Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Geocentricity -- posted by Mom

Here's the issue of Biblical Astronomer I told y'all about.

Also Billy, the gentleman from Bromley is Malcolm Bowden.

The following videos aren't long and they're a great introduction to geocentricity. They are kind of artsy for my taste but, hey ho.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

By James -- posted by Mom

Click on the picture, and then click on it again to magnify it.

girl playing a harp by ~Jambalaya95 on deviantART

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Future Of This Blog -- posted by Mom

I'm trying to remember how this blog came about, and my memory is that I (as the ever-enthusiastic family facilitator) was inspired by Johnny Caker's wildly popular Diaryland journal to provide a writing forum for the other children, should they so desire. Then again, I also remember we intended to use it to promote Milk and Honey Acres, our little farm.

In any case, we never actually used it for either, nor did we even promote this site. I never left links on like-minded blogs or anything, but rather, simply shared it with select friends and family. My parents and some of their friends especially loved reading it. Even after my father's health declined, and up until shortly before his death, he'd have my mother read it to him. He'd laugh like a hyena over John's way with words. Bill's parents used to come to it occasionally, but they don't anymore.

I guess once it was clear the boys had minimal interest, Sarah and I tried to keep it alive as a family scrapbook of sorts. It's kinda fun sharing the latest/greatest, even though we are often too preoccupied to write during the extreme highs or lows. I occasionally enjoy relieving myself when I get a bee in my bonnet over an issue, and Sally likes posting her pictures and sunshine, but typically saves her rants for her private journal.

The point is, some of the boys are interested in rejuvenating the farm and they might want to use this URL for the business. I'm not even sure we'll continue the blog if they do. If we continue it, you can find us at www.milkandhoneyacres.blogspot.com. We currently redirect our blogspot to our domain www.milkandhoneyacres.com.

It's all very iffy at this point, but I didn't want any of our thousands hundreds tens of readers to be surprised to find a farm website when what they really wanted was to see Sarah's latest hairdo or me telling them to repent of their trendy mental illness. [Seriously, the boys got on a Monk marathon and I was constantly reminding them that mental illness is neither funny nor endearing, and it is certainly not manly. I don't apologize for taking this subject very seriously, as mental illness runs in my family. In fact, my mother's grandmother and one of her daughters both died in our state mental hospital ("Bull Street" for the locals). My father's side was vexed as well, and it just breaks my heart to know there are people who languish year after year trying to "manage" something for which the Lord took stripes to provide their deliverance and healing.]

Anyway, back to this blog. (I hate the word "blog," but that's beside the point.) I like using this here thang to post items I want the children and/or Bill to see at their leisure, without interrupting our limited time together. For example, Mrs. Sarah shared an intriguing site where you can click on a map of the UK and hear the various dialects. Oh how I love, love, love, that site! You'll see it at the bottom of this post. And if anyone knows of a similar tool for American dialects, please share the link. This just fascinates me.

The problem is I'm conscious there are other readers (albeit only about 25 a day), and although I don't mind being in a fish bowl, I wonder if it is strange to use the family website to communicate with the family. It just strikes me as a weird thing to do even though it is awfully practical. So, we'll see.

Okay, so this is when I just go weirdly posting stuff:

Mrs. Sarah's Fascinating Site I Love, Love, Love.

Art Exhibition

Photorealism: Not Photos But Paintings That Look Like Photos

40+ Mind-Blowing Photorealistic Paintings

Some of the boys say this song reminds them of Ma... except... Ma never made brownies (that we know of):

For those of you who said you don't remember me reading this to you:
The Happy Prince Oscar Wilde

Here's the free online Talking Dictionary of English Pronunciation I told you about:

Another great tool: All the words in the world. Pronounced.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What We Do For Fun While Unemployed -- posted by Momma

Seriously. John decided to try his hand at pencil sketching as well. Many thanks to James for giving him pointers.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Been A Long Seven Months -- posted by Mom

I'm happy to report that yesterday was Bill's first day on his new job! Yay! It was pitiful, really. He had to attend an out-of-town orientation and emailed us all homesick from the airport. No, not the Philadelphia airport-- THE COLUMBIA METROPOLITAN AIRPORT! He emailed us before he even boarded his plane, lamenting how lonely it was to be apart from us.

Don't get me wrong, he is obviously delighted to be employed, as this was a trial we'd never experienced before. Even in our most difficult financial history, we'd never missed a mortgage payment. A long seven months indeed.

For me, while still grieving the loss of Webb, it was mostly just an inconvenience trying to manage without money. I figured, if we lose the house, we lose the house, big deal, it's just a house. Well bully for me. The responsibility of providing for this assemblage isn't on my shoulders. I'm sure the pressure on me was nothing compared to that of Bill. In fact, I overheard Bill answer a telephone solicitation from a local charity while putting on his garden work boots just outside the carport door. I peeped out the window and watched his shoulders slump as he quipped, "Sorry, but I've been unemployed for half a year. We've resorted to digging change out of the sofa. I can't be your huckleberry at this time." He hung up and stared at the phone, probably wondering when he'd ever be anybody's huckleberry again, or at least wondering how long before the ringing phone would cease producing a dread.

Fact is, we really did dig money out of the sofa... and the chairs... and every other possible hiding place for cash. A toilet pipe, which couldn't be dripped or turned off without shutting down the well, burst in the workshop during a cold snap. We literally had no money to pay the bill, but the plumber graciously held the check a few days. We all rallied and dug through sofas, old pocketbooks, junk drawers, etc., and before Bill got home that night, we had scrounged up the payment and then some, totaling over $130. I have the exact amount written down somewhere as I was so stunned when we kept hitting "the jackpot" in our search. That sorta thing went on for seven months.

Oh, I've tucked away in my heart plenty of amazing "saves" that seemingly came out of nowhere. And yet, this trial seemed so prolonged. I complained to the Lord that I thought I would get a little respite after last year. I, evidently, thought wrong. I know the trial of my faith is more precious than gold to the Lord, and I don't really want to escape it. When all is said and done, it yields such sweet, juicy fruit.

The children, on the other hand, never complained, even when we had to give up restaurants and Rhapsody and Dish Network and regular haircuts (hence, Sally's new pin curls) and Christmas presents and pretty much everything that costs money. They entertained themselves with reading and drawing and painting and playing piano and guitar and gardening and the great outdoors, and also reviving Milk and Honey Acres which pretty much went dormant while we were caring for Ma. The boys have kept themselves busy, hardly noticing our plight (or at least not dwelling on it), in a nonchalant "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" kinda way.

Admittedly, Sarah Grace and I daily scratched our heads wondering how to feed this posse, but fortunately we had buckets and bags and boxes of stored-up grain and beans and rice to use while we also depleted food we'd put up in our freezers. It came together, sometimes inexplicably, like in Signs, if you ever saw that film. Just last week Sarah managed to make eight meals for nine people out of two chickens! We kept finding food we didn't know we had! We also boiled carcasses to make delicious soups and stews to stretch what we had. I'll never forget eavesdropping on a conversation the boys were having about how good the food had been despite having to slash an already tight grocery budget. Glory to God! No, really, we aren't that ingenious.

Anyway, I don't want to belabor our ordeal lest I sound like I'm over-spiritualizing it all. I'm not, because it is a spiritual place to be fresh off adversity from the Lord. Besides, I said I would let y'all know when Bill was gainfully employed, and you know that couldn't happen without my commentary.

Thanks for your prayers. You know we covet them so.

Love to all,


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yeah, What He Said -- posted by Mom

It seems I'm constantly perusing books, websites, videos, etc., in search of home-education methodologies to meet the children's individual needs. Being that we take an extremely eclectic approach to homeschooling, I've never felt compelled to broadcast the myriad of recipes we use... I'm not sure the locals would "get" it, and I'm much too busy to defend my modus operandi, as it were. I've already wasted too much time and energy trying to enlighten people (who don't really want to know) on our faith after they have erroneously pigeonholed us as typical evangelical fundamentalists once they learn we homeschool. I'm afraid it wigs them out to learn we are neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant, and yet we are more evangelical and fundamental than Billy Graham and the whole of the Bible Belt, and more catholic (with a lowercase "c") than the pope himself.

Anyway, while exploring the worldwide "Internets," I found this gentleman's awesome video response to an awful episode (aren't they all?) of The Young Turks on unschooling. I'm fascinated by his accent and can't figure it out. He has the cockney v's and f's for th's, and he makes the g in the ing ending with a k sound, and yet he doesn't have the glottal stops, nor the wide mouth Eastender abrasive thing. In other words, he makes cockney sounds, but you don't feel like he's yelling at you or about to pick your pocket or sweep your chimney. (I'm kidding, Billy, I love you, and I hope your grown-up hairline didn't blister!)

Perhaps Mrs. Sarah can help us identify the accent. Billy said he sounds southern. Aren't you southern, Mrs. Sarah? Are you there? What say you?