Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion.

It was February 29, 1704, in Deerfield, Massachusetts; a frontier town is attacked by a party of French and Indians. Rev. John Williams and his family are taken captive along with many others. John Williams’ 2 youngest children are murdered on his doorstep and his wife is killed on the long, hard journey because she can’t keep up. When they get to Quebec, John and his children are separated.

The Jesuit priests try to make the people convert to popery (Catholicism). Many of the children are beaten into converting. John’s older son Samuel converts to popery but after John writes to him and prays to God, his son converts back to Christianity.

John, with the help of Captain De Beauville, tries to bring all his children back to him. John retrieves some of them. Most forgot how to speak English. Some were beaten so much they converted to popery. Finally the captives were released and they went back home.

The attack on Deerfield was the worst attack from the French and Indians. The Indians slew 50 people in their beds and more than a 100 were captured. Some died or were killed on the way, and others were held for ransom or adopted by the Indians.

John Williams had a lot of faith in God, he went through many heartaches but he still stayed true to his faith.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Calico Bush

Marguerite was an orphan French girl who was a Bound-out girl in the service of the Sargents: Joel and Dolly, and their children, Caleb, Patty, Susan, Jacob, Becky, and the baby Debby. Also with them was Joel’s younger brother Ira. They were headed, in a ship, to the New World, America, to settle in a new home.

When they got there they met a lot of nice folks like: Seth Jordan and his son Ethan, their Aunt Hespa, the Morses, a young couple with a year-old baby, Nathan and Hanna Welles, and their children, Timothy and Abigail. Ethan and Ira ‘fight’ over Abigail, but Abby liked Ira. The Sargents also found, to their surprise, their house had been burnt to the ground by the Indians. But soon, with the help of their neighbors, they rebuilt it.

In winter, Debby died by going too close to the fire. Her gown burst into flames. It burned her so badly they couldn’t do anything to help her. They all were very sad about her death.

When spring came, Ira and Caleb got passage on a ship and they went to get supplies. While they were gone Joel, trying to do all the work himself, fell and broke his leg. A couple days afterwards the Indians showed up. But Marguerite, or Maggie, saved the day by giving the Indians food. She also created a Maypole, which is a pole you nail strands of cloth to and dance around trying to weave the strands together. Then she met the Indian she had met during the winter and he took the other Indians away.

Afterwards, Caleb and Ira came home with more supplies and before the ship left, Joel gives Maggie her freedom to go with the ship to France. But Maggie decided to stay with the Sargents and the piece of land they owned. She wanted to stay because the Sargents had been good to her and she didn’t have any friends or family in France.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Elizabeth Gaskell

As much as I LOVED the BBC production of "Pride and Prejudice" with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, I actually love even more the BBC productions of Elizabeth Gaskell's novels "North and South" and "Cranford". Elizabeth Gaskell lived from 1810 to 1865, was a minister's wife, and mother to 6 children. She loved to write stories of relationships and people. Her writings, while popular, were often criticized because she integrated scathing commentary on social ills into her stories, especially about the troubles of the poor and working classes of society.

"Cranford" is a compilation of several of her stories. It is a window into life in a small community dominated by women. In it you see all the spectrum of good and bad behavior in people including the near destruction of a new young doctor's reputation by gossip and misunderstandings. There is also the secret help given by several women to their great hearted friend when she encounters financial ruin. If you love other period drama productions by BBC you will like this too.

"North and South" was very moving for me. In it you see huge transformations and alchemy of characters as the story progresses. Even my teenage sons enjoyed this story. The main plot is about a young English girl Margaret Hale. Her father moves the family from her idyllic agrarian parish home in southern England to the industrial, grimy northern town of Milton. The culture shock is severe and it takes many years for her to adjust to life and to the people there. Some residents of Milton also undergo change as they are exposed to Margaret and her family too. Gaskell's story is a different perspective of Austen's "Pride and Prejudice".

Plan for a long evening or weekend to view either show as there are several episodes to the story. Love the period costumes. BBC productions are stellar in this, just ask the costumer in our house. My family bought two of her books through e-bay for me at Christmas and I am enjoying the written versions very much.

---posted by Queen Lucy

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Red Envelope Day

Friends of ours sent us this note.

Barack Obama spoke at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event during his campaign, uttering the now infamous line, "Well, the first thing I'd do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. [Applause.] That's the first thing that I'd do."An empty red envelope will send a message to President Barack Obama that there is moral outrage in this country over this issue [The Freedom of Choice Act, which will essentially "undo" every law currently in place to limit abortion in the U.S. (i.e., parental consent laws, parental notification, waiting periods, prohibition of transporting a minor girl across state lines to obtain an abortion, etc.)]. It will be quiet, but clear.

Please read more about The Freedom of Choice Act here:

Here is what we can do:Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, or at party supply stores. On the front, address it to:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message.
This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion.It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world.

We will mail the envelopes out March 31st, 2009 -- just put them in the mail that day from wherever you live.

Please forward this event to every one of your friends who you think would send one, too. ... And they can in turn forward the information to their mailing lists. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every aborted child who died [in the U.S.] before having a chance to live. It may seem that those who believe abortion is wrong are in a minority. It may seem like we have no voice and it's shameful to even bring it up. Let us show our President and the world that the voices of those of us who do not believe abortion is acceptable are not silent and must be heard.The Lord may use our simple collective showing to begin to change the heart of our President and others on this issue.

----posted by the Caer Clan

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Favorite Home Education Links

JD has been helping me with the links list. I wanted to comment on a couple of them. I am painfully aware of homeschooling mother overload syndrome! So I want to give this disclaimer. I DO NOT do everything suggested on any homeschooling site I read. I do try and glean from their ideas and wisdom and translate it into my and my family's goals, lifestyle, and interests.

That being said, about three years ago God lead me to Lindafay's Higher Up and Further in blog. She and her family were still in Turkey at the time, but they have since returned to the U.S. I had just finished reading the "Charlotte Mason Companion" by Karen Andreola for the second time. I was looking for a way to DO both Karen's and Charlotte Mason's ideas in my home. I needed a road map that would organize my large family's program without overloading me and that would help me feel better about our home education. See after fifteen years of homeschooling I was so burnt out. I was miserable. In my heart the longings for what I wanted to achieve in the relationships with my children and in their educations were FAR from what I felt we were doing. It was not that I had failed in every way, it was just trying to walk towards that which I knew intuitively God wanted for me and the family. But I had fear of leaving familiar paths and starting to walk in less charted territory.

Then I found Lindafay. I remember the first night I started reading what she had to say. I sat and wept that I had missed out on so much more joy with my children and family. She wrote in such clear terms with such great ideas and outlined how she implemented her version of Miss Mason's ideas. I planned right away to start having a Literary Society night once a month. I planned more feasts and less dry crumbs for my family. It really helped that she showed me a way to keep track of what each child would be doing. I needed some way for me to give each child accountability as we tried to instill new habits and learn new things. Check out her daily checklist chart under her organization tips. It would be fabulous for whatever you are doing! Give yourself time to absorb her many creative ideas. It will be well worth your time. The last three years of our homeschooling has been transformed and I and the children are happier and more at peace. I actually like what we do now instead of trying to get through it each day so we can do something else.

The Classical Homeschoolers site has my favorite book lists. They have a 1,000 Good Books list that we have used for 10 years. My oldest child started rating each book and now I use her ratings for choosing what the other children might pick off the list. Not EVERY book on the list would be considered reading material by EVERY family. The site also has a list of the books of the western tradition. Also some very intellectual recommendations for readings for each level of student.

And lastly, but NOT least is Elizabeth Foss. About the same time I started reading Lindafay's blog, I found Elizabeth's book "Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home". I love her writing, her encouragement, her pointing the way to knowing your children's hearts. Knowing their hearts is so much more important that any academic program. She tells mothers to "abandon the system" and bring a lifestyle of learning into your home. I know that my Protestant friends will be a little disturbed that Mrs. Foss is Catholic, but from her writing you can tell her heart is to live Christ in daily devotional living. So I hope that Protestant mothers will try and glean from her wisdom and her love for God.

After 18 years of home education these are three top favorites. I have a huge list of others I use for different reasons, but these I have gained the most from.

---posted by Queen Lucy