Showing posts from January, 2009

Homegrown Revolution

This is a really amazing video of a family who are growing food on 1/5th of an acre in the middle of the city of Pasadena, California!

How many of us would survive without the grocery store?  It's something we have been thinking about...

Mystery Dinner

Last night at church we had a mystery dinner for our Friday night fellowship.
The tables were set in an easy and fun way....

Here is the menu (you can click on it and it will enlarge)
The lovely waitresses....

After placing our orders we were entertained by Anthony the Amazing!

We all enjoyed eating the peanuts at the tables!

Rachel in action - they had so much fun!

Some of the delicious food - potato cheese soup, apple pie and banana pudding (this was amazingly good with semi sweet chocolate shavings on top! Yum!

These are the lovely ladies who planned and ran the event (I contributed the potato cheese soup!)

We always have a great time fellowshipping after an event.  While we were around the table talking, Lindsay started stacking water bottles.  

Soon, people were giving her suggestions of things to add....

The stack got larger and larger...

And larger....

Until it was this big!

The stack is as follows: pepper shaker, salt shaker (inverted), full water bottle (inverted), partially full water bot…

Mystery Dinner

We are off to a Mystery Dinner at church - I will post tomorrow and tell you all about it!
I hope we survive!

Another Post From The Past


A Child Friendly Home
Visitors to this cottage realize that lots of kids live here! We are also frequently visited by friends with lots of kids as well. Now having said that, I confess that we are not child centered. The kids do not rule the roost, everything is not about them! However, I have learned a few things about living with kids, and I have developed "rules" that allow me to stay sane, enjoy my children and be willing to share hospitality with others.

1. I do not try to have a magazine perfect home. It is simply impossible. Even when we are very diligent to pick up after ourselves, and often we are not diligent enough, there are bound to be little boy cars and girlie dollhouse people "sharing" our living spaces.

2. While I have a goal to have things tidy and in a state so as not to be embarrassed should company come by, I realize that 8 people live in this house. We are here nearly 24/7, because of home educating. This house gets used. I…

Fewer Children - Better For The Economy?

I saw on the news that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, wants 150 million dollars of the new 825 BILLION dollars of bailout money, to go to "family planning."  She says that fewer children will be better for the economy!
I wonder who Ms. Pelosi thinks will PAY for this tax dollars bailout?  I read statistics last year, that in the near future ( as all the baby boomers one of whom is Ms. Pelosi retire), it will be only 2 American workers paying Social Security Tax for every 5 retirees.  How long do you think it might take those 2 American Workers to decide that they cannot afford to foot the bill for Social Security for 5 retirees as well as pay tax to retire this enormous bailout bill? They are not being long term minded.  They are thinking only of what might help in the immediate, "we'll just tax the future generations". sigh...
The children being raised in this SELF oriented society, where children are a burden and too much work etc...will reap what their cu…

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY - January 26, 2009
Outside my window... We had flurries flying!
I am thinking... About letting my daughter graduate early - she has almost all the credits she needs, and with a bit of work, she could be ready.
I am thankful for... The steadfastness of the Lord - He never changes, and He is always at work on our behalf.
From the learning rooms... I am working on violin lessons for Lindsay and possible Sarah.  We are working on a Piano for Quitters dvd program that Emily is enjoying.  It teaches you to play piano using chords.
From the kitchen... I am planning a Chicken and Pasta dish.  I also want to try a new recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. My husband will be so happy!
I am wearing... A royal blue shirt with a collar and 3/4 length sleeves, and gray pants.  I will be adding silver ball earrings, and my Skechers.
I am creating... A blue shawl for myself.  I finished knitting the baby hats.
I am going... To a planning meeting for our co-op tonight.  It was cancelled last week due to snow. …

A Request From Lindsay

Lindsay has asked if she can graduate this year.  She has almost enough credits and if she works  a little bit harder, she could graduate.  She is certainly mature enough, she would still be doing studies next year, likely some online courses.  She wants to work with horses, so she could focus on more training for herself....She is eager to be on with her life...Tim and I are going to be praying about it.
Have any of you graduated your kids early?  Pros and cons? I am interested in hearing your stories.

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

What A Difference A Few Years Make!

I was looking at old photos on the computer today - it was so amazing to see how the kids have changed in just a few years.

Lindsay, Emily and Rachel with cousins, Jill and Kaitlin.  Rachel is now about the age Emily was in this photo!
My boys, Nate at 16 and Kyle at 5 months...
The whole family September 2005
The whole family Easter 2006
The whole family Easter 2004
It is sobering to realize how quickly time goes by.  I pray that God will remind me to be "present" every moment and to make the most of the days He gives to me!

Part Two Of Posts From The Past

Added Thoughts
I wanted to add some thoughts to my previous post. I believe hospitality is so important, and so we have always opened our home, even when it didn't look as nice as it does now. We have had tea parties, birthday parties, Mom's gatherings, meetings, dinners, and 2 family reunions here at our home. What is need is some creativity. When it is time to eat, no more than 10 can squeeze around our table, so we set up our long counter as a buffet, placing plates, flatware, napkins, and the food on it. I like to use tiered plates and baskets for some of the food as it makes the presentation more appealing to the eye, than if it were all laid out flat. Plus it saves space. Everyone then sits where ever there is a seat available. No one has ever complained about this. Our home is about 1400 sq feet and has 4 bedrooms and two baths. The living room and kitchen are all open and the dining table is in there as well. The bedroom our youngest is in serves as a…

Happy Birthday Robert!

Today is my big brothers' birthday!  I won't say how old he is though! :)
This is a big year for him - his baby girl turns 18 and graduates from high school, and his oldest son and son's wife are going to make him a "papa."  His oldest girl is getting married, that means gaining a son-in-law, and Evan is planning a move to Pennsylvania!
What a huge year!
Congratulations Robert!  It is wonderful to see you receive blessing in your life.
I love you!

A Post From The Early Days

I have been thinking about thankfulness alot lately. I find that I am thankful for the cottage the Lord has provided for us and for giving us the ability to work hard and make it into a warm welcoming place.
My home will never look like the picture above. But God has given us creativity and a desire to take something that was to some, not worth fixing, and making it into a beautiful home.
My husband and I determined years ago to live debt free. We do not buy anything that we cannot pay for. Our cottage is the only exception and we are paying extra on it, in order to pay it off more quickly. So any projects we do around the house are done when we have extra funds. Sometimes this doesn't happen for a long time.
I remember once, feeling dissatisfied that it was taking so long to get projects done around our cottage. I thought "how come other people are able to add on to their houses, buy new things etc.." The Lord reminded me of the fact that…

Heart Of Home

Lord, let our house be something more
Than just a shelter with a door; May its windows glow with light,     Shedding radiance through the night. Not just a glitter of glass and chrome, But give it the "feel" of a happy home.                            

Let it have flowers, a well-loved book,Soft cushions in a quiet nook.

May it be more than downey bed,   Or snowy cloth with silver spread;   Lend it some smiles, warm sympathy.  With kindly thought, true charity - 
 That all may recall, though far they roam,  That God was there - in the heart of home
Christine White

Farewell, President Bush

Thank you for your faithful service to our country.  Thank you that we have not suffered another attack on our homeland since 9/11.  Thank you for sticking to your principles, even when  your popularity plummeted.
To read the accomplishments of his first term go here.
To read the accomplishments of his second term go here.
Enjoy your retirement!

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY January 19, 2009
Outside my window...
The snow is falling in beautiful soft flakes!
I am thinking...
How happy I am to be a homekeeper.

I am thankful for...
The privilege to home educate my children!
From the learning rooms... I am learning to rethink how I educate my children.

From the kitchen...
I am going to be baking something this afternoon, don't know what yet though!
I am wearing... A pink floral dress, my Skechers, and small silver ball earrings.
I am creating... I finished a  knit baby hat last evening and am starting a new one!
I am going... To a meeting for our co-op this evening.  We are planning classes for next year.
I am reading... My Bible, and I am still reading Persuasion by Jane Austen.
I am hoping... For a year of walking closely with the Lord.  
I am hearing... Charlie and Lola on the T.V.
Around the house... We are thinking of switching some of the bedrooms around.

One of my favorite things... Sharing work with my daughters. 
A few plans for the rest of the week:

Mighty To Save

I spent precious time this morning with my Sarah.  She has a cold and so we stayed home together from church.  
I spent sometime online and found this song, I was moved to tears hearing her in the same room with me singing the chorus of this song!  We sang together for awhile -  Precious, precious time, well spent.  Glory to God!

Some Ponderings Of My Own

I just came from reading Brenda's blog.  She was sharing some of her ponderings about how the Lord has changed her outlook on things.
Some of what she shared made me think of my Mother in Law.  She called yesterday to chat about her new great grandson and some other things.  One thing you realize when you talk with her is that she is a busy woman...she is 87 years old...she makes me tired!
Now I find that balance is needed, but I so appreciate her desire to serve others and to go where she feels the Lord has sent her - the woman does prison ministry.
While I don't feel lead to prison ministry at this point in my life, I have gained wonderful perspective about serving others, being willing to do hard things, and being a willing for God to use me.
We are in different stages of our lives, she is retired and busier than ever working at the food bank, doing prison ministry, playing piano for a small church, playing piano for a group of retired missionary ladies who go to the nursing ho…

He's Here!

Ethan Daniel Gill

January 15, 2009

7lbs 9 oz, 22 1/2 inches

As you can see baby and big brother Elijah are doing just fine!
You can see the whole announcement at Melissa's blog.
Welcome to our family Ethan!

Do You See My Weather Widget?

Right now it says 8 degrees - that is without wind chill.  It doesn't seem to be windy outside, which is good, however our high today is only going to be 16!  Wow!  We are not used to such extreme temperatures!
We had our co-op yesterday.  It went really well.  The only issue being one that has been an undercurrent for several years.  We are going to have to deal with it seriously, and it may not be pleasant.  Pray for us for wisdom, mercy and grace.  Only God can bring about a good resolution. 
Today we plan to stay inside!  My husband and I went to dinner the other night, using a gift card from our nephew Evan (Thanks Evan!) and then did grocery shopping.  I picked up a few things from Costco after co-op yesterday, so I don't have to be out in this crazy weather.  We will be doing school, reading blogs, waiting to see pictures of our brand new great-nephew Ethan.  We will knit, read, and maybe rearrange some furniture.
I love these kinds of days.  I like to be able to spend tim…

I Had An Email Early This Morning....

Today is Melissa's due date -she is in labor and she and Geoff were headed to the birthing center to have the baby!  
I know she will covet your prayers for her during this time!  I will keep you posted or you can check out her blog, Elijah's Adventures.

Co-op Begins Today

Our homeschool group starts up again today!  We have been on a break since Thanksgiving. 
One of the responsibilities I have as the "fearless leader" is the decision as to whether we meet due to the weather!  It has snowed a tiny bit so that is not an issue - but the cold is.  It is going to be so cold with the wind this afternoon.  Of course, we meet inside and so it is only an issue of going to and from the vehicles.  At this point I am planning on us meeting, as it is a pain to reschedule!
I am continuing my class on "Emma" by Jane Austen.  Last semester the girls were not very talkative and it is hard to have a book discussion class when you are the only one "discussing" the book.  They do like the English Country Dancing and are looking forward to having a real Ball - 
Here are some photos from last years ball - 

I made both of these dresses!

These young ladies had a wonderful time - many girls these days don't know what it is like to dress up for an …

Baby, It's Cold Outside


Today we awake to the first of two artic blasts coming our way.  The high today if we are lucky is going to be 26 degrees.  Right now, it is 16, that is not factoring wind chill.  Tomorrow they are calling for snow, I am not holding my breath because they have been wrong alot this winter!  Friday, the high will be 16 degrees.  This is a bummer for me as it is my big shopping day - I could go early or a few days later, but the weather isn't going to be much different, so....Tomorrow in fact, we start co-op, but it may get cancelled if it snows like they are calling for, but like I said we will see if the weather people get it right.  In a bit the girls will be bundling up to go out and feed our horses - brrrr.  The horses are blanketed and have a shelter to go into, if they want.  Their hay gets their systems heated up, and over the next few evenings we will be giving them extra hay overnight as the temps are supposed to plunge to 8 degrees.
Inside it is toasty war…

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY  - January 12, 2009
Outside my window... The sun is shining again!  Hurray!
I am thinking... I don't know what to make for dinner tonight...Probably something with chicken.
I am thankful for... Encouragement from God's word...
From the kitchen... A pot of  PG Tips and a few Lorna Doones
I am wearing... A white long sleeved T and a Land's End skirt (stone colored)
I am creating... A new knit scarf, this time for myself!
I am going... We start back to our homeschool co-op this week.  Lots to prepare for!
I am reading... Jane Austen's Persuasion...
I am hoping... For time to get together on a regular basis with my niece, who lives nearby.
I am hearing... My kids playing together, with Kyle's blocks!
Around the house... I still have my garlands and lights up, so cheery in the winter gloom.
One of my favorite things... Is my friendship with my children...
A few plans for the rest of the week: Mostly I am focused on co-op on Thursday.  It will be quite cold later this week, and I usuall…

Matthew 6:25-34

"Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?
"Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
"So why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 

"And yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
" Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you,  O you of little faith?
" Therefore do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat? or 'What shall we drink? or 'What shall we wear?'  
"For after all these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Fath…

I'm Sorry, I Just Had To Do It!

Waiting For Snow

We are anticipating snow today....
I am planning on Chicken soup for dinner using alphabet pasta.  The little ones get so excited when I do this!  I will also have Lindsay make homemade cornbread - Yummy!
In the meantime, Tim went and got hay for our horses and is currently unloading it in the shed.  He is going to go do firewood at a friend's house, and that means several children will be going along as well!
My projects for today will include some basic tidying around the house and then I plan to make a new blouse for Lindsay using this pattern

I am planning to make it in a red rayon blend that looks like linen.  I will be making view A with a few adjustments.  Normally I make the elastic waist but move it down to the natural waistline.  This time, Lindsay wants to try it without the elastic at the waist.  I am also thinking of doing the view D sleeve with out the wide ruffle.  That would make it a normal 3/4 length sleeve.  If Lindsay isn't interested in that we will do the reg…

Kyle Makes Cookies

Last evening, I decided to make cookies.  Kyle needed something to do to occupy him, so I asked him if he would like to help me make cookies. His face lit up and he said "yeth!"  Then he needed an apron, so Sarah loaned him hers - Note: I will be making him a "guy" apron soon!

He was so excited to help, he liked stirring...

Here he is putting the dough on the cookie sheet -
I didn't get a photo of the finished product, as we started our evening Bible reading and then were putting little ones to bed...but I will try to get a photo today of Kyle eating one of his cookies!
It was a lot of fun and he did great, sweet precious times...

Sorry For The Late Post....

Our computer was being difficult today, I guess the Lord wanted me to get other things accomplished, because it is working fine now!   We did some very necessary cleaning and I did some decluttering in my bedroom...Evan got home safely, no delays with his flights, which we were so thankful for.  We missed you Evan when we did our Bible Study last night....
I thought I would show you some of my recent projects. 

Emily is modeling the hat I knitted after Christmas - I like having hand work to do....
This is an apron that I made for Miss Paula who is a lover of pink....neither photo shows the right coloration of the fabric.  I was very pleased with how it turned out, as I didn't use a pattern.
This is an apron I made for Kaitlin, Miss Paula's girlie.  It is interesting that the fabric looks much more pink without the dark trim, but I wanted to bring out the deep burgundy in the print.

Kaitlin wants to be a pastry chef and likes to cook - so I thought I new apron would be a fine presen…

Farewell, Evan

Evan is on his way to the airport - they are having an adventure - first when Grandma and Grandpa got here to pick him up, Grandpa had a tire that was a bit "soft", so they decided to head out and go by their house to get the Buick to take Evan to the airport.  Then Evan realized that he left his boarding pass/ticket on the counter here in my kitchen!   So back they came - apparently they were having some freezing rain as well...the roads are all treated and they are just wet so that shouldn't be a problem!

These three have hung out together for the past 3 weeks!  They have had a nightly movie festival....
It was hard to get a really good shot of all of them....Kyle again is dressed like Evan, he was sort of casual about Evan leaving, until he realized that Evan was going to California and not just over to Grandmas.  As soon as Evan walked out the door, Kyle started to cry about needing to hug and kiss him, so Lindsay quickly carried Kyle out to the car.  A bit later Kyle …