Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ordinary Days...

 We had a fun and busy weekend.  We cleaned up after our decorating day on Friday, we hosted several families on Sunday afternoon into the evening.  All four girls went to stay at our friends house, with their daughters, while the parents went on a short anniversary trip and their sons were on a hunting trip with their granddad.  

Yesterday, I went to breakfast with my men (that live at home), did a bit of shopping, and then came home to make some Christmas gifts.  

Today, my younger girls are home with their friends, and Lindsay and Emily are at work.  There is baking going on, friendship being shared, and lots of happy smiles.

I also did a bit of knitting...

And a bit of gift wrapping...

 Nothing earth shattering going on here, just the beauty of ordinary days...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

 Emily, Sarah, Kyle, Tim and I went to pick out a tree yesterday.  This is the one we chose.

 Emily found it and pointed it out to us...

 Here it is this beautiful with the morning light streaming in through the windows...

 I really like the top of the piano...

 And the bookcase at the end of the hallway...

I have some wreaths and garlands for outdoors yet and then I'm done.  Sarah, Kyle, Kayleigh and I all worked hard yesterday.  I like to get it done early and then really enjoy it all season!

We host a lot of people during the holidays and it is beginning tonight with a friends' birthday!  Just a small gathering but it'll be fun.

Are you decorating yet, or do you like to wait until later in the month?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Village Squire Entertaining The New Minister - Edward Lamson Henry

The turkey is slow roasting, the smell spreading through the house.  Everyone is still snug in bed, savoring the chance to sleep in.

I have been thinking about the Pilgrims, who risked everything to come to a new world in order to have the freedom to worship the Lord differently than the way the official church was worshiping. I wonder if I would have that kind of courage.

We will be feasting today, and giving thanks for the abundant blessings we have been given,

God's Word
Our home
Two vehicles
3 horses
2 dogs
1 cat
Comfy beds
Warm blankets
Shoes - more than one pair

The list of course could go on and on...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Be as careful of the books you read, as the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter. 
~Paxton Hood
I read the above quote on a Katy's post yesterday, and I thought it was so good.  
I have been pondering the seeming lack of discernment these days toward media in all forms.  I find myself in this category at times and have had to stop and ask myself why I am supporting, by viewing, a certain movie or tv series. 
There are times when we choose to watch certain things, knowing they are not "perfect" but we do it with discretion and lots of discussion.  Other things we stay far away from.
I will come out and say that I have been amazed by how many Christian women I know that are taken with the series of books and movies about a girl and her love for a vampire and a werewolf.  Should we be dabbling in these kinds of things, as Christian women?  
There is always so much to reevaluate - I used to watch things that now make me embarrassed.  Why would I ever have wanted to watch such things as extramarital affairs, deception, fornication just because it was on a tv series or a movie and wasn't a real life thing?
I find that we are easily influenced by what we imput into our minds.  School children are influenced by the world view of their teachers, and the materials they use, and by what their parents are watching and listening to at home.  Adults by the books they are reading, movies and tv they are viewing.
I've been delighted at some of the discussions our teens have had at church regarding these matters.  Some of them have been influenced by Phillip Telfer and his ministry Media Talk 101. We have watched a dvd of his in Sunday School and it was good and challenging.

It is challenging as our children grow to control who and what is influencing them, which is natural, and yet you hope that you have done a good job of preparing them to be discerning. Our family likes some Sci-Fi, Star Trek (TNG), Star Gate, Dr. Who, and in this area especially you have to watch for things like pantheism, and wide ranging moral equivalencies.  We have found that a lot of discussion and analyzing of media makes a huge difference in what they are allowing to influence them.  

In the last few years the Lord has challenged me to check what I am watching by the guideline of 'how does it line up with my Biblical Worldview?' and if it doesn't why?  Sometimes you may be learning about history and watching a documentary about the Egyptians or Romans and what their lives were like and what they believed. Naturally their belief in many gods doesn't align with my belief in the One True God.  That doesn't mean I can't watch it and learn from it.

We tell our children that everyone has a worldview.  Those who write books or movies or tv series are all wanting to influence you with their worldview.  That is why we must ask God to give wisdom and discernment to us and to our children and young adults, because the company we keep with these characters in books and movies are an influence on us, and what I allow myself to watch influences my family.

Deep thoughts for a Tuesday...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Off On An Adventure Today...

So I leave you with this photo taken on photobox...

Makes me laugh hysterically every time I see it!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Lovely Day

We had a lovely day.  
Tim and I took Lindsay to work then went to breakfast.  He has to work two 12 hour days this weekend, so we squeezed in some time together.
After he left for work - our farrier, arrived with his sons to file and clip the horses hooves.  We chatted about some issues Cheyenne is having with a crack on her hoof.  It is a relief to know that he feels it is not serious, and should grow out.
Then the youngest kids, Kay and Kamryn and I ran errands, fun ones.  We went to JoAnn's and got some things for Christmas gifts we are making.
Then off to an Amish hardware store to pick up a gift for Tim and my Dad that Kyle and Sarah have been saving their own money to buy.  They are so excited!
Home again, finally to do a bit of sewing, knitting, advising, guiding etc...
I am thankful.

They Are Heading Home
The Lord brought this beautiful family into our lives this year when they began to attend our church.  They have 10 children ages 17 to 1.  They have just added this beautiful 9 and a half year old daughter, Katerina Hope Musser.

If you haven't heard of their journey, I hope you will take sometime to read at their blog The Blessing Of Verity and see what our redeeming God has been up to!

Praying today for their journey home, which will mean landing at the airport and heading straight to the Children's Hospital.  They are waiting for this wee girl.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thinkin' About Christmas

 Our tree from last year!

Don't worry.  I am still embracing Thanksgiving.  It is such a special holiday. A set apart day to give Thanks to our God for all His blessings.
However you do all realize that with Thanksgiving only 1 week away - that means the next day will be decorating day!  Oh, yeah!  
 I really like a natural look for Christmas - along with red plaid, and that is what I will do again this year.  No lime green or aqua colors for our holiday decor (though we love to wear those colors!).

 The way I change things up is to use my things in a different way each year, or perhaps move something to a different room.  Every room gets some Christmas cheer, even if it is just some greens or lights.

So let's chat.  Do you decorate for the whole season, wait until just before Christmas, or not at all?  What is your style?  This is my favorite time of year celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Baby Quilt

My niece Jill and her husband Rodney are going to be parents very soon.
 Their little boy, Logan, is due in early December.

 Being a great Auntie means lots of homemade gifts for the sweet grand nephews and Logan is no exception!  I love working on gifts for them and thinking and praying for them while I work...

 This fabric is so cheerful and is showing lighter on the computer than it is in real life.

This last photo shows the color much better...

I made it a rag quilt because I wanted it to be a 'toss on the floor for the baby to lay on' kind of quilt.  I made it with turtles because they have chosen the most delightful baby bedding!

Turtle Reef from  - isn't it the cutest?

I need to pop it into the mail so it can arrive before Logan does!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Plan

Even though I adore Christmas, I never rush the season.  

I want us to celebrate all we have to be thankful for - we have been given so much!

I love the pilgrims, who came here as separatists from the Church of England.  They had been in Holland for many years and were concerned with the culture and how their children were being influenced by it.

The risked so much to come and make a new place.  A place where they could worship God in freedom.  I love my children knowing the history of Thanksgiving and that it is not about football and shopping.  It is a day to be remember to be Thankful!

Mom and I talked about our menu today - Turkey, of course.  I always slow roast my turkeys overnight.  Here is a link to a post on how I do this.

Emily is going to make mashed potatoes.  She loves them and has been the potato masher for the last several years!  We are also going to do sweet potatoes roasted in a bit of honey and cinnamon.  Stuffing, is a must and my mom is going to make corn, cranberry salad, a pumpkin roll and pumpkin pie.  I am going to make English apple pie and chocolate pie.  We may do a homemade roll too, but not sure yet.

We will be inviting a few others to join us on this special day as well.

We will, of course, set the table beautifully - china, cloth napkins, candles, beautiful glasses, as we like it to be special - a real feast.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

I am joining Debbie today for a Thanksgiving link up!  Let's not forget Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

This Week....

I am working on plans for Thanksgiving - you'll hear more about that tomorrow.

I am also working on our Ladies Christmas Tea at church.  This year will be a bit different - we will be doing a really special project - hoping to bless some of the families in the hospital where are friends the Mussers' will be with their adopted daughter KaterinaTheir blog The Blessing of Verity has the ongoing story.  They get to go to the orphanage today and get her!  We realize that families with sick children are under a lot of stress, and we want to be able to bless them!

The girls are working a lot this week - the Christmas show has begun....

Lots to do, so I must run....

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gaming Show - Update!

Last Gaming Show

These photos are from July...

Today will be much colder, and breezy.  Brrr. 

Lindsay and Rachel are very excited.  It will be just us girls today, as Tim and Kyle are off to a Father/Son event and my Dad is at his church's Men's Retreat.

What's on your schedule for today?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Blessing Of A Multigenerational Family

 One of the things we firmly believe is in the blessings that come from having a multi-generational vision. It was a deliberate decision on our part when my parents moved to Pennsylvania to include them in our lives. 

My husband works hard at work and at home.  One of the things he does at home is to provide firewood for us to burn in our wood stove during the late fall and winter.  He also decided a few years ago to make sure my parents had a full supply of firewood to burn as well.  Yesterday was delivery day.

 Here is the wood piled up in the back of my husband's truck.  I know he had plans to move the leftover wood from last year into the wood rack in the utility room at my parent's home, and then load this wood into the racks in the garage.  That way my parents don't have to go outside to get wood in the middle of the winter!

 He took a posse with him - Lindsay stayed to help me with garden work here and to help with lunch.  Emily and Rachel riding in the backseat of the truck - sharing the ipod!  Can you tell the windows are open?

 Kyle must have taken this photo...he wore that headband most of the day yesterday - he looked half ninja and half 80' workout dude!  Made me laugh!

 Part of the beautiful drive to my parents home...

 After they did the wood, they took the time to help out with a few other projects...

 The view from the roof of Grandpa in the backyard.  Their maple trees are so big - look at all the leaves!  Good thing he has a handy dandy gadget to collect all those and doesn't have to rake them by hand...

 The posse on the roof - here at the back of the house the roof is only about 6ft off the ground, in the front it would be two stories!  And from the back of the garage it is only 3 ft to the ground.  

 They cleaned out the gutters too, and Tim blew leaves down on my Mom's head...he loves to tease her!

 Rachel's art - all these photos are hers.  I really like this one...

 Emily must have taken this one - Rachel relaxing on the roof.  

The view of the Amish neighbors farm from the roof.  It's wedding season here in Lancaster County.  Our farrier's daughter is getting married today.  The Amish are good with multi-generational living living, too.  Caring for their parents and grandparents, all working together.  This is a blessing to everyone, young and old.  This however does not mean that there is never any problems or issues that could come up, after all we are all human.  But, differences are not the end of the world.

One day my parents will come to live with us. They will add on a 'Dawdi Haus'.  They will be a doorway away from us.  If Kay and Kamryn are still living with us then, that would make four generations under one roof. This used to be more common, and I think it may become common again in the future, especially with the economy being so difficult.  The kids say we will be like The Waltons.  My dad's Amish friends say we're Amish.  Either way, we are happy to work together and help my parents as needed.


  This lovely Calathea that I bought in Nashville last month is doing well in my living room. It does need to be repotted, and I think I'...