Friday, September 26, 2008


Here's to all the moms who give excellence every day!

I know, I know, it's not even Mother's Day. However, it would be so easy for you to tune out and "hope for the best." Instead, you show up, suit up, and serve.

People, who are around your kids regularly, notice.

People who will eventually hire your kids will notice.

I notice.

And, I thank you.

And I especially thank YOU, Mom. You're the best!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Falling into Florida

Heard around our house:

Tomorrow is the first day of fall.

Hooray! Only two more months of summer!

It's so hard not to be envious of other bloggers who are reporting frost warnings, a nip in the air, sweaters, and a harvest moon.

In 1995 I had written in my journal, I feel like we're going to be moving out of state. I hope it's anywhere but Florida. How God must have smiled at that! For I know the plans I have for you . . . He had so much to teach us and we had to leave our comfort zone in order for Him to do so. Florida, in this time and in this church body, was perfect.

Last night I was up late talking with the older two. They were expressing their appreciation of the way they have been raised. I felt so blessed.

I may have never wanted to live in Florida, but I am so, so glad to be here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Beast

Many years ago in a far-off place, a young lad stalked a Beast.

Ok, it wasn't a far-off place. It was at Sam Ash Music. But still, he stalked it and hunted it. He pursued it relentlessly until it had nowhere else to go.

The kindly salesman was used to seeing the young lad enter the store with stars in his eyes. Each time he did, the kindly salesman would answer his questions, bring in a cord, and let him turn it on.

Finally, the day arrived that would change the sound at the Sandbar for years to come. The young lad once again walked into Sam Ash, once again asked all the questions he already knew the answers to, and once again plugged in the cord.

"Shall I put it away now?" asked the kindly salesman when he was finished.

"Not today!" replied the young lad.

Finally, after two years of saving birthday money, Christmas money, and coin from the occasional odd job, the young lad had enough to purchase not only the 700 watt amp head, but the 800 watt cabinet.

"You gotta respect a man who buys his own equipment," the kindly salesman remarked. "Got nothing but respect for a kid who doesn't let Mommy or Daddy get it for him."

After receiving the sales slip from the kindly salesman, the young man walked up to the pay counter and made the purchase. Without really looking at the receipt, the clerk automatically asked, "Would you like a bag for that?"

Without blinking or hesitation, the young lad replied, "Yes, please."
The clerk finally realized the joke was on her and laughed. All were smiling at Sam Ash that day! Perhaps some of them wondered if the young lad would return, now that he'd accomplished his goal.

Proudly, the young man and his family hauled the Beast home. He plugged it in and turned it on. With his entire family sitting on the couch, he hit the E string of his bass guitar.

His family thrilled at the vibration and cheered! It was better than a ride at Disney!

For the next four years, the Beast was part of the family. It showed up at every event in the young man's home.
It attended his sister's eleventh birthday.

It listened attentively to Spanish II with profesora Sarita.

In fact, there are few home pictures without the Beast in them. There were even times when it held flowers, notebooks, bags, and the occasional sweater that was air drying.

Its most important job, however, was making the cups dance in the cupboard.
Some amazing sounds have come out of this Beast!

Now, however, since the Truth has arrived and the other bass player has his own beast, it's time for this Beast to go and rock other homes. There's a guy coming over tonight to check it out.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to handle an amp-free decor but I might, I just might, rearrange the cups in the hutch. Or, in tribute to the Beast, I may leave them as they are.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Fate of the Apple

There's a scene in the sitcom, Family Ties, where Alex (Michael J. Fox) is watching his mother (Meredith Baxter) prepare a school lunch for his little brother. He watches as she places each item into the lunch box.

Alex: We don't eat that, you know.
Mom: What?
Alex: The apple. We don't eat the apple.
Mom: What do you mean?
Alex: We always go straight for the cookies, try to trade for the sandwich, save the chips for later, and the apple goes into the trash.
Mom: I know! I know! But it's my job as Mommy to put the apple in the lunch!

These past three weeks, I have been making lunches for Tyler to take to work. He worked at the track for three years, but the track was not an environment to encourage sack lunches or meals from home. At his new job, however, they're about making money and saving money towards better goals than fast food lunches. Tyler has been extremely grateful for the lunches I send him and always makes a point to tell me how much he enjoyed his sandwich/spaghetti/pork chops and other goods.

It's been kind of fun, actually. I've tried making lunches for Himself before, but he was fussy about what he liked and didn't like and I stopped trying. In all fairness, lunch in the desert in the 115 degree heat was literally no picnic. It felt good to step into a fast food joint to get out of the heat, plus the condition of whichever lunch I sent, no matter how I tried to keep it cool, was usually less than appetizing.

During Ty's stint in public school (until 3rd grade) I started out making lunches, but it became much easier (read lazier) to send some cash with him to school. Then he homeschooled for the next 9 years and there was no need to send anything.

Between Tyler's job, Kelly's job, and Glenna's crazy Wednesday where she needs to pack a lunch, I've been buying lunch supplies for the kids rather than expecting them to scavenge from leftovers or make PBJs. I try to keep to healthy items, but I've also broken down and purchased the chips, cookies, puddings, and ranch dip that make a lunch bag fun to open. Tyler comes down the stairs promptly at 7:30 a.m., oohs and aahs as he digs through his brown bag of goodies, gives me a hug and heads out the door. Like the Mom in Family Ties, I've made sure there's a sandwich, carrots with ranch dip, pudding, chips, and some kind of fruit. Usually, the fruit is a nice Granny Smith apple.

Today I was out of apples, so I stuck in a plum. At dinner he informed me that he doesn't care for plums and didn't eat it (I knew that but was hoping he'd be hungry enough to try it anyway). It was then I learned the fate of all the apples last week.

Evidently, the apples had been used for experiments at the shop. Experiments, that is, with explosives. Each experiment has been progressively dangerous and inventive, the last one involving at 1/2" drill bit, a fire cracker, and propane. He said they were unable to find any remains of the apple at all on that one.

Do I even want to know this?

Should I be thankful I was able to contribute, in some small way, to their pyrotechnical education?

Maybe I should send some canned peaches instead.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Class Time

In this, our 11th year of homeschooling, Glenna has reached a milestone. She is finally taking a class from someone other than her mother. That's her with her head turned, but I don't know if she actually knew I was taking a picture. The girl is not camera shy.

I am so thankful for the homeschool community here. We are able to help each other out in weak areas :cough: Algebra :cough: so we're never left feeling like we have to do this all alone. For years, my older two have taken English composition with Mrs. R. While I teach this class myself now, if Mrs. R is teaching it next year then Glenna will be taking it with her. Hear that, Mrs. R? Add Glenna to your list! She's simply excellent. Her clear, concise instruction allows students to tackle any writing assignment with confidence and skill. Plus, Glenna will have to work much harder than she does with moi and I'm ready to giggle with glee over that.

Tyler and Kelly have taken science classes with Mrs. S., and it's an honor and privilege for them to do so. Mrs. S. is a marine biologist who has chosen to stay home and school her own children. In fact, she wrote the Marine Biology textbook for Apologia Science, which is the curriculum we use! She has a passion for science and brings it to life for her students. We were fortunate to get in on General science and make her "list." She only offers a few classes per year because she basically invites other homeschoolers to join in on whichever science she's teaching her own children, and there's usually a waiting list of students trying to get into her classes. Emily is Glenna's age, so hopefully Glenna will be able to join them for Physical science, Biology and either Chemistry (hah!) or Marine Biology (preferred). If Mrs. S. doesn't teach Marine Biology to Emily, I'll have to bribe Mrs. RZoo with chocolate chip cookies to do it.

Here are the mostly 7th grade students for General Science. They are too cute, and they can't help it. I love middle school kids!

Wednesdays are our crazy days. If it's my turn to do the carpool to science, we both pack a lunch. We drive to two carpool stops, go to Mrs. S., then head back half-way to exchange one student for two more. Then we head to Mrs. RZoo's house for Marine Biology with Mrs. RZoo and Sewing with Mrs. G. Kelly has already been picked up by Mrs. G. and we meet her there (our first greeting of the day). Glenna has been working on various sewing projects while Kelly does Marine Biology. We then leave half the carpool with Mrs. G. for transport, head back to my house with Kelly, Kate, Chico, and Glenna, do some dance lessons or more craziness, then dinner and AWANA. Wednesdays are very long days!

Still, I am so thankful that I can be home with this face.
This face, and a couple of others.

Sweetheart, I'd even do algebra for you. Just please, don't ask me to! Allie B? Next year?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Off for the Weekend!

That's an older comic strip by Zits that I love. I wish I had a large print of it so I could frame it! Tyler and I crack up at the Zits stuff because so often it's spot-on to where we are between mother and son. These days, though, it's different. I don't have to chase him down for hugs anymore, and his "I love you" often comes before mine. I can honestly say I have loved each and every phase of being his mother, even the difficult tween years. He'd be perfect if it weren't for his sin nature. ;-)

I'm off to the Women's Retreat, so I probably won't post again until Sunday or Monday. I'll be at the beach with my toes in the sand! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monday through Sunday: Remembering....

Monday through Sunday: Remembering.... Please click on this link for an amazing tribute.

Here at the Sandbar, I'm taking some time to remember . . .

. . . .and Never Forget.

I love you all, friends and family!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

For Jaan!

You're five years old today! (Today for you, but I am probably still sleeping while you read this!)

You have had more adventures than most adults will have, and you are only 5 years old. I am so thankful that God has allowed us to have even a small part in your life. We're excited to see what God has planned for you! Your sisters are so blessed to have you as their big brother, to help Mama and Papa teach and guide them.

Here's a picture of Glenna and her new puppy, Missy. They made the sign for you:
They added suns because of our Florida sunshine. Glenna suggested that we eat brownies for your birthday. We may just have to do that.

So enjoy your first birthday in the Ukraine. I pray the Lord gives you many, many more, wherever your parents are serving Him! You are loved!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Russia, First Co-op

I know I placed the second co-op pictures up, but the babushki were so cute I couldn't resist. This was actually our first Russian co-op.

To understand how large Russia is, we first had to take a look at the entire globe. As a review for Glenna and Rachel, we had them turn their classmates into human globes.

On Elise's forehead is her North Pole sticker. The line of blue painter's tape is the prime meridian.
The post-its on her arms show the directions of east and west.

The belt around Jordan's waist is of course the equator. His North Pole seems to have slipped to his nose. You can see the South Pole on his shoe.

Josh's necklace is the Arctic Circle. I think the International Date Line going down his back may be causing him fits.

Here's all three globes! I'm not sure why they're holding their arms out like that, unless they were wanting to look round like a globe.

We discovered Russia has ten time zones! (Some sources say eleven.) We also took a look at the different types of land in Russia; tundra, taiga, and steppes.
To remember these, we placed tree leaves in one bowl for forests (taiga), and ice in another bowl for tundra (frozen). You can barely see the ice in front of Rachel.

A third bowl had grass for the steppe.
We then passed the bowls around in a circle rapidly. When I said, "Stop!" everyone had to say whether they had the tundra, taiga, or steppe. For the rest of the week, the children were to learn about different vegetation and animals for each area.

There's no co-op today because of a school meeting, which is disappointing! Next up: Vikings!

Monday, September 01, 2008

For the Hunsuckers

Dear Hunsuckers,

We have started our study of Russia. For me, it means I think of each of you every day! I know you are now in the Ukraine, but I also know we will learn so much about the land you love. I wanted to give you a peek into one of our first co-ops with the L family and the other W family.

We began this week by learning about the Slavic peoples. We drew pictures of what a Slav village may have looked like in the marsh land where they lived. We drew houses on stilts with lots of animal skins and carvings.

Then, we learned about babushkas! We decided to make our own miniature babushkas from eggs and other edible ingredients.

Here's Elise, hard at work:

She loves her babushka! Carrot hair, cloves for eyes, and a carrot mouth.

Here's Jordan's babushka. He didn't want to use any glue on his because he wanted to eat it afterwards. We took the picture quickly before everything slid off:
The green olives are supposed to be for her cheeks, but he kind of made them earrings instead.

This is Josh, and it's his first year of home schooling! I don't know what he may have been expecting, but I bet he wasn't expecting this!

Josh inherited his mother's craft gene. As in, please don't ask me to do crafts. I'm so proud of him for jumping in and doing it anyway.

Glenna and Rachel have already had a year of co-ops together (as well as Jordan and Elise, though we missed having them last year). They got right to work.

Here's Rachel's babushka! Her green olives are closer to the cheek area, which is good. Still, I wonder if we should have used something else there, like pimientos.

Lastly, I must think Glenna more closely captured the spirit of the babushka with this:
What do you say, Mrs. Hunsucker?



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