Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Educating...Bigger Steps

   Our babies just don't stay babies for long. Changes in their growth and development calls for changes in their environment. As my little ones began to explore the world around them, I began to explore different ways to stimulate their learning and growing.
   As they begin to toddle and move, alertness develops as well. Most toddlers are curious and desire safe avenues to explore and learn. In our home we sought to make safe areas of play for our children without completely removing the adult aspect. I did not want the "play room only" situation, but wanted our children's play to be part of our daily life.
   Since my home is "lived in" and worked in, I placed different play areas in my home that seemed relevant to that location. For example, our kitchen had a kitchen play area..as I worked my children could play nearby safely, often mimicking what I was doing. The living room had different bins in the cabinet with various building items, games, and such.
   I am a huge supporter of creative outlets, so an easel or art table was always nearby for paints, colors, chalk..messy good fun. Early on, my kids loved the art/hand craft place in our home..to this day, handwork is in every nook of our house.
  I would like to share with you three key areas of education I focused on when my kids were moving on to "bigger steps".

1. Fostering healthy creativity.
   Well chosen toys are not only helpful, they are important. Much of the toy industry today is simply drivel; cheap, overstimulating, and void of purpose. Stacking and building items are excellent for dexterity and manipulation. Patience if fostered when we must try and try again to stack them so they don't tumble! Scoops and funnels were a big hit for my kids. Whether set in water or sand, these were a discovery gold mine. I sometimes placed a tub of rice, beans, or packing peanuts inside for rainy day fun.
   My house has always had an easel or art/craft table for messy, good fun. I am a huge fan of children's creative energy- I love to watch their juices flow! Starting with simple, non-toxic watercolors and their fingers or a sponge- huge pieces of craft or butcher paper- an open space for messes (and a craft smock or apron) just watch them entertain and learn what their hands can do.
   As well as playing with them or creating with them, there must be time to step back and let them explore on their own. Many times, as mothers, we tend to over dictate what the child is doing- feeling if they do not color in the lines or paint realistically their work is invalid or worthless. Not so! Give them some space to stack, build, play and create on their own - and enjoy the process as well as the outcome.

2. Spark vocabulary skills.
   During my children's early years, reading to them was a precious time. The routine I developed before their births continued as they became toddlers. While the Bible is the central book in our home, well chosen fictional books were welcomed as well; devotions at breakfast, stories at nap, the Bible at bedtime..and, of course, any time they requested a cuddle up and read moment.
  In addition to books, simple pictures are excellent for sparking vocabulary. In the form of flash cards, photographs, or the pictures from a book, language is developed when we visually "tell a story". Where is the mouse in Goodnight Moon? Can you find the red ball? Pictures of family helped our children learn the names and faces of family members they did not see on a regular basis.
  Of course, conversation- we must talk to our children at all ages. Yes, they need time for quiet discovery; they also need conversation, eye contact, vocal interacion. Say things as they do them- or colors of the blocks they are using...this stimulates conversation skills and vocabulary.

3. Nurture respectful behaviorr.
   Here we go. These new skills and curiosities also bring some behaviours and attitudes that need our attention. A foundation will be taught here that will effect the future behaviours and respect our children possess. If I didn't want my seven year old throwing a temper tantrum, then I did not allow my toddler to throw one either. Each family will determine their way of training and discipline; we had to determine ours.
   Set simple boundaries for your toddler- evaluate acceptable/unacceptable behaviours and what you intend to do in response to them. For example, in our home meals and snacks were eaten at the table- you had to sit down for a drink. (Personally, I do not condone kids running around with sippy cups- it's just not safe or healthy). If they were unwilling to sit down, they didn't get the meal, snack, drink until they did. Picking up after ourselves was another simple boundary- cleaning up our toys before moving on is easy and can be fun if we put our mind to it.
   Self control is so important for our kids' future behaviours. Simple acts of staying in our seats until we are finished, not hitting or biting, as well as handling our emotions (tantrums/yelling) are part of learning self control. For us, separate until we calm down (kid in room or sitting nearby) was a starting place. This would eventually lead to our pattern - tell, warn, swat. (Yes, I spank appropriately) Tell the child the behaviour that needs to stop, warn of the consequences, place an appropriate swat in the appropriate place, with the appropriate mindset (not in anger or aggression). After a time show forgiveness, love and move on.

   When you have a tough day, breathe- cry- call a friend, but don't give up! I completely dislike video games or any other form of electronic baby sitters, but on a bad day I would pile the floor with pillows and quilts and pop in a good movie. It was a de-stresser for all of us, a change from the norm. Sometimes, you just have to sit on the floor with laundry piled all around you, dishes in the sink, and a crying toddler on you lap and just cry it out! Yes, I've done it. Remember, bad days come but they also go.

   Our educating starts early and never really ends. As our little ones grow our educating must change with them. Looking back, we were firm but we were also fun. Hikes and art, games and giggles were all a part of our home. Work balances with play and discipline with love. Our children are treasures at any age, and so much fun when we are taking bigger steps.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Ten Things to "Crow" About

   The Thanksgiving holiday is now behind us. Here is what the Scaife Family was thankful for this past week:

1. Salvation through the Lord, Jesus Christ.

2. Freedom- though our current trend is becoming more hostile, we are still a free country!

3. Our military. God bless those serving at home and abroad and honor our veterans who have.

4. My husband- faithful and strong, a man after God's heart.

5. My children- saved and sure; each one unique and treasured.

6. This home- it may not be much to some, but it is our haven in a world full of unrest.

7. Employment- many still are not, however, my husband still is.

8. Dirty dishes- because we have so much, not only for ourselves, but to share with others.

9. Turkeys- fifteen in the freezer and another flock still growing!

10. Harvest- of food, family,  and friends; God bless all of you!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! May our Lord bless you and your family as you gather together.

The Scaife Family

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When they were younger.....

the book we read from

   When they were younger, the Thanksgiving holidays were so different. I remember making paper turkeys and foam cornucopias; hand print tablecloths and woven place mats. We used pine cones to make bird feeders and planted bulbs for spring. Leaves were gathered and scattered here and there on tables and shelves, baskets were filled with nature-walk finds. We always had a Thanksgiving basket with paper leaf shapes where things were written to remind us of what we were thankful for.
   My husband loves history and is most interested in the origins of holidays. Every year, he gathers books and information to share with us (and our congregation) concerning Thanksgiving.
The chldrens' all time favorite is the true story of Squanto- how God prepared to save the lives of the Pilgrims through a simple Native American boy.
   The littles are now big; their days filled with big things. These days they share the crafts of their childhood with the children they babysit. Stories about the symbols and origins of Thanksgiving are shared as fond memories around the table. Our thankfulness baskets are spoken rather than written down. Yet, the most important thing has not changed- togetherness is still the key, just like it was when they were younger.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Educating....Simple Beginnings

   Remembering back to the first simple beginnings, I remember the overwhelming realization that I was going to be responsible for the training and nurturing of another soul- a person. Early days, before they were born, my children were talked to and read to regularly. Singing seemed to calm them when they were restless and their father's touch always brought active responses.
   When they arrived we began a pattern of educating that would grow into home schooling. The Lord impressed upon me that we learn at every age and every learning opportunity should be grasped. With this in my heart I began at day one with three basic precepts: connection, communication, and contentment. Let me explain...

1. Connection. Eye contact, touch; there must be a connection before we can begin. This connection is important in developing our relationship as parent/child, and it is important for educating. I made a point to make eye contact regularly with my infant- to touch them when speaking to them - to develop a connection.

2. Communication. Verbal, or non-verbal. Speaking to our infants develops relationship and stimulates language. This also builds a connection- have you ever seen a baby turn its head at the sound of a parent's voice? There has been communication used to develop a connection. When my babies were near me as I did my home keeping routine, I would speak to them about what I was doing. If we took a walk, I might tell them about something we were seeing. This strengthens the parent/child relationship.

3. Contentment. There also needs to be time when they are allowed to explore their environment on their own. We used folded quilts to make a pallet for tiny ones to lay on..I even had a bouncer for my little ones to sit in safely. As I went about my activities, they could safely be "on their own" so to speak and explore their environment- looking, kicking, cooing- sometimes being rather noisy, sometimes quietly. This builds a trust between parent/child and a contentment in the little one.

   In our simple beginnings, I developed a routine with my little ones allowing for "working together", being to ourselves, playing with them, and educating.
   When I washed dishes or prepared meals, my little one could be safely in a seat nearby- observing and listening. As they became more active, they may be in their high chair with "utensils" of their own. Early beginnings to introduce that "we work together". Being to ourselves means giving them space to be; to self entertain.
   They may be on a blanket with in view or in a baby seat of some sort. They are given time to themselves, and so am I. Maybe I am simply reading or sewing - doing a chore that is unsafe for them to be too close to. I wanted my children to be creative and able to work independently in their future.
   Playtime was for us both. Talks and peek-a-boo graduated to blocks and puzzles to coloring and gluing. This was a time for meeting them where they are and working at their pace; doing something they were interested in. This time was used to foster the idea of "we work together/we play together"- once the work is done, we can do something fun together (something they are interested in). It also developed a desire for seeking their own interests and activities.
   And yes, educating. Every activity, every conversation is an opportunity for learning. I read my personal devotions aloud while nursing my little ones in the morning, well chosen books were read before naps, and stories from our Bible were read before bed. Even my nursing infants enjoyed the routine and the rhythm of being read to. Fostering a love for our Biblical Patriarchs and for reading came out of these early days.

   Now, this is all very "romantic" sounding...what about the bad days? Yes, I had my share. Bad days come, when there is not enough sleep, colic, earaches, teething. I recall my first one getting her days and nights mixed up- oh, how tired I was. When these days come, we comfort as we can. I discovered early on that change is good. When my little ones got out of sorts (at any infant/toddler stage) I would bundle them up and go outside.
   We always had a porch swing in our yard (still do today)- I found this a wonderful place to soothe a fussy one. Laying on my lap, facing the sky, the gently sway of the swing- we just breathed in the fresh air- gathered ourselves. Sometimes bundling up in the stroller or the baby carrier (before they were so cute and trendy) we would take a walk either around the block or to the lake. My first house had a lake within walking distance of our home. I gathered a blanket and sat on the banks numerous times with a fussy little one. If the weather was off, we took a car ride- the rhythm of the car can really do the trick for some little ones.
   These moments were helpful to the baby and to the mom- we both needed a breath of fresh air and a new perspective. Tough days come, but they do not last; these days are about educating too. Learning to calm down, learning to be patient, learning it will be okay.

   I have been praying about sharing some of our home education journey; partly because of the many misconceptions that have confronted me over the years; partly because there are so many families starting the journey or in the middle of the journey who might need to hear it from the ones who have been there. So, bear with me as I write this section week by week. It may not interest you, but it may encourage another.


Monday, November 22, 2010


Ten things needing done in preparation for the holiday:

1. Clean. The barn, the yard, the house. Stalls were cleaned out Saturday (check that one off), and the yard is fairly decent (we are replacing fences right now). That leaves the house- better get on it.

2. Groceries. I only lack a few items- not bad.

3. Sleeping arrangements. Family is coming in- they have their own RV, so the key is whether to park it here or set them up at a park. I'm on it.

4. Re-arrange. I generally put my quilting and sewing tables in my husband's office if we are having company; better make it happen.

5. Bake. Pies, bread, turkey- starting in that order and sides are done while turkey bakes.

6. Harvest. There will be no time for the garden while visiting family is here.

7. Double check the plans. Things change quickly and often unexpectedly. Having the older of the children in my family, it is always good to check the status of the family members with younger kids- be sure plans haven't changed.

8. Relax with a cup of coffee. In other words, I will find time to sit in my favorite porch swing- watch my hens' crazy antics- and breathe in the beauty of the garden while meditating of God's promises (going to need them).

9. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. Three teens means extra hands! Share the load.

10. Enjoy. It's not about the food or the decor, it's about together.

Make a plan, work the plan- but don't overwhelm yourself. Rarely do we remember the decorations or the food; we always remember the people!

How are your preparations?


Sunday, November 21, 2010

It is Sunday....

Baptist Faith & Message (2000)

XIV. Cooperation

         Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ's people . Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and Hid Word as revealed in the New Testament.

Exodus 17:12,18:17; Judges 7:12; Ezra 1:3-4;2:68-69;5:14-15; Nehemiah 4;8:1-5; Matthew 10:5-15;20:1-16;22:1-10;28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1; 4:31-37;13:2-3;15:1-35; I Corinthians 1:10-17;3:5-15;12; II Corinthians 8-9; Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:15-18.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Farm Focus Friday

   Today, after class work is completed and corrected, we plan to focus on some farm maintenance. The weather has finally cooled to a point where we can comfortably work in the greenhouse. After the intense heat of summer, the greenhouse needs a good scrub, the beds turned and the soil amended. The planting area surrounding the greenhouse could also use some attention.
  So off we go to gather our work gloves, our wagons rakes and hoes, the greenhouse is up for farm focus Friday.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday..Ponderings of an Accidental Pastor's Wife

extra small egg from the hens

                              One Tiny Gift

     This week, we found a tiny gift in one of the nests. Barely an inch across and blue as the morning sky, a tiny egg lay pitifully in the big nest box. Perplexed, I wondered which one of my gals may have left this for me. Setting it in my basket, it looked just as out of place there as it did in the nest box. Yet, my heart was drawn to this tiny gift.
   I knew this egg would not be fit to box with eggs we often share with others - who would want such a pitiful thing? Taking it inside with me, I sat the little egg in the window sill over the sink- to ponder over for a while.

   Seems my acts of service, pitiful things they are, are much like this tiny egg; such little things- so out of place with the others. Discouragement comes when we compare the tiny egg, or our acts of service, to the others. They just can't measure up. What good is such a little thing? Can it be useful? Yet...
   In my eyes, the tiny egg is precious- unique- useful. In God's eyes, even a tiny act of service is precious, unique, useful. It is not the size of the gift that matters, it is the heart that gives it. My hen gave of herself and left the gift for me; I have given of myself to my Father and left the gift for Him.
   Discouragement sometimes comes when, looking around us, it seems God's Word is not effective in reaching others; that our acts of service (outreach/encouragement) are so small...almost nonexistent. This week I had the privilege of attending a mission update dinner for International Commission. As I sat there, knowing my personal part in this ministry is small in comparison to some, my heart realized that my small part is still a part. God's Word is still working, still effective in our world to day, and I am a small part of that. This, in addition to my other small attempts make up a bigger gift..and are part of the whole.
   My tiny egg will be added to others to nourish my family. My tiny gifts to God will be added to others' to nourish the people. If I can daily strive to give even one tiny gift, I can be effective to my Heavenly Father's purpose. The key is doing....I doesn't have to be bit, but it must be done. Join me this week in striving for at least one tiny gift.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We All Work Together

working through a tough one
   Some are under the impression that being a home school family, we do not hit the books the way public school students do. A common misconception I have been faced with is that our family (or other home school families) spend a lot of time at play and very little time at work. Let me address that.
   My husband and I believe that education is very important to both children and adults, as well as important to our Heavenly Father. From the moment of conception children begin to learn. As adults, we are continually learning until our Lord calls us home. Education is not something to be taken lightly, it is something to strive for; it takes working together.
   Early on, our educating started with simple interactions, conversations, and routine. Over the years, we progressed to a classroom atmosphere (for a time, we attended a private school). Desks, maps, charts and such were in the home classroom along with computers and other resource books. Currently our class room time is split between duel credit at our local college and our home classroom.
   On a typical day (right now) we start with morning chores, breakfast and blessings (Bible reading), and a trip to the college. The older teens take classes, while the younger is educated by me. Upon returning home, noon chores take place before we transition to home lessons (each teen has lessons being taught at home). The length of our school day is determined by the requirement of the day's assignments and our proficiency in getting them mastered.
   As the children grow and mature, we become more hands off- directing them in setting their schedules, keeping records and determining their interests and activities. Transition helps prepare them for the time when mom and dad will not be there as their safety net when their decisions are not quite working out.
  Seen in the picture, math is still taught in our home. Dad works with the older teens in Algebra while I am teaching pre-algebra to the younger, as well as consumer math to all. Individual interests are encouraged and allotted for later in our afternoons. We are active in our community, our church, as well as our local 4H and YMCA.   
   I have always believed that idle hands are quick to mischief, so guiding myself and my children to busy hands has lead to cooking, gardening, sewing of various forms, art, leather work, music and so much more. These skills not only keep us from being idle, they serve as functional skills for our homes.
   Homeschooling is a blessing. It is a process, and it is work. Our classroom today is nothing like we started with - neither are we; praise the Lord. I believe God intends for us to keep Him central, educate with a Biblical worldview, and grow in grace and knowledge that we may better serve Him now and in our future. Our family grows everyday, and so much more so, when we all work together.

   If you have questions about homeschooling or duel credit courses, please feel free to leave them in our comment box, or email me at simplyscaife@yahoo.com. We will gladly help in any way we can.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

For Your Viewing Pleasure....


Some artwork from Eladaha by simplynrae:

Chinese watercolor bird
given as a gift
available as a print
a Tasha Tudor piece
done for me
as a practice because she loves
Tasha's work
floral fairy
given as a gift
for her cousin who loves fairies
available as a print

For more beautiful artwork click the link to Eladaha Devant Art at the bottom right corner of our page. She has so many beautiful items to view (or purchase) in sketch, watercolor, digital and photo manipulation. Contact her at simplyscaife@yahoo.com if you would be interested in a commission piece.


Monday, November 15, 2010

I am.....


                                                            A Little Farm Wife

                                                            dirt under my nails
                                                        bits of straw in my hair
                                            mucky work boots, more than one pair
                                            denim and flannel, tractors and trucks
                                           the Lord is my helper, no need for luck
                                                        today's work all done
                                                         the farm goes to bed
                                           taking down by Bible, I bow my head
                                          thankful by Father has given me this life
                                         and my husband prefers a little farm wife


Sunday, November 14, 2010

It is Sunday....

Baptist Faith & Message (2000)

XIII. Stewardship

         God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have ad are we owe to Him. Christians have spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth. Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21;23:23;25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42;16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47;5:1-11;17:24-25;20:35; Romans 6:6-22;12:1-2; I Corinthians 8-9;12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; I Peter 1:18-19.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Talkin' Turkey

   Our turkey flock is now five weeks old. Growing and gawking; making cooing noises - and eating; this is their day. Since they have arrived so many changes have occurred:

1. Feathers - all docked out in a coat of white feathers; fluffy and full.

2. Wattles - growing those unmistakable turkey wattles - you should see them!

3. Strut - oh, can they. These toms didn't need any instruction on how to parade about.

4. Size - they are already larger than my layer flock; one turkey in particular is the size of my best rooster.

5. Feed - my how they eat! These guys put away a bag of feed a week.

6. Space - time to sort the flock into two pens making more room.

   Turkeys are not timid by any means, however, these are not violent. They do peck at your boots and the buttons on my jacket. I find them rather curious when something different is near their pen. We stir the bedding when we enter the pens - aerating the shavings and encouraging movement of the birds (idle birds are not growing and keeping healthy).
   Round the clock stir and checks are on the chore list. Food and water are gone through rather quickly and must be filled often- if they run out they tend to gorge themselves and develop droopy crop conditions which can be fatal - but also disqualify them from being shown (these are a 4-H project).
   Every noise is curious to them. If you coo or cluck at them; the whole flock stops, becomes rather attentive with outstretched necks, and fluffs out their feathers (not in strut, just fluffing out). They will start to coo back and attempt to warble those funny first warble noises.
   I must say, they are a lot of work, but no more than any baby on the farm, and they are fun. Personally, I enjoy their antics and noises, their curious nature and silly, gawky faces. Though we all take shifts with the birds upkeep, Farmboy loves them the most. He has wanted to raise game birds for some time now; now he is. 
   If you have questions about raising a flock of turkeys, please contact us by either leaving a comment or emailing us at simplyscaife@yahoo.com, we would be happy to answer or assist in any way we can. Thanks for talking turkey with us...see you Sunday.


Friday, November 12, 2010

A Beautiful Start to a New Skill

   Simplyjen has once again "one-upped" me in self taught handwork. After picking up needle tatting in one simple car ride, she has outdone herself. During our trip out of town last weekend, she taught herself shuttle tatting.

   Since that trip, she has made gauge samples from different thread weights, colors and tensions. Seeing her stretch her mind and creativity has been so wonderful this week. I do hope she will continue in this quest..forward to new and exciting things with her beautiful new skill.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday...The Ponderings of the Accidental Pastor's Wife

        Teaching The Word of God

   I am a teacher and have been for many years, even before I married. While educating is important in all aspects, I firmly believe that teaching the Word of God is the most vital part of educating there is. This does not apply only to the Sunday School teacher or the pastor of your church, it applies to our homes - our families - every aspect of our lives.
   My husband and I have taught Biblical education (in the form of Sunday school, AWANA, youth ministry, music and missions, pastoring, and Bible studies) from infant to elderly. Every age and season of life has its joys and its difficulties- every age is vital and important to the body of Christ - every age needs taught the Word of God. I would like to share with you the top three vital keys to my teaching strategy.

1. Validity.
     If I don't believe God's Word, I shouldn't teach it. If I don't know it, I shouldn't teach it. Preparedness and planning produce validity and yield a good lesson.

2. Attentiveness.
    If I don't have their attention, I can't educate them. To have success in gaining attentiveness I must first know my audience: what are their ages, interests? can I identify with their joys, struggles? Find a connection. Younger students enjoy games, object lessons, interaction (I love my flannel graph) before settling into a lesson. Older students love to be "drawn in" to a lesson. Our elderly students love a little personal fellowship before a lesson.

3. Obedience.
    With out order there will be chaos- that is not conductive to learning. Younger children need to have creative and energetic release, but they also need to be able to settle down and participate in the learning. It always pays to have a plan when teaching young students; what will you do if there is a situation. Older students still need a sense of order and rhythm - a pattern to follow. Elderly are generally more comfortable with a familiar routine, making teaching smoother.

      Is this an exhaustive list? No, but with out these top three...my teaching doesn't flow and is much less effective. So, as I ponder my Sunday school lesson for this week, I prepare with the keys to teaching God's Word.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unwelcome Visitor

    Arriving at home did not improve my day. Farm boy came around the barn sporting an untimely, and unwelcome visitor; a chicken snake. Seems the snake was in the hen house sampling the eggs. When the farm boy went to gather eggs, the snake stuck at his boots a few times before meeting his fate.

   Let's pray tomorrow is less adventuresome and more laid back; preferably without another unwelcome visitor.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You Just Never Know.....

...where your boots will take you.

   Sometimes the neatest things happen unexpectedly. Our plans to meet and purchase little Typhoon had been hit and miss for several weeks. Aggressive storms, illness, and everyday life kept thwarting our arrangements. When the meeting finally fell together, I admit to feeling rather hesitant. We didn't know the people we were meeting or the area we were traveling to.
   I am not a people person. (Insert knowing looks from people who know me). If I had my way, I'd shut the gate on the farm and spend my time with my family, my garden and my livestock; I don't do people. Social graces are not my strong point..leave me be. Yet, ...
   When it happens that I am forced into the outer world away from my farm, things get interesting..I can talk myself out of anything (especially a social anything). Let me tell you, I was working on talking myself out of this social encounter. I'm so glad I didn't. God is so much wiser than I, He showed us a better thing.
   This little trip introduced us to a wonderful family so much like our own. The had a love for their farm life, history and handcraft, antiques and their significance, and - family. Fellow homeschoolers and dairy goat herders - spinners and weavers - such a neat encounter! Our conversation and interaction could have gone on for hours. What a blessing to meet such a precious family living a life style so much like our own.
   Sad to say we live a great distance from each other, yet, contact information was shared..blog links and such. It seems this will grow..it will continue. I'm so glad I ventured out..beyond the gate, because, you just never know where your boots will lead you.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Welcoming Typhoon

Typhoon's debut

   Over the weekend we took a little trip and came home with a new family member. Meet Typhoon our little buck in the herd; a registered Nigerian Dwarf - one year old with such a sweet sounding cry. Black and white markings with sky blue eyes, Typhoon is handsome and seems friendly..for now.  Experience proves, buck behavior will kick in any day now.
   As with any new addition, Typhoon resides in the holding pen for now. The rest of the herd can visit him through the fence; getting to know him before sharing space. We hope in time he will settle in and be a great addition to our farm. Welcome, Typhoon.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

It is Sunday....

Baptist Faith & Message (2000)

XII. Education

       Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage, The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people.
        In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14;6:1-10;31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7;119:11; Proverbs 3:13;4:1-10;8:1-7,11;15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2;7:24;28:19-20; Luke 2:40; I Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; I Timothy 1:3-7; II Timothy 2:15;3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3; James 1:5;3:17.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Road Trip

   Loading up the truck with a travel pen - today we make the trip out of town to pick up a young buck. Seems it's about time our ladies had a man around. So off we go with coffee and maps and stuff in our laps, can't wait to show you the pictures of our blue eyed, black and white buck, Typhoon!


Friday, November 5, 2010

She Taught Herself....


   Tatting. Oh, how I have tried to learn. Finding someone still practicing the art of tatting has proven impossible. Such persons are either at a point in life they are no longer able, or they have passed on. We have read about groups of gals gathering and reviving this art; they just don't seem to live anywhere near us. Knowing this, I took the book route and the video route - failing miserably each time. Personally- I gave up.

tatting supplies

   Leaving the items laying about, one of my girls sparked an interest in the beautiful craft. Packing a tote bag with supplies and a book with only one small article about tatting, off we went to church service. Not wanting to discourage her, I said nothing of my woes in this endeavor..let her be, I thought.

a sample of tatted lace

   Wouldn't you know- she aced it on her first attempt! By the time we arrived for church last week that girl had a nice start to hand tatted lace. Needless to say I am impressed and slightly jealous. A gift, such an amazing ability to pick up a pattern and just make it happen. Lacework does seem to suit her. 

ready to tote and carry

   Self-learning is a skill I truly wish we saw in more people today. The drive to pick an endeavor, research it, prepare for it, and do it. Our current society seems more bent toward a "do-for-me-attitude" instead of a "I-can-do-it-attitude." Teaching yourself a skill stirs up a satisfaction in our souls that nothing else can give. God made our hands to work, and He is honored when we use them wisely. Even the simply beauty of handwork can honor our Heavenly Father.

   Our family has "self-taught" many unique and dying arts. These endeavors do not have to be expensive or tedious. Seek things that accommodate your natural bent; your interests or style. Where do your passions lead you? What sparks a memory of a loved one? Challenge yourself to grow in a new area this week...teach yourself something new.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday..Ponderings of the Accidental Pastor's Wife

                                                                 Life in the Blender

   Have you ever made a smoothie or iced coffee drink in the blender? We made some the other day and boy they were good. Ice, fruit, fresh milk swirling around the blender in a vortex of tasty goodness. The end result was sweet and very tasty, but many changes had to happen to the ingredients before the end result could be achieved....kinda like life.

   Here on the farm, the family has been facing "life in the blender"; a season of bumps and bruises that will change the shape of our being. Difficult decisions, doctor's visits, family discord, resurfacing of an oppressive situation, ministry, a drought, a storm and loss swirl around us- leaving us to feel out of control. As we sink in the vortex, unable to stop the motion, despair and discouragement fight to overtake us.

   In the midst of such a time as this, two questions for the Lord come to my heart: 1. Am I harboring a hidden sin that needs addressed and confessed? 2. Is this a proving, a time for my growth and Your glory? For the past few weeks, this has been my heartfelt prayer- which one is it? and where do I go from here? Show me..

   The answer is personal; a deep peace in my heart...a knowing..He is with me..He will lead us through. Whatever the answer is, He will provide..His grace is sufficient...His promises are true. We will get through this...we will have joy in the midst of trial....we will praise Him in this storm- we know the end result is a life will much sweeter.

   If sin is the culprit, we must recognize it for what it is- sin against a Holy God, then address it and confess it. Only in His precious Son are we able to do this..yet, until we do this..He cannot bless our service; our offerings.

   If it is a proving, we must accept God's decision and allow His will, His grace to carry us through- always keeping our humble spirit in communion with His. He cannot receive the Glory if we fail to allow His divine Hand.

   If you are experiencing life in the blender, let me share our steps to peace: 1. Breathe, 2. Bow the knee, 3. Believe. First, stop everything and take a deep breathe..be still before God. Then, bow the knee; unburden your heart to a Holy, Loving God- cry, yell, scream, groan- He already knows...you just need to let it go before Him. Now, believe: His grace is sufficient, His Word is pure, His promises are true..He will guide you through- you will have peace.

   Though none go with me, still I will follow.......even when life is in the blender.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Farmboy's First Deer

   Last weekend was Youth Hunt Weekend and our farm boys were out in the stands staking out the scenery.  Low and behold, they got them a deer- cute spike. Needless to say, he is now done up in our freezer. Job well done, boys, keep up the good work!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Peppy

   Severe storms and strong winds swept over our farm last evening. When the fury ceases, we found our dear Peppy beneath a pine tree in our pasture. He had, once again, broke free of the stall and was apparently out in the storm when the wind came. Today, we say goodbye to Peppy.