Category Archives: homeschool

>go Mustangs!




Well, we’re back at it in full swing.  Mustang basketball was on the court for back to back games today.  The girls were a little… rusty.  They lost both games which is very unusual for them.  I’m going to blame it on all the fudge they ate over the Christmas break.

Pickles actually had a great game.  She had quite a number of rebounds and even scored twice.  When the final score is only 21-28 scoring twice is a pretty decent percentage!  And, she was 2 for 3 on her shots.  We’re still working on being more aggressive… the kid is just too nice.  I know she’s got it in her… I’ve seen it!!

Overall she had a great game… so proud of her!


>Longhorn Caverns



Spring Break ended up being pretty quiet around here. Hubby thought we needed to do something so he called one evening and said, “I want to take the girls to the Longhorn Tavern either tonight or tomorrow.”

I was confused. I told him that I thought that restaurant had closed down. That is, unless they reopened…

Hubby was confused. He didn’t want to take the girls for a chicken fried steak dinner. He wanted to take them to a cave.

As in Longhorn CAVERNS.

Once we were on the same page, I told him I thought that was a great idea and that we should all go, making a day of it. The girls and I shopped for lunch stuff and picked out clothes to wear for the trip.

The morning we were to leave, Hubby got up and packed the cooler with all the food. I didn’t have to do a thing! As we were leaving, we made a very spontaneous decision to go get SuperGirl a DS Lite for the trip. She’s been suffering, watching her sisters play theirs on trips and not having her own to play on. I’ve been suffering, listening to the whining and wheeling-n-dealing that goes on in the back seat on trips. So. We went to Target first and got the kid a video game.

Then we hit the road, listening to 80’s music on the XM Radio, visiting, and Pict-o-Chatting with each other. When we arrived, there was quite a crowd of people in the park area. We found a spot and picnicked, though it was a bit windy. The girls found an observation tower and they climbed up. Had I known then that the stairs were two sets of wobbly spiral stairs, I never would have let them go. After lunch, they got me up there. We’re lucky I came back down. That was such torture!

We then went to get our tickets for the cave tour. It was quite interesting. The history behind the cave was fun to hear and the temperature inside was very comfortable! I loved that they held church down there, in the same place as the saloon… and that some folks would bring their Sunday clothes with them on Saturday night and just never go home in between. Indians used the big room for meetings and the rock for arrowheads. A bank robber once hid out down there, too!

Portions of the cave were huge, like a meeting room, and others, we had to walk all bent over to get through. All in all, it was a fun trip. We all learned something. We got to go somewhere where Hubby went often as a kid. And we all shared a memory. What a fun day!

>Flat Gracie goes to Northern Ireland



Our names are Adam and Shirley Strong, and we live in Glengormley,Northern Ireland, which is 6 miles north of Belfast. We have a 9 month old daughter Beth and are expecting another baby in August. Recently we had the pleasure of hosting Flat Gracie. While she was with us, she wrote about her adventures:

My Adventures in Northern Ireland

In the middle of March I went to visit my grandparent’s friends in Northern Ireland. We went to lots of interesting places and the weather that week was lovely! One of the first places I visited was Carrickfergus Castle which is 10 miles north of Belfast city centre on the shores of Belfast Lough. The castle is over 800 years old and is inthe town of Carrickfergus. Carrick means ‘rock’ in Gaelic and the name Carrickfergus means ‘the rock of Fergus’. It is thought that the name comes from king Fergus who died nearby in the sea during a storm. You can walk around the castle, or get a guided tour, and see the life-size models. Some people get married in the banqueting hall in the castle and you can even have your birthday party in the vaults!

I also went to visit Belfast Castle which is in North Belfast on Cave Hill. The first Belfast Castle burned down so the castle I saw was only about 140 years old. There are lots of meetings and weddings held in the castle. It has lovely views over Belfast Lough.

Belfast has a very famous shipyard called Harland and Wolff which is about 150 years old. It was once the largest shipyard in the world and has built many famous ships including the Titanic which sank on its maiden voyage to New York. The shipyard now has two giant cranes called Samson and Goliath and I got my picture taken in front of them.

During my time in Northern Ireland I also went on a lovely walk along Belfast Lough and visited Belfast Zoo. Belfast Zoo is 75 years old this year and has more than 1,200 animals. Most of the animals are in danger in their natural habitat so the zoo does important work to make sure these endangered animals survive. I was very tired after my visit because it is a very steep climb in places!

>kid farmers


> This year, the kids are going to plant and care for their own garden. I found this really fun garden plan on the Better Homes and Gardens website. They have quite a few plans that are great for a starting point. Their garden will be small and manageable, fun to look at, and will actually have some edible vegetables, too (we hope!).

We gathered seeds from Home Depot and We also got a fun little seed starter tray/greenhouse kit. The seeds from Burpee were more expensive than what we paid in the store, but we had specific things we needed for this garden. There will be Jack-Be-Little pumpkins, Mini-Boo pumpkins, mammoth sunflowers, Queen Sophia marigolds, morning glories, sun gold tomatoes, and sparkler radishes. There will even be strawberries!!

Yesterday, the mailman came and brought our Burpee order. That was all we needed to get everything out and start planting! First we had to prepare our “soil.” This dirt was small pellets that we had to water so they would expand. Don’t they look gross? They smelled pretty icky, too.

Next, we planted seeds and labeled each section. This was fun, except when one of the sowers kept knocking dirt on the kitchen floor.

Next, we covered the tray with its little greenhouse cover, found it a warm spot out of direct sunlight, and left our little seeds to do their thing. When we checked on them this evening, a few of the seeds had already sprouted! We can’t wait to get these plants in the ground, but they need some time here to get started and the Big Farmer has to make the girls a place to set up the garden. Stay tuned…

>Flat Gracie goes to a Valentine lunch




Today is February 14, 2009 — Valentines Day
The weather is cool and sunny — a perfect day.

Flat Gracie had lunch today with Grandmom and Grandad and a few of their friends. We went to the Brick Oven in Kempner, Texas. It is a favorite restaurant for our Sunday School class to gather for food, fun, and fellowship. What better way for Flat Gracie to celebrate Valentines Day than with couples who have been in love for a very, very long time.

We have learned many lessons about love through the years. The most important lesson is that God is Love. We have learned that love can endure through good times and bad. We have learned to accept the faults and weaknesses of others, because we ourselves have faults and weaknesses. We have learned that forgiveness is essential to love as God loves. We have learned that it is sometimes hard to love as God loves, but we have also learned that God’s way is always the best way.

The Scriptures say it best.

Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
. . . love will last forever.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

>Flat Gracie goes to the ranch




We are Flat Gracie’s grandparents, Raiford and Linda Williams. We live on a 237 acre ranch in the city of Copperas Cove. We like to say that we are the largest ranch in town. Actually we have the only ranch in town.

We had Flat Gracie from February 9 through 11. We have had some rain this week. It was very welcome. The temperature has been rather mild, making us think that spring might be near.

Flat Gracie has been to the ranch many times to visit with Grandmom and Grandad. She especially likes to be here when her three cousins are here. They roam over the pastures to see what interesting things and places they can find. They have claimed and named several places as their “forts.” They have brought some unusual things in from the pastures such as a turtle shell, golf balls, and an old bicycle.

Flat Gracie and the other grandchildren don’t mind sharing the pastures with the cows, but when the bull comes around, they head for the house.

The tree house that Grandad built is a favorite place for Flat Gracie to play with her sisters and cousins. They even sometimes sleep up there.

At the first sign of spring Grandad starts getting his garden ready. Then he goes shopping for seed and plants. (Grandmom prefers flower seed.) Next it’s time to plant. This spring and summer Flat Gracie and her sisters and cousins will get to help harvest and eat the vegetables that Grandad grow.

When work is done, the swing is a great place to rest with Grandad.

We always have fun when Flat Gracie comes to visit us.