Wednesday, March 31, 2010


When did strawberries get so big?
And why do we need them to be that big?
They're beautiful to look at but sure didn't have much flavor.
Reckon they're genetically modified?
Inquiring minds want to know!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Homeschool Celebrities

It was another exhausting-but-fun weekend at the Inland Northwest Homeschool Conference. I enjoyed visiting with old friends and meeting new ones... and giving away goodies and sharing encouragement and advice.

I even got to meet a couple of minor "celebrities"! My friend, Susan Marlow, author of the Circle C Adventure books for kids had the booth across from mine. We had a great time visiting during "down" times. Her booth banner features this picture that illustrates the characters from her books. On Saturday morning, I looked across the aisle and did a double-take. The young man on the banner was standing right there in the flesh! I had forgotten that Susan said it was actually a photo of  her youngest son. So, of course, I had to go over and meet him. He was 14 in the picture. He's 18 now and has a spiky haircut... so he looked a little different. How cool to meet Susan's cover model! (I had met Susan last summer, otherwise I would be "bragging" about meeting her as well!)

Then on Saturday afternoon I got to meet one of the "cover models" for this year's Sonlight catalog! This sweet family stopped by the booth and when I offered the mom a catalog, she smiled and said she didn't need one. Then she told me it was her family on the cover! Dad and two of the girls weren't along... but the one standing beside me in the picture to the left is the one wearing pink on the catalog cover! Her name is Camille. I had noticed that our cover family this year is from Spokane but I didn't remember meeting them before. I had been hoping they would come to this conference so I could meet them! The mom told me the girls love to cuddle like that to be read to. Little Brother wasn't born yet when the picture was taken. Otherwise, he might have been tucked up there somewhere, too! Camille was very impressed with the microscope I had on display, and her mom told her that maybe they could get it with part of the $500 gift certificate they won by submitting the winning photo for the catalog!

Fun times!

Spring Giveaways

Spring is here! I know it is, even though I haven't seen very many blooms in my neighborhood yet. I've seen a robin and I've heard birds singing... there are buds on my lilac bushes... so it won't be long! In the meantime, I entered a contest at Faith, Family, and Fun for a chance to win a lovely bouquet of fresh spring flowers in time for Easter! You can, too!

Speaking of giveaways... I have winners to announce for the two books I offered as giveaways this week.

The winner of Start Here is Debra who blogs at Footprints in the Butter. She said, "I love Do Hard Things, and look forward to seeing this new book as well. Winning one would be cool :)"

The winner of Here Burns My Candle is Lis who blogs at Small Change (Little Bits That Add Up). She said, "Hey, Karla~ I'm finally following you in my quest to follow all my TOS Crewmates. I'd be interested in this book, too! :)"

Congratulations, Debra and Lis! Email me with your addresses and I'll get your books out to you!

Watch for more giveaways coming soon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Cotton-Pickin' Sunbonnet

Heirlooms, in my mind, are the material things we inherit that have stories attached to them. The stories are the real treasures, and the object is just a reminder of the story. My mother gave me several such treasures when I was at her house at Christmas time.

As we were going through boxes one evening, she showed me her sunbonnet from when she was a young girl. As a farmer's daughter she picked many pounds of cotton wearing this very bonnet. It is a simple flat pattern and the brim was kept stiff with slats of thin cardboard inserted in the pockets.

I asked if I could have it, and she wondered what I wanted it for. "To hang on my kitchen clothesline, of course!" I told her. I have several other small pieces of nostalgia hanging on my kitchen wall, and I thought it would work in perfectly. So she agreed to let me have it. She told me if I ever needed to replace the cardboard in the bonnet, that a cereal box was what to use. I'll be sure to keep that in mind!
The little child's apron hanging next to it was also hers, but that's a story for another day.

I thought I remembered some colored slides of the family working in the field, with the girls wearing their sunbonnets. Turns out, in these pictures they are actually gathering sweet potatoes, not cotton.
The pictures were taken in the 1950s in southwestern Oklahoma.
I appreciate the heritage of a strong work ethic that was passed down in my family... along with the bonnet and the stories.

For more Vintage Thingy Thursday posts visit Coloradolady.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our weekend in Colorado

It's been an exhausting but productive weekend at the Loveland, Colorado homeschool convention. My feet ache and my throat is scratchy from talking so much, but as always I find it so rewarding to visit with other homeschool parents about Sonlight!

My older daughter worked with me in the booth today. She especially enjoys the little ones who come through the vendor hall with their parents. And most of them were excited to dig in my candy bucket, serving themselves a single piece of candy with the little shovel! Too cute!

Now we are relaxing in our hotel one more night before heading home tomorrow. Lyle is thrilled that this hotel has the Speed channel so he can watch the Formula 1 auto-racing this weekend. He's a huge race fan, but we don't have cable at home, so this is a real treat for him.

One thing that has me completely befuddled is needing to set our clocks forward to Daylight Saving Time tonight. But we're in the Mountain time zone. So when we go back home to the Pacific time zone, we'll have to set our clocks back again. I have no idea what time it will be then! I guess I'll just look at my cell phone. It seems be able to keep up with the current local time, even if I can't...

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Rockies in Winter

We took the scenic route over the Rockies on our way to the homeschool curriculum fair in Loveland, Colorado today. Since it is still officially winter, there is plenty of snow at the higher altitudes. We saw lots of skiers and snow-boarders out enjoying the end of the season. 

We saw "wildlife crossing" signs for moose, elk, and big horn sheep. But the only actual wildlife we saw were big horn sheep! Well, the kids saw saw some anyway. I was on the phone at the time and missed them! We were also fascinated with several herds of antelope we saw along the road in Wyoming.

It was sunny and mild, and no snow on the ground, by the time we got to Denver. We stopped by Sonlight to pick up my convention supplies, and then on up to Loveland to our hotel. Even though it's a "business trip" we are enjoying a "pre-spring break" as a family!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Homeschool Convention Season Begins

This spring marks my 10-year anniversary as a Sonlight Curriculum Consultant! This year I will be hosting the Sonlight booth at five different homeschool conventions. My first event is this weekend in Loveland, Colorado. My family is looking forward to the scenic drive over the Rocky Mountains. As you know, we love road trips-- whether for business or pleasure or, in this case, both! It will be a fun getaway!
Sonlight has some really great changes in store for our booths this year, and I am very excited to get to share them! As a special "thank you" to conference attendees, Sonlight is allowing me to offer a $15 coupon to each family who stops by my booth! Also, if you bring a friend who is new to Sonlight, I will have an extra small gift for you. These will be available while supplies last, so be sure to stop by early. You will also have a chance to win my drawing for a nice basket of books and other goodies! If you homeschool in Colorado, I hope to see you there!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy 45th Anniversary... the world's best parents!
I love you!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Supper or Dinner?

Do you call the evening meal "dinner" or "supper"? Being from the south, it's supper to me! I just can't get used to people calling their evening meal "dinner". Dinner is a big meal in the middle of the day... like Sunday Dinner or Thanksgiving Dinner! Otherwise, we have lunch in the middle of the day and supper in the evening.

We watched an episode of The Andy Griffith Show the other day that has me baffled. It's "Man in a Hurry"... wonderful episode! A business man is passing through Mayberry on a Sunday and has car trouble, so he ends up stuck in the little town most of the day. He arrives just as church is letting out, so Andy goes with him to the filling station to see what can be done about his car. The mechanic isn't there, so they have to go to his house. He refuses to work on Sunday, so they go back to Andy's house where Aunt Bee serves "supper." I naturally assumed it was the evening meal and that all that running around took the whole afternoon.

However, after "supper" Andy and Barney go sit on the porch (in the daylight) and sing with Andy's guitar for awhile, then Barney says he's going to go home and take a nap, then go to Thelma Lou's for a little TV. I wondered why he would take a nap in the evening after supper! Aunt Bee surely meant "dinner" when she was serving it earlier. But that's not all! Pretty soon Gomer comes along and says Goober can fix the man's car, so they go off to do that. When they come back with the car, Aunt Bee is disappointed that the man is going to leave because she is making ice cream. So the man decides to stay the night. In the next scene, Barney is back on the porch with Andy and their guest. It is dark now, and Andy and Barney decide to go downtown to get a bottle of pop.

If they did all that after "supper" I gotta wonder how early they ate supper? It's just bugging me! I think they should have rightly called it "dinner"!