"Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”
~ Jani Ortlund

Monday, December 31, 2007

I've Been Carded

Miss Paula at "Gathering of Friends" has carded me!

Here are the rules:

1. Each player starts with 5 gifts that they would want for the New Year.

2. People who are “CARDED” need to write their own Blog about their 5 things & post these rules.

3. At the end of your Blog, you need to choose 5 people to get “CARDED” and list their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a COMMENT telling them they’re “CARDED”, and to read your Blog.

Materialistic List
A house with a barn on the property.

An airline ticket to anywhere.

A Trip to Great Britain.

Bigger Dining Table.

Weight Loss

Spiritual/Needs

To be diligent with spending time in the Word.

To spend time in prayer and take time to listen.

To be consistent with my journaling.

Reach out to my neighbors.

Be faithful to practice what I preach!

Now I am carding the following:

Pauleen at White Picket Fence, Manuela at The Feathered Nest, haus frau at lula's hardt.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Pictures


We had such a lovely Christmas. It was relaxed and spent in the company of family.

Here the girls are showing their happiness at the gifts sent to them by their cool cousin, Evan! Thanks for your generosity Evan!

Sarah was the recipient of 2 sweet teacups.

A bunch of us went in together and got Kyle a train table and some battery operated Thomas the Tank engine stuff. I think he spent ten hours playing with that, and then it has continued for days now!
Our adult nieces Carrie, Jen and Shelly joined us. It was great to spend time with them.
In the picture above you can see two cool games - Chutes and Ladders (snakes and ladders if you are English) and The Settlers of Catan. Below is Lindsay concentrating on the game. She loves all those strategy type games.
I slow roasted a turkey overnight and mom made a small ham. We just set everything up buffet style and people ate when they wanted to. It was wonderful!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Did You Have A Wonderful Christmas?

We did!

My parents were here for two nights, and our nieces came for the day!

Today we are off to dental appointments, and to spend a few gift cards!

I will try to post pictures later today!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!





Joy to the World! The Lord is come:

Let earth, receive her King;

Let every heart

Prepare Him room

And heav'n and nature sing

And heav'n and nature sing

And heav'n and heav'n and nature sing.


Joy to the world! The Saviour reigns:

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods

Rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat, Repeat the sounding joy.


No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make

His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found

Far as the curse is found

Far as, far as the curse is found.


He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love

And wonders of His love

And wonders, wonders of His love.



Monday, December 24, 2007

Mary, Did You Know?


Mary did you know that your baby boy
would some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy
would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered,
will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy
would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy
would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy
has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby,
you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know---

The blind will see,
the deaf will hear,
the dead will live again.
The lame will leap,
the dumb will speak,
the praises of the lamb---.

Mary did you know that your baby boy
is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy
would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great--I--- AM---.

Happy Birthday, Darling!


Today is my sweethearts birthday! Happy Birthday Tim!
He is a hardworking man who loves his family and loves the Lord. We have known each other half of his lifetime. He is greatly loved by us all!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Time Is Here!


Ok, I believe in saying Merry Christmas, not happy holidays, but I just love the Peanuts Gang! Right now we are watching a Charlie Brown Christmas.
This is my favorite all time Christmas show. I love the message, but it also brings back my childhood - I remember some of those funky Christmas trees. My Grandma, who would not be considered "hip or modern" ever, had a silver tree with a color wheel! That tree changed colors!
"For unto you is born this day, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord!"

Today

I feel sort of at a loss, since I was so busy and now things have slowed waaay down! I am not complaining, mind you.


Today I finished picking up last minutes gifts, they are wrapped and under the tree. Rachel and I made sugar cookie dough, and it is now chilling in the fridge, waiting to be rolled out and sprinkled with colored sugar.


In a couple of hours, Sarah and Rachel are off to rehersal for the Christmas program at church. Sarah can wear what she wants but Rachel's class are shepherds and she must wear jeans and a tee shirt to the Christmas service at church. This makes me so sad as she has the most adorable dress this year! She has worn it for church once already and our co-op Christmas concert so that is good. I am going to make her wear it alot!!!


We have had a lot of calls about the puppies - if everyone who said they were coming to look at them actually came, the puppies would be all gone! We have 5 left, and someone is supposed to come today. I am praying that they will all be gone to new homes by New Year's day! Pray with me please! The picture below was taken almost 3 weeks ago. They have grown a lot since then, but are still adorable!



This is what is up with us today. What are you doing?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Angels are Singing

Many of you have been praying for the Skees family, especially for Ellie, their 9 year old daughter, with Neuroblastoma.

Last evening, she went home to be with the Lord.

Her mom says that they were with her and that she was asleep until 15 minutes before she died. Her mom says that she told her "Run to Jesus, Ellie, Run..." and she did.

You can read more about them at their blog - the link is on my list.

Thank you for your prayers. I know they will continue to need them.

1 Corinthians 13 - Christmas Version

I CORINTHIANS 13 CHRISTMAS VERSION

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen,
carol in the nursing home,
and give all thatI have to charity,
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata,
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas!

Author Unknown

How Well Do Know Christmas Carols?

Now that the packages are on their way, I can settle in for some holiday fun!

My friend Suealyce sent me this link to a quiz about Christmas Carols. I, having a wonderful trivial mind and a LOVE of Christmas music, just had to try it.

I got 100%!!! woo hoo!

Have fun, you deserve it!


http://www.chicagotribune.com/carolquiz,0,4932856.triviaquiz

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Homeschooling Blog

Most of you know that I home educate my children. My friend Becky and I are doing a homeschool blog called Homeschooling at Hospitality Lane.

There are some great posts by Becky regarding educating kids with learning issues etc...and I have one about Integrated Learning.

Check it out!

http://homeschoollane.blogspot.com/

Home Made Christmas Gifts

I am making several gifts for Christmas. I have really enjoyed doing it. My only problem has been getting time to sit down and finish! Since this weekend, I am now in full swing getting things finished.

I have enjoyed thinking of what would be special to others and to make something that is a heartfelt gift.

Of course some of the gifts will either get there at the last minute or will be late. But hey, that just makes Christmas last longer right???? :)

Next year, I may start in the Spring!

Monday, December 17, 2007

American Music Theater


Last night, Tim and I went to the American Music Theater to see the Christmas Show, with my parents and some friends. These people are very talented and put on a very good show. There were some aspects that I didn't care for but overall it was fun. Afterward, we went to Friendly's where the guys at ice cream (unbelievable at 34 degrees outside and the wind blowing like mad!) and we girls ate appetizers and drank hot tea.
When we came home, our girls were watching movies in the living room on mattresses and we joined them and ended up sleeping there as well! That was a great way to end the night!

Family Pictures


Yesterday we spent sometime taking Christmas pictures at our cottage.


This is our whole family with my parents.



Here are the girls and I.


This is my family! Are they something?
Here are the guys,
and the gals!


Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Lovely Mrs. Keeney

I wanted to share a picture of the lovely Mrs. Keeney and her very nice husband, Warren. They brought their daughter and sons to the Ball last night. They are dear friends and we are thankful for them!



Thanks for the candles! I hope you have a wonderful time in Williamsburg!

The Ball

Last evening, the weather being cold but fine, we had our Jane Austen Ball. The girls all came dressed so beautifully. They were very excited, as young ladies often are, to be together and looking so wonderful! I made 7 of the dresses seen here.



This is one of my students. She was having a wonderful time. The dress she wore is one I made for my daughter Emily, and this lovely young lady's mother bought it for her.



Above is my daughter Rachel. Below is my daughter Lindsay, in the blue dress and her friend, Elizabeth, in light green. I made both these dresses from the Simplicity pattern.




This is Elizabeth's sister Emily wearing the dress I made her for her birthday. Her mother spent 30 minutes putting up her long hair. It was beautiful!

This is a mother and daughter. The mom made their dresses and their gloves belonged to the grandmother.


They all had so much fun with their dances.

Here Emily and a friend are dancing. Emily is wearing a dress that I made, and we made it dressier with added ribbon and a beautiful cameo.

Here some of the young ladies are taking a break from dancing!

It was a delightful evening. My dear husband decided he would dance with me and the brothers of one of my students danced as well. Even my little guy, Kyle danced. In fact he was such a "dancing machine" that he wanted to dance every dance! The girls were all sweet taking turns with him. We have decided that a Spring ball is a must!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Still Sewing!

This is the pattern I am using for Lindsay's dress. I am doing the short sleeved version, in royal blue with a sheer overlay that has a plaid pattern to it. It is going very well, and I should be sewing now, but I took the kids bowling and now am attempting to check email etc...Emily's dress looked remarkably like the short sleeved view, without the bow, but she ended up not liking the way the colors looked together, and the pattern runs a tad big so the bodice was big. She has traded dresses for the evening with her good friend, Elizabeth. She will wear the dress I made for Liz's birthday last year from this pattern:




This is an easy pattern, the hardest thing being a side zipper. It has the regency "look" while being a modern dress. I have made these for several of my daughters' friends and they all love them.

Well, back to sewing, oh and puppy selling. Someone is coming tonight to see them. I pray they all go to good homes soon, before they loose their cute puppiness!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

An Indoor Kind of Day

Well, after the hustle and bustle of the past few weeks, my activities are beginning to slow down. At the end of this week, I am hosting a Ball for my Jane Austen class. I must say, that the girls in my class and I have been having a very good time learning the English Country dances. If this Christmas Ball goes well, we will be having one in the spring!

Then Saturday, my mentoring group is having a banquet here at my home. Doesn't it sound like I have a grand house??? It really is just a little cottage, though. We are going to move the kids toys from the play area of the basement, and will be dancing down there. It will be cosy downstairs with the woodstove in the family room area. Upstairs, we are moving our two couches out and putting tables there for eating. We needed to do this for the banquet as well, so that is why they are back to back events. We only need to move the furniture once!

Because of this future activity, I am in need of sewing a dress for one of my daughters. She has picked a royal blue fabric with a sheer patterned overlay which I think is going to look beautiful.

I will be sewing today, which is why it is an indoor kind of day. Oh, and the rain that is forecast as well.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!





About 10:00 am, it started to snow. Big, beautiful flakes, quietly falling. I was in the middle of my last Apples of Gold day, so I didn't take any pictures until about 3:00 pm. By then the flakes were still falling but were much smaller.

These are just a few shots of the snow.





It's beginning to look alot like Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Morning at the Theater


This morning we went to the Historic Fulton Theater downtown to see "Fiddler on the Roof." It was a fantastic performance!
This theater does school group performances, and the tickets are just $7.00 per person. I am always impressed by the fact that the performances are just as good for "student" groups as for evening performances.
We saw "The King and I" a few years ago, which was also terrific. I enjoy getting the opportunity to expose my kids to good, clean theater.
This story is not a favorite of my husband as he doesn't like the fact that the father brings a communist into his home to teach his children, and then allows his daughter to marry him. Also the daughter who marries outside their faith. It seems as if the girls have been taught "tradition", but not a real heart relationship with God. It shows in Teyve's tone as well, that he doesn't really know God, just tradition.
I think though that the story allows for very good discussion with our own daughters, about honoring their father, having a right relationship with God, making choices to not give your heart to someone who is not honoring God.
This is my favorite kind of school day!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sweet Artwork

Friends, you must check out the following blog: www.mysweetimaginations.typepad.com

This gal has the dearest artwork, so beautiful and feminine - I want them all!!!! Her artwork reminds me of the sweetness of girlhood, which I am in the midst of with my daughters.

When you get a moment, give her blog a visit!

What Kind of Christmas Tree Are You?




You Are a Traditional Christmas Tree



For a good Christmas, you don't have to re-invent the wheel.

You already have traditions, foods, and special things you bring out every year.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I am Elizabeth Bennet

I am Elizabeth Bennet!


Take the Quiz here!


What a Night!

What a wonderful event we had! We ended up with 91 ladies who signed up to come and 89 were actually there!

We had tea together, a favorite being my Christmas tea recipe. The scones, cream and lemon curd were a hit, as were all the lovely goodies; shortbread, russian tea cakes, pumpkin bars, mini cream puffs.

A wonderful singer from our church sang "Breathe of Heaven" and lead some christmas hymns.

Then, the reason we rushed around so much this last week - Women's Ministries "Favorite Things" - a take off of Oprah's favorite things, of course.

No having the budget Oprah does, nor the resourses to get all those things donated, we gave many small things to everyone; tea bags and honeysticks, floating candles, a christmas book (found at www.christianbook.com for .99 cents a piece), angel ornaments, chocolate, and great snack cracker mix...

Then everyone received a bigger item for a give away. Advent calendars, wonderful candles from my friend Becky's business "Good Neighbors Candle Company" (check out her blog "Hospitality Lane" - the link is on my list to your right), music cd's, nativity bracelets...

We had stickers to match items and with 9 ladies at the round tables and 10 at the longs, we made sure that each lady had a sticker under her saucer, that corresponded to a gift. Each lady took home a special gift, as well as the items that "everyone" got...

THEY LOVED IT! The response was amazing!

The big problem I see is trying to top it next year!

We were hoping for perhaps 60 ladies this year, and got 89 actual attenders. So, next year we are going to have a separate committee for this event, and start picking up items right after Christmas when everything is on clearance!

I will post pictures soon. I had to use my mom's camera because my batteries were dead! I think it is time to get new rechargables....

We ended our program with a lovely reading, and a chorus of

"O come, let us Adore Him,
O come, let us Adore Him,
O come, let us Adore Him,
Christ, the Lord!"

We wanted to end the night with the focus on the Reason for the Season!

I think the Lord was honored and glorified last night!