Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


When we went on vacation, I decided to learn to knit. I am having so much fun!

I bought this book by Klutz for my daughter Emily, when she was learning to knit. This is geared for younger people and has very clear directions and pictures to follow. I made the hat from the cover this last week.

Mine turned out great except...well, I used larger size needles than it calls for so the hat turned out quite a bit larger than expected! (hee hee) Emily loves it though!

This evening I have started a shawl for Lindsay. It is a Christmas gift, but she and Emily know. I let them pick out the colors they wanted. I got the pattern from Jewels' daughter on the blog "Eyes of Wonder." You can find the pattern and see some shawls they have knitted here.

I like keeping my hands busy while watching news or a movie with the family. I am enjoying seeing lovely, simple things grow from a ball of yarn in my hands....however, I can't knit and blog at the same time, hence my lack of posting in recent days!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I love to watch wedding shows. I have seen tons of them. The one thing that most often stands out to me is how weddings have turned in to "party central." They don't seem to be about a marriage beginning, a new family starting.

Tim and I saw fireproof tonight. We got the last two seats for the 6:45 pm showing. The lady next to me said the 4:00pm show had been sold out as well!

This movie has a powerful message about marriage being a covenant between two people and not just a contract. It shows a couple on the brink of divorce - one of them commits to working at the marriage, for 40 days. During this time he realizes that he doesn't even know how to really love his wife. He learns that the way his wife is rejecting his trying to show her love, is just like what he does with God.

If you get a chance to see, go. If you know of a couple struggling, take them, or pay their way! You will laugh, and you will cry, but it is worth seeing if you are married or about to marry. Oh, and you may want to get your tickets early!

Scenes From The Fair

We had a fine time yesterday at the fair. Fridays are rodeo events, and the kids events for age 18 and under, start in the morning. Sarah and Kyle rode in the open lead line event with Grandpa Bob and Lindsay leading them.

I asked Sarah for a picture and this is what I got.
Here she is riding. She is looking a bit nervous here but she settled in and sat nicely the rest of the time.
Kyle just thought it was fun.
He has been around horses his whole life and is very comfortable on them...

Here is rancher Bob. He was enjoying his coffee. After this he had to go babysit his horse. Sandy and Cheyenne are close pals and as long as Sandy smelled Chey and she was with her she was fine. But get her away from Chey but able to smell her she would get all freaky. She bucked Lindsay off, and we had to send Chey back to the trailer so Sandy would settle down.
Here is Lindsay doing one of the fun events. She did "egg and spoon", "boot race", "western pleasure","dollar bareback," and "musical chairs."

She won 5th place in the dollar bare back event.
Rachel rode in one event. Walk, Trot, Jog equitation. She was nervous but did it.

Here she is being judged.

Waiting for the results....

Second Place!

We had a really fun day. The kids ride for pleasure here and don't take lessons. They are wanting to start lessons again. So I think we will be looking into it. They would like to improve their skills.

Sarah and Kyle got ribbons in their event for participating. So everyone came home happy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fair Day

Our fair is today. Fridays are rodeo events, and my girls are participating again this year.

They look forward to it all year long. One hitch this year is rain. The east coast has a nor'easter going, and the rain is going to be, shall we say, "inconvenient."

I will try to get good photos.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Saving Money

For many years, it has been our goal to not have debt. I read many years ago about saving for items you want or need so that you can pay cash for them. Then you really own the item, instead of making payments with interest until it is all paid off. When you really own something, should difficult times come, you don't need to worry because those things fully belong to you and if necessary you could even sell an item and have all the money from it.

That made a lot of sense to me, and over the years it has been a blessing to not have debt. With the price of groceries and gasoline going up over the last couple of years, we have struggled to keep to our budget, which has meant dipping into savings on occasion. We really hate this. And with my husbands need for hip replacement, we will be living on 60% of his current income.

To prepare for this I am working toward implementing ways to not SPEND money, so as to be able to save. This last year I have learned about making laundry detergent and we also have learned to make our own salad dressings. I cook mainly from scratch. I sew.

For Christmas last year, I made a lot of personal gifts for family and friends, and it was very gratifying to do it. I know I love getting a gift that someone put a lot of thought and effort into. It means more to me than the cost of the item.

Manuela from "The Pleasures of Homemaking", has a really great post with ideas for ways to save and to also meet the needs of others.

It is really easy to get self-focused at times like these but I believe that God would still have us care for one another.

Also, (stepping up on my soapbox here for a moment), how long could our nation live on credit? We have older cars, a riding mower that we call " 'Mater" after a certain character in a movie (can you think why?). But we own these things, we are not in danger of losing them. How many of our neighbors with RV's, boats, new cars every few years really own those things?

It is going to be pretty painful for us as a society, especially since everyone has been lead to believe that they could live like the rich and famous, without the riches to back it up. But I believe it will get people back to being real. We used to have a cash society, not a credit society. Remember putting back to school clothes or Christmas gifts on lay-a-way? Our parents paid a little bit every week for those items and then when they paid the whole bill, they got to pick up the item. Those things really belonged to them, out right. No interest payments, either.

Ok, I am now off my soapbox and want to say that I am preaching to myself here too! I want to be a careful steward of the money that God has provided for us through my husband's job.

I would love to hear any ideas you have for saving money or any links to other articles.

You know, this could be really fun!

Monday, September 22, 2008

You Just Don't Never Know

photo of my autumn flower garden - 2007

My grandma used to have a family famous saying "you just don't never know." I have found this to be a great way to express the unforseen things that come your way!

Our co-op started this week, and there were a lot of issues. New parents putting young children in the wrong classes on purpose, teens unhappy with class choices, parents who are not being a help, families showing up with extra kids. This was VERY unusual! We usually have a peaceful, easy going group.

Because some of our leadership attend a small church fellowship together, we, being still in a state of shock and amazement, hurt the feelings of some others, who felt we were not "talking" to them. Sigh....

"Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete (mature). Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." 2 Corinthians 13:11.

This is my hope and prayer. I know God will be faithful!

The same day as we started our co-op our doctor called to say that my husbands very painful hip, was so badly degenerated with arthritis, that they are recommending hip replacement. He is 42. We are praying for wisdom for timing, finances etc...

Then yesterday, my oldest son called. He was needing to move out of his current living situation, with no where else to go. So we brought him home, for now. There has been growth this year, but we all need grace to make it work.

2 Corinthians 12:9 - My Grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

I am feeling God's amazing Grace in my life. I am at peace. "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19.

This is the one thing I do know that God is faithful, but with all the rest, well, "you just don't never know!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

More Scenes From Williamsburg

This lady works at the weaver's on the Wythe House property. She was very knowledgeable about cloth, fibers, dyes...She showed us bed rugs. They were what we would place on the floor, shag style, but they used to be used on the bed as a way to keep warm in the winter.

These glorious yarns for weaving were hanging from a rafter. I'll take one in every color, thank you very much.

A great thing they do at Williamsburg is Revolutionary City. This takes place usually down in front of the Raleigh Tavern, and give you an idea of what people were struggling with in 1775. Join the patriots? Stay loyal to England? No easy answers sometimes.

This is the 50th anniversary of the Drum and Fife Corp. This is the junior group and they are very good.

I think I could live there in Williamsburg and would love to be a part of sharing the amazing history of our Country!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Not For Kids

I watched a troubling video on James McDonald's blog. The video shows a report on Barak Obama's beliefs about abortion, and Planned Parenthood's support of him.

If I were a one issue voter, this would be reason enough for me to NOT vote for him. We need to be afraid, very afraid, if this man is elected.

English Apple Pie

Monday was a gorgeous day. It was also the day of a Mom's Meeting for our homeschool co-op. I wanted to take a little treat along, so I made English Apple Pie. Since I had run to the local fruit market earlier in the day, I sat out on the deck with my iced tea and peeled apples. It doesn't take too long, and the end result is worth it. I actually made two, as it is my husband's favorite.
Look at that yumminess!

Here is the recipe so you can share it with your loved ones!
English Apple Pie
Slice 5 or 6 apples into your pie pan. (How many depends on the size of your pan)
mix 1/2 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon, and sprinkle over the apples.
Next beat 1 stick of butter with 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar. Mix in 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 3 Tbsp of water.
Dollop the topping on top of the apples, and bake the pie on the lowest rack in the oven @ 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
This is such a quick way to make pie and is so delicious you may never make regular apple pie again!
The funny thing was that several mom's were so surprised that I made it - one even said "You made it? How did you find the time? Did the girls do it?" I responded "I made it and I also made Potato Cheese Soup for dinner." These are easy recipes, and I mostly cook from scratch. This makes me wonder what other's do for meals, if they think there is no way I could have done this! My girls do cook and even Rachel is being to cook things by herself. I want them to have these skills!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Garden Behind The Saddlery

While some in our family visited the saddlery, they have a gorgeous side saddle in there, Emily and I took a turn around the garden out back.

I love the weighted balls on the garden gates, I don't know why, I just do.

I really love to walk on the paths around the garden.

I wanted to capture the dew on the plant.

Emily then stole the camera from me and took these photos.

I just got to walk around enjoying the loveliness.

The picket fences around town are all different, and all beautiful.

This is Gomphrena. It is a pretty flower, here seen in white and purple, and it dries really nicely.

Doesn't this garden look grand? It is so lovely and yet it really is not large at all. The plants are not exotic ones either, just every day flowers. Black-Eyed Susans, Purple Coneflower, Cranesbill Geraniums, Daisies, Lavender, Feverfew, Sage. These are things I grow in my own garden.

I think that being around beautiful things, such as a garden, even a very simple one, is relaxing and peaceful. I like to think about the original garden that God planted. I love how creative God is in all things, and I love that I don't have to be so creative or talented, I can just follow His example. Which is basically His plan for us anyway, isn't it?

Waterfowl and Turtles

One of the delights of the resort we stayed in was all the duck, geese, and swans.

The girls named this one "Mrs. Ping". There was a full white duck that of course was "Ping". This was inspired by the delightful children's book "The Story of Ping".

Everytime we came out onto the deck, this duck was there. No doubt waiting for use to give some delectable morsel. However, we were hard hearted and followed the request of the resort to NOT feed them. The ducks expectations however, told us that most people do not heed the request.

There were also these sweet turtles.

All photos by Rachel.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What To Share First?

The first historical place we went was to Jamestown Settlement. They were having a home educators event also. We got wonderfully reduced ticket prices to enjoy Jamestown and Yorktown Victory Center. Last year we did the National Park Service Jamestowne site and this year tried out the "rebuilt" site. It was fun and informative.

We were given a lot of information from the locals....

We were very interested in the housing...

Coyote, anyone?

Some of us were more enthusiastic than others...

Now we were talking! Bear! I have eaten this yummy red meat before....

My youngest son fell in love on this trip....with the ships! This is the Susan Constant.

Here he is bidding us farewell....if he were old enough, I am sure he would have wanted to stay on as Ship's Boy.

Then there are those who are eager to serve their country....regardless of the ill fitting uniform!

Make that two of them!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm Back

We had a lovely time. It was great fun. When you see the photos of the resort, you will know why we are forever spoiled about using a hotel. You cannot stay for 7 days in 2 hotel rooms, with 5 kids and your mom and dad. You would all be insane! However you can stay where you have 2 units, which means 4 bedrooms, bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 washer/dryers, a hot tub and a lot of history and fun things to do in the area.

My younger children were just not happy going to Williamsburg, "it's not for kids", "it's boring." They just wanted to swim, play putt-putt, and tennis all day. They did get to do these things alot, however we did torture them and make them go to Jamestown, Williamsburg, John Tyler's plantation "Sherwood Forest", Norfolk for a cool museum and tour of a huge Navy battleship, and a harbor cruise (thanks Grandpa!) Oh and we also went to Yorktown Victory Center which was really cool!
Now I will torment you with a photo of the Outdoor pool area at the resort! Yes, it was so hard to vacation there, but hey, somebody has to do it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Young Photographers

Emily has recently shown interest in photography. I am so thankful for digital!

Here is a photo of the sky she took last evening.

Here is a fun shot of her feet and Kyle's feet.

These photos by Rachel. Kyle is usually a willing model for the girls.

And our yellow pepper in the garden.

It is fun to watch them explore their interests!

Information Friday

We've had overcast and rainy days, so I don't have a lot of new photos to show you. Here is one of me earlier this spring. I had a c...