Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Millinery Jaunt to Colonial Williamsburg

On this day I ran away to Colonial Williamsburg by myself (with permission, of course)! I had a wonderful day with a wonderful friend...and got to take a few renderings to share along the way!















Sunday, June 18, 2017

Horseback Riding at Fort Valley Ranch

Our first time horseback riding in the Shenandoah at Fort Valley Ranch!

We had our choice of helmets: bike helmets or English Riding helmets. Since English Riding is so popular here in Virginia, I chose that helmet. It was much more fashionable than a bike helmet!






For a portion of the trail we rode in the George Washington Forest.


DSC00204_edited (no watermark)

I don't know that this is part of the property, but it was part of the view on the trail.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Flags, Patiotism and Homeschool...Each Morning

I've been doing some catch up in blogging and just now realized that I never did share how we began each homeschool day. I did share about our homeschool name and verse. And I did share about the devotions we had each morning. However I forget to share about the rest of our opening: saluting the flag(s) and a patriotic song.

This is really important to me for several reasons. One, I like flags a lot! Also I think it is important to understand our history...which can be taught through flags and songs. If we understand our history, then we respect our history, how we as a nation formed, and it helps us to make informed decisions for the future. It's all part of self-governance, I think.


When we first began our homeschool, it was important to me to establish a routine, especially for how we opened our day. I basically pulled from my favorites from my childhood to share with my children.


When I student taught third grade in New Braunfels, Texas, (near Landa Park), I really liked the addition of saluting the Texas flag after we saluted the American flag. I never even knew there was a pledge for the Texas flag. Also when I was in first grade, I liked that our teacher had flag holders each week. Therefore I secured miniature flags on sticks for my children to hold each morning. They decided who held which flag. One held the American flag. The other held the Texan flag. They learned to never let the Texas flag be higher than the American flag. They learned hold the flag out with their left hand, while placing their right hand on their heart. Then we recited the pledge to the American flag.


"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Then we recited the pledge to the Texas flag.

Smokin' Willies

"Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible."

Then we sang a patriotic song. Of course I wanted my kids to learn the National Anthem. However when I was in first grade, I learned many other patriotic songs that I wanted to share with my children. When I student taught, the school did a different song a day. Every Monday was the same song. Every Tues was the same song. And so on. Contrast that to when I taught third and fifth grade in public school when we sang different songs, every day, we never knew which song would be sung, and many were versions that were too difficult for the kids. For example, the school often played Sandi Patti's gorgeous rendition of The  Star Spangled Banner. She hits enormously high notes. The kids couldn't do it. They never knew what was going to happen. They were never as engaged as those in the public school where I student taught. So I decided to try a schedule. My kids liked it a lot.


Monday-My Country 'Tis of Thee
Tuesday-America, the Beautiful
Wednesday-Texas, our Texas
Thursday-Battle Hymn of the Republic
Friday-Star Spangled Banner

I often played at the piano and they followed the words in the book. They internalized the songs that allowed for impromptu sing-alongs at historic places.


When we stood on top of Pikes Peak for the very first time, in 2001, we sang America, the Beautiful. Why? The song was inspired by Katherine Lee Bates' visit to this 14, 115' mountain top. As a family we sang America, the Beautiful as we stood under "spacious skies" and looked over "purple mountains of majesty" and "fruited plains."

When we visited Fort McHenry we sang the Star Spangled Banner.

Now when I am in Virginia, I've been known to break into the Texas anthem, "Texas, our Texas" whenever I see a Texas flag.

We also sang Texas, our Texas" during our homeschool history presentation about Texas.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Video from Me About Sharing about Convention of States at my Polling Station on Virginia Primary Day

My busy life has very much revolved around volunteering for Convention of States. In fact, I am now Grassroots Coordinator for NoVA Central. Here's a peak into my day...

Come join me! We are a group of Patriots intent on protecting the Constitution. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Arlington Cemetery, My Cousin, and More

As always, we walked first to the weeping willow...


...where my mom's cousin and his crewmates are buried.




John Glenn was recently buried...





Texan, Audie Murphy...


George Washington Parke Custis, who first lived on this land...


...and his wife, Mary.


Abner Doubleday...









General George C. Marshall, whose home we visited a month ago...