Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Friday, July 29, 2011

Time With My Daughters -

Lindsay and I ran an errand for Tim last night and then dropped by Border's to see what they had on sale.  Their going out of business sale is only 20% right now, but I did find this book by Joel Salatin that I have been wanting to read called "Everything I Do Is Illegal." 
Catchy title, eh?  I glanced through it and it looks good and thought 

Lindsay saw a book - well, I pointed it out to her - about the music of the Lord Of The Rings.  It was a hardback book and was $60. She did not buy it.  My girls are of the modern age to look up things on, which she did and found it for much less, though she decided to not purchase it yet.  She did purchase a Mandolin though!  It had great reviews and was an amazing price!
I was amazed!  It has already shipped and will be here next week!

While we were out, we also went to the fabric store where she purchased new material for a new medieval era dress.  It is going to look really good.  It is a light weight cotton, green on green small floral - looks woodsy and is just right for her.  She plans to work on that today.  

It is fun to go out one on one with my kids.  I find they talk my ears off and we get to know each other in deeper ways, and have so much fun!  My daughters are amazing young women!

Emily held down the fort for us, after working the afternoon.  She has been reading a book called "Radical - Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream." by David Platt.

She was reading some of it aloud to me the other evening while I was sewing.  It was interesting and we had some great discussion.  She wanted to buy this book, so Lindsay and I picked it up for her.  I am interested in finishing it, too.

The younger kids were playing in the rain when we got home!  It was nearly dark and they were soaked and happy.  After they got dry and had a snack I read two chapters to them in "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Last night Laura and Carrie were almost lost in a blizzard - if Laura hadn't run into the corner of the hotel their whole group from school including their teacher would have been lost out on the endless prairie.  It was good to see God's hand in their protection.  

After they went to bed, the older girls including Kayleigh piled into my bedroom and onto my bed and we watched two episodes of "My Fair Wedding".  It is amazing what this guy does to make weddings beautiful.  The girls were still giggling and carrying on at 1:00 when Tim got home, I was sooo tired, and would have been asleep long before this time, but I wouldn't have missed this fun for anything!  

Well, I need to run.  It is my day to be like the Merchant Ships and bring home the things we need from a far...well, a few of the places are about 30 minutes away!  Emily is going with me.

I am so delighted to have these relationships with my daughters.  I am blessed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Table

 This is the table that Tim built - nearly two years ago while I was in California with Rachel for my niece's wedding.  I came home to a dream farmtable.

 We have kept it covered with a vinyl table protector for all this time, until Tim could get it finished.  Today he decided was the day for it's transformation to begin!

 It seats twelve easily and is nice and wide - it is a work space as well as a table.  School is often done here, as well as sewing, cooking and games.  Oh, and lest we forget it's real purpose - lots of eating!

Tim and Lindsay moved it to the deck and he began the process of sanding.  When he left for work, I told him I would stop by the hardware store to get the finer grit sanding belt he needs for tomorrow, when I picked up Emily from work.  The hardware store was closed.  So I went to our favorite Tractor Supply store and they only carry the round sanders.  I was told that Wal-Mart sold them, so after I picked up Em, we went to Wally World.  They do sell them, but not the right size.  Sigh.  Oh, well.  I guess he'll just have to stop someplace on his way home from breakfast with his brother in the morning.  Em and I stopped for fuel at Costco and realized that Lowe's is right there!  So we went to Lowe's and bagged the right size sanding belts!  Success!

The table is going to have a medium darkish stain.  I can't wait until it is finished.  Of course, I'll show you photos!

We Start School On Monday

It's hard to believe that we have been on a break since the end of April.  It has been so good though.  This is the first time in about 12 years that I am not doing work preparing for co-op, and the first time in 6 years that I am not fully responsible. 

At first, I would have moments of thinking "I can't be sitting here reading I've got too much to do" only to realize that "No I don't."  It was a good feeling.

I have spent the summer at ease and we have kept the house tidy and laundry done, meals made, friends - old and new - have come to visit, but I have been without that constant sense of "Oh, I must call ___" and "I need to type the address list."  The endless minutia that was a part of my responsibilities.  When we are together as a family, I have been fully present!  It's been wonderful!

This year we are studying Early American History.  This is a favorite time period of mine, and I am excited to delve deeper into this subject with Rachel and Sarah, as the last time we studied this subject they were young.  They will understand and get more out of it this time around.  We are going to start with Jamestown and move on through the Constitutional Convention, hopefully.  We may not make it that far, if we are immersed elsewhere.  But that is okay - I don't want to rush through it.  We have time.

For English/Language Arts - we will be using Sequential Spelling, Italic workbooks for penmanship, Easy Grammar and lots of reading and writing.  I have found that if your children read or are read good literature; if they do copywork of scripture, sections of poetry or a favorite passage from a book, then they are able to understand the flow of language - good sentence structure etc. Sarah is a natural writer, she needs work with spelling.  Rachel likes to write poems, funny ones, but this year we will be stretching her into some creative writing.

For math we use Teaching Textbooks.   For science we are going to use "Exploring Creation with Astronomy."

I really like this whole series of books which you can find here. 

Geography is studied with history here at our house but we do like to do the fun projects found in the book "Hands on Geography."

 This also can be found at Christian Book Distributors.

We also will be studying music and music appreciation,  and art - which is a favorite around here.

I have our stacks of good books to read, and later this week I will be hitting the back to school aisle for Ticonderoga pencils, glue sticks, tape, paper of all kinds.

We will have time this year to do field trips, also.  Just within a few hours drive we have Washington's Crossing, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., a few hours more and we can be in Williamsburg, Jamestown or Yorktown.  We also have tons of museums, art galleries, living history farms,  and more available to us.  I have a feeling it will be more of a challenge to decide where to go - maybe too many choices!  What a wonderful problem to have!

For those of you who live in the general area of some of the places I have mentioned, will you leave me a comment and tell me of a favorite place you like to visit?  It doesn't have to be history related, but I would like it to be educational! I love learning about new places!  Thanks!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teatime Tuesday

 Today I am drinking "Black Pearl" and having Banana Nut bread with mini chocolate chips, that my daughters Emily and Rachel made.  It's a delightful breakfast.

 I am using this sweet teapot by Royal Vale, an English Rose luncheon plate, my sweet Old Country Roses Chintz teacup and a creamer that came with a luncheon set that belonged to my late Grandmother.  I used to always play with the luncheon set when I would visit her as a little girl.

 I love the Old Country Roses variations, the chintz being a particular favorite. 

Here is the sweet creamer - it has no markings so I am not sure of the manufacturer.  I love to have tea in the quiet morning, taking time to gather my thoughts before I begin my day. When is your favorite time for tea? 

I'm joining Lady Katherine and Sandi @ Rose Chintz Cottage for Teatime Tuesday.  I am loving getting to know you all and sharing tea with you!  Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Family Happenings

Today is my parents 52nd wedding anniversary! Congratulations Dad and Mom!  For their birthdays in May we gave them some funds toward a weekend get away, and they chose to use it this Anniversary weekend.  They are staying at quite the cute cottage near Gettysburg.  She says I would love it and that I have to go stay there sometime!  She has me eager to see it!
I am thankful to the Lord for His work in their lives over the years.  He has kept them together.  This blessing is not just to them but to all of us - my brother and I and our children and to our grandchildren.  Four generations...seeking to follow the Lord.  He is good!

Today, we are going to have lunch with Tim's brother Dan and his family.  They leave at the end of the week to return to Senegal, West Africa. This year they have been home has flown by.  We are thankful for the times that we have had together.  Lindsay and Emily were planning a trip to Senegal with their Grammy (Tim's Mom) and her husband in March.  They are saving their money.  Tim's Mom called yesterday to say that she is rethinking her trip to Senegal, and thinks that Tim should go see where he grew up and that she is willing to pay part of his expenses.  This is unexpected and he would love to go, but he would like it if we all could go.  I am excited to think of him taking Lindsay and Emily and showing them where he spent his childhood!  They would stay with his brother Dan and also get to see our niece Jen who is also a missionary there in Senegal.  Such an awesome opportunity! - Boat launching from Dakar, Senegal beach

We had a special day yesterday getting to know a new family from church.  I took no photos...none.  Sorry, I am a bad blogger.  I just loved sitting in my house and watching the older kids, playing Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, the younger ones playing dolls and dress up, the little boys playing with puzzles, cars, and trains.  It was so hot out that everyone stayed inside.  I loved seeing my husband enjoying fellowship with the men, and I enjoyed time with a sweet, godly new friend.  We are thankful that the Lord brought them our way!

I need to go now.  Lots to do to prepare for lunch.  I pray that you will find good fellowship this week!  I am so thankful for how the Lord encourages us through our friendships.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

 Today will be hot again, so I am headed outside early, to beat the heat and to mow.  Then a bit of tidying work in the front garden...

 We have a new family from church coming for lunch tomorrow.  I am going to slow roast a turkey overnight.  You can read about how to make "perfect every time turkey" in this post.  I do this anytime during the year that I make a turkey.

The church we attend is family integrated and we have lots of children!  With all the children there were no girls in Rachel and Sarah's age range - just older and younger.  So I started to pray and the Lord brought this sweet family with 10 children!  7 boys, 3 girls.  The girls are ages 12, 9, and 1.  Twelve and nine are exactly my girl's ages!  They are getting to know each other and are looking forward to tomorrow.

 There is also mutual interest in all things Tolkien.  Lindsay is excited as it seems as if there maybe folks who will play LOTR Trivial Pursuit with her! 

Kyle is excited because he is going to have 4 boys to play with!  We see lots of trains and swinging happening tomorrow.

Now back to today.  After mowing, I have to do some sewing for Rachel.  She has gotten tall and when we cleaned and purged the younger girl's room this week we found that she has outgrown many of her clothes!  While that made Sarah (the recipient of said clothes) very happy, Rachel needs skirts.  We bought fabric yesterday and today hope to get some sewing done.  I love the fabric she picked.  I will try to show you tomorrow!

Have a great day - for those of you in most of the country, try to stay cool. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What I'm Reading

I have been doing a lot of reading lately...

The younger kids and I are reading through this series by Laura Ingalls Wilder - We started The Long Winter Wednesday night.  I usually read about two chapters, but they always want more.  I like that - leaving them wanting more.  
I just got these Alexandra Stoddard books from the library.  I am reading 'Creating A Beautiful Home' first.  I just started it, but I already like it!
I had seen folks around blog land reading Clarice Fox-Hughes book 'Wren Bay' and when she announced that she was giving a 20% off code - I decided the time was right to get my own copy.  Peeked at it because I just cannot help myself, however I am waiting to finish the Duggar's new book 'A Love That Multiplies."  

I like the Duggar's and this book gives insight to "how they make it work."  I appreciate their heart for their children and their heart to raise them for the Lord.

I always have multiple books going at the same time.  Just a quirk about me.  I must have something to read - can't imagine not having books!

My Mystery Flowers

are a mystery no more!

My friend Bee solved the mystery today!  She sent me a comment saying that her daughter Emily, who works at our favorite Longwood Gardens and is studying all things horticultural, says that it is Rudbeckia laciniata hortensia

We have a winner, ladies!  

  The same friend who shared these with me from her garden, gave some to Bee's family as well.  I love friends who share! 

A friend who was one of my flower girls at my wedding nearly 24 years ago shared a link yesterday to what I thought might be the one - you can see it here.  

It is so good to have the mystery solved.  Rudbeckia "Golden Glow."  That is a very fitting name for it!  Some of it fell over in the rain we had two nights ago...I need to tie it up today, thankfully it is by the deck.

Thanks Emily for solving the "Great Flower Mystery!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lunch on the table yesterday - grilled chicken salad, fresh peaches, cantaloupe.  Yum!  Flowers from my garden - still trying to find out what they are. 
 My friend Bonnie sent a link to see if I thought that Heliopsis Helianthoides might be it, but the flower petals on mine are a bit rounder - though they must be in the same family.  They are cheerful in the garden, and tall!

 Kyle watching Sarah play Nancy Drew.  They have always looked alike and yesterday both in the same color it was striking. My Mom even commented on it!

 Beauty on my kitchen window sill...

 It was hard to get good photos with my old point and shoot and the morning light streaming in...

We have been having a lot of fun around here lately.  Swimming at Camp Geezer, sleepovers with Grandma and Grandpa, ice cream, time with friends....

Soon it will be back to formal learning for us.  I bought a workbook for Kyle on Friday and he started it yesterday.  He loves it.  I don't like to buy a formal curriculum for a 6 year old so we do a bit of workbook, lots of reading and nature study, math....easy peasy and lots of learning takes place.  He is eager and ready to go.  

I am loving my's not without it's challenges, but God is good and uses the challenges in our life to help us to become more like Him.  I have a long way to go, so there will be more challenges ahead! However, I have learned to look at the daily joys that God sends our way...

....Our young adults who are making wise choices and are growing in the Lord.

....The love of reading that is a part of our daily lives.

....Children who love and obey.

....Swimming at Grandma and Grandpa's!

....Late movies on dvd piled up on my bed.

....Little House Books read aloud before bed.

....Family worship.  Joy!  Last week we were outside several days for family worship since the weather was so fine.  This week we are inside as it is scorching hot here!  Thanking the Lord for air conditioning.

Well, I must run.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teatime Tuesday

Today I want to share a favorite tea shoppe, located in the village of Intercourse, PA. It's called "Ye Olde English Shoppe" and is filled with delightful items such as tea, and English candy.

The best part however is the tea shoppe.  Beautifully decorated, tables set with Royal Doulton tea cups, bits of has a very nice atmosphere.
My Mom and I have had tea there several times, and really enjoyed it.  A few of my daughters have been there as well.

The staff are kind and helpful, and while the shoppe is very lovely and they use real china, it doesn't feel stuffy or uncomfortable. 

If you ever come to Lancaster County, I hope you will take time for tea, and that you will visit this lovely tea shoppe.

Joining Sandi @ Rose Chintz Cottage for Teatime Tuesday.  I hope you'll join us!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Things I Love

 My family is going to wake up and wonder where the blueberry muffins are!  This candle, hand poured by my friend Becky @ Good Neighbors Candle Company, smells so good!  All her candles do.  They are soy, with hemp wicks - so no nasty lead or other toxins being released in to your home!  Hurray!  They come in different sizes and she even makes tea lights now - which I personally love, because I like to tuck a candle here and there into jars, etc, and have the whole house filled with delightful aroma!  Last Fall I was using Cinnamon Stick a lot, and the Cappuccino one was great as well.  You can purchase her candles through her Etsy store.  

I am also loving the new slipcover on my couch.  Our old one was threadbare, and it was time for something new!  I went bold this time - no more tan.  Although I must say our last slip cover was a work horse!  Besides our big family, we have lots of people here at the cottage on a regular basis - read LOTS OF CHILDREN - and that cover was great!  We could just pop it in the laundry and it looked great for years!  But back to my new one...It looks great in my living room!

Another thing I am loving this morning is my church fellowship.  What a blessing to walk together, forgiving each other, loving each other, enjoying each other.  We had two families from church over yesterday and Uncle Denny of course, and it was a great time.  We laughed so hard at a few stories that were told, that we were wiping tears from our eyes!  The kids rode horses, played in the dried up creek (happens this time of year), ate pizza and ice is a joy, I am telling you, to be known and to be loved anyway by these people!  Thanks guys for a wonderful day.

I also love my man - 

We are so blessed by your leadership and your service to us.  You work so hard and we are thankful.  

What are you loving on this delightful Monday morning?   

Saturday, July 16, 2011

We're Back From The Gaming Show

 I am sitting in the dark in my cool bedroom reliving the gaming show today.  It was hot, but a beautiful breeze was blowing and my parents wisely brought a big umbrella!  Shade and a breeze made for a happy Momma!  

 Lindsay is so comfortable on her horse Sandy.  They are a good team.  They had a good day together.  3 second places, 1 fourth place, 1 sixth place and Reserve Champion.

 We have had Liberty for almost 2 weeks now.  She has never done gaming shows.  Ever.  And as her previous owner out grew her she had been loved on but not ridden for about a year.

 Here they are headed to the polls for Poll Bending.  You ride to the other end as fast as you can, weave in and out of the polls, turn go back through the polls and then ride back as fast as you can!  They did really well.  Rachel and Liberty ended up with 1 fourth place ribbon and 2 sixth place ribbons.  Considering it was basically a training day for Liberty they did amazingly well.

Here she is coming out of the arena.  Her friend Grace is on the white pony in the pink shirt.  Grace and her sister Rosemary are Rachel and Sarah's best friends.  It was so fun to have the girls there with their ponies.  In between turn competing they had a blast riding around the track together!  Today made Sarah realize that she does want to get into riding.  She has been intimidated by our bigger horses and got nipped a few times so she was afraid for a while.  Now she has been riding more and once Liberty is settled in, Sarah can ride her a bit.  The ponies are much more Sarah's speed.

 Rachel and Liberty doing barrels - 

 Lindsay and Sandy doing barrels...they took second place!

 I love to watch them enjoy the fun of competing with their horses.

 Here is Grace on her pony Lobelia.  Lobelia is 30 years old!  She is still going strong!  They won lots of ribbons today too!

 This is a fun game they play.  That is an egg and they have to balance it on a plastic spoon while they ride, trying not to drop the egg.   They will call out for them to walk, trot or canter, reverse etc...until one rider is left with their egg.  Lindsay came in second in this event!

 Here is Rosemary, the sister of Grace, the friend of Rachel and Sarah.  Her pony is so cute and her name is Tenacity.  Rosemary is a very good rider, really confident.  Ten has some strong willed tendencies and Rosie handles her well!

 Lindsay and Sandy with their ribbons, minus one.

 Poor Liberty is wondering what she has gotten herself into...

Rachel and Liberty showing off their ribbons.  

It was a great day today.  They had fun, learned a lot and are looking forward to the next one in September!

Gaming Show

 The girls are busy this morning, grooming Sandy and Liberty for a gaming show.  Lindsay and Rachel did this show in the fall with Sandy and it was such a wonderful day.  Very relaxed and fun.

 The quality of the photos is not great, but you can see their excitement.

Sandy doesn't look too excited though, now does she?  She has been washed and is waiting for me to come French Braid her mane.  I knew that God had a reason for giving me four daughters - to practice on them so I can braid horse manes!  

Gotta ahead today.  I'll try to get better photos of the day - I'll use Lindsay's camera!


  We are finally getting some blue skies with real clouds, and sunshine! I took sometime with Kyle and Kamryn's help to set up the deck ...