Monday, December 19, 2011

The Family Integrated Church

While perusing my Vision Forum 2012 catalog a few months back I noticed a movie titled, "Divided." I read the brief description of the movie and thought, "Hm, sounds interesting." Since then I have been hearing little bits and pieces of what a Family Integrated Church (FIC) is. What I'm gathering is that the FIC does away with things like Sunday School groups and youth groups divided by ages. Families would attend a Sunday School or family group together instead- as one family. Here is their website, which I found and began looking at today, if you'd like to look into it further.

The thought of how our church is run has been rolling around in the back of my head for those few months. I have yet to see "Divided" but plan to when we start our subscription to Puritan Picks this January. (My husband and I are getting the subscription as a mutual Christmas present to each other.)

So, where am I going with this?

Honestly, at this point it would have still been a thought that was rolling around in my mind somewhere had I not read two articles today in The Home Educating Family Magazine. I have not subscribed to this magazine as of yet but have been interested in their Facebook posts, giveaways and what treasures their magazine may have. I have tried to order a subscription twice in the past but for some reason, just did not get all the way through the process. How I got this free issue, I don't know. It just showed up in the mail yesterday.

As I read through the article titled, "Mission of the Family, Mission of the Church: A critique of the Family Integrated Church Model" in the 2011 Issue 3 printing, I heard the argument against the FIC. I put the magazine down and gave it some thought. Then I re-read the article. I also read an article review of the movie "Divided" in the magazine.

Something just wasn't clicking for me.

How could a magazine that believes Deuteronomy 6:7, say that the idea of a FIC is a poor idea?

One of their main arguments is that singles and the elderly are left out of the picture in FICs. Why would that be? If EVERYONE is attending Sunday School together then why would that exclude an elderly person? Why would it exclude a young adult? Maybe I'm misinterpreting the purpose of the FIC. Are they wanting a church full of JUST families? That would be hard for me to believe. Especially when I know of some of the homeschool fathers that support FIC such as Doug Phillips and Voddie Baucham. If I am wrong, please let me know!

In the review of the "Divided" movie HEFM argues that "It is notable that the film does not offer any measured response to FIC. There are many conservative, biblical Christians who reject FIC and I am sure it would not have been difficult to interview a couple of them. Leclerc does not allow any of them to speak." That's like asking why Ken Ham doesn't include the response of an evolutionist in any of his films. Realistically, documentaries are mostly one sided, no matter what the documentary is about, so that argument isn't valid.

"I see young people abandoning the church and though I am saddened by it, I Am Un-alarmed." What???? I read that sentence over and over trying to have that make sense.

Then in the next article, "I believe there is little debate...when it comes to fathers being...servant leaders of their homes and the family growing in love and admonition of the Lord while worshiping Him together in Spirit and truth." (bold emphasis mine)

Isn't that what the FIC is for, not against?

"A look at the demographics of the FIC movement reveal that FIC's are predominately made up of homeschool families with K-12th grade students. That statistic undermines the very term 'multi-generational' " My question to that would be, "Who do you think is going to begin the FIC churches, a bunch of teenagers?" No, it would be families that want to worship together as a family.

My only conclusion then is that a home schooling magazine that encourages Christian parent to bring their children home to be educated would be condoning a traditional church that separates a family for the better part of Sunday, that sends babies off from the security of their parents, lumps a bunch of young children together in one room and sends teenagers off on Sunday nights (or whatever night you have youth group) all to be taught from someone else other than their parents? Sounds to me like............well............. government school.

I could see Christians that already send their children to public school questioning FIC, but Christian homeschoolers?

With all that said, this is something that my husband and I will have to give a lot of prayer to. I'm not suggesting that anyone leave their traditional church at this point. We have no plans of looking elsewhere for now. It's just a thought that will need a lot of wisdom and guidance from the Lord.

What are your thoughts on Family Integrated Churches? I'd really love to hear!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Homestead Happenings

I'm not quite sure how it seems that we have less going on at the homestead right now yet I feel as though I don't have the time to blog?

The garden was put to sleep this fall with a cover crop seed mixture that was put together by one of our local farms.

The new piggies are doing well- it will be March/April before we butcher again.

Work is still busy for my husband as we must have set some type of record here in Northern California for the driest December to date. I do believe that our normal rainfall in December is just over 10" and I wouldn't be surprised if we've only managed 2" so far. Plus, the next 10 days shows plenty of sunshine!

Timber Ann found a favorite book of hers under a dresser... or bed.. or tucked away in a closet somewhere. It's been missing long enough that I didn't think to put it on our Favorite Book List, but it is certainly one of her favorites. Now that it has been found we're back to reading it daily. She likes to read it to me from memory. While it's not a Christian book, it upholds values that have seem to have been forgotten by this country... A daddy that goes off to work to provide for his family. A mommy that stays home to raise her children and educate them. One that loves to spend time with her little ones, not ship them off as quickly as possible. One that is diligent. A family that eats supper together. It's called Little Mommy.

Layton has been a busy Lego beaver and has been creating all kinds of things. He brought me this dragon the other morning before the sun came up.

Tomorrow he turns 5. Ah! Where did the time go? He was just a newborn sleeping on my chest. He was just a toddler learning to talk. And now, 5? I want to cherish every single day that I have with him because the time passes all too quickly. Soon he will be grown with a family of his own and I'll look back wondering how all of that life happened in just a blink. What a sweet, sweet blessing he is to me.

Happy Birthday Layton!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

IndoctriNation: A Review

My husband and I watched the documentary "IndoctriNation" by Colin Gunn the other night. We were blown away. And we're already homeschoolers!

Here's a quick synopsis of the film- Mr. Gunn and his family load up onto a used school bus they found on Craigslist and take off traveling around America to learn about the origin and history of compulsory schooling, as well as talk to pastors, educators, authors, students and parents about public schooling.

I loved the array of people that are interviewed in this documentary. People like Ken Ham, Doug Phillips, Erwin Lutzer, and John Taylor Gatto (who as far as I know isn't even a professed Christian.)
This documentary shares verse after verse, far beyond Deuteronomy 6:4-7, to give Biblical reasoning for educating your children at home.
It also has some surprising twists (well, surprising to me at least.)

What we enjoyed the most from this film was not that it convinced us to homeschool, since we've already been convicted to do so, but that it made me rethink the way I homeschool in general. Why am I comparing my children to the children in schools? Who's standards am I trying to measure up to?

This film is also highly encouraging. It reaffirms your entire reasoning for homeschooling. I am so thankful that I purchased it as we can now watch it as often as we'd please.
I would encourage all Christian families to watch this film and then pray about what the Lord would have you to do with your children.

Here is the movie trailer:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Our Favorite Books for Little Ones

My little kids love to be read to. One of our 2 year old's favorite sayings right now is, "Read! Read?" as he brings over a book and climbs up into your lap. Wyatt loves to read too and even takes delight in listening to what I call the "in between" books for our family when we read aloud in the evenings. ("In between books" are the chapter books that my little ones couldn't sit through if we attempted to read more than one or two chapters at a time but a book that Wyatt could read himself in one short afternoon.)
I thought I'd share some of our little ones favorites as I always love to get ideas for good books from other moms. There really are too many fluff books for little ones out there- not to mention ones that are drawn out and honestly a bore to read.

Keep in mind that my little ones are 2, 3 and 4 so this list is geared towards those ages, or certainly younger. I hope that this list inspires you!

Regular Read alouds:

Anything from Beatrix Potter

Chapter Books:

Books for the holidays:

Patty's Pumpkin Patch (mentions Halloween, but limited to 1 page)

I buy most of our books off of and 80% of the time buy them used. If I am placing a large book order then buying new sometimes works out to be less expensive if I qualify for free shipping on my order. I have also loved using for books for the entire family and some of our our home education books.

Books make the most wonderful gifts for little ones, since I'm sure most of you are thinking towards Christmas now. If you have some favorite books you'd like to share, I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your day today be filled with the blessings of friends and family!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my's already just after 8am but it is dark and gray outside. The forecast today is heavy rain/wind. At least the Maple trees are a cheery shade of autumn even if the rest of the world looks like winter

I am thinking...that I have a lot to get ready before my parents arrive this afternoon

I am thankful...for creation. What an amazing God we serve, that He could speak this wonderful beauty into existence

From the learning rooms...Thanksgiving studies, crafts and books

In the kitchen...sliced homestead raised ham for breakfast along with homemade raspberry jam on toast and this afternoon I'll make a new cheesecake with toffee

I am old jean skirt with a grey t-shirt

I am creating...a apron for my mom and a table runner for my mother in law

I am be cleaning the house today!

I am wondering... how many emergency storm calls will come in today with trees down

I am reading...Having a Mary Spirit and Memories of Mark Twain and Steve Gillis

I am hoping...that my parents don't get sick with the cold that we've all had for a couple weeks now

I am looking forward to... a cozy warm fire and baking Christmas cookies- starting Friday!

I am hearing...the sound of Mason and Timber playing with Legos. Wyatt and Layton went to work with daddy this morning

Around the house...laundry and cleaning out the pig barn

I am pondering...possibly opening up a new Etsy shop. I really have to pray about that one!

One of my favorite things... having my entire family cozy in the living room after dinner on a cold, rainy night

A few plans for the rest of the week... a Thanksgiving feast with family, visiting with my parents, and finishing up some sewing

A picture thought... oh the imagination and mind of a child....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Winter is near

The days of fall are quickly coming to an end as the rain sets in , the trees are getting more and more bare, and Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Soon it will be winter.

This fall has been a wonderful time for us here at the homestead we have butchered pigs and bucks, chopped LOTS of firewood, spent time with homeschool friends, picked out pumpkins, baked new goodies, celebrated birthdays, planted garlic, tried our hand at smoking pork, finished up most of the canning for the year and even made time to sew! Here are a few pictures to recap our fall.

{Special pumpkins}

{Tree climbing}

{Mason turned 2!}

{Timber's new skirt}

{Timber's new jumper that ended up looking like a pillow case!}

{ Playing in the leaves}

{ Outdoor School with our homeschool group}

{Scarecrow parties}


{Wyatt turned 14 and got a laptop for his birthday!}

{Smoking pork}

This Thanksgiving we won't be eating a home raised turkey. I only purchased one hen this year and about 3 months into her stay, she died. We couldn't afford the cost of purchasing another chick so we ended up buying our turkey from Azure this year. Organic turkeys have to be one of the most uneconomical animals to raise. Has that been your experience too?

If I don't get to check in again before Thanksgiving, I pray that yours is a blessed one this year! We truly have so much to be thankful for.

"Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good." Psalm 118:1

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" Ephesians 5:20

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Wonderful Homestead Giveaway!

Daniel and Abby Jo over at Forgotten Way Farms are having an absolutely wonderful giveaway that you WILL NOT want to miss!
Giveaway HERE.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Pumpkin Unit Study

I love pumpkins.
I always have. I always will.

I don't know how I came to love them but I do and I have since as far back as I can remember. Really, I used to hug pumpkins. But that was in those weird teenage years. I don't hug them anymore but I do still love them.

When I saw this post on Growing Up Homeschooled I knew what we had to do. Pumpkins. An entire week devoted to them. Normally I don't choose the topics that my children "study" so precisely. We try to fall somewhere in the learning realm of Charlotte Mason. I lean towards unit studies and a little bit of unschooling too.

If you're interested in doing a pumpkin study here are some great resources that I have found. One of the greatest things is that a pumpkin study can be done at any time in the fall. This is not a Halloween study or a Thanksgiving study, it's simply about the pumpkins!

Growing Up Homeschooled Free Pumpkin Unit Lesson Plan

Growing Up Homeschooled Pinterest Fall Learning Page

The Virtual Vine Pumpkins Aplenty

Moments of Mommyhood Pumpkin Pie Spice Playdough

Hostess with the Mostess Paper Pumpkin Ornaments

Devotions in Motion Pumpkin Devotion

Almost Unschoolers Pumpkin Shaker

Craftaholics Anonymous Mini Paper Pumpkins

University of Ill. Pumpkin Facts

2 Teaching Mommies Pumpkin Study (this is one of my FAVORITES!!)

Here are some of the books we've read this week....

We have one more day in our pumpkin study (tomorrow) and we'll be reading, baking pumpkin bars, coloring a pumpkin picture, and making the play dough (that's the one craft that my kids have been looking forward to all. week. long.)

Have fun!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

When a Quilter Destashes

I went through a fabric cabinet of mine this morning and decided to destash. I thought I'd share with my blog readers before listing all this on Etsy. If you're interested leave me a comment here or email me. First come, first serve. Thanks!
All fabric measurements are the inches given by 42" or 44" depending on the manufacturer, unless otherwise noted. No fabrics have been washed. All prices are for the fabric only, shipping will be added depending on where you live. I accept PayPal for purchases.

1. Heather Ross, 36" horses on green from West Hill, other prints are scraps $8

2. Strawberry Delight by Fabric Freedom, black 23", strawberry 21", green floral 21", red solid 11", $8

3. Building Blocks- American Jane for Moda, 2 cuts- 74" and 43", $18 SOLD

4. Honeycomb Harvest- Moda, 5 charm packs, 1 jelly roll, beehive print 112" , vine print 74", $65 SOLD

5. It's Snowing- Moda, Squares and circles 36", snowflakes 36", candy cane 19", dots on red 43", 1 panel with 8 snowman squares, plus 1 yd of Candy Stripe from Marcus Fabrics, $25

6. Traditions Collection For A Cause Fat Quarter Bundle for Moda- 40 Ft Qts, $55 SOLD

7. Michael Miller- horseshoes on Red 28", cow print 30", retro cowgirls 29"x38", blue bandanna 30", plus Moda red/blue letters 14", $13 Sale Pending

I hope someone can use some of this! If you feel any of the prices are too high, I'd be glad to consider offers.

Really. Make me an offer, I want this stuff gone! :)

**I forgot to add that I have 1 Peace on Earth Charm Pack (50 sqs) for $5 and 3 Hemming House Wovens Charm Packs (19?sqs each) $6 for all. HH Wovens- SOLD All charm packs are from Moda. I didn't take pictures though. If you need one, I can email it to you or you can search the collections on Google.**

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...the sun is not quite up yet but I can see the daylight breaking

I am thinking...that having a home that is organized and runs without constant chaos makes everyone feel better

I am thankful...that my children are healthy

From the learning rooms...a pumpkin unit study

In the kitchen...pumpkin pancakes and link sausage

I am newer denim tiered skirt and a green peasant top, barefoot

I am creating...Layton's quilt. I just finished Timber's on Monday

I am going...on a hike this morning with my kids to enjoy the crisp, fall sunshine

I am wondering... about all the fun things I'll get to bake/make for Christmas this year!

I am reading...Having a Mary Spirit and The Charlotte Mason Companion

I am hoping...that our smoked meat will be back from the butcher shop soon. We are really missing bacon!!

I am looking forward to...spending the day in the forest with my children

I am hearing...the sausage sizzling, Wyatt coming in from doing outside chores, Mason playing with toys

Around the house...dusting and vacuuming are in order!

I am I can become better at being a help meet

One of my favorite things... the fact that Mason is almost 2 and still has that "baby" look, complete with chubbiness and all!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Swimming lessons, apple drying and canning, and enjoying, what probably will be, the last of the fall weather....before it starts raining.

A picture thought.....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Poppy and Pearl Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all who entered the Poppy and Pearl Co. give away! Here's what said this afternoon:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2011-10-21

That means that Kimberly is our winner! Congratulations!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Recaping the 2011 Garden- A Green Bean Comparison

This year I planted 4 different types of green beans and anxiously awaited them coming on! I was trying to figure out which ones I liked best.

Have you ever looked at a seed catalog section of grean beans? Talk about intimidating. Which ones will do better in my zone? Which ones do I like the taste of? What are their growing habbits? So many questions, too few answers. I decided to do my own little trial.

(Photo order: Blue Lake Pole, Royal Burgndy, Venture, Black Valentine)

(Unfortunately I took this picture at the very end of the season so I didn't have a mature Black Valentine bean to photograph. They are really much larger.)

I planted Black Valentine Bush Beans, Venture Bush Beans, Royal Burgundy Bush Beans and Blue Lake Pole Beans.
The Black Valentines came from
The Venture and Blue Lakes came from
The Royal Burgundy came from

Here's how they panned out...

At first I was not impressed with the Black Valentines. They are an heirloom bush bean and the flavor in my opinion was just so-so. Once I started to really compare their size to the other beans though I was pretty impressed with how large and yet tender they could be. They bush out nicely and put on beans at a steady pace. They were even still flowering when I ripped the plants out.

The Venture Bush Beans put on great tasting, very straight beans. And they put them mostly out at one time. Which isn't so bad if you have a short growing season and just want them to come on and then be done.

My Blue Lake Pole Beans.....what can I say? They were again not impressive this year. It's not the bean itself though, as I have planted this type of pole bean for 5 years in a row. Pole beans require better weather conditions than bush beans around these parts and my Blue Lake Poles just aren't getting the early start they need. The beans were very "beany". The bean shape is prominent in the pod.

And finally, Royal Burgundy. These are just a fun bean to grow because they are purple! My kids are always in awe that we have purple green beans. These were probably my least favortie bean flavor wise but they, like the Black Valentine, keep putting out the blooms and produce bean after bean. If you don't harvest them when they are of a small to medium size though they can get stringy.

How did the beans in your garden do this year? Do you have a favorite type of bean to grow?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Poppy and Pearl Co. - A Giveaway *CLOSED*

As promised, a giveaway that has something to do with Mason jars! What woman doesn't just love Mason jars? Especially the unique ones. Just thinking about them gets me all excited. Of course, you may be a totally normal person who doesn't get giddy over them and I may just be a weirdo.
Whether you're a Mason jar junkie like me or not, you'll still love what I've got to share.

Poppy and Pearl Co. has graciously offered to give away one of their Mason Jar Tumblers to one lucky winner!
These are perfect for our family since we steer clear of putting anything into plastic!

Bobbi Bankston is the shop owner and creator of everything you'll find at Poppy and Pearl Co. on Etsy. She is a momma of three sweet little boys and a wife to one husband. She and her family live in the happiest place on, it's not's the California Mother Lode! Let me take a moment to allow Bobbi to share a little;

Tell us a little bit about yourself....
Hi, my name is Bobbi. I LOVE living in the beautiful town of Sonora, the place I was born and raised. I married a really cool guy 14 years ago and we now have three amazing, rowdy boys who are 8, 5, and 2. I love gardening, baking, fishing, hydrangeas, snowboarding, dates with the hubby and coffee. Coffee should have been first on the list... I think it's my #1 priority in life ; )

What gave you the desire to open Poppy and Pearl Co.?
I've always adored Etsy... it truly is genius! After working (outside the home) last year, I realized that I needed something that was "my own". I desired a career that would make me smile and allow me to work from home. I LOVE girly things and in a house full of boys I was happy at the thought of doing something that expressed "me" and also gave me a creative outlet. Several close friends of mine who are also Etsy shop owners, inspired and encouraged me to take the leap of faith, make the career change and give it a go. And so, Poppy and Pearl Co. was born on August 2nd.

Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes mostly from the vintage fabric, doilies and lace that I have collected. I've been lucky to find (and been given) so many wonderful materials. I adore vintage lace and doilies- such lovely treasures!
My new Mason Jar Tumblers featured for the giveaway are kind of like my pride and joy right now. The Mason Jar is extremely popular and so many people have created wonderful uses for them. Using them as beverage tumblers are eco-friendly and they look pretty in your hand which makes them very Poppy and Pearl. Getting the word out is a very exciting process for me!

What new items do you see Poppy and Pearl Co. creating in the future?
I would LOVE to expand my Mason Jar lids, starting with "fermenting lids" for the gallon size jars. I have been working on lace earrings and necklaces and also collecting vintage bags to add to the shop in the next few months.

Bobbi was even kind enough to send me a sample of her tumbler toppers so that I could try them out for myself.

They are absolutely wonderful!

To enter the giveaway here's what you need to do:
1. Check out the Poppy and Pearl Co. shop on Etsy and let me know, via a comment, which of Bobbi's items really catches your eye.
2. (Optional 2nd entry) Blog about this giveaway and leave a SEPARATE comment telling me you did.
3. (Optional 3rd entry) FB or Tweet this giveaway and leave a SEPARATE comment telling me that you did.

This giveaway will be open until October 20th.
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