A Fruitful Adventure



Blueberries and blackberries are ready in east Texas.  That means the you-pick farms are open.  Time to pick berries!

Heading out to a “you-pick-the fruit” farm is a great summertime field trip.   With one trip you can take time to enjoy time nature, learn up-close about how our food grows and return home with something yummy to eat!   Many you-pick farm offer a tours and  picnic areas, so plan to make a day of your fruitful adventure.

Don’t know of any you-pick farms in your area?   Pick-Your-Own is a great online directory of farms organized by U.S. state as well as 13 countries besides the U.S.   You can also ask at farmer’s markets or your local farm/feed store.


If you’ve never visited a you-pick farm before, here are a few tips:

*Wear a hat and sturdy closed toe shoes.   Save your summer sandals for later.

* Bring a cooler to transport your goodies home.

*You need your camera to capture memories of summer fun!

* Take time to ask a few questions and learn about how produce in your area is grown.






Is Nature Study a Regular Part of Your Homeschool?

Many homeschool families participated in The Great Backyard Bird Count this past weekend as part of their nature study.   Nature study is a regular activity for many families, while for others it is a seasonal or occasional part of homeschooling.  What about your family?

2014 Great Backyard Bird Count

Mark your calendars – The Great Backyard Bird Count takes place on February 14-17, 2014.   

This is a wonderful opportunity for homeschool families around the WORLD to spend time in God’s great outdoors learning more about birds. Anyone in the world can submit a bird count report!

Pine Grosbeak
Pine Grosbeak   ©Bob Shettler

Don’t forget to visit the AHE Nature Study Pinterest Board to find more resources to make your bird study complete.

Motivation Monday

Children should be encouraged to search out in nature the objects that illustrate Bible teachings, and to trace in the Bible the similitudes drawn from nature. They should search out, both in nature and in Holy Writ, every object representing Christ, and those also that He employed in illustrating truth. Thus may they learn to see Him in tree and vine, in lily and rose, in sun and star. They may learn to hear His voice in the song of birds, in the sighing of the trees, in the  rolling thunder, and in the music of the sea. And every object in nature will repeat to them His precious lessons.
Dad with little son outdoors at ocean
To those who thus acquaint themselves with Christ, the earth will nevermore be a lonely and desolate place. It will be their Father’s house, filled with the presence of Him who once dwelt among men.

Education, 120.

Notes On A Hermit Crab ~ A Nature Object Lesson

Guest Post by Nikki who blogs @ Sew Running Around

First, we need to be living in the Water of Life, just like a hermit crab needs water to live. Are we “in Jesus”? Do we seek him every day in His Word, to be in us and with us? John 4:14 “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

In order to grow, a hermit crab needs to find a larger shell and abandon its previous one. In order for us to grow, we must abandon our flesh (our too-small shell), and seek a house greater – Christ’s robe of righteousness. We cannot become too comfortable in our flesh, and in our own sins, for if we do-just as if a hermit crab were to- we cannot grow. Romans 6:6 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10

When a hermit crab is in too small of a house, it is no longer perfectly protected. It is hermit crab factsvulnerable to the enemy. If we live in our sinful flesh, we are vulnerable to the enemy too! Not only can’t we grow, but we will be eaten (hurt) by Satan. If a hermit crab continues seeking for larger shells to live-in, it can live to be 70 years old – and if we daily die to self, seek Jesus for His protection, we will live a long, happy, and prosperous life. 1 Peter 2:2 says “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby“…“but bring them (thy children) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord That it may be well with thee, and thou (they) mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:4,3

In general, and despite their name, hermit crabs are social animals that do best in groups; and best in groups where there are varying ages and sizes of other crabs. As Christians, we need to be near to one another, strengthening each other, helping each other. Acts 2:46 And not all the same! We need our young tender crabs, and our old crusty crabs too! If crabs are all the same age and size, they tend to fight ferociously with each other – and play king of the crab, to see who is better. That reminds me of us too. We need all ages, all sizes, all gifts – none the same! We are all in the perfect shell for ourselves – just the right size for the day, if we just look to Jesus. Romans 12: 4, 5, 6 “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us” Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

Lastly, hermit crabs live in varying depths of saltwater, from shallow reefs and shorelines to deep sea bottoms. As Christians living in the shell of Christ, we will be at different places too. Some of us will be just starting out, on the shoreline. Some of us are blooming in the beautiful reefs, and others of us are diving deep – but we are all living in The Water of Life! And each of the crabs are still hermit crabs, despite where they live. We are Christians, too, no matter where we are in our walk – as long as we continue to seek a greater house than our own by surrendering our flesh and seeking His righteousness daily. Romans 8:4 “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Departing Words: 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”