"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

Friday, July 31, 2009

Recent Sewing Projects

Rachel and Sarah had been asking for nighties. Lindsay had some muslin in my stash and I have the most adorable regency pattern for girls. I decided to use the pattern but leave the sleeves off. Perfect summer nightie but a bonus, as well. It it a perfect full slip!


I put soft pink buttons on Rachel's and brighter pink on Sarah's. That one is not shown here because it is in the wash!

See the sweet lines of the back? I love this pattern!

Sorry I don't have a close up of this skirt - you can click on it to enlarge it. It was a bit of fabric that was left over from a tote bag project. The girls are so tiny I could use this bit of fabric -the skirt has ONE seam in the back! and they both fit in it...
This is a close up of Sarah's pink butterfly skirt! It is made of a cute seersucker fabric from JoAnne's.

Here they are posing together...

This is a close up of Rachel's skirt - she wanted a long skirt like Emily has. If you remember the post I did about Sarah's skirt? The young girlies look up to the older girlies and love to dress like them!
This is Rachel's new fun thing in the house - climbing the hallway!
I will be doing some alterations for my mom tomorrow - but I intend to work on at least one apron!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sewing

I am going to do something fun for me today!

I am going to sew! I love to see wearable clothing items come into being through my machine and my hands!

Today I am going to make aprons - one for Emily and one for me....I will show you tomorrow. Also, I will try to get photos taken of some other recent sewing projects!

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This and That

So much going on at all times, it seems...

Tim's van was totaled as he drove to work through the city last Thursday night. No one was hurt, thankfully they were both going slow through the city. My husband has the light system through the city figured out - if you go a the speed limit to 5 miles above - you will hit every green light. So he was going between 25 - 30 miles per hour. The other driver was distracted by his young son in the back seat...both tried to avoid the collision but couldn't. Tim's van was old and so with the damage - it was undriveable - the insurance company totaled it. Today I am driving the rental van - which is very nice. We are trying to decide what kind of vehicle to replace his with...

Our niece Kaitlin is still visiting, and also today another niece is coming to stay for 3 days. That will be fun, I know that water balloons were purchased and plans are afoot for a water war! Good thing it is hot!

I am finalizing membership for the homeschool co-op I lead. Right now we have 60 member families, with a possibility of two more families joining. I had a casual Mom's Gathering here at our home Monday night! I really enjoy these ladies!

Can I say that I love my children? They are such a blessing to me!

Lindsay has her riding students today. Speaking of riding, I found like new paddock boots for Rachel at Goodwill yesterday for $4.95!

I found really cute Naturalizer shoes at Marshall's for $34.99! They are very comfortable.

Well, I am sure I will think of more things but I think that is enough for today!

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy 50th!


Yesterday was a very happy day. It was a day to testify to what the Grace of God can do in the lives and marriage of two people.

They married at the age of 17 and 20 - she had to finish high school and he was in the Navy. A few times in their marriage they didn't like each other very much. But both had come to know and trust the Lord and they hung in there and decided to trust God in their marriage.

Now, through the Grace of God they have been married 50 years! When friends asked them, at their party, which year was the best they both said "this year." Isn't that sweet?

They have a loving family and many kind friends.



Many friends came to celebrate their happy day with them!

Our family felt privileged to plan this special celebration for them!


I am so proud of them...I remember the hard years...their lives are a testimony of grace, not of their own goodness, but of His! We love them dearly.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Girl In Nature

We have another new blogger in the family! Lindsay has taken the plunge. She wanted a place to share her photography...don't expect lots of writing!

Her blog name - Girl in Nature perfectly describes her.

She loves to be outdoors, regardless of the weather, in the woods, in the pasture, in her teepee, or her hammock.

She loves outdoor survival and edible plants.

She even loves the beach! She always finds interesting items from nature and now that she has a nice camera, she will be sharing them with you all here!

Stop by and say Hi!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Glimpse


In blogland it is easy to show our lives in edited form. We, of course, don't want to show the piles of laundry, dishes in our sinks, floors to be swept and mopped. We want to show the pretty table arrangement, the happy kids, the beautiful sunset.

This is not real life though. While those things are a part of our real lives, there are also areas of mess. They might be stress from a difficult job, struggles to keep to a budget in this economy, heartache from family members....I could go on, but you get the idea.

I don't think that it is wrong to edit what we say on our blogs, in fact it is a good policy. We need to think about what we should feel free to share with the world! I try to think about whether what I share will embarrass my family - do I have a right to share potty training stories? Maybe...but maybe not. Sometimes I read things about people on blogs and I cringe wondering whether enough thought was given before someone posted that story about their child's struggles, their difficult in laws or whatever. However, by editing my words, I don't want to give the impression that everything in our life is perfect - it is not!

I have shared a few times about having a difficult child. This person is no longer a child and that has made for all the more difficulty. I will not share their issues, because that is their story. I will however ask that you pray for us, we surely need wisdom from the Lord. He has sustained us and strengthened us and taught us so much through this relationship with our child. We are praying for God to receive Glory through it all.

I wanted to share a glimpse of my garden, here in mid July, through Lindsay's lens.

Gold Mound Spirea

Salvia Victoria Blue - waiting to open

Feverfew

Hydrangea - up close

The same Hydrangea

Black Eyed Susan

Echinacea - Purple Coneflower with a visiting bee!

I find the beauty of the garden - any garden - makes my heart glad. It is a reminder to me of our great God, the Creator of the world, who holds it all in His hands and has everything in His control. I am so thankful...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kaitlin Eats Lamb

Tim, Lindsay, Emily and I went into the city a few weeks ago and ate at a local Greek restaurant. The food was excellent and it had been mentioned to Kaitlin, who expressed an interest in going. So last night we had a girls night out, minus Sarah who went with Tim and Kyle on an outing for her birthday.

Here are the girls sitting in the restaurant. Rachel was being goofy!


Here is what I ate - well I ate part of it...I brought the rest home for Tim. This is an authentic gyro (pronounced yeero)- a mixture of lamb, beef, Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce. I had mine on a whole wheat pita! It is delicious!

This is what Lindsay, Kaitlin and Emily ate - cheese steaks! Not very Greek but very good!

Emily and Kaitlin really chowed down!

Then I challenged Kaitlin "you said you wanted Greek food! You gotta try the lamb." So she did!

Here I made all of them try it!
Later we went to the dairy for milk and ended up with ice cream cones too! Yum...

My husband loves to try new foods...he should be proud of us all!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Amazing Words!


Before the throne of God above

I have a strong and perfect plea.

A great high Priest whose Name is Love

Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on His hands,

My name is written on His heart.

I know that while in Heaven He stands

No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair

And tells me of the guilt within,

Upward I look and see Him there

Who made an end of all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died

My sinful soul is counted free.

For God the just is satisfied

To look on Him and pardon me.


Behold Him there the risen Lamb,

My perfect spotless righteousness,

The great unchangeable I AM,

The King of glory and of grace,

One in Himself I cannot die.

My soul is purchased by His blood,

My life is hid with Christ on high,

With Christ my Savior and my God!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Beautiful Day

The girls worked today, but Tim didn't. I have been needing to get out and spend some time with Tim. I looked at him today and said "We should go yard saleing." He surprised me and said "yeah!"

We got Rachel and the littles in the van and headed out. We just drove around looking as we didn't have a huge agenda for the day or anything in particular that we were looking for. We drove by a local shopping center that has a remote controlled race car track! This is a very cool place! Of course my guys had to watch for a while - so we stopped and enjoyed the amazing jumps these cars can do!

We then found a yard sale that has some toy trains for 25 cents a piece - guess who got some new trains? Rachel found a neat red leather jewelry box for a $1 and Sarah got a container of rubber butterflies for 50 cents. Treasures all around!

We also found a place nearby that had a tulle skirt with lots of layers that Sarah had to have right away? Price $1. Rachel got two pairs of cute earrings for 50 cents and we bought some wooden bowls and a bread maker for $20. We were having a very good day!

We remembered that there was a home coming up for auction that we wanted to have a look at. We are in the talking stages with my parents about either adding on some living quarters for them here at our place or possibly finding a place together. So we drove by and found the paper with the information. Guess what? Open house today! Amazing. We gave a call to my parents and arranged to meet them later during the open house. It turns out it was an Amish farmette - 6 huge bedrooms, open living spaces, 2 1/2 baths. A barn with 7 stalls and 4 fenced pastures. Fruit trees, garden spaces, beautiful location. Problems? No electricity - now we are all for living off the grid, but there is no electricity at all....bathrooms and kitchen need to be updated. So do the floors in those rooms. A lovely dream, but not likely due to the prices these places go for...for another Amish family it is move in ready!

We hit the grocery store for a few needed items, made dinner for the family including my niece Kaitlin who is here on her annual visit from CA and Nate's friend Jon. The menu - burgers on the grill, pasta salad, applesauce. Yummy! Oh and homemade cookies and cream ice cream with double stuff oreos!

A nice visit with my folks, the older girls out to have some fun, baths for the kiddos. Now I am making a meal for tomorrow's fellowship meal at church and cookies to take also.

These kinds of days are a joy to me - simple yet beautiful, time together, gorgeous summer weather...

I hope your day was as lovely.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Emily's Art


Fraktur is a beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch art form. They were done for birth certificates, marriages, etc.

Emily got interested in doing these based on an art class she had taken a few years ago at our co-op. The art teacher taught them to do it in a very easy way. It involves printing, tracing and hand coloring. She has done them in watercolor, marker, color pencil. They are made on parchment.

She has made many beautiful and thoughtful gifts using Fraktur. She has made birth certificates, verses for birthday gifts and graduations. She did Psalm 23 for Kyle when he memorized the whole Psalm earlier this year.

It is so precious to have her artwork hanging around our cottage home. I love to see her working at her desk - Tim made her a light box - making beautiful treasures. She is developing a nice portfolio.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sarah Had A Birthday

Sarah loves her big sisters and wants to be like them - good thing for me they are great role models for the littles. Sarah asked me to make a skirt like Emily's. That meant long like this one. When Em got dressed that day, Sarah right away wanted to match her.
Sarah is very funny...

Saturday she turned 7. You can read about it here.

As I was looking at the photos of that day, I noticed that her face is taking on a more mature look. Gone is the little girl, with the blond hair. In her place is a sweet darker haired girl with elementary kid teeth...you know what I'm talking about, right? Big permanent teeth with baby teeth beside them making them look like giant teeth...and missing teeth...

Her features have matured.

She still loves life and is a joy to be around.

We surprised her by inviting her friend Miss D. to go to the corn maze with the kids and then to come over and play, eat cake and ride the horse.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sarah. May you have much joy this year!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Precious To My Heart

A month or so ago I returned from running an errand to find a note from Rachel on my bed. This was not surprising to me as she often will slide notes to me under doors or hand me a note in church. She is a quiet girl in general - though she can be quite crazy and loud!

This note brought me to tears. I tucked it into my desk drawer and came across it yesterday as I was cleaning. This time the note only brought a smile and a thankful heart.

You see this note was a confessional - I have her permission to share it here.

To Mom

From Rachel

Mom i think i'v done something very wrong. a long time ago I toke some candy without permision. I didn't know i was bad ontill the next day. You said that takeing something without asking is like stealing. I didn't know i promise i will never ever ever do it again.

i love you sooo much

I will honer you and God.

Can you understand my tears? Such precious joy in my heart! It showed me that this dear girl, who was only 9 at the time, has a relationship with the living God. This event had happened a while before the note and she had been feeling conviction.

I called her to me and she and I talked about it - she cried. We prayed.

Sometimes when we are in the midst of raising our children we can lose sight of why we are doing what we're doing. It is these precious moments that the Lord gives us to keep us going! Being intentional in their education and discipleship.