"Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”
~ Jani Ortlund

Friday, September 30, 2011

Today Is The Fair

These photos are from the gaming show they did in July.  The show for September was cancelled because of a rainy week that brought over 5 inches of rain.

Today will be in a different location.  This year will be the first year that we are there for the whole day.  Rachel and Lindsays' student Abigail's events are during the day, and Lindsay's events will be this evening.  It makes for a very long day but a fun one.

The weather this year is much cooler - the last two years we roasted!  Today I will be bringing a few blankets to sit on and use to cover up this evening - it will be in the 40's tonight.  We will be drinking hot chocolate, and wearing our jackets.

The girls are so excited and Kyle is even doing an event this morning - open lead line with Rachel leading him around the arena!  

Fun times.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wren Bay






Have you read this book yet?  It is written by Clarice Fox-Hughes and is based on the things her blog is about - the delight of caring for your home and family.

If you love home making you will love this book.  It is a sweet story of a young woman named Wren new bride to Devlin Bay.  He brings her to his childhood home, Bay Farm, before he must head out to the war.  Wren learns to make his home her home, while dealing with her loneliness with Devlin being away.  Wren has grown up in the city and now lives in the country, she wants to learn to be the helper that Dev will need her to be, so she learns to conquer her fears, and in doing so makes friends with the caretaker's family.

This book is full of the delight of walking alongside Wren as she makes the house more her style, makes gifts for holidays, cooks, learns to milk a cow...

I enjoyed this book very much and am eagerly waiting for the next book about Wren Bay. 

You can find Clarice at her blog Storybook Woods and you can purchase her book here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kyle Recites Psalm One




The kids memorized Psalm One earlier this month. I like them to review it regularly and so yesterday I recorded him reciting....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun Week Ahead

This week is full of fun stuff.

Today, the kids have are going to be participating in making a commercial for a local corn maze.

                                                                                                www.images.google.com

Lindsay has new riding students this afternoon.  She has had a good summer with lessons  for 5 students and now is adding two more students.  If the weather holds, she will be able to give lessons for nearly 2 more months before it gets too cold to ride.  

Wednesday begins our local agricultural fair.  We usually go several times. This year the girls want to go on to see the students showing their cows, sheep and pigs.  For those of you who live in the 'big city' like I did growing up, this is actually a lot of fun and very interesting as well as educational.  We will be spending time there all day on Friday due to the equine events.  Rachel will be competing during the day in the youth events and Lindsay will be competing in the evening.  One of Lindsay's students is going to be competing along with Rachel.  
The weather has been hot the last few years at the fair, but it looks like it is going to be cool this year, and rainy.  So I am going to pray the the cool weather stays, but I'm going to pray for the rain to go away.  


Sunday, right after church, we are headed to New England!  I am sooo excited!  On Monday, which is my birthday, we will be in Maine...I have wanted to see Maine and the coastline there for many years.  Tim and my Dad and our friend Denny are planning on overdosing on seafood!  We will be meeting up with a blogging friend, Vee and her husband, John!  We still have to work out the details as to where.  

The rest of our trip will find us in the White Mountains in NH, exploring the beauty of Lake Champlain, and into New York.  I will try to blog in the evenings but I make no guarantees!  

Meanwhile we have to get through this week.  Yesterday, as I was taking my son home, we heard and thumping type noise under the hood of the van.  We pulled over just down the road from my parents house and found that the serpentine belt was shredding.  There was a lot on it yet and we decided to get to my parents house to deal with it.  We barely made it up their steep driveway but we did!  We opened up the hood, the belt was really shredded!  We started to talk about what places would still be open on a Sunday afternoon.  Nate called his friend who is a mechanic at Pep Boys.  Nate talked to the parts department found out what we needed, my Dad drove us over to get it.  

You maybe wondering where Tim was in all this?  Well, he had taken all the other kids, besides Lindsay who was with us in the van, hiking along with another family from church.  I couldn't reach them by phone, so I sent a text to Emily, and Tim called just as we reached the store!

He and the kids came out to my parents, got the belt on in about 20 minutes or so, and we had a nice visit with my parents!

Whew!  I am so thankful that this happened before our trip, and that it happened so close to my parents house!  I am also thankful for my son Nate who stepped in and took care of the details!  I didn't have to do a thing!

What a start to a busy week!

 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Autumn, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways...

1. The cooler, crisp chill in the air.

2. The golden light in the late afternoon.

3. Leaves changing color.

4. Cozy throw blankets for evening.

5. Flannel sheets!

6. Open windows.

7. Campfires.

8. Soy candles. 

9. Hot tea in the evening.

10. Knitting.



11. Fall foliage trips.

12. My birthday.

13. Cold apple cider.

14. Hot mulled cider.

15. Wearing sweaters.

16. Warm socks.

17. Shorter days.

18. Pumpkins carved into fun luminaries!

19. Oil lamps.

20. Colorful Mums in the garden.


What about you?  What are the things you love about Autumn?

All the photos in this page are from my Pinterest Autumn board. Let me know if you want an invite.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome, Autumn...

Isn't this pumpkin cute?  Emily and I did them a few years ago.  We just used a cookie cutter to make the indentation on the pumpkins and then used knives to cut out the stars...

Today it is pouring rain.  I had to go out for my big grocery run, had an issue with needing to add power steering fluid while holding an umbrella so as to avoid the drowned rat look since I still needed to go to Costco.  I tried to get online last night and this morning but we were having internet issues, so this is my first chance to get online.  Let me just be real and say that this was a hard day, but in the grand scheme of things not anything really difficult.  Just annoyances.


It has been looking Autumnish for the last several weeks.  The light is different at this time of year, a few leaves are turning, several plants in the garden have leaves that change....


We are taking a trip to New England again this year and I can hardly wait!  I need to book one more hotel stay for our last night...
 

Tomorrow, I want to do a list of things I love about Autumn!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Busy Hands...

Rachel having grown like a weed this summer, handed most of her skirts down to Sarah and was in need of a few new ones.   I sewed two skirts yesterday.  This one is light aqua baby cord in a fun pattern..


 The color in the flower looks black but is actually brown.  It is very cute.  She can wear it with her dark aqua t-shirt, white, and we want to find her a brown shirt.  This looks good with light shoes or her boots.  The colors make it work for early Autumn on into Winter.


 This is a wee infant hat for my niece's baby boy due in December.  I am getting ready to start a rag quilt for him in the cutest fabric!


 I made this blouse out of a McCall's Laura Ashley dress pattern.  I don't know if it is out of print but the number is M5039.

All I did was cut the 'skirt' to the length I wanted and did not add the side zipper!  So cute!


 I made her green skirt yesterday too - she likes bright colors and the weight of this is actually heavier than the baby cord skirt!  


This fabric is very light weight.  I found it at the PA Fabric Outlet. It is so pretty and again can wear it now in early fall.  She will still fit in it next spring.

I am hoping to finish Camden's ( my great nephew due in October) quilt in the next couple of days, get baby Butler's ( great nephew due in December) quilt started and make a skirt or two for myself!

What are your hands busy with?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teatime Tuesday, with Recipes but first a story

 We've become addicted to having a campfire in the evenings.  Last night we invited friends to come join us.  It is fun to just hang out with people you've known for a long time.  


While we were visiting by the fire the girls got the horses out to ride for a while. We had quite a scare when Liberty  bolted with Emily on her back - Emily is a very good rider but she bailed off into some bushes.  After chasing her down, Lindsay and Rachel were getting the saddles off etc, when Liberty bolted again and ended up across a busy road nearby.  She apparently went back and forth across this highway several times before she got tired and let Lindsay who was riding Sandy bareback catch her.  We are thankful that she was not hit by a vehicle!




Emily and I had a busy and fulfilling day.  She and I peeled lots of apples and made 2 quarts of sauce, and an English apple pie.  We have more apples to make sauce with as well.  I use Smokehouse apples and use very little sugar.  It is delicious!  Oh, and I also made Pumpkin Scones with maple butter! Yummy with tea! In fact all the recipes are delicious with tea!

My English Apple Pie Recipe is so easy:

4-5 apples (if using a traditional pie pan) 8-10 (for a 9x13)
cinnamon/sugar to pour onto the apples
1 stick of butter (softened)
1/2 cup of brown sugar (packed)
1 cup of flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tblsp water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (1 cup for a 9x13)


Peel apples into pan and pour the cinnamon/sugar over the apples evenly.


With a mixer cream butter and brown sugar until thoroughly mixed.  Add the flour, cinnamon, water and walnuts and mix.  Dollop the topping on the apples and back at 375 degrees on the lowest rack of your oven for 45-50 minutes.


You will love it!




Someone asked me for the recipe for Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Crunch and here it is:


From the Gooseberry Patch cookbook Autumn in the Country (page 191)

15 oz can of pumpkin
12 oz can of evaporated milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4tsp pumpkin pie spice ( I use just cinnamon as I don't like cloves)
1/2 tsp salt
1 18 1/2 oz box of yellow cake mix
1 cup of pecans ( I used walnuts)
1 cup of butter (melted)


Combine the first 6 ingredients until well blended.  Pour into a greased 9x13 baking pan.  Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Top with walnuts and drizzle evenly with butter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes until the topping is golden.  Cool completely, cut into squares.  You can garnish with whipped cream!




Pumpkin Scones with Maple Butter (from the September/October 2009 Tea Time Magazine issue)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
(I only used cinnamon, so I put 1 tsp of cinnamon in)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter 
(I used salted and left out the 1/2 tsp of butter above)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment, set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together sugar, salt, 2 1/4 cups of flour, baking powder, and spices.  Use a pastry blender or fork to cut in the butter to the flour mixture until it is thoroughly incorporated.  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 12 (2 1/4 inch) rounds.  Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool slightly and serve warm with Maple Butter.

Maple Butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup.  
In a mixing bowl cream butter and maple syrup together.

It is fantastic!

Now I am off to make a cuppa to start my day!

I am joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Teatime Tuesday,

and I am Welcoming Autumn with Kathy at A Delightsome Life!



A Delightsome Life


Monday, September 19, 2011

My Beautiful Granddaughter...

 Lindsay let me take all these photos off of her camera card.  The photos of her in the green dress were taken a few weeks ago while the weather was still warm...


 Kamryn loves to be outside.




 She loves our old dog Samantha and is gentle with her.  When we were teaching her about being gentle with same we would say to Kamryn "good girl."  Now she calls all animals "good girl!"


 Here she enjoys Auntie Lindsay's bracelet...


 and cowboy hat...

 Yesterday it was much cooler in the late afternoon when we gathered to watch the guys from church launch rockets...




Here she is with her Daddy...

So here you have it - a proud Grandma post....

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Nesting Party


Melissa is hosting us all over at her blog "The Inspired Room."





With the high for today predicted to be 67 degrees, it was time to pull out the Autumn wreath.  

The cool weather made it the perfect evening to do a fire outside...




And not to be forgotten...
 
Time to "decorate" with the Autumn color M&M's!

Have you started to decorate for the changing season?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fun With Grandpa and Grandma

Kyle got to go to his first baseball game the other night!  He was pretty excited!  The Barnstormers are our local minor league team, and Grandpa and Grandma like to go several times a season.  This time they took all three little folk.
 
My Dad said he ate his weight in food!  He is funny - sometimes he eats very little and then other times, you can't fill him up!  I do know he had a hot dog (a huge favorite of his!) and funnel cake!
 




This was Sarah's second game.  She had fun too! 
 
They really like Cylo the team mascot...there are no photos of Cylo however. 
 



Don't know what the cause of the girls' expressions are, but it funny!  Rachel has been several times to games so she is a veteran.
 
Grandpa had a great time with his little pal...having a 6 year old grandson will keep you young!  All of my Dad's other grandsons are in their 20's and one is a Dad to two young Great Grandsons!  I know that my Dad would love to take them all to a game someday!  Wouldn't that be fun!?
 
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for taking us to the game!  We love you! 

Thanks Mom for emailing me your photos!

Pondering

 I was up early, for me, this morning.  I have a busy day ahead.  Lots of schedules to juggle and coordinate.  My thoughts have been on asking the Lord to help me to take one thing at a time and to Trust Him to make a smooth way through it all.  Isaiah 26:3 - "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."  


 I have been praying for a friend's adoption of a daughter from Bulgaria.  God has been doing amazing things.  It is hard to find out about how children live - abandoned, barely cared for.  Praying for many things, especially what our response should be.  I read this morning about street children in Brazil.  It is wrenching.  How it must break God's heart.  Again, what must my response be?


 It is easy to get focused on mundane things, or a busy day, like I have today, but what I need to focus on is "What does God have for me in this day?"  What lessons does He want to teach me?  What blessings does He want me to be aware of?  How can I respond in love in challenging situations?


 God wants us to grow in character more than he wants us to be comfortable.  I tend to grow and then like to stay there...not to continue to be stretched and challenged.  He wants to keep moving us onward and upward.  Philippians 4:13 - "I press toward the goal for the prize, of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  I want to have the same desire as Paul did, pressing on in Christ Jesus.


 I desire to see this in my children as well.  The onward growth of walking with the Lord.  I want to shield them from apathy - I want their 'doing' for the Lord to be a natural out pouring from their relationship with Him, and not instead of having a relationship with Him.


He is good.  He wants His best for us.  Instead of us asking Him to bless our efforts, we need to make sure we are doing what He wants us to do, through Him.

I am thankful that He loves me, that His mercies are new every morning. 

What are you pondering these days?