Friday, April 4, 2014

SPRING At The Cabin

Beautiful sunshine, warm and gentle is SPRING at last! 
 The mud has a faint green tinge to it suggesting grass, (how exciting)
 and the children think it is surely summer-SOOO warm that they are barefoot and asked if they could go swimming in the pond.  (It is 54 degrees).
I said no.
So, they donned their mud boots and stomped through puddles,
 played with the baby goats,
 and had a perfectly marvelous day.

The bigger boys went off gallivanting, 
so just us girls here, along with Gabe to keep us company.

We girls are content with little to do outdoors at present, just enjoying the warm sun,
 watching Olivia and Gabe play, 
chatting about what we would like to plant where this year, 
coming vacations, and what to cook for dinner, which goats we will keep, which we will sell,
 and all kinds of other girly chatter.
Daddy often calls us "SQUIRRELS" since we chatter on so.

All the fun in the sun tuckered the littles out.
They were quick to nod off at nap time today.
Gabe was so sweet here I just had to snap a picture to capture the moment..
he is growing so fast, and will soon be one of the big boys.
..just cherishing the time now that he is still 
somewhat little.

Happy Spring To You!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Little Woodsmen Pocket Dump

My Little Woodsmen have a pretty standard daily dress and gear they carry.

 makes up a large part of the boys wardrobe,
 as well as Carhardt, Wrangler, Wool, and BOGS.
But, a belt  and pockets to hold all the necessities is the real must have...
although each of the boys also have a full possibles bag they take on all woodsy adventures.

 or Every Day Carry
is a big deal around here.  
What a man has in his pocket
 ( or a woman in her purse) 
may save his life.  
We believe that a little preparedness goes a long ways.  
 Being prepared teaches resourcefulness,
ingenuity and situational awareness,
competence and readiness.

With that in mind,
 we are training them up the way they should go....
and that way includes a pocket knife as well as other "just in case" items of importance.

We are that kind of people.

The kind where any random day for the boys
 may include cooking an unfortunate rabbit for lunch.

(But then, when they come inside for afternoon tea, they must be gentlemen, you know.
Sort of, like Swiss Family Robinson meets Pride and Prejudice.)

Just out of curiosity, I randomly called for a pocket dump the other day,
which I do occasionally for fun and amusement.
Here is what we found-


Joe carries a KA Bar, wallet, lighters, and multi tool.  He also has a hatchet on his belt.


Ben has an Altoids can with matches, fish hooks, whistle, band aids, and cotton balls.
  He also has a Swiss army knife, a pocket knife, and a boot knife.


Jim carries an Altoids can with a fishing kit in it,
 he also has a hand warmer, a Swiss army knife,
wallet (with a full Dutch Brothers Card in it, he informed me)
 an antler handled flint and steel, a pocket knife, a fixed blade and some matches. 
 Jim too carries a hatchet on his belt.


Gabe carries a whistle in his Altoids can, and a vintage Luke Skywalker in his pocket everyday.
He declined a pocket dump today, feeling rather grumpy, which is very out of character for him.

It is a beautiful sunny spring day,
and the boys are excited to get their school work and chores done so they can do the important stuff.. identify what sort of R.O.U.S is in the big pond,
 and try to discover the whereabouts of the Canadian Geese nest - staying a safe distance so as to not endanger them.
 Then, too, there is the daily observation of birds and their songs,
 and general romping through the woods.
I will hear all about it come 3:00, when I serve tea and  snack for the children,
 gathering the little ones in to get scrubbed up clean and have a nap.

Ah, the beauties of our redneck life!

Blessings To You,

Friday, March 28, 2014

Gentling Mama: Heavenly, Herbal Healing

I have a confession.

 I am often times, just too tightly wound
 I can get anxious easily. 
 If I were a horse, I would be labeled "high strung."

The last 5 years I have worked very hard to relax, loosen up, trust God, 
and maintain a gentle and quiet spirit.  
But, it does not come naturally to me.  
It is a battle.

I often see myself winning this battle now that I am older 
(I just had a birthday, and wow! am I feeling older!).  
But, I do not ALWAYS win.

This week has seen extra challenges for me, 
and I have not met them with a gentle and gracious spirit.

Despite my prayers, my time alone with God, my plea for His peace, 
I think my blood pressure its up quite a bit.  
I have felt worry and anxiety creeping in, and with it, irritability- a sure sign of stressed not managed.

It is high time to gentle mama, .....again.

I spent the morning allowing the children to run out side while I read the psalms, 
played serene music, and talked to the Lord. 
The healing balm of uninterrupted time with my Heavenly Father did it's work to my heart.  
Seeking forgiveness for allowing the poisons of pride, tension, and anxiety to be effective in my life, 
I could feel the burden lifted, as if 10 lbs had been removed from my shoulders...
the sigh escaping bringing chills to my arms. 

 Now to repair my nerves.
 I went to the kitchen seeking herbal healing.  
Knowing my weakness, my cupboard is stocked with soothing herbs. 
 Four of these, I combine to make Preacher's Passion tea.
(equal parts of chamomile, passionflower, peppermint, and oat straw)
 I may rename it "Calming Mama" tea.
The hot brew ministers to my body.  Sarah Reeves speaks to my soul.

 Next, I smothered my skin in a recent gift of lavender lotion from my sweet friend,
Enola Gay, 
who made a basket  of natural products for my birthday.
Lavender is a calming herb.  I often put a few drops in my dishwater, just cuz'.

If I find myself overly emotional, I would treat myself to a dropper of Valerian;
a calming herb which, in tincture form, is effective instantly, Praise the Lord!

Lastly, if at all possible, (it is not today)
I will take a therapeutic walk in the great outdoors of Idaho. 

Sometimes my husband has to remind me that taking this time is of utmost importance. 
My tension effects everyone in the family,
dog included.
However, yelling at my self to "BE STILL MY SOUL!" is never really all that helpful.
That high strung horse has to be soothed and talked to in a still, small voice.
We mama's need quiet time.... and I know just where to find that voice.....

A little maintenance goes a long ways.

I have had the time today to dress my
battle wounds an resume duty.
I may limp a bit yet,
but I have whole pot of that tea,
and many more psalms and prayer times to pepper my day with.

Humbly Yours,

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Life After The School of Honor

Life will never be the same for the 24 of us
 who gathered at Providence Lodge for Idaho's first School of Honor last weekend.  
It was a sacred time.
18 young men, ages 9 - 17, drank in the enthusiastic teaching of Logan Wilson. 
 Honor, chivalry, civility, and lessons from heroes of the past 
kept the students enthralled for three fast paced days of learning.

As fabulous as the material was, 
the real life model of Logan and his two impressive Interns 
meant just as much to the admiring boys, 
whom I think, would have followed them to the ends of the earth. 

 For Brian, Rose and I, 
words cannot express the emotions we feel, 
or the depth of gratitude for what the Lord has done, 
but longing for you to hear, 
I will do my best.

First and foremost,
if you ever have the opportunity to send a young man to the School of Honor, 
do it.  
What power there is when a young man speaks life and godliness to other young men!  

The manner in which Logan teaches his materials reaches into the depths of human emotion,
 and draws out from that
inspiration and motivation,
and joy to pursue honor. 
 I saw it in their eyes, the 18 boys we hosted here.

On the lighter side,
I also saw with my own eyes, 
7 loaves of fresh baked bread disappear in one meal!  
...Nearly 30 lbs of chicken at another, and a daily ration of three gallons of milk per meal.

 I have a new appreciation for the Duggars.

 They were, in all honesty, very well behaved - 
and Brian and I enjoyed having 21 young men in our home.  
We enjoyed feeding them.  
We relished watching them rapt as Logan taught.

I have already heard from several parents
 that what their sons learned is being applied at home already, 
 a new course for living a more God honoring life charted out and implemented by the boys themselves.

 Our family was very blessed by these three godly young men.
 What a pleasure to have them in our home!

God is at work in this younger generation.
He surely has something very big in mind for them...
seeing the caliber of men and women He is raising up gives me much hope for the future.

Truly, It  has been a most amazing event!!

Tired, but  very blessed,

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Young Entrepreneurs

The rain, 
pouring down day after day this whole week has proved amazing results: 
 it looks like spring! 
 The snow is nearly gone, the creek alongside the cabin is a swollen, rushing torrent, 
and low and behold - we even had blue sky today! 
(the first in weeks)
 Such a marvel!

We have all been busy with our work. 
 Brian has a new young men''s Bible study on Tuesdays. 
Today they are going to hear a speaker tell them about the Patriot Academy.  
Apparently, there is one in every state, 
teaching young people about legislation and helping them to get a start at the state level.  
Very interesting.

I am doing our spring cleaning. 
 Well, actually the children are doing most of it,  I am mostly administrating.  
This is in preparation for the School of Honor we are hosting later this week. 
 We are expecting 21 young men here for three days of intensive training. 
 Watch the You tube, it is goose bump raising.

Rose is doing her best to get two orphaned baby goats to live, 
although one is giving her a run for her money, poor little thing. 
 The mama collapsed last Wednesday, (we do not know why), 
and thus we have had the two week old babies in the house, bottle feeding and keeping them warm. 
They have now moved back to the barn with the other doe and her two babies. 
 Rose is feeding bottles three times a day, and the littlest one has still not taken to it, 
so it is a time consuming process requiring much patience and persistence.

And the Little Woodsmen, (when not kept cleaning), 
have their own work to do. 
Brian and I believe in training the children up to have creative, innovative ideas 
that will get their hands wet in entrepreneurial industry. 
 Joe, Jim and Ben 
have taken our nudging and are now in business making cedar kindling bundles to sell. 

 Just down the county road is a cedar shake mill.  
All the leftovers come out of the mill forming mountains
 of 1 to 4 inch wide cedar sticks about 16 inches long.  
One of us will drive the truck down there, 
the boys will fill the truck up, 
 we bring it home,
 they unload it, 
then Joe cuts the cedar into even lengths with the chop saw.
Jim and Ben wrap the bundles which are then ready to sell.  

They use my small soup pot to measure the bundles.

There is very little cost involved.  
They work together and share the profits equally.  
This they do one or two days a week. 
 The more they sell, the more they are motivated to put more time into it and have more product to sell. 

 Bethany and Gabe (they are 5 and 7) see what a great thing it is to have your own business, 
and are begging me to help them come up with an idea.  
For more inspiration on young entrepreneurs,
about a 6 yr old who wants to buy a backhoe, 
it is a great story!

 Blessings to you and yours this week!  I will be back after the School of Honor.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Searching For Owls

The baby goats were born a week ago.  
Our two does each produced healthy twins, and all are doing well. 

 Now to keep them safe from predators!

 Living out in the woods, we have a variety of threats. 
 Last year we lost two kids to the coyotes, who lured off the dogs in one direction 
and came in and took two babies in the goat pen.  
This year, we are hearing the low steady 
whoot whoot whoot 
of an owl close by the the towering pine trees next to the goat barn.  
This has the boys all astir.  
What kind of owl is it?  
We have several varieties that habitate here, such as..

The Great Grey Owl:

The Great Horned Owl:

The common Barn Owl:

Today, the boys have the animal encyclopedia out 
studying the habits, calls, and physical features of various large owls. 
This we have made our Nature Journal topic of the week.  
Drawings, labeling, and short reports of various types of owls prepare them 
for the finding of the local silent flyer who could easily pack off a newborn goat kid.

As soon as lunch was over, they are off to the woods for up to three hours of free time.
(After "gearing up" for 20 minutes, that is)

Not really knowing how long they will be out and about, 
what they will encounter, 
and what adventures they will have, 
they are ready for, um...pretty much anything. 
 Hatchets, sheath knives, fire starting kits, possibles bags that contain first aid kits, paracord, flashlight,
and who knows probably, and more knives. 

Waterproof  BOGS are a must in this weather. 
Long underwear, wool shirts over the layers, and hats top off these little woodsmen's outfits.

And, they are off!

I followed them for a bit, telling them to just ignore me while I snapped some pictures.

I started back to the lodge to prepare for afternoon tea, 
knowing that they will likely return in a few hours hungry 
and ready to tell of their adventures over a hot cup of tea.

No owl found yet, 
but they did have a great time.
Just another day in the life of our little woodsmen.

Jim and Ben went outside tonight to try to hear the owl hooting.
 They did hear it, and called back to it.
The owl answered, and they went on "talking" to it until they located it.
 They were so excited!
They came in chattering all about it , but not knowing which owl type it is.
So, I  helped them look up on You Tube various owl calls until we found a match.
 No surprise, it is a great horned owl.
Now they want an owl for a pet.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Raising Little Woodsmen

The children in our family have grown up playing in the woods.

They have spent hours building tree forts, tearing them down and building new ones. 
 They have bounded through the trees and out of sight to play since they could toddle. 
 They are very comfortable in the woods, and we think nothing of it.  
...until someone says something out of astonishment at what the children are up to.   

  Come free time in the afternoon, they head off down the trail and out of sight.  
After a while a thin column of smoke is seen rising out in the woods
 and I know the general whereabouts of our little woodsmen. 
They have built a fire near where they are playing to keep them warm.  
They probably have a mess kit by which they are sipping some hot broth or tea.  
The play scenario is likely that they are stranded, someone is wounded and needs to be cared for, 
a litter made, an emergency shelter built, and the patient tended to.

Daddy has seen to it that they know all the woodsmen basics:
                                        how to build a fire with matches or flint and steel
                                        how to make a lean to shelter
                                        how to shoot a bow
                                        how to shoot a gun
                                        how to use a pocket knife correctly
                                        how to tell what direction is north
                                        how to cook over an open fire 
                                        how to skin  and gut an animal
                                        how to find edible plants
                                        how to use a compass
                                        how to use cover and concealment
....and the list is ever growing.  

Here is Ben (9) and Jim (12) getting their fire going with flint and steel.

Besides being a good use of their time, these skill sets teach the boys responsibility,
 and give them that sense of manliness that makes them walk a little taller.  

Recently, they came in from their outdoor time and were not hungry for tea. 
"No thanks, mom, we got hungry out there, so we dug up some cattail roots and cooked them. 
 They were pretty good too." 
At least it was not an unfortunate squirrel or bird this time.

We want our boys to be capable and skilled indoors and outdoors, 
creating a good balance that will serve them for their entire lifetime.

They have practiced making fires for hours and hours, and are now accomplished.
This is a simple thing to do in the yard, with a rock or piece of wood for a base
if you don't want them burning the grass.
 The have to come up with a good natural tinder ball,
such as an old birds nest, a bunch of dried grass, small twigs, or the like
and get it going well enough to add the next layer of twigs and sticks.
 Once they can do this with matches
(no more than 3) then later with only 1,
they work at the fire making with the flint and steel.
The age we begin them learning this skill is about 6 years old.

Blessings to you this day, and to training up your little woodsmen,