmly over to the sections at one time and look before anyone else got there.  Oh,  I didn't just say that did I?  Forget that.  I really was not as jittery as I am normally am.  Sometimes I don't sleep very well the night before I am so nervous and excited.  Terrible,  I know.  REALLY..I took the kids because they each had books they wanted me to look for and I knew I wouldn't be able to look like they they went to find their books..and a couple of mine on my list.   I didn't find them, but I did find some for others...that's just as much fun to me.  Here is a pic of some of our finds. 

Also,  this time,  I took only cash,  had a limit,  and MET IT.    You can't possibly know how revolutionary this was for me, unless you compare it to shopping.  THEN you understand.  Or dieting.  Let's not go there in this post.    I usually SAY a  limit of 3 boxes and come out with 5,  wheezing at how much I just spent and wondering how to tell my husband and where we will find room on the shelf.  I actually only had about 15-20 (books)  of my own personal (not going on the kids shelf) books.  I did accidentally leave behind about 8 books on the floor.  But I look at it as God's protections against greed.  

And what do books have to do with the book of Numbers...besides that they are books...?   Well,  I ordered my spending,  and preordered my shelves to accommodate new books, and have all my new books on my shelves,  and nothing lying around.  My books are in order.    I see the connection.  And I feel very the moment. 

Here is a random picture of lentils in a pot.  Very ordered, and pretty. 

thanks for reading,


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vows, Allergies, School, and HGTV

No excuses.   Just ....well, no excuses. 

So what AM I doing right now?

This has been the WORST season for me.  I guess it's that over 40 thing.  But I am not even going to church today because my whole face is swollen and my eyes are so itchy I just "gently" rub all day. 

What ELSE is going on? 


I am using this web site and LOVE it.  It is the same one I used last year to read the Bible through,  but just chronologically.   Just finished Leviticus and learned SOOO much.  Here are just a few thoughts.

1. Reading through the old testament has opened my eyes to the teachings of the new testament.  They ae not different,  only explained.  Here are a few instances.

   In Leviticus we see where God desires His people to look, act, worship and be different from those around them.  In the new testament, here is what  God says.

Phil 2:15  that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Col 2:8  See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Rom 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 John 2:15   Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

There are others that as you read the new testament will jump out at you.    I am so thankful I have stuck with the day to day reading.  Sounds crazy but this is only the second year EVER that I have stuck with it.  I think the habit forming of getting up and reading first thing (well,  after getting coffee and cleaning up while the pot is heating up) has made an impression on my mind and now I feel things are not right if I haven't read God's word and listened for instruction. 

And then I am doing this....

We have found a web site that lets us watch HGTV free!!!  And since we have NOTHING on our tv right now,  this is nice.  We are in the process of transforming our living room.  I will get pics up soon.  They are NOT pretty.  I am praying the end result will be.  NO...I am confidant, because I have a great DESIGNER...a friend who really IS a designer...along with my sister...who really IS a desinger.

The last thing going on here...well, not the last but the last for this post.. is homeschooling.  Going great,  loving the books and results,  and planning our LAST 12 WEEKS!  Can you believe it?  In 12 weeks we will be finished with this years books.   I will post some books we have been reading,  some new writing material we are using, and ..oh yes...we just went to a book sale.  I will post about that. 

thanks for reading,  (if you are still around!!)


Monday, January 30, 2012

Winter or Spring?

Here in Arkansas, you never can tell what the weather will be.  Cold, hot,  snowy, windy.    Today is beautiful,  sunny with a light wind.  So I naturally thought of getting everyone out doors.

 We have been working on containing the chickens in one area, giving them enough room to roam but keeping all the POOP out of the yard we play in.  I am really tired of telling the kids to check their feet, shoes, blankets, pants, etc.  Here is a pic of our redneck chicken coop.

We had some temporary fencing to keep them out of the garden, but now I want them out of the yard, so we put it around another part of the yard with a tree for shade and protection and all is better.  But it is SOOO tacky.  There are even bricks on the edge to to keep the chickens from crawling under the fencing.  Hopefully soon, we will put up some pig wire permanently with a door. 

 The kids are building their own beds for growing things this spring.  I am slowing but surely releasing my hold on projects that I thought were mine.  So I have two raised beds and they each get one.  Here is a pic of the three younger kids working on their beds.  (The wood we scrounged around for in  the burn pile and a neighbors burn pile. .frugal huh??)

Lastly,  a pic of our newly acquired rooster, 12 weeks old.  Right now the chickens are bigger than he is and peck him.  Thankfully, he can get out and away from them during the day.  At night,  well,  let's just say I haven't found any blood yet.  I hope he man's up soon and puts those hens in their place.  I want some chicks this spring.  Pretty isn't he?

No name yet.  In the running is Mr. Scott and Hugo. Do you like one or the other?  Let me know and I will tell the girls. 

Sorry for not posting in so long.  I vacillate between writing what's on my heart, which sometimes shouldn't be spoken of, and writing day to day happenings.  Hopefully I can combine these and just have fun here. 

thanks for reading,


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Florence Nightingale

Seeing as I am not posting lately,  I think a narration from one of my children would be nice.  This is from Rachael.

Florence Nightingale was a nurse in a hospital where she stayed up almost all night with the soldiers when they had to have operations.  She had wanted to be a nurse.  Let’ go back in time.   Florence had one sister and a mom and dad. Fanny was her mother.   I don’t have her dad’s name, but her sister was named Parthe.   She was not a quiet girl, but she day dreamed.   She was amazing like a Moses.  One time she made a fire out of nothing but an operating table.  One time she met the queen.  Villagers  had given her 45,000 dollars for her hospital.  Well, that is all folks.

Rachael Steele.