"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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cupcakes

Haus Frau has done 2 posts on cupcakes, so I thought I would share the ones I made yesterday.

I used a box mix, but made homemade frosting and then sprinkled them with cute eeny tiny white, pink and red hearts.

Yummm....




Colonial Ballgowns

One of the many joys of having daughters is that they love to play dress up. They particularly like to wear historical style dresses. I made the blue dress last year for Rachel and this weekend I made the pink dress.

The blue dress is very similar to Felicity's dress from the American Girl series. The pink we say is like Felicity's friend Elizabeth's dress.




Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Homeschool Family!

Thanks to Mrs. Wilt who posted this hilarious video on her blog!

I needed this laugh more than you will know!




Resting In The Lord

This is a difficult thing for me to do on my own. I am a take charge kind of gal, what do we need to do to get this done, etc...

I am in a place of having nothing I can do, but REST in the Lord. For me it is moment by moment, a continual trust in my Lord and a continual giving over to Him...


The Steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end,
They are new every morning,
New every morning.
GREAT is thy Faithfulness, Oh Lord!
Great is thy Faithfulness.

Thanks for your prayers. I am praying for my dear friends who are also struggling with "letting go".

Take a visit to my sister in law's blog "Gathering of Friends" (on my sidebar) and see her wonderful post on "Letting Go."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Deep Waters

Sorry for my absence for a few days. We have had a stomach bug in our family.

We are also going through some deep waters with a family member. Please pray for us, that God's will would be accomplished in all ours lives.

I may not post much for a few days due to this. I will however try to keep up with you all.

Blessings.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Rob!

Today is my big brother's birthday! He was an annoying older brother, always won all the games, etc.... hee hee hee!



However, he did grow up to be such a fine man. A godly, loving husband, dad, brother, son. He is tender and strong.


I love you Robert. I am proud of you and happy to be your sister.


Monday, January 21, 2008

A Bit of Freshening

This weekend, being very bitterly cold, I used the time to "freshen" the house. All the garlands from the holidays are now put away until next year, and in their place some ivy and other types of garland. Also some pretty flowers.


I am not sure I like the garland here, just kind of playing with it. I did however change the items on the dresser top around.
The piano looks a bit more victorian than is my usual style. I usually attempt cottage or romantic country...
I like the way the clementines and Pink Lady apples look in the wooden trough. Very perky on a cold winter's day!
A bit of Ivy over the sliding doors. Can you see the our snow out the doors?

Have a lovely day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sick Boy

Well,the cleaning and organizing has come to a halt temporarily as my little guy got sick last night. He is still wiped out by it and you can tell he doesn't feel well, even though the worst of it is over.

Of course all of that lead to other cleaning, if you know what I mean! Yikes!

I am hoping to take advantage of a cold day tomorrow to get some stuff done!

I am praying that it was a lone bug, not willing to be passed from family member to family member!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Path Made Straight

Today, while doing a bit of blog wondering, you know reading a blog and clicking on links to other blogs, I came upon Elise's blog "A Path Made Straight."

This is a sweet blog, and I know that it is Worth a Daily Visit! To check it out click on the link on my sidebar!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ordinary Days

Today we are having an ordinary day. School in the morning, bowling this afternoon. I will get my 30 minutes in on our recumbant bike in the basement.

I am really trying to get organized and to simplify. I find so much frustration in clutter. When you have a sizeable family, the clutter is only increased! We have been blessed greatly, but enough is enough. I want the things my kids have to be important to them and that they will treasure them and care for them.

I have been working on deep cleaning the kitchen, sorting out cupboard by cupboard. What do I really need/use? Can someone else make use of this or should it go in the trash, etc...

I want to do the storage area of the basement next. I want to do the girls closet, and then maybe repaint their room and bathroom.

I love walking into clean uncluttered spaces. I don't like paper and toys all over. We have approximately 1400 sq feet, not including the basement. That is a decent amount of space, but it does mean we must be careful, as it is so easy to become overwhelmed with things.

I have heard that a way to decide if you need something is to ask yourself "have I used this in the last year?" Somethings of course are just treasures and you keep those. But items that have been in boxes in the basement for YEARS are good candidates for new homes!

I will try to keep you posted about all this. And take pictures. However, I find in order to really do these things, I need blocks of time, which is difficult to find. Especially when I would rather be blogging or checking out my friends blogs!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tasha Tudor's Dollhouse

Early in December, I found a book in the library about Tasha Tudor's Dollhouse. It was so cool to see the dolls she had made by hand and the lovely dollhouse built as a replica of her own home, Corgi Cottage.



The book went on to explain that the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Williamsburg, Virginia wanted to do an exhibition of her dollhouse. The only problem was that much of Tasha's dollhouse in her home in built in to the walls. So, the people at the museum got wood crafters from Colonial Williamsburg to make a miniature version of Tasha's home in Vermont.


There are beautiful photos in this book, and they show her dolls, Emma and Captain Crane, living in each of the rooms. They rooms are often a mini version of Tasha's own rooms, even down to the chairs, several of which Tasha's daughter in law Marjorie made.


When Tim and I went to Williamsburg we were able to go to the Museum and to see this dollhouse. It is so amazing!


Here is the greenhouse. (pardon my hair, but it was very windy that day and cold!)




This room is the library. Real miniature books, paintings, and musical instruments on the floor in front the couch.




The parlor. The gas chandlier was made by the Corning Company in New York. I love the little tea set. Oh and the polar bear rug, was made from a real critter that was eating the eggs of Tasha's hens. She and her grandson made short work of the critter and a taxidermist made it into a "polar bear".





This lovely entry hall has a replica chair of one owned by Tasha. Inside the curio cabinet is a set of miniature porceline Beatrix Potter characters. They were sent to the dolls by the person who handles the estate of Beatrix Potter.





This is the bedroom, in all it's cluttery glory.




Here is the dining room. Real dishes, paintings, furniture...



Here is the kitchen. It is apparently a replica of Tasha's. Several items really work.



The goat barn. This is an exact replica as well....



Even down to the goat droppings!



I was so happy to be able to see this exhibition, especially since I had just read the book about it. It is part of a special exhibition showing children's things, toys, furniture etc...


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Masterpiece Theater

This weekend begins a series of Jane Austen movies on PBS. This week in our area we are to see a new version of Persuasion. I love the A&E version starring Amanda Root and Cirand Hines so we will be watching and hopefully this one will be enjoyable.

I have heard however through an "off topic" post on www.sensibility.com that those who have already seen these in England, have mixed reviews. I am going to share a bit of this information, not to "spoil" the movies but so that you might be aware. I know that I would caution my students about watching several of these.

Sense and Sensibility is new on PBS and it has an opening sequence not in the Emma Thompson version. It is a scene between Willoughby and the ward of Colonel Brandon, Beth. We all know that Beth ends up pregnant and that Willoughby is the father of the child. Apparently, there is no nudity but it does let you know that they have slept together.

In Northanger Abbey, Catherine, reads the gothic novels so popular in that time, and they show her daydreams of these books. Apparently there is quite a bit of "flesh" in these 3 scenes. If they weren't there those having the discussion say that this would be a great adaptation as the actress really "nails" Catherine.

The following is a quote by one of the ladies:

"The new "Northanger Abbey" has a totally inappropriate reference to a book current in Regency times. No gentleman would have dreamt of discussing this book with a lady, especially a young lady, as one of Catherine's friends does. For information only, the book is called "The Monk" by Matthew Lewis, and is to be X rated in my opinion. (It is one of a series of Gothic novels written late in the 18th and early in the 19th century.) "

This book is not mentioned in Jane Austen's book "Northanger Abbey", this is a fabrication of the director of the movie.

I have seen the Emma that they will be showing, and while it is more true to the book, this Emma is stuck up and not so "loveable".

I am hopeful that the movies overall will be watchable and enjoyable. We shall see.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Peyton Randolph House

Peyton Randolph was a very wealthy man by colonial standards. Most people could live comfortably on 40 pounds a year. He had 500 pounds a year! He came from a long line of lawyers for kings. He also seemed to be the kind of man who was a leader. He served in the House of Burgesses and served as President of the Continental Congress several times.

He and his wife adopted a niece of theirs who had been orphaned, and had each of their nephews stay with them often when they were studying at the College of William and Mary.

This is their home.


This is the room their nephews stayed in. His nephew was named Harrison Randolph. Her nephews' name was Randolph Harrison. ( His wife was a Harrison)

This was their nieces' bedroom. On her bed is an English guitar.

This is the bed of Peyton and his wife.

This is their dining room. The mirror on the wall is original. There are four of them in the room.
This house is accurately furnished as they have records of furniture and other belongings such as horses, carriages, slaves...

Jesus Loves the Little Children

My youngest daughter is a very funny girl. She is sanguine and bubbly and will talk to anyone! She often seems taken up with the moment. She is not one you automatically think of as being "deep".

The truth of the matter is that she is a deep thinker, it comes out in astute statements, discerning observations, and well thought out questions.

For sometime we have been teaching her about Jesus and about salvation. She would ask good questions, and we would answer them and leave it at that. We have never wanted to push our children into "becoming Christians" because they think we want them to or that you do it because everyone else does. We want them to make that choice for themselves. Several months ago she gave her sister a rock I had given her that had "God is Faithful" on it. When her sister asked her why, Sarah said "because I'm not a Christian yet".

In September of 2006 my Grandmother died. Sarah was very close to Grandma Lily and they would sit together and watch movies. They liked the same kind! Sarah was sad, and misses her still, but she knew that Grandma Lily was a Christian and was now in heaven. She would ask questions or say things like " I bet Grandma Lily can run as fast as me now!" She was curious about heaven.

We also have been praying for the Skees family, whose daughter Ellie "ran to Jesus" recently.

Sarah said to me last night "I know Christians go to heaven when they die, do people who aren't Christians just keep living?" I answered her that "everyone's body dies at some point and that those who aren't Christians do not go to be with Jesus. They go to the place that God prepared for Satan and the angels that followed him." We talked for awhile and I mentioned that if at sometime she wanted to pray and tell God that she was taking Jesus as her savior and to thank Him, I could help her do that. She put her hands over her eyes and was fighting back tears. I asked her what was wrong, and she mentioned she wanted to talk to me alone (her sister Emily was in the room). Emily left the room and Sarah moved her hands from her eyes and said with tears running down her face said "I want to be a Christian, but it is so hard!" I held her for a while and said "That becoming a Christian was easy, because Jesus did all the work already. Walking with the Lord was not always easy because we often want to do what we want, not what God wants us to do." I talked with her about what scripture says, she interrupted to go get HER bible. I showed her in her bible, asked her if she knew she sinned, "yes" she knew that, I asked her if she knew that Jesus died for her sins and that she couldn't do anything good to get to heaven, "yes" she knew that. She said to me "Mom do you remember earlier you said that you would help me pray? I think I need to do that right now!" So we did!

A happier and more at peace little girl, you never saw. She was radiant! We wrote it in her bible and she proudly took it to show her daddy and brother and sisters. She can't wait to show her Sunday school teacher, in fact she told her sisters that "they better get up early on Sunday, because she did not want to be late for Sunday school". :) She said to me "I'm not sure that all the kids in my class are Christians, so she can't wait to tell them either."

What JOY! What Blessing! To be priviledged to lead your child to the Savior!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Government

This room is in Williamsburg's courthouse. The railing you see up front is called the bar. Only lawyers, clerks and the judges were allowed "past the bar." Hence the saying that lawyers have "passed the bar." Prisoners, or those who were having courtcases heard, stood at the bar on the public side, hence the saying "standing trial." Isn't history cool? There was a panel of judges made up of vestrymen from the local government, who also served in the church.

On a colony wide level, the Governor and his council worked in this room. He was the King's representative in the government. The men on the council also sat with the Governor on the supreme court, hearing felony cases for the whole colony.


The House of Burgesses. These men where representatives from every county in Virginia. 2 from each. Here they fought against unfair taxation, and also the seeds of liberty were born. When the Governor dismissed the House of Burgesses, they met secretly in the Raleigh Tavern. They set up a committee of correspondence so they could keep in touch with the other colonies, to find out what was happening with the British Government.


It is amazing to walk in the footsteps of these brave men, who risked everything, for freedom. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Shopping

One of our favorite shops in the historic district is John Greenhow's shop. Inside are wonderful treasures such as, sealing wax, seals, food items, pottery, candies, bonnets, hats, paper, quill pens, tea.

Another favorite is Mary Dickinson's. She has women's clothing items, such as hats, skirts, capes, socks, bonnets, fabric, soaps, jewelry.


I felt very badly for the carriage drivers on this day. It was very cold and windy.



More to come tomorrow!

The Wythe House

This is the dining room in the Wythe house. This color is so striking. Mr. Wythe was a mentor to Thomas Jefferson and taught him the law. His home is on the Palace Green, so we know he was a prominent citizen.



This is in a downstairs bedroom. They do not know if the Wythe's had any children, but this is a beautiful ladies/girls bedroom. On the walls is an authentic wallpaper pattern. It is very bright!
This is the seating area of Mr. and Mrs. Wythe's bedroom. The wallpaper is purple and white and they had a dark purple toile on their bed set.


This is a work room. It had mending on the table. Note the bare floors. All the houses, including the Palace had bare floors. I asked regarding this and they said that because the roads were all sand and shells, that would have been tracked in and scratch up any kind of finish on the floors, so they left them bare. The few carpets and rugs would only have been put down when company were coming, as a way to show a persons wealth.


Scenes from Williamsburg

We are back from our wonderful anniversary trip. It was so special to have time to focus on each other. It was great!

Here are some pictures of from our trip.

This is the fountain in front of our hotel. It was colder than normal in Virginia, but the fountain was still on. Later in the day they turned it off and when we left 3 days later is was still frozen! It is probably back to normal now!




This picture is from the entry hall at the Governors Palace. It was designed to impress you and indeed it does. There are hundreds of weapons hanging. It was intended to show everyone the might of the British Empire.

This is a close up of the marble on the fireplace.


Just off the entry hall to the left is the housekeepers room. It was large with cabinets of silver and shelves filled with crystal. From this desk the housekeeper commanded 80 + servants and slaves.
Here are some of the shelves filled with crystal. These were in plain view from the entry hall so I think that they were meant to to impress as well. They definately showed the wealth of the Governor.


This is a shot of the managers office. If you had business of any kind with the Governor, you came to see this man in this office. The wall is showing a portion of 34 Biblical scenes that are hanging on the walls.


This is a really cool map, showing Virginia. It is quite detailed and it was drawn by Thomas Jefferson's father Peter.


Upstairs are the bedrooms and the family parlor. This purple toile trimmed in green is the bed of the 2 eldest daughters of the Governor. They were ages 13 and 14. They shared a bed, which was quite normal for the time. I couldn't help but contrast it to today where not only do children have their own beds, but often people think each child must have their own room as well.


On the bed is a silk ballgown. The house was set up as if they were preparing for a ball in honor of Queen Charlotte's birthday.





This lovely bed is in the corner of the bedroom shared by the Governors' daughters. They had a French governess and she not only taught them and looked out for them but she slept in their room as well.

The bed above is in the Lord and Lady Dunmore's bedroom. He was the last Governor of Viriginia before the revolution. He and his wife had 7 children, one of whom was born there in the palace. The walls of this room are the color of my livingroom and kitchen, it is a Martin Senor color called "Palace Chambers Yellow". It was nice to see that it was a real color in the palace.

Below are some wigs in the powder room, which is located just off the ballroom. This was a room for MEN! The guide said "another male bastion that has been overtaken by women!"

The ballroom. There are huge portraits of King George III and Queen Charlotte on the far end walls. Look at that brilliant color contrasted with gorgeous white trim.

This gentleman played several songs on the harpsicord. We were told that when you can to a ball, each couple there danced the minuet ALONE. Not like in the movies where everyone dances it together. You danced in order of your importance in society and everyone stood around and watched you! Talk about pressure! Also when you went to a ball or to someones home you were expected to bring a musical instrument to play, sing a song, recite something. You were to help with the evenings entertainment. I like this idea, and might have to try it out.