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The Homeschool Mother’s Journal {June 1, 2013}

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Welcome to the NEW home of The Homeschool Mother’s Journal! I am so pleased that you are with us today! If you are not familiar with the journal writing prompts and guidelines, please see this post.

New Linkup Day

One change you may have noticed right away is that the new linkup is Saturday through Tuesday. I decided to make this change to give you moms a chance to finish out your week and reflect on your thoughts. I hope this idea sits well with you!

New Feature

Each week I will choose 1-3 posts to highlight the following week. It will be at random and hope that can help make this community even more fun!

Welcome Today’s Guest!

Today we are featuring Jasmine from Ponder the Path.

This week has been a particularly busy week for the Lucero family. Our homeschooling was put on hold several weeks ago with our move to Texas, but our learning never gets put on hold. One of the greatest blessings of homeschooling is that we get to experience learning in everything we do.

American flag @ponderthepath

In my life this week…Memorial Day

We celebrated Memorial Day a little different this year…as a retired Air Force family. For the first time in 20 years, we were able to have family over for the Memorial Day weekend. It was such a blessing to pull out the lawn chairs and hang out on the front lawn with grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

We also spent some time talking about those who have served in the wars. Last year, we were privileged to meet a man by the Ralph Piccolo who had fought in World War II. He worked on the bomber planes and showed us an extensive scrapbook chronicling his life in the military. He joined the military as a young Kansas farmer and was forever changed. It is men like this that stick in your heart. Gratitude.

Barrington Farm Chicken House @ponderthepath

In our homeschool this week…Barrington Living History Farm

While Grandpa and his wife were down visiting, we decided to take them to the Barrington Living History Farm at Washington-on-the-Brazos (where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed). This farm depicts life in Texas in the mid-1800’s. Each person working on the farm is dressed in period clothing, performing the jobs that would have needed to be done each day on the farm.

Button Buzzers @ponderthepath

The farm is self-sustaining and includes a magnificent garden, herb garden, chickens and hogs, oxen, and plenty of wheat, oats, and cotton. We spent some time with the woodworker who carved wooden buttons and taught us how to make button buzzers, a popular children’s toy in the 1800’s.

Bluebonnet Seeds @ponderthepath

Things I’m working on…Collecting Bluebonnet Seeds

Bluebonnet season is over this year, so we took the seed pods from the few bluebonnets we had on our property and cracked them open to collect the seeds. We hope to spread them out next year in a more prominent place (this year we found them at the side of the house).

Rendering Tallow @ponderthepath

I’m cooking…Tallow

Be thankful you are coming to dinner at my house this week, cause the smell would send you right back out the door!

I was in a learning mood this week and decided to try my hand at rendering tallow. Basically, you take the beef fat (suet), chop it into tiny pieces, and cook slowly for many, many hours. The resulting liquid (which cools to a creamy white solid) is tallow.

I am told that it makes the best french fries in the world. I have yet to try making them as I had to leave town before I had the chance. The tallow I made had a very strong “farmyard” smell to it, which caused everyone in my family to declare we shouldn’t make anything with it. However, I have done some troubleshooting and I think I have found a solution to our problem. It seems that I need to clarify the tallow by boiling it with water. I am told this gets rid of the odor…we’ll see.

Bucees @ponderthepath

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…San Antonio

As if our week wasn’t busy enough, we decided to throw in a quick trip to San Antonio just for fun. Actually, my oldest daughter just finished her first midwifery module and had an end of module workshop to attend in San Antonio. The younger kids and I tagged along for the ride (hubby and oldest son stayed behind to build a fence while we were out of the way).

Since my daughter was in class all day, I decided to take the young ones to the botanical garden. Thankfully, it was a cool, cloudy day. My 10 year old is the resident photographer and was able to capture some beautiful shots of God’s creation.

Flower with Bee @ponderthepath

My nature loving soon-to-be 8 year old had this little beauty wrapped around her finger less than 10 minutes after we arrived. How does she find these things?

Snail @ponderthepath

Something I am planning…Teach Them Diligently Marketplace

I really wanted to attend the Teach Them Diligently conference this year, but I just couldn’t make it happen. I recently found out that Teach Them Diligently now offers local “mini” conferences called Teach Them Diligently Marketplace. The Marketplace will be held in 9 different locations around the U.S. making it more accessible to a larger number of people.

In conjunction with Marketplace, Apologia will be offering a Real Refreshment Sampler (and they have chocolate!). There will be a vendor hall with tons of curriculum from all the great publishers and best of all it will be discounted for the conference.

Last year, it was during out local conference that I found out my mom’s cancer had returned. It was hard to focus on anything but that during the weekend. I am really looking forward to attending the Teach Them Diligently Marketplace in Dallas and enjoying a weekend of refreshment. If anyone else plans to attend, I would love to have a meetup and get to know some of you!

Have a Blessed Week

I guess that about wraps up our week. I pray your week is equally blessed and my the Lord guide you in this journey we call “homeschooling”.

If you would like to keep in touch, you can find me at my blog, Ponder the Path, or on Facebook and Twitter.

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About Carlie Kercheval

Carlie Kercheval is a happily married work-at-home homeschooling mom. She and her college sweetheart have been blessed with 3 precious children to raise while traveling the world as a military family. Carlie is the founder of Today's Frugal Mom™ and Managing Your Blessings. She is also the co-author of the Learning to Speak Life™ family Bible studies and co-founder of Fulfilling Your Vows. When she is not busy enjoying her family and the great outdoors, you can typically find her cozied up somewhere under a blanket with a good book. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.


  1. Carlie, thank you so much for hosting the Homeschool Mother’s Journal. I love your idea of moving it to Saturdays. I looks like you had a wonderful week. I’ve had a hard one myself. betty jo

  2. Just wondering where we are supposed to post our link ups. I put a link in my blog, but now want to read others. I don’t see them anywhere.

  3. I am so happy this moved to Saturdays! I like being able to finish out my week AND look forward!