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Showing posts from February, 2018

A Small Thing That Makes Me Happy

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I picked up a few more Pioneer Woman dinner plates at Wal-Mart the other day, and I found a really cute tablecloth, on clearance, that fits our giant farmhouse table, that is in PW's line and matches the dishes.  (How's that for a sentence?)

The packaging on these things are so cute and have a matching fabric strip that goes around it and closes with velcro.  I didn't want to toss it, so I tried it on a jar I use for snacks and it fit perfectly.



I'm so glad I thought to try it on the jar!  

I can see it from our living room area and the kitchen.  Its a small thing that makes me happy.


One more thing, could I ask you to pray for Rachel?  She has the flu, and feels pretty yucky.  At her age and with her good health they don't even bother to test because they don't treat it in her situation.  We are trading off Tylenol and Ibuprophen, using Musinex and Nyquil.  She came down with it overnight Sunday into Monday and we went to the doctor yesterday morning.  Last night …

Cheesecake Berry Salad

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I've been making this fruit salad the last few weeks.  Everyone LOVES it, even my 12 year old boy!  Its on plan for me too, so win-win!


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Its very simple -
3 1/2 cups of fresh strawberries, sliced 1 1/2 cups of fresh blackberries 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream 1 8oz cream cheese 3/4 cup sweetener (I use xylitol, you could use sugar in the same amount)
Mix the cream cheese and sweetener, then add the whipping cream and blend well.
Pour over the fruit and gently mix the berries and cream mixture.
That's it. You'll love it!
Here's a photo of the salad I made yesterday, before I mixed the fruit and cream together!

Its really delicious!  If you make it let me know!






The Best Part Of Having Chickens

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well, besides how cute they are and how funny they are, is the EGGS!







Breakfast sandwiches this morning!

Did you have a good weekend?  We did!  We went to see Mary Poppins at a local high school.  It was terrific!  What a talented bunch of young adults!  All the way home Kamryn kept singing, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!"  So cute!

A group of us from church went to lunch yesterday, and the young adults came to our house to have their Bible study, play games and watch a movie.  Its an all day thing around here on Sundays!

This morning I was helping Tim get tax stuff gathered to go to our accountant.  I am always grateful when I see once again the tangible evidence of God's provision for us.  Tim has lots of work and while winter is traditionally slow, it has been so busy already this year.  So grateful!

This and That

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It's a rainy day here in Pennsylvania, so the photos are not that great.  I changed out my dishes this week, putting the Friendly Village away until the autumn.  I brought out my Pioneer Woman cottagey dishes because I am ready for spring!  They are so cheery, aren't they?

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The chicks have left our property and gone to Lindsay's inlaws home.  It was easier for her sister in law to care for them there than to have someone drive her over here daily to make sure they had their needs met.  They didn't want us to have to do it.  I'll miss getting to see them!

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The Tahoe should be done today, and Rachel's car will be repaired tomorrow, so by Sunday it'll be like the vehicle craziness never happened!  God is good like that, you know.  I'm thankful for our family, and friend Denny for being flexible and helping us out. 

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The New Chicks In Town

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Aren't they the cutest?  

Most of them are a birthday gift from Lindsay and Joseph for his sister Jane.  Their brother Joshua is building Jane a coop and when they are big enough for the coop, they'll leave here and go live there!

We'll be keeping a few to join our flock and will probably get more in the next few months.  Most of our girls are over two and will not be a productive with their egg laying, so we need to bring in younger hens.

These 'older' girls will continue to be a sweet part of our flock.  When I go outside they follow me around because I'm the one who gives them treats!  Last week they followed me down the driveway to Tim's Tahoe, all in a row, hoping I had something for them.



Speaking of Tim's Tahoe - it blew its transmission this weekend, so its in getting a rebuilt transmission.  So he's using my van for work this week.  Yesterday, while Rachel and I were on our way home from breakfast and errands, her car slipped some belts and it …

Intentional Grandparenting

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I've always tried to be an intentional parent, building relationships with my kids, and yet giving them the freedom to be who God created them to be.

As a grandmother, I've had to work at separating my ongoing parenting of my younger kids, while being grandma to my older kids' children.





I know many of you are very involved grandparents, taking time with your grandkids, doing fun activities.  I've seen friends whose adult children had expectations that their parents would be at every event their grands were doing, and thus not really having the freedom to do anything but that multiple times a week baseball game.  How do you be intentional, to build into your grandchildren's lives, and yet have your own life?

Right now, my grands are all young, the oldest is seven, the youngest are 16 months old, and we don't have lots of grandkid activities going on.  When Kamryn and Klaire come over, Kamryn is interested in either playing with Kyle or if he is not here, she wants …

Old Family Photos

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Family photos are so interesting aren't they?  I just saw these yesterday, my dad got them from his sister when he was visiting her in Hawaii.

This is my great grandmother Minnie Hannah Chandler Alston in San Diego.



Here she is years later already a grandmother.

She married Walter Alston, my great grandfather, who was a postmaster, and a chiropractor in San Diego.  

This is my dad's mother, my grandmother Catherine.  This is her senior photo.  


I didn't know her very well, she died when I was a young girl, and I never met my Dad's father, William Monroe McElrath.  He was a WWII Marine Corp vet who saw action in all the major battles in the Pacific.  He won a Silver Star we believe for the battle on Iwo Jima.  He drank too much, and they divorced when my dad was a young boy.  They didn't see their dad again until they were adults.

Here's a photo of them in happier times.  Catherine with baby Bill, Robert (my dad), sister Nancy, and William. (Bill)

This photo was taken …

How I Use Essential Oils

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Do you use Essential Oils?

I don't use either brand that is a multilevel marketing business.  I use a brand that I buy at my local organic food store.  I've researched them and feel comfortable with this company for the way I use EOs.  

I don't ingest any oils, and that is just my own preference.  I had water with lemon essential oil in it once and it made my stomach hurt, so I did a bit of reading about it and decided that for me, I wouldn't ingest ANY brand of oils. (the brand I ingested was one of the mlm brands)

So, how do I use EO's?

1. I use them to clean the air in our home.

                                       This is my new diffuser!  It looks really pretty at night!

During winter, and cold and flu season, I like to have different blends scenting my home.  I use these oils alone or in combination - lemon, orange, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, frankinsence, tea tree.

I also use EO's in the water when I mop my house!  It helps make it smell fresh and cle…

Blog Friends, Community, and Scandalous Scones

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Last week I had a message from a sweet blog friend, who hadn't been blogging much for several years due to serious health issues.  She wanted to chat about things that we've both written about on our blogs - mentoring young women, encouraging homeschooling moms, our hearts for our homes.  We decided we wanted to not message back and forth, so we had a phone call on Thursday evening!  It was the best!  We plan to do it more often!  After we'd agreed to the call, I was a bit nervous, just like I've been when I've met other blog friends.  "What if their disappointed after meeting me?" "What if they are not anything like who I've thought they were?"  You know we all have these expectations of each other!  

Do you know Julianne from Life at Providence Lodge?  I am so happy to say she is truly who I thought she'd be - kind, gentle, heart for mothers and women in general.  

We spoke about our kids, things we've learned being parents of marrie…

Real Love, Homemade Valentine's, and Flowers

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Tim and I have been sweethearts for a very long time.  Over the years we have celebrated by giving cards, flowers and gifts, or not at all.  Sometimes we've gone out to eat just the two of us and other times, I've cooked for the whole family.

Last year on Valentine's Day he had one inspection and asked me to go along for the day.  We ate lunch out and had a nice time poking around in bookstores and antique stores.

This year he also had one inspection, and asked me to go along for the day.  I did.  We ate lunch out, drove around the Main Line areas of Philly, (amazing houses!) tried to find antique stores open but most were closed. (winter hours, I guess) We talked, laughed, had dinner out, too.

Real love is not just one day a year.  It is the day in and day out choosing each other, working hard, choosing grace, choosing forgiveness.  

Kamryn and I made Valentine's the other day.  She took hers home for her family and I hung mine on my kids bedroom doors yesterday morning b…

Building Community

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Next month will mark my 11th year of blogging.  Isn't that crazy?   Kyle was 2 years old when I started.

Over these years I have had lovely conversations with women about home, family, schooling, tea, chickens...well, you get the idea.

I feel like overtime my blog friends and I have built community with each other.  We care about one another and share our lives.  Some of us have met up in real life.













Some, I've only emailed with and have become good friends this way.

I think its wonderful that we can make connections with people all over the world, and share life with each other.  This is the biggest reason I keep blogging.  Being real, sharing encouragement, being a friend are all important to me.  As is sharing the hope that I have.

Today, I'm meeting up with a friend for brunch. We used to see each other every week and spend the day together, but now that we don't go to the same church, we don't see each other often. My schedule is free and I'm looking forward to …

Skin Care

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I've had good skin my whole life, even in high school.  Rarely a blemish.

As I've gotten older I've mostly continued to do the same things I've always done, which is basically cleanse my skin every night before I go to bed.  I also mosturize most of the time, but not always.

My skin is naturally getting wrinkles, and I still have all my freckles, and I'm not worried about those (wrinkles or freckles).  I do feel as if I need to exfoliate regularly and this is what I really want to talk about today.

I've begun using a konjac sponge, made to exfoliate the face, a few times a week.  I should probably use it every day.  Its gentle.  Here is a link to information about konjac sponges.  Mine is plain without red clay or charcoal.  I mosturize afterward.  

For cleansing and moisturizing I use Lacura brand.  I buy it at Aldi.





What do you do for skin care?  Are there products you love and recommend?

What Kind Of Tea's In Your Cup?

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I've probably shown you this before but I just love it so.

My friend Jane, gifted this sweet lamby pie to me.  She found it at World Market last summer.  It covers my Royal Albert Old Country Roses teapot, and keeps us supplied with hot tea for hours!

With winter here to stay for a few more weeks, we are thankful for the gift of tea to warm and cheer our spirits!

We like to drink Irish Breakfast, Chamomile, Barry's, or Lyon's brand tea.  I also love to drink Yorkshire Gold.  Sometimes I like to drink Oolong with cinnamon, and a tiny bit of cayenne, some vanilla, a bit of sweetener, and some almond milk.  Its really tasty!  Kind of like a chai.

What kind of tea's in your cup?

I'm joining Bernideen today...

Around The House

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I have two people (Tim and Sarah) who have really bad colds.  We've been amazingly healthy in this winter where all around us people have a really nasty stomach virus and the flu.

Tim has a slower week, which is nice with his cold, and so after his inspection yesterday, he got to come home and snuggle with our granddaughter Klaire.  The timing was perfect because she needed a nap.  They both did. (smile)


Things are going well here at the cottage.  Life moves at a fast pace much of the time, but we always land back here together.  

Our sweet house is 32 years old and has seen some life.  There was a family of six who lived here before we did and we raised six kids here and have had tons of people through our doors, both on Sundays and staying over with us.  Its such an awesome house, but it could use some attention.  I'm hoping to get to some of the updating done this year.



In the meantime I try to create beauty for us to enjoy.We really like this drink station area in the kitchen.…