Showing posts from 2016

Decluttering My Soul

Decluttering is something we all think about as we approach a new year.  We want to clean out, organize, and find peace in a decluttered and tidy home.

I find that my soul needs this kind of decluttering as well.  

Sally Clarkson wrote about it so well here.

Over the next few days I will be taking time to talk to my Father and declutter my soul.  To give to Him the burdens on my heart that He asks me to cast onto Him.  He wants me to rest in Him, even in the midst of a storm.

I'm feeling the need to be with Him, to hear what He has for me, to give it all to Him.

I'll be back in the New Year!

Thank you all for this year of friendship, encouragement and hospitality.  I appreciate all your kind words, and your visits to my cottage.

Happy New Year!

The Week Between

We always take the week between Christmas and New Year's as a break from school.  This makes the holiday last and leads us into Lindsay's birthday and our anniversary.

Tim has had work, but this is a lighter time of the year, so it has felt like a holiday for him, too.  Last night we went to see the new Star Wars movie with friends.  Today, the kids helped him with taking down a few dead trees in our horse pasture.  Sarah learned to use the chain saw and to chop wood, too.  Kyle was the wood hauler.  Rachel and I headed over to our library bookstore and then stopped to get a few things from the grocery store.

I found these two interesting books at the library bookstore.

Kay liked the cowl I made for Lindsay, but loved the red yarn I used for mine, so I am making her one.  I finished it and blocked it today, so tomorrow I'll stitch it together.

Tomorrow involves a road trip for Tim and I to pick up our nieces from two different airports.  Two went to Senegal for Christmas and o…

Family This and That - Christmas Edition

We had a beautiful Christmas - relaxed, and I would say quiet, but Kyle got a Star Wars Nerf blaster and well, you can imagine what that sounds like. 

I got a lovely silver plated tea set from Tim.

I also got a cute tea pot from Rachel -

There were lots of books - my Mom and Dad gave me Chip and Joanna Gaines book.  I've started it already.  I gave Tim, Eric Metaxas' book on Deitrich  Bonhoffer.  Lindsay gave Kyle, The Green Ember, and Ember Falls by SD Smith. (we listened to the audio books and love them!) My Mom bought Rachel, The Fairest Beauty, by Melanie Dickerson.  The girls and I have read all this series through the library, but Rachel wants to own them.  We have Sarah several Lori Wick books that she is collecting, also.  I gave Kamryn both her very own Bible and Charlotte's Web.

Its great to have readers in the family.

Lindsay and Joseph came over in the evening and we watched the Dr. Who Christmas special.


Thank yo…


I haven't sung as part of a group or solo for many years.  Sarah suggested that we sing Mary Did You Know at our Christmas Eve Service.  I agreed and then had a lot of work to do.  Vocal muscles were lazy, and I needed work (and still do) with strengthening them and increasing my breath control.

Sarah, who is 14, is growing in vocal ability and loves to sing.  It was fun to do this with her.

Someone asked if I would share it and so I am going to be bold and just do it.  It's not perfect but it turned out just fine.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!

We are in celebrating mode!

Out for breakfast, FaceTime with Emma, Vinnie and Isla, picked up a few things.

Home now and I have dough rising for cinnamon rolls for tomorrow morning.

We are celebrating my husband birthday (which is today) and anticipating this evenings Christmas Eve service.

Prayer appreciated for Sarah and I.  We are singing a duet tonight and then she is singing a solo.  We just don't want to be flat or pitchy!  lol!

After the service tonight, the family will be gathering here to open stockings and to enjoy time together.

I've loved this Christmas season, with all its delights, and want to continue the joy of His coming throughout the year!

Merry Christmas Friends!

Happy Christmas Adam!

Cause you know, Adam came before Eve, right?

Anyway its more fun to say than "Christmas Eve Eve."

We got the church decorated last night and it looks really nice.  It will add to the beautiful atmosphere, and help make the service beautiful.

Anticipation is building for Christmas day, and we work to focus on celebrating the coming of Jesus, into the world.  Oh, how He was needed and how need Him still!

Quotes, Links, and Thoughts On Christmas

"May you have the gladness of Christmas which is Hope; 
The Spirit of Christmas which is Peace;
The Heart of Christmas which is Love."
Ada V. Hendricks

Do any of you, besides Brenda and myself, read the Golden Hours?  The post today was so encouraging.  Its called "The Coming Of The Light" and its worth reading.  Here is a snippet:

"There is so much to grieve over, both in our world and in our individual lives. As shadow piles on shadow we can find ourselves stumbling in the dark, the questions gathering stubbornly in our hearts. “Does God really see what is going on?”
The Christmas story answers, “Immanuel, God is with us.
Is He powerless to act or does He simply not care?
The Christmas story answers, “Immanuel, God is with us.”
Has God forgotten us?
The Christmas story answers, “Immanuel, God is with us.” If the psalmist found hope in the presence of God, then for us Christmas is the turning point. There may still be dark days ahead but, from that night on, the com…

Changes For Christmas


and their cousin

We enjoyed a dinner out for the December birthday boys (Tim and Joseph) last night.  I got to hold Klaire for a while (though Lindsay is holding her in the middle photo.  

We missed Emma and Vinnie and Isla, but Emma texted in because they had received their Christmas box from us, so it was like having everyone together.

As our kids get older, and marry and have children Tim and I are very mindful to 'hold loosely' to our kids.  What I mean by that is we recognize and say to them that they are their own families now and they can make their own traditions.

This year, Emma and Vinnie with Isla are in South Carolina, and will be in Tennessee for the New Year.  We miss them but Emma is so good with sending photos and video and FaceTime that we are staying in touch and its great!

Nate and Kay are going to spend Christmas morning at home with their girls, Kamryn and Klaire.  They'll come over later in the day for exchanging gifts and hanging out and eating.


A Few Last Minute Gift Ideas

I thought I'd share a few last minute gift ideas, incase you're in need of a last minute gift or two.

If you know a knitter or a crocheter how about buying a skein or two of chunky yarn and large needles or hooks?  Have you seen the large sizes they have now?  These are size 35 and they make a size 50!  With these 35's and some yarn it is super easy to whip up a cowl or a scarf in no time!  This scarf I'm making in the photo has only six stitches on the needle!  Quick, easy and gorgeous!

We've been having some great sales on yarn in our area this month, too!  A few skeins of yarn and a hook or needles, makes a great gift!

Books - We always give books here as gifts, and finding a book by a favorite author is top of the wish list for many of us around the cottage!

I found this book this year


I didn't know about this book until I was looking online at books by Tolkien, a favorite author at the cottage.  It is wrapped and under the tree for a certain boy, but one …

Pondering This At Christmas

Tim read to us from the devotional book he reads from daily.  It was written by Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian pastor, who was tortured for his faith in communist Romania.  You can read about that in his book, Tortured for Christ.

The devotional for December 17 was this - 

Isaiah 53:10 - "It pleased the LORD to bruise him."

"Therese of Lisieux had her place at evening prayers just in front of a sister who had a nervous affliction.  She always made a little curious noise, rather like on would make by rubbing two shells together.  This tiny noise got Therese down, but she never chided the offender, not even with a look.  Something insider her told her that the right thing to do was to put up with it for the love of God and spare the sister any embarrassment.  Only she could not ignore the disturbing noise.  Perspiration poured down her in the attempt to pray not-withstanding, but it was useless.

Then Therese hit on the idea of liking this exasperating noise.  Instead of trying…

Mary, Did You Know


O, The Weather Outside Is Frightful

But inside we are cozy and warm!

After days of frigid temperatures, a storm moved through that left very little snow but plenty of ice.  It wouldn't be even a concern except Rachel has to get to work today, so Tim will drive her, and by the time she gets picked up the temps will have moderated enough that there will be rain only.  

I am done with shopping and wrapping!  Do you like wrapping?  I love it.  I guess its because I love pretty papers and ribbons and gift tags! 

This year, I've used plaid paper (shocking, I'm sure), a red paper that looks like a knit sweater, a grey paper with cute owls in plaid, and a black paper with chalkboard writing.  I've also used a few gift bags for larger items.

The gift bags are from Christmas Tree Shops and the wrapping paper from Target's dollar spot.  The tartan paper was purchased last year on sale, and I bought enough to last for several years!

Happy Me!

We used to have access to roll of white paper in varying thicknesses and coa…

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, one of eight children born to Reverend George Austen and his wife Cassandra Leigh.  You can read more about her life here.

This is a wax figure done of Jane and it lives at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath.

Jane was a wonderful writer with a quick wit that showed up in her many books.  

She gave us great characters