The Scoop on Granny


Dreaming of the mountains...

Who is Granny?

I'm the incredibly blessed mother of 9, "Granny" to 16, and wife of "The Papa," the knight-in-shining-armor whose loving support has made it possible for me to stay home and give my life to mothering, homemaking, and 26 years of homeschooling. Life at Granny's House is full of laughter, friendship, books, music, lively debate, writing, and good things to eat. My days are made even more meaningful by coming alongside other moms, giving them the support and encouragement that I lacked as a young mother and helping them to network with each other in ways that strengthen homes and families. A few times a year I board a plane to visit my "away" kids, to attend the birth of a grandchild, or to enjoy some lazy days with my best friend, but I always love coming back to...Granny's House.

My Complete Profile

On Granny's Calendar
  • August 15 - SAC Day begins
  • August 16 - Sam is 7!
  • August 20 - Kristen's birthday
  • August 30 - THE WELTYS ARRIVE!
  • Sept 3 - Chris' birthday
  • Sept 5 - Henry is 9!
  • Sept 7 - Isaac is 10!
  • Sept 17 - The Papa's birthday
  • Sept 23-30 - Granny and Papa go to Hawaii
  • Sept 26 - PawPop is 88!
  • Sept 29 - Tim is 15!
  • Oct 2 - Cheyenne's birthday
  • Oct 4 - Liam is 5!
  • Oct 7 - John Caleb is 17!
  • Oct 18 - Tony's birthday

  • Email Granny!

    Get your own calendar

    Granny Cares
  • Care Calendar
  • Agape Pregnancy Help Center San Antonio
  • World Vision

  • Granny Cooks (and Eats)!

  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks
  • Once a Month Mom
  • $5 Dinners
  • Full Bellies, Happy Kids
  • A Year of Crockpotting

  • Granny's House (and yours!)

  • Simple Mom
  • The Nesting Place
  • Between Naps on the Porch
  • The Inspired Room

  • Granny gets around...
  • A Holy Experience
  • MommyLife
  • Confessions of a Pioneer Woman
  • Preschoolers and Peace
  • Breathing Grace
  • theMangoTimes

  • Granny stays informed...
  • Real Clear Politics
  • Fox News
  • Drudge Report

  • Granny Thinks...
  • Al Mohler
  • Between Two Worlds
  • Blog and Mablog
  • First Importance
  • Equipping the Saints
  • Desiring God

  • Granny says you may go to...
  • PowerLine Blog
  • Michelle Malkin
  • SteynOnline
  • WSJ Opinion Journal Best of the Web
  • GetHuman
  • Home School Legal Defense Association

  • Granny goes to the movies...
  • Netflix
  • Rotten Tomatoes

  • Granny is watching!
  • Blue Pencil Editing
  • Mighty Red Pen
  • Conjugate Visits

  • Granny smiles at...
  • Purgatorio
  • ScrappleFace
  • LarkNews
  • Sacred Sandwich

  • Friday, October 28, 2005
    We're starting into our second month of having our CJ back with us while she endures a painful and discouraging and draining illness caused by a leak of spinal fluid. She had moved into an apartment only a month before she got sick, a sweet little place inside the home of the family for whom she was working as a nanny/personal assistant.

    As painful as the experience has been for her and as agonizing as it's been for her family to watch her suffer, God has not wasted these weeks. It's been a privilege and a joy to have her back with us for a while, sharing with her the lessons that He is teaching. Many questions are still unanswered...some may never be answered, but not because God is without a plan.

    A couple of days ago, a book arrived in the mail....a gift from my cousin, a woman who possesses some of the keenest spiritual eyesight I've ever witnessed. Knowing the ins and outs of our daily struggle, she chose a book that she thought would minister to me during this time and she had it sent to me. It's written by Ken Gire, an author whose books she and I have enjoyed together before. But even she didn't know just how perfect it would be for the current circumstances. The book's metaphor is the climbing of Mt. Everest, and Gire likens our spiritual quest for answers to life's questions to this climb. He uses the book of Psalms as part of his "map" for the climb; his language is at times as thrilling to me as the climb is exhilarating to those fit enough to take it on. But the opening words of the second chapter stopped me dead in my tracks tonight, and I share them with you in case you too are trying to make sense of the mountain ahead, especially in light of God's purposes in the lives of your children.

    The earliest renderings of Mount Everest were simple sketches. Later the landscape was mapped by hand, using primitive instruments. Today the methods of mapping are more sophisticated. The most recent measurement of the mountain was done in 1999, using precise calculations made by the millions of data points collected by the Space Shuttle and the Global Positioning System.

    With each generation, the map gets more accurate. And this is how it should be, both in the natural realm and the spiritual realm.

    It seems to me the responsibility of each generation is to map the terrain of faith with ever-greater accuracy. We are not painting pictures for our children; we are making maps for climbers, which our children will one day become. There are clefts in the rock where they can find shelter, but there are also crevasses into which they can fall to their deaths. To map the clefts and not the crevasses would be unconscionable.

    ~~from The North Face of God by Ken Gire

    How blessed I am that CJ is not left without a map...that some of the terrain ahead of her has been traveled before and has been left with markers and roadsigns and directions to shelter. And as we climb with her, together we leave even more accurate maps for those who come behind us--complete with postings of danger as well as notices of rest areas with fresh water and nourishing food.

    May God equip us all for the climb, and may He grant that we leave maps that allow our children to clearly see His faithfulness in every step.

    has spoken at 12:47 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, October 24, 2005
    For Anne S. and anyone else who has a little too much time on her hands this month....

    Granny's Holiday Fruit Poundcakes

    1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon allspice
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon cloves
    1/8 teaspoon cardamom
    1/2 cup honey-dipped papaya
    1 cup dates; pitted
    1 cup dried pineapple
    1 cup dried apricots
    1 1/2 cups raisins
    1 cup Sultanas (golden raisins)
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1 1/2 cup walnuts
    1 cup butter
    1/2 cup honey
    1/4 cup molasses
    6 egg yolks
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    1/2 cup apple juice, cider, or brandy; extra for storing
    6 egg whites
    whole blanched almonds

    Prepare 2 loaf tins, 9x5x3, by lining with buttered parchment paper or brown wrapping paper. Let paper extend above long sides of pan 2 inches.

    Combine 1 3/4 cups flour with spices and salt. Cut all fruit except raisins and sultanas into small pieces. Sprinkle and separate all fruit with 1/2 cup flour. Chop nuts coarsely and add to fruit.

    Preheat oven to 275.

    Cream butter. Beat in honey and molasses. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture and apple juice or brandy alternately to butter mixture, beating after each addition. Carefully fold in fruits and nuts. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold them carefully into batter. Turn batter into prepared pans. Lay almonds on top of each loaf in desired design.

    Bake at 275 on middle rack for 3 hours. Cool in pan for at least 30 minutes. Remove from pans; separate from paper; cool completely on cake rack.

    Wrap in several thicknesses of cheesecloth which have been drenched with brandy. Then wrap in waxed paper AND foil and store in refrigerator or in cool, dry place. Check moisture every week or so and drench cheesecloth with fresh brandy if needed. Age at least 4 weeks.

    If any of the dried fruit isn't available, increase amounts of other fruit accordingly. I replace some with dried cranberries. Use what you love!

    has spoken at 12:24 AM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, October 21, 2005
    In October my thoughts turn to holiday baking. It's time to gather our favorite recipes, start budgeting for and stockpiling hard-to-find ingredients, and schedule days for making cranberry bread, Christmas cookies, and all those other goodies that make November and December more festive.

    I'm a big fan of Wilton's food coloring. I love the brilliant colors it gives our frosted sugar cookies the week before Christmas. But alas, just try to find their reds and greens after Thanksgiving! There must be a horde of people hoarding the good stuff, because every year I'm too late and find myself scraping the bottom of LAST year's stash! So this year, ladies, I've joined the hordes and have made myself a new stash in October. And I've threatened everyone in the house that it's not to be used by anyone for any reason--not in ice cubes, in rainbow green snickerdoodle dough or scrambled eggs, no red cornstarch play-dough. On pain of death! A slow death!

    And last weekend Aubrey and I got in the kitchen during the ill-fated Notre Dame/USC football game and made a huge batch of Holiday Fruit Poundcakes. This is the only kind of "fruitcake" I've ever been able to eat and enjoy. I assure you it has nothing to do with the fact that these cakes age for eight weeks in peach brandy....nothing. Anyway, those are wrapped and soaking in the back of one of the refrigerators, just waiting for the first holiday gathering.

    (I don't expect a stampede here, but if you'd like the recipe for a holiday cake full of great dried fruits, whole wheat flour, real butter, molasses and honey, and the aforementioned "spirits," let me know and I'll email you a copy :-) Make it early!)

    has spoken at 7:15 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    A big welcome to the newest little guy in our circle of friends, Josiah Thomas McCraw, seventh child and third son of Jeff and Miranda McCraw. His brothers are happy that there is finally a Third Musketeer!

    has spoken at 6:33 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005
    My four-year old grandson Isaac has had a rough couple of months. We already knew that he was allergic to beef and pork, so we try to work around that when we have our weekly Family Dinner Nights, whether by making a portion of our meal without the elements he can't have, or by making him a chicken sandwich or veggie burger which Aubrey brings along.

    And yet still he's had digestive problems. After a whole lot of tests (the really unpleasant kind!), one of the conclusions is that he is severely lactose intolerant. So this means that in addition to the meat restrictions, he can't have any milk products or any prepared foods containing whey. This is harder than it sounds--it's surprising how many cereals, crackers, desserts, condiments, etc. have small amounts of dairy products. Life now gets even more complicated for Aubrey and Dirk as they try to structure their family diet to accommodate the new restrictions.

    Isaac is a trooper. He understands enough to know that some foods make him sick and are dangerous for him, so for the most part he deals with it pretty well. But Granny feels so sorry for him when he's here and can't eat what the hordes are eating for meals or snacks or desserts. So today while at the grocery store I started what will be a little stockpile of special things just for Isaac to eat when he's here and can't have what the rest of us are having. It will go in a bag with his name on it so that the goodies don't disappear from the pantry without my knowing...which does, from time to time, happen around Granny's House!

    has spoken at 3:45 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005
    Here is an absolutely fascinating look at homeschooling from inside the world of social workers. Though you'll find some of the traditional misconceptions about homeschooling and homeschoolers, it's a surprisingly positive view from a group of people we don't tend to think of as friendly to those who have made the choice to educate at home.

    Social Work Today Magazine

    Hat Tip: Dina Wong

    has spoken at 10:44 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Required Reading:

    Here is a beautifully written, disturbing yet poignant article by Patricia E. Bauer. . .a question we need to consider individually and as a society. Please don't miss this.

    The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have

    has spoken at 6:23 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    If you've wondered why the educational establishment keeps tilting to the left despite wonderful young conservatives who desire to become teachers, here's a hint:
    The cultural left has a new tool for enforcing political conformity in schools of education. It is called dispositions theory, and it was set forth five years ago by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE): Future teachers should be judged by their "knowledge, skills, and dispositions."
    What are "dispositions"? NCATE's prose made clear that they are the beliefs and attitudes that guide a teacher toward a moral stance. That sounds harmless enough, but it opened a door to reject teaching candidates on the basis of thoughts and beliefs. In 2002, NCATE said that an education school may require a commitment to social justice. William Damon, a professor of education at Stanford, wrote last month that education schools "have been given unbounded power over what candidates may think and do, what they may believe and value."

    Read the whole article here.

    has spoken at 1:01 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, October 16, 2005
    One of the greatest joys of my life has come in the past five years as I have watched my daughters begin the homeschooling journey and having the privilege of coming alongside them as we all walk the road together. I am still teaching five of my nine children, and now helping to teach the first few of my eleven grandchildren. An added joy is the opportunity to be a resource to dozens of mothers who are on the same road and many others who are still praying and considering what might be God's plan for their families.

    The life of homeschooling is really more about home than about schooling. It's all about creating and maintaining a safe, loving, stimulating, nurturing, memory-filled haven for all those that God plants around our tables. Education is certainly part of that, but it's my desire to see homeschooling families put the "home" back in homeschooling and cherish each day as one of the building blocks of the next generation, a generation who will leave our homes with steadfast hearts and a testimony of God's faithfulness.

    My grandchildren gather around the table with my youngest children to explore the wonders of creation, to hear the fascinating stories of history, to cut and paste and color and laugh and eat. I hope to share with you some of the flavors of Granny's House in this place. . . .our ways of doing things, the lessons I've learned in more than two decades of the homeschooling life, the best curriculum and other resources, a picture now and then of our activities, maybe a recipe or two along the way, and other ideas that might help you and your family to weave learning with all of life.

    Please, feel free to click on "comments" and leave me a question or observation or an idea of your own. You'll have to register with blogspot to join in, but I hope you'll take a few minutes to do that so that this can be a community of moms (and grandmoms!) sharing to a greater extent than ever before possible what God is teaching us. You can share the site with any who might be interested in our conversations here regardless of where they live or where they are in regards to the homeschool journey.

    Welcome to my House!

    has spoken at 11:35 PM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    We will not hide them from their children,
    but tell to the coming generation
    the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done.
    He established a testimony in Jacob
    and appointed a law in Israel,
    which he commanded our fathers
    to teach to their children,
    that the next generation might know them,
    the children yet unborn,
    and arise and tell them to their children,
    so that they should set their hope in God
    and not forget the works of God,
    but keep his commandments;
    and that they should not be like their fathers,
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
    a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
    whose spirit was not faithful to God
    Psalm 78:4-8

    has spoken at 11:33 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Granny's Mission Statement
    "...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
    ~Psalm 78:4-6

    My Focal Passage for 2011...
    Philippians 2:5-11

    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

    6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

    8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    ~Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)


    "The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it."

    ~Samuel Johnson

    [Oxymoronica, n., A compilation of self-contradictory terms, phrases, or quotations; examples of oxymoronica appear illogical or nonsensical at first, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.]

    Books on the iPhone, the Kindle, or on the nightstand...

  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander Mccall Smith
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur G. Bennett, editor

  • Books finished in 2011...

  • Oxymoronica, Mardy Grothe
  • Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • His Word in My Heart, Janet Pope
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine, St. Augustine
  • Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, John Keats
  • Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell
  • Words That Work, Frank Luntz
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  • Poke the Box, Seth Godin
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Gary Taubes
  • A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
  • Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, Anh Vu Sawyer
  • The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life, Shona Cole
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough

  • Oh, the thinks you
    can think...
  • Tapestry of Grace
  • Anatomical Charts
  • America's Library
  • George Washington's Mount Vernon - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Thomas Jefferson's Monticello - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Hurricane Demo

  • Oh, the places we'll go...
  • The Alamo
  • Majestic Theater
  • The MAiZE
  • Magik Theatre
  • Sheldon Vexler Children's Theatre

  • Granny always says...
    Saying goodbye...
    Sunday snippets...
    Sunday snippets...
    Coming soon to a country near you...
    Making (a) room...
    Just in case this might make an impact on your spe...
    Midweek snippets...
    What's up?
    She said YES!

    Granny used to say...
    October 2005
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    Grace Notes

    "Were the whole realm of nature mine
    That were a present far too small...
    Love so amazing, so divine
    Demands my soul, my life,
    my all!"