Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Poem for Homeschoolers

This poem appear a little while ago on a homeschool list, and the author was happy to share it with others as long as she was credited. She wrote it to inspire her children to own their learning. Maybe it will make the point with yours as well.

It Is My Responsibility to Learn

My parents are responsible for teaching me how to learn.
It is my responsibility to learn.
My parents can provide me with opportunities to learn.
It is my responsibility to learn.
My parents' instruction will guide me towards learning.
It is my responsibility to learn.
Knowledge is power and learning is freedom.
It is my responsibility to learn.
Stupid is as stupid does.
It is my responsibility to learn.
And excellent education is at my grasp.
It is my responsibility to learn.
I will embrace and take hold of my future for
It is my responsibility to learn.

by Robin Michael
Roanoke Rapids, NC

The painting is "The Scholar" by Jim Daly.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Re-birth of Dinner Dialogues

Eric Hogue has posted this blog at Crosswalk. com. I offer a snippet of it and a link to the rest here because I know this is something we could use in my family, and just maybe in yours as well. We dialogue a great deal, but we really don't have the family sit-down-to-dinner habit. Hubby must have something genetic going on. Neither he nor his brother like to sit down to dinner at home. I know they grew up sitting for dinner, but now that they are grown they are disinclined to it for some reason. We eat late. This is the way I like it, but meetings always start at 7 PM, so it's either eat earlier, or whoever's leaving gets to fend for him- or herself (it's always the latter). I find Mr. Hogue's approach compelling, though. I like his practical suggestions and his offer to regularly post topics for family discussion to keep things going.

Dinner time has been stolen from America's families, it's time to re-capture the once great tradition. I believe one of the best ways to counter act today's cultural decay is recapturing the family 'dinner time' discussions. For this reason alone, I'm stimulating a family tradition by starting a 'Hogue Blog' feature entitled "Dinner Dialogue". Let's be honest, today's family is busy. The traditional dinner hour has been eroded by the pace of life and culture's demands. What was once a valuable time of eating and 'catching up', is now a talent of devouring your food so to make the next appointment.

I want to put some 'meat' back into our family dinners. It starts by getting the family talking again, discussing things that everyone can relate to and have an opinion on. Studies show that families who discuss issues together (communicate), grow together emotionally, spiritually and educationally. Time to put the talking back into dinner time.
Jesus was a big fan of the "Dinner Dialogue".

Jesus used 'meal times' for teaching, parables and challenging discussions. For this reason, I believe the replacing of 'meal time' discussions, or as we'll call them "Dinner Dialogues", are purposed by Creator God. Purpose for the creation of maturity, intellect and ability to apply what we believe as a family to today's post-modern culture.

I'd like to start my series with a few rules:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day Tribute

Cover them over with beautiful flowers,
Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours,
Lying so silent by night and by day,
Sleeping the years of their manhood away.

~~Will Carleton

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Is Womanhood a Disease?

Conventional medicine has, for decades, preyed upon the "symptoms of womanhood" and attempted to transform every female activity from childbirth to menstruation into a disease requiring chemical treatment. Today, the FDA approved Lybrel, a daily pill for women that stops periods... forever.

The concept behind such a pill is based on the false idea that menstruation is a disease requiring a medical fix. Most sane people would agree that menstruation is, in fact, a natural biological function and not a disease. So why take a pill to stop it?

If you ask the women taking this pill, it's because their periods are extremely painful or inconvenient. Taking Lybrel to stop the period is a typical Western-mindset approach to all ailments: Mask the symptoms and ignore the cause. Painful periods have a cause, mostly related to hormone imbalances caused by poor nutritional habits, lack of exercise and exposure to toxic chemicals in foods, medicines and personal care products (which contain hundreds of hormone-disrupting chemicals). Rather than addressing these underlying causes of poor health, many consumers wish to simply mask the symptoms and make them disappear at any cost, including ingesting potentially toxic prescription drugs whose long-term safety record is entirely unknown.

For the rest of this important article, go to FDA approves pill that stops periods; is womanhood a disease? (opinion).

Lemonade From Susan Branch

Days are getting warmer, so here's a yummy lemonade recipe from Susan Branch.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'm On At HomeSchoolBuzz

Gary Davis has been so kind as to add me to the blog roll at the Blog Watch at Please have a look around the site if you haven't been there before. The Blog Watch is a great place to see what's being posted at lots of different home school blogs at (almost) a glance.

Frugal Friday--Air Drying Flowers

It's spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Normally it's starting to feel like summer by this time in North Texas, but we've been blessed with lots of rain and relatively cool weather this year. But that means lots of blooming flowers, and one way to preserve these lovelies is by air drying them.

Air drying flowers is an easy and inexpensive way to preserve some of your favorite blooms. Flowers thus preserved can be used to decorate your home or given as gifts. You might even enjoy it enought o make it a new hobby.

To begin, expose the flowers to warm, dry air in a dark location. This is the oldest and simplest method, and is commonly referred to as the "hang and dry" method, a method name somewhat misleading because some flowers are air-dried on wire racks (peonies for example). Collect your plant material to be dried. If you don't have flowers in your garden, look for wild flowers which may be picked. Tie the stems in bundles of eight to ten stems (flowers upside down) to a hanger with whatever you have: rubber bands, twist ties, paper clips, string, or florist wire. (The stems will shrink as they dry, so be sure to check that they remain secure through the drying process). Then simply hang your flowers in a warm, dark, dry place. This generally takes from one to three weeks. The darkness helps preserve the flower color. Flowers dried in this manner turn out best if cut just before being fully open.

Some flowers that dry well by this method include baby’s breath, cattail, statice, celosia, cornflower, some dahlias, delphinium, dock, globe amaranth, globe thistle, goldenrod, heather, larkspur, lavender, love-in-a-mist, marigolds, marjoran, pussy willow, strawflower (Helichrysum), and yarrow (Achillea). Flowers dried in this manner are extremely stiff once dried, and can be brittle. Blue and yellow flowers retain their colors best when air dried, while pink flowers tend to fade. Roses and peonies shrink somewhat when air-dried.

Once dry, the flowers can be used in arrangements, wreaths, and all sorts of craft projects.

Please enjoy more Frugal Friday here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

7 Random Things

Hand crafted scarves, "Random" and "Seven" by James Donald, can be found at Thistle and Broom.

OC Mom tagged me for 7 Random Things. This should be easy. I have an artistic, random/global brain DD, so I have to deal with random all the time. ;-D

1. Fox probably isn't the only network to do it, but it's not unusual to see talking heads with tan faces and pale hands there, something which I think is distracting and funny. Come on, makeup department, for those whose hands will show give 'em some color, too!

2. God bless bloggers who don't require the anti-spam codes to post on their blogs. I can understand their use if spam has been a problem for a particular blogger, but for those who don't really need it, please consider changing your settings. These 47 yo eyes sure would appreciate it.

3. I just love my wee Westie, Riley. He's such a sweetheart. We got him from a rescue, and he's just full of fun and love. You can see more of him by clicking on his Dogster badge in the sidebar.

4. I would so much rather eat out than in. No, it's not practical, but there it is.

5. I want a koi pond.

6. God bless positive, encouraging people. It takes more of them to offset the negative, drag-you-down types, so I treasure everyone of them.

7. I am blessed with the best husband in the world! No kidding! Through thick and thin, birth and death, and nutty relations and nuttier relations, he's been a beautiful example of Christian manhood.

I'm not comfortable tagging anyone, so if you want to take up the challenge, post about it and let me know in the comments.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Frugal Friday--Linen Water

I really don't like ironing. While I enjoy seeing clothes ironed out nice and crisp, the standing makes me hurt from the feet all the way up. And in the summer, it's really umbearable to heat up the room (and myself) with the hot iron. One way to make this task more pleasant is to use scented linen water. It makes the pressing easier and the pleasing scent can give you a lift. Hamiltion Beach makes some nice ones, which you can obtain at Walmart. Or you might try making your own.

Lavender Linen Water

1 teaspoon (100 drops) lavender essential oil
5-10 drops peppermint, spearmint or rosemary essential oil (optional)
2 oz. 80+ proof vodka
24 oz. distilled water

Pour essential oils and vodka into a bottle, cap and shake to emulsion. Mix with distilled water.

The mix will cloud, and eventually separate.

Shake well before each use.

Another recipe looks like this:

Essential oil (try lavender or rose for traditional scents, jasmine or plumeria blossom for exotic scents)
90 ml (approx. 3oz)non-flavoured, high proof vodka
750 ml (approx. 25 oz) distilled water

So you see that a bit of variation is no problem. While lavender is traditional (it also repels moths), you can also try jasmine or plumeria oils for a more exotic scent.

Linen water can be spritzed into the air, or directly on your bed linens for a luxurious olfactory experience and to promote restful sleep.

And even better than ironing, you can hang clothing on a non-rust hanger and spritz it, allowing wrinkles to relax away. Now that's the way I like it!

For more Frugal Friday tips, visit Biblical Womanhood.

It's Only a Trifle

Since my mother takes my grandmother to the resale shop regularly, I asked her to keep an eye open for a trifle bowl for me. I didn't want it badly enough to pay the prices I saw online, but I did want one. In just a few days she showed up with a trifle bowl, very pleased that, as it was half off, she only paid $3.50 for it! For me, it was as simple as wanting something and getting it. Yeah for me! And since this wee blessing befell me, I thought I'd share the recipes which inspired me to want the trifle bowl in the first place. Note: we never use alcohol in our trifles, and it can easily be omitted from these recipes. These are easy to prepare and a delight to serve. There's even a special one for patriotic holidays.

From Fabulous Food:

The Basic Recipe
1 cake mix
2 packets of custard or pudding mix
2 bags, 1 lb. each, frozen fruit or equivalent sliced fresh fruit
1/3 C sugar (more or less to taste)
1 1/2 C heavy cream, whipped (or to save time, use whipped topping)

additional fresh fruit for garnish

1/3 C sherry or other liquor (optional)

Serves 10-12

Basic Instructions:
Prepare cake according to directions on package. Let cool completely.

Prepare custard or pudding mix according to package instructions. Let cool completely.

Mix fruit with sherry. If you don't want to use alcohol, use a little water or juice instead. You want the fruit to be setting, but not swimming, in a bit of sweetened juice. Some people like to really soak the cake in the alcohol, then add the fruit on top. I think this can tend to make the cake too soggy, so I prefer less.

Whip the cream.

To assemble:
Trifle is very forgiving, it takes no effort to make it look great! If you don't have a trifle bowl, like the one in the photo, use any large glass bowl. It doesn't technically have to be glass, but it looks prettier if it is. You can also make individual servings by placing the layers in large wine goblets.

Cut the cakes into large chunks and cover the bottom of your dish with a layer of cake. Top with a layer of prepared fruit, then a layer of custard. Repeat the process until you are out of ingredients or the bowl is full. Top with whipped cream and garnish with fresh fruit. Chill until serving time.

To Serve:
Simply scoop out servings with a large spoon.

Trifle Tips & Variations
While a sponge cake is traditional, when a white cake is called for I often like using Angel Food Cake, as it holds up to the fruit without getting soggy. The variations below are just to get you going. I know you'll come up with some of your own as well.

Low or No Fat Trifle -- You can make a virtually fat-free trifle by using angel food cake, fat free pudding and low or no fat whipped topping
Strawberry Shortcake Trifle -- Yellow or Angel Food Cake, Custard and Strawberries
Black Forest Trifle -- Chocolate Cake, Cherry Pie Filling and Custard
Chocolate Raspberry Trifle -- Chocolate Cake, Raspberries and Custard
Tropical Fruit Trifle -- Angel Food Cake, Mixed Pineapple, Mangos, Papayas, etc. and either Vanilla or Lemon Pudding, Sprinkle top with Toasted Coconut
Apples & Cream Trifle -- Yellow or Spice Cake, Apple Pie Filling and Custard
Peaches & Cream Trifle -- Angel Food Cake, Sliced Peaches, Optional Alcohol: Peach Schnapps or Brandy
Red, White & Blueberry Trifle -- Angel Food Cake, Mixed Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries, Custard
Raspberry Lemon Trifle -- Yellow or Lemon Cake, Lemon Pie Filling and Raspberries
Banana Cream Trifle -- White or Chocolate Cake, Sliced Bananas, Custard

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

The one to the left is my oldest DS. The woman and the man are friends.

To see more Wordless Wednesday posts, go to the hub.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling #72

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is hosted by Anne at PalmTree Pundit. There's always good things to read in the Carnival, so head on over.

The Western Tradition

The Western Tradition is a video instructional series on Western civilization for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 52 half-hour video programs and coordinated books. You can purchase the series for $450. But you don't have to, because you can see all 52 episodes for free via video on demand.

"Covering the ancient world through the age of technology, this illustrated lecture by Eugen Weber presents a tapestry of political and social events woven with many strands — religion, industry, agriculture, demography, government, economics, and art. A visual feast of over 2,700 images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art portrays key events that shaped the development of Western thought, culture, and tradition. This series is also valuable for teachers seeking to review the subject matter. "

Learn a lot of world history right here.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Perspective on Mother's Day

Once you have kids, your life will never be the same:

We had this great 10 year old cat named Jack who just recently died.

Jack was a great cat and the kids would carry him around and sit on him and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on the mat in our bathroom. We have 3 kids and at the time of this story they were 4 years old, 3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli really loved chapstick. LOVED it. He kept asking to use my chapstick and then losing it. Finally one day I showed him where in the bathroom I keep my chapstick and explained he could use it whenever he wanted to but he needed to put it right back in the drawer after he finished.

That year on Mother's Day, we were having the typical rush around and try to get ready for church with everyone crying and carrying on. My two boys are fighting over the toy in the cereal box. I am trying to nurse my little one at the same time I am putting on my make-up. Everything is a mess and everyone has long forgotten that this is a wonderful day to honor me and the amazing job that is motherhood.

We finally have the older one and the baby loaded in the car and I am looking for Eli. I have searched everywhere and I finally go into the bathroom. There was Eli. He was applying my chapstick very carefully to Jack's . . . rear end. Eli looked right into my eyes and said "chapped." Now if you have a cat, you know that he is right--their little bottoms do look pretty chapped. And, frankly, Jack didn't seem to mind. And the only question to ask at that point was whether it was the FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat's behind or the hundredth!?!

And THAT is my favorite Mother's Day moment ever because it reminds us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious little creatures, there will always be that day when you realize they've been using your chapstick on the cat's butt.

Author Unknown

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Frugal Friday--Misc.

Here are some great (I thought!) ideas I recently came across:

Cookie of the Month Gift: You, of course, give a different type of cookie to the recipient each month. But you're not going to buy them, you're going to make them. This would be such a great gift for the kids to give to Grandaddy &/or Grandmother.

Kitchen compost bin: use a large, plastic coffee can--clearly labelled--to keep scraps for the compost until you can take them out.

Sharing and trading plant cuttings can really save on plant costs in the garden. An easy way to root your cuttings is to take a paper napkin or paper towel and fold it to hold a handful of garden soil. Place the bottom of the cutting in the soil and wrap the napkin around the bottom of the plant. Tie with a rubber band to keep soil from falling out and place it in a freezer-type resealable bag. Add water to the bag so that the soil is moist, but not muddy and close the bag around the cutting. Place in a window and in about 6 weeks you will have a plant with roots. This works very well with lots of different plants, so give it a try.

Shampooing your carpet, 2 tips: If you're regularly using carpet shampoo, try using a a cup of vinegar in hot water to fill the tank and shampoo with this mixture to clean out any soapy residue.

Also, my mother was told by a carpet cleaning pro to just use carbonated soda water in the tank. It really works! Try getting the soda water at the "dollar" store.

For lots more tips, visit Biblical Womanhood.

CBN Interviews German Homeschool Girl

Three months ago, 15-year-old German homeschool student Melissa Busekros was taken from her family in a SWAT-style police raid.

She was placed in a mental hospital in Nuremberg and diagnosed with what German officials called "school phobia."
Her Christian home environment was deemed to be dangerous, and she was placed in foster care.

Rest of article here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

This was taken last month, when the bluebonnets were in full bloom. BTW, this is my DD, not me!

For more Wordless Wednesday posts go here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Called to Queenhood

Here's an excert of a wonderful article by Naomi Campbell at Above Rubies. There's just no time to be bored at home!

There is a quality of queenliness in every woman. You innately desire it. Your husband desires it, and as king, he wants you to be his queen. We see it in our young daughters and granddaughters. They want to be princesses. They want to dress up as princesses when they play ‘dress ups’ -- they are subconsciously practicing to be queens. They love to play ‘mommies and daddies’ with their dolls -- they are intuitively preparing for motherhood. We don’t teach them to do this. They do it naturally… until their minds are re-programmed by the humanistic propaganda of our modern society.

Just as men should walk in kingliness, so we should walk in queenliness. And we have a queendom to reign over. Yes, there is such a word in the dictionary.* Unfortunately it has become a forgotten word as women have left the glory of their homes to pursue vain callings, careers that may seem glamorous and enticing now, but which will one day be left behind. On the other hand, mothering, embracing and training children, and reigning over a queendom will powerfully affect the nation, the generations to come and even more powerfully, eternity!

Read the rest of this great article here.

Monday, May 7, 2007

What About "Mother" Earth?

And on it goes...

According to radical environmentalists, the biggest threat to the earth isn't CO2 emissions or climate change--it's children. A new paper by Optimum Population Trust (OPT) contends that kids are "bad for the planet" and if couples had one less child, they could "cut their family's carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 [cross-Atlantic flights]." Rather than follow their own dreams of having a family, John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT, said that potential parents should first consider the environmental consequences. Another eco-militant, Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is calling for a green genocide. In a May 4 editorial, Watson says mankind "is acting like a virus" and appeals for the world to decrease its population by more than five billion. In the past, Watson has come under fire for claiming that humans are "the AIDS of the earth." Rhetoric like this, fueled by profound pessimism about human possibility, is driving demographic collapse in much of the West, where sub-replacement level fertility is on a collision course with pension liabilities, especially in Europe. Even Al Gore, who this weekend spoke to the American Institute of Architects, resorted to calling the alleged bio-threat a "spiritual crisis." In this he is half-right as the key to this eco-pessimism is despair. The "green" campaign, elevated to a fever pitch by Gore and others who advocate a stronger hand for government, is paving the way for the dire messages of organizations like OPT and Sea Shepherd. I have to ask, if we take their advice and quit having children, just who exactly would we be saving the earth for?

For whom, indeed? Without hope in the Lord, despair is the typical result of losing focus on the Creator and Sustainer of this world.

From Family Research Council.

First Annual Classical Christian Home Schooling Webinar

I'm really looking forward to this: is hosting an online “Webinar” August 3-4th specifically focused on classical Christian home schooling.

The conference is open to the public and there is no cost of admissions. If you would like to attend the conference, please use our registration form to sign up. Once you register you will be put on our list to receive attendance instructions for the conference. Why is the conference free? All of our speakers are volunteering their expertise to the classical Christian community and Escondido Tutorial Service has contributed the conferencing facility. Please do take time to see the websites associated with each of our speakers below as most have services in support of classical home schooling.

For more info, go to the link above.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

An Early Mother's Day Present

Odd how things can work out. When I was a teen, I had this romantic idea that the man who loved me could just about read my mind and think just like I did on everything. Blessedly, I grew out of that silly notion. I realized it was ridiculous to expect a man to read my mind and to magically fulfill my every desire. But after I'd married my sweetie, it wasn't unusual for one of us to say something and for the other to respond, "I was thinking the same thing!" I thought that was a truely sweet blessing from the Lord.

It happened again the other evening at the SuperWalmart, and I am now the proud owner of a GE Countertop Oven.

You see, I never use my oven in hot weather, which, in Texas, is most of the year. Now I can bake and broil inside (just like we do outside, lol). So far we've only reheated pizza (much better than to microwave) and baked a pie. The pie was a milestone: Sissy had collected enough mulberries for two pies, and she somehow had never had a lesson in pie making, so she made a mulberry pie as I coached her. It turned out beautifully, and I 'm looking forward to some summer baking.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Frugal Friday--Washing Towels

As it turns out, the best way to get towels clean and keep them absorbant is also the most frugal way. When laundering towels, machine wash in warm water with similar colors. Washing towels with clothing can cause pilling and wear on the clothing, so wash towels separately. Be sure to wash brand new towels before use, to remove any excess dye from deeptone and brilliant colors. Always wash dark colors separately, and avoid chlorine bleach. Unless the towels have been used for cleaning jobs, use half the called for amount of detergent. Add a cup of vinegar to kill germs and a half cup of baking or laundry soda to remove odors. If you've been using much detergent in the laundry, you may be shocked at how much is still in the towels. You may need to run them through a wash cycle with just the vinegar and soda to really get them clean.

Tumble drying will enhance the softness of your towels. Give the towels a good shake to remove wrinkles and to help them dry faster. Remove dry towels promptly from your dryer, shake them out, and fold. If you prefer to hang the towels to dry, shake them out before and after drying to fluff up the fibers.

Do NOT use fabric softeners or dryer sheets on your towels! Washing in fabric softener coats the terry fibers with silicones, and will actually make towels less absorbent.

To limit smells and bacteria growth, hang towels and rags up to dry if there will be some time before they're laundered.

When you snuggle your face into a really clean towel, you'll appreciate just how simple and frugal it was to get it that way.

For more Frugal Friday tips, hop over to Crystal's Blog at Biblical Womanhood.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tea Time!--Strawberry Tea Party

May is National Strawberry Month (yum!), making it a perfect time for a Strawberry Tea Party.

To start with, plain china with strawberry table linens would set the stage in grand manner. Have a look at these table linens at Outside In.

Alternatively, you may wish get this Strawberries and Bees Tea Set from

For a centerpiece, group 3-5 small pots of strawberry plants on the table. You could use more if you have something upon which to raise some of the pots (a footed plate, a small box covered with a piece of coordinating fabric), setting a few more around the raised center.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette*
Strawberry Blossoms**
Strawberry Shortcake
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Strawberry Tea

*Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

1 lb. (450g) bagged, pre-washed baby spinach
1 cup sliced strawberries
4 Tbsp. sliced or slivered almonds or walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 slices cooked & crumbled bacon

Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

1/2 cup sugar, (or if you’re watching your sugar: 1/2 cup Splenda or 1/4 cup fructose)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. minced red onion
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt

**Strawberry Blossoms

12 large, fresh strawberries, rinsed
1 - 3 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp sour cream
Remove stems from strawberries to form a flat base. Place berries on cutting surface, pointed end facing up. With a sharp knife, carefully slice each berry in half vertically to within a 1/4 inch of base. Cut each half into three wedges to form 6 petals. (Don't slice through the base.) Pull petals apart slightly.

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and sour cream; beat until light and fluffy. With a pastry bag and star tip or small spoon, fill strawberries with cream cheese mixture.

Note: A zipper sandwich bag can be used instead of a pastry bag by filling with cream cheese mixture and squeezing out excess air before sealing. Carefully cut one corner off of the bottom of the bag.

Variation: Use strawberry flavored cream cheese for added sweetness.

Don't you just love to give little gifts? I don't think guests are owed take-home treats; afterall, we've served them a lovely tea and provided for pleasant company. But party favors are such fun to give (and receive)! Here are some wee treasures you might like to give:

Strawberry-themed small lotions (maybe Strawberry Body Butter)

jars of strawberry jam (that you canned yourself?)
Strawberry recipe cards

strawberry candies

scented soaps (such as Chocolate Strawberry Soap or Strawberry Fields Soap

How about sending each guest home with one of the potted plants you used in the centerpiece?

Eli's Cheesecake Scented Tin Candle - Strawberry Cheesecake Mmmm--looks good enough to eat!

Strawberry Born Lippy Balm

Strawberry Lip Balm

If you have, or have had, a Strawberry Tea Party, please leave a comment telling me what you served and/or gave. I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Socialization Question--Again, With a Twist

The socialization question rather galls me. A simply look at what goes on in public schools makes the question moot. I have no desire for my children to learn what they are teaching there. This was in the Texas Home School Coalition's e-letter today, and I wanted to share it with everyone.

What about Socialization?
(From Another Angle)
Author Unknown

Two women meet at a playground, where their children are swinging and
playing ball. The women are sitting on a bench watching. Eventually, they begin to talk.

W1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts—helps me
keep track of them.

W2: (Smiles) I'm Terri. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do you come
here a lot?

W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to the library.

W2: Wow. Where do you find the time?

W1: We home school, so we do it during the day most of the time.

W2: Some of my neighbors home school, but I send my kids to public school.

W1: How do you do it?

W2: It's not easy. I go to all the PTO meetings and work with the kids every
day after school and stay real involved.

W1: But what about socialization? Aren't you worried about them being cooped
up all day with kids their own ages, never getting the opportunity for
natural relationships?

W2: Well, yes. But I work hard to balance that. They have some friends
who're home schooled, and we visit their grandparents almost every month.

W1: Sounds like you're a very dedicated mom. But don't you worry about all
the opportunities they're missing out on? I mean they're so isolated from
real life—how will they know what the world is like—what people do to
make a living—how to get along with all different kinds of people?

W2: Oh, we discussed that at PTO, and we started a fund to bring real people
into the classrooms. Last month, we had a policeman and a doctor come in to
talk to every class. And next month, we're having a woman from Japan and a
man from Kenya come to speak.

W1: Oh, we met a man from Japan in the grocery store the other week, and he
got to talking about his childhood in Tokyo. My kids were absolutely
fascinated. We invited him to dinner and got to meet his wife and their
three children.

W2: That's nice. Hmm. Maybe we should plan some Japanese food for the
lunchroom on Multicultural Day.

W1: Maybe your Japanese guest could eat with the children.

W2: Oh, no. She's on a very tight schedule. She has two other schools to
visit that day. It's a system-wide thing we're doing.

W1: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, maybe you'll meet someone interesting in the
grocery store sometime and you'll end up having them over for dinner.

W2: I don't think so. I never talk to people in the store—certainly not
people who might not even speak my language. What if that Japanese man
hadn't spoken English?

W1: To tell you the truth, I never had time to think about it.
Before I even saw him, my six-year-old had asked him what he was going to do
with all the oranges he was buying.

W2: Your child talks to strangers?

W1: I was right there with him. He knows that as long as he's with me, he
can talk to anyone he wishes.

W2: But you're developing dangerous habits in him. My children never talk to

W1: Not even when they're with you?

W2: They're never with me, except at home after school. So you see why it's
so important for them to understand that talking to strangers is a big

W1: Yes, I do. But if they were with you, they could get to meet interesting
people and still be safe. They'd get a taste of the real world, in real
settings. They'd also get a real feel for how to tell when a situation is
dangerous or suspicious.

W2: They'll get that in the third and fifth grades in their health courses.

W1: Well, I can tell you're a very caring mom. Let me give you my number—if
you ever want to talk, give me call. It was good to meet you.

New Creation Museum Leading Workers to Christ

From's Religion Today Summaries:

Inquiring Minds Lead to Saved Souls at Creation Museum

According to a story, a 28-year-old construction worker accepted Christ after working at the new Creation Museum site for a few months. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, the Christian apologetics group that is opening the museum, says so far ten contractors have been saved while working on the site. Many of the workers hear the gospel as they inquire about the museum. Ham says: "You also hire people from temp agencies and also have outside contractors that come in, and they start asking about the museum." And for many of these outside workers, he explains, "we find that they have no background understanding of the Bible at all, and they say things like, 'Oh, I didn't know the Bible taught about that.'"

Carnival of Homeschooling #70

The Yes, No, Yes! Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Dewey's Treehouse. You know what to do.