Friday, November 30, 2007

About Those Horse Books

Sweetness sure did enjoy her books on horse facts. Our lapbook is coming along and I hope to post pictures of it soon... But first I have Horse Unit Study by Amanda Bennet coming in the mail!

We also enjoyed Misty of Chiconteague. What a delightful book full of poetic sentences that delighted my senses with imagery. I particularly liked the dialect of Grandma and Grandpa Beebe...

Upon finishing the book last night Sweetness looked quizzically up at me with a hint of dismay and said, "Mama, I thought this book was about the ponies going to a gold factory." She listened to this book intently waiting on the initial pony's voyage to finally meet its destination!

We are blessed to have a dear neighbor who owns a pony named Sunny. We have visited with Sunny for two days in a row now. I think I wouldn't mind have a pony, especially now that I know it won't grow up into a big ole HORSE : )

Wild turkey!? Did it put up a fight? :)


You wouldn't believe the feathers all up and down my clothesline, why my whole back yard was just a full of 'em! And the children gathered them all up and took them to our Mock Thanksgiving... Then the sweetest little gal walked up to me with a handful of them feathers and said, "Would you like to have one of these?" "Oh, yes of course, thank you!"

Now had I known that Indian lady likes turkey feet I could ov took her a pair!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Revisited

Thanksgiving Blessings! We were so blessed with such an abundant table of food and God's love. The feast preparations began at noon on Thanksgiving Day. I am typing this entry and pondering how each Thanksgiving differs. As much as I would love to revisit 1978, I realize that I must be thankful for each Thanksgiving God blesses me with.

I have made a tradition of trying a new recipe each year for our Thanksgiving dinner. This year I finally succeeded in making something kid tested and dad approved. So along with the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy I made brocolli salad and apple grape salad for desert. We are striving to be more healthful in our food choices and trying to eliminate processed foods like sugar and flour and foods high in preservatives and low in nutrition.

While my new recipes were a hit, the main course of our meal was the best! A wild turkey boiled to perfection! Treasure Hunter's co-worker scored a turkey during the first week of hunting season. This turkey made my Thanksgiving day so delicious. Since I ate wild turkey years ago, store bought has never tasted the same.

One remarkable change I felt this year was my anxiety level. I have been asking God to help me with my anxieties. I am ashamed to say that cooking makes me anxious. Probably because I really don't enjoy cooking, therefore I am not very good at it : ( So God has been adding a cupful of joy to the bowl each time I stir up a meal for my family. What a difference it makes. While peeling potatoes I was talking to my mother on the phone. We were discussing gifts that God blesses people with. While I do believe in Spiritual gifts and God given talents, I also believe that there must be a sense of duty, hard work and diligence if one is to accomplish life's goals. I remember reading that every homeschooler should learn something new so they, and their children, can understand the hard work involved in learning a new task like to sewing, cooking and playing the piano. Whatsoever ye do do it with all your heart as unto the Lord!

After filling ourselves full we went for a nice long walk to the lake and enjoyed the rest of our 70 degree day. We have a mystery hole down there. We assumed a fox or coyote dug this hole in a furious attempt to catch his dinner. Treasure Hunter filled in the hole only to find it dug again the next day. Perhaps it is a critter's home? I imagine it would be appreciative if we left its humble abode alone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mock Thanksgiving

The Mock Thanksgiving began with lots of toting, and re-organizing... Just like the first day of co-op we had a blunder to tackle! The location of our Plymouth Settlement was moved back about 1/4 mile on the 200 acre farm we were privy too. And if our dwellings moved, so then the table of blessings.

It was not planned this way. We were suppose to have our dwellings in the woods and on the edge of the woods our table of blessing would be in the open field overlooking spectacular mountain views. Oh, sigh... it is good to be flexible when working with a group of people : )

Anyways the gas grill (to keep the Brunswick stew hot) had to be moved along w/ two portable saw horse plywood tables. Thank goodness Treasure Hunter was on site, along with a helping hand from a nice young man, to move all of that to our new site.

So there we were nestled among the trees with gray skies overhead and a breeze that said "no fire" especially amidst all the leaves. Brrrr.... The fleece capes that I made at the last minute were not darned with fancy decorations, but they sure were warm. Our dwellings were up in no time. We had several tee pee's, a long house and a pilgrim hut. Then it was time to EAT!

There was so much delicious food before us. The spread included authentic dishes and some more modern selections. I enjoyed ham, biscuits, sweet potato pie, apple crumb, crab dip, green bean casserole, corn bread. We enjoyed our feast on our modern porch chairs in front of our tee pee that was filled with little girlies : ) Sweetness attracted all the gals with her very large and accommodating tee pee her daddy constructed

We no longer wiped our mouths clean when the Monachan Indian began her demonstration. Yes, we had a *real* Indian amongst us. She was so very nice and explained in brief detail the lives of the Indians that lived in our area. She also talked of how her tribe recently visited England. Although they did not see the Queen while visiting, the Queen visited Jamestown and scheduled a visit to this tribe on her itenerary.

The Indian (Sue) displayed her collection of furs including an entire bear fur with head attached, badger, fox... and her seashell, and corn necklaces. And a turkey foot. . . She also assisted the children in shooting a bow and arrow and a blow gun.

Time's up... it's 2:00 and time to go? What's this? They're cleaning up and clearing out? But, but, but... I haven't said hello to everyone! I'm still having fun. But it was COLD!

Reflecting on our Mock Thanksgiving I am trying to come up with words that could express my thankfulness to each and everyone in our HS group. For all the planning, calling, running around, to just being there to share in this special time. And for those who could not make it you were missed!!!!!

My only regret was not being able to talk with you more and get to know some of the other members better. I look forward to helping plan next year's Mock Thanksgiving. For now! I am anxiously anticipating the International Dinner!!!!

All in all my heart is full of gratitude for these precious people who made our Thanksgiving more special and I Thank GOD for all the wonderful people who make up our Homeschool Family.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Just the Facts

Look Sweetness! Mommy got you a bunch of storybooks about horses.

"I don't want stories about horses mom, just the facts!"

Good thing I got non-fiction horse books too!

to be continued...

Seasonal Homeschool It's Thanksgiving

Oh, sigh... I'm suffering from writer's block. I use to enjoy blogging about the silly things my kids did or the adventurous nature walks we enjoyed. But here lately the words just won't come out...

It's a season. I'm determined that it is just a season. Seems we are going through a different time at Heartfelt. We're venturing out of our hidey hole and experiencing life amongst other homeschoolers. All these experiences have been positive, although God has used some circumstances to pierce through some bad character traits I possess : /

I am blessed to be a part of a new homeschool group. We are real small -- about 33 families from a small rural community. I have been a member of a larger group for about 4 years, but I never really felt at home there. Mainly because I was just not ready to participate and join in the all the fun. We were still in diapers and taking naps.

I really like the new form this Larger group has taken under new leadership... but it's just a bit too late...

So, I have come to terms that being involved in two groups is too much. If I am going to be a member, then I feel I should participate and I just don't have time to participate with two groups. I realized this when the sheet for the Christmas party was passed around at the Larger group's meeting and I realized that my kids knew nobody from this larger group, nor did I.

But a pivotol deciding point occured on Nov 5th, the FIRST Monday of the month. I pulled into Providence Bible Church ready to be greeter at the Larger group meeting. I was pleased that I was there so early, before anyone else. But then nobody showed up. Hmmm.... did they change the meeting place and I overlooked that email? There was discussion of needing to find a new place to meet...

So I drove to a different church, where I thought they could be meeting. I seen lights on in the building, but there was also a strange man walking in the *dark* parking lot, so I was too scared to get out of my car. Then I drove back to the original place, but still no one was there. OK! Now how rude are these people to change the meeting spot and not call me or post it on the email loop? (Did I mention God is working on some bad character traits of mine?)

Well, I drove my little red car straight to the President's house. Got out, walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell. Nobody was home (PTL). Then in my last ditch effort to find everybody I went to the library...

I came home threw my purse down and logged in immediately to the HS yahoo website to try and find the message that alerted everyone of the new meeting place. And there before me was the notice that meetings were held on the SECOND Monday of the month. Good grief. My smaller group is the FIRST Monday every other month.

I laughed at myself and thanked God that the President was not home. Can you just see her answering the door? And me standing there? "Hi M, how are you?" Uhhh confused?

It is a very heart wrenching decision to discontinue my membership with the large group. I have become friend with one of the ladies there. My friend, Lori, who always made her way through the large crowd to come and say "Hello." Lori, who reads my blog and takes time to email me privately and encourage me to POST. Lori, whom inspires me to write when I read her blog and takes the fright out of raising boys.

Perhaps I will just have to drive 40 mins to her house once a week and let her teach Sweetness piano. But she'll have to promise to pen that GREAT DANE up!

Thank you Lord for the privilege to homeschool. For a husband who works so hard each day to provide for our family and is pleased to have me stay home and educate our children in a safe, loving environment. Thank God for an extended family that supports our decision to homeschool. Thank you Lord for a homeschooling neighbor that has children the same age as mine. Thank you for toooooo many support groups! And thank you for Lori for being a good example of how to make newcomers feel welcome in a group. And thank you God for patiently working on my character flaws. And I just had to edit this post as I forgot to Thank God for my cyber friend, Dawne, who truly has encouraged me in the Word!
In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Joyful Noise

I am so glad that we went outdoors yesterday and took some gorgeous pictures, which I will attempt to add to my slideshow. It was a beautiful 60 degree day. The leaves are at their peak here in the Blue Ridge. We were able to see another beautiful display of God's wondrous colors on our way to perform at the nursing home today.

The co-op formed a choir this year made up of children from age 5 - 38. Yes, I was the 38 year old. What can I say, I love to sing. The residents at the nursing home were so delighted to see us. One sweet lady begged Cutie Pie to shake her hand. "I wouldn't hurt you for nothing, honey just come shake my hand. I just love children." I could have taken that lady home with me. She truly was so precious. And I just know once Cutie Pie got to know her he would give her big hugs, but he is just really shy at first.

Anyways a Joyful Noise made a spectacular performance and I pray that we will continue this choir! We even had a solo violinist! We have another performance planned in December and maybe some Christmas carolling.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Heartfelt Girls

Meet Cornelia

Made exclusively of corn husks and yellow yarn by Sweetness

Meet LucyAnna

made exclusively from paper, tape, yellow yarn, and imagination

by Sweetness