Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Spurs take the Suns in 5
Now onward!
Go Spurs! Beat the Hornets!
Onward on the homefront is registering Caleb & Rachel for next school year's FLVS classes.
They both want Spanish. He wants the first computer class. She wants Language Arts.
I want a summer vacation!
Also onward for 2/3 of the family is going to the FPEA Convention Memorial Day Weekend - almost counts as a vacation. Just registered. I always enjoy the conferences. I'm especially looking forward to the Summit Teen Track for Caleb & Andrew. THEY are NOT looking forward to it. THEY don't yet know they are going!
Another soon occuring project is the Keystone Heights Book Swap & Informational Meeting that will take place at Trinity Baptist from 9-noon on May 16 (yes, happy birthday to me). That night will be Rachel's small birthday sleepover since her Bday is the Monday after.
Here's the bookswap flyer:
Do you have questions about HOME EDUCATION?

Home School Informational Meeting
& Book Swap
Friday, May 16, 2008
9 a.m. to noon
Trinity Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
3716 SE State Road 21 in Keystone Heights

Are you curious about how to begin to home school? Gary Weaver, Florida Parent Educators Association State Chairman and FPEA District 4 Director, and his wife will be present to provide information and help answer questions. Gainesville homeschooling speaker and author, Mardy Freeman will have a materials table set up. Several support group leaders and other experienced homeschoolers will also be on hand.

Those selling can enter at 8 a.m. and can sell/swap with each other before the doors open to shoppers at 9 a.m. Those selling are responsible for their own materials and money. Large round tables with chairs around them will be in place. Sellers may not use more than one table each. RSVP if possible to give us some idea of how many to prepare for. There will be a FREE table. Note: there was an amazing amount of unclaimed free items last year.

Most things related to education are acceptable for sale: curriculum, workbooks, reading & how-to books, supplies (ex. art), furniture (desks, bookcases), games, exercise equipment, movies, computers, educational toys, uniforms (ex. karate, ballet). Arts & crafts are fine.
No garage sale type clothes, toys, dishes, etc.
No live animals in the church.

Parents must keep with them all children too young to shop for themselves unless they are able to sit quietly and watch some videos borrowed from our church library that will be playing in an area prepared for the children. No messy drinks or snacks.

Trinity Baptist Church is located between Melrose and Keystone Heights, 2.5 miles south of Keystone Heights. There is no entrance or sellers fee. Donations toward the church expenses will be appreciated but are not required for participation.
Look for the donation jar.

If you have any questions, please contact Patti at . Please do not call the church as they are providing the facility but are not organizing the event.
Feel free to pass along this event information

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bargan Hunting

I just finished reading a (so far) two book series by Sharon Dunn
called A Bargain Hunters Mystery. The books are Death of a Garage Sale Newbie and Death of a Six-Foot Teddy Bear. Both were quick, fun Christian reading dealing with money attitudes, relationships and that who-done-it mystery waiting to be solved by page 275. Yes, they are going into the library! Of course, their bargain hunting caused me to reminisce about my own...

Last Saturday Rachel & I went shopping at my absolutely favorite place to buy nearly-free clothes & other misc. items. This place puts Wallyworld clearance items to shame price-wise. It even takes the spark out of finding garage sale bargains. $1 for an almost new pair of jeans? Outrageous! Goodwill Store? Preposterous!

The place/event is the Community Church Rummage Sale $1 Bag Day.

On this day, as you might ascertain by the name, one can fill up a paper bag then pay only $1 for everything contained therein. How much can you stuff into one paper bag? Depending on bulk, easily over 10 items - 15, 20, 30. Paying 10 cents or less for each item is quite a thrilling deal!

At this price, I can buy anything and everything that I want. WooHoo! I can buy things for everyone I know. I can be happy about what I spend knowing that the $ is going to a good ministry. I can be thrilled with my inexpensive finds: A skirt in my size that still has the price tag on it, a second pair of boots for Caleb, home school books, Christmas mugs to fill with candy for the 4-H horse club's fundraiser, pantyhose to braid into Easter Pageant costume ties, craft materials, knick knacks. All kinds of things. And if they don't fit the chosen body or decor, I can just donate them to charity or pass them along. No problem-o

Saturday's $2 shopping expedition produced: some craft materials, 2 glass vases, 2 glass containers with lids (one made in Italy), tan skirt (with tags), red skirt, gray dress pants, red shorts, green top & pants set, 4 nice shirts, 2 shirts & a half slip for Rachel, a windbreaker & western shirt for Caleb, 3 shirts for Ms Cindy, shoulder purse - oh, I just looked at the purse again & found 30 cents in an inside pocket.

I don't remember what Rachel purchased on her $2 shopping spree except for a nice broomstick skirt for herself, & for Jacob, a kilt.

It fit him when he tried it on but I don't have a photo yet. Maybe later.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Brace Yourself

No sweep for the SPURS.


Home games are more fun to win so



Now, for all the updates:

Andrew is NOT going to summer college. I did not like the schedule. Nearly every class begins at 5:30 (a.m. or p.m.).

Rachel got her braces & is doing well.

Jacob did not get to see Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed but the rest of the kids plan to go see it Sunday with their WorldView class.

Speaking of WorldView, Here's some educational websites: Worldview Weekend site this is to take the worldview class World Magazine (Like Time but with a Christian worldview) World Magazine Blog

Yesterday, our pastor gave us homework: Write down 100 blessings.

The kids & I were verbally tossing around blessings: chocolate, air conditioning, horses, butterflies, justification...

Stan said he could almost hear us singing, "These are a few of our favorite things!"

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mini Saga

Oxymoron? You decide!

Some people purchase vehicles when the one they currently drive hits a certain odometer reading or develops too many mechanical problems. Our motivation for acquiring the last few vehicles?


We only claim four.

Something to remember about children is that they expand with age.
Some of them grow very long legs & arms which fill up the space in a back seat very rapidly.

Thus the desire for a different vehicle.

Act 1

About three years ago I began praying for a mini van.

Most homeschoolers have them - you almost feel like you are not really in the "home school club" without one but we'd managed so far with our beautiful burgandy buick.

The boys said their friends called it the clown car because when the six of us arrived somewhere, with all the unfolding of arms & legs (remember they are LONG) as the boys extracted themselves from the Buick bowels (aka the back seat), more people seemed to be exiting the car than were actually squeezing out. Hm.

An alternative would be for us to drive the Beast > our 1984 Clubwagon (the tan van driven by my man Stan) which seats 12 & is great for packing with friends for FIELDTRIPS
However, with no A/C, the high humidity along with summer temperatures in north Florida (NOTE:summer in N FL can begin in March or April and often lasts through November)experienced while traveling in Beastie leaves one stuck-to-the-vinyl-seats drenched and hot-air-in-the-face windblown by the time church is reached a mere 20 minutes away. The Beast can pull heavy loads but is ravenous (10 mpg loaded or empty - in the photo above, you can see Stan through the window feeding the beast). It has been a fun ride & a wonderful blessing. We actually bought the Beast when I was expecting Caleb because my '69 Mustang Grande' didn't have enough seatbelts...
No, it's not for sale.

So, as I said at the beginning, I began to pray for a minivan. Months passed but I persisted. I knew we really couldn't afford to purchase another vehicle but MY FATHER owns the cattle on a thousand hills
so anything was possible.

I answered the phone while I was fixing lunch one day in January 2006 and my friend Rachael
said to me, "You know we just recently bought a new minivan and we were thinking about selling our old one but when we prayed about it, we felt like we should give it away and you came to mind. By any chance would you like to have our '93 Mercury Villager? It has some problems..."

When I could talk again we rejoiced together over answered prayer then discussed the details. Soon Mini came to live at our house & my wonderful live-in mechanic fixed her up.

What a fantastic A/C! Leg room for the kiddos and even one extra seatbelt.

Over the past two years, we took Mini to visit friends & family (ours, not hers, Silly!) in Texas, Alabama, Georgia & Tennessee as well as taking her to church and fieldtrips on a regular basis.

Why, you ask, is Mini a "her"? Excellent question! The answer is that she is moody. Sometimes the radio works - maybe there is a song on that she likes? Sometimes she locks her doors when we are inside > keeping us safe, perhaps? Sometimes she locks all the doors when we get out or just locks the driver's door - not wanting to go? Sometimes the door attached power seatbelts work & sometimes we have to do them manually - not that we mind. What personality!

When Jacob got his license we let him drive Mini since she had the smallest engine which in our minds equaled safer driving. We hoped he didn't get teased too badly about driving her to work & college. On the contrary, everyone loved having the spacious Mini to take the whole gang places. She was a hit!

Act 2

Speaking of hits, earlier this semester, when Jacob pulled into a parking space at college, Mini's oil filter (which we didn't previously realize sticks down in front of the front tire - whose bright design was that?) collided with the concrete barrier at the edge of the parking space. This cut the filter resuling in a huge oil spill and a drained engine. Mini conked-out on the way home.

After an oil transfusion, my marvelous mechanic managed to motivate Mini's motor to move. But she had a bad knock. Her days were numbered.

Jacob was told to "baby" her so she'd last as long as possible.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch - okay, it's just a rural lot on a deadend dirt road - the mama (that's me) called around seeking a replacement engine. A new one was over $2000 (more than Mini's blue book value). A used engine with 175,000 miles on it was $750. So we waited.

Stan saw an ad for a comparable minivan posted at work. If I remember correctly, the asking price was $1000. Stan called & the guy said he'd take $700. He went to see it & asked some questions about it & the guy offered to sell it for $500.

So we drove to Jax to get Red.

Driving home, Stan noticed that Red's engine had a knock but a different kind (read "he could fix this one") than Mini. Since Mini is the nicer of the two vehicles, Stan decided to do a motor/transmission transplant when Mini finally bit the dust.

Act 3

Alas, the dust has been bit, uh, bitten.

On the way to class one morning before Easter, something broke loose and shot out of the bottom of Mini's engine through the oil pan. Poor thing bled out & died. We used the Beast to drag her home again and now she sits in the garage patiently awaiting her transplant. We are not expecting any rejection trouble with the donor parts. The surgeon's biggest hindrance is a backlog of projects - and no, they are not (all) on a "honey-do" list.

Jacob is driving the Beast until he's legal to drive the 450. On Sundays, the boys sardine into the Buick's backseat, Rachel snuggles up front between her two favorite parents and the clown car rolls to church.

Our goal is for Mini to be road-worthy by the time Stan's folks come to visit us at the end of May.

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finally Finals

How about those SPURS!

All together now:


Now that that's out of my system...

Today was the last day of regular classes for my two college guys. Andrew told me yesterday that he now understands why his friends say they will miss school - he will miss the classmate camaraderie. He is already missing his college friends that will be moving on to other campuses. In all the years homeschooling he has never missed his fellow students during summer break since we LIVE TOGETHER year round.

He and Jacob especially enjoyed their general physical science class with Professor Roberti. Here's a photo from yesterday's science expo.
Check out their Pawpaw-esque haircuts. Yep. They're stylin' alright.

I know you've been waiting for a photo of that squirrel mama & her little orphan.

Pray for her tomorrow since she's getting braces in the morning. OUCH!

I thought these two looked cute doing dishes together last Sunday.

BUT this does look more fun.

Now, before Miss Maryn gets in trouble let me say that she & Jacob only sat on the bike. He did not under any circumstances give her a ride - not even in the yard. He didn't even push her on the bike. Honest.

Did I tell you that Maryn has been attending FL School of the Arts with a talent scholarship and will graduate this summer? She just won the college's "Visual Artist of the Year" award.

Here's a few of her paintings that she brought to show the home school group last year. She is having a gallery showing at the college in a couple of weeks so hopefully I'll have some more photos soon. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


As the announcer just said,
"A thrilling performance by the San Antonio Spurs winning in double overtime."
Me, excited?
Didn't you see me do the "Hurray the Spurs finally started scoring & caught up with Phoenix so we are going into overtime" dance?
Well, what about the "Timmy made a three-pointer" boogie?
It was when the TV was playing "I Just Want to Celebrate." Still no?
It's just as well; I'm sure some would have considered it a scary sight! :-)

We always like when the Spurs are in the playoffs because then we get to watch their games on TV instead of just following them online.
Item # 15 What We Miss About Living in San Antonio:
Watching every Spurs game on TV with the sound turned off and the radio on.
I still hollar (Yes that's a word. It means "yell.") "BANG" when Spurs score a 3-pointer.

For those who have asked (awa those who are still reading):
Yes, Stan is doing much better, thank you. He went to work Friday & took the kiddos to their mowing job today. He rebuilt the Honda 500's twin carburetors but says he still needs to Synchronize The Carbs (sounds like another good dance). The 450's tires arrived yesterday so it is closer to being road-ready. Plus Stan picked up another Bell helmet clearanced at Wallyworld. Good deal.
Jessie squirrel is doing well. Quite chipper. Eats well. Pees on everyone.
Jacob went to see Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed with some friends last night but I haven't seen him to ask his opinion of it. Between work, college, & his girlfriend, that kid is gone a lot!
I've got a Boston Butt Roast in the oven trying out a new recipe It's starting to smell edible. I made chocolate chip pecan bread in my bread machine earlier, adding my touch to a recipe in a terriffic bread machine recipe book (thanks, Mom). It didn't rise well but tastes yummy and the fragrance in the house must have calories in it.

I visited a friend's blog earlier today and saw many great photos from our recent county fair:
I took several nice pictures also. Nice because I had great subjects! Rachel's microwave peanut brittle won Best in Class. She has the rosette hanging on her door.

Caleb chose the ORBITER & had FUN. Rachel's tummy complained. Rachel unable to tolerate a carnival ride? Oh, no! My baby is growing up!

You can see it was a dreary wet day. This photo was taken around 2 p.m. Plenty of "liquid sunshine".

I did learn some new things at the dual enrollment meeting:
*All semester courses count for one year high school credit except for (I believe) social sciences.
*It is possible to earn an Associates Degree without leaving the Watson campus.
*Kids can dual enroll during the summer.
*Andrew doesn't want to.
*I think it might be good for him to try.
I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well, why not?
First an advertisement:
Ben Stein's
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
opens TODAY!
Find a theater:
This documentary explores the conflict taking place in universities and the scientific community between proponents of the theory of evolution & those who are willing to investigate or even mention the possibility of Intelligent Design. Apparently, evolutionists consider the subject closed and will use any means at their disposal to prevent open-minded discussion.
I have been interested in Scientific Creationism for well over 20 years so am excited to see this movie was made and the topic addressed (well, sort of) in hopes that it will produce DISCUSSION in the main stream rather than just in some churches.
Here's a great link to a site that lists many other creationist websites plus provides lots of other information. Very interesting and useful!

Now for more personal stuff:
Stan is staying home from work again today after moving the wrong way & hurting his back yesterday. Please pray for healing & pain relief.
Jacob & Andrew are at school - today's classes: Physical Science (for both), Andrew also has College Algebra & Spanish 2. Jacob goes to work @ 11 & Andrew @3. They've started taking a bicycle with them so Andrew can get around in town when Jacob takes The Beast elsewhere. Andrew is SO looking forward to getting his drivers license & his own vehicle. Jacob is looking forward to a mode of transportation that doesn't eat as much as The Beast. Gas prices are killing him. Stan & I bought a maroon Honda 450 on Tuesday that should help with that but it may be awhile before Jacob can ride it since FL requires him to take a class in order to legally ride a motorcycle on the street. I think Stan may ride it to work first & use it to take the class required on base for him (Stan) to legally ride on base. He (Stan) has already gotten a new helmet since the ones he & I used 20+ years ago are falling apart.
Caleb & Rachel have been doing their homeschool stuff. They've also already gone on a bike ride. They have horseback later today. Rachel has a new pet - a baby squirrel.
I plan to go the the Watson Center for an information workshop on duel enrollment this evening. I know, I know, I've been there & done that with Jacob & (currently) Andrew. However, I've never gone to one of these so expect there will be things to LEARN.
I'll keep you posted!