Marveling at the Wonders of New Life…Spring Chicks!

Marveling at the Wonders of New Life….

Our latest family project is raising chicks. We bought our six little chicks from my Friend Joyce’s young sons. They’re making a little business of it. We’ve had the chicks for a week and a half now and all are healthy and strong. I recommend buying from someone locally.


We’ve got the chicks in our garage now that it’s getting warmer and they’re getting bigger. It’s amazing how much they’ve grown in such a short time. These photos were taken when we first got them. It’s another great hands-on homeschooling project. I hope the little critters will reward us with some eggs, too.

They are a “straight run” meaning that there are girls and boys. The girls will be our hens. They should start giving us eggs in about 6 months. The boys will be the roosters. At 8 weeks, they’ll either be in the soup pot or sold.

My Friend Nancy told me that I could hold them by the head for a moment and they would either pull their feet up or put them straight down. The ones who pull their feet up are hens and the ones who put them straight down are roosters. We tried it and found we had three of each. Nancy tells me that the test is 99% accurate. We’ll see, won’t we?

Well, that’s enough for tonight. I’ve got to be up bright and early to work on a mailing for the Shepherd’s Guide.

Blessings to you!

Laura
Adding a Few Feathers to Our Nest

Trapped…and Released

“Based on the information available today and the terms of the contract in force today, benefits will be available if the service is medically necessary.” Ten, twenty, thirty, forty times a day I would repeat that phrase. I was a customer service correspondent for Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I answered the phone all day long, explaining benefits, helping with medical claims that weren’t processed correctly or were misunderstood. I couldn’t answer the phone, fill out a form, or sneeze without putting a tally mark on a piece of paper so that my employer would be able to keep track of every moment of my day. I felt, with my headset attached to the phone system and my computer in front of me, like a dog on a chain. I was trapped. I must admit that for the most part, in the almost 18 years since I’ve been home with my children, that I’ve either forgotten or blocked out most of what it was like to be stuck in a job that I didn’t like, making too much money to quit, but not enough to get ahead. I was so young I didn’t appreciate the medical benefits except for maternity! I still remember the day, January 18, 1991 as my emancipation day, the day I was released! ~smile~

I think it’s good for me to remember, to appreciate the freedom I have now in comparison. No. I don’t have money to buy things I want most of the time. No, I can’t do all the things I want to, unless they’re free. Yes, it’s worth it. Being home with my children has been a wonderful privilege that my husband, God, and my willingness to go without have offered me. My children are different than they would have been if I’d been at work and they’d been at school. I thank God that I’ve been there to instill our beliefs, our faith, and our values in their lives as well as to teach them.

I also think that it’s good for me to reflect on what I would have been like, what I might have done, if not for Jesus, and on what I did do before Jesus. Our Pastor spoke Sunday about a man who killed many people at a Christmas party last week. He said that apart from Christ and the Holy Spirit in him, he could have been that man. Any one of us could have been that man. If we didn’t have Jesus, we would be at the mercy of whatever the world and Satan enticed us with. Desperation, fatigue, worry, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, anger, as well as a host of other pressures and sins would assail us.

Thank God for Jesus Christ and the work of salvation that he did at the cross. We have the opportunity to be reconciled to God, to have a clean conscience and a clean slate before Him in spite of our past sins. We have to choose to accept Jesus’ death being the payment for our sins and believe that he is resurrected, at God’s right hand in Heaven. Then, we must wash ourselves by reading the Word of God, the Holy Bible, daily, asking for God to fill us over and over with His Holy Spirit.

I need to remember what I was and what God had done for me through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I need to press forward, focusing more and more on God’s word and what He wants to do in me, my family, my church, and my community.

I ask God to bless you all as you think reflectively upon these things.

Laura
Thankful to be home and His

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do or Do Without Advent Candy

One of the books that I really enjoy using at Christmas is the ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel. She writes about the meanings of various Christmas practices and symbols and ways to reclaim them for Jesus Christ, God’s son.

Sunday evening, as Advent began, we read about Advent Wreaths. There was an activity called Advent Calendar of Kisses. The idea is to take a long piece of plastic wrap, fill it with a chocolate kiss for each day leading to Christmas, and tie ribbons between. A child’s kiss is then exchanged for a candy kiss each day until Christmas. I thought that was sweet, but didn’t have kisses or curling ribbon. Here’s my Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without version.
On Monday evening, we went to our small town’s Christmas parade. As with all parades, the children came home with way too much candy. Hmmm…that takes care of the candy part.
We had some plastic wrap, but no curling ribbon. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without…what do I have? I had pieces of fabric that had been torn in small strips. I had a little thin gold cord that I bought at a yard sale years ago. My daughter had some leftover yarn. I had enough scraps for the project! Don’t you just love making do with what you’ve got? It teaches our children resourcefulness.



A wonderful activity, memorable moments, homemade make do fun, the focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have.

Got creativity?
Laura
Blessed with Resourcefulness

Not Counting…and Counting

I’m not counting the days until the election because I know that the outcome is in God’s hands. It says of Jesus in Colossians 1:16, “For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” God is perfectly able to use our rulers and authorities according to His purposes regardless of who wins.

What I am counting is the wonderful blessings of living in a free country, the freedom to vote, the freedom to worship the Creator God and His Son Jesus Christ, the freedom to live where I choose within my husband’s income, the freedom to purchase delicious foods at abundantly filled grocery stores and farmers’ markets, the freedom to barter for beautiful things I wish for and for services I need, the freedom to be a stay at home momma, the freedom to teach my children at home, and the freedom to honor my God and say whatever I wish to say in my blog.

Praise God and Thank You Lord!

Laura

What is Education?

“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your roadmap through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.”

– John Taylor Gatto

Just Rambling… Autumn Thoughts

This post began as a comment to Miranda’s blog, Life on Hackberry Road. See her link in my sidebar. She’s having a give-away to celebrate her first anniversary of blogging.

AUTUMN THOUGHTS
I love Autumn. It has long been my favorite time of year. We live in Carthage, the Maple Leaf City.
Fall means the Maple Leaf Festival and the biggest parade in the four states.
Fall means pumpkins! A few years ago, my husband and I lived in the country and had a pumpkin patch. I loved everything about it. I loved seeing the baby pumpkins as they formed and grew. I loved harvesting them. I loved selling them and the craft items I’d made. The name Harvest Lane came from our farm, Harvest Lane Farm. I’d been Laura of Harvest Lane on-line for awhile; so, when we moved to town, we called our home Harvest Lane Cottage.
Fall is apple cider with mulling spices, chai tea, cocoa, missing our wood stove, soup simmering on the stove, bread baking in the oven, the smells of pumpkin and cinnamon coming from my oven or my favorite candles.
Fall is snuggling up with a good book while I listen to the rain falling outside, thankful that my children are gathered around me.

Fall means walks with my children, looking for pretty leaves.
Fall means school in the park. We love setting up on a picnic table, enjoying the weather, and then playing when we’re done, or during “recess”.
Fall means planning for Christmas gifts, sneaking in a little Christmas music while I’m working, and creating for for friends and family.
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Looking forward to my favorite season.