Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Last Day Of November

 Young ladies work on spelling...

 Candles from a friend...


 The Holly and the Ivy...

 You are always welcome at our cottage.  We would share tea, you could have coffee if you prefer, and maybe homemade spelt bread with homemade jam!  Doesn't that sound delightful?

 I love the light in the mornings.

This oil has such a wonderful scent.  I add it to my vacuum cleaner bags before I put the bag in my canister vac.  I also turn the vacuum on and drop half a dropper down the wand(?) where the attachments go.  This has helped the smell of the vacuum to not smell like dog hair or stink bugs.  Plus I love citrus scents, and at the holidays this one "Orange Spice" from "The Old Candle Barn" is perfect. 

What are you doing on this last day of November?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Keeping Christ In Christmas #1

I love the  Christmas season - the lights, the trees, the snow, presents, the music.  But in all of this fun, I don't want to lose sight of what we are celebrating.  I know we may not know when Jesus was actually born, but we love to spend this time focusing on His Coming and the reason He came.  

So we spend time reading good stories, and talking about Jesus' birth.  I put up Nativity sets and our advent calendars always include verses that tell the Story.

This year I found another way to focus on the Reason for the season.
 In the early Autumn I popped into my local Kirkland's.  I normally don't go into stores like this because I try not to buy things I really don't need, even if they are cute and would be perfect in my house.  You know.   This time I spied this painting of the Nativity.  It's perfectI waited and recently they had a deal, so I talked to Tim and bought it!  It is about 25" x 38 1/2", just right over my sofa!

This is what captured my heart.  It's simple, Mary, Joseph with light in hand, showing the humble shepherd's, the baby.

When I look at it I am reminded that God gave the Good News to simple men, and they went and told.  Those who heard marveled at what the shepherds had to say.  I want to still marvel at the gift that was given and to tell it to my children so they can marvel too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

1st Week of Advent

Our Tree

We traditionally go a cut our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving.  But, Lindsay was at work and the younger girls had a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's.  What to do? We went anyway! Emily and Kyle helped us pick a great tree!

Isn't it lovely?  We all liked it right away!

Mr. Red Boots was very pleased with it!

 Speaking of boots, check out my cute plaid boots from Target!  These are the first real snow boots I have ever had...they come in handy for wet, muddy situations, too.  Besides, I adore plaid!

The tree was cut in a matter of minutes, thanks to my man!

My little man loves to help his he is trying to help carry the tree!

After the whole afternoon decorating the house and she is in all her glory, in the morning beautiful!

A bit of tidying this morning and I am basically done.  I have a few more things to show you and then I hope to link up to a Christmas Open House or Party.  

Well, my home beckons.  Laundry to fold and put away, some much needed vacuuming ( I love to add Orange and Spice scented oil to my vacuum cleaner bag!  Make a wonderful fragrance all through the room), some dusting, you know the basic home keeping work.  I don't always "love" to do these things, especially when I would rather read, or play with my computer.  But I do love the privilege the Lord has given me to have my family and home, and to extend hospitality to others through my home.  So I try to cheerfully do the foundational work of the home that allows me the fun and public functions of my home.  Does that make sense?

Have a wonderful day, in whatever you do today! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Give Away Alert!

Kimc at Life In A Shoe is hosting a $50 gift certificate give away to Marie Madeline Studios!

I love their patterns and fabrics - my girls love their tiered skirts and aprons!

Head over now and check it out.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Blessed

What a beautiful day we had here for Thanksgiving.

 Lots of baby holding took place.

 Much laughter...

 Lots of love...

 Lots of girl cousins...

 Room for twelve at my table...

Tomorrow the fall things will get packed away until next year.  Christmas is descending in our cottage and in our hearts.  This day of Thanksgiving prepares us for the focus of the gift of a baby....

Hope your day was filled with family and friends, like ours was. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Perfect Turkey

Here is the link to "perfect everytime turkey." 

It is amazing, and you wake up to such a delightful aroma!  You can also use this method if you are eating at dinner time and want to get your turkey in the oven early!

I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We had a great time today at Colonial Williamsburg taking photos of the girls for their senior photos.  The free wifi we are using apparently is not photo friendly as it has take a good hour to get these three photos to post!  Hopefully I will be able to post more tomorrow when we get home.

We are so thankful for this time.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I so love it here.

I think I could move here, and work for Colonial Williamsburg, perhaps giving tea parties or telling history, giving tours or some such thing. 

This is a place that marries my love of history with a love of the location and the time period, etc....

Tomorrow we are taking senior photos for Emily and Chelsea, the weather has been divine...supposed to be 74 degrees here tomorrow.  As my camera has again died, I am relying on Lindsay for photos.  And as we do not have wifi available (don't want to pay $30) I can't post photos yet.  Soon!

Just know that the little folk have been in the hottub everyday, we had a lovely time shopping in the historic district today, a great dinner out with Warren, Becky and Ruth, lots of laughs over ice cream at Baskin Robbins (shhhhh, don't tell the kids!).  It is so good to have great fellowship.

I hope my Momma is reading this post.  Did you remember to get my turkey out of the freezer? I hope so! We love and miss you guys!

I got inspiration today to sew somethings for my younger girls...things that they adore, but we won't pay for here....I'm thinking they would be a delightful surprise for Christmas!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Come Thou Fount...

The Sun Has Got It's Hat On....

Oh, hip, hip, hip hooray!  The sun has got it's hat on and it's coming out to play!  Lola from Charlie and Lola. Blazing Sun Prints by Ingrid Sehl

I am going to take advantage of it!  Today is the day to put the garden to bed for the winter.

Other than that, I have packing to do, and cooking.  Such a lovely day on tap here at the cottage.

I hope you have a lovely weekend. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two More Days...


We will be headed south for several days of relaxation, rest and fun!

I have shopping to do at John Greenhow's and at Mary Dickinson's. I plan to pick up a new watercolor of Williamsburg to add to the ones we currently have gracing our living room.  

I hope to get decorating ideas.

I plan to enjoy my family.  I will share my morning pal with Tim. We get to have a whole week with Tim, he takes Thanksgiving week as a week of vacation!  So excited about this time!

We plan on having dinner out with Warren and Becky. Maybe we will get pizza for the kids...

We are going to take Emily and Chelsea's senior pictures.  Lots of great locations to take some awesome shots.

The younger folk are looking forward to indoor swimming.

Last night Emily was trying to plan a movie night with Chelsea.  I said "How about while we are in Williamsburg?"  She smiled and said "Oh yeah.  That'll work."

Can you tell I am a little bit excited?

In the meantime I must go get a ton of groceries today, run Lindsay to work, take Emily to babysit...prepare food for our fellowship meal on Sunday.

Oh yes, only two more days!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This Verse Jumped Out At Me This Morning

It came in an email from my sister in law, Esther.  Her email was to say that her tests checking for cancer blood markers, while very high prior to her surgery, is now at normal levels!  Praise the Lord.
She sent a devotional that meant much to her in the body of the email.  It said in part, 

"In everything ye are enriched by Him' (1 Corinthians 1:5). The favor of the Father is given to us in His Beloved Son, and in everything we are enriched in Him. If we are not happy it is because we have lost sight of the favor given us in the Lord Jesus. In our foolishness we turn to the world or look into our own hearts, instead of keeping our eyes upon the Lord Jesus, the risen and exalted Man in whom the Father has given us His favor." -C.A.C.

This verse, "that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge," has struck a cord.  How often do I only look at God's blessings as physical?  Either health or "things".  1 Corinthians is saying that in everything, even in our speech and knowledge we have been enriched. 

I have long asked God for wisdom.  This verse is an encouragement that God is enriching my life in this way, and in the knowledge of Christ.

That is a challenge to me - to keep looking for His enrichment in my life - to recognize it!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This and That


We are headed out on Sunday afternoon for a few days in Williamsburg, VA.  We love it there.  Truly. Love.  

We are going to get to stay free in a wonderful time share, thanks to a sweet friend.  We are going to relax, do a bit of shopping, take some senior pictures.  

Tomorrow is our last co-op day for this semester.  I am ready for a break.  I am taking my class to a nice cafe to practice our manners.

I can hardly believe it is almost Thanksgiving!  I will not be home until the day before Thanksgiving, so I have been planning ahead.  The menu is all planned.  I will be buying my turkey this week, actually I will be buying two.  I always buy an extra this time of year, as they are so inexpensive!  I slow roast my turkey overnight, so when I get home on Wednesday, I will prep the turkey, stuff him, and put him in the oven.  It is amazing to wake up to the smell of turkey roasting away!  Plus the majority of my work is done overnight.  You can search my archive for all the directions, or wait until next week.  I will post the link to the directions.

We also must go tag a tree this week still - we always go cut our tree at a local place the day after Thanksgiving!  Although I think one time, we did it the Saturday after.  I like to enjoy Christmas as long as possible, but I also try not to skip Thanksgiving.  So, I have all that to plan for as well!

Today I must take Lindsay and Emily to get shoes for work and Lindsay needs a pair of black pants.  I will get a day out after all, though modified.  The younger set will be hanging out with Grandpa - they like it there, the grandparents have a wii!

My husband surprised me last evening.  When he arrived home from work with flowers for me!  They are a sweet bunch of mini carnations.  It was unexpected and so thoughtful.  Thanks Honey!

I guess I am just babbling on now.  I'm sorry, but I do like talking to you and sharing life.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

 After I took this photo, I realized that the Arm and Hammer product on my table is not Washing Soda!  The stuff in my white bowl is however.  I have been having trouble finding it, so I need to do some checking around some local stores rather than 'national' chain stores.

 However my sweet niece in love is such a good Mama and wife and wanting to manage their family budget well.  She is now a stay at home Mom and loves it!  Her Cayden is 19 months and so darling...  She messaged me and asked for my homemade laundry detergent recipe.

Since we were making some today, I thought I would take photos and share the recipe.  It is nothing new, many people use this recipe.

1 bar of soap - can be Zote, Fels Naptha, Ivory we tried Yardley's Lemon Verbena.
1 cup of Washing soda 

1/2 cup of borax
Grate the bar of soap, mix it with the other ingredients and then it is ready to use.  We use 1 - 2 Tablespoons for our wash.  For Tim's inky, greasy work clothes, I add an extra Tablespoon and use the prewash cycle as well.  

My friend jAne mentioned to me a while back that she didn't think her whites were getting as clean with the Ivory so she went back to the Fels Naptha bar.  I haven't had that issue, but on occasion I do use hydrogen peroxide in with my whites as it is a natural 'oxy' bleach, without the chlorine.

We like making our detergent, it is inexpensive and easy.  Rachel and Sarah usually make ours.  Today, I grated a bar of soap, but they did the rest.

Alicia mentioned that she couldn't find the washing soda, I wash thinking that maybe she should try someplace like Trader Joe's or a local grocery, not a national chain.  Anyone in California who could give advice as to where she may find it, please comment!  Thanks!


Every year, my Mom and I take the girls and do a "kick off the holiday season" day out of shopping.

This year it isn't going to happen.  

You see Tim and I are committed to being debt free.  We use credit cards but pay them off at the end of the month.  This last statement was big, with a capital B!  But we had our vacation on it (which was planned for) and new tires for the van.  It had several other big needs as well.  Because it was big, it ate up the 'discretionary' spending.

Now, before you feel too badly for me, know that Sunday afternoon through Wednesday I am getting a basically free trip to Williamsburg!  One of my favorite places!  And we are going along with our pals from Hospitality Lane!  It is going to be so fun!  Then home for Thanksgiving with Mom and Dad, Nate and Kay and Kamryn, Tim's brother Dan and family and our friend Denny. We are so blessed.

But just for the record I am disappointed. However to go would mean putting it on the credit card and having to stretch the budget way too much to pay for it.  I love this day out with my girls.  They are growing and changing so much...I love celebrating these special days with them.
I guess I will have to console myself by preparing for my trip this next week....

Monday, November 15, 2010

15 Authors...


Brenda at Coffee, Tea, Books and Me 
shared her list of authors that have impacted her.

So here is my list, basically off the top of my includes fiction and non-fiction authors.

1. Jane Austen

2. Emilie Barnes

3. Karen Andreola

4. Sally Clarkson

5. Jan Karon

6. Edith Schaeffer

7. Susan Schaeffer MacCaulay 

8. Elisabeth Elliot 

9. Nancy Leigh DeMoss

10. Nancy Wilson

11. Douglas Wilson

12. Dee Henderson

13. Lori Wick

14. Tedd Tripp

15. J.R. Miller

That's my list....what about yours?  Who are you currently reading?  Favorite author?  I love to talk about books and authors...I must get some Elizabeth Goudge....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Animals In The Frosty Morning

 When I went out to take photos yesterday morning, Sandy saw me and started to call to me.  Whinnying, she let me know "Hey, you could come feed me!"  I took her hint and headed to the barn.  I am so thankful for this building!  So nice for the horses and for us to have all their feed (and the chickens feed) in one place and right where we feed them!

 They eat their grain, they are both on senior feed now, in the barn, and unless it is rainy, we toss their hay into the pasture.
 Cheyenne gets her hay on the opposite side of the barn from Sandy, as sadly, Sandy being the alpha horse, would eat ALL of the hay if she could.
 It is time to put the heater into the trough.  This will keep the water from freezing.  The first year we had the horses we had no heater and every morning that winter we had to break up 3+ inches of ice so the horses could drink water.  In the deep part of the winter we would have to do that twice a day!  So we really are thankful for the heater!

 Lottie and Lola are going to be moving right next to the barn for the winter...they will stay warmer there...

We don't have a heater for their water...but maybe we will bring their water in overnight....hmmm.

The dogs of course live the great life around here.  When the weather gets cold they get to spend their days indoors.

 Here Sadie seems to be looking at the horses and chickens and showing them she is inside!

 Samantha has gotten more boxer like as she has gotten older...she's getting to be an old lady.  She still has Lindsay's  heart and always will.  She's a good dog.  She has a bed in the corner of our living room, but both dogs like to lay under our big table in the kitchen!

Do you have animals?  What challenges do you have with them in the wintertime?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Autumn Is Waning

My favorite season is almost over, and we are headed quickly toward my favorite holiday.  I try so hard not to skip Thanksgiving.  I read somewhere yesterday that someone thinks this time of year should be called "Christgiving."  A blend of Christmas and Thanksgiving!
 This morning was frosty again...the colors are waning, but there still is beauty all around.

 Like my front walk way....

 Water frozen in the bird bath...

 My burning bush...
 Frozen leaves in the grass...

 This is a tulip tree, I loved it's silhouette this morning...

 The willows are barren...

 A few maple leaves still hanging on.

And these pretty leaves on the bush...

I am off today for groceries...Emily is going with me.  We haven't had much time together this summer and fall as she was working at the maze and then at a local theater.  This on top of doing school work for her senior year.  She is a busy girl.  I adore her.  So we are going out to day and will have some fun while doing our chores!

Lindsay will be holding down the fort here - and guiding the little folk in their schoolwork.  I think their is a nature walk in the works and a study of leaves.

I have so much work to do outside.  I have plants to cut back and prep for winter, where did the autumn go?  We are enjoying glorious weather that is supposed to last through the weekend.  Perhaps I will get the gardens prepped tomorrow.  

Enjoy your day!

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...