Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Ah, There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.

Miss Jane Austen


I love this quote – especially on rainy days like we have been having.  I like nothing better than being in my cozy home and baking or cooking, drinking tea and reading a good book.  I love to have all the curtains and blinds open so that the house is filled with natural light.


I like to light candles and use warm throw blankets to toss over a chair or couch so that they are available to use whenever someone feels the need to snuggle up!

I was out for a good portion of the afternoon and was so happy to get home!

I am thankful for my home and the privilege to use it and to share it with others.  It’s a blessing.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


We are in the early planning stages of adding an in-law quarters for my parents on to our house, which basically mean we have been talking about what we could do, how it could look etc. We have looked at houses on line, have gone to look at one in person, and at this point see that our best shot at getting my parents the set up that they would like is to do an addition. Since our property is zoned R1 we are unable to have a separate kitchen for the addition, so we will need to enlarge the kitchen.

We realize that especially for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas where there might be 4-5 of us in the kitchen cooking or working on different food prep, the kitchen being expanded is a must. My girls and I spent an hour or so the other day talking about how it could look! We also practice hospitality at our home, in a big way, so it will be a blessing to have a separate dining area from the kitchen and to have a pantry for storage.

Today, I went to The Inspired Room and saw that she had a whole post about pantries! She has great photos and ideas for storage.

This lead me to look online for photos for inspiration.

There is a lot I like about this kitchen - the cabinets, the high table and chairs the beadboard, the plate rack, the ceiling - but I don't like the blue and white tiles or the floor. I like a warmer look.

I really like the colors of this kitchen and the farmhouse sink! Isn't that wooden countertop and backsplash neat?

I like this pantry. It looks like an old country store! I doubt our ability to keep it looking this way!

I also saw a photo of a closet style pantry that had a red country style screen door on it instead of a solid door! I even had a photo of that but it got deleted. I knew I should have tried out Live Writer today! Well, you will just have to trust me. It was cute!

What kind of kitchen do you have and what things do you like about it? Anything you would change?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Preparing Preparing A Meal -Nicolas-bernard Lepicie

I seem to always be in a state of preparing...

Today I planned the main meal of the day which we ate around 2:00pm before my husband has to leave for work. I was going to be cooking it, but Emily ended up doing it as I was in the middle of mowing the yard, which takes about an hour or so. Even though I didn't prepare the meal I made sure everything was available to make the meal.

That is a huge part of my life - buying food, preparing food, cleaning up after a meal...for some reason these people expect to eat everyday! When Kyle asked for breakfast this morning, I said to him "You don't need to eat today, you ate yesterday." He grinned at me and said "Your just teasing. I like to eat everyday." So precious!

I also prepare for our co-op every week - decisions to make, emails to send, preparing coffee and tea for the Mom's makes me happy to have it be nice for these ladies.

Another way I prepare is by discipling my children - I am preparing them for their adult life. I am preparing them to be followers of Christ in an increasingly hostile culture. This is a huge part of my life, but I am preparing multi-generationally - I am planning on having great, great grandkids who are walking faithfully with the Lord!

I also am preparing for a Harvest party at our place on Saturday - hot dog roast, bonfire, horseback riding, lots of fun stuff..our whole church and lots of friends are coming.

I am preparing to fly to California the week before Thanksgiving for my niece's wedding. So Rachel and I are starting to think about what we need to pack. We also need to go pick out a pretty new dress for her to wear or I need to get started on making her a dress.

Also then I am preparing ahead of time to make sure everything will be in place for Thanksgiving since I won't be back until the Monday right before the holiday.

Now I need to go and prepare for the evening. I like to get settled in, and the kids in jammies, light some candles, read, knit. Oh, before I do that though I need to run to our Christian Library and return some books, and check out their fill a bag sale!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Most Important Work I Do

is to mother these great children. I am in awe over the way God answered the desires of my heart (placed there by Him) by allowing me to be a wife and mother. It was all I ever wanted to do.

I am not the perfect mother, I have made lots of mistakes, but I am passionate about it and purposeful in it.

It is a priceless treasure to hold the affections of these wonderful people.

I am blessed beyond what I deserve.

Mother, Home, and Heaven

There are three words that sweetly blend,
That on the heart are graven;
A precious soothing balm they lend -
They're Mother, Home and Heaven!

They twine a wreath of beauteous flowers,
Which, placed on memories urn,
Will e'en the longest, gloomiest hours
To golden sunlight turn!

They form a chain whose every link
Is free from base alloy;
A stream where whosoever drinks
Will find refreshing joy!

They build an alter where each day
Love's offering is renewed;
And peace illumes with genial ray
Life's darkened solitude!

If from our side the first has fled,
And Home be but a name,
Let's strive the narrow path to tread,
That we the last may gain!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's Coming Along...UPDATE

The roof is half-way done! Rachel took this photo - I think I have another talented photographer on my hands!

The barn project is on going. It is dependent on weather and on time.

Yesterday all three were available and Tim, my dad and the girls got the rest of the roof prepped and started to put up the roofing.

Nail guns and power tools make the work go faster and are such a blessing.

Oh NO! Tim slipped! Just kidding - he was playing around. Can you believe it? Where is OSHA when you need them?

Grandpa was chief wood cutter and supervisor - he does that really well!

Emily got to use the reciprocating saw yesterday to trim the boards flush with the rafters.

Here Lindsay is loading the pneumatic nail gun for Tim. I love that my girls are learning such practical skills.

The rafters finished, before the roofing started going up!

It will be a real blessing to have this finished.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn At Creekside Cottage

Autumn as you may remember is my favorite time of year. I thought I would show you some of the seasonal changes around Creekside Cottage.

I love when the leaves are turning...we are not at peak yet, maybe another week.

I love these tall trees - a Red Oak and a huge Sugar Maple... we are thinking of this area for a picnic spot.

Here the littles run toward those trees. They have a spot across the creek from here that they call "Emily's House" since Emily found the spot. They love to play there on a fallen tree.

One of my Red Sunset Maples in the front yard. When we moved here there were no trees in the front yard. We planted two maples and a Cleveland Pear in the side yard.

This is a cheery site to welcome you to our home!

These mums came from a friends garden. She got me started at this house by sharing many plants from her gorgeous perennial garden!

This is a yellow version of the mums!

This is in the garden near my front door. I put the birdbath with the candle out for the tea on Monday so that it would be more welcoming for those coming up the front walk. I don't know if they noticed such things, but I think of these small touches and like to do them.

This is a design Emily made...I helped her cut some of the stars out - it looks awesome at night.

We were supposed to go to co-op today, but we had many families with sickness and so we decided to cancel. The upside to this was that I got to spend time with Tim while he and my dad and the girls worked on the barn. It is coming along and is almost completely under roof! Not too bad for doing it yourself!

I hope you enjoyed a visit to our garden....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tea - Women Taking Tea - Albert Lynch

My last planned tea party is taking place this evening. This one is for my homeschool co-op Moms. It is always a precious time. We don't always have a big crowd - but it always seems that it is a blessing to those who are there. That is completely God's doing as we have no agenda for this get together. There is no program, no formal place settings, in fact there aren't even tables for the ladies to sit at with their tea things.

This tea takes place in my living room/kitchen area. Usually all the food and tea are on our table and we go buffet style with my glass luncheon plates. Ladies stand or sit in the living room - groups talking here and there and moving fluidly through the evening. Sometimes when bad weather has kept many away, the few gathered will get into serious discussions. Inevitably someone will say "I needed to be here tonight!" That is when my heart is happiest - the joy of hosting an event that allows these precious ladies a chance to use fine things and talk with those who know what it is like to teach their children at home. Those who have gone before them and have wisdom from their years of experience, those who know how to make us all laugh over a frustration.

I am looking forward to tonight. We are going to do some fun pumpkins for decorations. I promise to have the girls take photos and I will show them to you. sigh...I can't wait for my own camera to be fixed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

One Family - The Big Sister - Octave Tassaert

"How can one family affect anything?
One person battling away to put selfish interests aside,
to put other people before herself or himself, even for a fraction of time,
day by day, how could that help?
. . . One family and the children of that family can do marvelous things to affect the world or devastating things to destroy it."
-Edith Schaeffer

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Rainy Saturday

We are having days of endless rain...the benefits are that my girls don't have to work today and my husband is taking me to lunch!

Makes this a very happy day!

How are you spending your Saturday?

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Majesty Of Motherhood - Jessie Wilcox-Smith - Moonbeams

Karen Andreola has a wonderful new article over at Homeschool Highlights about "The Majesty of Motherhood."

She brings out a less noticed verse in Proverbs 31. It was neat to come across this article this week, because I have been studying this section of scripture in my person reading!

Verse 22 says "She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple."

Purple has always been associated with royalty because it was such a rare colored fabric. The Phoenician's were the ones who found that they could make purple dye from mussels.

Karen has a heart for encouraging mothers. I hope you will take time to read the article, here is a brief portion:

To Serve and Be Served, To Love and Be Loved

At the time of the year 2000 celebrations a vast majority of people voted Queen Elizabeth 1st of England a favorite person of the millennium. I happened to be reading aloud to my children from Queen Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada by Frances Winwar. When I got to the following sentences I jotted them down. “It is not easy to be queen. But she was a queen, and so always she must think first for her country and her people, before she thought of herself.” Isn’t this what a loving and diligent mother does everyday as she serves the children of her realm in all the hundreds of little duties she carries out minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day?

We are having rain and chilly temperatures here this weekend. I wish I could stay home with my woodstove lit, candles burning, and read, read, read to the kids and for myself. However, I must get everyone up and out the door for a field trip to the fire company, and then drop little ones at grandma's house while I go get groceries.

I'll be glad to get home this afternoon!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Some Thoughts On Beauty

The other day I was being like the merchant ships bring food and goods home from a far! While I was out all alone, I had the opportunity to listen to some messages that I have downloaded from BlueBehemoth. One of them was by R.C.Sproul, Jr. and it's topic was Beauty.

He had a lot of good things to say - like whether or not beauty is in the eye of the beholder. He says we don't view all things as equally beautiful - why else do we not give away dog poo as a gift. (sorry, that was his example, not mine) Gross but it gets you thinking doesn't it?

Our culture is a culture of death. Just visit your local Target this month. There are as many aisles of items for Halloween as their are for Christmas! Also, there are several very successful businesses in our area that are haunted cornfields/field of screams type things. Ick.

I believe that God has created beauty all around us. Just think, as you look at the beautiful sunset or the autumn leaves changing color, that all this beauty is here in spite of mankind's fall.

I don't want to celebrate death or the ugliness of sin. I want to celebrate beauty and this is what I am teaching my children to do. When we take notice of a beautiful tree, or the amazing variety of flowers and vegetables and pumpkins, and colors of eyes, we are celebrating beauty.

Yesterday afternoon the autumn light was golden. Kyle had played outside most of the afternoon as I was out mowing. After I came into the house, Emily with camera in hand said "Can I take Kyle for a walk?" "Sure." She was seeing the beauty of the day outside and wanted to be a part of it. Not 5 minutes later Lindsay came with camera in hand to ask "Where's Emma? The light is golden outside. We need to take some pictures!" After being told where she was, Lindsay headed out to try to capture the beauty of the late afternoon light of a mid October day.

My friend Karen and I were talking about this topic a few Sundays ago. She said the purpose for listening to good music and great artwork is to teach our children to love beauty and to seek it. And when the not so lovely stuff comes their way, and it will, the beautiful will shine out against the dark, unlovely stuff.

I am delighted that my children are seeing beauty and life, and that they are seeking that. Beauty doesn't need to be expensive - a simple garden daisy in a canning jar is beautiful!

Today we went to Longwood Gardens for a few hours. It is beautiful at all times of the year. We went particularly to see the neat railway display they had. All the children at the gardens today were full of delight to see trains running on tracks, even a Thomas train. Their little faces would just light up! The thing I noticed was how beautifully landscaped the whole display was. It added to the beauty of the whole display. Later we wandered down the path and saw the thousands of spring bulbs being planted for next year. We went into the vegetable garden and saw simple and lovely flowers planted along side interesting vegetables. The purpose for much of this is simply to make it appealing to the eye.

I want the eyes of my family to be filled with life, and beauty and goodness. Not that they won't see the opposites of these things in their lifetime. But these are the things I want them to seek out - to dwell on - to develop in their own lives and families one day.

There is an old children's song from my childhood that went;

"Oh, be careful little eyes what you see!
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see!
For the Father up above
is looking down in love.
So be careful little eyes what you see.

We were taught this as a reminder to guard our eyes. To protect what goes in our eyes and stays in our minds forever.

I think I will teach Kyle this song tonight.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Missing Someone?

The meme I just posted had the question "missing someone?" to which I answered my son as he doesn't live with us anymore and we don't see him daily.

But I also miss my girls. Lindsay and Emily spend the majority of their summer and into the fall working at a local corn maze. They are great employees - hardworking, cheerful, helpful, they do what they are asked to do. We are proud of them.

Those traits, that we have helped to develop, are needed around here. I need their cheerfulness here! The choices that we have made for ministry to be involved in - homeschooling, our co-op leadership, hospitality, care of friends and neighbors require time and energy on top of daily work around the house. I could really use them!

I miss their helpfulness here. I miss working alongside of them. They are my dear friends.

They like to have some income, both have savings accounts. We are trying to find ways for them to be self employed working from home. They would really like that too. Lindsay does give riding lessons, and Emily makes cards and frakturs. So if you know of anyone who wants to begin riding lessons, or is in need of a special fraktur to commemorate a birth or wedding or just to have a beautiful scripture framed in your home, let us know.

I miss them!

Over The Top

It has taken me awhile to get to this. I don't usually do these but this one looks fun so I will take the challenge of giving one word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? daughters
2. Your hair? brown
3. Your mother? loving
4. Your father? faithful
5. Your favorite food? mexican
6. Your dream last night? none
7. Your favorite drink? coke
8. Your dream/goal? heaven
9. What room are you in? bedroom
10. Your hobby? knitting
11. Your fear? hmmm
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? grandma
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? boring
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. Wish list item? time
17. Where did you grow up? California
18. Last thing you did? sleep
19. What are you wearing? jammies
20. Your TV? boring
21. Your pets? kids
22. Friends? special
23. Your life? blessed
24. Your mood? thankful
25. Missing someone? son
26. Vehicle? Saturn
27. Something you’re not wearing? earrings
28. Your favorite store? Michaels
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? hmmm
32. Your best friend? Tim
33. One place that you go to over and over? church
34. One person who emails me regularly? Becky
35. Favorite place to eat? Cracker Barrel

Now I am not going to bug you all by passing this along - but if you really want to do it feel free and then comment and let me know! I'd love to read your answers!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

We're Back! - Quechee Gorge, Vermont - Fraser Hall

This photo is from Quechee Gorge in Vermont!

We have tons of photos, well at least the girls do, but we got back late last night and they had to go to work this morning, so their photos will have to wait.

Vermont was stunning! I could live there! We really did hit peak week there! We never even went to New Hampshire this trip. A desire to make sure we didn't spend our whole time in the car driving was a huge factor in this.

Wednesday we went to Quechee Gorge. It was more beautiful than this photo from allposters shows. We had more color! Thursday we spent time in the morning along Lake Champlain, which was beautiful and windy! We poked into shops and the kids and Tim took a hike in the woods. It was lovely.

Today, I have spent quietly; reading, putting things away from our trip, laundry....

I am so thankful for the time that we had together as a family! My parents had an awesome time too. So thankful - evenings in the hotels were spent playing spoons and rummy and one night have a war with foam darts and shooters! This was the night we spent in a Quality Inn in Burlington, Vermont. It was a two floor suite with a queen sized bed and full bath in the loft and a king sized bed and queen couch bed pullout. The suite had two bathrooms and a kitchenette. Next time we go to Vermont we will probably just stay at this hotel and then do day trips - it really was a perfect set up for our family!

The trees here are starting to turn, but have a few weeks to go to get to peak. I am enjoying it all though, cooler weather, wind...the changing season.

What is autumn like where you live?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Friendship Tea

I love planning teas.

One of the main reasons is that I see that women don't take time to treat themselves to something beautiful. They are used to styrofoam cups but not china. I love to see them see a table set with care; glass plates, china tea cups, silverware. They respond to it in a couple of ways. They either Ooh and Aah, or they feel uncomfortable. I love that by the end of the evening, or afternoon, they we leave feeling pampered and cared for.

One sweet gal last night said " We need to do this every month! Just the chance to sit and have nice food and tea and to talk!" I agree!

We had our 2nd annual Ladies Tea at our church last night. It was a Friendship tea. Using the song, "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold," as our theme we used gold and silver paint to change the pumpkins from orange to metallic. Then using some fantastic things Becky found at Kirkland's we added special touches to the tables.

You can go to Becky's blog and Kelly's blog to read more about it. Kelly has photos as well.

We are having a great trip so far! Talk to you again soon!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thank You! - The Family Meal by Bernardus Johannas Blommers

Thank you all for your kind birthday greetings!

It was a lovely day spent with my precious family. It was a simple day, regular activities - although I got a lot of time to sit and read, and then we went to Chick-fil-A for dinner. This is a treat for us as the two in our area are both about 45 minutes away from where we live. Fun!

My oldest son and his girlfriend joined us. They bought me a beautiful bracelet. My girls got me a basket of things I like - a movie, chocolate, Butter Rum Lifesavers, a $15 iTunes card, a journal, a candle, Burt's Bee's Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme, cords to use my new iPod Nano in the van - it can play through the sound system! woo hoo!

My darling bought me my iPod - it is red! It is so nice, I feel spoiled. I also have a beautiful shawl on the way - a gift from my parents, and one of the hats I asked for!

I never really was interested in having an iPod for myself until we got the new-ish van. We are able to plug in game systems or iPods and listen to them through the sound system. I care for very little on the radio - I listen to talk radio mostly, but now I will be able to listen to the music I want, or other audio materials from Blue Behemoth.

My iPod will play video as well, and my girls loaded photos of all my kids onto it!

I will be working on the tea today - it is tonight -so I don't think I will be online much. We leave in the morning for New England. iPod and laptop in hand! I will try to post photos along the way!

I am thankful for your kindness and friendship to me. I am thankful for the Lord's grace in my life this year and in the year to come. I pray for continued growth and wisdom.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday. My sweet Emily has posted about it on her blog!

Off to have a wonderful day!


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