Ask A Jonas – Emery’s Thoughts on the Goats Eating Things

We get asked lots of questions when we’re doing farm tours, selling soap at craft fairs, or simply running errands.  Since most of those answers are heard only by the person who asked, we decided to share some of the common questions here on the blog.  And of course you can ask a question of your own!

Ask a Jonas-emery_goats_blog

Emery, do the goats ever nibble on your shirts? Do they eat things they shouldn’t? ~Lori

Yes, the goats have nibbled on my shirt.  They are very curious animals and they like to nibble.  A lot.  But they do not eat anything but paper, if they can get their mouths on it.  The old myth that a goat will eat anything isn’t true.  They might mouth it, but they won’t eat it.  The funniest thing I ever saw goat carry in its mouth was a stick.  She kind of looked like a dog.

A lot of our goats like to mouth white things such as feed sacks, strings, and paper.  I think it is because there isn’t really anything white in the forest.

Actually, the only thing that has ever really been a problem is Indigo’s hair.  Indigo has long, curly hair and for some reason the goats REALLY like to try to eat it.  It used to make Indigo cry a lot, but now she wears her hair mostly in braids so she doesn’t cry about it because the goats don’t like her braids the way they do her long curly hair.

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Have a question for a Jonas? Fill out the form and send it in – maybe we’ll pick yours!

Jade:  “Princesses, Princesses. — yuck!”

Who gets the most nervous when it is time for us to appear on television?  Watch and find out!


Fletcher normally wears sweatpants or shorts.  Today he walked into the Soaproom, flashed a brilliant smile, and asked, “Hey! What’s different about me?”

“Jeans! I’m wearing jeans!”

He’s growing up.

The Sprinter Died On Me

Many of you know about The Beast, our Sprinter with all of our faces on it. But we also have a slightly smaller, grey, 15 passenger Sprinter, which is the car that I drive.

Brett driving sprinter

We’ve had the Sprinter for as long as I can remember.  It was our first Sprinter (we’ve had 3), which is why we just call it “The Sprinter” (as opposed to the Hulk or the Beast).   Mom says that we’ve had it since 2005, when I was 9. The Sprinter has carried us many places, but lately it has been taking me and Colter to Ivy Tech, where we’re going to college.


On Monday, Colter and I were on our way back from college. We were on Highway 65, driving north in the left lane, when my cruise control quit. In that split second, I figured that I’d accidentally bumped one of the controls when I turned my blinker on, so I stepped on the gas to get back up to speed.

The gas wasn’t working.

A quick glance at my dashboard revealed the engine light. A quick glance at my rearv-iew mirror revealed a truck, coming hurtling towards us.

I looked at my other mirror as Colter said, “you can get over,” and as quickly as I could with no gas, switched lanes, aiming for the shoulder. The Sprinter was slowing down, dropping from 70 to 30… 20… 10… 0.

I tried to straighten the Sprinter as much as possible, so we weren’t turned toward the road at all. I knew that we’d need to be relatively straight for the tow truck. The smell of gas filled the Sprinter as the air conditioning quit, and Colter rolled his window down.

Trucks were passing us, shaking the Sprinter every time they roared past. “Call Dad,” I told Colter, my voice shaking nearly as much as my hands were.

Dad said to call AAA. I pulled my wallet out of my backpack and fumbled for my AAA card.

“Brett, you know there’s a police officer behind us, right?” Colter asked as I finally found my AAA card.

I checked my mirrors – he was right, there was a police officer coming around the Sprinter, to the passenger window. “Are you guys okay?” he asked, eyeing me. I don’t look like I’m old enough to drive – I knew he was going to do that.

“Yeah, we’re calling Triple A, and Dad is on his way to get us,” Colter said, speaking for me.

The police officer was still looking at me. “Yup, I’m calling Triple A now,” I said, holding up my phone and my Triple A card. “We’re fine. Thank you.”

The police officer said something about having 24 hours to get the car off the highway and Colter answered him, saying “thank you,” as he left. My hand was shaking so badly that I couldn’t read the phone number on my Triple A card. I set the card down on my knee and was able to plug the numbers into my phone. I held it up to my ear and Colter said, “Mom said to get out of the car.” He opened the door and jumped out, but when I went to follow him, I realized that I couldn’t talk on the phone and get out of the car – outside, the wind and cars were so loud that I couldn’t hear anything.

“I can’t hear,” I mouthed to him as the robotic phone system kicked in, climbing back into the Sprinter. Instead of sitting in the driver’s seat though, which was closer to the cars flying by, I sat in the passenger seat.

When I got through to a human, she had no idea what a Sprinter was. “It’s something that FedEx drives…” I said, trying to think of something that would help her understand what a Sprinter was.  Telling her that there was a Sprinter in the movie Thor, in the scene where SHIELD takes all of Jane’s equipment, probably wouldn’t help her….

“It’s like a fifteen passenger van,” Colter said helpfully. “Tell her that.”

After telling her that I had no idea what year the Sprinter was made (maybe 2002?), who made the Sprinter (we couldn’t remember if was Dodge or Freightliner), and whether it had two wheel drive or not (Colter just shrugged at this one), the lady said that she would get a tow truck on the way.

“Okay, Mom wants us to get out,” Colter reminded me after I hung up. “C’mon.”

I climbed out of the car, but wouldn’t go too far off the road until I had some bug spray, which I had in my backpack. Colter grabbed that for me, along with a fleece jacket he had in the car, so I could sit on it.

“Of all the days to have a break down, you picked a good one,” he joked, gesturing at the sun that was blazing down on us. “I’d much rather break down in 80 degrees and sunny than in 40 degrees and raining.”

“And I guess, for my first cop encounter while driving, that wasn’t so bad,” I said, trying to smile. Maybe smiling would help me stop shaking. I fought the tears that tried to come out. Mom likes to say that I’m good in a crisis, then fall apart when it’s over. Sitting well away from the road, in the sun, my adrenaline was crashing.

Colter made more small talk, trying to keep me from thinking too much until Dad got there. A few minutes later (though it seemed like forever) we saw the Beast drive by us on the Southbound side. Dad waved, and we waved back. We had broken down at mile marker 12.2, between Sellersburg (Exit 9) and Memphis (Exit 16), so Dad would have to drive down to Sellersburg to turn around and come back up North.

Not too long after that Dad arrived, and by then I’d stopped shaking – mostly. “We’re going to be here a while, so we might as well get comfortable,” Dad said. Colter brought our backpacks to the Beast, and on his way back, brought three camp chairs that were also in the Beast. He grabbed a box of Wheat Thins and several water bottles from the Sprinter (we started keeping food in there after we started going to college) and we settled down to wait for the tow truck.

This is how you wait for a tow truck. #wegotthis #thiswasallinmycar #packrat #alwayshungry via booksquirt on Instagram

At the mechanic’s. Hopefully it’s an easy fix…. via booksquirt on Instagram

As we waited, three more cops stopped, two Good Samaritans who recognized the Beast stopped, and the Mayor of Scottsburg stopped. “I recognized your van so I drove up to Memphis, turned around and went back to Sellersburg, so I could stop and make sure you were okay,” he told us. He asked if we wanted him to take me and Colter home, but we said that we were fine – it was actually pretty nice, sitting on the side of the road, eating wheat thins and counting all of the tow trucks who passed us. (There were six, if you’re curious.)

Eventually “our” tow truck arrived and we hopped into the Beast with Dad and led the tow truck to Bobby Abbott’s place.  Bobby is the mechanic who has been maintaining the Sprinter for us pretty much ever since we got it. At this point, it’s still waiting there, as far as we know. I need to call him today and ask him what’s going on – I have to go to college tomorrow, and I don’t have a car!


Greyden:  “UPS is here!  UPS is here!   My MACHETE is finally here!!”
(Apparently getting a deadly new tool to make the job of clearing a path in the woods easier is very exciting)

Hewitt is super excited to share his first ribbon experience with everyone!


Greyden: “Where did you strangle the little oak tree?”
Dad: “Girdle, not strangle. And we didn’t do it, the honeysuckle vine did.”

Learning from the Little Oak Tree

Sunday was a beautiful day in terms of the weather.  It was sunny and warm (but not too warm), with a hint of Fall in the air.  When Jim suggested we go for a walk down to our creek, I thought it was a great idea.  The boys have been doing a lot of work clearing a path to the creek and we wanted to check on their progress.

As we were sneaking heading out the back, Jade asked if she could join us.  The answer was a big, “Yes!”

Creek Walk

Jade and Jim were chatting away, when I noticed Jim look off to the right.

Creek Walk

He stopped to check out a little oak tree.


Soon, he and Jade were removing a honeysuckle vine that had wound itself around the little oak tree and was starting to girdle it.


I listened to Jim explain to Jade about all of the damage that the vine could do to the tree if it was left there.  After doing their good deed, they pressed on toward the creek.


But it got me thinking what a great lesson Jim had just provided to Jade.

That little oak tree represents all of the people that we randomly come into contact with throughout our lives.  So often, they just need a little help.  Whether it’s a kind word, a smile, or a helping hand.

How often do we stop and offer that help?

I’d like to think I do it quite often, but to be honest – I never even noticed that little oak tree until Jim stopped.  How many other people do I walk right by without even noticing?

As I thought about it, I decided there are three lessons that I took away from watching Jim and Jade.

1. Be observant.  Sometimes people will ask you for your help.  But a lot of times they won’t.  I’m going to try to be more aware of the people I come into contact with to see if any of them need help that I can provide.

2. Keep margin.  Helping people, even if it is something quick, does take time.  I need to keep some extra space in my life so that I have the time to give when I notice that somebody needs a helping hand.

3. Passs it on.  I want to train my children to be willing to offer help to others.  I want to actively model it for them and show them how it is easily done and how it not only makes the people you are helping feel loved, but it makes you feel good too.

Jim wasn’t paying any attention to me as he and Jade helped that little oak tree.  He wasn’t doing it so that I would tell him what a great homeschooling dad he is (although I think he’s awesome).  Jim helped that tree because that is the kind of person he is at heart.  He sees a need and if it is in his ability to help, he helps.

That’s the kind of person I want to be and it’s the kind of person I want my children to be!

Have you had a chance to offer any help lately?


Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesian 4:32