Friday, June 26, 2009

Carnival Of Homeschooling

Announcing the newest edition of
The Carnival Of Homeschooling: Summer Transition Edition .
There are many wonderful entries that are
sure to encourage and inspire.
Be sure to check it out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Urgent Action Needed: Parental Rights

"Dear Friend of Parental Rights,

Monday in a Harlem middle school, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told a group of 120 students that administration officials are actively discussing “when and how it might be possible to join” (that is, ratify) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). As before, she also communicated what a disgrace it is that the U.S. would stand with only Somalia against such a widely-accepted treaty.This is the first direct public statement by the Obama administration that it will seek ratification of the UN CRC.In my 30 years of political involvement, I have learned to recognize this as what is called a “trial balloon.” Like in World War I trench warfare, our opponents have “sent up a balloon” to see if it will draw fire. If things remain quiet, they will proceed with their plans to push for ratification of the CRC in the U.S. Senate.

To discourage them from doing so, we need to make sure that our voices are heard with unmistakable clarity. We must let the Obama administration know that we oppose this anti-family, anti-American treaty.

Here’s what we need you all to do:

1. Call the White House comments line at 202-456-1111. Tell them you heard the administration wants to ratify the CRC, and you strongly oppose this giving away of U.S. sovereignty to the UN. Also keep in mind that this treaty gives the government jurisdiction to override any decision made by any parent if the government thinks that a better decision can be made—even if there is no proof of any harm.

2. Call Ambassador Susan Rice’s office at the United Nations. Tell her that you want her to represent the United States to the world rather than trying to get the United States to go along with international law initiated by the UN. Her office number is 212-415-4000.

3. Contact your Senators and urge them to oppose ratification of this treaty. (Find your Senators’ contact information by typing your zip code into the box here.) Ask them also to defeat it once and for all by cosponsoring SJRes 16 – the Parental Rights Amendment.

It is very important that we speak up right now.

Please call before you close this email!

Michael Farris"

(copied and pasted word-for-word from an email sent by Michael Farris)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Carnivals

It is a wonderful morning for Carnivals !!
First, the lovely new Charlotte Mason Carnival is posted.
And the latest edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling is posted.
There are a lot of inspiring contributions.
Be sure to visit.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More Nature Walk Photos

Blackberry Brambles
(Only some of the berries are ripe and black.)
Horse Nettle
Solanum carolinense
Wasps in a puddle of stagnant water.
* We have not identified the above plant yet.
Suggestions welcome ! *
Daisy Fleabane
Erigeron philadelphicus
Nodding Thistle
Cardau nutans
Trumpet Creeper
Campsis radicans

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nature Walk Discoveries

The Bumble Bees are really enjoying our BeeBalm.
We found a baby Praying Mantis in a flower bed.
We discovered many egg sacks last winter,
which would explain our high population
of Praying Mantis "children".
When the farm mowers were mowing the hay out front,
Cherub 1 saw this baby rabbit scamper away -
just in the nick of time.
He stooped and picked him up before the tractor
made another pass. And after taking a few photos of
the stunned little creature, we relocated him safely
over the wooded fenceline, out of the Haying Path.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Opening Day

We have been ahead of schedule for some projects this year, and also a bit behind schedule in other things this year. But as of this morning, I think we are "caught up". Time will tell though, won't it ?!?!
One example of our lateness is that just yesterday we finally managed to get the winter and summer clothing swapped out. So now we have shorts and bathing suits at the ready. And it's not a moment too soon as we are supposed to have daytime temperatures in the high 90's later this week. Yikes !
Another example of our late start this year --- DadToCherubs finally had time enough to get the pool assembled last evening. We filled the pool last night and got the water ready ....
So this morning, bright and early, the Cherubs donned their bathing suits and were clamoring to get into the pool. After feeding and watering the pets, doing a few morning chores, and eating breakfast, we were unable to hold them back any longer.
Summer + Swimming Pool + Sunshine = FUN FUN FUN

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Fieldtrip

On Monday we went on a Homeschool Field trip with our local homeschool group. We visited the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend, Tennessee. We were blessed with a wonderful sunny day for our visit.
We toured several authentic cabins and barns that were recovered and rebuilt on the Heritage Center site.
There was a lovely demonstration of Open Hearth Cooking. And we were even able to eat some delicious corn bread with homemade butter. Yummy !!
We learned and had a lot of fun playing several Pioneer games.
The museum within the Heritage Center is chock full of farming tools, household items, and even portions of an actual residence.
We giggled at this Corn Sheller -- it is awfully small compared to the Corn Choppers here on the farm. But this tool is probably where it all began.
A primitive table, simple dishes that the Pioneer families might have owned, woven chairs, oil lamps, and in the top right corner is a string of dried beans in the pods known as Leather Britches.
While touring the partial cabin in the museum, we listened closely about how important the Front Porch was to Pioneer homesteaders -- it was a social area, an extended work area for weaving or sewing or churning or food preparation. We use front porches as decoration, but many years ago they were vital to the household.

The Smoky Mountain Heritage Center did a wonderful job for our field trip. All of the volunteers were so sweet and helpful, answering countless questions and sharing with enthusiasm their knowledge of Pioneer Days.

We are going to be studying American History this year, so this field trip was a wonderful introduction to life in some of the "early" days.

If you happen to be nearby and want an interesting inexpensive family activity, we highly recommend the Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend, TN.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Baby Is Here !

And it's a GIRL !!
Born today at 2:12pm to Estrella.
Mom & Baby are doing well.
For more info, go to Simply Beck's Bounty .
Now we are trying to figure out
what we will name her.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Our Visit To Fort Loudon

The last place we took Auntie Iddgy and Granddad was Fort Loudon, which is a fort built around the time of the French & Indian War in a vital part of Cherokee country.

We packed a picnic lunch and then toured the fort, where we met an Indian Maiden re-enactor who taught the Cherubs to make corn husk dolls, and where we also met 2 British Soldier re-enactors who spent a lot of time teling us all about the people who lived there and about the weapons the soldiers used, ending with a test-fire. It was all very interesting.

We ended our visit to Fort Loudon with some swimming in the beautiful lake, which everyone enjoyed.

Our Visit To Bald River Falls

A Visit To The Lost Sea

While Granddad and Auntie Idggy were visiting this past weekend, we visited The Lost Sea . We loved the caves and the history -- our tour guide did a fantastic job.

One particularly funny moment happened as the tour guide was explaining that there are a few real ferns and mosses growing deep in the cave despite a lack of their appropriate growing conditions. The cave is moist, so they had adapted to getting moisture and nourishment from the moist air rather than the cave. And they are apparently using the artificial lights used to light the trails for photosynthesis. Someone asked the tour guide just how the seeds came to be so deep in the cave. The tour guide explained that people traveling from outdoors to the interior of the caves often have tiny seeds on their shoes or clothing, and also some pollen, and so the seeds and pollen are spread in this extraordinary manner. Just after the tour guide finished his explanation, Cherub 6 looked up at me with a huge silly grin and said "We're paw-win-nate-ers" (pollinators). He thought that was quite funny (and I did too because we finished out Botany course some monthes ago).

These signatures inside the cave date back to before and during the Civil War -- look at that beautiful penmanship ! HA !

Friday, June 05, 2009

Special Visitors

We are blessed to have some special company this weekend.
My Dad (aka Grandad) and my sister (aka Auntie Iddgy) came into town Thursday for a visit .... they're a long way from home (in Pennsylvania) and are enjoying their visit to Tennessee.
Any visit to our area is not complete without a trip to Mayfield's for an delicious icecream cone. Moose Tracks, Blueberry Cream Pie, Birthday Cake, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mooinaires Java .... the names say it all, don't they ?

Auntie Iddgy & Cherub 2 on the swings.
Grandad riding the go-kart.
The Cherubs (and DadToCherubs and I too !) are really enjoying this special time with Grandad and Auntie Iddgy.