Thursday, March 27, 2008

Amen Brother!!
by Robin

Andrew is my kind of preacher.

Tonight in prayertime, we were talking about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness for 40 days and Andrew shared how the devil tried to talk Jesus into making bread from the stones.

Well, then he sat back up in his covers and says in a loud voice, "The Bible says, 'Something, something, something, something.'" And sure enough, he meant it with all the authority of God, too.

I bust out laughing so hard I couldn't contain myself. Simon Peter and myself added some encouraging choruses like, "Preach on" and "Amen brother"!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

by Robin

After last night's post, I thought I'd better go light-hearted today.

These were all taken in the past 3 days.

This is the black racer that was hunting eggs with us on Easter. It was a very large adult.
They just love to sit on this trellis. I find them & skins there all the time.

The boys rescued Rumble, an anole lizard with broken back legs (one broke by Andrew accidentally). He survived all week. Yesterday, he went on to Lizard heaven. The funeral was beautiful but very sad.

We had his girlfriend Angela for a short while. She died quickly in an attempt to escape. She was an amputee with three fast legs.

I'm not certain but I believe this is a Red-Tail Hawk. It hangs around our neighborhood and yesterday it landed on our porch roof. I took this pic through the schoolroom window.
What a magestic creature!
Believe it or not, a squirrel ran up the post and the hawk flew away w/o killing it. I have the pic but it isn't perfectly focused, although the wings are spread.
We are also on day 1 of incubating our White Leghorn chickens. By the grace of God, I have talked Jack into making a coop & keeping a couple hens for eggs. Afterall, fishermen need other forms of protein too. Pictures to come in 20 more days on that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

by Robin

This is a very common Scripture that many homeschool moms keep near and dear to their heart. It is our anthem, if you will, that reassures us that if we teach in love, enthusiasm for learning and the ways of our Father in heaven, that our children shall not stray [for long] from a Christian lifestyle.

Sadly the inverse works true too. If you teach children that German Nazis are superior in race and that all Jews must be killed, then that become a mentality that children do not depart from. It is the stem of genocide, racism, bigotry and prejudices as well for other racial tensions.

Not to get off on that particular tangent, I want to focus mainly on this attack against parental judgement by the California courts.

“California courts have held that … parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children,” Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. “Parents have a legal duty to see to their children’s schooling under the provisions of these laws.” Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply.

I realize that the comments last month haven't exactly changed homeschooling in California, but it has reinforced the state's stance on the position that parents are not capable of teaching their own children or knowing what it best for them. Sure, we homeschoolers don't all have PhDs or teacher's certificates but what we do have is a God-given desire to see the best for our children just like other parents. We have proven through sacrifice of income and sometimes status that we will do what it takes to provide a great education, tailor-fit to our children's needs. Afterall, we're not all cloned robots.

I am reminded of stories from internet friends who have autistic children, handicapped children and those with slight learning disabilities. Each wonderful and uniquely-made child is given the exact one-on-one interaction that is needed and progresses at their pace so Mama can be certain that no child IS left behind educationally as well as emotionally.

Judge Croskey ruled that: "A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare."

What does this mean? Free-thinking individualism is a threat and hence a crime to our nation? Homeschoolers are an unspoken conspiracy against our country? We can't possibly teach our children love of country and the sacrifices made to ensure freedom? Do they think that no homeschooler has a parent serving in Iraq or Afghanistan? I know that isn't true because I see prayer requests all the time from the homeschooling wives. I have never seen USA-bashing from any homeschoolers.

So what in the world is the purpose to slamming homeschooler's freedom to school our own children? To me, the answer lies in the above Scripture above, only instead of meaning in a Godly way, it falls more into a socialistic nature. We are being confronted to conform to what our government wants us to be instead of what our founding father's intended for us to be. Individuals with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I am praying for you Californians and for homeschooling in general. Former NY Teacher-of-the Year, John Taylor Gotto, has written a few books on this entire issue. "Dumbing Us Down" and "A Different Kind of Teacher." Please check one of these out of the library or buy it. You will be so shocked at what you read. I don't care if others choose to send their kids to great public or private schools but don't take away MY freedom to school my children at home. It is a choice California! Californian's big claim to fame are to be liberal, pro-choice and so very understanding of all types of lifestyles and YET, they can't bother to respect OUR lifestyle choice to be schooling our own children. We choose life and we choose conversative lifestyles. Please don't shove your choice down our throats.

My mind could get carried away with scenarios, but I think that if it were to become illegal to homeschool once again, families would rebel. I have a friend whose children are all now adults, but back in the day, she secretly schooled her kids and hid them in her house all day. We don't want to be unlawful but rather, we want the same ability to train up our children, just like the rest of the country, as we see fit. Not brainwashed, but nurtured, which is the true definition of training. If it is nurturing in the eyes of the Californian judges to send children off to school, than what is so wrong with keeping them at home to read curriculum books? It could be no worse and stats prove it is better.

On Friday, half of all high school students in the greater Central FL school all stayed home because of a bomb threat. This is the 2nd one in the same number of weeks. Three school trained children (Judge Croskey's words not mine) are sitting in jail for conspiracy to mass murder fellow students and then turn the guns on themselves. You tell me, where is the good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to state and country in that Judge Croskey? Is this your way of protecting public welfare? Your excuses for socialism make me sick.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Renee says it better than I....

Pretty much, our pastor said the same thing today at our church. Our service was very moving and I'm so glad I know Jesus.

The rose is from my garden.

Below: Here's a pic of us just outside our church. The boys chose to wear coats. They look so incredibly handsome, but I'm not very biased or anything. I just know that one day, two very special girls will be very happy to have them. (or share them with me!)

Great fun was had in the backyard with hiding and finding eggs. We found our first black racer as well hiding in the trellis. Not long after that, we saw another loooong tail go under some decking. That pretty much killed my urge to hunt any more eggs.

Tomorrow, we start embryology with the 4H. I believe my eggs are Leghorn eggs. Well, not MY eggs, but you know what I mean.

Later in the week, I'll bring you up to speed with our new pet. We've been needing a replacement pet since Jackson passed away.
Happy Easter (again)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

THE LAST SUPPER....... (Almost!)
by Robin

The other day we were all doing our school work when Andrew goes missing. I didn't think much of it because he did finish up his subject.

A few minutes later, he appears with three pieces of torn loaf bread and 3 medicine cups filled to the brim with cranapple juice. He was just adorable, in all his seriousness, at administering our Last Rites, I mean.......... Communion.

I recited verbatim the parts of Corinthians relating to the body and blood of Christ. All seemed well as we did this.

Afterwards, I took the plate & cups to the kitchen and went to close up the loaf of bread that had been sitting there open. I gave the loaf a spin to seal up the mouth of it when my eye catches a glimpse of horror! There was a huge green mold spot on the bottom of the loaf. The end where he took the piece of bread from.

Oh no! Think Robin think my mind raced!! Did my piece have mold on it? Did I see green? No, I think I'm good. I'm pretty sure I'm good. Hmmm...... Only time will tell if my Lord's Supper is going to kill me or not.

It was such a beautiful gesture on Andrew's part that I didn't bother telling him about the mold and quietly put the loaf in the garbage. And as God would have it, He did bless the food and protect us from any mold recourse.

God is so good!!
Happy Resurrection & Easter Day!!
by Robin

I couldn't resist another set of garden pics because I went to harvest from the garden something to make a salad for tomorrow's dinner. Boy, do I enjoy having a garden!

Just in case you haven't a clue what each item is, I'm repeating the same pic but with labels.

I don't know if you noticed in the above picture but I have a deformed carrot, which reminds me of Knat's link to nude man carrot. I like to think of this one as a carrot with an elephant trunk.

Happy Resurrection Day!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

by Robin
The first day of spring seems as good as any time to report on the State of the Garden.

Some of these were taken last week and then some of the seedling pics were taken today.
Last week, I picked all but 1 of my cauliflower plants. I still have some learning to do with cauliflower but we did eat 3 side dishes from what I did grow from the garden. This big tomato has already come and gone with a nice taco dinner. My cherry tomatoes are taking over the entire right side of Garden #1 and I have to give them away. I cannot possibly eat all that those 2 plants are producing. I had a few more young plants in the Garden #2 but I dug some out and gave them away to friends who retired up to Tenn. I won't miss the plants nearly as much as I will miss my choir friends.

Again, I'm low on the learning curve for Brussel sprouts. I have been very patient with these plants but if they do not produce something edible soon, I will be ripping them out.

Everything looks right but for some reason, the leaves keep opening up instead of staying bundled in little balls. They must be missing some sort of nutrient that I'm forgetting. Otherwise, the plants themselves look healthy and show no sign of quitting on me.

Last fall's green bell pepper plant is still producing but I feel very sorry for it. The leaves are wanting to curl on me and I'm sure it is on its last leg.

Even worse, my seeds that I harvested and dried did not change into beautiful young seedlings with the other pepper varieties, so I will be heading to the nursery to pick out a couple for this summer's garden.

I continue to give away baby basil and cilantro plants to my choir-mates. People must think I am crazy with bringing plants in each week.

I really didn't need these babies in peat pots but it was an experiment to see if I could and guess what? I can. These are 2nd generation to my original fall plant. I also have babies in the garden that I try to give away because I can't stand to kill them. Is that crazy?

All my spinach are in great shape and I should be as strong as Popeye before I know it. This pic was taken on the 11th and the plants seem to have doubled since then. This is my 1st try at spinach and it is very easy to grow. I cannot wait to make a fresh spinach salad every couple days. I'm half-tempted to start more seedlings of spinach so they will be ready for transplant in another month when I pull these others.

I want to update you on Garden #3, which is my newest garden. Half of it is dedicated to things that are viney or squash-ish. Here is my zucchini plant, taken 3/11. It looks rather small compared to what I saw today in the garden. I did have a little something chewing away at it but I put some carbonyl on it for a few days. So far, no further chewing.

This is my bigger of the 2 plants. I have it close to a vine but a friend suggest putting a cage around it instead. Again, this is a first for me and I look forward to fresh eggplants to fry or make into a parmigiana dish.

Next to my eggplant under trellis #2 are my baby cucumbers. Oh they are so cute as they are putting out their first "real" leaves. The oval leaves are the seedling leaves but the true leaves will be jagged (see top leave of pic on right).
They get a little bit of morning light and then a nice glimpse of the setting sun before it goes down behind the trees.

As you can see in the pic on the left, we put two seeds every 6" and we have a good crop. Maybe too good. I'm wondering if I don't need to thin some out and put them onto the other trellis that I may not exactly use for zukes any more.

On the back side of Garden #3 and in the empty section of Garden #2, I have peppers on the way. Ornamental sweets and several variety of hot. They can't grow fast enough for me.
Poor picture example but it was all I had when the batteries died out on the camera. I got in the path of the sun and shaded my subjects. Oh well.... at least I remember to water them daily.

Last but not least, I'm showing off my iceberg lettuce babies. The leaves are about 5-6" on the biggest plants. Iceberg is suppose to be very hard to grow but so far, they look healthy without much help from me. I wonder when they're suppose to start the whole "head" part of the growing. Even if they don't produce like the store ones, I'll probably pull them and eat them like a loose leaf lettuce.
Not in pictures this month are baby Danver carrots, young yellow onions, health set of bunching onions that are finally pencil thick, garlic and lots of herbs that still live in Garden #1. I cannot wait to start fishing again and putting fresh thyme and dill on those mahi mahi steaks. My flat leaf Italian parsley is sewing wild oats!! I have to trim it back just to keep it under control. Sage is still hanging around but I have no idea what to use it in. Send me your best recipe with sage in it. Rosemary thanked me today for transplanting the basil out of her way of the sunlight. Because of it, she has grown several inches this month. I will not know what to do with a rosemary hedge. I like rosemary but honestly, a little goes a long way. I'm thinking that my kids will need to put a lemonade stand in the driveway and sell herb cuttings too.
Finally.......... I have a problem. I was looking in the butterfly garden and enjoying everything when something stuck out at me. Something is growing in there. I don't know what because it was the doings of a previous homeowners. I don't know about you, but there is an 800 lb gorilla in this garden.
Today, it is looking more like it will turn into a bud, then flower, but for a couple days now........ um........... we had a little obscenity problem amongst the flowers.

Here it is from another angle.
I'm tellin' ya, this thing grows an inch or two A NIGHT!!!!
Keep an eye out for updates on my 800 lb gorilla in the garden.
Happy Spring and soon to be Easter Weekend!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

by Robin

I am always amazed at how God made this perfect planet the perfect distance from the sun and then sliced each season so perfectly with the sun and rotation. We have just enough "cold" as to not freeze to death and just enough "hot" as to not cook. Yep, we're perfectly positioned and tomorrow marks that changing of the sun from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere. Spring begins tomorrow.

Of course, all the plants are smart enough to know this. They've been enjoying the longer amounts of sun and the warmth that it brings. The garden is getting more sun on it as that great ball of fire gets higher in the sky each week.

I guess my hopes for a nice dusting of snow are dashed. It is mid-March. Even the rosy color on my forehead and arms tell me that snow or frost are not going to happen. I'll have to set my sights on next winter for things like this.

For now, I'll be perfectly amused with the roses that are popping out. Azaleas have been in full bloom for weeks now. I am so glad I cut back my roses and gave them time to rest. They are throwing multiple buds and look so green and healthy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Mar 14, 15, 16th, 2008

We had a wonderful time yesterday afternoon watching the Air Show. I really need Jack and the boys here to tell me all these planes but I don't have them. Enjoy the pics!
First, let me start us off with the fact that Thursday, while working on the boat, we had quite the air show of planes coming in for the big event the next day. It was so much fun to work and then look up and see planes like this....

Or a P-51.... ?
Yesterday evening, we saw a bi-plane but I didn't have my camera out. At the show, I'm sure they had nearly 20 warbird planes in the sky at once. There were 2 sets of planes in formations of 4. Multiples of them in formation of 2.
I believe Jack said this one below is an old Blue Angel but only a civilian owns it now. The Blue Angels currently fly in a F-18, but this is the older model that they used to fly in.

This guy was so fast I could hardly catch him & the other jets on the camera. I took 200 shots yesterday and approx 40% of them are of sky, chain link fence or buildings and no planes in them. The sun was blinding me and so I was point & shooting without knowing what I had.

This was such a sight to behold. A fighter in formation with a P-51 mustang. It just makes me love my country so much more. They held this formation for many miles as the other jet did its show. This was their parting run before landing.

Another P-51 shot above. Some type of bomber below. They had a couple of these.

Have a great day!! Catch an Air Show if you can. You won't regret it.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SIBLING RIVALRY - Fisherman style

I have this genius to thank for my clean bathrooms today. Renee, I love you!

I told the boys about how she had a boy vs girl competition on bathroom cleaning. They asked who won. I told them the boys won because of an extra sink. Well, before I knew it, Andrew was running to his bathroom and made a challenge to Simon Peter. I don't know if I've ever seen him clean with such enthusiasm, speed and gusto!!

That, in turn, caused this one to run to my bathroom and clean with such enthusiasm, gusto and less speed (it was his top speed though). FlyLady would hate to see all those magazines behind the toilet. I did remove about 3" of them. I left behind only the newest Florida Sportsman fishing mags. ha ha

The competition was fierce as they yelled to the other more challenges. As you see, little man here was not going to let height be a challenge for him. He cleaned the room from top to bottom.

Well, this was not going to get the best of Simon Peter. He was going to go where no man or woman had gone before. Under the tank!!

"Oh yeah, well I'm cleaning the tub!" yelled, Andrew. With Windex, no less. It sure does have a streak-free shine to it. I think that helped him with points.

Certainly nobody who has gone UNDER the bowl has gotten beaten! He did get a bonus point for getting hair behind the toilet.

There were 10 elements to each part of the bathroom, each worth 10 points. Simon Peter won by a point but I must admit that Andrew's extra touch of spraying air freshener before I walked in really helped the overall appeal.

Each one of them won a penny for every point to be deducted for what they owe me for their AWANAS competition cars. This is a debt that they are glad to be able to work down and get a little bragging rights in the process.

Here is the winning Fisherman with his clean bathroom.

Here is our runner-up winner. Also a beautiful job. (Towels are in the wash.)
Like Renee, I am the true winner though. I am so blessed to have these boys in my life and have clean bathrooms.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

3 AM

by Robin

Fever at 100 deg. More meds to last Simon Peter until morning. Shuttle launch for two. We couldn't actually see it streak across the sky for all the clouds but the sky did light up. Priceless.

I'm glad I caught this one picture, boring as it is. (We weren't the only ones out on the street. We could hear some folks down the way.)

I had that brief moment of fear that something happened to it on the ground when I didn't see it rise. We ran back inside to the tv and saw it was safe up in the sky. Whew! God bless Endeavour!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

by Robin

Saturday, I took Andrew grocery shopping with me. He is a wonderful helper and I love his company. Most of all, I love his enthusiasm for a task I no longer find enthusiasm-worthy. He has inherited his mother's cheerful & energetic voice, too.

As we were getting juices, I hear, "BEHOLD!! Look at this chocolate bunny!" from behind me. I turn around and he's got a 2-3 ft chocolate bunny in his arms. I was laughing so hard I couldn't hardly bother addressing the bunny or sugar aspect of it.

"Since when did you start speaking in King James' English?" I asked.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Yes these are from today. The pool is shocked but full of leaves.

Monday, March 3, 2008

We left off a week or so ago that this partially shady spot would be home for my 3rd garden. I had plans of putting my hot peppers here and then whatever else I had energy or time for adding.

So, it took me a couple days of earnest hardwork and a trip to WalMart for 8 cu of Miracle Gro potting soil. I may have been able to get away with cheaper dirt but I put this in my first garden and it seems to do well for retaining moisture & the plants like it.

It is a little bit wider in the back several feet (8 x 6' ish). This is the area for the hot peppers. In the front (8 x 14'ish), Simon Peter and I built some chicken-wire trellises. Those two plants on the right are eggplants. I wasn't sure if they were wanting to climb but I can support them that way now. The other way to handle that is allow them to grow over towards the fence over some black plastic sheeting. Ok, so I don't have all that worked out, but at least it is in the ground. Eggplants do not like cold so don't plant these unless you are sure you're past your frost season.

On the left trellis, we made 16 holes, approx 6" apart, planting 2 cucumber seeds per hole. They should go up the trellis nicely.