Saturday, September 29, 2007

A New Favorite Blog

I always enjoy visiting this blog.

Such a talented writer .... so much so, that more-often-than-not, her mere words from somewhere inspire me ... encourage me ... speak to me ...


Psalms 40

1 For the leader. A psalm of David.

2 I waited, waited for the LORD; who bent down and heard my cry,

3 Drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp, Set my feet upon rock, steadied my steps,

4 And put a new song in my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe and they shall trust in the LORD.

5 Happy those whose trust is the LORD, who turn not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood.

6 How numerous, O LORD, my God, you have made your wondrous deeds! And in your plans for us there is none to equal you. Should I wish to declare or tell them, too many are they to recount.

7 sacrifice and offering you do not want; but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts and sin-offerings you do not require;

8 so I said, "Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll.

9 To do your will is my delight; my God, your law is in my heart!"

10 I announced your deed to a great assembly; I did not restrain my lips; you, LORD, are my witness.

11 Your deed I did not hide within my heart; your loyal deliverance I have proclaimed. I made no secret of your enduring kindness to a great assembly.

12 LORD, do not withhold your compassion from me; may your enduring kindness ever preserve me.

13 For all about me are evils beyond count; my sins so overcome me I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head; my courage fails me.

14 LORD, graciously rescue me! Come quickly to help me, LORD!

15 Put to shame and confound all who seek to take my life. Turn back in disgrace those who desire my ruin.

16 Let those who say "Aha!" know dismay and shame.

17 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. May those who long for your help always say, "The LORD be glorified."

18 Though I am afflicted and poor, the Lord keeps me in mind. You are my help and deliverer; my God, do not delay!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

William Tell Overture

If you are a Mom, have ever been a Mom, aspire to be a Mom, or have ever known or even heard of a Mom ... this is toooooo funny.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

DadToCherubs Goes To Chicago

Aren't this INCREDIBLE photos ? DadToCherubs is coming home this afternoon from a business trip to Chicago. He has been in Chicago for a class (work related) since Sunday, and we missed him A LOT !
Back to the photos .... DadToCherubs took these photos with his cell phone (a Verizon Razor) when the plane was circling to land at O'Hare Airport.
Fantastic, arent't they ?? Who would have thought that a cell phone could take such great photos, considering the window glass of the plane and the altitude, not to mention the details.
The children and I agreed .... THESE were SOOOOO much better than a postcard !!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"No Child Left Inside"

I am not sure how "No Child Left Behind" is working out ... but the "NO CHILD LEFT INSIDE" program would most definately make SUCH a tremendous difference in the lives of children everywhere ... differences in their health, studies, attitudes, minds, hearts, and souls ... it gives me chills just to think of how truly beneficial some "outside free time" would be for sooooooo many children every day, all over the world.

And tonight, I will be sure to thank God for all of the blessings in the lives of our family ... specifically our "Green Hours". We are blessed to be able to spend more than a few hours outside nearly every day --working, playing, and growing to love Him more with every glance.

Whatever Happened To Girlhood ??

I do not get very much time to read other's blogs, but I have to say that I LOVED this particular post on the Pleasant Times blog:

Please pop over and read it ... it will make you think regardless of your age or stage of life ... and maybe will take you on a little jaunt down memory lane as well.

And tonight I will be sure to thank God for the Girlhood my 2 daughters have (and the boyhood our 4 boys have as well !), and to tell Him how precious it is indeed !!

New Cool-Rise Method: White Bread

I stumbled on this old photo - thank goodness bread baking is not THIS difficult anymore !!
In the cooler months, we try to bake bread at least a few times each week. At one point in our lives, we managed to bake ALL of our family bread ... but with our school work increasing and having more "activities" to attend to, we do not manage to come even close to baking ALL of our bread. That said, there is nothing more satisfying than a steaming bowl of homemade soup or stew, a fresh salad, and fresh home-baked bread. YUMMY !!
This particular recipe works well as you can make the dough in the evening and allow it to sit in the refrigerator until the next morning OR the next evening ... or both since this recipe makes 2 loaves. It has allowed us a bit more flexibility when baking bread, teaching school, playing Mom-The-Taxi-Driver, attending church and other activities, coaching soccer, visiting with friends, and all of those other activities that consume our days (and often our nights as well). We usually make this dough up as we are preparing dinner ... it lands in the refrigerator as we put dinner on the table ... and then we bake 1 loaf in the morning (for breakfast or lunch), and then the other we bake for dinner the next evening.
TA DA !! Homebaked bread - simple and easy - and yummy !! ENJOY !!

5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups flour

2 pkg (or cakes) Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast (or Compressed)

1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

1 3/4 cups warm milk (105-115 degrees)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt (if using self-rising flour, omit the salt from the recipe)

3 tablespoons margerine OR shortening


Measure flour the no-sift way. Spoon or pour into dry measuring cup. Leavel off and pour onto wax paper.

Dissolve yeast -- sprinkle or crumble into warm water in a large WARM bowl. Stir until dissolved. Add sugar, milk, salt, and margerine (or shortening).

Add 2 cups of flour and beat with rotary beater. Then add 1 cup of flour and beat vigorously for 150 strokes. Add remaining flour gradually --enough to make a soft dough which leaves the sides of the bowl.

Turn out onto floured surface. Knead for 5-10 minutes, until smooth and springy.

Let dough rest. Cover with pastic wrap and towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Punch dough down. Divide in half, and roll each half to uniform thickness. Shape into 8 x 12 rectangle. Be sure to break all bubbles.

Beginning with upper 8", roll towards you. Seal roll with thumbs or heel of your hand. Seal ends. Fold "sealed ends" DO NOT TEAR DOUGH.

Place loaves seam-side down in the center of greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 5/8 loaf pans (you will need 2 pans).

Brush with oil.

Cover loosely with oiled wax paper and plastic wrap.

Refrigerate 2 - 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake, remove the cover. Let dough stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Prick any bubbles with an oiled toothpick. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Remove just-baked bread from the pans immediately. Brush with margerine.

Allow bread to cool before cutting.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Concerning Virtues

"Thank God
every morning when you get up,
that you have something to do that day which must be done.
will breed in you temperance and self-control,
diligence and strength of will,
cheerfulness and content,
and a hundred virtues which the idle never know."
~Said By: Charles Kingsley

Diet Update

DadToCherubs is STILL dieting faithfully .... and at last word was down to 206 pounds (from the original 234) !! He is still drinking ONLY water and is eating 1200-1500 calories per day ... plus he is only eating meals (no in-between snacks).


Space Weather News: Venus

Photo Above (from ):
This morning in Florida, Howard Eskildsen saw Venus after sunrise: "The clouds over Ocala parted to reveal Venus and a deep blue sky framed by fragile fluffs of clouds," he says.
Shining at magnitude -4.5, Venus is 10 times brighter than Jupiter and 16 times brighter than Sirius--the brightest star in the heavens! And while Venus is visible in broad daylight, it is easier to find before sunrise. No
sky map is necessary. Simply look east for the brilliant light.

(copied from the website and E-Newsletter from the following:)

Space Weather News for Sept. 22, 2007

MAXIMUM VENUS: In a celestial coincidence of eye-catching proportions, Venus (the "morning star") reaches maximum brightness on Sept. 23rd, the autumnal equinox. In short, northern fall is beginning with a bright light in the dawn sky. Venus is actually bright enough to see in broad daylight, but easier to find just before sunrise. Wake up early any morning in the week ahead and look east for the brilliant light of Venus.

Bonus: Like the Moon, Venus has phases, and at the moment the planet has assumed the form of a slender crescent. If you have a backyard telescope, take a look!

AURORA SEASON BEGINS: For reasons not fully understood, the weeks around the autumnal equinox produce, on average, more geomagnetic storms than any other time of year. Even the mildest solar wind stream brushing against Earth can ignite auroras. Earth is inside a high-speed solar wind stream this weekend and another is due on Sept. 27th or 28th. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for Northern Lights. (Tip: Local midnight is often the best time to watch.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Camping With DadToCherubs - Part 3 (Final)

View of the campsite with the tent (aka The Cottage).

All 6 Cherubs around the fire, and a little girl named Shay (an only child) who was THRILLED to have so many playmates this weekend.

Our "whirly" (crazy & silly) girls being silly as always. (Cherub 2 and Cherub 5)

DadToCherubs & Cherub 1 preparing to put up the tent for the very first time - they said it went up much more easily than they thought it would. (Cherub 4 watching, and laughing at their antics.)

Sunday's Dinner Time .... hotdogs cooked over the fire, pickles, chips .... the children said they did not eat TOO much because they wanted to save "lots of tummy space for the S'Mores" (said by Cherub 5, of course - but everyone agreed whole-heartedly).

Camping With DadToCherubs - Part 2

Cherub 2 and a little friend (Shay) building a sandcastle by the lake.

Cherub 3 and his sandcastle - note the SMILEY FACE done with rocks.

Cherub 4 and Cherub 6 building sandcastles.

Several of the children decided to work together to build a BIG sandcastle with a moat around it. (look at the view of the mountains - just GORGEOUS, isn't it ??)

Children playing ... and what beautiful scenery. God is THE Master Artist indeed.

Camping With DadToCherubs - Part 1

Indian Boundary Lake with the mountains in the background.

Another beautiful view of the scenery.

The Cherubs making S'Mores ... YUMMY !!

Cherub 4 caught a little lizard - now we have to look him up in our books to identify him. (Thankfully he did NOT come home to live here, but was left in his forest home. YEAH !)

DadToCherubs and the 6 Cherubs at the entrance to the Indian Boundary Park, wayyyy up in the mountains (an hour's drive from our house).

Tuesday @ 4:00pm: DadToCherubs and the children arrived home this evening from their Adventures at Indian Boundary (TN) - aka their Camping Trip. The were filthy, hungry

Cornerstone Of History

These past few days have been most interesting few days as we have been studying United States history. I have prepared a mini lesson about the Mayflower (and the other ships & voyages too), and have as well prepared some material concerning the United States capitol. Our children LOVE these mini-lessons that come up from time to time, so they will be pleased. Regarding the Capitol building itself, I have personally visited this building on many occassions (I grew up in Maryland so we visited DC often), and hope to take our children for a visit later this year to see it for themselves in person. Enjoy !
(Side Note: I finished painting the kitchen last evening, and today am cleaning up. The kitchen looks WONDERFUL !! This afternoon DadToCherubs and the children will be home ... it has been SOOOO quiet here ... and rather lonesome. I can barely wait to see them !!)

It was on this day in 1793 that President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the United States Capitol building. It was designed as a much smaller building than the one we know because the senators and representatives had no offices, they simply worked at their desks on the floor of the House or Senate, and the public area under the dome was a flea market, where people sold everything from silk to light machinery. The wings were later extended, and then a larger dome was installed in proportion to the wings. The building as we know it was finished in the middle of the Civil War. Some people opposed spending money on a construction project in the middle of a war, but Abraham Lincoln thought the Capitol was a symbol that the Union would be preserved.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Today In History

It was on this day in 1620 that the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World. The passengers were mostly members of a Protestant congregation who believed that the only way to practice their religion freely would be to separate themselves from the Church of England. They called themselves Separatists or Saints, but today we call them Pilgrims.

They originally commissioned two boats for the journey: the Speedwell and the Mayflower. But when they set out for their journey, the Speedwell began to leak. They returned to England and tried to repair the Speedwell, but it was not fit for travel. So on this day in 1620, they set sail in the Mayflower, leaving the Speedwell behind. They were behind schedule, so the weather wasn't as good. With strong cross currents, the Mayflower averaged only two miles an hour. The passengers had to spend most of the 66-day journey below deck, away from the rain and cold.

There were no sanitary facilities, and there was little fresh water for washing. Many of the passengers became seasick. They ate cold food — cheese and fish or salted beef. They also ate a lot of something called "ship's biscuit," which was a kind of bread that had been baked three times in order to drive out all moisture. It could last for up to five years and had to be dunked in water to be eaten.

On December 21, just over three months after they left England, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, their new home. Only half the colonists and crew survived that first winter. But when the Mayflower returned to England in April 1621, none of the colonists chose to return with it. They all remained committed to building the colony they had started. An estimated 35 million people are direct descendants of those Mayflower Pilgrims.
Copied From: The Writers Almanac (daily email message)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Work & Play

What do CAMPING and PAINTING have in common ??
Well, this weekend they will certainly have A LOT in common.

DadToCherubs is taking our children camping up in the mountains for 2 1/2 days and 2 nights. Yes, all by himself ! He is taking our 6 children ages 13y, 11y, 10y, 9y, 7y, and 4y CAMPING IN THE WOODS, really ! There is much talk of surviving solely on hotdogs and s'mores, with probably other junk food thrown in as well ... oh, and eggs with bacon cooked over the campfire. They are going to hike and swim, climb to the top of the water falls, scale tall trees like moneys gone wild ... and get absolutely filthy in the process. Oh, and the younger boys have informed me that they do not intend to bathe until they get home (although I highly doubt DadToCherubs will allow this, because even though he enjoys camping, he also prefers CLEAN children atleast at bedtime - HA !). The children DO want to take their Nature Journals and sketch pencils (and nature guides to look up what they have found), and of course they HAVE to take the digital camera too. Everyone here is really excited ! (and MomToCherubs began praying the moment this idea was hatched.)

DadToCherubs and the children went last evening and bought a new tent (ON END-OF-SEASON SALE which is even better!!) which is pictured above. The tent is really cool - it has curtain room dividers, sleeps 9 comfortably, and is 7'4" tall in the center .... it will be like having a COTTAGE rather than a tent. They also have a big cooler on wheels for food storage. (YEAH !!) We already have a big water cooler for drinking water, plenty of sleeping bags and flashlights, and cooking supplies that are suitable for campfire-cooking .... just add junky clothing, hiking shoes, some ratty towels ... and toys and bikes ... and a string of exterior Christmas lights for "style" of course ... and VOILA ... a vacation that will delight each child and make memories to last a lifetime. (Plus I am adding a small first aid kit, extra soap, & extra toothpaste with toothbrushes too just in case !) Today they are going to gather firewood to take with them just in case it is difficult to find near camp, and this evening they will pack and get everything ready to load into the van (after church tomorrow).

And while all of this FUN is occuring, MomToCherubs is going to be at home, working hard for 2 1/2 days ... painting the kitchen, and painting the exterior doors. We have not painted at all in this new house, and several rooms are in much-need of a fresh coat. And since we spend a lot of time in the kitchen (and because it NEEDS a fresh coat of paint the MOST), I am going to "start" there (and DadToCherubs agreed whole-heartedly on starting there, but he HATES to paint, so it is left to me. HA !!) When the going gets tough, apparently the tough go CAMPING. (hee hee hee !) I am also going to paint 2 of the Exterior doors to this house while everyone is gone as they "were" white but are stained by a few years of "Tennessee clay" dust and dirt, plus MANY handprints and paw-prints too (orange stains that refuse to come off, no matter what we use to scrub). This way, the doors can be dry and ready-for-traffic when the family returns from their adventure. Painting the exterior doors has always been a challenge as "someone" always seems to forget which door they can / can not use ... despite WET PAINT signs and strong warnings. So .... this is much simpler .... to do the most family-challenging jobs while everyone is gone.

You ask ... why combine camping and painting ?? It's quite simple, you see .... with our big family, if the kitchen is out-of-service, our lives are literally a mess for days. And exterior doors -well, above you can read how that usually works out. So, the idea is that the family will go have a fun weekend (without Mom , so the added bonus is bonding with DAD) while kitchen can be closed completely, and while the doors do not HAVE to be used ... the kitchen will get painted from top to bottom (primer, 2 coats of paint on each wall, and trim work) .... the doors will be fresh and clean AND dried complely. This will make the Painter's life (aka Mom's life) easier because there will be no one here to "need" for anyone to eat or get a drink or be IN the kitchen during the painting process, nor will anyone need to come in / out (every 5 minutes - ha !). We have learned much over the years .... normally when the kitchen is out of service (for painting) we have to either eat out 3x per day (around $100 per day probably) OR we have to stop painting and re-assemble the kitchen to eat, and then take it all apart again to keep painting (not to mention meal prep and clean up). And we have also learned that painting doors is a job best done when no one is home except the painter to prevent smudges and smears. So this time, for the rest of the family, they will not have to avoid said room (or doors) while the paint is wet (thus avoiding a stressing, and possibly grumpy-because-overtired Momma saying "don't touch the wet paint" and "don't make a mess" and such things). HA ! What a grand idea, I know. I only wish I could take the credit ... but it was DadToCherub's Grand Plan.

Please pray for DadToCherubs and the little Cherubs as they head out "to the wilderness" (complete with a bathhouse and electric plugs - HA !) ... that they remain safe and sound, and that their time together is blessed and full of love and fun ... and snacks. HA ! And also please keep me in your prayers as I scale the tall ladder with roller and brush in hand in hopes of transforming the kitchen in record time as I soooo want to me completely finished with painting and the re-assembly of the kitchen before the family returns.

UPDATE Tuesday September 18th: The kitchen painting was completed last evening. So today I will clean up the debris and reassemble the kitchen. After painting the kitchen, I am encouraged to paint the other rooms as they will look so fresh, and will look more like "our" home as we personalize it ... but, BOY OH BOY is this a big house (it was certainly a BIG kitchen !!) so it will take a while to get it all finished. The kitchen looks so nice. Bright and clean, warm and inviting. I painted the top half a warm creamy white (almost tan) called Navajho ... and the bottom of the walls are painted a dark rich brown called Buffalo, which should be very "practical" for our large family as well as looking very nice. The colors remind me of a fresh cup of coffee, before and after the cream is added. HA ! I am very pleased with the outcome .... and am looking forward to the next project (after I get some rest - did I mention that this kitchen is GIANT ?!?!)

Oh - and the front and back doors are freshly painted and should be ready for use when the family returns this afternoon. I touched up the screen doors which are black (and needed some touching up due to general wear and tear, plus lots of scratches) ... and the front and back exterior doors were white (stained orange and brown with many dings and scratches), and now are a shiny black which looks lovely with the black screen doors. The darker colored doors should (hopefully) prove to be quite a bit more serviceable than the original white.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Should We Make Him Welcome ??

Humberto is coming ... the remnants of the Hurricane, Humberto, rather ... and he is supposed to bring us 1 - 2 inches of steady RAIN beginning possibly tonight (50% chance), or definately tomorrow (100% chance). He is also speeding up a "cool front" according to the weather channel, so perhaps we will not see the 90-100 temps return that have plagued us for much of the summer.

The children were giggling ... "Maybe we should make some WELCOME signs and hang them all over the outside of the house ?" They thought these signs might be nice to welcome Humberto to our drought-riden area with OPEN ARMS, of course, as he is bringing MUCH needed rain. And that maybe with such a warm reception he might like to stay a bit longer than just 1 day ... we certainly would welcome his rain (but we will be certainly thankful for whatever we get) !!
UPDATE Friday 9/14 @ 2:29pm:
It has been raining since midnight and it is STILL RAINING. YAHOOOO !! So far we have between 1/2 - 3/4" in our Rain Gauge (we have been watching it ALL day - HA !) .... it is a nice cool steady rain so little is "running off" - it seems nearly every drop is almost INSTANTLY absorbed into our parched ground. Praise the Lord for the RAIN !! We did have to cancel Soccer Practice this evening, but we are not complaining at all ... I think we might have a movie & popcorn night tonight to "celebrate' the rain !! THANK YOU LORD ... and of course, Humberto too !!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blog Responsibility

I found this interesting article on the Focus On The Family website concerning Blog Responsibility ... as bloggers, readers, and commenters.

Homeschool Science

This is a photo of Cherub 1 doing another experiment from his Apologia Physical Science course. This course, by the way, is his MOST FAVORITE subject. (He is REALLY "into" science this year !!)
While working on this lab, he was outside in the driveway, as you can see. (afterwards, I found out that this was REALLY because there was a possibility that the glass jar may break in this experiment - GOOD THINKING CHERUB 1 !!).
And when I went out to check on him, I curiously asked why he was also doing the Follow-Up Readings, note taking, and his "final" Lab Report while laying on the hard concrete driveway ? To this he replied (with a HUGE mischievious smile), "THIS is the beauty of homeschooling - I get to work on school AND be outside at the same time !" HA !
Today, by the way, is absolutely delightful - there is a light breeze, moisture in the air from yesterday's rain, and only in the low 80's ... SPECTACULAR WEATHER TODAY !!
Back to the topic ... This GREAT science course (and several others) is by Apologia Educational Ministries ( ), and can be seen here:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Behold - An Indian Princess

Our 3 younger children are reading POCAHONTAS (By: Ingri & Edgar d'Aulaire) and are apparently REALLY enjoying this particular study .....

.... because Miss Daisy (who is EVER SO patient and tolerant) was transformed today by Cherub 5 and Cherub 6 to be the Indian Princess, POCAHONTAS, with a custom-made head-dress. They included MANY details from the story (which is quite long for this age group) - it was too amazing !! And it was also explained to me that rather than the white ceremonial turkey-feather dress, the princess was wearing a very unique GOLD dog-feather dress. (yes, they did know that dogs do not have feathers - they were trying to be consistant as they could not figure out quite how to get Daisy covered in white feathers like Pocahontas in the story - THAT could have been ugly. HA !)

I just LOVE Charlotte Mason's methods .... and this was by far my most favorite "narration" given after a book is completed.


We had a 40% chance of rain yesterday, yet none came. Again last night, we had a 30% chance ... but nothing.
And today we have a 60% chance of rain all day. And it is now 12:55p .... THE RAIN IS HERE ... we live just on the front side of this system. See the greens and yellows .... that's all rain ... and it's coming HERE ... it started approximately an hour ago and looks like it will continue for most of the afternoon at least as this storm system seems to be moving VERY slowly.
The children are soooooooo excited .... they are taking turns running outside to splash in the puddles .... it has been SOOOO long since we had rain that the grass is dead and the BIG trees (giant oaks, maples, and hackberries) are rapidly dropping crunchy brown leaves. I have to admit that I am nearly GIDDY over this rain ... because I am thinking of our well, our flowers, and all of God's creation that is SOOOOOOOOOO thirsty for this refreshment.
HOORAYYYYYYYYY !! Thank you Lord for sending this SPLENDID rain ....
UPDATE 626pm: We received a full 1/2 inch of rain. HOORAY !!

Today We Remember ... And Shall Renew Our Commitment NEVER To Forget ...

September 11, 2001
(photo collage copied from EspressoRoast blog site. THANK YOU !)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Site To Share

This is a wonderful site I stumbled upon ... first looking for Cooking-For-A-Month type info (cookbooks there too !) ... then reading the Courtship and other "traditional" articles. How refreshing and encouraging this site is INDEED !!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

For Our "Big White Van"

We thought one of these decals would be FUN to personalize our new "Big White Van".
Want to make your own for your family, or maybe just play a little ??


This past Friday marked 1 month since we began our 2007-2008 school year together .... a whole 4 weeks ... not a missed day nor a missed "lesson", despite a few hectic days and some minor isolated illnesses. All in all, we have to say that these 4 weeks have been extrememly productive for us ... and have also brought a much missed "order" back into our lives that has been missing since last spring. Thank you Lord !!

Please pray for us and for our school year ... it is only with God's Grace and Mercy that we make it work. He has certainly blessed us beyond measure !! These milestones are important to us as we have a LONG school year ahead of us ... we will be working until the end of July this year to make up for last spring's abrupt stop (because of the fire), and we will continue to set our eyes on Him and work, work, work ... and learn, learn, learn too.



Post-Soccer Lunch

After soccer, we went to Sonic for lunch to CELEBRATE ... and of course Daisy came too. She was EXHAUSTED after the games (as were her humans) and needed a good COLD drink. A Frosty Paws treat might have been nice too, but Sonic does not sell those - BUMMER !. And of course, even at Sonic, a few pets and some love are never "unwanted" by Daisy.
After her big outing this morning, Daisy has eversince been sound asleep in the air conditioning .... it definately took a lot out of her, but I think she loved every minute of being out with her family AND being loved by everyone she met.

Girls Soccer News

THIS is what makes Cherub 5 "famous" on the soccer field - she shows NO FEAR and will literally steal the ball from anyone, no matter how big ... and when she steals it, she ZIPS away with it, down the field. HA !

Cherub 5 waiting not so patiently for a throw in by her teammate - see her "I'm Open" signal ??

Cherub 5 had her BIGGEST fan at the fields today !! Daisy came to watch, and WATCH she did indeed. She also enjoyed all of the love and attention she received from everyone that saw her there.

Running after the ball ... after our goalie did a drop-kick from the goal box.

Cherub 5 had her first game of the Fall season today too, although it was hardly her first game. This is her 7th season I believe. (she is the little blond in the PINK SKORT with a white jersey in the photos - white socks, and black cleats with pink laces.)

Her team, the Wildcats, played VERY hard this morning .... EVERY SINGLE PLAYER gave their absolute best ... ultimately ending with a final score of 3-4 favoring the other team (they scored at nearly the very last minute, breaking the tie).

Cherub 5 can really hustle with the ball ... dribbling down the field very quickly ... zipping around opponents ... it makes most people tired just to watch her GO GO GO ! She seems to never tire, and truly has a LOVE of the game !!

Cherub 5 scored 2 solid goals for her team, and had atleast 2 others that just barely missed the goal.

At the end of the day, she played hard along with each of her team members ... and everyone learned a little ... everyone showed GREAT sportsmanship ... and (most improtantly) had A LOT of fun !!

HOORAY CHERUB 5 !!! And HOORAY Wildcats !!

First Soccer Game ... EVER !

Cherub 6 and his new friend Mr. "D".

Cherub 6 just after scoring his 2nd goal (teammates in background.).

The team stretching to get warmed up - just after this exercise we flew like AIRPLANES !!

Cherub 6 is playing soccer this fall for the very first time. And just this morning he participated in his VERY FIRST game ever. (That's him in the RED socks.)

He was soooo nervous ... and extremely excited.

And at the end of the day he played with honor and good sportsmanship ... he played hard and never gave up putting forth his BEST effort .... and ....

He scored 3 goals ... and has another 2 shots where he was just a little too far, so it rolled past (touching the post nearly) instead of INTO the goal.


And HOORAY LIONS - we won with a score of 9-4 !!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Travel Preparations: Step 1

We are planning a few "road trips" this fall and winter and more than a few next spring & summer. This fall we are planning a 2-week trip to New England (MD & CT) to see family & friends AND to sight-see a little. And this winter we are planning atleast one 3-4 day weekend trip to Ski, but 2 of these trips are likely.

We loved the Ford Expedition we had (bought last January) ... UNLESS ... we needed groceries (and everyone was in the car together) ... or UNLESS we had to head to soccer practices with bags of soccer balls and such (DadToCherubs and I coach) ... or UNLESS we had to travel, which required a BIG top carrier, packing as lite as possible, and still possibly pulling a small tow-behind trailer. And ... as we are planning to buy a Travel Trailer (hard shell camper), our Expedition was not rated to pull anything nearly as heavy as we needed (we found this out when we started looking at campers).

So ... the CAR HUNT began ... mostly because not many cars that seat a minimum of 8 persons HAS an engine the size we required. Ultimately we found the passenger vans and some big SUVs, but after testing more than a few, we LOVED the size of the passenger vans. So, we selected one (the only downfall to it was that it is WHITE - yuck - always dirty ! But it had literally everything else we wanted.) and DadToCherubs haggled a bit with the dealer (his specialty since he sold cars once upon a time) ... then the bank details (with our family bank, Citizens, which is by far the BEST bank there is !!) ... then this morning we went to pick up our new Ford E350 XLT Super Duty Passenger van. We got a SUPER deal, and are pleased ... this was by far the EASIEST car-hunt we have ever had, once we had found what we really wanted.

The new van seats 12 persons AND has a large trunk too .... this will be fantastic for traveling, soccer, groceries, and other "space" issues we have encountered.
We also had a SUPER trailer hitch installed (this morning actually) by the dealer, so we can pull up to 8,000 pounds now (HINT: camper preparations) with ease. And for traveling, we will pull out the last seat, makign the van seat 8 PLUS the biggest trunk we could hope for.

Incidently, during our "running about" this morning to the bank (where we did some school work while waiting in the lobby - the Bank CEO was very excited to see this BTW) and car dealer (more school here, but we sat in teh new car to "test it out"), the children decided to bring along some school work ... working first in the Expedition, and then in the new van ... they said WOW - I HAVE ROOM TO MOVE MY LEGS (big kids) .... WOW - I can open my notebook without hitting or bothering anyone with it .... Hey Mom, we can get in and out of this van without stepping on anyone, or accidently kicking them ! Needless to say, the children are even MORE pleased than MomToCherubs and DadToCherubs.

All that is left is to get a full set (plus spare) of new tires and the running boards installed. Those parts were ordered today (as part of the "purchase deal") and will be put on the new van on Tuesday ... then we are all set to begin planning our itinerary for our fall trip.

So ... in preparation for our travels ... Step 1 (bigger vehicle, lower miles, comprehensive extended warranty for 5 years, etc) is COMPLETE.

To conclude ... we are VERY pleased with our purchase ... and now we are moving on to Step 2 now (planning our first trip, and stepping up the "hunt" for a Travel Trailer) ... LOOK OUT ROADS, HERE WE COME !!!!
UPDATE September 14, 2007: Our new tires and our shiny new running boards were put on just this morning by the Ford dealership. We will certainly feel safer with the new tires, considering the rain today. But to be honest, we were all MOST excited about the running boards because we are all "vertically-challenged" in this family (shhhh !! BIG SECRET) so now we do not have to "launch" ourselves into the van from the ground, banging knees and elbows along the way. HOORAY !!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

About The Blogger Reflection Award

We are honored to have received the Blogger Reflection Award. And now, according to instructions AND to careful consideration …. We, now, award this Blogger Reflection Award to the following:

1.) MamaLion at
As we have learned much from her blog through the years – her reflective style and willingness to share is amazing. We enjoy seeing this family’s dedication to finding and walking “the old paths” as God instructed.

2.) To Mama Squirrel at
As she is most willing to assist other homeschoolers and to share experience both in family life and with regard to schooling.

3.) To Harmony Of Art Mom at
As we are inspired by her creativity and we are inspired to “create” more here at Beck’s Bounty.

4.) To Kris Correira at
For her dedication to CM Style learning with her MOST INFORMATIVE (and interesting !) Living Science blog.

5.) And lastly to Lindafay of
From which we have learned SO much since finding her blog, and OH the variety of posts is just amazing.

We have, by the way, never "met" such extreme Lord Of The Rings fans as these – very interesting. Anyway, be sure to check out the history of this award here (and instructions for recipients):

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Trip To The Fair 4: General Photos

Cherub 4 waiting for the Bumper Cars to begin.

Cherub 5 and Cherub 6 awaiting "take off" on their jetplane.

I still cannot believe Cherub 1 and Cherub 3 rode this CRAZY ride - my tummy knots just thinking about riding it. YIKES !!
Cherub 1 and Cherub 2 apparently rode the SKAT 2 times in a row ... I am amazed they were not ill afterwards. HA !
Cherub 5 and Cherub 6 went up to on the Big Slide ... Cherub 5 KINDLY helped Cherub 6 get settled and take off, before speeding down the slide herself. Now, THAT'S PROGRESS !!