Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Make New Friends, But Keep The Old....


www.allposters.com - Afternoon Tea - Alexander Rossi


One is silver and the other gold.

Do you remember that little song?

I am busy preparing for our church's Ladies Tea. The theme this year is Friendship. I am decorating with fall things; pumpkins, leaves, natural things. But I am doing a little twist - the pumpkins are going to be either gold or silver. How will I do this? Spray paint! It is so fun to do. One lady at each table will have the chance to take the pumpkin centerpiece home.

I am bringing all the scones and all the things that go with scones; lemon curd, jam, Mock Devonshire Cream, Maple Butter.

I am making the Pumpkin Scones, regular sweet scones and I think Cranberry - Orange scones.

I also am bring the tea and all the tea items. Good thing I have been collecting for years! I also am making what I call "Holiday Tea." Here is the recipe.

Holiday Tea

5 tea bags of regular black tea

2 cups boiling water

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

6 ounce can of orange juice concentrate

6 ounce can of lemonade concentrate

Pour 2 cups boiling water over the 5 tea bags and let it steep for about 15 minutes. Then add the sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients. This makes a concentrate. To serve add 3 Tablespoons of concentrate to 1 cup of hot water. To serve many use 1 cup of concentrate to 5 cups of hot water!

I usually make up the full batch, and serve it from my stoneware crock. It stays hot and is so delicious to drink. At many of the teas I have planned, this tea is the favorite. It is similar in taste to mulled cider. Perfect for fall and winter!

Would you like the recipes for the Cranberry - Orange scones and the regular sweet scones?

Cranberry - Orange Scones

2/3 cup sour milk

1 egg

3 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut up

1 cup Cranberries (I use frozen)

1 tsp grated Orange peel

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Make sour mild w/ mild and 2 tsp vinegar. Beat in egg with a fork and set aside. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda in a large bowl. Add butter and cut in with pastry blender or rub with your fingers until it looks like fine granules. Add cranberries, sugar, orange peel; toss lightly to mix. Add milk mixture. Stir until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and need 5 or 6 times. Form dough into small balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until medium brown in color. Remove to a wire rack. Brush with soft butter and let cool.

Sweet Scones

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut up

1/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup milk

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub with fingers until looks like fine granules. Add sugar - toss to mix. Add milk and stir with a fork until soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured board - knead about 10-12 times. Roll out 1/2 inch thick; cut with a round cutter. (I use a small canning jar) Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 12 minutes until brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Making these scones will keep us busy this week!

What are you up to this week?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Foliage Trip

www.allposters.com

We are so excited! For a long time we have wanted to head up to New England, and the chance to see the trees at the peak of their color change is so fun!

I have a birthday coming up this weekend and then next week we will be headed out for 4 days. We are going to spend them exploring small towns and hopefully fun shops, taking tons of photos, and having fun together.

Mom and Dad are also going along. They didn't take a special trip at their 50th anniversary time as July is very hot, so we all decided the fall was the perfect time for a trip. Plus Mom has always wanted to see the trees in Vermont in the fall.

We are going to have such a good time!

The kids are on the mend, but Sarah is having a rough day. She should feel better tomorrow.

The pumpkin scones turned out very well. Emily thinks they could stand to have a bit more pumpkin so I will try to tweak the recipe this week. Here is the recipe as it appears in Tea Time magazine.

Pumpkin Scones

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. I sprayed my baking pan but you could use parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, salt, 2 1/4 cups flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. (I didn't use the nutmeg, I used a bit more cinnamon and allspice.) Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg and pumpkin, and stir until just combined. Add additional flour if necessary, until mixture forms a loose dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut into rounds. Place on prepared baking sheet, and back for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool slightly; serve warm with Maple Butter. *Note: I didn't use unsalted butter, just a bit less of the salt.

Maple Butter
makes 1/2 cup

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)

In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer at medium speed, cream together butter and maple syrup. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

I also made my Mock Devonshire Cream. Delish! Here is the recipe.

Mock Devonshire Cream

1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 up of sour cream
2 tablespoons of powdered sugar.

Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together. Add the powdered sugar. Mix. Enjoy on scones with jam!


We took my camera to be repaired yesterday, and they had to send it off somewhere so I will have to rely on my girls to take awesome photos of our trip!

Planning this trip has made me think of what other awesome places in our great country there are to visit. Did you see any of Ken Burns new documentary "National Parks" last night? They were showing a lot of Yosemite which is in California. I used to go camping and hiking there - it is simply beautiful!

What trips have you taken that you just loved? What is your favorite place to visit?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Quiet Weekend

www.allposters.com


We had a quiet Saturday.

Tim was home during the day but worked overnight. He did a bit of work on the barn, and then helped me by hauling all the weeds and cuttings from the front flowerbeds, to the gully where we dump them. I love to cut the garden back in the fall, many perennials were ready to be put to bed for the year.

I also tried out a recipe for pumpkin scones with maple butter. They were very good! I think I will be making these for our tea at church.

Several of the littles have colds and with it being gloomy and then rainy this afternoon and evening - it is still raining - they spent a quiet day as well. They helped a bit outside, but mostly played quietly and listened to Jonathan Park on cd and watched a movie. They got ready for bed early and also went to bed early. Kyle took a while to go to sleep so I let him snuggle in bed with me. Rachel who is one of the sickies, is now in my bed sound asleep. It is precious to be able to care for them when they are not feeling well.

The older girls put in quite a long day at work today. They came home tired. Lindsay who is not feeling so great either, got a shower and went to bed.

One of us will be staying home with the kids tomorrow morning. It is heartbreaking to Kyle as he will not get to see his friend at church. We all hate to miss.

I foresee naps tomorrow afternoon, some chicken corn soup, a pot of tea, and another quiet day.

Many blessings to you and yours!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fair Time Again! UPDATE!

Lindsay, Sarah, Rachel and one of Lindsay's riding students all won ribbons at the fair!

Bethany, Lindsay's student, did the grooming and showmanship. She has just started lessons and wanted to participate in the fair in some way. She was one of 8 participants in this category. She got 6th and earned a ribbon.

Sarah did the Open Lead Line with Grandpa and won a 5th place ribbon out of 9 participants!

Lindsay had fun this year with the games like musical chairs, dollar bareback, and the boot race. She won a 5th place ribbon in the boot race and had such a fun time!

Rachel participated in the 10 and under Walk, Trot, Jog Equitation. She placed 2nd out of 6 participants!

We also need to mention that they did all this with the same horse. Sandy is the hero of the day! She gets extra Rounders tonight!


Unbelievably it is time for the fair again!

It seems like just last year we were there and the girls where doing fun events with Sandy, Lindsay's horse.

Yesterday we went by the expo booths and found that Lindsay won a blue ribbon for one of her photos and Emily got a 4th place ribbon for one of hers! Fun stuff!

I will use Lindsay's camera today and try to get some good shots. My camera is in need of repair. It will go to the shop soon.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stay, Stay At Home



"Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;

Home-keeping hearts are happiest,

For those that wander they know not where

are full of trouble and full of care;

To stay at home is best."

~Longfellow



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Identity

www.allposters.com - Garden Path - Michael Humphries



How Who We Are in Christ Affects What We Do and Why We Do It

"Our own identity is rudimentary to ministry because how we understand who God is and what He's done for us affects how we work with other people. If we are trying to help people become more like Christ, we had better know who He is and how He relates to us. Unfortunately, I think we have come a long way in the wrong direction and lost that beautiful picture of who He is. We need to once again grasp the depth of how great our salvation really is and the enormous provisions that are ours through Him.

We are God's sons and daughters, eternally adopted to share in His inheritance with Christ. Orphans live in fear; they fight and connive to survive because they are not secure. But as His children we are already totally acceptable to God and cannot improve our standing with Him through our works. It is wrong, therefore, to look at life as a struggle to earn our Father's favor. Our acceptability is based solely on the work of Christ, not our own works, no matter how great we may think they are! We are free to walk with God because He will never leave us or forsake us because He cannot reject His own. We can therefore serve Him out of love, in gratitude for what He has done and continues to do to enrich our lives."

Eric Wallace
Uniting Church and Home - A Blueprint for Rebuilding Church Community
Page 189

Monday, September 21, 2009

We're Off To Go Thrifting! UPDATE


We haven't been out poking around shops for a long time! So we girls are headed out this afternoon. My Mom is coming with us and two of the little ones will be hanging with Grandpa. Seems like a great arrangement to me.

Update!
We found rings for Lindsay and Emily, at an antique mall. They have wanted one that would be a symbol of the choice they have made to wait for marriage. We found rings that they both love. I also found a birthday gift for my friend. She collects a pretty pattern of stoneware that is an aqua color with dark blue tulips stamped on. I found a pitcher for her collection that she uses! I was very pleased. At Goodwill I found a pair of paddock boots for Sarah. They are in perfect condition, just were dusty from use. They were not priced but the other children's shoes were $3.97 so I assumed these would be too. At the register, I mentioned the price of the other children's shoes and the cashier said "I was going to say $1.97 since they are dirty." I responded "Well, okay!" Amazing! Sarah will get to wear them Friday when she competes in Open Lead Line with Grandpa at the Fair!

Check Spelling
I have a Mom's meeting tonight, but I don't have to prepare anything, someone else is speaking tonight, so I feel a bit foot loose and fancy free!

We have lots of fair prep work going on around here for the girls who are doing rodeo events. They are very excited.

I hope I can find some great things like Manuela manages to find. She is amazing!

We had a beautiful weekend. Lots of work and fun. Tim, my Dad and Becky's Jonathan and husband Warren managed to get all of the trusses up and secured, even with needing to build two! We are so thankful for their friendship and help!

Did I ever mention that my laptop wasn't working? We thought it was a battery and charger problem so we replaced them, but we still were having the same issue. I don't know what was the problem, but Warren took it with him to work and worked some kind of magic on it. I heard he took the whole thing apart and put it all back together again! Wowser! Seriously, I couldn't even imagine doing that! I am still thinking on something nice to thank him....

We just love our church and look forward to Sunday's so much. We had a wonderful service and then a fun fellowship meal. We always stay so long visiting, sharing, laughing...Sarah brought her Uno Attack game and Pastor Mike, Becky and many others were talked into playing! We invited everyone to come over to our place and hang out. It was great! The kids played, the adults talked and some played a soccer match with the kids. We had a campfire, cooked hot dogs and s'mores, laughed and talked some more. Slowly the families left one bye one. As we said good bye to a dear young family with little ones I said to their boys ages 5 and 3 "see you next week at church." He answered "yeah, what are we doing next week?" His dad says the boys think of the church as a place of adventures! Isn't that awesome?

Did you have a good weekend? One of these days I am going to mention that we are planning a fall foliage trip with my parents to New England. But I won't mention that yet....hee hee

Friday, September 18, 2009

Signs of Autumn

www.allposters.com

Several days ago came a sound that told me indeed the season is changing. Geese. Flying overhead looking for a place to rest for the evening. We have seen them every evening since then.

Another sign is that many of the trees have a hint of changing color on them! This is so exciting to me every year! The kids laugh as every year I say "Look at that tree!" or "That is gorgeous!" They love it too!

In our county a there are local fairs - especially agricultural fairs. You know that the last few years the girls have done different events in the youth rodeo on our horse Sandy. This year they will be doing that as well. But they are also entering their photography. One fair was this week, and Emily won a second place ribbon for this photograph of hers.

Sorry it is so small - I can't get it to enlarge! It was shot on sepia tone. With her little point and shoot. Just think of the great shots she will be able to get when she gets a new camera! We are very happy for her and proud!

The weather this weekend is going to be lovely. The menfolk are going to work on the barn tomorrow. They will be joined by Becky's oldest son. It will be a blessing to have his help!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quick Post Today

I know you don't know if a post takes me a long time to write or not!

Today is the first day of our homeschool co-op. I am a tad anxious because of some changes we have made with the classrooms. I think they are good changes but new things have a way of throwing people for a loop, don't you know?

Kyle is going with us this year. Last year he preferred to stay home with Grandma, they had great times together! Grandma is going to miss being with her sweet boy!

Also this year we bought a laminator for our group and made new name tags to be worn with lanyards. This is a huge improvement!

I have much to do this morning. Lots to think about...one is some huge generators that are being taken from Port Deposit, MD to Three Mile Island - they will be travelling down a road near our home TODAY at a rate of 3 miles an hour. The road will be closed. Will need to consider what time I need to head out. I also need to stop by the hardware store for some floor cloths to cover the carpet while the kids do art at co-op.

I know it will be a fun day....I also know that I will be zonked this evening. Maybe Tim and I will go out on a date!

Pray for me today please, and the great group of ladies that help run this group by serving on our board. That we will be an encouragement and a friend to these dear mom's who have chosen the path of home education. I will be manning the Mom's Room this year - I am not teaching a class which feels weird to me. But in being in the Mom's Room, I hope to be able to better connect with these moms - 59 of them - and a dad or two. I think it will help things run more smoothly!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Birthday Gift Ideas....

Dear Family,

I thought that I would give you some ideas for gifts for my birthday. Some are mere items of whimsy - not really practical. Like the romantic white hammock. That would be white for like 10 seconds around here....and many are way too expensive.

These are all ideas from Victorian Trading Company. I get all their catalogues but I don't know as I have ever purchased anything from them.

But I LOVE this shawl....perfect for fall and winter. Sigh. It's lovely.

Then there are the cute Jane Eyre and Jane Austen Hats. Love them.



I could totally see myself bringing all my many things to co-op in this beauty. But then it would need to be carried down the stairs...hmmm.


Here is the gorgeous white hammock!


Another great idea I am sharing is an iPod, of some sort. I have never really felt the need for one, but I get frustrated with the radio - there is so little I would like to listen to, and end up listening to talk radio, which is fine but sometimes I want a break from all that if you know what I mean....our van has a dvd player and you can plug in game systems too. The girls discovered that we have the cords that allow them to plug their ipods right into the sound system! So now I think it would be awesome to have one so that when I want to listen to music of my choice, or even a sermon I could just plug my ol' ipod in and enjoy!
Hope this is helpful girls, and Kyle and Tim. Oh, and Mom and Dad! But really anything you get me is fine...really. Seriously. Love you.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blog Hopping

Do you ever do this?

Usually I am reading a favorite blog, minding my own business, and I happen to take a look at the blog list on their blog. Something will catch my eye and before you know it I have spent a year - well, not that long really - reading the new blog and looking at photos.

I have found some of the most encouraging blogs that way. Regular people who don't have 100's of comments everyday, sharing their hearts and lives.

Today while checking out The Inspired Room I found a new to me blogger Teresa from "whatever." She has a warm and welcoming home, and even though our homes are quite different from each other there are great ideas to be had.

I must show you a photo of her kitchen. I love this kitchen. Love it. Even though I believe I would need to stand on a stool to get plates off the plate rack. I would totally do it!

Are you ready?

Here it is!




You may not love it but I do...the color is very similar to mine and I love the white cabinets, especially the one that looks like a hutch. Just lovely.

So tell me - what blog friends have you found because you were blog hopping?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Modesty and Femininity

This is a subject that I usually stay away from here on my blog. The reason is that it is controversial and can lead to a lot of unkindness, which I am not a fan of.

I have been pondering this subject for many years, asking the Lord to show me how to be modest, ladylike and feminine. He has helped me a lot, and while we have come to wear more skirts and dresses in everyday life, we aren't a dresses only family.

The key word for us is feminine. I want my girls to be lady like and not look like a boy wearing pink colored clothes! Sometimes the work we do around here on our property is more easily accomplished in pants. Also for riding horseback...although I found a pattern for a split skirt for riding that is cute!

I decided to write about this subject today, because this summer my daughter was told that basically there was "modest" and then there was "too modest" and we (gasp) fell into the "too modest" category. We have also heard accusations of being "legalistic" because we hold to certain standards (we require our girls to where dresses or skirts to church on Sundays). Mind you, we have never said to anyone that they should dress a certain way.

I found a blog through a link from my blogging friend Kelly - The Barefoot Mama. It is to a blog by a sweet missionary gal who is a mother of 5. They are missionaries in Indonesia with Mission Aviation Fellowship. Her name is Joy and her blog is called "The Stay-at-Home Missionary." In reading her blog I found some encouraging posts about Modesty and Femininity some of which come from being a missionary in a country that largely Muslim.

This particular post with an audio message from Voddie Baucham and some terrific links was very encouraging to me today. Go here for that post.

A big part of the encouragement for me today was Voddie's point about inward modesty - having a quiet and gentle spirit. So good!

I know for myself that my whole mindset about my work as a wife and mother is impacted by how I feel about myself. How I dress myself says a lot about me and my point of view. If I choose to put a cute outfit on and look feminine it makes me feel attractive and sets the tone for my day.

I also want to have a humble spirit and honor God with my life. I want to live for Him. And just as I don't want my clothes to be a distraction to others, I don't want my "self" to draw attention away from the Lord either.

I think a common misconception about wearing dresses is that it is only for special occasions. My friend has a story about a relative staying at her home, who was sure she must be going somewhere special because she came downstairs dressed for the day in a regular everyday knit dress. You know the comfy, casual kind! The relative was so uncomfortable that she had a dress on, that the relative made her feel uncomfortable and would have changed clothing except she hadn't done laundry for a few days and didn't really have anything else to wear.

I have known women who own no dresses, and a few who had never worn dresses. I might even have gone that route except for a gal named Diana Spencer who became engaged to the Prince of Wales the year I graduated from high school. She wore such cute things - blouses with cute skirts, great shoes, hats. Her early clothing was distinctly feminine. That did it for me! I loved her clothing. It encouraged me to be feminine.

Here are some paintings from www.allposters.com that show women in real life work and yet there is a feminine air about them.

Look how cute the ruffles are on the bottom of that work skirt! This gal is working out in the fields.
This is a gal working in a garden.
This painting is called "The Reapers."


This one is called "Woman Reading" - which is what I am going to go do while my little ones have quiet resting time.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I am interested in some discussion, if it can be done kindly and not in an attacking manner.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's Been Raining...

www.allposters.com

and raining, and raining. Sigh.

I know that many of you in Texas are so pleased with your rain, and I know our rain is necessary too....

Our barn has come to a stand still, work-wise. My husband is working all this weekend but hopefully this next week will be nice and after work the girls and I can help him get some more trusses up!

Today we worked in the house. The little girls room tends toward clutter mania so we cleared it out, moved the bed around to a new location, which then meant that their desks got moved too. It is a tiny room, but workable. Oh, and remember how I mentioned that the little girls wanted a canopy too, after Lindsay and Emily made them for their beds? We managed to do that today too! They are very happy!

I will get Lindsay to get some pictures and I will post them. I think I will need to do a post of all the photos I have promised to show you!

We have a church picnic tomorrow and the weather is supposed to be fine. I hope so. We are unexpectedly doing some work for it, water balloons and such.

Dinner is in the oven - ham- and there are potatoes on the stove. I will scallop them and add cheese. Yummy! Oh, and we are working on an English apple pie for dessert.

Tonight we will have a movie, perhaps, and then early to bed for Tim.

I trust your weekend is full of lovely memories and sweet time together as a family.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In Memorium


Those of us who lived through that day will never forget...we must not forget.

The fear of 20,000 people or more would be lost at the World Trade Center - the attack on the Pentagon, the flight crashing into the the farm field in Pennsylvania....

An ideology, a religion that believes that all "infidels" must be killed was behind the attack. We have been fighting ever since.

The weather today couldn't be more different than it was that beautiful early September day...we feared our lives as we knew them would never be the same. Now today we are again at risk from an ideology that would fundamentally change our nation.

We must remember and fight to keep our nation free.

As President Bush said....

We will never tire

We will never falter

We will never fail

May it be so......

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Is Your Decorating Style?

Melissa from The Inspired Room shared a fun design quiz link today. It is from HomeGoods.


I did the quiz and found out -

Deanna, you are a COUNTRY CLASSIC

You have a naturally refined sensibility with an appreciation for tradition and history. You value beauty, craftsmanship, and family heirlooms, but you like to open things up with pretty, easy-going pieces like painted wood or distressed furniture, lovely florals and other patterns, and bunches of fresh flowers that give your home a breezy, relaxed feeling. You love unique finds, have a thrifty, creative side, and can make these things work together.

You value comfort. Your home is a warm and open friendly place, and you feel happiest when everyone is cared for and relaxed in your space. Elements like pillows, throws, overstuffed furniture, and good lighting set the mood. You may also enjoy layering different fabrics or mixing patterns to create a cozy effect.

I think this is pretty accurate for me. My style has changed from my youth when I loved the Victorian look. After I married I wanted our home to be comfortable for both my husband and I, and for us it meant no frou-frou!

I used to equate the country look with geese, country blue and mauve colors and gobs of baskets hanging off the ceiling! The country look I like has come from loving the look of English Country homes. The houses are pretty, comfortable and warm. They are lived in. They have "hand me down furniture" and new things side by side.

Here are some photos from my home.

This is the girls bathroom. We used colors from Pottery Barn for Kids as inspiration.

This is the main bathroom - the one that is used by our company. I love the bold, red color.
This is my kitchen as seen from the living room. The wall color is "Palace Chambers Yellow" a Williamsburg paint color, by Martin Senour.

The chairs in this room and one of the couches are hand me downs or finds by the road. The computer hutch is a hand me down as well. The beautiful china hutch I inherited from my great grandmother.


This classic country look at my home is born from having no budget for decorating. I am thankful for friends and family who have passed furniture off to us. I also am not above stopping alongside the road to check out cast off furniture! I am always thinking of ways to make our home and furniture work for us! Rearranging, organizing, mixing things up. We practice hospitality in a huge way here at our home, so we like it to be comfortable, warm and usable. To me there is nothing worse than a guest who is worried about touching anything.


Take the quiz and let me know what your style is!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Barn Update


Tim took a few days off from work last week. He and my dad started working on the barn. The barn is 12'x32' . There are two 10x12 stalls and a 12x12 storage area for hay and grain. So it isn't a huge barn but just what we need!

They started off by using a post hole digger to dig 16 holes.



They used a premixed concrete so all they had to do was pour in the concrete, add water and mix! My dad said that he realized that he can't shoulder 80 pounds of concrete - he can still lift and carry it in his arms, though! Not bad for a 70 year old grandpa!
I was so delighted to see all the kids helping out when they could. The girls worked the first few days of the project and Lindsay also worked Saturday.


There was much climbing on the structure.


Even the little girls worked...yesterday they took nails out of 30 trusses that Tim was able to purchase at a salvage place.


Emily worked the saw - she did most of the cutting of the 2x4's.

Here you and see two of the trusses up. Leaning against the side are the trusses. The purchased trusses were too small, so they used two trusses to make each bigger truss. Lindsay and Emily worked with Tim and Grandpa to "build" the trusses.
When Tim gets home from work, more trusses will be going up...

What did I do while all this was going on? I was cooking, cleaning, providing coffee or cold drinks as needed. I also took one afternoon to go over to our church and clean the carpet. That was a job.

Sunday after church we went to a nearby park with a sweet family from church. They have 4 little ones 5 years and younger and we are enjoying getting to know them. Then we came home and had some other friends of ours over for the afternoon and evening. We also had the opportunity to share our horses with a young woman who has special needs. The family has been attending our church and this young lady does therapeutic riding. They came by to see the horses and she ended up riding for a bit. We have always wanted to use the horses to bless others!

That's the progress so far....How was your weekend?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Barn Begins


I am listening to the sound of men's voices outside. Deep, rumbly sounds. Often the sound of a laugh or two floats through the windows....

My dad and Tim are beginning the horse barn and shed today!

I fixed them a hearty breakfast of scrambled egg with bacon, toast w/organic jams and freshly canned local peaches. Oh and of course coffee for dad and peach juice for Tim!

The little ones are having a learning day - being the helpers and gofers. I am keeping the home front moving right along and later will be going over to our church to clean the carpet in the fellowship room.

The barn when finished will have two stalls and the shed area which will house hay, horse tack, and things like our mower. We are so looking forward to being able to put the horses in the stalls when bad weather comes. Right now they use a run in. The barn will add value to our property and if we ever decide to sell this place, having a 2 acre fenced pasture and barn will be of interest to horse owners.

I will attempt to keep you updated - 'cause I know your just dying to follow along! - with photos.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Welcome, Autumn!


There is a hint of it in the air this week. The coolness of the mornings and evenings, the warmth of the day without the blazing heat and humidity. Here in Central Pennsylvania, we know that it is as likely to be hot and humid again next week, as it is to be cool. But the signal has been given.

Soon we will see the beginnings of the early turning trees start to lose their chlorophyll and we will begin to see the true colors of the leaves. Such amazing beauty.

I love the autumn. I love the way the light looks, softer and more golden. I love the colors and the smell of burning leaves. I love seeing beautiful mums of all colors, and delight in carving pumpkins into beautiful luminaries to shine out in the early darkness that comes this season.

One of my favorite bloggers, Melissa of The Inspired Room, is once again hosting a Fall Nesting Party! She made a list last year of "20 little things to love about fall."

Here is my list of things I love.

1. The trees changing colors.
2. The blue of the sky in Autumn, and giant white puffy clouds in it.
3. Pumpkins carved into pretty luminaries.
4. Wearing sweaters.
5. Lighting candles more for a warm ambiance in my home.
6. The scent of mulled cider.
7. Drinking mulled cider!
8. Pumpkin roll and pumpkin bread.
9. Colorful mums in the garden.
10. Flannel sheets!
11. Falling leaves.
12. Short days.
13. Feeling cozy in the house.
14. Lights in the windows.
15. Eating more soups and stews.
17. Making beeswax candles.
18. Hiking in the woods.
19. Taking a Fall foliage drive.
20. My birthday!

I suppose I could go on and on.

I love to change the look of the house inside when autumn comes. We put on the flannel sheets, we bring out the down throw blankets, and other soft, warm throws. I use soft lighting in our home. We drink hot chocolate while reading good books. We drink apple cider both cold and warm! I delight in making my home a haven at all times for my family and friends to come to and feel loved and welcome.

Do you love the autumn? If so what things do you love about it?