Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Snowy Start To Spring

Friends, Monday was a gorgeous spring day.  I ran errands without a jacket of any kind; I only wore a light cardigan.  It was delightful.

We’d been seeing weather reports about snow but mostly this winter storms have come with a dusting or an inch or two and pretty clear roads.  It stared to snow yesterday and hasn’t stopped.  Its been heavy at times, but steady.  We had sleet and ice overnight which is packing the snow down.  The plows have been busy and the roads are passable.



It’s enough of a mess though that appointments have been rescheduled and I was looking forward to tea with a friend today.  Not happening.  Instead I am sitting with my diffuser going and enjoying a quiet nature sounds station on Amazon Music.  I've also been reading.

It’ll be over tomorrow and that’s good since we have our spring co-op concert rehearsal tomorrow and the concert Friday night.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"To Celebrate A Simple Life"


I love this quote by Bilbo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring.  Of course, he's referring to Hobbits and their life in the shire.  The Hobbits had no real interest in life outside shire, generally, but enjoyed their simple lives, growing things in gardens, eating many times a day, brewing ale, and smoking pipe-weed.  A very simple life.

In the years since we moved to Creekside Cottage, we've simplified our lives.  We grew veggies, have chickens for eggs, made friends at the local produce stand, played in the creek, rode horses, did animal care, sewed skirts, pillow cases, curtains, painted walls, read books, knit, morning greeting of each family member, and hugs and kisses goodnight.  A boy tucking his dad into bed every night.

A simple life is not a slow life necessarily.  Some days, I'm very busy, but for me it is a choosing of lifestyle.  We've chosen to live a life that is not about keeping up with the neighbors, but one that centers on God, and is lived out with His priorities.  

Love your neighbor, do good to others, love one another, practice hospitality, be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in you.

Simple living in a complicated world.  It can be done.  I hope you don't think we're living some kind of Little House on the Prairie life. We don't.  We enjoy technology, and use it daily.  Laptops, cellphones, ipods, ipads, we enjoy them.  We've got music playing often, watch movies together, listen to Audible.  

 I read the news daily online, rather than watch it on tv for hours everyday.  We discuss current events at mealtimes, so that our kids are aware of what's happening in the world, and have the time to listen to the adults in their life discuss it and then, they get it share their thinking and views on what we're discussing.  I've learned a lot from my kids!

The simplicity comes when you control your life, and what you choose to bring in to your home. I see our married kids making many of the same choices.  Hospitality, simple living, home cooking - all in their own way.  That's key, I think.  No one person has been made to be exactly like another and our lives should reflect that.  God has made each one of us with the personality, gifts, and abilities to be who He has created us to be!  Isn't that amazing?  For us simple living is choosing to live authentic lives.  To be who we are, warts and all, in a world that is seeking to be like everyone else.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Sundays At Creekside Cottage: Making A Place For Fellowship

In years past most of our Sundays were taken up with families from church coming over to spend the afternoon.  Now, we only have three families with kids/young adults still at home. Most people are older with adult children, most of whom are married and on their own now.  One family does come over occasionally (they have a boy Kyle's age), and the other family just the young adults come over.  Tim and I are in the unique position of having kids still at home, while having married kids and grandkids.

Its been an adjustment, but we really enjoy having these young adults at our house every week.  Some weeks they go hiking, or they do Bible study together, but at some point they always end up at our house.

There's always food involved, games or a movie or both, and lots of laughing.  The main thing I like is that they are building community together.  They've taken mutual interests and choose to spend this time together.

We miss the other families who used to attend our church, and we work to make time to get together with them, because we spent years building community with them.  They are still some of our dearest friends, and though they chose for various reasons to find a different church home, they're family, and always will be.

I'm excited for my young adults to have these kinds of relationships being built.  It is a blessing to know that they have these friends.

I said to Tim and the girls last night, that it makes me happy to know that in years to come, they will all have memories of these happy times at our cottage.  That they knew they were welcomed and that there was a place for them.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Five

I like the idea of posting Five things on Friday, so I am going to keep with it for a while.

This week is all about Five things that happened since last Friday.

1. Rachel and I went to see Seussical performed by a local theater group and we enjoyed it so much!  

Bonus - Rachel works with the Cat in the Hat!

2. Our chickens are laying very well this year.

We keep old egg cartons, so we can store the eggs easier and it makes it easier to share eggs with friends.  These five dozen didn't count the eggs in a bowl on the counter.

3. Tim and I went to a company dinner with our friends' business that he does subcontracting work for.  It was held at the historic Marshalton Inn.  It was a lovely place, Colonial in style.  Cheryl, you would love the interior of this place!

4.  I got to have a fun lunch out with these people this week!

They are all introverts, so I have to take photos of them before they catch me or I get the look that Tim is giving me in this photo!  LOL!

5.  I'm really enjoying the plants I bought at Aldi last Friday!  They were $5.99 each.  They are making our cottage look happier, with all the lovely green!

I'm desperate to repaint my kitchen cabinets and Tim has an inspection and then going to help our friend move back to his own apartment on Saturday, so I may buy paint today and try to get those cabinets done tomorrow!  It won't be as big a task as when I took them from wood to Old White.  I'll be doing a brighter white this time but still haven't decided what color exactly yet. 

Do you have favorite white paint colors?  Please share them with me!  We'll chat in the comments!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Knitted Baby Blanket

I need to block it and tuck all the ends in, but the blanket I've been knitting for Emma and Vinnie's baby is finished.  This sweet one is due in May, and I can't wait to hold him.

Here are the details - 

I used this pattern by Lion Brand Yarn, but used Studio Classics by Nicole yarn.

I used by size 8 bamboo circular needles, which is a size up from the pattern, I believe.  I used 3 and 1/4 skeins of yarn.

It was simple to knit, and I often did it while watching a movie or reading on my Ipad.  I also to pray for for the person I'm knitting for as I work on a project, so I also did that from time to time while working on this blanket.

Are you working on any projects?  I know you poor gals in New England are doing nothing but shoveling out from your three Nor'easters in two weeks!  Spring is on the way, it really is!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Babysitting My Granddaughters

I babysit the girls about once a week.  They arrive before 7:00 am usually, and sometimes Kamryn goes back to sleep on the couch for a while, but Klaire never does.

Yesterday, they both stayed awake.  Auntie Rachel left for work, but Grandpa was here for a few hours in the morning, so that was a treat!  He read them a story, and we had breakfast together.  

After that it was bathtime (They always arrive in their jammies, and Kamryn loves a bubble bath.) Klaire is always quickly in and out, and by the time I had her dressed, I could tell she was sleepy.  I was happy to hold her, and she snuggled right into me and fell asleep.  Hey, its a rough grandma life, but someone has to do it!

Kyle and Kamryn went out to play in our inch of snow before it all melted, and enjoyed fresh air and sunshine.  Then they came in and did some schoolwork.  After Klaire woke, I did a reading lesson with Kamryn, and then she did a few pages in a BrainQuest workbook.

My mom was released from the hospital yesterday mid morning, and wanted to see the girls, so they came by for about a half and hour.  Klaire played with the magnetic 'paper' dolls, and had lunch.  I had Sarah take Klaire for a while so I could get a few things done. There was a lot of nerf gun shooting in the basement, a little video watching, and it was time for Kayleigh to pick them up.

Kyle finished his school work, folded some clothes, Tim came home, so did Rachel.  We made fajitas for dinner, and watched a movie in the evening.

I've found my groove, I think, having little ones in the house for the whole day.  We'd gotten used to all older kids, and independence.  The girls are sweet, and they listen well, but its basic training of what they can get into, what they can't (this is Klaire mainly at 17 months), and what we're going to do.  I find Kamryn does well with set activities - a bit of a routine - when she's here.

Thank you again for all your prayers for my mom.  She's very happy to be at home.  

Monday, March 12, 2018

Prayer Request - Update!

My dad took my mom to the ER last evening.  She had been having terrible stomach pain.  Long story short, her stomach was partially twisted, she also had a hernia type issue going on.  Apparently there were gases in her stomach that caused the twisting, and they were able to relieve that with an NG tube, and the stomach untwisted.  So no longer an emergency situation.  (if it hadn't untwisted they would have done emergency surgery. If the stomach is constricted it cuts off the blood flow to the stomach and that is not good.)  

This morning they are thinking she may not need surgery at all.  Dad and I will be going in to the hospital soon, and will get all the latest information.

Thanks in advance for any prayers on her behalf.

Mom is doing very well!  She did not need surgery, praise the Lord!

Here is what happened - Mom felt sick after church on Sunday, so they went home.  She started to have pain, and felt like she had gas in her stomach that she couldn't relieve.  When she started to dry heave she had my dad take her to the ER.  There, because of her pain in her belly, they did a CAT scan.  The radiologist read it and called the doc in the ER.  They saw her hernia (which she's had for four years, but the ER doc didn't know yet, and we didn't know the extent of the hernia) and thought she'd need emergency surgery.  They saw that the stomach was twisted, and were concerned about it cutting off blood flow if it stayed that way too long.

They spoke of surgery with my parents, and then they put in an NG tube to try to relieve the gasses in the stomach, and sent her for a more specific scan of her thoracic (chest) cavity.  What they was that the tube didn't get into the stomach because of the twisting so it hadn't done anything.  Mom's pain had stopped on its own.

When the ER doc consulted with the general surgeon group in the hospital, that doc looked at mom's medical records and saw that the hernia was 'old news'.  The confusion for my parents was that the ER doc called it an esophageal hernia so they thought it was different than the 'hiatal hernia' that she'd had for four years.  I guess its pushed up a bit more so it is considered an esophageal hernia now.  My parents thought the ER doc was talking about a new hernia.  The hernia is quite a sight apparently with part of her stomach, colon and pancreas pushing up into the chest cavity through a hole in her diaphragm.

The general surgeon told my mom that since they have been managing her hernia, and she has no problematic issue - no shortness of breath, no issues with digestion, etc - that he recommends they just continue to do manage it.  Surgery of that kind can lead to serious complications, including the stomach not functioning.  We were in complete agreement.  So they did a liquid diet for lunch, regular food for dinner, and since she's done fine, she'll go home today.

Thank you for praying!