The War of 1812

Did you realize that the bicentennial of the start of the War of 1812 is coming up?

What War of 1812?  That is okay, I really didn’t give it much thought before this year.  In fact, I don’t really remember anything about it from my American History class in high school those many years ago.

America fought against Great Britian, Canadians and various Native Nations.  What were we fighting for?  What were we fighting against?   Did you know this is the era when the “Star Spangled Banner” was written, when Andrew Jackson became a national hero and when Dolly Madison was First Lady.  Who was Tecumseh and why do we memorialize him?

Why was it fought?  Where?  How long did it last?  What was the end result for America?




Homeschooling and sports

What do you do when you have children who are athletically inclined, but there are obstacles in the way? Some people live in rural areas. Some can’t afford the cost of club sports. Others want to shield their children from the angry coaches that are out there.

Something that I thought of when my daughter #2 came home from public school was running in 5k/10ks. Our local parks and rec department has at least four during the year. They are usually have very reasonable fees. I know that there are people who don’t have a local parks and rec department. The towns usually don’t care if you don’t live in the town that is hosting the 5/10K.

There are also 5/10Ks that various charitable organizations will do. The American Cancer Society has the Relay for Life I am not endorsing the run, I just happen to know that they do one.

I found this website that has races listed.

Bicycling is another sport that comes to mind. The downside that I can see right off the bat is that a bike is more expensive than a pair of running shoes. And, having to haul equipment around could be a problem. I know a friend of mine who bikes with his sons and his wife. They have really made it a family affair. The love it. I found this website that offers lots of info.

There is always the Presidential Fitness Award as well. They welcome homeschoolers and have ways to help out if this is your first time doing the Challenge.

Those are just a couple of ideas for ways of implementing sports into your life if you don’t/can’t do other forms of organized sports.

The Ultimate Homeschool Expo, It’s coming….

Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2012

I am looking forward to this Expo.  I hope you check it out.

Find us on the web: |
Welcome to “The Ultimate Homeschool Expo
” put on by Media Angels, Inc.
You have seen them
before…online conventions, webinars, expos. So what are
What makes The
Ultimate Homeschool Expo
different from the rest?
you asked!

The Ultimate
Homeschool Expos
have been around for over 8 years ~ way
before others started doing online homeschool expos!

What makes us different from the rest (besides experience)?
We offer our LIVE Sessions to YOU for FREE!
That’s right ~ FREE. No strings attached!

We want to bless homeschoolers with the WONDERFUL encouragement
from our speakers, such as Jeannie Fullbright with Apologia,
Cathy Duffy, Maggie Hogan with Bright Ideas Press, Felice Gerwitz,
and SO Many More!


Do you like what you hear so far? Keep reading! We also
offer a PREMIUM
ticket that gives you access to over 80 audio downloads, FREE
eBooks from some of our sponsors, exclusive coupons and discounts,
and best of all you have access to ALL of the downloads and
you can save them to your computer and listen to them over and
Did we mention that you get an automatic entry with 200
bonus points into our MEGA Grand Prize Drawing worth thousands
of dollars?
have an amazing line-up of speakers!
Felice Gerwitz, Meredith
Curtis, Cindy Rushton, Cathy Duffy, Andrew Pudewa, Maggie Hogan,
Tyler Hogan, Kim Kautzer, Mary Jo Tate, Carol Topp, Israel Wayne,
Melanie Young, Hal Young, Christina Gerwitz Moss, Candie Donner,
Lorrie Flem, Rachel Carman, Jeannie Fulbright, Heidi St. John,
Trish Goyer, Judy Dudich, Richelle McFarlin, and many more!
*Note – Not all speakers are represented below with a photo.

Felice Gerwitz
Cathy Duffy Jeannie Fullbright Maggie Hogan
Hal & Melanie Young Carol Topp Andre Pudewa Judy Dudich
This Year’s Theme: Homeschooling with JOY!
Joy? You mean I can
experience JOY in my homeschool?
ABSOLUTELY! I know how you feel!
I’ve homeschooled since 1986 and have five children. I’m here to help
you every step of the way! My name is Felice and I am you host throughout
the event. I only select speakers with a heart for home education!

Join us at the live events and bring your questions. We are
here to answer your questions and supply the encouragement and support
for homeschool moms!

Join like-minded moms across the US and Canada (and 55+ Countries
have participated in our events!) for fun, fellowship, and put a spark
back into your homeschool!!

Tickets go on sale now, however the members-only website does not “open” until April 30th. So why buy now??Buy Today and IMMEDIATELY RECEIVE:

  • “Top 10 Mistakes Homeschool Mom’s Make”
  • “Top Ten JOYS of Homeschooling” by Felice Gerwitz, your host
    and author at Media Angels
  • eBook 50+ Pages -Classic Homeschool Advice
  • eBook Student Planner
  • Homeschool Mother’s Prayer
  • Additional 200 Points for the Mega Prize!
  • LISTEN LIVE PLUS Get Access to ALL of the downloads of
    the ENTIRE Expo when the member site opens 4-30-12!

Add Up The Savings!
80+ Audios @5 each= $400 Value
Mommy’s Jammies Nights @ 5 each = $30
Coupon offers and discounts = $200+ Value
20 Keynote Sessions @ 10 each = $200 Value

COST: $29.97 or Buy with a friend $45.97

Are you an affililate
to your affiliate account
to grab some banners! Don’t forget
you earn 40% on ALL referrals!
Not an affiliate? Create
your account today
Even Better ~ Buy now
and use coupon code UHSE2012 and save $5.00 for a special introductory
rate of $29.97 $24.97! Hurry coupon only good through 3-31-12!

Attend the Ultimate Homeschool
Expo 2012 Virtual Conference on February 21- March 4 as a TICKET
AND download 80+ Audios when the site opens April
30th PLUS gain one full year of on-demand access to all conference
sessions and download them to listen to on your time! You’ll
receive coupon discounts, eBooks, speaker handouts and more all for
one low price!

So…is it really worth it to buy a ticket? YES!One of the best things about the expos is that ONLY ticket
holders have access to all the sessions for download. That means
you can listen at your leisure.

What if your favorite speaker is speaking and you CAN’T
login to listen live? Well, if you are a FREE Member, you just
miss out! BUT if you are a ticket holder, then don’t
despair! You can login and download the session and listen at
your convenience!

Even Better ~ Buy now
and use coupon code UHSE2012 and save $5.00 for a special introductory
rate of $29.97 $24.97! Hurry coupon only good through 3-31-12!

James Armistead (Lafayette) (1760-1832)

James Armistead was born a slave in Richmond, VA.  After the siege of Richmond in 1781, he asked permission to serve with General Marquis de Lafayette.  Lafayette sent Armistead to infiltrate Benedict Arnold’s camp.  He was able to pose as an escaped slave and Arnold accepted him.  Armistead worked in the camp and became known to Lord Cornwallis.  Armistead was able to give Lafayette much information.  Lord Cornwallis ended up trusting Armistead so much that Cornwallis asked Armistead to spy for him.  Armistead wound up being a very bad double agent, as he fed bad info to Cornwalis.

After the war, Armistead returned to the plantation where he was enslaved.  Gen Lafayette would later petition the Virginia legislature for his freedom.  James Armistead would from then on call himself James Lafayette.

Please see this article for a much more eloquent telling of James Armistead Lafayette’s life.


Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, you God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. perhaps he will again relent and leave behind him a blessing, Offerings and libations for the Lord, your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast, call an ssembly; Gather the people, notify the congregation; Assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast; Let the bridegroom quit his room and the bride her chamber. Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord weep, And say, “Spare, O Lord, your people, and make not your heritage a reproach, with the nations ruling over them! Why should they say among the peoples,’Where is their God?'” Then the Lord was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people. ~ Joel 2:12-18

This is what we (Catholics) do as a world wide congregation. We call an assembly and as a people, we cry out to God.

What are the three things we should be focusing on during Lent? They are Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Since I am writing on a Friday I am going to talk about Fasting today.

During Lent we are called to not eat meat on Friday. Why? Up until recently in history, meat has only been for the wealthy. You either had to be wealthy to purchase meat, or you had to be wealthy to keep and raise animals for consumption. Anyone could go to the river and catch a fish. To give up meat was a sacrifice for those who could have meat. This is called abstaining. We choose not to eat meat to be in solidarity with those who cannot afford the luxury of meat. We are encouraged to take the money that we save by not buying meat and donating it to the poor.

During Lent there are only two days where we are called to fast. This is on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the journey and on Good Friday, the day we commemorate our Lord’s death. However, by giving something up, we fast in a different way. I might choose to give up alcohol. I could offer this sacrifice for those who cannot give up alcohol. I could choose to give up Facebook and fill that time with something else that would bring glory to God. As a family we are giving up desserts and sweets for snack. My husband decided this one for the family. Our youngest doesn’t get it and he is not too happy. This is a teachable moment. There are kids who can’t have a cookie. The money that we save by not having dessert will be donated. That is something that he can understand.

Maybe I should fast from shopping. Do I spend too much time at the stores spending money that I don’t need to? Maybe I should fast from how many clothes I have. Should I be saving something that I really want to fit into again or could I give it away to someone who needs it?

Could I fast from the way I talk? My husband and I gave up cursing when we were engaged (25 years ago). It isn’t edifying speech.

Could I fast from watching as much televistion? Playing games on the computer? What if I spent that time creating something? spending more time with my kids (I am a homeschooling mom so that means that I am with them all day long, but am I really there)?

Could I fast from either a slothful attitude about house cleaning, or a scrupulous attitude towards house cleaning?

There are many things to fast from. And, in turn that fasting, will help to bless you, those around you and those who don’t even know you.

Why do Lent?

Yep, Catholics “do” Lent.  They walk around with ashes on Ash Wednesday.  They don’t eat meat on Fridays.  They give stuff up?  What the heck is that?

Catholics aren’t the only ones who “do” Lent.  Anglicans, Episcopals, Lutherans, some Presbyterians, Methodists, the Orthodox (although their Ash Wednesday and Easter are usually on different days because of the calendar that they follow) “do” Ash Wednesday.  I have seen various community churches celebrate Ash Wednesday.  I have heard there are other congregations that do as well.

Since I am Catholic, I am going to share what we (Catholics) do as a Church.  Lent is a time, a retreat if you will, we set aside to focus on prayer, fasting and alms giving.  We are reminded that we should be taking care of our prayer life.  Everyone can do a little more.  I am reminded of a quote from Mother Teresa, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”  Add small thing upon small thing and there will be more.  Fasting: we are called to fast from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent.   We are called to fast, or give up, other things as well.  That is for each to decide.  My pastor said, don’t just fast from something, fill that fasting up with something else, like visiting the sick or volunteering somewhere.  Alms giving: It should be something financial or something of worth.

But why the ashes?  Didn’t Christ say not to perform righteous deeds in order that others see?  Yes, you are right, he did.  However, the ashes are a sign of a journey beginning.  They are a sign of repentance.  I get a variety of responses on Ash Wednesday when I am out and about.  I can tell who are Catholic.  There are those who know what Ash Wednesday is but perhaps don’t participate.  Then there are those who have no clue what it is is.  It then becomes a time of evangelization.  The ashes come from palm branches from last year’s Palm Sunday.  The ashes remind us that we are sinners.  They are applied in the form of a cross to remind us that we are saved by Jesus Christ.  As they are applied the priest says, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”  We should always be prepared for the day that the Lord calls us home.  Let me tell you, it is not always easy to walk around with ashes on your forehead.  I have to be ready to witness for Christ.

Where is that in the Bible?  Here are a couple of examples of the use of ashes in the bible: Judith 4:11, Esther 4:1, Psalm 102:10, Daniel 9:3  This is what Luke 10:13 has to say:  If the miracles worked in your midst had occurred in Tyre and Sidon, they would have long ago reformed in sackcloth and ashes.

Wentworth Cheswell

Since it is February and much of America’s schools are learning about famous black Americans, I wanted to share what I have been learning recently about our history.

Wentworth Cheswell was the grandson of slaves.  He gained his freedom in 1717 and became the first African American to own land in what is now the state of New Hampshire.

Here are links to two articles that discuss Mr. Cheswell more in depth.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries