Monthly Archives: March 2006

Over the River and Through the Woods

To Grandmother's House We Go!It's Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend here so I figured Jon and I would head off to TN to visit Gran while the hunters spend their time in the woods here.  Jon and I are really looking forward to it.  Seems like it's been awhile since we've gotten to visit with my mom.


I hope you all have enjoyed all of the guest columns on our Front Porch this week. If you missed any of them, you can click on the column title in the sidebar there and it will pull up their entry.  I thought they were all wonderful and they are just going to get better week to week.  We've got everything from Quilting and Knitting to Adoption, Homeschooling Only One, Geography and Creative Learning activities. Please take the time to comment on their entries and let our Front Porch Team know that you appreciate them taking the time to share with us.  They SO want to hear from you!


Meanwhile over at PRMama, we're featuring Amelia Harper, the author of Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings and owner of HomeScholar Books. She tells how she got started and shares some tips for others wanting to market their product to homeschoolers.  We've also got the March Madness, Free TOS ad contest going there too.  It's only open to PRMama subscribers though, so be sure to subscribe to the PRMama e-Newsletter if you haven't already.  Feel free to pass the Ad contest info along to any of your Yahoo groups or message boards where folks are talking about homeschooling or home based business. 


So enjoy all that we have to offer at HSB while I'm off enjoying the weekend with my mom.  And if you are looking for some Tech Support, check out the new HSBTutorial Blog by Amy Beth or visit her at the Forums!


Have a wonderful weekend!


Trying to recapture my youth!

Well after the humbling experience at the beauty shop yesterday, I was almost afraid to take this quiz – Which Sports Care Are You?


I was afraid that they might have a minivan on there just for us old foggies!


Fortunately they had a sports car on there, even for us practical types.  Whew…

You are a Mazda RX-8!

You're sporty, yet practical, and you have a style of your own.  You like to have fun, and you like to bring friends along for the ride, but when it comes time for everyday chores, you're willing to do your part. 


Struggling to Make Conversation…

I went to the beauty shop to get my hair highlighted today.  The person who usually does my hair wasn't there so I decided to try another stylist.  Well, she did a great job, but wow did she make me feel OLD!


Of course this is how the conversation starts:


So, where do you work?


Well I homeschool my kids and work for a homeschool magazine from home.


Oh. Don't your kids like… ever want to have any friends?


Well actually we all get along pretty well so they are each others friends and they have a lot of friends from our homeschool group and other activities. 


Oh.   Awkward silence…


Later, she asks me about how many kids I have and after I tell her that I have 3 boys, she says that it's too bad that I didn't GET a girl. Oh man, that pushes my button.  I remind myself, she's young.  I used to have many of those same attitudes and thoughts.


I explain to her that I understand what she means because I used to have a longing for a daughter, but that I feel totally complete and content with my boys.  A little girl couldn't be any more special to me than these boys are.


More awkward silence.


So I decide to try and get to know her. 


So, what do you do for fun when you aren't cutting hair?


I like to go clubbin'.




Later, she asks me what I like to do for fun. 


I tell her that I'm learning to make a quilt, that I like to read, and blog on the computer.


She's looking at me like she feels sorry for me by then.


But I start talking about my recent attempt to make soap and we *finally* strike upon something we can both talk about. 


Her mom likes to make her own lotions and bath products.  Whew.  At least it was something.  Even if I could relate more to her mother!


The Loud Quiet

Virginia Bluebells


I decided to walk around our property for a bit today to get some fresh air.  It's pretty hilly around here so the lazy part of me wanted to drive, but I couldn't find the keys!


As I walked by Billy's pasture, I thought how nice it would be take him for a ride, but getting the thought of trying to get the saddle on nixed that idea.


So, I walked.  Up to our field, down through the woods by the horse pasture, and across the road to the creek.  I noticed a few bluebell wildflowers were beginning to bloom and that there were some daffodils in our field that you couldn't see because of the tall grass.  I found myself a spot to sit and just listened.  I love to sit by the creek and listen to the water flow.  But after a few minutes I began to hear more. 


There were all kinds of birds chirping, a woodpecker pecking on a tree… and something else.  It sounded like a little animal rustling in the leaves, but I never could see it.  The sound was coming from across the creek and I tried my best to *look for movement*(my friend, Mel's daughter taught me about that!) but I just couldn't see anything.  I thought about tossing a rock over there, but I was starting to worry that whatever it was might not be entirely friendly, so I opted to walk a little more.


I followed the creek a little bit more and then decided to walk up the hill towards the back of our property.  We hardly ever go that direction.  Still, what was I thinking?!  Yikes, that's a steep hill.  Anyway at one of my stops to sit on the way up the mountainside, I heard trees creaking.  Yes, actual creaking.  I've read that phrase in books before, but I'd never heard it until today.  I could hear men down by the watershed lake and a dog in the distance. 


There actually is a lot to listen to out there in the quiet.  If you get a chance, go sit and listen to the loud quiet.

 Be still, and know that I am God

Psalm 46:10


The Chicks Are Coming, The Chicks Are Coming!

There is just something heartwarming  knowing that soon enough 68 baby chicks will be waiting for me at the post office.  Last year was our first year with chicks and we loved it!


This year we ordered:


50 Jumbo Cornish X Rocks (the meat birds)or Godzilla chickens as CrewChief calls them!


4 Rhode Island Reds 

All girls.  2 for us and 2 for a friend.  They lay lots of brown eggs.  They are considered the best all purpose bird by lots of folks.







Buff Orpingtons – 1 male and female for us

I picked them because many of the folks on my HSCountry Yahoo group say they are wonderful gentle chickens.  We're only getting one rooster so I wanted to try and get a friendly one.  Have you ever heard that fertilized eggs are healthier?  I just heard that from my friend yesterday.  Somehow I missed that in all of the bird talk.


2 Silver Laced Wyandottes   – My middle son picked them.  Mostly just because they were different looking. But they are also supposed to be good at laying eggs in the cold weather too.





Black Australorps – We had some of these last year and they are supposed to mature early and start laying between 5 and 6 months.  Of course we couldn't really tell who was laying eggs when since they were all in there together.




4 Araucanas – 2 for us and 2 for our friends.  These are the ones that lay the pretty pastel colored eggs.  I had heard that their eggs are lower in cholesterol, but McMurray says that's not the truth.  They say all eggs have the same amount of cholesterol.  These birds were pretty slow to lay though. We didn't start getting eggs from them until they were a year old.






2 Red Star – My friend decided to give these a try.  They are supposed to be specially bred to be good layers.  They look a lot like Rhode Island Reds to me.  These are often the kinds of chicks that you see for sale around Easter because they can tell that they are girls because of their red coloring. I don't know what color the boys are…. Hmmm…..




1 Pearl White Leghorn – My friend wanted to see if these laid as many eggs as they said.  These are supposed to be commercial standard white egg layers.  So if she gets a bunch of white eggs, she'll know who did it!









1 Red Leghorn Rooster -My friend just chose this one since it would look pretty running around in the yard. 








So we'll be getting all of our brooding supplies ready for April 19th.  Then the fun will be trying to figure out which ones are which.  They all have different markings, but they are pretty doggone similar looking.  Oh fun, fun, fun!!