January 4

The damage in the high tunnel on New Years Eve was very minimal so now we move our attention onto the next cold spell.  We’re spending the afternoon tucking all of the plants in for the next few days of way below freezing temps.  It’s actually a bit easier when we know that the day time temps will be so low that we don’t have to manage sneaking into the high tunnel to remove the covers during the day with keeping in the warm air.  Although I do love watching that smoke filled air come pouring out of the high tunnel and out over the trees.  It’s really amazing and one of my favorite things right now-the view from my bedroom window is breathtaking.  Keeping the crops alive-in Kentucky-in January-has become a balancing act that we seem to learn more from the mistakes than we do the successes-I suppose all of life is that way.

I was thinking on the way to church this morning about how many people mistake our family for mennonite (I always think to myself-you must not know any real mennonite’s in real life) or for estranged mennonites (which would make more sense since while we do have simple tendencies we are far from “simple” people in many ways).  In their defense I do see the similarities.  We do farm fruits and vegetables full time like many of the amish and mennonites who live in the community we just joined.  And there’s the mess of kids and homeschooling and my occasional head covering and Nathan’s beard, of course.  We also cook most of our meals at home which in this day and age seems more and more of a novel idea.  Men who visit our home during the day always seem to be surprised that I’m home.  And surprisingly the jehovah’s who have learned that I’m a “sure in” to be home always seem surprisingly concerned at how many children we have.

The children (Nathan’s started calling them ‘the children’ instead of ‘the kids’-maybe because of his increased time with mennonite and amish families-no matter the reason it’s starting to grow on me) have become accustomed to asking for extra science lessons ever since they received a microscope for Christmas.  I’m so thankful that Nathan is so book smart and remembers almost everything he learned in school.  It makes a good teacher out of him.  I’m the opposite really.  I paid less attention in school to the textbooks, but more attention to the books I read for fun and the people-which I think prepared me to teach the kids to make a living that serves both themselves and others well.  I’m working with the older children on business opportunities that will help them master the three R’s while allowing them to learn all the common sense things that prepare them to run a home, manage finances, work well with others.  We make a good parenting team, I believe.

Many of the families that we know are suffering from colds and flu and thankfully none of us have caught it yet.  Just now I’m putting on a big pot of bones and vegetables to make a nutritious broth-just in case and we’re loading up on citrus, essential oils, water, and elderberry syrup.  One of the best things I think we can do for kids is to let them spend more time outdoors-even when it’s cold out.  Fresh air seems to be the trick to keeping everyone aired out, of sound mind and full of sunshine.  Makes mama happy too when I get a little bit of quiet time with a cup of coffee.