A Tree For Many Christmases

We put up our tree yesterday, as we always do on the day after Thanksgiving.  It is starting to lose some of its very-fake branches.  We could get a new tree, but I’m too cheap to spend a bunch of money on something we only use for a month out of the year and totally cover up anyway.  We bought the one we do have in the off-season at a going-out-of-business sale right before we moved into this house 15 years ago.  We inherited my mother-in-law’s ornaments, mostly a ton of hardy red plastic balls.  I know they’re hardy because she had them before she got married.  They’re probably about 50 years old and I really like them.  (Whoever invented…

An Interview With My Grandpa Moss

This is the latest installment of a series about family history interviews. In my last blog post, An Interview With My Grandma Stafford, I shared the notes of an interview I did with my maternal grandmother before she passed away.  This was a follow-up to the original post, Something You Won’t Regret, in which I discuss family history interviews. This post is to share a similar interview that I did with my paternal grandfather a few months before he died.  It’s been edited a little to make an oral interview make sense in written form.  This interview focused more on stories because we already had most of the pertinent dates of birth, full names of parents, etc.  Just to give you some…

An Interview With My Grandma Stafford

In my last blog post, Something You Won’t Regret, I mentioned interviewing my maternal grandmother before she passed away.  Following is most of that interview.  It’s been edited a little to make an oral interview make sense in written form.  As you can see, it helps during the interview to have someone who knows enough about the person’s life to ask leading, open-ended questions.  This interview focused more on stories because we already had most of the pertinent dates of birth, full names of parents, etc.  Just to give you some context, she was born in 1912 and lived her whole life in and around Morris, Oklahoma with the exception of the few years during the Dust Bowl that they…

Something You Won’t Regret

Listen up!  I’m about to tell you something that you will not regret, and you’ll definitely look back on it and thank me for nudging you to do it.  Are you ready?  Here goes, but first let me tell you a little story. When I was a senior in high school I took American History.  I had a teacher who certainly wasn’t my favorite for various reasons I shall not go into here.  But he did something for me for which I will be forever grateful: he assigned extra credit.  This was wonderful not because of the few extra points it earned me, but because of the assignment itself.  The assignment was to interview an older person about their life.…

We Can Finally Eat Waffles

Occasionally I like to serve breakfast food for supper.  Oh, I know it’s not the most healthy, low-fat, low-carb, or low-sodium meal, but it’s yummy enough to make me compromise that for one night.  So a few years ago I asked Santa for a waffle-maker for Christmas.  That and a large blender.  Yeah, I’m a pretty practical kind of girl.  Any gift that will make my life easier on a daily basis is just fine with me. I imagined fluffy waffles smothered in butter, syrup, fruit, nuts, whipped cream…..  Reality was something quite different.  You see I have 5 kids who at that time were quite small.  The picture below was taken around that time. Reality was that I cooked…

The Curriculum I Use: A Review of The Well Trained Mind

I often have people ask me what curriculum I use.  I think they are expecting an easy response like “I get these DVDs from Somewhere Corporation and they teach my kids everything they need to know.  The program is all laid out nice and easy like, and it can teach any child.  I don’t even think about it; I just pull it out of the box, and voila (which is French for “there it is”, by the way), the child is smart.”  Well, it’s not quite that easy. One of the main reasons I homeschool is because I want a different experience, not cookie-cuttered, and not patterned after a brick-and-mortar school somewhere.  If I can make school personalized to exactly what…