"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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thoughts on Raising "Teens"


Last night we had a Mom's Meeting for our co-op. We were having a meeting on pre-teens and teens, and wanted to discuss some issues, but also encourage moms of teens.


The first thing I shared was that the term "teenager" is not a biblical term. The bible uses the term "youth" and that refers most of the time to a young man who was not married. Somewhere in the last 100 years of history, Western culture has brought forth this idea of teenagers. Our Amish neighbors in the county have their children finish school at eighth grade and become apprentises in real work. The girls may work for a shop or work at home, the boys work on the farm or as a carpenter etc...They have value as young adults.


Many parents have taken on the responsibility of teaching their children at home. Some do not. But what every parent must do is to take on the responsibility to teach our children to follow God, as He has directed our family. Sometimes, people think we must allow "professionals" to do that. So the Sunday School teacher, the Pastor, the youth workers are left to impart "godliness" to children and youths. But what if you are teaching your child modesty and the youth worker doesn't have the same view of modesty? You have put your child under their authority as well, and now your view and the youth workers are in conflict.


I believe it is the responsibility of parents to be the primary influencers of their children, and to decide who else gets to influence them. We take seriously the raising of our children. We take care what they watch, listen to, read. We are the ones who introduce the world to them, as they are going to have to live in the world as adults, but we do it from a Biblical Worldview. Please don't think that our children are hidden away! They are not! They have alot of interaction with adults, kids, family members.


I firmly believe that our children need to be given alot of responsibility. This brings maturity. To learn skills and master them, gives confidence. My two oldest girls are quite capable of running a household. The can cook, do laundry, care for children. They know how to care for their animals, and to do lawn care and gardening. The comment we hear most often about them is that they are lovely girls and so mature!


So many parents today, don't want to give their kids too much to do. They feel it isn't fair to the kids. This brings on this idea of childhood being a time set apart only for fun, and not as preparation for adulthood. Now we have "adults" who want to hang on to childhood, they work to pay for their "fun". They don't want too many responsibilities, and why should they? They were not prepared for them in their youth.


Our culture is child centered, it is all about the kids; soccer practice and games, music lessons, camp, shopping, cellphones etc...I woman who said she couldn't have more children as they could not afford to add on more bedrooms to their house, as all the children must have their own bedrooms!


I have had conversations with parents who don't know what to do about their kids clothing, or being boy crazy etc....I want to encourage them that as the primary influencer of their kids, not to wait until they are older, but begin when they are young. Teach them the things God is teaching you, share with them the Heart God has toward them and all He has for them to do. Teach them to honor and respect you and others, and themselves.


Our goal in raising our children is to bring them to maturity and adulthood. We want our daughters to be feminine, our sons manly. We want them to serve the Lord, in the way that God leads them.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Why I Haven't Posted

I have been a member of a sewing message board for quite a while, though I have only recently begun to post. I usually just "lurk", amazed at the abilities of these seamstresses!
Jennie Chancey has wonderful period patterns. I, not being sure I was up to her original pattern, purchased the regency pattern that she did for Simplicity.



I made a dress for Lindsay and Emily from this pattern, though Emily ended up giving her dress to a friend. I showed these dresses before, from our Jane Austen Christmas Ball.



These were so wonderful to make and I loved seeing the girls in them. The only thing lacking was a Regency style dress for my younger daughters. Then, I remembered that Jennie Chancey has a girls pattern. I quickly purchased it, planning Easter dresses, bought material that the girls wanted for their dresses, and waited for the pattern to arrive. It arrived Tuesday, and I started sewing Wednesday. I finished them up this morning!

http://www.sensibility.com/

Take a look!


Sarah looks terrific in this Raspberry color. Of course she must have matching "ribbon" for her hair and that turned into a darling curly bun.

This pattern is a dream! The bodice is fully lined, and you can line the skirt as well if you wish.
Rachel who is loving the color Orange these days, chose this material which has small cream flowers on it. Rachel plans to wear a cream color ribbon with her dress. The last photo is a close up of Sarah's hair - didn't it turn out cute?



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How Do You Show Honor and Respect To Your Husband?

Kelly at The Barefoot Mama, has a great post about her husband and what she does to "care" for him. This got me to thinking.

One thing that I have learned is that my husband's main needs are for respect and honor. In order to show him that I respect him and honor him, I have learned to be a student of my husband.

What I mean by that is that over the years I have learned about him, what his favorite drink is, what kinds of foods he likes to eat, things that I can do to help lighten his "load". Knowing these things allow me to do things for him that SHOW him, my love and respect.

For instance, my husband likes to drink coffee with sweetened condenced milk in it. So I make sure that I always have sweetened condenced milk in the pantry. I also know that Tim doesn't like me to spend alot of money on it, so when I go to Sharp Shopper and they have it 2 cans for $1.00, I stock up! That way I know he can enjoy it more! Also, I make sure there is coffee made for the morning and for after dinner. This is when he likes to drink it.

Another thing I do is to make sure that we clean up the house and greet him when he gets home. There is no sneaking in the house for this man! Someone spys dad coming down the road and calls out "Dad's home!" and several if not all rush out the door to greet him, including the dogs! And our teenage daughters. If they do not go out the door, then they come into the livingroom/kitchen area and greet him. Everyday! I am teaching them to honor their dad and to appreciate his hard work for them. He loves to come home!

I also have worked to make our home a haven, a place away from the stresses of work. If it is summertime, I will make him an iced coffee drink, and encourage him to relax for a while before he starts on a project. He really works hard and it is not easy for him to sit still.

I like to make his favorite meals, this is easy as he likes everything!

We like to do things together as a family, but we also really like being alone. If I want to surprise him, I tag along on a trip to Lowe's or Home Depot! Sometimes, if he is working on the car, I will go out and just sit with him while he works. This makes him happy, and I like being with him!

My husband is worthy of honor, and I like letting him know it! What do you do to show your husband honor and respect?

A New Blogger

Last year through email, I meet a "long lost" cousin, or second cousin or something like that! All I know is that it has been fun to get to know her. Her grandmother, my Aunt Nancy, introduced us and said we had a lot in common. She was right.

Nicole is a believer, a wife to her high school sweetheart and a mom to 3 active and adorable kids. She homeschools her kids too! Oh, and they have a cute little dog named Hershey Kiss!

Nicole started a blog recently, called Life in Jesus. You can find it on my sidebar. I look forward to knowing her better as the years go by!

Welcome to the blogging world Nicole!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tea

As you probably know by now, I love tea. I love tea things! As I was tidying the kitchen this morning, I saw some of our tea things from last night.





My daughters and I love to have tea and host tea parties, big and small. However there is something very satisfying to put the kettle on during an afternoon or early evening, and call out "I'm making tea. Do you want some?" There is always someone who wants a cup along with me. Last evening, my husband was reading and drinking a cup of coffee with sweetened condensed milk, my oldest daughter was working on a project at the kitchen table, my son was at the computer working on his taxes. Two of the girls were playing cards at the table and the little ones were just around playing. I was reading as well, and decided it was time for a cuppa. When I asked who would want some (as this determines which size pot I use) 2 girls decided to join me. It is just a sweet thing to me, to pour them a cup and hear "thanks mom."

Do you know how to brew the perfect pot of tea? It is quite simple.

Start with cold water in your kettle. (I use an electric kettle that heats up quickly.) Cold water is full of oxygen. Once you have boiled the water, do not reheat it as the oxygen has been depleted and you will not get a very good cup of tea!

While waiting for the kettle to heat up, put hot water from the tap into your teapot to "warm the pot". After the pot is warmed pour out the water and add your tea leaves or tea bags. This warmth allows the fragrance of the tea to start coming out. When I use a diffuser, I still warm the pot so that it is ready for the hot water.


When the water is ready pour the boiling water over the tea leaves, bags, or diffuser. Allow the tea to steep 3-5 minutes. Depending on the tea used, I might steep for less time, as I don't like really strong tea.



Pour into your cup and add cream and sugar as desired. Some people prefer a bit of lemon in their tea, but do not add cream and lemon or it will curdle!

Here are some pictures of my teacups and teapots:

I am collecting Royal Doulton's "Old Country Roses" variations. I have pink ones...



holiday and chintz ones....




red, pale blue, lavender, and mint green.



I have the "Old Country Roses tea pot, creamer, and sugar bowl. My husband found them last year at the Royal Doulton Outlet, as a set for $70.00 . The teapot alone at the outlet is normally over $100.00 so all I can say is that it was a God thing! Behind the "Old Country Roses" you can see my very first teapot. My husband purchased it for my birthday about 18 years ago!



Here are my other teacups.


We have purchased them for anniversaries, I have received them for birthdays, and Christmas....a few belong to my daughters!

My husband likes to buy me "unusual" teacups, hence my square, footed teacup, and the pink floral one on top of it with the unusual bowl shape.

If you are still with me after this long post, bless you, and thank you for indulging me today!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness


My dear sister in law, Miss Paula at Gathering of Friends has given me this award. She gave it to me for being prayer partners along with Becky at Hospitality Lane. I could easily pass this award right back to them! Paula and I have known each other for about 38 years I think! We grew up in the same church, that her father pastored. When we were older we along with my brother (whom she married) and her sister Beth, used to have a standing date night on Fridays to play games and eat! We minus Robert used to go to Jazzerize together!
I have been in 3 waiting rooms with her while she gave birth to 3 of her children, she was with me when I had my oldest!
We have both grown and matured, thanks to the Grace of God! I am so thankful for her and her friendship.
As for Becky, we have known each other about 7 years? But she has become a true friend. One you can tell your heart's sorrows to, and know that she is going to help you take them to the only One who can carry them for you!
I want to pass this Random Acts of Kindness award along to Sherry at lula's heart. I know, I know every award I pass on is to her but she is just a kindred spirit in so many ways. She deserves all these awards! Also to Kelly at The Barefoot Momma. This is a new blog for me but she is sweet and loves the Lord and her family. I have enjoyed reading about staging a house for sale! It also encourages me to see young women walking with the Lord, and in this light I also want to give this award to our niece Melissa at Elijah's Adventures. She is a lovely, creative young wife and mother, who serves the Lord wholeheartedly!
Enjoy this award ladies! You deserve it!

Interesting Seminar and Other Ramblings

Painting by Claude Monet


We had a wonderful seminar. It was interesting as it could easily have been a "relating to people" seminar. We did a FIRO-B profile a few weeks before the seminar. FIRO-B stands for Fundamental, Interpersonal, Relationship, Orientation and the B = Behavior. The goal is to get you to see how you interact, control and how open you are in your relationships. These things are God given, and while they do not give you an excuse to say " this is the way I am, get over it", they are how you will tend to respond during stress. They speak in generalitites, so some of the things don't apply to you, and that's ok.


Tim and I knew alot of this before, but it was an interesting seminar and it was facinating to see how to understand others, and yourself and how that can help you relate to each other.


Saturday night we went to the Revere Tavern for a banquet with many couples from our church. You can check it out at http://www.reveretavern.com/ The tavern was purchased in 1841 by James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States, and it became a parsonage for his brother Rev. Edward Buchanan and his wife Eliza Foster Buchanan. Eliza was the sister of Stephen Foster and he wrote some of his best known songs while there.


I just love Pennsylvania there is such history here! Of course being a history lover, I love being in Virginia and DC also. Being from California orginally I love the pioneer spirit that led families to travel west by covered wagon. My great grandmother traveled west from Kansas in a covered wagon when she was a girl. They lived in the San Diego area, and would take the ferry over to Coronado Island. There is a famous hotel on the island, the Hotel Del Coronado. I love it, even though we have never stayed there. The Grand Floridian Hotel at Disneyworld is modeled after the Hotel Del.
Aren't I a fount of knowledge today? My friend Jane says that I have a "trivial" mind!

Well, I have certainly been rambling haven't I?
Today we are enjoying spring like weather! We have some windows open and are loving it. Right now our dogs are laying in the sunshine on the deck!

And with that weather report, I will bid you good day!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!



21 years ago today, Tim and I shared our first kiss, 6 months after we met. He is still the only one I want to share romance with!


We don't have any big plans for the day or evening that I am aware of. We are going to a marriage seminar at our church tomorrow evening and Saturday morning. Then in the evening we are going to the Valentine's banquet with our church's marriage ministry called "From This Day Forward." It is being held at the Revere Tavern. We are really looking forward to it.

This morning when I got up, I found on our dresser a card and a package from my sweetheart. The card was lovely, as were his own words written therein. I really am so blessed to be married to this man. In the package was this book:


I have been wanting to read this book! My sweetheart said "I hope you enjoy it!" I definately will.

I wish you all a day of love. Whether it be in reading the Words of your souls lover, or caring for your children, making a fun meal for your family etc....

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's Snowing, Icing, Raining - Yikes!

Well yesterday we had snow to ice, and didn't get to go bowling. Overnight it turned to rain.

As the girls and I were going to bed last night, we noticed that a car could not get up our hill. Several of the neighborhood men helped them out. I do not know how the road on the bigger highway was, but hopefully it was salted and clear as there are a huge hill and a hollow, depending on which direction they were headed. (Tim by the way didn't help the poor stranded people in the car. He has been going into work early and was already in bed.)

This morning, he was headed off early again. About 30 minutes after he left, he called to say that he had slipped the fan belt on his van and that he was attempting to get to work, but to start my van as I may need to head out to pick him up and get him to work. 15 minutes later he called to say that he made it to work and he was praying that the fan belt hadn't been lost. I was so glad not to have to head out in the dark on the icy, slushy roads!

Today, Becky from Hospitality Lane is to come over with her children. Her children and my two older girls are in my class at co-op and we are going to be learning 2 new dances this semester. I am wanting them to learn at least one new one today, so that when we work on it in class tomorrow, they can show in person how to do it! This of course depends on the weather!

It is dark outside still, so I will try to get some photos later.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Apples of Gold Banquet

We had such a lovely time last night. I had moved furniture around in the living room and put two tables in there. I used 2 red damask tablecloths, white linen napkins, crystal glasses for sparkling white grape juice, red glasses for ice water. I used clear glass cylinders for the centerpieces which had red roses and white carnations. These were not tall, so that everyone could see one another across the tables. I also had crystal votive holders on the tables.

I made place cards out of card stock, rose stickers and a red calligraphy pen! Our menu for the evening was:
Drinks and Appetizers
Punch
Hot Mulled Cider
Puffed Pastry Petites
Nancy's Quiches
Pepper Jam Pleaser

Dinner
Hot Rolls with Butter
Spinach Salad
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Scalloped Potatoes Supreme
Baked Cheesy California Blend

Dessert
Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
Lemon Bars
Southern Pecan Pie
Coffee, Hot Tea

It was all so delicious!



Tim did the welcome and prayer. The lady in the photo was one of the leaders. She and her husband have been married 48 years. He spoke last night about the book "Love and Respect", and said that 2 years ago they went to a seminar by the author, Dr. Emerson Eggerich. He said he learned more about his wife that weekend than he had all the years they had been married!

Do you see the chandlier? That is normally right over our dining table. I put a couch there facing the kitchen. The ficus trees with white lights were there to visually divide our open kitchen from the "banquet area." It worked out beautifully!

Our pastor spoke as well. His wife Betty was also one of the leaders. He challenged the men to love their wives as Christ loved the church. He mentioned how women always seem to be the ones who seek out how to improve their marriages, and challenged the men to seek to grow as well.

This is a picture of the top of my piano.

I would encourage any of you "older" women to mentor younger women, and younger women, I would encourage you to seek out an older godly woman to mentor you. If that is not possible, try to find an Apples of Gold group. You will be encouraged!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Preparing for a Special Evening

Last December, my Apples of Gold mentoring group was all set to have a banquet here at my home, when a bad weather caused us to postpone.

Well, tomorrow evening is finally the date. I am very excited. With it being this close to Valentine's Day, I am having fun with decorating and preparing the tables.

I will post pictures Monday morning!

Have a wonderful Lord's Day!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Dinner Out

Art from http://www.allposters.com/
Last night we had an impromptu dinner out with dear friends. It is such joy to have the kinds of friends that share much in common, and you can pick right up where you left off the last time you were with them.
For us as couples it is a rare treat indeed to have several hours of uninterrupted time, to talk and share our hearts. To speak of family, church, theology...
We are blessed to have several dear friendships like this. Last night was spent in the company of one such couple.
It was a delight!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Pray for Wisdom

Photo courtesy of http://www.allposters.com/
I am in need of wisdom. There are several areas that wisdom is needed for. One is in dealing with one of our children. The other is several issues with students at our homeschool co-op.
I am the leader of the co-op and I am especially sensitive in dealing with difficult children. I understand what the parents are going through. However, we cannot let these issues go with out dealing with them in an appropriate way. We don't want to hurt or offend parents, but difficult children always find others to influence. It leads to other issues, and students who are frustrated in their classes because of the attitudes of others....
The committee is meeting today to discuss all of this. Please pray with me for unity, wisdom and clear, well thought out solutions that will honor the Lord. That is our whole goal for the group!
Thanks friends!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Blog Award


My Niece (in law) has given me this award. Alicia said, "she a wonderful lady who follows the Lord and loves her family dearly. As I read her blog, I can see her tenderness and unconditional love that she displayes for her family. I think she deserves this award today!"
I am honored. Her words were especially sweet. Alicia has a great blog "Renewed in Him", as do my sister in law at "Gathering of Friends", and Becky at "Hospitality Lane." However they all have recently received this award.
So I am going to give this award to Melissa at "Elijah's Adventures", and Sarah at "ellie skees", and haus frau at "lulas hardt." These blogs all encourage me and challenge me in my faith, and in my work as a wife and mother.
Thanks again Alicia and thanks to everyone who reads my blog. The blogosphere can be a scary place, I suppose, but I have also found it to be full of wonderful people!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Quiet Time


As I have been talking with mommy friends and reading blogs I have come across a similar theme lately.

Guilt brought on by a lack of "Quiet Time."

I can relate to that, after all with 6 kids it is never quiet here! I have in the past woken up early in the morning for quiet time, and then gone back to sleep for awhile. I have tried to do it when my kids went to bed. This works fine until you have teenagers, they never go to bed!!! Well they do, but usually at the same time my husband and I do. And evening time is when they want to come to you and talk, and I make it a point to be available to them.

I have come to the conclusion, that God knows all about the life stage I am in. One day, when I don't have little ones in the home, I can take hours everyday to study the word, pray without interruptions etc....

But during this season of life, I believe that God is so pleased with my mind being on Him and my talking with Him as I go about my day. I believe that the verses He brings my way, through a sermon or a friend, are the ones He wants me to take to heart. So I print them out and hang them on my fridge where I can see them all day long. They challenge me, He challenges me through His words on my fridge. He is pleased that I am teaching my children and pointing them to Him, day by day, that I am being kind to my neighbor and taking a meal to someone in need. These things please Him, and in doing them I please Him.

As I read my bible, I don't see anyone having "quiet time" except Jesus when He went off alone to pray. I do see David thinking of the Lord "through the night watches", and Psalms of praise being sung, and believers meeting together...

I am not saying that daily bible study is not important. It is. I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend 2 years at a Bible college, just studying the Word. I love to do Beth Moore studies, I love my Oswald Chambers Study Bible. I just want to encourage those friends who are struggling with feeling that they are not "good" followers of Christ, to look to Jesus, THE source. He will show you what He wants for and from you.

And that is all that matters!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Kyle's Big Boy Bed

Our little guy has graduated to a big boy bed. He does really well, and is enjoying it. He had Thomas the Tank Engine sheets on his crib and I had made a little quilt for it with Thomas on it. So now we can use the Thomas pillowcase and little quilt, but not the sheets. Besides Thomas, Kyle really likes the movie "Cars", and Lightning McQueen, so my mom bought him some "Cars" sheets with Lightning and Mater on them. He was very excited!




I bought the string of car lights at Target - they have really cute stuff. You can see his train table (also from Target).

This is a really neat bookcase my husband built for Kyle last year. I love it because it is in the Pottery Barn for Kids style, but much, much less expensive!

Here you can see his new "Cars" sheets!

Here is "tauboy Tyle". He is being greatly influenced by his sister's love for horses and a movie called "Horse Crazy", from Feature Films for Families. He likes the boy named "Stoney" so sometimes he tells us he is "Stoney Tyle." He is great fun!