Last week, I opened the doors wide, the outside air breathing fall into the house. That open door became a gathering place.

First, a dog came to the doorway and waited at the threshold, observing the movements of her humans.

Then, a girl sat in the doorway and read her history book to her dog.

Finally, a sister joined the girl and the dog.


Lincoln’s Poem

inspired by our study of monasticism in the The Middle Ages.


Lincoln J. Gaskins



The top monk is called the Abbot, and even the Abbot wears a habit.

At the strike of noon the monks gathered in the scriptorium

Where they were not allowed to hum,

And they’d light their little candles,

And carry their inkpots by their handles,

And copy the Bible for hours and hours,

And line, and draw, and paint towers.

Monks would save people with St. Bernards,

And people would write their thank-you cards, and they’d take some beer

And spit on wool, and Satan would leer, and make them cool

But it was rare

That that would get by

The Almighty Lord

Who is also a spy!


What can I say?  When inspiration strikes, all I can do is get out of his way!

The girls write historical fiction

So we began a Book of Centuries this week, or rather 4 Books of Centuries since I am including all 4 children in our history studies.  I do believe Rachel and Prairie, at 6- and 4- years  old would do history all day every day. 

The boys are enjoying it and expressing their creativity in very different ways, but the girls are the ones who want to carry their century books around all day, gaze at their pictures, re-read their writings. 

I had planned on including some occasional narrations in their books, but I was putting that off to some future date when I didn’t feel so overwhelmed and tired. 

But today, I dragged myself out to the deck to absorb the sun’s warmth, gazed around at our trees, mud and the beginnings of spring grass.  I prayed and contemplated where to build our chicken coop —– far from the garden, but close enough to the house that I can look out the window and see if the neighbor’s dogs are prowling around. 

The boys were somewhere in the woods, pretending to shoot weasels so they could eat the cheese, or so they said.  The girls had trailed me out to the deck, Rachel with her Book of Centuries in hand.  They sat on the deck floor, Rachel opened her book and began to tell stories about the creation and Adam and Eve, accurate details interwoven with plenty of imagination.

Inspired, I asked her if she wanted me to write her story down.  She was quite eager, so we jumped on the computer and she watched me like a hawk to make sure I typed everything exactly the way she said it.  When she was done, we read back through it and I helped her change some verb tenses.  I tend to steer clear of making corrections to narrations until children are in the habit of doing them, but I knew Rachel would be re-reading this over and over and wanted her reading the correct grammar.

In case anyone wants a more detailed version than what the Bible gives of Adam and Eve’s life after Eden, I give you Rachel’s account:

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.  God made the earth and the plants and birds.  God found the earth on the cloud.  He picked it up.  So God created man in his own image.

Eve picked a fruit.  Eve gave the fruit to Adam, and Adam ate the fruit.  God took Adam and Eve away from the Garden, and God was gone.

And Adam and Eve saw flowers.

Eve said, “Those flowers are beautiful.”  The snake slid around the flowers and didn’t pick the flowers and didn’t step on the flowers.

Adam and Eve caught a fish.  Adam and Eve missed the fish.

Eve said, “This time, I will catch a big fish.”  Now, Eve got a big fish, and Adam cut the fish’s tail.  Adam gave the fish to Eve.  Adam and Eve shared the fish.

Adam and Eve sat beside each other and watched the fish go by.


Prairie wanted to get in on the action, so she took the hot seat next the computer, stared at me, giggled, looked discomfitted until she finally shouted out “GOD, GOD, GOD!”

I encouraged her with a smile and typed in God.  Once she saw that, she was off . . . . .

God catches fish. God is good at catching fish.

God said, “Don’t pick those flowers.”

Eve is good at catching fish too. Adam is good at catching fish too.

God always catches fish. Adam always catches fish. Eve is always good at making some fish.

Praire did struggle with Eve’s name.  She kept wanting to call her Evil.  Hmmmmm . . . . . .  . . there is a lot that could be said about that, I guess, but I’m too tired to tackle it.