Archive for July, 2009

Just so ya’ll know…

I’m still planning on doing a post on the fourth. In fact, the post is written. I just need to find out where my pictures were misplaced to. So don’t despair… I hope to be back soon!


What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895…

Here is an email that has been forwarded to me a couple of times. As I’m still working on last year’s school, I don’t foresee myself taking this just yet… but maybe someday. Or not?

Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas , USA.. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS – 1895

Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,”play,’ and ‘run.’
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold? (oh look — a chicken!)
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs, what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
8.. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods? (and now I have a headache)
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

U.S.History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)
[Do we even know what this is??]
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’ (HUH?)
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last…
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks
and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena , Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.

Gives the saying ‘he only had an 8th grade education’ a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?!

Also shows you how poor our education system has become and, NO, I don’t have the answers!

Fourth of July Weekend – Friday

Thursday night I fell asleep on a trundle bed at Mrs. Larson’s house, listening to Jim Brickman’s album Picture This, reading Eldest by Christopher Paolini (book review to come). I woke up in the morning with a pain in my cheek. May I just insert a little advice to ya’ll? I do not presently recommend going to sleep with thick hardcover books in your bed, for if you sleep soundly enough, the corner can stick in your cheek all night and leave a painful indention in the morning. For what it’s worth.

On Friday morning we went to visit Miss Grace, a dear elderly lady whom we used to give rides to church. She’s in a nursing home now. She was one of the people who prayed very hard that Seth would be a boy. So we decided to get a picture of Grace and Seth together. Well, although some of the pictures that I have posted on here might lead you to believe otherwise, Seth generally does NOT like to have his picture taken. So in the end, Dad and Seth went out to the car, and I was left with only one picture… with Seth obviously not cooperating.

DSC01850Yeah. Not very flattering.

After our visit, we went out to Johnny B. Good’s for lunch. I ordered the BLT and think I should’ve ordered the turkey sandwich instead. LOL I usually love BLTs, and I used to get one every time we went to JBG’s, but the bacon didn’t even really taste like bacon and was mostly fat… so it wasn’t the best I’d had there. Anyhow… After that we went to Fish Creek Falls.






This tree was taller than anything around it and was up kinda high… so I took a picture, but the picture doesn’t really do it justice at all.




Not the greatest pic… but I guess it’ll have to do.

We went back to Mrs. Larson’s house and helped get supper ready. The Sistos came over (Mrs. Larson is Mrs. Sisto’s mom) and we spent the evening together. It was lots of fun! We played (or started to play) Chinese Checkers, but then we got off on the topic of iPods and Narnia and youtube and converting videos and all that jazz. I’m always afraid that people will get mad if I’m always taking pictures, so I generally don’t even end up with a group picture. Which I always regret, but never fix. So I don’t have any pictures. =( Maybe another time.

Well, that’s all for now, folks!

Soli Deo Gloria!

P.S. If you want to sign a letter to Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, and Will Poulter…  (Main cast of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)… go to =D

Fourth of July Weekend – Thursday

Hey, everybody! I love blogging so much… I really don’t know why I sometimes just let it go! But here I am to tell ya’ll’s about our trip to Steamboat Springs for the 4th.


We left Thursday morning and had a good trip. We made it into town in time to go to Music on the Green. The Meridian Quartet was playing some “humorous” classical pieces. We hadn’t had time to stop for lunch, and it was rather hot, so we didn’t stay for the whole thing.


We went to Qdoba for lunch – one of our favorite places to eat! Wanna know what was really cool about it, though? There was NO loud, obnoxious music. The service was great – friendly people. And… drumroll, please….

Everyone spoke ENGLISH! I only had to give my order ONE time, and they got it! Woohoo! I was instantly ready to move back. hehe

After lunch we went to Mrs. Larson’s house and unloaded the van. Now for those of you who don’t know, our van has storage under the seats. I love it! The back (where Erin and Seth ride) was still a bit crowded, but it totally helped keep the front rows clear. Sweetness. Anyhow… where was I? … Oh, yeah… So after chatting for a bit with Mrs. Larson, we decided to head on out to our old house. It was kinda sad to see all of the new houses that have been built up. It kinda ruins the countrified air of living out in the country. We were getting pretty close to our old house when we saw a rattlesnake in the road. No big deal… we’ve seen dozens of them in the past. I mean, come on! We lived with them in our back yard! BUT I have a little brother who is a city brat. He’s scared of grasshoppers and has little to nothing of the country boy in him. So Dad pulled up near the ole rattler so Seth could have a look-see. Dad spun the wheels a little to try and get the snake to coil up and use the little music-maker on the end of his ugly skinny body.


Suddenly we realized that there was a car coming up behind us, so Dad had to get out of the road. It was some good friends from church that happened to be our closest neighbors. (They lived 1/2 a mile away from us… oh, to live out in the open spaces again!) Now here’s the part that we all laughed about later… They drove over the snake and killed it, thus preventing Seth from being able to hear it rattle. HAHAHA! The snake probably deserved it anyhow. =P

We continued on our way down the road and went around the old, familiar corner. As we came around, there were 4 or 5 gasps as we saw… a barn! And horses! Two things that we all would have liked to have had, but didn’t have the money for.


The yard had also changed somewhat – the willow tree was a lot bigger than it used to be! The driveway had also been changed and there was grass where we used to park.


Yup, folks! That’s where I growed up! Pretty little place, isn’t it? So beautiful and green!

Anyhow… we went and chatted with the Sistos some. (The neighbors who crushed Ole Mr. Znake) After that we went and had supper at Mrs. Larson’s and… went to bed? That doesn’t seem right, but I don’t recall doing anything else. So I’ll just say that we went to bed, and someone can come along and correct me if they wish.

And I think I’ll bring this to a close for now! It’s kinda short, but hopefully the pics will make up for it. More to come!


My beautiful sis taking pictures out near our old house


My wonderful parents at the Botanic Gardens (where Music on the Green is)


Seth ready to go get some lunch

Five years ago out in the country…

I was in my bed fast asleep, the windows open so that I could hear the sleepy tones of the crickets chirping. I suddenly found myself being pulled from my deep sleep into a semi-consciousness – and from semi-consciousness into a rather sleepy wakefulness. My dad was massaging the back of my neck. I looked at him in sleepy wonder, maybe a little irked that he had woken me. “I need your help,” he said softly, not wanting to wake my sisters. A thousand confused thoughts went through my brain, but I finally landed on the most logical – and the correct idea. Mom was going to have the baby! Now fully awake, I climbed down the ladder of the bunk bed and softly followed him into the living room. He handed me the phone and said, “The midwife is at another birth, so she’s not going to make it out here.” He handed me a business card. “This is her number. I may have you call her in case I need some directions…” I looked at him in surprise. So my DAD was going to play doctor and deliver the baby all by his lonesome? Realizing that he was still talking, I refocused. “… thought this might happen since the midwife is so far away anyhow, which is why we’ve been reading a lot about it. Do you know how to dial 9-1-1?” I bit back a sarcastic comment. “Sure, Dad! I’m 12 and I’ve only known that since I was like… 6. Besides that, if I didn’t already know, you would’ve just told me by asking the question!” Instead, I just nodded mutely. He asked me to put in some relaxing music, then said that I could just sit on the couch and be ready to do anything else he needed. I walked over to our CD selection and picked one of my favorites – Piano Cascades.


As I sat there on the couch, I studied the midwife’s number, running my fingers over the buttons in order to practice dialing as fast as I could. I didn’t even think about 9-1-1. I didn’t want to. I looked at the clock and wondered how long the process would take. I prayed for Mom. I prayed for Dad. I prayed for the baby. And prayed that it would be a boy. I wished that it was a more earthly hour so that I could call my good friend Erin and tell her what was going on. Then I realized that I couldn’t do that anyhow… Not if I was supposed to keep the phone line free. The clock struck 3. I was hearing a lot from Mom and Dad’s room, but I don’t remember all of it, but just as the clock quieted I hear a cry. And Dad’s very happy, “I think it’s a boy!” Dad called me in a moment later, and I stroked the top of the baby’s head, then ran to get my sisters. We all looked at our minutes-old brother, and fell completely in love.  Or at least I did. Now I’m not sure that I should have prayed so hard for a boy. He’s quite a handful. I hardly remember what life was like without him.

My brother’s name is Matthew Seth – though everyone knows him as Seth. I believe that Matthew means “Gift of God” and Seth means “Appointed” but I may have got the meanings switched. As we celebrated his fifth birthday on Monday, I thought about just how much I love him – in spite of his numerous and often-displayed faults. And I thank God for my little brother, praying that some day he will be mightily used in the service of the King.

(Hmm… all the baby pictures are on the laptop, so I guess I’ll get on there later and add some)

A post about posting… (And a giveaway!)

So, I’ve realized that my camp post isn’t up on my site… Did it go to anyone’s blog feed? Did anyone read it? I’m not sure what to think about that… but right now I’ll just let it go and talk about other things.

First of all, there’s a giveaway over at YLCF! The book is Pajama School by Natalie Wickham. Go here to enter! I had the privilege of talking to Natalie at the CHEC (Christian Home Educators of Colorado) Conference in June. She’s such a sweet person! I haven’t been able to read the book yet and couldn’t afford to buy it from her at the conference, so hopefully I’ll be able to either win a copy or get it on paperback swap.

Next up… I have load of book reviews that I’m about to drop here! I should’ve been posting them sooner, but I haven’t. So I’ll start trying to remember to do one (or maybe two) a week. I have – as always – been reading like crazy. A quick review preview: The DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul, The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix, and the heartbreaking story of Whitney Cerak and Laura van Ryn in Mistaken Identity.

Last, but not least… I’ll be doing a fourth of July post about my family’s vacation and one about my little brother who just celebrated his fifth birthday. Not sure what order these posts will come in, but they ARE coming! Until then – Soli Deo Gloria!