"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesdays With Words

Reading Proverbs 25 this morning, I found this jewel...
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
In settings of silver."  

I have read this verse on the 25th of every other month, but for some reason, it jumped out at me more so this morning than before. I quickly wrote in my commonplace book.

There's not much explaining needed about this verse, is there? Just saying the right thing at the right time. I needed this reminder today.

Sharing this post with Dawn.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Banty the 2nd Update

Happy Monday, friends!

Just wanted to share an update about Banty the 2nd. She was very diligent about staying on her nest (12 eggs), but some frigid air moved into our area, causing temps to dip down into the single digits, with wind chills below 0.

We knew that her little babies would probably not survive the cold once they hatched, so we brought her and her nesting box inside near the wood stove.

We didn't have to wait long before hearing a "peep, peep" coming from the nesting box. The first chick hatched on Valentine's Day....healthy, active, and very loud. :) 

Another chick hatched the next day, but was smaller and not as active as the first one. The next morning, I found this..
The runt didn't make it through the night.  It was a sad morning, but such is life on our little farm. The children have had to learn first-hand that death is a part of living.

Another egg  hatched part of the way, but the chick died before completely hatching out of the egg. The other 9 eggs never hatched at all. So out of 12 eggs, we got one chick. Not a very good average, but the first-hatched chick is doing well. We named him Speck for 2 reasons: 1. he has a black speck on top of his head, and 2. he is as small as a speck.  :)

Speck will stay inside near the wood stove until he (or she - we're still not sure of the gender) is big enough to join the other Bantams outside. But for now, he enjoys "doing school" with the children..

And sitting on Asher's shoulder.. (he thinks he's a parrot - lol)

And what about Hoodie? Well, she left her nest 2 weeks before the eggs were due to hatch. I guess she wasn't ready to be a mama yet.

Have a great week!  :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Baby Goats Are On The Way!

Hi friends,

Almost two years ago when we first got our goats, we looked forward to not only having a constant supply of goat milk, but also breeding them and having baby goats.

The first year we bred them (fall of 2013),  we used a buck named Raj. The breeding was successful: 5 months later, we got 2 baby boys from Fiona. And we got 2 baby boys from Helena.

When breeding time rolled around last October, we decided to use a Saanen buck. Saanens are known for their high milk production, and we would like a couple of Toggenberg/Saanen mix females to add to our little herd.

Enter Snowflake...
our breeder's Saanen buck. He is not nearly as big as Raj was, but regardless of his size, he did the job. (And he didn't stink nearly as much as Raj!) Well, I should say he half-way did the job. The vet came out last week and did an ultrasound on Helena and Fiona. Helena is pregnant; Fiona is not.

So we are waiting for Helena's big day, which should be sometime during the week of March 18-25.
And she is apparently getting a good laugh from keeping us in suspense about how many babies she will have.  ;)

Will we get the little females that we are hoping for? Time will tell. My children are hopeful: they are picking out goat names.  :)

 Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Keeping - My Children's Commonplace Books

For one of this month's prompts, Celeste is asking for a look into our children's commonplace books.
The children, in their different ways, are enjoying their keeping. And I enjoy seeing their face light up during a reading as they write down something they want to remember for later.

 When I started keeping again, I explained the aspect of keeping to them. I had been a keeper in days past, but it was a somewhat of a new concept to them. And even though they had seen me jotting down quotes here and there, they needed to know the hows and whys of keeping. 

After a thorough explanation, I bought each of the children a spiral notebook, and encouraged them to write in it - whatever strikes them from their readings, whether it's a Bible verse, poem, or  something from one of their AO books, or even something from their free reads.

They were a little reluctant at first; it was new to them. But with a little encouragement, they took off with it. And are now enjoying it as much as I am.

So what do they write? Some of what they write is from their AO readings, and some is from other readings. And until the habit is established, I am requiring at least one entry per day

And how do they write? My children like variety, so I let them choose the type of pen/pencils they want to use.  Some of them use pencils, and some use colored ink pens.And printing or cursive? It makes no matter to me.

And where do they write? Wherever they are reading...at the dining room table, on the couch, on their bed, etc.

And when do they write? Whenever they read, they have their commonplace book close by to write down the things that strike them the most from their readings.

Now, here's a peek into their commonplace books..

Natalie writes in hers several times aday - without being reminded. No surprise there - she loves to write; always has.
On this particular page, she jotted down quotes from John Adams, George Washington, Pericles, and John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress), from readings that she is doing in her free time.

Asher writes in his without being prodded, too. He, like Natalie, has always loved to write.

 This page includes quotes from the books of Proverbs, Job, Psalms, and a quote from Socrates. Notice that the quote from Socrates is embellished. I like that.  :)

Aaron needs occasional reminding to write in his, but that's ok with me. When he does write in it, his entries are wonderful.

 On this page, Aaron wrote from the books of Acts, Psalms, Job, and he also jotted down quotes from Archimedes, and a poem by Carl Sandburg. As you can see, Aaron uses the colored ink when writing his entries.

And Ian has taken off with his keeping. I often hear him say (under his breath) while he is reading one of his AO books, "Ahh....this quote is going in my commonplace!" And that makes me smile.  :)
This page includes some quotes from Thomas Paine, Winston Churchill, Samuel Johnson, Oliver Cromwell,  and poet William Cowper.

Naomi, at age 7, is still a little young for a commonplace book, but she sees her older siblings writing in theirs and has a little notebook she occasionally writes in.

I have noticed that keeping really does help my children remember. It makes them think, too, and I love hearing their thoughts about the person they wrote about. We often discuss the authors and their quotes; it makes for wonderful discussion.  

"It is very helpful to read with a commonplace book or reading-diary, in which to put down any striking thought in your author, or your own impression of the work, or of any part of it; but not summaries of facts. Such a diary, carefully kept through life, should be exceedingly interesting as containing the intellectual history of the writer; besides, we never forget the book that we have made extracts from, and of which we have taken the trouble to write a short review."  -Charlotte Mason

Sharing this post with Celeste.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

From My Commonplace

I have been reading the book, John Adams by David McCullough for several months. It was a gift from my dear friend, Silvia. It's a long book (651 pages), and I am taking my time, yet I was hoping to get it finished before Ian will be needing for Term 3. I have come to realize that it is not going to happen, so we will be reading it together, which will make for wonderful discussion time.  :)

There are so many treasures in this book; my commonplace book is fast filling up.

I want to share one quote from a letter that John wrote to his daughter, Nabby. It was his advice to her on choosing a husband.

"Daughter! Get you an honest man for a husband, and keep him honest. No matter whether he is rich, provided he be independent. Regard the honor and moral character of the man more than all other circumstances. Think of no other greatness but that of the soul, no other riches but those of the heart. An honest, sensible, humane man, above all the littleness of vanity and extravagances of imagination, laboring to do good rather than be rich, to be useful rather than make a show, living in modest simplicity clearly within his means and free from debts and obligations, is really the most respectable man in society, makes himself and all about him most happy."

This is timely advice, don't you think? Even though it was written so many years ago. When the time comes, this is the kind of man I want for my little girls. And I want my boys to be this kind of man.
May God grant it to be so.

Have a blessed day, friends.

Sharing today with Dawn.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Flexis of the Month

Hello friends,

Lilla Rose is offering not 1, but 2 Flexis of the Month for February. And they are both lovely!

Have a look...
Remember, the Flexi of the Month is only available for a limited time, limited supply. So order one while they are still available! Thanks so much for your support!  :)