"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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Creative Kids

 My kids love to make movies...yesterday Lindsay told them they she wanted to do a short film with them!  They even passed up a trip to the library with me to do this!  Can you guess what they chose?


 Kyle as Tintin...


 Sarah was both Thompson and Thomson...she changed her mustache for each role...Rachel was the legs and feet for one of them when Lindsay filmed a walking scene...


 Movie still...Tintin and Snowy...


What do you think?  I love it and I love their creativity...they worked on it for hours!  When Lindsay gets it edited I'll make sure to show you!

Have a delightful weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kamryn and Grandma

  I had a visitor this evening while I was at my desk!  Kamryn came in to see what I was doing.


 Here she is checking out what's on my computer screen...

 Photos of her cousin Logan!  She and I both think he is cute!

Kamryn doesn't always want to take the time to sit with me, and I was so glad she did.  Last night she brought me her blankey and a book and climbed up on my lap!  I love that!

Did you see the manila envelope on my desk?  Our seed order came already!  I'll show you some of what we ordered soon!

Glow Pots

 The girls have been busy making what we call "glow pots."


 Beeswax from the natural foods store, a water balloon dipped into the melted wax...


Delightful on a winter morning...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let's Talk Herbs

www.allposters.com
When Lindsay and I placed our seed order the other evening, we made sure to order herbs this year.
Now I should qualify that to say that we have ordered some herbs in the past, cilantro and parsley, and they have grown very well for us.  In fact we were able to save seed from our cilantro!  We just love it in fresh salsa!  And we use our parsley fresh and dried in our homemade buttermilk ranch salad dressing!

But this year we longed for more and decided that we are going to do a separate section just for herbs in our garden.  We ordered lavender, basil, chamomile, a new variety of parsley and we also ordered Echinacea.  
Technically, Echinacea is a flower but it has great medicinal properties, so I wanted to grow some to use in tea or to grind up the root to use in capsules to help build up the immune system.  All the echinacea that I have grown in the past have been from commercial growers.  The ones we will grow are heirloom seeds!


 Echinacea in my garden in June 2011

I also am going to add feverfew to the herb garden, but that I will transplant from my cottage garden! 
Feverfew in my garden 2011

I have never grown Chamomile but it is a good plant for tea!  Very soothing, and relaxing. I am realizing that I will need to keep my chamomile and my feverfew planted in different sections so as to not confuse the kids...or myself!
 www.allposters.com
I have grown lavender before.  Mostly the English variety Munstead.  I am not sure what the heirloom variety will be like.
www.allposters.com

I do know that lavender smells fantastic and is easy to dry and make into sachets for your closet or drawers.  You can also use it in baking, and in soaps and bath salts.  Lots of variety!

Do you grow herbs? What kinds of herbs do you grow? Do you have an herb garden or a few pots in your kitchen?  If I didn't have space for a garden, I would definitely put some herbs in pots in the kitchen!  So great for cooking!

Here are a couple of great resources for learning about growing and using herbs.

The Bulk Herb Store -  Has a great dvd on Making Herbs Simple.  I learned a lot of fun things to do with herbs from the dvd I have - hair treatments and more!

The West Ladies - Vickie, Hannah, Cecilia and Jasmine are a mother and her daughters that we just love!  They are very down home and we love that they live the things they teach.  Their Homestead Blessings dvd by Franklin Springs are great!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Esther Bolick's Orange Marmalade Cake

I have been a big Mitford fan since I read the first book in the series, many years ago.  I love how she makes all these characters come to life and you feel as if they are real people.  Over the years I have read all about Esther Bolick's Orange Marmalade cake and wondered what it tasted like.

Right before Christmas, I made a quick stop at our local library and while there I popped into the little used book store.  I found this gem and another Mitford Christmas book called The Mitford Snowmen.  They are both just short stories, but a sweet read non the less.


 I am sure you can guess what this one is about...


In the back is the recipe and instructions for baking this cake.  I just had to try it, so I bought all the ingredients.  They sat in my cupboards for a few weeks until Saturday.


 Saturday I got out the cake flour, which I had never used before...


 I baked the cake in two 9 inch pans and after a bit of cooling, poked a bunch of holes in them to pour the orange syrup (orange juice and sugar) over the cake and let it soak in.


 I warmed up the Orange Marmalade...


 I put marmalade on one cake and stacked the two layers of cake...


 I whipped whipping cream, sugar and sour cream together to use as a frosting...put it in the fridge to chill for 2 hours and then after our family worship time last night, we tasted it!


It was delicious and today Becky and Pastor Mike each had some and really liked it too.  Is it thud worthy?  I don't know...I actually love Becky's mother in laws' lemon blueberry cake better, I think.  But this is one delicious cake.

So Mitford fans, there you have it.  Esther Bolick made these for special occasions and for Christmas gifts, and I made ours to have with our evening tea after dinner.

Let me know if you want the recipe and if you have tried it and liked it - or didn't like it!

ps - Focus on the Family's Radio Theater has a wonderful audio drama of some of the Mitford books combined.  My kids love them, and loved getting to try Esther's cake last night!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Day, But Looking Ahead...

 Tim and Lindsay are both off to work this morning.  Not sure that we will have any customers today, but the farmer's market was open so we opened too.  


 For a while this morning we were getting sleet but then it turned back to all snow...


 We have about 3-4 inches.


 I loved Maxx's paw prints on the deck!


The view out of my front window...don't look too closely - we need to scrape paint and put a fresh coat on the window sill.  I actually would like to replace this window...
 

Now thinking ahead...Lindsay and I worked on our garden plans last evening.  We went over what we planted last year, what grew well, what didn't, what we would like for this year.  We are only keeping our raised beds for our strawberries this year, and are going to plow up a bigger space.  We also are going to grow some heirloom corn this year!

We made our list, I got online at www.rareseeds.com and placed our order!  Love the convenience of technology! 

Do you garden?  If so, do you save seeds?  Do you can your produce or just eat it fresh?  What is your favorite thing to grow?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Few Great Quotes And A Thought From My Husband....

 www.allposters.com
Une Petite Fille - William Adolphe Bouguereau
Christ will be master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. If your life is unholy, then your heart is unchanged, and you are an unsaved person. The Savior will sanctify His people, renew them, give them a hatred of sin, and a love of holiness. The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not IN their sins, but FROM their sins. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.
~Charles Spurgeon

Sometimes it seems that the American church’s highest value is what Francis Schaeffer called “personal peace and affluence.” We want to be accepted. We don’t want to be controversial. Above all, we don’t want to suffer. It is time for Christ-followers to stand up and say, “We must do what is right, regardless of the consequences.” “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men’” (Acts. 5:29). 
~Randy Alcorn
My blogging friend, the sweet, tenderhearted Katy, shared these 
quotes on her blog The Country Blossom
I read them to my husband and he commented on the Act 5:29 
verse saying that the thing with the apostles is that those who were 
persecuting them took note that "they had been with Jesus."  Then 
he said "The problem with believers today is that "we haven't really 
been with Jesus."
I thought that was very challenging, and true.
May you delight in being with Jesus today! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We've Been Watching A Lot Of This

Are you familiar with Tin Tin?  A lot of people we know have never heard of him.  Our friend Denny said " I've heard of Rin Tin Tin." We laughed.


www.images.google.com
 
We discovered Tin Tin when our son Nate was younger and looking for something interesting for a boy to read from the library.  He really enjoyed reading these stories.  A few years later we discovered a cartoon series of the Adventures of Tin Tin.

After Christmas we decided to see a film as a family and we choose Tin Tin - though the girls had all seen it.  We enjoyed it very much, especially Kyle.  So when he was looking to use his Target gift card last week, and not being able to find a toy he wanted in his price range, we headed over to the dvd section to see what he might find.  (I find that most of it is, to borrow Charlotte Mason's term, "twaddle.")  Just when we thought he would have to give up his search I spied "The Adventures of Tin Tin," season one of the animated series!  

He and Sarah and Rachel have been enjoying them.  If you are interested in reading more about Herge' and Tin Tin I found the Wikipedia page very good. Here is the link - Tin Tin

www.images.google.com
 
Have a wonderful day.  Thanks for all your sweet comments and encouragement yesterday.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Challenges

Life is filled with challenges.  Sometimes they are harsh challenges and sometimes they are just a bunch of little things....


Right now dear friends in California are asking for prayer as their dear mother/grandma, who is elderly and suffering from dementia may be near the end of her journey here on earth.  


We are busy with the store and learning so much.  I ask that you would pray for us to continue to work well together and to enjoy the process.


We are so blessed with a wonderful church fellowship.  Today was communion and a meal together.  A long afternoon of fellowship was followed by coming home to a house full of young people!  Nate's good friend whom we used to call Dreadlock John is in town.  He is a Marine now and is in training to be a crew chief on a C130.  I looked at him tonight - he is a man now, who serves his nation at a challenging time.  Pray for him - he grew up in a Christian home but I am not sure where he is at with the Lord right now.


Tim's work rotation changes this week and they are now on required A-B weekends.  This means that he works every other weekend, instead of every third weekend. 12 days of work to get 2 days off.  Sigh.  We are not very happy about this.  Pray for wisdom for us in this if you will.  


Pray for me as I have some challenging relationships with my extended family.  Right now I am hurting.  I keep giving it to the Lord, but sometimes I take it back.  Pray that I will be able to truly let it go into His hands.  He loves me - I can rest in that.


On the other hand...


Things are very good right now.  The store is doing well for January. Things usually pick up in late March/April depending on the weather.  Our children are growing in every way....taller, gaining wisdom, expanding their circles of influence.  We are all in good health.  


God is helping us to grow through our challenges.  One day we will be with Him and will no longer struggle, for we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is! 1 John 3:2.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bookcases and Books...

 A few weeks ago Brenda @ Coffee, Tea, Books and Me showed us some of her bookshelves.  Being an avid reader, I love to see what other readers have on their shelves. I thought that you might like to see some of the books that I have on my shelves.  These shelves are from the bookcase in the hallway, and house books I like to keep close at hand...

 Health For Godly Generations by Renee DeGroot is an thoughtful book about making wise food choices.  So is the book Real Food,by Jessie Hawkins.  Biblical Womanhood in the Home by Nancy Leigh DeMoss is excellent as well.  What Makes A Man Feel Loved by Bob Barnes (husband of Emilie) is one I always recommend to young women who are getting married or even women who have been married for a while. 

 These are books that have challenged me and encouraged me.  I don't necessarily endorse every thing in every book.  There.  That is my disclaimer.


 This shelf houses current homeschool materials...

 This is our huge bookcase downstairs.  I have been organizing many of our books on these shelves.


 I have all my Jane Austen upstairs but on these shelves I have my Jane Austen sequels...I really like the Diaries of Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightly, Capt. Wentworth...by Amanda Grange.  They give you the story from the man's point of view!  Also my Mitford books!  Finally a place to keep them where I can just grab one! 


 Some Beverly Lewis and my Lori Wick books.  I am finding them bit by bit at used bookstores, thrift stores, etc.


 These are my Nancy Drew books.  When I was around 10 my mom signed up for a summer book club for me. These books came every two weeks maybe and have two stories in them.  I would finish them in just a few days.  My poor mom - I was always clamoring for something to read! Now I am reading them aloud to the younger set.


 My Dee Henderson books...love those O'Malley's!


 Thomas Kinkade, Emilie Barnes, who was a mentor to me through her books, Karla Dornacher - I love her art and the sweet words that accompany her art in her books.


 Gilbert Morris - I have most of the House of Winslow...but stopped trying to keep up.  I have all the Cheney Duval books he wrote.  Then he started writing them with his daughter, and after three books they stopped.  I wished they had continued, I felt as if it was unfinished.


 Precious books - Little House and Anne of Green Gables.


 Lamplighter books...


 Cherry Ames, a few Nancy Drew, Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on their Toes...


Grace Livingston Hill, G.A.Henty, Hinds Feet in High Places.

Well, that is all for now...many, many of the characters in these books are dear old friends.  It is fun to read them over again and remember why you liked them in the first place.

Another day I will show you my main school bookcase....