Visiting Bale Grist Mill

Our family loves going places. I personally, love visiting historic places.  My kids, not so much, but once there, they find something to be excited about. Or at least be fascinated with.

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Bale Grist Mill was no different. We arrived at 10:00am on a cool crisp morning, that was perfect for a visit. Now, I honestly didn’t know a whole lot about the mill before we went, but WOW! The history is really rich.

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Now that is one big water mill! With reason, Maria Ignacia Bale after the death of her husband in 1850. Made an agreement with Leonard Lillie to convert the existing mill to be better adapted to mill more grain. The one I have photographed here, is the 36 foot wheel Leonard installed that replaced the 20 foot wheel.

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This mill, named after Dr. Edward Turner Bale, he was an English physician and surgeon. He was one of the few survivors from the shipwreck off the coast of Monterey in 1837.   He had come to California from England, like most to start a new life. After proving his skills as a physician, he was employed by General Mariano Vallejo as Surgeon-in-Chief of the Mexican Army.  This position made him travel between San Francisco and Monterey, making for himself a reputation as a man of medicine and a man who enjoyed his alcohol. He would run up liquor bills and became infamous figure in early California.

In spite of his reputation, Dr. Bale was well accepted into the home of General Vallejo. Which is why he had no objection with Dr Bale marrying his niece Maria Ignacia Soberanes. His marriage to a Mexican give him full citizenship of Mexico and granted him some land in upper Napa. Some of which is where this mill stands today.

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Going into the mill was an exciting moment for me. Knowing that this mill was the center of attention in its day.  During the late 1840’s the gold rush created a huge demand of flour.  A significant amount of people in the area brought their grain to be milled here.  The mill was a successful custom mill, grinding grain to the specific texture of each individual customer. The position of a miller was once a well-respected position to hold.

It is still hard for me to imagine the fields filled with wheat and not the vineyards we see today. It was actually Dr. Bales daughter Caroline Bale and her husband Charles Krug that planted some of the first grapes, and thus began the the Napa Valley wine country.

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This was a great visual as to how the stone is cut to mill the grain, truly a stone ground product. The original stones in the mill were local, but were later replaced by French stones that were of superior quality.

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Here our miller is explaining how the mill works just before filling the hopper.

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I highly recommend visiting the mill, where you can buy a small bag of souvenir flour that is stone ground on location. We did, and baked a couple loaves of bread. It was delicious. If you are anything like me, and enjoy history. It is so interesting to learn about the people in this area, and what were doing while the Bear Flag Revolt occurred and learn about how Dr. Bale left his family to search for gold. He ended up dying on October 9, 1849 at the age of 38. No one is really sure of what the cause of death was.

Yeah, there so much more history left untold!!

 

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This child of mine, loved the mill so much she bought herself a Bale Grist Mill t-shirt. I absolutely love that!!!

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Then there is this kid, my Peanut, the girl that can’t leave without finding a stone or stick to take home. In this case, a branch.

I hope you enjoyed my share on our little field trip.

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But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'” Matthew 4:4

Daily Bible Time

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I just wanted to take a moment to share what one of my girlfriends shared with me. It was truly a simple but, brilliant idea. It is these cute little daily planners. She buys one every year and uses it to write her daily thoughts and verses she reads daily. I thought that it was fabulous! There have been many times I have read something and can’t seem to remember exactly were I was in the Bible that particular day. This little calendar has really changed my Bile reading. I can easily refer to what I had read, and my thoughts about it. See what I mean, simple and brilliant!

The best part, for me anyway, is that it keeps me accountable to daily reading. I don’t want to end up with blank days in my calendar. The bonus is the encouragement and strength you gain be being in the word daily.

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

 

Studying History Thru the Bible

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It is no surprise to my closest friends how much I love history. I have a passion for making history come alive for my kids thru hands-on activities and planning field trips to historical sites. I even put together slideshows to make the learning visual. But in the past few weeks, this hasn’t felt like it was quite enough.

What do I mean? Well, I want to include more Bible in our history. But why not study history with the Bible as our main guide? After all our timeline pretty much lines up with the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament pointing to the birth of Jesus Christ and the New Testament revealing and explaining who he is. We are living in the timeline of the great Creator, the One who knows all things. “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13. So, I will base our history on the Word of God.

So, what is my scriptural base for studying history this way? Well, Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

But why do we keep a record of history and why do we need to study history? We keep a record of history so we can read and think about people who lived long ago and how they acted. We can learn from their successes and their failures so that we can make wise decisions.

Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:11-12

What really has left an impression on me is that God had ordered people to keep written records. This to me screams, “history is important!” We can even look at some examples in the Bible of God telling people to write things down as a written account of events;

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Exodus 17:14

“Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel.” Deuteronomy 31:19

He even commanded the prophets to write down what he had said and done.

” And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.” Isaiah 30:8

“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you.” Jeremiah 30:2

Much of scripture is a record of the mighty deeds of our Lord, like in 1 Chronicles;

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!

 Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!
   Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
    his miracles and the judgments he uttered,”

So, I guess the next question is, why do I want to study history this way? Why is it that important to me? Well, as a Christian, I want to know more about the God of all creation. I want to learn more about his mercy and his sovereignty. I want to learn about God’s character throughout history as he directs the affairs of men. But mostly I want to glorify Him in what I do.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

With all that being said, I look forward to sharing with you what our study of history will look like in our family.

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“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,  and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

DIY- New Flooring

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So, here we are, ready to commence on a new project! This is a project we have wanted to tear into since the day we moved into this house. But, our budget didn’t allow it. Plus, to be honest, we weren’t really to sure what kind of flooring to put in. We had talked about laminate flooring, solid wood planks, and porcelain tiles that look like wood. In the end we ended up ordering Luxury Engineered Vinyl Plank Flooring. I loved that it was water resistant, kid proof, and pet proof.  So it was an easy choice.

So here is the beginning of our demo.

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Our entryway had this dated parquet flooring that I couldn’t wait to get out.

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With the entry way flooring out, we could begin tearing out the carpet!

So glad we didn’t have to replace any part of the sub-flooring.

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Here is the space before just before we removed the carpet.

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This space can really use a face lift. I am tired of the print on the wall, and look forward to replacing it with something more colorful.

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We have a little kids corner by the windows, I hope to change that space too.

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It was such a joy carrying out all that furniture.

Seriously, it’s so awkward for me, a short person to carry the sofa, my arms are just not long enough to carry things comfortably.

With the room empty, my hubby moves forward and removes the base boards and rolls out the carpet.

There you have it, our bare space.

I can’t wait to show you what our floor looks like! Seriously, I can’t wait to be done and enjoy my new space.

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“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 4:2

 

Kids Character Bible Study- Obedience

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Hello Friends,

I thought it might be fun to share some of our current Bible studies with you. Since we are a Christ-centered family, learning to be more Christ-like is something we hope to be. The first characteristic we are learning about is “How to Develop Obedience”, and what does that mean. So, lets answer that first question.

What is Obedience?

Obedience is receiving instruction, correction, provision, and protection through the Biblical jurisdictions or parents, civil authorities, church leaders, and employers.

So what does that mean exactly?

Obedience is wise submission to the will of those God has placed over us. True obedience is more that just an action. It doesn’t involve us to carry out commands or instructions that would have us go against and violate the higher law of God. Obedience is more than just compliance and is not subjection or blind submission. It is based on the motivation that God works through those placed in authority and that EVERY person must give an account to God for EVERY choice he has made.

In the Bible God uses the horse and the stubborn mule as an example of willfulness. “Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.” Psalm 32:9. The mule  in particular has become synonymous with the spirit that is opposite of obedience, hence the phrase, “stubborn as a mule”. Obedience implies the breaking of your own will, even for Jesus. “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8.

So how does God command obedience? Well, here are 6 ways:

  1. Be obedient to God. “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
  2. Be obedient to your parents. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Ephesians 6:1-3
  3. Be obedient to your conscience. “Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.” Romans 13:5
  4. Be obedient to your church elders. “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17
  5. Be obedient to your civil authorities. “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,” Titus 3:1
  6. Be obedient to your employer.”Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.” Colossians 3:22

Since God the Father sent His perfect Son to be the perfect example to us, we should see how Jesus demonstrated obedience. Did Jesus follow these 6 ways? Well, let’s have a look;

  1. He obeyed God. Jesus did nothing out of His own will, but only the will of His Heavenly Father, in order to fulfill Scripture.“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of Him who sent me.” John 5:30
  2. He obeyed His parents. At the age of twelve, Jesus went to the temple and desired to continue His work there, but He obeyed His parents and grew in wisdom. “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:51-52
  3. He obeyed His conscience. The ultimate example of obedience was for the God Son to humble Himself and dye on the cross for our sin. “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8
  4. He obeyed His Elders. In dealing with ungodly elders, Jesus would often explain and obey the higher law of God’s own Word. “And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.” Matthew 12:10-14
  5. He obeyed His rulers. Jesus said to Pilate,”Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” John 19:11
  6. He Obeyed His employers. By being employed by His earthly father, in the family carpentry business, Jesus was sure to be obedient to His father. “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.” Mark 6:3

Oh, how great is our Jesus! He even goes and calls out the members of the body that must be controlled for obedience. Can you guess what they are? Can you guess the severity of the discipline that Jesus recommended?

Let’s take a look at Matthew 5:29-30:

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”

Do you get it? For most people the right eye is the dominate eye, it is the one that initiates to point of focus. The other eye submits and adds perspective and depth. What we see effects our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. Losing the right eye would be devastating!

Now we focus our attention on the right hand, for most people, the right hand is dominate. It is the hand that initiates actions. We greet people with our right hand, soldiers salute with the right hand, a great many things are done with our right hand. The hand is the initiator of work, evil deeds, and good deeds. What does the Jesus say about this? “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,” Matthew 6:3

Just for our further understanding, we can go all they way back to the garden of Eden. The very first occurrence of disobedience in human history. It was an act initiated by the eye, then the hand.

Let’s look at Genesis 3:6:

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

In this account, can see that the eye initiated the transgression, then the hand moved to carry it out. Among the consequence for this sin was the beginning of sorrow for the eye and the need of labor for the hand. Please take the time to read Genesis Chapter 3.

The Bible is so full of wisdom, and it is a great blessing to have Bibles in our own language to read and learn. I hope this little overview of what we studied in obedience will enrich your studies with your children. If you would like me to post more about our Obedience study let me know. I would love to share more. Otherwise, I will share a little about our current study on Gratefulness.

In Christ,

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“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Valentine Traditions

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Yes, one of my old favorite photos must come out! It really wasn’t that long ago, 2 years, but you know kids. They grow so fast!

I just wanted to take a moment to share with you some of our Valentine’s Day traditions. I begin by breaking out all the fancy paper I can find. Then I make myself a heart pattern and start tracing hearts and cut, cut, cut, cut! Lucky for me, my little people have become great at cutting out paper. Ok, one, not so much . But in any case, I use hearts for many crafts. One of which is making Valentine’s for all the kids and their friends. Of course, there have been those years we just buy them, I mean let’s be honest, life can be crazy.

So, here are our family’s top 5 Valentine’s Day Traditions! Some are old and some are new additions!

1.) Since February is a month of love, I have decided to focus on affirmations as a way of showing love. My eldest daughter’s love language is love, so this is a perfect way to show her love. My younger two love receiving little gifts. So, the little gifts this year are little love notes on heart shaped paper.  So every morning before the kids wake up. I write a little love note or affirmation on a medium heart shape piece of scrapbook paper, then tape it to their bedroom door. I will do this everyday for the month of February. They absolutely LOVE watching their doors fill up with lovely comments and affirmations.

2.) Another personal choice I made this year was to spend more time in scripture and meditating on God’s Word. So I started writing in cursive scripture verses in a journal. Here is a link to February’s Scripture Writing Plan. So far I am loving it!

3.) One of my kids favorite thing to do is bake heart shape desserts the month of February. So needless to say I have heart shaped spring form pans, heart shape cake pans, lots of valentine’s day cookie cutters and Valentine’s day cookie molds. Sometimes we even make raspberry truffles and dark chocolate truffles with some cayenne pepper.

4.) We always make our silly Valentine People.

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5.) The final item to list here, is one of my favorites. It involves cooking!!! Yes, I make my family a “fancy meal”. In our house since we have kids, a Seafood Alfredo Fettuccine and Ceasar Salad  are a must, and some sort of Chocolate dessert. I like to keep things simple and fun so I can enjoy my moments with my kids without any stress.

Do you have any Valentine’s traditions that you love?

Sister-in-Christ,

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 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7

 

Bible Memory Work- The Books of The Bible

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Hello Friends!

Today I wanted to share with you some of the Bible memory we are currently working on. This is something that is very personal to me, mostly because the homeschool journey is very personal. It involves my husband and I deciding what we want our children to learn, and the study of the Bible is no different. For my oldest this is a review, and for my youngest it is her first time.

We are currently working on memorizing all 66 the books of the Bible and the names of the 12 disciples. We started by singing the 27 books of the New Testament. Our favorite YouTube video for this is here and for the Old Testament click here.

For learning the 12 disciples. Here is the list we memorized:

1. SIMON (who was called Peter)

2. and his brother ANDREW

3. JAMES son of Zebedee

4. and his brother JOHN

5. PHILIP

6. and BARTHOLOMEW

7. THOMAS

8. and MATTHEW the tax collector

9. JAMES son of Alphaeus,

10. and THADDEUS

11. SIMON the Zealot

12. and JUDAS ISCARIOT, Who betrayed him. (Matthew 10:2-4)

To print a copy of this months memory work click here.

I will admit, I do have fun introducing the new memory work, but the best part for them, is that I get the challenge of learning with them. You see, I was not born into a home, in which these things were taught. But I feel that a good education in our faith requires us to learn everything we can about the Bible. From the fact that the Bible is in 2 main parts the Old and the New Testament. Learning that the Old Testament has 39 books and that the New Testament has 27, making a total of 66 books in the Bible. Next we will be learn which books are what, like the the first 5 books of the Bible are the books of Law, books 6-13 are of Justice, then we will learn the books of wisdom or poetry, the major and minor prophets, the books of the gospel, church history, the letters, and the prophecy. We will learn this along with our scripture memory work, working to hide these scripture verses in our heart, that we may call upon them when we need them. Or better yet, so the Lord can remind us of His infinite wisdom in all circumstances.

 “Blessed are you, O Lord;
    teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
    all the rules of your mouth.
 In the way of your testimonies I delight
    as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
    and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
    I will not forget your word.”

Psalms 119:12-16

Sister in Christ,

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