Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission

Over at Girl Talk, ( Carolyn Mahaney, wife of C.J. Mahaney, and her daughters, have posted a wonderful quote by John Piper:

"A Christian woman does not put her hope in her husband, or in getting a husband. She does not put her hope in her looks. She puts her hope in the promises of God...She looks away from the troubles and miseries and obstacles of life that seem to make the future bleak, and she focuses her attention on the sovereign power and love of God who rules in heaven and does on earth whatever he pleases. She knows her Bible, and she knows her theology of the sovereignty of God, and she knows his promise that he will be with her and help her strengthen her no matter what. This is the deep, unshakeable root of Christian womanhood."

You can read the whole article or listen to it at this link:

I love this quote! May we faithfully teach our daughters to be this kind of wife!

Young Lady Reading - Young Lady Reading

This picture makes me think of my oldest daughter Lindsay. She is a reader, like her momma. Every year she reads The Lord of the Rings Triology, and The Chronicles of Narnia, and then proceeds to devour many others. She loves books about horses, history, and is beginning to read Jane Austen!

Last year she read over 60 books! Granted some were not very big, but still! Wow!


On another blog, the question was asked, "What would your home be like without you?"

As I thought about this I thought that it wouldn't be that everyone would go hungry, my girls cook pretty well, it wouldn't be that they would never clean the house, although it would be very messy.

The biggest loss to our family/home would be the loss of their thermostat.

As a wife and mother I set the "temperature" of our home. Is it hot with frustration and anger? Cool with disdain and lack of care? Or do I, by my attitude, make it warm and inviting? Do they all feel welcome and accepted? Do they know that if they make mistakes, they will not be rejected?

I hope, with God's grace, to be a thermostat set on warm and welcoming to my family.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What Kind of Decorator are You?

Link to this quiz at Better Homes and Garden online. See what kind of decorator you are!

New Look

With Spring in full swing, I am wanting to make some changes to my blog. I really love the look of this blog

I have the template, but I am not sure of the colors. I wanted to put some of the colors from my house on the blog design but can't quite match it yet. I will continue to work on it.

Hope you don't mind the "redecorating" for a few days!

Mothering From the Heart

There I was just cruising the internet, minding my own business, reading on a site I go to often. There was a new article posted there, and when I linked to it I found a website that has lots of good articles and encouragement for Christian women.

The woman whose site this is, is Audrey Broggi. I had never heard of her before.

I like her.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Added Thoughts

I wanted to add some thoughts to my previous post.
I believe hospitality is so important, and so we have always opened our home, even when it didn't look as nice as it does now.
We have had tea parties, birthday parties, Mom's gatherings, meetings, dinners, and 2 family reunions here at our home.
What is need is some creativity. When it is time to eat, no more than 10 can squeeze around our table, so we set up our long counter as a buffet, placing plates, flatware, napkins, and the food on it. I like to use tiered plates and baskets for some of the food as it makes the presentation more appealing to the eye, than if it were all laid out flat. Plus it saves space. Everyone then sits where ever there is a seat available. No one has ever complained about this.
Our home is about 1400 sq feet and has 4 bedrooms and two baths. The living room and kitchen are all open and the dining table is in there as well. The bedroom our youngest is in serves as a pass through for the girls bedroom. The previous owners added the master bedroom on and chose to do it that way rather than relocate closets. It is inconvenient at times, but it works. Our girls have the master bedroom. We switched with them two years ago. The 4 of them were cramped into the 2nd largest bedroom and the two of us were roaming around in an enormous space. They have plenty of room now, along with a private bathroom and walk in closet and the room we now have is big enough for us!
I find it just takes creativity to make the most of what you have.
When you are content and happy with what you have, people feel the warmth of your welcome and feel comfortable!


I have been thinking about thankfulness alot lately. I find that I am thankful for the cottage the Lord has provided for us and for giving us the ability to work hard and make it into a warm welcoming place.
My home will never look like the picture above. But God has given us creativity and a desire to take something that was to some, not worth fixing, and making it into a beautiful home.
My husband and I determined years ago to live debt free. We do not buy anything that we cannot pay for. Our cottage is the only exception and we are paying extra on it, in order to pay it off more quickly. So any projects we do around the house are done when we have extra funds. Sometimes this doesn't happen for a long time.
I remember once, feeling dissatisfied that it was taking so long to get projects done around our cottage. I thought "how come other people are able to add on to their houses, buy new things etc.." The Lord reminded me of the fact that we wanted to live debt free. He also encouraged me with the thought, that if hard times came, we wouldn't be worried about how to pay off credit cards and the like.
So, I am thankful, for the projects we have been able to accomplish this spring. My heart feels like it is overflowing with thankfulness.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Jesus Painting

This is awesome!

Cottage Cuteness!

I wanted to show you another area where we have improved our cottage this spring. This is our front door. It used to just be the regular door, with a wreath on it, but know screen door. I have adored these screen doors forever! It is so nice to be able to open the door and let air and light in, and not flies!

Here is the view from inside the cottage looking out!

My Husband's Saturday Project

When we first looked at our cottage, before purchasing it, it was quite a wreck. Structurally it was sound, but the house had been treated roughly. Originally, the house had a sliding door from the kitchen out onto the deck. When we came back to sign the agreement to purchase the house, it was gone and in it's place was a regular door and some wood to fill in the sides!

We have always wanted to put a slider in there but with so many things to do around here, it was low on the priority list. Well finally, we did it!
We are loving the results. The sunshine and fresh air it allows in is amazing and we still get surprised when we come into the room!

Family Fun

Yesterday, after lunch, as we were looking for hats to wear outside, we got silly and put on some of my old hats. We thought a family picture was in order.
The only one missing is Emily, who played photographer!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tea Thoughts

Years ago, I was introduced to the books by Emilie Barnes and then went to a seminar of hers. I found a kindred spirit. It was she who encouraged me to create a Spirit of Loveliness and to take Tea.
Over the years I began to collect tea cups and tea pots, and to use them! I have purchased tea cups for my daughters, they have bought them for me, and so has my husband! I have some favorites like my Old Country Roses tea pot, creamer and sugar bowl, and my collection of the Old Country Roses variation tea cups. I own alot of tea cups, and I use them daily, I take them to use at peoples homes, or at meetings. Tea tastes better in a real tea cup vs. a foam cup!
I would be sad if one got broken but they are just things. People are more important. I have noticed that many ladies these days, feel uncomfortable with nice things or pretty things. They have not been brought up using them. They think they are for special occassions only, and then don't know what to do with them! I like making people feel special by using real tea cups. I can't tell you the comments I get, as if I had done something so amazing, when all I did was get tea cups out of my hutch!
I love to share tea with my family, friends, and others!

The ParTea Planner

Risa at the ParTea Planner is having a cool contest! Check it out!

I love tea and tea websites!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Our Cat is a Momma

Our sweet kitty Chloe is a Momma! Yesterday she gave birth to 8 babies! One was stillborn, having died in the womb, it was not fully developed. As best we can tell there are 5 males and 2 females. My girls have, of course, named them all. Here are their names in birth order; Charlie, Lola, Scout, Colin, Lizzie, Mr. Darcy (also known as Fitzwilliam) and Mr. Knightley.
Chloe is an excellent Momma and they are all doing very well.
I am so proud of my girls who took such good care of Chloe yesterday, helping cut the umbilical cords, when Chloe wouldn't, and helping to clean their faces so that they could breathe better. Lindsay wrote everything down, who was born when, their coloring and markings, etc. They asked "does this count for science?"
There is never a boring, dull day around here!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kyle Update

This is a picture of Kyle and his Grandma, which was taken yesterday. He loves to sit on her lap and lay back and have her sing to him. Sometimes he sings along.

Kyle has taken to pulling himself around on the floor. He loves to play with his cars. He occupies himself quite well, most of the time!

Yesterday we decided it was time to start decorating his cast.

When we saw the orthopedic Doctor last week, he was very pleased with how his leg is healing, and said we may be able to get the cast of early! So hopefully only 2 weeks left to go!


I love this artwork by Susan Winget. It reminded me of my recent purchase of strawberry plants. I have been wanting to grow strawberries for years now. When I was growing up I hated strawberries, what was wrong with me? Living where we live we have access to such wonderful produce from small roadside stands, but I want to grow my own. I love to make strawberry jam and it will be so convenient to have them in my own garden. I can't wait to step outside my door and pick a few strawberries. I know I will have to do it early in the day or I will be competing with my kids! On second thought, there may not be enough strawberries left for jam, I may have to go to the fruit stand anyway!

Monday, April 16, 2007

My Living Room/Kitchen

I painted my living room/kitchen this weekend. Our living room and kitchen, including our dining room table is all in one space. It had been 5 years since it had been painted, and it really needed it! The old color was called "Frontier Tan". It was ok, it was neutral, but we decided to make this very well used area in our cottage warmer and more welcoming.

This is a picture of my "Old Country Roses" variation tea cups, with the old wall color.

This is the same space in our house with the new color. It doesn't show it very well here. It is not this pale.

This is part of the space over our kitchen cabinets with the old color.

This is the same space with the new color.

It is so interesting how the color looks different in the same room, depending on how the light is. The color is the exact match to the color sample card. I can hold it up at different places in the room, and it blends right in.

Of course the walls aren't the only thing that got painted. You know how it goes, if you paint one thing everything else looks dirty etc. We planned for this, buying the trim and ceiling paint when we got the wall paint. What made me tired was trying to get it all done this weekend; our kitchen and living room walls, the doors and trim in the same space plus our hallway trim and doors, and the ceiling in those spaces as well! No wonder I am tired!

I cannot take all the credit however. My older girls ( 13 and 15 years old) are so helpful to me. Taping, cutting in, doing some rolling. They even made food and entertained the little ones outside for along time. What would I do without them!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Decorating on a Budget

One thing we desire here at the cottage is to make our guests feel welcome. We try to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. When my husband and I met we were students at a Bible college and then in missionary training, then serving in a mission, then parents of 3 small kids with very little income. Now, I say this so that you will know that our whole married life we have had to do things on a small budget.

I thank God that He gave me the love for decorating, and being creative. I love to pull things together. I have been known to stop by the side of the road to pick up furniture, or to find things inexpensively and find new ways to use them.
Five years ago we bought our home. It was a fixer upper to say the least. It needed so much work! The main reason we took on such a huge project was that the property came with 4 1/4 acres of land, a small creek, a huge dog run, and a massive master bedroom suite. This house was not in move in condition, even though it was less than 15 years old.

We pulled out carpet, linoleum, rotting subfloor. We painted everything, changed all the interior doors,(the old ones all had holes). My husband made new door trim, changed all the baseboard trim and put in wideplank pine floors. We still have work to do, but it is coming along quite nicely. It has taken us so long, because we only work on projects when we have the cash to do it.
When we first moved in, we painted everything in neutral colors. A few years ago when I was wanting to repaint some rooms, I asked my husband what colors he would like to see in our home and his response surprised me. He said "bold color." So we painted our basement red. Yes, red. "Cut Ruby" by American Traditions at Lowes. It is a gorgeous color! It makes our basement,which is still in progress, feel warm and inviting. We then painted our nursery two colors, a beautiful blue above the trim and a wonderful fresh green color called "lettuce alone" (also at Lowes). Those colors along with the soft white trim on the baseboard, windows, shelving combine to make that rooms so special. My husband also made this wonderful book and toy shelf.

My last decorating idea to share is from our bathroom. This room is painted in the same shade of red as the basement. We took a premade section of picket fencing and hung it on the long wall in the hall bathroom. We use it to hang bath towels on. This is always the favorite thing of everyone who comes to our home!

Vashti and Esther

Kate over at has a wonderful post on the difference between these two queens. One was proud and ignored her husband the king, and one in humility came before her husband the king, both broke the "law" of their land.

I think it is a wonderful post.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Attention Jane Austen Fans

For those of you who love Jane Austen, I thought I would share a website that I love to spend time looking around on. There are so many interesting discussions taking place, links to Regency Period group and activities, books etc...
In the fall I will be teaching a Jane Austen class for 20 weeks. We will read and discuss "Pride and Prejudice" as well as learn to do handwork, sketch, and drink tea. We will also learn to dance some of the English Country Dances. We are going to have so much fun!
This website has be so helpful to me in planning for my class.
And just for the record, my favorite movie version is the one starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. The most recent movie starring Keira Knightly was ok, but I thought it was modernized way too much. I simply cannot see Elizabeth saying to Fitzwilliam Darcy that he could call her "goddess divine!"
I hope you enjoy the website!

A Terrific Tribute to Home Educating Mothers

I read this article and had to smile. It reminds me why I am home educating my children. Be encouraged home educators!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Blessed Easter!

In the midst of all the busyness of coloring Easter eggs, and making new dresses, etc, I find my heart is centered on Jesus and His death on the cross.

Jesus' shed blood on the cross as payment for sin, is once for all. We no longer need to sacrifice an animal, to cover our sins for another year. Jesus paid it all. His resurrection from the dead, brings us joy and the promise of eternal life.

May you be blessed this Easter by the forgiveness of sin.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Two of my favorite blogs

I thought that I would share with you some of my favorite blogs.

First is Mrs. Wilt's blog "The Sparrow's Nest". I really enjoy her posts about her family and things she is doing in her home. She also has been doing a series on the Proverbs 31 woman. I check this blog everyday!

Another blog I check everyday is Pleasant View Schoolhouse. The photographs on this site are beautiful. I believe one of her sons in the photographer. I also love to see what she has been sewing! Very inspiring!

I will post about my favorite websites hopefully tomorrow.

Kyle Update

My little guy is doing better. After having a rough night sleeping last night, for Mommy too, he slept for 4 1/2 hours today, and went to bed at 7:30 p.m.

We also found that we can prop him up on the couch, so he doesn't have to be either held all the time or laying down.

Grandma and Papa came to visit him today and brought him some new cars to play with. He loved them! They also brought a bed tray, the kind you use to have breakfast in bed, and it works well as a surface for him to play on.

Thanks for your prayers. They are helping.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Kyle's Boo Boo

My poor boy! Yesterday, while getting down from having a piggy back ride, his leg slid out wierd, and it broke! He was in such pain! He will be in this imobilizing cast for 6 weeks. For this 20 month old boy, it might as well be forever! He is usually so active!

He is adjusting to not being able to move, and to the discomfort.

Yesterday, Emily asked him if he had a boo boo and he said "yah", then later said "boo boo."

Keep him in your prayers please!


  We are finally getting some blue skies with real clouds, and sunshine! I took sometime with Kyle and Kamryn's help to set up the deck ...