When Mark was a Pastor in Maine, he was often asked by homeschool mothers what to do with boys. They were concerned that they would be too "wimpy" or "feminine" being around a woman all day (especially if they had sisters). I remember hearing Mark give his answer and it has come to mind quite often. His answer was,"get a woodpile,,, if you don't burn wood, find someone who does and have your son help them often."
We have burned wood for at least the last 10 years. I can remember Luke when he was 2, carrying the split pieces over to the pile and handing them to an older brother to add to the pile. He was named the little fork lifter. We praised them and praised them for helping with the family! Not only does it physically help them but helps them see their value as a family member. All of us working together to save us money, keep us warm and clear land.
We start our wood gathering in early summer and hope to have it all in by the end of June. What pride comes from the boys and Mark as they stand and stare at the full wood shed! In the winter months, they take turns bringing in wheel barrel fulls to the house and then stacking it on the porch and then bringing it into the house. How much more team work than that? They take turns emptying the ashes and loading the woodstove up. It warms our wet hats and mittens and cold bodies after a bath. Oh the memories around the woodstove and it's process!