Dream Come True

The books are here!

They arrived today at two-o’clock while I was at our homeschool history class in Granby. My friend Jocelyn agreed to sit at the house and wait for them, as there had to be a person here to receive them.

(She also filed school papers and swept my floors while she waited – thanks Jocelyn!)

And here are the stars of the book –
Cooper and Buddy.

Buddy does not like cameras (the flash, I guess), so this picture was quite difficult to get as he kept ducking his head behind Coop’s back. Buddy also has trouble being still as those of you who know him can attest to.

We are all so excited! The kids have been working on their future books today, because it is a dream come true to see your name in print and your work looking so official.

I want to thank my dad, Dee Rowland (in Texas), for loaning me the money for printing costs, and for not thinking I was crazy to try and write a book.
And Robert, for staying up late with me so many nights working on scanning, editing, formatting, and more – and for believing in this project and in me.
And to the Lord, for the idea, the courage, the open doors and for revealing the source of our health struggles when we felt utterly hopeless. May He be glorified through the book, and may He use it to bless and encourage others.
Thanks also to my bother Stu (CA), sisters Melissa and Melinda (TX), friends and church family(MA,OK,TX) who were excited with me.
And especially to Jessie Andreson(MD) who coached me in my drawing skills!
I miss you!

Want to buy a book? Check out:



Dress in a Day

This was definitely an unexpected Saturday project! Friday night we attended a rehearsal dinner for friends from church who were getting married the following day. This was to be a fairly small and simple wedding in that the bride and groom had no attendants, and all photos, flowers, music, etc. were provided by church friends. (The Body of Christ in action – so beautiful!) The Bride planned to have a runner going down the center aisle with petals pre-sprinkled on top. At rehearsal someone mentioned that the guests would be stepping on that runner and ruin the effect. So, someone mentioned that Aly (the Bride) needed a flower girl….. Well, Kayla was standing right there, and was the obvious choice. Aly asked her if she could do the job, and of course she said yes. What would she wear? We do have 2 other flower girl dresses (she’s a professional!) so, we said we’d try those. Well, they were too small and too pink. This wedding was to be sage green and cream. Off to TJ Maxx, JC Penney, and Target – those are the only options in town at 8pm Friday night. Nothing. I mean NOTHING!

Last resort…Joanne Fabrics…8:30pm. I prayed, quickly found a pattern, a beautiful faux silk cream fabric and a sheer sage green fabric for the bow. Surprise…..Katie, a new friend from church greeted me at the fabric counter – her first day on the job. She cut the fabric as the intercom announced the store’s closing in 5 minutes. Whew!
So all of Saturday, except for a quick run to Sally’s Hair Supply for sponge rollers (have to do the hair, too) and Target for white ballet shoes (best option in the fall shoe selection), was spent sewing a flower girl dress!
Time spent getting Kayla ready for a wedding she wasn’t invited to: 7 hours; Time spent getting myself ready: 10 minutes.
It didn’t get buttons in time for the wedding, but Kayla’s long hair covered the back which was closed with safety pins on the inside. Upon arrival, Aly was melting down because her own dress hadn’t been properly hemmed – even after 6 fittings! I spent the minutes leading up to the ceremony whacking off the bottom several inches of her dress lining – we ran out of pins and resorted to the scissors. She had to lift the actual dress while walking so as not to trip. Doesn’t something like this happen at every wedding? I think the last minute panic attack is just routine – at least in my experience!
The wedding was beautiful. This couple is amazing – came to church only a few short months ago and have already loved and served us all with their gifts. Kayla’s dress was a small contribution to an amazing day in the Lord – worth every minute!

Did I mention the minister at the ceremony? He did an AMAZING job – even sang a line from John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” in the sermon – highlighting his favorite genre of music – 80’s rock, of course. Once again, he blessed the couple and everyone in attendance. So glad he’s mine!

We Love Our Farm(s)

We have been a part of a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm for about 6 years now. There are several in this area – ours is called Brookfield Farm. There are about 500 families who are members. Some live in Boston (90 miles east) and their “share” is trucked out weekly.

This is the farm shop where your weekly allotment of veggies is picked up. There is a chalkboard that hangs above each table of baskets indicating how much is in your “share” for that week. This is the hard veggies table. All of the produce is organic. This week’s options were carrots, celery, broccoli, purple onion, sweet peppers, hot peppers, beets, red potatoes, white potatoes, and acorn squash.

This is the greens table – spinach, kale, tatsoi, arugula, and lettuce. This week we were able to get a full bag from each table as well as 12 tomatoes. Some items you have to pick yourself – strawberries, green beans, raspberries, cherry tomatoes, herbs, and flowers.

This week we also got apples at $1.00/lb that were brought in from a local farm. Here are the kids with our veggies and apples. They are standing in front of the herb garden area. Part of this garden is handicap accessible in that the veggies are planted in waist high boxes with a wide path on either side.

The not-so-romantic part of the farm is actually having to deal with that much produce once home! Last night I spent over an hour washing lettuce/spinach/arugula, drying it and tearing it into salad sized pieces. Today we are making salsa with all of those tomatoes and onions. And acorn squash is on the dinner menu for tonight!

And here is what became of the Krumrey Farm! Kayla’s garden produced lots of tomatoes, basil, dill, bell peppers, squash and zucchini – zinnias and marigolds, too. There are 2 cantaloupes still growing! We’re leaving them as long as possible, but the frost is threatening every night!

And here is the gardener herself with the abundant fall harvest!

Hurricane Football & A Sovereign God

OK…you may think that title is a bit much but….
This could be a mother’s worst nightmare – her 12 year old son, putting on armor to play a sport. I’ve decided I’m really not fond of football. (I used to be – even was a cheerleader – don’t tell my kids.) But, Kory is VERY fond of football, and Robert assures me that men need dangerous and risky things in their lives sometimes to help them become the men they need to be. (I can think of several other ways to accomplish this.)

This is Sunday’s game against Palmer. The Hurrricanes (that’s us) scored 26 points right away, and then tried to score no more as there is a “mercy rule” that ends the game when the point spread is more than 28. Kory is #28 and is in this picture – the right of the two guys in the middle.
And one more play – Kory is the one surrounded by all the blue guys.

So, I still don’t think I really like my son playing football. But I do love seeing him work hard for something. He’s learning discipline, commitment, teamwork, and how to be a younger, smaller kid. He’s never had that experience!

I had a very hard time when practices started, worrying about him being injured or even killed. (Why do our minds go to the worst possible outcome?)
The Lord spoke to me, though during the death of another sportsman. Mike Coolbaugh, a pro baseball player and later a coach was killed this summer while coaching first base for the Tulsa Drillers baseball team. He was hit by a foul ball. The ball smashed an artery in his neck, and he died almost instantly. He was a friend of mine from high school – a friend of my sister’s as well. Mike was married, had two little boys and one due next month who will never meet his father. His death left me sober about the fragility of this life. This verse came to mind, and I realized once again that I am not in control, but the One who is is sovereign and holy, and I can rest in that…

My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.
Psalm 139:15-16

Mike Coolbaugh 1972-2007

Our prayers are with Mandy, the boys, and the coming little one…

First Day of School

We’ve finally started school – a bit later than usual, but our summer was a bit crazier than usual, so I wasn’t quite ready. The kids were ready though, especially Kayla. It rained all day today and I’ve decided that rainy days are perfect for starting school! They just feel slower and there is a kind of peaceful permission to stay at home and quietly work through the day. (We actually did leave the house for lunch at Whole Foods before saying goodbye to Grammie and Paw Paw and then piano lessons later, but still!)

We typically have some sort of special breakfast. One year it was apple pie and ice cream – probably due to our reading Farmer Boy at the time. Then last year it was chocolate chip cookies. That was the hoped for
breakfast this year so that was what we had! The cookies were from a Namaste Gluten Free Mix from Cornucopia. These mixes are the best we’ve found so far. We also had scrambled eggs and hash browns!

Then everyone gets a school box at their place complete with school supplies and other surprises – this year the big surprise was a coupon book. The coupons can be redeemed for a chore free day, staying up 1 hour past bedtime, a day off of paper route duty, watching a movie, etc.

After family devotions we hit the books. For those interested, here’s what everyone will be doing this year:

Kory: (7th Grade)

Saxon Math 1/2 (pre-algebra)
Henle Latin
Elementary Greek I (just a few lessons to complete before II)
Exploring Creation with General Science – Apologia (text and CD-rom)
Daily Grams (taking a break from Shurley English)
Writing Strands
Traditional Logic – Memoria Press
History – Veritas Press – Middle Ages/Reformation/Renaissance
Bible – How to Study Your Bible For Kids by Kay Arthur (these are great studies – the boys have completed several)
Spelling Power
Typing – Mavis Beacon
Building Thinking Skills by Critical Thinking Co.

Cooper: (5th Grade)

Saxon Math 6/5 – using the new D.I.V. E. CD-Rom
Latina Christiana I – Memoria Press
Investigating God’s World – Abeka
Daily Grams
Writing Strands
Spelling Power
Building Thinking Skills
Bible – How to Study the Bible for Kids by Kay Arthur
Writing with Grace – cursive by CLP
History (see Kory’s)

Kayla: (2nd grade)

Saxon Math 2

Spelling Power

Shurley English 1


Read Aloud to mom time

Our history co-op group still meets every Thursday. We now have 11 moms and 35 kids in the group for a grand total of 46 people in your house when you are the hostess. We may have to split, but it is too heart wrenching to decide who goes where, so we just sort of remain in a sort of denial! Our first meeting is this week, and the topic is Augustine, and I am teaching! Any suggestions??? I’m thinking of assigning a persuasive essay in the form of a letter from Augustine to a leader of the Manicheans, Donatists, or Pelagians. (If this sounds impressive in any way, please know that I knew nothing about Augustine – sad, but true- until last week when I thought I should begin preparing to teach!) I have the older kids who we are striving to challenge this year with more writing assignments and oral reports. They would get quite a bit of theology as well!

Art will be once a month with Michelle Goldshlag of Growing Artists and also a good friend from church. She will teach drawing technique this first semester and painting in the Spring.

Ballet/Tap (Kayla), football (Kory), piano (all 3) happen at various times throughout the week.

Routine is so nice in so many ways! Happy Fall!

Fun with Grammie and Paw Paw

Grammie and Paw Paw (Robert’s parents) are here for their September visit. We attempted to enjoy what may have been our last day of summer by eating dinner outside Friday night – complete with fresh local corn and watermelon. We also thought it would be a good opportunity to see where any bats may be trying to enter our house at dusk! We did not spot any bats, but did get eaten alive by mosquitoes!

Cooper and Paw Paw on the swing – chilaxing, if you will. (That one’s for you, Etheredges) Cooper is holding his latest novel in his ten book series entitled “The Lost Knight.” He has completed book seven and is working on book eight! And yes, we are keeping Miller Pads and Paper in business buying their blank books! Coop’s books are pretty amazing – lots of adventure – and complete with illustrations. Maybe his books will be the next that we get to publish!

Chapter Book Champion

Kayla recently finished reading her first official chapter book! She decided to give it a try without any prompting – kept at it for days and updated us on her progress all along. She was so excited and immediately wanted to go to the library and check out more! Hurray – so thankful to have a houseful of readers!