Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Have you ever tasted honey right from the hive? David scrapped a bit of wax away and let me have a taste - wow!! That is good stuff let me tell you!!
Next they walked us through the process of extracting the honey from the hives, cleaning the honey by putting it in the 'hot box' to warm the honey and allow any wax and debris (wings, legs, etc.) that might be in the honey to float to the top. The honey is then put into a large vat type apparatus where it is filtered further and ready for bottling. It is a pretty straight forward process the actual processing side of things that is.
The bees themselves are where the mystery, intrigue and fascination comes in. Mr. Dalton told us all about the habits, roles, life cycle and personalities of these amazing little creatures. I couldn't help but make the connection between the bees and the Character Building for Families study that we are doing in our devotional time, specifically the unit on Orderliness - God's hand is so incredibly obvious in the day to day lives of little wonders. After walking us through each step in the processing side of beekeeping we took a short stroll down a picturesque tree lined path to the back end of the property by a pond where the colonies are kept and maintained. David donned his beekeeper garb and showed us how to daze them a little with smoke so that he could get in the hive and show us the inner workings a little. The smoke tends to slow them down and create a 'groggy' state which allows for more ideal conditions in which to go about your bee business.
David was kind enough to pose for a photo to show off what every stylish beekeeper is wearing this fall! Our tour ended on The Dalton's back patio where Mr. Dalton answered questions and told stories while we were treated to Honey Tea and Cookies which Mrs. Dalton aka 'The Boss' was gracious enough to prepare for us - that is true southern hospitality y'all ;-) A sweet man, a beautiful fall day and homemade goodies, us homeschoolers have it made!! The wall hanging on the back porch of the Dalton's home sums it up.....
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
This is my beautiful Great Grandmother, Amy - she was a real lady born in England no less and known far and wide for her 'naturally wavy hair' - she was proud of it ;-) Also in the picture are my uncles, Peter is the eldest of the 5 children and Gerry, the youngest who is just 10 years older than me - he was more like an older brother for me growing up. This picture was likely taken on a holiday gathering of some sort, very possibly Christmas and I was just a little over a year old here.
I will continue on from here next time and absolutely welcome any questions or comments. If I am missing something and not piecing things together clearly please call me on it and keep me straight - this is going to be an emotional journey and I may miss some things that would seem obvious. By the way - just to pique your interest there is much drama that will unfold in the chapters to come!!
I will say this much, when I look at the sweet little girl in the picture above, I ache for her, I long to comfort her through what lies ahead and see so clearly as I look back from this day to that one how wonderfully and graciously God's hand has been on her, protecting her and guiding her along so that I might draw from all the experiences, trials, joys and pain and potentially help just one........
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Mission India is teaming up with Sonlight Curriculum to impact the nation of India with the Gospel. Passport to India is an invitation to families to participate in a 5 week adventure into exploring India in a close up and personal way, as well as blessing to be a part of something unique and wonderful. Sonlight has promised to match donations up to $167,000 to help bring the Bible to the children of India. I was stunned when I read the number of 400+ million people in India being unreached!! In our happy little Christian community here in the the United States that is hard to even get your head around isn't it? Well, it didn't take me long to figure out that this was an opportunity that I didn't want to see missed. Mission India and Sonlight are asking participating families to collect their loose change during the 5 week journey and for every dollar collected one boy or girl will attend a Children's Bible Club where they will have the incredible opportunity that our kids take for granted on a daily basis - to learn about the love of Jesus!! This is win win win. I have already signed up to receive our Welcome Kit and am thinking about what kinds of things we can do between now and then to prepare in prayer and otherwise. Every time I look at the site I find myself in tears (it's not hormones). God has placed this tenderness in our hearts for His little ones, those that know Him and those that need to know Him - especially those that NEED HIM!! We are to be His hands and feet and we can use our mouses and loose change to do it!!
I am going to find some wonderful jar, bottle, box (here I go with containers again??) and make sure it is ready in time to begin October 5th. Pray about this and consider joining us......we all have spare/loose change and it really could change lives!!
Matthew 28: 19-20
I will be sharing more as we go along this adventure- I really hope you will consider joining us in blessing these precious little ones!!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
WonderBoy is praying for me this week - some of you who know me may be shocked and surprised to know that I have struggled with self worth over the years (keep the laughter down to a dull roar girls - you know who you are). WonderBoy has pulled the slipped that says 'Mom's Self Worth' so that is his prayer mission for the week - big project for a young man - I have faith his prayers will be a huge blessing to me!!
And last but not least, me - mom.....my prayers this week again focus on people we know - I am seeing this pattern weekly lately. I will be praying for my dear sweet wonderful sister friend Jess and her family in Virginia. This will be a pleasure and an honor for me. It may even get her to participate in this little adventure with me.....pressure huh friend? ;-)
Well that wraps it up for the week. Our devotional/bible study Character Building for Families continues to be a time we are looking forward to several times a week. We have completed the unit on Obedience (waiting for the harvest on that seed!!!) and have just today begun Orderliness - this one is going to be great - I am really looking forward to digging in deep on this topic.
Before I run I wanted to take a minute to share a post I read last night from a sweet sweet woman I had the good fortune of meeting at the CHEF (Christian Home Educators Fellowship) Conference in May of this year. Marsha's post about the not so often talked about side of parenting opens up a topic I have been thinking about lately and was considering delving into a little here...I'm curious to see if there might be an interest in opening up some dialogue...let me know if the comments section - oh and while you are on her blog, be sure to check out some of her wonderful recipes. I have tried several all with great results!! Thanks Marsha for being transparent and a good cook!!
Alrighty, I guess that about wraps it up for me today. Go and pray with your family and come back and link up with us and tell us all about what God is doing!!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
This is the Onion Cheese Supper Bread recipe I started with.....here is what I actually did
Bacon Onion Cheese Round
- Cook onion with a little olive oil in your favorite skillet.
- Mix dry ingredients together and add milk(s) egg and mayo.
- Mix in cheese and bacon.
- Place dough in a well greased 9" round pan spread out to even level with back of spoon.
- Top with sauteed onion, rosemary and a sprinkle or two of seasoning - I used a little "Johnny's Garlic Spread" - go with your mood and what's on hand and by all means feel free to add more cheese on top as well ;-)
This lends itself wells to what's on hand and can easily be played around with to compliment whatever you are serving it with - think olives, thinly sliced tomatoes, parmesan cheese and a pasta dish , or go rustic and think soups and stews - easy peasy and oh so good !!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I love words, written, spoken, sung, you name it. I always have. Some of my earliest memories are of writing poetry for my Grandmother. As a child I had pen pals - fellow Bay City Roller fans (if you are still out there - email me and we can reminisce!!) and others ;-)
My Grandparents were 'Snow Birds' they flew the coop of the Canadian north every fall and spent the cold Ontario months in Florida. I wrote, they wrote. The letters from those days are among some of my most cherished possessions.
In college I made friendships with people from other areas and during summer breaks we would write letters and keep in touch - this was before email of course - college kids don't do that now I would venture to guess. These 'mail relationships' continued in some cases for many many years - it was over 20 years ago now my college days......sigh.....
Well in recent years sadly, there has not been much letter writing. That was until about a year and a half ago when I was trying to come up with ways to get my 'reluctant writer' writing. Every kids loves mail and so I set myself about the task of finding WonderBoy some pen pals. It worked beautifully - in fact he is always on the look out for more - he has even adopted one of mine!! But I am getting ahead of myself a little......in the process of getting him up and running in his new hobby I reflected on how much letter writing had always been a part of my life and how I missed it. I decided to try and find some kindred souls and ignite the love of letter writing in my life again.
I am so grateful I did. I have about an handful of faithful and wonderful letter writing friends who have brought so much joy to my life in the past year or so! There is Cathy in Illinois - WonderBoy has adopted her as 'Grandma' even though she is just a 'Spring Chicken' ;-), Lynne in Maine is a sweet and dear kindred spirit, Rebekah in Wisconsin is a lovely young lady who makes me smile, Kathy in Tennessee has taught me much about soap making and goat raising. The friendships that have grown between letters is a blessing beyond mere 'words'. A phone call last week from one of these dear ladies lifted my spirits for days when they were low and that was the purpose of the call ;-) We exchange laughter, recipes, tips and funny stories, books, tea bags, photos, bookmarks, crafts, ideas, instructions, encouragement but most of all love - for that I am so very very grateful.
Want to know more about finding a pen pal - let me know.....it is a lost art that the world would be well served to revive!!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
WonderBoy came plowing down the stairs like a herd of small elephants early this morning with a dazed look and tear filled eyes, didn't take an award winning Mom to figure out there was a problem. A bad dream. So I tucked him happily on the love seat across the room from me with the favorite soft and cozy teddy bear blanket and went back to what I had been reading. It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly sweet, innocent and borderline angelic they look when asleep.... He slept sweetly for about an hour when he woke again, bad dream long forgotten, at this point it was time to start the day. One of the things that I love best about homeschooling in the flexibility it affords us each day. If there is a sinus headache or friend in need we are able to work around these things - it is such an amazing blessing, especially after being a single mom with zero options of flexibility for several years I appreciate it so deeply!
This year we are focusing more on training and character building than we have in the past. The academics are as important as ever, but truthfully I feel for our family right now at the season in which we find ourselves character building is what Father God is calling us to. So how does a parent go about building the character of an often less than co-operative 9 yr. old into something that brings honor and glory to our Heavenly Father ? Well honestly, I haven't got the foggiest! After all, I'm still working on many many aspects of my own faulty character!!
This is of course where listening and observing come into play - God gave us 2 ears and 2 eyes versus 1 mouth for a reason.....see I am learning a little here and there ;-) So I have been instructing and then stepping back and waiting to see the fruit of my labors. Fruit is an interesting thing, at times it arrives ripe and juicy right in season and at other times it shows up when you expect it but has a rank odor that tells you that something is not quite right. Then there is the fruit that arrives unexpectedly, out of season but is fresh and lovely and a true surprise and delight............
After many efforts to teach sorting and other associated laundry tasks, one day a laundry helper arrived unannounced in my laundry room, with an eager and willing heart to serve. He has continued to return now on a weekly basis. I don't have to tell you how wonderful this is !! We have verbally praised all his efforts and encouraged further participation. You've heard the expression "strike while the iron is hot"? Well that is just what I intend to do.....have I ever mentioned that I do not like to iron......to me unless you happen to have some wonderful room sized closet, ironing is a waste of time in advance because everything just ends up all creased again in the closet (ask me how I know this - I once thought it best to get it all over with at one time - wrong!)....So ironing is next on the list and PTL there is an interest already surfacing!!! God really does know the desires of our hearts ;-) After that, well the possibilities are endless but I do have a few ideas.......see the soap on the top of the tank....it says "Blessed" and let me tell you....I will be when someone else is cleaning this ;-) The brush is conveniently located and everything - this will ensure a daughter in law who doesn't have me put in a home down the road wouldn't you think?
Isn't this part of the instructions after all? ;-)
Quick item of housekeeping - midnight tonight is the deadline for entries on my very first super fabulous wonderful minty root hugger soap giveaway....scroll down and leave a comment or become a follower of my blog either or both will get you an entry - I will post the winner tomorrow!!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
1. Describe the best sandwich in the world according to you. It would be on thick fresh Italian bread with a generous slathering of peanut butter, creamy of course and medium to thin crisp sliced English cucumber!! YUM-O
2. Which inspire you more: a good conversation, a song, a book or a movie? Nothing beats a good conversation but a book can run a close 2nd many times - Beth Moore comes to mind - like conversation in book form!!
3. What is your favorite board game? Oh...this is a tough one for me - it is a mood thing - I LOVE trivia, especially music (70's) trivia, Trivial Pursuit is on the top of my list for that reason, but I also love Scrabble and Cranium - again depends on my mood ;-) Anything that gets my thinker thinking!
4. As you grow older, are you more or less patient with small children? This one might best be answered as the last one was- mood plays a big part in this one - that and how much my not so small child has been behaving on any given day!
5. Name one item you never let yourself run out of? COFFEE .......and toilet paper is important but coffee gets the #1 spot ......sad perhaps but true.
6. Do you agree with Tennyson's assertion, "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all'? Absolutely - cannot imagine living and never having loved - that is so much a part of who we are - there are many kinds of love to consider here too.....hmmm
7. Name one national treasure or monument that you have visited. Because I grew up in Toronto, I visited Niagara Falls many times - the Canadian side really is much nicer y'all, but doesn't hold a candle to The Grand Canyon - breathtaking!! I would really love to see Mount Rushmore and visit Yellowstone Park just FYI.
8. What is more painful, to be disappointed in someone else, or to be disappointed in yourself? For me it has to be to be disappointed in myself and what's even harder than that is disappointing someone I love.
9. What makes your kitchen uniquely yours? The love notes inside my cupboards ;-)
10. Are you a crafty person? I try to be - at some times more successfully than at other times.
11. What if your favorite traditional picnic or bbq(cookout) food? Ribs and potato salad (with dill pickle, English peas and bacon)
12. Name one leisure activity you enjoyed over Labor Day Weekend? Letterboxing after many months ....Who-rah ;-)
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I am still hearing rumors of others who will be joining me here and linking up to share what the Lord is doing in their families. If you are new to Prayer Box Sunday - click here to find out how to get your household involved.
This past week our family prayer was for Jeison, the 9 yr. old boy that we sponsor through Compassion International in Columbia. This past Friday, as if in answer to our prayers we received a letter from Jeison - we are always so delighted and blessed to get a letter from Columbia! ;-) Our family prayer this week focuses on our own family - more specifically our desire to live a simple life. We will seek the Lord's guidance this week as a family and give ear to His leading in this area for our lives.
The Principal has a weighty prayer focus this week.....parenting - wow - a week is not enough - this is a daily cry to the Father for me ....if only they came with manuals! Speaking of.....WonderBoy is praying for friends currently living in Vietnam in the week ahead. Last and certainly not least, I have the honor to be praying for The Poplar Family, treasured friends that we do not see enough of - unless you count running into Melvin at WalMart or Sam's Club on his lunch break!! ;-) I really could use some Toya time - hint hint nudge nudge.....I'm just sayin' ;-)
Life is good we are blessed and I for one am so grateful to live in a country where I can freely and openly share the Love of my Lord & Savior with those around me without fear of persecution -
Thank You Father for the freedom to worship and pray and post blogs about You and how You are moving and teaching and guiding us along this path called Life.
May God's abundant blessings surround you and yours this week ;-)
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Here The Principal prepares the brew......any guesses?
mint tea pudding......not quite......
ah ha!! Soap!! Mint Tea Soap to be exact.......cold pressed and made with love and all kinds of giggles along the way! It reaches it's 'cured date' tomorrow and I would love to share some with you to try ;-)So from now until midnight, Friday, September 10th if you become a follower or leave a comment I will put an entry in on your behalf and a week from today I will post the name of the winner selected with the aid of random.org of a bar our latest brew!!