It's here! Torah Family e-magazine Issue #2 Sukkot Edition is ready for download. A special thank you to all who contributed to make this issue possible. You may want to print a copy off and take it with you wherever you celebrate Sukkot. Enjoy!
What is Torah family living? What does it look like?
It will look slightly different in every family, but there are common factors. The main idea is to take the principles found in Torah very seriously and seek to apply them on a daily basis. There is much more in Torah than Sabbath and the Feast Days.
For example, let's start with eating kosher. When I plan a menu, there will obviously be no pork, shellfish, or flamingo in the meal.
But let's take it a step further. What do I do when one of my children yells, "Mommy, she hit me!" I need to investigate further because Torah teaches us to get two witnesses before doling out punishment. What if I can't secure two witnesses? I do not punish, but I take the opportunity to remind my children to behave in a just and honoring way.
The concept of honor is very important in Torah. We are to value people. We should seek to do what is best for them. We are to treat them the way we want to be treated. There is no better place to practice honor than in the home. If we are trying to honor our family members, we will automatically rescue Jimmy's bike if he left it out in the rain. Sure, he should have put it away, but honor helps out anyway.
Once we realize that Torah applies to all of life, then we have entered the realm of Torah family living. Let the blessings begin!
Doug drew a name for our book giveaway today. I am thrilled to see the excitement building. Only 9 days until the big launch! I am doing the behind the scenes work of setting up shopping carts, etc. It will go live on September 4th, and if you didn't win today, you can purchase a copy for $8.99. Again, thanks for all your support.
Okay, the winner is....Lusi!
I will email you a PDF copy. How exciting with a baby about to arrive! Congratulations!
I don't normally do a separate preschool curriculum. Normally the little ones sit with me while I teach the bigger ones. They participate where they can, pick info up by osmosis, and stay out of trouble. Everyone's happy!
But this year, I felt the need to do something different with Sadie. She is child #4, not quite big enough but not that small either. I don't want her to get overlooked or forgotten. I first thought of 5 in a row, but financially that just isn't an option. So with the encouragement of my Mom, I'll be coming up with her schoolwork myself. The basic idea is to read good books to her, and do activities as we feel inspired. When I cleaned out the bookcase, I was very pleased with the selections.
"Make Way for Ducklings"
"The Tawny Scrawny Lion"
"James Herriot Treasury"
"Frog and Toad Together"
My Mom also found a book that was given to me when I was 3, "The Little Golden Book Treasury."
I had a little impromptu beginning today and was very pleased with the results. I found a book of one page stories with little activities. We read the first story, titled, "The Apple Man." I pulled her up in my lap and began to read. You should have seen her face! She had a huge grin and just came alive while we were reading. Why don't I read out loud more often? I don't know. I guess I just get selfish and busy.
Well, when we were done, the book had a few suggested activities. We sang the song together, and made our own apple man. She picked an apple from one of our trees, and we made a face with cloves and arms out of toothpicks. We even cut an apple open to see the star. The older kiddos had to make their own apple men, too.
I will continue to post Sadie's Stories, and you can peek in on our simple adventures with books. Hey, less is more! See you next time!
It occurred to me that I didn't give very much info about what is actually in The Children's Ketubbah Project. You can't read my mind, so let me attempt to do that here. Below is one of the ketubbahs found in the book, written for daughters. There is also one for sons. There are other things in the book, too, but this will give you a sample.
We love you.
YHVH formed you in the womb. He made you beautiful and smart.
We want the very best for you and we are so happy you are part of our family.
We are not perfect parents, but we promise to do our very best.
We will pray for you.
We will listen to you.
We will be a living example of how to walk in Torah, teach it to you, and show you how to study it on your own.
We will lovingly discipline you when you do wrong, to keep you on the right track. We will restore you after the discipline.
We will enjoy you and learn about you as a unique special girl, and help you develop the talents your Heavenly Father gave you.
We will be available to help you with decisions, including the choice of your future husband, life work, and ministry.
I will show you how to be a good future wife by being one now.
I will patiently show you how to be a capable young lady.
I will meet your needs, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
I will provide a safe haven for you to grow up in.
We hope you will return our love with your own, demonstrated by honor and obedience. But we will love you no matter what.
When we fail in any of the things listed above, we will apologize and make it right.
I have turned each of these phrases into a mini chapter where I discuss how to implement them. I pray that this book is a blessing to your family. Just writing it has been so helpful to our family. Parenting is now something we do on purpose. We are thinking through how we interact with our children. We want our children's hearts, but now, we are letting them have our heart, too.
So I wrote a book about parenting. I hope you all enjoy it. I'm sure you won't agree about everything in it. And that's okay, because I wrote it mostly for myself. Suddenly, I have changed my perspective as a mother. (Perhaps I want to make sure I'm doing my best so I don't become a hypocrite. :) I suddenly find myself closing the lid to my laptop and looking at my children in the eye when they want me. I'm sitting on the front porch with the kids while Whiskey (our new dog) catches tennis balls. I'm helping the kids with their chores rather than barking when they don't do them by themselves. There's something about writing things down that motivates me beyond good intentions and happy thoughts. I'm very glad for it.
Is there something in your life that has never gone beyond good intentions.
1. Pray about it real hard.
2. Then write it down.
3. Look at it often.
Perhaps the simple act of putting pen to paper will be helpful to you, too.
I have been reading through the Bible in 90 days. I have never done this before, and I am awed by what I am seeing. YHVH preserved His truth and His people, even when they did very wicked things and left Him. He preserved their geneology, so they would know who they were when their hearts returned to Him. He preserved His commands, so they could follow Him once again. For as quickly as they turned away from Him, they would repent and return and find forgiveness once again. Thanks to His preservation, when their hearts would return, they were able to restore the Levitical priesthood, proper worship in the temple, feast days, and proper offerings.
As I was reading about Ezra and Nehemiah and how they returned to Jerusalem from Assyria, my heart cried out. How long until we can return? When will we be able to rebuild what is broken? He is turning our hearts back to Him. He will restore all things as He has done before. The only question is how long. It doesn't matter if we are direct descendants or choose to join the direct descendants, He freely forgives when we repent and turn to Him. May our hearts first repent of the our own wickedness and the wickedness of our fathers, and then turn to wholly obey Him. As He sees our repentance, may He begin the restoration of all things.
Who would like to read an advance copy of my new ebook? This is your chance!
My launch date is September 4th. I already have some blog reviews set up, and I will give you dates and locations on those soon. On September 4th, we will be having a drawing for one of my husband's handmade shofars, along with other fun stuff!
In the meantime, I will be giving away an advanced copy of "The Children's Ketubbah Project."
To get entries, do the following:
1. Follow my blog, and leave a comment saying so. If you already follow, say so in the comments.
2. Follow me on facebook, and say so in a comment.
3. Check out my new website, and leave a comment. There is a link right at the top of the left sidebar. You can also find it at www.torahfamilyliving.com.
4. Share about the book in a blog post, facebook, or twitter, and leave a comment.
Yes, you can leave one comment about all of them at once.
Feel free to use this graphic. Giveaway is open until 8-26-2011. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming. :)
I have a sore right "milk jug." I've had infections before, and don't want to spend my birthday tomorrow with one. I'm taking vitamin C and echinacea. Doug bought me a cabbage, because the leaves are supposed to be comforting. I have a feeling it is brought on by stress. I have a bunch of things piling up right before Sabbath, like three bushels of peaches. Any ideas for treatment? It is not infected, but I know that could quickly change if I don't stay on top of it. Thanks!
I wanted to show you one of our summer projects. It is a passive solar heater based on the principle that hot air rises and cold air sinks. We built it with a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood for the back. It has two holes on the top for vents and two holes on the bottom. We cut them so they would fit between studs. We put a frame around them, using lumber similar to 1 x 6's. I painted the entire thing flat black to absorb heat. Then we used the front loader on the tractor to lift it up the wall. Doug used lag screws to attach it to the wall of our pole barn. Then he cut holes in the wall for the vents, lining up with the holes we had cut in the back. We used a saw-za with a bimetal blade. If you don't have the right cutting tool, it will not be much fun. Here you can see the open box up on the wall.
So, once we had the holes cut right through the wall, and the paint touched up, we were able to install the clear plastic corrugated panels. We put expanding foam along the two long sides, and caulk to seal in the other cracks. We put caulk along the seam where the two panels meet in the middle, and discovered that some little bolts to hold the layers together was very helpful. The only thing left to do is put some screening over the holes on the inside wall to keep out bugs. It was an interesting project, and we plan to install a few more.
I finally did it! I wrote an ebook and published it! This has been a dream of mine for about 12 years. There weren't ebooks back then lol. I will be telling you all about it and telling you about the giveaways we will be having to celebrate. In the meantime, I will let you see the result of our photo shoot. Remember the picture of the girls and I with rags in our hair? It was for the cover photo of my book.
It is officially on its way to Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, etc. All I have left to do is prepare the PDF version. Well, it has been a long and exciting day. Good night, everyone!
Scripture talks alot about sheep and goats. I raise both on our farm. They are as different from each other as night and day. This is surprising, since they often are mistaken for each other, particularly by the untrained eye. Our sheep are rather wild. They do their thing, eating, chewing their cud, making lambs, etc. with little input from us. They take care of themselves. This is great, except for a little thing called parasites. The sheep get infected with parasites, and left unchecked, that little tiny organism can take down and kill a 100lb sheep. We do our best to provide preventive care. We have very effective treatment that would keep those pesky worms at bay. The problem is that the sheep don't understand we are trying to help them. They run in circles, leap into fences, and avoid capture at any cost. We literally have to round them up and tackle them to give treatment. When we try to feed them medicine in the grain, they run the other way, and the goats eat it. As a result we lose sheep to worms despite our best efforts.
Goats are a bit different. They seem to come out of the womb friendly. Goats seem to prefer the company of people. With very little training, they will come when you call their name, and love to be petted. Obviously, they are easy to medicate, and will steal the grain right out of your hand. One of my milkers, Kiwi, likes to chew on the corner of my shirt. She followed me around the pasture while I chased a sheep that needed treated. Goats are also rather clever and mischievious, and can get in and out of places at will. On the flip side they always come home.
So how do my observations fit in with scripture? Here are my thoughts, not doctrines, just thoughts. We are most often compared to sheep. I think if we actually behaved like goats and followed our master around and took our medicine and craved a good petting, we wouldn't be in such desperate need of a shepherd. We often act wild and try to do things our own way. The Good Shepherd has to chase us around the pasture, tackle us, and shove our medicine down our throats. If He didn't, we would surely die in our stupidity. But Yahshua did say that He came to save sinners, not righteous. We walk around the pasture, thinking we are in great shape, but we don't know about the little tiny worms (sin) that threaten our very existence. But when the Good Shepherd tries to help us with those worms, we run the other way. Yet He patiently leads us and cares for us in spite of ourselves.
Perhaps we should make things easier for ourselves and start behaving like goats. We need to run to our Shepherd, take our medicine, and crave the attention our Shepherd willingly gives. To put it in plainer terms, we need to face our sins, accept our Savior's help, and delight in His presence.
Will you say baaaaaa like a sheep, or will you say maaaaaa like a goat?
I have the first round of sukkah pictures for you to vote on. You may use whatever criteria you want to decide which one you like the best. The winner will be on the cover of the next edition of Torah Family e-magazine.
Please vote by number in the comments. Thanks! Wow, I can't wait for Sukkot!
Just sending out a little reminder to everyone to send in submissions for the sukkot edition of the magazine. I need your help. It's just not as good if I do it all myself. :)
sukkah pictures for the photo contest (It can be a tent, a homemade structure, a camper, a screened in porch. I want people to see variety.)
sukkah drawings (give your kids an assignment and tell them they can send it to a magazine!)
sukkah stories (These can be short. I want to disperse them among the pictures.)
Thank you so much for your help. I appreciate all the positive feedback for the last issue. Please help make this issue great, too. Deadline is August 19!