Thursday, May 29, 2008

Updates from the Homestead


Well I am up and running on a new computer! Mine was having big issues and last week my multi-talented hubby bought all the parts to make me a new computer (he admits he is a part time computer geek.. lol..)! Then he loaded Vista, all of which took one evening and most of the following day. Then more major work came, I had to load all my programs up and then transfer all my files from the old computer to the new one.  That took up the rest of the week as I got my email reset, my website program and files loaded and working and on and on. This week has been the challenge of learning to use some new programs (some of the programs I was using were not compatible with Vista so I had to buy the updated versions.. I think they do this on purpose  ) and learning my way around Vista. I have to say I am quite pleased to be able to be up and running without problem and so much faster now! 


On Sunday I enjoyed a huge highlight of the week! I have several moderators on my message board and over time (more than a couple years now) I have gotten to know them all quite well and we have become good friends. Well Erica is one of my mods and a good friend. Her and her family were visiting up here in my part of the world and we arranged for a chance to meet. They came to my homestead and we spent a wonderful morning together. Emily and Leanne made scones and we had coffee and chatted.  Jacob showed her boys around the property and they got to check out the wildlife in the pond. It is a great highlight to finally get to meet an online friend in real life! I hope it can happen again sometime soon.


This week Jacob and Sierra officially finished their school year.. YEA!! Isaac is right behind them and should be done within days.  Leanne is getting to the finish line with just her Saxon Advanced Math book to finish and then she will be done, just in time to start packing up for Egypt (the days are getting closer to her leaving!).


We have a cold making its way around the house. Jacob had it first I believe (or maybe it was Emily.. who knows), then it hit a couple of the other kids and finally this week my poor hubby got hit with it. He came home from work on Monday with a slight soar throat and within a few hours was coughing and feeling yucky. He is still feeling yucky today, a little better he thinks, but he is not sure if he will go into work or not. I told him it was not a bad idea to let his body heal for one more day. I keep taking Nutribiotic and Emergen-C and so far have only felt twinges of the cold; I hope it is passing me by.


Menus.. I need to get June’s menu made. I put the menu planning calendar on my site this morning. I did it earlier than I usually do because I was testing my new PDF converter (one of the new programs I had to buy because the old one was not compatible).. it worked quite well and process was simplified from what it use to be. So now I have my calendar ready and it is time to plan menus. I am going to be sharing on my site about my 10 - day menu plan that I have been using for several months now. Look for that article very soon. For tonight dinner is very simple (and cooking as I type this).. baked chicken legs, mashed potatoes, salad and maybe some dessert. We will see if anyone has the gumption to make something for dessert. Leanne made a big pan of brownies a couple of days ago. Of course they are gone now, but brownies and vanilla ice cream is one of our favorite desserts.  Who knows what it might be .. maybe just some ice cream and tomorrow Sierra can make cookies.


That is all for now, I hope you have had a productive week on your homestead!  


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Home Study College


I have shared that my daughter Emily is working on getting a degree in Accounting via home study. I have had a few people ask me questions so I thought I would share this again and try and add a little bit more detail in hopes of answering those questions. 


She is using a program called College Plus, which is a Christian based coaching/mentoring program that guides and lays out the course for their desired degree. I was not sure about it at first but after researching it, talking with them and spending a lot time at their website I understood what service they were offering. They have certain degrees that can be obtained at home (some can not such as medical, teaching, etc..).  They basically guide you as to which classes you need to take, and set up your degree plan, and give you a coach who you speak with on the phone and email with and this helps keep the student accountable and on track.  I really like this feature and Emily's coach has been a perfect match for Emily.  They get along great and she has been incredibly helpful.  She and Emily talk on the phone a couple times a month and email as needed.


Emily started the program in April. She began by going through their extensive study skills materials and doing her Life Purpose Planning (a very good and thought provoking study book). She met her coach and got to know her and together figured out what rate of study Emily would be able to do based on how much time she could devote to studying while still working full time. Then she began her first class. 


She purchases the books from College Plus,, and/or borrows them from the library. The recommended books, study guides, websites, etc.. are very good and helpful. She spends about 3 weeks per class. 


Yesterday she went and took her first CLEP test. The program works by having you study for each test (they use CLEP’s and Dante's, which is often how military people obtain their degrees). We chose a community college that is not far from us and Emily made an appointment to take her test. We arrived, paid the fee and she took the test. And she passed very well and now has her first 6 college credits. 


After she has taken all her CLEPS and Dante's these credits will be transferred to Thomas Edison University and she will take the last of her classes on line from them and they will issue her degree.  She should have her 4 year degree in about 1  1/2 years (for a fraction of the cost).


We feel that so far from what we can see it is a great program that allows young people to get their degrees while still at home (great for homeschoolers, which is a large portion of who uses them). You can even begin this program while your homeschooled kids are still doing homeschool high school.  We are thinking of having Leanne begin studying for her CLEPS this next year while she decides what direction she would like to go. I really like this innovative approach to a obtaining a college education.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm Home!

I’m back from vacation! I have been for a few days but it has taken that long to get life back to a normal routine.. why is it so hard to come home from vacation! LOL.. Tobin and I enjoyed lots of sunshine and heat and just did a lot r&r poolside (and I came home with a nice tan to show for all that r&r).. very much needed by both of us. My girls kept the home fires burning and my boys were shipped off to a friend’s house. Everyone did fine but it sure was good to see them when we got home. I missed all the hugs and smiles of my sweet kids..


I will be back to my regular scheduled blogging soon. I came home to computer problems. Actually I knew there were a few issues before I left and now it is time to do something about them as these little issues are now BIG ones.. Don’t know how long it will take me to get back online.. should be pretty quick. I am limping along with my computer right now or I can use Tobin or Emily’s laptop if I need to so I am still here to answer emails and send out orders. 


If you ordered from me in the past 2 weeks you should be getting your order this week. Almost all of them have been sent out except for a small number which will go out today. 

Sunday, May 4, 2008



Crystal’s Country Store will be on vacation (and so will I )


I wanted to let you know that any orders placed through my country store starting May 6th will be shipped out on May 19th .




Thank You


I would like to express a heart felt “thank you” to everyone who commented and sent me emails on the loss of my little Ellie. I appreciate your caring and loving words.