Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beautiful Womanhood

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This website has undergone an update recently. It is a site full of encouragement for Christian women. I hope you will go and check it out. The link is here.

Here is a link to a good article on Hospitality.

Here is a great article called "Quit Work To Help Your Husband." Here is a snippet from the article...

A LAF reader shared a link to a story about Michelle Obama quitting her high-paying job to support her husband’s run for the presidency and to serve as stay-at-home First Lady. While we’re definitely not fans of the Obama administration and its liberal, socialist policies, this article shines the spotlight on something very important: the notion that a wife is invaluable to her husband’s success and that an intelligent, savvy helpmate really does play an irreplaceable role in the family. Here’s a sampling from the original piece:

It’s not what Germaine Greer and her ilk had in mind for this generation of highly educated, successful, independent women. But it’s a lifestyle choice at the heart of a new theory expounded in Megan Basham’s book, Beside Every Successful Man. The title is not just a trite twist on the familiar concept behind every successful man; it has much greater meaning than that. Basham argues that by using all your talents, skills, education and qualifications, you can make your husband’s career a stellar success, and your family life spectacularly happy. We’re talking an equal professional partnership, where the woman gets the best of both worlds — enjoying using her honed professional skills to enhance her husband’s career, but at the same time having the freedom and pleasure of spending more time with her children.

I realise Basham’s theory feels like taking a cheese grater to the most precious principles of feminism — independence, autonomy, equality, self-development, career. But let’s face it, whose life-work balance would you rather have: Michelle Obama, constantly extolling the joys of being in a strong partnership with a man doing something important, even as she enjoys her children; or Cherie Booth QC, the hard-done-by career woman famously complaining about the hardships of juggling family and career? Basham, an American author, dyed-in-the-wool feminist and successful career woman earning significantly more than her husband, explains it this way. ‘What my friends had in common is that they left school planning to spend most of their adult years working in their chosen fields, and expecting always to derive a lot of satisfaction from their careers.

‘Several years ago, I started to notice that among many of us, as other areas of our lives expanded, the enjoyment we derived from our jobs began to shrink. Work began to seem more like an intrusion on our real lives than a vital part of it.’ She and her successful career girlfriends wanted to spend more time enjoying being mothers and wives. But there was a financial imperative as they were all fully paid-up members of the two-income economy.

‘We realised we had to start looking at our dilemma from a new angle, and to start seeing our marriages as our own little business enterprises and our husbands as partners in that enterprise.’ As so often happens, Basham says a book changed her life — in her case, David McCullough’s biography of America’s second President, John Adams. ‘While everyone else was caught up by the relationship between Adams and Jefferson and Washington, I was fascinated by the relationship between Adams and his wife. He relied on her in almost every aspect of his work — and in the midst of the goal-setting and strategic planning they wrote each other intimate, teasing and tender love letters that revealed the sweet partnership they had in all things.’


I encourage you to go to the website and finish this article. It is excellent!

Scenes From Monday

For some reason, blogger did not want to post these photos, I tried several times on Monday and several times today. But finally they posted!

Now you may wonder why I tried so hard to get these to post, and the answer is I wanted to show you what we have been doing.

Rachel and Sarah have been listening to Jonathan Park for science this year. These are stories of two families who work together to run a creation science museum and travel the world having adventures. In each story is so much science information. The love to listen to these, and have learned so much! We purchase them as mp3 downloads from www.bluebehemoth.com . Then on the Jonathan Park website we downloaded the free study guides. Rachel has been working on hers for her portfolio. Emily has been working on a special art project for our granddaughter who is still in the womb. This is a beautiful Fraktur.

My friend Kelly came with her family, and finished her skirt. Maybe she will show a photo on her blog.

The kids played chess for hours and hours!

Oh, and there was lots of Lego building going on. Tim and Kelly's husband Duane went over to our church and did some work on a kitchen cabinet, sink and counter they are building. They came home happy that it is ready to be used on Easter Sunday, which will be great as we are having a brunch after a "Sunrise Service" at a local park.

Today as I have been writing this post I had a call from Kelly who let me know that their foster son, had been sick over night and the doctor was putting him in the hospital for a few days due to dehydration concerns. I know she would appreciate you praying for him and for their family.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Books


Isn't this a pretty bookcase? I love the covers on old books - they made them so pretty, with gold printing and rich beautiful colors. We have a 1800's copy of 'Pilgrim's Progress' that has a beautiful royal blue cover.

We have very few books with these kinds of covers, most of our books are paperback, because they are more affordable. We buy a lot of books as we are all avid readers.

My sister in law Paula over at Gathering of Friends has been reading a series of non fiction books by Niall Williams and Christine Breen about their life in Ireland.


Paula has talked about these books for a few months now, and I am intrigued so I got on our county library system website and found two of the books, and reserved them. However they did not have the first book so I got on Amazon and ordered it. It cost me 1 penny plus $3.99 for shipping. Oh, I just realized I should have ordered it through your widget Brenda! Sorry! I will try to remember for next time!

I am looking forward to reading this series, and I will review them here for you. I like to read fiction, non fiction, doctrine, history. I don't read tons of secular fiction as I don't want to read s*x scenes or a lot of profanity.

I have started rereading 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen, as I am going to be teaching a literature class on this book in the Fall. This is one of my favorites of Jane's, my other favorite being 'Pride and Prejudice.'

What authors do you like to read? Is there a series you love? Brenda at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me has been talking about an author named D.E. Stevenson. Her books sound like a good read as well. Do you read non fiction? What kinds of things do you read?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Outdoor Work

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I took no pictures today due to working my rear off! (oh, if only it were so easy!) However, we got a lot accomplished on this beautiful sunny and chilly day.

Tim and the little folk went to the farm were we get hay and picked up a load, for which the horses were so happy! Sandy poked her head out of the her stall door and supervised Tim and Lindsay loading it into the barn! She also kept getting little bites of hay as the bales went by!

Then Tim and Emily did some burning at our neighbors place. I don't know if you remember a few weeks back Tim took a some trees down here at our property and took a tree down for our neighbor. Today was the day to burn a lot of the branches that cannot be used for firewood.

Lindsay, the littles, and I weeded our front flower beds, and got it ready to move some plants out. Rachel, Sarah and Kyle did a fantastic job helping and it was so fun to work together!

Tim helped me (he did most of the work) move several of my plants from the front flower beds to the area where we had taken some trees out. This area borders our neighbors property and I think it is going to look so pretty now, instead of over grown with wild grapevines and other stuff. We moved small white iris, purple iris, a daisy mum that blooms in late summer, tall golden yellow flowers that I don't know the name of....I am also going to plant some cosmos there.

The girls handled another burn pile in our pasture...Nate and his girlfriend Kay came over to have Tim help them with something on their Blazer. They stayed for dinner - we had home made tacos! Man, they were fantastic! Yum!

Then I did some sewing this evening - I am making Rachel an Easter dress. Tim went to work for some hours this evening, taking an opportunity for overtime.

I am now ready to sleep....Good night and sweet dreams!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Seeds

They don't look like much right now, but I have to say we are pretty excited....

Are seeds are leaning toward the light....we have broccoli planted, kinds of lettuce, and 4 kinds of tomatoes.

The other veggies like peppers, squash and beans will go directly in the ground. Oh, and french baby carrots - those look good! What amazing veggie platters we will have around here this summer...I also hope to freeze some peppers and broccoli, and maybe can some tomato sauce too. I like trying new things in the home.

If you are interested in Lasagna gardening check out my friend Kelly's post here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beauty Around Every Corner...

We snuck away to Longwood today. Who could blame us? Blue skies, sunshine, temps in the 60's! We were traveling light today as Rachel and Sarah are at Grandma's for a few days, one of the many benefits of homeschooling.


Longwood is hosting a big Orchid Show this weekend, and let me tell you it is stunning. I am not really an orchid lover but the Conservatory is stunning.
These Forget Me Not's and Blue Poppies are beautiful together in the Orangery portion of the Conservatory. My camera does not pick up the colors correctly and it annoys me to no end.

I started to take photos of plants that I might want to add into my own gardens. That is the thing about Longwood that I love - it is full of inspiration!

These are Margarete Daisy standards and white mum hydrangea. I don't remember what the pink flowered standards are - sorry!

These gorgeous standards are made from Orchids, ferns and several other greens. In the base of the pots are small ivys. The colors are much darker and richer than my camera shows.

Aren't they lovely?

Outside, the little man ran around a path in the Children's garden...he was being a train.

Longwood has stunning vistas...the spot of orange are tulips that have bloomed. The other patches you see are all different kinds of tulips...we will be going back in a few weeks to see them all in bloom.

I wish this hadn't been shot in sepia...I didn't realize that it was set on that. I always love this view because the Conservatory rising in the background makes me think of Pemberley. I always expect to see Mr. Darcy and Lizzie strolling through the gardens...

I came home full of inspiration to make our home a place of beauty. I already weeded the area under the lilac...and I am going to make compost out of the weeds. I love nature!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Signs of Spring

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I went out for a lunch date with my husband. Have I ever mentioned how much I love and respect him? He is a wonderful husband for me...he challenges me, encourages me, loves me. He wants me to be a godly woman and helps me along my journey. I am very thankful for him.

While we were out, I noticed spring beauty everywhere! The Forsythia are blooming, daffodils are in bloom, my hyacinths are going to burst out any day now!

Spring is so cheering as it follows on the heels of winter. It made me happy today to see the signs of spring - it reminded me that I have a maker who is a creator and a faithful God! The hope of new life - that is what spring is and that is what we are promised in Christ!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sewing

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My friend Kelly is coming over on Monday to sew a skirt. We found this beautiful deep purple fabric a few months ago and then she found a pattern. Now it is time to make a skirt!

Kelly used to work in a sewing factory, so she knows how to sew, but she has never worked with a pattern. It is going to be fun!

I will try to take pictures so you can see our progress! It shouldn't take too long, but the pattern we are using is new to me, so there is that element of the unknown.

What are you all up to this week?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunday

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Tomorrow is church, and a fellowship meal afterward.

Then we will head home for an afternoon of rest, well, for most of us - Tim has to head off for work for the evening. sigh.

We are so thankful to be well. Thanks for your kind words and prayers for our family. We certainly needed it.

The kids and I spent time this afternoon at my parents...that was fun. We don't often get time to just drop in, and today we surprised them! The girls spent time helping Grandpa outside raking some leaves and twigs in the yard, filling the bird feeders. The little ones had a blast on the tire swing...Lindsay got great photos - I will force her to post them on her blog.

I hope you have a wonderful day...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Recovering - Update


The water in our creek is bounding down it's path cheerfully and briskly. Yesterday Tim and Kyle took a nap in the fresh air, on the deck. We took a thin mattress out, with blankets and pillows, and they slept for a while. Tim moved to our bed long before Kyle even woke up. He rested so well out there in the fresh air and sunshine - his head was in the shade - with the creek bubbling happily...



Tim and Rachel got sick on Wednesday night, Tim actually took off from work last night. Poor Rachel, while she didn't get the brunt of the illness, she has felt bad for days now...

We are moving gently through our days...though today there is a bit more physical work being done. Having these nice sunny days, means that the ground has been drying up and it is now time to get some things done outdoors. When Tim took down the trees in January, they were unable to get all the wood moved before it got buried under snow! Since the snow melted it has been too mushy to drive the truck or the mower with the trailer onto the grass . Today is the day...Tim is out using the chain saw getting more of the wood into a good size to move and then he, Lindsay and Emily will move the wood. Good thing the girls are the most recovered!

Yesterday we did some sewing...that doesn't require too much work. Emily now has a cool split skirt for riding. We bought this historical pattern years ago, but only started it about 2 weeks ago. It is a Butterick pattern that can be found here. Here is the photo of the pattern.


We didn't make the jacket or blouse, though that might be fun sometime. For Lindsay we made a heavy cotton skirt in aqua. Very nice, and comfy. It's nice after wearing winter skirts, to have bright cheery colors to wear.

I cut out Rachel' s Easter dress yesterday...it is a girls regency pattern in a fun spring green and she picked out material to do an overlay or perhaps a pelisse. It is a pretty sheer material with embroidery on it. I'll take photos once it is done! It is going to be pretty!

Anyway, I think I am going to sneak out today and pick up a few groceries...I won't take a long day, but we do need somethings.

I trust you all are in the peak of health...trust me you don't want this bug.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Recovering

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We were hit with an awful stomach bug Monday night. We are on the mend, but wow, it takes alot out of you, literally. :)

A few of my little ones are quite worn out still, right now Kyle is lying on a blanket with a pillow in the beautiful spring sunshine on the deck. He has no energy - while Sarah has been running around barefoot out in the yard. She even helped Tim wash the cars earlier. Rachel hasn't been as sick but it is hanging on with her.

My bedroom is the sick room - all my little ones and I yesterday, sleeping watching dvds.

One thing being sick does is that it forces you to slow down. I am thankful.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Domestic Missionary


Never underestimate the importance of a domestic missionary,
with an apron around her waist, love in her heart, and wisdom in her words. :)

These words were spoken by Brenda over at Coffee,Tea,Books and Me, in her Sunday Afternoon Tea post. What joy they brought to my heart...

Tim and I met at a Mission Bible Institute and then proceeded with the training to serve with this mission. We were headed overseas to work with tribal groups that had no written languages,who were often times quite remote. The missionaries in this mission had done marvelous work over the years, and yet a weakness with the mission was a prevailing attitude that if you weren't serving with either this particular mission or overseas that you weren't really serving God. This is my own opinion based on our experience in this mission at that time. Much has changed in 20 years!

However back then I often felt the "odd woman out." I liked to decorate my home, not expensively at all, we were students after all! But many woman had the attitude that those things were 'worldly'. I just couldn't help myself however, it was so natural to me to make my home a welcoming place - I would rearrange student furniture, hang pictures on the wall, burn potpourri...even when we went to our "jungle camp" training where we lived in a plastic house for 6 weeks. We had stuff that the training institute gathered for us to use...can I help it if I found coordinating stuff? :)

After this period I discovered Emilie Barnes and later Edith Schaffer. They taught me, as Brenda spoke about in her post, that it was ok to be creative, that in fact God had made me that way!

I read Brenda's post late tonight, well technically now last night, when I was done cleaning up after a houseful of people spent the afternoon and evening in our home. It is sometimes a daunting task...I sometimes feel like I would like to get to know people before they come to our home, but today two new families came over - along with some of our church friends. We ate chinese food and talked and got to know one another...we made coffee and tea and used real tea cups. We warmed little bodies that were cold from playing out in the backyard and falling into the creek...we shared and we loved. Today I did not wrap my apron around me - but I reached out with love in my heart and hopefully wisdom on my lips. Today my home was a place of ministry, and love.

Thank you Brenda, for giving me the words, to recognize what happens here in our home on a regular basis. I'm grateful.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Planning

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We have been planning our garden...we ordered our seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, starting small with just the things we know we will eat. We also got a few things that we just think are cool...like these and these.

Tim also mentioned that a few areas where the trees were taken down would make nice spots for informal flower beds...I want to do sunflowers, hollyhocks, daisies...that kind of thing...most of it is in full sun so the flowers need to be hearty. When he cleared in the fall it also opened up the most wonderful space under two old magnificent trees - a red oak and a maple! They are huge and we want to put a seating area under them so that we will have a spot to rest when working on our gardens and if we just want to be out in the shade reading a book. Our deck is in full sun - though I do have a red umbrella for it - it is often hot in the middle of the day...I am thinking that that spot under the trees with a quart sized jar of iced tea will do really well for a hot summer day!

Also this would be a good spot for the parents of Lindsay's riding students to sit and relax while waiting...

Isn't it fun to think and plan for these kinds of things?

What are you all up to?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary Robert and Paula!


He had liked her since they were 12 years old...finally 10 years later they said "I do."

Now 27 years later they are more in love and have raised 4 children together. They have two married kids, two who are single, and one adorable grandson, who just turned one!

Happy Anniversary to my big brother and Miss Paula - May God grant you many more years together! Congratulations!






This is a photo of their whole family at Jill's wedding this past November!

In Acceptance Lieth Peace

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Didn't mean to post twice today.

I have been going through some challenges lately - I will just leave it at that for now.

I believe in a sovereign God, I believe that He allows all things for my good, to refine me and get rid of the dross...

This poem challenges me to see God's bigger plan for my life than what I can see...

In acceptance lieth peace,
O my heart be still;
Let thy restless worries cease
And accept His will.
Though this test be not thy choice,
It is His—therefore rejoice.

In His plan there cannot be
Aught to make thee sad:
If this is His choice for thee,
Take it and be glad.
Make from it some lovely thing
To the glory of thy King.

Cease from sighs and murmuring,
Sing His loving grace,
This thing means thy furthering
To a wealthy place.
From thy fears He’ll give release,
In acceptance lieth peace.

—Hannah Hurnard

4 Moms, 35 Kids



Have you heard about this fun group? They are going to be blogging on their own blogs every Thursday about "How Moms of Many Manage."

Today's topic is scheduling...each of these ladies are different from each other and it is neat to read how they run their households. They also make me feel like a slacker in the kid department - I only have 6! :) If you get a chance drop by their blogs and enjoy!

kimc blogs at Life in a Shoe

The Deputy Headmistress blogs at The Common Room

Connie blogs at Smockity Frocks

Kimberly blogs at Raising Olives

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Riding Lessons

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Lindsay got a call today from a lady looking for riding lessons for her 3 daughters. Lindsay was referred to her from the family of a current student. This is very exciting to us!

Our desire for our family is that our girls be home centered. We have been working toward the goal of having them be entrepreneurial - to have their own businesses. This would enable them to set their own schedules, be available to travel as a family and to allow them to go into marriage with a way to add income from home, if needed.

Lindsay was talking the other day about how her bank account is low and how she probably will need to go back to work at the maze. They like the maze and the people they work with, but they like to work on their own schedule. So this is an answer to prayer for her!

These three students, along with her two returning students will bring in enough to allow her to have some savings, as well as spending. She also has another potential student.

Today she was out measuring a new riding arena. It has been at the end of our house but now it will be in the pasture near the barn. This area will be worked on - there are a few trees to take out. She thinks if the weather holds she should be able to resume lessons in April.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring, Sunshine, and Celebrations

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Spring has been gently coming to visit us...we have been in the 50's for several days now and we are enjoying the sunshine and blue skies very much! I can see garden bulbs coming up and I have heard that the crocus are up at Longwood Gardens!

What joy it is to have the windows open and to go outside to play. Yesterday we hung outside for most of the day - rode bikes - oh, a certain boy is now riding without his training wheels, even though as he says "he is a little nervous." So cute and funny.

Emily's birthday fun is now in like day 6 or 7 - it having started last Wednesday with getting long layers cut into her hair, gifts giving throughout the week, family dinner out for her birthday on Saturday, a huge party on Sunday afternoon with about 60 people here, then her friends sleeping over and going shopping and to lunch yesterday. Now today she has been to PennDot to take her learner's permit test, and then to breakfast with her Dad. That is his tradition with the kids, breakfast out with him - they love it and so does he!

My post yesterday about my sweet 16 girl was my 900th post! I do want to do something to acknowledge it but still working on that...It will come to me and when it does, I will let you know!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet 16!

She is the third oldest and the fourth youngest of six kids. She was the baby of the family for 5 years. When her baby sister arrived and then the next two kids, she gladly became a big sister and second momma to them.

She has always kept us entertained with her fun sense of humor and she has great expressions! She is becoming a lovely woman. She is a great friend, she loves her family and is excited to be an auntie this summer! She is a believer, who is growing in her faith and that is our greatest joy! We are so proud of her!

But lest you think, that because of her maturity, she is only mature and sensible, I will leave you with this photo...


We love you Emily. Your life and joy as a godly young woman is a testimony to all.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Home Education

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I don't talk a lot about home educating our children, but we have done this since our oldest was 5. This year marks the 16th year of educating our children at home. Of course this only refers to the academic portion of their life as I believe that all parents are educators of their children.

I actually like to think of it in terms of discipling. We are training and raising our children in every aspect of their life and so for us educating them in their academics just seemed to flow out of that.

Through the years we have been a part of both our local home school co-op leadership as well as a county wide board serving the home educating community. This morning we are going to get to have breakfast with some of our favorite people as the current board of the county wide group share their vision for the next 20 years. I am looking forward to it, as we will be doing this home educating this for many years to come!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Laundry and Other Assorted Thoughts...

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Today Tim and I headed to check out the dryer he found on Craig's List. It turned out to be a great deal - a used Maytag Neptune that is already LP adapted! Just what we needed, and a fantastic price, too. I believe we were the only ones to inquire about it which is crazy to me. Our electricity in PA has been deregulated and it is now 50% more than last year...since we put propane in when we bought the house - in order to run our heating and air conditioning, it makes sense to find ways to use it to run other things. A few years ago we changed out two electric water heaters for one propane water heater and saw immediate savings. We have had our electric dryer for 14 years and it was used when we bought it. It has served us faithfully and dries a lot of laundry at the same time. This one is large, as well and we hope it will last a long time. The next thing we want to change is our stove. Our stove has been around for as long as the dryer, though it was new when we bought it. I grew up using a gas stove in California, where everyone uses natural gas. I never have liked cooking on an electric stove. The oven is starting to have issues, and we are hoping to find a nice gas stove soon.
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I am hoping to have a few laundry lines hung outside this summer...Tim has never liked clothes dried outside - I think because his mom always did it and for some reason everything was itchy and stiff. No one wants their clothes to feel this way, but I think it must have been from soap being left in the clothing and not getting all rinsed out or lack of good air flow to move the clothing around...but I would like to be able to hang towels and sheets and things like that...

Sunday will be busy with church and a fellowship meal. Then everyone will be coming back here for a party for Emily's 16th birthday! It is officially Monday, she shares a birthday with her Aunt Esther, and then on Tuesday she is headed to get her learner's permit for driving... She is pretty excited about it.

If I am not around for a few days it is because I am busy getting things ready for her birthday...I am just a few posts away from hitting 900 posts! Wow...so I am thinking about what to do to celebrate that here at the blog. I am sure some kind of giveaway is coming....


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Schedule Adjustments

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Does this look like me reading Little House on the Prairie? This is a painting of Mrs. Cassatt reading to her grandchildren, but I liked it!

Did I tell you that my husband is working 2nd shift these days? That has lead to a need to adjust my daily routine a bit. Now in addition to doing school during the day, we are having our main family meal in the early afternoon. We also are trying to keep up with having family devotions, which means it's in the mornings now. Also sometimes Tim likes us all to run errands with him, or sometimes just me. :)

This week looked like this - Monday we went to my parents home in the morning. Tim dug their wood pile out and brought wood into the garage storage for them. Then we went to pick up my repaired sewing machine.

Tuesday was a normal day for us with school in the morning and bowling in the afternoon - Tim was able to go with us which was fun.

Today, we spent at home. I took Emily out this afternoon to get her hair cut and to run some errands before co-op tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Tim and I will get up and out the door early to go take a look at a gas dryer that he found on Craig's List. It is already set up for propane and is a really good price. We need to drive about an hour to check it out. Then we may try to do lunch or brunch before I need to leave for co-op in the early afternoon.

All this to say, that I haven't even used my sewing machine one time yet! But I do like this schedule with my husband. We get the best of his day, and it's fun. This is his first week on this schedule and we will all get adjusted to the routine. I love being available to help him, and the kids love to ride along on errands etc...All in all it's a good thing.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sew Happy!

This sweet sewing machine has seen alot of action since we bought it several years ago. It was starting to have 'issues' making a simple project a nightmare to get a seam sewn properly...So we took it in for a check up.

She is home now, as of today in fact, and is eager to get sewing again, so Rachel and I headed to the fabric store this afternoon to get material for an Easter dress and a few yards for skirts.

The bottom fabric is a bright green that will have a sheer white eyelet overlay. It is going to be Rachel's dress. The middle fabric is going to be a skirt for Sarah and the top fabric actually has a light green background and will be a skirt for Rachel.

Add to this the skirts we were trying to make a few weeks ago, before she went to 'rehab' and this sweet machine is going to be one busy girl!

She is excited and so am I!