Monthly Archives: August 2013

Digging in the Dirt!

Why do little boys grow up to be farmers?  Simple.  They can continue to play in the dirt!  This week Daddy and Grandpa have been working to dig trenches for water and electric lines to the new shed.  In addition to the dirt, this project also involves a backhoe, which is even more fun.  Daddy knew he wouldn’t be the only one to think this, so he captured 10 minutes or so of the backhoe doing its work for Brett and Anna to watch on his phone.  And since they’ll watch it over and over, these ten minutes are worth their weight in gold next time the semi is stuck in the grain line!!

Honestly, I haven’t watched it all.  But if you have a little future farmer at your house, you’re welcome. 😉

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A New Addition

I told you in my last post we welcomed a new addition to our family.  I’ve been hoping to add sheep here on the farm for a while now, but that’s not exactly the direction we went…


Its fun… for now!

On the previous Monday we got our foster care license, and last Tuesday we picked up a little baby boy!  For privacy reasons I can’t post pictures of him, but he is a bright-eyed, 5 month old with the biggest grin!  We’re loving him already!

A new addition to our family! {}

We waited at the Children’s Division office for a while to get all the paperwork etc., and only had my phone to entertain us…

I can, in future posts, have pictures of him as just part of the family and not labeled as a foster child, however, so faithful followers may catch a glimpse of “Baby” here and there. 😉

Brett and Anna have been the best big sibs.  Brett actually wants to help change diapers and I’m working to convince him he doesn’t have to hold Baby standing up to be a big kid!!  Anna wants to be the baby’s mommy and loves nothing more than to hold the bottle or give Baby his pacifier.  In fact, I bought pacifiers for her benefit, not Baby’s!  Not really sure he likes them at all-lol!


Never mind the fuzzy pajamas. Anna believes that warm weather needs warm pjs.

We’re keeping up with the school schedule I’d already set, Praise God, but if you’d like to offer a prayer on our behalf, pray Baby soon switches to the more age-appropriate 2-3 naps/day instead of his preferred newborn pattern of sleeping part of each hour!  This momma really would appreciate it!  (The prayers and the naps!)

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My Favorite Homeschool Secrets

We did it!  We completed our first week of homeschool AND we did so with a new addition here on the farm (post to follow on this soon!).

Tips and Tricks that I love!  {}

I know some people like to show you all around their homeschool classroom and list their curriculum for the year (, if you didn’t read this post) but I think the most useful thing I learn from other home educators are just those random tricks that work wonders for your sanity.

My favorite was shared on a park bench after Co-op last spring.  At my house it looks like this:

Our secrets to a happy homeschool {}

That’s a closet door with two of Mardel’s hanging file folder pocket charts.  Not that impressive, I get it!

But within these rather simple looking pocket charts lies the secret to happiness in dealing with my head-strong, strong-willed, stubborn, determined first grader.  Because this system allows him to choose, well, almost everything.

I have one of those homeschool, school-day planners in which I write down assignments for each subject and can plan out the yearly scope and sequence if I want and track all our expenses (again, if I want…), so I’m choosing all of the work.

My favorite homeschool secrets  {}

But he gets to decide the way our day looks.  Each night I create a pile of the next day’s work and place it in the bottom pocket.  The next morning Brett pulls everything out and places it into the pockets in the order he wants to do them.  If two things go together, like working on the 100s chart and today’s math page, I just give him one item and pull the other out when we get there.  I also give him pieces of cardstock labeled “break,” “recess,” and “snack,” which he can also schedule as he likes.

My favorite homeschool secrets!  {}

Besides allowing him to make his own choices, this as also been a great motivator for him since he can visually see the amount of work we’re doing.  School has a beginning and an end and he chooses all of it.  (Well, almost all of it.  I do insist on prayer, calendar and reading to begin the day!)

The friend who shared this idea with me uses the cardboard mailboxes common in public school classrooms and organizes her children’s work for them to purposefully create independent learning time for one while she works with another.  Her children enjoy working for the snack and break rewards placed in their boxes.  I tried this with Brett and found he needed a little more than raisins (or even suckers.  Yes.  I did that.) to work for.  Like I said, he’s… determined.

My other great idea came from Pinterest.  (Actually, aren’t we all just amazed that something DIDN’T come from there?!)  Its a chart with picture cues for “cool down” ideas.  When my determined child has absolutely had enough– or I have– either of us can call for an automatic time-out by choosing something from the cool down chart.  He can shake a jar filled with colored water and glitter and watch it settle out.  He can get a drink of water, climb under his covers, hide in the closet (he came up with that one– and he loves it.) or color a picture.

My favorite homeschool secrets!  {}

So there you have it.  My two favorite way to make it through the day.

I’d love to hear yours!

Categories: Family, Homeschool | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Thanks Lexington FFA

I’m not even going to do it.  I won’t say a word.  You will now hear nothing from me apologizing for missing last week and I refuse to make excuses about how we were directing a church camp and volunteering our time and how I was too crazy to write a blog post.  Not gonna happen. 😉

However, I am planning to tell you about a request I received (while at said church camp) from the advisor of the Lexington, MO FFA chapter.  The request relates to the theme of the Missouri State Fair– “Chicks Dig It.”

Chicks Dig It

The members of this FFA Chapter were a bit put off by the theme and felt it was not respectful of women.  So they decided to do something about it.  They used their display space at the fair to honor women in agriculture.

And they asked me to be part of their display.

Lexington FFA


I am indeed honored.

I’ve not been privileged to meet all of the women represented here, but I know several of them well, and I am also amazed to be included in this group.  Diane Olson is the Missouri Farm Bureau director of Promotion and Education and the creator of the Who Grew My Soup lesson plan which holds a top spot here on my blog. Chris Chinn is fellow blogger, board member of Missouri Farm Bureau, has testified before Congress on behalf of farmers and ranchers, and currently serves as one of four select farmers in a program to share food information with the public.  Kristin Perry is the director of ALOT (Agriculture Leaders of Tomorrow), the program my husband is currently participating in and the reason for our trip to Monsanto in June.   She is also a lawyer who represents farmers and has handled some pretty amazing cases!  I’m blessed to call each of these three friends, and way out-classed to be placed among them!

And kudos to the members of the Lexington FFA chapter for productively righting wrongs.  You didn’t whine or complain, or even march in protest.  You fixed a problem.

Love that.

And love what you are all doing for agriculture.

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