Friday, April 20, 2018

Little Book Lover

One of our goals as parents was to help our children to become good readers.  We had several main reasons which are:

1. We are big readers and know the pleasure of well written books.

2. It is my belief, that if you can read well, you can teach yourself anything.

This desire to pass along a love of reading is extended to my grandchildren.  We encourage a love of reading/books by reading to them, and buying them their own books.

I have books here at the Cottage, that are just for them, even the toddlers.  Klaire loves to get these books out everytime she's here.  She also gets into my books, but it is a training process - "Not those books, these are YOUR books!"

I got a few cute photos of her yesterday.

Have you seen these Baby Lit books?


They are really cute, I bought Klaire and Isla, Pride and Prejudice and Little Women.  Lindsay found cute sets of them for the girls at Christmas.

We still buy our adult children books, too!  They always have books on their lists of ideas for Christmas gifts and birthdays. I hope you buy your children and grandchildren books. A love of books and reading is an gift that keeps on giving for a lifetime.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Kitchen Cabinets Makeover (again)

When we bought our house we had to replace the kitchen cabinets as the ones in the house were water damaged. (Tim repurposed the upper cabinets in his shop)  We put in cabinets that we could afford, and though I wanted white, the honey oak were better quality so we went with them.

I painted them almost two years ago with chalk paint and waxed them.  They were so nice, until they wouldn't clean well, and started to chip.  I'm certain that the fault is mine, as I know that many have had great success with chalk paint.  I love using it on furniture, myself.

Anyway, the cabinets were looking dingy, and chipped.  I knew it was time to repaint.  Tim and I have come to learn that you get what you pay for with paint, so I checked out Sherwin Williams.  The paint they recommended for this job was $90 a gallon!  

I decided to give Magnolia Homes Paint by Kilz at try.  I bought it at my local Ace Hardware store in the formulation for trim and cabinetry.  I chose the color True White.

Here is a sneak peak...

And yes, I know I have some paint clean up to do!  I am really pleased with how the white looks, and the quality of the paint.  This is one coat, and while I have a few spots to touch up, I managed to get this 9 ft section of cabinets painted in one afternoon.

The rest of the kitchen will get done bit by bit.  I have a lot going on through the weekend, so it will probably be the end of next week before they are done.

Have you been working on any projects around your homes?  Let's chat in the comments!

ps - just for fun here is a photo of a photo of our kitchen after we bought our house, with the old cabinets, no sliding door, and an old kitchen door.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Rest In Peace

I came of age in the Reagan Era.  I found Nancy Reagan hard to relate to, but I really liked Barbara Bush.  She was the kind of woman that made you feel like you could be friends with her.  It would have been fun to be her friend, I think, as she was loving, kind, humorous, self depricating.

I've read both of her memoirs (really easy reading and so fascinating), and one story has always stayed with me.  Barbara used to drive across country from Texas to Connecticut, with her children, to visit her parents.  On one of her trips, their housekeeper, who was African American, was traveling with them.  Barbara stopped for the night at a hotel, but the hotel wouldn't allow the housekeeper to stay with them in the hotel, so Barbara wouldn't stay either.  They all slept in the car instead!

Image result for barbara bush

Image result for barbara bush

Image result for barbara bush

Image result for barbara bush

Image result for family photo of George HW Bush's family

Image result for four generations photo of bush women

 I loved her love and commitment to George, her family.  I like that she was always grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the country, and to continue to work to help people with literacy.

I found this lovely tribute to her online - 
Barbara Bush

My sympathies are with the Bush family.  They will miss her dearly.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Garden of Truth


I follow Ruth Chou Simons on Instagram.  She's a beautiful artist, wife, mother of six boys.  She shares her art and life and truth of God's goodness through her Instagram account and in her art.  Her website is Gracelaced.

I pre-ordered her latest book and I've been enjoying it since it released.

"Something will shape us and form us into who we become--it can either be the truth of God's Word or our own feelings.  Let it be His truth that transforms us."

I needed to hear this today, and probably need that reminder on a weekly basis.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Holding Plans Loosely

Friday and Saturday were lovely days.  Warm and sunny, we had the doors and windows open.  By Saturday night a cold front moved through and Sunday was rainy, windy and cold.  A forty degree drop in temperature from Saturday to Sunday.  Crazy spring 2018.

I woke up Saturday with a plan to sew for the grandgirlies.  I have a fabric stash that I'd like to use up, and I thought making some simple peasant dresses would be a fun way to do it.  Peasant dresses are cute and if you make them a bit shorter, they can be a peasant top, that the girls can wear with shorts.  Win - win as my friend Linda would say. (grin)

My weekend actually took a turn mid-morning when my friend needed a ride to the ER.  She's fine, and we were grateful for that news.  

 After our church fellowship meal yesterday, a few of us ladies went to visit our friend who had a miscarriage last week.  Our friend married into an Amish family, and her husband had called a let us know that Katie would love a visit from us.  We spent several hours there in the afternoon.  I hadn't visited for a while so I was glad to see them and love on her.

 I arrived home to the young adults gathered in the house, playing games, and eating pizza.  

Sorry for the poor photo quality.  I took these later in the evening after a few friends had left already.  

I've learned over the years, to hold my plans lightly in my hands.  To be flexible, I do pretty well, but not always.  I was very glad to have been able to be used by God this weekend to help my friends.

I'm going to take the kids with me to run errands (I have the grands here today), then because its rainy, we'll stop at CFA, see Rachel, get a treat, play in the playplace, and then come home.

I hope you have a great day!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Mani/Pedi Night

Our daughter in law, Kayleigh, is going to cosmotology school to be a nail tech.  The school had a free mani/pedi night so the students could practice.  We ladies all went, including Lindsay and my mom.

Lindsay, my mom, and I all got manicures.  We got the full treatment, including hand soak, and hand massage.

Mom chose a pretty mauve color.

Lindsay went for bold and fun.

 Kay did my manicure.

 She does acrylics on her nails.  I always thought that acrylics were always plain and you had polish applied, but hers are done with colored acrylics and have no polish on them at all.

Rachel and Sarah got the full pedicure treatment.
 You can tell they enjoyed themselves fully.

Here are my nails.

We had a good time, and it was especially fun to do it together, and support Kay and the other women in their training.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Divine Florals

A dear, longtime friend of mine, Susan, has always loved flowers.  She has beautiful flower beds and has always shared her knowledge of flowers, and perennials from her garden, with me.  

Over the years, she has done floral arrangements for events with her husbands work, and at church events.  She did her nieces' wedding flowers, and after doing that she decided that she wanted to do the flowers for her friends' daughters' weddings, as her gift. (We paid for the flowers, but her time and talent in making all the bridal bouquets and other floral arrangements, corsages, etc, were her gift!)

She did Lindsay and Emma's flowers, she did our friends girls weddings, too.  She loves it and with her son finishing homeschooling, the time was right to branch out into her own business called, Divine Florals!

Here is some of her work - 

She gave me several hours today, to work on a flower order for the wedding I am helping with.  I enjoyed time with her in her beautiful space for her business, that she built at her home.

If you are in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area, or are having a destination wedding here, look up Divine Florals, and give Susan a call.  She does beautiful work, and she is a delight to work with!

Simple Living

Life doesn't always feel simple around here with owning our own business, and having a preteen and teenagers.  

Here is a typical day for me.

I get up.  Make my bed.  Read.  Eat breakfast.  Homeschool. Keep the house tidy.  Write reports for the business.  Cook dinner.  Help clean up.  Watch a movie or read.  Go to bed, sometimes late if Rachel closes at her job, since I always wait up for her.

Simple right?

Some days, errands would be added to that list, or meetings for planning a wedding, or event.  Sometimes, I watch my granddaughters, while my dil works.

Many would say that my life isn't simple, but I do.  I get to base all my work out of my home.  I get to spend my days with my kids, walking alongside them as they grow.  We laugh a lot.  We talk about books. 

 I cook simple, but healthy meals.  I know how to make jam, but don't often do it.  I know how to can, but again, its not something that's regularly done here. 

 I haven't sown regularly since my girls got older, but I am going to be doing some sewing for my granddaughters.  I knit.

I garden, but the last few years we've not grown our own veggies.  We support our neighbors produce stand.

The kids often help their dad with his work, andsometimes get to spend the day with him.  What a great way to get work experience.  

We have chickens.  I enjoy them and give them treats.  They give us eggs, daily, so I like to reward them.  We also have horses.  Tim or Kyle mostly feed them, morning and evening.

 I think simple living is a mindset.  We are simple people who enjoy living life together.  We support each other, encourage each other, worship God together.  We work together for our living, but also to host people in our home.

Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men."  Seems pretty simple to me.