Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chicken Thief Caught

After all that ranting about an "evil, chicken-eating cat", I must sheepishly retract. It was an evil, chicken-eating coon. After losing another chicken Monday night, it dawned on DH that he did after all own a wildlife, night-vision camera and why in the world hadn't he thought to put it out there before?

The culprit, unaware that his ugly mug was being photographed, crept up to the chicken pen and tried unsuccessfully to get his nasty paws into the fence. We figure he must have reached his hand in and snatched them as they walked past his post. That was a big coon, and I can't fathom his squeezing through the 4-inch gaps between nails.

At any rate, his chicken-eating days are over, at least from our brood. He can find another coop to traumatize and vandalize. If he comes back to ours, he will find himself trapped and disposed of. I say bring it on, you black-eyed bandit! Revenge...sweet, sweet revenge :).

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I know it's short-lived. I'm not getting my hopes up.

So I am not not taking it for granted. Not even for a minute.

When you live in Louisiana, and have been enduring 100+ temps for weeks, 94 feels really good. It was down to 60 Tuesday night. My, am I ready for fall!

We spent all morning outside, drinking it in. Feeling the cool breeze, hanging clothes out on the line, and watching the kiddos play contentedly. In the background, the girls clucked a comforting tune, adding to the symphony of the morning. I never knew I'd enjoy the chickens this much. I love watching them, feeding them, and listening to them bicker with one another. I'm proud to report that we have no further casualties since DH boarded up the bottom of the coop.

Neither did I know that hanging clothes on the line would be offer such a peaceful time of reflection and prayer. There's so much to pray about these days, more than I can ever remember. Lately, I'm finding it easier to walk through the day in a spirit of prayer. Somehow it seems I can feel His listening ear bending down closer to hear my petitions when I am busy with the tasks of my home, completing them with a spirit of contentment and thankfulness.

How 'bout this little house, created by little hands and big imagination? It's great to be able to return to childhood through the play of my own children. To leave behind the burdens of adulthood for just a little while, and rest in the simpleness of youth.

I hope the weather has been milder your way as well. Fall, I see you peeking around the corner! You're welcome to make your debut anytime you feel like it! Don't be shy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We Have Livestock!

Meet the newest members of our household. Well, maybe "yardhold" is better term to use. The kiddos have been super excited, and surprisingly, I have gotten attached to them already. We got them in the hopes of producing our own eggs, bringing us one small step closer to the homesteading status.

Our dreams of mass egg production have already been threatened, as four chickens have already went the way of the Last Mohican. Each night for the past three nights, some creature has made its way into our chicken yard and stolen one of our chickens. John spotted a suspicious-looking stray cat with its hide pulled off running under our house the first morning. Upon inspection of the chicken yard, we discovered wire pulled back where some creature made its escape. The jagged edges of the wire had ripped through the cat's backside, pulling the hide off. So, we know who our culprit is. Apparantly, it climbs to the top of the coop and knocks the boards off to get in, then squeezes through the chicken wire, which is nailed down every four inches. Skinny cat. Evil, wicked, baby-chicken eating cat. We wish to place a bullet in his brain. Last night, he got two more, leaving one still inside the pen, decapitated. Die you evil cat!

We spotted the cat resting in the driveway of a house one street over last weekend, and I have decided I am going to make a visit and see if the cat does indeed belong to them and if it does, inform them of his deviant behavior. I say cats who eat chickens should be treated as the horse thieves of yester-year. Instant death!!

Here's hoping we don't lose anymore chickens in the meanwhile. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Emma's Birthday Video!

In which I talk like a hick and Elijah steals the candle-blow moment!

Emma Turns 2!!

Two years, one week ago...celebrating her arrival...

One year ago...celebrating 1 year!!

And now, the big 2!

Last Saturday, August 14, my baby turned TWO years old! Because we were traveling last weekend, we celebrated today with a small party of close friends.

Two is such a fun age, with each new day producing new experiences for my sweet girl. New words, new expressions, new tricks--our days are filled with "Let me do it!" and hand claps and "yea's" as each new challenge is accomplished. As proud as I am of these milestones, they are bittersweet, because each one removes a link in the chain of babyhood. Soon they will all be gone and she will be free to roam around the independent world of big-girlness.

But for now, I treasure every wet kiss and tight-neck-hug and arm reaching for me. She is truly a joy, and brings light and laughter to each member of our family, each day.

Emma-Rae, Mama loves you! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Concerning Homeschool

Well, here we go. As of Sept. 6, we will officially begin our homeschooling journey. I'm a little apprehensive, to say the least. Elijah doesn't have a clue what's coming. Grace is geared up and begging to start every day. We've done school sporadically throughout the summer, keeping those little brains geared in the learning direction, so my hopes are they are in the groove already.

After much agonizing debate with my husband, researching and talking to other homeschool Moms, we have decided on a non-traditional (?) approach (please, someone, direct me as to the correct term to describe my method). I was all geared up to use Abeka, as that seems to be the most highly recommended and trusted curriculum out there. I graduated from an ACE curriculum school (Accelerated Christian Education) and knew that probably wasn't the way I wanted to go long-term, but considered using their (ACE) Kindergarten program. Both are pretty expensive.

So, after understanding that a kindergartner pretty much needs to learn how to read, and basic Math (along with shapes, colors, numbers, which we mastered at the age of 2-3), I thought why spend all that money on curriculum when there are other good resources out there? My mother-in-law found me the book, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons", which I had already been wanting to buy for months. I've been reading it and am really impressed with the method and the reviews. I found a used Saxon Math Kindergarten book on ebay, and plan to order an art workbook from Abeka. My son is advanced in drawing, and amazes me every day. He literally draws for hours and goes through notebooks at an amazing speed. He stays up at night drawing by lamplight. We have as aspiring artist on our hands!

As for Grace's pre-k, she already knows as much as Elijah, so I am going to let her follow along with him as much as she can, but not push her too much if things get a little difficult for her. Both of them already know their alphabet, and about 80% of the sounds. Elijah prints amazingly neat, but Grace is struggling with her fine motor skills a little bit. I am considering getting her into some motor skills therapy, as she gets very frustrated with herself when she attempts to write her letters.

When first grade rolls around, we may be more inclined to go with a curriculum, but for kindergarten I felt it was unnecessary and overkill. Just my opinion. Everyone has one :).

There is a small, Church of the Nazarene, Abeka church-school down the road from us who believe in much the same standards, although doctrinally, a little different than what we believe. I was really hoping to be able to send Elijah there this year, but we just couldn't squeeze it into our budget. So I've joined a local home school group (still waiting to hear something from them) so we can get in the good "socialization" aspect of our experience. Not that my children don't get any socialization. They are social butterflies. But I am excited about the group.

Anyways, as for my opinion about homeschooling, I do believe in it (obviously). I am so thankful that we still have the choice to educate our children at home in a safe, secure, unrestricted environment. There is no way I would EVER send my children to the zoned public school here. No. Way.

But I am not necessarily of the opinion that home-school is the only acceptable method of education. I think there are good schools out there, and homeschooling may not be for everyone. If I were able to send mine to a school like the one I graduated from (sans the curriculum of choice), I would do it.

Please pray for us (particularly me) as we embark on this new journey. I'm going to need LOTS of patience and wisdom. Thanks!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blog Award?

Medical Billing
Medical Billing

So I got this email from some award people saying I had been chosen as a top Christian SAHM blog award. I have no idea who these people are or even if they are legit. These are so many cookey things out there you just never can tell.

But in the case that there really is something to it, I graciously accept and offer my appreciation. I guess.

Here is the website where my blog is listed. The whole "medical billing and coding" thing threw me off. Especially since I used to be a medical biller and coder. Weird. What do y'all think?


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Being Frugal, Part 2

So, last post we defined what it means to be frugal. Since then, my senses have been most keen to the frugality of MY life. In actuality, just about EVERYTHING I do revolves around the mantra, "How Little Money Can I Spend To Get By?" I go grocery shopping, and find myself scratching things off the list, and in my head going, "Don't really need that. Save $1.50." When I'm not thinking about how NOT to spend money, I'm thinking about how to MAKE money. I find some .25 cent in-great-condition baby clothes at a yard sale, and even though I don't have a little boy in size 0-3 months, I know they will sell for at least $5 each at the local twice-yearly consignment sale. Grab 'em!

I turn my nose up at sales racks that sport "30% OFF" signs. That does NOT impress me. Speaking of which, I've noticed that's as low as Target's sale racks go these days. What's up with that? Anyways, I loathe going to a yard sale where people are trying to turn their front yard into a Dillard's department store. If I wanted to pay $10 for one garment, I'd go to the mall. And it would be brand new. Truthfully, I rarely pay $10 for a garment at the mall. It has to be UNDAH TEN DOLLAHS to go home with me. Yep, I'm a tough customer. But people are always asking me where I buy my kids clothes and commenting on how cute they look. Savvy. That I am. I have to confess, though, I spent $25.00 on this dress at the consignment store last year:

It was still in the Strasburg garment bag, y'all. Brand new. Check out the original price on this lovely item: $134.99. Definitely worth the exception. I told myself I would resell it on ebay, where Strasburg dresses go for about $50 bucks. But after trying it on Gracie, I decided to hang on to it for a while :). Doesn't she look precious?

Which proves, no matter how frugal you are or try to be, it's OK to spend a little bit more sometimes. It feels good to unclench the fist every now and then.