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!

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    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

  • Monday, May 31, 2010

    For someone like me who appreciates the beauty of the patterns in mathematics and who's also in the market for good knives, this article was irresistible. (Unfortunately, the knives won't be...a little too pricey for me.)

    Beautiful Nesting Knives Designed by Mathematics

    hat tip: The Papa


    has spoken at 10:57 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, May 27, 2010
    Yes, it was indeed a good day.

    I woke up this morning and put some weight on my right leg for the first time in five months, and did it ever feel good. A little scary, but delicious nevertheless. I'll be taking it very slowly as I add the weight back, of course. And I'll still need the assistance of a walker or a very strong man for a while :-)

    This was also to have been my first day off the antibiotics. Unfortunately, I didn't make it that far. I'll spare you the details, but by Sunday night I had reached my limit, and so with the prior permission of my doctors to stop when I couldn't take it any more, I cried, "Uncle". And instantly I felt like my old self again....I think Kristen was actually a little worried about me on Monday, thinking I might have slipped into some kind of drug-induced euphoria. No drugs...just feeling like a human being again!

    The other first this week was my outpatient physical therapy session. By the appointment on Tuesday I already felt so much better that I could hardly wait to get there and start working. Turned out to be more of a measuring and testing and medical history session, but now I'm ready to start regaining all the muscle that I lost while waiting for my new hip.

    And The Papa returned home from another work trip to Hawaii this morning. How wonderful it is to see his face when he's been gone for ten days! My goal is to be able to make his next trip to the islands with him and have it be much more of a success than the trip in November of last year. I didn't realize I was walking around on a broken leg and didn't understand why I was in so much pain. Next time I'll listen to my body when it's screaming to me.

    Some of you have asked me what God has taught me during the past few months...I'll write about that soon. The most important is that He is faithful, worthy to be trusted with all I am and have. I hope that you've learned the same lessons through whatever He's brought you through so far this year...

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    has spoken at 11:57 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, May 23, 2010
    I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.*
    OSLO, May 23, 2010 (Reuters) — Whales and dolphins should get "human rights" to life and liberty because of mounting evidence of their intelligence, a group of conservationists and experts in philosophy, law and ethics said Sunday.

    As disturbing as it is to me that we might pretend that any animal has "human" rights, I'm even more disturbed about the basis for this distinction between whales and other animals: intelligence and self-awareness. Let's admit it...going down this road does not portend well for unborn babies, mentally retarded children and adults, or those suspended in a coma or near-comatose state. If awareness of self and IQ are to be our measures for whether or not to extend human rights, then a large part of our population is in trouble, not to mention animals with smaller brains than whales.

    "Human rights" urged for whales and dolphins

    *Lyrics from "I Am the Walrus," by Paul McCartney and John Lennon

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    has spoken at 10:16 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday snippets...
    It's going to be a great week! This week I get to discontinue the antibiotics that have been the bane of my existence since New Year's Eve. And on the same day (Thursday) I have clearance to begin putting weight on my operated hip/leg. Just 25% at first, but it's a start and I'll be on the road to some independence again. And Tuesday I will begin outpatient physical therapy, having exhausted my in-home therapist's ability to keep up with me. I'm on the move!

    Yesterday was not a good day for me physically, still feeling the debilitating effects of the antibiotics. I didn't really accomplish anything all day other than going through a six-inch stack of old magazines, culling a few gems and throwing the rest out. As I tackled the first few, I realized it was an interesting visual for me of where my life stopped last December. Most of the mags were holiday issues that I hadn't yet read and then they accumulated in a corner since I didn't want to get rid of them until I'd gone through them. Well now, my bedroom is several pounds lighter and my shelves have several inches of space to breathe that they didn't have before.

    I realize I've been really spoiled in the months since December...hardly a week has gone by without someone either bringing me flowers or having some delivered, and sometimes I've had three different bouquets at once. I think when I'm on my feet again I'm going to have to buy my own and keep at least one bunch in my room all the time!

    "To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." [Thomas Jefferson, via a must-read article, America's new culture war: Free enterprise vs. government control, by Arthur C. Brooks in today's Washington Post (!).]

    Anyone have a recommendation for a really, really good santoku kitchen knife? Pioneer Woman swears by her Wusthof, but I'm also looking at Shun and a couple others....

    We have just completed our 25th straight year of homeschooling. This year, because of many unforeseen circumstances, the year didn't look like most others; and yet, when I look back over the past quarter-century, not too many years looked like most of the others. Nevertheless, I'm glad to see this one go and glad to be in the planning stages of year 26, one in which I have only two students, a freshman and a junior in high school. It's impossible to explain to new homeschoolers how different things are now than when we started in 1985. And although most of those differences are good ones, the opportunities available now make the process of choosing and planning mind-boggling!

    Other summer plans include working with CJ on her wedding arrangements and getting our photos into digital format via the new photo scanner I bought on sale months ago. It's still sitting in the box, but not for long!

    But first, we have Shelley's senior recital and graduation at the end of next week. We're so proud of how hard she's worked in many different areas this year, completing several college courses, achieving some real competence in French, and continuing to hone her piano skills in both performance and teaching...all while finishing up her regular high school studies. Next weekend we'll celebrate all those things, hearing her concert on the piano and then presenting her with her diploma (and eating some good food afterward!)

    Reading this week: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (via Kindle), and back to reading The Reason for God by Timothy Keller.

    Okay, I'm having trouble figuring this one out. I've mentioned before that during the past couple of years my taste for chocolate has pretty much evaporated. Since I was never a dark chocolate lover and can't therefore claim those health benefits, I've been okay with losing my craving for oozy milk chocolate desserts. But now I find I'm losing my taste for sweets altogether. I know this can't be a bad thing, especially for a diabetic, but it's a mystery to me how it's happened in such a short time. I may find that it's been a side effect of some of the dozen or so meds I've been on and that my taste will return when some of them are discontinued...but then again, I almost hope not :-)

    And snip, snip, that's all folks...hope you have a week as good as I expect mine to be!

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    has spoken at 12:10 PM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, May 20, 2010
    Oh, what I could have done with $11,000 per pupil per year for the past 25 years! Let's see, that would amount to.....a fortune.

    As we close out this school year, taxpayers may wonder what kind of bang we're getting for our educational buck, asks Michael Quinn Sullivan, President and CEO of Empower Texans.

    • Texans now spend more than $11,000 per year, per student on public education -- with less than half going toward instructional expenses.
    • In the 2008-2009 school year -- the last for which data is available -- Texas schools spent $11,084 per kid; 10 years ago, Texas spent just $5,857 per pupil.
    • If per pupil spending had risen with inflation, the cost after 10 years would have approximately been $7,545.

    So where is the money going? Well, it's not going to the classroom, says Sullivan:

    • If you think of each kid the way school bureaucrats do -- as bags of money -- and consider your average third-grade class capped at 22 students per teacher, that's $243,848 sitting there.
    • But the money isn't going to the teacher; average teacher pay was $47,313 in the 2008-2009 school year (up from $34,357 a decade ago).

    So where's the other $200,000 derived from our average classroom going, asks Sullivan:

    • Of the $11,084 spent per pupil on public education in 2009, only $4,831 went for anything that could even remotely be considered "instructional" expenses as defined by the Texas Education Agency.
    • Over the last decade, student enrollment has risen 15 percent -- from 3.9 million students to 4.6 million students.
    • In that same period, the number of teachers grew accordingly, at 19.3 percent.
    • We now have 14.4 students for every teacher (in 1999 it was 15.2 students per teacher).

    But non-teachers? That's where the growth is. We had 22 percent more in 2009 than in 1999, says Sullivan.

    So for all this spending, and for all these new, non-classroom employees, surely there's been some marked improvement in academic performance. Actually, there's been a decline in results, says Sullivan:

    • The average Texas SAT score in 1999 was a 992.
    • Over 10 years it has fallen to 988.


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    has spoken at 12:40 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, May 17, 2010
    We're from the government, and we're here to help.
    This scares the bejeebees out of me. Parents, please note: this is not a program administered by public schools. This will go through your pediatrician or family doctor, or even any provider who vaccinates your children:

    If Representative Ron Kind (D-Wis.) has his way, the federal government will soon mandate that state agencies maintain a database of how fat the kids in their jurisdiction are getting. Too fat or too skinny, the government needs to know.

    If enacted, every state receiving grant-in-aid funds under the provisions of the bill would be required to under Title 1, Section 101 of the bill to annually track the Body Mass Index of all children ages two through 18. Additionally, the same section obliges all healthcare providers in the state to determine the Body Mass Index of all their minor patients and then forward that data to the appropriate state clearinghouse or agency. Then, the state government must pass on the information collected to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for further analysis.

    The Healthy Communities Through Helping to Offer Incentives and Choices to Everyone in Society Act of 2010, introduced by Representative Kind, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, funds a dizzying roster of programs and regulations aimed at reducing obesity rates by such means as putting nutritional labels on the front of food products, subsidizing businesses that provide fresh fruits and vegetables, and offering taxpayer-funded counseling to overweight children and their enabling parents.

    The aforementioned Section 101 of the bill amends the Public Health Services Act. The relevant portion of the bill alters current law and mandates that healthcare providers record "the age, gender, height, and weight of each person vaccinated to calculate the body mass index of such person." Further on the law instructs doctors to "report to the relevant department of the State in which such health care provider practices the data collected."

    When asked about the requirement that such data not only be collected, but reported to the states and federal government, a spokesman for Representative Kind remarked, "However, it is important to note that no one is forced to come in for a doctors visit to get their BMI tested. BMI will be taken at times when the child makes an otherwise scheduled doctors visit." That response was apparently intended to quell the fears of parents concerned that by taking their children to the doctor they will open themselves to monitoring by state and federal agencies regarding the manner in which they raise their children. So, according to the Congressman's office, there is a simple way around getting caught in that trap: don't take your kids to the doctor.

    Please finish reading here:

    Bill Turns Doctors Into Federal Fat Police

    And you can read the text of the bill, HR 5209, here.

    (I love the title of the bill: Healthy Communities through Helping to Offer Incentives and Choices to Everyone in Society Act)

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    has spoken at 3:02 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    If you read the article below on the moral life of babies, you may be interested to read Al Mohler's take, both on the methodologies of the study and the implications for worldview...

    The Moral Life of Babies (and the Ideological Life of Adults)

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    has spoken at 6:08 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, May 05, 2010

    Attention: If you have a baby, are expecting a baby, or are a lover of babies, get yourself a big mug of coffee or a tall glass of sweet tea and read this admittedly long but delightfully informative article on the development of the moral life of babies. Despite the evolutionary explanations, you'll get a peek into the mind of the God who makes baby humans :-)

    The Moral Life of Babies

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    has spoken at 3:29 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, May 02, 2010
    Sunday snippets...
    On balance it's been a great week for me. There are always ups and downs in a recovery this major, but this is the first week with WAY more ups than downs. Yesterday I spent about 4 hours outside, and I don't remember the last time I did that. The weather was lovely and my Kindle and I had a lovely afternoon together on the swing. Then I took my coffee out there at 7 and stayed until 9 since I wanted to see all our new solar lighting come on as it got dark. Unfortunately, one of the "downs" was that I ended up with a dozen mosquito bites all on the foot that I can't reach and that made my night miserable, but I wouldn't trade the wonderful fresh air and breeze and exercise for a few hours of sleep.

    What a tragedy to watch the oil slick approaching the Gulf breaks my heart to think of the small businesses and family fisherman who will be ruined if that oil does indeed (as seems inevitable) ooze onto the shore. The Papa was doing some research on the Exxon Valdez oil spill twenty years ago in Alaska, and so many species of animals, birds and fish never recovered. And that wasn't even an area where there was a major effect on the economy. The Gulf Coast could be devastated, both in a biological and an economic sense.

    We're just a week and a half from school's end here at Granny's House. This is a year I'll be glad to see go, as I don't even remember a lot of it. I'm looking forward to being much more vigorously involved in teaching and coordinating (and driving!) next year as I continue to get my strength and my wits back. We'll have only two, TWO, students--a freshman and a junior in high school. Think I should finally break down and give away my phonics cards?

    Most of you will have heard the town hall clip this week of the president saying, "I do think at some point you've made enough money..." I love it when he gives us these off-the-cuff peeks at what he truly believes. Raise your hand if you think you've made enough now and should start giving most of it back to him so he can decide who needs it more?

    We've finally started mowing our property this week. We've had such a gorgeous sea of bluebonnets, black-eyed Susans, and other wildflowers this year that it's hard to watch them go. They made our house look like a postcard for a month or so...

    And, the House is abuzz with wedding plans (see Monday's post). There's nothing like planning a wedding when you've got five's a gigantic party all the time!

    This week my reading includes Little Women. Yes, the real Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Haven't read it since I was a kid, and it's very interesting to compare my recollections of it with my current thoughts. Having raised a houseful of girls I see so much that we dealt with, both good and bad, but I'm still amused by the "stiltedness" of the conversations and the moralizing of the author, both elements which would eliminate it from consideration by a publisher today. Nevertheless, this classic still has much to commend it, and even the "preachiness" is refreshing when compared to what passes for young people's literature today.

    Some dear friends of ours have been led to adopt a brother and sister from Ethiopia. This sweet family has five children and are now opening their hearts and home to an 8 year old boy and 5 year old girl who are waiting for someone to love them. The process of adopting internationally is terribly expensive, not to mention stressful, so if God brings them to your mind, would you pray that He would provide all that Charles and Stacey need as they follow His will down this challenging road? And pray that God will use this family to bring Dawit and Mushera to Himself.

    Congratulations to my brother Danny who just landed his dream job with GEICO Insurance, and to my son-in-law Dave who starts his new job with Farmer's Insurance tomorrow. May God give both of you success and favor with your employers and show you many opportunities each day to serve Him!

    Have a happy first week of May!

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    has spoken at 4:15 PM
    1 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
    November 2005
    December 2005
    January 2006
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    January 2011
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    August 2011

    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!"