Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, March 31, 2008

Modesty and Swimwear

I have been enjoying a series on modesty over at "The Sparrow's Nest." (the link is on my sidebar) I think this is an issue that needs to be talked about. With warm weather on the way, we are thinking about grandpa opening the pool and swimming, so I thought I would share what we have chosen to do for swimwear in our family.
I read a book several years ago called "Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America", by Jeff Pollard.

It challenged my thinking. One example is; how many parents would let their daughters stand in the front yard in their bras and panties? Yet, many allow their daughters to go to the pool or beach in a bikini, which are often less covering than the bra and panties! Some how we have the idea the bikini is ok because it is a swimsuit!

While have never allowed the girls to wear bikinis, they used to do one piece suits, which can be immodest also but when the girls started to get older we discovered Land's End tankinis. Two piece fully covered with a skirted bottom. However, a few years ago we found a company online making modest swimwear like this:

I made one for Lindsay last year and she liked the freedom to swim and really be active in the water without worrying about modesty. The company is called Modest Swimwear, It has a skirted top and then "capris".
Emily wore Lindsay's old Land's End tankini. This year however we have found this company and this swimsuit:

This is more Emily's style. It is a bit pricey, but I will spend more on something that will be modest and still allow the girls the freedom to swim.

Our modesty policy extends to the younger girls as well. This is the style of the little girls swimwear, it is from an online company called "Swim Modest"

It is a one piece suit with longer length in the leg and then an attached "sarong" wrap around the bottom. The girls love them. I like that they can get out of the pool and not have to put on capris or something in order to be modest.


Thanks to my dear sister in law, Miss Paula, I have been reminded that my 1 year blog anniversary came and went without my notice! The date was the same as Miss Paula's anniversary of her marriage to my brother Robert.

I have had a lovely time posting. I hope that it has accomplished what I wanted; for it to be a place of encouragement, hospitality, and friendship! Here is the whole first post:

Welcome to Creekside Cottage.We like to practice hospitality at the Cottage, and I hope you feel welcome here. I trust this will be a place of encouragement and friendship.

I have a wonderful husband, and 6 great kids. We home educate.

Some of my interests are homemaking, decorating, gardening, sewing, taking tea, reading and Jane Austen.

So again welcome, make yourself at home.

Mrs. Rabe

I have enjoyed meeting so many new friends, and keeping up with my delightful family spread out throughout the world!

I will think about a blog giveaway! With my camera still not working, I couldn't post any pictures of stuff to give away, but I will see what I can come up with!

So happy blogiversary to me! Glad you have joined me!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Plans, Plans, Plans

These days seem to be filled with many plans.

We are in the early planning stages with my parents, to build an in law quarters addition on our cottage. We went to look at a large home the other night, one with lots of bedrooms and some acreage for the horses, but it was not a good layout for what we need. It is fun to look and to see what others have done. Any building would not happen until next year, but it is good to start the process and to think about how to do it. Our home is R1 so we are only able to have one kitchen. This means we need to enlarge the existing kitchen, and we probably will add a great room on. They will have their own space, including a living room were they can go to escape the grandkids, but we do need a space to hang out together, like we do on Sundays etc....We also do not have a garage here so that will be part of the addition.

Other plans are more immediate. We are going to be repainting the girls bathroom and getting some new bedding, for spring and summer. The girls love bright colors and we have lots of white furniture so it will look smashing! We were inspired by this picture in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog.

Isn't it fresh and cute? The girls wall will not be this color, we are leaving the color they have which is an aqua color. Their bathroom though will be painted perhaps a variation of this wall color for the shower and commode room and they are talking a lime green type color for the sink and tub section of their bathroom.

We will be looking for some colorful bedding and clearing out clutter etc....

I am excited about this project - do you know what it is like to get 4 girls ages 16, 14, almost 9 and almost 6 to agree on this type of thing????? :)

The rest of the "plans" discussions have been about the kids education for next year. What do we want to study for history, science, foreign language? What co-op classes will they take? We go to our convention Mother's Day weekend and that is where we will make our purchases.

I love to make plans and see them come to be. I like to be reminded too, of what Jeremiah 29:11 says; "For I know the plans I have for you, plans of peace and not of evil, plans to give you a future and a hope."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Keep Praying for California Homeschoolers!

Good News!
Court of Appeal Grants Petition for Re-hearingOn March 25, the California Court of Appeal granted a motion for rehearing in the 'In re Rachel L.' case--the controversial decision which purported to ban all homeschooling in that state unless the parents held a teaching license qualifying them to teach in public schools. The automatic effect of granting this motion is that the prior opinion is vacated and is no longer binding on any one, including the parties in the case. The Court of Appeal has solicited a number of public school establishment organizations to submit amicus briefs including the California Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and three California teacher unions. The court also granted permission to Sunland Christian School to file an amicus brief. The order also indicates that it will consider amicus applications from other groups. Home School Legal Defense Association will seek permission to file such an amicus brief and will coordinate efforts with a number of organizations interesting in filing briefs to support the right of parents to homeschool their children in California."This is a great first step," said Michael Farris, chairman of HSLDA. "We are very glad that this case will be reheard and that this opinion has been vacated, but there is no guarantee as to what the ultimate outcome will be. This case remains our top priority," he added.

Charter Day

Every March, Pennsylvania celebrates the charter that King Charles II gave to William Penn for the land between Lord Baltimore's province of Maryland and the Duke of York's province of New York. Every Charter Day all the state museums are open for free!

This year we went to the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum in Strasburg. This was an easy choice because of it's location and Kyle's love of trains.

Here are the girls waiting at a replica of an old train station. Don't they look thrilled?
Here is one of the trains in the museum.
This is what the kids were waiting for. Getting to climb into some trains and pretend to drive!

They couldn't wait to have Grandpa climb up with them!
Kyle had such a great time! He didn't want to leave!

Emily's Birthday

One of our favorite shows is Food Networks "Ace of Cakes". It follows amazing cake decorators in a shop called "Charm City Cakes" in Baltimore.

For Emily's bday we decided to try to make a cake using fondant and other such techniques.

We originally were going to make a shoe cake, but the cake we uses was too moist and crummy (great for eating,terrible for designing). So we made a normal cake and then Rachel and Lindsay made "shoes and purses" out of fondant for the top. We had fun with the colors, after all Emily was turning 14! By the way, Duff and Company have nothing to worry about from us!

Emily got a Cranium game from her favorite cousin Evan!
We also ate yummy pizza!

Happy Birthday Emily!

Easter Pictures!

Thanks to my Dad, I finally have photos to share from Easter!

Don't they look like a bunch of Easter eggs? The younger girls dresses are made from the Girls Regency Pattern from Sense and Sensibility Pattern Company. I made Lindsay's aqua linen skirt.

Look a real smile from Rachel!
The egg hunt is a highlight for the kids.
It was a beautiful day, but cold!
Kyle had a blast collecting eggs!
Sandy checking out the egg hunt.

Monday, March 24, 2008


What a fantastic day we had. Our church service was awesome - He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

We had a lovely family dinner, minus our oldest who wasn't able to make it. We had roast beef, potatoes and carrots, sweet potato casserole, croissants, and Lemon Delight.

The kids looked adorable in their new dresses, and I made Lindsay's skirt. Kyle looked so handsome in his new khaki's, white polo shirt, and yellow and blue sweater vest!

They had such fun having an egg hunt!

Lindsay rode Sandy for awhile and taught her Grandpa how to do some training games with horses.

It was cold, but beautiful yesterday!

We played Rummy and Mexican Train.....

I would love to show you all photos of our great day, but with our camera not working, I am depending on my dad to send me photos. I just know he will do it one of these days. Of course, I am still waiting for pictures from the bathroom I repainted for them, and Emily's birthday photos.....hint hint Dad! :)

I trust your day was fantastic too!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wonderful Quote

Courtesy of

I read a quote by Margaret Thatcher that I just loved. I read it on someone's blog the other day and I can't remember whose it was. I have searched for it and I can't find it.

Here is the quote: "A leader is like a lady. If you have to tell someone you are, you aren't."

Isn't that marvelous? Sometimes, we feel like we have to advertise our "gifts", so others can appreciate them. However, this is wrong thinking, isn't it. When we are functioning in the gifts that God has given us, it flows naturally and people do recognize it, they just may never say anything to you about it! But why do we lead? Is it a natural functioning of our engiftments, or is it to get attention and affirmation from others? I believe that when we function in our engiftments, we don't always recognize that we are, because it is so natural to us. Some are behind the scenes kind of people, some are in front kind of people. That's ok. Do what you were made to do, for God's glory.

I also believe that we all are leaders, in some way. Some people don't lead groups or committee's but they are leaders of their children, or friends. Their words influence other people. When I realized that I was the biggest influencer of my children, it made me want to be very careful about what I spoke about, watched, listened to, read. They would take their ques from me! It is the same with other people. Some people do watch and take their cues from you.

There was a song we used to sing in Sunday School "Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See", and one verse went, "Oh be careful little lips what you say, for the Father up above is looking down in love, Oh be careful little lips what you say."
These are great words to live by. I know that I have said things I shouldn't have, and then have had to go back and apologize to someone. Sometimes, the apology is accepted, but the relationship may never be the same.

If you are a leader it will be obvious to others, however your leadership may not be on a national scale, or even a local scale. It may simply be with your children and neighbors, but what more important scope of influence is there?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ready for Spring!

I am so ready for Spring! The temperatures are much warmer now, and you can feel that the seasons have changed, well, ok, officially tomorrow!

March is a blustery and wet month here in Pennsylvania and we have been known to have a snowstorm in this month as well. BUT, you can see the bulb plants above ground and eager to burst forth with their beautiful flowers. Spring is a beautiful time here.

These pictures are from my garden last year, late spring or early summer. (Yes, our camera is still not working) This year, I need to do some work on landscaping. We had our drive way redone in the fall, and the flower beds by the road need to be changed. I am thinking of incorporating our mailbox bed with one of the beds. I think it will look nicer. I also need more ever green shrubs.

My climbing roses always do well, and add beauty inside the house as well.

I adore my birdbath, and I love the picket fencing that my husband surprised me with last year! The kids love it too as it gives them a "Secret Garden" to play in!

I hope to get the camera repaired soon, and post photos of the changes in my landscaping this year!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Big Boy Kyle

I love this picture of Kyle - this was taken in February. I wanted to take a new picture but our camera is not working.
He has brought so much fun and laughter into our family - he has always been very verbal. At his 2 year check up they asked if he used 3 word sentences, on occasion. That surprised me very much. He hadn't used that few words for a long time!
Recently he said to me "Hey mom, I a man and a dude." This cracked me up. The girls said "who told you that?" His answer was "Nate, told me that."
Then we were driving in the car the other day, and Rachel was putting earrings in Sarah's ears. Kyle said "Mom, I want earrings." I said "why", his answer "cause I need them" This comes from being at home with 4 older sisters!
On Thursdays, when we go to co-op, he gets to spend the afternoon with his Grandma. He was eating a red pear last Thursday when Grandma got to our house. He said to her "Hey Grandma, my big pear is red." He is amazing to me.
Last night when we were playing Phase Ten, Kyle wanted his blanket wrapped around him. He then ran around saying "superhero to the rescue!" This cracked his grandparents up! They had never seen him do this!
You know, Tim and I won't be empty nesters for many years, and that is ok with us! We have so much fun!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Today was simply beautiful here.

I went to my parents to work on the downstairs bathroom - I am almost done painting, I just have the cabinet doors to finish. Then the rest is all theirs! hee hee

Then I drove home and picked up the kids and their great friend Danielle and drove to meet Danielle's dad. They moved to a different county and we live more than an hour away, so whenever we have the chance to work it out, she comes to stay a few days with us, or my girls go there. It is a friendship worth working for and continuing.

Then we met my husband at his work and he took the littles home and the older girls and I went to the mall ( a rare occurance) to look for shoes. I just hate most shoes these days or else they cost a fortune! We came home with a couple of books instead!!!

Now we are going to eat our spaghetti and meatballs, and enjoy the rest of the evening.

My darling and I may even bundle up and sit on the deck together for awhile. Alone. Seriously.

Have a Blessed Palm Sunday!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Big Shopping Day

Every other Friday, I embark on my bi-weekly enormous grocery shopping day. Whew! I am tired already!

First I make a menu of 14 meals, and then I compile my shopping list. Our menu for the next two weeks is as follows:

Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans.

Beef and noodles, with corn.

Potato Cheese Soup

Chicken Curry with brown rice.

Tacos and Rice

Chicken Corn Soup, homemade cornbread.

Burgers and home fries

Oven BBQ Chicken, cheesy biscuits, and salad.

Sweet and Sour chicken with brown rice - in crock pot

Spaghetti w/meatballs.

There is no particular order for these meals - but having the menu allows me to choose a meal to make at a glance and know that I have all the ingredients to make the meal. This allows me to choose meals based on the time required or the ease of the meal if I need the girls to cook etc...Flexibility is Key for us!

I also use this day to run errands. With the price of gasoline, I like to not run out everyday, and also with homeschooling it is important to be HOME as much as possible to get school done!

I will run to about 5 stores today, they are not too far from each other but are about 20-25 minutes from my home. Most of my errands are in this area as well. Fortunately for me, I have daughters who are older, trustworthy and responsible and so I do not need to subject my little ones to being dragged around for hours. They can stay at home with all their regular routines and the youngest can still get his naptime in. This is such a blessing to everyone! We usually get our big school items done before I leave, and then they work on fun things like painting, or projects they have currently going.

If you have any questions regarding this post, feel free to comment!

Well, I need to get going! Have a great day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God

I recently read this book, and I really enjoyed it!

It is written by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald. And yes, it is an intentional play on the title of the t.v. show.

They decided to write this book, after becoming discouraged by the "me first" message, even by other Christians. They say that "We were dismayed by the numbers of women publishing articles that urged Christian homemakers to put themselves first and seek happiness before service." They go on to say that "the message of the gospel is the reverse, you want to be first, go last. You want to be great? Be the least. You want to find rest for you soul? Serve others."

I find this very refreshing and challenging! But I believe it is right on. They do not rely on their own opinion either, they continually go back to what scripture says.

A section I really like is in a chapter called "Mama don't let your daughters grow up to be housewives", says this " You see, homemaking isn't about the house itself or the things it contains. Being keepers at home is about focusing upon the Lord in all the everydayness so that our houses become centers of hospitality, forgiveness, training, business, welfare, charity, shared mourning and celebration and -oh, yes- lots of tracked in mud, crumbs under the chairs, and everything else that goes with human beings. We must not lose sight of the fact that our homes are God-given tools to bless others."

I love this! This is what I desire for my home. My homemaking is so that I can use our home to serve others! This is what I am teaching my children as well! We must remember that very important ministry takes place everyday in our homes. It is ok if we are not well known, I want my children and husband to rise up and call me blessed!

I would recommend this book to any woman who wants to be encouraged in her walk with the Lord, and in her service to her family and others.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Miss Paula and Robert!

25 Years ago today, my brother Robert married the love of his life, Paula. He had loved her for many years, from a boyhood "crush" to a manly love and care. It was a lovely evening wedding with candlelight.
Through the years their love has grown, as they have grown in the Lord.
I am so proud of them and am happy to be their sister!
Love you both!

Brain Type Test

At the following website you can take a test to see what kind of "brain type" you are.

I am a:

"Educator"teacher/pastor; socially sophisticated; expressive, ambitious, catalyst, cooperative, devoted, fluent, imaginative, emotional; opinionated; interested in ideas and possibilities; seeks order, language skilled.

What do you think, does that suit me?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Parental Rights

With the homeschool situation in California and just a general push to take more control over our lives, Homeschool Legal Defense Association and others are working for a constitutional amendment that would insure parental rights.

You can read more about it at a website called "Parental" (

We need to pray, that God would favor us with the right to truly be in charge of the children He has placed into our families!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Blog Award!

Ok, I finally got it straightened out! It was given to me by Chelsea, who is the daughter of Becky from Hospitality Lane. She gave it to me for encouraging her in her blogging, but she encourages me, with her blogging and her kindness to others!
She is a sweet girl, she has been a student of mine this year. I love it when young girls are walking with God! She is and on her blog she is having influence on other kids. Way to go Chelsea!
I thought it was she who gave it to me, but then I couldn't find the post about it on her blog, Alicia from Renewed in Him reminded me. Now I think I remember that it came from Chelsea but from her Mom's blog!!! So no wonder my confused mind!

An Apology

Someone sweet gave this award to me - but and here is where the apology comes in - I can't remember who it was! Oh, I am pitiful....
You see it came in the middle of sick kids, and other craziness, so I saved it thinking I would
post it when I could give it some attention....
If you were the sweet person who gave this to me, and if you forgive me, would you please let me know who you are?

Information Friday

  We are having a very rainy spring. Today it is windy, as well. Thankful that the temperatures are mild! My Daffodils got hammered but the ...