Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Learning...

 We are studying Astronomy for science this year.  Guess who is loving it?  Today while learning about Venus, he recognized a NASA photo and ran to get this fun book...


 It is a 3-D book on the planets - so he of course had to put the space shuttle 3-D glasses on too!


 Sarah and Rachel were working on doodles while I was reading history.  I find it helps them to keep their brains engaged to be busy with their hands.  Sometimes they knit.

 This is one of Sarah's pages...


 This was Rachel's...

We are using Jeannie Fulbright's "Exploring Creation with Astronomy" book.  You can find this great science book at Apologia or through Christian Book Distributors.


For history we are using Genevieve Foster's book "The World of Captain John Smith."  
 
We are learning so much about Queen Elizabeth the first, King Phillip II of Spain, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Frances Drake, Mary, Queen of Scots, the three Henry's, the wars due to religion, El Greco, and of course, Captain John Smith.

I am a huge history buff.  I believe that you learn so much about God and His working in the world as you study history.  You see the interweaving of lives, art, politics, culture.  It's a wonderful thing.

We also are memorizing Psalm 1.  We almost have it down.  I will try to get Kyle on video.  Very earnest.  Love that boy....

Right now it is time for riding lessons, Lindsay has two young sisters as students on Wednesday afternoon, and the kids are off playing with the siblings.  She already had an earlier lesson, as well.  Then my Dad will be over to ride with Lindsay this afternoon.  She is teaching him to ride.  I believe they are going on a trail ride today.

I think I am going to play with Pinterest some more...very interesting and fun!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teatime Tuesday

 As I was out and about yesterday, I stopped by T.J. Maxx to look for Yorkshire Gold tea.  They are a great source for me.


 While there I also found this tea "The London Cuppa."  This is what I am drinking today.

I am drinking it today in the tea cup that I inherited from my great aunt.  I used to visit her and my uncle while I was in Bible College in Michigan.  They were very sweet to me and always welcoming.



 When she died a few years ago, she left me this tea cup.  It is unlike any I had ever owned at the time.  I really love it.  This is inside the cup.

 Here is the name of the cup and the manufacturer...


 Florida Oranges in the morning light.  There are so many pretty and dainty details on this cup.


And the tea?  It was delightful!  A yummy blend of Assam and Kenyan.  Lovely.

Join us today at the following tea parties:

Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Teatime Tuesday,

Martha @ Martha's Favorites for Teacup Tuesday,

Terri @ Artful Affirmations for Teacup Tuesday,

Wanda Lee @ Silken Purse for Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday.

Monday, August 29, 2011

We Lost Our Power Last Night...

 just as we had started a movie.  When it was apparent that it was not going to come back on for some time, we went outside into the unusually cool weather.  Sitting on our deck we watched God's show - the day after a hurricane, with the clearest skies we have had in a long time.  A hurricane will do that for you - clear out the gunk in the air.

 These are Lindsay's photos...she took advantage of absolutely no lights in our area.  We don't have a lot of light pollution at night but the little we do have makes a huge difference.


 The Milky Way was stunning last night...
 


 I enjoyed holding my granddaughter and telling her all about God's creation and how He loves her so much.  She fell asleep in my arms.  That is pure delight.


 "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You have visited him? Psalm 8:3-4
 
 Because of the preparations we made for the storm, which we ended up not needing, we were prepared for the power outage last night.


We lit the oil lamps and a few candles, put gallon of drinking water in each bathroom for brushing teeth and washing faces.

Because of the beautiful cool weather, we were perfectly comfortable without air conditioning, and slept soundly until around 2:00 am when our power came back on.  We turned off a few lights, and went back to sleep.  

What a blessing that power outage was for us.  We are hoping that those who might be with out power still due to the storm, have minimal inconvenience.  Praying for those in Vermont with all the flooding there.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Morning After

We had a lot of heavy rain and wind over night.  I went to bed around 12:00 am and I woke up when Tim was getting ready to leave for work around 3:10 am.  Our power flickered a bit and then stayed on.  After telling him to call me and let me know he got to work safely, I went back to sleep.  I got the call right at the time he would normally get to work that all was well, he had no issues on the road.

Our church was cancelled for today - we have families that come from quite a distance and with the heavy rain, potential flooding in areas from swollen creeks, and trees and branches down - it was the right decision.  

My Dad decided to come with my mom to our house last night and stay.  He listened to his radio and his station had two small calls - one for wires down - and felt there was no need for him to make that call.  He is at their church right now - they didn't cancel and he had sound today.  He may make calls today - the first responders are going to be busy all day.  Wind and rain is sure to bring trees down, and accidents.  

We have a broken tree top, it's hanging down.  We also have one of those willows that is leaning toward wires on the side road.  We will see if it will stay up long enough for Nate and the girls to take it down carefully, or until Tim gets home.

Clean up around the area will take a few days.  Tim says that their might be opportunities to help people with cutting up trees, etc.  Also a chance perhaps to get more firewood for the winter, or at least for next year.

Praising the Lord for his care.

Enjoying this WINDY day....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today

We are in the red band "high" for threat level.  We are certain to get lots of rain - perhaps 8 inches.  We have cleared the decks so to speak - my whole deck is cleared off except the frame of the gazebo.  We also have taken the swings down, so they don't get broken if the wind is really whipping around. 
 


We are on the border of damage possible and widespread damage for wind impact.  This will be the problem for downed trees, branches and the possibility of power loss.  

My Mom and Nate are headed over to ride out the storm with us today.  My Dad is going to stay at their place or at the Fire Company - last big storm the guys just stayed at the Fire Station, they got called out so often.  If you think of it pray for my Dad's safety.  He is not a spring chicken anymore if you know what I mean, and the last hurricane that we got wind and rain from he was out in 75 mile and hour winds.  He is the guy in charge of closing roads etc, for flooding, downed trees, etc.

Tim is at work today, and has to work tomorrow.  Pray for his safety too, going to and from work and while at work.  

I am not overly concerned about this storm.  If we were in the evac areas we would be gone.  We are not "ride out the storm no matter what" kind of people.  We are west enough to not be in any danger to our lives.  We may lose trees, and power, perhaps the barn could have some damage due to a downed tree.  We may be inconvenienced but we will be fine.

Are you impacted by this storm? A blogging friend Kathy has an incredible story of when she lived through Hurricane Hugo over 20 years ago!  It is an amazing testimony.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Do You Live In A Museum?

I love to make my home a delightful place for our family and friends to gather.  I guess I have talked about that quite a bit.  But a post on Rebecca's blog Life and Godliness made me think about a message I heard recently on this subject, that I had completely agreed with. 


Our homes must not become museums of beautiful collections, and things that no one can touch.  I have known of people who never used the living room.  It was only for company.  Or of people who had so many collectibles that they were uncomfortable having families over because something might get broken.


I have never been one to 'baby proof' my house.  Shocking, isn't it?  I taught my children from a young age to just not touch certain things.  That didn't mean I left an heirloom item on the coffee table, though either.  My children were taught to ask before they touched something.  It's normal for them to be curious about certain things and if they wanted to see it or hold it, I took the time to sit with them and show them.  We would talk about it and they could 'explore' with out just grabbing it. In this way, it was normal for them to go to other peoples homes with us and to not touch their things either.


We do like to have things about us that we love.  We have pretty things.  But our house is a 'hands on house'.  A place where the people who live here enjoy and a place that the friends and family who come know they are welcome.  All of them, busy hands toddlers and all.


God has given us our homes to shelter us; to give us a place of refuge from the storm - sometimes literally!  They are given to us to share with others as a way to bless them, and ourselves.  If our 'treasures' mean more to us than relationships, than something is wrong.


Tim and I chose many years ago that we would always choose "People over things."  This is a motto in our family life.  Sometimes it is inconvenient, but it is always right.  


The Lord was involved with people during His entire ministry.  He cared about them, ate with them, had friendships.  He wept with them. We are to follow His example.


Living in a museum might suit some folk, but for me I would rather enjoy a bright eyed three year old's joy over drinking tea from a real teacup, enjoy the older kids playing games at the table, piling on the chairs and couches to watch a movie all together. 


My house may not be a museum, but it fits us just right!



Romans 12:13 - Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality

1 Peter 1:4 - Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

1 Timothy 5:10 - well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Preparing

This baby is headed up the Eastern Seaboard.  We might only get rain from the outer bands, but we might possibly get much stronger winds and rain.


I am planning to take the fabric cover off of the gazebo on my deck and actually pretty much clear the deck of the table, chairs, plants, potting things.


We have some shallow rooted willow trees along our creek.  A previous owner cut these trees down years ago but never took care of the stumps.  Out of these stumps grew four to five trees each...too much rain - we lose one - too much wind, we lose one, so we anticipate losing a tree or two with this storm.  There are no trees that could damage the house, but we need to check the trees near the barn.  


Tim is supposed to work this weekend, so we are keeping an eye on the track of this storm.  His work stays open in all kinds of weather and we are wondering what the storm would have to be like for them to close.  I'd like to have him here with us if the storm is bad.


Another consideration is the animals.  We only have to think of the horses and dogs.  The dogs are easy - they will be in their kennels in the shop.  We will have to take them out to 'go' though, so that may be interesting, depending on how long the storm lasts.  The horses have the barn and the way we have it set up they can go in and out of the stalls as they wish.  The trick may be feeding time - though they have lots of grazing available to them 24/7.


We have food, water, lanterns, oil lamps, candles, books, and games here at all times.  We also have laptops that can play movies while the batteries are charged, so we are good.


We don't know what will happen electricity wise, but we are as prepared as we can be.  


I am going out to do my regular shopping for groceries, hopefully a day ahead of the crowds.  The family is scattered hither and yon today.  Busy as always.


Lindsay is doing an Autumn product photo shoot today for our friend Denny's online store.  It is up in a limited way - you can check it out here.  He carries really nice products.  Rachel is with her as an assistant.  Emily is working today, too.  Kyle and Sarah are going to hang out with Grandpa while I shop.


Friends are coming to have dinner with us this evening.  We are looking forward to it.


For those of you who are going to be impacted by this storm what are you doing to prepare? Are you in an area that is going to have to evacuate?  


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Pottery, an Earthquake, and Sweet Babies

 We have a tourist town about 30 minutes from our home that has a lot of great shoppes.  There is also a "village" of shoppes that has everything from Amish Buggy rides to a Tin Shop, a fudge shop and a jam and jelly kitchen.  Double yum!  Tucked in beside the fudge shop is an open air shop that sells pottery.  It has become a favorite of ours.


 It is hard to read the colors, my camera is not great, but this one is a deep green blue.


 This one is smaller than the first one.  A great size for the kids or adults who don't want to drink half the coffee pot in one sitting! 


 Tim picked this one.  His reason?  "I can dribble coffee down the side and who will know?"  Real reason?  He likes usual patterns.


 This one is so pretty - the blue is amazing in person.  


 This one has much more muted colors and more of a mat finish than the others.  This is a favorite mug of one of our regular guests!


The potter's name is Garnett.  

Do you have any special pottery you collect?  We use ours everyday.  Yesterday we had my parents, my son, and our friend Denny here for dinner. These mugs got a work out with coffee and cold drinks, too.  

Oh, and we had an earthquake yesterday.  Having grown up in Southern California, I am used to it, but it is so unusual here on the East Coast.  My family in California have been laughing at the media response to the earthquake here.  My mom and I went shopping afterward.  We bought yarn for a few projects for some sweet babies that are going to be born in the next several months.  Two of my nieces are having babies!  Both boys.  I found really cute yarn for some wee boy hats, oh, and a big brother knit hat as well.  Even though they all live in California, one baby boy Camden is coming in October and the other is due in December so they will need nice knit hats for their wee heads!


I will show you those projects soon!  I need to run, I have to take a daughter to work soon, and then this afternoon my younger girls are going to a tye dye party!  They are only a little bit excited!


Have a wonderful day!

Linking to Trish at Lily-Rose Cottage for L.A.C.E.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teatime Tuesday

 Sitting on my kitchen counter, a remnant from last evening.  We read two chapters of "Little Town On The Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and then had family worship.  We like Tim being back on day shift!


 The day had been a perfect weather day - blue sky, big white puffy clouds, sunshine and mid 70 degree weather!  The evening cool I decided, of course that a cuppa was needed and Sarah, Lindsay and Kyle joined me.  I love these evenings together, and more so because having us all home at the same time is getting rarer!

Oh, also a tea tragedy happened last week -


My Old Country Roses creamer fell off the counter into the sink....I am sad.  This was part of a set that my husband bought me for an anniversary gift a few years ago.  Does anyone know if there is a way to repair it so that it is usable?

I am once again, joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Teatime Tuesday, Kathy at A Delightsome Life for A Return To Loveliness, Martha at Martha's Favorites for Teacup Tuesday, Terri at Artful Affirmations for Teacup Tuesday. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Little Lottie

Joining the Barn Hop at Homestead Revival....


Our chicken has been gone for a week.  We aren't sure if she, tired of waiting for us to bring more chicken friends for her, went off to join the neighbors.  I guess we should go over and ask if a cute, one eyed chicken who doesn't lay anymore has joined their flock.  There is no sign of an attack on her coop - no feathers etc...she is just gone.

She was really more of a pet, once her sister Lola died and Lottie stopped laying.  We liked her.  I miss her.

So now instead of just talking about it, we need to be proactive and get more chickens.  We are going to buy pullets - just weeks away from laying.  We also now have to get organized - we want these chickens to free range but within limits.  Also our coop is on the small side and is moveable so we are planning on putting them in the horse pasture while the weather is good, use some fencing that is easy to move along with the coop and and move them around every few days.  

During the winter we will put the coop in my garden behind the house under our bedroom windows.  It will make it easier to monitor them and to collect eggs once the snow starts.

Now to get busy and do it.  We miss the fresh eggs, we like knowing where our food is coming from.  Do you have chickens?  What have you found are the benefits of having your own chickens?

Friday, August 19, 2011

This and That

 My days have been rolling along here at the cottage I have been knitting and have done some sewing...This hat is for Lindsay.  She picked the yarn out and asked if I would knit her a new hat.  We really liked the combination of colors in the variegated yarn...such pretty pinks, moss green, a deeper burgundy.  


 I am getting to be a braver knitter - doing things without a pattern...this is one that I just winged - having the basic idea and knitting away at it.


 She is going to look adorable in it! 


 My mom and I spent the afternoon together yesterday - shopping a favorite craft/country store, having lunch, and then going to a huge Re-Uzit store.  I scored some great things at both places.  This three bucket planter has a handle and is going to either house some herbs on my deck or hold candy in the fall on my dining room table.  I am going to age it a bit first though - it is a tad shiny!  Last year, I had fun buying the autumn color m&m's and using them in canning jars for part of our decor.  It thought this may work in the same way!


 I also found this great gravy boat!  I don't own one, though Lindsay and Emma both have their own and we use theirs!  I loved this red and white simple pattern, and the price was right at $3.00.


 I love this candle holder!  I was looking for something for the top of Tim's bookcase that sits next to his side of the bed.  This is just right.


If you notice on my sidebar, my friend Becky has an Etsy store where she is selling her fabulous candles.  I went over to sniff some yesterday and ended up bringing 6 home!  My current favorites are Cappuccino, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Blueberry Muffin, and Apple Pie Spice...I love the way these add a layer of warmth and coziness to our home.  I have the Apple Pie Spice burning on the kitchen table these days and it smells so good!  If you love candles - check her store out - they are all soy and she uses hemp wicks.  No toxic chemicals burning in your home!  She is experimenting with making soy wax tarts to burn in the electric burners....They are going to be great!

 

 Tim has been helping my dad to replace a shower in their downstairs bathroom.  This was a big job, but they are taking the time to do it right.  A bit more work tomorrow and it should be finished. 
Rachel picked out the yarn above for a new knit hat as well.  It is a wonderful color for her.  I am going to do a knit row then a purl row so that the bottom rolls up instead of folding up.  I think it will be cute.

I am going to do some baking this afternoon, bread, baked oatmeal for breakfast, some cookies....It takes a lot to keep this crew feed!  The afternoon is my own - Tim is at work, so are Lindsay and Emily, school is done, so I am at my leisure.  One thing that I will definitely be doing is reading my new issue of Victoria magazine.  This is the British issue....I love it!

Have a happy weekend!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Picnic Supper

 I made blt's for supper - our main meal of taco salad was eaten at lunchtime with Tim.  We also had strawberries, thanks to Kayleigh, and a couple of homemade chocolate chip cookies, thanks to Rachel.
Sarah was really wanting to have a picnic out in the front yard in the shade of the maple trees.  Rachel and I joined her.


 The weather was perfect!


 So was the light...soft, warm...Autumn is on its way.


 Happy girl...



 This little goofy guy - he was listening to Jonathan Park...


 Then out came the bikes...




After this we had showers and read many chapters of our Little House book "The Long Winter."  We will finish it tomorrow.

Thank you all for your prayers for my friend Susanna.  God knows what is needed.

Have a lovely day!