G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

New Challenge

On Facebook, it seems there is no lack of challenges right now.  There is the ALS ice bucket challenge where you have seen about 60% or more of the people on your friends list participate.  I have been nominated twice, but am declining the challenge.  It doesn’t make me heartless! (Am I saying that for your sake or mine?).  There are so many causes in the world that we can not (financially) support them all.  But we can pray for them, the research and healing.

I have also been challenged in the Grateful challenge, listing 3 things a day, for a week, you are grateful for.  And then challenge 3 more people each day.  I accepted that challenge because I believe being thankful brings life. Did you know taking even just 2 minutes to speak of things you are grateful for can change the atmosphere around you?

It hit me…let’s have a prayer challenge!  It may be corny, but honestly, I am ok with that.  If it can help even one person to kick-start their prayer life or help someone take their eyes off their situation…I am ok with that too! Let’s flood the Heavens with our prayers for other people.

One is struggling with grief & feels a bit lost. Another has marriage problems. The other, honestly I don’t know what it is, but Daddy God does, so that’s all that matters. Just knowing she has a heavy heart & is struggling makes my heart heavy. We should share in each other’s burdens even if we don’t know the details of the person’s situation. 

Now I challenge YOU to pray for 3 people (or groups of people) a day, for a week. They can be the same 3 for the week, or a different 3 a day. Everybody can use prayers. You don’t need to name the people if you don’t want. Honestly, I would ask you to think about if that person would want you to or not. And then I ask you to challenge 3 more people each day. This is going to be awesome!  Hmmm, I’m not real hip on the new trends, but maybe we should make a hashtag for our challenge?  #Pray4Others  #P4O   Hmmm, what do you think?

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Meal Planning Made Easy

Last week I shared with you my favorite homeschooling app.  This week I want to share a meal-planning program that I LOVE!  I was able to sign up for a 30-day FREE trial before we made our move.  I found the program so easy to use, add recipes from online, and with the drag&drop, meal planning was a breeze.  Being able to edit as needed and print out my shopping list was just that easy.  The program I’m talking about is Plan to Eat.

The grocery list is especially important to me now as there is NO such thing as a quick trip to the store when the closest store is 30 minutes from the house.  

On many websites the recipe is saved in my recipes with a quick click of the mouse.  But if for some reason it doesn’t auto-load, it still takes under a minute to copy and paste. 

So if you’re like me…

  • Desperate to become organized and efficient
  • Need things planned out
  • Easily forgets to write than one ingredient on the shopping list
  • Lives far from the store

…then this is a must try for you!  What do you have to lose? Try it for a month.  If you don’t like it, you have lost nothing.  You may have even gained a new recipe or two to try.  But if you love it, as I do, then a years subscription is very affordable.  I paid $39 for a full year of making my life easier.  Occasionally you can catch it on sale for 20% off, bringing it to $31.  Or you can pay just $4.95 a month.  

Some of the features….

  • Drag & Drop Meal Planning – The menu planner is at the heart of Plan to Eat. Easily drag recipes from your recipe book to create your personalized meal plan, and then add additional ingredients, events and notes. Save existing meal plans from your planner as menus, then drag them back to your menu planner to simplify future planning. View nutritional totals, change servings for individually planned recipes, easily view and print menu plans and export your planner‘s iCal feed to other calendar software.

  • All Your Recipes — Plan, Cook, ShareKeep all of your recipes in one place with your Plan to Eat Recipe Book. Plan, cook and share your recipes anywhere on any device. Import recipes from any website using our super simple import bookmark. Quickly search and filter your recipes by multiple criteria like ingredients in your pantry, tags or how often you’ve planned them.
  • Mobile Grocery Store Assistant – Simplify your grocery shopping with the Plan to Eat mobile site. Use it to access your shopping list from your smartphone and check off items as you go. No more pen and paper needed! Search and plan recipes, view your menu planner and add new items to your shopping list on the go.

I just learned about that last feature myself.  Loving this program that much more now!  Try it out and let me know what you think.

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The Stars Over Texas

I pray I never stop getting amazed when I step outside at night and see the stars!  Being away from city lights, especially on nights with no moon….it is breathtaking!!!!  The first few nights, we sat outside every night.  I got so tickled when I saw the Milky Way.  Can you believe I actually FORGOT about the Milky Way???  Honestly can’t remember the last time I had seen it, let alone thought about it.  So my heart is so thankful that it will be a regular sight!

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Homeschool Helper App

I’m the type of person who has an opinion.  I know what I like or don’t like, even if I can’t tell you why.  It isn’t very often that I find a product that I LOVE!  And when I do, you can be sure I will share it with others!  Am wanting to share one of those great products with homeschooling parents tonight.  It is the Homeschool Helper App.  If you haven’t heard of it, once you try it you will say, “where have you been all my life!”  Okay, maybe not that dramatically, but you most certainly will be relieved to have found it!

Let me say I am not making money off this or have any connection with the company.  They don’t even know I exist.  This is an honest review from just a regular customer who purchased this app last year.  I only used a fraction of the features last year and was certainly pleased with it…especially for the price! Only $4.99.  It was a useful app to keep track of attendance, field trips, class info, but mostly used it to keep track of grades.  I understand not all homeschooling parents keep track of grades and that’s okay.  There is still so much usefulness to this app.

This week I wrote up 3 weeks of lesson plans using pencil and paper.  Doing a weeks schedule on one page last year didn’t work so well for me.  I don’t write very small.  So this year, I split my weekly planner to 2-pages.  I liked it much better. Another thing I decided to do a little differently was instead of writing out my copy & Bug’s copy, I would just write his daily assignments on the whiteboard.  Technically I wouldn’t be using any more paper than I did last year.

But I opened up the app again to look at some info and started playing around with it.  I love the calendar app and now will save at least 70 pieces of paper, ink, and time by doing my lesson plans right in the app.  Soooo excited!!!!

From their web page…

Homeschool Helper is a feature rich app designed to assist with the many aspects of homeschooling.
​Unlike other school based apps, Homeschool Helper was designed specifically for homeschooling from the ground up.
We spent considerable time building features that streamline and simplify managing the many responsibilities of homeschooling.​
This allows you to spend more time teaching and less time managing.

No subscriptions, memberships, or recurring costs! Purchase once and enjoy, including all updates.

Homeschool Helper is a tablet based app, available on the iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook, and Android Tablets!

  • Key Features
    Track an unlimited number of students​
    Manage students over multiple school years
    Duplicate students for effortless setup of similar students
    Record grades and track lessons for up to 14 different subjects, per student​
    Grade calculator for effortless grade entry (with pasting ability)
    Separate grading scale for each student
    Create Lessons for any subject
    Powerful Lesson Viewer provides calendar view of all lessons, with drilldown
    Auto create batches of lessons, for effortless entry
    Powerful Lesson features: bump lessons, copy lessons, mass delete lessons
    Auto create grades from any lesson, to avoid duplicate keying
    ​Lesson report, with parameters (date range, etc) can be emailed to students
    Manage Book Lists, Field Trips, Family Field Trips, and Task Lists
    Track daily attendance, with no keying
    Track time spent on each lesson, with reporting
    Includes Reports; such as Report Cards, Attendance, Summary, and more
    ​Reports can be viewed, saved, or emailed for storage, printing, etc.
    High quality retina based graphics throughout

Check it out!!!  Hope you LOVE it as much as I do!

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On The Ranch

Well y’all, we now live on our ranch! Thank you Jesus! We have a lot of work to do, but that’s okay. We are not afraid of work…well, on most days at least. LOL. I will have pictures coming at some point. Just haven’t gotten around to breaking out the camera yet. I can tell you we have some beautiful sunrises and sunsets! Evenings and mornings have been very comfortable. Although it gets hot during the day, I don’t mind. Back in South Mississippi, the humidity was so high that it would make 89 degrees feel like 102 degrees. Here it is just straight up 102. Without the muggy feeling…much drier.

One of my first big projects was getting the classroom ready. The pink wall is now green and dear hubbie replaced the pink ceiling fan with a white one.Thank you my Love!!!! It is exciting to have our own room for learning, but we don’t have to be restricted to just there. It’s more to have a place for all our school stuff. One more week and we will start up on school.

My Bug & I have been working on cleaning up the dog kennel area to convert it over to the temporary chicken area. He is so excited to paint the dog house we are converting to a temporary coop. However, we finally got some rain today (Praise God! We are in a drought here.) so he now needs to wait a few days to let it dry out real well.

He did help me paint a section of the living room yesterday though. He was so funny! As soon as I said I was painting, he ran and got his brush we bought him to paint the coop. He has been so eager to help me paint, mow and bake. He even cooked dinner for us last night while I was painting. He recently turned 10 and I have been trying to teach him new things as well as let him earn more responsibilities. I love to see that look of accomplishment on his face when he learns something new.

Well, I need to go unpack a couple more boxes. Talk with you soon! Be blessed and be a blessing!

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