Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cash 4 Books

For those of you who are trying to lose some weight -- no, I don't mean body weight -- I mean "stuff" weight, check out this site.  Cash4Books is buying your extra, no-longer-read, taking-up-space books AND textbooks (and even paying the shipping)!  It's simple to do -- just type in the ISB number on the book, and the deal practically does itself. If your title is a book they are looking for, they will quote you a price and give you a free shipping label.  Voila!  You just lost a pound or two.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Mom's William Tell Overture

Hey everyone, this great video has been around, but I had only seen part of it.  Here is the entire rendition of Anita Renfroe's "I'm the Mom" video, from start to finish (whoever Anita is...?). This is a classic!



Courtesy of Great Homeschool Videos.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spiritual Content

Lately my blog has really been lacking in spiritual content, and I am feeling bad and guilty about that.  My intent when I started this blog was not to blab about myself, but about the Lord, at least the majority of the time.  Maybe this is an indication of the spiritual condition of my heart right now. No, not maybe.  We all have our "seasons".  Some are fruitful and some are not, and no tree bears fruit perpetually. (Or is there one that does??  Probably.  God has made all kinds!) For me this has lately been a season of digging and dung-ing, rather than one of fruit-bearing.  For that reason I feel like I am not contributing much here. Hopefully I am soaking in some things that will make me grow more as a person and a homeschooling mom, and in time, bear fruit again.  If not, I should not spend so much time here... (that thought has pierced my heart more than once)!

If you are relatively new to my blog and want to know my heart, go read my "diamonds" posts in that category, and start at the bottom.

Blogger Friends School #2, #3, #4

I am not doing very well in Blogger Friends School.  I think I said I have never failed a class yet, but there is a first time for everything..!  I didn't get around to doing assignments #2 and #3.  Assignment #4 is below.


Assignment #2 Grade: F



Assignment #3

Grade: F

Blogger Friends School Assignment #4

 "The Internet offers a lot of treasures! It may not be in the form of actual gold, although I’m sure some could find some on the Internet - probably on ebay! Being a Blogger Friend is all about sharing our treasures. The assignment this week is to share your Internet treasures. Below is a list featuring things that homeschooling moms might be looking for: information, support, ideas, or actual items that pertain to our lives. Each one of us holds some or all of these treasures that need to be shared. Take this list and add your “golden” treasured sites so that we may all share the wealth."

 ~Site that you buy your used curriculum from: eBay

 ~Site that offers frugal tips to save money: Money Saving Mom  

~A site that provides good wholesome recipes: Biblical Womanhood

 ~An informational site that shows you “how” to: ??

 ~A homeschool family website that you purchase from to support them: TOS, Homeschool Enrichment 

 ~A charity website that you support: none

 ~Favorite Graphic site to get graphics for your blog or other things:  Graphics?  What are graphics?  I don’t know how to use graphics!  Ask my daughters :o)

 ~Site that offers an educational calendar listing important historical events and also to keep you informed on upcoming events: Awesome Stories

 ~Site that offers Homeschool Freebies:

Homeschool EStore

 ~Site that offers any kind of Freebies:

Homeschool Radio Shows

Great Homeschool Videos

Jan Brett 

You Need a Story

 ~A blog to read that is always full of humor: Tracy,  tc, and jen 

~A blog to read that is always full of useful information:

Guilt-Free Homeschooling

Consent of the Governed

 ~A blog to visit because it is eye appealing and easy to read: ??

 ~A blog that you read because it inspires you to be a better homeschooling mom: /plainjane and lots of others!

 ~A site that you would allow your children to visit:



Biblical Womanhood,


Billy Bear

Everyday News Network *You've got to see these cute family-made news broadcasts!

Great Homeschool Videos


Sorry about the formatting here!  My template is being SO naughty!!!   And I give up!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Weblink Wednesday

For the past year or two we have been getting a wonderful variety of scientific, historical, and literary audio downloads, free, from Homeschool Radio Shows. On a day with "nothing to do", they have been great entertainment for our family, and if we had a CD player in our van we would give them even more attention.  Well, the free downloads just got even better!  Until October 1st (this week only) you can purchase a renewable yearly Premium Membership for half price, just $14.95. For Premium Members the weekly free downloads also come with educational listening guides, bonus programs, access to archived programs, exclusive discounts on products and collections, and lots of bonus homeschool resources! 

Try them out -- go to Homeschool Radio Shows, sign up for the free, no-hassle regular membership, and download this week's great freebie, "The Bishop's Candlesticks", a chapter from a 1952 Family Theater radio production of the Victor Hugo classic, Les Miserables

(Now if I could only find a way to get a commission out of this free advertising...)


 To see more Weblink Wednesday posts, see SoCalVal!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Friday Show-and-Tell

A few weeks ago I was innocently blogging along here, when I came across HeartnSoul's (aka CuriousCat) interesting and thought-provoking blog.  I read a few good posts and then saw that her family had recently been to a couple of memorable-to-me towns in Nebraska, of all places, where I just happen to have family.  So I messaged her.  It seems everyone in Nebraska or from Nebraska is related somehow -- I mean, I'm not aware, or even suspecting, that there is an inordinate amount of inter-marriage, but those who settled that state way back when were there for the long haul!   So I asked her, "Do you suppose we are related?"  She came over and read my blog before replying, then she said, "Oh, dear me! I HOPE not!" LOL, no, I'm making that up.  She graciously gave me her last name, and what do you know, she shares her married name with my great-grandfather! 

So we did a little digging.  Come to find out, five generations ago, I'm guessing post-civil war era, brothers Mike, Caleb, Jacob, and Gottlieb, who were German farmers, picked up generations of  homeland memories and everything they could carry away, and moved their families to Russia to avoid conscription into the German army, having been told their sons would not be required to enlist there.  They were lied to, of course.  Seems to be the way of governments.  So together they again moved everything onto a ship bound for the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.  Once arrived on our fair shore, they made their way to the rich farmland of the central United States, to a nice little town in Nebraska, where they settled and prospered.  Now, I keep losing track of the number of Greats, but my great-grandfather was the grandson of Jacob.  Denise's DH, my shirt-tail cousin many times removed, is the great-great-great(?)-grandson of Jacob's brother, Mike! (Is that right, Denise?)  Isn't that cool?!  (I don't like that word, but sometimes, cool is just what it is!)

Now, Denise is afraid to search any deeper into her roots, for fear she may be related somehow to Hitler or Charles Manson or Boy George.  But if she would just search out her husband's side, and find that it is so, she can just say that is HIS side of the family.  As for me, I come from a line that includes the Wright Brothers, Squire Boone (Daniel's brother), and one of the queens of Sweden.  (I also may be a decendant of Benedict Arnold or of the Clinton lineage, but if I was, I certainly wouldn't tell you!)

So after all that, we found we are barely related, I mean, that is like saying we are both related to Noah, lol...  there's even a boat in the story! You never know what you are going to learn here at HSB.  It certainly is an educational place. This cousin of mine by marriage has some great stuff there at Everything Heart and Soul.  She is an articulate writer and will give your brain something to do.

PS.  The family tree came from Google, not from my family archives!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Weblink Wednesday

SoCalVal is hosting Weblink Wednesday, so go on over there and see all the handy url's that are favorite sites among us blogging homeschoolers.

Long division problems, anyone?

My site for you is I mentioned this site in an earlier post, but it was so helpful to my daughter, I want to be sure you didn't miss it! For those others of you who have two- and three-digit division "problems", I am sure you will find a "solution" here also. Large division problems require estimation (sometimes just plain guessing), and lots of frustrating trial and error. Double division, however, eliminates the guess work, and has resulted in nearly 100% correct answers and a much happier and confident math student in my house.

The site is interactive.  You can click repeatedly on "next step" to see how the sample division problem is solved, or else you can plug in your own numbers and see, step by step, how to work your problem using double division.

One of the criticisms in the comments at this website is that the double division method only uses subraction and multiplication by 2, and that it does not reinforce the higher multiplication facts.  What will the poor child do when it comes time to divide polynomials??  That is no concern to me. (How many polynomials do you divide each day??) She will learn to do long division the normal way when she is ready, as a matter of fact, she is beginning to try a few of those "IMPOSSIBLE" problems on her own now, yay! Ah, another one of the beauties of homeschooling.

UPDATE: I don't know if anyone ever reads this page, but I just want to let you all know that the anti-division daughter can now do any division problem on her own, the old-fashioned way.  The previously hated subject, MATH, is now her favorite.   As a matter of fact, her very favorite math activity is DIVISION.  It is because of double-division that this is possible.  I am so very thankful for the confidence that this new method gave her!

Monday, September 17, 2007



If Jesus came to your house to spend a day or two -
If he came unexpectedly, I wonder what you'd do.
Oh, I know you'd give your nicest room to such an honored guest,
And all the food you'd serve to him would be the very best,
And you would keep assuring him you're glad to have him there -
That serving him in your own home is joy beyond compare.

But - when you saw him coming, would you meet him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let him in?
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they'd been?
Would you turn off the radio and hope he hadn't heard?
And wish you hadn't uttered that last, loud, hasty word?

Would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus walk right in, or would you rush about?
And I wonder - if the Saviour spent a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing, the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying, the things you always say?
Or would life for you continue as it does from day to day?

Would your family conversation keep up its usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you always sing, and read the books you read,
And let him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?
Would you take Jesus with you everywhere you'd planned to go?
Or would you, maybe, change your plans for just a day or so?

Would you be glad to have Him meet your closest friends?
Or would you hope they'd stay away until His visit ends?
Would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
It might be interesting to know, the things that you would do,
If Jesus came in person, to spend some time with you.

~~By Lois B. Eades~~

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Computers in the Cranium

Okay, I admit it.  It's out of control.  My girls are spending entirely too much time on the computer.  Yesterday my daughter sat at the sewing machine and turned the wheel to keep it from reverting to screen saver mode.  Her sister, pondering what to do with all her personal junk that needs a home, thought she could just open a new folder and store it away out of sight. Today the same sister wondered aloud what ol' King George thought when he opened his email and saw the Declaration of Independence. Oh well.  At least we're sewing and thinking about history... sigh.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grand Canyon Mini-Adventure

Yesterday we made a day trip to the #1 tourist attraction world-wide, the Grand Canyon.  This is a huge event for us homebodies, because even though we have lived in Arizona for nearly four years and have driven past the GC exit a dozen times, we FINALLY went to see it for the first time.  It was worth the wait!  As my three-year-old said, "Wow, Mommy!  That's a BIG HOLE!!"We had a great time.  I am only posting four or five pictures, because you could take a zillion photos and never really capture its size. 


Is my kid the only one who does this kind of scary stuff??  Good thing she lived to tell about it!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another Great Day at Lake Mohave

This is the beach, below.  If the scenery looks familiar, it is because we always go to the same spot! Pretty desolate on a Wednesday afternoon after Labor Day (school has started, yay!) in 115 degrees! This photo is taken from the far end of the cove, which is our spot.  My girls love to go to "the island", which is about 40 yards from the shore, but that means a long walk!  As you can (barely) see, there is no nice grassy place to lay your towel here, like there might be at a midwest lake.  But there is also no mud, no leaches, no mosquitoes, and no green scum on the water. It is sooooo clear!  


This is looking the other way, from our spot:

The swimmers of varying abilities have made it to the island, where there is a nice spot for diving in. Until I was able to see if for myself, I was afraid someone would hit the bottom head-first and end up a quadraplegic.   It must be the ex-lifeguard in me.

The sad non-swimmer is left behind with boring Mommy:

Doting daughters:



The unhappy non-swimmer was given the important job of lifeguard, and from that point on she was content to supervise:


I also tried my hand at some wildlife photography.  I NEVER have my Audubon book along when I need it, so I can't tell you what species this dragonfly is:



I also photographed the red ants that were swarming all over our stuff and our spot, but with my skill they are too small to make a good photo! They were nice enough not to feel the need to crawl over our feet.  Ants really are fascinating to watch.  I dumped our granola bar crumbs too close to our towels and stuff, and Emily and I watched the ants help each other to carry the proportionately HUGE oat pieces to where ever they were trying to take them.  You could almost hear them talking to each other. "Hey you guys, come over here and help me with this!"  And, "Oh, you look like you could use another set of arms (legs) to get that load home.  Here, let me help you."  Great lessons for a three-year-old and a self-centered Mommy.

 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Philippians 2:2-4

Computer Controls

Would those of you who have key-board aged children please share with me what your limits are for kids on the computer? How much time do your kids spend doing non-school-related things on it? Do you set a timer? Do you use computer time as a reward for good school work, good attitude, good behavior?  Do you count internet time separate from time spent doing other things on the computer, such as games, school work, etc? Do your kids see computer time as a right or a privilege?    

Here is what I am up against.  Back in the dark ages, when we had dial-up, our girls were allowed to be online for 20 minutes at a time.  Then they had to disconnect and check the phone to be sure there were no messages from someone trying to reach us. They were allowed three of those 20-minutes sessions most days.  But now that we have DSL we have totally lost track of time spent wandering around in cyberspace.  I drives me crazy to see them glued to the monitor doing nothing.  The computer monitor has taken the place of the TV screen, which we don't even have. If I wasn't such an addict, myself, I would be all for getting rid of it altogether.  We need to instill some self-discipline here...

(Pretend that's the computer monitor!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blogger Friends' School Assignment #1


I don't know if this is a good idea or not.  I am having a hard time already, keeping my priorities in line, so I may not be able to do all the homework, but I am going to try, because I have never failed a class before! 

First Question:

How did I get started blogging?  It is my daughters' fault.  They begged me to start a blog.  They were first.  I was looking for a good way for them to do some creative writing AND have an audience for it -- after all, having an audience is more than half the fun of writing anything, unless it is something you don't want to share.  But if they had to write a report or a story, they would say, "What's the point, when no one is going to read it anyway???"  So I encouraged my two oldest girls to start blogging.  They were having so much fun, that in short order they began begging me to join them at HSB.  I hate it when I give in to that kind of pressure, but here I am!  Now we have four bloggers in the family.


In pictures, share a "dream place" to blog.

Impossible to show in pictures.  My dream place would be my own absolutely clean, neat, organized and picked up house, with a place for everything, and everything in its place, devoid of other inhabitants.  Once in a while I am here alone, but the other part of the dream is not likely to EVER happen, short of a miracle. 

Number 3:


Tell us more about you.

What time do you blog?  Often late at night, but also any time I have material in my brain AND I win the competition for a seat at the computer!

What is your favorite drink?  Cold water, unless it is a cold, blustery day.  We don't get many of those, but when we do, I find hot cocoa with a little bit of instant coffee added hits the spot.

What is your favorite book?  The Bible.  It is the only one I have found worth committing to memory.

What is your favorite dessert?  What kind of question is that?? All chocolatey desserts are my favorite dessert!

And fourth, share a scripture than has been an inspiration in your walk with Christ.

Philippians 2:13, "For it is God which worketh in you, both to WILL and to do of his good pleasure."  When God is asking me to do something that is hard for me to agree with him on, I  know that to see things his way, I need only ask him to change my heart. The WILL to do what pleases him comes from him!  I have had to remember that verse many times in recent years, as I have found that I am not as submitted to his will as I once thought I was.

Whew, I was almost late turning in this assignment.  I will have to be more punctual next week!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Can I Pass Eighth Grade Math?

I quit doing those dumb Blogthings quizzes a while back, because it seemed they never had the right answers for me, or else if it was true/false, I felt the need to qualify my answers, and well, that's impossible on something like this.  But hey, I found a test that is totally objective! This I can do:

You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

To my great relief, I passed.  This is good, since my oldest daughter is in eighth grade this year.  Funny, we haven't come to these kinds of problems yet...  This is pre-algebra, right??

Saturday, September 1, 2007

What We're Reading Together

My girls didn't think they were going to like Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers, by Ralph Moody.  Well, they were wrong. I am begged for a couple of chapters out of this book almost every day.  Here is an excerpt:

He said it wasn't so much that I took the chocolate, as it was the way I took it, and because I tried to hide it when he spoke to me. But it was the next thing he said that hurt me worse than the spanking.

He said, "Son, I realize a lot better than you think I do that you have been helping to earn the living for the family. We might say the chocolate was yours in the first place.  If you had asked Mother or me for it, you could have had it without a quesiton, but I won't have you being sneaky about things. (...)  He said he didn't want a sneaky partner, but if I could be open and aboveboard he didn't know a man he'd rather be in business with.

I couldn't help crying some more when he told me that; not because my bottom was still burning, but because I loved him. I told him I'd never be sneaky again, and I'd always ask him before I did things.  We walked to the house together. At the bunkhouse door he shook hands with me, and said, "Good night, partner."  When I went to sleep, my hand was still hurting -- good-- from where he squeezed it when we shook hands.

And here's another one.  Ralph accidentally traps and kills a pheasant.  He tries to hide it, but finally tells his Father about it:

I asked him if he thought they'd put me in the hoosegow, as Fred said, if the sheriff found out.

Father didn't say a word for a minute or two.  Then he said, "It isn't a case of  'if the sheriff finds out about it.' It's a case of your breaking the law without intending to.  If you tried to cover it up, you'd be running away from the law.  Our prisons are full of men whose first real crime was running away because they didn't have courage enough to face punishment for a small offense. Tomorrow you must go to see the sheriff."

(...) [The next] night when we were milking, he told me it had been a day I should remember.  He said it would be good for me, as I grew older, to know that a man always made his troubles less by going to meet them instead of waiting for them to catch up with him, or trying to run away from them.

Wisdom here!  The book has some swear words in it, which I skip over while reading, and which will be whited out when we get our own copy.  This is a great read-aloud!

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