Jon and Candy Summers share:
Formerly Christian Home Educators Fellowship—Now Family Covenant MinistriesFaithfully honoring God, equipping generations, and serving the homeschooling community for the past 30 years! http://www.familycovenantministries.com/
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME March 2014 Information
Family Covenant Ministries (formerly CHEF) Information and Activities
1. Urgent Need: Temporary Housing for Single Mother and Children
2. Early Bird Special for FCM Conference
3. Online Registration
4. Registration Information
5. Hurry! Reserve Your Room at the Embassy Suites-Special (CHEF) Family Covenant Ministries at the Embassy Suites
6. Family Covenant Ministries Information and Activities-Our Meetings and Activities
7. FCM 30th Annual Gradation, June 7
8. FCM Heart to Heart Tea, March 20
9. FCM Meeting Nights and WWII Dance Practices, March 28, April 25
10. FCM Art Festival and Photography Contest, April 5
11. FCM Used Curriculum Sale, May 28
12. FCM 30th Anniversary Conference, May 5-7
a. Honoring our Forefathers and our Heritage
c. Conference Dominion Topics
d. Workshop Descriptions for Susan Bradrick
e. 2014 FCM Conference Speaker-Susan Bradrick
f. Poem: Put Words in Their Place
g. Note from Conference Attendee
13. Special Opportunities-The Delightful Spouse Marriage Retreat
There’s No Place Like Home Articles
a. Oat Roller
b. Winter Puzzles
2. Notes from Subscribers
3. Covenantal Families-A VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM JON AND CANDY
a. America’s Condition Parallels Germany’s Prior to Hitler’s Takeover
b. The Importance of This Conference
c. Churches Offer of Free Grace Rendered Church Willing Partner with Hitler
d. America is a Socialist State Ripe for Anarchy and Destruction
e. Our Duty Lies in Teaching Our Children
f. The Five Axioms of Law
g. Plan for Taking Dominion
h. The Heretical Nature of Socialism
i. Here’s the Way out of Common Core
j. Freefall of American Education-Remedy to Socialism
4. Casting a Vision for Multigenerational Family Business-Libman Family Since 1896
a. Using Our Home as a Tool to Teach Important Skills
b. Incurs No Waste-Meatball Rigatoni
6. Delightful Surprises-Pottery Barn Kids for Spring Items
7. Summers Signature-American Cotton Blanket
8. Summers on the Farm
a. Selling Steers at the Sale Barn
b. Doberman Pinscher
c. Cedar Posts
d. Fruit Trees, Berries, and Grapes, Oh My!
e. Am I a Tree Hugger? Well…
9. The Joy of Country Living
a. Roses are Red, Violets are Blue; I Just Need to Say, That I Love the Moo!
b. Calling in the Cattle
c. Names for Our Cows
d. Sophistication: Let’s Talk Chickens
10. In the Garden
a. Seed Companies
If you get a blank email from us (mailto:
) on your cell phone, please try looking at the email from your computer instead.
URGENT NEED: I need temporary housing for a few weeks for myself and my 2 kids since we are being persecuted for homeschooling in our current living situation. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very grateful. Please contact Lisa Meggs,
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL FOR FCM CONFERENCE
HURRY-Limited Time Save 33% Off Regular Admission Price
For three weeks ONLY, until March 16, we are offering an early bird special to our (CHEF) Family Covenant Ministries families for just $150 (Immediate Family) or $66 (Individual). This is a terrific price and quite a savings over the regular price.
This exclusive price is now available online by going to www.familycovenantministries.com. Click on the Register Now button.
Please be patient, as this is the first time we have set up online registration. If you have any trouble registering, please let us know by sending an email to
or calling 314-521-8487. Please keep in mind that it may be a few days before we are able to respond.
February 23-March 16$150 (Immediate Family) $66 (Individual)
March 17-April 7$195 (Immediate Family) $74 (Individual)
After April 7$225 (Immediate Family) $82 (Individual)
COUPLES:We are sorry for the inconvenience of not having a separate category for couples. Our pricing this year was based on the pricing format from last year, which did not have a couple’s price. It is not that we are discriminating against couples; we just want to encourage families to bring their children because the cultural battle is over the hearts and minds of our children. For our conference this year, if you register for two individuals now, it is an $18 savings off the family price; the next special starting March 17 will be $47 savings off the family price; and the final rate for two individuals will be $61 off the family rate.
HURRY to Reserve Your Room at the Embassy Suites, as nearly 300 rooms of our room block have already been taken by conference registrants.
Special (CHEF) Family Covenant Ministries at the Embassy Suites
We recommend attendees stay at the beautiful, award-winning Embassy Suites connected to the St. Charles Convention Center. The Embassy Suites is offering a special rate to our (CHEF) Family Covenant Ministries families for just $105 (compared to their normal rate of $171 for two doubles and one sofa bed). To receive this special rate go to http://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/es/groups/personalized/S/STLEMES-CHE-20140505/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POGor call 636-946-5544.
Please note that it is better to make reservations online than by phone because in the past, part of the reservationist’s “sales tactics” was to say that the room block was full. If you have any problems with receiving this special room offer, please contact Nick at
or call him at 636-866-0170. Or you may call us at 314-521-8487. To make certain that you receive this special room rate, you should make your reservations as soon as possible, because our room block will fill up, as it gets closer to the conference.
The Embassy Suites Hotel is a 12- story, 296-room facility with the lavish Spa Botanica, an indoor pool, fitness center, and a master chef. Your spacious, two-room suites are fully equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and two telephones with data ports, high speed Internet access, and a well-lit dining/work table. During your stay you will receive complimentary cooked-to-order breakfasts, and in the evening from 5:30-7:30, complimentary drinks and snacks are also provided.
The St. Charles Convention Center and the Embassy Suites Hotel are conveniently located off Interstate 70 just 5 miles from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. You can also visit their website at www.stcharlesconventioncenter.com.
Family Covenant Ministries (CHEF) INFORMATION AND ACTIVITIES
Our Meetings and Activities
Please Note Our meetings and activities are for building up a body of families who are faithful to the multigenerational family covenant, who understand the vast importance of community of like-minded covenanted families that support, strengthen, and protect FCM (CHEF) and our FCM (CHEF) families, as we go forward taking dominion of our culture for the glory of Christ!
FCM (CHEF) 30th Annual Graduation If you have a graduate, please call us to let us know so that we may send you a graduation packet. Provide your graduate’s name, parents’ names, address, phone, and email address. Graduation will be held on Saturday, June 7,8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at 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.
FCM (CHEF) 16th Annual Heart to Heart Mother/Daughter Tea (Mothers without Daughters are welcome!)Thursday, March 20, 7:00-10:00 p.m. at Hawken House Hearth Room, 1155 S. Rock Hill Road, St. Louis, MO 63119. Preregistration cost is $10 per person ($11 per person at the door). Please mail your check payable to FCM (Family Covenant Ministries), c/o Sonia Summers, 236 St. Louis Ave., Ferguson, MO 63135 by March 15 to reserve your place or call 314-521-8487 to make a reservation. Mothers without daughters are welcome to come. Come and enjoy tea and delectable pastries with other homeschooling moms.
God designed our bodies to be healthy. It’s hard to serve Him if we are not at our optimal health. The Great Physician who intricately fashioned each one of us also knows what it takes to keep us living our lives to our greatest potential. However, so many of us suffer from poor health, while many others have become used to a standard of health that is less than optimal. But His Word gives us answers and in His creation He has provided us with natural “medicine” designed by Him to bring us “life” and plants that provide us powerful foods that help us live our lives to the fullest.
Join Mother and Daughter team Renee, Kelcie and Kayla Yeo as they share their journey into natural health and learn how God took their difficulties and turned them into a mission to help others find their health potential!
You will learn how you can replace everyday medicines with more natural and more effective alternatives. Essential oils found in God’s creation were God’s original medicine. What He gave us in the Garden of Eden was “very good.” In His grace, the Lord has given us His “fruit for food and leaves for healing” (Ezekiel 47:12). Learn the amazing benefits of using God’s medicine in your everyday lives and find out how to replace your medicine chest with essential oils.
Real Food—50 years ago that term would be a redundant phrase. Most of our parents never had to “qualify” their food choice. However, we live in a culture that has lost the art of food preparation. One of the ancient practices that has long been lost is fermenting. Come learn how fermenting can be your new “fast food” and why leading health expert Jordan Rubin calls it “poor man’s refrigerator and rich man’s drink.”
Renee Yeo with Ancient Paths and Young Living will be our speaker. If you met Renee at our CHEF conference this year, you will be as excited as I am about her speaking because of her effervescent personality and her passion for helping others achieve optimal health. Discover the medicine God gave us in His creation! “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” (Jer. 6:16). Renee Yeo is wife to Ron and homeschool mother of 3 (ages 17, 15 and 12). Her family is passionate about rebuilding the Christian family. As Biblical Health advocates, their family business “Ancient Paths” represents a return to God’s principles in every area of life: health, healing, home and family. Their oldest daughter, Kelcie has a recipe blog: www.kelcieskreations.blogspot.comand is a health coach. For health consultations, questions or comments contact:
. Send us your comments and we will send you a FREE eBook download of Jordan Rubin’s latest book Live Beyond Organic.
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.
PLEASE NOTE: Meeting Night of April 18 (Good Friday) Changed to April 25
FCM (CHEF) Meetings and WWII Dance Practices, Friday, March 28 and April 25,7:00 p.m.-Midnight at the beautifulSalem 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. Registration at the door is $15 per family or $5 per person to cover room rental, speakers (other than us), and caller. After our meeting we will have dance practice in preparation for our WWII Officers Ball at the Conference in May.
PLEASE NOTE: NEW COORDINATORS, NEW LOCATION, NEW WEEKEND DATE, NEW FORMAT, NEW MUSCIANS
PLEASE NOTE: Art Festival Registration and Guidelines Now Online
FCM (CHEF) 20th Annual Art Festival and Photography Contest, Saturday, April 5 at the beautiful Salem United Methodist Church, 1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Conveniently located just off Hwy 40/64 between Hwys 270 and 170, a little north of Frontenac Plaza.
NEW THIS YEAR We are pleased to announce that a new category has been added to expand the types of art projects that may be submitted. The Assorted Arts category includes such projects as string art, fabric art, mosaics, needlework, etc. (no video will be accepted). The addition of this category gives more opportunities for our homeschool children to showcase their creativity.
Please note:Homeschooled children ages 5 and up may submit up to 2 projects in the Fine Arts category AND up to 2 projects in the Assorted Arts category; AND ages 14 and up may also submit 2 photos in the Photography contest. Homeschool graduates are also welcome to submit projects in all 3 categories.
All of our families are cordially invited to view these artwork pieces created by our gifted homeschooled children, to be displayed at the lovely Salem Methodist Church. Before the awards ceremony, admire the artwork while you enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cookies, cold drinks and classical music performed by homeschooled children.
Art Festival Schedule on Saturday, April 5
5:00-6:30 p.m. Viewing of artwork, voting for People’s Choice Awards (hors d’oeuvres, drinks, music and fellowship)
7:00-8:00 p.m. FCM Art Festival awards ceremony
9:00 p.m. Project retrieval and clean-up
IMPORTANT DATES FOR PROJECT SUBMISSION
Saturday, March 1Early registration form submission $3.50 per project up to/including registrations postmarked by this date. Early fee maximum per family: $42.
Saturday, March 15Late (Final) registration form submission (MUST be postmarked by March 15 to be received by this date) $4.50 per project. Late fee maximum per family: $54.
Saturday, March 29 Deadline for art project and photo drop-off
Saturday, April 5 FCM Art Festival artwork viewing and announcement of winners
Please see Art Festival Procedures and Guidelines and Art Festival Registration and Project ID Forms at http://www.familycovenantministries.com/under Calendar of Events, April 2014.
FCM (CHEF) Used Curriculum Sale,Wednesday, May 28, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noonat Westminster Christian Academy, 800 Maryville Centre Dr., Town and Country, MO 63017. www.wcastl.org. Both buyers and sellers have told us that this one is the best! We have people come from all over the state and other states. Sellers may begin setting up at 8:00 a.m. Tables are $13 for an 8-ft. table. To register for a table, send your check payable to FCM (Family Covenant Ministries), Sonia Summers, 236 St. Louis Avenue, Ferguson, MO 63135 or contact her at 314-521-8487. Directions: From Hwy 270 go west on Hwy 40/64. Get off at the Maryville Centre exit. Make an immediate left over Hwy 40/64 going south. This goes directly into their campus.
Family Covenant Ministries (formerly Christian Home Educators Fellowship) Gratefully Presents 30th Anniversary Conference, May 5-7, 2014
Celebrating Three Decades of Honoring God, Faithfully Serving our Families and Equipping Generations for the Lord
Mark your calendars for this Monumental Event at the St. Charles Convention Center, One Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, MO 63303!
TAKING DOMINION FOR THE GLORY OF GOD with an Emphasis on God’s Providence in Taking Dominion over Evil in WWII
Speakers include Honorable Roy Moore, Kayla Moore, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Dr. Paul Jehle, Dr. Joe Morecraft, William E. Potter, Jordan Rubin, Susan Bradrick, Woody Robertson, Cody Holmes, Joe and Jeanette Wood, Ernest Keithly, The Brown Family, Paul Krumsieg, and The Summers Family.
· Spectacular Video Promotional
· Stunning Heirloom Poster to be signed by Speakers
· Book Signings by Authors
· Patriotic Tribute to our Veterans
· WWII Re-enactors
· WWII Ball
If you have a grandfather who was a WWII veteran, please bring him to our tribute.
Honoring our Forefathers and our Heritage
Where there is no honor for our past, there is no future. We, then, have the new barbarians, the rootless ones, who destroy the past, present, and future. –Rousas Rushdoony
DONATE WHEN YOU REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
For 30 years our families have received continuous in-depth biblical instruction through our newsletters, meetings, conferences and monthly activities. We have labored 28 of those years without remuneration, and instead have covered the shortfall from most events, including the conferences. The organization never receives enough money to cover its expenses. In 2012 CHEF had a shortfall of $20,000, and sometime in the ‘90s CHEF had a shortfall of $35,000.
Our conference is now considered by many national leaders to be the top one in over 250 nationwide. The time has come for other families to step forward and give back from all they have been given so that this ministry can continue strong in the battle for the family.
There are many expenses of varying price ranges associated with our conference and other FCM activities, so please consider supporting (CHEF) Family Covenant Ministries either by including a donation with your conference online registration or by funding promotional advertisement; one of our speakers—either travel, hotel, meals, or honorarium; convention center deposits; ballrooms; AV equipment; printing…or by volunteering your graphic, photography, or taping skills. Would you like to host a fundraiser? Let us know how your family can help by calling 314-521-8487.
CONFERENCE DOMINION TOPICS
God is the Source of Law and His Word is the Standard by Which We Should Live-Standing Steadfast in the Face of Opposition-Honorable Roy Moore
The Significance of a Godly Helpmate-Supporting Your Husband in the Face of Opposition-Kayla Moore
Be Fruitful and Multiply-The Family is the Foundation of the Entire Social Structure-
The Duggar Family
The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail Against the Church-Dr. Joseph Morecraft
Ours is a Divine Calling to Fulfill the Cultural Mandate-Dr. Paul Jehle
God’s Providence in Battle-History Teaches Us to Hope-William Potter
The Pen is Mightier than the Sword-Susan Bradrick
Take Dominion of Your Health-Jordan Rubin
The Earth is Mine and Fullness Thereof-Cultivate and Keep the Garden-Cody Holmes
Take Dominion of Your College Degree-Do Not be Conformed to This World but be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind-Woody Robertson
Taking Dominion Through Multi-generational Family Businesses-The Wood Family,
The Keithly Family, The Brown Family, The Krumsieg Family, The Summers Family
WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS for Susan Bradrick
The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword: The Importance of Teaching Our Children to Think and Write WellShould all children learn to write? Absolutely, YES! But worthwhile writing is more than just getting words on paper. It is the effective, godly communication of significant, purposeful ideas to others. This requires thorough training in both thinking and writing skills. Discover why writing is so important and realistic ways to inspire your children to want to write and to influence their world for God’s glory through it.
Write Right! Both You & Your Children Can Do It! Me, teach writing? A common question because most parents struggle in this area themselves. And, unfortunately, English grammar courses teach only part of what is needed to communicate well. But be encouraged. It is easier than you think! Come learn the basics of effective written (and spoken) communication and how to help your children (and yourself) to master this most essential skill for glorifying God in every sphere of life.
Home Is Where the Heart Is: Teaching Daughters to Cherish Being Keepers at Home Homemaking is not a second-rate job suited for the woman who can’t do anything else! It is the most rewarding, challenging, significant vocation a woman can have—even in 21st-century America. The mother of five adult daughters encourages us with purposeful, practical ways to 1) prepare our daughters for this crucial career field and 2) help them face criticism that comes with choosing to be a keeper at home.
24 Hours Is All We Get: Ways to Wisely Use Your Day A homeschooling veteran and mother of nine shares the many—and sometimes surprising— blessings of having a flexible family schedule. She also teaches very practical ways to design a workable, Bible-based schedule by evaluating from God’s perspective the myriad of viable “good” activities in order to choose what is very “BEST” for YOUR FAMILY. Discover principles from God’s Word that can bring His joy and peace to your home-based discipleship adventure.
2014 FCM CONFERENCE SPEAKER
“Understanding Writing: A Christ-centered Mastery-oriented English Language and Composition Curriculum Review” by Cathy Duffy [Cathy Duffy is a former CHEF speaker. Cathy is reviewing our 2014 CHEF Speaker Susan Bradrick’s writing curriculum.]
In Understanding WritingSusan Bradrick has successfully combined the teaching of language and composition skills in a format that adapts easily to multi-level teaching and is totally Christ-centered in philosophy. This is an approach to writing that places equal emphasis on development of skills and development of godly character. Comprehensive as it is, there are some areas of language arts not included. These are phonics, penmanship, reading, spelling, and literature. Junior high level grammar is taught by combining Understanding Writinginstruction with the grammar materials recommended in the text. Also, the text teaches students to refer to a dictionary, a thesaurus, and the recommended English handbooks at all levels.
This one-inch-thick book is divided into three parts: “Part I, ‘Rethinking Writing’ deals with the theory behind an effective approach for studying English composition; Part II, ‘Understanding the Basic Elements of Writing,’ discusses the elements of content, style, and mechanics essential for effective writing and gives examples of each; Part III, ‘Teaching the Basic Elements of Writing,’ provides detailed lessons for teaching your child to master the content, style, and mechanical skills of effective, God-honoring written communication.”
Although Part III is divided into twelve levels, they need not necessarily correlate to grade levels. Instead, we should use the Diagnostic Check List in the Appendix to identify which goals have been accomplished within each level, then determine from there a starting point for each child. Children of varying skill levels can easily be instructed at the same time upon a new concept, then work at their ability level in their individual writing time. (The Bradricks have used this method successfully with their nine children.) Each child maintains an “English notebook” (folder or three-ring binder containing drafts of written work rather than copied exercises), and there is no need to purchase student books other than dictionaries or thesauruses.
This is not an independent study curriculum. Lessons are dependent upon teacher presentation at all levels, although students in junior and senior high should be able to do most of their grammar work and some of their writing independently. Lessons are structured in units with daily assignments that include a balance of discussion and writing time that varies according to a child’s level. While most lessons require no parent preparation time, the few that do state this clearly at the beginning of the lesson. For example, instruction at the beginning of a second level lesson says, “Read the sections on adjectives and adverbs in your English handbooks.”
Children write about personal experiences and observations rather than fiction until the high school level. Suggested topics are included in the appendix. Because the thrust of this curriculum is mastery of God-honoring communication, most composition assignments are to be written for a specific reader. They are also to be actually delivered (usually in letter form) to that individual so that a habit of skillful, genuine communication is the result of the student’s writing study.
A reproducible “Composition Planning and Evaluation Sheet” is used to help students think through their composition before they begin, then provide key areas for parents to address in their evaluations. (These sheets are also available from the publisher in pads of fifty, three-hole-punched sheets.)
With the book, we also receive a special template for making lines on unlined paper so unskilled writers can still use nice stationery without their writing wandering all over the page.
Understanding Writingshould be an excellent curriculum for those who like well-structured material with clear goals that retains flexibility enough for multi-level teaching.
Poem: Put Words in Their Place
by Lee Steinmetz Deneau, Lansing, MI
A noun is the name of anything:
Book or pencil, hoop or ring.
Instead of nouns, the pronouns stand:
Their heads, her face, its paw, his hand.
Verbs tell the tale the noun begins:
He runs, sings, dances, hops and wins.
Adjectives tell what kind of noun:
Great, small, pretty, white or brown.
How things are done the adverbs tell:
Slowly, quickly, poorly or well.
Prepositions link the noun:
We stayed at home; they went to town.
Conjunctions join the words together:
Men and women; wind or weather.
Interjections show surprise:
Oh! How pretty. Ah! How wise.
NOTE FROM CONFERENCE ATTENDEE
Thank you so much for letting us know our package to the Phillips family arrived safely! We very much appreciate your thoughtfulness.
We would very much like to attend the May 2014 CHEF Conference and are making our plans to that end, if the Lord so wills. All (6) of our young people said your conference last year was the BEST they had ever been to anywhere!! We were blessed with new like-minded friends, greatly encouraged and spiritually edified.
We will pray that God will continue to strengthen you & your family in all the ministry He has put your hands to.
Thank you for serving Christ so faithfully for all of these years! –Greentown, IN
[This information is communicated to you only as a service to our families. The information contained herein is not screened or verified by FCM. Please be discerning at all times.]
The Delightful Spouse Marriage Retreat Featuring Reb and Bev Bradley, Friday & Saturday, March 14, 15 at First Baptist Church of Washington, 11 E. 14th St., Washington, MO 63090. Cost is minimal, and a nice lunch will be served on Saturday. The highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and His church on display. That is why marriage exists. If you are married, that is why you are married. If you hope to be, that should be your dream. –From John Piper’s book, This Momentary Marriage
Many things compete for our time these days. So often, we’re easily tempted to sacrifice things that are lasting and eternal for things that are urgent and temporal. So on March 14 and 15, we’ve invited a special couple from Colorado to come tell us how God invaded their temporal, legalistic, distant marriage and is transforming it into an enduring, eternal and delightful blessing. Reb and Bev Bradley will be sharing their 35+ years of marriage and experience; their successes and failures; their battles and newly-discovered victories; and how the Gospel of grace has made all the difference.
Why not consider sacrificing an evening and a day in March to invest in an eternal blessing from God that can leave a lasting mark on your marriage, your children, your children’s children and beyond?
Whether you are a spouse or long to be one someday, we hope to see you March 14 & 15. Registration is available online at www.fbcwashmo.com. You may also sign-up at First Baptist Church of Washington, by calling 636-239-6209, or by emailing Mindi Rowe
. In Christ alone, Pastor John Melton, First Baptist Church
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME-Celebrating 28 years of inspiration, encouragement, and biblical instruction www.theresnoplacelikehome-summers.com
Weblog-My Latest blogs
NOTES FROM SUBSCRIBERS
I love the newsletter so much. Before I even knew you, I felt like you were writing it just for me!! I would say to myself, “Candy doesn’t even know me, and yet she is speaking to me in the newsletter!” It’s something I look forward to, and I rank it 2nd to the Bible!! I am excited about trying the simple fix of fitting it to my screen and once again printing it out, reading it in the bathtub and then sharing it with my family.Thank you for all that you do in making the newsletter happen!! –St. Louis, MO
I love the new format and name. –Sibley, MO
I so enjoy your monthly newsletter that you take so much time in doing. –Washington, MO
We just found your website and love it. We spent hours thoroughly enjoying your blogs, articles, and recipes. We look forward to reading everything. Thank you.–Farmington, MO
A VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM JON AND CANDY
We will continue our series on The Family Covenant in upcoming newsletters; however, Candy and I felt that it was paramount to convey these truths before the conference so that our families better understand the perilous course our country is taking and the importance of this upcoming conference in making a difference as salt and light to our churches, communities, and nation at large.
America today closely parallels the condition of Germany prior to Hitler’s takeover because of the breakdown of the family and the failure of the church to preach the authority of God’s Word. The church then offered a cheap grace that rendered it totally impotent to the diabolical schemes of Satan. In fact, it not only rendered it impotent, but in effect cooperated willingly with Hitler and his agenda.
Obama said that no matter what we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation. The truth is we have become a socialist state, ripe for anarchy and destruction. There isn’t a leader we know who disagrees with this summation. Yet we know that our families have been raised up for such a time as this. And as we have seen with our own eyes, and heard from our speakers and national leaders, God is transforming our families and training them to rebuild the ancient ruins of our Christian Republic.
Parents’ duty lies in diligently studying God’s Word and His Story and then teaching it to their children. The following overture (proposal) exposes the diabolical nature of socialism and why Christians must oppose it. After this, we have printed an article that shows the problem with the battle plan for fighting Common Core. If we want to win the war over socialism, we must lay the axe at the root—the public school system, but ultimately to the socialistic state.
And then we have an article by Marshall Foster laying out the simple remedy to our country’s woes, that of discipling our own children as commanded by God in scripture.
But before we begin this extremely important series of articles, let us lay out the course of what happened in Germany and what has occurred in our own country over the last century and a half, since the Civil War, through the Five Axioms of Law.
1. “Law is in every culture religious in origin. Because law governs man and society, because it establishes and declares the meaning of justice and righteousness, law is inescapably religious, in that it establishes in practical fashion the ultimate concerns of a culture.
2. In any culture the source of law is the god of that society. If law has its source in man’s reason, then reason is the god of that society. Modern humanism, the religion of the state, locates law in the state and thus makes the state, or the people as they find expression in the state, the god of the system. In Western culture, law has steadily moved away from God to the people (or the state) as its source, although the historic power and vitality of the West has been in Biblical faith and law.
3. In any society, any change of law is an explicit or implicit change of religion. Nothing more clearly reveals in fact, the religious change in a society than a legal revolution. When the legal foundations shift from Biblical law to humanism, it means that the society now draws its vitality and power from humanism, not from Christian theism.
4. No disestablishment of religion as such is possible in any society. A church can be disestablished, and a particular religion can be supplanted by another, but the change is simply to another religion. Since the foundations of law are inescapably religious, no society exists without a religious foundation or without a law-system which codifies the morality of its religion.
5. There can be no tolerance in a law-system for another religion. Toleration is a device used to introduce a new law-system as a prelude to a new intolerance. Every law-system must maintain its existence by hostility to every other law-system and to alien religious foundations or else it commits suicide.” –The Institutes of Biblical Law by Rousas Rushdoony
This is exactly what happened during the French Revolution; exactly what was attempted in the Civil War; exactly what happened in Germany; and exactly what has happened in America.
What is little known is that more Christians were annihilated in Germany than Jews, because in order to supplant that Christian nation with humanism, they had to destroy the remaining Christians who stood in their way.
Candy and I do not believe that God has raised up our children for naught but has a very definite role for them to execute in His plan for restoration. As Christians, we are restored to the original purpose of taking dominion under God for the glory of God, as covenant keepers fulfilling the righteousness of the law.
The plan for taking dominion was given to Adam, then required through the godly remnant of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah, and finally Jesus Christ, who firmly reestablished the law through His own blood through the New Testament (witness, testimony, proof) for His chosen faithful.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
The Heretical Nature of Socialism-A Measure Taken in 1966 by a church in Wisconsin
1. Socialism is in conflict with man being the image bearer of God, who as such is a responsible creature who is individually accountable to God. The Christian may not shun any facet of his personal and covenantal God-ordained responsibilities by shifting them to the state.
2. Socialism is in conflict with the First Commandment of the Moral Law in that it gives priority to the State above God as the supreme authority over man. God is the great benefactor and not the State. Socialism is the direct opposite of this making the State the distributor of wealth and regulator of life. Men are then forced by circumstance to look to the State rather than to Divine Providence for the source of their daily material sustenance.
3. Socialism is in conflict with the Eighth Commandment of the Moral Law which insists upon the legitimacy of private property, forbids any form of stealing said property and demands of the individual faithful stewardship of such property.
4. Socialism is in conflict with the Tenth Commandment of the Moral Law which forbids all coveting of the neighbor’s possessions and all notions of statist redistribution of wealth which is the trumpeting position of Socialism.
5. Socialism advances the idea of centralization of power which is the very purpose of Satan and both the beasts out of the sea and the earth as set forth in Revelation 13. Further it advocates “one world” which will certainly be under the anti-christ which we may not advocate or support in any degree or form.
II. To do its utmost to disseminate the knowledge of this Biblical position with grounds through the denomination in the way that Synod believes to be most effective.
1. Many Christian Reformed people are unaware of our ecclesiastical stand which as stated above has been largely ignored and buried with the passage of time.
2. The gradual drift toward Socialism and state welfarism in the United States and Canada has rendered us unconsciously vulnerable to the departure from these Biblical principles.
3. The current accelerated adoption of socialist and state welfarist measures in the United States and Canada makes it a matter of paramount importance that our people be aware of our denominational position and see Socialism for what it is, a diabolical evil.
III. To require of all our ministers, professors, teachers and denominational employees and all in positions of leadership that they be sincerely committed to our position, that they strictly adhere to this position in their church life and private conduct and that they faithfully champion this position and warn our constituency against all departures therefrom.
1. They have a great influence upon the membership of the Christian Reformed denomination.
2. They play a strategic role in shaping and molding the future thinking of the membership of our denomination by virtue of the great influence which they exert upon our covenant youth.
3. They function as an important segment of the total Christian witness which God requires our denomination to bear in this vale of darkness.
(The Council of the Racine Christian Reformed Church overtures Classis Wisconsin to overture Synod. The Foundations of Social Order Studies in the Creeds and Councils of the Early Church-Rousas John Rushdoony)
Dear Michelle Malkin: Here’s the Way out of Common Core
Michelle Malkin is one of a handful of conservative commentators—including Glenn Beck and David Barton—who have taken up the issue of Common Core as an all-out crusade. On the main point I agree: Common Core is the first step in the federal takeover of education. At best, it is a dangerous federal intrusion into education, even if not so up front, and even if it does not succeed in a full takeover. But the current crusade against it is flawed and self-destructive.
My problem with Malkin and others on this issue is that they don’t seem to be aware of the contradiction inherent in their position. They want public education in general; they just want to keep the likes of Obama out of it. And herein lies the problem. Public, tax-funded, government-controlled education is by definition socialism. And once socialism is the premise, the socialists will win in the conclusion. And conservatives will look quite silly arguing against something that is nothing but the logical conclusion of the system as designed. And that’s what’s happening here: Malkin is arguing against something that is already at the root of the thing she wants to preserve and protect.
Let’s be clear: public education forces people, willing or not, to pay for a service. (We just had a Supreme Court case about this issue with ObamaCare, remember?) Some people pay more than others. Some people pay way more than others. Many pay nothing, yet all get equal access to an expensive service. Some are forced to pay and yet do not even use or want the service—but they are forced to pay anyway. There is a word for this: Wealth-redistribution or socialism.
In the case of education, the socialism is even more explicit than in, for example, ObamaCare, because the government actually owns the means of production. It could be said that public education is the most socialistic institution in American life.
There is no way around it. Defenders of public education are de facto socialists. This means that on the issue of education, Michelle Malkin is every bit as much of a socialist as that other Michelle. (In fact, she’s more so in practice. At least Mrs. Obama sends her own children to a private school.)
I have heard from many people at the local level “fighting common core” in their county or local school board. Almost every story is the same. The local officials may not be crazy about the standards, or about the possibility of further centralized controls in the futures, but they find a way to suppress the tough questions, or sugar-coat the reality because of one factor: they want the handouts from the government and related foundations.
Parents and local activists, for whom Malkin stands to speak, are bewildered at how quickly Common Core appeared with full-tentacles, entrenched in their local schools, and defended by local boards. I am not.
Common Core has succeeded—and I predict will continue to succeed—because it is designed upon the premise of the buy-off. Money is dangled; public educators salivate. Few apparent strings are attached. The offer is so good. What tax-funded institution would not take that? That’s what publicly-funded institutions do—they take public funds. Someone said that politics is the second-oldest profession. Well, it is much akin to the first. That kinship is pretty evident in the wide open welcome school districts have given to the Common Core handouts.
Everyone knows that schools will grow dependent upon, or addicted to, the increased revenue. And thus, in the future, continued handouts will be contingent upon meeting further requirements. Everyone knows this. But conservative and Christian parents live in a particular type of denial when it comes to tax-funded education. They accept socialism here. In fact, they are worse than socialists; they are socialists who believe they can get something with no strings attached. They believe they can still stay in control after taking the crack.
The level of denial approaches delusion in Malkin’s recent conclusion: We parents of school-age children…not the Obamas or the Bushes or the Gateses or educrats in Washington, are our children’s primary educational providers. Control over our children begins and ends with us.
This is strong, adamant “fight Common Core” language. But anyone with a modicum of education beyond that provided by the government will be as amused by it as I am. In terms of its grip on reality, it is somewhere near the orbit of Pluto. Common Core or not, the moment you drop your child off at a public school, or that child steps onto a school bus, that school system with all of its socialistic strings attached is that child’s parent.
In loco parentis means something, Michelle. It means you do not have control. It means you have relinquished control. It means you have chosen to give control over to educators, principals, school boards, state and federal educrats, the Gateses and all that—and you know what their political bent and values are.
Unless you homeschool, there is no way you can claim that you are your child’s “primary educational provider.” The claim otherwise is laughable. At best, you could have a school board dominated by conservatives. But even then, they’re still dedicated to a system of socialism. And that system can never morally, politically, or economically rise above the nature of what it is.
And in my opinion, those who continue to defend such a system have no right to complain when it grows bigger than them, and then turns and bites them. It will bite them and devour their children.
You won’t see me out there engaging in the fight to save public schools from Common Core. I do hate Common Core because I oppose socialism in all its forms. I oppose Common Core because I oppose public schooling. I don’t see how anyone can distinguish the two in principle. I wish Mrs. Malkin, Mr. Beck, and Mr. Barton would consider this problem more seriously.
Instead of fighting against one socialism in defense of another socialism, take your crusading axe to the root.
So here’s my remedy: If you want to get out of Common Core, get out of public school altogether.
See more at:
Dr. Joel McDurmon, Ph.D. in Theology from Pretoria University, is the Director of Research for American Vision. He has authored seven books and also serves as a lecturer and regular contributor to the American Vision website. He joined American Vision’s staff in June of 2008. Joel and his wife and four sons live in Dallas, Georgia.
Freefall of American Education by Marshall Foster
Lingering visions of ivy-covered prestigious institutions of higher learning and academic excellence still remain a part of the American Dream. Parents mortgage their homes and, together with students, indenture themselves with loans of more than $100,000 to finance a single bachelor’s degree, which they hope will ensure success.
However on the billion dollar, tree-lined campuses and behind the ivy-covered walls is a “shadow university” that is hidden from parents and students, but which is harming their lives and futures. Many authors including Professor Jim Nelson Black uncover the façade of this shadow university. He says, “It’s in this arena, where administrators exercise absolute control over students, that one finds the enforcers of political correctness, the mandatory sensitivity classes, the seminars on race and gender, and the encounter sessions through which students are indoctrinated, often by invasive and manipulative means, including various kinds of role-playing, in the dogmas of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ that are a mask for the anti-American and hyper-sexualized agenda of the universities. The doctrines being forced on students are distinctly counter cultural and contrary to any interpretation of traditional morality, and it is easily the most sinister element of what’s happening today.”
Authors and professors Alan Kors and Harvey Silverglate powerfully expose the shadow university, calling it “a hidden, systematic assault on liberty, individualism, dignity, due process, and equality before the law.” They say, “The ultimate force of the shadow university is its ability to punish students and, increasingly, faculty behind closed doors, far from public and even campus scrutiny.” They say that the universities “have become the enemies of a free society.”
Not only is modern education a faith-killer; it is an intellectual disaster. “Ninety-five percent of the kids who go to college in the United States would not be admitted to college anywhere else in the world,” states Albert Shanker, head of the nation’s second largest teacher’s union, the American Federation of Teachers. American education has left over forty million American adults illiterate, and over fifty million more have only survival level academic skills.
Truth is “whatever your colleagues let you get away with,” according to Professor Richard Rorty at the University of Virginia. Rorty, one of the icons of the Left, admits openly that “the power base of the Left in America is in the universities.” He is not alluding to a playground game of “king of the hill.” The souls of America’s youth are the prize, and parents are paying “big time” to place their most precious resource into professors’ hands, only to see them stripped of their beliefs and secretly reprogrammed. Today, only 3% of the Ivy League faculties identify themselves as conservatives.
The president of the Heritage Foundation, Ed Feulner, says that America’s best colleges have totally failed at their fundamental responsibility. The core curriculum of a liberal arts education, the standard of America’s colleges for 300 years, has been ripped out and forcibly purged from higher education. This hidden agenda includes the dumping of the historical, cultural, political and scientific foundation of our society. From kindergarten through graduate school, entire generations of young people do not know the essential facts of our history or culture.
Legendary Yale professor, Dr. Donald Kagan, one of only two conservatives on the Yale faculty, laments the destruction of our society caused by the universities’ cynical trashing of America and her history. He says, “The terrible thing about the disappearance of a focused program of some kind that tries to teach you the heritage of Western civilization is that it hasn’t been replaced by anything…The university is telling students that ours (America’s) is a terrible civilization, and the less they know about it the better. Except, of course, that they need to know that it’s wicked, chauvinistic, racist, and all that.”
What is being taught in college curriculum? Thousands of “elective” courses are mandated in order to alter values, facts, and social behavior. An example includes the ever-so-popular “Homosexuals, Heretics, Witches and Werewolves” at Stanford. Other typical classes at various first tier colleges and universities include “Feminist Critique of Christianity,” “Sorcery and Magic,” and “Queer Theory, Queer Texts.” Or for history buffs there is “Love and Eros in Japanese History” or “Fetishism, Gender, Sexuality, Capitalism.” Even courses that may sound traditional or beneficial have a hidden meaning.
Longtime USC professor, Dallas Willard, warns that these names are simply a cover for the unyielding agenda of the humanist ideologues that dominate the schools.
The good news is that Americans are awakening to the truth as the above deceptions are being exposed. Throughout Scripture the mandate is clear: education is the responsibility of the parents. Consider the word of Moses: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deut. 6:5-7
Here is our hope—the ultimate, no-fail plan that is given by God throughout Scripture. (Gen. 1:26-28; 9:1-5; 18:17-19; Deut. 6:4-10; Eph.. 6:4; Ps. 78:1-10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10; Col. 2:3; 2 Cor. 6:14; 2 Tim. 3:14-17).
Noah Webster, the Founding Father of Education, said, “The education of youth is an employment of more consequence than making laws and preaching the gospel, because it lays the foundation on which both law and gospel rest for success…Education is useless without the Bible.”
For centuries parental, biblical education of children was the central pillar of our republic. Once again in our generation, millions of young minds are being trained by godly parents, especially in home schools... They are being taught to apply the cause and effect principles of Scripture to family, economics, government, and all areas of life and society. Doing all we can to prepare these covenant children is the sure way to reverse the freefall of education.
Dr. Marshall FosterIn 1976, Dr. Marshall Foster founded the World History Institute, a nonprofit educational foundation, to teach the biblical and historical foundations of liberty. The World History Institute (formerly the Mayflower Institute) has become a major force in the movement to restore our nation to its Judeo-Christian heritage. Under Marshall’s dynamic leadership, the Institute has reached millions with America’s “untold heritage.” He has trained tens of thousands through live seminars in 40 states, Canada, and Europe. His weekly syndicated radio broadcasts, “Our American Inheritance” and “Story of Liberty” reached hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens. Dr. Foster is in constant demand as a keynote speaker at numerous conventions, schools, churches and retreats, and political and business groups. He speaks to audiences as large as 20,000 at business conventions and religious gatherings concerning our heritage. He has been a keynote speaker for Promise Keepers, Coral Ridge Ministries, Reclaiming America, Christian Coalition, ACSI Christian School Conventions, Worldview Weekends and many more. He has trained the national staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, the Christian Broadcasting Network, the National Day of Prayer, James Robison Ministries, and over 100,000 business associates of Amway Corporation and Boeing Aircraft, among many others. The World History Institute has produced numerous educational seminars and scores of syndicated articles with titles including: The Paper Trail of Freedom, Hope for Our Time, Heroes of Faith, The Army of Compassion, Free Enterprise, How Families Have Changed the World, From Terror to Triumph – The History of the World, and many others. Since 1988, Marshall has led tours of America’s historic East Coast with American Christian Tours. He is now the Director of Christian Education with ACTS, training tour guides to lead over 10,000 students and families each year on the trip of a lifetime. He personally leads several annual tours to the historic East Coast and Europe. Marshall, in collaboration with actor Kirk Cameron, was co-producer for the film, Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure, which was released in theaters nationwide in March 2012. The basis of the film revolves around the National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth. The film traces the heroic and harrowing travels of the early Pilgrims and encounters the unlikely men and women who risked everything for liberty. A follow-up film is in production for release in fall 2013. Marshall has authored three books and produced numerous CD & DVD resources. His best-selling book, The American Covenant: The Untold Story, has become an effective training tool in hundreds of Bible studies, classrooms, and study groups nationwide. The American Covenant book and accompanying documentary have had a deep and lasting impact upon the grass-roots movement to restore our nation. This movie, narrated by Marshall Foster, has aired on numerous TV programs, and has been viewed in thousands of homes, churches, schools, and study groups. Marshall is a 1967 graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. His graduate studies were accomplished at Talbot Theological Seminary, Christian Associates Seminary, with doctoral studies completed at the California Graduate School of Theology and Cathedral Bible College. He was ordained in 1973 and earned a Doctorate of Divinity degree from Cathedral Bible College. He and his wife, Patricia, have two grown children and six grandchildren. They currently reside in Southern California. www.worldhistoryinstitute.com
CASTING A VISION FOR MULTIGENERATIONAL FAMILY BUSINESS It is always good to hear from you that you are reading these to your children. We must be diligent in casting a vision for multigenerational faithfulness!
Libman Family made in the USA since 1896-Bringing the world a better way to clean through innovation, design and quality. For over 110 years, the Libman family has made quality their utmost priority. William Libman started the Libman Company in 1896 with one mission: to make the finest, most durable wire-wound corn brooms. William’s sons, grandsons and great grandchildren have since expanded that mission to include the finest mops, brooms, brushes and cleaning tools.
The more things change...Since William Libman founded The Libman Company as a broom manufacturer in 1896, our company has remained the same in many ways. We have maintained a commitment to offering the highest quality products on the market. The quality of our products has continuously met-and exceeded-the higest industry standards. And, the Libman family continues to produce high quality products in the USA.
...the more we've changed William's sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren have maintained that dedication over the generations. As the cleaning needs of the American public have expanded, so has our product line. However, product quality has never been sacrificed for the purposes of product line expansion. By remaining a reliable source for cleaning products, we have survived the ups and downs of the economy and worldwide events.
20th Century Growth it was William's sons, Clarence, Sam and Ben, who brought creativity and improved operations to the company during the Great Depression. Their contributions helped Libman to succeed throughout the era. In fact, Libman was one of the rare companies to expand its operations during the Depression.
As the country pulled itself out of the Depression in the 1940s, World War II began, and Libman helped with the effort. We produced over 2,500 brooms a day from 1942-45 for the War Department. Our custom made products were used in military bases and on military vessels throughout the war.
In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Libman grew and improved its product line of brooms, mops, brushes and other cleaning products. By 1980, we were one of the largest producers of cleaning products in the U.S. In 1990, Libman introduced one of its best-selling products to date, the Wonder Mop®. Still in production, the Wonder Mop® simplified mopping and made it possible for users to thoroughly clean floors without getting their hands wet.
Continuing service Today, the Libman family carries on William Libman’s vision. We look forward to serving our existing customers and expanding into new markets in the U.S. and abroad. As their needs change, we will continue to adapt with them. http://www.libman.com/
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.
Using Our Home as a Tool to Teach Important Skills
Although it would have been much easier for us to complete the work around our home, both Jon and I have used our home in the city, and in the country, as a tool to teach our children how to make home improvements and repairs, thus allowing them to practice dry walling, plastering, flooring, wall papering, painting, electrical, plumbing, building rock walls, ponds, and much more. Although these things were not perfectly accomplished when the children were young, we had the satisfaction of fulfilling our duty of training our children for their roles in life, and now they are proficient at most of these skills.
Incurs No Waste
~Meatball Rigatoni Stale bread was covered with milk. Once softened, I added ground beef, eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt, and pepper, mixed, formed into meatballs and rolled in breadcrumbs mixed with grated Parmesan cheese. After browning the meatballs, I browned sliced Crimini mushrooms and then deglazed the skillet with Marsala wine. Once deglazed, I added cream, roasted tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese and allowed to thicken. Once thickened, I returned the mushrooms and half the meatballs back to the skillet. When warmed, I added cooked rigatoni noodles, thoroughly incorporated and served with an Italian salad.
~The other half of the meatballs went into spaghetti sauce for another meal.
Pottery Barn Kids has some adorable Spring items for children. I especially loved the Peter Rabbit plates, feeding set, tumblers, utensils set, tea set, tablecloth, placemat set, and apron. http://www.potterybarnkids.com/shop/easter/easter-tabletop/
For some time I have had Sonia looking for a cotton, American made, tightly woven blanket to replace the one on our bed because of the many pulls that had occurred over time. Just recently she found and purchased this one for us. We like it so much that we are purchasing more for the children’s beds. Here is the information from L.L. Bean’s catalogue.
L.L. Bean Maine-Made Cotton Twill Blanket $99.00 (Queen) FREE Shipping
Now offered in our soft cotton twill. Pill-resistant fabric. As its name suggests, this wonderfully textured blanket was made right here in Brunswick, Maine, a town with deep roots in the textile manufacturing industry. An L.L. Bean exclusive, it’s crafted from cotton twill for a beautiful drape and just the right amount of warmth in any season. The fabric is durable and pill resistant so you can count on enjoying this blanket for years to come. Comes in Antique Pine, Bluegrass, Mid-Blue, Natural and White.
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!
Selling Steers at the Sale Barn Our family just went to the sale barn for the first time to sell two of our steers and watch the bidding process. At first it was very disturbing to each of us to see the frightened cattle pushed through the chutes into the ring and then to witness the men swat them so that they would move where they wanted them. Quite frankly, I never really got over the ordeal, as I felt so badly for those frightened animals. I know that they are just animals and that the swatting does not hurt them, but it disturbed me nonetheless. I worked hard at holding back my tears. We are always very quiet and gentle with our cattle, talking and singing to them, feeding those who will eat out of our feed bucket, rubbing those who will let us. I was glad that we had missed seeing our own steers in the ring. The only redeeming factor was the check we received—finally money coming in instead of constantly going out—and seeing all the farmers talking to one another. It is such a blessing to live in a small town where most people have grown up together and know each other intimately. That is what I will try to remember about this experience instead of lamenting over the poor, frightened creatures.
Doberman Pinscher For Jedidiah’s birthday, we purchased a Doberman Pinscher. He had been sold to a family who had a family crisis and could not keep him, so we received him for half of what he was worth. Jedidiah has always wanted a Doberman, and since our watchdog is getting old, we decided to surprise him with one of his own. The dog was already 17 weeks old and nearly 50 pounds when we picked him up from the breeder. His father weighs 155 pounds, so we are working every day with him to train him before he gets bigger than Jon and Sonia. Right now he is very sweet, calm and pliable but chews on everything. So for Jedidiah’s birthday celebration, we gave him doggie items, including a lot of chew toys. Someday we might breed Dobermans as another business venture for our family farm.
Cedar Posts We picked up 500 cedar posts for a little over a dollar a piece. It was a great price. These will be added to the posts we have cut ourselves for replacing all our old fencing.
Fruit Trees, Berries, and Grapes, Oh My! Josiah and I have been busy going through all our catalogs marking the fruit trees, berries, and grape vines that we wish to plant this year, but, oh my, where shall we plant so many when we don’t want to take up any of our open pasture? It is a real dilemma! To help us determine planting sites, Josiah made a map of our property.
Am I a Tree Hugger? Well… Continuing to clear our fields of topped trees, felled trees, and the leftover debris from timbering, Jedidiah and Josiah’s chainsaws are running most days as they cut up the wood, while Sonia and I pull the branches and separate them into our cedar piles for chipping for paths and other wood piles for chipping for winter bedding for the cattle. We also stack the wood that the boys cut up for burning in our wood stove and fireplace for next year. The boys have been using our bobcat to pick up large roots and move them to our burn pile. So far, we have cleaned up almost a mile of felled trees and brush.
Okay, the truth of the matter is that if I were not a Christian, I would be a genuine tree hugger. Frankly, Jon thinks that I am just way too close for comfort because I hate to see live trees cut down. I don’t even like to see branches trimmed. Take for instance the year we first purchased our house in the country some 15 or 16 years ago. I was finally situated in woods. Hidden from society, surrounded by beautiful trees, I naturally hunkered in for the long haul.
Sitting on our porch every chance I got, I would look out and praise God for the trees that surrounded our house. Especially one in particular that hung over our deck. Yes, I would actually give particular praise for that one. It is not superfluous to say that I delighted in that branch. It not only beautified the sky above our patio table (where we sat for breakfast, lunches, and dinners, I might add), but also it provided shade in the summer and beautiful color in the fall. After all, maple trees are one of my favorite varieties. I felt blessed until that dreadful day when I walked out on the deck by myself and noticed something missing. My very own maple canopy was gone, leaving a wide-open hole where once a lovely branch grew.
Dumbfounded, I sat there for a moment just looking. Surely, it was just there. Surely? Then I began to seethe. Oh, he wouldn’t do this to me here, too. See, Jon was naturally the most likely culprit, as he had been known to ruthlessly trim bushes, vines, and trees away from our home in the city. The home I always pretended was my English cottage.
If I couldn’t live in the country, I at least worked at creating a wall of bushes, vines, and trees to screen my neighbors. Because when I look out of my kitchen window, I wanted to think I was in the country and not in some close city dwelling. You see I get claustrophobic when it comes to housing. I was born to live on thousands of acres away from the world, so I counted it a sacrifice to live in the suburbs. You can’t blame me for trying to think otherwise. I don’t pretend about anything except when it comes to where I live.
Sadly, Jon never understood this. So every year or so, I would look out of my kitchen window and cry because Jon’s chainsaw had been at work again. Instead of country, I saw my neighbor’s disheveled blinds, their bare yard, their barbecue pit, and then the neighbor after that, which I won’t describe, because it is really a sore sight to see. It was disgusting. It was sickening. It was terrible. And so I would cry. It is true that I don’t believe in self-pity—except when it comes to my living screen.
Did I mention that Jon never understood my feelings on this point? Even when he saw my tears, he would tell me that it had to be done for the good of…at that point I tuned him out because after all, no man should bite the hand that feeds him.
Well, now you know why I went to Jon first. Incredulous and confused, he looked at me as if I had lost my mind. “Cut the branch hanging over the deck? Which one? And how did I know it was gone? And why would I care? Woods surrounded us,” he reminded me. “You actually noticed a branch missing,” he asked. “Really”?
Okay, he did not exactly say all these things, but after living with a ruthless tree trimmer, I knew what he was thinking. He denied it, of course, but that is his first line of defense for everything, so please, I was not to be dissuaded that easily. I asked him again. He emphatically rebuffed my prying because he said that he had no reason to cut any branch around the deck.
What did a reason have to do with anything, I thought. He did not have a reasonable reason for cutting away my living screen at home in the city. But for the sake of peace, I looked elsewhere for my answer.
So who was the culprit, I wondered. Surely not one of my children, I queried! After all I had been with them most of their formative years. They knew how I felt about overgrowth. After all cutting live trees, my trees, my bushes and my vines was a cardinal sin. So who in my family would do such a thing?
Sonia was out of the question, as she was my clone and would have been as horrified as I was if she had seen the missing branch. Since Josiah at that time was only three or four, it was somewhat unlikely that he had cut it. He had been known to climb trees at twenty feet off the ground, even at two years of age, but climb and cut? Probably not!
Jedidiah? Surely not! Yet when questioned, without so much as a blush, remorse, or an apology, my eldest son, then nine or ten, looked at me with complete confidence that it was the most logical thing to do and confessed that he had cut the branch for a bow.
I was shocked. I asked him how he could do such a thing when there were hundreds of trees all around us. Why couldn’t he have gone out into the woods and cut a branch that I could not see—one down the lane, over the hill perhaps, far, far away?
He looked at me incredulously. We did have hundreds of trees all around us. That was the point, in his mind. There were so many branches, and this one was handy to cut. Why would I care about this one branch with hundreds of trees in every direction?
Frankly, it was at that moment that I knew in my heart that I would have to keep an eye on him when he was old enough to wield a chainsaw—just like I did his father. In fact, every time I hear a chainsaw, I run out to see what is in the path of those sharp teeth.
So you can just imagine how I react when I see timbering, or the remnants thereof. By and large, I loathe the culprit and mourn the destruction. After all, in my mind, anything that magnificent, that takes decades to create, should not be destroyed in one fell swoop. With that said, I am sure you can well imagine how I feel about all the timbering that occurred prior to the purchase of our farm. Every tree is mourned. Thus as we clean up the aftermath, my children hear me say, “What a shame! What a shame! Oh, how I wish we had purchased this farm before they had timbered. We must plant trees to replace the living screen they provided.”
In my defense though, I must tell you that I have always wanted my own chainsaw because if a tree is dead, or has already been cut down, it is no longer sacred, but an eyesore that needs to be cleaned up. Therefore when I know for certain that the chainsaw is cleaning up instead of destroying life, I actually love to hear a chainsaw running and love to see the work a chainsaw accomplishes. With that said, you would think Jon would go out and purchase my very own chainsaw in hope of converting me to his way of thinking. But no, Jon has always refused my request for a chainsaw, as he fears a loss of my limb, so he says. I think he just likes to pretend that he is the lumberjack in the family. I just wish he could pretend with me that we live in an English cottage because all English cottages have lots of foliage.
Nevertheless, if I cannot have a chainsaw in hand, the next best thing is standing close behind one so that I can pick up the logs. See, I actually love to haul wood, stack wood, fill our wood box, and bring in wood for our fires. I know, it seems like a contradiction; an inconsistency in mind; but it is kind of like this: I don’t want the milk to spill. But when it does, I just get a dishcloth to wipe it up. So for the past two months, much of my work has been wiping up the mess by hauling and stacking wood.
I love woodpiles, don’t you? They are so beautiful, so orderly, and represent such a good day’s worth of work. So am I a tree hugger? Well…not really.
THE JOY OF COUNTRY LIVING
Roses are Red; Violets are Blue; I Just Need to Say, That I Love the Moo!
Our cattle have become so friendly that they come running to us as soon as they see or hear us and continue to “Moo” for us at the nearest gate until we respond. I asked Jon if this is normal because I have never heard of cattle being particularly this friendly nor have I read any precious stories of the personal relationships farmers had with their cattle. Neither has he.
Ours actually run to us when they see us, find places in each field where they can watch us while we work, follow us around as we fix fence, stay with us just to be near, lay down around our four wheelers when we are in the field, and in general act like they want to be our buddies.
I think cattle are great! I love to hear them moo! I love to watch them graze! I love to watch them watch me! I love when they eat from my bucket or lick my hand! Cattle are great! But not for one minute do I forget how they effortlessly toss each other around at the feeding trough. So while I think they are wonderful—I know that they are absolutely not created for cuddling.
You know the whole idea behind purchasing a stationary exercise bike was that I needed to strengthen my hamstring so that if God ever blessed us with a farm, I would be able to outrun the bull. I have seen those signs posted that say, “Our bull can cross our field in 3.9 seconds, so if you are thinking of crossing our field, you better be able to run faster than that.”
Run? I could barely walk even weeks after I ripped my hamstring. We did not have a farm then, but in my heart of hearts, my first thought was, “What if God finally gives us a farm after all these years of longing, and I cannot outrun our bull? Boy, oh boy, I better shape up.” And so the story goes, I continued to work on that hamstring, but sadly, not much has changed. I am no longer the racehorse I once was—first out of the gate, first one around the track, and first one at the finish line. No longer, as I am now the turtle. I do get to the finish line, but it is rather a slow start, slow journey, and slow finish. Sad, but true!
For the first thirty some years of our marriage, when Jon and I were shopping, he used to whistle to my determined form just strides ahead of him and say, “Heel, Candy, heel.” This was to remind me to slow down to a normal walking pace, for after all we did come together. Funny that he thinks since we rode together, we ought to walk together. Shopping was always a race for me to get everything we needed and get out as fast as we could because I never really liked shopping. But that is another story.
Although our bull is a very docile bull, he is a bull nonetheless. And one thing I have always heard, “Never trust a bull.” Well, really, when you think about it, nothing that weighs 2500 pounds or more than you should be trusted. That goes for moose, bear, and elk, all of which I have had contact with over my lifetime. Contact from a distance, that is.
Calling in the Cattle
Although our cattle come running to us as soon as they see or hear us, there are times when they are so far back in a hollow or in a field that they don’t hear us. And because it is important that we check on them, we call them in with “Soock, soock, soockCalf.” But I must ask, why do farmers call cattle like this? Even though it makes no sense to me whatsoever, I can call with the best of them now. Yet on second thought, I guess “Soock, soock, soockCalf” sounds better than “Here, Cow,” but who thought of this and why? I want to know.
Names for Our Cows
I have waited all my life to have cows, so naturally I named them shortly after they became ours. For years I kept a list of suitable names for cows so I was prepared when God blessed me with some. My list of names are as expected I guess—Buttercup, Bluebell, Blossom, Bessie, Bossy, Sweet Pea, Daisy, Clover, Annabelle, Marigold, Daffodil, Cutesy Pie, Muffin, Patty Cake, and of course, Elsie, which Borden felt perfect for their dairy cow.
Just in case you think my names are hokey, I named our horses, those alive and deceased, much more regal names: Dakota, Sundance, Montana, Cheyenne, Chante, and Shiloh. I think my next horse will be Cimarron. I would also like Chiricahua. The names I picked for bulls are Cheshire, Dorsett, Manchester, Devonshire, Somerset, and Herefordshire.
Sophistication: Let’s Talk Chickens
Now if you want to talk sophistication, let’s talk…no not turkey, but chickens: Henrietta, Isabella, Chanelle, Izzy, Charlotte, Camille, Mimi, Maybella, Chardonnay, Chablis, Chickadee, Josephine, Chantilly, Sophia, Daphne, Phoebe, Babette, Bordeaux, Claudette, Suzette, Fleurette, Gabriella, Georgina, and of course, Jemima Puddle-Cluck.
My ducks? Clarabelle, Penelope, Primrose, Petunia, Amelia…and of course, Jemima Puddle Duck.
And don’t you know after loving Charlotte’s Web all these years, I must have a pig named Wilbur.
Do you know how they call pigs? Talk about strange, who came up with Souey Pig? More importantly, why? But I am getting ahead of myself again, as I don’t have any chickens, ducks or pigs yet. However, when I shared with Jon that I really did not want to butcher any of our cattle because I loved all of them—after all we are now on a first name basis—he said (just like a man would, I might add) that I needed to name them Prime Rib, Sirloin, Rib Eye, and Strip Steak. I cringed. This could definitely make me rethink all the negative thoughts I have had about vegetarians. I wonder if all of them had pet cows, chickens, ducks, and pigs, and that is why they decided to become vegans.
IN THE GARDEN
Baker Creed Heirloom Seeds www.rareseeds.com
Seed Savers Exchange www.seedsavers.org
Seeds of Change www.seedsofchange.com
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange www.southernexposure.com
Diane Drinkard shared this with me several years ago.The American nursery trade is a 39.6 billion dollar a year industry. With the purchase of Seminis in January of 2005, Monsanto is now estimated to control between 85 and 90 percent of the U.S. nursery market. This includes the pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer markets. By merging with or buying up the competition, dominating genetic technology, and lobbying the government to make saving seeds illegal, this monolith has positioned itself as the largest player in the gardening game.
Monsanto holds over eleven thousand U.S. seed patents. When Americans buy garden seed and supplies, most of the time they are buying from Monsanto regardless of who the retailer is.
Most home gardeners started noticing the initials PVP appearing next to selections in the mail order garden catalogs a few years ago. This stands for Plant Variety Protection. It means the seed or plant carries a U.S. patent. It is illegal to save seed from or otherwise propagate PVP varieties. Consumers will have to buy more each year if they wish to grow a PVP variety.
Greenpeace chides, “Monsanto-no food shall be grown that we don’t own.”
They could be right. Terminator Technology promises to be a big money maker for Monsanto and its subsidiaries. Plants are genetically modified so they won’t produce seed, or if seed is produced, it is sterile. With this maneuver they are guaranteed a continuing market for vegetable, fruit, and flower seed.
Consider the newest Frankenstein called Traitor technology. This charming little piece of genetic engineering will help Monsanto’s chemical division rake in billions of dollars a year from across the globe. It allows growers to control the genetic traits of plants by applying an array of chemicals, all owned by Monsanto. Do your genetically modified watermelons have blight? No problem, for a price you can buy the chemical that will turn on the plant’s blight fighting gene. No kidding. It is estimated Traitor technology could dominate world seed supply with an astonishing 80 percent of the market by 2010.
Six companies Du Pont, Mitsui, Monsanto, Syngent, Aventis and Dow control 98 percent of the world’s seeds. These companies are opening research facilities and acquiring local seed companies and farmland on every continent, and they can’t do it fast enough.
Imports of seed and stock from Pakistan, India, Mexico, Thailand and of course China, are on the rise. Countries like Thailand boast of seed exports rising at 12 percent per year from 1998-2001. American seed exports fell at twice that rate for the same time period. As biotechnology forges on, something is lost. At first it is barely noticeable, just a sense that something is different.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down Before it was acquired by Monsanto, Seminis eliminated 2,000 varieties of seed from its inventory. The first things to go were the older open-pollinated varieties-vining petunias, butterfly weed, butter beans, German green tomatoes, and other heirlooms grown by gardeners for generations, replaced by genetically engineered varieties.
High-tech patented hybrid varieties are far more profitable for transnational seed companies to produce and sell. These new Frankenseeds are bred to perform adequately over a wide geographical area, giving the patent holder a much larger market.
As consumers are losing the freedom to choose what they will buy and grow, thousands of varieties of garden seed are walking the plank, straight into the abyss of extinction. Consider this, in 1981 there were approximately 5,000 vegetable seed varieties available in U.S. catalogs. Today there are less than 500, a 90 percent reduction.
Seeds removed from commercial production are left in private corporate seed banks. Open pollinated seed will not store indefinitely, it must be propagated to ensure its survival. This is an expensive proposal, one not likely to happen in the world of capital consolidation and wide profit margins.
The more likely scenario is the “unprofitable” heirloom seeds will be allowed to expire and patented hybrids will take their place. Seed biodiversity will be compromised globally, while the corporate stranglehold tightens around the throat of the consumer.
Kent Whealey, co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, says “Few gardeners comprehend the true scope of their garden heritage or how much is in immediate danger of being lost forever.”
Taking the ball and going home Like the glaciers that rolled across North America, heaving and prying the earth into new forms, giant transnational seed companies are changing the face of gardening as it once was. What’s left behind is the product of a destructive force to be sure, but something beautiful and promising also remains.
Across the globe people are growing and saving heirloom seeds, ensuring the promise of diversity and heritage for future generations. Groups like Seed Savers Exchange are blooming in the remains of corporate devastation. Some of these organizations are large, offering seeds from across the globe. Others are neighborhood and regional groups saving and trading local favorites. Whatever their size, they are dedicated to preserving the earth’s biodiversity. All it takes to form a seed saving club is for one neighbor to pick up the phone and say to another, “Do you want to trade some seeds this year?” There you have it, a seed saving club.
Imagine if one neighbor called another neighbor and that neighbor called yet another, and so on. The next thing you know southern growers and northern growers, farmers and city folk, church goers and non-church goers, would be united in an effort to prevent the extermination of thousands of varieties of seed. What a beautiful thing it would be.
Before you could shake a dollar at it, the landscape of the nursery trade would change. It’s the age-old law of supply and demand; if no one wants patented hybrids, then they become unprofitable in short order. The reigning corporate kings of the gardening game would be forced to take their ball and go home, leaving consumers free to choose a more sustainable pastime.
It could happen.