Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Beginning of the End


 Seniors 2015!  
This was the Sunday before our first day of school.  Getting a picture of these two together is easier if they can't get away.



Senior 2014!  
This girly graduates this December with her BA in Literature Studies.  She was floating around the house several days before classes began with big smiles while ordering her pens, spirals and printing off labels.  The reason for the biggest smiles was the fact that she got approved to take a graduate level Jane Austen class this semester. Austen is her favorite. Earlier this summer she took the GRE and has been applying to graduate schools. 

Saturday before school started. Sorry, another blurry photo.

And here I am (on the left).  This is my last year of homeschooling after 21 1/2 years.  Our first year began in a January which is the reason for half year.  

And the lady and her daughter in the picture are the first homeschoolers I ever met way back when I was in high school.  This was before I even knew what homeschooling was.  The Lord has used this women in my life in some pretty significant ways over the years.  Maybe one day I will share about that.

That little girl I babysat is grown up and has a baby of her own. Aren't they sweet?

So here is to a new year.  In many ways it will be the usual for us, but it will also be the launching pad for new adventures, too.  I am grateful for the years I've been able to be at home with my children.  They have been filled with love, laughter, frustrations, heart ache and many tears, both happy and sad.  Just like life, I  suppose. The Lord is good and gracious and I am thankful.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weekend Getaway


After thinking we would get rain we changed our Labor Day weekend camping plans to go west instead of east.  Those familiar with North Texas will know all the tall pine trees are east and that means shade.  The trees get incrementally shorter as you drive west.  

Would you rather be hot and dry or wet tracking mud everywhere in your camper?  We chose hot and we were not disappointed.  The trailer has an a/c so we at least slept really well, but it was pretty miserable middle of the day.

I've mentioned that we have been in a drought for the past several years. This is Lake Arrowhead in Wichita Falls, Texas.  There was water in the lake but not here.

 
There is a boat ramp in the right hand corner of this picture.  There was a man using it for his exercise running up and down it and stretching.


This is the view from a pier.

We took a walk along the lake bottom and the girls were intrigued by some artifacts they found.  What you ask?  Glass Gatorade and Dr. Pepper bottles! I would not have thought anything about them, but they pointed out they do not remember ever seeing such things.  So they brought a few back to use as vases in their rooms.

 
These are more the sort of things that interest me.

Someone's dinner artifacts.





If the water was diminished the Prairie Dogs were NOT! There must have been hundreds of them!


They apparently have a sophisticated way of talking and warning each other of approaching threats. They are noisy little creatures so we were sure to pick a camping spot a good distance away from them. 

Aren't they funny little creatures?  Well, technically I guess they are rodents so that would make them sort of gross.



 
A pampered dog was also spotted.


All of our kids joined us at some point during the weekend so that made up for the life sucking heat. It was a good time, but I won't be lying if I told you I was glad to head back home. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Silly Goose, Lazy Lizard and a Hot Air Balloon


We were having coffee out on our patio when I glanced up and saw this!



 There is never any telling what might be in the skies around my house...ducks, geese, a variety of herons, hawks, airplanes of all sizes, helicopters, and once I even saw a blimp.



Guess we can add hot air balloon to that list.  It was a very peaceful, quiet morning with a nice little wind pushing this baby along a fast clip.


Then the equivalent to a motorcycle gang flew into the neighborhood with an intimidating amount of commotion and loud honking. 


Don't let that innocent looking face fool you.  That is Pure D meanness right there.  Lots of wild eyed aggressive behavior which I am pretty sure would end in me being trampled if I wasn't careful. 



Want to know who is REALLY mean?  That blond goose right there.



She has one fluffy butt, doesn't she?



I try to keep my distance.  She is not nice.

 But you know who IS nice?


This little guy right here.  Can you see Mr. Anole?


I really don't know if this is a Mr. or Miss but based on the size of that chin (dewlap) I'm guessing it is a boy.  If you look closely you can see a whisker coming out of the side of its neck.  

 So, I should be working on school and co-op stuff but instead the little lizard catches my eye outside my window so I grab my camera and take photos.  I am easily distracted but he looked so pretty in the pink crape myrtle.  And I was just thinking the other day how the petals of the crape myrtle are some of the best, all light and frilly.  Some folks don't like these trees and they do have some issues especially with scale and people trimming this hideously which we call crape murder, but I love them.


 This is my office mess and a bunch of books I need to do something with.  It has only gotten worse since I took this picture the other day.  Sigh.


All right now.  I gotta get back to work.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Little Catch Up

Hummingbird as seen through my dirty window. 
I finally have this memorized!
Grasshopper!  




Duckling

As I type this I am sitting in the front of the house at my desk listening to Trey, my 18 year old son, rock us out on his guitar.  I have been saying all along that I enjoy it but what I didn't realize is HOW LOUD it is when I sit in this particular room.  Wow.  My ears.  But it is good music so I can't complain.

The 17 year old daughter, Anna, can be seen out the window from where I sit.  Several times a day she takes her bow staff, a long, metallic stick and she goes into the middle of our very unbusy street and practices her weapons form.  She needs a lot of space.  She is nervous about a competition she has coming up this weekend.  It will be her first Class A tournament and this is her first time do compete in the weapons category.

These two have also been working on math all summer long. Why is math not more loveable?  Why are people not more lovable when they are working on their math?  If there is any reason to not homeschool this would be it. Seriously.  We are a people of letters, words and books.  Numbers just jumble in our heads and agitate us.  Unless it is dollars.  Then we are fairly amiable.  

Distracted by Alaska.


The last few days I finally realized that it was imperative that I start planning for next school year and co-op.  So what did I do?  I picked up Arctic Homestead by Norma Cobb and I read it cover to cover.  It is the story of the Cobb family homesteading in Alaska with 5 children. Mrs. Cobb was the last woman pioneer to sign up under the U. S. Homestead Act and become a homesteader in 1972.  Such an interesting book and Norma Cobb is still alive and occasionally blogging here

The Cobb's first cabin on the Minook Creek.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rain!



This is happening right now, much needed RAIN! It is the long, soaking kind.  We need it badly!

It is believed that Texas has big bugs.  I spotted this one while sitting on my back porch snapping photos of ducklings.  It flew into sight and landed on the fence for rest, I suppose. 

What do you think? Are bugs this big where you live?

Cottonwood Borer

This was a good 1 1/2 inches long, perhaps more. Yuck. But as far as I know they don't hurt people.

I have a friend who moved here from the Chicago area a couple of years ago. She has embraced Texas whole-heartedly, crepe murtles, snakes and all. I love reading her facebook because I get to see Texas through her eyes. And her friends back home!  Sheesh.  They act like she has moved to Hell itself.  It is good to be reminded about the unique things where I live.  

One last picture....


 These two ducklings posed for pictures. Aren't they cute? They like to nap in my yard now.  Next thing you know they will be moving into the house.

Funny story. When I was painting one of the rooms upstairs a few weeks ago something got in my roller and stuck to the wall.  I had to climb the ladder to see what it was and remove it.  Can you guess what it was?  A downy duck feather! How it got up there I don't know but it made me smile.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Simple Joys


 

  * These purple thistles cheer me everytime I spot them!


The honey moon from a few weeks ago.


* The satisfaction of completing the hard work of two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms I did a few weeks ago. 

* Seeing how my girls are enjoying their own room and shopping with my girls for new bed covers and such. We are not really big shoppers so this was a fun and unusual thing to do together.

Sara and Daniel


* As if there isn't enough "big kid" stuff going on around here we got to meet the parents of our daughter's boyfriend of 3 years.  It was good and I suppose you can see that their seriousness in each other is ramping up a little bit.

The pie before it gets its strawberry hold-it-all-together filling.  So yummy!

* Strawberry Pie


Baaaaa

* At Eastertime I looked ALL OVER for a sheep or lamb of some sort to no avail.  But look!  I found one the other day and was so excited to bring it home.  


The only two ducklings to survive at our pond this summer.


* Ducklings peeking in the back door looking for me to bring seeds.  They started out at the fence, then they figured out how to scoot under the fence, then they took to napping in the yard until I came out and yesterday they were on the back porch peeking in through the window.  Silly ducks make me laugh.  And you know I love them.


Fellowship!
 * Dinner at church with old friends (a few of them knew Mike when he was jut a little guy and me as a teen) and making new friends.



Daddy with Sara, 1995

* Remembering my daddy on his 16th birthday in Heaven. 

 
Garden Phlox

 
* Blooming garden phlox for the first time in our new house.  These were originally from my parents home and I transplanted some in our old house.  I brought a few these with me when we moved here three years ago and these are the first blooms in four years!





* Baby Girl with her daddy.  Anna went with us to pick up our new-to-us pop up trailer.

Mike is a happy camper which makes me happy.
 
* Mike has been hunting for just the right pop-up for over a year now. It is a hobby of his to research things THOROUGHLY and this was no exception.  I feel a little guilty letting you imagine I was sleeping on the ground in a tent in horrid Texas heat. In reality I was on a king sized bed wrapped up in newly acquired cotton sheets and quilt with some very cold air conditioning blowing on me.  And if that isn't enough, this has a bathroom on board complete with shower and a hot water heater.  I am not sure what the world is coming to but I like it.  

Mockingbird

* The above very passionate mockingbird serenaded us on a picnic. It had a song that MUST be sung and we got to hear it right over our heads while munching on a light lunch under this tree.  What makes the mockingbird sing?


* Bible study this summer has been really wonderful.  The neighborhood study is good, but the one were my friends and I are working through Romans is really very good.  One of my favorite verses from our study and my prayer for myself and my family is this:  

No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God. Romans 4:20

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Camping Out






Mike and I got away alone for a few days this past week.  We went camping in a state park about 2 hours away.  It has been a long time since I went camping and I've missed it.




The pine trees are beautiful and a great place to be when the sun comes out heating things up.  I listened to birds, watched butterflies, and enjoyed the sweet fragrance of the out of doors.




It was fun to take some time to explore familiar places I have seen in quote a long time.  The park has changed in the past decade since I was there, but so have I.



Enjoying a sunset with my husband was nice, too.  
It was a good respite from the everyday.  We are hoping to go more often in the coming years.