Monday, June 25, 2007

Update on Landis Lawsuit

Good news for Mennonite farmer James Landis! According to an article on the Morning Call Online website (Morning Call is a local newspaper):

"The state Agriculture Department acknowledged Friday that it erroneously advised Pennsylvania poultry farmers they were required to enroll in a voluntary federal farm-registration program in order to participate in the state's avian-influenza monitoring program this year.

Spokesman Christopher Ryder said officials realized the error only after the department was sued by a conservative Mennonite farmer who claimed he would suffer ''eternal damnation'' if he complied with the rule and got a federal registration number to continue to sell his ducks."

You can click here to read the rest of the story

Friday, June 22, 2007

First Anti-NAIS Lawsuit Filed

According to the NONAIS.ORG
the first Anti-NAIS lawsuit has been filed in Pennyslvania by Mr. James Landis. Mr. Landis is a Mennonite farmer who raises Muscovy Ducks for a living. He has long voluntarily participated in the Avian Influenza Monitoring Program of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA). This was necessary for Landis because he sells his ducks to live bird markets in New York City. The PDA notified him in April, 2007 that he must now have a NAIS on his farm in order to send his ducks to market. He has hired the Allied Defense League to fight this requirement. NAIS is currently only voluntary according to the federal governement and not legislation has been passed in PA making it law.

For more info go the NONAIS.ORG website.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, a woman my mom greatly admired at the church we attended at the time.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Been a while!

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? when I take my time and write nicely

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Do hotdogs count?

DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes four with one more due in 6 weeks.

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably

DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? No, not me? ;)

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Maybe!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Homemade Granola

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? What are tye shoes??? I usually where slipons (or buckled sandals), but on the occassion I do where sneakers, no i dont untie.

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Only compared to some.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? BREYERS

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? not sure, probably eyes.

RED OR PINK? Red!

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My dad

WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? denim maternity overalls

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A Hershey bar...but that is actually unusual, I am usually going after the fruit.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? the humm of my computer and quiet of my home.

IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Navy Blue

FAVORITE SMELLS? lilacs, lavendar, freshly baked bread or cookies

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? my hubby!

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Ummm, it used to be baseball, but I really dont like to watch sports

HAIR COLOR? Brown

EYE COLOR? Hazel/Green

DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I used to wear one (I know, Im weird).

FAVORITE FOOD? Pizza, hamburgers, brownies & ice cream & fruit

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy Endings

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Not sure....its been a couple of weeks.....maybe "One Night with the King" but I fell asleep towards the ending (hey it was 2am)

WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? I was wearing red, but it got hot and its a grey sports...thing (blush)

SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer

HUGS OR KISSES? both

MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? not sure

LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I'd be surprised if anybody responded.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? A lot of children's books, we signed up this week for the library's summer reading program.

FAVORITE SOUND[S]? Laughter of my children, the sound of water

ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? neither....well probably the Beatles if I HAD to choose.

WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? France

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? nope

WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Long Island, NY

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Summer Reading Program and DD's BD

Yesterday was my oldest dd's birthday. She is now 9 years old and such a blessing to me. We began by (after tidying up the living room & kitchen) going to the Library to sign up for the Summer Reading Program. We checked out a lot of books (of course all four of my children were signed up!) We came home read a couple of books and then got ready for their aunt's (my sister) visit. She came and got to visit with her niece (and namesake) and then DD and DS (whose BD was last week) went out for lunch and birthday shopping with their grandmother. They came back at four and since our local Fried Chicken place was closed, we drove 20 minutes to the nearest KFC/TB, went for a little exploratory hike where we saw a demolished factory etc. and came back home for dessert.....homemade ice cream cake, instead of the traditional vanilla and chocolate with crushed cookie filling, I made it with mint chocolate chip and chocolate. YUMMY!

We spent more time reading and they are already up to the second prize and then time for bed, the day was concluded by a spectacular thunderstorm.

Now that we have signed up and started the Summer Reading program (and had a few hot and sticky days) I feel as though summer has officially begun!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Future of Food

If you havent seen this set of videos, I would suggest you do if you have or as you have the time (and preferably High Speed Internet). It is interesting to see what the government allows to happen to our food.









Here is part one. Links to the rest:

Part two



Part three



Part four



Part five



Part six

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Evaluations

Emily had her first evaluation today. She did very well and is now offically considered a 4th grader. WAHOO!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

We are finished.....

Today was our last day of school. My daughter missed a day last week which is why we ended today on a Saturday. Her Portfolio is completed and Monday is her evaluation, then all we have to do is get it to the portfolio with the evalulators letter to school district for review by July 1 ! *Sigh*. Then the process starts all over again with a letter of intent, copy of recent physical, ( I have to get that done), copy of high school diploma (mine), copy of immunizations and a notarized affidavit in to the school district by August 1. Doesnt that make you just want to move to PA to homeschool your child!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

NPR Interview with Ron Paul

Here is a great interview with Ron Paul done by NPR. This is the first of 5 segments...you can go to You Tube for the rest of them or you can clink on the links below.





Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wild Africa!

Strawberry Jam - no sugar added

This morning, I taught my girls how to make strawberry jam. It was a learning experience for me as well because this was the first time I used the "No Sugar Needed" Pectin. So we took 2 quarts of strawberries, washed, hulled and pureed them (in the blender) = 5 cups. Added a cup of unsweetened apple juice and put over the flame where we were supposed gradually add and constantly stir in the pectin, well I did what it said, but the pectin clumped (I dont ever remember it doing that with the sugar kind), so I stuck it back in the blender got rid of the clumps and put it back on the stove. I was going to skim off the foam, but the whole thing was a cloudy color (unlike what I was used to where you have the colored liquid with a little bit of foam on top to skim), so I put it as was in the sterilized jars, put on the sterlized lids and put in for a water bath for 10 minutes per the directions. The jars have sealed well, but the color is still "strange". Does anybody have any experience making sugar free jams and jellies.....is this the way it is supposed to be? Just wondering.

The jelly is definitely not sweet like we are used, but I think it will make a great combination with some natural peanut butter and I feel better knowing that it has all natural sugars.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pregnancy Update

I had my midwife's appointment this morning and it is the best one I have had to date. I LOST 9 lbs, My blood pressure was 112/70 (last visit it was 132/90), the baby was head down and my glucose results were normal. PTL! I was on cloud nine and very thankful walking out. I came home, met up with my MIL & Chillins and we went strawberry picking, froze two gallon freezer bags full and have enough to make some sugar free jam!

Jane Austen Quiz

I am Elizabeth Bennet!


Take the Quiz here!


Monday, June 04, 2007

Spelling Time

One website that my daughter and I enjoy for school is called Spellingtime.com . After signing up with a log in and password....you can set up a childs grade level and have them do the spelling lists on the site or you can modify the program with your own spelling lists. It is set up so they do spelling 5X a week. The first day, the program introduces the words etc, the second day they play a game of hangman and write the spelling words, the third day they do a word scramble with the words...etc. After completing each day sucessfuly the child earns "coins" to play a game. They can then choose one game to play as a reward. My 8 year old daughter really enjoys it. I dont have her do it everday as we are doing Rod & Staff this year with spelling, but I let her do it as a reward. Next year we plan on using McGuffey and I thought I would just modify the lists and add our own words. So if you want a way to "spice" up your spelling program check it out....and the best thing is that it is free!

Book Adventures

My oldest daughter loves to read. She reads anything and everything. I did not do a formal reading program this year, but I new she was reading and comprehending what she was reading (she would usually come and give me an impromptu book report on the lastest book she had just read). Some one on the Well Trained Mind Board mentioned the website Book Adventures for quizzing your child on the books they had read. For each test they complete they get a certain numer of points....you accumulate points for different prizes. I showed this to my daughter and she loved it. She keeps looking for even MORE books to read so she can be quizzed on them. The parent can also have an account linked to their child and it will give them a report of what books the child has been quizzed on and their scores. It also sends an email for approval if when your child picks a prize. We have really been enjoying this site the past few months.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A Good Day's Work!

I spent most of today outdoors, sifting our soil to separate the "wheat from the chaff". My husband came home 2 weeks ago with 40+ tomato plants .....and I had no place to plant them. So, I told him to get me all the 5 gallon drywall buckets he had (he is a contractor and thankfully saves them) and started working on the dirt pile. I cut holes in the bottom of the containers, put some large rocks and then filled the rest of the bottom with the smaller rocks (that I had sorted from the dirt). Then I filled the buckets with the now nicer soil and planted a tomato in each one. So far we only have 8 buckets, I also had a large rubbermaid container that I had used to keep the childrens toys in, it had a hole and crack in the bucket, so I transferred them to a nicer container (that dh had picked up somewhere) and did the same method to the large container. I was able to fit 5 plants in that, add a couple of smaller tubs and a plastic cauldron (another aquisition of dh's), and a plastic drawer and I was able to plant 6 more plants. Filled 3 empty corners of my squares (now that the lettuce and spinach seem to be done for the season) and I have planted a total of 22 tomato plants. Gave 4 plants to my neighbor and 5 plants had to be composted, so I now have only 9+ tomato plants left to plant. Anyway, my back is a little achy after all that sifting, rock lifting, full bucket carrying and tomato planting, but I feel as though I got a lot accomplished. Thank the good Lord for that! :)