Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Last night we attended Ryan's GED graduation at Wharton County Jr. College. Now you might be wondering why we attended a graduation ceremony for a simple GED certificate, I'll explain...

Ryan has been homeschooled since the first grade. He wanted to take the GED test as "proof" of his education. He was quite intimidated by the test so he enrolled in a GED test prep class offered at the local jr. college.

He did very well in his prep classes and tested out to be included in a pilot program called "T3" or Teach/Train/Transition. 
 These students attend GED classes and college credit classes at the same time. And since it was a pilot program, we didn't have to pay for anything!

Ryan aced his GED and takes his certification tests next month for the T3 program. When he passes those exams he will be certified to work in a medical office as an office manager or in medical billing.  The classes also count as credits earned if he wants to go into any of the other medical fields such as nursing, EMT, paramedic, or radiology.

This has been such an accomplishment for our Ryan.  He has never been a model student.  His learning style is very eclectic and is hampered by ADHD.  After years of homeschooling I wondered if he could just walk into a classroom setting and do well.

He could.

He did. 

And he worked so very hard to be successful in this program and make us all proud.

  His hard work and enthusiasm obviously touched his instructors, too!

This simple "walk" was so important to Ryan.
We are very grateful to everyone who came to share this wonderful night with us!

We are akso thankful to the WCJC system for their dedication to the GED/T3 programs!  It allows so many people from vastly different walks of life to educate and better themselves.  It instills knowledge, skills, confidence, and a huge sense of pride and accomplishment in it's graduates...

Especially eclectic, blue haired, home educated young men!

The world is at your feet, son.
Go out there seize the day!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why I love living in a small town

Because stories like this are front page news! 


Monday, June 18, 2012

No time for blogging today!

Silly me! 
 I thought while I was working my 12hr weekend shifts that someone would pick a tomato or three, but nope...
I picked these beauties late Sunday evening, and I cannot say that it was a chore, I was like a kid on an Easter egg hunt!
I'm going to spend my Monday canning tomato sauce while the kiddos do schoolwork at the kitchen table...they might even help me fill a jar or two...maybe!

I also harvested one of my garlic beds.  Almost 50 new bulbs came out of one bulb of store bought garlic!  After we clean them up, I think we'll try to make a garlic braid for them to dry in the kitchen.

No rest for the weary today,
but maybe Mary Grace will let me take a nap with her later this afternoon!

Friday, June 15, 2012

And speaking of bugs in the garden...

I have to pick my tomatoes while they're still green due to some vicious and voracious leaf footed bugs.  I've been bringing them in and letting them ripen on my stockpile shelves. 

And anyone who doesn't think that that bottle of Cabernet belongs in a stockpile has another thing coming! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Flutter-byes

One morning I walked out into my herb garden and found this:

Like any good gardener, I took a picture and posted the critters to Facebook to see if anyone knew what they were.  They turned out to be a black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars 
(thanks Dawn and Amanda!).

 And after some serious pupating in a jar, they turned into this:

His friends busted out of their cocoons the same day, 
but we still have one more to "birth".

So I thought the caterpillar drama (and mess!) was over, and I pat myself on the back for a wonderful home school science lesson for the boys.
Until I went out to my herb garden again this morning 
to find more of these guys:

Thank goodness I planted enough dill and Italian parsley
 to keep them AND us happy!  

I'm hoping to see lots of black swallowtail butterflies 
(or flutter-byes) in the garden this summer.  
They are gorgeous!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Baby food

I have waited for this day since I planted my first seeds this season!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What has two thumbs...

...and just aced his GED test?


Congratulations, Ryan, we are so proud of you!

Now go get a job!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm not green, I'm just cheap!

Pinterest did it again and gave me an idea for a project that I just couldn't live without, 

 Reusable baby wipes

 Yeah, at first mention this sounds pretty gross, but the idea is not only cost effective but much healthier for our little Mary Grace. 

I had no idea, but some of the chemicals used in baby wipes have been linked to cancer, immuno-toxicity, allergies, developmental problems, reproductive toxicity, organ dysfunction, endocrine disruption and cellular changes.

No thank you. 

We already have two children with skin sensitivities and I'm not risking it (or anything else!) with the Divine Miss M!

 To make your own baby wipes, you start by cutting up old tshirts, flannel receiving blankets, old towels, practically anything will work. I have tons of those small flannel newborn blankets so that's what I used. I cut them in 7X7 inch pieces and that gave me 16 wipes per blanket, not too bad!

I used pinking shears so the edges wouldn't fray (but really, who cares about fraying when you're wiping baby poo?).  Then folded them in half to fit inside an old wipes container.

There are hundreds of wipes solution recipes online but I went for just plain and simple:

2 1/2 cups water
1 TBS. baby oil
2 tsp. of castille soap
(I also added 2 drops of lavender essential oil and it smells oh so very goooood!)

Mix the solution and pour over wipes.  
How simple and CHEAP is that?