Francie Binnion Barcus

    I live in Pickton, Texas which is about 100 miles east
of Dallas in beautiful East Texas which is very green
and lush with lots of trees and rain. We have  a 70
acre farm and lease another 200 acres where we raise
grass fed beef and lamb, hay, and horses.  We lived in
Tubac, Sonoita, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, then back to Sonoita before moving to Texas l3 years ago.  I went to Germany many years ago and that's about the extent of my travels.  I'm a real homebody.

    I have been married to Del Barcus for 28 years and we have five children: Stephanie, 27 who is married to
Billy Stevens who is a Southern Baptist pastor in
Shreveport, Louisiana.  They have three children ages 4 months, 2, and 4,  Leah, 25, married to Stephen Leach and has l5 month old Ethan.  They are missionaries to the Sioux Indians on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. (check out their web site for Sharp's Corner Baptist Church in South Dakota).  Then there is Samuel, 22, who works on an 11,000 acre cattle ranch in the far northeast corner of Wyoming and is in part time ministry.  Levi is next, l9, who is still at home and is partners with his daddy raising cows and hay.  He wants a life in agriculture.  He also does part of our farming with draft horses just because he loves doing it that way.  Hannah is our baby at l4.  As you can tell,we started out late.  I had my first baby at 36 and my last at 49 and loved every minute of it.  We'd have had more if we hadn't gotten too old. 
    My father is dead and my mom lives out in California where she moved after he died.  I still have my sister, Jean in Huachuca City , my sister, Gail in Las Vegas, and my brother, Tom, writing a book in Thailand if you can imagine! (I am not very computer literate so I don't
know how to make paragraphs and Stephanie has gone to bed so I am just typing away.)  I'm over here with Hannah for a few days taking care of my grandbabies while her husband is in the hospital with emergency surgery.  He may be home tomorrow so I am anxious to get back home which is about two hours from Shreveport. 
     We are right in the midst of all the refugees from the hurricane so it is very intense here right now.    We purposefully decided to have a very different lifestyle from most people and to keep a lot of the old ways of our parents and grandparents.  We raised the children without TV, we homeschooled them all through high school.  We have a big garden and we can a lot of our food, we have chickens, pigs, horses, the cows, of course, rabbits, dogs and cats aplenty.
    Del raises meat sheep and I have a small flock of l8
wool sheep.  The girls and I all spin, quilt, knit,sew,
bake our own bread from wheat we grind, make our own butter, yogurt, cheese etc.  All of the children play
multiple musical instruments: mountain dulcimer,
hammered dulcimer, guitar, piano, banjo,fiddle and they play wonderful blue grass and mountain music and also play in church.  We feel very blessed to have been able to live this way.  We've not had any rebellion or drugs or any of the things so prevalent today.  It is a lot
of hard work to live like this but very satisfying. 
We are also into healthy eating so we buy very little
prepared foods and make things from scratch so that
takes a lot of time too.
    Levi is getting ready to put in a field of oats with the draft horses and next spring we will have an annual threshing where others bring their teams and we separate the oats and have a big meal and wonderful fellowship with others who love the things that we love.        Del has had to work outside the farm.  He has a degree in accounting so works for Team Air International and also has two part time jobs.  He
was Director of Operations for Samsonite Luggage Corp. in Tucson and Nogales, Mexico for many years but decided to give  up the corporate life for one he loved and has never regretted it. He was raised on a farm in Colorado so he is happier doing what he's doing now.
    When we lived in Sonoita, he would get up at 4 to milk the cow and then drive an hour into Tucson into his
nice executive office.  He told me when he would talk
on the phone he could smell the bag balm on his hands
and it kept him sane.  They teased him a lot about his
double life.   I keep very busy homeschooling and
taking care of my sheep and my Border Collies, washing and carding wool which is sold in a spinning and weaving shop in Lindale, Texas and being involved with my family, friends, and church.  I have a wonderful
husband and I feel very blessed.  We've had our share
of hard things in our lives.  Like Jeanne Webb, we lost
a daughter so I can identify with her pain.  We had two
miscarriages, and some other hard things.  But all in
all, God has blessed us beyond measure and we are very thankful.

    I only went as far as high school and several courses
at the U of A.  I am really impressed at how successful
y'all have been.  My goodness, we were a smart bunch,
were't we? 
    I always wanted to be a wife and mother and that has brought me the greatest happiness.  I never wanted a career and felt that the greatest contribution
I could make to society was to produce well adjusted,
responsible, hard working, happy adults .  I have home
schooled for 22 years and graduated 4 who have been
straight A students in seminary and college classes. I
love teaching and I had to learn right along with them
in many areas but it has been so much fun!  I have a
regular school room with all the amenities and lots and
lots of books, my own library actually.

    Oh yes, I have lots of strong opinions about home and family and what our society is doing to the family and the results of it we are seeing.There is a quote that
is in one of our home school literature books that says
"Virtue breeds prosperity, and the daughter devours the mother." 
    I love our country and am grieved at how we have
departed from the way our founding fathers established
it.  I think we are losing our freedoms and most people
don't even know it or understand the principles of
freedom.  I think of the world we lived in when we were
in school and how it has deteriorated and it makes me
sad for our children and grandchildren.  
    My passions are for the Lord Jesus Christ, my family, my country, my church, my neighbors.We go to a cowboy church which we absolutely love.  It has really departed from a  lot of the man made traditions and has reached out to a segment of the culture that has been pretty ignored.
    We are seeing lives changed and hearts softened and families healed and addictions gone.  It has just been wonderful!    My pet peeves are people who don't care and people who don't discipline their children or love and care for them.  I have a passion for children.  Del and I took an adoption class series at CPS and what we learned there about what is done to so many children broke our hearts.

    I guess I get to do my hobbies as a part of my
lifestyle. I absolutely love to spin and weave and
quilt and take care of my sheep and work in my garden
and all the things I get to do.  I'm an avid reader
and I'm the election judge for our little rural
precinct when there is an election.  I love music and
play the mountain dulcimer and guitar.  I work hard
physically and am blessed to be able to at my age.Del
and Hannah and I ride together and Levi and Samuel
train horses and rope. (Stephen is a world class horse
trainer and has won many national and world
championships.  You can guess that he already has Ethan up on a horse.)

   You know, I think that High school really impacted my
life in a very different way.  I wasn't happy in school. I was very shy and didn't make friends easily. I admired people who could and I know that it was a wonderful experience for many of you.  When I got out
of school, I realized that life was really just  like
high school.  There were those who were close friends
and rose to the top and there were others who had
strengths and dreams that no one knew about.  I decided that I was just going to pursue my dreams and not worry about what anyone else was doing or what they thought about it.
    So I did and I can say I have been very happy. Someone once said that happiness is having a
thankful heart and I have really found that to be true
in my life   It is so much fun to read about all of
    Jeanne Webb and Stephanie Pence are just as pretty as they ever were and Pam Morris is still cute as a button.  I admired Stephanie so much and thought she was such a sweet person that I named my first  little
girl after her because I loved the name.  Thanks
Stephanie!  I'm so proud of all that y'all have
accomplished in life.  I look forward to reading more
about everyone.
    God bless you all.
    Signing off from Texas,  Francie Binnion Barcus
Catalina High School, Tucson, Arizona, USA