Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Beginning and Ending of My Day

Tim's cellphone rang early this morning, about an hour before his alarm usually goes off.  Our son Nate, on his way home from work and dropping a co-worker off at home, had a problem with his truck.  Don't ask me, I basically know what it was but am not going to try to explain and embarrass myself! I tagged along since I had planned to take Tim to work this morning anyway and we knew that we would be going straight there after helping Nate get home.  In the photo Tim is hooking the tow line onto Nate's truck.

After a beautiful day yesterday, it was frosty overnight and the morning was chilly...
 The sun is rising over the valley.  I could tell that today was going to be a lovely day, too.

After we towed Nate home, I dropped Tim at work and came home.  I got the kids started on their schoolwork and when they were done, they left with Lindsay to spend the afternoon with friends.  

Emily and I watched Kamryn while Kay was at work and while Emily did some clean up from yesterday, I worked on store business.  I had quite a list and am so delighted that I got the majority of it done.                            

Emily took Kamryn to get Kay from work, they ran some errands and then picked up Tim.  They had a delay from locking the keys in the van, but Lindsay was able to rescue them!  They are now at my parents house fixing the truck and having dinner.  Lindsay brought me some dinner and she and I are going to watch a movie.  A nice way to end the day.

 Irish Breakfast tea - we drink it all day long - hot or cold!
As dusk came on I started to light some candles.  Do you light candles even when it is just for you?  I do.
 We deep cleaned the kitchen and living room on Saturday and rearranged the living room space.  I like it very much.  Cozy, comfortable.  We had 19 people come over for lunch after church and with our 7, and Kay and Kamryn we were quite a crew!  With the nice day the kids played outside, the kids were able to ride horses and have pony rides.  The women visited in the living room for a while and the men were at the dining table.  Drinking coffee, discussing spiritual things. 

 After picking up from yesterday and clearing my store paper work, the concordance is all that is left on the table...

 In the lantern I am burning a delightful candle called "Irish Moss" made by my friend Becky.  That is her Etsy store link on my sidebar.  You would not be sorry to have this candle!  The perfect green for spring and a soft delightful scent as well!  If you her candles are soy and she uses hemp wicks.

 I moved the bookcase from the end of the hallway back into the living room, near the front door.  It has left the hallway barren, but I kind of like the open space and it was the perfect spot for little visiting girlies to play dollhouse yesterday!

The sky as dusk was settling in...

 Then my friends, the Moon, Jupiter and Venus came out to play...

 How was your day?

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Am Spending The Day With My Little Man

My little man and I are going to spend the day together - just he and I!
 We are going into the store while Emily is at the dentist.  Then when she gets back we are going grocery shopping.  The other girls are spending the day with Grandpa at the Horse Expo.  

Our plan is to go to our discount grocery place, our natural foods place, Target, Chick-fil-A, then Costco.

 He is such a great little guy.  I will have to keep it moving along today so he doesn't get bored.  He gets to use some birthday money and wants to find a new I Spy game!

I'm looking forward to it.  I know how quickly time goes by.  My oldest is now 22 and a Dad.  He doesn't like to go grocery shopping with his Mommy anymore!  Besides, I am still Kyle's favorite person - I plan to take full advantage of it for as long as I can!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spring Is On It's Way

I know because I have seen hundreds of snow geese on their way back north.  Usually we go to a wildlife management area about an hour away, where in March the Tundra Swans, Snow Geese and Canada Geese rest on their long journey home.  I have never seen them in the fields around here, but yesterday we saw quite a few.
I also know because I have daffy-down dillys coming up in my garden.

And I saw forsythia starting to bloom when we were out for tea the other day.
And it is sunny and mild but cold at night.  

Yesterday Lindsay and the kids worked at clearing out the veggie garden of leaves and some plant materials etc...preparing for this year's garden.

I am a happy girl.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tea With Friends

I love having tea, and having tea out with friends?  It's the best!
 We went to a really nice tea room called Sugarplums and Tea. 
Each of us ordered the same lunch, but different tea.  We had their Garden tea which included a lovely salad and fruit cup, a chicken salad open faced sandwich and a Lemon Poppyseed scone with lemon curd.  It was delicious!  So delicious not one of us thought to take a photo of our beautiful plates!

 We did however remember our camera's after we'd eaten so we started to take photos then  Becky is working on a photo of the flowers here.
 Here is my photo of the flowers...

 Pretty sugar...

 My Irish Breakfast tea - looseleaf - in a bag - they used as much tea for my wee pot as I would for my bigger got strong very quickly! 

 Cute kitty creamer

 My Mom - the ringleader of this outing!  We were so happy she suggested it!

 Kelly - listening to the waitress.  She and I share a real love of tea.  We all were plotting about which tea shop to go to next!

 Some of the lovely teas they have for sale by the ounce and the wee tea pots too!

Real tea leaves...note the long pieces.  Tea in most tea bags is very short and so you get less flavor...and Lipton?  It's pretty much tea dust!

We had a great time, talking, sharing, laughing.

I am thankful for these ladies - my dear friends - and I am thankful for the chance to set busyness aside and enjoy a sweet afternoon.

Guess what I noticed yesterday?  The forsythia is beginning to bloom!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An Afternoon At The Point

 One of the great blessings of homeschooling is the ability to pack up some schoolwork, lunch and the family and head out into the sunshine.

 Kamryn loved being outside and she barely would eat - she just wanted to walk and walk...

 Happy girl!

 This girlie is growing up so fast...

 So is this one...

 It was beautiful but windy yesterday and that made it a bit chilly...

 The point overlooks the Susquehanna river...

We read our history, played in the playground, I read a book in the sunshine, then we came home.  Kamryn went down for her nap and I think it took her all of 1 minute to be sound asleep.  

Fresh air, sunshine, good food for body and was a perfect outing.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

We Have More Than We Need

I was reading a great post over at Melissa's lovely blog this morningIt was by Meagan Francis of The Happiest Mom.  I have never read her blog before, but what she spoke about had me nodding in agreement and got my brain going.

In our culture, we get the message that we must have more, be more, do more....

Our homes, our lives, our clothes, our blogs must be a certain way or we certainly can't be happy or satisfied with it all.

We are some of the world's wealthiest people. Our poorest people here have so much more than many folks around the world. 

A few years back, my younger girls and I were talking at bedtime.  I regularly climb on their bed at night and we talk for a while before I pray with them.  This particular night they were talking about how they wanted their own bedrooms, etc.  I listened for a while - it's okay for a kid to dream - but when the tone got 'poor me-ish', I said, "Hold on!  Let's just think about all that you have.  In fact, you have so much, it is spilling out onto your floor!"

I proceeded to have the each say three things they had that were a blessing, not a need.  Now often when I pray with them I start out thanking God for all we have and I make a list:

A warm and cozy home.

Food to eat.

Clean water to drink.

Water than we can access by turning on a faucet.  We didn't have to walk to creek and bring it back by the bucket full.



A bed with a mattress.

The cushy 2 inch memory foam on the bed.

Warm blankets.



Books to read.

Stories and music to listen to.


Two vehicles.



Our cat.

Our health.


We have so much more than we need, or deserve and I want to remember and I want my children to remember to be THANKFUL and to know who it comes from.

Making our list at least once a week helps us to keep it all in perspective. It helps me to be grateful.

When I read other blogs and see the amazing houses, or fantastic gardens, I can truly enjoy them and be inspired by them, but I am not envious, because God has been teaching my heart to rejoice and give thanks for what I have.

It is so much more than we need.

Friday, February 17, 2012


 I haven't spread my creative wings for a while, and wanted something pretty for the store, but not overwhelming and something that would transition from Spring to Summer, as well.

Lindsay made the grapevine wreath for me several years ago, and I recently purchased silk flowers for it.  I put it together today, and I really like it.  

Also just because I am crazy, I did fix the right side there that seems a tad barren!

Homemade Laundry Soap

We started to make our own laundry detergent several years ago, after we got a new washing machine.  After using two washing machines for about two years, my husband grew concerned about how much water we were using (we have a well, and a drain field) and we wanted something much more efficient.  Tim researched and came up with a machine from Staber

He liked them because they are made in America, they are a simple machine - no computer in them - and he can fix it easily.  Also they use very little water or detergent.

We were using just an ounce of liquid detergent and our clothes were coming out very clean and our black clothing no longer had white marks from laundry soap that didn't get rinsed out!

About that time I came across a recipe for making your own laundry soap and decided to give it a try.  It couldn't be easier.

We use the following recipe

1 cup washing soda - Arm and Hammer brand found at Wal-Mart.  This is not baking soda!

1/2 - 1 cup of borax - I buy it at Target.

1 bar of soap.  You can use any kind of soap, but I like the Fels Naptha laundry soap bar.  I find it at Wal-Mart for 97 cents.

You use only 1-2 tablespoons of laundry per load!  This stuff lasts quite a while.

My kids make it up regularly - it is simple and non toxic.

These photos were from a few years ago.
My niece in law uses this recipe too, as she wanted to cut back on expenses and she has two little boys.  She doesn't worry about what she is putting next to their skin!

Do any of you make your own laundry soap?  I next want to make my own liquid hand soap!  Any recipes to share?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blog Issues - Update!

 I believe the malware issue is taken care of!  Vee mentioned that her warning was tied to a certain blog, and that the blog had been notified of having malware on their blog.  This blog was on my sidebar so I removed it and then Vee had no problem opening my blog and reading.  Thanks for your help Vee and Debbie, too!

Now, I am off to finish my blog reading AND to hopefully find a background I am happy with!

A few ladies told me that they get a malware warning when they pull up my blog.  My anti-virus is showing nothing is wrong.  I am trying to change my background and just put up something for now.  

I also am going to check links.  If you are having this issue would you email me at and let me know the following:

1. What browser you are using; Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox

2. Did this happen since I changed my background to the Valentine's background, or have you had this message previously?

3. Are you getting the message when trying to open the blog or just a specific post?

I am thinking that it may be linked to the background I used...


Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I have been making cards for Tim since last week, tucking them in the mirror where he is sure to see them.  I decided to romance him a bit.  We are crazy about each other, some would just say we are crazy, but we are not a mushy, sappy couple.  We love each other and we say it multiple times a day - when we leave to go somewhere, before we say goodbye on the phone, before we go to sleep at night....and we have also learned to say "I forgive."  Both are equally important in any marriage.

We are not afraid to show affection to one another in front of the children - in fact they like to pretend horror and say "Ewww, their kissing...again!"  We want our children to know that God made men and women for each other - it is good and it is His plan. 

He is my best friend, my husband, my lover.

Happy Valentine's Day Tim, you love me well.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Weekend Didn't Go Exactly As I Planned...

 This is just a fun photo that has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but in a way is a preview if you see all the mud under the snow.

We have had a mild winter here in Lancaster County.  Really mild, but we have continued with the rainy pattern that started mid August.  So, though we have enjoyed many sunny, mild days that felt like spring, we also have not had the blessing of frozen ground.  That means parts of the pasture are a huge muddy, wet mess, some of the yard is squishy, and lots of the lovely stuff is being dragged in on a daily basis.  Joy.

 Remember how I did that sweet post about Tim being under the weather and resting on Saturday?  Well, I ended up in the store on Saturday since Lindsay was under the weather as well.

 I called home to find out how everyone was doing.  Was Dad resting?  

 No, Dad was clearing out somethings in the pasture and making a burn pile.  Did I mention it was rainy and snowy?

 Emily likes to help her Dad outside.  Here she is working to get a huge grapevine out of a tree...

 Yeah, she's a bit nutsy...

 Look how wet and muddy it is in this low section...

 There is our Christmas tree on the pile - it's been out in the pasture for the last month and a half.

I won't tell you that they nearly forgot to come get me, and that no one made dinner, so guess who cooked dinner after being in the store all day....sigh.

I will say that he did rest on Sunday and even stayed home with those with poison ivy, colds and general not feeling well stuff.  Only Emily, Kyle and I went to church.  Then we went to lunch with friends, while the gang at home got subs with our friend Denny.  

We spent the evening watching Dr. Who - with David Tennant.  Lindsay's friend Sarah got her the complete David Tennant years for her birthday.  Even those non sci-fi fans here are really enjoying it.

So while the weekend didn't go as planned, it was still good.


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...