Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Monday, February 24, 2014

Capitol Affairs, Part II

As promised I’m back today with the second half of our tour of Louisiana’s Capitol building.  If you missed the first half, you can check it out here.

After our tour of Governor Huey Long’s office, Representative Broadwater took our little group to the House and Senate committee meeting rooms.  He explained to us how committee members met here to discuss various issues and hear comments and questions from an audience. 

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I have to admit, this was not the most interesting stop on our tour, but it was in this room that Ty said something I will never forget.  Rep. Broadwater had just told us that before audience members were allowed to speak they had to raise one of 3 colored cards – red, green, or white.  Basically, the cards indicate whether the comment would be for, against, or neutral to the issue at hand.  It was at this point that I noticed Ty’s hand shoot up.  He had something to say.  Nervously I waited to hear his comment.

“I thought the white card would mean that the people had something to say about Jesus.”

I never would have guessed that’d be what he’d say!  It took a second or two for me to process it.  What on earth was he talking about?

But as I thought about Ty’s words, I began to realize how innocent and genuine his question had been.  It was only logical to him that lawmakers would consider Christ first when making important decisions.

Wow!  I was completely amazed.  Ty was definitely on to something.  How much better would our government be if our leaders were more concerned about pleasing Christ than gaining popularity, having power, or making money.

I’m thankful that my little boy raised his hand this day.  Thankful for the words that came out of his mouth.  And even more thankful for the heart from which these words came.  I pray that his heart may always be so inclined.

Back to the tour…

The governor’s parking spot.  If his car is here, he’s in the building.  Unfortunately the spot was empty at this time.

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Time for a change in altitude.  From the basement we made our way to the observation deck of the capital, some thirty floors up.  FYI:  Louisiana has the tallest capitol building of all fifty states.  Leave it to Huey!

I was a nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof up here.  Me no like heights.  I did however enjoy the view of the Mighty Mississippi.  I don’t know what it is exactly, but something about the river has always intrigued me.  The kids enjoyed watching the barges trudge up and down the river.  Another fun fact:  Baton Rouge is the furthest inland port servicing international cargo ships in the United States.

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Nothing like defacing currency to commemorate our trip.  Who knew the kids would have such fun pressing pennies.

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Luckily my camera battery held out for one last picture as we were leaving the capitol.  The front steps of the building have the names of all fifty states and the year in which they entered the union.  Ty and Lucy found Louisiana’s step and struck a pose.

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What a fun day!  I’m pretty sure I learned more than the kids did on this field trip.  Ha ha.  That’s ok.  They enjoyed the day too.  And I know that being able to see and touch and walk through history was more meaningful to them than just reading words off a page.

I can’t wait for our next adventure!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Capitol Affairs, Part I

As if we needed another reason to love homeschooling, why not add spur-of-the-moment field trips to the mix?

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Since school reconvened after the Christmas holidays, Ty has been doing a special unit in history called My State Notebook.  He’s learning all about the history, culture, industry, climate, and geography of Louisiana.  I for one have thoroughly enjoyed getting to do this unit with Ty, because we have been able to incorporate quite a few fun activities into our study.  Louisiana is such a colorful state – from food, to music, to politics, there has been no shortage of interesting topics to discuss.

So a couple of weeks ago, when the Tool Man had to make a quick trip down south for business, I made the comment that the kids and I should go along and ride on down to Baton Rouge to see the capitol.  Next thing I know, the Tool Man called a friend of his, Representative Chris Broadwater, and set up a private tour of the capitol for later that day!

It takes us a good 3 hours to make it down to Baton Rouge, so we kicked it into high gear – waking monkeys, feeding babies, getting dressed.  In about half an hour we were headed out the door.  We also invited Ty’s cousins to come along, since they are homeschooling for the first time this year.

After making a couple of business stops along the route, we finally arrived at the capitol just after lunch and met up with these guys.

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First stop on the tour was the House of Representatives.  We found the desk of our own representative and sat down for a photo-op.  Ty was supposed to say something politically profound into the mic, but he drew a blank.  (I’m sure this happens to a lot of politicians.)

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The ceiling in this room is quite impressive, especially when you consider it is made out of sugar cane!

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Across the foyer of the capitol is the Senate.  It looks pretty similar to the house.  The most interesting thing in this room is also found in the ceiling.  There’s a pencil lodged in the ceiling where a bomb went off many years ago.  I hope you can see it in this picture.  It is just to the right of that star…

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Anybody who knows anything about Louisiana politics probably knows where the focus of this tour is headed.

People, it’s all about the Kingfish.




I could have named this post the “Huey P. Long Tour.”  From here on out he’s pretty much all we discussed.

From the Senate, we made our way down the hall where Governor Long was shot.  This tour couldn’t have been timed better for Ty, since it was only the day before this that we discussed the life and career of Huey Long.

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Even Lucy was incredibly interested in hearing the tales of Huey Long.  It amazes me how much she listens to the topics that Ty and I are discussing in school.  I love it when I am reviewing previous lessons with Ty, and Lucy chimes in with the correct answers.

Here, Lucy is showing Lily the only remaining bullet hole from the night Governor Long was gunned down.

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Adjacent to the bullet hole is this display chronicling the conspiracy around Huey P. Long’s death.

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Moving along…

Representative Broadwater took us to see Huey Long’s desk and office.  Today, I believe these are the offices of the Speaker of the House.  I could be wrong about that though. (Lol.  I really did try to pay attention during this tour, but when you are attempting to keep a bunch of monkeys from wreaking havoc on your state capitol, you miss a few details here and there.)  Anyway, somebody important works here!

Seriously, these kids were well behaved the entire day.  Just look at them!

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Even Miss Tacy Mae got the opportunity to take a seat behind Governor Long’s desk.

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In the wall in Governor Long’s office, was this board which lit up as senators and representatives cast their votes.  (It was still in use until just a few years ago.)  Rep. Broadwater explained to us how Huey Long would watch the lights, and if lawmakers weren’t voting “according to plan” Long had a switch underneath his desk that would disable the system.  Then Governor Long would walk down to the Senate or House, and “persuade” the men to vote as he wanted as they had earlier agreed.  Crooked man, that Mr. Long.

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Ty and Lucy climbed under the desk to find the infamous switch for themselves.  If you want to hear something cute, all you have to do is ask Lucy about “the switch.”  She can tell you all about it.

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This was Reese’s attempt to “discreetly” flip the switch.

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From there we walked down to the basement where Rep. Broadwater showed us the tunnel Huey Long used to access the capitol.  He’d drive his car right into the building, hop directly onto an elevator, and ride up to his penthouse without most folks knowing he was in the building.

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This looks like a good place to take a break for now.  I hope you will come back for Part II of our capitol adventure.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Tacy Mae – 4 Months

Time again to share Tacy Mae’s monthly photo shoot.  I took Tacy for her 4 month checkup yesterday.  She weighed in at a whopping 15 pounds 12 ounces, and she measured 25 inches long.  Tacy’s in the 50-75% in height and the 90% in weight!  That “mama milk” must be some good stuff!

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I’m always amazed how much babies grow and change in only a few weeks.  I think Tacy’s biggest accomplishment this month has been learning to grab and hold things with her tiny hands.  She’s even able to direct some of the things she grabs to her mouth.  Among her favorite things to grab and chew are her burp cloths, sleeves, and my hair – ouch!

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Although she’s nowhere near crawling yet, Tacy is by no means still anymore.  Even if you lay her flat on her back, Tacy manages to wriggle around 2 or 3 feet.  She hates lying on her tummy, and if she can’t manage to roll over to her back she gets fighting mad.  All of this wiggling and rolling made it a lot more difficult to take Tacy’s pictures this month.  She kept wanting to turn to her side to get her hands on those colorful letters.

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This sweet thing is still a Mama’s girl.  Seldom does Tacy let me put her down when she’s awake.  I’ve been accused to spoiling the poor girl. 

My response to that?


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I mentioned earlier that Tacy has learned to grab and chew on objects, but without a doubt, her favorite chew toys are her fingers.  She’s usually got at least 2 fingers jobbed in her mouth.

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Something else Tacy Mae learned to do this month was to sit in her walker.  She can hold herself up well and even pushes herself up and down with her feet. 

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Finally, Tacy’s monthly pictures with big sister, Lucy…

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Lucy realized that both she and Tacy were “4” this month, so she insisted we include the numbers.  As you can see, Lucy chose the pink four for herself.

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Of course, Tacy was reaching for the hair.  Thankfully, Lucy is good natured about such.

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Sweet sisters.  I hope they will grow to be best friends. Red heart