Showing posts from August, 2010

Sunday Morning Thoughts

This little beauty came to visit yesterday.  She has grown so much lately!  It is fun because every time we see her we can see visible change.  She smiles alot and coos...she laughs...she sometimes cries...but even that is precious isn't it?

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am a Grandmother!  A new generation has been started in our family.  I was telling her of all the fun things she will get to do at Grandma's house as she gets bigger.  
Playing with Aunties and Uncle Kyle
Riding in the wagon behind the tractor
Playing in the creek
Riding horses
picking garden produce
chasing dogs
playing doll house
riding bikes
We also pray that this sweet girl will get to come to church with us and spend Sundays will all our friends.  We pray that she will love Jesus at a young age....
Kamryn comes from a Godly heritage, not a perfect one.  Her great great great grandfather, prayed for her generations ago - he prayed everyday for his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren…

Poison Something...

Rachel, Sarah and Kyle were out in the pasture Thursday evening with Lindsay.  A few hours later Rachel said that her eyes were itchy (not uncommon with seasonal allergies) so she took her allergy medication.
She awoke around 1:30 red in the face, it was warm to the touch, and itchy.  I looked it over no rash, but a reaction to something, so I had her use some topical anti itch gel and she finally went back to sleep.  When she woke Friday morning, her face was swollen.  I couldn't believe it!  She looked so different!

I gave her liquid benadryl and waited to see what would happen.  Nothing.  Still itching and miserable and puffy!

I got an afternoon appointment for her with the doctor.  He walks in and says "poison ivy!" I mention no rash, he shows me lines on her arms that are a sign of poison plant of some sort.  She had mentioned carrying 'ferns' on Thursday evening but when we looked at photos in our book of poison sumac (she actually looked it …

Four Plants Found In The Wild

This one is Burdock.  The root is a good blood cleanser,  liver tonic and a mild diuretic.  You can use the leaves cut and layered on cuts, has anti bacterial properties.  It also is used as a digestive stimulant and blood purifier.  It is considered a very gentle and cleansing herb.  The leaves can be used on burns.

This is what the flowers look like.

You can buy the root in a tea form.

This is Purslane.  It grows everywhere around here!  It is mild to the taste and was a great addition to the wild salad we ate today!  It is the best leafy source of Omega 3, 6, 9.  It is also high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. It is surprisingly high in carbohydrates as well as protein.  It has a high iron content.  It is high in all the nutrients that prevent cataracts.  You can eat it raw in salads or saute lightly and put it into soups and stews.

I am delighted to have found out about Jewel Weed.  It grows very well here and is an antidote to poison ivy and poison s…

An Ordinary Life....

Dogs underfoot at all times - thinking they are children.  Children learning lessons, playing outside in the sunshine,  or even cooler weather.  Older ones going to their part time jobs at a local corn maze, going to help a family at church, welcoming people into our home.  All of this accomplished by the Grace of God and what He is doing in our lives.

 Riding lessons for horse loving students...she knows their hearts so well!  Making videos, for fun and for co-op purposes, driving her siblings to run errands....she is a hero to many children.

Loving relationships with Grandparents...overnights, playing wii, lots of hugs and kisses!

Last year of high school work, continuing to grow and learn.  A loyal friend, a fun sister.

Growing so fast, turning into a young lady.  A lover of babies and animals - daily checking the garden and baking up delicious treats!

A cheerful and delightful spirit!  Loving her friends and family, loving to pretend and play.  Such an imagination!
We are so blessed to …

My Garden In August

Our garden has done well in spite of the heat and the lack of rain this summer.

The Black-eyed Susan's and the Purple Cone Flowers have been the mainstay of the garden this year.  They have just bloomed and bloomed all summer.

The wee yellow finches just love our coneflowers...they sit on the seed heads and eat away...

This is feverfew, though it looks like chamomile!  This stem is laying on it's side.

The bird bath was dry but by evening the Lord sent the rain and it is full now...

I am having a brain freeze at the moment and cannot remember what this plant is!  It looks very nice planted below my Zephirine Drouhin Rose.

I have this white hibiscus in the front garden.  It grows so big, that I keep it trimmed so it is like a standard with the branches coming up and over the front walk...

Aren't they lovely blooms?

My chair has enjoyed being red this has added so much to the garden.

The Aster is beginning to bloom....a reminder that Autumn is on it's way.  With the c…


A tincture is a solution of a plant extract or chemical in alcohol.  Only one of these bottles meets the definition of a tincture.  It is the tall, dark one.  That is a black walnut tincture, it's ingredients are black walnut, comfrey root, white oak bark, glycerin and 80 proof (40%) vodka. This is good for tooth problems and for using for it's anti-fungal properties.  You put your ingredients in the bottle and then shake it well, every day for two weeks.  You then strain it and put the liquid into a smaller bottle for use.
Our instructor Rosanna, also made an Echinacea tincture.  She used the folk method for making her tincture:
1. Chop fresh plant into small pieces and stuff into a canning jar, filling it to the top.  If using a dried herb or root fill 1/2 or 3/4 full.  Dried herbs should first be ground, using a coffee grinder, food processor or blender.
2. Pour menstruum (alcohol) over herb, covering completely.
3. Stir well, so all the herb is wet. (If using fresh herbs, dump…

I Am Learning So Much...

not just about herbs and how these plants that God made at creation, for food for both mankind and animals, are healthy and healing for our bodies. 
 I am learning about sharing and community from the Plain women that attend this class.

First of all I have to say that these women are not "plain" in their looks.  Unadorned by make up or even a wedding ring, these ladies are beautiful.  They radiate good health.  They are women, who for most of them, formal education stopped at 8th grade.  They are full of useful knowledge and skills, and are interested in learning more.  One of the ladies at today's class was likely 60 years old or so...Malinda was her name.  She was spry and interested in how Rosanna (our teacher) made her tinctures.  Did she use the root or the flowers and leaves?  What proof vodka did she use and could you use another kind of liquor other than vodka?  Malinda even brought the bottle of the kind of vodka she had used to make some kind of tincture at home!…

This and That


It's time for one of those posts when you don't really have any "one" thing to say but lots of bits so here goes....

Our Mom's meeting went fantastically!  We changed up somethings, and let Moms come early to sign up the kids before the meeting started.  We started at 7:15 pm and I couldn't not believe it when I looked up and the clock said 8:15 pm and we were done!  Everyone was so thrilled!  Including me!  Of course part of my work was just beginning, talking with ladies and trying to encourage them!  We home educating Moms get discouraged sometimes or sometimes we just need to share how are kids are doing and can you believe that people just "don't get how great this homeschooling thing is?"   That is my favorite part of my 'job'.

The contractor is coming over bright and early this morning, okay, at 9:00 am to discuss changes to the plan that my parents want to make and then to start the ball rolling with our township …

Much To Do Today...

We have cousins of my husband visiting today, from Canada.  We will be taking them around a bit and to lunch before they go to see "The Psalms of David."  

Our co-op has our big Parents Meeting tonight.  This is the first meeting of the year, we start next month with classes, and takes a lot of preparation.  We are always relieved when the first meeting is done.  Aahhh.....

May God bless you richly in all your work you teach your children, work at your job, wipe a runny nose, cook meals, is all of such value...

Dawdi Haus

A dawdi (dah-dee) haus (house) is a small house built on to the main house on an Amish farm.  This is how they care for their parents.

In years past it was not unusual for grandparents to be living in the home with the family.  Think "The Walton's".  

For many years now we have talked with my parents about doing this very thing.  In fact Lindsay used to always say that they could come live on her farm when they got old.  She had it all planned out - grandma and grandpa's bedroom would overlook the pond with pretty flowers and trees all around.  Even as young children they were learning to care for others, down to what would be a pleasing view out of the window.

My parents are not 'elderly', nor are they in bad health, praise the Lord!  However, their big house and yard are getting to be quite a lot to take care of.  More and more my dad says "We'll have to have someone come do that," rather than "I'll take care of that."  

Also it is j…

About My Class....

The class I am taking on Medicinal Herbs is located at a Natural Foods Store called "Miller's Natural Foods, " in Bird-in-Hand.  This link is to a nice write up about it from PA Dutch Country Blog.
Rosanna is our teacher, she is Mennonite and there are two other Mennonite ladies, an Amish lady, an "English" lady and we Rabe women! The Amish lady and one of the Mennonite lady's had their young children with them, and other than the nursing babies who were hungry, those kids were quiet and very well behaved, for two hours.  It must be from all that practice of sitting quietly in church!
Rosanna started out by saying a key to treating your family with herbs, is to ask yourself "What is the issue."  For example, "Why does Kyle have a fever?" Then the key is to not try to mask the fever but to work with the fever to bring healing.  For every degree of temperature over normal your white blood cells speed up (I am not sure if she meant they move …

Have You Seen This Website?

The other kids always wonder why Jessica is the only one who gets to smile on Sundays.
Catalog Living
It is a funny, tongue in cheek site that pokes fun at the perfect catalog homes!  My home never looks like any of these!  They are too clean! 

Medicinal Herbs Again!


Lindsay's study of edible plants in the wild lead us all to an interest in medicinal plants.  God is so wise and wonderful the way He made nature to provide what we need.  I had the opportunity on Sunday to use common plantain to take the 'sting' out of 4 bee stings!

One of the little boys from church found a yellow jacket hive on a little used baby swing at the play gym area here at Creekside Cottage.  He got stung 4 times!  He was very brave and the plantain took the 'sting' out of them.  We did put ice on them to keep the swelling down, but apparently his hand was still swollen pretty good the next day!
This plant is probably everywhere you go and most people probably take the weed killer to it! Yikes!  It is very helpful to stop bleeding in cuts as well.
Of all things, Lindsay has to work tomorrow, so Emily will be going along with me.  Tim and I want the girls to have this knowledge for their own use one day!

Pillowcase Tutorial

I had a few email requests for more information about how to make the pillowcases, my friend Jane in Florida is going to make a Toy Story 3 one for her granddaughter!  
I take my fabric and leave it folded the way it comes off the bolt.  I usually lightly iron it, giving myself an even fold.  

Then I trim 2 inches off the selvage side of the fabric.

I like to make French Seams so I leave my fabric with the right side of the material 'out' and make a 2/8th's seam along one end and along the side of the fabric.

I then turn the fabric inside out, and iron done the seam.  I then take a 3/8th's seam.  This encloses the whole seam inside, and makes a total of a 5/8th's seam.

Here is what the seams look like finished.

You are now ready to make your fold at the opening of the pillowcase.  This time I folded 2 inches over then folded it again about 6 to 8 inches.  This is where you could trim several inches off before doing your seams, if you wish.   

I used a decorate stitch to s…