Top 5 Reasons to Join Civil Air Patrol

Hello! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been working on older posts that have not gone out yet so you can expect them soon! Today I am going to be talking about one of my favorite things to do, and that’s  Civil Air Patrol. I’ll share with you my Top 5 Reasons you might want to join Civil Air Patrol.  And don’t forget this post is being shared on our 20th linkup. 

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit corporation that serves as a volunteer organization with an aviation minded membership. The Civil Air Patrol, C.A.P. for short is basically a volunteer group that is a branch of the military and is based on the Air Force.  C.A.P. has three main missions Emergency services, Aerospace education for youth and the general public, and cadet programs for teenage youth.

In C.A.P., right after you sign up, you are Cadet Airman Basic, the first rank. The link I am providing shows what metals or pins you get at each rank on the C.A.P. Super chart. The first rank, Cadet Airman Basic receives no pins or metals but it is not hard to get your first pins and ribbons. The rank above Cadet Airman Basic is Cadet Airman, and you receive your first pins when you  are promoted to this rank.

Now it’s time to tell my experience with C.A.P.! When I first signed up I felt out of place or uncomfortable. But at that time I did not know that more than half of the members there were new recruits too. But after a SAREX with my C.A.P. group I felt more in place. (SAREX means search and rescue exercise.) So the more you participate with your C.A.P. squadron, the more comfortable you feel.

There are several different activities that our squadron does at each meeting. There is Drill, which is performing many different maneuvers / movements in unison. There is PT also know as Physical Training which is actually several different exercises like a mile run, sit ups, push ups, stretches and other exercises.  There are Character and Safety Activities which help us build strong character and how to perform certain operations safely. And many other special activities like SAREX, camp outs, etc…

And now I am excited to say I got my first promotion two days ago on 5.19.14 and I am now ranked Cadet Airman. The ranking badge and ribbon  are below. The one that looks like an intricate shape is the pin and the one I wear on my BDUs (battle dress uniform), and the one that looks like a ribbon is the one I wear on my dress blues, which are more like a dress uniform.

C.A.P Cadet Airman

C.A.P Cadet Airman ribbon

I must give credit to someone for introducing me to Civil Air Patrol! One of our linkup bloggers and new friend named Liz from Royal Little Lambs was blogging about things she likes to do, and one was C.A.P. Thank you Liz, for introducing me to C.A.P.!

Reasons to join Civil Air PatrolI hope to encourage some of you to look into Civil Air Patrol too! If you do decide to join, please contact me for my membership number. We earn credit for new recruits!  So… here are my Top 5 Reasons you should consider joining C.A.P.:

5. Being able to meet many homeschoolers in my community (yes, our C.A.P. squadron is almost completely homeschooled students)!

4.  Earning new ranks and growing in the squadron.

3.  All the activities (campouts, SAREX, etc.)

2.  Learning Life-Saving skills!

And my NUMBER 1 reason is…

1.  You get to fly airplanes!!!!

I hope you all enjoyed my post, and you can be expecting more soon! See ya soon!

My First Hunt

Have you ever been hunting?  If you haven’t, it might be something you want to consider. This is how my first hunt went.  

There are various benefits and down sides to hunting, and in the end you will have to decide for yourself if it’s something that interests you. Even so, by the time you’re done reading this, I will have hopefully convinced you to at least consider hunting, or maybe to recommend it to a friend.

My First Hunt

First and foremost, I started checking my local hunting laws and regulations and found out where, when, and how often I could hunt. Most of this information can be found online. Depending on where you live, and where you plan on hunting, you might need to get a hunting license. This part can be a little expensive, and usually requires a lot of time and study. If, on the other hand, your state doesn’t require you to have a hunting license, you can hunt without one. This is the case here, I didn’t need to have a hunting license since I am only hunting on our property. After getting all the “legals” out of the way, you can get onto the less expensive and time consuming part of preparing for a hunt.


I had everything ready the night before me and my dad went hunting. I had already sighted my gun and ate a big meal the night before we went. I woke up right before the sun came up. I made sure to wear something appropriate for the current weather, and kept in mind that it’s usually cooler in the morning than at midday. I wore lots of orange  to keep from being shot by other hunters.

Sometimes, pets will cause problems when trying to hunt, because they want to follow you out. This was the case with me, my dog, Molly Grace likes to follow me wherever I go, so we had to sneak past her very carefully. My younger brother and dad went hunting later in the day and Molly actually tracked them to their hunting spot! We now put Molly in the house when we go out hunting!

Once I completed all of the above things, then came the actual hunt. This part is where we carefully crept out into our hunting spot. If you have a problem with waiting, then instead of hiding and waiting, you can move around. But be warned, this will probably scare off most of what you’re hunting, but if you’re quick you could get it before it runs away. If, on the other hand you want to wait in one place, you have a better chance of shooting something, in my opinion. I chose this approach, and we sat and waited out on top of a steep hill for several hours and saw many deer and coyote before one actually came into shooting range.

View from our Hunting Spot

As you can imagine, since I had been up since 5:00 and it was now 7:30, I was feeling a bit tired.  So I turned my head the other way to… “rest my eyes”, when I heard the crunching of leaves. Before I even turned around I knew what it was: a deer, finally within shooting range. I slowly turned around, cocked the lever action rifle I was using, and aimed.

I was so focused on the hunt that I hardly noticed the bang. I quickly lowered the barrel of my rifle to see if I had scored a hit, but there he stood. By the expression on his face you would have thought he had only heard a twig break or something. That clown walked a good five steps, turned around, and then acted like nothing even happened, all along walking closer and closer into our trap. I was so caught up in the moment that the thought never crossed my mind that maybe I should reload and try again. Come to think of it, it didn’t occur to me until days later.

A few seconds later, I heard another shot, and watched the deer suddenly jump and thrash around, then silence. I knew what had happened. My dad had taken his shot, and it couldn’t have been a better one I might add.  It took me a few minutes to recover from the action, but once I had my focus back, we went down to check it out.  Now keep in mind, we are up on a hill, shooting down into a bowl. There was a ditch, in which there was stream running through it. When my dad had taken his shot, the deer (a 7 point buck) had been kind enough to jump right into that ditch as his last act.

If only you could have watched us, hauling a buck that weighed a ton out of a ditch, then up the steepest hill that we could have found. It was tiresome, to say the least. When we finally made it to the top, I was glad it was all over, and I took pride that a had helped get the first buck of the year. Something was missing, I had shot at the buck, and had missed. So how in my right mind could I take credit for the prize? It’s an adventure that I’m still undertaking to this day, to hunt and bag a deer, all on my own, but it’s one I plan on succeeding in soon. So shooting and missing was just part of my training!  

The Hill

Next came the aspect of the hunt which I would much rather not talk about, nor even think about for that matter. Field dressing is taking out all the guts of an animal that has been killed, and draining all the blood. A whole lot of people can’t stand this process, and I just happen to be one of them. Let me give ya’ a piece of advice: leave this job to the pros if you happen to have one with you. At least until your stomach can get used to this part.  

I hope if you never had any interest in hunting, that this has helped you view it through a new set of eyes, those of a 13 year old. If you want to know more about hunting, here is a great guide to study.

I’m looking forward to Mom’s Venison Roast! Be sure to check out her recipe, it is GREAT!  And tonight we had Grilled Turkey Bacon wrapped Deer Tenderloin… I’ve got to get more venison!  That was fantastic!  I’m sure Blake will be writing about that recipe soon.  Be watching for it, it’s that good!


We love linking up with blog hops.  Be sure to visit them and see the other posts:

Manic Mother

God’s Crossroad

God's Crossroad, Our ChoiceCrossroads.  My entire life I have never had a difficult time making a decision.  I was never really afraid of making the wrong decision, realizing I could always adjust direction mid-stream.  But here I sit… having hit a major crossroad in my life and not being able to make a decision (yet).  As I ponder why this crossroad is so different than the rest I realize there are many variables making THIS one different, but one primary difference.

God.  First and foremost is God.  

He has transformed me, my goals, my desires, my wants, my focus, my everything!  And this is the first big crossroad I’ve hit since I’m living my life for Him!  I can confidently state that THIS crossroad is one God has brought me to.  I am being pruned, things in my life culled, old habits swept away that are keeping me from Him.  This transformation is why all the other variables have become so important.  Without this transformation, I would be completely focused on me. What works best for MY goals, MY career, MY life, MY desires.  But, it’s not about me… at least, not anymore!  And thus making a decision without “me” being the center of the equation is completely unfamiliar territory.  

Decisions:  Weigh Pros and ConsSecond, I have three boys that trust me and hubby to make smart decisions for them, for their lives, for their future, for their well-being.  I have always relied on myself, to be able to research out a decision and to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision and move forward not looking back.  I am pretty shocked at how completely unprepared and entirely inadequate I feel to make this big decision for our children, to take the risk when it will directly impact them.  I was so very comfortable taking risks when it was just me and hubby.  Completely and utterly comfortable.  But God calls us to walk in faith and trust Him.  See, another area He is really working on!

Third, since my life has been transformed, I now want to be a wife. Homeschool Mom.  Family CEO.  Gardener.  Nurse.  Cook.  Chauffeur.  Tour Guide. Party Planner.  Hostess with the Mostest.  I want to mentor and guide my children in becoming well-rounded human beings reliant on our Creator.  I want to introduce them to the world He made and be there to enjoy it with them; to inspire them to learn for the sake of learning and to experience those things that might shape their future.  To be a lighthouse… as God has called us to be!  To be a guide and to encourage them in life’s storms, especially now that they are all entering puberty, one by one.  I don’t want to hire somebody to do that for me.  How many moms do we know that are chasing the corporate dream and are being robbed of these beautiful, precious moments (and they don’t even know it).  I was one of them, I know oh too well!    Abba is taking me down a very different path than I was on!

We are a Messianic family so we keep the Biblical feasts.  Every feast has a profound impact on me, every single one, including the weekly feast of the Sabbath.  But one that has me in awe of our amazing Father and the provision He provided for the Israelites, is Sukkot, often known in the Christian church as Booths.  We call it the “camping feast” at our home because it is when we retell the story of the Exodus and camp out and live like the Israelites did in a Succah (a booth).  One of the things we discuss with the boys over those campfire meals  is what if we were called out in an Exodus the way the Israelites were?  Would we be able to carry our cherished items on our backs?  How about a wagon, could we pull them in a wagon?  How about an SUV, could we fit them all in our SUV?  How about a cattle trailer, would they fit in it?  How about an 18 wheeler, would that be sufficient?  We quickly realize we have a love affair with our material possessions and we have way too much stuff!   We are apparently having trouble prioritizing what is important and what isn’t.  This exercise on Sukkot reminds us we have to prioritize and decide what is important.  

Let God be the GuideTHAT is where we are now.  We are still working through making this decision as a family.  But I know, if we keep God as our personal Guidance System, our GPS if you will, we WILL make the right decision.  He doesn’t change and will finish what He started in us.  We know He will put us where He wants us to serve His purpose!  

Until next time…


This week we are connecting with Thriving Thursday Link Up Party.  Please be sure to visit the host and the other bloggers… there are some great posts!  Be sure to check out A Lamp Full: Service, I especially loved that one!


Mommy Experiments L & L Farms

Mommy Experiments

Mommy Experiments

I will document my many mommy experiments here.  We believe that learning is a lifelong experiment and it is not always a nice straight line!  Learning can be messy, chaotic and hectic and that describes our farm regularly.  So, I’m going to share my own adventures (and misadventures) on the blog as well!  I hope it inspires you to try some new things and make some messes!  

Teach Our Children How to Thrive

Earlier this week a good friend introduced me to Logan LaPlante.  Logan is a 13 year old homeschooled teen that lives in Tahoe.  I loved the confidence this 13 year old demonstrated when presenting at their local TEDx conference. He is self-assured, funny, charismatic, bright, enthusiastic and hungry to learn…  His presentation is about Hackschooling, which is so Montessori (follow the child)!!  He wants to focus on how to THRIVE in life.  This boy gets it!  That is our goal as parents, to Teach our Children How to Thrive!  Let me introduce you to Logan!  



Logan started his presentation with THE question children hear most often… “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.  I don’t know about you, but I’m almost fifty years old and I’m still trying to answer that question for myself!  And that is my point.  For most of us, we are still dabbling, attempting to identify those things that bring us the most shalom (Hebrew for peace, completeness, wholeness).   I don’t think most of us had the luxury of even contemplating what those things might be when we were younger.    

Teach our children how to thrive

I love the question that Logan posed… “What if we based education on the study and practice of being happy and healthy”?  Here at Live and Learn Farm, we are focused on doing just that!  We teach our children that thriving is more important than JUST having a job; being happy (in life and career) is more important than being wealthy; and our health is more valuable than gold.  We focus on trying to help our children determine what they love to do, so they can explore career choices doing “that”.  I’ve come to the conclusion … if you love your work, it’s never a chore!  

Our faith, our love of nature, and our belief in life-long learning is the foundation that everything else is built upon.  Introducing experiences and encouraging exploration is an important aspect of our homeschool, in other words, we encourage our boys to “practice” being happy, healthy and engaged!  Currently they are engaged in art, music, writing, photography, gardening, sports, camping, hiking, raising farm animals, game development, and slide motion videos as various past-times.  Some of these are new interests and some are waning interests… but they are all being explored and we, as parents, are actively encouraging them.

WE have to be the innovators on how we educate our children.  Are we going to take the easy way out?  Remember the children are watching!  Are we going to use a curriculum that keeps our children in the house, on the computer or in a book?  Or do want them living and experiencing life as they learn their curriculum?  In order to encourage our children to think differently, to live life differently, to focus on things other than the dollar or the easy way out… we have to model it for them!  Just like photographers and artists look at landscapes differently, we must do the same!  We only get one chance with our children… I encourage you to examine everything you teach, how you teach it, and why.  Examine what you are modeling…  I challenge you today to take their curriculum to the next level.  Refocus, recommit and re-engage!  Teach your children how to thrive!!!  

Until next time….






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