Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Monday, April 30, 2012

Field Trip

The kids, Tim, myself and our friend Denny are going on a tour today to visit an Amish school and farm.  Friends from church do tours professionally and they have set up a tour for us with Amish friends.  

We are taking store bought cookies (a treat for them as apparently all they get our homemade!) and a couple of gallons of drink of some sort.

I think it is going to be fun and interesting.  We have to leave early, so my kids are not thrilled about that.  We have had late nights this past weekend, and last night Nate's truck dropped the drive shaft on his way to work.  With Tim on his way to work as well, Kayleigh and I had to go help him.  At 11:30 pm!  Thankfully he was just 2 minutes down the road and by time we got there a man had stopped to help him and even was able to tow him back to our house!  I told Nate God had gone before him and sent that man to be there just at the right time!

Then Lindsay rode with me to take Nate to my parents house so he could take my Dad's suburban to work.  Got back after 1:00 am.  I am tired this morning but if I need to I'll take a nap this afternoon.

I am not sure about photos of today's trip.  I might be able to take photos if no people are in them....

What are you up to today?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

As Is The Habit Of Some

 Hebrews 10:25  says, "not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

I find this little phrase "as is the habit of some" interesting. Why were some in the habit of neglecting to meet together with other believers?  I think I may know....

 At different times in my life I have found it difficult to want to meet with after the husband of a couple that were close to us made a s*xual pass at my husband - and our pastor wanted us to just get over it and forgive so their ministry in the church could continue.  Or when our children were not being welcomed into a fellowship of believers because of cliques in the youth groups.  Or when we felt it important to keep our children with us in the church service and the pastor couldn't understand why we would WANT to do that....

I wondered why can't we just have church here at home - just our family?  Why is it important to "not neglect to meet together", especially when that meant potentially being hurt?

I think that when we get back to what the church is for - the building up of the believer - strengthening our faith, praying for one another,  helping each other - so that we can go out into the world again and be a light.  To show Jesus to a dying world.

Our little church has something special going on...God has given us sweet fellowship - but not perfect people at all.  We can often get on each others' nerves, we sometimes say things that offend, or hurt another person.  But we ask forgiveness and find it, we pray for one another, and check in with each other during the week...right now we are praying sweet friends through the loss of their baby and the soon home going of her father....we are praying another friend through severe pain and an upcoming surgery.  We have uplifted a dear girl through anorexia and are seeing her victorious!  We pray the grandma's through their Bible studies with the ladies who are fresh out of prison and wanting a new life.  We are praying for and loving errant young adults who are struggling to yield to the Lord...

And unless you think we are inward focused only, we aren't - we are outreaching to neighbors, extended family, customers, coworkers....everyone we come in contact with during the week...being light in the darkness.

This is why we hate to miss a Sunday....we never thought we would find this kind of fellowship - likemindedness but not cookie cutters...

I am not speaking to those who have health issues or who are care givers etc, and simply cannot be at church every week.  I am speaking to those who have given up on church or of ever finding a church where their family will ALL feel welcome.

I want to encourage you, if you have been one who has "neglected the meeting together", to keep looking for a likeminded fellowship - pray, ask God to direct you to a church.  We searched for many years.  God provided our church just when we needed it most!  It is worth the effort to find a church family.  Our kids are thriving, and they hate to miss church too.

Ephesians 5: 19-21 "addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ."

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Best Soy Candles

My friend Becky is a candle maker extraordinaire!

Her Etsy store link is on my side bar.  Mother's Day is right around the your Mom a favor and buy her a candle or two or three.

I actually am getting away from my original point of my post though which is - Becky is having a candle give away on her blog!  Click the link to go to her blog and join in!  Don't miss out on your chance to win one of her candles. You'll love them!


Friday, April 27, 2012

A Lovely Day At Creekside Cottage

My beautiful shrub is beginning to bloom...

 Going outside to take photos, I saw that the flower beds at behind the house needed to be weeded.  So I started to weed...and I found this....

 A wee baby bunny, all alone.  

 So cute as he tried to jump out of the box!

 I stopped weeding and decided to walk around the yard...a look up through our mulberry tree...beautiful blue sky today!

 Down by our veggie garden are our two strawberry beds...they are looking good.

 They were full of weeds so I ended up weeding there too.


 More I got to this bed, I ended up weeding there too.

 My favorite peony should be blooming in a few weeks!  It is the highlight of my spring!

 Buds on my Zephirine Drouhin rose bush...such beauty...

I can't wait until they bloom...

Such a lovely day at, reading, bike riding, weeding, bunny love, sunshine....

Now dinner is being made - sweet and sour chicken, King's Hawaiian rolls...soon we will gather together around the table and share a meal together.  One of my favorite times of the day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tiptoe Through The Tulips

Last fall a young woman I've known since her girlhood asked if I would like to have some tulip bulbs.  She works at our very favorite garden and had some bags of bulbs that were given to her.  I jumped at the chance and said "Yes, please!"

It took a while but Rachel, Sarah, Kyle and I got nearly fifty tulips planted and then we waited.

It was worth the effort.

 Most of them were planted within my cottage garden space...

 A beautiful variety of colors and sizes.

 They are making me so happy...

 This coloration is gorgeous...

 See what I mean?

 I love seeing them against the picket fence...

 And mixed in with the Feverfew...

 I wanted to bring in more spring time color this year and these tulips have been the perfect thing...

My favorite flowers are roses and peonies, but these tulips are high on my list!

What are your favorite flowers?  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I am here to sing the praises of my sewing machines!  They are Kenmores from Sears.  These two machines worked hard this past week, resting only when we did.

Here are the girls and I in our dresses.  You can't see Rachel very well, but her dress is a beautiful light blue with a black sash.
 These fabrics are true to color in the above photo but not in this one.  I took it when I was working on them, but not all of them were finished yet.

 Rachel, Lindsay, Sarah, Emily....

 Emily took inspiration from Downton for hers.  We did black lace overlay for the bodice and then the same lace for the sleeves.

 I think it turned out beautifully...

 I really loved my dress.  The black underskirt was planned but the black in the bodice as a last minute way to save the bodice.  I cut it too large and didn't have enough fabric to make a new bodice.  So I cut a "v" out of the front and inserted a "v" of the skirt material.
It really added interest and made the dress, I think.  

 Beautiful black lace on the sleeves...

I love this dress. 

I love Jennie Chancey's patterns. I learn more every time I use one to sew.  I also followed a series of posts she did about making her own dress using a different Titanic era pattern of hers.  Seeing her boldness in adapting a pattern made me bolder too!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Bit Of This And That

Yesterday was delightful.  I didn't have to go anywhere.  I didn't have anything that had a deadline.  Ahhhh....just what I needed!
 It has been so beautiful around our county these days.  I adore dogwoods and wish I had some.  I know just where I would put them.

 I grew up in Southern California which is mostly cement and people in the populated areas.  I missed all this beauty growing up.  I am thankful that my children have wide open spaces, trees, flowers, creeks, rivers....

 beautiful blue skies....stinky manure, eagles, possums, deer, groundhogs, woodpeckers, cardinals, hawks, turkey vultures, road kill.   You get the idea.  I love opening my bedroom curtains everyday and seeing horses in our pasture.  HORSES!  The pasture is bigger than the whole property that I grew up on, so it is still amazing to me to have this privilege.  I am thankful everyday, even the days I have to feed them, and deal with Libby, the strong willed pony!

 We have been enjoying the candles from our Titanic dinner.  It was rainy yesterday so for a while in the morning and in the evening. we burned the candles and enjoyed the beauty....

 We watched Cranford yesterday.  It was fun to putter around doing home things, drinking tea, reading.

 Sarah surprised me with a gift earlier this month.  It says "All I need to wake up is TEA"  - so cute.  It is all her own design.  I love it!

I have been using this book for health class with my kids.  Today we made our own lip balm.

 Here are all the ingredients - Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, beeswax and essential oil.  1 T of both coconut oil and grapeseed oil, 1 t of beeswax and 8 drops of essential oil.  Put the coconut oil, grapeseed oil and beeswax in a small bowl and put it in the microwave until the beeswax melts.  Stir and put in the essential oil drops. We used peppermint and when we put them in they were strong!  But by the time the lip balm set up - just a few minutes - it was barely noticeable.  You don't even taste it, but I must say the lip balm is lovely.  With it this easy to make, we may never buy lip balm again!

 Here we are pouring it into the little tins we had on hand.

I kind of made a bit of a mess, but it was an easy clean up...
Sarah has been using her personal seal to close many, many notes and letters.  Since we are out of sealing wax, she has been using the regular candles.  I have found red wax everywhere!  Sigh...but she is having such a wonderful time!

So that's what I have been up too.  How about you?

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Very Special Event

I told you I was working on dresses for a very special event at our church.  What I didn't tell you was what the event was.  

In early March one of the men of our church mentioned that he would like to organize an event to tie into the Titanic 100 event being planned by Vision Forum.  He is the father of two young sons and was wanting to have an event to encourage them to be men of honor, who lead and protect.  He asked me if I would organize an English Country Dance to go along with what he was planning.  I said yes, of course!  We do love a good English Country Dance!

The men discussed the idea and came up with a program that would include a formal dinner, with several speakers, a history of the Titanic and the disaster, and the dance.  

I volunteered to handle the table settings, and the dance.  Two favored things.

 As much as I wanted to borrow real plates from everyone, I settled for a nice disposable plate, when the number of attendees reached 70 plus.  White tablecloths (I used white interfacing purchased at $1.65 a yard from a fabric warehouse), real flatware, and red candles in silver and crystal candle holders.  

 Right after church, the event got underway.  Here everyone is greeting our Captain.

 Captain Edward John Smith - captain of the White Star Lines ship Titanic. 

 Lots of handsome young men.

 This is such a lovely family.  Two of their sons played Nearer My God, To Thee near the end of the event.  That was the last song that the orchestra played that night the Titanic sank.

 Our family with Captain Smith.

 The girls and I in our dresses.  We sewed all week to get these done!  The pattern is from Sense and Sensibility patterns. We modified it to make ours evening dresses with inserts and overlays.  I think they turned out very well...

 The young men all looked great!

 Some of our lovely young women...

 Great photo of Denny - he was our historian for the event.  His presentation included video clips from the excellent 1958 movie "A Night To Remember."

 Gathered before the dinner to learn a bit of history.

 Here is my Dad filling out their ticket to sail aboard Titanic.  Our pastor Mike, found authentic tickets on line and made copies for us to use. 

 Preparing to board Titanic...

 The purser collecting the tickets...families boarded together...

 And waited to sit down, after Captain Smith gave an authentic greeting and then prayed.

 I gave a brief etiquette lesson, and then the dinner began.  Salad course: fruit cups and green salads.

 Then Tim spoke on Servant Leadership.  The main course was next. 

 Hand written place cards.

 Jeremiah Eldredge spoke about The Strenuous Life. After he spoke, we had dessert and then the Captain spoke of chivalry.  The idea of "my life for yours."  One of our young men already mentioned that that phrase will stay with him for the rest of his life.

 Afterward, we all moved to the ballroom.  Here we are dancing "Lucky Seven", which includes the Grand Chain!  Fun!

 I am the caller of the dances.  After two dances an awful noise and commotion as the Titanic hit the iceberg!
The men gathered their families and seated them in the 'lifeboats.'  Then the men, including boys over twelve left the room.  They stayed out while we sat in the dark for a while.  Some of the younger children got anxious, with one little guy crying for his daddy.  This added to the sense of what it would have been like for the women and children in the boats...they eventually realized their would be no reunion with their men, while we were reunited.  The concept of Women and Children first and the giving up of your life for others was taken to heart.

 After this we had some more of the story...with some of the men reading tales of heroism from that night.

 The real folk on the Titanic didn't have iphones...

 The Captain and his beautiful Katie!  She loved the music and dancing!

 These delightful young people are amazing.  They all danced with each other, with younger siblings, with friends. 

 Mother's danced with their children and father's did too.  They all learned and caught on so quickly.  We did the Virginia Reel, Lucky Seven, The Long Set, The Bridge of Athlone and more...

 I love Emily's dress...

Yesterday was a blessing to us all.  

After we got home about 7:30 pm we relaxed for a while.  Then after struggling to stay awake, I took myself to bed.  Several nights of sewing into the week hours of the morning caught up to me.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

If you'd like to read more about the day, Becky has written about it here.


  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...