"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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bedroom - Rearrangement

I made my bedroom rearranging and decluttering the top priority in my day yesterday.

I am so glad I did.

 We had become overrun by stuff - for the store, for the family, stuff we didn't know where else to store.  Sigh....stress, stress and more stress.  The exercise bike is there because I need to use it.  Do I, no, but that is another story.  However, it was cramped in that corner and hard to get around when making the bed.




My poor dresser...over run by stuff....

My poor desk...you can say it with me "overrun by stuff."  I love a clean, tidy home.  For me this mess creates stress, and I already have regular stress from running our business, the website, my family etc.  
 The first thing I did was move the armoire out of my room.  It had not been moved in 7 years.  Look at the size of that dust bunny...I am really let you see behind the scenes today!  The armoire had been used to store movies and held the tv we used to have in our room.  With no tv in here, this piece could be moved to the living room!
 The television in the livingroom is for watching movies.  It is probably a bit high but it now we have no problem with seeing it from any seat in the room.

The armoire was along the wall that my bedroom door is on as well as my closet.  I moved my desk to that space and I really like it.



I took this photo while sitting on the floor and looking toward my door.  I, of course, moved the bed as well and here you can see many of the clutter items on it.  In my experience, things get much worse before they look better!


Now you can see my desk and the closet...Rachel's hope chest is to the right.  This currently has a printer on it but that will be going else where.  I want the space for seating.  My room is often a hang out place for my kids and I want it to be comfy.
 
Looking back toward the door...

 My comfy bed this morning!  

It is amazing how moving that one piece of furniture to a new location changed the whole feel of the room - it has more room now!  The bike is easy to access now as well.  So no more excuses!

A bonus of moving the armoire to the living room is that the wicker coffee table that the television previously sat on was no longer needed inside.  

 This makes me happy!

Today I have sat at my clean desk, ordering handbags, jewelry, watches....I have talked on the phone to my friend that is headed to Texas - twice! and texted with my sweet girl in the shop!  I have been able to interact with all my children here and hug and kiss my granddaughter a few times as well.  What a sweet life I have!

So what do you think?  Do you like it?






Monday, July 30, 2012

Awaiting Me Today

 2 Pots of Lavender on the back of my sink.

A lovely day at home.

A bit of school prep - we are starting soon!  Maybe this week!

 Red Haven peaches await too.  I will slice some up for lunch and also can some of these and some John Boy peaches.  There is nothing like opening a jar of freestone peaches in the middle of January!  Delightful!

 Rachel will be making her wonderful lemonade today too.  It is cold, and refreshing on these hot July days.

 Lots of laundry...This load has actually now been taken care of by Kyle and Sarah.  They folded while watching a movie.

Tim started his new shift at work, and has already put in his time there.  He and Emily are at the home of a couple from church doing lawn care.  The husband has had surgery recently and is unable to any work of this kind yet.  

Lindsay spent the night at my parents house and is driving my Dad up to Cabela's today.  He has not been released to drive yet after his surgery.  He is doing very well though and I want to thank you for your prayers for him and for asking how he is doing. 

Emily is going to pick my Mom up later for a lunch date.  Tim will be coming home to sleep. Rachel will practice her cello.  

I'll keep things moving along here and work on dinner.  I also have some work to do for the shop.  We have a women's event that we are doing on Friday night.  We are hoping to bring more exposure to our shop.  


Work continues on our website.  It will be done soon, and open for real business!  When it opens we will have a grand re-opening!  Stay tuned for that!


Now, I must be off.  I may find time to de-clutter my bedroom....Actually, I think it may become a priority.  When I have clean, tidy spaces I function so much better than when I have clutter.  I'll try to take photos.  


Have a wonderful day!





 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sky Diving

My Emily is an adventuresome girl.

She has had as a goal to sky dive to mark her 18th birthday.  Today was the day.

 See that small dot?  That is Emily and her jumpmaster.  See that even smaller dot to the right?  That is Tim and his jumpmaster.


They jumped from 10,000 feet, and free fall for 40 seconds...


Then the chutes come out and they can have fun with spins and turns...
 
Emily getting ready to land...
 




Her hands are in the yellow straps and so are the jumpmasters.  Together they stear the parachute - the jumper gets to decide what they want to do.  Emily did some diving spins a few times and just enjoyed the whole thing.  Our friend Joseph jumped too, and he chose to take his time coming down...so he did very few spins or turns.
 
She's back to earth!
 



This is Tim with the rainbow chute...
 





They both loved it.  Emily and Joseph both are ready to do it again.  Tim would but being a family man has to consider the expense.

Our niece Shelly and Becky's mom Ruth were to jump as well, but a storm moved into the area and so they are going to reschedule.  We were so disappointed for them, but are excited to go another time to watch them jump.

Thanks to everyone at Maytown Sport Parachute Club, especially Pete, Chuck, and Ann, our pilot Mark.  You all were great, and made our groups experience awesome!

For more skydiving fun you can go to YouTube and put in the name of the club and there are a lot of videos of jumps.

 


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Anniversary!



Today is my parents anniversary!


They have been married for...drumroll....53 years!


This is a miracle of how God can work.  They married young and struggled for years, but they got to a point where they realized that if God could save them from hell, He could save their marriage!


With Dad still recovering from surgery (he is doing well, thank you for praying!) they are just going to go out to dinner.  They usually wait until the weather cools down to go somewhere.


Won't you join me in wishing them a Happy Anniversary?  Just leave a message in the comments section and I'll make sure they read them!  


Thanks!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ponderings

So, I've been pondering things in my heart lately.  I have always loved that term the scripture uses regarding Mary wondering about the things she was hearing about her baby boy.

 www.allposters.com

I pondering things in conversation with the Lord, not prayers necessarily, but more like "Why is it that...?"

Some of my ponderings have been about the future regarding family, the economy, our business....

I have been pondering and storing up in my heart the relationships that God has given me with people.  I am thankful for my family, thankful for friendships that are an encouragement.  This includes friends that I only know online.  It is such a blessing to walk along in this world side by side with you!

 www.allposters.com

We've been pondering our business, and praying about the direction we'd like it to go....

God has allowed us to live in these days...the days in which it seems that good is called evil and evil is called good.  It is challenging to raise our children in this culture, it requires us to pray hard for protection for our children from the enemy of our souls whose only goals are to 'steal, kill and destroy.'  Just about the time I think this must be the worst time in history to live, I am reminded of Solomon who wrote in Ecclesiastes "there is nothing new under the sun."  Evil and sin have been around for a long time, and the goal of the enemy has been the same - steal, kill and destroy.


And yet...our God is still in control.  He still protects.  He still leads.  He still gives wisdom.  He still provides.  He still empowers.  He still loves.  He still saves.  He still is worthy of glory and praise.  He still casts out fear.  He still heals.  He still has the victory.

A new to me blog that I have been enjoying is Like Mother, Like Daughter.  Here is a good post of ponderings that I say a hearty amen to!


What sorts of things have you been pondering lately?  Feel free to share them in the comments.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Creekside Cottage Is Now On Facebook! Edited!

I had been thinking about doing this for a while.  Then I saw that my friend Brenda @ Coffee, Tea, Books, and Me made a page for her blog, and another blogging friend Lisa had, also.  So I took the plunge.

After all, it's been fun being Facebook friends with so many of my blogging friends, and this way it is easy to say hi and keep in touch.

Come on over, say Hi and Like my page!  It will be fun! 

Edited to say....Duh, it would help if I put a link to my FB page here!  Sorry, Debbie!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Quiet Evening


We've had storms the last few nights, that have included quite a bit of thunder and lightning.  In an effort to have some light available in the case of our electricity potentially going out, and to make our house cozy I have been lighting the oil lamps.

When Lindsay walked into the room last night she mentioned that it made her feel as if it were winter...the house was cool with air conditioning...

I love a cozy evening at home, don't you? 

This evening the younger kids are at my Mom's for an sleepover, and I took Lindsay and Emma to the mall.  We rarely go there.  Lindsay however needed shoes and she is very particular.  She did finally find a pair that she liked.  

Then we headed home to a quiet cottage with rain coming down, cozy beds, darkness settled in.  The oil lamp is burning softly in my room - Tim gets home late from work, and it will help him to see when he gets home.

I need an evening like this once in a while...I am headed off to dreamland now.  Do you remember your dreams?  I rarely do.  Sometimes I remember just a snippet, and other times I remember a whole dream, but mostly nothing.  I go to sleep and then I wake up.  Boring.

I am rambling now, so I will bid you good night.

Sweet Dreams...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Note Card Party - Orchids


I couldn't decide what photos I wanted to show on this month's Card Party.  I went through dozens of ideas, then I found these photos.

Gorgeous orchids at Longwood Gardens.  

All I did to edit them is to put the frames around them.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
  



 I love Vee's Note Card Party!  Join us won't you?

 


A Haven for Vee

Monday, July 16, 2012

Prayer Request


Tomorrow, my Dad is having surgery to repair a hernia.  He has had this surgery many times and we are hoping this is the last time!  

One of his previous operations saw the doctors use a kevlar mesh to hold it in place.  My Dad, being who he is, loved to tell one and all that he was now "bulletproof."  Funny guy.

I will drop the girls at their various work places, and then I will join my Mom in the waiting room.

My Dad is in very good health, for which we are grateful. He will be several weeks recovering, and not able to drive.  He is planning on doing a lot of reading, but I know that he will watch a lot of talking heads, Myth Busters, and sports. 

Thank you for praying.

The Aftermath...

in my garden after yesterday's thunderstorm.

 This is the way the garden looked this morning.  Not too bad but it is now messy.

 We had an amazing day yesterday.  Church, a fellowship meal, a small informal bridal shower for a sweet couple getting married next weekend.  We headed home with a large group and there was air soft, and lots of little boys playing with trains, and dressing up into all kinds of outfits.  Sweet girls playing together and with little brothers.  
Pizza, salad and the most amazing peaches to munch....
An impromptu tea party at the request of my little friend who adores tea parties, and knows all she has to do is ask!

 While the rain poured down, and the lightning flashed, we had slides from Senegal, and coffee, and games of Set, and lots of chatting.  Katie and Verity were here too!  Such a treat!

 They especially liked the baby dolls and the soft puppy.  Katie also petted Sadie, one of our dogs.  I think she liked her soft, silky ears.

 Just like there is an aftermath in the garden after the storm, there was a bit of aftermath here in our cottage after everyone left last night. 




This however is a joy, and not a burden...it is the evidence of people sharing life together.  I think we had 43 people here.  22 of whom are 13 and under.

Near the tail end of it all, our girl came home and so did Ben.  They had been on the road for 14 1/2 hours, more actually.

We stayed up until nearly 1:30 am.  Hearing stories, laughing...finally bed.

The aftermath of such a day does bring fatigue.  But I wouldn't change a thing.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Good Things

My parents arrived home this evening after spending 12 days in California.  My Mom and Dad said " Over dosed on Mexican food!"  And they brought me See's Candy!  I love my parents!

They had such a great trip.  Wonderful times with my brother's family, and those sweet great grandsons of theirs!  They got to go to Cayden's swim lessons, have a picnic on the 4th, go to Chick-fil-A with them.  Sweet times.
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Have you ever read the blog "My Cottage Charm?"  Missy has the greatest projects and has turned her house into the sweetest cottage!  I commented on her recent hallway sign project, and she popped over to my blog to thank me for my comment.  I had just posted about our home education plan and she commented to me that it was just what she had needed to hear to gear up for the coming year.  I told her that I was so glad and that it was a God thing because I almost didn't get this post written!  You can see God at work in the fact that I got it written and posted for the day that she would pop back to comment on my blog.  If I had posted it on a different day or if I hadn't visited her blog and commented then she wouldn't have visited back...are you still with me?

I love that!
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My Emma comes home tomorrow!  I know she has had a great time this week. I am so proud of her.  She is an amazing young woman.

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We have a fellowship meal tomorrow after church.  Sundays are one of our favorite days.  
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We are hard at work on our store's website - It doesn't look like it because so far the hard work has been getting the web guy to actually turn over control of it to us.  He has not fulfilled his agreement after 14 months of working on it.  So we are ready to take it over and have someone else get the job finished.  We are excited to have the website up and running and looking the way we want it to look!

Have a delightful Sunday!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Year Of Home Education

I am in my18th year of home educating my children.        


www.allposters.com


We usually start in early August so that we can take advantage of taking time off during the school year, and by August the kids are usually ready to get back to some kind of structure.  This year the girls did some math over the break so that they would not lose their momentum...neither one likes math very much.


When we started to home educate Tim was okay with it, if I wanted to do it.  Several years into to it, we both decided that this was something we were in for the long haul. We saw the blessing of being able to disciple our kids as well as teach them.  I have taught all 6 of my children to read, and have opened up the world for them through it.




Reading forms the basis of the way we educate.  We read history together and discuss it.  We do projects like maps, make clothing, food, use writing instruments of the time period we are studying.  Our history often is the basis of writing assignments.  Language arts and history are perfect companions as every time period had its poets, its historians, its biographers.


We listen to music and learn about instruments and composers, these people also fall into history.  The kids also get the opportunity to learn to play an instrument.


www,allposters.com
Science is generally a topic they are interested in.  Last year it was astronomy, this year it is marine life.


I teach all my children together though they are in 2nd, 5th, and 8th grade this coming year.  Each child gets an ability appropriate assignment, sometimes we do projects together.






This is a gentle way to learn, to use my friend Karen Andreola's phrase.  It was her book on the Charlotte Mason method that so encouraged me and showed me a better way to educate my children.


You can purchase this book from Christianbook Distributors.  Her books, "A Pocketful of Pinecones," and "Lessons From Blackberry Inn" follow a fictionalized story of a family in the 1930's teaching their children at home and following Charlotte Mason's writings.  These two books can also be found at CBD.


Another author, Sally Clarkson, has also been a great encourager to me.  She really emphasizes the discipleship of our children and this high calling we have as mothers.  She has written many books and along with husband Clay wrote "Educating the Wholehearted Child."


I do not believe that there is only one right way to home educate your children.  However, I do believe that it should be done mostly from home (that seems obvious but surprisingly many do not do this) and that it does not have to be stressful!  I have talked with dear women who were trying to replicate public education in their homes.  Dear friends, please don't do this!  Home education is more like tutoring of long ago, nearly one on one with the teacher the student does not need nearly the time that it takes in school, and also they do not need busy work, for "seat time."  I have also seen parents by full curriculums for many children in different grades.  That means that in a normal school day, that Momma is going to do 4 to 5 sciences, language arts, histories, maths...Math is the one thing that our children do individually as they are all in vastly different places.  Home education is also best done by one or more of the parents who know the children and their learning style, well.


I have found our way of educating our children to not be something that is going to burn me or them out...


This year we will study:

3rd, 5th and 8th grade math.
American History
Marine life 
Reading, lots of reading
A writing curriculum
Music
Art
Geography
Physical education - In addition to horseback riding, Lindsay is going to teach them a course on archery.
Health
Safety


I get excited every year to begin.  I love reading aloud to them, enjoying both academic subjects as well as biographies and fiction.  Right now I am reading "A Year Down Yonder," by Richard Peck.  We are enjoying this book a great deal.

Home education is a way of life for us now.  It has shaped us and lead us in directions that we never thought it would.  We are thankful and pray that this RIGHT will continue, so that our children can teach their children, and then our grandchildren can teach our great-grandchildren.

 What a wonderful blessing that is!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sarah


10 years ago this delightful girl was born into our family.  Sanguine, with a flair for the dramatic, she is full of life.  



She used to wake up from her naps and say "Tada! I awake!"  We were sure that she thought the whole world stopped while she was asleep and was letting us know we could now go back about our business!

She is loyal and loving, has friends of all ages.  

She is also sensitive - she knows when someone doesn't like her.

She loves her family, loves being an Auntie, loves to write and draw.  She would love to be the next Beatrix Potter, she says.  She has perfectionist tendencies in her art and writing, but that doesn't carry over to keeping her room tidy, unfortunately!

She is a playpal to her little brother Kyle, and usually finds him a willing companion.

 Nancy Drew and Tintin on the job!

Here is a link to a blog post I did about her.  It gives real insight into the depth that is in Sarah.  When you read it understand that at the time she was 6 years old!

We had such fun shopping for her gifts last night!  She really enjoyed picking out things that she had been wanting.  Water shoes (bright green from 5 Below), a 24 pack of Prismacolor colored pencils, new jammies!  She also got to spend a bit of birthday money from Uncle Denny!  She was in her element!

Her celebration is going to go on for a few weeks...shopping with Grandma when she gets back from California, Lindsay is making her a medieval dress, Emily is going to take her with a friend to the Corn Maze...

I am so thankful for my youngest girl, my Sarah Bella