Monday, May 30, 2005

Heard in Nana's House

Our boys are sleeping over at Nana and Popo's house for two nights. Here is the email my mom just sent about our boys (ages 9 and 5):

"At supper tonite Brenden [9yo] didn't want to eat very much and wanted to leave almost immediately....I told him to stay at the table for awhile until we were finished. I then realized that he probably wanted to watch TV.....and he said, "Nana, there is a new TV show that I reallly want to watch..."

"Brenden, you will be hungry later so eat some more"

"Nana, can I give you one of my candies so I can go??" [my kid bribing?? the shock!]

"No, Brenden you can wait a little longer, until Popo finishes." (I didn't make him wait THAT long....)

Then he started getting teary eyed over the whole thing....

His little brother, Stone, [5yo] looked over at him and said, "He is thinking that he likes Popo better than you, Nana."

WOULD you believe it?? We all cracked up at that one and Brenden quickly forgot he was teary eyed.....and a few minutes later he did get to watch his show!!

Ah.........the life of a 9 year old and a 5 year old!!! Fun!!! Thought you would enjoy my little story of your angels and nephews..

Saturday, May 28, 2005

A North Alabama Event


If you are going to be near North Alabama (or can travel!), on June 10th and 11th, you'd probably love going to the following seminar.

I listened to Cindy Rushton speak at a recent online ball hosted by Christian Internet Moms. Cindy spoke on homeschooling and from her one little talk, I could feel huge burdens falling off of me. Her approach to homeschooling is more natural and more relaxed than I had tried to be. I've tried several of her ideas in the past
couple of weeks and not only do I love homeschooling again, but our 9 year-old said, "I don't know why, but we're having more fun now."

Even if you don't homeschool, this seminar will appeal to you because half of the topics are on home business. See below for the list of topics.

Here is the webpage for more information:

Here is a list of topics:

Session 1 Workshops--
Help! I am SO Tired and Weary--Cindy Rushton
Getting Started Homeschooling on the Right Track--Kerry Beck
What About a Family Business?--Steve Beck and the Beck Children
Commitments of a Homeschool Teen--Matthew Rushton

Session 2 Workshops--
Let's Talk About Debt--Steve Beck
10 Fun and Easy Ideas for Making Homeschooling Great--Cindy Rushton
Start Selling On Ebay Tonight?--Kerry Beck

Session 3 Workshops--
Dad and the Big Picture (Dad's Only with Steve Beck)
Romancing the Principle--101 Ways to Ignite the Home Fires (Mom's Only with Cindy Rushton)
Purity the ONLY Way (Students with Matthew Rushton and all of the Rushton/Beck Kids)


Session 1 Workshops--
Winning the War for Our Culture--Steve Beck
Leadership Education...Not a Conveyor-Belt Education--Kerry Beck
So...You Want to be a Writer--Cindy Rushton
How to Begin and Run Your OWN Business (AND Call it School!)--Matthew Rushton

Session 2 Workshops--
The Importance of Teaching Life Skills to Your Children--Steve Beck
Planning Fun and Easy Lessons--Cindy Rushton
Top Secret Business Tips--Harold Rushton

Session 3 Workshops--
Organization 911! Help for the Messy Mom--Cindy Rushton
Let's Brainstorm Ideas for YOUR Business--Steve Beck
Reaching the Reluctant Writer--by Kerry Beck

Session 4 Workshops--
Ministering to the Heart of Your Child (and Teen!)--Cindy Rushton
So, What About College???--Kerry and Ashley Beck
Make Money Online Tonight--Steve Beck
A Challenge to My Fellow Homeschoolers--Matthew Rushton

Friday, May 27, 2005


Only a few days ago, we nearly lost Princess.

When she was a baby, she was the one chicken out of the dozen that our six-year-old daughter decided to love. Brittany would chase Princess until she caught her, then carry her closely as they exchanged clucks. She loved that little ball of yellow. It was a Golden Sex Link, a type of chicken that is sexed by color at hatching. The girls are yellow; the boys are black. Our baby was yellow, so our daughter named our for-sure-hen "Princess."

When Princess was three months old, she started showing off a very pretty "top hat," a bright red "comb" and under her chin was a pretty red "wattle." She also kept growing past the size of the other 11 chickens. She grew so fast that soon she was twice the size of the others. We just figured that Brittany was just feeding Princess better than the others.

But one day Princess crowed.

We tried calling him "Prince," but as our Brittany says, "Princess is just stuck in our heads!" Princess, the name, has stayed with our drag-queen chicken, even as he crows and struts and protects his hens. The protecting is what got him into trouble the other day.

Our nearest neighbor has a dog that has a split personality. A week will go by without Jaffe coming to visit our animals, then one day a chick will squawk and we'll see Jaffe dashing off with her in his mouth. But he usually never messes with Princess' hens, who keep themselves separate from the new chicks.

The other day, though, Jaffe became interested in one of our juicy-looking hens and started after her. Princess successfully protected his girl, and for his trouble he got his comb torn and became so ill that we thought we'd lose him.

When I found Princess, he was laying sideways on the ground, bleeding at his comb, eyes closed, and breathing heavily with his mouth opened. I knew he only had moments to live. For a while, I just held him alone, but then I decided that Brittany, who is almost 8 now, should be there to say "goodbye" to her old friend.

We shed just a tear ... or two, I'm not admitting to much... and we prayed - not for his healing, but that God would be in control. We placed Princess in a box in the garage to rest in peace as he was heading off to Rest In Peace.

Hours later, Princess had not died yet, so Brittany and I decided that he'd probably be more happy dying among his hens than alone in the garage. We put him out on the grass where his girls surrounded him, expecting never to see him alive again. He couldn't walk or hold his head up, but we could hear him clucking at his girls.

Today, a few days later, Princess is standing taller than ever, his tail feathers are back up, his strut in full motion, and his comb upright.

We are so glad to have him back.

We are especially glad to have a God who cares about silly things like a rooster named Princess.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Why Did God Put Us on this Earth?

The children and I studied John the Baptist recently (well, "studied" sounds like we pulled out our Greek and Hebrew texts - if we had those - but what I mean is that we "read" about him. Whatever!). After "reading" about him, I asked the kids why God put John the Baptist on the Earth. That lead to a discussion of why God might have put us on the Earth (in parentheses is the age of my brilliant child who made the preceding remark):

God put John the Baptist on the Earth to "tell people that Jesus was coming and to baptize people." (9yo)

God put Brenden, our 9-year-old boy on the Earth to "make video games that don't include any shooting." (9yo who at the time was grounded from all X-Box games because I finally grew tired of being "shot" at by the boys every time I turned a corner)

God put Brittany, our 7-year-old girl on the Earth to "help the animals." (7yo)

God put Stone, our 5-year-old boy on the Earth to "sell X-boxes to buy more X-boxes to sell and to buy food. Then I would make wood things to put the food on the shelves and then give the food to people." (5 yo)

God put Alyssa Belle, our 2-year-old girl on the Earth to "work with Brittany" (7yo of the same name) and "to make us smile" (mama).

God put Mama on the Earth to "help her kids" (9yo), "to be a good cook" (9yo), "to be a wonderful mother" (7yo), and "to go to bed" (5yo).

God put Daddy on the Earth to "be a good person to be working outside to help get our chickens in the pen and to repair from the hurricane and everything" (7yo), "to help us and protect us and to give us a bunch of money" (9yo), and "to help Mama" (5yo)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Heard in Our House

"Mama?" I'm folding laundry as 7 year-old Brittany comes into the room and closes the door behind her. "You know that really, really bad word, the one that we should never say? All the time I hear people saying it!"

I can think of lots of really, really bad words she'd better not ever say, but I can't think of any she should know!

"Well... which one?" I'm cringing a bit at this question.

"You know, the bad one. The one we shouldn't ever say."

I look around us, as if to make sure the tiny room is empty.

"You can say it to me just this once," I whisper.

Big-eyed, she whispers back, "'Oh, my ___'." She steps back with a you-can-fill-in-the-blank look. "That bad word."

"You mean 'God'?" I ask.

Her blue eyes are huge, as if I just said something terrible, something a 7-year-old fears, like that a green alien is coming for dinner.

"That bad word." she says.

"Oh, yes! We shouldn't say that. It's not respectful to God when we say His name like that. That's one of the 10 commandme..." I'm happy to offer a mini-sermon, but she interrupts.

"Well, sometimes we say it when we pray, like 'Dear _____ ' or when we sing we sometimes say it, like 'Oh, my ______ , I trust in You." She can't get herself to say "The Word".

"Yes, we do."

"Then is it okay to say that word sometimes?"

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Today, May 17, 2005

May should NOT be flying by so quickly. It seems like it should still be April! Here's what's been happening (in a blur) at our house:

Losing...four chickies to the neighbors' dogs. They (the chicks) are rebellious teenagers at this point, and will not stay in their pen.

Wondering...and imagining...why two helicopters circled our house and our neighbors' houses yesterday, several times each! Are they looking for a fugitive? Is the Army Corp of Engineers considering clearing our Hurricane-clogged river? Are they rich land-hunters who want to check out the area so they hired the military then the police to look? Are they searching for a dead body? (just in case, I decided not to look in the river for at least a full day) Are they spies, wondering Who She Is and Why There Are Chickens Running Loose Around Her? Are they terrorists who are going to shoot a gun out the open doorway of the copter? (I ducked under a tree, just in case). I wonder if we'll ever find out.

Listening... to Internet radio talk shows, an interesting concept. Here's two I found recently: WAHM Talk Radio and Homeschool Talk Radio (WAHM = Work at Home Mom)

Roasting...a chicken (no, not one of mine!) all afternoon in the oven. My "secret" for great chickens and turkies is to put bits of butter and garlic cloves under the skin and a few in the cavity. Mmm, moist! I'm roasting this 5 lb. beauty for 4-5 hours at just 250. I'll keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't get too done, and I'm wrapping her in foil until an hour before dinner. to join my newsletter list. You can join by going to the list at Keeping the Home (a Yahoo group) or simply by emailing a note with nothing in it (or whatever you like, nobody will read it) to . I send out the newsletter no more than weekly, no less than monthly. In it, I put practical help on homeschooling, homemaking, and motherhood. I also post a "devotional" of sorts, which often comes from this blog. The rest of the content is original to the newsletter.

Worshipping...God again at 5:45am up the hill, past the cows,and between the cotton field and the corn field, but ::::COUGH:::: the farmer was up early, too, in his tractor and was spraying something horrid onto his corn. It made my nose immediately run! I'm glad I garden organically.

...Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl. Gracious me, I've been convicted!

Enjoying...some old college buddies from Indiana who came to visit this week. Tim and I used to go on "double dates" with Britt and Jodi in college. We have all been very busy in the 12 years since college -- together, we two couples have 9 children ages 9 and under! We have had a

Have a great Tuesday!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

An Early Morning

"I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in Your Word."
Psalm 119:147

What in the world was David thinking when he wrote that verse? Maybe he was a Morning Person, one of those half-crazed souls who actually like getting up before they have to.

Or maybe he saw some benefit in waking up early to spend time with God. A benefit that made the struggle of getting up worth it all. Is there something to mornings that us Night Owls are missing out on?

I've been sleeping waaaay past dawn, but the other day I did set an alarm for 6 or so and was out a'walkin' with the Lord by 6:30 (it took 30 minutes to get my eyes opened).

It was a wonderful time with just God, Santana (our neighbor's dog, who I call our "Free Dog" because she's always at our house), and me. I walked past the Lady Banks roses growing between the bamboo stalks, picked a cutting of honeysuckle to sniff Heaven on the way, and made my way up the hill-that-looks-little-when-driving-but-feels-like-a-mountain-when-walking. At the top of the hill I passed Farmer Bishop's cows and 4 calves behind white fencing. Next we walked between the corn field and the newly planted cotton field.

Turning to come back home, I saw one of God's finest paintings. The sky's sunrise was pink- and blue-streaked. The sun had not yet come over the tops of the oaks and pines.

It was a magnificient sight. With a handful of wild blackberries in my mouth and that cutting of honeysuckle at my nose, I thanked God for the morning. I was so glad to have been there when God was speaking so loudly through his nature.

Now, to get myself to get up that early again...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Our girls
Lori Seaborg 2005

Rescuing the ladder from our recent flood. The river belongs behind that stick poking up on the left side of the photo. 5 feet of that stick should be above the river's normal level.
Lori Seaborg 2005

Begging Your Pardon

I beg your pardon for my silence. Our 14-year-old neice has been visiting, and although I think everyone should just love teenagers, they are terribly time-consuming what with their late-night hours and late-morning sleep-ins. She left last night and although I miss her, I am a bit glad to get back to my schedule of little children who are all silently in bed by 8pm (and enjoy a Quiet Time for an hour every afternoon).

Anyway, you could blame my Blog Silence on my lovely neice.

Thought I'd let you know I'm back.

Since I am back, here's what has been happening lately....

...again. Tim got the new chicken coop 1/3 of the way finished, and it was under water again this week. We have had 23" of rain in April, which makes it the wettest month EVER on record in Pensacola, Florida. Still, funky weather makes life way more interesting.

Boating...across our flooded land to rescue the ladder, the wheelbarrow, and my made-by-Dad picket fence panels.

chicken manure from the flood site that dismantled our first chicken pen.
Moving it to our veggie garden.

Planting...lavender and rosemary in my raised herb garden beds. I found an organic herb garden center in Loxley, Alabama last week and thought I'd visited a corner of Heaven.

Buying...3 books by Lee Sturdivant on growing herbs and flowers for sale. I used to do this as a little side business, and want to start again. It would be a nice family business and since we homeschool, the children could learn a lot from it. Lee Sturdivan'ts books are great, if you're looking for this type of information, too, or even if you just like gardening. Her writing style is very down to Earth (she's a gardener, see, "down to Earth," lol).

Chasing...our 14 preteen-aged chicks up and down the hill. They keep escaping from their pen.

Worrying...or mourning...a missing free-range (while the coop is being built) hen. Maybe she was "visited" by a neighbor's dog, or maybe she's laying on eggs. We'll know in another 2 weeks.

Praying...for Tim and his brother, Todd, to have a safe trip back home today from Birmingham, Alabama, where they went to pick up a truck Tim bought on eBay. It's a 1966 flat bed. Basically a piece of junk with eye-catching potential. A great project between brothers.

Enjoying...having Todd and his family (which includes our neice who has been visiting). They are now 1 hour away instead of 17 hours away when they lived in Ohio. BIG difference! you!