Sunday Journal: Christmas Reflections, Slobbery Kisses, and Houdini

20151223_094152 (480x640)Christmas is now past. Tomorrow the tree and decorations will slowly make their way to storage for another year. The house will feel empty and cold with all the cheerful and bright baubles hidden away. My heart wasn’t where it should be. Not this year. Maybe because the kids have been sick…or exhaustion from the move…or isolation from the Christian community.

my boys playing on the monastery grounds

my boys playing on the monastery grounds

Last week we visited the nuns and I was glad to see them again. I’ll get to see them more often now that we live closer. The boys played on the grounds outside while Sparkles and I did most of the visiting. My husband actually got to enter the cloister! One of the printers was broken and since he is an engineer…he can fix anything. He also used to work for a printer company. Anyway, I thought it was neat he saw a part of the cloister. Every time I visit with my dear sisters

Grandma opening her gifts

Grandma opening her gifts

they tell me that my husband was an answer to their prayers for me. I always leave feeling so…loved.

My mother came by for a couple of days earlier this week. She and the kids exchanged gifts. I helped the kids cajole her into playing video games with them. We barely spoke to one another. I didn’t let her stress me out this time. When she criticized me I just

game time with Grandma

game time with Grandma

turned and walked out of the room. I really do not have to sit in silence and take her heartless words. I only told her once that I wasn’t going to listen when she talked to me like that. The rest of the time I just walked away. This was the calmest visit ever…because I chose not to be her dumping ground.

We enjoyed our own rather quiet family time together on Christmas Eve. The kids opened their gifts from each other. Our main gift for the family this year was a

opening the family gift

opening the family gift

membership to the Cincinnati Zoo which is less than two hours away. I am looking forward to many fun zoo trips this year. My husband and I decided last year that we want to give our kids the gift of experiences over materialism. We want them to have wonderful family memories to look back on someday…when we are gone. More than anything I want my crew to know just how truly loved and deeply loveable they are to us. I didn’t get that as a kid.

opening stockings

opening stockings

On Christmas morning the kids checked their stocking to see what Santa left for them. I think only Littlest actually believes in Santa now. We only have a couple of years left for believing in Christmas magic. I’ll be melancholic when Littlest quits believing.

nap during Christmas day travels

nap during Christmas day travels

Later, we left for Western Kentucky to spend the day with my husband’s family. I enjoyed watching all of the children open their gifts. The baby of the family is really cute and he gave me a slobbery kiss from my jaw all the way to my brow! TWICE! The mother was apologetic but she really didn’t need to bother. That moment was likely the sweetest and most loving moment we will ever share together. He’ll only see me on holidays once or twice a year. I’ll be a stranger. This year strangers are loveable people worthy of slobbery kisses…but not ever again.

Mr. Slobbery Kisses

Mr. Slobbery Kisses

The next morning we rushed to Suzann’s home for breakfast. She made us a wonderful feast of ham, sausage, fried potatoes, biscuits, eggs, jams, jellies, juice and coffee. The kids played with her grandson and watched television with her husband. We all talked, laughed, exchanged gifts and loved each other. Awesome morning! We left her home with a new family member…Boots the cat.

Sparkles and Boots the Houdini Cat

Sparkles and Boots the Houdini Cat

Boots road in the front seat in a pet carrier all the way from Western Kentucky. About four hours. She is an awesome passenger. Very calm. Sparkles is over-the-moon to have her own pet!!

Today, Boots gave us quite a scare. We couldn’t find her anywhere and were convinced that she had somehow escaped outside. My husband tore the house apart looking for her. I tore the house apart. The kids searched diligently for her. My husband walked through the neighbor in the pouring rain for her (okay, really he walked in the pouring rain for Sparkles). Sparkles

Sparkles and Christmas outfit...because it was too warm for Christmas sweaters

Sparkles and Christmas outfit…because it was too warm for Christmas sweaters

cried her heart out. We were a heart-broken family. We were never ever going to own a pet again. NEVER! By the time we put our sorrowful children to bed the cat had been missing for about eight hours. I was sitting at this computer trying to write this post. But I couldn’t. I was so angry…I was pissed-off at God for breaking my daughter’s heart. I knew she was in her bed crying and I couldn’t bring that cat back. So I blamed God. I let Him have it!!! And when I ran out of words and sat here crying, my daughter let out a scream of delight.

Boots was in her room, perfectly okay and purring like there was no tomorrow. I immediately loved and hated that cat. I’m still mad a God for putting us through that emotional turmoil.  My husband renamed the cat Houdini.

Julie receiving her gift from the community that loves her so much

Julie receiving her gift from the community that loves her so much

In the middle of all of this cat missing feline episode I got to participate in a wonderful event with the Bravescopes community. Julie Bogart from Brave Writer has given so much of herself freely to us in the homeschooling community. I feel like I should have continuing education credits added to my college transcript for all of the knowledge she has passed on to me. Some of the amazing ladies put together a funding site for Julie. The funding project was for a kayak (and necessary accessories) because it was something she has always wanted to do. I got to participate in this project and watch her reaction live on Periscope when we gave her this gift of love. Wow!

Honestly, I’m done in. Today was truly awful and wonderful. I hope tomorrow is boring. My heart is too full.

 

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Weekly Wrap-up: Last One of the Year

ringing Salvation Army bell

ringing Salvation Army bell

Another week full of busy days. Last Friday my husband and the kids rang the bell for the Salvation Army. They brought the Bow-tie Man’s  full pickle jar from last year’s bell ringing and took turns emptying the change into the red bucket. The empty jar now sits on our dining room table waiting for coins.  Saturday morning my husband and the older three went with the children’s church group to see “Night at the Museum 3” and then out for pizza and games. This was Middle Boy’s first trip to the movies!!! We’ll never make “parents of the year” at this rate…Littlest and I stayed home and I tried to get some housework done. I wasn’t very successful with the housework but did manage to get goodie bags made for all of the kids Sunday School teachers. That same evening Mrs. Melody came over to watch the crew while my husband and I attended a work dinner party. The kids were anxious for her to come over so they could give her the Christmas gift they had chosen just for her.

working on ceramic pieces

working on ceramic pieces

Sunday morning it was our family’s turn to light the Advent candle. The rest of the day was quite lovely since we got to stay home!!  On Monday we went to a Happy Birthday Jesus party with friends.  This week in the school room the crew worked on their history ceramic projects from Art In History.  We also finished up our Beethoven book and listened to his music while working on the ceramic pieces. Middle Boy (I should change his name on here to Piano Man) kept asking me to replay the fourth movement. He then insisted we turn to YouTube and find it for “piano only and without all of the distracting singing parts.” All this week he has worked at the piano trying to figure out how to play the song.

playing in leaves

playing in leaves

Middle Boy doesn’t just practice one song at a time. He will start out with “scales” (I’ve no idea what that means) then play a bit of “The Entertainer”. He will then, without pausing, switch to one of the “Doctor Who” themes (I Am the Doctor is his usual choice but sometimes it is the main theme). He will follow this with his practice pieces, “Carol of the Bells” parts he has figured out and then “Ode to Joy”. It’s all a bit rambled together.  My biggest challenge is getting him to practice one song at a time followed by getting him off the piano so the rest of the crew can practice.

Littlest's first day of Kindergarten!!!

Littlest’s first day of Kindergarten!!!

Littlest’s Kindergarten curriculum came in this week. He is so excited and begged every day to do a lesson. He figured out on his own that his books are in alphabetical order and would follow me around with his “A” book. I finally caved in and we did the first lesson together. We went through the extra school supplies and he picked out pencils, erasers, glue sticks and scissors. He also found a Batman zipper case to hold everything. His favorite find was a Batman ruler! We then went through the bookshelves and pulled a bunch of books just for him. Later this week I will clear a lower shelf and we’ll put all of his school things together. We read a couple of books together and worked on how to properly hold a crayon. He really just wanted to use the ruler so I let him measure some of his books. We’ll only work on Kindergarten by demand for now and when preschool ends in April he’ll get a regular schedule.

at Christmas Eve candlelight service

at Christmas Eve candlelight service

On Christmas Eve we went to the early Candlelight service. Littlest stayed in my lap most of the time. Afterwards, we went to Mrs. Cuddle-me’s home for dinner and a game of poker. She made a lovely and very yummy buche de noel. I’ve always wanted to make one of those!! She even made the meringue mushrooms. We tucked everyone into bed just as Christmas arrived. Christmas morning was nice and sweet. After opening our stockings we made pancakes and enjoyed the rest of the day. Littlest and I took a nice long nap together on the couch. We then got ready and went to one of the aunt’s home for the family Christmas dinner and gift exchange. After getting home we all gathered together to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special.

This week was good but exhausting. I slept several hours today after being up sick for most of the night. I was also up and sick most of Tuesday night. At first I thought I had caught a virus or something but now I think it may be related to my diet. I noticed overly sweet foods can make me feel ill at times and this week I even felt nauseous after enjoying some sweets. I am glad that we do not have many obligations next week.

Lot’s of pictures this week!!!

Weekly Wrap-up: Caroling and Forty-Two

company Christmas party

company Christmas party

I think I will go on strike if next December is as busy as this one…

Last Friday was my birthday…forty-two years. Our older three went to a program at church that evening leaving just Littlest with us. I almost had my husband to myself! He took Littlest and me out to a hibachi restaurant for dinner. Littlest was very entertained by all of the fire and theatrics of our chef!!! I enjoyed my birthday dinner out very much.

Littlest and one of his big girls

Littlest and one of his big girls

The weekend was busy and went by in a blur. On Saturday my husband took Oldest to observe a Lego Robotics competition with the technology club. They will be involved in the Lego Robotics League and competitions beginning in the spring. As soon as they returned home we headed to my husband’s workplace for a Christmas party for the kids. Mrs. Clause told Sparkles that Santa would prefer we leave out my homemade applesauce in place of cookies on Christmas Eve. Sparkles couldn’t believe she knew all about our vanilla applesauce. I get the feeling we’ll be doing this every year now. I also happen to know that Mrs. Clause makes some really tasty jams and jellies!  On Sunday we enjoyed the Christmas Cantata

best fried chicken ever!!!!

best fried chicken ever!!!!

at church and then I went to lunch with the ladies group. I was nervous going out with the group because I am not very good at small talk. I do not mind listening but participating is sometimes tiring. I admire people who have the skill to converse. Eventually someone asked about homeschooling and then I talked too much…because my kids are my passion. I love homeschooling them! (I’m also passionate about my husband, my faith, and green smoothies…that’s about it these days.) I try not to talk about homeschooling in-depth because I know most people are only superficially interested. Hopefully, I didn’t bore the ladies too much. I got home just in time for my husband to start making dinner. This week he finally perfected his fried chicken recipe. I thought he had accomplished it the previous week…but no.

my birthday dinner

my birthday dinner

We went caroling with our church family on Wednesday night (after I had fasted for most of the day for a doctor’s appointment). I really wasn’t in the mood to go at first but the older three really wanted (begged with sweet smiles and I just could not disappoint them) to participate. I’m glad we went. All that Christmas cheer dissipated my grumpiness. The last time I went caroling was twenty years ago at a hospital in Alton. We sang Silent Night in German…my ability to pronounce German is far worse than my singing voice. That is saying something y’all!!!

Littlest's preschool class with Santa Clause

Littlest’s preschool class with Santa Clause. He is in the white vest.

Today, we went to Littlest’s preschool Christmas party. He must be a bit of a cut-up in class. He made silly faces for all of the pictures and his teacher said she would not be surprised if he ended up on Saturday Night Live. We were also told he likes to hang upside down while watching programs. Nice…

In school this week we wrapped up our studies for break. We are not schooling much the next couple of weeks. The crew will be working on some art and writing projects. I will be evaluating the first half of the school year and planning out our year-long nature study of the back yard. I also decided to give Littlest a Kindergarten readiness exam. He thought the test was fun and wanted to do another. He scored an 82 (out of

Littlest

Littlest

100) and only needed 58 points to be considered ready for Kindergarten. I called the homeschool department at Christian Light Education to talk to an advisor. She asked me several questions about his abilities and discussed the readiness test results with me. She thought it best that he start Kindergarten right away instead of waiting until preschool let out. I was prepared to order their entire Kindergarten program but she said he didn’t need all the books based on what he already knows. Every time I talk to representatives of this company my respect grows. They were more concerned with providing what we needed than making a sale.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: One Amazing Weekend

Christmas card picture

Christmas card picture

Wow!!! This was a week to remember for our family.

Saturday morning, just Littlest and I had a special morning to ourselves at the Angel Breakfast at church. Just the two of us…a rare event for any of the kids to have me to themselves. We enjoyed breakfast with our church friends and made several crafts. Littlest especially enjoyed story time with Mrs. M and the visit from the two “angels”. The visiting angels were so nice to leave us some of their feathers to make an ornament for our Christmas tree. Several times this week Littlest has pointed out to his older siblings that he has a “real angel feather” from one of Jesus’ friends. The entire time we were at the breakfast Littlest kept asking when his brothers and sister would join us. My kids are used to traveling in a pack…they don’t quite know how to be without each other…except for Oldest, he loves alone time with one of us.

Angel visit at Angel Breakfast

Angel visit at Angel Breakfast

Sunday night was our church’s annual “Holly Jollies and Frosty Follies Christmas Celebration”. As a church family we enjoyed a potluck meal together and an entertaining talent show. Our night was hosted by the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who…they were awesome!!! My older three each performed on piano for the first time ever for an audience. Oldest played “We Three Kings”, Sparkles played, “Silent Night” and Middle Boy did “The Entertainer”. They all played well but Middle Boy’s love of the piano was obvious. I was stunned at the applause he received. The Grinch “fired” the current music minister after Middle Boy’s performance.  I was far more nervous than they were and was nearly sick. Their piano teacher, the fabulous Mrs. Melody, came to see them

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Go Tell It on the Mountain

perform and my crew chose to sit with her when they were not on stage. She is more than a piano teacher to them (and me too!) she’s an adopted Grandmother. We were also delighted that a couple of family members came to see the crew on stage.  Oldest also played Grandpa in a little skit called, “Tell it Again, Grandpa”. He told the Christmas story in the little play and did his best to dress as an old man. Then all the children sang “Go Tell It on the Mountain”. Littlest and the rest of the preschoolers also participated in the festivities  and played “Away in a Manger” with their handbells. I am so proud of my crew they did so well!!! I was a nervous wreck the entire evening and need to learn to relax…I am so thankful that we were so quickly adopted into our church community and am so grateful my children have a safe place to share their talent and love of music. They are already planning next year’s pieces for the show!

Little Ringers Bell Choir. Littlest is in the white vest.

Little Ringers Bell Choir. Littlest is in the white vest.

The rest of the week went by in a blur. Littlest went to preschool this week and every morning begged to go somewhere else. Mom guilt hit me hard this week and I started researching Kindergarten curriculum for him next year instead of sending him to another year of preschool. Mom guilt sucks!

In school this week we continued to learn about Michael Faraday whom my kids just love at this point.  Today we had to look up pictures of where he is buried…Highgate Cemetery in London, England in case you did not know. They all told me they wished they could leave a flower or two at his grave. They really hold him in high esteem. I doubt we shall ever go to England as a family but perhaps one of them may get the opportunity someday.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Clearing the Soul Clutter

my favorite ornamnent

my favorite ornament

Seems like forever since I sat down for some blogging therapy. Generally, half of the words that pour from my head never make it to the published page…but it is healing to clear such clutter from my mind and soul.  This tiny spot on the internet was the place I used to exorcise my daemons. A place to expose all of the raw nerves of pain that do not heal when it is kept inside. For me, the act of typing it all out was freeing. I could just let things go…or leave them on the page…making room for the peace and healing that only Jesus can sooth. Anyway, once I started writing homeschool product reviews on this page I deleted most of those posts. All of this is to say that I missed writing my wrap-up last week because of Thanksgiving. My head has felt too full and rattled this week. Even though Christmas and New Year’s falls on Thursday nights this year I’ll be on here writing my wrap-ups. This is my therapy…I need to get this clutter out of my head…otherwise I’ll have another discombobulated week like this one where my head feels too stuffed. Enough of that…on to the past two weeks.

handprints

handprints

My sweet crew was very excited about Thanksgiving this year (me too). We spent 13 months studying Early American History. This year we were ready for Thanksgiving! Not just for the food but in our hearts. The kids really wanted to participate in the holiday and to help prepare the food and meaningful decorations. Well, they really couldn’t do that with the extended family because everything is already sorted out. So we decided to have a family Thanksgiving on Friday. We made a special tablecloth with our handprints and everyone participated in preparing all of the dishes. Oldest made a hash brown casserole and helped with the special braided herb bread. Sparkles wanted to make deviled eggs. Middle Boy made some fun turkey cookies. Littlest enjoyed being underfoot!!! My husband smoked the turkey and made the cornbread dressing. I had my hand in everything but especially enjoyed the pitcher of Sangria I made just for me (I drank the entire pitcher over two days)!!! The crew’s writing assignment for the week was to tell who they wish they could have Thanksgiving dinner with and why. I loved their answers!!!!

Littlest and turkey decorations

Littlest and turkey decorations

Oldest chose Sir Isaac Newton: “…because of how he had thanksgiving almost every day in his heart. He loved God and was super smart.”

Sparkles chose Jesus: “…because he is special and I love him.”

Middle Boy chose Mrs. V (his pre-school teacher): “…because she was one of my favorite teachers and I really love her.”

I just loved their Thanksgiving papers!!! Can you tell?

Over the weekend we put up the Christmas tree and the rest of the decorations. This is the first year we put up the Christmas Village our neighbor gave us. Oldest put it up on the piano and he just loves it! We figured out the cathedral is an MP3 player!! How cool is that!!!!

snap circuit fun

snap circuit fun

Home education this week was really hard. We are all ready for a break (just two more weeks!) We are on our last Light Unit of math and will finally be at grade level in January. As we finish up our units this month we will not begin new ones until January. In science we started a book about Michael Faraday. The kids love this biography! After studying Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla, and now Michael Faraday they are all ready to dedicate their lived to science!!! We are loving Beautiful Feet Books science curriculum this year!!!

Speaking of science, we participated in one of the Supercharged Science online classes yesterday on electricity. My crew loved it and ended up playing with their snap-circuit set the

cuteness

cuteness

rest of the evening. I liked the webcast for the most part. I did not enjoy that half of it was a sales pitch…boo! I have not been happy with any homeschool based science so far…I wish I could find a science curriculum that I loved…I am open to suggestions.

We’ve also spent the past couple of weeks trying out art curriculums. We like ArtAtelier and SeeTheLight. I have a few more free samples to try out before we make our choice for next year. Any suggestions?

This weekend is a huge for the crew!!! They will be playing piano for the first time for an audience. I am so excited and nervous for them. Oldest is also I the Christmas play at church and I can hardly wait to see him!!! There will be lots of pictures next week!!!

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly-Wrap-up: Bow-tie Man and the Pickle Jar

with my older boys

with my older boys

Christmas is gone already and we are spending the rest of the week just relaxing. We are supposed to take a drive to Amish country today but my husband stayed up late reading the book I got him for Christmas…so we may not go anywhere today. We had a very busy but nice Christmas.

Over the weekends the kids got to help ring the Salvation Army Bell at Wal-Mart. My husband has rung the bell every year (he might have missed one…I can’t remember) since we moved here. The kids like to ring the bell too so I usually walk around the store for an hour so they can take turns. This year a gentleman who must have been in his eighties wearing an old but still nice suit and bow-tie (“just like Doctor Who’s!!!!” Oldest told me) brought a pickle jar full of change to put in the Salvation Army bucket. The kids helped him put all of the change in the bucket. He left the pickle jar. My husband and the kids

Middle Boy ringing the bell

Middle Boy ringing the bell

decided to bring it home and fill it up again for next year. I have no idea who you are Bow-tie Man but you made a beautiful impression on my family. We’ll bring that pickle jar back next year…and it will be full.

I spent Monday in the kitchen making goodies getting ready for a get together with friends and for family. Several people have asked for the recipes so I will post those on here before the end of the year.  We spent Christmas Eve with friends over at Mrs. Cuddle-me’s place. The kids love going over and honestly so do I. We went shooting,

Middle Boy playing the organ

Middle Boy playing the organ

ate lots of yummy food and just enjoyed hanging out together. The highlight of the day was watching Middle Boy play Christmas songs on her organ. He had never played an organ before but you would not have known that by listening to him. Middle Boy loves music.

Christmas morning was fairly quiet for us. We opened stockings and then I made the annual Christmas pancake breakfast. Later we went to my husband’s sister’s house for the family Christmas dinner and gift exchange. I was a little worried over enduring a repeat of the Thanksgiving Day anxiety happening again…maybe more than a little worried. Anyway, I did manage to keep myself mostly under control and spent most of my time bouncing between the kids. I am not sure what I am going to do when the kids are too old for me to hide behind…

Christmas with the in-laws

Christmas with the in-laws

Yesterday the kids and I cleaned the house and then they played with all of their new toys. We had a nice quiet day. So nice that I almost forgot about piano lessons…almost. The amazing moment of the day was when Littlest wrote his name all by himself. I had no intentions of teaching him how to write or read until he was much older. I guess he didn’t like that idea and taught himself how to write! I may need to revise my plans. We’ll start school up next week because my crew (and their mom) really need their routine back. We are close to wrapping our current studies up and so I need to start gathering supplies for our short semester and planning out next school year’s courses and activities. I was advised by Rea Berg (founder of Beautiful Feet Books!!!) to find some books by Edwin Tunis to aid in our history studies. Since she is the author of our favorite curriculum I took her suggestion as gospel and found seven ex-library copies to add to our shelves. One of the books came with a child’s drawing on the cover. The library (Pacific Grove Public Library) had even covered the drawing with plastic to protect the art work. I thought about removing it but decided to leave Mr. G Powell’s aged four years cover art…it just adds character.

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Weekly Wrap-up: Armageddon and Angry American

Sparkles and Middle Boy at Pella Christmas party

Sparkles and Middle Boy at Pella Christmas party

With a title like that you’d think I had a hum-dinger of a week…but not really. We had a really nice week. My husband and I enjoyed our date night out and finished up some Christmas shopping. My husband’s family draws name for Christmas and I drew one of my brother-in-law’s. I asked his wife for some hints but she just said to get him a “tool or something”. I have no idea how to pick out tools nor do I have a clue what sort of tools he needs or wants. But with my husband’s help I managed to get him some non tool things for Christmas that I hope he will enjoy. And with that all of our Christmas shopping and gift wrapping is done. Yeah!!

Oldest and Littlest coloring together

Oldest and Littlest coloring together

Saturday we took the kids skating. Sparkles won two games and Oldest won one game as well. Later, we went to my husband’s place of work for the kids’ Christmas party. I think it is really nice that Pella provides fun for the company kids during Christmas and Easter every year. The kids always have a good time and I get to meet some of my husband’s co-workers.

Amazon boxes...best toys ever

Amazon boxes…best toys ever

We did not get much school done this week. We kept up with math and Bible studies but tabled everything else until after Christmas. I spent a bit of time in the kitchen making cookies, winter Chex mix, candied almonds and snockered snowmen. This weekend I’ll be busy preparing food for a Christmas get together with friends at Mrs. Cuddle-me’s place and the annual family Christmas get together at my sister-in-law’s home. My husband is not working on Christmas week this year (first time in years) and we are looking forward to having him around. Littlest actually cried this morning when he left for work.

even Batman needs to nap

even Batman needs to nap

I finished reading A Tale of Two Kingdoms this week. The end of the book goes through Revelations from the Bible and the final battle between God and Satan. The book was a bit frightening to read. The author said during the end times people would be forced to worship the anti-Christ through the power of the state. Then my husband recommended I read Going Home by Angry American. The book is about a man who is 250 miles away from his family when the government allows an EMP device of some sort to destroy the power grid. Fortunately the protagonist is a prepper and eventually makes it back to his family by the end of the book. The scary part of the book is the description of the decline of society. Some of the events in the book are horrifying and reminded me of a forum thread about surviving Sarajevo. Toward the end of the book the government dissolves the Constitution and it just starts to sound like the country is run by Nazis and the Department of Homeland Security are the new Stasi. Scary stuff…

Littlest working on spelling

Littlest working on spelling

After reading these two books I was a bit on edge and suffered nightmares for two nights. Then I heard that someone on Duck Dynasty (I do not watch it) is in trouble with society for being a Christian and Ohio is considering having Social Services investigate every homeschooling family. I feel sad when I look at America today. I think our country that once stood for freedom for all people is slipping away. But not just America…I think we are witnessing the beginning of the decline of Western Culture as a whole. I do not recommend reading about the Apocalypse and survivalist books back to back…just don’t. It’ll make you want to bug out and start homesteading in Alaska.

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