"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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Daughters' Movie

About 2 1/2 years ago, my daughters made a movie.  The video camera we had at the time didn't record sound (it was broken) but not to be deterred they made a "silent" film.

This has lead to all kinds of fun with friends, and great learning opportunities.  I hope you enjoy this short film, made entirely by the girls.


video

This movie is privately owned and no one may use it in anyway without written permission.  Thanks.

My Thrifted Find!


I am always in awe of the great items that Manuela finds at her local thrift store.  I was out with my oldest daughter yesterday and we decided we would pop in to our local Goodwill store.  We looked around for quite awhile and headed back to where they have household goods.  After looking at all of Rhoda's beautiful creamware this week, a cute little pitcher caught my eye.  I made my way over to it and picked it up.  It had a little nick on the rim, but perfect I thought to sit on a shelf and look beautiful.  It had vines and grapes on it, it was not too small.  I liked it right away.  I turned it over to find a price - it was a great price.  Then the marking on the bottom caught my eye. 

I couldn't believe it!  I wondered if it were truly Wedgwood.  So I did a bit of research this afternoon.  It really is Wedgwood.  I found a site selling this exact piece for way more than I paid for it!

Want to have a look?
Cute, isn't it?  Oh, and do you want to know how much I paid for it?

It is one of the best finds I have ever made!  I am sure they had no idea what it was!

Now I must go find a place for it!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cayden Ryan Is Here!

I have seen photos of my dear great-nephew and he is so cute and sweet!  I am aching to hold him!

Miss Paula (the Grammy) will have photos later, but she wants LeAnn to update Alicia's blog first! 

I am so proud of Ryan and Alicia!  Alicia worked hard to have Cayden and Ryan was right by her side through it all.  They are going to be great parents!

Love you guys!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Inspiring Room Makeover

Rhoda from Southern Hospitality  has the most amazing dining room makeover!  You really must go see it....go ahead, I'll wait.....Isn't it awesome?  Did you click on her link to her dining room when it was red?  Isn't the difference stunning?  You all know me and red but the change to the creamy white color, even with all her creamware dishes...Wow!

I don't have a dining room, our dining room is in the living room/kitchen area of our home.  In fact it is smack dab in the middle of the space.  But I love to see what others do in their homes to make them places of hospitality and warmth for their families.  You can take ideas from a dining room and incorporate them into a bathroom, for example, or a basement family room....the ideas are endless when you think outside the box....

Thanks Rhoda for your inspiration today!

Update on Alicia

As of this morning...no baby yet.

They put her on Pitocin, then Cayden got a bit distressed so they took her off.  She was still only at one centimeter, so they were going to try the Pitocin again.

Please pray for her - Miss Paula sent me a photo of her and Alicia was smiling!  One neat thing about today - it is Papa Gene's birthday.  Gene is Miss Paula's Dad and he and Ryan were very close....Evan too.  It will be special for Cayden to share Gene's birthday.  He is still missed so greatly.

I am praying that the Alicia's contractions will kick into gear - that she won't need the Pitocin, and that she will have this little guy soon!  Amen!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Middle Creek


Wanting to take advantage of mild temperatures and sunshine, we headed up to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.

We really like it there and wanted to hike a bit and see if the snow geese were there yet.  Middle Creek is on the migration path for Snow Geese, Canada Geese and Tundra Swans, although we have never seen the Swans before!  It was amazing.  Next week it is supposed to be even better as the lake should not have any ice on it by then, and that means more geese!


A very kind gentleman let us look through his spotting scope!


Here is what it looked like through the scope...

On our way back to the car we saw an Opossum in the field....
We don't know what he was up to....possums are nocturnal!

The Visitors' Center is a great place to learn about waterfowl and other animals native to Pennsylvania.  They have a great interactive area for kids, we touched the pelts of beaver, otter, coyote, mink, fisher, red fox.  We touched antlers and saw the nests of many kinds of birds.  It was a great day!

Cayden Is On His Way!

Please pray for Alicia from "Our Little Guy!"  Her little guy is on the way!  She and my nephew Ryan are so excited to be parents and have been waiting this little one's arrival.

Please pray for her to have a natural birth - her water broke, but she was not contracting yet so they were talking about starting Pitocin.  I hope that they let her go awhile first and try walking etc to get the contractions going.  Pit is awfully hard to deal with - I know she was wanting to try to go without an epidural as well....

Also when she was younger she broke her tailbone, so she is unsure of how she will do - when it is your first baby you don't have experience to gage your labor against...So please pray for confidence for she and Ryan and for Alicia's body to labor well, and for Cayden to do well!

I will keep you updated as I hear and you also can check out her blog - it's the cute button on my sidebar!

We are praying deal Alicia!  Wish I could be there!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Day, Jane Austen Style

Being a firm fan of dear Miss Austen, I have been enjoying the Jane Austen week at The Barefoot Mama.

Yesterday we woke to very cold temperatures indeed. It was delightful to be able to stay indoors and see to my domestic responsibilities.  The children worked at their music, arithmetic, and penmanship skills.

We were delighted to have my husband at home for the better part of the day, and enjoyed a delicious mid-day meal together.  There is always such lively conversation and the children's manners are coming along beautifully!

Even though he had many things to attend to in overseeing our small estate, my kind and thoughtful husband took the children outside to take advantage of windy conditions and fly their kite.  Such fun for everyone!  He then took some time to see to the comfort of our faithful dogs, by adding some old carpeting to their dog house. He is all goodness, indeed!

I attended to my correspondence in the afternoon, and later saw my husband off to his work away from our home.  The young ladies in the family, being invited to go to a dinner party with their Grandparents, began to prepare for the evening.  They help their Grandpapa every month at the local establishment that has been set up to deal with fires.  Their esteemed Grandpapa is the President of this company.  He, along with their Grandmama, took the four young ladies to a dinner honoring all those who volunteer their time.  They had a delightful time.  Later, Miss Emily was invited to go and spend the night with her Grandparents.  Each of the children love to do this!

After they arrived home, I helped the younger girls to prepare for bed and tucked them in!  Motherhood is a delight to me, and the way my children are developing pleases me greatly!

My eldest and I spent some time in my chambers talking and reading before she headed off to bed.

It was a day that was filled with ordinary home tasks, yet it was filled with such felicity that it was a true delight.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Our Missions Training

I haven't been able to find my missions training photos, but wanted to answer Lady Jane's questions about our training.

My husband grew up as an M.K. in New Tribes Mission.  His parents were the first from the mission to go to Senegal, West Africa.  New Tribes focus is to reach unreached tribal groups.  When the mission started in the 40's, the world had been in the midst of WWII, and so they used some terminology in those days that reflected what they had become used to, words like "boot camp."  This was your preparation for going overseas to a foreign land.  Today they call it Missions Institute, or M.I., but we "old timers" call it "boot camp" still.

Anyway, as part of our training we spent 6 weeks of living in the woods, so that we could get used to what it would be like to live somewhere that was remote, there was no corner store for supplies, and limited communication with the outside world.  This was the days before cell phones as well!

A few weeks before our training, all the men went up the "hill" to start work on our houses. (the woods were on mission property)  They couldn't come down all week.  Tim said that gave them the chance to really focus on getting things done.  Our house was pretty small, as we only had one child at the time and he was little.  The house had an area for eating - Tim made a great table,on which we laid cardboard and I put a vinyl tablecloth on top, and benches, which I later covered with foam and fabric when we all moved up the "hill" to Jungle Camp. Then he built a wonderful 6 foot long couch.  You know all that expensive willow furniture that was so popular a few years back?  That is what we had.  For comfort, we used cardboard from an appliance box on the back and seat portion and then foam.  I covered it all with a great old quilt, and voila!  We had a very comfortable place to sit, in front of our warm stove no less!  Next to the sitting area we had the stove and the counter tops.  The counter tops were wood from the forest and then cardboard on top, and covered with vinyl tablecloths.  This made a sturdy surface and the ability to keep things wiped up easily! 

The bedroom area, which also housed our shower, was cozy but built for comfort and storage as our space was the smallest site.  For shelves we used crates from a local tea company, and for a counter top we did the same thing as for the kitchen counters.  Our bed was built about 4 feet off the ground, so that we could use the underneath portion for storing supplies.  This area of the plastic house was the dark landscaping plastic for privacy obviously!  I was not so keen on looking at black plastic for 6 weeks so I brought up pretty "old" sheets and hung them on the walls!  Nate's crib was built in to the corner of the room, right by the window.  He loved to wake up in the mornings and look out and see what he could see!  

 We had no refrigeration, only a metal trash can in a hole in the ground to keep things cool.  Part of my training was to learn how to prepare foods that don't require refrigeration.  Did you know that mayo can keep for weeks without refrigeration, IF it has never been refrigerated?  And eggs?  We bought our eggs at a local Amish farm, fresh from the chickens, and we didn't have to refrigerate them at all!  I also learned to can meat, and we also brought canned meat such as tuna, chicken, and bacon.  Did you know that some places (at least in the early 90's) you could buy bacon that had been canned?  It was uncooked and very salty.  I would rinse the bacon in cold water over and over before using.  It was very good.  Our stove had a metal top, which made clean up a breeze, and with most of the meat already cooked in the canning process, meals were easy as well.  I made bread and rolls a few times a week.  

Part of the training is to get you used to how long it takes just to live when you don't have all our modern conveniences.  We had to start a fire in our firepit outside every morning and in our stove, so we would bank both fires at night.  The outdoor firepit was so that we could heat water (also to burn trash) for dishes or laundry in large kettles!  You have to think ahead, because you cannot just turn on your hot water faucet!  

We landscaped our place with ferns and rocks from around the area.  I had cute curtains at the windows, and fabrics ( old curtains and things kept just for jungle camp) that had similar colors in them.  We made it our home.  We had a hammock out front  that Tim and Nate napped in everyday after lunch.  We had people over in the evenings.

It was a huge learning curve! I grew up in Southern California, after all.  Even though we used to go camping and hiking, what did I know about doing anything from scratch?  

 What wood burns long and burns hot?  Do you know?  It is very important to know for cooking!  The hard woods are the best and maple is a great one!  Did  you know that Dogwood is a hardwood and really difficult to nail?  Not great for making furniture, unless you are lashing your pieces together!  For laundry I used a manual washer, with a hand agitator.  This was done by moving the lever side to side.  Then put each item through the wringer, into rinse water, and then through the wringer again.  Then they all got hung on the line to dry. 

At times, our mail was brought to us, and sometimes it was held.  When you are on the mission field and in a remote location, you are dependent on the buyers for the field and to the mission pilot to make sure you get your supplies.  If the plane was broken down, you may not get supplies for a while.

Today, there are few remote tribes.  Civilization has crept in all over the world.  It makes being a missionary easier.  Small towns even have the internet.  Missionaries had use skype to talk "face to face" with their loves ones around the world.  The need is still there however for missionaries to share the gospel with people who haven't heard the Good News of Jesus.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Link

I had a comment on my post regarding some new medical provisions that were added to the stimulus package...the commenter, whose blog I love, was unaware of anything like this in the stimulus.  I am thankful for her comment because I realized that while our family had been discussing this - my husband had heard of it - I had not read anything about it myself.  Here is a link to an article about it.

I am thankful for such good blogging friends!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Please Pray

My dear sister in law is in the hospital being treated for colitis.  Here is a link to her blog.

She and my big brother have alot going on this year...their first grandchild is due anytime, their youngest turns 18, then graduates from high school, one of their kids is moving back this-a-way(!) and their oldest daughter is getting married in November!
All that and our parents (Rob and mines') will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this summer!

Love you Paula!  Hey, maybe you can have Evan bring you your pink laptop and keep in touch with us...although, if you are on pain meds....actually that could prove interesting....

We're praying!

Sorry...

For not posting sooner...I have read all your blogs and enjoyed keeping up with you all, but just felt like I had nothing to say.

Last night the girls and I watched the second disk of this movie we got from Netflix.

I highly recommend it!  This is based on a book by Elizabeth Gaskell.  She is also the author of "Wives and Daughters" and "Cranford."  These are also movies made by the BBC.

I also have been working on decluttering the house...I worked in my room yesterday.  I also needed to rearrange the layout so that it was more "user" friendly - I think I did it!  I will show you photos later, as I finished around 8:00 p.m. and then we watched the movie.

I have been reading about the coming demographic winter, and watching our nation become a socialist one...if you have ever noticed, the average person doesn't do well in these countries so we are pondering and planning a larger garden, etc...here are a couple of good links for preparing for the unexpected.  Preparation: part 1

When Tim and I were in missions training we did a 6 weeks long program called "jungle camp."  Tim built our house in the woods, it had logs for the framing and landscaping plastic for the walls. He built all our furniture of wood from the woods...he built our stove and oven (it worked wonderfully), I did our laundry with a manual wringer washer....canned meat, etc...so that we could have our food for 6 weeks...we made a shower out of a 5 gallon bucket with a sprinkler head - it felt great at the end of the day, when we would climb into the platform bed Tim made and read by lantern light.  We are thankful for that training, as it taught us that you can live and have a lovely life anywhere!  I am seeing that it is great preparation for living in possible reduced circumstances, as well.

I guess I found my voice, eh?  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines' Day


To my sweetheart!

I am so thankful for you and for your love and commitment to me and to our family. Thank you for your leadership! 

Over the years we have grown together and the Lord has graciously taught us how to love each other and how to honor the roles that He has given to each of us.

I pray that the Lord grants us many more years together - I am eager to see the fruit of what He has been building in our lives!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Hike To House Rock

Evan wanted to see pictures of the hike to House Rock. So I am letting Emily do this post, as she went on the hike and I did not.


I love this picture of the tree, so I thought that I would put it on. Not until after I inserted the picture I realized that the picture was sideways:(



On the trail to House Rock!


Kyle was so cute as he pointed the way to House Rock.




This sunset was so gorgeous I had to take a picture!

This is the way we came down to the river. It was such a wonderful day for a hike!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Different Point Of View

Emily got a camera for Christmas. She has been taking some wonderful photos. Yesterday we went to Longwood Gardens and here are some of the memories she captured.























Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm Every Woman

Sherry at Large Family Mothering has written an awesome post on feminism and it's beginnings in the Garden....

I hope you will take the time to read her post.

I was challenged and encouraged by it!


Monday, February 9, 2009

A Lovely Weekend

This weekend was very beautiful! The weather was mild, which was a treat after the cold weather we have had.

I thought I would share some photos from Saturday and from today.

Sadie was enjoying the sunny weather this morning.

The blue sky of morning, and bare trees.

Rachel and Sarah were enjoying the swing set.


The girls spent some time riding on Saturday. Here Sarah is riding Cheyenne.


Rachel works Sandi, using Natural Horsemanship Technique.

Pretty Sandi.

Cousin Carrie spent Friday night with us. The littles loved having her sleep with them and she said all their snuggle up-ness kept her warm!
Tonight Lindsay had a campfire and made some kind of Turkey, wild ingredients soup.




We had a gorgeous full moon rise tonight!

Sweet Dreams!