We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Adjusting to Dad's Shift Change, etc

It is a nice change of pace to have hubby here in the a.m.; he works with Zephyr on his elementary skills.  I just sit and listen to father and son working together and my heart swells with joy.  As far as how school is going, Zephyr is really getting a grip on math skills, can now write all his ABCs, almost has the letter sounds down, and can spell about 20 words.  WOOO HOO, we keep practicing his reading and he is well on his way.

Saenz thoroughly enjoys math now.  His first week with Teaching Textbook 5 is a sucess and he just took his first quiz with a whopping 96% score that is tracked by the softwares gradebook. (YEAH! best investment ever -- thanks for the heads up Melodie.)  I also have him practing a computer based typing program that flipping fantastic which also has games, tests,  and tracks his progress.  He is picking up typing which, I feel is critical for later sucess in writing papers in all subjects.

Next week, through Sonlight we will be going to India via the computer to learn about their culture.  The program is called Mission to India -- is free, complete with a passport for each child to fill out the questions per lesson, paper suitcase and starts on the 5th of October. 

My Alaskan connection, Tali has clued us into this link  http://www.c-spanclassroom.org/Special-Offers.aspx which offers homeschoolers help online with lessons and ideas plus a free US President timeline poster, can't wait to get this freebie to add to our history, social studies, and current events lessons.  NICE FIND! 

NOW, there is one other thing I would love to pass on to ya'll.  I am a huge fan of Spanish guitar music.  By accident one day trolling on Swagbucks, they were highlighting an artist call Benise.  Well I got curious of course, our eyes lead us sometimes to marvelous discoveries.  His full name is Roni Benise, is American, and has been growing a rather large following. 

Just, this morning I have downloaded his album SENTIMENTO ($8.99 for the entire MP3 album) from Amazon.  His other albums I would recommend are Cuba and Mediterranea; love them and will probably purchase later.   I don't know there is just something magical about Spanish guitar playing in the fall when the world is changing its outlook and turning inward.

OOPS, I almost forgot.  I found this article over at Jana's about the TODAYshow reporting on the homeschool growth.  Check it out if you have a chance.  http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/38279389/ns/today-parenting/

Monday, September 27, 2010

Menudo Monday, Listening to Nature

Well Ladies and Gents,

It's official, autumn is here.  Though we purchased two more hummingbird feeders and hung them outside just this passed Saturday.  The birds knew something we did not; and they migrated due to the cold front that moved down to South Texas last night.  This means basically hurricane season is mostly over for us.  Fall is in full swing, it was 68 degrees this morning with a chilly bite to the wind this morning. 

Yesterday, I put on a crock pot of menudo after noticing no more hummingbirds.  It is a nice way to start your day with a warm bowl of yum yum.  I have been modifying this recipe for months trying to find the right blend so, my boys will develop a taste for dishes of their father's heritage.  The one ingrediant that can not be skimped on is; split pigs feet.  This meat is what gives the bowl its unique flavor but, I have found if I just lessen the red chili, tripe, plus add two cans of tomato sauce; it is more mellow and the boys will eat it.  As they grow accustom; I will rachet the authenticity up a few notches.

Banjo has discovered the joy of shooing chickens.  He was so funny this morning; when I was letting the ladies out in the yard.  He is only one third of their size but, he no longer shrieks in terror when a rooster crows.

Hubby starts second shift today and for the next two months will be leaving around 11:30 til almost midnight.  It's a weird thing to see his sleepy face on a Monday but, I will take it. LOL

ENJOY! Your slices of heaven, later I will be mowing in ours.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I am so lucky and won this gift pack from Flartus.  I love her blog; just looking at the pictures make me so hungry I am fortunate not to have shorted out my keyboard from drooling.

If you want to see some of the goodies I have won just -- sautee your buns right over to her place at:


Does Nekkid Chicken Happy Dance and Punts Breakfast out to the universe!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Best Things About Home School

1.  No bullies

2.  No schedules, we are flexible.  If Saenz wants to learn about something we do that. Same for Zephyr. How many 5 year olds like dissections?  Ours does. LOL

3.  We still have core curriculum that we fit in around what the boys want to learn and, both boys are flourishing.  Saenz is almost on grade level with math, grammar, and spelling thanks to Grumpy Gramps,  Melodie (Laughing Duck) and Jana (Homeschooling a Toddler.)

4.  Less anxiety for a 12 year old boy transitioning into a teenaged boy.  If he needs to sleep in so be it, I just leave his school work aside until he wakes then he starts on his own. 

5.  No being shuffled off to Special Education classes and being made feel as if he has a label and different from classmates.

6.  No standardized state testing, mom builds her own tests and the boys take tests.  If there is a failure, it is not my sons problem --- it just means I need to change my teaching style to accomodate their learning ability.

7.  We have class outside in nature, grocery stores, banks, veterinarian, doctors' offices, a car, at a museum, by video, on the floor with books spread around us.

8.  Saenz and Zephyr have grown closer as brothers and help each other learn.

9.  No more notes home about the things Saenz has not accomplished.

10.  A lot less stress and a new willingness to learn, explore, to try, to fail, and to grow as students.  Everyday is school but, we have fun as well.

11.  We experiment, laugh, and dream about the future.

12.  Saenz has learned how to: handwrite, journal, is catching up with math, plant biology, owl pellets, animals, marine animals, math, history and value his strengths and weaknesses.

13.  The list is endless so add your own.

If you all have been following Oprah and her show about the new movie coming out,  'WAITING FOR SUPERMAN,' there is a movement starting in the US.  We took my sons out of public school because we knew Saenz was thoroughly unhappy and he knew he was going to be left behind. 

The American Education System is in shambles.  'WE,' All of us need to fix the problem?  If your child fails and does not suceed in life that is a personal trajedy.  If you add another 50% of American children not continuing in their educational career eventually all of American society will fail because; who is going to steer the American Nation into the future ---- our youth.

Parents, we are our children's hope to ensure they are able to get an education, the best.  Not only do we need to make sure they are doing homework but, we must enforce their study times and encourage them to: further learn outside the classroom, research, hope, and dream. Parents are their children's foundation. I can think of no reputable house builder who does not own or acquire the proper tools and resources he/she needs to start to build the foundation first.  How can we as parents TRUST a system which does not give our children the tools they need to build their educational foundation?

Children, YOU too have a responsibility.  You will need to work for what you want out of life.  YOU will have to be the captain of your ship.  To do that YOU will have to learn how to navigate into the digital environment and learn everything you can about the world.  The United States is not the only country changing; the globe is changing and you must change along with it.  Learn your basics but, reach for more.  Learn how to change a flat but also balance a check book.  Learn to read contracts, shop, plan, and be the mad scientist looking for better ways to do things.  YOU will be the one who, suffers in the end of you do not value Yourself and fill that never ending sponge called your brain with knowledge.

Teachers, You know what is needed.  Just do it.  Would you want your own children to have the education you are required to teach?  If not, fight the path of inclusion into a union and tenor.  It is worth your soul to know you have not done all you can do for someone else's child?

State Leaders, Not all children will learn at the same pace.  We have to revamp the classrooms of America which were built upon an antiquated 1950s model.  WHO in their right mind wants little robots running around just spitting out rote information?  We, Americans are innovators embrace this and a go from there.  Another thing, let teachers teach their classrooms.  Let teachers build the rapport they need to educate our future.  TEACHERS are the foundation of the public education system. As any child knows; without a strong foundation a house built upon sand will fall in upon itself.

And let me tell ya'll single without children peeps.  Who do you think will be taking care of you in the future in 20/30/40 years?  Those unhappy children who did not fulfill their future in a school near you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pet Peevee of the Day

I was taken aback yesterday at the anger of blogger standers by; who were cheering the execution of the Virginia woman convicted of murder for hire of her husband and step son.  While I find her act thoroughly deplorable; I find cruelty also reprehensible in any form. 

An article here but; there is much more to the story.

I saw these comments and wondered; where is the compassion? 

"I sure hope this woman dies tonight."


"eye for an eye"

Two wrongs do not make a right or lift those who mete out a vigilante justice to humane nor sane. 

Did you know when a prisoner is put to death by a state by whatever method; their cause of death is listed as MURDER?  

Did you know lethal injection is not painless?  Drugs do not work well on everyone. 

I understand the people who chose to commit atrocious acts against humanity are horrible. Consider this as a another point:

States who seek the death penalty pay a heavy price.  Death row prisoners costs state governments thrice more a year to: investigate, try, sentence, house, keep death row prisoners healthy, fight their right to appeals, special handling, and other safe guards.   

Have I ever known any one who has been murdered? Yes, quite a few actually and it tore my world apart.  Was I angry the persons who took the lives of those I knew and loved in such a horrible way..... HELL YES

But, I can not applaud a murder in any form.

Here is another baliwick to consider for folks who tout the Old Testament (Ex. 21:23, 24; Lev. 24:19, 20; and Deut. 19:21) lines must also consider Jesus in the New Testament. He implored those who were wronged against to rise above the evil nature and acts of other men in Matthew 5:38-42.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I reason with all who pass.  To shore up your faith and trust in higher powers to whom you ascribe.

Steps off eggcrate

Blog Award and passing it on....

Jana C gave me a blog award on the 19th of September, and I want to thank her.  I love her blog about homeschooling and South Texas life well.......... Because in some ways her blog mirrors my own but, she has a lot more experience in teaching her children at home. 
So here are the rules for accepting this award…

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they’ve been chosen.

So I am passing on this award to the following great blogs: (in no particular order)

1. Milk and Honey
2. Wishing on a Farm
3. Goats in the Garden
4. Pollys Path
5. Ocean Breezes
6. Flartopia
7. Life on a Southern Farm
8. Sand Flat Farm
9. Lindercrofts Goats
10. Judy's Corner Stories and More
11. Kids and Canning Jars
12. LPN with a M-16
13. New to Farm Life
14. The Chicken Keepers
15. Thoughts From a Yodeling Goat Herder

I just love these blogs and would like to pass them on to others.  By reading each of these bloggers contributions; I have learned, wept, laughed, spewed coffee so hard and often my computer screen is permanently brown, or just felt a kindred connection. 

Please enjoy, I will link the others later when I have time.  I am late getting the boys into their books.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For the Love of Life and Faith, Music Leads Rejoicing

Hey Bean, I am hoping you will like 'Love' this song.

There is nothing like rejoicing life through music. 
This is Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary -- 'THANK YOU'

Saturday, September 18, 2010

We Have Life So Much Easier

Image by Gemunu Amarasingha/AP The story is included in the link.  There were national elections yesterday in Afghanistan and of course, the Taliban made life difficult and killed folks who participated.  Now, why did I pick this picture and  story to express my opinions?

Our country has 37 seats up for Senate re-elections on November the 2nd this year.  To date, I have met no one who is happy about the current state of our economy, the legislative branch personnel, and a myriad of other factors.  I will go on to say though NO ONE: not my neighbors, not my adult children, nor adult members of my husband's or my own family will vote (Alabama will be voting for seats).

Elections for the Senate are found here:
Special Elections for the House of Representatives are here:


We do have a choice, Governor Perry and his Lt Gov are up for re-election on November 2nd this year.  Please register it is not too late to become a voice in this entire process.

I guess this whole topic 'CHAPS MY HIDE' because those women in the picture above knew there was a possibility of them dying just for their decision to vote in Afghanistan. 

Here in America, not even close to a majority of eligible adults vote due to various reasons or just plain dis-interest.  I refuse to talk politics or listen to an adult whine about the economy, jobs, health care and other hot button topics if; I find out they did not vote.  To me, it's an affront since I served my country for twenty years to allow others to become lazy as a citizen. 

Just saying,

Today when folks are busy buying lattes and texting while driving.  On the other side of the world, people are being killed for wanting a democracy or a glimpse of it.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

When You Are Married to a Close Enough to Perfect Saint

Today, fourteen years ago; I gave up my wanderlust ways and settled down.  No more just flighting off or taking my first vehicle a 1995 Ford Ranger, 'Bubba Junior' off -- down a dusty Texas road to find adventure, take photos, party, and learn about myself.  It was a tough adjustment going from being single with no roots; to being a full time mom, wife, and married airman.  Mind you, while I was a free spirit; to keep the house going and myself in the military; we needed discipline and a routine.  

Hubby came from a tradiitional Mexican family and was used to deferring to his ex when dealing with the upkeep of the home and children.  I had no idea about: dealing with an angry ex-wife, clothing, child dreams and expectations, child resentment and scorn, schools, medical, shots, dental, little league nor, the bubbling angst directed at me for 'wanting to take the place of their mother.'  (WHICH, I never did want to happen.)

We had many clashes that first year.  First, I had to take off quite a bit from the job and get the kids enrolled and up to date in the military dependant care.   WHO KNEW there was so much to do?  I must admit here that hubby, was so calm through it all and was our family's fulcrum.

Not only did he referee the anxiety of the children, dealt with a really pissed off ex-wife, and frustration of my learning the ropes of parenthood; he gracefully kept his humor.  Those first three years together were a trial by fire; I must admit sometimes I was too rigid but, I had a career to protect. 

We all made mistakes, we all had great times, we all got angry but -- most of all --we all loved each other with a fierceness that helped us get to where we are today.  So to my dear husband, I leave you with this song from our second year of marriage since, it always puts a smile on my face; even our children know the 'special meaning' it holds to each of us.

Happy Anniversary, May We Share Another 50. :O)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do You Ever Not Fit Right In?

Seems I have felt like an outsider all my life.  I just am not a tactful person and never will be.   I recognize my trait and have learned to just shut up or walk away in situations where others believe they are right or justified.  Lets look at some areas of my relationships:


I am not a racist so, I was shunned for marrying Hispanic man with children. (He is only using you for a babysitter. Mexicans are so lazy.) 
I do not cotton to whiners about how terrible life is; I change myself to go forward. (Thus, I am labelled a snob - or She thinks she is too good.)
I refuse to subject my children to family situations in which, they are a target of biases. (IE no vacations to my childhood birth place.


She is not my mother. (Step mom, horrible terrible creature.)
She is not hispanic. (White girl, not my daughter, doesn't speak the language, Has funny ways.)


I am loud and then to blurt out answers. (She is such a know it all.)
I do not bring home the workplace. (She doesn't participate in off duty activities.)


I am uncomfortable being around folks, I have to edit myself around. (I am not a devout Christian but, do have spiritual beliefs.)
I feel like I don't know what I am doing. (totally feel like an unprofessional though I taught adults for 20 years.)

I am still trying to figure out things in life and never feel like I am a perfect fit with others.  It is hard for me to reach out and make friends so, I usually just stay home.  It has been almost three years since Joleen died of breast cancer and I am alone as ever.  I am just trying to figure out how to be a good but, wounded friend looking for a female friend with common interests.  I know in order to be a well-rounded person; I need people.  I don't know if that need is a validation thing or just the glimpse of feeling human.  Any ways, I digress and will self-reflect more later.......

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bunnies Galore, Puppy Update

Just about everywhere we go in the yard; there are wild rabbits.  Sometimes, one can approach them within about three feet.  If we were living off the land I am sure we could snare trap them.  It is quiet startling to have one bolt right in front of you in the evening when you least expect it. 

Puppy Update: Banjo and Sonic have settled into our routine.  We do not allow rough housing between them and the boys since, Lisa and I want calm dogs who know their place.  That does not stop Saenz and Zephyr from playing with the pups.  It's a fine line for both sets to learn their place within our pack.

Hubby put up our American Flag.  Now our little homeschool has a place to say the Pledge of Allegiance in the morning.  I explained to Saenz this weekend of the importance to me for my children to understand the need for paying respects to the American Flag.  Before our conversation, he would stumble through and not pay attention.  Once, I told him warriors, citizens, and allies have died fighting under our flag; he started to get the idea.  The flag may just be a symbol to some but, in our home it is one of the ideals I subscribe to:

Honor, Justice, Integrity, and most of all Freedom under a common bond and belief system.  I will be adding many lessons about the historical birth of the Stars and Stripes along with its progression in design. 

Let me just say here; I took basically last week off to just chill away from school for myself.  It was a blessing to finally be done with my last course.   I still have 6 classes to attain my goal of a master's in communication but, it was just too much to keep up with the boys progress and study late into the night for my classes.  I will finish the degree just at another time when I do not have to monitor Saenz as closely.

Here I want to pass onto you a recommendation to watch "The Cove."  It's a documentary that covers the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.  Seems the government and fishermen there herd thousands of dolphins (several types) into a cove, pick out  the ones for sale to places like Sea World and then kill the rest for sale to the public. 

Dolphin meat is contaminated with lead. This meat was being added to school lunches in Japan.  The whole process is just deplorable so I joined a Facebook cause and signed the petition to the Japanese government.

These small whales are precious; over fishing them for profit is a horrendous endeavor.  Just my humble opinion.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Living Medal of Honor Recipient SPC Salvatore Guinta

This honor has only been given 6 others posthumously since, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars started 9 years ago, SPC Guinta is to be this first living recipiant. 


I know ya'll don't follow such things but, I am keenly interested.  While our troops are 'doing their job and following their training' and saving the lives of the countless.  Our legislators, are clueless about military service and sacrifice.  I am quiet sure no 'living' Solider, Seaman, Airman or Marine goes to battle thinking if:

"If I crossed my 'T's' and dot my 'I's' just right in the event of my death in battle I will be awarded the Medal of Honor." (That is not what service to country is all about.)

Sometimes I just wish our civilian leaders had to put time into the military before taking the Oath of Office to lead our country.  Nothing crazy just say a regular tour of four years.  Perhaps then Congress would then understand what makes our cadre of young, willing to die for an ideal. Our military is the backbone of the of this nation who, after being wounded can still pick up, defend their brothers, and carry on honorably.   

On this day of National Mourning, I hope gentle readers who pass here take the time to honor the victims of 9/11 with something other than yard sales, tag sales, and other such things.  My family and I will be adding an American Flag to our house, giving prayers silently to those who died that day and the nine years since the terrorists chose our nation.

Saluting Silently All the Warriors Who Continue to Serve.....

NOTE: To those interested, this solider is an ARMY E-6 now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flabbergasted, At Texas State Aquarium (TSA)

This year I wrote about how excited I was to begin homeschooling.  This means many sacrifices in the arena of being: a one income family, tightening belts, putting my career on hold, and not contributing to my social security.  BUT, I am and was willing to forego those intangible things so my sons could receive the best education we could afford at home.

We purchased a year's family membership to the Texas State Aquarium.  This year in their brochure sent to those who purchased an annual membership -- on page 15; an announcment was printed about opening more 'dates' for homeschooling FAMILY events. I was so stoked I told our homeschooling co-op -- thirty families mind you.

Then all is well until a parent (blogger friend Jana C) called to reserve slots only to find out no child under four is allowed to attend (not participate). ATTEND say on a parent's hip or in a stroller.

Does the TSA not have a clue? 


I mean many homeschoolers can not afford to have an on hand baby sitter to leave smaller children behind.  That is just incredulous to me; an event -- advertised as FAMILY excludes its youngest members from being passive observers. 

Another point, I wanted to have access to the best museums, parks, and other public/private educational exhibits to spark an appreciation for all things life has to offer in our sons.  I am upset because this was a not well thought out decision by the TSA.  And now since their decision has set limits on our homeschooling community I must decide to either:  put the TSA on my exculsion list for further purchases when our membership expires in 2011, or duck my weary head in the sand, and protest.

I choose protest.

Jana C.  We may join you in supporting the Rock Port Area vice Corpus Christi.  I too am as mad as a wet hen right now. ~:>

Monday, September 6, 2010

As Promised, So Many I Lost Count


Several of them came right up to my face to stare at the strangeness of me. :O)

My Kodak did not know which one to focus on but, you can hear them chirping and clicking with that really angry sound like a high pitched giggle.  Most of these are ruby throated hummingbirds. I do believe I did see one or two of the  black-chinned and another was all green with a purple head (never have seen before).   I saw one male so close I could see the outline of his chest feathers.  At one point, I could count easily ten of them just hanging about fussing at each other.

You do know the season is changing right?
I made this video on blogger.  Next video -- wonder pups Banjo and Sonic starring in 'WHAT THE HAY, IS A CHICKEN?'

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I Took This Video of the Hummers

It's a minute long. Tomorrow I will try in the morning with a cup of coffee.  So, this video may just disappear with the afternoon sun.  I just love these birds.

For My Friend, Cin Hummers Fussing

One day when I get a SLR digital camera, these type of shots will turn out better. Hope ya'll enjoy! ~:>
I love to listen to them chirp and squeak at each other when I stand next to the feeder.  So far, we have two mating pairs and I need to hang up another feeder to encourage them to come back and to lessen the fights.

Meet Banjo and Sonic

Lisa's mom heard of a lady in San Antonio giving away free puppies so she took them in for a night. Thank you Ms. Patricia.  Yesterday, hubby and Lisa went San Antonio to pick up these babies. They are so tiny.
This is Banjo, the little man I am taking care of with help from Saenz and Zephyr.

This is how tiny they are, Banjo weighs only 1lb 6 oz and Sonic weighs 1lb 12 oz both males.  They are 7 weeks old and will be going to the vet on Tuesday.  They are in the process of potty training and are so far, kinda wigged out over the chickens running about the yard.
Banjo taking a nap as I type in my desk drawer wrapped in a dish towel. We have been super busy with stuff around the house and school  I hope ya'll are well. By the way, their names come from vintage video game characters we loved from the early nineties.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Operations Iraqi Freedom Misnomer

Last night, I watched with my family President Obama's speech on Operation Iraqi Freedom end.  Much like the other Presidential addresses I have had my family watch on topics ranging from the: economy, education, health care, BP oil spill, General McCrystal's 'firing', bailouts, Wall Street reform, so on and so on.  I am resigned to acknowlege while the so called war in Iraq is over (not really) because now, our military leaders will use those troops to fill in other areas of operations.  (Think Pakistan, India and Afghanistan for several reasons.)

To use a housewife scenario about our government leaders use of the US Military: 

Last night's speech was saying ;

I need this ingrediant to make a fruit salad.  When in fact you know you do not have a certain fruit then subsititute another to take its place in the mixing bowl.  Well ladies and gentlemen, that is what our civilian leaders are doing.  They are just shuffling the piles of fruit to make their stand look more appetitizing when in fact; they are setting up another harvest of America's service members. (JMHO)

Meanwhile 50K troops remain in Iraq as basically trainers in security, law enforcement or infrastructure building units; they could in face become pawns at a later date. 

FIRST AND FOREMOST, I support the military and it's individuals because I am of the same cloth.  They are folks dedicated to the ideals of freedom and give up their most precious youth not to pursue wealth, fame or fortune but; giving back to the country they love. 

I ON THE OTHERHAND, Do not support the idiocracy of our government and it's greedy ploys to keep foreign oil (minerals, gems, other resources) in US coffers.