Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, June 30, 2008

One More Blog For Today!

For another summer reading treat head over to Beverly's blog Tea Time and Roses. You will be glad you did!

Sunday Fellowship!

I committed the bloggers cardinal sin last night - I didn't even take one photo! Oh, My!

We were again blessed to fellowship with those delightful people who live on Hospitality Lane and our other non-blogging friends! hee hee

Head over to Hospitality Lane to see some photos and read all about our evening together.

We love these delightful people!

2 New Blogs For Your Summer Enjoyment!

This summer I am not reading books like a fiend, as I usually do. I am enjoying some gardening magazines and I am finishing up Emma by Jane Austen (kind of important since I am going to teach it in our homeschool co-op this year!).

What I am enjoying is finding new blogs - Two that I recently have found and am enjoying are Kathy's Cottage and Blue Barn Bulletin. These fun ladies are sister in laws. Kathy is collecting easy and delicious summer recipes and Karen is celebrating a daughter's 13th birthday.

If you get a chance, pop on over and say hi!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Get Out The Kleenex!

A son asked his father, "Dad will you take part in a marathon with me?"
The father, who, despite having a heart condition, said "yes"
They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on
to join other marathons, the father always saying 'yes' to his son's request of
going through yet another race together.

One day, the son asked his father, "Dad, let's join the Ironman together." To which, his
father said 'yes' once again. For those who don't know, Ironman is the
toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events
of a 2.4 mile ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride and ends with a
26.2 mile marathon along the coast of the 'Big' Island in Hawaii. Father
and son completed the race together. Please view this:

Parental Rights

It is obvious that I support parental rights. One of the reasons that I do, is because there is an agenda out there that would destroy the whole family. One way to do this is to take a parents ability to make decisions regarding their child away from the parent. We always think "oh that won't happen here", or "that is an extreme case" etc...but read what is happening in Canada.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sharing My Heart

I was thinking about why I blog. I started my blog because I wanted to be able to share with our family and friends around the world, what is going on in our family.

I delight to be able to share my joy of being a wife and mother, to share what the Lord has taught me. I like sharing how to decorate on a budget, and to talk about our homeschooling.

I also delight in passing along good links to messages or websites that I have found to be challenging, or that I have been encouraged by.

Sometimes I share my heart, never, ever with the intention of gossiping or tearing anyone down. I myself have been in leadership positions, I know what it is like to be the subject of gossip or disdain. I won't do it. If you feel that I am doing that please contact me personally, through email.

I pray that my blog will be a place of blessing to you, and a place that you feel encouraged in your walk with the Lord, in your role as a wife and mother.

Now, in the spirit of wanting to share and encourage you; right now I am listening to a message by Voddie Baucham that gives me hope, chastises me, and makes me say amen. You can listen to it to here. This message reflects what our desire is for our family.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wall Bling

The other night, Tim and I went to a fire safety presentation. We learned that the smoke detectors in our homes, don't work most of the time.

They are Ionized smoke alarms, inside them are ions that move back and forth between two metal plates. If the ion stream gets disrupted by smoke particles, they are supposed to go off. They don't always. We learned that sometimes the ion stream isn't disrupted by larger smoke particles, such as the kind from say a smoldering couch, but don't worry, the smoke particles put off by your toaster is likely to set it off, if it is working!

Enter our new wall bling. We had heat detectors and optical smoke alarms installed yesterday.

The optical smoke alarm works by doing "visual" scan every eight seconds. The second it sees smoke the alarm is set off, unlike the ion alarms which only get set off if the particles are the correct size to interrupt the ion stream.

Therefore if you have a fire, within eight seconds of smoke appearing these alarms sound. That gives you and your family a lot of time to get out of the house. The heat sensors are placed in areas that are typically hot to start with, such as attics, shops, kitchens, utility rooms.

By the way, yesterday before our new bling was installed, we put some paper into a canning jar, lit it, put the lid on and made some decent smoke. After awhile we took the lid off and Lindsay and I commented on how bad it smelled, but the old Ion smoke alarm never went off. The smoke filled jar, was placed less than five feet away from it.

The new system is pricey. We violated our principles of not buying anything on "credit" (we are making payments to the company, not to a credit card company however). Tim is feeling a bit of stress over that. However, we feel like it is a wise thing to do. And we should get a reduction in our homeowners insurance by having these put in. We will of course, pay it off asap.

Meanwhile, we are prepared for the possibility of a fire, and knowing that we will know about it long before there is toxic smoke and flames. With five kids in the house, we have talked about how to get out of the house, where to meet, etc...they know how to use the fire extinguishers.

We pray that this wall bling will never need to be used.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We've Been Having Some Fun!

We went to a park day last week. Sarah mentioned that she wanted to stay and eat lunch at the park, as she had never done that! So we did.

Kyle enjoyed himself, too!

Sarah enjoying her sandwich, minus her two front teeth!

Saturday night we were invited to visit some co-op friends, who were camping near our cottage. We had a good time visiting and enjoying their campfire, oh, and eating ice cream.

Sunday evening saw us over at Hospitality Lane, enjoying some like minded fellowship and some ultimate frisbee! The kids begged the dads to join in and Tim says he thinks the dads had the most fun!

Here Lindsay tries to block Chelsea...

While Grandpa keeps score!

Later the girls and Mikey cleaned up the kitchen all on their own. They did such a great job that I have invited everyone to my house this Sunday, so I can get my kitchen cleaned! hee hee

We are so thankful for the blessings God has given us in our family friendships!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I have been pondering and talking and praying about the following:

Why is it that by raising your daughters to be mature and godly young women, they are the "odd ones out" at church. They have been involved in ministry opportunities, bible study, etc.. and yet no one will talk with them. Adults who have interacted with them are impressed with them and yet don't follow up by speaking to them on Sundays, and the younger people completely ignore them.

It hurts my heart because they should not be odd balls at CHURCH! They should be the norm.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happiness Is...

Mom bringing home new towels in your favorite color!

Want to guess whose is whose?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I want to wish my Dad a very happy Father's Day. He is a good and faithful man who has worked hard and served his family for nearly 50 years. He is enjoying his retirement years, serving as the president of the Kinzer Fire Company and as the Fire Police captain.

Another enjoyment of his retirement years is his new found love of horses and horsemanship. He has recently acquired a horse and is learning riding skills and horsemanship from Lindsay.

I love you Dad!

My brother Robert is another faithful husband and Dad. Over the years, he has gone from a brother who cheats at Monopoly, to a hard working, loving man. He is a very good teacher and is an elder and marriage teacher at his church. Love you Rob!

Last, but absolutely not least, my darling husband. Tim is a great father and husband. He lovingly leads us and directs us to the Lord, daily. He is faithful and he is a hard worker as well. We are so blessed to have you be our husband and Dad. You have our respect, admiration and love.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Doing A Little Fixin' Up

Yesterday, after working for 12 long days in a row, my dear husband decided to put the new door in our kitchen. You can't tell by this photo, but the old one was a mess, and so was the framing.

Here is the old door and yucky wood.

On the inside he carefully removed the door trim that he designed and built, and installed our new door. It has 12 windows instead of 9 like our old one. Kyle can look out the door now!

Here it is last night with the trim put back.

And today, with our new screen door installed. This screen door matches the front screen door. It is all cottagy cuteness now!

Now to figure out how to keep the dogs from scratching at it, or the cat climbing up.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Stitchery Give Away - Down Under!

Lynette Anderson, who has wonderful stitchery patterns, is having a redwork pattern giveaway. They are delightful, so if you are interested pop on over to the land down under and leave her a comment!

New Tea Cup

About three years ago, my dear husband bought me a very special tea cup. You see, he and I would sit in the evenings out on our deck, drinking tea and coffee. I would frequently sigh and say "Sometimes, these tea cups just aren't big enough. I get the perfect cup of tea and sometimes I just want a bit more. Pouring a new cup isn't the same."

He went on a work related trip to N.H. and when he came home he surprised me with the special cup. What made it special? It's size! It was much bigger than the normal size and yet still the beautiful porcelain and lovely roses. About two months later, we were hosting his family for the day. Being a missionary family there have been few times that they have had the opportunity to get together, especially with their mom. That evening, my dear mother in law, had used the tea cup, and it was sitting on the counter. She was being a help and putting glasses away in the cupboard and I bet you can guess what happened. Yes, indeed one came crashing down right into that beautifully large teacup!

You can see that we were able to glue it but it is unusable for tea drinking!

We have looked for a new one, but never found one.

I have beautiful tea cups, many, many tea cups .....

but none of them were the size of that special one.

We frequently make a pot of tea in the evening for whoever is interested and Wednesday night, we used the last of our favorite tea PG Tips. Yesterday, when my darling husband came home from work, he had a gift for me. He had stopped at Best of Britain it the city for a box of tea and brought home a new tea cup! A special one!

Just look at it beside a regular tea cup! Isn't it pretty?

Look at that beautiful color - fresh brewed tea!

Don't cry for that other unfortunate tea cup. I just couldn't bear to toss it, so it lives it's life out on top of my cupboards in the kitchen. Where no one can see its broken side but can only see it beauty!

Thank you Tim, for showing me love through this surprise and for you continual thoughtfulness. I love you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Becky's post today over at Hospitality Lane was very good and triggered some thoughts. It is easy in these times of high energy costs to feel like we are struggling. There is not as much non-budgeted money, as we used to have. I cook from scratch, (we even make our own ranch salad dressing!) we don't eat out much, we live on a budget. Things could feel gloomy, however we don't. You see we are abundantly blessed with true riches.

We have six healthy children, who love us as we love them. We work together and play together.

We have a lovely home. It was a wreck when we purchased it 7 years ago. We have put a lot of work into it. Project by project as we had money to do it. You see that is another bit of abundance - we have no debt other than our mortgage, and even that we are able to pay extra on it every month, so that we can pay the house off early.

We have an abundance of beauty here. We used a lot of mushroom mulch over the years to fix the soil around our cottage. We planted and an abundance of flowers were produced. We bring these into the house, give them away, sharing the blessing of their beauty.

We have an abundance of true wealth in the blessing of having many, many, many books. This is simply one book case in our cottage. I have Lindsay and Emily cataloging all of our books. They are not nearly done. With books you can learn a foreign language or culture, you can hold God's very thoughts in your own hands, you can capture your child's imagination!

We also have an abundance of family friendly movies, which makes a movie night easy to accomplish. We have wonderful friends, live close to my parents, who share in our family life! It blesses us. We have an abundance of animals as well! That sometimes to me doesn't seem like a blessing, but it does to our children!

So I encourage you, dear friends, to focus on God's abundant blessings in your life. Slow down, simplify, enjoy and share with those God brings your way. You will feel His abundance.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Blog Header

My sweet sister in law, Miss Paula, made the new header for me! I was so enjoying my peony header, but when she sent me this one it is so sweet I just had to put it up!

The artwork is by Tina Wenke. You should see the one Paula made for her blog "Gathering of Friends."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Strawberry Jam

These strawberries were picked by Lindsay and myself 30 minutes ago in our garden.

I know I am so talkative today - sorry!

My cousin Nicole asked me for my strawberry jam recipe so I thought I would post it here.

Quick Strawberry Jam

2 cups of crushed strawberries

2 cups sugar ( I use less, more like 1 cup - 1 1/2 cups)

Cook until consistency of jam.

That's the recipe in its entirety.

Now I will tell you that I like to add Sure-Jell to mine for thickening, but you don't have to. It is quite delicious either way.

I boil my jars and lids, and then when the jam is done, I fill the hot, dry jars with jam, put a lid on and turn the ring until it is tight. It will vacuum seal itself.

Scripture in the Garden

Photo from my garden -the colors are off for some reason,
the flowers in the foreground are a magenta and the ones
in the back are purple.

Tracy at Unless the Lord has done a beautiful post using scripture and photos from her garden.

Stop by if you get the chance.

Cute Red Shoes!

Don't you just love these cute little Mary Jane's? The bonus for me, of course, is that they are red!

Cookie at The Cookie Sheet is having a fun celebration for the whole month of June! Check it out here.

Lots of Snuggling!

Last evening, Kyle and Sarah were watching a "kid" movie on my bed. During a "scary" part in "Fievel Goes West", he turned to Sarah so he could hide his face. Having had no real nap for the second day in a row, he promptly fell asleep! There is such comfort in a loving sister's arms! She of course was so delighted that I just had to snap a photo.

A little while later our cat Mr. Knightly was finding some snuggle comfort in the arms of our black lab, Sadie.

What a peaceful evening at our cottage.


I took this photo of a few cuttings from my cottage garden. A delicate pale pink peony, a few light pink rose buds from one of my climbers and the darker beauty of the Zephirine Drouhin climbing rose. My flower loving little girls were begging for a few roses for their headboards, and this bunch ended up in my room.

We're Having A Heatwave

I took this photo this morning at Eight O'clock from my deck. It is really hot already. We have a heat advisory in effect until 8:00 PM. Soooo, we will be finding indoor things to do today!
Thank you for all your comments over the weekend! It was fun to open my email this morning and see them! Welcome to any new readers!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Buzz Lightyear, To The Rescue!

A friend of mine, gave me this darling Buzz Lightyear suit. Kyle likes to watch "Toy Story" and loves to play "superhero to the rescue!" so I thought he would like the costume. I was mistaken. You would have thought I was being cruel. Can you see his little quiet tears running down his face? Poor guy....

It is just the cutest little costume, but he was so unhappy in it, that I will probably be passing it along to some other 2/3 year old. I just can't bear the sad face boy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

From Field To Jam

Yesterday, we went and picked strawberries. The price was cheaper the more you picked. So we picked 29 pounds! That made our price $1.95 per pound.

Here all the kids are reading some picking instructions.

Beautiful fruit.

Sarah declared herself the "Best" strawberry picker. Her friend told her not to brag! I agreed, but must admit that she had a knack of finding the biggest and prettiest strawberries!

We filled two of these boxes to overflowing!

Here are what were left this morning, being cooked into jam!

After cooking, they made 7 wide mouth pint jars of Strawberry Jam. Simply fruit, organic cane sugar and clear jell. I like knowing that I can provide food for my family.

Information Friday, On Saturday

  Well, I was all set to do a post yesterday, but I had trouble uploading my photos. I really thought I'd get it done in the evening, bu...