Here’s What’s Happening at Grover’s Manse

It’s been quite awhile since my last post.  Actually a long, long time!  I didn’t fall of the face of the earth my dear and faithful readers. I promise!  

 We have been working long hours and haven’t had the chance for much of anything else. We were so worried with all the rainfall earlier in March, we would never get back to work. Although the rain has returned, we are welcoming the time off to stop and smell the roses. No. Really. I’ve got four rose bushes and I’ve been snapping pictures and sniffing the roses!  Ah, what heavenly scents, too. Here are my rose bushes below. 

Sugar Moon Rose

Katy Red Rose

 

Gertrude Jekyll Rose


 

Rio Samba Rose

  

I’ve also got lavender, lemon balm, petunias, mums, tropical cannas, and oodles of other plants and flowers. I guess I get most excited about my roses and go hog wild taking pictures of those!

We are still trying to complete homeschool lessons between working with my husband and catching up on housework. We are in no hurry. That’s the freedom and beauty of homeschooling, especially homeschooling while working in your family’s business. 

I cannot forget our dog, George!  He has been going to work with us and is having a ball.  We just couldn’t bear to leave him home alone all day, so back into the workforce he goes!  He’s such a hoot as you can see in the pictures below. He honestly refuses to ride in truck beds. It’s either the backseat or his most favorable place, the front. He is such a backseat driver, too. He barks when we get passed by other vehicles and barks when we pass them.  He mainly loves hanging his head out the window, with the wind whipping through his fur. Such a spoiled dog!
 

George has such a “ruff” life!


 

George riding shotgun, preparing to tell me how to drive.

  

I guess that’s about it for now. I’ve got laundry to do, floors to mop and meals to cook. I’m also praying for the ground to dry out soon.  We do indeed need a break, but not for too long!  

May your day be blessed!

JoAnn

2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.

The Busyness in Our Lives

This past week was indeed a busy one. Morgan had Spring Formal (homeschoolers version of prom) Friday night, her last youth turkey hunt early Saturday morning and finally, 4-H shooting sports practice Sunday afternoon.  In the midst of all of this, school work was done. Not much might I add!  Yikes!  

In preparation for these activities, camo and artillery were gathered and Morgan was girlied up!  We spent most of Friday afternoon at a friend’s salon getting Morgan ready. She had the works:  manicure, pedicure, makeup and hair done. She looked fabulous!  This momma was so proud and gushed over it all. Morgan on the other hand was more like, “hmm.”  

Don’t get me wrong, she appreciated the hard work that went into all of this, but it’s just not her cup of tea.  She’s more of a camo-clad, gun toting, hunting, archery and skeet shooting kind of girl. Several parents came up to us after formal telling us Morgan was ready to go early because of the turkey youth hunt Saturday morning. They got a kick out of her. 

Sadly, she didn’t kill a turkey, but had a good time with her dad. These are precious times the two of them spend together and we thank God for these. 

Sunday afternoon was just as busy. Morgan’s 4-H Shooting Sports Club met and had practice. She dominated the boys in archery and did great in the skeet shooting practice, considering this was the second time she had ever shot skeet!  

Needless to say, we were one worn out family come Sunday night. Our Monday co-op was cancelled due to state testing, and since Morgan is no longer required to test, we slept in Monday and caught up on errands. Today, however, we are back to the grind. She’s busy with schoolwork now, and I’ve got a few days of laundry piled up that needs attention. Eek!

Blessing to you all, 

JoAnn

James 4:14-15

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

She’s not in heels in this picture. However I am, and I’m still the short one!   

Our Homeschool “Home” History Lesson

Being a baptist, I didn’t have a clue what a manse was. We’ve always called the preacher’s home a parsonage. The Presbyterian church, however, refers to their minister’s home as a “manse,” and as a matter of fact, I never thought I’d ever live in one, either.  Seven and half years ago, we became dwellers and owners of the former First Presbyterian Church’s manse. The real estate agent did tell us the home had been moved, but was not sure about when and where it was moved from.  Thus, began our research…and even better,  it could also serve as a history lesson for our daughter, Morgan. 

As I mentioned from my first post, my daughter and I have been investigating the history of our house or former manse.

Over the course of the last 7 1/2 years, we’ve visited our county courthouse and library digging in to the past. We’ve also got an archives building at the old county seat we’ve visited and met people who’ve been very helpful.

From these visits, or field trips, we’ve traced our house back to the year 1924. That was the year it was built, less than a block away from The First Presbyterian Church. Reverend Grover Cleveland Currie and his family were the first family to reside here. From my ancestry research, I discovered Reverend Currie came from North Carolina to here in little ol’ Northeast Arkansas. Anything historical or genealogy related is right up my alley!

Pictured below is a copy of the city’s plat in June 1929. A plat map is a map drawn to scale, marking the division of property. The manse and a small building on the property is drawn on the plat, running alongside to W. Gum Street. We are guessing the small building could be storage, or possibly an outhouse. We do have two bathrooms in our home. I’m not sure if they were in the original house plans.

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This picture below is a copy of property taxes paid on the manse in 1927. Wow! A whopping $3.60. Our property taxes now are about 300 times that amount.

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One of the men I met at the archives building happens to attend The First Presbyterian Church and was gracious enough to send this photo of our house below circa 1940’s. You probably recognize this photo from the top of my blog. I have blown the picture up to an 8×10 and framed it. It’s sitting on a table in my living room for all to see. It’s also without the garage, that would be later added after the manse was moved. If you look toward the back of the house, it looks like there is a back porch, which is now my laundry room.

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The picture below was taken last year sometime during the spring or summer, when the grass was green and the flowers were in bloom with bold and bright colors.

“Grover’s Manse” as I named it, has probably been the home to several ministers in their families over the course of at least 3 decades.  I’m still researching when the church sold the home and will share that update with you.   

Does your home have a story to tell? I bet it does! Begin your house history today. It’s a great lesson for the whole family. 

  

Blessings to all,

JoAnn

Deuteronomy 28:6
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

Where Art Thou, Modest Formal?

Next month our Christian homeschool group will be having its annual formal. This will be Morgan’s second formal to attend.  Pictures will be taken, food will be eaten, scavenger hunts and games will be plentiful.  Morgan is raring to go! The dress search has been under way for two weeks now. Heavy sigh. 

Let me explain shopping for formal wear with my daughter for you in one word, painful. You see, my lovely daughter is a camo-clothes wearing, deer slaying, tournament archer kind of girl. A tomboy if you will.  

Another problem we face with formal dress shopping is a lack of modesty in the dresses.  The dear daughter is about 6’0″ tall and finding clothing that provides length for those legs can be a daunting task.  This year we thought we would shop online, sparing us the agony and constant complaints from her.  Morgan’s idea of shopping is going to the local archery shop for hunting and archery supplies, not frilly, girly clothes shopping. 

With her measurements taken and written down, I began my lengthy search for modest formal dresses. Whoa!  Hold up a second there!  To quote my dearly departed Maw-Maw Morgan, “Land o’ Goshen!”  Yep!  Modesty is lacking in these dresses.  Big time!  Some of the lengths of the dresses are so short, they would be the equivalent of Morgan wearing a tee shirt! Oh, and the descriptions of these “little numbers” (pun intended) are not exactly my definition of modest, either.  Here are few of those descriptions:  SEXY PARTY DRESS, SEXY DEEP V NECK DRESS, and let us not forget this one, HIGH-LOW SEXY EVENING DRESS. I’m not sure what high-low means, but by looking at that particular dress my assessment was this:  the length went way upward from the knee and way lower from the neck!  And yes, these were under the search heading MODEST FORMAL DRESSES

Maybe to some we are prudes, but my a few of my goals are to teach my daughter to be a Christian lady, to honor God, to be humble and respectful, and to have self control.  Dressing or (not dressing in some cases) to distract and create a wrong impression is not on our to do list. 

For years now, fashion has seemed to push the “less is more” envelope. It’s not for us. Thankfully, it’s not for a lot of the mothers and daughters I know. Kudos to you wonderful gals!

With less than a month before the formal, the modest dress search continues for that long-legged, tomboy girl of mine! 

1 Timothy 2:9-10 ESV

9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 

Blessings to you all,

JoAnn

My Random Thoughts of Spring

I do believe Spring is here. The birds have been chirping throughout the day. The sun has shone bright and the temperature was a whopping 66° today!  The grass is beginning to turn green and soon the mornings will be warm enough to sit out on the porch with a cup of hot coffee, listening to the sweet sounds from the birds. And I’m so thankful the water in the backyard is beginning to recede!

When the warmer weather arrives, we go outside for schoolwork. Morgan and I love to sit on the porch and read aloud. We like to visit some of our state parks, too, when spring arrives. The parks are both educational and gorgeous this time of year. 

With warmer and drier weather comes spraying season.  Back to the grind. Long hours of spraying for the hubs. Following him from field to field to help him for Morgan and myself. 

Spring means flower and vegetable gardens.  Bright, bold colors. Yummy veggies to eat. I’m ready, are you? What are your thoughts on Spring?

The backyard waters are receding! Hurray!



Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (ESV)

11 for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing[a] has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is 
heard in our land.

Blessings to all,

JoAnn

Homeschooling with Stick Shifts, Skunks, Sore Throats, Future Bifocals and Soggy Weather

This has been a whirlwind of a week. Where do I even begin? Wednesday. Yes, it was Wednesday when all of this fun stuff began.

My parents came over on Wednedsay for a visit and a driving lesson for Morgan. They are giving her their old truck, which happens to have a standard transmission in it. My dad is giving her the lessons. If you want whiplash, I’m your girl to learn from!   Apparently Morgan is too smart for that.

Anyway, while dad and Morgan were out for the driving lesson, my mother accompanied me to my annual eye exam. Two good things came out of the eye exam:  #1. a new assistant thought I was around 30 years old and was shocked when I told her I was indeed 41, and #2. Mom and I picked out some rather sweet looking frames. The bad part, I’m going from readers to bifocals. How did that happen?

Of course this Wednesday was far from over. Our beloved chocolate lab, George has a penchant for running down wildlife. From rabbits to squirrels, he’s treed a lot of them. Unfortunately, early Wednesday evening, George had a run in with a skunk and smelled rancid afterwards.  Thankfully, we found a recipe for a concoction that worked. But let me tell you, the garage aka “man cave” thoroughly stunk for several hours.

Next up, we have the soggy weather. Just last week, our yard was covered with 8 inches of snow and ice. This week our yard is covered in water, due to the warmer weather melting the snow and ice. On top of that, we are getting rain as I write this.  I though it was supposed to April showers bring May flowers.  Everything is still brown and grungy looking outside. I yearn for spring!

I guess with dramatic weather change, someone is bound to get the sniffles. And yes, you guessed it, I’m the recipient of said sniffles. I’ve got the sore throat, earaches, runny nose and cold chills. Oh, dear!

This week has been a doozy. What has my dear daughter learned?  How to drive a stick shift, make a homemade recipe for de-skunking George, help me out with household chores, and researching for next year’s curriculum. Morgan adds input for her curriculum. After all, she’s doing the work, she might as well have some say so in it.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Blessings to all,

JoAnn

March 4, 2015 045

Our soggy , flooded back yard.

Cabin Fever Has Reared Its Ugly Head

One can take so many days inside. Case in point, the daughter with the cold and sinus gunk. And the momma dealing with said daughter’s cold and sinus gunk.

Even though we have let her shoot her bow in the house, (read here and here) that is not enough for her. I can’t blame her. I’ve not been out myself. Any errands we have had, has been completed by the hubs. Out of all of the sadness comes a little humor…she offered to take the trash out, just to get out of the house. Offering? Without being nagged? What a concept! Sorry, dear daughter of mine! 😂

Please don’t think the poor dear has it bad. We’ve excused her from her homeschool work for the past few days due to her minor cold, and made her some of her favorite treats. Have I told you how spoiled she is?

Again, I do sympathize with my daughter. I’ve got cabin fever, too. I would love to get out, but with all of us at home, makes sense to send the hubby out to do my dirty deeds. 😜

Alas, the things I’ve accomplished during this patch of nasty weather has been a mountain of laundry, cooking and washing oodles of dishes.

I wish it were spring. And we were back to work. Or maybe the hubs back to work, the daughter target practicing outside, and me in my gardens. Yeah. That’s it. That’s my wish, right now. Oh, how I miss the flowers with their bright colors!

Blessing to y’all!

JoAnn

Ps. Here’s some of last years flowers. I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of my veggie garden to share!

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