Showing posts from March, 2015

Seasons: Spring Has Arrived

Last night I heard the definitive sound of spring - the spring peepers!  They were singing away when I let Sadie out for one last chance to do her business before we go to bed.  The peepers weren't loud as they are sometimes, but this made me know without a doubt that spring had arrived.

We worked in the front flower garden yesterday.  Our home faces west and our neighbor to the west has a huge oak tree.  All fall and winter that tree loses leaves and they blow our way.  We raked in the fall but yesterday there was a ton more!  They also blow up the driveway and swirl around and land right by our kitchen door.  That all got swept out and those we allowed to get blown towards the creek!  It was a windy day yesterday.  Otherwise between cutting a few things back, pulling up some weeds and scooping up the leaves we had 3 wheelbarrows full!  

It is lovely to see the tulips poking up through the soil.   I wish they would be in bloom by Sunday but it will be several weeks yet.  We also ne…

Hospitality: Preparing For Guests

The next few days are going to be fairly busy.  Tuesday is the start of Emma's Easter break from school, and she is bringing 3 friends home with her.  We're excited about hosting a few of her friends, and sharing our lives with them for the week.

One of the things we've done to prepare for their arrival is to rearrange Emma's bedroom.  It's the smallest one, so space is at a premium. By moving the bed to a different wall we opened up room for a mattress to lay on the floor, and either she or her friend Deb will sleep there.

The other two guests are young men and they will be sleeping downstairs in our literary cafe.  We'll slide the table over to make room for two twin beds, and we'll put a tri-paneled room divider up to give them a bit of privacy.

Today, we'll be airing the extra mattresses and finding just the right sheets, blankets, and pillows for them.  We are not wanting to 'impress' them, but we want them to know that their comfort was thoug…

Love The Home You Have

I am blessed to have an early copy of Melissa Michaels' first book, Love The Home You Have.  It was sent to me with no obligation to say anything about it.  But I must!

Melissa and I are blogging acquaintances.  She and I started blogging in 2007 and I came across her blog early in my blog reading.  She felt like a friend and still does.  I still read her blog every day, though I don't always comment.  We share a similar philosophy about our homes and how we think of them and use them.  I especially love her thoughts on creating a haven.

Her book is full of encouragement, and reminds me of Emilie Barnes books from the early 1990s.  Those helped me to love my home and to desire to make it a HOME for my family.  Melissa's book will do this for many, many women.

There are really sweet graphics to emphasize certain aspects of the chapters.

The chapters are so helpful

There is even a 31 Day Challenge in the back of the book!

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before but I…

Your Work In The Home Is So Important!

Sometimes work around our homes can seem like it has no value.  We are just keeping a house clean, or washing clothes, or making meals.

Our culture has taught us that those things are not important, they're just something that has to be done.  We aren't taught how to  do these things well, usually coming to some sort of organization and 'way' of doing them, after we marry.

I like the way these look in the kitchen window, especially when the sun is streaming in.
I don't always want to do these things either.  

True confession.  

However, I have learned to enjoy making my home a place of beauty, and warmth, and welcome.  Not to "impress, but to bless" as my dear friend Cheryl says.  I like it to be reasonably clean at all times, while recognizing that we live in our house and we are busy with learning, art projects, cooking or baking, legos.  I want to be able to get things cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time.

My Mother Fern is thriving!
I mentioned to my fr…

Trim Healthy Mama: Weight Loss Update

Drum roll, please………
Today, I hit 40 pounds lost!  Woo Hoo!
This is a milestone for me.  I'm so thankful.
My last update was two months ago.  8 pounds in two months.  In my mind, that's slow weight loss.  For the last two weeks, the scale hasn't really moved, I've been hovering at 37 pounds lost.
I kept reading about the plan, and checking to make sure I was not doing crossovers.  I then read an article by a Trim Healthy Mama gal who had met her goal weight.  She mentioned a few things that could slow your weight loss.  I made a few changes. 
The first is that I started to eat more.  Yes, you heard that right!  I realized that I needed to eat more and add some snacks to get my metabolism burning!  So, I've been doing that.  The other thing I did was buy some Milk Thistle (Silymarin) for liver support.  Your liver processes all the fat that is in your body, not just the fat you eat.  It sometimes needs help so it doesn't get stressed.
I just said to my Mom yesterday, …

Home Keeping: Canning Jars

Many of you know of my love for canning jars.  Yesterday while I was out I came across the purple Ball canning jars!  They are so pretty!

These jars don't go with my decor or any of my dishes, but they are very pretty!  I will likely use them not only for drinking, but as vases for spring and summer flower bouquets. I like collecting something that I can use in my every day life.  

Monday Morning Ponderings

I've been reading a Young Adult fiction series.  It's really good.  It has caused me to do a lot of thinking about courage, fear, and trusting God.  I am going to do a longer post on it this week.

It's called The River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren.

I have been thinking about how God wants us to pray for our leaders so that we can lead quiet and peaceable lives in the land. (1Timothy 2)  I don't really do that much at all.  I tend to get irritated and angry about the choices that our leadership is making.  I do believe that God would have us pray, and then I believe He wants us to go about our daily lives, reaching out to our neighbors, loving one another, being kind, helping the poor.  We can trust Him for all the rest.
Easter is two weeks away.  I am thankful for what Easter means.  Hope, Love, Joy, Forgiveness, because of the Resurrection.

Happy Spring!

After a beautiful week of sunshine and blue sky, this is what greeted us this morning.

March came in like a lion and is going out like one too.  However, it is not laying on the roadways.  They are only wet.

Spring is here, though, and we are very happy about that!  I brought home a few spring plants to brighten things up around here.

I go to our local orchard's market for apples and because I spent a certain dollar amount I got to pick a free spring plant!  They were only $2.50 anyway, so I bought two more!  After they die back I can plant them in my garden!  

I have them on the table in their paper wrappers still but I think I will use my wooden trough and make a centerpiece with them in it.

I love the deep color of these crocus.

 The mini daffy's are so sweet!

My Mother Fern ( I got on our anniversary, you can read about that here) is growing so well, I had to repot it already!

Last night, my Mom, Rachel and I went to Hershey to see Chris Tomlin's Love Ran Red tour!  It was gre…

Home Keeping: I Moved A Few Things

It all started on Saturday when I wanted to clean a bit in the kitchen.  I pulled everything off the counters and sprayed and wiped them down, Sarah dusted the walls behind them and the bottoms of the cabinets.  

The items we keep by the stove, cooking utensils in the red crock, knives in the knife block, salt and pepper all went back where they had been.  So did the jars of flour, brown rice and oatmeal.

But I decided to move the drink station.  I felt like it was so crowded.  So we moved the brew station and the electric kettle, and we moved the basket of teas.  

I was going to then move the plate rack under the cupboard where the drink station had been set up, but it was too tall.  Hmmm, what to do?

I decided to move my Ninja from the red shelves in the corner of the kitchen, to counter where the drink station had been and move the plate rack there.  So far it's working just fine, and the counter between the fridge and mostly clear.  It makes it nice for doing dishes now.

This then …

Movie Review: Cinderella And How God Takes Care Of Us

The kids and I went to see Cinderella on Saturday.  I was intrigued by the trailer for the movie,  Lily James (Lady Rose in Downton Abbey) as Cinderella, and a few reviews by friends who LOVED the movie.

My verdict and the verdict of my girls?  We LOVED it, too,  here's why.

It is beautifully filmed.  The house that Cinderella grows up in is so beautiful - full of beautiful things, maps, a glass swan chandelier, gorgeous walls.  We see Cinderella and both of her parents.  When she is 10 her mother suddenly becomes ill and before she dies she tells Cinderella that two things will help her in every situation she may find herself in during her life.  The first is to have Courage and the second is to Be Kind.

Young Ella takes these two lessons to heart, and applies them all through her life.  Her father remarries, and her stepmother arrives with her two daughters, Drucilla and Anastasia.  Drucilla is played by Sophie McShera, who plays Daisy in Downton Abby.  They are more comical, thoug…

Rainy Saturday

It started raining last evening, and had continued this morning.  It looks as if it has stopped for the moment.

It's the perfect day for doing some spring cleaning in the kitchen.  For me today, this means clearing the counters off and thoroughly washing the countertops and wiping everything down.  Then the fun of arranging them - will they go back in the spots that they've been in or will we put them somewhere else?  I like to try new things, so I think we'll be changing it up in the kitchen!

Rachel is making bread for communion tomorrow, and I am repotting my Mother Fern.  Tim and Kyle are off buying some tools that time will need for his job.

I'm going to be putting an apron on as soon as I am done with this post.  I'll turn on my bluetooth speaker and play some good music while we get busy in the kitchen.

Later we are going to see Cinderella.  

What are you up to today?

One Week

It's one week until SPRING, but the signs are everywhere.

Even though the grasses are brown, and the trees are still barren, we live in such a beautiful place.
The starlings are visiting our neighborhood this morning.  You can see them in the side yard of our property.
We have yet to see what March will do but we have the hope of spring now!
How does it look where you live?  I know our 'down under' friends are moving into Autumn.

Polish Pottery

We are big pottery fans here at the cottage.  We love buying handmade pieces.  We have a pottery in our area that we really love.  It's just that we found that, too often, they broke easily.  We just couldn't keep paying to replace them.

One day I was shopping at my local Christmas Tree Shops and found that they carry Polish Pottery.  It's beautiful and it is made in Poland - they come with official stickers.  The colors and patterns are so pretty and at CTS the mugs are only $5.99.  Amazing.

I love the cobalt blue on these.  

As my friend jAne says, 

"Life's too short to drink from an ugly cup!"

I could me becoming a collector of these pieces.  What about you?  Do you like Polish Pottery?  Do you collect dishes?  What do you collect?