Our resident engineer in training…
Our resident engineer in training…
This isn’t really a whole garden update but…. look what I have been harvesting! Luffa!!! I was so excited to have so many luffa gourds on my one vine. Now they are starting to turn brown and dry out, so we peeled a few and look at these gorgeous natural sponges! And we got a ton of seeds for next year as well. Which is a good thing, because luffa seeds are expensive. Something like $7 for about 7 seeds. Beautiful, aren’t they?
In the corner of my kitchen I have boxes and boxes stacked full of jars. Full jars and empty jars. And buckets and egg cartons and more jars. It was time for them to find a home, but an empty space in my house is not to be found for love or money. So we decided to purchase the first, of what will be many more, cabinet for the eating side of the kitchen. Our other cabinets are ugly, so why recreate ugly? We decided to stain them black. And look! The tall vita-mix fits under the counter. Bonus! I can fit 54 + jars in the top cabinet and I don’t know how many in the bottom. What an improvement. While we were at the store I also decided to paint the bathrooms. After I trimmed, the girls pretty much did the rest. The new grey is calm and cool and will make me love to clean the bathrooms. Right.
Not on our farm, but on the Pullen Farm at Murray State University. What a beautiful day it was to enjoy time with friends and learning about farming. There was a fantastic workshop about antique farm tools, inflatable horse races, a corn maze, beekeeping station, cow milking, an animal encounter. It was geared mostly for younger kids, but all my kids had fun! Even doing things that are considered “chores” around here, like milking the cow! The corn pit was a big hit. All that gmo goodness to swim around in! Even though we live on a farm of sorts, this was a fun day with friends.
Today marked the first day of school. I am passionate about learning taking place all day long, every day of the year. But it is nice to mark the seasons and get a fresh start on everything with this celebration. And who doesn’t love the back to school sales at the stores? Scissors, rulers and notebooks, oh my! The kids always start their studies with renewed energy and vigor after a breakfast of oatmeal, peaches and ice cream! This is a special long standing tradition dating back to my own school days. Most everyone “passed” their grade level last year, hurray! I’m kidding because we definitely do not do “grade levels”. But I also don’t like to the kids to give inquiring strangers a blank stare when they are asked about what grade they are in… so, for the comfort of any who may be interested… This year welcomes a new tradition in our family… Jeremie has volunteered to cook breakfast every morning!!! For those of you who know Jeremie, you are either speechless or chuckling nervously wondering what in the world we will be eating. But, every morning for the past week breakfast has been on the table at 7:30. For us, that is like at the crack of dawn, but hey, as long as he’s making it, no complaints here! Most of the time he fries up some fresh pastured eggs from our hens. I hope this tradition sticks around. I think I may have worked the older girls too hard in their studies. They will kill me for posting this picture, but this is what they were doing after their morning studies. Eta: our first day was Sept 15, 2014
The reason we make the effort to come together with our friends every year at Family Camp is simply this: We are not trying to raise Godly children. We are trying to raise Godly parents. Get the difference? Our vision cannot be merely one generational. It must be broadened to include and affect so many more. The choices we are making today and tomorrow are going to impact our family and society far into the future for better or for worse. A key phrase that was tossed around quite a bit this last weekend around campfires, across picnic tables, on hayrides, in prayer, through embraces… Building intentional community. Something purposeful. Surrounding our children with friends who share the same vision for the future. Friends who value the same commitment to honoring God. Friends who recognize the importance of family. Friends who are willing to come alongside with encouragement, and yes, sometime admonishment and stick with you for the long haul. Stick with you down in the trenches when it gets a little muddy, a little bloody and a little stinky. Because they know and you know that what you are doing matters. A lot. Our decisions to homeschool, to embrace the blessing of children, to strive to maintain purity in the “dating” culture, to raise young people not in the world, but not afraid to change it either. These are not easy choices. These things make you “weird”. Even in a “church-y” environment. So when 60 something like-minded families come together for the weekend for a time of fellowship, something special happens. Something more special than a game of wolf pack, or jailbreak. Something even more special than smores or tye-dye. The Spirit of God moves. And He fills His people with Power. So when we pack up the car every year, strap on the bikes, and make arrangements for an animal babysitter, and remind ourselves that every trek North has cost us extra money in terms of broken down cars, campers or trailers, we also remember that those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled”. And we need to be filled and renewed with His Spirit at Family Camp.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”
This trip up north was not without it’s mishaps. While driving down the highway on the way to camp, Jeremie noticed bright orange sparks coming from where our tire ought to have been. Yikes. Our tire had fallen off because the lug nuts had not been tightened enough when the wheel was taken off to replace the brake drums. So we had to search along the side of the road for the tires (found after 1/2 hour) and the bolts (found 1, but no others) in the dark with flashlights.
Then while we were at camp, Jack fell off his bike and said he couldn’t walk. After a few hours of watching him shake and cry and be miserable, the camp doctor advised us to take him to the ER. No problem. I’ve been to that ER before when Charlotte split her chin and got stitches a few years ago, while we were at the same campground. The leg turned out not to be broken, but Jack couldn’t walk until almost a week later.
So, yes, in keeping with tradition, we had a few unexpected expenses on the trip. Always an adventure.
When… Only Friday -Sunday. We meant to be there Thursday as well, but our tire came off the trailer (SPARKS!!) and we didn’t make it to camp til 11:30pm. Friends had our site ready and were waiting with flashlights to help us set up. Priceless.
Where… ICHE family camp!! See you there 2015!!
We love motorcycles! Surprised?? My dad has a vintage BMW that he has taken all over the country. My mom used to have one as well. Jeremie used to have a bike to get to college. I just think it’s so fun to ride them.
I still have my little leather motorcycle mama jacket in a rubbermaid somewhere, hoping to get pulled out if Jeremie ever gets another bike While we were back home, my dad took all the kids for a ride. There are so many of them, it was getting dark by the time the last ones got a turn. Then Mitna and Bompa took all the babes inside for ice cream while Jeremie and I went for a ride. Fun!