Friday, September 20, 2013

How much time do you have?

With the recent passing of my grandfather I have been re-thinking some things about this life, I suppose this is typical behavior. My grandfather lived a pretty full life but that's not always the case with everyone. The truth is most of us don't know when we'll take that last breath.

Suppose you did know how much time you had left would it change your behavior? Are there places you would go or people you would visit? Would you reconcile a broken relationship? Is there something God placed in your heart to do that has not yet been done, a book that needs to be written or a song that needs to be sung? Do you need to say "I love you" more?

Think about it, we don't know how much time we have left so we ought to make everyday count. Would it take dying to really get us to live? What would you do if you found out you had six months to live? Something to think about...


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fun at the alpaca farm

Today was a great day for a trip to the alpaca farm (Camillo Valley)! The children enjoyed it and I enjoyed myself as well. We actually took two trips...The alpaca's are lovely animals, very gentle and friendly. They are related to the llamas and camels. The owner (Sharon) was the best! She was a wealth of information and she was a very gracious hostess.

We learned lots about the alpaca, it's lifestyle, types of fleece/fibers, diet and temperament. We saw all of the quality items made from the alpaca fleece as well as the way the fleece is spun and turned into yarn, so exciting.

This trip was more than I ever could have imagined and my children learned much more by seeing them verses looking at books and flash cards. This is the beauty of learning outside of the classroom and viewing the real world whenever possible. Don't get me wrong I am a book fanatic, but seeing the real thing is much better. They say a lesson learned from experience is one seldom forgotten. Today was a lesson I shall never forget.

Enjoy the pictures. I took close to one hundred but had to narrow them down for this post.

So calm and friendly.

She's got them eating out the palm of her hand...

Too cute.

It's amazing how soft they are.

My buddy!

I really like you!

Love at first sight...
Where's the food?
The boys are learning how to feed alpacas.

Sharon is very patient and a great teacher.

Alpaca fleece

Getting warmed up!

She decided to write a report for her friends.

She illustrates...

My daughter was so excited, she decided to write down what she saw and learned so she could share with her friends. She also drew pictures of the alpaca's to give out to her friends. Without her knowing it she was actually writing a report without me asking her to do it and then decided to illustrate it. This is cool learning!

A few amazing facts about alpacas:

Gestation time is about 12 months. I would not like to be pregnant for that
The hair is called fiber or fleece.
There are 2 kinds of alpacas, suri and huacaya.
The fibers are used for things such as clothing and blankets.
They respond well to children.
Alpacas are herd animals, they appreciate community and companionship.
The average weight is 120-200 lbs.
Alpacas are herbivores. They graze on grass and eat hay and weeds.
They have 3 stomachs!
A baby alpaca is called a cria.
They have no top teeth but they eat very well!

The name of the alpaca farm we visited is called Camillo Valley. For more information click on the link below.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bitter sweet...

Last week our family said goodbye to grandfather. As is common the family gathered together to celebrate his life and legacy. While the occasion was a sad one it was like a family reunion. I saw family members I have not seen in over twenty five years. Some members I saw about five years ago but we did not fully connect like we did this time.

I actually forgot how big my family is because I am an only child and rarely see my cousins and their children. By connecting with my cousins, I learned new things about my grandfather that I did not know. It made me appreciate him even more because he did not talk about everything he did, he just did it.  

So here are a few of the pictures my husband so graciously took in order for me to save these precious memories. Of course we hope to keep in touch in one form or another but then again life happens. These pictures will be a reminder to cherish life and those we love. Enjoy!

Just for the record, there were 4 sets of twins there, three of which are identical!

My twin boys and my cousin's twin girls...

I call them the cutie pie twins.

My little cousins!

More little cousins... he has the twin girls.

More and more cousins!!

Cousins and cousins children...

Me and the uncle...he's a twin too!

Mom and aunt... mom is also a twin.

Cousin and aunt...she's the uncle's twin!

Cousin and baby girl.

Uncle and his son (my little cousin) saw him last at 6 years old.

It was sort of a sad day but a great day in which we gathered together after many years and were able to remember our grandfather. He would have enjoyed this. Cherish the moments with your family while they are still here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Home school art...outside

There are some days, like today, when I really love home school. We have been reading the creation story this week and today we decided to paint some of the creation story. Instead of working indoors we took everything outside, it was such a beautiful day. Why stay indoors? This is the beauty of homeschooling, flexibility.

Part two of this project will be the compassion piece. Instead of keeping the pictures we painted, we will share them with someone who is home bound. I have pinpointed someone from my church we can take the pictures to when we visit. She is an elderly lady who does not get out often. After all we have more than our share of art work hanging around and it gives us an excuse to get out to see people. The way I see it, every day is a day of learning and most learning is done outside of the class room walls.

Enjoy the pictures as mother and daughter paint the creation story in our own words. My six year old really enjoyed this art project. She took some great shots at the end. Next photography maybe?

We decided to paint trees and then she said "how about apple trees!"

The kitty is clueless

Pink birds.

Not a bad shot for a 6 year old.

Another great shot!

Art and photography potential?

The last shot she took of our art work.

Art is over, time to clean up, have a snack and get to science.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Legacy gone but not forgotten...

I hope this post finds you all doing well. It's been a while since I posted due to the passing of my grandfather. My grandfather passed away in his home this week at the age of ninety two. He lived a full life and we were blessed to have him as long as we did.

He leaves a great legacy of family, which is a great focus in my world of writing and blogging. My grandfather along with his mother raised five children after my grandmother passed away when my mom was a very young child. He served in the military and later became a college math professor. He loved education and loved educating others.

My grandfather never gave me toys and dolls as presents, he always gave books, maps and dictionary's. One year I remember him giving me a set of encyclopedia's when I was in elementary school. It was very exciting for me. I have memories of just sitting on the floor looking through the books waiting to get a project to write about so I could use my encyclopedia's. There were so many books from a-z and here they were right in my hands, it was love at first sight and to this day I still love books.

Grandfather always corrected my English, if I said a word incorrectly, he made sure I said it right. First he would say "what did you just say?". Whenever I heard that statement I know I said something wrong. After I would repeat it, he would tell me the correct way to pronounce the word and make me say it again. I then adopted the same  trait and I still correct my children's English, it's funny because I find myself wanting to correct adults also, it's my grandfather in me.  

This post is dedicated to him and as we lay him to rest, he will never be forgotten. He lives on through his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

My grandfather and I when he turned 92

My husband and my grandfather, they were good buddies.

My children with their great-grandfather.

I  choose to remember him as he lived, I remember his wit and sharpness at 92 years old. May he rest in peace. Please keep my family in your prayers as the final arrangements are being made.

Cherish the moments and God bless.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

To lend or not to lend?

Lending money has caused many marriage woes. It seems there is one who wants to lend while the other is opposed to the idea. Can you guess which one I am? Let's put it this way, I have seen a loan turn into a loss on more than one occasion. 

So then how does a couple handle it when those relatives and friends "need" a loan? First off, the couple must already have a plan of action in place if/when this occurs and it should be agreed upon by both parties. Always stand united and not un-tied.

I polled others on this lending money idea and pretty much I heard the same types of thoughts. Don't lend it with the idea of getting it essence if you have it just give it! I agree, however, I must delve a little deeper.

What constitutes a legitimate need? Car breaking down? Rent due? Taxes unpaid? Kids need clothes? This can be subjective. Is the need due to improper planning or wastefulness? Is it a matter of mismanaged money practices and lack of stewardship? These are things to consider when discussing with your spouse which route to take.

These types of things are not the same as emergencies such as fires, thefts, job lay offs and the like, something totally out of a person's control. Of course we are to show compassion, love in action in such cases.

Remember, gifting money can only be done if you have it to give. Perhaps there can be other alternatives to giving money. You may be able to meet the need by giving food, clothes or school supplies.

So what's the final take on lending money, especially for couples. Don't. If you have it to spare you might consider giving/gifting it without looking for it back. Other than that you may take a chance on not only ruining the relationship with the borrower but also with the spouse and the spouse you have to live with! 

everyday talk for everyday women...