October 31, 2005

Blog Ballyhoo

We put bid in on the "Hill House" today. My wonderful mom loaned us some spare change to pay our bills this month. I had a couple of friends from Texas call me out of the blue, and another friend emailed me. The kids behaved themselves wonderfully after our stressful morning at the hotel... and the Lord managed to redeem our day. I have plans for meeting my first out-of-state homeschool family Wednesday, and we are very excited about it. We drove the area around the house tonight, and found the elementary school I'll be dealing with. It is a nice, older neighborhood in an established area that is twenty-plus years old. I'm feeling better about the house's drainage after seeing the rain run-off today. It was raining when I went by there again with my realtor.

Link:I have put at least ten or fifteen recipes on my recipe blog in case you haven't checked it in a while (including my famous fried rice recipe). I plan to continue to add them every other day or so... and right now, I'm in the Autumn mode, so you can expect a few wonderful Fall recipes to appear soon.

I want to thank my readers, friends, family and even you anonymous visitors for stopping in, praying, and commenting. It has made my exodus out of Texas a little easier. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Coming Soon:
With only twelve hours or so to go before we get final word on the contract for this house, I am pretty sure that we will have an idea of where we'll be planting some roots tomorrow. I'll try and stop in after lunch to update the blog again, and let everyone know what happened. I'm going to stop in at our storage unit and get some school things tomorrow so we can try and reclaim the rest of this week (starting Wednesday) for the 2005-2006 school year. I plan to try and bring back my old school paperwork and blog a few posts about 2003-2004 as well... including field trips, book lists, favorite Konos Units, software, etc. for the year my kids were in Kindergarten and First Grade.
Happy Birthday:
My friend Paula's birthday is tomorrow... so I thought I'd share a cute photo of her and her lovely girls with my daughter Morgan. Happy Birthday Friend!


Friends are the family that you get to pick for yourself.

Get Me Out-a Here!

Thought I would share a little picture of Morgan and the cat hanging out the window at the hotel. She was humming the tune of "Santa Clause is Coming To Town" when I took this picture. Keep us in your prayers as patience is thin and all of us are tired of being cooped up!


Houses, Houses, Houses

Well, we've seen our share of the real estate market here in this town... and we've found quite a few that were to our liking. We lost out on a contract last night for a little two-story, New-England style (built in 1966) bungalow with a high roof pitch, gobs of curb appeal, hard wood floors, chic crystal light fixtures, faux leather and plaster wall treatments, and three bedrooms with reading nooks in each! I had a feeling we wouldn't be the only contract they got after the open house ended. When I heard they got another contract, I had a feeling our deal (asking for closing allowance) would not be the one they accepted. I'm chalking it up as God's will and trying to keep my chin up.

There is another house we saw yesterday that we are going to make an offer on today. It is built down the side of a hill (scary), and the back part is considered basement. It has four bedrooms, and a lot of extra space. It has potential, but the view from the street leaves little to be desired. Maybe a good coat of paint (even over the bricks) and some landscaping can turn this house around?

If this deal falls through, I'm going to turn in that apartment application. No more of this house hunting for me. I'm ready to end our "break" and return to a regular schedule. Mom is gone, and got home safely to Texas. We miss her a lot. I am running some errands today and we are eating in our hotel room to save money (went out and got groceries). Thank the Lord this hotel has a little refrigerator and microwave. I'm giving up reading food labels and being healthy somewhat - you have to make allowances when you have no stove, counter tops, or pots and pans.

Keep us in your prayers. I have a short prayer list for today if you don't mind adding it to your own:
  • Our housing dilemma
  • My friend Ammie's Dad and her husband's job
  • My cousin Brooks who is out of a job and pretty depressed
  • My friend Christi's family (just went through a divorce and her husband isn't doing well)
  • My mom's hand and her financial situation
  • India and Pakistan and those suffering there
  • A lady in our hotel who's daughter had a transplant last week
  • For us to find a church home here
That's what's on my mind today. I think I'm going to see if I can find a library and call a homeschooling friend to make plans for tomorrow.

God bless to all.

October 30, 2005

Grass is Greener Elsewhere

We've had a few twists and turns in events in the past 48 hours since my last blog post. I wanted to sneak in and give everyone a quick update before we run out and do some more house hunting. It seems that there were some issues with the last house that daylight and neighbors exposed to us that made us back out of the deal. We won't be penalized, since the sellers didn't respond to our proposal in time (although they did accept it). A neighbor told us the neighborhood and area was on the decline, and we saw the back yard up close in the daylight (it had been night before when we made the offer after first sight)... there was a huge above ground electrical wire corridor behind the house and it was set up on a hill. There was also a trench dug level with the fence and the yard was at a slope... so the water would run towards our crawl space and house. We also found out that the area had been hit by a category 5 tornado previously, and was prone to flooding a few decades ago.

We did some driving on our own, without our realtor, and we discovered another area that is much nicer... and are hoping to see some houses there today. If we have to move into an apartment and wait for something to come available in the area in our price range, so be it.

Keep us in your prayers as the expenses are high and the conditions are cramped. My mom is leaving today, also, and will be traveling to Texas. I'm praying her hand will continue to heal and is not broken. We probably won't be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year to Texas, so I hope she will come see us again in a month or so.

Have a great Lord's Day. Thanks for checking in on us! Hopefully I'll be back to normal blogging topics again soon!

October 28, 2005

"Friday I'm in Love"

Just wanted to say how AWESOME our God is. Thanks for the prayers. I looked at five houses yesterday (or earlier today if you count the fact that I'm posting this at midnight), and was disappointed that the only one I really liked (by number 4) was WAY out of town and my husband really didn't want to drive that far to work each day. So, we swung by to pick him up after he got off of work, and we all went (my mom, the kids, Kevin and I) to see the fifth house together. I was pretty deflated and not expecting much. I had already filled out the apartment application, and was resigned to do a six month "tour of duty" under the freeway bridge ten minutes from down-town in my little 2-bed cracker-box...

But, God had an "Ace in the Hole". We drove about seven minutes SW into a nice woody forest area and found a lovely neighborhood with older homes (probably built in the 1970's and 1980's... so they weren't THAT old). This house didn't look like much on the outside (ugly brown trim that needed painting and the landscaping was a bit neglected), but it had a lot to offer inside... including a formal dining room that we plan to convert to a school room (like we did in our last house). My realtor is wonderful. I'm excited to make an offer on the house tomorrow once my mortgage lady calls me with the details about closing costs and such.

I have to share what happened when I went in this house.... one of the first things I saw (besides the lovely red walls in the living room) was a beautiful white cross on the kitchen cabinet. On the wall was a pretty plaque with a Christian saying. In the living room on a bookshelf, there were at least 30 books and all of the titles I saw were Christian in nature. The family's photos were so happy, and although their children are grown now, they had photos of them in all stages of their life... they looked like such wonderfully well-adjusted people. They had a boy and a girl, like us, and they were about the same age difference as our kids. The son is who the realtor said lives there now (on occasion)... and he had index cards in the bathroom with verses from Corinthians on the bathroom counter behind the sink. I think they were memory verses. The floor plan reminded me of my husband's mom's house, only a bit smaller. They just recently lowered the price ten thousand dollars, also, so I am hopeful that they are wanting to move out quick! My mother and Kevin both said they loved the house and felt peace there... I was in tears once I left, because I felt like it was a HUG from God. I had prayed pretty hard last night about Him giving us direction and helping us figure out what to do.

I pray that we can get into this house with a really low payment and a seamless and brief closing! Thanks for keeping us in your prayers. Hopefully we'll be "Home Sweet Home" soon! I can't wait for "Thanksgiving Break" to be over and school to resume. I have already begun to find tons of interesting field trip ideas in this new state! It is a surprising adventure to be somewhere completely new.... but we still miss the familiar faces and places of Texas (and it will always be "deep in our hearts" until we can return). I better get some sleep... tomorrow is library day, contract day, meeting another local homeschool-mom day, and hopefully I'll have some GOOD news tomorrow night for my blog!

October 27, 2005

Dwelling Dilemma

Well, today slips by and we are still not certain if we are going to plop ourselves into an apartment or try to squeeze a few more dollars out of our depleting supply and keep searching for houses while staying in hotels. If we stay in the hotel for another week or so, and buy a vacant house, there is a chance we can close in ten or twelve days. If we lease an apartment, we have to rent furniture and continue to pay for storage in Texas. If we buy a house, we can pay our mover to move our stuff up here and discontinue paying for storage, and prevent paying to rent furniture.

Sadly, we have discovered that our wonderful credit was badly wounded by the eight month fiasco we endured selling our last house while my husband commuted hundreds of miles each week and lived in another city. We have a few lates that are affecting our score adversely, and I am not sure that we can get as good of a mortgage rate as we did before (not to mention the rise of interest rates). We are going to get a lot less house for the money out of state than we could have in Texas. I thought I was prepared to make some sacrifices, but I am discovering that it is more difficult than I previously imagined to go from 2500 square feet to a 780 square foot apartment with hardly any closet space and no yard or appliance hook ups! Staying in this one room hotel without a kitchen is an even worse shock - and so is the bill (cost of eating out included).

So, pray for us as we make our next few steps forward here towards finding "home-sweet-home". I am praying that God guides us and helps us to get our bills paid despite the heavy price that moving here is exacting from our income right now. We are learning great lessons about planning ahead, living within your means, and the importance of having a savings account for times such as these! It's not a matter of IF you will need a nest egg, but WHEN you will need it.

October 26, 2005

Monopoly Money???

I stopped by Keer's site this morning after dropping "honee" off at work. He had to be there at 7am, so my daughter (who went with us) crawled back into bed with my mom and my son, and I'm up blog peeping before our realtor comes to pick us up at 10am. Keer had a link on her site I thought I would share. It ensnared me long enough to try it out myself. I entered my blog url and came up with an unbelievable price tag. Made me think of selling out! But WHO would buy such a blog as this???

My blog is worth $42,340.50.
How much is your blog worth?

If only I could come up with this much cash.... our debt troubles would be over! Alas, we are plugging away at it, one greenback at a time! I wonder how this guy gets the price-tag??? Fuzzy math??? So what do you think my blog is really worth? I guess there's just no price tag on stress-relief! But, if you do feel like contributing to the cause (in case the 40-something-K is a little too pricey for you), you could always buy something through my Amazon links! I'll get a little pocket change to put towards our homeschooling books. Too bad blogging doesn't make you rich. I might take it a little more seriously, then.

Take the quiz for yourself... how much is YOUR blog worth?

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October 25, 2005

Stress and the Absence of Tex-Mex

Well, I am still in a hotel (a foreigner in a strange land)... and after a few grueling days of searching, we are discovering that the apartments within our price range (if you include the cost of renting furniture and paying for storage in Texas) are just not up to par. It really depressed me yesterday, so we contacted a mortgage officer last night and had her run our credit for a pre-approval on a home loan. I assume she will call me back some time today and let us know how much we qualify for so we can start looking for a house to move into.

I am not sure how long getting into a house will take, but it is seriously putting a dent in our school-year (at least my lesson plan schedule). Although, it really doesn't matter, since we can adjust easily - and I can re-claim our summer break if I have to find some extra time to make up the slack. I am calling this limbo we are in our "Thanksgiving Break", and we are trying to be thankful in the midst of stresses. It's not easy living in a hotel with three adults (including my mom) and two kids (stir crazy kids!) - and only two full size beds (not to mention the fact that our CAT is here with us). Hotels are not cheap, either... if you add up the estimated 50-something a night for a month, you end up with a large hole in your wallet the size of Wisconsin. Oh, and don't forget eating out every meal. Even those of you who hate cooking could probably agree that eating EVERY meal out is not healthy, and eventually makes you wish for your own kitchen (and thinner thighs).

I left the phone numbers of my homeschooling friends in this state on my real computer... which is wrapped in blankets and stuffed under a mountain of other personal items in my mom's van outside. So, I can't even contact anyone here in this area to meet up. We went to a church nearby on Sunday, and not even ONE person recognized that we were visitors and introduced themselves. I felt invisible... not a good feeling. It made me want to strike this area from my search-list. I am also getting used to the idea (however painfully) that a few of my favorite establishments (restaurants, stores, etc.) are NOT up here where we've landed. It is a whole new world to get used to, living outside the Texas borders (*profuse weeping erupts*). I'm seeing very few Mexican food restaurants. I was having such a withdrawal last night that I ate at a really cheap, nasty chain here just to get a fix. Let's just say it didn't do "Tex-Mex" justice.

I am praying that the realtor which the mortgage lady refers me to will be honest and able to help us quickly. Housing seems to be a lot more expensive here. Kevin reminded me last night that God knew our needs and that He would supply them. I certainly can't complain - even in these tight, stressful times. God has been very good to us.

I pray that by next week we can find a house, get into a contract, do a lease-back option and move in, get our movers to work out a payment plan on bringing our stuff up here, get back into the swing of school, meet some other homeschoolers, and start unboxing our life!

Until the next time I can pop in .... please forgive my lengthy silences! Thanks for checking in with us, and God bless you and yours!

October 22, 2005


Hey there. Just peeking in to say that we are alive and well... and no-longer in Texas. I pulled my leg out a little tonight at the hotel we are staying in while cleaning out a cat litter box. YUCK. We met two wonderful Christian people in the last 24 hours that have been such a blessing to us. One was a waitor, and the other a minister who met us over breakfast at our hotel and prophesied blessings over our move and life. He prayed for my mother also, who hurt her hand walking her dogs. She had a change in her hand today - it is looking a little worse... sounds like the healing has begun!

Well, we have a day of apartment hunting to tackle tomorrow... and the kids deserve the books and toys we got them tonight after two solid days in the car without incident. What troopers! Nice lesson for our Military Unit - since the Army's unoficial motto is "Hurry up and wait".

God bless and good night from the homeschool gypsy gang.... hopefully we'll get hooked up soon in an apartment and order internet for my real computer. I'm not the lap-top type.

October 19, 2005

Benadryl Blogger Hits the Road

Between sneezes, I post... half way between here and la-la land. My cat and my mom came to visit last night, and I was already beginning to react to something in the air - maybe ragweed? The animal dander solidified it... and this morning, I was in a full fledge allergy attack - sneezing my head off. My husband lives in a state of allergic shock.... but this is a rare thing for me. I promptly assaulted the cat and shoved her into the bath tub for a proper grooming... and popped a sudafed and benadryl intermittently between lunch and the cat-torture session. So, I am now floating in a cloud of chemical-induced fog... and I am covered in shampoo-smelling water and moist cat hair. I guess I'll have to change clothes before we load the car...

What a day! My poor nose.

The kids have done Math today, but little else. We had to return our library books yesterday for the last time in Texas (for a while), and they are busy playing with grandma. We got my son's teeth sealed at the dentist earlier and weren't able to get over to the Army Recruiting office yet. Maybe we'll do that next week instead.

Well... I have vehicles to load and the fog is dense... I better go before I end up napping (drooling) on this keyboard.

I'll try and blog while traveling.... but I'm packing my computer tonight, too....

October 18, 2005

Historic Naval Ship Field Trip Link

I was so excited to find this link. If you are doing a study on the military or on ships/sailing... you will absolutely be thrilled to know that there is a website out there that has done all the work for you. This is a great list of all the Historic Naval Ships that you can visit by state, and even by country! I hope it helps you as much as it has me!

October 17, 2005

Konos Military Unit Fun

We are doing our military unit, and enjoying it. I have a list of things here that we've done, that we plan to do, and that we wish we could do, but finances or time are not going to permit. We've got a lot of things to cram into the next few days. I better get out of here and get busy! Have a super week! This time next week I'll be lonesome for Texas!

There are some cute photos from my children's little field trip to the Army Surplus store last week included here. Enjoy!


Some Fun Things We've Done:
  • Visit the Army Surplus Store locally and try on heavy helmets and bomber jackets and such (check out the gear).
  • Buy a camouflage shirt and hat.
  • Get real dog tags with the kid's birthdays, religion, & names on them (you can also include blood type, but I would suggest not putting social security numbers).
  • Read "The U.S. Army" by Henry I. Kurtz.
  • Pretend to have a boot camp and let the kids crawl over beds, go up and down the stairs, jump on the mini trampoline, drop and give you push-ups, and retrieve items on a mission - demote and promote them in rank according to merit.
  • Look at all the ranks for the different divisions of the military and see their corresponding badges.
  • Draw your favorite war machine.
  • Go on the Army Band website and listen to the bugle calls (including taps), the Army Song, and the National Anthem. Discuss the history behind Taps and the Army Song.
  • Discuss the draft.
  • Discuss what the Military would be like if the soldiers did not follow orders.
  • Do a Bible Drill to see how fast you can find verses in the Bible (time yourself).
  • Read about the Roman Centurion in Matthew 8:5-10 and how he believed Jesus had the authority to command as well. Discuss how Jesus said there was not as much faith in all of Israel as his.
  • Write and recite 2 Timothy 2:3 - "Like a good soldier of Christ Jesus, share in the hard times with us."
  • Sing "I'm in the Lord's Army" (and sing the Texas version).
Things we Plan to Do (But Haven't Yet):
  • Visit a Recruiting Office.
  • Eat an MRE.
  • Interview a Vietnam Veteran (family member) and take notes/Write a report or Journal Entry.
  • Write to a Soldier and send a package.
  • Watch Sgt. York (the old black and white movie).
  • Make your own first aid kit (we're actually going to fill a "emergency bag" that I keep in my vehicle to make sure we have all the things we might need for our trip out of state).
  • Write the Konos vocabulary words and orally use them in a sentence (look them up and read the definitions in a dictionary).
  • Stop along the road at military points of interest (museums/tanks/convoys/etc.) if there are any and take photos.
  • Make a map of your state and pinpoint all the military bases and name them.
  • Visit a port - take a free guided tour on a Coast Guard boat (identify ships by their flags).

Things we Can't Do This Time, but Would be Fun:
  • Visit a War Memorial - San Jacinto Monument
  • Visit a Battleship (take a hard-hat tour given by a war veteran) - Battleship Texas
  • Visit a Submarine - Sea Wolf Park
  • Visit a Military Museum
  • Go to a Gun Show
  • Visit a VFW (take home baked cookies)
  • Stage a Fake Battle - Set up a Military Hospital and let the girls be Nurses for the wounded.
  • Visit a base.
  • Get inside an Army/Air Force/Navy vehicle.
  • Take a ride in an old war plane.
  • Go to a war reenactment.
  • Take a fire-arm safety course/Learn to shoot a gun.

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October 16, 2005

Missing In Action

OK... I admit, I took a long break... my last post being Thursday. But, you have to give me a little slack because my life is upside down right now. My stuff is in a storage unit, my husband is in another city working, I'm living at my in-law's house, I'm trying to effectively homeschool two very busy grammar-schoolers, and I'm moving to another state in less than a week. Yes, I DO need a Calgon Bath... or a few shots of Demoral. Too bad my husband's not an anesthesiologist.

So, instead of doing my laundry, my checkbook, my un-graded stack of schoolwork and record keeping, my packing, my car-loading, my online apartment hunting, ... etc.... I'm spending time in here checking in on my blog and leaving notes to my mute audience (or maybe my make-believe audience?). I am a bit overwhelmed with the ins and outs of this week. Keep me in your prayers (hopefully you are the praying type)!

And for those of you who are doctrine junkies... here's a nice little essay I just scanned after a thought-provoking email which got me to researching about Calvanists and Arminians. I've always just thought I was a Christian... and still do. But this made for some interesting reading. I like to think of myself as "Anti-denominational". How about you, my invisible friend?

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October 14, 2005

Thursday Challenge: "Small"


Meet Tika. Nope, she's not my dog. Although, I like dogs... I really do. I'm a cat person, myself. This is my cousin Sara's little fur-child. Sara sent this photo to me last week, and I couldn't resist using it for this week's Thursday Challenge. Sara says this is Tika's "guilty photo". I thought it was lovely. So here's Tika's 15 minutes of blogdom-fame!

October 13, 2005

Wednesday's Newpaper Highlight

Oct. 12, 2005, 7:59AM

Think the U.S. should replace
the income tax?
Bush's advisers have other ideas, including a flat tax

New York Times

President Bush's tax advisory commission indicated on Tuesday that it would not propose replacing the income tax with a national sales tax or a value-added tax, but would recommend limits in the popular deductions for mortgage interest and employer-provided health insurance.

The commission, scheduled to make its recommendations to the president by Nov. 1, did not take votes or dwell on details, but its consensus on many important issues was clear.

"We're getting focused on the income tax as a base," said the panel's chairman, Connie Mack, a former Republican senator from Florida.

Many prominent conservatives have argued over the years that the income tax is a drag on the economy and should be scrapped in favor of a consumption tax — a tax based not on what people earn, but on what they spend.

But the commission members concluded that consumption taxes had more drawbacks than advantages.

Various proposals for a flat tax — an income tax with everyone paying the same rate — are still under consideration, said Jeffrey Kupfer, the commission's executive director.

At its last meeting, in July, the commission agreed to recommend abolishing the alternative minimum tax for individuals, a step that would cost the federal government $1.2 trillion in lost revenue over 10 years.

With a mandate to develop a proposal for changing the tax system that is revenue neutral — meaning it neither raises nor lowers total tax receipts — the commission must find enough revenue to offset the amount now generated by the alternative minimum tax.

That is mainly what led to an examination of ways to modify the deductions for mortgage interest and health insurance, two of the largest tax breaks now available to individuals. Together, the two deductions will cost the treasury about $250 billion this year.

The commission members decided that another popular deduction, for charitable contributions, should be expanded rather than cut back. They are looking at how to give the tax break to taxpayers who do not itemize deductions.

President Bush is not committed to adopting the commission's recommendations, and the prospects in Congress of limiting the mortgage and health insurance tax breaks, sure to be politically unpopular, are uncertain.

The panel's vice chairman, John Breaux, a former Democratic senator from Louisiana, acknowledged the political difficulty but said, "We've got to make bold recommendations without regard to politics."

Source of Article: Houston Chronicle - Texas, USA

My comments? I'm all for the flat tax. Burn the current tax code in it's entirety and replace it across the board with ONE tax for all. No huge Bible of secret tax laws, no forever-changing rules and regulations... a simple flat tax on everyone, rich and poor alike. Contrary to what the press alludes to, this would actually RAISE money, not deplete the reserve. It would cause the poor people to actually pay a LITTLE tax (10% of 100$ is 10$, right?)... but it would also cause the RICH to pay the equal share! Can you imagine what the tax on 100,000,000 would bring in to the US Govternment? Yeah,... a lot more than Donald Trump is paying NOW. No more tax lawyer mumbo-jumbo and huge companies who have a single cow roaming their grounds to deem their land as farmland to escape higher taxes. It would bring a little RELIEF and equality to the finances of the entire country. Yes, sure, Donald Trump may have a hard time with it at first... but I know I could use a tax break. A flat tax would provide that. Our tax rates are really out of hand. We went to war with the British for less grief than this! Ponder that over your next cup of tea!

What we will be seeing if we don't stand up and make our voices heard to the FEDS on this issue is the DEATH OF THE MIDDLE CLASS in America. It seems, though, the government is going to squeeze it's money out of us (rather than cutting the pork from it's current plans) even if they do adopt a flat tax. Talk of decreasing mortgage tax relief is sad news to those who live in states with unfairly high property tax rates. Home prices are already over-inflated, and foreclosures are on the rise. Without relief, many Americans will be forced to change their lifestyles for the worse. With the energy crisis (gasoline, natural gas and electricity) sucking everyone's wallets dry, is there really much left to offer the Feds? If you consider all the things we already pay tax on, and how much we actually pay through the course of the year, we probably make less than 50% of what we earn already. I haven't actually put the pencil to the numbers, but let's get real... we pay a tax to drive our car, to buy our groceries, to live in our house, to bring home a paycheck, and anything else we conceive of doing. When do we hold the government accountable for what it's spending? How about these endless over-inflated salaries of the "civil servants" who serve in the higher offices? Why not cut those? That would be a start.

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October 12, 2005

Military Unit Begins

We began our military unit today. I have been collecting books from the library for weeks. I also got a few at the half-price book store, including one very old book about Napoleon. I have always been fascinated with Napoleon. I thought I would share with you one of my favorite paintings of him. I'm sorry that I don't have time to post today, but we are busy getting school work done. I have all of six days to finish our military unit (and maybe some field trips this weekend, which I am not considering school days unless the field trip lasts most of the day).

I also made a nice chart for the kids daily assignments today in Excel, and printed it. It has a column for the names of the subjects, a column for the assignments, and a column for "completed by" (where I can write the initial of the child who completed the assignment and notes). Last year, I used the computer to keep track of grades, report cards, daily assignments and lesson plans. This year, I have returned to the tried-and-true PENCIL for all my record keeping. This spreadsheet is my only computer generated paperwork this year. When you are living like a gypsy (traveling a lot), you just don't have the accessibility of a computer as much as you would like... and you DO have plenty of time (such as in hotels, doctor's offices, and at family member's houses) to grade papers and record them the good old-fashioned way!


Napoleon Crossing the Saint-Bernard

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October 10, 2005

Sailing the Atlantic with Columbus

God is good. We had such a fun day with our friends. I had to get on and post the cute photos I took... I apologize in advance that they are dark and grainy. I had to use my camcorder to take pictures because my digital had no juice.

Here are some things we did for our Columbus Day Unit Study:

  • We read "History Maker Bios: Christopher Columbus" by Susan Bivin Aller together and discussed as we read it
  • We found Italy, Portugal, The Atlantic Ocean, India, China, Japan, San Salvador, Hispaniola, Cuba, Haiti, South America, Jamaica, and Spain on a map
  • See a map of the "known world" in the 1400's before the discovery of the "New World"
  • Read the poem "In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue"
  • Pretend you are a sailor on one of Columbus' ships and write a ship's log
  • Discuss how the crew might have felt when they didn't find gold, and when they met the "Indians"... and how they might have felt being left behind
  • Discuss being shipwrecked for a year on an island (as Columbus was on another voyage), and how it might have been meeting cannibals
  • Draw, Write Now! Handwriting and Art project - Draw the three ships: Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria (discuss which ship sank and why)
  • Discuss different types of landmasses: Island and Peninsula
  • Do Columbus crossword puzzle worksheet, word search worksheet, and alphabetizing worksheet
  • Make a salt-dough "map" in the shape of Italy, bake it, cool it, and paint it
  • Write our Bible Verse for the day: "Psalm 37:5 - Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."
  • Read from the Kid's Presidential Prayer Website about Columbus and other interesting information for today
  • Paint the continents on a large poster board
  • Paint three small "ships" (made from egg carton, popsicle sticks and little paper sails)
  • Chart the course of Columbus on our map with our boats, locate key points (see list above)
  • Do a quiz over the information we learned today with our friends (WOW, did they remember it all! I was shocked!)
Here are some cute pictures of our fun day with friends:

Four Craftsmen working on their Caravels...
Two "Italian" Painters
Looks like Italy got nuked...
My favorite homeschooled navigators set sail on the ocean blue...

"23rd Post"

Short and sweet today. Trying to cram a week of activity into a day. Happy Columbus Day Americans! Looks like rain, so our Park with friends will be out. Maybe they can come over and help us make our Columbus Day map and three little ships.

I was tagged today (just figured it out - sorry!) by Firefly. Her original post is under my Title to this post. Here's the questions:

  1. Search your blog archive.

  2. Find your 23rd post.

  3. Find the fifth sentence (this is meant to say something about you).

  4. Post that sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

  5. Tag five people to do the same.


Here goes. My 23rd Post was about Feet. Yep, Feet.

The Fifth Sentence was:

"When I got the idea in my noggin to write this, I had no idea how many references the Bible would have to feet... 320, to be exact."

I guess that labels me as a person who likes to think about weird stuff and write about it? But... you already knew that, didn't you?

Drumroll, please.... here's the next five "23rd Post" torch runners:

Tawdra, Chris G., Heather L., Tiffany, TCS

October 08, 2005

Columbus Day Unit Study Links

Even though the Vikings beat him to it, and Amerigo got namesake, America honors Columbus (even more so, the discovery of this country - the blessing that brought us here today) this coming Monday with our national holiday entitled "Columbus Day". Since the mid eighteen hundreds, Italian Americans have been celebrating this event. After President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed the 400th anniversary since Columbus' landing, back in 1892, Colorado became the first state to officially observe Columbus day. You can see many other interesting facts about the history of this holiday at the site linked under my title on this post.

Below are some links for teachers and homeschool teachers that I have been rounding up in my quest to prepare for our lessons this Monday. By the way, to all of our neighbors in Canada, "Happy Canadian Thanksgiving" this coming Monday as well! God bless you up there. Stay warm!


Awesome Columbus Day Worksheets / Printables (PDF)

Great Columbus Day Craft Ideas

Columbus Day Lesson Plan Ideas

Everything You Wanted to Know About Columbus plus TONS of IDEAS

Crafts, Worksheets, Printables, Lesson Plans and More

History of Columbus' First Voyage with Translated Journal Entries and Timeline

Full History of Columbus' Voyages - very DETAILED and INTERESTING

An excerpt from the latter link:


"The weather continued favorable. The sea was so light that everything on board the Santa Maria was removed safely. Then it was that Columbus, tempted by the beauty of the place, by the friendship of the natives, and by the evident wishes of his men, determined to leave a colony, which should be supported by the stores of the Santa Maria, until the rest of the party could go back to Spain and bring or send reinforcements. The king was well pleased with this suggestion, and promised all assistance for the plan. A vault was dug and built, in which the stores could be placed, and on this a house was built for the home of the colonists, so far as they cared to live within doors.

The chief sent a canoe in search of Martin Pinzon and the Pinta, to tell them of the disaster. But the messengers returned without finding them. At the camp, which was to be a city, all was industriously pressed, with the assistance of the friendly natives. Columbus, having no vessel but the little Nina left, determined to return to Europe with the news of his discovery, and to leave nearly forty men ashore.

It would appear that the men, themselves, were eager to stay. The luxury of the climate and the friendly overtures of the people delighted them, They had no need to build substantial houses. So far as houses were needed, those of the natives were sufficient. All the preparations which Columbus thought necessary were made in the week between the twenty-sixth of December and the second of January. On that day he expected to sail eastward, but unfavorable winds prevented."


"From this time forward this is to be but a sad history, and the sadness, nay, the cruelty of the story, results largely from the composition of the body of men whom Columbus took with him on this occasion. It is no longer coopers and blacksmiths and boatswains and sailmakers who surround him. These were officers of court, whose titles even cannot be translated into modern language, so artificial were their habits and so conventional the duties to which they had been accustomed. Such men it was, who made poor Columbus endless trouble. Such men it was, who, at the last, dragged him down from his noble position, so that he died unhonored, dispirited and poor." ...

... "These men frankly admitted that the "christians" were all dead. The Spaniards had been told so the night before by their Indian interpreter, but they had refused to believe him. They were now told that the King of Canoaboa* and the King Mayreni had killed them and burned the village." ...

... "When they returned to the site of La Navidad they found many Indians, who had become bold enough to come to barter gold. They had shown the place where the bodies of eleven Spaniards lay "covered already by the grass which had grown over them." They all "with one voice" said that Canoaboa and Mayreni had killed them. But as, at the same time, they complained that some of the christians had taken three Indian wives, and some four, it seemed likely that a just resentment on the part of the islanders had had something to do with their death."

There are interesting bits of canibal encounters as well in this second voyage. Hope you enjoy it! I have stayed up way past my bedtime reading it. All credit goes to:

Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909 . The life of Christopher Columbus: from his own letters and journals and other documents of his time.

@ the Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

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HELP: Brain Won't Turn Off

It's only the first day of my weekend, and my head is spinning. We are truly "living in the whirlwind" like Beth Moore has said before. So, what's on my mind at 1AM in the morning, keeping me from going to sleep with the rest of the household? Not just bee cursors and recipes... no...

I'll tell you what's on my mind...

1. This Monday I'm supposed to start a unit study on Christopher Columbus (This Coming Monday is Columbus Day), and in my haste (packing before our move), I forgot to bring the correct section of my Konos book to actually PLAN and TEACH that unit... so I'm going to have to do my own research for ideas and come up with my own unit.

2. This Monday, my husband is giving 2 week's notice at his job, because he has accepted a job out of state... thus we'll be leaving our beloved home state of Texas in the trail dust in two weeks, moving inland (into the rest of the United States) - I try not to be a 'Texas Snob' (as a few close friends tend to refer to me in a loving way), but it's so hard when I'm so partial.

3. My six year old daughter had a filling today at the dentist office. Yep. I felt like a failure as a mom when he told me she was going to have to get one (you should have seen my face). You must understand that neither I, nor my husband have ever had a filling (and I'm not sure even a cavity)... so having my baby (the youngest) get her 'toofy' drilled on and seeing the doctor stick an evil-looking, three-inch needle into her tooth was pretty grueling. She handled it like a champ... then, like her mother would have, she milked it for all it was worth.

4. I really want to de-stress by starting an exercise (dirty word, I know!) program regularly with the kids... and I really want to get off of the sugary foods, sodas, junk foods and fast foods (this includes things with hydrogenated oils, enriched and bleached flours, ANY type of artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrups). Basically, this limits my diet to things that are EXPENSIVE. Yes, folks, in case you didn't know - eating healthy costs more. Just walk in to your nearest McDonalds... there are NO salads on the dollar menu. I'm thinking of making a ten-pound goal, using a health journal, and really making a determined effort to incorporate more physical activities into our homeschooling. There are many choices... community sports teams, church sports teams, sports classes, gym or YMCA memberships, homeschool sports co-ops, and right now... for us - workout videos at home - and a lot of walking and playground time, since we only have two weeks left in Texas!

I'm sure there are other things keeping me up as well. Maybe the garlic in that lovely hummus I ate tonight... or maybe the heavenly pistachio ice-cream we had for desert? If you know me really well, you can guess what restaurant I ate at! My mind keeps wandering over number 1 and 2 when I shut my eyes...

I'm sure I'll remember number 3 every night before bedtime as I remind my kids like a broken record to "brush their teeth before bed". I think I should probably write number 4 down in my school lesson planner so I won't forget it after I've had a nice long nap and wake up hungry in the morning. No more skipping breakfast for me.

Time to pray for God to help me turn the noodle in my head off for tonight so I can get some Saturday beauty rest. I pray that your weekend is a blessing. Thank you for stopping in.

October 06, 2005

Thursday Challenge: "Golden"

All thanks go to Firefly for tipping me off to the Thursday Challenge. I love photographs, so this is a treat. I'll be bookmarking that site!

This picture was taken by yours-truly at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center last Spring. I took it using a Konica Digital Revio KD-500Z Camera. I took a bunch of great photos from that day - it is a wonderful place to take the children and get professional-type photos. I'll be sure to include more pictures from the Wildflower Center when I get around to covering last year's curriculum, field trips, favorite Konos units, and more...

Anyone care to identify this little golden beauty?

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Alternative to the Ever Leftward PTA

I got a disturbing letter from the American Family Association in the mail this summer. It discussed the National PTA's latest leftward alliances and agendas. I'm sure that for most American moms, the PTA brings thoughts of home-room moms, cookie bake sales, and money earned for libraries and playgrounds. Maybe this was the case for most of the PTA's existence, but not so anymore. According to Warren Throckmorton, PHD, in his June 13, 2005 article, he states that "the National Parent Teacher Association has joined the NEA (National Education Association) in choosing sides in the cultural debate over homosexuality in the schools".

Apparently, even veteran members of the National PTA are resigning over this issue. According to an article written by Hans Zeiger, dated June 26, 2004, his mother (a 25 year PTA chair-member and art program director) has stepped down stating that "As a Christian, a mother, and a teacher," she "doesn't think the gay agenda should be brought up in schools anywhere." She said she was offended by it. This came after the PTA held a convention in June of this past year in Anaheim, California featuring a workshop called, "All for One and One for All: Ending Anti-Gay Bullying". The group putting on this workshop is called the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). According to the Warren Throckmorton's article (mentioned above), PFLAG believes "children can self identify their gayness by at least age nine; children should go on camera to discuss it; homosexuality is fixed and hardwired; and school anti-bullying laws are inadequate without reference to sexual orientation."

According to Zeiger, who's mother and father both left the PTA (both former teachers and actively involved, paying members), "the National PTA has been drifting leftward, away from parents and communities, and away from education - toward a liberal political agenda."

This doesn't come as a surprise to me (as a homeschooler). I can see the mass product turned out by public schools today and know that my children would be better off at home. I do feel for those who are forced to use public schools as a means of education, though. I also believe that there are a great many wonderful educators within the public school system who mean well and are making a difference in the lives of many American children. It saddened me deeply in the year 2000 (around the same time I chose to keep my children home and educate them myself) that the National PTA president (at the time) Ginny Markell announced that the PTA was going to back the flagrantly homosexual agenda-pushing movie "That's A Family". The entire sex education issue in public schools makes the hair stand up on my arms.

The good thing for parents of public school students is that there is an alternative to the PTA. There can still be cookie bake sales, fund-raisers for the school, and home-room moms to comfort students and help busy teachers. That alternative? The PTO. The Parent Teacher Organization doesn't lobby the government on political issues, it doesn't charge dues, it's goals and guidelines are set by local parents, and all funds raised remain with local schools. It's nice that you don't have to sacrifice your morals and fund the homosexual agenda to be actively involved in your child's education! If public school is for you, look in to the PTO!

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October 05, 2005

Texas Scarecrow Festival - Chapel Hill, TX

I just wanted to share this link in case someone stops in. I have gotten a ton of hits on my website recently because of the Chapel Hill Scarecrow Festival in Texas that I included in our field trip list. I wasn't able to figure out how to edit that post with this link since it was so far back...

The Scarecrow Festival is this coming weekend (see the flyer at the link in this sentence). It is really fun... lots of crafts, interesting foods, face painting, and scarecrows everywhere! Chapel Hill is lovely country with rolling hills and historic homes, and is just south of Brenham on Highway 290. Be sure to get there early as you will have a long walk from where you park if you don't. This is one of the smaller Texas festivals, but the crowds in Texas seem to turn up regardless of size!

I wish I had a photo available to paste in here... but alas, it has been many years since we went to the festival, and my photos from then are not on this PC anymore.

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My Homeschool Cat

Whisker Woes
I'm really missing Minga... so I thought I would share a cute photo of her from before we moved out of our house. She was helping me grade papers. Ever so thoughtful of her! Cats are so smart. As my daughter always says, "Cats rule and dogs drool." No offense to you dog-lover types out there. I think dogs are cute, but WAY too much work. Cats are so much more like people - each with his/her own personality.

Famous Cats
My favorite scene in Stewart Little 2 is where Snowbell is trying to convince Stewart to give up on his search for the birdie. Stewart's little red car breaks down and smoke billows out of the front hood. Snowbell surveys the damage and says, "Oh, boy. This is a sign, Stewart. Like the burning bush. Except it's a carburetor and I'm not Moses... but it's tellin' us somethin'!.... Let your people go!"
Stewart the mouse ignores Snowbell's speech and retorts, "I'm not giving up."

"Oh, why not?", Pleads Snowbell, "Giving up is fun! And look at all the time you save! I'm telling you Stewart... if more people gave up, there'd be fewer wars."

Seems like something a cat would say if they could talk (other than "Hand over the tuna and no-body gets hurt").
Snowbell from the Movie "Stewart Little 2"

October 04, 2005

Icons of Us

Wow... three posts in one day. Aren't you all so lucky in blogdom?! Well, this one will be short. I thought you would enjoy seeing the wonderful icons that our family members made together online at the Portrait Illustration Maker site (minus hard-working Daddy, of course). Kevin calls me his cream-puff (translate that into: Bon-Bon Eating Housewife Who Watches Soaps on TV All Day). Ha! Only another homeschooling mother could understand how ironic that statement is! I got these links on my post today from Catez, a wonderful blogger from New Zealand.

Today has been our unpacking, cleaning, laundry, worksheet, paperwork, phonecall, computer, grading, library-book-round-up day. After 13 days away from home (before, during, and after Rita)... we needed to unwind a little. My son has managed to make his Math and Language last all day. I'm not exactly sure how to inspire him to get his homework done in an acceptable amount of time. Tomorrow, though, we are going to be hitting a regular ball-game as far as school goes, and he's going to be timed. If he has leftover work, he'll just have to do it in the evening when school is over (just like public school students). I wish that I could convince him that his worksheets don't have to take an hour a piece (or longer). Any ideas?

Here are the little icons we made... Heather, Kaden and Morgan.

And in case you are needing a good laugh, here's a must click:

"Don't Push the Red Button"

Word of the Day: "Cronyism"

Had to chuckle when I read this article's take on the ordeal. If she shares Bush's philosophy, I just hope that includes a little good will towards fellow humans and not a "give-'em all the death penalty" mentality.

Voter Registration Countdown in Texas

Just a friendly reminder that OCTOBER 11TH is your Texas voter's registration card deadline. The link to the voter website is under the title of my post. Or you can click here: "voter website".

We are having a bit of a problem getting ourselves registered this year. You are supposed to be living in the county you are registered in... and we're not! We can't qualify for mail-out ballots because we don't have an address in the county we are registered in anymore. Therefore, we're going to both have to register in different counties for this one election, using our temporary addresses of residence. Kev will vote in one county, and me in another. What an adventure this year has been.

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October 03, 2005

Supreme Question: A Matter of Heart

Who is this Miers? Why should we back her? I think there's a bigger question here.

I believe a lot of the Miers issue comes down to trust - trust that we are expected to have based on Bush's past character record. There have been times when I have wondered how conservative and how "compassionate" Bush really is. His latest pick for the Supreme Court only served to fuel my recent concerns. Being a person who normally asks a lot of questions and does a lot of research before I make up my mind one way or the other, Miers appears troublesome, at best. I greatly enjoyed this article by A Knight's Blog: "Frum on Miers".

Here's a quote:

"The Senate would have confirmed Luttig, Alito, or McConnell. It certainly would have confirmed a Senator Mitch McConnell or a Senator Jon Kyle, had the president felt even a little nervous about the ultimate vote.

There was no reason for him to choose anyone but one of these outstanding conservatives. As for the diversity argument, it just seems incredible to imagine that anybody would have criticized this president of all people for his lack of devotion to that doctrine. He has appointed minorities and women to the highest offices in the land, relied on women as his closest advisers, and staffed his administration through and through with Americans of every race, sex, faith, and national origin. He had nothing to apologize for on that score. So the question must be asked, as Admiral Rickover once demanded of Jimmy Carter: Why not the best?

I worked with Harriet Miers. She’s a lovely person: intelligent, honest, capable, loyal, discreet, dedicated … I could pile on the praise all morning. But nobody would describe her as one of the outstanding lawyers in the United States. And there is no reason at all to believe either that she is a legal conservative or - and more importantly - that she has the spine and steel necessary to resist the pressures that constantly bend the American legal system toward the left."
I have been feeling a bit cornered by ALL government parties, and the fact that they all seem to have their hands deep into some kind of corruption. I hate thinking that I can only vote for the lesser of two evils, when as a Christian, I am to stand morally opposed to evil in any form. For me, black is black, white is white. Grey is sometimes even more fearsomely evil than black... because it desensitizes it's followers (fence riders) to believe that they are immune to "the dark side" while they further the agenda of the devil.

I have had a more personal bone to pick with president Bush recently that has been at the center of this discussion. Even usually staunch Republican Conservative voters like me have our doubts on occasion. I liked the sound of "Compassionate Conservative"... but I have not seen very much compassion towards some of the left behind members of our society dished out by the Bush administration. I realize that a lot of Republicans really give no thought to criminals, prisoners, and those who are serving sentences behind bars. It has long been a political cause of the Democratic party to take up these helpless souls' cases before the nation (although sometimes I fear it has been only for good press). I probably never would have given a thought towards the incarcerated myself, had I not embarked on personal experience with having a family member placed in federal prison.

Agencies like FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) that rally support for changing our extreme sentencing laws have shown me that this is a cause worth taking up - especially for conservatives. Meeting prisoners and their families during the times I have visited the prison system, and getting to meet chaplains and the precious angels who minister to prisoners families and prisoners themselves has opened up a whole new world of compassion and life-changing purpose to me. I think a Conservative Republican who is morally correct in their stance, yet unable to be truly compassionate towards those who have a harder life can become only a legalist and a detached law-maker given unquestioned support. I think the sentencing issues we have today (which are worthy of our fierce reform efforts) are because of blind support for legalist conservatives with iron hearts. A public candidate sworn to represent his/her constituents should demonstrate compassion and not just smile for photo shoots and appear to have some. It's not just "show-biz" to me. I just haven't been "feeling the love" from Bush.

I ran across this little article today online by CBS News: "President Pardons 14 People". I read this article hoping to see that the Bush I voted for was giving commutation (shortening of sentences) to people who were currently suffering the effects of prison... but it seems these are all stale pardon cases for past-prisoners already back in society that are only good for clearing the person's name. Here's a snip from the article which I found interesting....
"CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller reports that the pardons Wednesday bring to 58 the number of pardons granted by Mr. Bush. By comparison, his father, former President George H.W. Bush, granted 74 in four years; former President Bill Clinton granted 396 in eight years; former President Ronald Reagan did 393 in eight; former President Jimmy Carter did 534 in four. And former President Richard Nixon, who got one of Mr. Ford's 382 pardons, granted 863, reports Knoller. "
Throwing your money at the poor (in light of Katrina) is not the only way to show compassion. Reaching out and touching lives with your understanding, forgiveness and support IS perhaps a deeper commitment. To face critisicm and still act out of mercy requires a solid faith in your value system, and a love for other people. Jesus showed this kind of "guts, spunk and moxy" - eating with sinners and loving the unlovable. With this in mind, we could look at the federal commutation/pardoning arm of the president reaching down to unlock prison doors as a "compassion meter" of sorts. After all, Jesus had a big heart for prisoners. They are mentioned quite often in the Bible in verses like these:
Psalm 68:6 - God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 146:7 - He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free...

From Jesus' own mouth:

Luke 4:18 - "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,..."

Hebrews 13:3 - Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.


Matthew 25:31-46

The Sheep and the Goats
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

So how does Bush measure up on the "compassion meter"? You be the judge. Looks to me like Reagan, a man I greatly respect, and even Clinton (yes, folks - a conservative can admit it) are worlds ahead in this kind of compassion towards the less fortunate and those who's lives are in shambles. A historical chart of pardons per president (by date and by amount of pardons) can be found at this link. You can see that there were only 5 presidents who pardoned less people in history than our current president so far.

The Supreme Court Justices are a big topic, and rightly so - their tenure in office will affect us for years to come. We would do well to judge not only their conservatism, but their ability to display mercy towards fellow human beings. Judges should have heart - not just intellect and a conservative record regarding moral issues and the law. Do they see only the black and white of the law, or do they also see the faces of the people it will effect? Are their actions towards others different in light of public opinion - are they swayed by pier pressure and public scrutiny? Or are they genuine and consistent? How can we as citizens and voters effect how our government will respond to it's public? Should we blindly follow the lead of a president who claims to be compassionate and yet has been in office six years with a very minimal pardoning record? Even his father pardoned prisoners. The supreme question is: Where is the compassion?

I know a True Christian Conservative should have some. So... "Show me the mercy" - then maybe I can extend the trust to get this administration's agenda accomplished.

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