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January 14th, 2017 PDF Print E-mail


Family Covenant Ministries (formerly Christian Home Educators Fellowship) Faithfully honoring God, equipping generations, and serving the homeschooling community for the past 33 years!



THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME January 2017 Information



Our Family’s Vision and Mission



Family Covenant Ministries (formerly CHEF) Information and Activities


1.  FCM Events

     a.  FCM Annual Ice Skating, Saturday, January 21

     b.  FCM Skiing at Hidden Valley, Friday, February 3

     c.  FCM 33rd Annual Graduation Meetings, Thursday, February 16 and Thursday, March 16

     d.  FCM 19th Annual Heart to Heart Tea, Thursday, March 16

     e.  FCM Purina Farms Field Trip

2.  FCM Notes

3.  Needs and Services

     a.  Deleted Homeschooling Family’s Contact; Please Call Again


There’s No Place Like Home Articles


1.  Notes from Subscribers

2.  Important Message: Attempts by Liberals to Eliminate the Electoral College

3.  Heart to Heart-Home Sweet Home

4.  Covenantal Families

     a.  Preserving the Heart of Home Through Spending Each Evening Over Delicious Meals and Fun Games

     b.  Games

5.  Casting a Vision for Multigenerational Family Business-G.H. Cretors Since 1885

6.  New Homeschoolers Part XIV-Parents’ Second Chance

7.  In the Library-Every Living Thing by James Herriot

8.  Family Outings-Ark Encounter by Joye Hengst

9.  Summers on the Farm

10.  The Joy of Country Living-Mom, Just Say NO! Practice, N-O!

11.  The Dismantling and Restoring of America

     a.  Trump Convinces Carrier Air Conditioners to Stay in America

     b.  This is What You Get by Everett Piper

     c.  Soros Bands with Donors to Resist Trump, “Take Back Power”

     d.  Destroying America from Inside the Classroom by Tom DeWeese

     e.  EPA Chief Urges Staff to Finish Obama’s Agenda Before Trump Takes Over

     f.  Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Trojan Horse for Obama’s Climate Change Agenda


If you get a blank email from us (mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) on your cell phone, please try looking at the email from your computer instead.




FCM Annual Ice Skating, Saturday, January 21, PLEASE NOTE the change in time: 2:00-5:00 p.m. at the outdoor ice rink at Shaw Park, 217 S. Brentwood Blvd., Clayton, MO 63105. Preregistration cost is $5.50 per skater (includes skate rental, hot chocolate, and paper goods); $6.50 per skater at the door. You may either pay online or mail your check payable to FCM, c/o Sonia Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645 by January 16. If you are unable to pay online, or experience any difficulties, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 314-920-6135.


To pay online, use this link and choose Annual Ice Skating by clicking on the arrow on the Event List drop-down menu.



Under Reservation, make sure the Ticket Type “Family” is selected if more than one person is coming. Then select the appropriate “Number of Attendees” in your family.


To get this deal, we must pay in advance, so please pay online or send your check in by the deadline. However, if you are able to come at the last minute, we will still be able to accommodate your family, but it will cost $1 more per skater. Do not pay at the ticket window; pay us. Just make certain that the ticket window knows that you are with the FCM (CHEF) group. This outdoor rink is a beautiful place to skate. Bring a finger food or plate of cookies to share, as we will set up hot chocolate in the warmed seating area just off the rink.


For those of you who would like to join us following Ice Skating, we will be having a light dinner at Steak ‘n Shake, 1525 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63127, just south of Hwy 44.



FCM Skiing at Hidden Valley Ski Resort, Friday, February 3, 4:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. at 17409 Hidden Valley Drive, Wildwood, MO 63025. Enjoy the best outdoor wintertime sport at a fabulous price. Join us for an Adult moonlight skiing session.


Snow Pass (Lift Ticket) and Ski/Snowboard Equipment Rental

Group rate for ages 13 and above: $53.25 per person

Group rate for ages 7-12: $44.75 per person

[Regular price is $71]

Ski Lesson (Ages 8 and above): Only $5.38

Snowboard Lesson (Ages 8 and above): Only $16.14

Lessons begin promptly at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m.


Send in your check by January 28 payable to FCM, c/o Josiah Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645.


There is a warm viewing area and food available. Call Josiah with any questions at 314-920-6135. We look forward to seeing you there.



FCM 33rd Annual Graduation If you have a graduate, please email your graduate’s name, parents’ names, address, phone, and email address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Shortly after we receive your information, we will email our Welcome packet. Our meetings will be held on Thursday, February 16 and Thursday, March 16 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the beautiful Salem United Methodist Church, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Conveniently located on the northeast corner of Hwy 40/64 on Lindbergh Blvd., a little north of Frontenac Plaza. To give you an idea of the focus of our graduation you may read the godly and inspiring charge, “Destined to Make a Difference,” which was presented by Bob Wells in 2010 by going to http://www.familycovenantministries.com/. Click on “Services” and scroll to the bottom of the page.



FCM 19th Annual Heart to Heart Mother/Daughter Tea (Mothers without Daughters are Welcome!), Thursday, March 16, 7:00-10:00 p.m. at the Hawken House Hearth Room, 1155 S. Rock Hill Road, St. Louis, MO 63119. Preregistration cost is $11 per person; $12 per person at the door. Teaching topic will be announced shortly. Mothers without daughters are welcome to come. Come and enjoy great fellowship, wonderful teachings, tea and delectable pastries with other homeschooling moms. You may either pay online or mail your check payable to FCM, c/o Sonia Summers, PO Box 586, Fredericktown, MO by March 14 to reserve your place. If you are unable to pay online, or experience any difficulties, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 314-920-6135.


To pay online, use this link and choose 19th Annual Heart to Heart Mother/Daughter Tea by clicking on the arrow on the Event List drop-down menu.



Under Reservation, make sure the Ticket Type “Family” is selected if more than one person is coming. Then select the appropriate “Number of Attendees” in your family.


Directions: If you take Hwy. 270 south, exit at Big Bend Road. Go east on Big Bend approximately 4 miles to S. Rock Hill Road. Go right on Rock Hill for 2 blocks. The house is just past Hawken Condominiums on the right. Barn is on right in back of Hawken House. There is no Big Bend exit if you are going north on Hwy. 270. Therefore, if you take Hwy. 270 north, go east on Hwy. 44. Exit at Big Bend Road and go east for approximately 1.5 miles to S. Rock Hill Road. Then follow above directions.



FCM Field Trip to Purina Farms in April or May Look for details in upcoming newsletters.




FCM NOTES Each correspondence deeply blesses our hearts. Thank you.


It was so good to see you. It is always such a delight to be around you and your happy family. Jon, I really appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication. If all Christians would stand up and fight for what we know is right, our battle would already be won. You’re doing a great job! I also truly appreciate your commitment to your family and your vision for the future. You are an inspiration to any father to be more of a godly leader in his home as well as in his country. I pray you will never lose sight of the vision God has given you. Candy, you have been such a blessing in my life. You, too, are a role model for all of us. You are always willing to help and encourage those who are in need even though you are extremely busy. You have encouraged me to be “going about my Father’s business.” I’ll never forget the wise words you once said: “Don’t be self-conscious. Be Christ conscious. Everything we do, we should do for God and for His glory.”


Here is something I learned from a man at our church. I am sure you know that when geese fly, they fly in a V formation with different geese taking turns being the leader. Being the leader, the one at the point, is the most difficult position to be in. The lead goose has to flap harder than those that follow because he is cutting through the wind. The other geese get a free ride or an easier ride on the air currents produced by the leader. Did you know that followers “honk” when they are in formation and that when they honk, it is to be an encouragement to the lead goose to “Keep going!” to tell him “You can do it!” and “You’re doing great!” Well, Jon and Candy, I am honking for you. You’re doing a great job! I know you don’t seek the praise of men, but you are a blessing. You work so hard for so many people, and I know I speak for others when I say, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” God bless you as you serve Him! Hillsboro, MO



THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME Celebrating 31 years of inspiration, encouragement, and biblical instruction www.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com


Stay tuned as we are creating a brand new website for There’s No Place Like Home that will be brighter, prettier, filled with more pictures, easier to navigate, and more easily accessible for smart phones.


NOTES FROM SUBSCRIBERS Each correspondence deeply blesses our hearts. Thank you!


I want to thank you for these homeschool newsletters. I can’t even imagine how you put together so much information so often. I don’t think I have read one all the way through yet, but I forwarded the last one to my wife. She did read it all the way through, and she learned a lot of what I had learned earlier… about homeschooling. This tended to bring us into even greater agreement regarding our homeschooling. –Cedar Creek, TX





Attempts by liberals to eliminate the Electoral College have been underway for many years. Most recently it has gained tremendous support from Americans who do not understand why our founders created a Christian Republic instead of a Democracy—in more definitive words—mob rule, thus the reason for an Electoral College. It is vastly important that you and your children understand this critical issue! Please go to the link below and read the article by Tom DeWeese. Then go to our Essential Book List:

http://theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=775:updated-2009-essential-booklist&catid=62:in-the-library&Itemid=56 and begin reading the books that will ensure your children’s understanding of God’s design for government, our Founders, and the Christian Republic they created. There isn’t a better list of books and resources anywhere. You have the time and opportunity to make a difference in your children’s lives and in our nation. Make your time count!


The Anti-Trump Riots Are a Smoke Screen: The Real Goal-Eliminate the Electoral College by Tom DeWeese

I’ve actually heard it said by residents of California, San Francisco, in particular, “Why do we even let people in Ohio and Iowa vote?” Such elitism is behind the “National Popular Vote” movement, which apparently believes that only the East and West Coasts count. The rest is just flyover country.






Remembering 30 Years


Home Sweet Home

[I wrote this article 24 years ago. Thankfully our grown children still dislike being separated and prefer our family’s company.]


An hour ago, I returned home from a women’s fellowship. Before I reached the back door, Heather ran out to greet me with a hug, a kiss, and, “Mom, you stayed a lot longer than we expected.” (I was gone four hours.) “I’m so glad you’re home!” Sonia and Jedidiah grabbed me at the door, showered me with hugs and kisses, all while continuously repeating loving adorations—“Mama, Mama, Mama!” There couldn’t possibly be a dearer greeting. Jon, in the meantime, waded through the pool of rejoicing and managed a warm embrace and kiss, further affirming a welcomed return. Wow, it was great to be back home!


Shortly after this joyous homecoming, while putting Sonia and Jedidiah down for a nap, Sonia said, “Mama, we sure missed you!” Jedidiah stopped nursing long enough to agree with his adorable, “Me, me!”

Mama: I missed you all a lot, too.

Sonia: Did you cry for us?

Mama: My heart ached to be home with you.

Sonia: Mama, I cry when you’re gone.

Jedidiah: Me, me.

Sonia: I really miss you when you’re gone.

Jedidiah: Me, me.

Sonia: Mama, I really love you.

Jedidiah: Me, me.

Mama: And I really love the both of you.


My absences from my family are as frequent as Halley’s comet. On these few occasions, I have tried to enjoy the break away. Unfortunately, no matter how great the fellowship, I feel as if my heart shall break, and the family ties that bind us together immediately start tugging for me to return. Our world labels this neurotic, unhealthy affection, but I believe it perfectly natural.


Haven’t you heard moms say that they send their kids to preschool because the family appreciated each other more? What a ridiculous and sad excuse. Homeschoolers are living testimonies that the families that stay together appreciate each other all the more. The most delightful part of each day is the time I spend playing with Sonia and Jedidiah. No matter what I suggest or have planned, their bodies wiggle with excite­ment from head to toe. Today I had planned a scavenger hunt, relay races, finger plays, singing, dancing, and reading. It was during the scavenger hunt that my soaring spirit was temporarily tormented by a dreadful memory of yesteryear.


I was sitting in the center of our living room watching Sonia and Jedidiah bubbling over with excitement as they searched for hidden treasures. Nothing is more enjoyable for me than listening to my babies’ delightful giggles and seeing their sweet little faces twinkling with excitement! I too wiggled and giggled as I basked in that glorious blessing. Suddenly though, the warmth turned to a chill as I remembered sitting in the middle of children at a day care center.


As part of my training, I was required to spend a semester in the University’s day care facility. Day after day, I watched screaming, clinging children pried from their mothers. Neglected babies cried themselves to sleep. Dry cereal dumped on the table was considered breakfast. Naps were taken on cots lined up against the wall like bunks in a dormitory. It was ghastly! Oh, I had fine scavenger hunts, relay races, finger plays, dancing, singing, and reading activities planned throughout my stay, but their eyes were rather dull compared to my children’s twinkling stars, and their laughter never sounded as happy as my children’s giggles. Every wretched day, my heart ached for these little children. It seemed so absurd leaving one’s baby with strangers. What was wrong with all these mothers? How could they be so heartless and cold-blooded? And Lord, what would these children be like when they grew up?


Fourteen years later, I still hate day care centers and preschools. Next to abortion, I believe they are Satan’s most ghastly evil. I never pass one that my heart doesn’t break all over again.

Giggles and hugs brought me back to the center of my living room once again to the reality of God’s greatest gift to mothers. How thankful I felt that I was right there with my very own children. Truly, there’s no place like home!





Remembering 30 Years-One of the articles we have written over the years


Preserving the Heart of Home Through Spending Each Evening Over Delicious Meals and Fun Games


It seems appropriate at this time of preserving the heart of homeschooling, that we reiterate the importance of the heart of home, namely, the gathering together as a family around the dining room table. Throughout the last 23 years, I have taught and written on the vast importance of this daily ritual, emphasizing the importance of this time spent together sharing meals, books, and games.


What makes comfort foods, well, so comfortable? I think that it is a combination of the smells that evoke childhood memories, the rich texture of heartier substance, and the delectable taste of the foods that warm our stomachs as well as our souls. The old saying that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach is not so far off as we may like to think, for truly food does move the emotions. So comfort food is indeed comfortable. Beef roasts, pot roasts, rib roasts, round steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted chicken, chicken and dumplings, pork tenderloin with caramelized onions and fruit compote, stew, vegetable soup, breads, bread pudding, chocolate cake, and cinnamon rolls—just the mention of these lovely meals warms my family’s hearts, making the answer to “what’s for dinner?” a real treat each night.


Gathering around the family dining table is certainly the most pleasurable defining moment of the day. How blessed we are as mothers to have the opportunity to warm our family’s hearts and their stomachs each and every day. Being a part of God’s great design to bring families together over and over again for feeding minds, hearts and bodies, we have the perfect opportunity to shape the tastes and minds of each gathered member.


To pass on your love for fine dining, copy all your signature dishes and place in a beautiful recipe binder for your daughter as part of her rich inheritance.


How many times will our favorite recipes be passed around the family, and through how many generations will they travel to delight our loved ones? My favorites are signed with thumbprint smudges that tell a story of my love and care for my family.


For my family, any excuse was reason enough to gather together around the table and feast. As a matter of fact, each evening meal was a great celebration. “What’s for dinner?” wasn’t idle conversation, but a question we took seriously. If food was cooking, we all lifted lids and stuck our noses right in the delicious perfumes that wafted upward from the heavenly creations. After prayers were said and the feasting commenced, “ooo eee’s,” “mmm um um um’s,” and “yummies” passed around faster than the salt and peppershakers. We savored each delectable mouthful and ate until our empty tummies were filled.


And then of course, there was always splendiferous dessert, so we just released our belts a notch or two and enjoyed some more. You know how it is; you start out with one piece and a glass of milk. You finish the glass of milk before your piece of dessert is finished, so you pour some more; then you finish your dessert but have half a glass of milk left, so instead of wasting the milk, you have another piece of dessert. It’s hard to finish both dessert and milk at the same time, which makes the joyful journey last longer. I’ve always been somewhat suspicious of people who don’t like desserts. It’s just not natural to refuse creations made from butter, sugar, eggs, cream and such. How could anyone refuse Deep Dish Buttermilk Pie, Piña Colada Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Cinnamon Rolls, Baklava, or Gooey Butter Cake?


A penchant for cooking and feasting is a family legacy as my grandmother owned a restaurant, aunts and uncles owned bakeries, another set owned a grocery store, one uncle was a hotel chef, while another was president of the Meat Cutters union. Their plump, jolly faces are just faded images from my past, but I inherited their passion for cooking. However, it is my mother to whom I truly owe my great love for preparing meals for my family. It was out of her deep love for us and her inherited appreciation for delicious meals that she took great care in ministering to us through God’s gracious gifts.


My dad, too, deserves recognition for his appreciation of mom’s cooking and also his passion for growing beautiful vegetables and fruit. I, in turn, learned to love all the wonderful foods God created for our enjoyment—their beautiful colors, interesting shapes and textures, heady aromas, and rich flavors. I love to walk into Schnucks’ European market and choose from God’s splendid banquet table of culinary delights—beautiful red and yellow peppers, carrots with their fine greenery attached, fragrant pineapples, furry kiwis, interestingly shaped squash, shiny rainbow trout, bright orange salmon, lovely edible flowers for garnishing, beautiful rump roasts, thick chops, colorful peppercorns, fragrant cloves, pearled barley, long loaves, round loaves, and individual loaves of wheat, rye and pumpernickel. Wow, what a treat! Even the chosen words for which we prepare these delectable goodies are rich and delightful—simmer, sauté, ladle, stuff, mince, knead, purée, roll, blend, melt, sprinkle, pinch, grate, toss, toast, roast, braise, sift, thicken, slice, pare, and crown.


To minister to my own family by preparing meals for them that not only appeal to their senses but also satisfy their hunger and strengthen their bodies is so rewarding, but even beyond these, to have Dad home, gathering together at the end of each day to pray and give thanks to our Lord, to sup one with another, looking into each other’s eyes, to share the same food and the news of each person’s experiences that day binds us together and nourishes our souls. It is the highlight of each day when we linger together enjoying each other’s company sharing “mmm, mmm goods.”


When I was a child, nothing gave me greater pleasure than listening to my mom and dad talk as we sat around our dinner table. I loved to hear their interesting stories, their thoughts and feelings, their laughter and joy. Feasting on every word, I would sit for hours as they filled my little soul with the rich cream of life.


It is still the highlight of each day when we gather together around our table, as we join hands and hearts, to give thanks to our Lord, to sup one with another, to look into each other’s eyes while we share each other’s experiences and bare our souls. Lingering there, well after all is eaten, we continue to nourish our souls knowing full well that it is truly the most important sustenance that continually draws us closer into a never-ending circle of love. It is around this table that we learn to develop authentic, intimate relationships that will not only transcend the miles in later years, but will also set a pattern for all future relationships. In essence, it is the gathering place where we learn and practice the art of friendship.


When just babes, we begin learning the most basic and foremost lesson—that of listening. At first, we can do nothing but listen, which is good, so by the time we find our way to express our own thoughts, we’ve had plenty of time listening to endless conversations—where those we love have shared interesting discoveries, intimate thoughts, frequent reminiscences, laughter and joy—and we begin to understand the blessings of sharing one with another. We learn to reach beyond ourselves and dip deep into the well of another’s soul. In this depth of our knowledge of the other’s soul, we learn the basis for rich and meaningful relationships.


From watching and listening to our parents, and with practice, we learn to concentrate, with genuine interest and concern, listening with eyes and heart as well as ears, and to respond with questions and appropriate comments of understanding and encouragement. Out of all this sharing naturally flows our own thoughts, and in such a safe sanctuary, we in turn learn to share honestly from the depth of our own souls.


To truly know the pleasures, needs, and desires of others, and to share from the depth of our hearts is a precious gift from God. Come, gather around your table and experience that fullness of life and impart to your children an inheritance that will richly bless them all the rest of their lives.





I have played games with my children most every day of their lives, and continue to do so, even though my children are now in their twenties. Instead of going off and doing our own thing, coming together to play games (and reading out loud) keeps us focused on one another to enjoy each other’s company. It is a tightly held tradition, which I am proud to have begun, and one the children love. Games and book reading have always been eagerly anticipated and greatly enjoyed.


Our Favorite Family Games include Dutch Blitz, Ticket to Ride, Genoa, Pinochle, Parcheesi, Sequence, Rummikub, Around the World in 80 Days, King’s Cribbage, Mystery Express, Oltre Mare, Risk, Scotland Yard, Scrabble, Scattergories, Taboo…

For a complete list go to:


More games will be added to this shortly as we learn to play the six new games we purchased for Christmas.





G. H. Cretors Since 1885


Instead of popping popcorn to have with our movie, Sonia surprised the boys with G. H. Cretors Chicago Mix of buttery caramel corn and rich cheddar cheese corn. Renee Yeo had brought some with her when she and her family came for an extended stay. The boys liked it so much that Sonia decided to surprise them with some more. Jedidiah noticed it was a multigenerational family business and read their story to us from the back of the bag.


It all began in 1885 when Great Grandpa Cretors invented the popcorn machine and our family began perfecting the art of popping corn. His “modern machine” appeared at the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893, and for five generations we’ve followed in his corn-popping footsteps, taste-testing recipes around our kitchen table. Today we make our Caramel Corn just like Great Grandpa did—in old-fashioned copper kettles, one batch at a time. Then we mix it up the Chicago way, with our rich, creamy, Aged Cheddar Cheese Corn to create the perfect combination of Sweet and Salty. You don’t even have to come to Chicago to try this special treat. From our kitchen to yours, enjoy!




(Remembering 30 Years-I have actually been presenting the New Homeschoolers workshop for 31 years. This presentation has changed very little through the years.)


NEW HOMESCHOOLERS-Part XIV as presented at the Conference


Parents’ Second Chance


Without Direction, Time, and Materials, I Felt Woefully Lacking


As with most children, when I was young, my parents were the most important people in the world to me. I valued their company above everyone else, as my greatest pleasure came from being with them and pleasing them. My feelings for my heavenly Father were identical, as I desired to know Him fully and please Him in all my ways. I took my Bible with me to school and read it whenever I had a free moment. Sadly, those moments were few and far between, as I spent the majority of my days at an institution that not only kept me far from my heavenly Father and earthly parents, but also continually undermined my relationship with them.


Even my church failed to teach me the depth of God’s wisdom and, in many ways, also worked to undermine the bond we shared. When I got older, I tried to get my hands on deep theological books, but there was little available to the layman. Without direction, time, and materials, I felt woefully lacking. But then God did a wonderful thing for me by giving me a second chance to truly know Him and keep my children close by calling me to homeschool.


At first there were not many materials available at our homeschool conference, but then God did another marvelous work by calling my husband and I to become leaders of our state organization and thus the hosts of our state conference. As voracious readers and seekers of meaty information, Jon and I immediately began searching for the godliest speakers and the best materials available so that our families had access to the finest teaching tools.


Through these resources, God graciously opened up a veritable treasure chest of the riches of His wisdom to us as we began consuming excellent theological and providential history books, which I read to my children during the day, and to Jon and the children at night. Studying chronologically, line upon line, God’s plan for creation finally became crystal clear as we all came to realize why God raised up particular individuals and orchestrated events in history to bring about His will. And we began to understand that God blessed nations according to their obedience and destroyed them for their rebellion.


Taking us by the hand, God led us to His plenteous banquet table and allowed us to dine with Him. Realizing the enormity of this marvelous blessing caused me to cry tears of overwhelming appreciation for His mercy and generosity in divulging His providence to us—His wisdom, forethought, prudence, and provision. Consequently, I consider homeschooling a precious gift from God because I now feast with my family at the King’s table every day. If, however, I had given my children their books and told them to go, do, and come back to be graded, I would have missed the most extraordinary gift of learning with my children!


Our Days Were Mostly Spent Reading, Reasoning, Relating, and Recounting


Unlike the typical schooling paradigm, our days were mostly spent reading, reasoning, relating, and recounting with me reading out loud to the children and stopping along the way to define and diagram words; examine and discuss fundamental principles; analyze events and people; ask thought provoking questions that delved into events, people’s motives, and the righteousness and unrighteousness of thoughts, attitudes, and actions evaluated according to God’s Word; and consider the consequences and impact on the culture, and history, at large.


In addition to all our books, we used other valuable tools of the trade such as our 1828 dictionary, timelines, maps, travelogues, CDs, DVDs, cookbooks, art supplies, and family excursions. Each of these further enriched our lessons about the religion, philosophy, family life, church life, government, history, authors, historians, theologians, scientists, mathematicians, artists, musicians, architecture, geography, landscape, climate, vegetation, and wildlife of each time period of history. From these resources, I had the children write notes in their His Story notebooks, along with vocabulary words and definitions, maps and diagrams, pictures and reports. In short, we lived each time period.


By failing to comprehend the significance of discipleship, so many homeschoolers miss the marvelous opportunity God offers to them by learning together as a family. Homeschooling is not about bringing school home, as we knew it, with all its modern socialistic methods of instruction. All things considered, taking our children out of the school system and placing a Christian curriculum in their hands is not what God requires of us.


When He commands that we disciple our children when we rise up, when we walk along the way, when we sit down, and when we lie down, He means that we keep them alongside us all the time—to learn with them and to develop those deep bonds of familial love that are so important to our posterity and the whole of society. Thus, if we say to them, go, do, and then come back to be graded, we miss the greatest opportunity God offers us in learning together as a family.


The Absurdity of the Common Approach to Instruction


To better understand the absurdity of the common approach to instruction, allow me to illustrate the instructional methodology practiced by both schools and parents at home. Pretend you are my students as I read aloud about the Walla Wallas. I am going to ask questions afterwards, so pay attention.


Okay, class, open up your history books to page one hundred and follow along as I read. In 400 A.D. the Walla Wallas lived in the land of Zor between the Tritans and the Ombees. The ancient Walla Wallas developed one of the most impressive cultures the world has known. The Walla Wallas lived on the Golumpulus Peninsula between the Rizorius Sea and Ottoompus Sea. The Walla Wallas were descendants of Jubuhubuda, son of Reclesia. The first Walla Wallas were the Tritorians who lived in the Zoraborous and Futoboozoo who developed the magnificent city of Luz. The Walla Wallas took the alphabet from the Phopians and added more consonants. They then created beautiful pieces of literature still read today. Maybe you have read the books of Milliad, Nickapoosia, and Fioridum? These three writers compiled over 3,869,752 resbians known as books today.


Now who can tell me where the Walla Wallas lived? Weren’t you paying attention? The Golumpulous Peninsula is between what two seas? You obviously were not listening! The Walla Wallas were descendants of whom? I am so disappointed! Well, this will be your homework tonight to reread so you can answer these questions tomorrow.


Is that scenario any different from handing your child a book and telling him or her to read page 100 and then answer the questions at the end of the chapter? Ponder this situation by taking the place of the student, once again, and begin reading: Greece is located on the Balkan Peninsula between the Aegean Sea and the Ionian Sea. The Greeks were descendants of Japheth’s son Javan. The first Greeks were the Minoans who lived on the island of Crete. In 700 B.C., the Greeks took the alphabet from the Phoenicians and added vowels. The blind bard, Homer, turned old Greek stories into poems called the Iliad and Odyssey.


What does this information really mean to a child? Absolutely nothing! If children have never heard, or read, anything about the Greeks, new information such as this is like reading a foreign language for the first time. If it is not studied in conjunction with other materials, it holds no meaning and relates to nothing familiar, so is not of interest except to memorize for passing quizzes and tests. After those are completed, invariably the information is forgotten.


The Importance of Logical Order


To further demonstrate this point, let us consider another example. If we put A over here on the board, and C down here, and T up here, we have nothing but letters. But if we take those three letters and order them in such a manner to spell CAT, we immediately visualize a cat.


One day as I was incorporating ingredients together for a cake, I inadvertently added a tablespoon of onion juice instead of vanilla creating a repulsive odor that prompted me to pitch the batter. Onion juice just does not belong in cake. Serving barbeque pork steaks with a bowl of oatmeal, chocolate cake and orange juice for dinner is distasteful. Yet by integrating the right ingredients such as flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, we create a nourishing, delicious, masterpiece that is both appetizing and nutritious.


Consider for a moment the illogical, incongruous mental meals children consume each day of school. They might begin reading a story about the Chinese Red Plum tree, write a story about being an astronaut, look over a grouping of spelling words that have nothing in common, explore the battles of the Civil War, study dinosaurs, examine Bach’s life, and then create a mosaic ocean scene for art class. Do you find this absurd? Created in the image of an orderly, logical, reasonable God makes this method of education absurd.


Our society is so age segregated, grade segregated and subject segregated that the so-called experts have distorted the logical natural process of learning. As parents, we want to form lasting whole impressions upon our children’s minds, not fragmented passing thoughts. How do we accomplish this?


First by studying together as a family with each member laboring together to build the family’s educational foundation. Secondly by making history, or in other words, His Story, the focal point. Thirdly, by studying history in chronological order with each time period serving as an interlocking building block. And finally by cementing the building blocks together by interweaving the other subjects, we create a solid, secure structure of lasting impressions that each family member relates to, understands, and remembers.


God’s Plan Revealed in the Chronological Study of History


Rather than studying historical people and events in isolation, if we relate our subjects together, we view history as interrelated and superintended by the Creator of all things. To understand God’s nature, and His plan for mankind, history must be studied in chronological order from Creation to the Egyptian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Persian, Greek, Roman, Renaissance, Reformation, American history and so forth. With this we can see the rise and fall of nations according to their sins and why God raised up people in every time period to bring about His plan for His glory. It is essential to our lives as Christians and makes all the difference in our capability of taking dominion of this earth for His glory.


Our Bibles should be read as history. We should also be diligent in studying the history of the church throughout the ages. The book, Sketches of Church History, and the DVD series, From Terror to Triumph, are both essential resources for understanding God’s plan through the ages.


After children have a thorough phonetic foundation, instead of continuing with graded readers, they should read books about the time period you are studying or by authors that lived at that time. For language they can study and copy literature of that time and do research papers about that time period.


Science is the study of the scientists of that time and their field of study. For music and art, study the artists, art, composers and music of the time period, so everything is integrated and working together to make sense while forming lasting impressions.


Some Examples from Our Study of the Middle Ages


Let me take a moment now to contemplate the possibilities as I present examples of things our family did when we studied the Middle Ages. We kept a notebook of pictures, diagrams, maps, and reports. Read The Gift of Music and listened to Gregorian chants while recreating lovely manuscripts of Holy Writ. Studied knights, chivalry, and horses. Read The Red Keep, The Door in the Wall, Medallion, Ivanhoe, Robin Hood, and The Blood of the Moon. Played backgammon, blind man’s bluff, checkers and chess—all games of the time period. Watched a video on castles. Constructed a castle with sugar cubes. Played with our Playmobil castle. Watched a hawking demonstration. Visited the art museum to see tapestries and other medieval art. Wove our own tapestry. Created our own coat of arms. Fenced and visited an archery range. Studied Gothic art and watched a video on castles. Visited cathedrals and sat in on a Latin service. Had a market day at Soulard market. Hosted a medieval banquet. Studied about Henry the VIII and Queen Elizabeth. Watched a travelogue on England.


Took the children to the Cheshire Inn, dressed in medieval costumes, read English poetry and parts of Henry the Fifth; sat in front of the fire at the Fox and Hound Pub, nibbled on cheeses and crackers while we played checkers and chess; dined in their medieval banquet hall surrounded by casement windows, armor, coat of arms and medieval flags, and stuffed game. Then we returned to the Inn’s medieval lounge and played King’s Cribbage and Royal Queen of Hearts before we retired to our medieval themed room.


Studied the Magna Charta, the scientist Roger Bacon, the travels of Marco Polo, and the bravery of William Wallace. Learned about Scotland. Read about God’s judgment in The Black Death. Read The Hundred Year War, Wycliffe: The Morning Star of the Reformation, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and Henry the Navigator of Portugal. The latter began a study on ships, navigation, and astronomy. Learned to tie knots and played with our Playmobil ship. Enjoyed a seafood buffet. Studied the impact of John Hus, Henry V, Joan of Arc, Gutenberg’s printing press and Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain. Began a study of Spain. Learned about Columbus, Cabot, Vasco da Gama, and Amerigo Vespucci. Learned about mapmaking and made our own maps.


Studied the Renaissance—the rebirth of paganism, which created a spiritual decline for 300 years. Since the Renaissance began in Italy, we studied Italy: the land, the people, the language, the religion, their art, music, food, literature, and climate. We watched a travelogue of Italy, visited Italian restaurants, made Italian food, studied Italian words, and delved into the art of Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Durer, and Michelangelo.


Learned about Copernicus, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, the Reformation and its great theologians. Studied about the kings and queens of England, France and Spain. Learned about Tyndale and the Reformation in England, Calvin and the Reformation in France, Knox and the Reformation in Scotland, Edward the Sixth-England’s Reformed king, Queen Elizabeth, the Huguenots of France, William of Orange and the Dutch reformation, Reformation hymns, the Spanish Armada, and the Pilgrims.


Read Pyke and Dyke and then studied Holland. Watched a travelogue on Holland and then took the children to Pella, Iowa for their Tulip Festival where everyone was dressed in Dutch costume. We toured their Dutch town, participated in a Dutch Reformation service, and watched a parade of the history of the Dutch. Then we studied American history and have been studying that for the last eight years.


Unlike how you and I learned history, we didn’t study early American history one year, Old World history the next, the Civil War, then the Babylonian conquests, World War II, and back to American history. We studied history in chronological order, thoroughly immersing ourselves in each age of God’s plan. Living history ensured that our children understood and remembered, making repetition unnecessary.


Leaders Are Readers!


After reading hundreds upon hundreds of books to our children, we compiled a list of the most essential volumes under Our Essential Booklist. You may access this list here:


Studying these books will ensure that your children come to know God intimately, understand His providential plan for mankind, deeply appreciate their Christian heritage, greatly value their country’s Christian heritage, and in general, produce intellectual giants among men.


Our Greatest Gift to Our Children is a Library of Their Own


To safeguard truth for their posterity, Christians throughout history diligently discipled their children and sacrificed present consumption for long-term investments that would one day pay off in the success of future generations. This is particularly true of the reformers who shaped our country’s founding fathers, who, in turn, produced the greatest Christian civilization known to man. Their future oriented vision, and subsequent sacrificial living, led to the tremendous liberty and vast success Americans enjoyed in each century that followed.


Understanding this biblical and historical truth sheds light on the immensity of our influence that will ultimately impact future generations for centuries to come. Realizing that homeschooling is not just for our children, but also for our future posterity, the nation, and the world at large, should prompt sober circumspection of our gigantic responsibility.


When it comes to the importance of safeguarding our posterity’s liberty by developing a biblical worldview through divine scholarly works, there is nothing more important than building our children’s personal libraries. Therefore, it is not just about reading these excellent books to our children, but purchasing these books for each of them so that they are able to pass on this awe-inspiring wisdom to their posterity.


There is no inheritance more valuable than a vast accumulation of excellent books that have provided centuries of reading, reasoning, relating, and recounting. A library of their own of these volumes is the greatest gift we could ever give to our children!





Every Living Thing by James Herriot


Each winter we bring out the Best of James Herriot to reread our favorite stories about a country vet’s life in the charming idyllic countryside of Yorkshire, England. Now, thanks to the Keithly family, we have another work of Herriot’s entitled Every Living Thing. Offering more heart-warming stories of James Herriot’s relationships with the people and animals he served, this copy rates a treasured addition to our library.


Once I began reading this book to the children, they continued to ask for more of Herriot’s endearing stories until they were all read. Saddened that they came to an end, we now look forward to the rereading of them very soon. Really, we never get tired of reliving this author’s adventures, over and over again. We are not the only ones who think so, as this book is renowned as a #1 International Bestseller.


The Chicago Sun-Times underscores its renown by stating, “Like its predecessors, this graceful collection of essays about the hardy dalesmen and women of Yorkshire and their animals is like a cup of hot sugared tea by the fire. Funny and poignant, it’s the work of a mature memorist who has learned to polish his reminiscences to a mellow gleam.”


But perhaps the Book-of-the-Month Club News says it best when they wrote: “Herriot’s love for animals radiates from every page…there is a deep sense of reassurance in these tales, a sense that the world is essentially a place where patience and kindness make a difference and where laughter can defuse a crisis. Every Living Thing is a book to treasure and to share with family and friends.”


My sentiments exactly! Since Herriot begins this book with the scripture, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth on the earth, followed by a story set in Spring, I believe that this book would make the perfect gift for celebrating Spring in your household. So plan ahead and purchase one now to bring out on March 20th as a “spring has sprung” gift.





Ark Encounter by Joye Hengst


Answers in Genesis opened the Ark Encounter in July 2016 in Williamstown, Kentucky, halfway between Cincinnati and Lexington. Spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, the replica of Noah’s Ark took my breath away when I saw it from a distance for the first time in July (just like when I saw St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 2015). The Ark is the largest timber frame structure in the world and is beautiful inside and out.


The exhibits present depictions of the global Flood and how Noah and his family could have taken care of all those animals. I enjoyed seeing all the realistic replicas of modern and extinct animals on the Ark. Other attractions at the theme park are the Ararat Ridge Zoo, a restaurant, and zip lines. Future attractions include a movie theater and a walled city.


You can purchase Ark tickets separately or Creation Museum + Ark combo tickets. The Creation Museum opened in 2007 in Petersburg, Kentucky (45 minutes from the Ark Encounter).


The real purpose of the Ark is a reminder of the message of salvation. Noah had to place one door in the Ark—and only those who went through that one door were saved from the judgment of the Flood, just as Jesus Christ is the one way to salvation, as He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).


For more information, see https://arkencounter.com/. If you visit the Ark, I hope you enjoy it as much as my husband and I did!



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!


-I sat down with the boys to discuss converting the old farmhouse into a butcher shop and commercial kitchen. After determining the configuration, Josiah drew up plans to scale and then I filled in the purpose of each room. Jedidiah and I wrote up a list of pertinent questions to ask the contractor.

-We had five Jersey heifers delivered today. (Five instead of the seven my family picked out because just a month ago, we purchased two of their milk cows that needed homes.) They are very pretty, calm, and inquisitive. I really like their personalities. Jedidiah has already begun working with them to get them used to human contact. When they calve in February, Jedidiah and Sonia will be milking 10 cows. I put in our Christmas letter that we would have 150 gallons of milk a week by then, but when I refigured, I realized that it is an average of 420 gallons of milk a week. Wow! I do hope that God provides enough customers for that amount of milk.

-The boys separated the sows from the gilts to get ready for breeding.

-The boar that bred our sows last time was delivered today. He will stay with us for a couple of months to breed the sows in anticipation for two more spring litters. He is quite at home here and knows the lay of the property as he roams with the girls.

-We met with the contractor to discuss the conversion of the old farmhouse into a butcher shop and commercial kitchen. He went into the attic, looked at the walls and floors of each room, investigated the exterior of the building, looked into the crawl space, and walked into the cellar while we talked to him about what we wanted to do with each room. After looking at the foundation, he said it was better than new construction today and that whoever built the house did an excellent job. (Five generations ago, the original owner built the house with timber and stone from the farm.) He told us that the floors could be dropped for pouring concrete flooring, and with the addition of headers, the walls could be moved. He will return in a week to do some figuring to let us know the estimated cost of materials and the labor that his men will do—with our boys doing most of the work.

-Since the weather is ready to drop into the teens, Josiah put all the fowl back into the chicken house and surrounding yard.

-Jon and a friend continue to run more electric in the barn for more lights. I am so thankful for Henry, who drives two hours to get here each evening after work and on Saturdays, just to help us out! Since most barn fires are caused by rodents chewing through electrical wiring, Jon and his friend are encasing the wiring in pipe.

-Increased our insurance on the old barn, as our contractor told us that it would cost nearly $100,000 to rebuild.

-The plumber returned to install a natural water softener on the dairy barn to keep our equipment from getting corroded. Although the highly-concentrated minerals are tough on things like dishwashers and washing machines, they are so healthy for our family and animals. While he was there, we had him look at the old farmhouse and consider the plumbing he would be doing. After he heard that the boys would be gutting the building, adding headers, moving walls, tearing the concrete out on the back porch, filling in the cellar, and then replacing the roof, he strongly encouraged us to consider building instead of remodeling. We appreciated his thoughtful consideration. It confirmed our friend, Owen Brown’s concerns, as well.

-The boys continue to work on the electric in the shed.

-Sonia selected and ordered our garden seeds.

-Jon and Josiah hung our new windows in the chicken house. To maintain the integrity of the wonderful old building, we had a local woodworker construct the windows for the wide openings on either side of the main door.

-Even though Sonia has been resting as the doctor ordered, she continues to take care of phone calls, emails, FCM activities, ordering and returning winter clothing for each of us, and taking care of all our bookwork. Yesterday was the first day she has worked on her feet all day, making Christmas goodies for the bank, hardware, and feed store owners and workers who have been so kind and helpful to our family and also for some of our friends and neighbors. It was too much for her, as she is back in bed today feeling very poorly.

-Josiah continues to pull logs out of our woods for Jedidiah to saw into boards for construction of our barn’s addition.

-Josiah continues to split wood each evening for the fireplace that heats most of our home.

-A dairyman hauled off our Jersey bull for breeding his milk cows. He was a handsome fellow and had been quite docile for a long time, but just recently began lowering his head and bellowing at the boys. We have heard from many farmers (including the one who just picked up Sy) that Jersey bulls typically become aggressively dangerous. It was a bittersweet moment. We received much less for him than his purchase price, as the value of cattle has really dropped. However, this dairyman has been in the business for many years and has a lot of milk cows, so hopefully he will get many nice calves out of him before he goes to the sale barn.

-Jedidiah spent Christmas Day in the barn with a calf that was sick with fever. It was so weak and had so much trouble breathing that Jedidiah resuscitated it seven times. Jon picked up antibiotics. That night, the calf finally was able to breathe easier and nurse.

-After several afternoons of washing the ceiling, walls, windows, doors, and flooring of the dairy barn, I now have it squeaky clean.

-The plumber just installed our sink, icemaker, and dishwasher.

-For Christmas, Jon surprised me with a large gift bag filled with soft washcloths trimmed in “Jersey Downs.” The Obenhaus family’s embroidery was superb! We will enjoy using the beautiful signature cloths, while the cows will appreciate the soft texture on their udders.

 –After Owen Brown saw Bluebell’s otherwise healthy looking calf, he suggested we have the vet out to ascertain if the calf could possibly have an obstruction.

-Our friends surprised us by bringing their ram to our farm. I had admired their ram last time we visited them on their farm. My friend, Rose, gave him to me as a Christmas present. I am thrilled, as he is a beautiful Katahdin/Dorper cross that should produce lovely lambs by next May. He immediately assimilated with our flock.

-The vet told us that it would cost hundreds of dollars to have a scope placed down the calf’s throat. We would pay that if it could save this healthy calf, but we need to take her to Columbia to have it done and that is out of the question. Instead, the vet gave us some steroids to see if that decreases any inflammation that might be restricting the calf’s breathing as she labors for each breath.

-Friends, neighbors, and workmen continue to drop by to see our dairy.

-Jon is still working on installing 220 volt wiring for our commercial dishwasher.

-Sonia suggested that the boys take January off to read, play games, and rest. I gently explained to her the impossibility of that proposal with all we had to do, but that we would work towards them taking off three days a week. On the farm, taking off does not mean the whole day, as all the animals still need to be fed and watered, moved, taken out, brought in, and bedded down. Cows still need to be milked, eggs collected, and a host of other daily responsibilities. In farm talk it really means working only 5-6 hours instead of 14-16 hours a day. So far it has not worked out at all, but we will keep trying.

-A local young man came out to repair our sawmill.

-Jedidiah is now cutting boards again for our barn’s addition.

-The vet has prescribed one more drug to see if it helps our lovely calf. We are praying that God will heal this darling calf.

-After investigating items for our dairy barn, the children and I came home with shelving units for our storage closet, pantry, and cooler; a washing machine for our udder cloths; and bi-fold doors for our closet. The dairy barn will soon be complete.

-Our ten gilts continue to knock Josiah down as they run to the trough for goodies, which gives a whole new meaning to “Don’t be a pig at the table.” They don’t mean to hurt him. When he falls, they jump back in utter shock, sniff him to see if he is hurt, and then nudge him to get up, as they truly enjoy his care and daily scratchings. With that said, ten 200-plus pound gilts coming at you at breakneck speed (well, breakneck for fat little piggies) is no laughing matter, prompting us to consider finding a different approach to feeding.

-After draining the diesel fuel from the sawmill, Jedidiah realized that one of our cows had gotten into the fuel. To the vet’s office and back, he is now administering a large dose of charcoal in hopes of saving the cow. A painful lesson, indeed! We are so attached to all of our animals; I wonder if we will ever make it through the stress, pain, and suffering that comes with caring for so many.

-Josiah is ill today. Sonia is still not able to do hard labor on the farm because of her accident, while I am diligently working on TNPLH’s new website and the January newsletter. Therefore, Jedidiah is putting up the rafters for the barn’s addition by himself.

-Our little calf is running a fever again and struggling for every breath. Our milk lady said that it has been a very hard year on calves, especially a lot of upper respiratory problems. Jedidiah dropped by to pick up some Colloidal silver that we have begun administering, along with Vitamin C.

-The boys have been saving all of our feedbags to refill at a co-op where we hope to begin purchasing organic feed. I began gathering them up, folding them into smaller packages, and shoving them into the appropriate bag.

-The white Hereford that has eye cancer (vet says white faced cows are more prone to this) is not doing very well. The ear on the side of the cancer now droops all the time. Her calf is only one month old. We are watching to make certain the calf is getting her fair share of milk and praying that Buttercup lives long enough to give her offspring a good start. It is so hard to see her ailing. She came with the farm and has always come up to us for petting and scratching. I don’t understand why God continues to take my favorite animals.

-One of our Anatolian Pyrenees slid off the hay bale she was using for a bed. With her backside down and feet straight up in the air, she became wedged between the bale and fence. I am so thankful I saw it so Jedidiah could get her out of such a tight spot.





Mom, Just Say NO! Practice, N-O!


It began as all other days. I bounced out of bed, well maybe more like a roll, and opened my drapes to a beautifully clear, crisp November day. I squealed with delight—yes, really! I have done this since we have moved here. I still sometimes think I am living in a dream and am so excited every morning when I realize that it is not a dream that I finally live in the country.


Anyway, after getting dressed I gazed at my list of tasks that lay on my bedside table. A list like all other lists that grows and grows at night because I continually turn on the light and add more and more jobs to it before I slip off to sleep. It is amazing to me how many things I can think of in those last few minutes of consciousness right before my eyes close for the last time, and that is after I have made out a fairly extensive list before I actually go to bed.


Coming down the stairs, I heard the phone ring and then a voice on our answering machine said, “Candy, are you there?” It was my milk lady, calling to see if I would like to accompany her to a friend’s farm that had Jersey heifers for sale. I was not looking for another Jersey at the time, but my friend assured me that when Jerseys come up for sale, they need to be grabbed up because Jersey heifers are hard to find. Well, I love my friend and trust in the vast wisdom she has accumulated over the many years of milking, so I quickly gathered my jacket, checkbook, purse, and keys and ran out the door. My daughter followed fast after me to advise me. “Now, Mom,” she said, “Just say no! Practice, Mom, N-O!”


Now why would she do that, I wondered? Besides being endowed with a strong inner resolve, my father further solidified my naturally resolute spirit into one of significant girth. One of the side benefits of this is that I am not an impulse buyer. Furthermore, I knew that we were not looking for more cows at present, realized that we did not have a dairy barn yet, not even a foundation for a dairy barn, and that our three dairy cows were serving us quite well. So I responded, “No, I know.” Then added, “But Sonia, I was just informed that heifers don’t come along every day. In fact, according to Mary, they rarely come along at all. We need to prepare for the future of our dairy herd, don’t you think?”


Her “Mom!” that followed said it all.


Okay, maybe when it comes to purchasing animals for the farm, I have displayed a less than stalwart reason, at least to some members’ point of view—well maybe most, if not all the other members of the family. What can I say? I love the farm! I love animals! I love working! I love new businesses! Truly exhilarating, that is what it is! To make new acquisitions for the farm’s future businesses is just exhilarating. I believe that is why my farm girlfriends are constantly purchasing and trading animals.


You cannot really say that I don’t have any willpower. I think it is more that I realize what can be done with enough resources at hand. Just think how much milk we could collect with more cows. Besides, I come by it naturally. Fresh cream runs through my veins, so to speak, as my grandfather had a large dairy, and my parents owned land that had been a dairy at one time. Written in the stars, one would think!


Taking a deep breath, though, I tried to calm my exuberance, in accordance with the counsel given by my “mini-me,” who on occasion differs in opinion, which I never fully understand, but love her nonetheless.


“Yes, Sonia, N-O. I get it.” In truth, though, I must admit, that as I drove away from home, although my mouth was practicing “No,” my heart was telling me it was going to be a great day for acquisitions. Up and down the rolling hills I drove thanking God for the gorgeous countryside and for Jersey heifers, of all things.


Could this be equated with “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” when it comes to animals? On second thought, not really, because in my case, the spirit and flesh work together in harmony to give all creatures, both great and small, a wonderful home with us.


When I arrived at my friend’s farm, she and her husband were waiting to take off on a purchasing trip with trailer in tow. A trailer, I might add, that could hold several heifers. Off we went, east of town, up and down hills, around curves, on this road and that road and then another. I knew I could never find this place again even if I really wanted to. It would not have been any more difficult if they had blindfolded me, so it was good that we had a large enough trailer for the “To Go” milkshakes on hooves.


It was a lovely day for enjoying the scenery of such exceptionally beautiful spacious farms. Sprawling over gently rolling hills, these pleasant farms were dotted with herds of stately cattle and punctuated with well-situated ponds. On one particularly steep tree-crested knoll, we turned onto Jersey Lane, a fitting passage for a milking operation that milked over 50 cows, morning and night.


Run by only two people, a husband and wife around our age, no children, just them, just two—this 150-acre farm was immaculate. Over 100 cattle and that many sheep, or so it seemed to me, with chickens, dogs, and cats meandering around all the outbuildings, this place was as neat as a pin and obviously very productive. I was impressed! I found out later that the husband had grown up on a dairy farm, while the wife had always dreamed of marrying a dairyman, and so she did. From that point forward, they labored together to bring their life’s dream to fruition.


Instead of a heifer, my friend needed a cow that was ready to milk, so we began our purchasing trip by walking in amongst the massive herd of beautiful Jerseys. After looking the cows over, she selected Rhonda. Then we were driven up to the pasture that contained the heifers. I was asked if I wanted a heifer. Well, I wanted one. I always want animals. And now that I have a farm, it just seemed natural to add another one. But my goodness, I did not know what I was looking for other than pretty, so I asked my friend to make suggestions.


I considered and considered until the owners said that they were busy and needed to get back to work, so I had better make up my mind. It was between two girls: one all strawberry red, the other tan and black. Mary had emphasized the red one for me. Yes, I thought I ought to take her, but I had never seen a tan and black Jersey. The couple pushed again, rather rudely I thought at the time, but then there were only two of them to take care of all the farm chores.


How could I possibly pick one on such short notice, I thought. When it came to choosing team players, friends, animals, and even furniture, as a little girl, I always agonized over the feelings of those left behind. Even when my parents went shopping for furniture, if they made negative comments about one piece of furniture over the others, I would go back and pat those left behind, and tell them that they were pretty, too. Ridiculous, but true!


This is why my principal, kindergarten, first and second grade teachers met with my parents to tell them that although I was an excellent student, I spent most of my time in class, and on the playground, helping the impoverished children. I helped them with their schoolwork, wiped their runny noses, tied their shoes, encouraged their efforts, and hugged them all the time. To reach my potential, the staff strongly encouraged my parents to move me to a better school district where there would be fewer poor and needy children to distract my attention away from academic pursuits. We promptly moved that summer, but it did not keep me from continuing this pattern of compassion that ran deep within my soul.


After realizing the extraordinary compassion and love I exhibited for people of all ages, when I entered my teens, my pastor suggested I work for the deaf at the school for the deaf, the elderly in nursing homes, and at the local orphanage. Little did he realize how inept I was for any of these positions, as my feelings for each student, resident, and orphan created such a wellspring of emotions that I ended up crying for those who had no homes.


Now you know why I cry in grocery stores when I hear a baby crying or a mother speaking rudely to her child, and why pounds are out of the question, for I could never choose just one cat or dog over all the others needing families, too.


Being such a hopeless case, how in the world was I going to choose one heifer over the next? Resolving the dilemma, I heard myself say, “I will take them both.” The couple seemed surprised, and so did my friend. I was surprised at their surprise. After all the owners had them for sale, and my friend had said I better grab up the heifers while they were available. Heifers—plural—meaning more than one. What was so surprising about my taking two?


On the way home I was wondering how the rest of the family would take another unexpected acquisition. Oops, I mean two acquisitions. Yet I was spending my own money, so it wasn’t as if I was taking food out of my children’s mouths, nor was I spending my husband’s retirement. Nonetheless, fear and trepidation could have filled my soul, at this point, as I reflected on our bookkeeper’s last words of Just say “NO,” Mom along with Jon’s continual consternation over all our acquisitions and new businesses because we were moving way too fast for him.


Instead I felt nothing but euphoria. Two new heifers! Not exactly like bringing twins home from the hospital, but similar in many ways, mostly in the way I felt just then. When you get past childbearing age, animals do, in some sense, fill the void from the lack of little ones running around. See, I understand women who carry around those little dogs in their purses. Needless to say, I traveled home with the overwhelming feeling of great joy that comes with a double blessing.


While on the road, Sonia called me on the cell phone.


“Mom, how did you do?” she inquired.


“Great,” I said.


“Did you say no?” she probed.


“No, not exactly,” I responded.


Incredulous, she asked, “You bought another cow?”


“No,” I said, “I bought two.”


Silence followed, but in her heart, she knew that would be the outcome. And now, on the other side of that day, Sonia sees the wisdom of my forethought in preparing for her future.


All visionaries have their plans met with some hesitation, reluctance, and resistance, but in the end, when all works out, others see the wisdom in the move that seemed impulsive, risky, or bold at the time.


A Year Later


A year later, I was the one calling the couple to see if they were ready to sell some Jersey heifers. They were, and we made a date. It happened that a friend from St. Louis was down for some relaxation, so she came along. Up and down the hills we went, around the bend, to the left and to the right, laughing at all the funny stories each of us was conveying. This time, though, the trip was not as mysteriously confusing as the first, as we had traveled this labyrinth of country roads on several other occasions since my first expedition to the land of Jerseys. When we finally arrived at that impeccably kept farm, we dug in and helped the couple milk. After milking, we helped them move cows, and then went out into the field with the heifers.


While I was busy looking for my pad of paper and pen, the owner was calling in the heifers. When I turned around, the herd was inquisitively looking at us as we were looking at them.


Jedidiah called out “245.”


Sonia said, “I really like 244 and 257.”


Josiah said, “248 and 253 look good.”


Jon said, “Have you considered 250 and 254?”


They were talking back and forth about those particular girls as they inspected them for confirmation, udder, and overall disposition—an eye we had acquired with more experience.


Calling out those numbers again, “244, 245, 248, 250, 253, 254, 257,” they asked, “Mom, did you get those?”


“Uh, huh,” I said. “244, 245, 248, 250, 253, 254, and 257. Is that right?”


“Yes,” they responded.


As I put the notebook back into my purse, I could hear the others talk about the land, the newly planted grasses, and their rotational grazing. Then we looked at their pasture of Sudan grass, the bulls they had pulled out for breeding, and their old barn—Jim’s grandmother’s barn. We talked about the price of kelp and how we thought we could get it cheaper for them. Commented on how the barn cats looked like they were wearing tuxedos. Walked up into the loft to see their hay storage. Praised Jim for his lovely chicken tractors. And then asked Rose to show us the beautiful new ram she just purchased.


After commenting on the lovely herd, Jim kiddingly asked Rose if she was going to put up the ram for the night.


She said she could.


Incredulous, he asked, “You are going to get in with that ram, Rose?”


For we all knew that Rose never got in with her ram, or in any area that contained rams or bulls. A wise habit that many farmers have impressed upon us.


She said she was just going to pray that God would get him in the pen so she could close it in the morning. We all laughed and then Rose said we better go if we wanted to make it to the fish fry in time. Wow, none of us knew how late it had gotten, so off we went to enjoy a meal together.


Did you notice that I said nothing about the Jersey heifers? I was just the silent recorder of “244, 245, 248, 250, 253, 254, and 257.” Just in case you did not take into account the total of heifers my family picked, let me tell you that they picked out seven heifers. Seven! Not one, or even two, but seven. I tell you, it is contagious!


Who needs birthdays or Christmas with farm animals coming and coming! Ah, country living is the life for me!



THE DISMANTLING and RESTORING OF AMERICA Every hour our government spends 200 million dollars it does not have!


Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. –President Ronald Reagan, 1961


Trump Convinces Carrier Air Conditioners to Stay in America




Carol Weiland shares: This is What You Get

by Everett Piper, President Oklahoma Wesleyan University

November 14, 2016

As the university president who wrote the op-ed “This is Not a Day Care, It’s a University” that went viral a few months ago, I was asked to comment on the post-election protests now sweeping our college campuses. More specifically, I was asked to explain the Millennial Generation’s cry for “safe spaces,” their demands for “trigger warnings,” their repudiation of “micro-aggressions,” and now even their insistence that the results of this country’s presidential election be reversed, because they, our privileged progeny, don’t like it.


My response in brief: Why would you expect anything different? This is what you get when you send your kids off to colleges and universities that teach politically correct pabulum rather than the time-tested truths of a free people and civil society. This is what you get when you entrust your sons and daughters to sit under the tutelage of faculty who proudly pan a Judeo-Christian ethic and praise its antithesis. This is what you get after years of teaching our next generation “it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as it works for you.” This is what you get when you tell our youth that there is a “moral equivalency” between America and its enemies, and imply our nation is bad and the rest of the world is right to hate us.


This is what you get after years of instructing our students to laugh at those who warn of the loss of individual freedom and the rise of government largesse. This is what you get after instructing an entire generation that Marxism has its merits and that liberation theology is the only “good religion,” that socialism is better than free enterprise and that capitalism is the cause of crime. This is what you get when you foment class resentment and racial animus. This is what you get when you diminish excellence while extolling entitlement.


This is what you get when you trust your sons and daughters to professors who tell them their pastors and priests are stupid and that it’s more important to learn how to use a condom than it is to obey God’s commandments. This is what you get when you spend tens of thousands of dollars a year to enroll your kids in institutions that vaunt moral nihilism while vilifying their parents’ morals. In 1948, Richard Weaver told us in his seminal publication that Ideas Have Consequences. A few short years earlier, Hitler said, “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the State.” Huxley and Orwell followed and warned of dystopias where education would be used as a means to total power and total control. Education does matter. Ideas do have consequences and the lousy ideas we have been teaching in our universities for the past several decades are bearing themselves out daily before our eyes. Why are we surprised by what we see in today’s news? When colleges lose their conscience, kids lose their character, and culture loses its soul. Why did you expect anything different? This is what you get.



Soros Bands with Donors to Resist Trump, “Take Back Power”




Destroying America From Inside the Classroom by Tom DeWeese http://deweesereport.com/2010/02/22/destroying-america-from-inside-the-classroom/?mc_cid=43454c28a3&mc_eid=c997d162a8



EPA Chief Urges Staff to Finish Obama’s Agenda Before Trump Takes Over

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urged employees to finish out the last weeks of the Obama administration “running” to finish implementing what they can of the president’s environmental agenda. “As I’ve mentioned to you before, we’re running — not walking — through the finish line of President Obama’s presidency,” ­–EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy



Trans-Pacific Partnership: A Trojan Horse for Obama’s Climate Change Agenda

Another venue for destroying American free-trade is the TPP. In early November, the Republicans were bragging that they had the votes to help Obama push it through. The big questions now are, did they hear the message from the people and are they going to listen? If so, they will back off a vote for the TPP, and maybe live (politically) to see another election.


The TPP’s Commission trumps Congress.


“And what exactly is the TPP’s Commission? It is modeled after the European Commission, an unaccountable and unelected body that has spewed a torrent of regulations and mandates on the EU’s struggling economies. Once the TPP goes into force, its Commission will have the power to modify or amend the trade agreement “or take such other action that the Parties may agree…” Should any disputes arise over a signatory’s compliance with the TPP, they will be handled by “Arbitration Tribunals,” which will have the power to hand down multi-billion dollar judgments against any member government that violates its decisions. In this way, the TPP’s Commission and its Arbitration Tribunals can punish the U.S or any other signatory for violating the terms of the trade pact, including failure to comply with the Paris climate agreement.”





December 14th, 2016 PDF Print E-mail

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 December 2016 Information



Our Family’s Vision and Mission



Family Covenant Ministries (formerly CHEF) Information and Activities


1.  FCM Events

     a.  FCM Christmas Contra Dance, Friday, January 6

     b.  FCM Annual Ice Skating, Saturday, January 21

     c.  FCM Skiing at Hidden Valley, Friday, February 3

     d.  FCM 33rd Annual Graduation Meetings, Thursday, February 16 and Thursday, March 16

     e.  FCM 19th Annual Heart to Heart Tea, Thursday, March 16

     f.  FCM Purina Farms Field Trip

2.  FCM Notes

     a.  Letter to Missouri Public Service Commission

     b.  Great Lesson for Your Children

     c.  A Message from Past FCM Speaker Marshall Foster

3.  Needs and Services-A Letter from Ruth Smith, President of Pilgrim Institute

4.  Special Opportunities-Raging Rivers


There’s No Place Like Home Articles


1.  Heart to Heart-Sweet Dreams

2.  Casting a Vision for Multigenerational Family Business-Riedel Glass Since 1756

3.  Delightful Surprises

     a.  Flannel Sheets

     b.  Maple Leaf Candy

     c.  Wool Socks

4.  In the Library-Lucy and Tom’s Christmas

5.  Summers on the Farm

6.  The Joy of Country Living-Every Day is Christmas for Our Animals

7.  Dismantling America

     a.  Ten Skills of Leadership-Phyllis Schlafly

     b.  Coca-Cola


If you get a blank email from us ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text13186 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) on your cell phone, please try looking at the email from your computer instead.




FCM Christmas Contra Dance, Friday, January 6, 7:00 p.m. at the beautiful Salem United Methodist Church, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63131.Conveniently located on the northeast corner of Hwy 40/64 on Lindbergh Blvd., a little north of Frontenac Plaza. Enter through back entrance. Our family recently attended a contra dance and thought this would be fun for a change. Contra dancing is much easier than English Country Dancing, something between English Country Dancing and Square Dancing.No prior dance experience is required. Please bring a two-liter bottle of ginger ale and a finger food to share.


Preregistration cost is $6 per person; $42 maximum per family; Children 2 and under free. Cost at the door: $7 per person; $49 maximum per family. You may either pay online or mail your check payable to FCM, c/o Sonia Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645. Deadline to register is Wednesday, January 4. If you are unable to pay online, or experience any difficulties, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 314-920-6135.


To pay online, use this link and choose Christmas Contra Dance by clicking on the arrow on the Event List drop-down menu.



Under Reservation, make sure the Ticket Type “Family” is selected if more than one person is coming. Then select the appropriate “Number of Attendees” in your family.


Please Note: Young people’s behavior to one another should be that of brothers and sisters in Christ. No flirting, pairing off, or loitering outside the building. 


Please dress modestly. Parents, we realize how difficult it is these days to find modest apparel for daughters; however, we ask that you make sure that your daughters wear knee length or longer dresses and modest necklines. No off the shoulder dresses or spaghetti straps allowed. If you invite someone else who has never attended, please make certain that they understand our godly standards.



FCM Annual Ice Skating, Saturday, January 21, PLEASE NOTEthe change in time: 2:00-5:00 p.m. at the outdoor ice rink at Shaw Park, 217 S. Brentwood Blvd., Clayton, MO 63105. Preregistration cost is $5.50 per skater (includes skate rental, hot chocolate, and paper goods); $6.50 per skater at the door. You may either pay online or mail your check payable to FCM, c/o Sonia Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645 by January 16. If you are unable to pay online, or experience any difficulties, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 314-920-6135.


To pay online, use this link and choose Annual Ice Skating by clicking on the arrow on the Event List drop-down menu.



Under Reservation, make sure the Ticket Type “Family” is selected if more than one person is coming. Then select the appropriate “Number of Attendees” in your family.


To get this deal, we must pay in advance, so please pay online or send your check in by the deadline. However, if you are able to come at the last minute, we will still be able to accommodate your family, but it will cost $1 more per skater. Do not pay at the ticket window; pay us. Just make certain that the ticket window knows that you are with the FCM (CHEF) group. This outdoor rink is a beautiful place to skate. Bring a finger food or plate of cookies to share, as we will set up hot chocolate in the warmed seating area just off the rink.


For those of you who would like to join us following Ice Skating, we will be having a light dinner at Steak ‘n Shake, 1525 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63127, just south of Hwy 44.



FCM Skiing at Hidden Valley Ski Resort, Friday, February 3, 4:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. at 17409 Hidden Valley Drive, Wildwood, MO 63025. Enjoy the best outdoor wintertime sport at a fabulous price. Join us for an Adult moonlight skiing session.


Snow Pass (Lift Ticket) and Ski/Snowboard Equipment Rental

Group rate for ages 13 and above: $53.25 per person

Group rate for ages 7-12: $44.75 per person

[Regular price is $71]

Ski Lesson (Ages 8 and above): Only $5.38

Snowboard Lesson (Ages 8 and above): Only $16.14

Lessons begin promptly at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m.


Send in your check by January 28 payable to FCM, c/o Josiah Summers, P.O. Box 586, Fredericktown, MO 63645.


There is a warm viewing area and food available. Call Josiah with any questions at 314-920-6135. We look forward to seeing you there.



FCM 33rd Annual Graduation If you have a graduate, please email your graduate’s name, parents’ names, address, phone, and email address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Shortly after we receive your information, we will email our Welcome packet. Our meetings will be held on Thursday, February 16 and Thursday, March 16 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the beautifulSalem United Methodist Church, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Conveniently located on the northeast corner of Hwy 40/64 on Lindbergh Blvd., a little north of Frontenac Plaza. To give you an idea of the focus of our graduation you may read the godly and inspiring charge, “Destined to Make a Difference,” which was presented by Bob Wells in 2010 by going to http://www.familycovenantministries.com/. Click on “Services” and scroll to the bottom of the page.



FCM 19th Annual Heart to Heart Mother/Daughter Tea (Mothers without Daughters are Welcome!), Thursday, March 16,7:00-10:00 p.m. at the Hawken House Hearth Room, 1155 S. Rock Hill Road, St. Louis, MO 63119. Preregistration cost is $11 per person; $12 per person at the door. Teaching topic will be announced shortly. Mothers without daughters are welcome to come. Come and enjoy great fellowship, wonderful teachings, tea and delectable pastries with other homeschooling moms. You may either pay online or mail your check payable to FCM, c/o Sonia Summers, PO Box 586, Fredericktown, MO by March 14 to reserve your place. If you are unable to pay online, or experience any difficulties, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 314-920-6135.


To pay online, use this link and choose 19th Annual Heart to Heart Mother/Daughter Tea by clicking on the arrow on the Event List drop-down menu.



Under Reservation, make sure the Ticket Type “Family” is selected if more than one person is coming. Then select the appropriate “Number of Attendees” in your family.


Directions:If you take Hwy. 270 south, exit at Big Bend Road. Go east on Big Bend approximately 4 miles to S. Rock Hill Road. Go right on Rock Hill for 2 blocks. The house is just past Hawken Condominiums on the right. Barn is on right in back of Hawken House. There is no Big Bend exit if you are going north on Hwy. 270. Therefore, if you take Hwy. 270 north, go east on Hwy. 44. Exit at Big Bend Road and go east for approximately 1.5 miles to S. Rock Hill Road. Then follow above directions.



FCM Field Trip to Purina Farms in April or May Look for details in upcoming newsletters.





Here is our response to Matt and Tina Reichert’s request for assistance in stopping Grain Belt Express transmission lines from obtaining eminent domain on Missouri landowners’ acreage.


Jon and Candy Summers

PO Box 586

Fredericktown, MO 63645


November 30, 2016


The Missouri Public Service Commission

Consumer Services

200 Madison Street

PO Box 360

Jefferson City, MO 65102


Dear Commissioners,


As a Missouri resident and landowner, we wish to express our concerns in regards to case number EA-2016-0358, relating to the application for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity in Missouri submitted by Grain Belt Express.


First and foremost, granting the power of Eminent Domain to a private company violates the very purpose of Eminent Domain and sets a precedent for future violations, consequently jeopardizing the security American citizens enjoy in their sacred right to own and keep property. This inherent right to privately own property is the foundation of our liberties. In the Declaration of Colonial Rights, the First Continental Congress explicitly stated that, “[Americans] are entitled to life, liberty, and property, and they have never ceded to any sovereign power … a right to dispose of either without their consent.”


Furthermore, our Constitution’s Third, Fourth and Fifth Amendments protect private property, with the Fifth Amendment protecting Americans from unreasonable government seizure of private property stating that “No person shall be deprived of…property, without due process of law.”


Throughout our country’s history, the government’s power to exercise eminent domain has been limited by very specific confines because our Founders understood man’s nature to take what is not his, except when required for the public good.


Is this for the public good? Possessing the second largest number of farms in the country, Missouri remains important agriculturally because of our valuable farmland, making Missouri a leading state in beef cattle, hogs, turkeys, soybeans, rice, dairy, and wine. With potentially impacting hundreds of Missouri landowners, most of whom are farmers, it seems particularly unwise to give public utility status to Grain Belt Express because of the negative economic impact this could have on our state.


Since the purpose of government is to protect its citizens, and since approval would significantly reduce the value of the private property, limit the use of the property, reduce farm productivity, threaten the livelihood of these landowners, while also adversely affecting the health of both the landowners and their animals, we are asking that you deny Grain Belt’s third application, for the same reasons you denied it the first time, namely that the project was not a necessity for our state and that the burden placed on the landowners far outweighed the benefit to the grid or its rate payers.


Thank you for your consideration.


Sincerely, Jon and Candy Summers



Great Lesson for Your Children: While rereading the Christmas letter I wrote to family and friends last year, I thought it would make a great lesson for your children. Remember we must cast this vision for our children and continually strengthen that vision by reading God’s Word and other godly writings.


Dear Families,


Though it seems that Christians are losing on every front, we must not despair as if Christ is not on the throne and reigns not over all His creatures. We must remember His Word—one of total victory—and the reality of His Word fulfilled throughout the history of the world that God indeed is Lord of heaven and earth.


J.C. Ryle states: The overruling providence of God appears in this simple fact. He orders all things in heaven and earth. He turns the hearts of kings wherever He will. He overruled the time when Augustus decreed the taxing. He directed the enforcement of the decree in such a way, that Mary must be at Bethlehem when ‘the time came for the baby to be born.’ Little did the haughty Roman emperor, and his officer Cyrenius (Quirinius), think that they were only instruments in the hand of the God of Israel, and were only carrying out the eternal purposes of the King of kings. Little did they think that they were helping to lay the foundation of a kingdom, before which the empires of this world would all go down one day, and Roman idolatry pass away. –The Cripplegate: “God is the Lord of History” Micah 5:2; Luke 2:1-14; 2 Samuel 7:12,13; Luke 1:30-33; 1 Samuel 16:1-5,13; Romans 1:1-7; Isaiah 46:10


The heart of a believer should take comfort in the recollection of God’s providential government of the world. A true Christian should never be greatly moved or disturbed by the conduct of the rulers of the earth. He should see with the eye of faith a hand overruling all that they do to the praise and glory of God. He should regard every king and potentate—an Augustus, a Cyrenius, a Darius, a Cyrus, a Sennacherib—as a creature who, with all his power, can do nothing but what God allows, and nothing which is not carrying out God’s will. And when the rulers of this world ‘set themselves against the Lord’ he should take comfort in the words of Solomon, ‘There is one higher than they.’(Eccles.5:8). –Expository Thoughts on Luke, vol. 1, pp. 39,40


Unlike the heathen who believed that the times and seasons were controlled by chance, God’s people knew that God controlled the times, seasons, and vicissitudes of states. The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 3, Article 1 clearly expresses this belief when it states: ‘God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass…’ (Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18).


Chapter 5, Article 1 tells us,‘God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by this most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.’ (Hebrews 1:3; Daniel 4:34; Ps. 135:6; Acts 17:25,26,28; Job chapters 38-41; Matthew 10:29-31; Proverbs 15:3; Ps. 104:24; Ps. 145:17; Acts 15:18; Ps. 94:8-11; Eph. 1:11; ps. 33:10,11; Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 9:17; Gen. 45:7; Ps. 145:7.)


Psalm 33:11 “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.” Revelation 1:5; Colossians 1:13-20; Ephesians 3:9; Daniel 2:121,22; Daniel 4:30-35 Ecclesiastes 3:1; Acts 1:6,7; Job 12:13-25; Psalm 75:2-7; 1 Samuel 2:6-10; Jeremiahs 27:5; 1 Kings 3:11,12 James 1:5; Proverbs 8:1-36; 2 Corinthians 10:4,5


Are we living as if the world is against us or as us against the world? This question may seem rather insignificant, but upon further reflection, sheds light upon our understanding of scripture. Either we believe in an impotent God who has failed miserably in accomplishing His eternal purpose or the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Almighty who reigns over heaven and earth.


Consider that Athanasius, the great Church Father of the fourth century, lived through one of the most severe persecutions the world had ever seen, the Emperor Diocletian’s all-out attempt to stamp out the Christian faith. Later, Athanasius had to stand practically alone for 40 years in his defense of the doctrine of the Trinity against rampant heresy, being exiled by the government on five occasions and sometimes in peril for his life. In fact, his story gave birth to a proverb: Athanasius contra mundum (Athanasius against the world). Yet he never lost sight of the basic fact of world history, that the Word had become flesh, conquering the devil, redeeming mankind, flooding the world with Light, which the darkness could not overcome.


He adhered to a doctrine of hope, which until just recently was held by Christians throughout Christendom. His classic book On the Incarnation of the Word of God reveals this doctrinal truth: “Since the Savior came to dwell in our midst, not only does idolatry no longer increase, but is getting less and gradually ceasing to be. Similarly, not only does the wisdom of the Greeks no longer make any progress, but that which used to be is disappearing. And demons, so far from continuing to impose on people by their deceits and oracle-givings and sorceries, are routed by the sign of the cross if they so much as try. On the other hand, while idolatry and everything else that opposes the faith of Christ is daily dwindling and weakening and falling, the Savior’s teaching is increasing everywhere! Worship, then, the Savior ‘Who is above all’ and mighty, even God the Word, and condemn those who are being defeated and made to disappear by Him. When the sun has come, darkness prevails no longer; any of it that may be left anywhere is driven away. So also, now that the Divine epiphany of the Word of God has taken place, the darkness of idols prevails no more, and all parts of the world in every direction are enlightened by His teaching.”


Let’s look at exploration. Before he began his expeditions, Columbus crammed his journals with quotations from Isaiah and other Biblical writers, in which he detailed the numerous prophecies that the Great Commission to disciple all nations of the world would be successful (see, for example, Isa.2:2-5; 9:2-7; 11:1-10; 32:15-17; 40:4-11; 42:1-12; 49:1-26; 56:3-8; 60:1-22; 61:1-11; 62:1-12; 65:1-25; 66:1-24). He figured that if the Indies were to be converted, a sea route would be a much more efficient way to bring them the gospel; and he credited his discoveries not to the use of mathematics or maps, but rather to the Holy Spirit who was bringing to pass what Isaiah had foretold. We must remember that America had been discovered numerous times, by other cultures, yet successful colonization and development took place only in the age of exploration begun by Columbus. Why? Because these explorers were bearers of the gospel, and their goal was to conquer the world for the kingdom of God. They came expecting that the New World would be Christianized. They were certain of victory, and assumed that any obstacles they met had been placed there for the express purpose of being overcome.


The whole rise of Western Civilization—science and technology, medicine, the arts, constitutionalism, the jury system, free enterprise, literacy, increasing productivity, a rising standard of living, the high status of women—is attributable to one major fact: the West has been transformed by Christianity. True, the transformation is not yet complete. There are many battles ahead. But the point is that, even in what is still largely an early Christian civilization, God has showered us with blessings.


Many Christians do not realize it, but the Hope is the basis for many of the great old hymns of the faith, written before the modern era of evangelical despair and pessimism. Think about that the next time you sing Martin Luther’s ‘A Mighty Fortress is our God,’ Isaac Watt’s ‘Jesus shall reign where’re the sun doth his successive journeys run,’ or George Duffield’s ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus.’ Do you really believe that Jesus is now leading us ‘from victory unto victory…till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed’? That is what the Church has historically believed.


The fact is that you will not work for the transformation of society if you don’t believe society can be transformed. You will not try to build a Christian civilization if you do not believe that a Christian civilization is possible. It was the utter confidence in the victory of the Christian faith that gave courage to the earthly missionaries, who fearlessly strode into the farthest reaches of pagan Europe as if they were at the head of an army, preaching the gospel, driving out demons, smashing idols, converting whole kingdoms, bringing vast multitudes to their knees at the feet of Christ. They knew they would win…history was on their side, that Satan’s domains were being shattered daily, his illegitimate hold weakening and slipping with every advance of the Christian forces. They were not the least bit pessimistic about the power of the gospel. God honored their faith in His promise, and enabled them to lay the groundwork for Christendom, which will someday embrace the entire world.


When God’s people disobey and slip back into unbelief, the Church begins losing battles to Satan. Does this suggest that the Hope is mistaken? ‘This is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith’ (1 John 5:4). Our civilization will rise or fall in terms of God’s blessing; and response to our covenantal obedience (Deut. 28).


Jesus commanded: You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matt. 5:13-16).


This is nothing less than a mandate for the complete social transformation of the entire world. And what Jesus condemns is ineffectiveness, failing to change the society around us. We are commanded to live in such a way that someday all men will glorify God—that they will become converted to the Christian faith. The point is that if the Church is obedient, the people and nations of the world will be discipled to Christianity. We all know that everyone should be a Christian, that the laws and institutions of all nations should follow the Bible’s blueprints. But the Bible tells us more than that. The Bible tells us that these commands are the shape of the future. We must change the world; and what is more, we shall change the world. –David Chilton’s Paradise Restored


Let us encourage one another to go forward and proclaim the living hope that we possess. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7. To read Jon’s entire 24-page sermon on The Bible Emphatically Proclaims a Message of Hope, go to http://theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com/.


Covenanted Christian families committed to transforming their culture through living out the Word of God by working together in cohesive communities has been the backbone of Western civilizations. Without this foundation, no nation can continue to exist. With this in mind, our family is diligently working to provide a prosperous homestead for our children’s children, a godly influence upon our local community, and a complete transformation of our nation’s culture of death to one of abundant life through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.


Accordingly, we are in the process of beginning a dairy, a butchering facility for our grass fed animals, a smoked meats catering business, and a sawmill. Consequently, we are excited to offer naturally untreated milk and eggs, and later in the year, beef, pork, lamb, produce, and lumber. Grass fed from fields that have not been synthetically fertilized or treated with pesticides or herbicides, our animals happily graze in the fresh air and sunshine on pastures that grow a multitude of delicious grasses and drink fresh water from our farm’s clear springs. No added hormones or routine antibiotics used.


Sharing the abundance of our land and our labor with our homeschooling families, our family works together to bring nourishing foods from our family’s farm to your family’s table. In February, we will begin delivering milk and eggs along highways 270, 40, 55, and 67. If you are interested in receiving more information on any of these products, or becoming a drop off, please call 314-920-6135 and leave your name, number, address, and email. Hopefully these endeavors will help pay for our FCM conferences, which have been extremely efficacious in transforming our culture for the glory of God.


Instead of lamenting America’s spiraling decline, let us put our shoulders together and work to restore God’s order upon our land by reflecting His image in creating more families to take dominion of the earth for His glory.


Love, Jon, Candy, Sonia, Jedidiah, and Josiah



A Message from Past FCM Speaker Marshall Foster

We are so thankful to God for His mighty deed this year. We have seen Him change the hearts of millions of His people. This year more people of faith were involved in the election of 2016 than of any other in history! We are now believing God for a thorough great awakening of true faith in our country and around the world. Trish and I and our family and the staff at the World History Institute wish each of you a blessed Thanksgiving.





A Letter from Past FCM Speaker Ruth Smith, President of Pilgrim Institute:

Help Restore America’s Understanding of Her Biblical Foundations

Dear Friends of Christian Liberty,

Many posts have been written since the election, and I feel, too, that God has given us an opportunity as American Christians which we must not waste. We dare not go back to the same complacency which allowed us to tacitly consent to the loss of so many liberties over the past years. We must recognize that the only source of liberty is from God and give Him the glory for all liberty we have in America. Then we must take our responsibility to see it is preserved for the next generations. This will only be done by knowing the Biblical foundations of our nation - then teaching and living the Biblical principles of government, which are these foundations in our homes first, and then seeing it extended throughout our nation. Christians, we must be wise, seek God’s face, pray for our leaders, and know who we are as a nation, so that we can restore and preserve its foundations. Pilgrim Institute has been ministering since 1979 as a part of that restoration process. May God bless each one of you who is willing to not just sit back and enjoy the blessings of liberty, but take the responsibility for our nation’s restoration and preservation.

Laboring Together, Ruth Smith


Restoring America’s Biblical Foundations DVD and Study Guide for Adults and Youth-A Biblical View of Government; A Providential View of History; Principles of America’s Christian History and Government; Hope for Our Nation





Teresa Carr shares: Raging Rivers is kicking off a new program, A’s Days, for our 2017 season for students from Kindergarten through High School!


To celebrate hard-working students, the park is offering one day FREE admission during our A’s Days on June 24-30, 2017 to individuals providing a 2016-2017 report card with at least one ‘A’.  If students cannot come out to play during one of the special A’s Days, they can bring their report card with an ‘A’ on it to receive $10 off their admission price on an alternative day during the 2017 season.  This program will honor any school’s top grade in their grading system, whether it is an “A,” an “S” for Satisfactory, an “M” for Meets, or a number grade, etc. Please advise your students to check in at the ticket booth during the week of June 24-30, 2017 to receive their complimentary ticket, or a $10 off ticket on any other day of the season.


The A’s Days Program will replace Raging Rivers’ Raging Reader program, which has been offered for the past several years. We hope the promise of a fun summer day at Raging Rivers will give students an added incentive to work hard for good grades.  Unlike the Raging Readers program, the “A’s Days” program is offered to high school students, and also means less paperwork and record-keeping, with no deadlines.  We look forward to debuting the new program and to welcoming all the region’s “A” students during the 2017 season! 



THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME Celebrating 31 years of inspiration, encouragement, and biblical instructionwww.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com




Sweet Dreams!!

[Reprinted from There’s No Place Like Home book]


Remember, “Sweet dreams; Nightie-night; Sleep tight; Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” I’ve never seen a bedbug but just imagine that once bitten, sleeping tight and sweet dreams never become reality. Worse still are harsh words, rushed goodnights, no cuddles or last words of endearment. These are the bugs that bite hardest at bedtime.


When my head hits the pillow, sweet slumber comes immediately. As for most everything, I can thank my mom and dad once again for the way they paved my path for life. Slumber was always sweet at our house. We worked hard and played hard which readied our bodies for a deep rest. “Go to bed” was never used as punishment, but always as the final blessing for the day. Kissing, hugging, and “Goodnight, see you in the morning,” were a must for everyone, followed by Mom’s bedside visit for back rubs, heart-to-hearts, and prayers. It was these moments that set the stage for pleasant dreams, sweet slumber, and my first thoughts in the morning.


Many moms have called for solutions to their exasperating bedtime ordeals. The first thing I recommend is a consistent, orderly bedtime routine that ideally should be established early in life but can be established at any age with perseverance. Design a routine that works best for you, then talk and walk each child through it until it becomes a habit. Along with your routine, teach that Mom and Dad’s “Time for Bed” signals immediate action. Condition them to act on the first bedtime announcement, not the second, third, or fourth, but be considerate by giving them time to finish their present activity or at least end it at a comfortable place. This can be accomplished by saying, “You have 10 more minutes to finish and then time for bed.”


Our bedtime routine is as follows—tinkle, wash hands, brush teeth, jammies on, kisses, hugs, goodnights, drink of water, a few books, light out, heart-to-heart talk, prayers, back rub or tickles, and snuggling. The amount of time we snuggle with them varies, but lasts at least 10 minutes, sometimes up to 60 minutes. If they’re still awake when we get up, we leave the door slightly open because most children feel completely shut off from the family if their bedroom door is closed. Our kids go to sleep faster if they hear the familiar sounds of us in action.


When the children were babies, we snuggled them close against our bosom while we rocked and hummed. Now that Heather’s twelve, we still take time to talk, pray, and rub her back. Our bedtime encounters will always stay the same until our children are in homes of their own, and then it will begin again with our grandchildren. When our kids stay overnight at my mom and dad’s house, they are prepared for sweet slumber just as I was years ago—a continuous thread of love woven through the generations.


Warm baths before bed with a good powdering before the jams go on can be so soothing to most little ones, and bigger ones like me, so we take our baths at night before bed. For some, baths can be rejuvenating, so do what’s best for each. At one time, we had a 30 gallon fish tank in Heather’s room as her night light. It was beautiful at night, creating a lovely calm atmosphere. During the winter, Heather and Sonia have their Victorian Village houses lit for an enchanting effect. Frequently, I’ll light a candle, which casts lovely shadows upon the ceiling. Whatever you do, make the last moments of the day special—Sweet Dreams! Nightie-night! Don’t let the bedbugs bite!





Please note:The rapid death of the “family business” points to the loss of continuity. Each year a growing number of family businesses are terminated, not because there are no living heirs, but because the heirs are not interested. Some believe that is one of the largest causes for the collapse of the “small business.” At one time the family was understood as a covenant unit. The loss of this idea has had staggering effects. The five foundational concepts of covenant have proven to be critical to the family’s life or death, sickness or health.

That You May Prosper by Ray Sutton, p. 9


Riedel Glass GmbH-Glassmaking/Kufstein, Austria founded in 1756. Johann Christoph Riedel (1678-1744) journeyed throughout Europe trading glass. His son Johann Carl Riedel (1701-1781), a guilder and glasscutter, operated his own workshop. Grandson Johann Leopold Riedel (1726-1800) founded a glass factory in 1756, benefited from the need to rebuild windowpanes after the Seven Year War (1756-1763) between Austrians and Prussians. The company is now known for making wineglasses. Georg Riedel of the tenth generation is the president. Eleventh-generation member Maximilian Riedel (born 1977) is in charge of the North American market; Laetizia Riedel (born 1974), a lawyer, plans to become the firm’s legal adviser.





-Nothing assures “sweet dreams” like soft, 100% cotton flannel sheets. And none are more festive than the red plaid Portuguese flannel sheet set from Vermont Country Store. I purchased a set for each of the boys last year, and they love them. Overview: These ultra-soft flannel sheets are made in Portugal, Europe’s premier flannel producer for more than 50 years. They’re brushed 3 times for added loft and warmth. Plus, in addition to being shrink-and pill-resistant, they get softer with each wash, so you’ll love them even more with every passing season. Yard-dyed to ensure colors remain true wash after wash. Fit snugly.


-While you are on their site, skip over to the Maple Leaf Candy made with Vermont maple syrup. When we took Jedidiah skiing in Vermont for his 21st birthday, we stopped at one of the many sugar shacks and picked up these very candies. Sonia loved them so much that I surprise her with a box of them each year.

-Speaking of Sonia made me think of last night when I rubbed her feet while Jon was reading us Tocqueville’s account of America. She was all toasty warm because she had on the Icelandic wool socks I purchased for her last year from Vermont Country Store. If you have someone like Sonia, who keeps her flannel sheets on till June and then puts them right back on in October, treat them to the wonderful American made wool socks that Vermont Country Store carries.





Lucy and Tom’s Christmas by Shirley Hughes


Every year since the children were toddlers, I have purchased Christmas books for their collection. This year it happened to be Lucy and Tom’s Christmas by the same author and illustrator who created Out and About.


What drew me to the book was its old-fashioned pictures and the sweet story of a sister and brother enjoying Christmas with their parents. Beginning on the front cover, the author allows us to peak ahead into the children’s bedrooms on Christmas morning as Lucy and Tom reach into their Christmas stockings for the delightful gifts that lay beneath their fingertips.


Next, we see them in their aprons, stirring the Christmas pudding—an English tradition served as part of the Christmas dinner in Britain—made of dried fruits, egg, suet, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. When the postman rings, the children watch from the front window as he hands Christmas cards to their mother. Next, we find them crafting their own cards. With jars of water, thin paintbrushes, and paint sets, their aprons serve as paint smocks for their important mission to convey cheery wishes for family.


As Mum hangs greenery that looks like mistletoe, the children bring in paper chains they fashioned as their contribution to the family’s decorations. On the hall table, they’ve put a crib with Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, the three kings, the shepherds and a donkey and a cow. Lucy and Tom have cut out a big gold paper star to hang over them and put pretend cotton-wool snow all around.


Pictures of presents for their loved ones reveal a brooch for Mum, a bowtie for Dad, a comb for Granny, a handkerchief for Grandpa, a car for Tom and a pencil for Lucy. Just like a boy, Tom hides his in a different place every day—at the bottom ofthe wardrobe, on top of the wardrobe, and between his covers. And every day he asks Lucy to guess what her present is going to be. Adorably cute, yet bent over like a little old man with hands in pockets, Tom pops the question to Lucy, confident that she will never guess what he chose for her.


While baking cookies with Mum, Lucy answers a knock at the door to find carolers. Later the siblings accompany Dad to select their Christmas tree. Bustling with shoppers, London’s stalls display thrilling goods of toys, hanging geese, fruits and vegetables, and other delightful wares.


On Christmas Eve, Dad, Mum, Lucy, and Tom decorate the tree with lights and colored ornaments. When it is time for bed, the children hang up their stockings and then join Mum at the window to take one last look outside and find it snowing. Mum says, “Good, it’s going to be a white Christmas.”


In the morning, we see Lucy and Tom sitting on their beds surrounded by exciting new toys as they continue to probe into their stockings. When Mum and Dad finally awaken, the children join them in their room, exchange hugs and then spend a lovely morning playing with their toys while their parents drink tea in bed. As one would expect in any proper English bedroom, the chubby teapot sits on the bed stand with a pitcher of milk.


After breakfast, they walk to church and then home again to welcome their Granny and Grandpa, Aunty, Uncle, and cousin. A very delightful gathering ensues around the dinner table with roasted turkey, the Christmas pudding, good conversation, and lots of love.


Following dinner, the children sweetly present each of their beloved gifts to their beloved family members, only baby Elizabeth falls off to sleep right in the middle of her wrapping paper before she even has time to enjoy hers. Out of sorts from all the excitement, Grandpa thinks it best to take Tom off for a walk in the snow, just the two of them. When they arrive back home, the family plays a drawing game and then lights the tree. Filled with contentedness that family and Christmas naturally promote, the book ends with all the light from their love pouring out from the sitting room windows into the dark night with wishes of Merry Christmas, Lucy and Tom! Merry Christmas, everyone!


Or so it seems to end because on the back cover Lucy and Tom are snuggled sound asleep in their soft feather down bedcovers, all warm and cozy—as it should be on Christmas night.


Just four inches by four inches, our copy will be perfect for tiny hands that sort through my Christmas stash of treasures for a “Please read this, Grammy.”



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!


-Sonia and her friend took a terrible spill from her horse. The friend actually had to be air lifted to Barnes in St. Louis after breaking her pelvis. After spending 30 years of our lives protecting and nurturing homeschoolers, this was truly a calamity that caused me great agony and grief!

-Jedidiah leveled the ground next to the barn for building another manger.

-The children and I went to Sessions to discuss dishwashers and ice makers with the sales lady.

-Jedidiah painted the angle iron on our new trailer and cut boards for the floor of our newly restored trailer.

-Jedidiah and Josiah finished placing slats over the rough sawn oak boards on the dairy barn.

-The constant stream of workers—construction crew, plumber, electrician, heating and cooling man, insulation man, propane tank men—has finally slowed down to a trickle.

-I tarred the holes in the old tin roof over the farrowing house.

-Jedidiah and Josiah sanded the paint off the metal stanchions in the dairy barn.

-Jedidiah painted the metal stanchions.

-Josiah rewired a very old metal gate that stood between two of our fields.

-Four generations of former residents of our farm came for a visit—sister, brother, daughters and husbands, cousin and husband, granddaughter and husband, and great granddaughter and great grandson. The oldest were 101 and 92. As we toured the farm, they told stories of their childhood here. One told of a rolling trip down the back hill in a barrel. Another was the story of how their father sorted the mail in little boxes and how people came to purchase stamps for three cents here at their home. Our family was so honored that they asked to come, delighted with their visit, and very pleased with the wonderful pictures they gave us of this once productive farm. In return we gave them the things we uncovered—a small china teacup, which had to be nearly 100 years old; an iron decorative peacock that once graced a sewing machine; two old decorative cars; and the staves from a wagon that the oldest resident’s father built. They said that they were so pleased we had the farm and for all the work we had done on it.

-Jon picked up two three-year-old Jersey cows. We are now getting 70 gallons of rich, creamy milk a week from our five Jersey girls.

-Jedidiah and Josiah constructed feed boxes in the dairy’s milking parlor.

-I picked up branches, limbs, and sticks along the fencing in our hayfield.

-Jedidiah and Josiah installed antique head catchers in the dairy’s feed boxes.

-A friend came to talk to us about converting the old farmhouse into a butcher shop. We are hoping it will save us money instead of constructing an entirely new building. The boys will meet with our contractor and do some figuring to see if this is the best direction to take.

-Jedidiah and Josiah picked up tall cedars they had cut out of the sawmill field (which I renamed Berkshire Downs because our Berkshire pigs spend most of their time there) and brought them to the barn for the construction of a new addition to the side of the barn.

-I ordered our commercial dishwasher and icemaker.

-Jedidiah used the auger to dig holes for the large cedar logs. Then he and Josiah used the post hole digger to deepen and widen the holes. One by one they picked up those heavy logs and placed them in the holes and tamped dirt to tightly secure them.

-Four weeks after the accident, Sonia is still in bed most days recovering from her spill from the horse. She still cannot turn her head very far without causing great pain, she is stiff, and her hip still hurts.

-Jon and a friend are working on the electric in the barn. I am so excited at the thought of finally having exterior lights for when Sonia and I are here alone on dark nights taking care of animals, especially when we must keep an eye on our Jersey bull when he comes with our Jersey girls at milking time. It is a comfort and a relief.





Every Day is Christmas for Our Animals


Since December is the month for making, baking, and procuring goodies for our loved ones, I felt it appropriate to share my nightly tradition, not just holiday nights, of fixing goodies for our animals.


I often hear the same question from friends, “Is all this for the animals?” Followed by, “Your animals are surely blessed to have you.”


Lined up on the counter are containers filled with delectable tidbits for the adorable creatures that dot our farm. Bowls of carrot peelings, apple cores, dried cheese, stale biscuits, pepper tops, egg shells, hard boiled eggs, strawberry cores, and everything left over from meal preparations and dining await the pigs that love all things edible. Cornhusks, corn cobs, watermelon rind, apple cores … are set out for the horses.


A much smaller bowl of left over chicken, chopped liver, gizzard and heart with juice is ready for the house cats, while a can of tuna and can opener lay poised for traveling to the barn for the mousers. A large bowl of halved cantaloupes, chopped up watermelon, quartered market melons and cucumbers, along with half-gallon jars of clabbered milk are lined up for the chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. In another jar sits left over gravy that will be filled with warm water in the morning just before it is poured over dry dog food in all six bowls.


When we arrive at the farm, goodies are distributed. First alfalfa and timothy is placed in the stanchions for our milk cows. A grain mixture is scooped out into the sheep’s trough, and alfalfa and timothy is stuffed into their mangers. Dry dog food is scooped into the farm dogs’ dishes and covered with warm gravy. As soon as the cats hear the tuna can pop, they come running to find fish and some fresh warm milk in their bowls.


When all the fowl are let out, they find nutritious clabbered milk in their pans, along with layer crumbles in their troughs. Then the bowls of leftovers are poured over a bag of feed for the pigs.


The grazers continue to graze, unless it is winter. Then the horses get some sweet feed and more hay is forked into the manger for the cattle. Finally, one of us throws out some birdseed for the birds and squirrels. Subsequently all is quiet, as contented animals feast on their goodies straight from our hearts to their tummies, as every day is Christmas for them.


Lovingly providing for my family, and now my animals, is my service of worship to God. For He says in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” Proverbs 12:10 “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast…” This brings me to a great book.


The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader is a delightful story containing adorable illustrations of the wildlife before and during a Big Snow. As the wild geese begin their flight south, all the animals begin their story about how they fare through the winter. Chipmunk, groundhog, skunk family, and raccoon family retire to their tunnels and dens for a long winter’s sleep, while the meadow mouse, white-footed wood mouse, and squirrels store away enough food for the lean winter months.


Then the night after Christmas there was a rainbow around the moon, which the wise old owl knew meant much snow. Soon flakes were falling until a lovely thick blanket of snow covered the woods, meadows, hills and valleys. The birds, rabbits and deer were hungry because they could not find food in the deep snow, but they need not worry, for the little old man in the red cap and little old woman in the green coat from the stone house generously scattered seeds, nuts, bread crumbs, corn, and hay for their woodland friends. Soon all the wildlife that weren’t sleeping through the winter joyfully came to partake of the generous banquet that the little old couple provided during the Big Snow.


One day that will be me. Too old to trek to the barns and outbuildings, I will be left with the task of feeding goodies to my housecats, dogs, and the wildlife surrounding our home. Just a few steps from the door, I will scatter seeds, breadcrumbs, biscuit crumbles, and a little hair from my head so some mama has a little extra softness and warmth to line her precious babies’ burrow or den.



THE DISMANTLING OF AMERICA Every hour our government spends 200 million dollars it does not have! Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

–President Ronald Reagan, 1961


The Ten Skills of Leadership by Phyllis Schlafly

My definition of a leader is an ordinary person who accepts the responsibility to complete a job that requires the cooperation of other people. This demands a certain combination of skills that can be developed by practice, and the first letters of these skills spell LEADERSHIP.


LOYALTY A leader must have the virtue of Loyalty—to God, to country, to moral law, and to his followers. Loyalty must be a two-way street; it must flow down as well as up.

ENTHUSIASMA leader must have Enthusiasm. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITYThe keystone of the whole design is that a leader must Accept responsibility. He must make decisions, not be a buck passer. This is not talent or intellect but an achievement of will.

DETAILA leader must have infinite capacity for Detail and follow through. As Michelangelo once said, “Trifles make perfection, but perfection is not trifle.”

EFFICIENT A leader makes Efficient use of his time. He organizes his mind, his day, his week, his year. He can cope with the pressure of deadlines.

RESOLUTE A leader must be Resolute. He cannot be dismayed by the heartaches and heartbreaks he encounters. That is the penalty of leadership and its badge of honor.

SENSE OF HUMOR A leader must have a Sense of humor. He doesn’t have to be always happy, but he must remain cheerful even in the face of defeat.

HARD WORK A leader must seek, not avoid, Hard work. Opportunities are everywhere, but they are disguised as hard work, and that’s why most people don’t recognize them.

ITEMIZE A leader must Itemize duties and delegate tasks. He must motivate the cooperation of the other people.

PERSEVERANCE Finally, a leader must have Perseverance. Most problems we face have no instant cures; a leader must gear up for the long haul.



Coca-Cola revealed its globalization agenda in its Together Is Beautiful ad aired during the 2014 Super Bowl and then again during the Olympics in Rio. Many Americans expressed outrage because they understand the peril we face from immigrants who do not share our Christian beliefs, possess no appreciation of our Christian heritage, nor have any intention of assimilating into our country’s Christian parameters—what little is left, anyway. The ad features people from many different races, as well as what seems to be a homosexual couple with their daughter, singing America the Beautiful as they enjoy a host of activities, like visiting the Grand Canyon.


Consider the verses of America the Beautiful:


America! America! God shed His grace on thee. God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!These verses are seeking God’s divine help in correcting its sins while emphasizing that liberty is found only in God’s law. These cultures do not believe in the same God but worship idols. Their religion does not adhere to the same law.


O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife. Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!How dishonorable this ad is to those who fought for liberty, which only comes through Christ!


May God thy gold refine till all success be nobleness and every gain divine! This is speaking of God’s divine blessings because of our obedience to Him.


Thine alabaster cities gleam, Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed His grace on thee. Till nobler men keep once again Thy whiter jubilee. This is speaking of a “City on a Hill” serving as a beacon of Christ’s light, which shines out to an oppressed people who are in bondage to Satan.




November 17th, 2016 PDF Print E-mail

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 November 2016 Information


Our Family’s Vision and Mission


Family Covenant Ministries (formerly CHEF) Information and Activities

1. FCM Activities Coming Soon

2. FCM 33rd Annual Graduation

3. Important! Please Help!

a. Matt and Tina Reichert

b. Kevin Turley and Bill Potter

4. A Letter from Jon and Candy-The Reality of the Elections

There’s No Place Like Home Articles

1. Heart to Heart-America: The Pilgrims Take Dominion of a Dark Land

2. Covenantal Families-Old Age Security Was Children

3. Economy-Taking Care of Our Parents

4. Casting a Vision for Multigenerational Family Business-Caswell-Massey since 1752

5. New Homeschoolers Part XIII-Fit Them for Usefulness for Their Future Stations

6. Delightful Surprises-For Christmas and Birthdays

7. In the Library-The Light and the Glory

8. Family Outings-Chaumette Vineyards and Winery

9. Summers on the Farm

10. The Joy of Country Living-What is My Best Advice? Close the Gate! Just Close the Gate!

11. The Dismantling of America

If you get a blank email from us (mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) on your cell phone, please try looking at the email from your computer instead.


Please note that we are working on dates for our English Country Dancing Ball, Ice Skating, and other upcoming events.

FCM 33rd Annual Graduation If you have a graduate, please email your graduate’s name, parents’ names, address, phone, and email address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Shortly after we receive your information, we will email our Welcome packet. Our meetings will be held in February and March at the beautiful Salem United Methodist Church, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Conveniently located just off Hwy 40/64 between Hwy 270 and 170, a little north of Frontenac Plaza. To give you an idea of the focus of our graduation you may read the godly and inspiring charge, “Destined to Make a Difference,” which was presented by Bob Wells in 2010 by going to http://www.familycovenantministries.com/. Click on “Services” and scroll to the bottom of the page.


Matt and Tina Reichert

FCM family, Matt and Tina Reichert, need our assistance in stopping Grain Belt Express (GBE) transmission lines from obtaining eminent domain on thousands of Missouri landowners’ acreage.

“Eminent Domain - the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.

Violates Eminent Domain - The Public Service Commission should not allow GBE to take private land for their private financial gain. Approval of this project would give a private, non-utility company the power of eminent domain setting a very dangerous precedent and eroding our property rights and those of the generations to come.”

Please read the attached information and help gather signatures on the proposed petition by November 30th to protect Missouri landowners’ private property rights.

Thank you for your help. Jon and Candy

Kevin Turley and Bill Potter

Please consider helping longtime supporters of CHEF/FCM, Kevin Turley and Bill Potter.

Erica Keithly shares: As Kevin Turley (and Bill) head to court to defend their (and our) religious liberties, I thought you would want to be praying for them, and possibly consider contributing financially as well. They are a very small ministry, doing the unique and important work of preserving the Truth of God’s work and blessing in our nation and in the body of Christ throughout history. They have few contributors, and it is run as a ministry. They are not in this for the money, to say the least!! They could make a lot more doing other things, and they could have taken the easy, and less expensive way out, paid the fine, and avoided the costs and stress. But we are praying for truth and God’s victory and blessing, and I am so grateful for their courageous stand. Please read below about their battle.

Landmark Events Goes to Federal Court


On December 6, Landmark Events Historian Bill Potter and I will appear in Federal Court in New Orleans to answer charges of “illegal guiding” in a National Park. Two months after hosting a tour at Chalmette Battlefield in New Orleans, a certified letter arrived notifying us of our alleged crime, complete with return addressed envelope to remit the penalty for such an offense. After prayer and wise counsel, we are determined to contest the case as a matter of principle, standing up for our right to speak the truth on public lands.

We Know What Your Children Need to Know

There is a noticeable shift taking place within the National Park Service from helpful civil servants, as many staff still are, to heavy handed gatekeepers emboldened with power and governed by political correctness. As you are probably aware, Landmark Events seeks to teach history from a biblical, “providential” perspective — a Christian worldview lens. In the three years we have been in operation, we have increasingly encountered resistance to our historians guiding tours at national battlefield parks like Ft. Sumter in Charleston, SC, Bunker Hill in Boston, and now Chalmette Plantation in New Orleans. On one occasion, after declining to send our children on a “special kids’ tour,” we were told with the scorn of the anointed that “we know what your children need to know.” The implication of course is that we do not have that rarified knowledge.

The Religion of the National Park Service

“It’s not enough to change laws and policies. We have to change hearts and minds.”

On June 24, President Obama recognized the Stonewall National Monument as the country’s first monument to honor the history of the LGBTQ community in America. On October 23, the Director of the National Park Service, Jonathan Jarvis, appointed by President Obama in 2009, and responsible for the new values of the Park Service, joined Interior Secretary Sally Jewel on a conference call to discuss the National Park Service release of LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History... Jarvis said they have identified 1,300 LGBTQ landmarks for consideration for historic designation.

You see, Landmark Events and the National Park Service are both in the education business and both deeply religious. Landmark specializes in taking our customers to the places where great events occur and interpreting those events through the lens of Scripture as acts of a sovereign and benevolent God who has established His law and defined right from wrong. The NPS has adopted “Equality” as its guiding principle as stated by Tim Gill of the Gill Foundation, which financially supported the study:

“Equality has now become the way the federal government does business. It’s that commitment that led the National Park Service to produce this landmark study,” he said. “It’s not enough to change laws and policies. We have to change hearts and minds.”

What’s at Stake and What You Can Do

We need your help, both in prayer and financially. Pray that we would be wise like the apostle Paul during his trial, asserting his rights forcefully, yet always for God’s glory and not personal gain. If the truth is important to you, and having your children know the truth, then we ask that you prayerfully consider supporting the work of Landmark Events and particularly our current battle for your right to hear what God has done on the sites where they occurred. A new line has been drawn for how American history should be remembered and taught. We need to take our stand now, before, once again, the American people find the story of their country revised and the resistance silenced.

Will you stand with us?

Pressing onward, Kevin Turley and Bill Potter


The Reality of the Elections

Our family’s first reaction to the sweeping Republican victory in our state and nation was one of grateful praise to God for mercifully ending the Clintons’ evil dynasty! But the reality of our nation’s soul is still one of grave concern. First of all, those who compose the strongest bloc of conservative thinkers and voters are old. They will soon be gone, along with their votes. The vast majority of their children are liberal because they were educated in public schools and liberal universities, a humanistic education that inevitably turned their hearts and minds in opposition to the liberty and principles on which their parents vote—a consequence of their parents’ failure to disciple their children. Secondly, the vast majority of children who attend mainstream churches are also being indoctrinated in the public school’s socialistic/communistic dogma. Thirdly, even most homeschooling families do not thoroughly instruct their children in theology, history, and our country’s Christian heritage. The traditional Christian textbooks’ minimal coverage of these important principles does not cut it. Really, unless families are reading books such as those on our Essential Booklist, they are woefully ignorant of the knowledge necessary for maintaining a Christian Republic. Even several of the young people we know working in the political field today do not possess a truly biblical worldview.

The consequences of parents’ failure to disciple their children in God’s Word, His Story, His Law, His principles for Government is that the conservative party has lost its way. Friends of ours at the capitol in Jefferson City, who have served in politics all their lives, say they don’t even recognize their own party, nor are the conservative Republicans in office today conservative by any means. They just don’t know anything about our country’s Christian heritage, God’s law, or His mandates for governing.

Will our President and Congress hold firm to their proclamations to end abortion, socialized healthcare, illegal immigration, and common core? Will they appoint godly Supreme Court justices? Will they truly uphold the Constitution that they vow to protect? Many of us will answer, “We shall see.” But that is the problem at hand. We look to see what our elected officials will do instead of working to hold their feet to the fire of God’s wrath if they don’t uphold God’s law and their oath to uphold the Constitution.

Take for instance same sex marriage. Past FCM speaker and constitutional attorney, John Eidsmoe, stated to us that same sex marriage is illegitimate and unconstitutional. America is facing social transformation by nine unelected lawyers because Congress fails to fulfill their sworn duty to refuse invalid decisions. John suggested searching for the amicus brief he filed with the U.S. Supreme Court that the prohibition against same-sex marriage does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

John Eidsmoe continued that the blind assurance of supporters that a Constitutional Convention would be run by constitutionalists is sorely misguided.

Read Justice Burger’s letter to Phyllis Schlafly:


The bottom line rests on our perspective of this question: Does law reflect a higher authority or what man decides it to be? For thirty years, we have diligently labored to impart a biblical worldview. Have you grabbed hold and diligently labored to impart that worldview to your children and grandchildren? We, too, will soon be gone. The most important question remains to be answered: Will our children take the baton and run the race with endurance?

The foundation of any culture and nation resides in the homes of its citizens. And since the purpose of marriage is a godly seed, our most important duty lies in discipling our children in His Word, His Law, His Story (History), and the biblical principles that direct church and state. As families, it is our duty then to govern both church and state with this knowledge.

God says that the gates of hell shall not prevail against us—the church. Gates do not move! That means that we are supposed to be actively storming the gates of hell with the sword of God’s Word. Let us storm those gates together and change the world with this truth that liberty comes only through Christ and obedience to His Word!

If you have not read The Light and the Glory, we suggest that you read the review in this newsletter under In the Library, get the book and read it to your family. It is essential to your understanding of our nation’s Christian heritage!

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME Celebrating 30 years of inspiration, encouragement, and biblical instruction www.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com

Stay tuned as we are creating a brand new website for There’s No Place Like Home that will be brighter, prettier, filled with more pictures, easier to navigate, and more easily accessible on smart phones.


America: The Pilgrims Take Dominion of a Dark Land

This is the workshop Jon and I presented at our FCM November 2013 meeting. It covered the Pilgrims’ extraordinary character, their devotion to God and His Word, and their vision of creating a community of like-minded believers for their children’s children. It was these three things that enabled them to persevere through great persecution and to implement God’s command to take dominion for His glory. We taught on how this relates to us today and the importance of training our children to be grateful.

Queen Elizabeth I wanted to establish the Church of England as the only legitimate church. In Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford writes about the great religious persecution the Pilgrims endured for their adherence to a biblical form of worship.

The Pilgrims labored to have the right worship of God and the discipline of Christ established in the church according to the simplicity of the gospel, without the mixture of men’s inventions; and to have and to be ruled by the laws of God’s Word. The other party endeavored to have the Episcopal dignity (after the popish manner) with their large power and jurisdiction still retained; with all those courts, canons and ceremonies, with other such means as formerly upheld their antichristian greatness and enable them with lordly and tyrannous power to persecute the poor servants of God. And lamentable it is to see the effects, which have followed. Religion hath been disgraced, the godly grieved, afflicted persecuted and many exiled; some have lost their lives in prisons and other ways.

Striving to yield their whole lives to Christ, the Pilgrims suffered cruel torments, imprisonment, and death.

Although homeschoolers do not suffer in such a manner today, they suffer nonetheless, under the ridicule and mocking of those who flaunt their worldliness and condemn them for their adherence to His Word. Sadly, the aggressive animosity that we see today comes from within the homeschooling community and from those who have left homeschooling but turn in retaliation towards those who continue to live exemplary godly lives.

Despite the horrific persecution of pastors who refused to follow the Episcopal ways, John Robinson hoped he would be allowed to conduct services where pure Christianity was preached. He applied at the hospital in Norwich but was turned down, so he went to Scrooby to stay with relatives. At that time, it seemed that the fine education he received at Cambridge University counted for nothing and that his desire to pastor a church would never come to fruition. From the world’s standard, Robinson appeared an abject failure for his rejection of the present “church” culture. But as is often the case, our Sovereign Lord uses those who appear failures in the bleakest of situations to produce the most remarkable manifestation of His presence among men. Little did Robinson realize that he was about to enter on the greatest work at that moment in time as pastor to the Pilgrims in England and Holland.

Past FCM speaker, Marshall Foster, says: More than any other man, John Robinson prepared a people to take dominion over the wilderness to the glory of God. Through his godly wisdom, he taught the Pilgrims individual Christian self-government and the value of Christian unity.

Forced to depart England for Holland, the Pilgrims were betrayed by the shipmaster, relieved of their money and goods, carried back to town and imprisoned.

On their next attempt to leave England, a great company of horses and men carried off the women and children. Fearful for his safety, the shipmaster set sail with men aboard. Distressed for their wives and children, there was nothing they could do to help them. While the men endured a fearful storm at sea for 14 days, their wives and children were delivered to one justice after another. Destitute of home and goods, they had no one to assist them in their dire circumstances.

Bradford writes, Yet I may not omit the fruit that came hereby, for their cause became famous and their gold carriage and Christian behavior was such as left a deep impression in the minds of many.

After living in Holland for 12 years, the Pilgrims realized that they needed to flee the evil that was all about them. Bradford describes the licentious culture that encompassed them on all sides and the spiritual battle that raged against their children’s souls.

Many of their children, by these occasions, and the great licentiousness of youth in the country and the manifold temptations of the place, were drawn away by evil examples into extravagances and dangerous courses, getting the reins off their necks and departing from their parents. Some became soldiers, others took upon them far voyages by sea, and others some worse courses, tending to dissolutions and the dangers of their souls. To the great grief of their parents and dishonor of God. So that they saw their posterity would be in danger to degenerate and be corrupted. Lastly a great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation for propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world that they should be stepping stones unto others for the performing of so great a work.

Of course, there were those who doubted the success of the great task and feared the risks involved in such an uncertain journey. Devoid of civil habitation, they would most assuredly encounter savage men and beasts, famine, nakedness, want, and illness.

In the spirit of Joshua and Caleb, Robinson answered those fears:

With all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties and must be both enterprised and overcome with answerable courage. It was granted the dangers were great, but not desperate; the difficulties were many, but not invincible…and all of them, through the help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne, or overcome…though they lose their lives…they might have comfort…that their endeavors would be honorable.

Past FCM speaker, Stephen McDowell, is quoted in The Light and the Glory: They believed that God was calling them to a New Jerusalem, to build His temple anew—with themselves as its stones. Robinson wrote: “Now as the people of God in old time were called out of Babylon civil, the place of their bodily bondage and were to come to Jerusalem, and there to build the Lord’s temple, or tabernacle…so are the people of God now to go out of Babylon spiritual to Jerusalem…and to build themselves as lively stones into a spiritual house, or temple, for the Lord to dwell in…for we are the sons and daughters of Abraham by faith.”

What Does This Mean for Us Today?

Are we not also the sons and daughters of Abraham; heirs of the covenant? Do we not serve the same Almighty God? Then we should by all means go up and take possession of the land, for we will surely overcome it (Number 13:30).

Let us be careful to avoid committing the same grave sin of disbelief—thinking our God impotent and quaking at the sight of the giants around us; nor let us wander in the wilderness for our unwillingness to take the land for God; or far worse, die in that wilderness without ever showing our children that they can trust in God to bring victory for His namesake.

It takes tremendous faith to stand in the face of danger, persecution, and tribulation. Who among us will stand, as did the Pilgrims, trial after trial, year after year?

The Perilous Journey

After finally setting sail for America, the two ships were forced to return to shore due to the Speedwell taking in water. When repairs were completed, the ships set sail again, only to return once again because of the Speedwell’s continual seepage. Only this time the ship was pronounced unseaworthy.

While the faint of heart would surely consider this an act of God to keep them on safer ground, the stout in spirit would look at this through biblical lenses and see it as the merciful Hand of God sifting out the chaff, while strengthening the remnant.

God was using the Speedwell’s problems to continue to separate the wheat from the chaff. As William Stoughton later put it: “God sifted a whole nation, that He might send choice grain into this wilderness.” About twenty dropped out. Bradford wrote, “Like Gideon’s army this small number was divided, as if the Lord, by this work of His Providence though these few were still too many for the great work He had to do.” The Light and the Glory

Candy and I have counseled many of you through great persecutions from family members, church members, and friends; yet God is faithful to provide us with a great cloud of witnesses which The Light and the Glory reveals here.

There was another reason for God’s narrowing the company down to one ship to make it indeed a company. It had taken many years of baptism by fire to temper the spiritual core of the Pilgrims into hardened steel, but now there were only a few weeks available in which to temper these strangers, too, and anneal them to the Pilgrims’ core. For unless they were so bonded, they would soon fly apart under the pressures that awaited them on the other side of the ocean. Much could be done, but it would require tremendous heat and pressure.

Jesus told His disciples that they would be hated for following Him. Compassion is produced through the living out of the daily sufferings and sacrifices of a life freely given to Him. For the Pilgrims, it was the fruit of undergoing a persecution so severe that they had to leave their native land or lose their lives; of twelve years of hard, penurious exile; and four months of dark, tossing, stinking, soaking torment; and four more of cold and sickly, mortal suffering. It was the fruit of coming to know the depths of one’s sinful nature, and the cleansing of daily repentance and forgiveness. It was experiencing the peace and joy that comes from knowing that one could do absolutely nothing, save for the grace of God and the Lord Jesus dwelling within.

Once they finally set sail for America, their afflictions continued as they were tossed to and fro from continuous storms. Huddling together—all 102 passengers—in a space no larger than a volleyball court, they became very ill. And as if this were not enough torture, the crew unmercifully began to mock these poor wretched creatures. But instead of returning words in kind, or complaining of their cruel treatment, the godly men and women took to their knees.

The Light and the Glory reveals the depth of their hearts during this perilous journey. It added up to seven weeks of the hell of an ill-lighted, rolling, pitching, stinking inferno, the kind that brings up sins that had lain buried for years—anger, self-pity, bitterness, vindictiveness, jealousy, despair. All these surfaced sins had to be faced, confessed, and given up to the Lord for His cleansing. No matter how ill they felt, or how grim the daily situation, they continued to seek God together, praying through despair and into peace and thanksgiving.

When they finally reached America, they were weary as most travelers are from a long journey, yet unlike other travelers, they found no friends or family to welcome them, no inns or homes to house them, no civil magistrates to protect them from savages or wild beasts. Yet in spite of the lack of comfort, They fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth. –William Bradford

As if these trials were not enough to try the souls of men, save six or seven of their company, all fell dreadfully ill. To these few was left the arduous task of caring for and cleaning up after the others, and sadly, to bury those who succumbed. By February the sick were dying at a rate of two a day, even three on some days. In three months, the company of Pilgrims was reduced to nearly half of those that began the journey together. Only three families remained untouched by death. Who could stand up under such circumstances?

These were not like other men. The more adversity mounted against them, the harder they prayed—never giving in to despair, to murmuring, to any of the petty jealousies that split and divide. They drew ever closer together, and trusted God all the more. The Light and the Glory

Worthy of their faith, they looked to God’s Providential care in all things. And faithful to His promise, God had blown their ship off course—the reason for the storms—because God did not want them under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Land Company. Landing on the shores where Patuxet Indians had once murdered many men before them, God had miraculously cleansed their future homestead by wiping out the dreadful tribe with a plague, except for one lone warrior whom God would use for their saving grace.

Squanto had providentially been captured by an English explorer, taken to England, taught the English language and converted to Christianity. Returning to his homeland, he found that his people had been wiped out and replaced with Christians, like himself. As God’s vessel of mercy, Squanto helped God’s people plant corn and pumpkins, find fish and berries, hunt deer and beavers. The food saved their lives. The beaver pelts that he taught them to take provided their economic deliverance. And the mysterious death of the tribe that had occupied this land prior to the Pilgrims’ arrival kept most of the other ferocious tribes away from them. Yet, not totally secure from Indian uprisings, God also used Squanto to secure a peace treaty with the surrounding tribes. Bradford stated that Squanto was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.

Belonging to no one now, the land was free for the taking—a gift from God—the Promised Land they sought. In appreciation for God’s mercy, goodness, and provision, the Pilgrims set aside a special time for Thanksgiving to almighty God in acknowledgement of their utter dependence on Him.

Stephen McDowell’s instruction in America’s Providential History stated:

1. The Pilgrims were an example to all.

2. God will providentially prepare us to accomplish His destiny for our lives.

3. God will supernaturally protect and care for us as we walk in the way He has set before us.

4. Freedom of worship and liberty for ourselves, and our descendants, is worth any price we must pay.

5. The Pilgrims knew how to apply biblical truth to civil affairs as seen in the Mayflower Compact, which was the first expression of civil government that recognized the Christian idea of man and government.

6. In the life of the Pilgrims, God had prepared those of humble beginnings to be a light of liberty to an entire nation. In the words of Bradford: Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand yet made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone to many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise.

Small and humble beginnings always seem to be the way of the Lord, whether it be the things that happen or the men who make it happen. Such is the case when it came to Robinson who looked like a failure with his tiny obscure church body; to the remaining 47 Pilgrims who survived God’s winnowing; to William Bradford, the orphaned farm boy who became governor of Plymouth for 33 years and the author of Of Plymouth Plantation.

Past speaker, Marshall Foster, brings it into perspective when he states of these men and their families: Little dreamed of the marvelous ways in which God would use them in the succeeding years. But they had heeded Paul’s admonition: “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.” Renewed and transformed by God, their joy was great as was their love for each other.

Throughout their departure from home, friends and family, the persecution they endured, their perilous journey, in sickness and death, the Pilgrims displayed a marvelous faith and grateful spirit that acknowledged God’s Sovereignty and Providential care. They knew that they were called by God for an extraordinary work and continually gave thanks for the honor to be chosen for such an arduous task.

Do you see yourselves as that body of Pilgrims saving your children from the great licentiousness of youth in the country and the manifold temptations of the place; evil examples into extravagances and dangerous courses, getting the reins off their necks to the dangers of their souls?

Do you possess a great hope and inward zeal of laying some good foundation for propagating and advancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ that you should be stepping stones unto others for the performing of so great a work?

And are you continually giving thanks for the honor of being chosen for the arduous task that lays before us? Let us encourage one another to give thanks.

Excerpts from The Meaning of Thanksgiving

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1Thessalonians 5:16

The modern holiday of Thanksgiving is a dim reflection of the biblical and historic origins that are rooted in the United States of America.

So what does it mean to give thanks?

There is no question that many things that happen are evil, difficult, and filled with turmoil, sorrow and tragedy. However, what the Scriptures address is our response to these things that happen to us, whether they are good or bad. In one sense, we are not to give thanks for everything, but rather in everything, or in the midst of every situation.

Giving thanks to God in the midst of difficult events that happen to us is only possible if we have the right perspective. What do we deserve? What does God guarantee us? Is happiness an eternal right? The answers to these questions help us focus on the right perspective.

If we deserve nothing due to the sinful condition of our nature, then anything we have brings gratitude. If God guarantees, not happiness or good happenings as we might define it, but the assurance that He has allowed what happens in order to build our character, then our perspective changes.

Once Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one returned and gave Him thanks. The ingratitude may appear shocking, but it only reveals a similar culture here in America as well.

We live in ungrateful times.Children no longer thank their parents for providing shelter, food and clothing.Parents no longer thank employers for providing them a job.Church members often fail to thank those that serve them with sacrifice and faithfulness. Why?

We have perverted God’s provisions into entitlement guarantees. American preachers on television often tell their viewers what they want to hear – that all that God has for them is health, wealth and happiness. Anything less would be beneath their status as a King’s kid. But this perverts both God’s goodness and man’s need. God is perfect, holy and righteous, owing us nothing. We are sinful, perverted and warped, and owe Him everything. If we don’t start here, our basis for giving thanks will be selfish and limited.

Giving thanks is thus our duty, and the first response we owe our Creator. We ought to be thankful for each breath, for we have no guarantee of tomorrow. We ought to be thankful for those who serve us, and thankful for every meal and the simple joys of life.

Thanksgiving is rooted in the Feast of Tabernacles. It was joy in the midst of being reminded of suffering, pain and turmoil. It was not a feast that celebrated the absence of difficulty, but it was joy with gratitude for how God sustains you through the difficulty!

What was the attitude of the Pilgrims in their continued attempt to flee England and reach Holland?

“But these things did not dismay them (though they did sometimes trouble them) for their desires were set on the ways of God, and to enjoy His ordinances, but they rested on His providence, and knew whom they had believed.”

Their philosophy was simple and biblical. Nothing happened to them that God did not allow, even tragedy. An attitude of gratitude, knowing they deserved nothing, kept them faithful to discern God’s providential care in the midst of negative circumstances and difficult and sorrowful times.

Through the trials of getting an agreement to settle in the new world, the loss of the Speedwell, the difficult voyage, and the first winter where half their company died, the Pilgrims kept their biblical view of giving thanks. They gave God thanks because He was good, not because everything that happened to them was good.

Bradford charges the children of these Pilgrims: “What could now sustain them but the Spirit of God and His grace? May not, and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say, ‘Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness, but they cried unto the Lord, and He heard their voice, and looked on their adversity,’ etc. Let them therefore praise the Lord, because He is good; and His mercies endure forever.”

The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims called a day of thanksgiving which they patterned after the biblical Feast of Tabernacles to commemorate God’s mercy in bringing them through the sorrow they endured for His namesake while in England and Holland; for their safety on the journey to a new land; for preserving their lives during the severe illness that struck down so many of their loved ones; for protecting them from Indian attacks; for providing them with Squanto; and for the bountiful provisions that followed.

Henry Morton Dexter recorded an anonymous poem about the First Thanksgiving, and it was this harvest festival, patterned after the Feast of Tabernacles, that was described:

We had gathered in our harvests, and stored the yellow grain,

For God had sent the sunshine,

and sent the plenteous rain;

Our barley-land and corn-land

Had yielded up their store,

and the fear and dread of famine

oppressed our homes no more.

As the chosen tribes of Israel,

in the far years of old,

when the summer fruits were garnered,

and before the winter’s cold,

Kept their festal week with gladness,

with songs and choral lays,

so we kept our first Thanksgiving

in the hazy autumn days.

Thanksgiving in America

Between 1607 and 1800, there were more than three hundred days of public fasting and prayer, coupled with thanksgiving days for answered prayer.

The first national thanksgiving was called in the year 1777 by the Continental Congress to thank God for victory at the battle of Saratoga.Written by Samuel Adams, it stated in part: “Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received...together with penitent confession of their sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor; and their humble and earnest supplications that it may please God through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance...it is therefore recommended... to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feeling of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor... acknowledging with gratitude their obligations to Him for benefits received... to prosper the means of religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth ‘in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.’”

George Washington not only agreed that a national day of thanksgiving should be set in motion, but made it his first official administrative act upon election as President of the United States. He proclaimed: “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor...I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war...that we may unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws...”

1. Restoring Our National Thanksgiving Day

As Christians, we need to restore the spirit of thanksgiving to the God of our forefathers, the God of the Bible, the ruler of all Nations.In the midst of difficulty, the threat of terrorism and personal trials of all kinds, we must see the providential Hand of His provision.

2. Restoring Days of Prayer, Humiliation, Repentance, and Giving of Thanks to God

We must beseech God for forgiveness and mercy from the Hand of a just and Sovereign God.

3. It Is a Good Thing to Give Thanks to God

May we remember to continually give thanks to God for His many blessings, most paramount of which is our liberty to worship Him.

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord” (Psalm 92:1).

Throughout history, God has used ordinary people to do extraordinary things to accomplish His will. Like Esther, we have been called for such a time as this!


Old Age Security Was Children

When talking with Teresa Carr, I mentioned that I wanted to know why and how nursing homes came into existence. She passed my curiosity on to her husband Joe, who found this informative site on the history of Social Security, Medicare, and nursing homes. It was very enlightening on how families lived in covenant years ago.

Old Age Security Was Children or Wealth

In the early years of this country, few people lived to old age, but for those that did, “old-age security” meant having children or property.Having family living nearby wasn’t often an issue. In those days before railroads and automobiles, families were large and few children ventured far from home.

Before 1800, less than 5% of the U.S. population lived in cities. Everyone else resided in rural areas where extended families could live together easily and cheaply. Generally, people worked for themselves. As a 1937 Social Security pamphlet described it, “The home of a pioneer family was a little world in itself. Members of the family were their own farm and factory workers, butchers, bakers, and barbers; policemen and firemen; often their own doctors and nurses, and sometimes their own teachers as well” (Social Security, 1937). You didn’t need cash to survive in that economy, and families were fairly self-sufficient.

Having a family was the key to survival. As later described in that Social Security pamphlet, “A young man then could hardly afford not to marry. He needed a wife as a business partner, children as helpers. In early New England not only spinsters but bachelors were under a cloud. Bachelors, in fact, were regarded with suspicion. Usually they had to live where the court told them to. Single people had to attach themselves to a family to get a chance to work for their living. Both the children and the old people earned their place at the family table” (Social Security, 1937).

Children were expected to split their earnings with, or otherwise provide for, their parents. If a parent needed care, the children were expected to provide it. Elderly people in need of care who were childless but wealthy could hire whatever help they needed. Dependent elderly people who could not be cared for by their own families could be “boarded out” with surrogate families, and the adult children paid for the cost of that care. Those elderly who were poor and childless, or whose children refused or were unable to care for them, ended up dependent on charity or public welfare.


The westward migration of the country contributed to the dispersion of families. Although a few families took their elderly relatives along on the difficult journey west, a number of the western settlers left their parents and other relatives behind in the East. Some families made several moves, perhaps settling in the Midwest for a time before moving farther west. Each time they moved on, some members of the family might decide to stay put, leaving relatives scattered along the migration route. Over time, the massive westward migration made it less likely that many, or any, children lived near enough to their parents to provide help.


Author Theodore Dreiser, in his 1899 book, The Color of the Great City, concluded that institutionalization was not a good solution for their old age, because “it insists upon what is the bane and destruction of heart and mind: conformity to routine, a monotonous system which wears as the drifting of water.”


ECONOMY Primarily, the management, regulation, and government of a family or the concerns of a household. A frugal and judicious use of money; the management which expends money to advantage, and incurs no waste. Economy includes also a prudent management of all the means by which property is saved or accumulated; a judicious application of time, of labor, and of the instruments of labor.

Taking Care of Our Parents

Being unaccustomed to caring for the elderly and having no training or direction leaves many of us floundering in unchartered waters. For the past 10 years, our family has taken care of Jon’s mother till she passed, then my father and mother till my father passed, and now my mother who just celebrated her 95th birthday. Jon’s mother had dementia, my father a stroke, while my mother has suffered from Alzheimer’s/dementia for nearly thirty years.

It has been a full-time job for the past ten years requiring extraordinary strength and patience. The saving grace has been in sharing the burden and working together as a family to care for our parents who have each needed constant attention. Jon and I could not have done it on our own! There is no doubt in our minds that by this time, if we had shouldered this tremendous task by ourselves, we would be needing care ourselves or possibly in an institution or dead. That may sound harsh, but that is the reality of the situation. It has been tough, and everyone who has helped us can testify to that fact.

Although we do not slight someone for placing their parents in a nursing home, we personally believed that as Christians it was our duty to care for our parents. Understandably, this posed a quandary as it does for most families. How can children take care of their aging parents full time when they have full time jobs—most husbands outside the home and wives at home, along with many other responsibilities? Wives certainly cannot do it alone, and husbands cannot be expected to quit their jobs temporarily to help out and then return to their jobs after parents pass. So what is the answer? Family! Pure and simple!

When families live in covenant with one another, living, learning, working, and worshipping together, they are able to embrace all the responsibilities encompassing the care that comes with aging parents. It really is the natural progression in the family’s continuity. Historically, before the modern notion of nursing homes, that is exactly what families did, and still do, in many other countries.

The note of gratitude that I wrote to my family for my father’s funeral expresses the necessity of every family member pulling together for the arduous task, along with the subsequent blessings.

Covenanted Family Multi-Generational Faithfulness I want to thank my own family for faithfully caring for my father and mother these past four years. First to my husband Jon, who never once complained but lovingly cared for my father, sleeping on the floor while they stayed in our home, sleeping at their house one and two nights each week since, shaving and bathing my father, making meals, washing dishes, cleaning, repairing and maintaining everything around the house, meeting with other repairmen, managing Dad’s monies, working with insurance adjustors for damage to the home here and in the country from multiple storms, roofing Dad’s house, making many unexpected trips to the house to take care of emergencies…

To Jedidiah for cutting Dad’s hair, moving him, and doing all the heavy work. To Jedidiah and Josiah for keeping the yard looking so nice, cleaning gutters, taking out trash, cleaning garage and basement, steam cleaning carpets, marketing, putting up the Christmas tree and decorations…

To Sonia for helping me take care of my parents’ bookkeeping, grocery shopping, gardening, cutting bouquets, cleaning, decorating, shopping for clothes, making meals, mending clothes, ordering movies for them from the library, manicuring nails, massaging with liniment, organizing everything for Salvation Army…

To each of the children for accompanying me on all the rides we took them on each week, for going with me to all the doctors’ appointments and to the hospital and rehabilitation facility, to the financial advisors and attorney’s appointments. And just for doing whatever needed to be done each week. My deep gratitude to them for showing my parents unconditional love, honor, and respect. God will greatly bless you, children, for this! Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”


Taking care of my mother becomes increasingly difficult as her mind continues to degenerate. Thankfully, our family still works together to help care for her. We were recently told by one of our vendors that 75% of caregivers die before the family member with Alzheimer’s. That alone reveals the importance of family effort.

Incurs No Waste Why should a family’s wealth, regardless of the amount, be squandered on a nursing home, when family members can pull together and do the work themselves, and in turn keep the inheritance biblically intended for them!


Sonia just read this advertisement we received in the mail:

Caswell-Massey America’s Original Since 1752

Established in 1752, Caswell-Massey is an American Original. Across three centuries our luxurious soaps, bath products and fine remedies have been a favorite of tastemakers, of Hollywood legends, and even Presidents. Caswell-Massey products are crafted with pure, quality ingredients and gorgeous fragrances that connect us to the most personal moments in our lives. We invite you to try Caswell-Massey and create your own wonderful memories today. Welcome, and we look forward to serving you for generations to come.

We decided to purchase the Presidential Soap Three Bar gift set for Jon’s birthday because it included Number 6, Washington’s favorite and also the Shaving Set which includes a pre-shave oil and tubes of shaving cream and after shave balm. Josiah purchased the shaving set for Jon: Ten generations of shaving expertise. Blades may be expendable but a proper shave requires the kind of quality, weight, and balance found in shaving tools that last generations. We offer the highest quality shaving implements hand-made in England, with both traditional safety razors and modern mach-3 razor handles available individually or in our beautiful shave sets. They also offer an array of shaving brushes including our highly regarded 4-1/4 premium pure badger shave brush.

Our Roots

Founded in 1752 in Newport, Rhode Island, Caswell-Massey is America’s original apothecary and perfumery, long considered one of the foremost purveyors of scent and luxury.

We are known for our exquisitely crafted triple-milled bath and hand soaps, our time-tested apothecary remedies, our shaving soaps, and for extraordinary grooming and shaving accessories. Caswell-Massey was the author of classic American fragrances and an early leader in developing many popular remedies such as our cucumber eye pads, almond and aloe soaps, lotions, and shaving creams.

Stewards of the brand such as Dr. Hunter, John Rose Caswell, William Massey and Ralph Taylor shared a passion and a talent for perfumery and customer service – still hallmarks of the brand today.

Our treasured archives containoriginal formulas for many of our signature and bespoke perfumes..

Twentieth Century Masters

During the Twentieth Century, Caswell-Massey established its reputation as a leading perfumer by creating exclusive scents for celebrity customers, especially those willing to pay for something bespoke.

In our legendary New York City Store, Ralph Taylor made it a practice to become deeply acquainted with the person he was making the scent for.

Into the 1970s, there were profiles created for each customer – what they liked to do, eat, their size, shape, favorite colors and pastimes – to land on the perfect bespoke scent. Customers would “try on” scents for a few weeks before their personal formulations were mastered.

Many of the fragrances offered by Caswell-Massey today are rooted in these bespoke fragrances, and many more exist in our famed archives as starting points for new fragrances we have yet to introduce to the public.

Our Future

We’re so very proud to offer a new Caswell-Massey experience through the launch of our new website and new catalog in 2016. As we approach nearly three centuries of being an American Original, we plan to bring out the best from our archives, strengthen our community of loyal customers, and create incredible new products and collaborations worthy of alegendary American brand. www.caswellmassey.com

[When I went on the website, I was terribly disappointed to find out that this company did not stay in the family. What a legacy that would have been for them! It is such a shame that the owners did not possess and pass on a multi-generational vision to their children.]

NEW HOMESCHOOLERS-Part XIII as presented at the Conference

(Remembering 30 Years-I have actually been presenting the New Homeschoolers workshop for 31 years.)

Fit Them for Usefulness for Their Future Stations

Homeschooling is not about taking our children from one class and one field trip and one event to the next. It is about discipling our children; keeping them with us to impart everything we know and training them to do everything we do. We must begin by teaching them self-government so that they are capable of governing themselves according to God’s Word, and in turn, train them to govern their own homes as godly husbands and fathers, wives and mothers.

The antithesis to fitting our children for their future stations in life is obvious when girls that have been homeschooled all their lives graduate without knowing how to cook. In the revelation of God’s Word that we are to fit them for usefulness in the kingdom, this is an atrocity of gargantuan proportions.

So what is the problem? Many years ago, I encouraged a mother confined to bed to direct her daughters to make whole grain breads to alleviate her constipation. She hesitated. I asked, “You make bread, don’t you?” She said, “Yes, I do, but I am embarrassed to tell you that I did not teach my daughters to make bread.” When asked why, she said that she was too busy teaching them academics and then with them at youth group four nights a week. There just never seemed to be enough time.

Do you understand the absurdity of this? This mother had been with her daughters for over 12 years, but never took the time to teach them something she herself did because they were too busy with schooling and youth group. In essence, instead of fitting her children for usefulness, she allowed them to be with peers four nights out of seven to be trained in foolishness. I can say that because God says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, and if older children do not know how to help their mother by making bread, they are still children at heart.

Besides, I went to youth group for a short while, until I pleaded with my mother to keep me home because the time away was spent with foolish young people who continually spewed out foolishness, who flirted with each other, held hands and kissed, played pranks on one another, and in general, wasted time doing nothing of importance. I had better things to do with my life then, and so do my children and your children now.

Fulfilling God’s mandate to disciple our children requires us to keep them alongside us so that we may teach our children exactly what we know so that they in turn are prepared to manage their own homes and their own children, their own churches, and civil government. In essence this means they will be discipling the nations through their own families, as they live, work and worship together.

Sadly, instead of concentrating on the important issues, many parents are spending an exorbitant amount of time training their pleasure-seeking children for play by constantly running from one activity to the next to experience fun, fun, fun.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I love to have fun and make fun for others. My daughter at twenty inscribed my birthday card with Mom, you make every day a celebration while Jon continually sings Every day is a holiday with Candy. Needless to say, we have a lot of fun at our house, but we are also serious about what we do, and we work very hard. My kids know how to work. They know how to serve the homeschooling community and the community at large because they have been trained to do so.

When we go to an event, my children go to the adults and speak with them because I trained them that it is their responsibility to go up to adults, look them in the eye, shake them by their hand, and call them by name. And if there is something to be done, do it.

Leaders are the ones who clean the toilets and turn out the lights. They are the last ones on the parking lot to make certain everyone’s vehicle started and see that they are safely on their way home.

My children know that when they go to a party or event, they are to ask, May I help you? Is there something that I can do for you? Let me get that for you. We are to train our children to be useful—not to just play and have fun and be served but to serve. This is preparation for eternity; our duty before God. The last thirty years with my children has been a blink. Spend your time wisely!

About Their Father’s Business

Children should be about their father’s business, listening, learning, working to do his will. I know for many of you fathers, you are out all day, and you cannot have your sons with you, but as soon as you hit that door, your children should be helping you do what needs to be done around the house. And as you work, you need to be instructing them on what you are doing.

Sadly, we have had young men to work for us who have been homeschooled all their lives yet are clueless as to how to do the simplest tasks such as pumping gas, changing oil and tires, operating weed eaters and lawnmowers, counting change, responding respectfully and articulately to customers, recording phone messages…

Their gross inadequacy reminds me of a young man whose father offered for him to help Jon and me on the farm while the boys were cutting grass in St. Louis. This boy was one year away from graduating. His father owned a very large farm that had been the grandparents’, just a short distance from their own home in the country.

When this particular young man arrived, Jon asked him to take over raking the hay. The man said he did not know how to rake hay. Then I asked him if he could begin constructing a wire partition down the center of our chicken house. Even though his father was a builder, he said he did not know how to construct things. Then I asked him if he knew how to fence because he could get started on a fence around our chicken house. He said that he had helped his grandfather fence before, but he did not know how to do it on his own. Finally, I asked if he knew how to use a chainsaw. He said yes, and off I went to show him a tree that had fallen on our floodgate.

On the way, he told me that he arose early each morning to work out in a gym before school and then went to football practice after school. When he saw the tree over our floodgate, he told me that he would be back later in the week to take care of the tree because he had to go to football practice. Not surprisingly, the boy never returned. What a tragedy!

Significance of Discipleship

Parents, you cannot spend so much time on books and play that you fail to equip your children for the roles they will soon be fulfilling.

To show the significance of discipleship, by age eleven and twelve, Jedidiah knew how to roof, drywall, paint, pour concrete, build fences, build a host of other structures, do some plumbing and some electrical work, use power tools, refinish floors, build decks, build rock walls, put in fishponds, set gates and doors, change tires, oil, and fuel pumps, and many other things, all by being about his father’s business.

At age 15 he was working a full day, six days a week, in our family lawn business. Besides operating walk behinds, riders, weed eaters, and blowers, he contacted customers, scheduled jobs, made out bills, wrote contracts, ordered materials, repaired equipment, and much more.

Even when their father was away from home, the children were doing the will of their father by being obedient to me, diligently learning their lessons, and completing tasks around our home.

When Jedidiah was just 13 he spent the afternoon using a jackhammer to break up our concrete basement floor. Once finished, he and Josiah, age 8, helped Jon dig up our sewer pipe inside and outside, replace the sewer line, fill in the hole, and pour concrete to replace the basement floor. From there they went on to repair the garage roof and replace our front porch, working on it while Jon was away at work and then again with him when he returned home.

Of course, it was not all about physical labor, as I had them follow a rigorous reading plan of the Bible and biographies of godly men. So they would be able to teach their own families God’s precepts, they prepared their own Bible lesson plans and practiced on us, as well. In preparation for protecting our family and country, Jon and I took them to practice shooting, archery, orienteering, and self-defense.

Although Jon’s father has been dead for over fifty years, to this day, Jon still misses walking behind him when he plowed with the family’s workhorses, later sitting on his lap as his father plowed the field or baled the hay with the tractor, and then hoeing the garden alongside him. A boy needs his father because “the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing.” The greatest of all riches is to possess a vision for your children’s children.

Years ago, a friend relayed a story she heard from a workshop she attended on business about the value of work. Apparently, this speaker and his brother worked very hard on their father’s farm, to the point that the kids from town made comments that they were glad that they did not have to work as hard as those two boys.

Years after both boys were grown men, the one brother went to their father to tell him that he had been doing some figuring and came up with something rather surprising. What he discovered is that by the time the brothers and their father had paid for the tomato seed, sowed the seed, hoed the seedlings, staked the vines, picked off the tomato worms, harvested and canned the tomatoes, those tomatoes actually cost them more than the price of canned tomatoes. In light of this startling information, he wanted to know why they worked so hard raising tomatoes. The father paused for a moment as he reflected on the situation and then replied, “I was not raising tomatoes; I was raising sons.”

Fathers, never underestimate the value of keeping your children about your business.

Daughters About Their Father’s Business

Similarly, from the time my daughters were very young, they, too, were about their father’s business—serving their father and his household as I had trained them to do by greeting Jon at the door when he arrived home from work, listening to him as he shared his day, taking off his boots, getting him something to drink, rubbing his feet, back and shoulders, helping me prepare our dinner, helping serve at the dinner table, baking goodies for him, making his lunches and including notes in his lunch box, sewing buttons on his shirts, doing his laundry, reading to him, rubbing him before he retired, helping me clean and decorate the house, planting beautiful gardens and making beautiful arrangements, keeping the books for our business, helping me with the taxes, helping me with landscaping designs, and in essence managing a household by doing everything I did.

Sonia is not one of those girls going off to college to see what she wants to be when she grows up. She has been helping me manage our household since she was eight years old; all because of my diligent training. My boys are also good cooks and can clean a house in short order. I don’t want them to be the main cooks in their own households, but when their wives are sick, they will be able to feed the children something other than hotdogs.

There is nothing more important for a woman than being a godly helpmate to her husband by making a lovely home for him and his family, while diligently studying God’s Word so she can be a spiritual helpmate as well. Deeply determined to pass on my passion for both, I diligently taught our daughters everything that I knew.

Both Jon and I are equipping our children for life. I am not bragging about our children but using them as examples to encourage you with what children can accomplish if they are trained properly. It is our sacred duty. And this is before teaching them Calculus.

I actually did not teach calculus. If my children were called to professions that needed calculus, I would have taught them calculus, but time is too short to be spending it on things that they will not use. Instead I spent my time teaching them the subjects that would benefit them along with practical skills that would serve their families, churches, communities, and civil government well.

Again, time is very, very short and goes by very quickly, so you must weigh your options and determine what is most important. Then you must prioritize. It was important to me that my children knew Bible and history and how to be excellent husbands and fathers, wives and mothers. Not to say that we didn’t teach academics, because we did. But our priorities focused on our vision of training generations. It is not for this child that when they reach the age of 18, they go on to do their own thing. Our vision is for our children’s children and their children.

Like the Rechabites we are praying for generational faithfulness, but not for only 300 years, but for a thousand generations. That is the vision that I am casting for you; that your children and your grandchildren and the children yet born will know and serve the Lord. Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

If you knew you only had one year left to live, one month, one day, what would you judge to be the best way to spend your time? That really puts life into perspective.

Twenty-six years ago, my husband and I were diagnosed with Lyme’s disease. At that time Barnes Hospital said that they had not known anyone who had Lyme’s as long as we had who was not completely debilitated or dead. Shortly thereafter my appendix ruptured when I was seven and a half months pregnant with Josiah. I could have died, and indeed the doctors said it was a miracle that we both lived. God has been very gracious to us in allowing us the time to train our children; in turn we have used our time wisely. We don’t know how much more time we have to live. So I must ask myself, have I given my children what they need to be useful in their homes, church, community, and civil government?

Presently there are several homeschooling parents going through cancer treatment. What do you suppose they are thinking right now? Perhaps they are lamenting that they did not achieve as much education as they would have liked or that they did not have as much time to enjoy their professions or that they wish they had chauffeured their children to more activities. I can tell you absolutely that is not what they are thinking right now. Sadly, they are lamenting all the things they did not teach their children in preparing them for life.

The reality of our mortality certainly puts things into a godly perspective. Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days that we present to thee a heart of wisdom.”

Homeschooling is all about building a strong household on a strong foundation. We are building a house on a strong foundation. Matthew 7:24 and 25 says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and burst upon that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”

Proverbs 24:3 “By wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”


Remembering 30 Years

-For Christmas and birthdays, invest in tools that will last a lifetime and help your sons to be productive: planer, grinder, miter saw, plasma welder, acetylene torch, air compressor, angle grinder, band saw, ratchet wrenches, impact wrench, snap on tools, upright tool boxes, pneumatic nailer, circular saw, screw guns, reciprocating saw, jigsaw…

-For daughters, invest in kitchen tools and equipment, cookbooks, china, crystal, silverware, linens…

IN THE LIBRARY-Remembering 30 Years

The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel is an absolute must for every family’s library because it imparts the truth about America’s Christian heritage. It is one of those books that will continue to fill your family with awe for Almighty God’s continual working upon earth for His holy purpose. In turn, it will become a constant source of assurance of God’s sovereignty as you witness the miraculous direction of events in bringing His people to America and directing them to produce the most Christian nation ever known to man.

The authors of this book painstakingly combed countless numbers of original ledgers, diaries, documents, and other original sources to obtain the truth about our Christian heritage and then compiled these facts into a book that tells God’s Story, through the works of His Hand.

In this book you will witness the covenant relationship that our founders entered into with their heavenly Father and with other members of the Body and the blessings they incurred. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Josh. 1:8).

It was this covenantal living that formed the solid backbone of this nation’s Christian foundation. For the Pilgrims, and the Puritans who followed, truly yielded their entire lives to Christ, whom they considered not only to be their Savior, but also their Lord and Master, and committed themselves to the obedience of God’s law. Hungering for God’s Word, they continually searched the scriptures for guidance for their daily walk and civil affairs. They also continually searched their hearts for unrepented sin, which they followed with fasting and prayer.

But even as diligent as they were to abide in God’s will, as happens in every generational shift, the prosperity that God brought upon their parents’ obedience became the idols of their children, which hardened their hearts towards the Providential Hand that supplied their abundance. They, then, “ceased to correct and admonish one another and their children, choosing instead, greed, privacy, independence, and idolatry.” Self-reliant and self-confident, they turned their backs upon God and, in turn, God chastened His people by unleashing His wrath upon them until the people humbled themselves and returned to covenantal living. This, then, brought God’s mercy, protection, and prosperity once again.

A cyclical pattern from liberty to bondage becomes quite apparent when one studies both His Word and His Story. For throughout time, God’s people have gone into exile for their failure to seek God’s truth and live according to His Word. Beginning with God’s outpouring of mercy and blessings, manifested in prosperity and protection, God’s people respond in humility, gratitude, and faithfulness, but in time, arrogance, independence, and unfaithfulness. This subsequently brings about God’s chastening of famine and bondage, which eventually brings the people back to God in humility and repentance, starting the cycle once again.

“They captured fortified cities and a fertile land. They took possession of houses full of every good thing, hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate, were filled, and grew fat, and reveled in Your great goodness. But they became disobedient and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their backs and killed Your prophets who had admonished them so that they might return to You, and they committed great blasphemies. Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them, but when they cried to You in the time of their distress, You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors. But as soon as they had rest, they did evil again before You; therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them. When they cried again to You, You heard from heaven, and many times You rescued them according to Your compassion, and admonished them in order to turn them back to Your law. Yet they acted arrogantly and did not listen to Your commandments but sinned against Your ordinances, by which if a man observes them he shall live. And they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen” (Neh. 9:25-29).

“… they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be satiated with their own devices. For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely, and will be at ease from the dread of evil” (Prov. 1:29-33).

Therefore, after God’s chastening, He would turn His children back to covenant with Him once again as at the time of Nehemiah. “Now the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, all those who had knowledge and understanding, are joining with their kinsmen, their nobles, and are taking on themselves a curse and an oath to walk in God’s law, which was given through Moses, God’s servant, and to keep and to observe all the commandments of God our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes” (Neh. 10:28,29).

How often have you heard pastors in America deny God’s chastening? Yet everyone who reads God’s Word and studies history knows that God continually chastens His people for their rebellion. So where are we today? “Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, and also the fish of the sea disappear. Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; for your people are like those who contend with the priest. So you will stumble by day, and the prophet also will stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hos. 4:1-6).

Not only are most people in this land biblically illiterate, but also few know at what price our fathers obtained our freedom and, sadly, through neglecting our Christian heritage, we have laid the foundation for tyranny and God’s wrath once again. But homeschooling offers us a window of hope, for God has given us the perfect opportunity to teach ourselves and our children the truth about God’s providential working through the lives and events that have occurred prior to our existence, and with that understanding, to directly relate the events of today to His Hand. God says in Proverbs 10:14: “Wise men store up knowledge …” He goes on to say in Proverbs 15:14 that “the mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds upon folly.”

Sadly, though, even some Christian curriculum companies use secular materials for teaching history. Scripture, however, tells us that only Christians can discern truth and obtain knowledge. Therefore, do not waste your time feeding yourselves and your children folly, but use materials that are written by Christians, especially when it comes to His Story.

“Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst” (Is. 5:13). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7). “The lips of the wise spread knowledge …” (Prov. 15:7).

Let us heed the following truth of Jeremiah 3:12-15: “Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord; ‘I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,’ declares the Lord; ‘I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God and have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the Lord. ‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the Lord; ‘For I am a master to you, and I will take you one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.’ Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.”

We need to follow shepherds after God’s own heart that feed us knowledge and understanding. This certainly pertains to Peter Marshall and David Manuel, who lead us into the sweet valleys of understanding of how our Good Shepherd led His people to the rich pastures of this land.

Within these pages the authors give us personal glimpses into the lives of other extraordinary shepherds like Bradford, Winthrop, Cotton, Hooker, Mather, Edwards, Whitefield, Washington and more whom God used to lead His people. And it is these men’s self-sacrificial and obedient testimonies, along with the rest of the Body’s response to trials and tribulations, that make evident God’s divine presence in their lives.

As you witness these godly lives of those who have gone before you, you will experience an introspective search of this divine walk within yourself, within your Body, and within your civil government. For this great cloud of witnesses will not only encourage you to examine yourselves, but will also encourage you to press on in carrying out the work that they began.

“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 … But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel” (Heb. 12:1,22-24).

The Light and the Glory’s accurate accounts of the people and events that shaped our Christian heritage fully displays the true meaning of One Nation Under God, which brought liberty for all. But as we know, with liberty comes responsibility, for without knowledge of God’s Word and obedience His people return to bondage. Let us, then, take up the banner and teach our children the precious testimony of God’s sovereignty and of those who toiled for our freedom so that they may fully understand and appreciate God’s providential working. And through following the examples that God has laid out before us, let us press on to secure the freedoms that we let slip through our hands for lack of knowledge. May God forgive us for neglecting so great a heritage by letting it fall into ruins, and may He give us the strength to rebuild those ancient walls upon the holy foundation He laid some 500 years ago.

“And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell” (Is. 58:12).


Chaumette Vineyards and Winery

Just 70 miles south of St. Louis in Ste. Genevieve County, Chaumette Vineyards and Winery offers a gorgeous view of the surrounding farming country from a covered patio, beautiful award winning vineyards, private villas, spa, pool, and The Grapevine Grill. Our waiter was so knowledgeable about each of our meals that I wondered if he cooked with the chef before he began serving tables. I was thoroughly impressed and especially pleased with his detailed list of ingredients and in-depth information on preparation, as I intend to replicate the meals at home. It was quite delightful to find a great chef so close to home. Growing up in Louisiana and inspired by his grandmothers’ cooking, this chef boasts quite a culinary legacy. He has over twenty-five years of experience as an executive chef and proprietor in St. Louis and Des Moines area hotels. In St. Louis, Chef Rob was the Executive Chef at Pairings Bistro and the Hilton at the Ballpark,previously held a corporate chef position at Charlie Gitto’s, worked for Proprietor/Chef Bill Cardwell at Cardwell’s at the Plaza and worked for Executive Chef Rex Hale at LHM Hotel Properties. In Des Moines, Iowa, he was executive chef and proprietor of Mojo’s on 86th, Varsity Caf and Adam & Abby’s. With moving around so much, I certainly hope this chef remains because we intend to return.

His Cajun/Creole influence was evident in all the meals, but particularly in his Creole red beans and rice. Deliciously spicy, it was the best I have ever tasted. Jon’s spiced-rubbed and grilled Berkshire pork chop with Romesco sauce was grilled to perfection, juicy, and delicious. Sonia’s braised short ribs over mashed potatoes were very tender and delicious. Josiah and I both ordered Alaskan halibut over sweet potato hash with a citrus sauce. It was also very good. But of all our meals, Jedidiah’s was my favorite. I actually talked him into the spice-rubbed and grilled Bourbon Street steak with creole crawfish and asiago cream and potato cakes. He was very pleased. The drive south of Farmington on OO and then on F and WW is truly lovely.


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!

-Jedidiah and Josiah helped install the coolant lines for the air conditioning.

-Jon placed Styrofoam on top of our cooling unit to help keep the unit cool and keep the moisture away from the blown in insulation.

-Josiah made sugar screens for our beehives so the bees have plenty of food if they run out of honey.

-Jon washed all the dogs’ beds at the laundromat.

-Josiah cleaned out the doghouse and let it air out for several days before Jedidiah placed a deep layer of straw on the floor and topped it off with the dog beds. He also placed a new clean towel over the doorway to keep the rain and snow from blowing in.

-Acquired two new 6-month-old heifers from a friend in exchange for a steer that was ready to be butchered.

-I am the one who cleans the egg mobile each week, but Josiah cleaned it for me this week because I had been helping Sonia with taxes and getting ready for a party.

-Jedidiah has been cutting walnut boards for a neighbor in exchange for cedar posts.

-While Josiah was taking hay to the horses, I dug dirt away from the smaller barn’s foundation and used it to build up the berm Jedidiah had made to divert water away from the manger. Then I laid down a thick layer of straw so the horses had a dry clean area to stand while they ate hay from the manger.

-Jedidiah blew out the webs and dirt from our large barn and swept up the hay and straw that had accumulated from feeding the animals.

-Jon installed lights over the mangers in the barn.

-Josiah put the large roosts from the chicken house outside to be sanitized by rain and sunshine.

-I cleaned out the old litter from the chicken house and placed each load on our compost pile in the garden. Then I laid down a thick layer of hay on the floor and put hay in each laying box.

-Jedidiah has been working on equipment and vehicles for days. Seems like everything continually breaks down.

-Much of our heat over the winter comes from our fireplace. This takes a good amount of wood, so while Josiah cut up fallen trees, I loaded up and stacked the logs. The ones I could not handle, Josiah loaded and stacked. Throughout the winter, Josiah will split the larger ones.

-We exchanged our big bull for some labor from a neighbor. It was just in time, as our new bull began to fight for dominance of the herd. We had an Angus bull and now we have a Hereford. I actually prefer Angus, but Jon grew up with Herefords and prefers them. It is inevitable that we will have some birthing difficulties, as the Hereford bull will result in larger calves for our Angus mamas.

-Using rocks and dirt, Jedidiah secured the foundation around the side enclosure to our chicken house that we use for the geese, ducks, and turkeys.

-Jedidiah suggested taking a day off for a ride to explore the beautiful countryside that surrounds us. It was not the first exploration, as the boys had planned a day for us months earlier. After looking over the map and determining how much time we had after the chores were completed, we decided to take a ride, have a picnic by a stream, and then have dinner at Chaumette Vineyards and Winery. It was a gorgeous day, and we had a great time. Josiah read two Sherlock Holmes by flashlight to us while we drove home. Working long hours each day necessitates days off. It is an important part of managing one’s farm and family.

-The indelible marker that the boys used on the ear tags for the cattle was not so indelible, after all. So Jon and the boys ran all the cattle through the head catcher and retagged them, making note of the new calves. Buttercup did something to her eye, so Jedidiah gave her some antibiotics and sprayed some antibacterial solution into her eye.

-Jedidiah let our new little heifers out of confinement and in with the Jersey herd. They won’t assimilate into the main herd until they are a little bigger.

-Josiah separated our five Jersey boys from their Mamas. They are 7 and 8 months old now, so it was time to wean them. Mamas are bawling for their babies, while our Jersey bull, Sy, who runs with the Jersey girls, is bellowing for the boys. How sad!

-While weeding our long flowerbed, I noticed that I had raked up a poison ivy sprig. After several days of breaking out on 25% of my body, I realized that I must have weeded more than one plant.

-After weeding, I coved the bed with a warm blanket of mulch.

-Sonia picked all the okra pods, clean, cut, and froze them for winter cooking.

-Josiah took the egg mobile into the garden so the fowl could eat the last of the insects.

-Jedidiah just gave our 13 cats their final doses of flea medication for the season.

-Josiah thoroughly explored our beehives. We lost one of our hives. They just did not do well at all. Two of the others are very robust. The fourth one is doing fine, just not as well as Josiah thinks they should be doing. I have already ordered two more hives for next year.

-Sonia weeded, edged, composted, and mulched our David Austin rose bed.

-Jon’s brother came by to look over the dairy barn because he is going to install our gas lines.

-Josiah and I have been cutting, hauling, and stacking firewood. I think we have finally cut enough for the winter. It is amazing to me how God provides everything we need. There are always plenty of fallen trees in the woods surrounding our home.

-Sonia oiled our benches and porch swing to protect them from inclement weather.

-Using a backhoe, Jedidiah dug a 400-foot trench for our dairy barn’s gas lines. We decided to place the gas tank up by the old house and shed so it can service all three buildings.

-Jon and Sonia picked three coolers of pears from a neighbor’s trees for eating, baking, and canning, 350 pounds for feeding the pigs, and two bags for the family who owns the trees as a thank you for letting us pick their fruit. They did not want any, but we thought they might change their minds if they were put on their doorstep. I am always amazed when people do not pick their fruit. One of the first things we did after we purchased our farm was to plant an orchard. Next year our fruit trees will be five years old—biblically the time we are allowed to enjoy the fruit of our labors.

-Sonia ordered 100 more spiles for tapping maple trees this January and 100 feet of tubing for the syrup to drip from the tree into the bucket. The collection buckets cost over $30, so we will continue to collect icing buckets from grocery stores instead.

-Jedidiah used the backhoe to clean gravel out of our stream and deepen some of our watering holes.

-Sonia continues to collect black walnuts.

-Josiah split logs from our mulberry tree. He and Sonia loaded it while Josiah and I stacked it.

-Sonia and I wormed our horses.

-When our friend’s boar came to reside with Piggy Sue and Winnie last spring, the three of them shoved out the sides of the farrowing house. To get it ready for winter housing, Josiah pushed back the sides to make the house square and then placed dirt around the base. He also cleaned it out and will soon be covering the dirt floor with a deep covering of soft barley straw. The pigs will love burrowing into the deep bedding.

-Jedidiah cleaned out a seepage area and placed a wide mouthed pipe in the ground to collect spring water for the animals.

-The boys helped a friend with the dairy’s air conditioner and Jon’s brother with threading pipe for our natural gas lines.

-The vet just came to test our three Jersey cows to see if they are pregnant; checked a cut on one of her udders, inflicted by her calf; checked out another calf who just isn’t gaining weight like she should; looked at a cow who lost the sight in one eye after being poked with something; castrated three boars; and gave rabies shots to four dogs and six cats (the other two dogs and four cats were done earlier in the year). As Christians, God requires that we take good care of our animals.

-Jedidiah finished milling our neighbor’s walnut.

-Jon and I picked up over 500 more pounds of pears. Most of them will go to the pigs.

-Josiah laid gas lines for the gas furnace.

-I weeded and mulched the grapes, blackberries, and roses at the chicken house and barn.

-It is so dry that it took me over 12 hours to completely water the orchard. Although it is a very pleasant task, it does not seem efficient. We must consider an alternative.

-I finally finished shoveling out the deep litter in the chicken house. Some went on the compost in the garden, some on the manure pile in the barn lot, and the rest went in front of the chicken house to incorporate into some dirt for planting blueberries.

-Jedidiah finished welding the angle iron on our trailer. He did such a nice job that the man who gave him the trailer asked him to do some welding for him.

-Josiah cut the rest of the slats that will cover the spaces between our rough oak siding on the dairy barn.


What is My Best Advice? Close the Gate! Just Close the Gate!

I have always been fond of gates—wooden gates, wrought iron gates, shiny metal gates, rusty squeaky gates, gates of considerable girth and those quite small. For no matter what the dimensions or conditions, gateways draw my mind towards the treasures that lay beyond—perhaps a pastoral setting with quaint home, majestic barn, animals grazing in lush grasslands, orchards filled with heirlooms, vegetable or flower gardens. I stop and wonder as to who might own the land beyond the gate, how they use it, and how many families over time labored for what they loved.

Of course, gates are a necessity on a farm for keeping animals contained and for allowing caretakers passage back and forth among the pastures to tend to flocks and herds.

Our particular farm came with 15 openings. Notice I did not say 15 gates. As with other notable paradoxical conditions on the farm, when we first took possession some openings had gates (mostly oversized that lapped past the post), others had makeshift gates of sorts, while some just stood in a perpetual yawn where gates once stood. Over time, one by one we began replacing the makeshift cattle panels with real gates and the oversized gates with ones that fit the openings. Then we constructed wooden gates and purchased more metal gates for places where they once stood.

Superstitious? Never, That Is, Until…

Not one prone to superstition, I never avoided cracks in the sidewalk out of fear of breaking my mother’s back but walked according to where my gait naturally placed my foot. Nor did I avoid black cats but acquired three. I never knocked on wood for good luck, carried a rabbit’s foot, or believed in a sixth sense, that is, until I began living with cows.

Why cows, you might ask. Well, based on my experience, let me caution that even when you close gates all day long, for days on end, that one time you think, “I’ll be right back; the cows are way over at the far end of the field busily foraging on grass so I need not worry about them getting out today” – it happens! The cow in the herd that possesses a sixth sense, whoever she is, picks up her head, even if it is buried in the spring flush of luscious shoulder high grass, and begins walking towards the opened gate, picking up speed as she approaches. It isn’t that she saw the gate left open or even that she heard it open but not close, it’s just that she knows it’s open.

At this point, all the other cows, one by one, pick up their heads as well, except perhaps the calf lying in the tall grass at the edge of the field, dozing in the warmth of the sunshine, only because it does not have the experience. Seeing the wise one walking away, the others begin to follow because they have come to depend on her inner sense that greener pastures lie just on the other side of the gate that was negligently left open by their unsuspecting owners. Never fails. They walk right through and begin spreading in all directions. Only gone “a minute,” you return to find the cows scattered over a wide area and end up spending a good portion of valuable time convincing the herd that the best grass lies in the paddock from which they came. Try that one! Who wants to return home after just taking off on an exciting journey? Consequently, it takes a lot of “suck, suck, suck calf, suck,” some prodding with quick movements and arms waving, and finally a trip to the barn for a bucket of grain.

Mark that cow. If you can’t get the hang of closing the gates, just save yourself a lot of trouble and take her to the sale barn.

Ahh, country living is the life for me!

THE DISMANTLING OF AMERICA Every hour our government spends 200 million dollars it does not have!

SlaveryJon worked with an electrician who foolishly stated, “I don’t care how much I pay for taxes as long as the Democrats keep me working.” Wow! Indeed, that is exactly what the socialist State does. It requires taxpayers to work nearly 6 months of the year to pay for their unconstitutional services. Now that is slavery!

Nike As Christians, we are accountable how we spend our money, so we better be careful not to financially empower companies that support and promote sins contrary to God’s law. During the Olympics, Nike premiered an ad that proudly supported a transgender athlete. It was entitled Unlimited Courage. Historically transgender athletes were barred from competition, so this defiant ad asks the athlete questions related to the worries of trans people in sports. Nike representative states that The ad seeks to celebrate the stories of…athletes who are relentless in their determination…to achieve a goal and inspire others. Very revealing!

Starbuck Drinkers: Please consider that CEO and chairman Howard Schultz publicly endorsed both Clinton and Obama. We need to work together in supporting companies that support our Christian values instead of those who do not.

Sofie Stillpass shares: Forwarded to RiteOn by AZ Guest Editor, C. P.

Subject: Why I voted Democrat

I voted Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I’ve decided to marry my horse.

I voted Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

I voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

I voted Democrat because freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

I voted Democrat because when we pull out of Iraq I trust that the bad guys will stop what they’re doing because they now think we’re good people.

I voted Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.

I voted Democrat because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.

I voted Democrat because I’m not concerned about the slaughter of millions of babies so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

I voted Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as THEY see fit.

I voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

“A Liberal is a person who will give away everything they don’t own.”