Would it be?

This weekend, we went down to “the farm.”  Two brothers own it together.  One of them is married to my sister-in-law (and has been for 30 some years so we say it is Aunt N’s farm).  It is a small property of land.  At one time, I believe they did have animals out on it.  They haven’t since their own children have grown up though.  With as much work as they are doing out there, maybe the will again.

But it was BEAUTIFUL.  And peaceful.  And just what I needed.

I almost didn’t go.  Doc and Professor are still so deep in trauma (especially fear and defiance and food issues) that I didn’t think I wanted to take them anywhere.  And my three have been trying to deal with their own issues triggered by the littles’ issues (probably a good topic for another post). And taking a baby sounded like WORK.  And did I want to deal with certain family members?  And really, I just want to stay home.

And then I needed to take broccoli and cheese casserole.  But while we were shopping, hubby told me to make a dessert too.  All while the house is a mess and I have five children who need me ON THE FLOOR.

I suggested hubby take Tumbler, Swimmer, and T-Lo.  If our young adult children wanted to go, they could.  But in the end, I just couldn’t bear backing out.

There were a few little hiccups, but it was WONDERFUL!  Absolutely, perfectly, amazingly awesome! And I got some of the greatest pictures!  Well, the best pictures were the less “staged” ones, but of course, those have family member kids, foster kids, etc.   I sure wish I could share pics of Professor, Doc, and Little Lamb too!  But here is a good sampling 🙂

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This last pic is Daddy with his little ducks.  Doc hadn’t yet changed into the outfit I had planned for the day (she had jeans, boots, solid black long sleeve and a pink jean jacket).  But she’s cute both ways!

I had recently read a book (oh, I meant to do a review of that book) with a dairy ranch as the main setting.  Since then, I had done some research about finding such a thing.  This trip definitely bolstered that interest.  The house wasn’t huge (doesn’t need to be really); but can you imagine the freedom my kids would have outdoors?  Plenty of room to climb trees, shoot cans, fish, play with sticks, making crafts with pine needles, whatever.  And no traffic.  And your neighbor is down there if you need him, but not 1/5 an acre over.  And the dogs could run and play.  And I could BREATHE!

Would it be so perfect ALL of the time? Something tells me we’d still have a little stress 🙂  However, it does seem like it would be a whole lot easier to relax in such a nice, and much slower, setting.

So I looked at land again yesterday.  Still costs money.  But maybe it will be an option at some point.  Maybe if they make the adoption tax credit refundable so families like ours got any of it (I’ll explain about that one day.  I made mention of it HERE.).

Well, my sister-in-law has said we’re welcome to go down as we wish.  And I WISH!  LOL  I’m asking hubby to ask her about a certain several days.  And then she also said she’d like to do a get together family wise every couple months.  Good!  Honestly, I’d go back TODAY if I could!



Review: How Do We Know God Is Really There?


Recently, I received a copy of the book, How Do We Know God Is Really There by Melissa Cain Travis.

The book is available through Apologia Educational Ministries.  There are many ways to learn more about them.

Apologia is most well-known for their elementary through high school level science courses.  Many years ago, I taught a cooperative class of homeschooled and private school students using their Biology book as our core.

This direct address for this book is http://shop.apologia.com/books/367-how-do-we-know-god-is-really-there-.html  At this link, you can purchase the book for $16.

So what is this book?  It is a good physical quality, hard cover book.  The website describes it as a read-aloud picture book “designed to introduce kids to important questions of the Christian faith in terms even pre-readers can understand.”

I believe the book is simple enough for the intended audience to understand the beliefs it shares.  The pictures are simple and are enjoyable (the book is illustrated by Christopher Voss), with a picture included on each two-page spread throughout the book.

I would expect that most families would read the story together, checking to see if the children got the point as they went. A good reader or older child could read the book independently.  Younger children may like looking at the pictures in their free time. Some families may investigate further by looking up information about certain planets, scientists, creation history, etc.  There is only one scripture cited; but families could also look it up in a couple Bible versions to better get the sense of it.  They might also find other topically-relevant scriptures.

I did have a problem with the sentence structure and combinations throughout the book, especially on the second page.  I wouldn’t have said “They would” at all, much less several times.  Sometimes, it seemed the book was written by a young person.  I feel bad mentioning this though as writing isn’t my best subject or ability either.  However, I also didn’t publish a book.  I simply believe children’s literature, though it may have a different goal (in this case, being informative regarding faith and science), should be a good model, or at least not a poor one, for our children.  In my opinion, the issue was to the degree of being distracting.

I also think the book would have been better if it were:

  • either shorter as it really took awhile to get into and was wordy;
  • or if it was a simple chapter book, maybe three chapters, going just a tad further.

One additional section to add would be a letter to parents.  In that, I would include a little more science to help parents answer questions or go further as well as give resources (scriptural, online, or other books).

I think it handles the question of “but where did it come from” very well. Physicists have known for a long time that “Another theory…will be needed to explain the original creation of the universe.” Of course, creation itself tells of it’s Creator.

I think it was wise for the materials not to take a position regarding old and young earth creationism also as it will make it more palatable for both groups.

DISCLAIMER: Generally, I would leave my review to the above.  However, I do feel the need, since this is primarily a book regarding religious belief, to address the fact that my family will not be using this publishers books about faith, whether each one, individually, is theologically sound or not, as we do not believe the same as their company does about many matters of spirituality.