Sunday, May 31, 2009

Freedom, Free Enterprise, and Capitalism

Though we don't agree with some of the subtle aesthetics of this cartoon, the illustration has such a strong message in support of our beliefs and values with regards to entrepreneurialism, the free enterprise system, compassionate capitalism, and the country we call home. We urge you to watch it, enjoy it, and pass it on but most importantly draw passion from it for that which was so dear to our founding fathers, great men throughout history that have tried to keep the vision alive, as well as men today that are diligently working to create an entrepreneurial revolution within the current economic system.

Recommended Resources:
Entrepreneurial Bootcamp DVD set
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?
Compassionate Capitalism

Friday, May 29, 2009

25/75 Vision...Am I seeing things!!!

From now until midnight May 30th Vision Forum is offering an instant savings of $25 off orders of $75 or more and I seeing things!

This recently mentioned 3 volume set of Institutes in Biblical Law...was $75 on sale, now it's yours for $50! Just enter VISION25 upon checkout. What a deal!

Or maybe you're looking for savings that really stand out...

You might, just might, just really, really, really, might want to check this out. The 22-Vol. Commemorative Calvin Commentaries with Free Calvin's Institutes at 88% off! Woah...did I just say that? That's a savings of over $1,051 if you remember to enter VISION25. Total bill? $124!!!! (plus tax and shipping of course)

Makes you kinda wonder what else they have on sale? There's probably a few other things too!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fairness is the Enemy of Justice

We have a saying around here, "Fairness is the enemy of justice." The cry of the socialist has always been "fairness for all," "Level the playing field," "Equal opportunity," and so forth. With socialism over taking us so rapidly, the desire for a just and honest dealings in all spheres is heightened more than ever. Or as some southerners put it..."My hair is on fire!"

Justice, according to Webster's 1828 dictionary, is the virtue which consists in giving to every one what is his due; practical conformity to the laws and to principles of rectitude in the dealing of men with each other; honesty; integrity in commerce or mutual intercourse.

A quick look through your Strong's Exhaustive Concordance will show you that repeatedly the word "righteousness" is used to define justice.

To "do justice" one must be active in carrying out of wise judgments based on the laws and character of God. God is just in his compensation and His justice is based on universal standards were as fairness is based on the variable will of the majority.

Understanding this makes it very clear why fairness threatens our freedoms, and why our father's are so passionate about that which weighs in the balance. They are fighting a majority of relativistic individuals. Be proud that they will not sell their birthright for a mess of pottage.

Vision Forum Ministries May 28th article, "Empathy, Impartiality, and Justice" explains this principle well...

"President Obama reiterated his commitment to “empathy” last week when he commented on Justice Souter’s resignation. He promised to seek someone “who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook.” Apparently, to President Obama, a basic understanding of the plain text of the Constitution is now “abstract legal theory.” But empathy, he says, will produce justice.

Once again, President Obama has demonstrated that the “change we can believe in” is not the change we need in this country. What we need is a change towards constitutional and biblical fidelity."

Continue Reading Here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cowboy Up!

I made one of our family favorites the other day....Cowboy Coffee Cake. We've been experimenting with Spelt lately so familiar recipes are fun to fiddle with. It came out like a sweet baked puddle. Ugly but edible. This morning's cravings were plenty of motivation to give it another try.

We grind our own grain by the hopper full in a NutriMill and then store what we're not using in the freezer. Bringing it to room temperature takes just as much time as collecting the eggs from outside.

Spelt is about as light as cake flour. This recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups of flour total. I used 1/4 cup of Spelt last time...This go round I used 3/4 cup totaling 2 3/4 cups flour.

The reason you always asked Mom if you could help make it when you were little...

...and don't forget the salt.

Grandma's pastry cutter and depression era bowls.

Saving some for the topping.

Howdy partner...You can put in too much cinnamon and it's just fine with me. Baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg.

It's just not southern without buttermilk. Farm fresh eggs too.

My all-time-favorite-basic-necessity-Cookbook-in-which-I-put-my-complete-trust-and-would-be-daring-enough-to-cook-a-new-recipe-out-of-for-first-time-guests. It's never failed me in other words. You'll find this recipe on pg. 125 ;)

Sprinklin' the yum on top.

350' and 45 minutes later...

It rose higher than ever and disappeared twice as fast.

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow - Little Tait Has Reached His Goal!

Half an hour ago the announcement from the Zimmerman's was that The Little Tait Preemie Fund was nearing it's intended goal of $51,644!

Praise the Lord! $186 to go for the Little Tait Preemie Fund! Honestly, we never expected to reach our goal *early*! "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)

We are so excited to announce to all our readers that just moments ago The Little Tait's Preemie Fund has indeed reached it's goal earlier than the June 3rd deadline!

From Lauren:
Tait's mom was the very first to contribute, and she's planning on kicking in the last $34 remaining, so ... we're there!!!!!!!!! Thank you!!! We're there! "Check" to the neonatology bill! We're hoping to hear the final negotiated hospital bill soon. We're also working on all of the "small," miscellaneous bills which total over $15,000. We are immeasurably grateful to the Lord, and to the thousands of people who supported us! Thank you for your help!

Blessed [be] the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.

The LORD [is] my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

The LORD [is] their strength, and he [is] the saving strength of his anointed.

Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.
Psalm 28:6-9

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is As Pro-Lifers

Little Tait's Preemie Fund

A Memorial Day Tribute From The League of Grateful Sons

...their story is the true tale of boys who spent their life loving and dreaming about the fathers who never came home from Iwo Jima.

“Johnny Boy” was five years old when he received this letter from his daddy — Lt. Col. John Augustus Butler, Sr. It was the latest of many communications his father had sent since departing for the Pacific. Each note was filled with encouragement, manly counsel, and fatherly love prepared from fields of battle by a man who would not allow a world war to interfere with his duties to instruct his son.

But this letter was different. It was the last communication Johnny Boy ever received from his “proud dad.”

Note the date — February 18, 1945, the eve of D-Day. On February 19, Lt. Col. John Butler would hit the black sands of Iwo Jima as commander of 1st Battalion, 27th Regiment, 5th Marine Division, leading over one thousand men into the fight for their lives against an entrenched Japanese enemy. Fourteen days later, the popular battalion commander and devoted father of three would lose his life in the performance of his duty, fighting on the frontlines.

It is now sixty years later, and Johnny Boy is a grandfather.

I first met John Butler, Jr. on the plane to Guam and was immediately taken by this sixty-five year old son’s irrepressible passion for his father. Within moments of making his acquaintance, he was unfolding documents and showing me precious letters of the man he loved.

He literally grabbed one member of my team, looked him in the eye, and asked, “Have you heard of my father? Do you know the things he did?” He pulled out an accordion file-folder, crammed full of dozens upon dozens of letters — letters exchanged between “Johnny Boy” and “Daddy”; love letters written between his father and mother; letters written to his mother by men who served under his father’s command.

And then there were pictures — scores of them — photos that catalogued his father’s life and testimony.

Great things happen when fathers love and disciple their sons. That is why, for sixty years, this son has loved the daddy who never came home. For sixty years, he has read and re-read his father’s instructions to him. For sixty years, he has remained devoted in his heart to the man whose wisdom and love, communicated through battlefield letters, has been a guiding light in his life.

He put it simply: “I feel like my father has always been here with me.”

At this point, the words of the Eternal Son came to our minds:

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth...’ (John 5:19-20)
The Heroism of Fathers is the Legacy of the Sons

I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. (Psalm 78:2-7)

For the sixtieth anniversary of their father’s death, John Butler, Jr. and younger brother Clinton (only four months old when his father was killed) decided to return to the island where their father was ushered into eternity. It was to be a pilgrimage of sonship to remember and give thanks for the man who in death left a legacy of love and devotion.

It gives a son confidence to know his father was a man of character. John, Jr. describes his father this way:

My father’s story is one of love, the love between him and my mother, love for and faith in God, a love for humanity and the men he led, and great pride in the Marine Corps he served. Those whom he led and those who knew him, speak of his exceptional character, genuine friendliness, and the superb leadership of his battalion in training and in combat.
In the providence of God, several of the men traveling with us knew the devoted father of John, Jr. and Clinton. They had served along side of Lt. Col. John Butler during the war and were able to give first hand accounts to his sons.

Read the rest of this moving Memorial Day tribute and how generational honor preserves nations here or by order your copy of "The League of Grateful Sons" at

Friday, May 22, 2009

AhTheLife Photo - New Farm Life Edition Uploads

We Didn't....Did We?


Get the rice started in a medium pot with water seal lid or rice cooker.

1.5 c. brown rice
3 c. water

Simmer 45 minutes, don't peek or it will take forEVER for it to finish. Prepare the Marinade.

1/3 c. minced onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. salad oil
1 tbsp. honey
4 sm. chicken breasts

Combine onion, garlic, soy sauce, oil, and honey; mix well. Arrange chicken in shallow baking dish; pour sauce over. Marinate at room temperature 30 minutes, turning several times.

In wok or large heavy skillet, heat butter and oil. Add carrot and onion; stir- fry 3-4 minutes. Stir in other vegetables and stir-fry 5 minutes or cook until they way you like them.

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. salad oil
2 c. sliced carrots
1 c. sliced onion
1 c. snow peas
1 c. red bell peppers
1 c. mushrooms
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
dash pepper

Broil chicken on low or grill while brushing with sauce until tender.

On a bed of rice, arrange vegetables with chicken breasts over top. Makes 4 hearty servings.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Good Bye Samuel, You've Done Us Well

Once again Samuel Adams is a controversial figure in American history. He's lived up to his name and our vision for him. Samuel has been issued a warning by government officials to "get out of town or go to jail." Apparently, those who love apathy their warm beds do not appreciate his clarion call.

A few quote to celebrate this great rooster:

"What has commonly been called rebellion has more often been nothing but a manly and glorious struggle in opposition to the lawless power of rebellious kings and princes."

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds"

The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought."

"The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance"

and lastly...

"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."

Will Work For...?

Zachary visiting the mini farm
The goal of work should be godly dominion. Work is not an end in itself, nor is the monetary income it produces the goal. The laborer is emphatically worthy of his hire (Luke 10:7; 1Tim. 5:18); work and pay cannot be separated, but neither can they be equated as though there is nothing more to work than its monetary return. In other words, work is an economic fact, but it must be more than an economic fact, there will be a decline in productivity towards the subsistence level. If men only work to eat (or to play), the meaning and the goal of work soon fades away. As we have seen, work is a moral fact, to be contrasted with theft. There is another contrast: work, true, godly work is productive, not destructive. If work is reduced to economics, then destructive forces are unleashed. Marxism is particularly guilty of this... A man when free from the corruption of modern humanism, will work in terms of God's calling, and under God, for his family, for his personal realization of his abilities, and more. ~ R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology in Two Volumes, 1044f

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Wonderful World Of Beekeeping

So we're thinking of adding beekeeping to our minifarm. We're do-it-ourselfers by nature and so it only seems fitting. We're totally unfamiliar and inexperienced but crossing that threshold comes along with being a do-it-yourselfer. :) From what I've read once you have it together there's little maintainance.

Meet Neal Watkins, 2nd generation beekeeper and swarm catching expert. Mr. Watkins was generous to share his many insights and into the world of bees and beekeeping when he came out this morning to retrieve what he said was a1.5-lb swarm.

He makes his hives boxes, supers, frames and also this particular box, his bee transport box. The box has two sliding doors, one screened, one open. The screened side can be opened for ventilation and the other for release of the bees. There are also two circular holes one on each end. One is also screened and one not. He attached the vacuum to the screened end to keep the bees from being sucked into the vacuum.

It is easier to cut a limb down much like the video in the last post, but this limb was too big and it also doesn't belong to us. We're just renting it. :) So, since the bees were all nestled up together in the chilly morning air, vibrating their little bodies to stay warm, he vacuumed away and they came off in huddled clumps with little disturbance at all.

This is a frame from the inside of one of the hive boxes. It has some starter comb on it. Apparently there is a debate as to whether to use the comb and create larger bees by it for greater honey production vs. allowing the bees to make smaller comb and remain their natural size and there by be a hardier bee and disease resistant. Say that 3 times fast.

Before a swarm takes off it will gorge itself. When a swarm has been on the fly for a couple days it can be a little tempermental because it's hungry. Sugar water in a spray bottle is a good remedy for this.

A small bee box with lid removed so you can see the top-loading frames. Also down below is the bottom entry.

Getting the last of them.

Bees secrete a pheromone so they can find each other. Each queen has her own distinct smell. All the worker bees can tell the difference between their queen and another. When joining to hives, you can place a couple sheets of newspaper between the two. By the time the bees chew through the paper they will be familiar with the smell of the other hive and they won't war with the other hive members.

A box of bees

A sliding trap door, Mr. Watkin's handy work.

If you're thinking of taking up beekeeping, it's really looks like no big deal at all. On the "scary meter" it didn't even register.

Mr. Watkins shared info on:

Hive rodents, the uses of sugar water, the damage that hail can do to a hive if the wild flower population is destroyed. He also covered things like the characteristics of bees. How far they'll roam when foraging, how Africanized bees can be feisty and how a bee with a full tummy is pretty laid back and easy to work with bee. He does have a bee suit but it was not a necessity today. Bees are like any animal it has it's temperament and it's predictablities. He also explained the use of a smoker and centrifuge.
Also, for all those that use a lot of honey in their cooking, 100-300 lbs a year is not uncommon for good hives! That could even go higher on a good hive.

Mr. Watkins is looking forward to making queens and establishing new colonies from his more docile hives. Some of his hives he'll not come within 5 foot of because they are quite pesky. Others he can handle and examine with no problem at all.

He shared some stories of cuts-outs he's handled. Cut-outs are when you have to go inside a house and "cut out" a section of a wall and remove a swarm. One wall in particular was made of railroad timbers. He made his way through it via a chainsaw.
When asked how many times he's been stung, "If I don't get stung 3-5 times a week, I'm not trying hard enough" :)
He continues, "Sometimes, while sitting and watching my bees, I'm sitting eye-level with the entrances and a guard bee will hit me [purposely]. Sometimes they sting immediately and sometimes they just head butt you. I remember when I was helping my father catch a swarm. I was standing on top of the truck holding the hive body over my head while my father brushed them into the hive. (This was before bee vac's, and I had a whole lot more hair on my head then). These bees had been on the "wing" for awhile. When he started brushing, they started flying and stinging. He pulled his hand down and there were hundreds of bees stinging his hand. We had to stand fast. The bees got into my hair, down my shirt and were all over my arms. We literally got stun hundreds of times. True story. And here I am 35 years later."

He also shared "Why are bees in July not worth a fly." There are often not enough flowers in July to sustain the bees need for food and honey production.

Looking for a good source of beekeeping information?
An update from Mr. Watkins:
"Bees are in their new home. I simply put the hive box on top of the vac box and opened the sliding door with no screen. Tonight they will go up into the hive and tomorrow morning I will put them on the bottom board and the hive will be complete. I will keep them closed up with a jar of 1 part water and 1 part sugar sitting on the top. It has a hole in it that allows the bees access to the feeder. Tomorrow evening about 7 PM I will open the access and allow them to be free. Thanks again. Neal"

Monday, May 18, 2009

BEEcause they are swarming...

Gardening: How To Collect A Bee Swarm

A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July isn't worth a fly.

A small swarm of honey bees just showed up in our front magnolia tree. They nearly filled the front yard until they settled down on a limb. Mom has mentioned wanting to keep bees now and then and the day before yesterday we were just rolling over the idea again. After they showed up today I grabbed my copies of "The Backyard Homestead" and "Country Wisdom and Know-How" and did some quick reading. Swarms don't stick around long and so since we aren't set up for them quite yet, and nor do we have any idea how to catch a swarm of bees and convince them that we'd make wonderful owners, we had to pass on the opportunity. Tomorrow I have a bee man coming over to show me how it's done. It should be very interesting and I should be able to get a reading of just how it much it registers on the scary meter. From my resesarch I have found that you can mail order bees in. I think I sorta want to try it just to see the postman's face. ;)

For more info on Bee Keeping consider Country Wisdom & Know-How or The Backyard Homestead

Special Prayer Alert for Jessica Hulcy

From Doug's Blog...

Dear Friends:

Long time home school leader and KONOS curriculum co-founder Jessica Hulcy was just in a serious car accident, and was hit by a small fire truck. My office was just informed that she is in critical but stable condition with collapsed lungs, internal bleeding and some brain trauma.

Jessica was scheduled to be with me and other speakers at the Florida Parents Educators Association home school conference this weekend. Jessica and her husband Wade have been long time friends and home school colleagues of the Phillips family. Her work has impacted many tens of thousands of families.

Please join us in praying for Jessica at this crucial time.

Gratefully, Doug and Beall

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Office Help

In the midst of shelves filled with books, a large oak desk strewn with files and folders, a sewing station draped with the latest project, sits a card board box; home of our new farm additions.

Behind the Seams: Alterations

Current Project: Linen Coldwater Creek Blouse.

Cutting down a petite large to a petite small. Avoiding appliques and embroidery. The sleeves have been removed. The front princess seams and side seams have been temporarily taken in with a basting stitch. The back princess seams are next. Once it is fitted, the sleeve holes will be re-cut. The sleeves may be shortened and/or taken in then reattached.

Reformed and Smitten

Although he had sat next to her many times in Sunday School, Bill never realized how beautiful Mary was until he saw her “Calvin 500″ commemorative earrings.

credit due

Biblical Woman's Liberation - Quit Work & Come Home

"When women work for their own husbands and make their own families successful, they enjoy all the benefits and none of the heartaches of the nonsensical work-family 'balance'. Being a part of a family is work. And it's hard work. But it's rewarding because it is done for and with our own kith and kin. We aren't selling our labor to strangers or working thankless hours to please a man we don't love. Choosing to make our husbands successful means we enjoy the rewards of work and family at the same time--no balancing act required other than the ordinary everyday decisions about priorities and goals that are a normal part of life."

This from an article, "Quit Work & Come Home - Thanks, We're Ahead Of This Curve" is one of many great quotes. We had a hard time settling on one. But honestly, we have similarly found this applies to daughters as well. There's nothing more rewarding than being trusted with the labor and interests of our father's vision.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

There's No Better Time To Believe It Can Happen.

The Winner of the Reclaiming the Culture DVD Give-away

Using the randomly generated winner is....

Abigail Sawyer!

Your DVD, "You May Not Take our Guns" will be mailed out shortly! Enjoy!

A bit on the DVD: One of the most controversial issues today in our country is over the “Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” In this lecture, Larry Pratt gives a historical and Biblical overview of the Second Amendment. Drawing on his vast experience and knowledge as head of America’s only no compromise gun-lobbying organization — Gun Owners of America — Mr. Pratt offers a helpful overview of this vital issue in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision D.C. v. Heller. Mr. Pratt has debated the heads of anti-gun groups both in the U.S. and internationally. In You May Not Take Our Guns, Mr. Pratt helps us to gain a proper understanding of our duty both Biblically and historically behind the Second Amendment.

Watch a preview here!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009