Thursday, July 31, 2008

Local Food

I'm getting my food locally, about as close to home as is possible ~ right outside my back door. We love every bite and we feel so grateful for all God has provided for us. Just this morning, I worked up a great sweat as I harvested some radicchio, kale, and tomatoes.

But I just started purchasing some vegetables from the neighbor down the road, not even a mile away. This older gentleman has a stand out by the road (highway), with a canopy set up. The tomatoes and onions rest in bins on a table, along with a cooler filled with ice and stocked with peppers, cucumbers, and okra. He has his prices posted on a dry erase board and a scale hangs from the canopy. Oh, and the money box is setting on the table, also.

I can't believe I haven't been buying from him, every day, all summer long! Look at these prices ~~~
cucumbers 25 cents
tomatoes $1 a pound
okra $2 a pound
peppers 25 cents
onions 50 cents
Amazing!!! Oh, and they are so fresh and lovely!

But you know what I love? I love that he trusts everyone with his money box right out there in the open. Even my children are amazed! I love the idea of helping a neighbor, a retired person, who will benefit from my enjoying his food that he labored to grow. I love the fact that he'll get every penny of what I pay for my produce. I'm thankful he didn't have to use fuel or time to transport his vegetables. I love the feeling of "community" I get from the simple act of buying my food in this fashion.

I'm so thankful to live in America where I still have the freedom to grow my own food, purchase my food from my neighbors, praise God openly for his bounty, all while my children bustle about me, happily content with this gloriously simple life the Lord has given to us. How blessed I am!

***Remember to check out Biblical Womanhood's Frugal Friday Tips***

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wanna See Some Serious Mud???

This is the site of where we hope to build a workshop. Tim had just done some scraping/leveling of the ground, nothing serious, yet. We've had lots of rain this year. It was the strangest thing. It wasn't exactly muddy, but the ground was so saturated that it felt almost blubbery if you tried to walk on it or put any pressure on it.

Micah had fun with it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Only A Little Thing

It was only a tiny seed,
Carelessly brushed aside;
But it grew in time to be a noxious weed,
And spread its poison wide.

It was only a little leak,
So small you could hardly see;
But the rising waters found the break,
And wrecked the great levee.

It was only a single spark
Dropped by a passing train;
But the dead leaves caught, and swift and dark
Was its work on wood and plain.

It was only a thoughtless word,
Scarcely meant to be unkind;
But it pierced as a dart to the heart that heard,
And left its sting behind.

It may seem a trifle at most,
The thing that we do or say,
And yet it may be at fearful cost
We may wish it undone some day.
~~~Author Unknown

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Scriptures that spoke to me today....

I am blown away by God's Word! I've never read or experienced anything so rich, so full, so new every morning! I just want to jot down a couple Scriptures that blessed me today. I don't want to forget. There's something about writing down what God has done in my heart, what He's whispered in my ear, what He's urged me to do! I started this practice when I was about ten years old. It's one of my sweetest times of the alone time with Jesus. Since the birth of my fourth child, those times have been fewer and I've never managed to have them be nearly as quiet as they used to be, but always God is faithful to speak to me, if I'm willing to listen!

Psalm 16:8-9
I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

How can my heart be glad, my glory rejoice, and my flesh rest in hope? By keeping the Lord always before me and at my right hand. Then I will not be moved! What a promise! My flesh resting in hope? I need that!

(italics added for my benefit)

II Peter 1:2-9
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, (how?) through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, (How awesome is that thought?!), having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue (purity, moral excellence, courage in the midst of opposition); and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(How are grace and peace multiplied? Through the knowledge of God and Jesus. How will I not be barren or unfruitful in this knowledge of Jesus? By giving diligence to the above "list". By adding one upon the other.)
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (temporally minded), and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

The green writing is what I've's most definitely not inspired! :)

Monday, July 21, 2008


Are you ever amazed at the fullness of life? Today is one of those days when I am simply in awe of all the "good" God has bestowed on me. Nothing earth shattering has happened today or even recently, but my daily blessings are so great that I can't help but marvel at the goodness of my God.

My kids are back from spending some time with their Grandparents. I missed them so! I missed them in very practical ways. They help me with everything I do and so I realized how much of the load they carry around here. We're family and when one of us is away, we feel it. But I also missed the kids in very sentimental ways. They may need to be tucked in at night and they do each have their own little way of wanting to be told goodnight. But I think maybe I need four little ones to kiss me goodnight at the end of each busy day.

So today was so nice just being a family all together again. We worked most of the day and enjoyed just being together. Is there anything on earth more precious then loving those God has given to you? I can't imagine what it would be.

Tomorrow a dear friend and her boys are coming to visit. I so look forward to preparing lunch for them and then just enjoying the fellowship. She'll want to see my gardens. She'll be interested in the wild plants growing on my land. She'll listen when I cry, and understand and she'll be truly happy for every joy or accomplishment I share with her. She's a true friend!

To make life even a bit richer, we'll head over to another mutual friend's house for dinner. The children will run and play, the women will cook and clean, all the while catching up on the little details of each other's lives, and the men will discuss their recent endeavors. I have no doubt it will be a relaxing, refreshing time. Why? Because they are true friends. Friends that love you just as you are. Friends who know the good, the bad, and the ugly about me, and still they love and give to me. We don't agree on everything. We don't have to. We're friends!

I always know that God is good. But tonight I feel that God is good. The economy may stink, gas and food prices may be higher than normal, my house may still hold too much clutter, but I have in my trust two things that money can't and friends who I love and I know they love me. Life is good because of God's goodness to me, though undeserving I am!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Great advide for Elementary Science

I recently was feeling very clueless as to what direction I wanted to go with Science for our new school year. I have a terrible track record at finishing what we start with Science. It's not that my kids don't know any science, they really do! But their knowledge has been gained from their own interests, asking questions, watching science videos, talking with their dad, reading books on their own, etc. We've always enjoyed nature together and they each have a nature journal. I've just not been consistent with it.

I wrote the following to a group of friends and below is one of the responses I received. This lady has been my mentor for over seven years now. I've never met her in person, but she has blessed me over and over again. Some of her words of wisdom are printed out and saved in my homeschool binder, the one I open most days of our school year. Her words are there for my quick reference on the days I need reassurance that all will be o.k. and I just need to remember what is important, what really matters. I aspire to be gentle and wise, as she is. Here's a bit of our conversation:

I never seem to finish any Science that we start. And I really think it's because I just don't have a whole lot of interest in science other than natural science. It takes too many of my brain cells right now, isn't that horrible to admit?!

Thank you for admitting that you really don't like science except for natural sciences. I'm that way too, that's why generally for the grade school years, we did nature journals and observations. (did you guess I'd say this?)

Some ways to do this to keep it interesting for the varied interests of your family.....

Ask the kids to choose something to study. Let's say they choose frogs. Give them free reign to find books they want to bring home from the library about frogs or pond life. (Pond life might be more fun since some of the children can study frogs, some dragonflies, some turtles or fish, plants and etc.) Let them do their own thing with their info. Maybe one will want to just read and tell you about it. Another might want to go sit at the pond every day for a week or two or maybe study the pond for an entire year, noting the changes in a pond. Some may want to journal or draw pictures or take photos.

When the frog/pond thing wears out, let them choose another topic. Fruit, changing leaf color, rodents (maybe you have a mouse in the house!), weather, birds.... Whatever they choose, let THEM decide how to study and show their skills. Again, the library is a good jumping off point with books that may lead to other books and ideas.

Some of my kids liked experiments. Any of these topics could lead to experiments --tadpole eggs to adult frogs, looking at pond water under a microscope, identifying leaves from the trees on your land and so on.

Have you ever done the Backyard Bird Watch from Cornell University? That might be a fun "science" project for the whole family or for the kids to do together.

I preferred to always have a book case of field guides rather than a bookcase of textbooks, but that's just me. I saved the formal science texts for high school and that has worked pretty well for us.


You can find Jody at Homemade Living where I found her 7 years ago. I remember reading there and it being like a huge breath of fresh air. I copied off everything in case for some reason I couldn't get to her website again. Her words have shaped our homeschool more than anything else. I take her book recommendations seriously! And I now recommend those same life changing books to other moms.

Jody also has a blog about her ranch life at Gumbo Lily.

Thoughts on Good Intnentions

People know you for what you've done, not for what you plan to do.
~~Author Unknown

Ouch! I have so many good intentions that never materialize! One of my goals for our upcoming school year is to plan "small", not overdo my planning! My great plans aren't what make our year a success, anyhow! Usually, it's the small moments of our everyday life that add up to big learning experiences.

Of course planning is important for most areas of our lives. A loose schedule/routine has been a lifesaver to me in the past. And for my family, a necessity! Planning daily science lessons, though, just doesn't seem to ever pan out! Instead, maybe I can be realistic and enjoy an afternoon of science read-alouds and experiments. Nature study seems to be on going at our house. But I could be a good example and pull out my own nature journal. The kids are always so thrilled when I do!