Monthly Archives: November 2010

Black Friday on the Farm: A Guest Post by Hannah Braboy

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah Braboy, and I’m a good friend of Nancy’s. She asked me to stop in because she’s having a few technical glitches right now. No worries! Her Internet should be back up and running before too long. In the mean time…

My family and I sometimes take care of Nancy’s family’s farm for them. We love to do it and were there on Black Friday taking care of everything. We also happened to get some snow that day, which is far and few between in this area. The animals were as excited as we were to see it! Here’s a virtual tour around Nancy’s family’s farm:

In the video you might have caught twin boys plopping in the snow off the slide (those are my brothers), guineas making themselves known, the horses’ shy “hello”, Baab (the sheep) portraying his spunky and independent personality, bits of conversation between my family and I, and lots of other little things. I love that – the imperfection, the simplicity, and how each time we take care of that special farm, it reminds me to let my hair down and get back to the basics.

Thank You Lord for Dirty Dishes

Giving Thanks

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes;
we have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry;
we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds;
they were so warm and comfortable last night.
I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom,
complete with all the splattered mirrors,
soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory;
they are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator
that needs cleaning.
It has served us faithfully for many years.
It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers
for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely
must be cleaned today;
It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass
that we all enjoy the yard.
My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says
You have richly blessed my family.
I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl
when the alarm rings,
Thank you, Lord, that I can hear.
There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light
as long as possible,
Thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising,
Thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise.
There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic,
when socks are lost, toast is burned and tempers are short,
my children are so loud,
Thank you, Lord, for my family.
There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like
the pictures in magazines
and the menu is at times not balanced,
There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous,
Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work.
There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day
and wish my circumstances were not so modest,
Thank you, Lord, for life.


I’ve gotten this prayer via email many times over the years and it always comes back to me if I begin to catch myself grumbling about Mt. Washmore or the mounds of dirty dishes.  Let’s all give thanks for our everyday blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

A Simple Moment

Saturday night took on a magical quality when I looked around my living room and realized that we were all together.  Between my husband and my oldest son’s work schedules, having us all awake and at-home together at the same time is becoming more rare.

Yep, my oldest is 18. He graduated last year and is now working full time at a local factory: the night shift no less. Although we were open to different options after graduation for him including a 4 year college, community college, or trade school, he really just wanted to get out and work for a while to try and figure out what he really wants to do.

I couldn’t be prouder.

He’s thinking things through. He knows the value of a dollar. He knows the importance of hard work and he’s a quick learner. (More about that might be the topic of another post, but this post is supposed to be about Saturday night, isn’t it?)

Anyway, Saturday night we rented the new Karate Kid movie and declared it Family Movie Night.

My youngest piled on the couch between my husband and me. Jake got comfy on the loveseat on my left. And Joe kicked back in his chair to my right.

There we sat in our U shaped furniture arrangement, and it hit me: look around, soak up the picture, look at your kids’ faces, listen to their laughter,  and enjoy the feel of a crowded living room.

It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that hanging out in the living room together was an every night occurrence. But now, it’s like a special occasion. Not because it’s expensive or involves travel, but just because our time together is more limited, more special.

I’m so thankful for all of the time that we’ve been able to have with our boys. It has truly been a gift. And even now I’m extra thankful for these simple moments of just being together. It reminds me of the song The Miracle of the Moment by Steven Curtis Chapman.

Here are a few lines from the song:

There’s only One who knows
What’s really out there waiting
In all the moments yet to be
And all we need to know
Is He’s out there waiting
To Him the future’s history

And He has given us a treasure called right now
And this is the only moment we can do anything about

So breathe it in and breathe it out
Listen to your heartbeat
There’s a wonder in the here and now
It’s right there in front of you
And I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment

Don’t we all need to watch for the wonder in the here and now? Here’s a video that I put together a few years ago for my homeschool group to this song. (You may need to pause the music at the bottom of my page to hear it.) Enjoy!

It’s a Good Kind of Busy

Things have been really busy around here, but it’s been a good kind of busy.

Tuesday, the boys went and helped our friends process some more meatbirds, and then we went to our old homeschool co-op since our CHEK state homeschool director and his wife and kids were coming to do a presentation. We absolutely love the Bolins and try to take advantage of any chance to get together with them. If any of you homeschool in Kentucky, you’ll want to join CHEK to support their ministry to Kentucky homeschoolers. And if your support group asks, they’d be happy to come do a presentation about homeschooling in Kentucky. They’re willing to travel all over the state.

Wednesday, I went and watched a local author/illustrator/publisher, Mark Wayne Adams,  do a school presentation. He did a fantastic job explaining what an illustrator does to the children. The kids were enthralled and hanging on to every word. It was such a blessing to see how he got the kids excited about reading, drawing, and thinking about what they most like to do. It was great to chat with him about how he got started and it helped me to see the possibilities for my own book. Yay! Plus, we got to go celebrate a friend’s little boy’s birthday that evening.

Thursday, was a more normal at-home day although I had a terrifying encounter with a turkey in our backyard. Even though I love having chickens, I have a fear of birds. I’ve worked through most of my issues with the chickens, but alas, it all came back to the surface when a wayward turkey got out of it’s pen and ran towards me expecting to be fed.  I literally jumped out of my crocs when that bird got too close. I kept trying to remind myself that it wasn’t going to hurt me, but all of my positive self-talk wasn’t working. I got into the house as quickly as possible and waited for the boys to get  home to feed everyone.

Friday, the boys and I went to our local homeschool support group meeting. I volunteered in the nursery/preschool room so I got to enjoy visiting with the babies, preschoolers, and other moms. It was such a sweet time.

As we were coming home, a wasp was by our backdoor. Jon kind of jumped away from it, and I reminded him that it wouldn’t hurt us, to just walk on into the house. He laughed and said, “You’re not scared of a wasp, but you’re scared of the turkeys?!” Kids just kind of keep it real, don’t they?

My good buddy, Jennifer, loaned me a whole bunch of books so I eagerly dug into those this weekend. I decided to sit outside on the patio to read so that I could get some fresh air. The boys would just laugh as they’d walk by the sliding glass door. It looked like the Wild Kingdom out there with 4 cats crawling all over me and 3 dogs sitting by my feet.  Trying to read through all of the fur while being pestered to pet everyone might not be for most people, I prefer that to sitting in a stuffy room any day! I always tell my husband that if something ever happens to me, that they’ll need to try pet therapy. They are usually the best medicine for me.

How about you all? Have you had a busy week? Have you gotten time to spend with your friends and family? Have you gotten to read some good books? Have you been able to enjoy time with pets? Has anything crazy happened at your house or farm? Did anyone else get chased by a turkey this week or is it just me? Ha!

Hope you all have a great one this week, even if it is kind of busy. Count your blessings. Thanksgiving is coming!

Breaking News!

The Old Schoolhouse 2010 Holiday Digital Edition is ready for download. It’s chock full of holiday recipes, activities, and articles, and is sure to put you in the holiday mood. Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. Grab a hot cup of cider and enjoy browsing this issue and planning how to make the holidays special for your family.

Click HERE to download.

As I was quickly flipping through the pages, I saw the recipe for making cinnamon dough ornaments, another article on making ornaments with the kids, and even instructions on making a special photo quilt.

What special activities do you like to do with your kids or what special gifts are you planning on making this Christmas? I always love to hear ideas from others!