Monday, March 30, 2009

A Chatty Blue Monday update...

Well, it's not raining, so it's a good kind of blue today :o)

It's been a rather slow day. I have a new Poulan tiller sitting on my front porch waiting for the mud and puddled goo to vanish. Once it does, look out dirt world, I'm coming to the garden spaces! I have about 30 or 40x60 area behind the trailer here, then a strip along the side of that, then I'm heading for the clearing and going to attack that as well. I might even find some other places to tear, till up.

But for now, we have ankle-deep puddles, still. Not much I can do about it. It's springtime Mississippi style.

Today the youngers and I finished our schooling with a sort of 'spelling' contest. No prizes, really (oh, wait, there were fresh baked peanut butter cookies involved...). We have a list of simple words on our big board here, each day we add another consonant or two, then build new words. This is for the youngest ones...even Emily, 2.5 gets involved copying David with this. It's more a review of words for KatiAnne, Jacob and Abigail. The words are there, plain as day, on that massive white board. I ask them how to spell one of them, say fig, and they have to tell me which letters are in the word, preferably in correct order.

They all did really well today. Even Emily, who simply mimicked everyone else and didn't have clue one what we were doing really :o)

I've put the last of my school order together today and will call it in later. Whew. I'd have to check on my overall total for books and such this year, but we have everything together with this final order now. The 2nd grade math is the last set of individual workbooks I need, so I ordered 3 sets of them to cover the 2nd graders coming up (Abigail, Jacob and KatiAnne). I will have to get another 2 sets later for Emily and David, though. Guess I can't say I'm finished with school purchases afterall, heh?

I have to put together my 'high school' years yet. Rod & Staff pretty much ends, and while we have a fairly good plan of what we are doing, it's not really set in stone yet. We have the more in-depth Home Ec things we have only touched lightly on daily here, accounting/bookkeeping skills, more work with various animals, etc. I know it won't all be 'fluffy' stuff, but it will be more of the ame stuff we already train and teach here....home life skills. I just really need to gather my plan, set up my resources and such, and get it listed up properly.

Know what I like about the Amish school traditions? They maintain their values, they uphold their beliefs in every aspect of teaching and training, and they don't worry about what is going on next door. They school as they do because
  • 1) they want to keep their children close to home
  • 2) they keep away from our modern school standard of segregation and constant change --classrooms for specific ages, grades, different classes for each subject, etc
  • 3) parents run and oversee the schooling, as parents are Biblical responsible for what their children are led into; their teachers are selected from their own community, they have a relationship with the children and families from birth most often, there is a genuine sense of caring -- they are not handed over to Lord knows what influence for several hours a day
  • 4) there is no worldly wisdom in their curriculum, children are not taught useless facts and information that does not blend directly into their lifestyle
  • 5) they believe in and live out Godly training by example -- their entire community lives out their Faith by everyday example, there is no mixed messages to confuse children between school and home and church
  • 6) they are cautious of too much interaction with worldly influences, which can lead to unhealthy relationships, unGodly attitudes, and being unequally yoked in marriage later.
They know what most of us know...we just don't live what we truly believe, and our churches certainly don't teach the stronger Biblical Truths. Too much interaction with the world's form of wisdom makes you restless, discontent. Religion should be inseparable from a day's work, a night's sleep, our family meals...not how the world teaches, which is that religion only has a certain day, a certain location and a certain time. All else is separate.

That is what I want here. I want my children to keep some level of innocence (it's getting harder and harder to even use that word in conjunction with youth these days!). I like that my 11 year old will sit in the middle of the floor and play race cars with his younger siblings at night. I like that my 13 and even 16 year olds will help their younger siblings draw and color pictures. They will even play dolls if asked. What are most 13 and 16 year olds doing these days?

Well now, my rather in-tune dear husband made a comment this weekend that sort of hit me with one of those all-too-common DUH! moments (am I the only one who notices a marked increase in those sort of revelation moments as you get older???) The girls had made some doughnuts...totally unhealthy, filled with white everything and topped with gooey sugar. It isn't an everyday kind of breakfast here at all, not even a once a month kind of breakfast. More of a once in a blue moon kind of treat. However, we had just given Jacob his morning 'juice' -- which is what prompted Dewey to comment. Wild Child's juice is a calming tincture blend....passion flower,, blue vervain, skullcap, american ginseng, alfalfa, catnip, oatstraw, peppermint and chamomile. Several drops to a cup of water. It's been working very well with him, though not at all long-lasting in terms of just needing say that one cup daily. He needs at least 3 over the course of the day.

But, the point of the comment by dear husband was that here we are getting him his juice, and there he is eating doughnuts. Sugared up and goodey-filled. What exactly was the point in doing it?

I will admit, I hadn't even put much thought into the juice and the doughnuts at all. And Jacob was rather Tigger-like that day, despite the drink. Still, it was one of those gotcha kind of moments. I felt rather stupid, actually. Either way, we are going back to the changes we had implemented a couple years back. Those changes that started off good, kept picking up steam full ahead, then just sort of stalled out some. We have reverted back to old ways, and that isn't good.

No, sugar in itself isn't good for you, but it isn't our biggest problem here. Just the same, the whites are leaving this homestead. No more white flour (and I don't mean we are going with unbleached...back to my home-ground wheat), no white sugars, limited white pasta, rice and potatoes (I am the mother of a set of starch-fiends here. I can ditch the sugar well enough, but try stealing all the white pasta, rice and potatoes in a cold turkey move and I'd have a mutiny here! Remember The Alamo....this would be just as bad a picture!) It's got to be done, I know this. What better time than now a we start the garden and the fresh veggies begin?

We have a Work Day at church this Saturday. General clean-up of the grounds, the cemetery, the church itself will get a good spring cleaning and scrub down. Then, of course, we have Easter. I am still pretty mixed on that. Easter, Resurrection Day...whatever tag it gets, I know why we as Christians celebrate, but the fact remains that it has such deep pagan roots it really doesn't belong in church. Then you have the fact that if He was crucified on Friday as today's church commonly teaches, and resurrected on Sunday, which we celebrate in modern churches, where does the Scripture in Matthew 12:40 come in? Unless I was taught to count the wrong way, Friday to Sunday isn't 3 days and nights. At best, it would be 3 days and 2 nights.

But, maybe I'm just splitting hairs. A part of me says it is important and it does matter, the details and all. Another part says, no it really doesn't. I am bought by the blood of a RISEN Savior. Death could not hold Him, Hell could not hold Him. LIFE is His and He has offered it to me through His gift of Salvation. What day of the modern week it is makes no difference either way. It's the mere fact that He is Risen that makes the difference.

We also have Homecoming at church soon. Another clean up day will come and we'll fine-tune things at church for the day of fellowship.

Having only a handful of ladies who attend church makes it rather difficult to call our gathering a Ladies Fellowship really, but still, 4 of us came last month to gather together and work on some blankets for the needy locally. Maybe we can spur some more interest and get some community ladies from Dry Creek involved. Right now, it's mainly crocheting we are working on, but it will eventually grow I'm sure to include whatever hand skills the ladies possess. I have a quilt frame that needs a project!

Speaking of which, that poor quilt frame better get its project soon. My grandmother has a special birthday coming up this fall and I need to get to work. I've moved the shelving out of the living room where the garden starts are and put them in the "wood room" next to the heater. We haven't had the heat turned on in well over a month now, so I figured I was safe in taking the space now. I need to get the cookstove moved if I'm going to use it at all this summer, too. Anyway, if i moved things around a bit, I think I could set the frame up and get to work. If I keep at it, it shouldn't take too terribly long. Right now my over-sized ironing board is set up (it's pretty much always set up -- we have a lot of sewing going on!), but I think I could make the quilt frame work in here.

ok...time to get back to work. Dinner needs prepped, laundry needs to come in from the line, and general stuff needs done. Here are some goodies I found -- I think I'll gather the materials for both the Names of Jesus garland and the Resurrection Eggs. We bought some at WalMart year before last, but I'd like to get the children doing them up at church. Maybe my teens could teach the youngers to put them together....hmmmm...

Names of Jesus Garland from The Homespun Heart
Resurrection Eggs from Want What You Have


Salena said...

I'd love to see what you plan for high school when you decide. We have always used Rod & Staff math and English. Now my oldest is going into 8th grade and I'm not sure what I'm going to use for math. I want him prepared for whatever the Lord calls him to do.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about Easter. At church we do not make a thing of it at all. Because the Friday and Monday are both holidays here in Australia it is a convenient weekend to hold a conference of some description, which we tend to do. Apart from that we preach the cross of Christ continually anyway.

As far as the timing goes we tend to think that Christ was crucified on the Wednesday and was raised on the first day of the week, which would have been Saturday night for us since the Jews counted from sunset to sunset. Takes care of the three days.

Much the same with Christmas. Not a big deal. There are a handful of families in church who do not celebrate Christmas and I am tending that way myself. I will more than likely not celebrate Christmas this year.

Enjoy your blog


Anonymous said...

Oh, my, I had forgotten "Resurrection Eggs"! It's been so long since our children were little....but I DO remember doing this and everyone ( we invited the cousins and friends over as well) enjoyed finding the eggs and then hearing how "their" egg told the story...Trapper Dude and I were just talking this morning about the children when they were young...oh, yes, I'd do it all again and THEN some!! To keep a sense of innoncey in a child these days is a bigger undertaling then it was even ten years ago.
I also used Rod and Staff curriculem and enjoyed it. When the children started their high school years, we tried to keep it along the same lines as there's and since we couldn't afford all new books, alot of it we devised ourselves....teaching the boys welding, daughter homekeeping...hindsight being 20/20, I wish we had done more to keep their eyes on the LORD and not "compromised" at times...ah, but the Lord is good and He knows our hearts. It amazes me how He constatnly works in their lives :)
You keep the faith and hold true to your values and won't go wrong then :)


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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