∞  Katydids’ ears are under their knees.  (08/06/13)

♦  Loveland ski resort has had 97 inches of snow so far this season.  Walnut Shade has had zero.  (02/01/13)

Ø  Those towers that look like they have an enormous golf ball sitting on top are Doppler radar towers.  (01/31/13)

Ø  Ending well matters more than where we start, or even where we are.  (01/24/13)

Ø  Sloths, which are related to armadillos and anteaters, pee and poop about once a week and sleep up to 20 hours a day.  (01/23/13)

ξ  The average 13 year-old needs 9.75 to 10 hours of sleep per night.  (10/21/12)

ξ  Carols (vocal musical pieces with several verses) were originally written as dance music.  During the verses, everyone danced, and then during the chorus, everyone stopped dancing.  That’s why the chorus is called a “refrain.”  (10/18/12)

→  The most expensive part of an iPhone to produce is the touch screen, at $35.

♦  The mulberry tree is native to China, where its leaves were the exclusive food of silkworms.  (05/29/12)

♦  Delphinium flower blooms are poisonous and should never be eaten.  (05/29/12)

♦  There are more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery.  (05/28/12)

♦  Cliff swallow nests are made of mud.  (05/27/12)

♦  Portuguese is the official language of Angola, which is located in southwestern Africa.  (05/08/12)

♦  Katie’s senior thesis is outstanding!  According to her thesis advisor, “Overall, this is not just an A+ thesis. It is a thoroughly impressive one, and this from a prof who is notorious for having high standards. It is easily as good (both in regard to research and writing) as a Master’s thesis that a graduate student would write. (Actually, this is much better than my M.A. thesis at Vanderbilt. Your analysis is much more skillful than mine.)”  (05/07/12)

♦  During the War of 1812, the United States archives, including the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, were housed in Leesburg, Virginia, when the government was forced to flee Washington, D.C. in the face of the British army.  (05/06/12)

♦  A super moon is said to occur when full (or new) moon coincides with the moon being at its nearest point to the earth.  It appears 12% larger than a typical full moon.  (05/05/12)

♦  The average groundhog has been estimated to move approximately 710 pounds of soil when digging a burrow.  (05/04/12)

♦  Iris leaves should be cut down to 6″ in the late fall.  (05/03/12)

♦  Donna Rastorfer, who plays Vera in “Smoke on the Mountain,” taught the Home School Fridays drama classes!  Had I realized who she is, I would have had Andrew involved in that.  (05/02/12)

♦  In the United States, there are approximately two divorces every minute.  (05/01/12)

→  The average annual precipitation in Branson, MO is 38.2 inches.  The average annual precipitation in Maradi, Niger is 19 inches.  (04/30/12)

→  According to Missouri law, BB guns are considered firearms.  (04/29/12)

→  Box turtles can live up to 50 years in an area of only 30 acres.  (04/28/12)

→  “Pink Peace” rose blooms can be up to seven inches across!  (04/27/12)

→  Great Blue Herons live an average of 15 years, choose a new mate each year, and when full-grown, stand as tall as the average 11 year-old human.  (04/25/12)

→  If the wire from your alternator to your battery is frayed, it will de-charge however many new batteries you install, and it will fry your alternator.  (04/24/12)

→  The per year tuition, room, and board costs to attend Patrick Henry College as of the 2012-2013 school year are $34,120, not including books, transportation, and incidental fees.  The College also recommends budgeting $3000 per year for books, transportation, and personal expenses.  (4/23/12)

→  Earth Day (April 22) was first celebrated in 1970.  I had no idea it had been going for 42 years! (4/22/12)

→  Out-going mail placed in your neighbor’s mailbox (because the mail already ran on your side of the street) may  be found still sitting in the neighbor’s mailbox more than 24 hours later.  Although this realization can be very disappointing if your outgoing mail was time-critical, it may be explained as follows:   If the flag was not put up, and if the neighbor had no incoming mail that day, the carrier probably just skipped their box, and the you, the mail-er are at fault.  If, however, the flag was put up, there’s no excuse and the carrier is at fault.  Moral of the story:  If your outgoing mail is time-critical, either (A) put it out in your own box before 10:00 AM with the flag up, (B) put it out in your neighbor’s box by noon with the flag up, or (C) take it to the post office before 3:00 PM.  (4/21/12)

→  According to Josiah:  The most frustrating thing in the world is the realization that the Indian tech support person (the one who is supposed to explain why your brand new laptop is giving you the blue screen of death) knows less about computers than you do.  (04/20/12)

→  Canine parvo is caused by a virus and is most harmful to puppies and dogs over ten years old.  (04/19/12)

→  I may be greedier than I thought; however, I’m hoping that maybe “willing to give” offsets “reluctant to share.” (04/18/12)

→  The School of the Ozarks has an estimated 400 interested students competing for 80 charter class slots.  (04/17/12)

→  Caterpillars can swim.  (04/16/12)

→  If a sweet drink is spilled on the floor during life group (and a sweet drink is ALWAYS spilled on the floor during life group), the number of moppings required in order to render the floor non-sticky will be assuredly greater than one and optimistically less than five.  (04/15/12)

→  Every parent needs to make sure that his working child is aware that s/he has to file a tax return on or before April 15 of every year.  Ideally the parent should probably help the child walk through that process the first time or two.  (04/15/12)

→  For a fee, it is possible to have one’s taxes professionally prepared after April 13 and submitted on time, even if you weren’t aware you had to file a return and were out of the country on the day when you didn’t realize that.  (04/14/12)

→  It takes longer than two weeks for dead fish to decay.  (04/13/12)

Σ  Pick’s Disease is a relatively rare form of dementia.  (03/21/12)

Σ  The real way to fix electronic things is to wait.  I’m not particularly patient, but with both the non-functional internet and the rebellious printer, I had no idea what to do, so I first held my mouth right, and when that didn’t work I waited.  A few hours later the printer decided to print, and sometime after that, the internet worked.  Don’t tell all those tech support folks this secret!  (o3/20/12)

Σ  If you are 15 months behind, and if your son is planning to be done with high school in less than two months, it may not be possible to enter all his homeschool hours before he graduates, BUT if he’s already been accepted to college with a scholarship, it may not matter!  (03/20/12)

Σ  It’s possible to move music from your MP3 player to your computer and then play it while you enter homeschool hours.  (03/19/12)

Σ  There are instructions printed on the back of the weed-eater, explaining how to start it, but I don’t think they tell you how to turn it off.  (03/17/12)

◊  For a price, there are other ways to get an 18 ounce tub of clown white mime makeup across the country quickly.  (02/28/12)

◊  If the checked bag is already on the plane, it is not possible to retrieve it to insert an 18 ounce tub of clown white mime makeup.  (02/28/12)

◊  At the Branson airport, checked bags are loaded onto the plane at least 25 minutes before departure.  (02/28/12)

◊  An 18 ounce tub of clown white mime makeup cannot legally be transported on an airplane in one’s carry-on bag.  (02/28/12)

♥  3/4″ PVC pipe costs only $0.20 per foot, but must be purchased in ten foot lengths. With effort, a ten foot length of 3/4″ PVC pipe can be inserted into a micro van.  (02/17/11)

♥  There was a time when the United States had three presidents in one year.   The year was 1841, and the presidents were Van Buren, Harrison, and Tyler.  (02/02/11)

Φ  No one will go to @#!*% because of his sins.  (01/14/11)

Δ  In China, fish lips are a delicacy.  A platter of them costs a lot of money, because each fish has only one set of lips!  (12/23/10)

•  Last year, Operation Christmas Child delivered more than 8 million shoeboxes to kids all over world, including the shoebox I packed.  (11/18/10)

•  The going rate for 1 Chinese yuan (RMB) is $0.15 US dollars.  (11/16/10)

•  Hunters killed 91,236 deer in Missouri in the first two days of firearms season this weekend.  (11/15/10)

•  The Springfield airport has its own fulltime fire department, and every firefighter has Firefighter 1 or Firefighter 2 certification and is a certified EMT.  (11/8/10)

•  White distilled vinegar is made by distilling corn into corn alcohol, combining the alcohol with water and nutrients, and allowing it to ferment.  (11/7/10)

•  The heavier the deer, the lower the ratio of pounds of edible meat to pounds of live deer.  (11/6/10)

•  Flamingos live an average of 20 to 30 years.  (11/4/10)

•  Of the 435 members of today’s U.S. House of Representatives, 239 (54%) are Republicans.  Yesterday that number was 178 (41%).  (11/3/10)

•  A mycophile is a devotee of mushrooms; especially one whose hobby is hunting wild edible mushrooms.  (11/2/10)

Σ  When building an igloo, the snow blocks are laid on their sides and are built up in a spiral.  (10/27/10)

Σ  Styrofoam is:

– not biodegradable

– made from petroleum

– 98% air  (10/24/10)

Σ   The The tallest zinnia was grown in 2008  Everett Wallace Jr. and Melody Wagner.  It measured 12 feet 8 inches in height.

Σ  There are “more than 12,000” road signs in Taney County and they are maintained (positioned, installed, removed, whatever) by a staff of exactly one man.  He happens to have a long pointy beard like Father Christmas.  (10/21/10)

Σ  The world’s first drive-in bank opened in 1946 in Chicago.  (10/19/10)

Σ  The average pencil can be sharpened 17 times, write 45,000 words, or draw a line 35 miles long.  (10/14/10)

Σ  Penguins can walk faster than humans, and they can hold their breath for 2o minutes under water.  (10/13/10)

Σ  Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the world, was constructed in 1929 in only six months with no fatalities.  The one-lane bridge, 1,260 feet long and 18 feet wide, cost $350,00 to build.  To replace it today would cost over $10 million. (10/11/10)

Σ  As originally constructed in 1825, the Erie Canal was 363 miles long, 40 feet wide at the top (28 feet wide at the bottom), and only four feet deep.  (10/10/10)

♥  There are eight, count ’em EIGHT Republicans running for the U.S. House seat Roy Blunt is vacating to run for U.S. Senate.  (7/20/10)

» The Point Roberts, WA, Post Office cannot be reached by vehicle unless you drive through British Columbia, Canada. Only a boat or float plane will get you there directly.  (6/16/10)

» Reese’s peanut butter cups were first produced in 1928.  (6/14/10)

♦ The longest major league baseball game was played in 1984 and was 25 innings long.  Chicago beat Milwaukee, 7 to 6.  (4/17/10)

♦ Llamas are members of the camel family.  They are smart and easy to train and they don’t bite.  Llamas spit when they’re agitated, but that’s mostly at each other.  (4/16/10)

♦Americans eat an average of 80 pounds of tomatoes — each — every year.  (4/15/10)

♦ Mail is delivered to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on mules.  An excerpt from the postal service website says, “Each mule carries about 130 pounds of mail, food, supplies and furniture down the 8-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians, averaging 41,000 pounds per week.” (4/13/10)

♦ Giraffes have hairy lips.  The hairs protect their lips from the thorns surrounding the leaves of the acacia tree, your average giraffe’s favorite food.  (4/12/10)

At 1645 feet, Lake Tahoe is the 2nd deepest lake in the United States (Crater Lake is 1949 feet deep) and the 10th deepest lake in the world.  (3/22/10)

The garden snail has tiny teeth on its tongue that it uses to scrape algae from rocks.  (3/21/10)

A duckling doesn’t need to eat or drink for the first three days of its life. (3/20/10)

You can find the length of one side of a cuboid by dividing its volume by the area of one side.  (3/16/10)

The Azores are a group of islands off the southwest coast of Sri Lanka.  (3/13/10)

√  A giant anteater’s tongue is more than two feet long.  (12/7/09)

√  If your well house door is left open and the temperature drops into the low teens two night in a row, you will have no running water when you wake up.  (12/5/09)

√  A number is rational if it can be expressed as the quotient of two integers.  (12/4/09)

√  There are a lot of different belt levels in taekwondo.  From low to high they go as follows:







If a person is motivated and possesses a moderate amount of ability, it will take some three-and-a-half years to go from white to black, BUT there are nine degrees of black, and to move from each black degree to the next (for example, going from first-degree black to second-degree black) represents about the same amount of progress as going from white to black!

Not only that, at the black level, you have to wait the number of years of your degree before testing for the next degree; meaning that once you achieve first-degree black belt status, you must wait one year before you can test to move to second-degree black.  You must then wait two years before testing for third-degree black.  Yes, that means that Master Burleson, who is a seventh-degree black belt, has to wait seven years before he can test for his eight-degree black belt!  It seems to me that if you don’t achieve your black belt at a young age, you may not live long enough to complete the process.  (12/2/09)

♣  “Buckaroos”  is a corruption of the Spanish word for cowboys, “vaqueros.”   In Spanish “v” is pronounced “b,” so Mexican cowboys said, “bah-KAY-rohs, ”  but American cowboys morphed it into “buckaroos.”  (11/21/09)

♣  That big letter in the circle to the left of center on the front of a one dollar bill reveals the city in which that particular bill was printed! (11/12/09)

A   Boston

B   New York

C   Philadelphia

D   Cleveland

E   Richmond

F   Atlanta

G   Chicago

H   St. Louis

I   Minneapolis

J   Kansas City

K   Dallas

L   San Francisco

♣  Crickets have five eyes (two compound and three simple) and ears in their knees.  WOW!  (11/3/09)

> Green wood doesn’t float.  (10/16/09)

→ Louisiana was the first state to join the union without being adjacent to any other state.  (8/7/09)

→ Theodore Roosevelt practiced the martial art of jujitsu.  (8/7/09)

Δ  Great Blue Herons stand very still in the water, not because they are looking around for fish to eat, but because to the fish, their legs look like sticks.  Fish swim toward sticks and other brush in the water, looking for food.  If a Great Blue Heron stands still long enough, fish will swim right around his legs, bringing them close enough for him to grab.

• If a potato that has spent the past six months in a pot as a houseplant wilts and dies, and if you then take it outside to dump it in the ditch, you will find approximately six small potatoes (1 inch size) growing in its dirt AND approximately 50 teeny, tiny potatoes (1/4 inch size) clinging to its roots! Amazing!  (6/13/09)

♣  Memorial Day (Decoration Day) was initially celebrated on May 30, because it was believed that at that time, flowers for decorating the graves of the war dead would be in bloom all over the country.  (5/24/09)

♣  (5/10/09)  Crosley Field was the home of the Cincinnati Reds for 58 years, from 1912 to 1970.

≈  (4/23/09)  When you fillet a sucker, peel off the skin, and sling away the skin (with carcass still attached), the skin looks twice as long as it really is and resembles a bread bag.

≈ Nowadays, scoliosis is not treated unless the angle is 35 degrees or greater.

≈ A lagnappe (or a lagniappe) is a small gift given with a purchase to a customer.

(A few days ago Jessica pointed out to me that I haven’t learned anything since November.  Sad, and totally untrue!)

April 2009 ↑ ↑ ↑


Φ Some pianos are built lower to the ground than others.

Φ Leaf blowers don’t work very well on an uneven yard.

Φ  In the Netherlands, in 1634, a collector paid 1,000 pounds of cheese, four oxen, eight pigs, 12 sheep, a bed, and a suit of clothes for a single bulb of the Viceroy tulip.

November 2008 ↑ ↑ ↑


> If you are going on an overnight jaunt in a wilderness area an hour east of home, a “30% chance of widely scattered showers” CAN mean black skies, heavy rain, thunder, lightning, and hail, in a 100-mile long, 30-mile wide band, marching steadily eastward.

> Sound travels about four times faster in water than in air.

> 84% of a raw apple is water.

> The back side of a store (facing the alley) can be more photogenic than the front side (facing the street).

> The tall and colorful flowers in the big bed out front are dahlias.

> Andrew has absolutely no concept of fractions.

> It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs.

> In Myrtle Creek, Oregon, it is against the law to box with a kangaroo.

October 2008  ↑ ↑ ↑


» There are approximately 47 theaters in Branson.

» Iowa has the highest literacy rate in the United States. More than 99 percent of Iowa’s citizens can read.

» Panera’s bread is way beyond yummy!

» Given a smorgasbord of flowers to choose from, swallowtail butterflies will pick marigolds every time.

» Tootsie Roll production began in 1896 in New York City, but the company’s headquarters is now in Chicago.

» St. Louis’ Gateway Arch is as broad (at the base) as it is tall:  630 feet.

» The Statue of Liberty has a 35 foot waistline.

» When adding measurements in chemistry, round your answer to the number of decimal places in the addend with the fewest of them.  However, when multiplying measurements, round your answer to the number of significant figures in the factor with the fewest of those.

» The good light for videotaping at the low water bridge ends (at this time of year) at 8:45 AM.

September 2008  ↑ ↑ ↑


♦ Lobsters have blue blood.

♦ If your car has an alternator, it doesn’t need a generator.

♦ The Pfaltzgraff store in Branson is unique:  you can see it, but only with great difficulty can you enter it.

♦ Those under the age of ten may have lived a full life without ever having used a cassette tape player.

♦ A half bucket of plums will make 11 half pints of plum preserves.

♦ Though you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, you SHOULD look a gift car in the trunk. The spare for our newest Toyota had a hole in it that Scott could put his fist through!

♦ Our three oldest kids are totally awesome and I am SO proud of them!

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable.”

♦ The technical name for hair loss is alopecia.

♦ Ants do not sleep.

♦ As a Boy Scout, our pastor (now age 73) was involved in gymnastics and did a gymnastics presentation. This summer, he turned a back flip into a swimming pool – twice – astounding his grandchildren.

♦ The longest cells in the human body are the motor neurons. They can be up to 4.5 feet (1.37 meters) long and run from the lower spinal cord to the big toe.

♦ If you water your pepper plants too much, all the leaves will turn yellow and fall off.

♦ Donald Duck’s middle name is Fauntleroy.

♦ During the Promise Keepers’ first post-season game, in the play at third where Scott supposedly failed to tag the runner, he stepped on the (assisting) pitcher’s foot, destroying Troy’s toenail.

♦ Dick’s 5 and 10 carries clothespin bags made of CLOTH, not shreddable paperish material.

August 2008 ↑ ↑ ↑


→ A squirrel can leap more than six feet horizontally.

→ The engine in a ’95 Toyota Camry is side-mounted, and since it moves back and forth a bit, it is connected to the exhaust system by a “flex pipe.”

→ Mushroom tops can be as big across as salad plates.

→ There are great benefits to saying how you feel in an honoring way.

→ Some days you just can’t get there from here.

July 2008 ↑↑↑


Δ At bedtime, it’s really important to make sure my alarm is not only set, but also turned on.

Δ If a child ate as much, comparatively, as a growing bird, he would consume three lambs and one calf in a single day.

Δ Aurora, Walnut Shade, and Springfield form an equilateral triangle.

Δ Without our doing a darn thing, our trees produce HUGE amounts of leaves, branches, and twigs.

Δ If you want to draw a diagram that includes straight lines, it will be easier to do on graph paper.

Δ The first bathtub installed in the United States was installed in a Cincinnati, Ohio home in 1842. It was made of mahogany and was lined with sheet metal.

Δ Even with the price of gas, piano repairmen probably make good money.

June 2008 ↑↑↑


» I can manually adjust white balance and ISO settings on my new camera.

» If you arrive at the airport at 4:30 AM, there will still be enough lines that it can take over 30 minutes to check in and go through security.

» It is unrealistic to expect the boys to do any better than I do in the realms of diligence and perseverance.

» Greenland is not really shaped the way we all visualize it. It’s actually hollow in the middle!

» The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth 2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

» Suspicion confirmed: I have not one crafty bone in my entire endoskeleton.

» Baltimore orioles like to commandeer hummingbird feeders.

» At atmosphere pressure, dry ice has a temperature of nearly 110 degrees below zero.

» There are still some places in Branson where having a famous name does not get you any favors.

May, 2008 ↑ ↑ ↑


◊ If you are at fault for a wreck in Iowa that causes more than $1000 worth of damage to your own car, you have to go to court.

◊ About 10 percent of the world’s population is left-handed.

◊ Vigorous gardening utilizes hamstrings in ways that are most uncomfortable two days after the fact.

◊ The official population of Walnut Shade (based on our zip code, since Walnut Shade is an unincorporated area) is 900.

◊ If I am in proximity to Andrew, he will be talking.

◊ Approximately 61% of those who owe taxes wait till April 15 to file.

◊ One wild turkey requires a range of about twelve hundred acres.

◊ Isolationism does our children no favors.

◊ The new music building at C of O was built around the old one, so that that when you walk down the perimeter hall, there’s glass on one side and the original outer stone wall on the other.

◊ Ozark trillium is white when picked, but gradually turns pale purple over the next week.

◊ Three men can wear a lot of ironing-required clothes in one week.

◊ Power (watts) = Current (amps) x Force (volts)

◊ Twenty-four percent of the state of California is classified as desert.

◊ If a man is receiving pension and if he dies before his wife, his wife will continue to receive the pension, but it may be only one-half of former amount.

◊ When our children get jobs (hmmm… Jessica already has one…) they should open Roth IRAs.


American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad in first class.

† My husband has not read The Wizard of Oz, but he has seen the movie several times.

† The Branson R4 school district owns at least 24 school buses.

† There is a difference between a diatonic half-step (E to F) and a chromatic half-step (E to E-sharp).

† The Hawaiian alphabet uses only 12 letters: a, e, h, i, k, l, m, n, o, p, u, w.

† Baseball bats are made of ash.

† A megapixel, which should, by definition, be one million pixels, is actually 1,048,576 pixels.

† Our church is going to start serving dinner every Wednesday night at 5:30 – for $3 per person.

† Here’s a job I never heard of, but I met someone who does this for a living: professional petitioner. He travels all over the US and stands in front of businesses to get people to sign petitions – for all/any causes!

† Control T will make a text box in Publisher invisible, allowing the background to show through.

† It is harder to memorize piano music at age 47 than it was at age 15.

Pearls melt in vinegar.

† There are 163 Representatives and 34 Senators in the Missouri legislature.

† We all know that Hawaii has a half dozen main islands that stretch over some 500 miles of the Pacific Ocean, but I just learned that those islands are really only about 1/3 of of Hawaii. The state of Hawaii includes many, many tiny islands spanning some 1500 east-west miles!

March, 2008 ↑↑↑ ____________________________________________________________________________________

♦ How to make an Excel spreadsheet keep up with our credits at the local used Christian bookstore

♦ In the olden days, the Whigs were federalists, the Democrats favored states’ rights, and the Republicans wanted to end slavery. My, how times have changed.

Americans, on average, eat 18 acres of pizza every single day.

♦ Thunder and lightning during heavy sleet is odd.

♦ Mud and grout are not the same thing. Mud goes under the tiles, and grout goes between them; or, in our case, mud goes under, over, and around the fireplace insert, and grout goes over it, to make the mud look like it belongs there.

♦ The Giants are playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl today.

72% of people in Mali earn less than $1 per day.

♦ Einstein declined the presidency of the state of Israel when it was offered to him in 1952 by state leaders.

Feb, 2008 ↑↑↑


◊ The moment of victory and recognition is worth the years of work required to experience it.

◊ There are geometries in which the total of the degree measures of a triangle’s angles is more than 180.

◊ Stephen Austin’s dad was named Moses (Austin).

◊ To ask this question: Is it nobler to paint the baseboards first and have them nicked and scratched by the new carpet OR to install the new carpet first and have it dripped on when the baseboards are painted?

◊ If your carpet saleslady does not tell your carpet installers what you told her you wanted (and what she agreed to have her installers do for you), then you will end up with two things: weekend with carpet spread all over, but not installed in, your living room; and two extremely displeased carpet installers.

◊ The flags on sixteenth notes should “fly.” They should not hang limp against the stem.

◊ A salute properly executed involves touching the tip of the middle finger to the outer edge of the right eyebrow, with the hand perfectly flat and angled so as to completely conceal the palm.

◊It takes more than four days (and supposedly up to ten!) for a piece of first class mail to travel the 65 miles from Mountain Grove, Missouri to Ozark, Missouri.

◊ The stress level in my life would be greatly reduced if the doctor’s office in Mountain Grove and the pharmacy in Ozark would each do what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it.

◊ A Jeep Liberty can get up Guanella Pass Road in mid-January.

◊ Although I think my husband may consider me a slug, I actually only sleep an average of 8 hours per night: 7.5 hours Friday-Wednesday nights, and 10.5 hours Thursday night.

◊ The building that houses The Library Center used to be a Payless Cashways (like Lowe’s or Home Depot), which explains why there is a fenced off area of covered parking (used to be lumber racks!) and a large patio with metal fencing around it (used to be the garden center!).

If the entire population of earth was reduced to exactly 100 people, 50% of the world’s currency would be held by 6 people.

◊ Just because the oral surgeon’s office tells you when you pay (at 11:30 AM) that they have called the necessary prescriptions to Walgreens in Ozark does not necessarily mean that when you arrive at the Walgreens in Ozark at 11:59 AM they will have any record of those prescriptions.

◊ A swarm of fifty thousand bees weighs about ten pounds.

◊ When a female horse and a male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and a female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny.

◊ Piano fingering and organ fingering are different. I need to consciously use piano fingering now!

◊ Our 94-year-old house can withstand winds of 80+ mph.

◊ In the United States, the current average per capita consumption of coffee is 1.3 cups per day. Among coffee drinkers, the average consumption per day is 3.2 cups.

◊ Watching a presidential candidates’ debate can be educational for people of all ages.

◊ The likelihood of meeting someone you know at a store you do not frequent varies inversely with the amount of makeup you applied that morning.

◊ Binswanger Glass in Branson is not the same at Branson Glass in Hollister.

◊ Chlorophyll is a catalyst, not a reactant, in photosynthesis.

◊ Now (1/2/08) is not a good time to buy grapes. They cost $5.59/lb at Country Mart.

◊ Birds have no sweat glands. They cool their bodies by means of air sacs and by opening their beaks and vibrating the walls of their throats.

January 2008 ↑ ↑ ↑


♥ Inveterate means deeply rooted over time.

♥ Carpet is available in entirely too many colors.

♥ Although the first coat of polyurethane dries in 6-8 hours, the second coat can take up to 24!

♥ The dining room is the transit hub of our home.

♥ When Jessica is involved, ANYTHING can be de-cluttered joyfully!

♥ Mom will also arrive home to realize that she has (four times) forgotten to buy toilet paper, and the situation will soon be critical!

♥ If a mom visits Wal-Mart four times in ten days, it will be AFTER the fourth visit that she finds this note on her desk from her youngest son: “-MOM- I need toothpaste (urgently). Sorry I didn’t mention that at Wal-Mart. I forgot.”

♥ I could throw out most of the papers on my desk and never miss them. Now that’s a great idea!

♥ We live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, where my pansies should be able to “survive light freezes and short periods of snow cover.”

♥ What your kid scribbled on the wall five years ago will bleed through two coats of new paint – the day after the painter leaves.

♥ Alcohol is a by-product of fermentation.

♥ A sick pig rarely curls his tail.

♥ It’s 12 miles from home to the Sherwin-Williams store.

♥ 50,000 of the cells in [my] body will die and be replaced with new cells, all while [I] have been reading this sentence!

♥ The sex of box turtles is determined by the color of their eyes.

December 2007 ↑ ↑ ↑

• A quadruple recipe of Banana Bread Supreme will make 9 regular loaves and one mini-loaf.

• Egg McMuffins were invented in 1971 and first marketed in 1973.

• When writing notes on a music staff, the stem should be long enough to reach an octave above or below its note. This is called the stem rule.

• Our living room has two wood floors under the carpet, the dining room has one wood floor under the obvious floor, and the kitchen floor IS the only floor – which would explain why the kitchen floor is about 3/8″ lower than the dining room floor.

• 80% of the world’s oxygen comes not from trees, but from ALGAE!

• Few things can stress a marriage like remodeling a home.

• A boy told to burn a pile of leaves in a ditch can create a conflagration sufficient to incinerate those leaves plus all nearby buildings.

• “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is just as heart-warming now as it was 25 years ago.

• It is not smart to try to do grocery shopping at 5:00 PM on Saturday.

• The Springfield-Greene County Library District owns about 530,000 total items (books, CDs, DVDs, etc.), and each year, approximately 1.1 million item are checked out. Our family alone accounts for .11% of the library’s total annual circulation!

•It takes our HP 830-C six minutes and fifteen seconds to print our current (3-page!) newsletter. At that rate, it will take 22 hours and 20 minutes of straight printing time (no paper loading, paper jams, ink swaps, ink problems, etc.) to complete the job.

• There are 132 rooms in the White House.

• There are no federal holidays in March, April, June, or August.

• When John Adams died in 1826, he was 90 years old.

• A legal envelope with an address label, a return address label, and a stamp on it, three pieces of paper, and a return envelope with an address label – all together weigh slightly less than one ounce.

• It costs less to insure a nine-year-old Honda Accord than a twenty-one-year-old Toyota Camry, because insurance rates for standards are lower than for automatics.

• AIM gloves can be easily organized with colored sock clips.

• If your son needs a “muscle” costume for his role in a Christmas play, you may find a $19.99 one at Wal-Mart on November 5, marked down to $4.95.

• It is possible to do five loads of laundry before leaving for church, particularly when Daylight Savings Time ends and you get to “fall behind.”

• Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour.

• If one of your front tires comes apart, it will make your steering column wobble uncontrollably.

• Each of an octopus’ eight tentacles is covered with 240 suction cups, for a total of 1,920.

↑↑↑ November, 2007


√ Staples will give me a $3 coupon for every empty HP ink cartridge I bring in.

√ If in December you request a travel packet from the State of California for a trip you will be making in late January, you can expect to receive the packet in late October.

√ A flat VII9 resolves nicely to tonic.

√ Although it takes 12 hours to climb from Camp 4 up to the summit of Mt. Everest, the return trip takes only about four hours.

√ Axis II deals with learning disabilities and developmental delays.

√ Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete.

√ Josiah thinks the inside of his nose smells like kitty litter.

√ I learned how to burn a CD and I burned three of them!

√ Jet lag is only REALLY tough at 2:30 PM.

October, 2007 ↑↑↑


> Business class is a world of difference from economy plus.

> If you don’t cut chainsaw bars as soon as they cool, you will need a chainsaw (or at least a pocketknife) to cut them.

> There are still people in this world who have never kissed – anyone – before their wedding day!

> Emus cannot walk backwards.

> It is okay if Andrew doesn’t get any formal academics done in a day. . . or a week. After all, the big kids didn’t do any formal academics till they were 10-12. I need to relax!

> Observed geology is not necessarily incompatible with the earth being only a few thousand years old.

> Between 2003 and 2004, the divorce rate in China increased 21%.

> The Library Center has a great Lost and Found.

> If the angle between the back of a chair and its seat were not obtuse, the chair would not be comfortable to sit in.

> Being gone from 6:40 AM till 11:25 AM makes it hard to get any chores or academics done at home before lunch.

> Ants make up 1/10 of the total world animal tissue.

> Bendable animals can be made from pasta and pipe cleaners.

> Neither carrots nor sticks alone are sufficient to motivate my strong-willed son.

> A half rest gets two beats, but a whole rest doesn’t necessarily get four beats! It get a full measure of rest, however many beats that may be.

> Part of the Iditarod runs over a (frozen) inlet of the Bering Sea.

> Toilet paper on a roll was first manufactured by the Scott Paper Company in 1890.

> Most horses’ tails have 18 vertebrae.

> The 13-year-old male brain functions in a way that is utterly foreign to the 46-year-old female brain.

September 2007 ↑↑↑


° If the recipe says it’s a 30-minute meal, the average adult woman can probably pull it together in half an hour. However, when that same woman tries to prepare that meal with her eight-year-old chef-in-training, it will take an hour and 25 minutes, and the clean-up will be six times more involved.

° The kind of headphones I seek cannot be purchased at Target or Wal-Mart.

° If string A is twice as long as string B, string C is 14.7 meters shorter than string A, and the total lengths of strings A, B, and C is 78.6 meters, the key to finding out how long string C is is to realize that you must eventually divide by five.

° Some people (like Scott and Josiah) have a special dispensation of dental grace. Sadly, others of us don’t.

° Watching the St. Louis Cardinals win a ball game is always fun, but it’s even more fun when you can see the picture clearly AND hear the audio clearly at the same time.

° It can take up to four hours and 45 minutes to have a satellite technician install, wire, and set up a Dish network at your home. Even though he thoroughly and repeatedly explains it all to you, it is quite possible that after he leaves you will not remember how to turn on your TV.

° In order to use bamboo to stake tomato plants, something must be done to render it rigid for the long haul. Otherwise, it either gets soft and mushy, allowing the vines to crack, or it gets brittle and snaps off in the wind, allowing the vines to crack. I wish I knew what that “something” is.

° Most of the ladies I worked with when we got married are now grandmas!

° Contrary to my long-held assumption, a link watchband can be at least as comfortable as an expansion one.

° While it is easy to get Dish Network to charge your credit card for installation, it is much harder to get them to come and install the equipment. Ten days and counting. . .

° May is the hottest month in @#!*% because the sun moves northward – or, I guess it’s really the Earth moving southward – from March 21 (when the sun is directly over the Equator at noontime) until June 21 (when it’s directly over the Tropic of Cancer at noontime). @#!*% is slightly south of the Tropic of Cancer, so it is passed over in May. It probably also gets passed over in July, as the sun heads back south, arriving due over the Equator again on September 21.

° Although the insurance company’s “find a provider” website SAYS that a certain doctor in their network has an office in a certain location with a certain phone number, she really hasn’t worked there since 2004.

° Even in blistering heat, our mail carrier can’t start her workday early, because the mail truck doesn’t get to our post office till 7:00 AM.

° In the city nearest to our home, the highest recorded temperature was 116°F in July of 1954.

° Those one-room schoolhouse teachers were super-women.

° Fright, worry, guilt, insecurity, and dread are all forms of fear.

° A decapitated rattlesnake’s head can still bite a person and deliver enough venom for the victim to require hospitalization.

° It now costs $0.90 to mail a letter to Africa.

° I should be fertilizing my tomatoes every week, not every two weeks.

° Sunscreen costs four times as much in August as it does in May.

° It is possible to solve two simultaneous equations in two variables without using algebra.

° It costs $180 to buy 5000 frequent flyer miles with United.

° There is a phase of life in which some women’s brains turn to mush, they frequently find that tasks they clearly remember doing were never actually done, they cannot recall the names of common items, and they habitually lose things (including, but not limited to, their minds). Today I am in that phase.

° The arch bridge that collapsed August 1, 2007 in Minneapolis was constructed 1967. The arch bridge over Lake Taneycomo was constructed in 1931. “Kirk Juranas, MoDOT District 8 Engineer, said the five-arch, open-span bridge is the only one of its kind in Missouri. It is in poor to extra-poor condition. We’ve just started an investigation on how to fix this bridge.” – quote from Springfield Business Journal online (July 30, 2007)

° The six-dollar SUPER wash on Kansas Expressway is great family fun.

(August 2007 ↑↑↑)


• The average fruit fly lives 13 days (but only the last eight of those are with wings).

• My dinky little challenges are really just that – little and dinky.

• Reconfiguring a wireless router can take 50 minutes on the phone with a service tech.

• Our swimming hole is locally famous!

• The Federalist Papers were written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.

• When a brown walking stick (insect) on a brown twig is moved to a green petunia leaf, he turns green – while you watch!

• A mini-van’s front-end alignment should be checked annually.

• Andrew really likes to be read to, and he will listen to me read things I can’t persuade him to read on his own, even though he is more than capable.

• It is not possible to import Roller Coaster Tycoon (game) files into the Rosetta Stone (foreign language) student management system server. Trying to do so will cause Rosetta Stone to crash and consternate its support personnel.

• It is possible to drive 129 miles to go to church and back.

• The fat, pudgy, bright green, three-inch long, leaf-and stem-devouring tomato hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculataare) is the larval stage of the sphinx moth; a lovely tan and pink striped creature, with a three-inch wingspan, also known as a hummingbird moth because of its similar flying and feeding habits.

• A camcorder can be held on one’s lap much more comfortably than on one’s shoulder, especially when videotaping a twenty-minute long play in which one’s son is acting.

• One way to keep your second floor office cooler when the outside temp is 92 F is to ask one of your children to leave the back door standing wide open for 45 minutes. This will cause the AC to run continuously, keeping your office cool and comfortable.

• Pictorially, if A + B = C, then it’s obvious that A<C.

• Projector screens are white because white reflects all colors. Any other-colored screen would fully reflect only its color, causing the picture when viewed to that color tint.

• When two great blue herons get into an argument, they say, “errrr-RACK! errrr-RACK!”

• When an eight-year-old shops for a new bike with his own money, “cool” trumps “functional” and “economical” every time.

• Allowing kids to fail may be harder on parents than on kids.

• Certain lessons can only be learned by failing.

• Planning ahead is the key to success in many areas of life; including, but no limited to financing major purchases, winning ball games, keeping up with repetitive and distasteful tasks, and carving out time to do the things you most enjoy.

• Krispy Kreme donuts may not be worth what they cost.

• A good way to keep brothers from fighting is to allow them to read while they eat.

• Circuit diagrams actually show the current flowing from positive to negative, which is incorrect.

• If the kids go to White Water, it will rain.

• Whatever time we intend to leave for church, we will leave five minutes later.

• 13-year old men both appreciate and resist direct commands.

• If you throw a lit bottle rocket into a Mason jar in a sandbox, the resulting missiles of glass can cut your little brother in a lot of different places all at the same time. = (

• If you throw a lit firecracker into a three-foot length of three-inch PVC pipe it will explode with a red glow and an eminently satisfying deep “POINK” sound.

• I am much more productive when I am listening to classical music.

• Decent punks can be purchased for $1.00 a six-pack.

• “Pioneer” comes from the same French word as do “peon” and “pawn,” having to do with “one who goes out in front.”

• The Gulf of Bothnia separates Sweden and Finland.

• I have four parathyroid glands and they have nothing to do with my thyroid levels.

(July 2007 ↑↑↑)


→ It is possible to ship Manchurian ponies to Antarctica.

→ If you want to mail something important – like a passport – don’t use United States mail or UPS. Fed Ex might be a better option.

→ I don’t have to have a colonoscopy for four more years!

→ It is possible to tip your hat brim and walk along a creek to determine how wide the creek is.

→ What being unconscious is like (Andrew’s description, following a discussion about his Grandpa’s upcoming surgery and whether or not it will hurt): “Unconcscious is like if someone hit you hard on the head with a board, and you kind of wobbled and maybe fell down, and you may or may not see stars going around, and if somebody asked you what four times four is, you wouldn’t be able to give the right answer.”

→ When using ellipsis at the end of a sentence, there should be four dots, not three.

→ A new way to describe my desk. According to Andrew, it “looks like a canyon with all those piles on it.”

→ Otters are a lot bigger than minks.

→ If half of your liver is removed, the rest of it will regenerate to full function.

→ One of the major drawbacks of homeschooling is the absence of a high school guidance counselor.

→ A whale’s age can be determined by the observing the layering of its waxy ear plug.

(Note: I thought Jessica was joking when she told me she learned this in her history text, so I googled “determine whale’s age” and found this: “Approximate age determination in toothed whales can be determined by counting the growth layers in the dentin of a sample tooth. Baleen whales have no teeth but growth layers do occur in the waxy plugs of the external ear.” Whodda’ thunk?)

→ If you are at Wal-Mart and your credit card won’t swipe because there are nicks in the magnetic strip, try one of these solutions:

1. Rub the strip with a pencil eraser, then swipe as usual.

2. Put the card in a Wal-Mart bag and swipe it through the bag. Then take it out of the bag and swipe as usual.

→ Tomato plants know the difference between human watering and rain; they respond differently to the two.

→ Turn signals don’t cost as much to replace as fuel pumps, but they cost considerably more than their controlling relays.

→ More tour buses around Branson are manufactured by Prevost than by any other company.

→ “Jun” and “quo” are not officially English words.

→ The front-office employees of our electric co-operative wear co-op T-shirts to work, at least on Fridays.

→ A well-aimed section of tire tread can destroy a fuel pump.

→ I miss video editing. It fits well with my interests and natural abilities (unlike backing up trailers), and it’s really fun.

→ Consistency is VITAL in parenting a strong-willed child.

→ Among my many gifts and abilities, “backing up a trailer” is not to be found.

(June, 2007) ↑↑↑


If the leaves on my tomato plants are turning yellow early in growing season, it’s either because they are getting they are getting too much water OR because they have been attacked by the dreaded fusarium wilt.

I have a set tendency to sleep 10.5 hours on Thursday night, whether it’s all in one chunk or broken into smaller sections.

I get just as much fun from watching people ride rides as they get from riding the rides.

Hot flashes should be illegal.

Diesel can be stored in plastic.

Four boys ages 6, 8, 9, and 10 can have a lot of relational issues.

Tomato plants can make buds while I sleep!

There aren’t very many people who care to hear what I know about homeschooling, but there is ONE, and she called me today to ask!

The force of an object in motion equals the mass of the object times its acceleration. F = M x A

Although north and south are fixed directions in relation to any point on the earth (because there are north and south poles), east and west are infinite.

I have the greatest husband in all the world.

Lots of people pray for our ministry, even though they may not say anything to us about it.

The bird I see in the mornings scurrying along on the gravel adjacent to the big field is probably a semipalmated plover.

I thoroughly enjoy Spring, and I wish today’s temps (50 – 75 degrees) lasted from April 1 till June 15.

With Andrew, when I am out of his sight, my instructions go out of his mind.

Some contemporary Christian music gives me a headache.

Josiah clearly got his focus problems from moi.

Boys are tough to parent. Especially boys with extreme mood swings. No one should have two of them at the same time.

If you the weedeater twine spins against something like rock or brick, you have to stop, take the machine apart, pull out new twine, and put it back together every 17 seconds.

05-12-07: Both boys respond better when I give direct instructions, let them choose whether or not to obey, and calmly follow through on the consequence (good or bad). Nagging does NOT work well at all.

05-11-07: Thirteen-year-old males would rather have free time than do chores and academics, but given some free time, they quickly become bored.

05-10-07: An interesting science experiment can be done as follows:

1) Load the upright freezer in your cellar with a modest amount of food. You may select pre-prepared casseroles, frozen pizza, boneless skinless chicken breasts, ground turkey in one-pound rolls, frozen vegetables, frozen juice concentrates, and/or shredded cheeses

2) Leave town for three days, but be sure to open the freezer door slightly before departing. Three inches is a good gap to leave.

3) Upon returning home, when the house stinks of something dead, send your teenage son to the cellar to locate and remove the dead rodent. He won’t be able to find it.

4) Go to the cellar to make your grocery list, reach into the open (and stinking) freezer, and try to determine whether or not the totally-thawed-but-still-somewhat-cool meats therein are safe for human consumption. You may test your hypothesis by cooking said meats and feeding them to your family.

Isn’t it amazing what three inches over three days can do?!?!

05-08-07: There are still helpful customer service people in the world, and Dominic at Circuit City is one of them.

When I set clear and simple expectations for Josiah, he will rise to the challenge.

I do best if I plan my day the night before, then hit it first thing.

If you buy peanut butter cups at 6:30 AM but forget to take them out of the van until 4:15 PM (when the temperature in the shade is 84 degrees), you will find yourself left with only one very large glob of peanut butter and chocolate swirl laced with small round brown papers. However, after placing the glob in the fridge for an hour, you will be able to break off small chunk of yumminess; these willed be deemed quite enjoyable as long as you don’t mind working around paper wads.

Turkey vultures don’t like to eat dead armadillos.

There are benefits to opening your mail the day it arrives. When I got home from town today, after spending about $100 at Staples (ministry + home office supplies), I opened a few days’ worth of mail – including a check for $21 to “spend like cash” at. . . Staples.

Many of the VIPs in our area go to Wal-Mart, Country Mart, and the bank on Wednesday mornings.

Sometimes help really is help. After one hour and fifty minutes of trying to figure out how to delete something from Quickbooks, help actually did help me.

Great sleep is a wonderful thing. A full night of it makes everything easier.

You don’t have to win every battle in order to win the war.

My relationship with my children is more important than a freezer of melted food.

The superintendent of Springfield public schools has quite a few ideas that parallel homeschooling.

MSU’s testing department is really picky about acceptable forms of ID!

At one point in his life, our pastor slept in his car.

4 Responses to “What I’ve Learned Today”

  1. 1 Katie May 11, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    You know, what you learned about the freezer could qualify for a full-fledged blog entry! 😉

  2. 2 SkypeNekacall May 20, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Engaging article – will definitely come back soon=D

  3. 3 LexisLogike February 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Have you really learned nothing in the past year? How sad. 😦

  4. 4 kim September 20, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    I love this page! I am starting a blog soon, and might just steal this idea! 😉 You are an inspiration. I don’t comment much, but I like reading your blog posts when I get on my wordpress stuff. It is inspiring to me, and I just might get mine off the ground soon! Thanks!

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