... even when you are old!

As I am writing this, I have just eaten a piece of my 40th Birthday cake. I know, some of you are going to tell me that 40 is not old. Some may say 40 is ancient. I'll admit, 40 is not as old as it use to be!

As a family, we have been building up to "Mama's Birthday." The big race to the finish started about a week and a half ago when I got a new laptop computer from the FedEx guy. Actually, it was from Prince Charming, but it came in the FedEx guy's chariot. The prince and princess have been full of excitement about what we could do for my birthday. What we could eat? When are we going to make the cake, etc.

Some of the best laughs came over the course of the last 3 days.

On Friday, UPS brought a package from my brother and one from my mother. I had instructions not to open the one from my mother until my birthday. Brother gave no such instructions, so it was all about the packing peanuts. Inside was a set of plastic flamingo lawn ornaments in my college colors. We promptly set them up in the yard and returned to the house to play with the boxes. Remember how much we liked this box and this box? When we went out again, the princess claimed them as her "pets."

Later in the day, we had a discussion like this:
        Prince: Why can't you open the other box?
        Me: Because my mama told me not to open it until my birthday.
        Prince: She's not the boss of you any more.

The next day, the prince was outside with Prince Charming. The princess was busy putting my shoes into empty boxes and telling me "Happy Birthday Mama." It's the thought that counts.  Anyway, at one point, we had this conversation:    
        Princess: Mama, how old are you going to be on your birthday?
        Me: Too old.
        Princess: Really. chuckles How old are you going to be?
        Me: 15
        Princess: That's doesn't look right. I'm going to say 14.
I'm going to be so sad when she learns to count past 12.

Which brings us to today:
We were eating cake and, since I already opened all the presents earlier, I jokingly said,
         "Is it time for presents?" 
         To which the prince replied to me, "You forgot to buy them, didn't you?"

I’m linking to Tiny Talk Tuesday to thank her for hosting.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Tuesday, September 28, 2010

 I thought we could create a list of “You Know You Homeschool When …”  You know, those things that just happen and you know it is because you school at home and/or wonder if they happen in the homes of you public-schooled counterparts. This will be an occasional happening here on The Cow Queen. Feel free to add your story to the one below by way of the Linky Tool at the bottom.

A week ago, I needed to renew my license at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Not knowing how long it would take, or what would be involved, I asked Prince Charming's father if he would babysit while I went to town. I left snacks, instructions for lunch and reading material.

My plan was to get to the DMV early, get done, and get out. Does anyone actually make that their plan at the DMV? Well, it worked for me. I was 7th or 8th in line before they opened. I was in and out in about 30 minutes. I made a few more quick stops. They are always quicker when you are alone. I was done so fast, that I was home before the library opened. I would have to go back another day for that.

I went home to relieve the babysitter. As we chit-chatted, he asked when we got our Agriculture Review. This is a publication from our state Department of Agriculture that has short articles and want ads. He couldn't remember getting his. Before I could answer, the prince said, "It's O.K. Granddaddy. When you get old, they don't make you take the test any more." (Implying that if he wasn't taking the test, he wouldn't need the REVIEW.)

Now, it’s your turn. Link up and tell us how your children think …

The grass is green. It’s good to be

Monday, September 27, 2010

Does anyone like to shop? I am more of a procurement-type person. I have a plan and how to accomplish it. I know what I need when I get there. I go to that department, retrieve the item, and move on. 

The prince, the princess, and I went to the mall (25 miles away) this week and made it out alive. I had a plan to go to the computer store, children's shoe store, and one other store for children's clothing. If no one melted down by this point, I thought I would scan the aisles in the mom clothing department. With two children in-tow, we rarely get that far in the process and this week was no exception.

Well, I may have found a solution to the melt downs ... shopping online. You can go shopping in your pajamas and browse all you want. If you can get free shipping, it is all the better.

I've had several things on my wish list and may have found a place to find it all. Have you heard of csnstores? They are a network of more than 200 stores. Surely, I can find what I need there.

I was looking for end tables to put in the children's new bedroom.
I'd really like to try some enamel cookware.
I'm down to only one baking sheet.
I've started trying to remember to wear an apron in the kitchen. I thought this one was cute. Notice the fringe?
I also would like to get new bedding and towels for our guest room.
Oh, and don't forget the chocolate!

I'm just trying to narrow down my list. I'm going to find something that I really like enough to order and tell you about. Go over to csnstores.com and tell me what you like. Maybe I'll pick it, and let you know how I like it. Just remember that it is my budget, and it's not huge!

The grass is green. It’s good to be


date Thursday, September 23, 2010


We started back to school a little earlier than most of the homeschoolers around here. Since school schedules were once based on the agrarian calendar (farmers needed their children to help with planting and harvesting), we set ours that way too. We don’t take the regular holidays that public school children take, but  I put in a few days for sickness, unexpected visitors, and general interruptions. Ideally, we will be done before our strawberry patch opens in the Spring.


Last week, which was week 8 for us, was the first week back to our homeschool support gatherings. We meet once a week at the Youth for Christ facility in the neighboring town.  This isn’t a direction that we go very often. So, it provides some interesting conversation about the things we see. The conversation this day went something like this:

Princess: I just saw a camel!
Queen: You did!
Princess: Yes.
Queen: Are you sure it wasn’t a llama?
(They look nothing like camels, but are more likely to be seen as guardian animals on small farms along our route.)
Princess: No, it was a camel.
Prince: Mom, what do you call a camel with no humps?
Queen: A horse? (I knew the answer at one time, but forgot … really)
Prince: No … Humphrey (aka Hump-free)
Queen: Uh.
We traveled about a mile more
Prince: Princess, what do you call a camel with no humps?
Princess: Hump-free
Prince: (under his breath) DARN!

I’m linking to Tiny Talk Tuesday to thank her for hosting.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I thought I’d try something new today. Hopefully, it will be fun for everyone. I thought we could create a list of “You Know You Homeschool When …”  You know, those things that just happen and you know it is because you school at home and/or wonder if they happen in the homes of you public-schooled counterparts. This will be an occasional happening here on The Cow Queen. Feel free to add your story to the one below by way of the Linky Tool at the bottom.

One day last week, we were finished with our homeschooling for the day. I had gone back to Mommy World to do some work and the prince was pacing through the front of the house wondering where Prince Charming was and what he was doing.

I could hear the princess in the classroom saying, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death. Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.” Since we are only just now getting to the Revolutionary War in our history lessons, it took me a while to remember the Liberty Kids video that they were watching a few weeks ago.

Then, my curiosity got the better of me. When I was last in the classroom, she was playing with toy farm animals and a toy tractor. I peeked in the door to see what kind of parade was happening. There was none. She had found a little notepad and pencil and (I guess) was writing Patrick Henry’s famous speech.

Now, it’s your turn. Link up and tell us how your children think …

The grass is green. It’s good to be


Title: Pyramath
Vendor: I See Cards
Target Ages: Those learning basic math facts to those who need review
Format: A deck of cards for purchase at the I See Cards shop 
Price: $6.95 (plus tax if you are in Florida) 

This is a game to help students master their basic math skills. A 54-carIMG_5424d deck features four mathematical symbols (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) on one side. On the other side, there is a numeral along with English, Spanish, Chinese, Roman, French and Arabic translations. The deck came with a small 28-page instruction book for “succeeding in mathematics with games.”

The object of the game is to build a pyramid using your math skills. You start with 5-7 cards in a row. Using the number cards that are next to each other, you will either add, subtract, multiply, or divide to build the next level of your pyramid. Your play surface will look something like this: howtoplay

You can play an online version (complete with prizes) here.

The Queen’s Overall Assessment:
The unit is directed towards multiple ages. Since the prince is 7 and the princess is 4, I base my assessment on those ages.

We LOVED this game. We tweaked it just a bit. Since we haven’t started learning multiplication and division, we just used addition and subtraction skills to play the game. If we (aka “the prince”) weren’t in the mood to play very long, we only started with 5 cards instead of 7. (Of course, the length of the game depends on how quick you are to get the answer and the “luck of the draw” to have the needed card come next.)

The tricky situations for us were:
  • when answers were 2-digit numbers. The instructions say that when that happens, just use the “ones” digit of that number. So, if the answer is “13”, you use the “3” card. While this provided re-enforcement of the “tens” and “ones” space, we just forgot to do it … a lot.
  • the stacking of the cards as seen in the picture. For the prince and princess, placing cards on top of each other was confusing. We just started laying them next to each other like this: pyramath2
  • have numerals facing in two directions. The design of the cards facilitates 2-person play. However, it was sometimes hard to remember if the card was a “6” or “9.”
  • instructions. While the booklet had instructions for 2-person play and variations of the game, I did not see any instructions for single-person play. However, I found the instructions here on their website.

We will definitely be checking out the other games by I See Cards as we progress in our math studies.

Be sure to check out the other reviews at The Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclaimer: This was a review of my experience with the product described. I tried to give a complete and honest assessment. In order to review the product, I received a free deck of cards with no additional compensation. This in no way influenced my review of the product. The opinions expressed are my own and were not affected or reviewed by anyone prior to publishing.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Wednesday, September 15, 2010

With getting the strawberries in last fall, seeing them through the winter, harvesting them in the spring, and getting the vegetable harvest this summer, we have not been ANYWHERE. Prince Charming travels for work (and it is all work), but that is the extent of our travels for the past year. I told him that to have a family trip that did not involve cows would be fine with me. I know you probably think that is treason around here, but I’m the Queen and I can set the rules.

This weekend, we took a day-trip to Virginia. Now, since we are a homeschooling family, you probably think that we went somewhere educational like Jamestown, Williamsburg, or Appomattox. As Southerners, perhaps we would go to The Robert E. Lee Memorial. I hate to disappoint you, but we went to none of those places. 

We needed to go to a ranch to retrieve a bull and deliver it to another ranch closer to home. Exciting, huh? 

Anyway, we made it a family trip and that at least provided a change of scenery. We sang some family favorites along the way to pass the time. We left our home at around 11:15 a.m. and returned around 9 p.m. So, there was a lot of time to pass.  We made one stop along the way to pick up a piece of equipment from another friend and visit for a few minutes. That made lunch be at 2 p.m. … WAY late for us. We got to our next destination around 3 p.m. Recharged and ready for play.

While Prince Charming visited with Rancher Ray and loaded the bull, I followed the prince and princess and Rancher Ray’s children as they explored e-v-e-r-y inch of the barn area. This was a really great experience for the prince. On our farm, he is usually the tour guide. This time, he was the tourist. It was a really great old barn with multiple levels and hidden treasures throughout. Rancher Ray’s children were great hosts and very tolerant of all of our questions.

An hour and a half later (did I say Prince Charming was visiting?), we were loading ourselves back in the truck to head home. The prince and princess were asking to stop for a drink. When we got back out to the main road, we stopped for a drink and snack. The princess picked a drink and a Blow Pop. Since she usually chooses regular lollipops, I mentioned that it was a Blow Pop and asked if she was sure that was what she wanted. She assured me she did and to the cashier we went.

A little while down the road, all was quiet (we know the secret now) and out of the back seat (and out of the mouth of a little princess) came this words …

“Look at the color.
It doesn’t make you blow up at all.”

Sometimes, I marvel at the brilliance around here.
And I still desire a family trip with no cows involved!

I’m linking to Tiny Talk Tuesday to thank her for hosting.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm linking to  A Beautiful MessAnd Miles to Go, and Five Minutes for Mom.

The grass is green. It’s good to be


date Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to start the princess off with her Kindergarten lessons. She is 4.5 years old, but already interested in a lot of the things the prince is doing in second grade. She sits through the read-alouds, participates in the science projects, does simple addition, and retains most of his memory work.

So, we started out slowly to see how things go. She will be using My Father’s World (MFW) Kindergarten program, but doing Science and History with the prince.  The first 10 days of the MFW program is learning about the creation story. By the second day, she said “I’m only in Kindergarten, and it is soooo easy.” I may have my work cut out for me!

After the first 10 days, we moved into the regular part of the program by learning about the sun. The sun reminds us that “S” says “ssssss” and that Jesus is the Light of the World. At the end of the week, she got to paint a picture of the sun. She was suppose to concentrate on doing a pattern of alternating red and orange rays for the sun. She mostly worked alone while I washed dishes. We chatted along, and I checked over my shoulder to make sure there were no big paint catastrophes. Here is what she did:
sun Isn’t that beautiful? I had to ask what the parts were in the lower left corner and toward the right-hand side. They didn’t seem to fit the pattern she created.

Have you figured out what it is???

“Oh, that’s cyberspace.”

I should have known!

I’m linking to Tiny Talk Tuesday, and Walls of Art Wednesday to thank them for hosting.

The grass is green. It’s good to be

date Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I’ve never been one to follow trends. While most women cut their hair short after having a baby, I decided to go long. I had had my hair short for my entire life.


In this shot when the prince was about 6 months old, my hair is as short as it has been for the last 10 years. After that, I found it a lot easier to “pony and go” than to dry, brush, and curling iron, (not to mention frequent trips to the hairdresser) to keep that styled look. From that point, I started growing my hair out.

before I have no idea why I am whistling.

Approximately 3 years later, it was long enough to cut and donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. This program provides wigs to chemotherapy patients through the American Cancer Society.



Of course, that meant I had to dry and curl the ends if I wanted to be anywhere near presentable to go out in public. With a spirited 3.5 –year-old and a 13-month-old, that was not in my plan! So, I started growing it out again.


beforehairGood Golly Girl! Put some color on your face !

Last week, about 3 years after the first donation, it was long enough to cut again! I had Prince Charming measure to make sure. Then, made the appointment. Last Saturday afternoon, I told my hairdresser (Miss Kim) just to make sure it was at least 8 inches (the minimum for Pantene Beautiful Lengths). She made the ponytail and measured.


Before Miss Kim made the cut, she asked me if I was sure that I wanted to do it. I am not one to be prissy about my hair. IT WILL GROW BACK!!!! Oh, and while I’m on this tangent … why do hairdressers always ask how you want the back? I DON’T CARE! I’m not going to see it anyway. In all likelihood, how it looks when I leave the salon is the only time it will look that way.


O.K. Back to the haircut…




When I got home, the prince met me at the door and said he thought I was going to look like someone else. (We had looked at online photos and discussed everything from Halle Berry’s pixie to Lady Gag’s whatever-it’s-called.)  Later in the evening, the princess wanted me to “tape the ponytail back on.” I think Prince Charming is still undecided.


As for the ponytail, I measured it. Since it was so thick, she cut it in two section. They measure from 10-11 inches!!!! This time, I am donating it to Locks of Love. This organization provides hairpieces for children with hair loss related to medical conditions.


I am so loving my new haircut. I don’t have the wispy strands tickling my face or all of it getting wrapped around my neck while I sleep. The sides are long enough to pull up on top when I need to (around the house) or tuck behind my ears to run errands.

I didn’t blog about my new doo to get a pat on the back for being a do-gooder. I just wanted to bring attention to these organizations who do good for others. If you have long hair and are thinking about a bold new style, check them out before you make your cut.


I’m linking to Feature Yourself Friday, Follow Me Friday, and I’m Lovin’ It.

Disclaimer: My TOS  crewmate Wendy from Homeschooling Blessings was the inspiration for this post. Read her story here.


The grass is green. It’s good to be


date Friday, September 3, 2010


I'm linking to Wordless Wednesday, A Beautiful Mess, Miles to Go, and Five Minutes for Mom.

The grass is green. It’s good to be


date Wednesday, September 1, 2010