Monday- Hailey, Elijah, and I have been plugging away at filling capsules. I ground some echinacea, and had some powdered ginseng, vitamin c, and skullcap that we got all capped up. We filled about 1200 caps by hand. We started using caps when we discovered how wonderful Charcoal is for the family medicine chest this year. I have always leaned toward tinctures and infusions for our internal methods...but I am finding that caps come in handy for a few things too! All the kids take them so well...except Eliana (almost 4). She resisted strongly and made quite the fuss (which is no surprise for 3 yrs old)...so I was just letting her take tincture...but she was watching everyone ELSE take the capsules and all the sudden she thought she was missing out on something. She started asking and we said, "no-- you are too small, you make a fuss about it" for a few days. When we finally allowed her, she jumped at it like candy and swallowed it down like a champ. She was so proud of herself...so I guess she is on board now too. If we can always keep things rolling in a positive way for all things this is a big part of our parenting strategy! One of the (many) beauties of a large family who is close knit. :-)
Tuesday- We struggled with our "homestead selves" today about whether we wanted to buy wood or not. Come on! We have 85 acres - with about 40 acres wooded! We think we have enough fallen wood without having to cut living trees and season them! However, we are so behind on gathering, and we ran into wet cold weather, and we got old blue stuck in the mud. We are learning as we go...but just want to "get ahead" of the project. We are kicking ourselves for not having collected wood BEFORE we set the stove up. It all happened so fast...anyway..we caved (all the while swearing we will be better prepared next season). Thankfully our local Amish helped take the sting out a little bit, because we have two Amish mills just up the road where we can get a truck load full of wood for burning for $16 a TRUCK LOAD! This certainly will test our thrifty muscles for next season...because that seems really really reasonable in comparison to the work involved in cutting and collecting our own! :-)
Gideon and Naomi have really been getting into drawing into this past week.
Gideon's (4) Drawings:
Naomi's (6) Drawings:
Thursday - Today we went on a little field trip to the local library. It is hard to believe that we have been here a year and we have never been to our local library...boy have things changed! :-) It was a good trip though, the kids were all quiet and we were there for about an hour. It is a challenge to go though...we had our little "talk" before we went in, as we needed to explain that not all books are good books and that the library has both, so we are going to let mommy and daddy help us choose good books. We sat in the kids section and read books to the kids. The "looks" we get are interesting when we get in new places as a modest dressing, inter-racial family, that covers (heads) and wears tzit tzit! We have never had any trouble, mind you. Nothing we couldn't handle anyway...most people are kind or just curious. I think it really, really, helps that the kids behave themselves (for the most part). It certainly does from my perspective...or we just wouldn't go OUT! :-) Anyway... Hailey and Elijah are very seasoned in choosing books since they have been strong readers for years now. They are both good at discerning what is appropriate and not, and are willing to bring books to us to check if they are not sure. They are also willing to put a book down or bring it to us in the midst of a story if something is troubling their conscience or they need clarity. Hailey quickly found three large novels with Women from Scripture (Mary, Zepporah, and Sarah) as their main topic. She brought them to us (all the same author) and Ben started to review them. The first page he opened it to in the middle of the book...was well...HIGHLY inappropriate in the way of explicate "romance". He showed me one sentence and it made MY eyes bug! Thankfully...Hailey is happy to consider it "easy come easy go". We are blessed! Elijah finds himself in the science section...he was looking for something to help him figure out how to construct an underground shelter of some sort....(?) But He seemed to think that we had better resources in our own library for that (YES!). So they both left empty handed. I got a "phonics program" that I thought might be fun to play with this month with Gideon and Naomi. We brought home a totally silly book to read to the kids called "Farm Flu" about a cow who caught the flu (and was nursed in the house).
One of the ladies at the library does a children's story hour for little ones on Thursdays and she approached me to tell me about it. That my be something fun to try in the new year. She said she had put some packs together for the class today, but their were only two children and asked if I might like to take a few along for my kids, she was so excited that we had come in (at the end of the night) and these things were going to find there way home with some children as originally planned. I graciously agreed and she disappeared into the back and said she'd bring them out in a bag, so that I can give them to the kids as I saw fit. (Very nice I thought!) When she brought them to me... as it turns out...many of the little items will work out just fine for something that Elijah was planning for Eliana's upcoming family birthday party. We like to make simple homemade "party games" to play and Elijah has taken the initiative in this, since that is right up his alley. He wanted to make a pinata (did I spell that right?)...and now we had little things to put in it! Perfect! :-) It was a good little local family outing for us.
Friday- Hailey and I have been experimenting with making our own homemade lacto-fermented soda using dried sassafras root from my herbal pantry. We might be onto something! (We are totally "making this up" as we springboard from my tried and true ginger beer recipe that I make from fresh ginger. We call this Homeschool science!) We bottled it today...we should have our answer (on this bath anyway) next Monday or Tuesday.
Shabbat- Ben spent the entire day reading "His Hallowed Name Revealed Again". It's about the history of the banning of the use of the Holy name of "God" in both Jewish and Christian history, along with compelling and surprising evidence (not just conjecture) about how the name is to actually be pronounced. Good stuff.
Gideon captured some green caterpillars (from our organic lettuce) last week, and was SO excited to have pets like Elijah. He made them a terrarium and filled it with lettuce. Well...today I realized that they had been neglected and were brown and quite dead. I heard Gideon messing with the terrarium and start shouting, and I thought "oh boy, another childhood lesson about death and dying". Instead he came yelling "Dad, dad!! I have COLOR worms!! They started off GREEN and now they are BROWN!" I didn't have the heart to break the truth to him right then. Later in the day, I saw him carrying the box outside, and I asked him why. He said with a smile,"I am letting my caterpillars go...because they are dead." Simple as that. Remind me not to put him in charge of my funeral planning.
Ben and Pamela