Thursday, September 29, 2011


What a day we had today!

We left about 8:30, drove from Baltimore to NYC, took a double decker bus – saw TONS of stuff, checked into the hotel and about to go to bed.  But, so many great pictures, I had to share!!


3 girls time square

Time Square tonight – very fun!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


We landed in Baltimore after a great flight on Monday!  Anna  was quite a trooper pulling and following closely as we made our way to our gate, onto our flight and back through the airport in Baltimore.

Today we travelled over to Fairfax Virginia to see our third roommate Amy!  It was the first time the three of us were really able to visit since our last reunion in 2006 – and before that in 1996 at graduation!

18 Years Ago

Some random rainy day

in rain coats

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I love New York

Well, I am not sure I {LOVE} New York, but it sure is fun!

During the four years I spent at West Point, almost every chance we got, we trekked down to the city to enjoy a break!

But, do you know that I have never been to the Statue of Liberty?  I have never been to the top of the Empire State Building?  I have never been to Tiffany’s?  How is that?  Well, I was in my early 20’s and clueless.


(plan to go by Tiffany’s – just to look –

and then come home and watch the movie)

Anyway, my sweet 5 year old and I jump on a plane tomorrow to head (ultimately) to NY.  First, we land in Baltimore, hang out with Kristen and her kids, then her mom and my mom fly in and then we trek up to NY!!  A day in the city, playing.  A stop at Tiffany’s, a trip to Central Park, some pics of the Statue of Liberty (no time to go there and up), and a few other stops.  It will be fun to be a tourist in the town I spent many, many weekends!!  I am not sure I have ever felt like a tourist there.

My daughter, she has been packing for 3 weeks, so we are ready to go.  She has a CD player ready, lots of coloring pages and some fun new socks!  She is in “heaven” – and to be off for a week with just her Momma is going to be tons of fun!

So, we will try to post some pics, but if it gets quiet around here, know that AG and I are having tons of fun, and my gang of boys is home with Daddy and having even more fun!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Slow Saturday

Don’t you love days that you do not do much of anything?

Well, if you know me, you know it is not possible for me to really do nothing.  But, I love days that I do not HAVE to do anything.  That was my day today. 

I did not get out of bed until 7:30am  - that is the latest I have been in my bed in ages!  It was fun to just relax.  I even had a snuggle buddy – AG who arrived sometime (too early to read my clock) and loves to cuddle in the morning.

So, I started a bit lazy this morning, and it continued just about all day. – okay, all day. 

I did get some fun stuff done though, I fixed up a backpack that was a hand-me-down from a friend with the name Colette on it.  I stitch-ripped the monogram off, and appliqued a flower on the flap of the backpack.  Tomorrow I will add some replacement buttons and it is ready to go all the way to West Point next week on my daughter’s back. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up : Sept 23rd


In my life this week…

We had a much better week of school!  Amazing how, when you change a little thing, it can affect the whole day!!  We did not do much outside of school this week, but it was a good week and cooler weather seems to have arrived & we are all thrilled about that!!

In our homeschool this week…

We flip-flopped.  Whew.  Who knew? 

I always subscribed to doing the “hard” stuff first, and then coasting the rest of the day.  For 3 years we have done math and handwriting first, then followed by reading and other stuff. 

Our days were drifting past lunch time though, and I am not ready to offer afternoons to structured school.  I know we can get everything we need to do, done by lunch.  And not 3:00pm lunch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pear Day / Take II

I love when I wake up and walk through the house smelling something wonderful!

I cooked up 3 big pots of pears yesterday and turned those into Pear Sauce.  I made tons of this year and we are still eating it, so I decided not to can any pear sauce this year.  So, all my pear sauce is going to turn into Pear Butter!  We love pear butter, and it is Robert’s favorite!

So I poured about 16 cups of pear sauce into the crock pot, added 3 cups of sugar, some cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves.  Stirred it all up, turned on the crock pot to High and let it cook for about 24 hours.  The results are a deep brown gooey goodness!!

So this afternoon I canned a dozen jars of yummy pear sauce, and cooked up 2 more pots of pears.  I will have another dozen jars of pears sauce whipped up again, tomorrow!  I love pear season.  I think I may get all these little pears canned this year, last year I let many go to waste.

Meanwhile, Clarabell is loving the pear peelings, an occasional core and the chickens are in pear heaven with tons of cores being dropped off every couple of hours. 

All is well on the farm!

Monday, September 19, 2011

It’s Pear Time

both relishes

My first Pear-Baking day happened this weekend.  We felt it was time to get the pears off the tree before they go bad or fall all over the place.  So Robert got the ladder out, solicited help from the boys and harvested our pears.  First basket:

pears to can

Two more are waiting in the wings.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Book Review : Beyond Beautiful Girlhood


This is the third book published by Pumpkin Seed Press  which I am fortunate enough to review.

I was so blessed to listen to Shelley Noonan at a homeschool conference in May in Arlington, she spoke on teaching life skills to our little girls in an intentional way, through every day living.  I loved so many of her ideas that I knew I could immediately apply, not only with my little girl, but my boys too!!



So when offered the chance to review a few of her books, I was thrilled and jumped at the chance!!  If you missed my reviews of The Three Weavers or Beautiful Girlhood, make sure you check them out. I loved both of those books, but click over to see why!!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up : September 16


In my life this week….

Of course we schooled, but that no longer defines our week out here – so much time is spent doing “farm life” that that is what seems to define our weeks more often!

Well, we re-distributed the chickens, we are going to re-home a rooster.  So the little hens were moved into a big coop and all my bigger hens were combined.  I think our rooster Louie is happy to have  many more hens to “care” for!!

We also butchered another turkey, and should be eating it for many days!! {31 lb before cooking} 2 Turkeys down – 1 to go.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Learning with friends

I have to say, I love to look outside at Sweet Clarabell and see the chickens walking around next to her – makes me feel like this is really a farm (of sorts).

ag and freedom

    We are in the midst of eating another turkey, Pablo said his final farewells on Wednesday, it was a good day for us.

The Best part of Wednesday though was not the Turkey Tacos for dinner, it was not killing the turkey (half my kids were afraid of), it was in fact our new Co-op! 

We started a “dreamy” Charlotte Mason style co-op; we meet each Wednesday!  I have always longed for such a co-op, so I am still a bit amazed it is actually happening!! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Review : The Queen

How I loved this book!! 


When I get a book in the mail, I typically have between two and three weeks to read it before I am expected to post my review.  The day I received the Queen, I started reading (despite the other books in line in front of this one) and I finished it the next day.

This is not to say that Steven James writes an “easy to read” book – this is to say that I went to bed about 11pm – I read every minute I could and I think Robert cooked dinner that night too.  I could not put this book down.

Multitude Monday

It has been oh, so long since I have added to my list in my gratitude journal, but after my weekend I think it is time!

Not sure the number (my journal is in the kitchen and I am not) but here are the things on my heart I am so very thankful for today

~ Cool temps for a week, and no AC for several days

~ a weekend with the girls (well, 24 hours or so)

~Beth Moore and her complete transparency

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Book Review : A Lancaster County Christmas

This is the second book I have read by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  I loved her book Amish values for Your Family so I knew I would enjoy this novel about the Amish.


To say I enjoyed it would be to state it simply.  I really delighted in the story she tells in this book.  I identified with her characters and some of the struggles they were facing.  Suzanne does a great job writing a story that will speak to your heart.

The story takes place over the span of two days when this sweet, yet troubled, couple end up stuck at an Amish home on Christmas Eve due to a winter storm and it changes everything about their lives.  The characters of Jamie and CJ were easy to relate to, easy to like.  They both had qualities I saw in myself, and I found myself wanting so much  more for both of them.  The Amish couple Sol and Mattie were intriguing and I wanted to glean just a bit of their simple life for myself.

I loved the way Suzanne illustrates her points with the Amish family and the charming way they live.  CJ and Jamie are also inspired by the simple life of the Amish, and the slow, quiet time out in the country allows them some time to think clearly about their lives. 

This is a charming story, a very quick read, and one that will leave you feeling very satisfied.

If you are looking for a great stocking stuffer, gift exchange book, or a great read to pass along this Christmas, then put this book on your list.  You will not be disappointed with the message of faith, redemption, and love.


NOTE : I was offered a copy of Lancaster County Christmas in exchange for an honest opinion, by LitFuse.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Women of Faith

Have you been?  I have and it is such a fun day to get away, hang out with friends and be in a place where thousands of other ladies gather to worship and praise God.

This year I jumped at the chance to go for free thanks to BookSneeze.  However, when the tickets arrived, I quickly realized there were many conflicts and I was not going to get to go.

But, let me back up, first.

Bible Drill and 5th & 6th graders

It is week 2 of Bible Drill here – we just started this program here in our church and I am thrilled!  I love any program that gets our kids into the Bible and the words of God into their hearts.

To start, I asked the kids to fill out a survey (same one I did with my kids at home) asking various questions : favorite this, favorite that, what makes them happy vs sad, and so on.  The answers made me want to cry on many pages.  To see the truth from their hearts and to see what brings them joy and hurt.  It really showed me how I can pray for these precious kids. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Changing Seasons & Tortillas

Today was a wonderful fall day!  (that is if you ignore the strong smell of smoke)

We enjoyed schooling with the garage doors open today (we have 2 double garage doors in our school building, but no windows)!  We loved seeing the trees and blue sky while we schooled, and cannot wait for most of our days to be open door days!!

It is possible, unlikely, but possible that triple digit days are behind us!  Even our chickens are happy!  We have started to get eggs again, after about 3 weeks they took off, due to heat!

We have even turned off the AC the last 2 days!  It really is wonderful to have all the windows open, and breezes blowing!!

So, for dinner we enjoyed some homemade tamales, Spanish rice and homemade tortillas!  I have been making these for a few weeks now.  The first 2 attempts were enough for me to almost give up.  Then I found a “pin” on Pinterest and I was hooked.  I followed up on this glorious picture of homemade tortillas and the result was fabulous!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Birthday Blast


We had a great Saturday today – and we needed it after spending many hours Thursday and Friday seeing various medical people.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up : September 2nd

homeschool journal

In my life this week…..

Mostly, it was normal – we schooled Mon – Wed closing out most of our stuff for this week a bit early.  Good thing, since I spent most of Thursday taking my youngest son to the ER.  Not fun, but glad my week had room for the unplanned chaos.

In our homeschool this week…

We are in week 5/4 in our home – and moving right along.  Math is going surprisingly well – I think this is going to be a stellar math year for all my students.

My youngest student AG (kinder) is enjoying her handwriting practice (like the big kids) and her math too.  She is doing remarkably well!

We are really loving our English from the Roots Up  - I would recommend this book/curriculum for all homeschoolers!  My gang is enjoying it and they are really learning!


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