Family Covenant Ministries (formerly Christian Home Educators Fellowship) Faithfully honoring God, equipping generations, and serving the homeschooling community for the past 32 years!
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME June 2016 Information
Our Family’s Vision and Mission
Family Covenant Ministries (formerly CHEF) Information and Activities
1. FCM 32nd Annual Conference, September 5-9
2. FCM Notes
3. FCM 2016 Conference Updated Workshops
4. Needs and Services-Natural Barley Straw
5. Special Opportunities-Visual Manna
There’s No Place Like Home Articles
1. Notes from Subscribers
2. Heart to Heart-Remembering 30 Years!
a. Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, What Will My Little Boy Be?
b. Rubber Bands Amongst My Angels
3. Covenantal Families-The backbone of any community is families living and working together in cohesive communities
4. Casting a Vision for Multigenerational Family Business-Brunkow Cheese Since 1899
5. New Homeschoolers Part XI
c. Leaders Are Readers: The Essential Book List
d. Cultivate Children’s Tastes
e. Give Them Meat
f. Method of Inclining Our Children’s Ears
g. Help Them Form the Habit of Being Attentive
6. Delightful Surprises-A Surprise Trip to the Zoo
7. In the Library-Keeping a Family Cow
8. Come Gather at Our Table-Strawberries
9. In the Garden-Gardens Provide a Wealth of Subject Matter for Biblical Lessons
10. Summers Signature-Orange, Deep Rose, and Golden Yellow Begonias
11. Family Outings-Garden Heights Nursery
12. Summers on the Farm
13. The Joy of Country Living-Candy Had a Little Lamb
14. The Restoring of America on its Christian Foundation-Peter Kinder for Governor
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Come to Family Covenant Ministries 32nd Annual Conference-A Walk Through the Bible this year and be blessed!!!
Family Covenant Ministries Homeschool Week in Branson, Missouri, September 5-9, 2016
Spectacular, that’s what it is!
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL
REGISTER EARLY AND SAVE!
Now until July 31
Family Pass Now Just $109; Regular $139
(Includes unmarried children still living at home)
Couple Pass Now Just $79; Regular $99
(Husband and wife)
Individual Pass Now Just $59; Regular $79
First Time Attendee
Family Pass Now Just $84; Regular $89
(Includes unmarried children still living at home)
Couple Pass Now Just $54; Regular $59
(Husband and wife)
Individual Pass Now Just $34; Regular $39
Exhibit Hall Free
This exclusive price is now available online by going to www.familycovenantministries.com.
If you have any trouble registering, please let us know by sending an email to
or calling 314-920-6135. Please keep in mind that it may be a few days before we are able to respond.
PLEASE NOTE: The special FCM pricing for Chateau on the Lake is only available for a limited time, so please hurry to make your reservation!
Most of our speakers’ workshops will be held on September 6 and 7 at the AAA Four Star Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa, and Convention Center overlooking Table Rock Lake. Please view the gallery of beautiful pictures of this lovely Four Star resort:
Room Rates as low as $104; pricing below.
Treat yourself to some of the coziest accommodations in the Ozarks at Chateau on the Lake Resort and Spa.
Widely recognized as one of the finest resorts in the Midwest, the Chateau is situated in the picturesque Ozark Mountains overlooking scenic Table Rock Lake just 10 miles from downtown Branson, Missouri. The resort features an impressive 10-story sky-lit atrium that has a waterfall, meandering streams brimming with colorful Koi fish, a charming library lounge with a great stone fireplace, 43,500 square feet of meeting space, an indoor and scenic outdoor pool, theater, restaurant, deli, café, and sweet shop.
Guest Rooms & Suites for FCM Families
Special Breakfast Buffet Pricing just for our families!
The Hotel is offering special vouchers to our families for a delicious Breakfast Buffet. This exceptional breakfast buffet is only $5 a person with children under age 5 free. Normally $15 per guest makes this a great deal. Breakfast may be eaten either in the beautiful Chateau Grille or in the Atrium Café beside the indoor waterfall and stream. Gratuity not included in breakfast service; individuals to provide gratuities at time of service. You are also welcome to bring food into your hotel rooms; however, you must eat that food in your rooms.
Guest rooms will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Mountain View King/Double Queens not including breakfast $104 for single, double, triple, and quad rate
Mountain View King/Double Queens including breakfast vouchers for all occupants of room (Maximum of 6 guests) $134 for single, double, triple, and quad rate
Ambassador Suite not including breakfast $149 for single, double, triple, and quad rate
Ambassador Suite including breakfast vouchers for all occupants of room (Maximum of 6 guests) $179 for single, double, triple, and quad rate
The rates have been procured specifically for our FCM families. Rates for guests just prior to our event begin at $230 a room compared to our great room rates, and the tax rate in Branson is less than in St. Charles.
We were told that there would not be any sales tactics used to coerce customers to upgrade rooms, which has been a problem at the Embassy Suites in St. Charles.
Reservations-by phone only!
In order to assign individuals to specific rooms, room reservations will be required. Group’s attendees will make their reservation request by calling 1-888-333-LAKE (5253) and identifying themselves with Family Covenant Ministries. No online reservations are available for our group because we have been blessed with special breakfast buffet vouchers. You will need to ask for either a regular room with or without breakfast or an ambassador suite, with or without breakfast.
The Hotel does not confirm reservations to individual attendees in writing.
When reservations are made, the Hotel will require a deposit equal to the room rate and tax for the first night for each reservation. An individual’s deposit is refundable to that individual only if the Hotel receives notice of an individual’s cancellation at least 72 hours prior to scheduled arrival. Upon check-in, each guest will be required to present a valid credit card upon check-in, on which an amount of sufficient pre-authorization can be obtained to cover the room and tax charges and parking for the length of the guest’s stay, plus the agreed use of the Hotel’s ancillary services, and the Hotel requires each guest’s home-business address and e-mail address.
The following are taken from lovely letters, notes, and emails. Each correspondence deeply blesses our hearts. Thank you. Hopefully these will bless your hearts, as well, knowing that God is working mightily among us.
Thank you for bringing to light this most urgent call to action! Once again FCM leads the way in articulating and exposing the issues that most Christian leaders choose to ignore! We are so grateful for your tireless efforts in writing such an extensive overview of what is at hand! Evil looms in the darkness, thanks for exposing to the light! Thankful for all who are willing to stand in the midst of this dangerous time in which we live! Without you, where would we learn of such things? Holding on to His Promises in the midst of the darkness and standing with you. –Antioch, IL
Is it okay for me to forward this to friends and family? I would like to post it on our homeschool Facebook page. –Laclede, MO
[Yes, by all means, you may share our alerts and newsletters with others!]
Dear Jon & Candy: Thanks so much for keeping us in the Family Covenant Ministries loop. We appreciate all your efforts over the many years that you’ve encouraged a Biblically-based education for families in Missouri. Since you’re targeting Branson for your next conference - almost our back yard, we thought we’d let you know that we’d be very pleased to be considered should you have any additional music ministry requirement that you may not yet have otherwise allocated. Regardless - and God willing - we’ll look forward to seeing you again. –Galena, MO
Hi, Jon and Candy: I spoke with you some weeks back after finding out about Family Covenant Ministries on the Internet. I really did enjoy speaking with you and am interested in attending future FCM events. Thank you for all you are doing to encourage and promote the cause of Christ and the role of the family in raising godly children. –Pocahontas, MO
FCM 2016 CONFERENCE-Unforgettable, that’s what it is!
Please note the changes for the following workshops:
DR. GEORGIA PURDOM
Creation vs. Evolution: Does Genesis Matter?
Why do people no longer believe the Bible is true? Why is the Christian worldview crumbling? How does unbelief in the history of Genesis undermine the authority of Scripture and the Gospel? This presentation will answer these questions and equip you with biblical and scientific knowledge that shows Genesis is true history and is foundational to Christianity.
Eugenics and Planned Parenthood: Past, Present, and Future
A tragic chapter in American history began in the early 1900s with the rise of the eugenics (which means “well-born”) movement. Many prominent philanthropists, scientists, and politicians believed that the human race was degrading because the poor, sick, and deformed were cared for and therefore survived to reproduce. Because of their acceptance of molecules-to-man evolution, these cultural leaders believed that mankind would only progress if laws were passed to enforce sterilization and segregation of the “undesirables,” and if immigration and marriage of the same were restricted. Margaret Sanger embraced these ideas, and they were foundational in her establishment of Planned Parenthood. Although the eugenics movement lost momentum when it was associated with the horrors of the Nazi regime, it didn’t die. Instead it became “quiet and careful.” A resurgence of eugenics is brewing in America. Modern Planned Parenthood still advocates many eugenic ideals. As Christians it is our responsibility to view life from God’s perspective and to defend all of those who are created in His image. No matter how impaired a human life may seem, every person has value because they are made in God’s image to bring glory to Himself.
Genetics, Evolution, and Creation: Most Asked Questions
More and more evolutionists are saying that recent discoveries in the field of genetics are proof for common ancestry of life on earth. But is that really true? We will explore a layman’s overview of mutation, natural selection, and “junk” DNA demonstrating that these “proofs” of evolution are nothing of the kind, but can be easily explained from a biblical worldview.
Fighting Truth Decay: Defending God’s Word
How often have we heard or taught these Bible “stories?” God created the world. Noah built a big boat. People built a tall tower called the Tower of Babel. Probably more times than we can count. Yet how many times have we answered the following questions as we taught these stories? How old is the earth? Why is there death and suffering in the world? What about dinosaurs? Did humans evolve from apes? Did God really create in six days? These Bible “stories” aren’t stories, they’re real historical events that connect to and help us make sense of life today. In this presentation, you’ll discover how to defend God’s Word through a mnemonic called the “Seven C’s of History.” We’ll explore the answers to the above questions (and many more) and find out how we can teach our families and those around us the truth from Genesis to Revelation!
The Reality of Noah’s Flood and Ark
Was Noah’s Flood really global? How did Noah fit all those animals on the Ark? How could just eight people care for all the animals? Is there any evidence in the rock layers for a global flood? This presentation will answer these questions and more and equip you with biblical and scientific knowledge that shows Genesis is true history, Noah’s flood was global, and the Ark was a wonderfully designed rescue vessel.
Wonder of the Cell
Have you ever wondered what goes on inside the cells of your body? Do you realize that your cells are really miniature factories performing thousands of jobs every second? Using visually stunning computer animations, we will explore the complexities of the inner workings of the cell and gain a greater appreciation of the designs of the Creator God.
NEEDS AND SERVICES
For Sale: Natural barley straw-Great for gardens as it has not been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides and is also great for animal bedding because it is so soft. $3 a bale. Call 314-920-6135.
[This information is communicated to you only as a service to our families. The information contained herein is not screened or verified by FCM. Please be discerning at all times.]
Sharon Jeffus shares: (1) Visual Manna Art Mission Trips: Feel like you didn’t do enough art with your high school student this year? Choose an art mission trip and cover high school art at the same time. Each is a week-long class that finishes a mural and graphic art for a church or ministry. Some scholarships are available. We have four opportunities for mission trips coming up! The goal is to complete a mural for a local ministry and do an intense overview of a high school art credit content at the same time. Dates and locations are Kansas City, August 1-5 and September 12-16; Camp Penuel, Ironton, September 5-9; and St. Louis, September 19-23.
(2) Paint Parties are wonderful for birthdays or Bible study groups or just a fun evening! You get a lesson on techniques from a master artist, a Bible study, and an opportunity for fun and fellowship all at once. Paint party themes are “Be Still and Know that I am God” (nature and landscapes), “The Righteous are as Bold as a Lion” (lions and eagles), “You Must Be Born Again,” (flowers and butterflies), and “God’s Glory in the Stars” (beautiful starry landscapes). The organizer provides the facility, everyone brings refreshments, and we provide all the materials for 2 paintings, one on old wood, one on art canvas. For more information, please call Sharon Jeffus at 573-453-6364, email
or go to www.visualmanna.com.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME-Celebrating 30 years of inspiration, encouragement, and biblical instruction www.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com
NOTES FROM SUBSCRIBERS
The following are taken from lovely letters, notes, and emails. Each correspondence deeply blesses our hearts.
Oh, it’s so wonderful to hear of all your family’s doings! We’ve been out of the loop so didn’t realize you had acquired your dream of a farm! It’s a blessed and challenging life indeed! Funny about calling the vet more than the pediatrician and true! Where did you end up finding your farm? We’ll continue to pray that your family is blessed! Peace and strength for your Journey! Blessings. –Licking, MO
HEART TO HEART
Remembering 30 Years!
This is one of the articles from my book There’s No Place Like Home, a compilation of some of the articles I have written for our homeschooling families over the past 30 years.
While Jon was working on the house in the city, he found one of my There’s No Place Like Home books and began reading. He was so blessed by the articles that he called us in the country and read a few of them over the phone. He called again the next night and read a few more to us. The next day we met him at our FCM Art Festival. Unbeknownst to me, he brought the book with him to read one of the articles there. After commending the children for their projects, he read the following article:
Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, What Will My Little Boy Be?
A writer? He loves to scribble in his sibling’s workbooks. A gardener? He often waters my carpet with his Tommy Tippee sprinkling cup. Chef? He has a knack for tossing his spaghetti from his high chair and likes to experiment with new recipes of flour, sugar, and rice on the floor. Grocer? Balancing stacked canned goods in front of the cabinets can be quite a feat. Artist? He was very creative with his strokes of red marker on the girls’ bedspread, hat box, dresser, door, bench, kitchen table, refrigerator, armchair, and sofa. Drywaller? He was pretty handy with putty knife and spackling compound on my freshly painted wall. Being the good mother I am, I’m always on the lookout for my son’s potential, as he displays remarkable abilities for one so young.
It was quite appropriate for all the children who had created wonderful art projects for our event. When Jon finished talking, I got up and pointed to my children, who are now 28, 26, and almost 21, and impressed upon the parents and future parents in attendance how quickly the days flew by, and how deeply I appreciated each of those days with my children. I then encouraged each of the parents to enjoy every moment of every age and phase of the growing process. I reminded them that children are gifts from the Lord—precious gifts, far more valuable than anything else on earth. And that loving, nurturing, and training them in the admonition of the Lord is by far the most important endeavor known to man. I warned against the people and distractions that attempt to waylay the course and admonished them to remain faithful to their duty to disciple their own children each and every day.
The loveliest compliment Sonia could ever make about me was that I made every day a celebration for our family. Recently after watching a movie based on emotions, Sonia told me that I was the “Joy” emotion—always joyful; always working to make joy for everyone else. I immediately thanked the Lord that He created me to be a wife and mother, called me home to be with my children, and instilled such joy and such a passionate desire for my family.
Scribbling in workbooks; water on my carpet; spaghetti thrown from the highchair; flour, sugar, and rice on the floor; red marker over treasured items; and spackling compound on newly painted walls were just a part of a toddler’s experimentation with the tools at hand. Yes, I trained Jedidiah to respect other’s property and to clean up after making messes, but I did not stress out over these incidences, but instead just smiled and thanked God for my children and for the honored privilege to train them. I truly enjoyed the entire journey.
Interestingly, at 26, Jedidiah is becoming a butcher of our own grass fed animals. He will help with baking for our catering business, will be a chef smoking our meats, and a grocer selling our farm’s produce. He is an artist as he designs and builds structures on the farm and also does drywalling. I highly doubt that he would be as creative, confident, and capable if I had stressed out over the little boy’s creative endeavors.
Now that my children are adults, they frequently relay the lovely memories that they treasure in their hearts and minds. Young parents, let me impress upon you how vastly important it is for you to make lovely memories for your families, not just on holidays, but each and every day. Please make certain that you don’t miss out on a single minute of celebrating childhood!
Rubber Bands Amongst My Angels
The article above reminded me of the rubber bands I would find hanging from my beautiful garland in my formal living room. This is another little article I wrote in the newsletter many, many years ago:
While I was finishing up the newsletter, I happened to glance up at the garland that graces the doorway into our dining room, and there among my delicate gold angels were rubber bands left from the last rubber band battle. Do your kids have rubber band guns? If not, they are really missing out on a lot of fun. Jedidiah makes his own from pieces of wood on which he attaches a clothespin for firing the rubber bands. Donning goggles, the boys have so much fun shooting at each other from behind sofas, tables, and chairs. When I see rubber bands amongst my angels, I think of how blessed I am to have boys!
Families Living and Working Together in Cohesive Communities
While picking up some feed for our animals, I asked the owner’s sister if she had moved her camper to the river yet, as she spends the summer there with her two brothers, spouses, and children. She told me that the “men” were taking the campers to the campground and setting up and that she would follow the next evening. The “men” she referred to were her brothers and husband.
This woman’s father and mother purchased a farm in Fredericktown thirty years ago. Every weekend all the kids would come down with their families to stay with their parents and help the father work on the farm. This particular daughter lives on the family’s farmstead now with two other brothers. Another brother lives down the road. He owns and operates the feed store along with this sister and brother. Any given day of the week we see all three of them working together, laughing and cutting up with one another. It is a joy to see! The siblings’ children are having children now. In just 30 years, this family has created a four generation legacy.
The following week we received a call from a farmer to tell us it was time to pick up our straw out of the barley field. We asked if he needed any help to pick up their bales. He said he did not need any help because his crew was already on the job. The crew meant Dad, two sons, and a nephew. When the dad was young, he and his brother helped his father and grandfather bale and haul 25,000-30,000 bales of hay each summer. Now the sons’ sons are doing the same.
The dad now lives on the grandfather’s and father’s homestead, where he was born. He also has a daughter and a son-in-law who live just steps away from their home. The other two sons come to the farm each day to work with their parents and siblings. When these children inherit their family’s businesses, they will be caring for over a thousand acres, a hay business, grain business, butchering business, flower business, and hauling business. Quite a legacy in just a few short years.
This week we also picked up hay from another farmer who lived in Perryville. On the way to his barn we passed his parents’ home, his home, and his sister’s home. His son lived just down the lane from the barn. This was another multiple family business that his father began with three generations working together now.
Contrast this with a neighbor who is selling his farm because the son’s wife wants nothing to do with the beautiful 127-acre farm that could easily accommodate multiple generations. Another farmer nearby did not want the kids to work as hard as they did and encouraged their children to leave the farm and get jobs in the city. But now that they are getting too old to run the farm themselves, they realize the folly of the direction they gave to their children and asked them to come back because they have amassed a considerable farming operation and have no one to take it over. Two other men in town who have built up thriving businesses also don’t have anyone to take over because their children don’t want them.
When we stopped in at Bartolino’s restaurant recently to pick up pizza to eat on our way back to the farm, I asked the young man at the desk to tell me about the family pictures on the wall. He proudly pointed out his grandfather who started the restaurant, his father and father’s brother, and all their children. He then proudly stated that he came with his father to the restaurant each day when he was just knee high and at age 23 is still coming to work with his father each day.
Whenever anything is begun, it must start with the end in view, particularly when it is something important. So I ask you, what do you want for your family 30 years from now? I want my children and their spouses and their children and spouses to work together and camp together on the river and laugh and cut up with each other every day of their lives. The continuity of family is so incredibly important to our churches, communities, and nation. Although our parents’ generation failed to impart a vision for covenantal families, we continue to work hard in educating and encouraging our families to grab hold and reap the blessings.
CASTING A VISION FOR MULTIGENERATIONAL FAMILY BUSINESS
Brunkow Cheese Since 1899
Located in Darlington, Wisconsin, Brunkow Cheese has been making cheese since 1899. Sourcing cow’s milk from neighboring farms, mostly Amish dairies in the rolling hills of rural Wisconsin, this fourth generation creamery specializes in raw milk cheddars, Monterey jack, Colby, and Brun-uusto. Handcrafted in small batches the artisan cheeses are aged in a hillside underground cellar. Some of the cheddars are aged for up to 12 years. Other specialties include an English-style cheddar called Avondale, a French-style Little Darling, and an assertive washed-rind Trappist style Pave Henri. Pave Henri, Petite Francine, and Bleu Jacques are created from 100 percent grass-fed cheese.
In 1899, a group of Wisconsin dairy farmers gathered to make plans to build a cheese factory, which would provide them with a market for their milk. They wanted a plant, which would be built close to their farms, so that they could reduce the time and effort required getting their product to market ... for them and their horses. The cheese factory was built as a co-op, with each farmer pledging money or labor to build the factory for his share in the co-op. It was named Brunkow Cheese Co-op for the farmer who donated the land. A cheese maker was hired. He furnished the machinery, tools and labor necessary to produce the cheese, and, once the cheese was sold, was paid a percentage of the money from the sale. A small amount of money was set aside for upkeep of the building, and what money remained was paid to the individual farmer members for each hundred pounds of milk he had delivered to the cheese factory for the month.
Today, much remains the same as it did in 1899. Not only is the Brunkow Cheese Co-op still in business in the rolling hills of rural Darlington, but also it still operates as a cooperative, with 30 to 32 southwestern Wisconsin dairy farmers comprising its membership. As in 1899, the position of cheese-maker continues to draw a salary from a percentage of the company’s gross income. But 96 years in business have also brought many changes. Teams of horses have been replaced by refrigerated milk-hauling trucks. Automation has catapulted the dairy industry to a whole new level, making much larger dairy operations possible. The increased volume of milk means there’s more cheese to be produced, and, to accommodate people’s changing tastes, a wider variety of cheese is manufactured than in the early 1900s.
Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, Co-Jack and flavored cheeses such as Garden Salad, Garlic Cheddar, and Pepper Jack are produced at the plant today. We also manufacture raw milk cheeses, as well as low salt and no salt added varieties. The cheeses are sold to two Midwestern natural foods co-op distributors and small cheese stores in Iowa and Illinois.
Since 1929, the Brunkow Cheese Co-op has been run by the Geissbuhler family, with second and third generation family members-Karl Geissbuhler and his partner, Greg Schulte now diligently working as cheese makers to produce some of Wisconsin’s finest cheese. The long history of this co-op is a source of pride for residents of Darlington, Wisconsin and the surrounding area. It has become a business tradition even to the young second and third graders of the area, which visit the cheesemaking facility each year. During their tour, they have an opportunity to see how cheese is made and how important this industry is to their dairy state. Afterwards, they return to school with a cheese tray for lunch, complements of Brunkow Cheese. It’s a real annual highlight for the children and the Brunkow Cheese Co-op family. We invite you to visit and watch the cheesemaking process, too, if you’re ever traveling in the Darlington area. Visitors are always welcome.
ONE TASTE IS ALL IT TAKES to realize how delicious our Raw Milk Cheddar Spreads are. Creamy, super-spreadable, right from the refrigerator, just like our colored Cheddar and Swiss spreads. Our special blend of aged (over 100 days) raw milk Cheddar cheese, whey, cream, water and flavorings can enhance any meal or snack. We add no preservatives or artificial colors. Brunkow Cheese Co-op Cold Pack cheese is live, natural cheese with no relation to pasteurized, process cheeses. There is no heat involved, therefore the full flavor of the cheese remains. Some spreads contain extra salt, stabilizers or added sugar, but not Brunkow Cheese Co-op Cold Pack Cheese Spread. The whey (with its own milk sugar) and cream make our spread naturally sweet. The flavor is exceptionally full-bodied. Health Food enthusiasts will find our raw milk blends especially appealing since our spreads are all natural and nutritious. No preservatives, nothing artificial, just pure sweet, natural raw milk Cheddar cheese spread whose taste is genuine. Just like its name-Genuine Raw Milk.
Remembering 30 Years of our Leadership I have actually been presenting the New Homeschoolers workshop for 31 years now.
NEW HOMESCHOOLERS-Part XI as presented at the Conference
Please carefully reflect upon the profound implication of the definition of “curriculum,” which in Latin means running, course, race… to run. When we couple this with the following scriptures, our duty becomes obvious.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1,2
Our curriculum and method of teaching, then, visibly exposes our heart’s allegiance, establishing the team captain for whom we run to win. Don’t be too quick to sign off on this point, when in fact, you may be running the race for a captain different from whom you wish to represent. In light of providential truth, the lack of God’s Providence was quite apparent in the Landmark book that we discussed earlier, but would you have known that apart from our pointing it out to you?
Even more discomforting is the fact that though curriculum may be touted as Christian, if it does not impart a clear Providential Sovereignty, then it imparts the lie that humans operate freely, apart from God. The consequence of this is most clearly seen in the curse that God brought upon His people through the sacking of Jerusalem in response to their adoption of a Hellenistic education for their children. Replicating pagans’ methods always produces a humanistic culture.
And as we know, our present day education system is based on the Greek’s humanistic principles of man being the measure of all things. In essence our liberal arts curriculum and degrees come from the Latin word liber meaning “to be free”; which we know to be free from God’s governing, to please and glorify man instead of pleasing and glorifying God.
Again, the antithesis is choosing Christ or Caesar—God’s Law or man’s law. The consequences of these choices are nowhere more clearly seen than in the differences of the American’s War for Independence and the French Revolution, where the colonists’ choice of Christ led to the blessings of a Christian Republic while the French’s choice of man led to the bloodbath of the French Revolution.
This same principle applies to homeschooling. If we use a “Christian” curriculum in name only, even though it includes scripture throughout its text, but fails to impart complete truth (God’s Law and His Sovereignty) or if in method adopts a humanistic approach, then the consequence is the same for us as it was for the Enlightened French humanists—lawlessness and rebellion. Whereas God’s Law expresses His holiness and order, man’s lawlessness expresses his unrighteousness in anarchy.
Since the function of education is to prepare our children to glorify God and serve Him in taking dominion of the earth, it stands to reason that our children must be taught God’s Sovereignty and His law before they are able to subject themselves to His authority.
The Enlightenment came in rebellion to the Reformation, but it was really nothing more than a return to the pagan humanism of the Greeks followed by the Romans. It was in direct rebellion to God’s Law where liberty is turned into licentiousness, allowing man the freedom to act as he sees fit. It denies absolute truth, making men gods, cloaked in white robes of spirit led creatures who cast aside God’s Word, making education the tool for affirmation of self, fulfilling one’s desires of self-realization of the full potential of his gifts and desires.
Once this usurpation of God the Father occurs, the family hierarchy soon follows, leveling all relationships as equal. Equal rights for children, equal rights for women, equal rights for employees… Rejection of God obliterates the absoluteness of truth. Where no absolute truth exists, all manner of perversion, corruption, and wickedness exists.
Cornelius Van Til in The Philosophy of Christian Curriculum states: For a Christian, the task of instruction is made simpler by the fact that the Biblical, Hebrew word for instruction, Torah, means both law and instruction. For us, all things in every sphere are under an ultimate and fundamental law, God’s law, and education is instruction in that law order.
Therefore, to be truly a Christian curriculum, it must be thoroughly Christian in both content and method. Not a curriculum with the Bible added to it, but the Word of God in every thought, on every page.
Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”
John 8:31,32 “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will now the truth, and the truth will make you free.’”
Consider that Bible/Theology is God’s revelation of Himself and His will for His creatures. Reading is the method in which man comes to know God through reading His Word. History is learning how God governs His creatures. Language is how God communicates to man and how man communicates to man. Writing is how God expresses His thoughts to man and how man reveals these to man. Math is God’s laws of order and operation. Science is God’s created world under His law.
Leaders Are Readers: The Essential Book List
There is no longer any guesswork necessary in choosing books for your children because God has prepared the way for you through our careful examination of hundreds of books that we have read through the years. How thankful we are to God for drawing us from the world and directing us to His banquet table of truth. The books we list in our Essential Book List are a culmination of what God used to instruct our family in Theology, Law, Government, and History. It represents God’s choicest food and the essence of our family’s education. It is an education fit for the King’s children and one that prepares them to lead. If you read nothing else than the books on this list, your children’s wisdom would surpass any college education. http://www.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=775:updated-2009-essential-booklist&catid=62:in-the-library&Itemid=56
Let us end on this vastly important point from the Foreword of Political Sermons of the Founding Era 1730-1805 edited by Ellis Sandoz, pp. xix, xx: Among the chief hindrances to this life of true liberty is the oppression of men, who in service to evil, deceive with untruth and impose falsehood in its place, proclaiming it to be true. Man, blessed with liberty, reason, and a moral sense, created in the image of God, a little lower than the angels, and given dominion over the earth (Psalm 8; Hebrews 2:6-12), is the chief and most perfect of God’s works.
Liberty is, thus, an essential principle of man’s constitution, a natural trait which yet reflects the supernatural Creator. Liberty is God-given…liberty is most truly exercised by living in accordance with truth.
Cultivate Children’s Tastes
If we want our children to eat healthy foods, we must cultivate their taste buds for healthy foods. So let me reiterate that if we desire our children to be wise, we must cultivate their taste with godly books like those on our essential book list instead of allowing them to read historical novels.
As a result, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him by studying, examining, investigating, searching, scrutinizing, and analyzing God’s truth about His universe.
Ephesians 4:14,15 “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine…but …we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”
Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.”
Deuteronomy 13:14 “…investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly…”
1 Timothy 6:20 “… guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called knowledge.”
God requires that we speak truth at all times, to all people, substantiating that truth with scripture and historical evidence.
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Give Them Meat
Remember seeing babies drool pabulum; that thin bland substance that looked like skim milk and smelled foul? Relating this to intellectual content, we must come to terms with the fact that if we feed our children thin, trite, and unsatisfying intellectual materials, that is all that they will ever spew out—insipid, simplistic, bland information, which neither satisfies nor edifies their hearers nor glorifies God. Neither instructing nor teaching nor enlightening others on the great truths of the universe, these children will go down in history as fools. None of us wants that epithet for our posterity. Worse still is that we will go down as the scoundrels who suppressed the truth in unrighteousness because we failed to provide our children with solid nourishment.
Sobering as that revelation is, unless we diligently study the depths of God’s wisdom, we cannot pass wisdom on to our children. And if we don’t train our children with meat, they will not be able to digest meat. In essence, their ears, eyes, and mind must be trained to grasp, assimilate, and reiterate the magnificence of God’s wisdom.
“Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” Hebrews 5:11-14
Method of Inclining Our Children’s Ears
Many years ago, a mother expressed her readiness to quit biblical discipleship after only a short beginning because her children did nothing but complain, squirm, tease, and fight as she attempted reading to them. The culprit was not the method or the content, but the result of her gross negligence in allowing her children to rebel against God. Her children’s ears were not inclined to the Word of God nor were their tastes cultivated towards meat because their tempers had been allowed to run wild. This mother had not corrected her children to form the manners and the habits necessary to receive wisdom.
When we read scripture, we understand most clearly that she was the guilty perpetrator. For God says that the rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. Proverbs 29:15 Quite frankly, a child who does not honor or revere his parents cannot honor or revere God, or anyone for that matter, even an employer. She raised them to be failures in this life and the next.
Our family once had a very rebellious stallion that refused to submit to our authority. Indeed, in spite of his beauty and excellent gait, he was a terror. To help us, our friends took our horse to an Amish trainer. What followed was amazing. When we picked him up, we experienced a remarkable transformation. The horse stood when the trainer told him to stand—without trying to get away. He stayed tied without struggling to get loose. He moved over and away from the trainer when he snapped his fingers. He willingly walked in and out of the trailer on command.
Astounded, we asked the trainer what he did to change our horse’s disposition. His response was true to God’s Word in that He trained him to know that he was in authority over the horse, first by laying the horse down on the ground and walking on him and then by remaining firm in his dealings with that horse. By the time we arrived, there was no question in that animal’s mind as to who possessed all authority.
Later, as I was following the trainer into the barn to ask more questions, I spied a tire swing in one of the stalls and commented on how cute it was that he had his children play in the barn where he performed so much of his work. He immediately corrected my speculation with something that I have never forgotten. Someone brought a horse to him that did not like to be touched by its master. In response to that horse’s rebellion, the trainer suspended a large tire in the stall that could not be avoided no matter how the horse tried to side step it. That way the horse continually came into contact with a touch on his body. More importantly, every time the horse kicked at that tire swing, the tire swing came back and thwacked that horse. Eventually the horse learned to be touched without resistance.
If that rebellious horse had continued to kick at whomever touched him, he would have been destroyed because he would not have been good for anyone or anything. And that is exactly what happens to every man who refuses to submit under the hand of God. And why God clearly defines the beginning of wisdom as the fear of the Lord. We must be able to submit under the mighty hand of God before we are able to grasp wisdom, which begins in the home. That is why Proverbs is replete with scripture on disciplining children with the rod so as to save their souls from Sheol along with exhortation to children to incline their ears to their parents and obey. Without a humble heart, it is impossible to please God and gain wisdom. That is why God contrasts the righteous man who loves knowledge and reproof with the fool who loves death because he refuses both knowledge and reproof.
Proverbs 9:8-12 “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you alone will bear it.”
Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.”
Proverbs 10:8 “The wise of heart will receive commands, but a babbling fool will be ruined.”
Help Them Form the Habit of Being Attentive
Attentiveness begins early on, when parents require toddlers to come when called with a ready heart to obey. Like Samuel, our children’s heartfelt anticipatory response should be Here I am, responding always to the first calling of their name. It is a matter of overcoming the selfishness bound up in a child’s heart by training them to be attentive, preferring their parents’ desire over their own. Like a shepherd who lovingly uses his staff to gather straying sheep, we need to use our staff to draw our children towards our voice, knowing that the voice always is for their good.
In the midst of listening to us, they must learn to train their minds to be singularly focused on the topic at hand. Eye contact is extremely important when talking with a child. Wandering thoughts should be brought back to task.
When reading, I constantly stopped to ask questions to make certain that the children were focused, concentrating, and that they fully understood the concepts at hand. All minds wander at times, but for children who continually rebelled by thinking on what they desired instead of the truth being taught, they were required to copy the appropriate information that they missed. It usually only took one or two times of this remedial work to convince the wrongdoer of his sins.
Proverbs 2 “My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding… then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God.”
Proverbs 3:1,2 “My sons, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”
Proverbs 4:1,2; 10-13; 20-22 “Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding. For I give you sound teaching; do not abandon my instruction…. Hear, my son, and accept my sayings and the years of your life will be many. I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths. When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; and if you run, you will not stumble. Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life…. My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body.”
Proverbs 5:1,2,7 “My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge…. Now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth.”
Proverbs 6:20-23 “My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you are awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light and reproofs for discipline are the way of life.”
Proverbs 7:1-3 “My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Proverbs 23:22,26 “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.… Give me your heart, my son, and let your eyes delight in my ways.”
Remembering 30 Years This is one of the articles from my book, There’s No Place Like Home that I had written many years ago.
A Surprise Trip to the Zoo
When I arrived home from a doctor’s appointment one day recently, I encouraged the kids to quickly dress because we were having lunch with the seals. Josiah’s inquiry of who the seals were brought great laughter, but not as much as came from him when he found out that they lived at the zoo. For an added treat, I brought Lunchables—something I never purchase—but which I knew would thrill the kids. After eating lunch at the pretty patio tables next to the seals, we headed for The River’s Edge, a lovely new addition to the zoo’s many beautiful projects. Each of my children took a picture of an animal of their choice and later wrote a report on that animal. I helped Josiah write his. Then we all created a mural of our journey along The River’s Edge. It was great fun.
IN THE LIBRARY
Keeping a Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman
After purchasing our second milk cow, we received a copy of Keeping a Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman. I was thrilled and began reading it our children: The cow is the most productive, efficient creature on earth. She will give you fresh milk, cream, butter, and cheese, building health or even making you money. She will provide rich manure for your garden or land. Each year she will give you a calf to raise, sell, or use for meat. Every day she will enrich the quality of your life as you benefit from the resources of the natural world. Quite simply, the family that keeps a cow is a healthy family.
This book is intended as both an inspirational and very practical manual for keeping a family cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume, presented in chapters that include a brief History of Dairying; What Makes Cows so Important; Milking Your Cow; Making Butter, Yogurt and Cheese; Drying Off and Milk Fever Diet; Calving; The Calf; Breeding; Feeding Your Cow; Your Organic Cow; Fencing; Making Hay; Pasture Management; Housing, Water Systems, and Supplies; Treating Milk Fever; Diseases and Disorders; Safety Around Your Cow; Cattle Breeds; Your Cow Economy; Sources; and Dairy Cow Anatomy. If you ever purchase a milk cow, I highly recommend this quintessential comprehensive manual on the family cow.
COME GATHER AT OUR TABLE
While we were planting strawberries, Sonia said it made her think of my reading Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Strawberries to her. It is such a blessing to hear our children relay fond memories that they treasure.
Consider this delightfully light and tasty cream cake to go with sugared strawberries.
Add plump red strawberries to a mix of salad greens, goat cheese, almonds, and toss with our delicious Cranberry Vinaigrette. This year I made this recipe with the spinach from our garden. It made a great spinach salad.
And of course make plenty of strawberry pies.
IN THE GARDEN
Gardens Provide a Wealth of Subject Matter for Biblical Lessons
Gardens provide such a wealth of subject matter for biblical lessons. Following many days of rain, I was astounded by the mass of weeds I faced in our vegetable garden. Sadly, they had grown much higher and more robust than any of the seedlings Sonia and I had planted. What a visual lesson for understanding the importance of uprooting sins before they choke out the righteous seeds planted within our hearts.
Let us carefully examine our hearts for the little weeds that quickly become overpowering such as discontentment over little things like cleaning house, changing diapers, or being a helpmate instead of working on our own projects; worry, anxiety, and fear; impatience when we don’t get our way or things don’t go as we planned; apathy towards our duty in all areas of life; pessimism; self-pity; hypocrisy by acting a certain way so people will like us; indifference to fellow Christians’ financial and practical needs, suffering, and pain; ungratefulness; negligence in showing kindness to those who have served us; supporting those in the forefront of the battle; living within our comfort zone instead of sacrificing for others.
God became man, stretched out His arms and took on every sin so that His wretched, sin ridden, lost creations could be reconciled to Him. As His image bearers, how much do we really sacrifice for others? Being Christ-like means that we surrender our will and pleasure for another; that we sacrifice everything for someone else!
The widow’s mite was more because it actually cost her dearly. That was Christ’s lesson on sacrificial giving. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23,24
Orange, Deep Rose, and Golden Yellow Begonias
For summer’s outdoor living, I love the colors of orange, deep rose, and golden yellow, but when you have such a shaded deck as ours, it is hard to incorporate these colors into plantings. Quite frankly, our choice of compatible flowers is very limited to ferns, impatiens, and petunias. But this year I found orange, rose, and golden yellow begonias at Garden Heights nursery in Richmond Heights. I could not believe my eyes. I don’t even like begonias, but I loved these because they were the colors I love for summer, while also providing the perfect solution to my shaded area. I also purchased double bloomed, peach/pink hibiscus trees to go on either side of my planter of begonias. It is simply stunning to see these summery colors just outside our window.
Garden Heights Nursery
While speaking of Garden Heights Nursery, I would like to encourage all of you who live in Missouri to visit this stunning nursery. Not only is it the most ascetically beautiful nursery I have ever seen, but also the employees are the friendliest and most helpful of any nursery I have every visited—and you know that I stop at every nursery that I see.
Last time I was at Garden Heights Nursery, I counted 12 workers. Each of them eagerly greeted me, inquired if I needed help, and assisted in taking plants to the counter. It was great! Their customer service is a rare treat and one I compliment every time I am there. I have since found out that the staff is composed of seasoned gardeners and degreed horticulturists who are dedicated to customers’ success.
Not only do I find perennials that I can’t find anywhere else, but also they have the largest selection of vegetable plants I have ever seen. All their shelves are packed with healthy plants—annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs. They also carry lovely pots and indoor plants, as well. Their website gives an inkling of what is in store, but it does not really do justice to the colorful beauty of this nursery. www.gardenheights.com/nursery.html
So do yourself a favor and visit Garden Heights Nursery at 1605 South Big Bend Blvd., Richmond Heights, MO 63117, 314-645-7333.
SUMMERS ON THE FARM
Everything we do is being recorded for our posterity to know and understand the loving sacrifices we made to ensure their prosperity!
-After patiently sitting on eggs for three weeks, one of our hens is a Mama of three chicks.
-Purchased two more bottle calves that we immediately placed on our Jersey cows.
-Daisy has finally been bred, so we should have another lovely Jersey calf in August.
-Jedidiah spent a week servicing all of our equipment in preparation of haying and other spring work.
-Sonia and I continue to sow seeds and plant seedlings in our garden.
-Just picked up a 10-day-old Shropshire lamb because her mother did not have enough milk for triplets. We are bottle-feeding it every six hours and will do so for two months.
-The children and I just planted rose bushes, blackberries, goji berries, Marionberries, and raspberries along the border of our vegetable garden.
-Jedidiah brush hogged our fields and dug up the thorn trees.
-Josiah has been cutting more firewood.
-Jon took soil samples to see about liming two of our fields before sowing a variety of different grasses.
-Josiah and I planted raspberries along the alfalfa field’s fence.
-Josiah has been stringing barbed wire on the fence he and Jedidiah just constructed.
-Jedidiah helped me finish planting the raspberries and then we planted peach trees, cherry trees, and an apricot tree. We barely made it to the shed before a downpour ensued and then hail. It only lasted a short time, so I went out to the garden to plant onion slips. When the lightning passed, Jedidiah and I headed out to the field to plant pecan and almond trees. By the time the job was finished, we were soaked through with the spring shower.
-Sonia and I spent hours combing our neighbor’s woods and fields for a new baby calf that bolted from our field when the boys moved the cattle to the barn lot. Never found it, but it did come back to Mama when she began bawling for it.
-Jon and the boys tagged our cattle.
-The plumber trenched the water and electric lines to the dairy barn and a water line to the garden. I will be so happy to have enough water to soak my plants. The well that came with the farm does not even have enough water to finish a row of seedlings before it runs dry. Then I have to wait several hours before I begin again.
-The boys and I attended an all-day sheep class on a neighbor’s farm. Before we left, the farmer selected 7 Katahdin lambs for us to purchase. We now have 2 beige, 1 white, 1 white with black on its head, 1 white and black, 1 black and white, and 1 brown with white specks. We placed them in our side manger and will keep them there for a couple of weeks so that we can work with them and then can get them accustomed to their new home.
-Sonia and I take our bottled lamb out into the yard for a romp each afternoon with Diesel, our dog, and McTavish, our cat. It is so cute to watch them all play. We will often take them down the road for a walk: the dog, cat, and lamb. When playing, the lamb springs up in the air just like in the cartoons.
-After severing her leg bone from her hip, our cat, Puddin, just returned home from her surgery. She will stay in our bedroom in a large dog carrier for four weeks, then will be allowed to roam in our room for two more weeks and finally in the house for a week before returning to the barn.
-One of our hens just hatched nine chicks. It is so much fun watching the mother teach them to scratch and peck, and so endearing to see her gather them under her wing.
-The dogs are already covered in ticks. I spent a lot of time picking them all off. We need to treat them.
-Two turkeys, a duck, and a goose are sitting on eggs.
-Jedidiah has been working with the sheep each day. They are very flighty.
-Sonia and I continue to weed and plant the garden several days each week.
-Another hen just hatched her second chick.
-Our convalescing cat, Puddin, awakens me at 2am, 4am, and 6am each night to eat and use the litter box. I am thankful that this routine will only last for a few weeks because disturbed sleep is not a restful sleep at all.
-I hauled several loads of sticks and branches out of the alfalfa field.
-Since our home is surrounded by woods, Josiah blew all the leaves away from our house, not only so it looked better, but also to remove cover for snakes that might linger in the leaves.
-The boys have begun cutting grass and weed eating on the farm and around the house again. It looks so nice when everything is cut.
-Josiah made a gate for the new manger that he reconstructed from the loading chute while Jedidiah made the latch.
-Jedidiah and Josiah began rotational grazing for our cattle using electric roping. Each day they create a new paddock for the cattle. Often the cattle have access to our creek, but when they don’t, Jedidiah fills their watering trough from a large square watering barrel that he fills with well water. The whole process goes a lot faster than we thought. The boys are learning how to manage the fields by looking at the growth and regrowth of the grasses. Pastures were slow to spring up this year because of all the rain and cool weather. And since we do not use synthetic fertilizers, the recovery from winter has been even slower. But in the long run, our pastures will be much healthier and will grow better than any of those that are synthetically fertilized. It just takes time.
-Using cattle panels, I constructed a small paddock for the new sheep to graze just outside their manger. They have enjoyed being able to graze on grass.
-Sonia and I weeded the front flowerbed and trimmed out all the old canes.
-Our Berkshire pigs are now bred, so the farmer picked up his boar. In three months and three days, Piggy Sue and Winnie will hopefully have litters of healthy little piglets.
-Jedidiah made new sturdy doors for the shed.
-Sonia and I finished removing sticks and branches from the alfalfa field.
-Let the weeder geese into the strawberry patch for several days. They did an okay job—not as good as I had anticipated, which means I will be on my hands and knees again, hand weeding that large area.
-I hoed the raspberries, blackberries, and grapes. Found out later from reading a book on orchards that I should not have hoed any of these plants as I might have hurt their shallow roots. Wow, to think that I must hand weed these patches is a bit daunting.
-After two months of keeping our bottle fed lamb in our garage, Rebecca is now in the newly constructed manger, right next to our other sheep so that they can get acquainted. Rebecca does not know that she is a lamb but thinks that she is my child and a very beloved member of our human family. For two months, she has followed me everywhere around the yard and deck. I even took her on the four wheeler when I went to the farm where she followed me around as I gardened and fed the other animals.
-Jedidiah constructed two nice sturdy gates for the entrance to our vegetable/fruit garden. I helped steady them as he set them on their hinges. Sonia and I are very pleased with how they look.
-The electric fencing for the sheep arrived, so we are now using it to form 1/2 acre paddocks for the sheep. They seem to enjoy grazing our barn lot and alfalfa field. We bring them in every night into their manger because of all the coyotes. Thankfully they follow us back to the manger because they are still rather skittish.
-After a winter stay in the chicken house, Jedidiah just moved the fowl back into their egg mobile and took it to our orchard for grazing. Although they have been grazing in our vegetable/fruit garden, they are really excited to be back on pasture. This is the first time that the larger chicks have been out. They continue to get in and out of the enclosure, so we have to watch to make certain that they are all in the egg mobile at night. The chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys that are laying on eggs remained at the chicken house until their chicks, ducklings, goslings, and poults are large enough to be with the rest of the grazing flock.
-Weeds are already growing back in the berry patch, so I began hand weeding the blackberries.
-I filled our planters with new potting soil and planted ferns, orange double bloom hibiscus trees, orange, yellow, and pink begonias, Streptocarpella, purple and yellow coleus, purple cleome, and deep purplish rose petunias.
-When they reached around 250 pounds, our meat farmer picked up the two runts that had been given to us. If it works out, the boys will help him butcher them. It is pleasing to know that our freezer will soon be packed with pork from our own pigs.
-We now have cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, radishes, spinach, peas, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, beans, beets, kale, carrots, and a host of flowers. We have been enjoying salads (both lettuce and spinach), radishes, and peas. Sonia and Josiah just picked a large bowl of strawberries for dinner.
-I weeded our 75-foot flower bed at our entrance. Then Jedidiah, Josiah and I hauled dirt to continue the bed along our farm’s lane. I then planted many more flowers, watered, and mulched with the bark we chipped two winters ago. I am so thankful that I did not have to purchase mulch for that entire bed and am using bark from our own farm. It looks lovely and so welcoming.
-Purchased a Jersey bull to breed back Jubilee, Mattie, and Gretchen. Once our cows are bred, our neighbor will use the bull for two months and then we will butcher him.
-Jedidiah built a manger for the sheep so they can eat hay off the ground, thus minimizing the possibility of ingesting parasites during their stay in the enclosure off the barn.
THE JOY OF COUNTRY LIVING
Candy Had a Little Lamb
When I taught the children Mary Had a Little Lamb, I never thought that I would one day have my own sheep. In truth, I abhorred the idea of owning sheep because of all the stories I had read or heard of how stupid and helpless they were. After all God constantly used them to characterize man’s corrupted nature. And who wants to own an animal that can potentially die from a simple around the corner “Boo”? I don’t think scaring people or animals is nice, but that is beside the point. A farmer would have to be out of his mind to own animals that are afraid of their own shadow.
Since flight is their foremost instinct, sheep run at the drop of a hat—literally. And that is not all. The instinct to follow is so strong that if one sheep plunges to its death over a precipice, the others follow suit. They don’t have the sense to stay away from poisonous plants and sometimes cannot upright themselves once down. Then there are the parasites that plague them. And let us not forget the wolves amongst the sheep, which in my case are coyotes, that seek out lamb chops for dinner. Helpless and hopeless, I would say. Hmm? Sounds like me. Fallen and lost until the Great Shepherd found me and brought me to the flock.
In commemoration of our shepherding of the homeschooling community, Mike and Rita Stull presented us with two ceramic fleece covered sheep along with the book They Smell Like Sheep. It brought to light the fact that shepherds were not liked because they smelled like their sheep—just another reason to avoid them. Why, then, would I want an animal that required so much care?
Nope, never considered having sheep, until…well, I am not really sure when the transformation took place. It just happened one day when I found out that our vet’s son said he was starting a sheep business. To help him out, I said that I would purchase some. They only had one for sale, so I began looking for a buddy, but to no avail. And then a farmer called and asked if I wanted a bottled lamb, one of triplets, who was not getting its fair share of milk. How could I possibly refuse that proposition? The poor thing!
Shortly thereafter we were all taking turns, every four to six hours, bottle-feeding our lambie pie; holding it in our laps because it missed its mama; and stroking its sweet face while assuring it all would be fine. Then Sonia and I began taking it for walks in our front yard each day. Soon it was following us into the house when we went to get its bottle and then down the road and then around the farm and then wherever we went. Which just went to prove that for once, a nursery rhyme was true in that Mary’s lamb followed her everywhere she went. And you know those cartoons that depicted lambs hopping up and down as if they had springs for legs? They actually were presenting truth as well. It is one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed.
Well, my lamb is black, so my little rhyme goes like this. Candy has a little lamb; its fleece is black as soot. And everywhere that Candy goes, its sootie footie put. Into the house for a bottle; down the road to the farm; it is Candy’s pleasure to coddle; and in turn it keeps her heart warm.
For quite some time Rebecca did not even know that she belonged to the sheep family and therefore wanted nothing to do with the seven other lambs I purchased. She thought that they were farm animals after all, while she was part of the family. To help her get to know the other sheep, I spent days taking her into the manger with them. For the most part, she stayed between my parted legs. Venturing out just to see what they ate, she would quickly dart out and then dart back for cover and protection from me. I have grown fond of my little lambie pie. After all she is my first.
Ahh, country living is the life for me!
THE RESTORING OF AMERICA ON ITS CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION
Carol Weiland shares: Peter Kinder for Governor-A Guardian of Small Government
Please consider helping his campaign by making phone calls, going door to door, or with a contribution. www.PeterKinder.com
FCM endorses Peter Kinder for Governor.
Here is a May 26, 2016 email from Peter Kinder regarding Obama’s transgender bathroom policy for public schools:
This week, I wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to rescind his recent “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students” from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice to public schools across the nation. The “Dear Colleague Letter” attempts to dictate how Missouri public schools must run their facilities and programs to accommodate students who might claim transgender status. It is an unconstitutional abuse of authority by the Obama Administration and infringes on the lives and liberties of Missourians.
Today, 108 Missouri state senators and representatives have joined my fight against Obama’s abuse of power and signed their names onto the letter.
Join me and 108 Missouri legislators if you agree that Missouri schools must not be forced to comply with Obama’s bathroom decree.
My letter to the President can be found below.
Dear President Obama,
I am writing to express my total opposition to the “Dear Colleague” letter of May 13, issued by your appointed leaders at the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, dictating how public schools must run their facilities and programs to accommodate students who claim transgender status.
The letter and its demands are an unconstitutional abuse of authority by your executive branch. It is a blatant attempt to change established law, which is a function reserved for the legislative branch by the Constitution. By threatening local school districts with the loss of federal funding, your administration is seizing local control from public schools while threatening the privacy rights of Missouri students. Further, the demands set forth in the letter directly violate the Constitution’s 10th Amendment, which states that those powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people.
The Dear Colleague letter goes against the majority of federal and state court decisions on this issue, as well as the clear text of Title IX and its regulations, all of which allow school districts to address these delicate issues as they see fit, when and if they arise. The letter puts Missouri public schools in the unjust position of having to choose between either doing what they know is best for their particular student population or receiving federal funding. School districts that feel forced to follow the letter’s decree in order to continue to receive funding will undoubtedly open themselves up to huge liabilities and potential lawsuits for violating students’ privacy rights and undermining parental authority rights.
Missouri schools must not be forced to comply with this extraconstitutional decree and the practical implications it would have on their operations and on their students. Please have the “Dear Colleague” letter of May 13 rescinded immediately. Its demands amount to a serious, unconstitutional infringement on the liberties and lives of the people of Missouri.
Peter D. Kinder
Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
Cc: Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights, U.S. Department of Education;
Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights, U.S. Department of Justice
The following members of the Missouri Legislature join me in asking that you rescind the “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students”:
Hon. Ron Richard, President Pro Tem of the Senate
Hon. Todd Richardson, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Hon. Justin Alferman
Hon. Sonya Anderson
Hon. Allen Andrews
Hon. Kurt Bahr
Hon. Chuck Basye
Hon. Nathan Beard
Hon. Mike Bernskoetter
Hon. T.J. Berry
Hon. Linda Black
Hon. Jack Bondon
Hon. Rick Brattin
Hon. Cloria Brown
Hon. Dan Brown
Hon. Wanda Brown
Hon. Eric Burlison
Hon. Jason Chipman
Hon. Kathie Conway
Hon. Steve Cookson
Hon. Robert Cornejo
Hon. Mike Cunningham
Hon. Paul Curtman
Hon. Charlie Davis
Hon. J. Eggleston
Hon. Ed Emery
Hon. Kevin Engler
Hon. Keith English
Hon. Scott Fitzpatrick
Hon. Paul Fitzwater
Hon. Travis Fitzwater
Hon. Lyndall Fraker
Hon. Diane Franklin
Hon. Keith Frederick
Hon. Elaine Gannon
Hon. Dan Hegeman
Hon. Ron Hicks
Hon. Galen Higdon
Hon. Justin Hill
Hon. Denny Hoskins
Hon. Tila Hubrecht
Hon. Tom Hurst
Hon. Jeffery Justus
Hon. Shelley Keeney Taylor
Hon. Mike Kehoe
Hon. Mike Kelley
Hon. Bill Kidd
Hon. Nick King
Hon. Andrew Koenig
Hon. Glen Kolkmeyer
Hon. Bart Korman
Hon. Will Kraus
Hon. Mike Lair
Hon. Bill Lant
Hon. Mike Leara
Hon. Doug Libla
Hon. Warren Love
Hon. Steve Lynch
Hon. Kirk Mathews
Hon. John McCaherty
Hon. Andrew McDaniel
Hon. Joe Don McGaugh
Hon. Jeffrey Messenger
Hon. Rocky Miller
Hon. Mike Moon
Hon. Lynn Morris
Hon. Dave Muntzel
Hon. Brian Munzlinger
Hon. Jim Neely
Hon. Bob Onder
Hon. Mark Parkinson
Hon. Mike Parson
Hon. David Pearce
Hon. Don Phillips
Hon. Randy Pietzman
Hon. Patricia Pike
Hon. Dean Plocher
Hon Jeff Pogue
Hon. Craig Redmon
Hon. Holly Rehder
Hon. Bill Reiboldt
Hon. Tim Remole
Hon. Jeanie Riddle
Hon. Shawn Rhoads
Hon. Rebecca Roeber
Hon. Gary Romine
Hon. Don Rone
Hon. Robert Ross
Hon. Lyle Rowland
Hon. Dave Schatz
Hon. David Sater
Hon. Kurt Schaefer
Hon. Eric Schmitt
Hon. Dan Shaul
Hon. Noel Shull
Hon. Lindell Shumake
Hon. Bryan Sencer
Hon. Chrissy Sommer
Hon. Kathy Swan
Hon. Rob Vescovo
Hon. Nate Walker
Hon. Wayne Wallingford
Hon. Jay Wasson
Hon. John Wiemann
Hon. David Wood
Hon. Paul Wieland
Hon. Kenneth Wilson
Hon. Anne Zerr
We must put an end to Obama’s complete misuse of power. Thank you for joining my fight for Missouri.
Fighting for Missouri,