Fresh! Bright! New! March holds so many wonderful things for us. Already, I can see blooms on some of our trees, the daffodils are sprouting up from the ground, and the crocus has already given us a view of its beautiful purple petals. In just a few short days time will spring forward giving us an extra hour of daylight in the evenings to rest and enjoy the beginnings of a new season. It is a season that is met with anticipation and a sigh of relief.
I wonder what the early American Pioneers must have felt at the coming of spring. Were they grateful that they made it through another long, hard winter? Were they anxious to get outside and plant their gardens? I imagine they were.
The incurable optimism of the farmer who throws his seed on the ground every spring, betting it and his time against the elements, seemed inextricably to blend with the creed of her pioneer forefathers that “it is better farther on”– only instead of farther on in space, it was farther on in time, over the horizon of the years ahead instead of the far horizon of the west. – Laura Ingalls Wilder
Maybe you need to hear that gentle reminder that things will be better farther on. Perhaps you need to be relieved of the pressure of trying to make it all happen on your own. This months bundle is a fantastic reminder for us to work hard, be diligent, complete the tasks we have been called to do, then allow God to do the rest….farther one. I Corinthians 3:6-9 emphasizes this well.
This month we are again visiting Aaron Copland’s music. The composition is The Promise of Living. This was written as the first-act finale of his 1954 opera The Tender Land. We are choosing to listen to the instrumental version only in our home this month because I want my children to hear the similarities between this piece and the others we have studied by Copland. Though the words to this piece go very well with the overall theme this month of working and tending to the land while ultimately depending upon God’s providence to meet our needs. If you you would like to listen to a vocal rendition of this piece, this one was a favorite and you can find the words here.
For further study on Aaron Copland you may want to check out these resources:
- Aaron Copland: The Tender Land History
- MakingMusicFun.net composer documentary on Aaron Copland
- Classics for Kids Show: Copland
- Classics for Kids: Aaron Copland Classical Music in Commercials
- Classics for Kids: Aaron Copland Classic Music in Pop
This poem for March is a perfect addition to our month. It blends our nature study, spiritual application, and art piece wonderfully well. It is a poem titled Hens and Chickens by William Lisle Bowles.
See, sister, where the chickens trip,
All busy in the morn!
Look how their heads they dip and dip,
To peck the scattered corn!
Dear sister, shall we shut our eyes,
And to the sight be blind,
Nor think of Him who food supplies
To us and all mankind?
Whether our wants be much or few,
Or fine or coarse our fare,
To Heaven’s protecting care is due
The voice of praise and prayer.
You can find more information and a biography of William Lisle Bowles here.
Preparing the bundles each month has really opened my eyes to the rhythm of my own life. It seems that my passions and the things that bring to me a sense of “home” have a certain pattern to them. Last March our art was also a piece by Winslow Homer and of course the things of “spring” were front and center. This month I chose another one of his pieces that, to me, also reminds of spring.
This month’s piece, The Rooster, though not necessarily one of Homer’s most famous pieces, gives us a glimpse at his humor. There is so much I love about this piece: the colors, the new growth in the garden, the look of frustration in the woman’s face and body language, and the appearance of the rooster running away. It is fun to see a bit of wit thrown in to the pieces of art we study from time to time.
For more information on Winslow Homer here are a few sources you can include in your study this month:
Our verses this month are Job 12: 7-12
“But ask the animals what God does. They will teach you. Or ask the birds in the sky. They will tell you. Or speak to the earth. It will teach you. Or let the fish in the ocean educate you. Are there any of these creatures that don’t know what the powerful hand of the Lord has done? He holds the life of every creature in his hand and the breath of all mankind.
What comforting words these are!! God holds our life, and every life, in His hand. His provision does not extend only to humans but toward everything He has made.
The Bible has a lot to say about God’s provision, too. Here are a few scriptures to add to your discussion this month:
- Luke 12:24 – Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest, they don’t have storerooms or barns, but God feeds them. And you are worth much more than the birds.
- Psalm 104:21 – The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
- Psalm 145:15-16 – The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
- Psalm 36:6 – Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
- Psalm 136:25-26 – He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of Heaven. His faithful love endures forever.
This month’s nature study might well be very familiar territory for some of you. We will be studying the chicken! I am so excited for this study. We have wanted backyard chickens for such a long time, but have never taken the plunge. This will be a fun way for us to learn more about them and perhaps, for those of you who have them, a new, fresh way to see them. As always we will be using The Handbook of Nature Study to help direct our learning. This month’s study has a couple of different sections we will be using and some of it requires preparation in advance. You may want to plan for that prior to jumping in.
There are also some wonderful sections in Farm Anatomy that will be useful for this study:
- Pages 32-35: Cover the chicken coop, nesting boxes, the roost, feeders, waterers, and a the development of a chicken embryo in 21 days.
- Pages 108-117: Cover chicken terms, parts of a rooster, comb styles, different types of breeds, anatomy of an egg, predators, some tests for egg freshness.
Other resources we will use are:
Even though it is still a little too early to plant our gardens this doesn’t mean we can’t begin with the preparation. Last weekend we took some time to get the first batch of seeds that needed to be started indoors into soil. We planted Snap Peas, Iceland Poppy, and Feverfew. We are eager for our summer flower garden! While we were preparing the seed for our garden we also took some time to make up a few Wildflower Seed Bombs. We have set them aside to give as gifts to some of our friends and family for Easter.
The project this month is an easy and sweet little craft that everyone will love. Not only do these offer a touch of color, once bloomed the flowers that come from the seed bombs are also a good source of food for pollinators and native wildlife. These balls of clay, potting soil, and seed break down and sow themselves after a good rain. They are great to use in areas that receive a good amount of rainfall but are not mowed often such as ditches and low spots. You can prepare the seed bombs now and store them in a cool dry place until the date of the last spring frost hits. For us that is April 25th. After that simply toss them in and let nature take over from there.
The instructions for this project are included in this months bundle.
Andrew Jackson: the first “common man” to be elected President. This is who we will be studying this month. Jackson received the highest praise of his supporters as well as the lowest of lows. He remains one of the most studied and controversial figures in American history. There has never been universal agreement on Jackson’s legacy. It is said that his opponents were his most bitter enemies and his friends almost his worshippers.
Some resources that will be great additions to your study of Andrew Jackson are:
- John Quincy Adams Biography at Britannica.com
- The Big Book of Presidents: From George Washington to Barack Obama by Nancy Hajeski
- The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents video series. We will watch only the portion for Andrew Jackson this month.
- Biography.com Video Biographies on Andrew Jackson
- The Hermitage
Seasonally, I enjoy the taste of Lemon in the spring. Its flavors are fresh and clean, perfect for this time of year. Last March we enjoyed making Lemon shortbread cookies. This month we are making a simple Lemon Tart. Though it looks fancy, this recipe is very easy. One thing I do want to mention is that the recipe calls for a LARGE pan when boiling the Heavy Whipping Cream. Make sure you don’t forget that step. Once the cream comes to a boil it will rise rapidly to the top of your pan. I used my largest pan and still had to lift the pan off of the burner to avoid overspilling. Once it comes to a boil lower the heat and it should be ok from there. I decorated my cake two ways: with strawberries and blueberries. We loved it both ways, but for the sake of this post I went with the blueberries simply because they looked better with everything else. Just remember you aren’t stuck to any one type of berry when you make this. Play around and figure out what you like best!
The recipe is included in this month’s bundle. I hope you enjoy!
SOME BOOKS FOR YOUR MORNING BASKET
A Weekend with Winslow Homer by Ann Beneduce
Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life by Julia Rothman
SPECIAL NOTES AND RESOURCES
Poetry: Henry Lisle Bowles – Public Domain Poetry – Hens and Chicks by William Lisle Bowles
Art: Winslow Homer – Winslow Homer – The Rooster – [Public Domain]
Thank you so much for your continued support of these Morning Time Bundles. I hope you enjoy this month’s selections and that they draw you continuously closer to the heart of our Savior.
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