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The Sanders Family

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Summary provided by: kb2

The Sanders

The Sanders are a family of 10 in Alabama who live on an organic farm. They are good friends with the Morton and Smith families, as well as the more-anonymous "R" family.

Family members, in decreasing order of age, include Tim (dad), Wendi (mom), Noah, Abbi, Rebekah, Grace, Ethan, Emanuel (Eman), Gabriel (Gibbie), and Nehemiah (Nehi). Tim also has a daughter from a previous marriage, Lora Lynn of vitafamiliae.com

Abbi is the most common photographer and author of the blog, although other family members step in at times. I believe she is responsible for "Southern Rose Photography." southernrosephotography.blogspot.com

Tim and Wendi celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2012, and Wendi's parents (Grandmother and Granddaddy) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2012.

Extended family:

Wendi has three siblings (Uncle Todd, Uncle Booth, and an unnamed aunt are siblings). The Booth family had 11 children as of 2006. Tim has at least two siblings (Aunt Toody and Uncle Jon). Tim's mother is Grammy, and father Grandpa Gene is sadly deceased.

Their farm, Rora Valley Farms, is named after the location of the book Rora by James Byron Huggins, about Protestants in Italy who withstood the Inquisition. The book is roughly based on history but is not entirely accurate (for instance, the main character's real family was returned to him safely, not burned at the stake as the book depicts). One Goodreads reviewer suggests the book would be made better by fixing typos such as those confusing "your" and "you're." Newt Gingrich gives it six stars on Amazon. Anyway, the Sanders family identified with the book's protagonists because:

The people of Rora were committed to serving the Lord.

The people persevered in their faith even during great difficulties and when under great persecution.

They were known as prosperous farmers and craftsmen.

They were a fairly self-sufficient community with a strong commitment to helping one another.

They appreciated the multi-generational legacy they had been given.

They were great students of the Bible and had their own translation of the New Testament at a time when the Catholic Church forbade any non-Latin Bibles.

The main garden for our farm is in a valley next to a steep ridge.

Rora is in the Piedmont region of Italy, and our farm is in the Piedmont Plateau.


On their farm, they raise chickens as inspired by Joel Salatin, as well as bees, a milk cow, pigs, produce, and two mules.

They bought the farm (or, in the early days of the blog, "the property") and planned on moving there from their previous location (called "11 Acre Wood," where they had a garden and raised chickens, although on a smaller scale) in order to start an organic family farm. An acquaintance offered to buy 11 Acre Wood just before they were about to put it on the market in 2009. So they sold their house more quickly than expected, moved (squished?) everyone into the barn that was on the Rora property, and started working on a house on the Rora property. One year later, their house was built and everyone moved into that.

They try to be self-sufficient, building many things on their own, such as their barn (which is supposed to eventually be a store, although so far it has instead housed the entire Sanders family and now Noah's family), a treehouse in the middle of the pond, a dock on the pond, the greenhouses, chicken coops and pens for animals, and their house. They are currently working on building Noah's house. The pond seems to have mostly been built by Tad, the "local pond builder," and his company. Friends such as the Mortons make frequent appearances to help out with big projects such as house-building, and electricians and other experts are also involved with larger projects. Some years they have cut down their own Christmas trees from their property.


They really like the card game "Euchre." And they also enjoy a bean-bag toss game which they call "corn hole."


The Sanders family home schools. Noah is currently the only graduate. Grace has a "Grace University" t-shirt that she was given by a cousin attending that school, but no plans for anyone to leave home for more school/work have been announced.

Noah and Dorothy (nee Morton):

The courtship story starts here on the blog and continues for a number of posts: roravalley.com/blog/?p=779

In May 2010, when the family moved into the house at Rora (leaving the shop/barn with an open apartment that could house newlyweds), Tim Sanders told Noah he could look for a wife. After asking his mom and sisters for advice (because they had a closer relationship with Dorothy), he told his dad one week later that he was considering her. Noah's father approved this choice, and so Noah called Michael Morton (her father) to ask about a courtship with Dorothy. Mr. Morton said he'd talk to his wife and Dorothy, and then called Noah back and said Noah and Dorothy could proceed with the next step of courtship: actually having a conversation with each other. So Noah and his three sisters went to the Mortons to visit, and Noah and Dorothy had many conversations with chaperones nearby. On the last (third) day of the visit, Noah proposed (with sister Grace as a chaperone). Then they were given permission to hold hands. They married in July. roravalley.com/blog/?p=1221

They had their first child Enoch (pronounced e-nick) Timothy in August 2011. roravalley.com/blog/?p=4978 No word yet on #2, but the nosy baby-bump watch continues.

Noah published a book about farming, Born-Again Dirt, and blogs at redeemingthedirt.com

Noah and Dorothy are currently building a house on Rora Valley Farms on a site that was picked out in 2008. roravalley.com/blog/?p=373


Probably best reflected by the conferences they have attended and approved of:

Calathora Farms Fabric of the Family Conference '12

The Reformation of Food and the Family '12 (Vision Forum, feat. Joel Salatin) (Noah spoke at the conference)

Generations with Vision Family Economics Conference '12 (Noah was on the "Young Entrepreneurs Panel," which consisted of only young men)

NCFIC Gospel-Centered Marriage Conference '11

Mother/daughter conference hosted by Stacy McDonald '10

Christians at the Crossroads '09 (Botkins)

NCFIC Sufficiency of Scripture '09

Defending your faith family conference (Answers in Genesis and Vision Forum) '08

3 father/daughter Vision Forum retreats (and once the girls went without Tim to help with flowers beforehand)

Noah went with the Morton boys to "Challenge," a military-style camp for boys where they run an obstacle course and dress in t-shirts and camo pants, and as far as I can tell don't actually employ anyone who was ever in the military. It is held in the fall. Dad/Tim had to go and take pics to check on the boys because apparently women aren't allowed at the camp at all. Lunch appears to take place in someone's living room.

Some members of the family were extras in October Baby.

They made a point to eat Chick-fil-a August 1, 2012.

They supported Judge Moore for governor, and especially liked his quote, "Separation of church and state does not mean separation of God and state.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Moore

They have been to the Kentucky Creation Museum three times, first in its 8th week of existence and again in '09 and '12.

Later, when talking about our experience at the museum, in the car, it was all agreed that it was so interesting to actually go to a museum that based all their displays, shows, literature, etc. from a Biblical worldview. We almost had to force ourselves sometimes (mentally and physically ☺) to read the displays. We’ve gotten so used to not really reading all displays in most museums because of the lies and falsehood that they usually portray. Most of the time we feel sorry for the other people reading and taking in all that stuff. But it was actually encouraging at the Creation Museum to seeing a little boy or girl ask questions about the Garden of Eden or the flood. If not more, the museum at least opens peoples eyes to the truth and maybe starts them questioning what they really believe.


They attend a very small church (everyone sits in a circle during the service), but I believe it has its own building. Either that, or someone has a very large living room. Occasionally baptisms were held in the Sanders pool when they lived on the 11 acre property.

Gender roles:

Men/boys are frequently referred to as being protectors of women and children and being innately different from women.

It seems that boys come with a natural, God-given, attraction to fire, hammers, and knives. I guess you could call them ‘Dominion-taking Tools’.


Women are referred to as having servant's hearts and do activities that are seen as traditionally feminine such as sewing. They are also frequently photographed in the kitchen cooking. The Sanders girls wear skirts most of the time, although, refreshingly, they do wear pants when it's practical, for instance when helping with construction projects or participating in 5Ks

Free Jinger's Sanders Discussions

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