Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Fair

Thank you all, you dear, sweet, friends for your encouraging responses to my grumpy post!

Thank you too for your prayers about the fair.  First off - NO RAIN on fair day!  As you can tell from the photos is was mostly cloudy - the sun did come out a bit and we were thankful for my mom and dad's big umbrellas. We always sit at the top of the bleachers where there is a fence behind us so we can rest our backs, the added benefits of being able to use the umbrellas, and not blocking any one's view!

Kyle and my Dad did the open lead line event.  It is for kids 8 and under.  Last year he got a 6th place ribbon.  This year a 5th!  He was excited!  He has one more year in this event, so he says that hopefully he'll get a 4th place ribbon next year!

Emma was in the store so I texted her a photo...she said "They obviously couldn't see his precious freckles!"  She loves this boy!

Lindsay is the manager of the day.  She tells the kids when to get ready and makes sure the horses are ready too.  She only had her siblings to worry about this year.  Some years she has students participating as well.  I have no photos of her, as she mostly sat on the back of Cheyenne and watched all the events.  She REALLY wanted to be able to compete yesterday, but Sandy was not fully recovered yet, and Cheyenne is a plodder - perfect for Kyle's event and Sarah's event which is called "Walk - Trot/Jog."  

This event is for ages 10 and under and was a perfect event for Sarah to do.  This is the first time she has done anything but open lead line.  She is not as confident as my other kids in their riding, and she freaks out easily which for years kept her far away from the horses.

She was so excited about doing this event.  She had practiced.  All the rider has to do is show that they can get their horse to respond to their commands to walk and trot/jog.  And get them to reverse direction and do the same things.  

Imagine my surprise when I arrived for the first event and Sarah was an emotional wreck.  Apparently during some free riding time, a few horses made Cheyenne a bit nervous - their riders were cantering them in the arena - and she turned a bit unexpectedly which made Sarah nervous and pull tight on the reins which made Cheyenne toss her head a few times.  Sarah was sure that Cheyenne had nearly bucked her off, which wasn't true.  This had Sarah crying for hours and saying she wasn't going to do her event, which thankfully was the last event of the youth event.  

I told her she had to control her emotions and stop crying.  She had a long wait and didn't need to decide for several hours yet.  I reminded her of how disappointed she would be after the event, if she didn't try, because she knew she could do it!  I told her don't give into fear, you know you WANT to do this deep down.  I prayed with her...

She finally relaxed and calmed down, and watched the other events...I pointed out regularly how well Cheyenne was doing with Lindsay and being around those other horses down by the arena, and how well she did during Kyle's event with other horses in the arena.  

Lindsay called to her - and she went.  Got on Cheyenne walked her around, backed her up and then it was time to go into the arena.  

One other thing I had said to her previously was that once she got in there and saw that she could do this she would be grinning so big!  And that she would be strutting out of the arena so proud of herself.  Well guess what?  She did exactly those two things!  

When she came around the arena to our side I didn't know if she would be in tears or not, I stood in my spot watching her, nearly holding my breath...sure enough the biggest grin you ever saw!  I nearly wept!

There were 6 riders in this event because one rider didn't show, so we knew that she would get a ribbon.  But to me the victory had already been won - she conquered her emotions and fears!

Oh, and by the way she finished 5th out of 6 entrants!  You should have seen the grin then!

She came running to me - I embraced her, told her "You did it! You conquered your fear!"

Then I took this photo with my phone

Rachel rode her pony Liberty in two events yesterday, but Libby did not cooperate and complete the events.  I am proud of Rachel for not giving up, even though she knew in her heart Libby wouldn't cooperate.  She also recognized that it is time to move on to a new horse.  She has outgrown the pony in skill and size!  Rachel has grown about 3 inches or more in the last year!  This will be hard because she loves her pony!  But she is starting to be excited about the possibilities of a horse she can compete with!

So it was a good day.  Lessons learned, fun had, victories won.

We are now moving on into my birthday week.  Tim is on vacation, we may go visit Tim's dear Aunt on an overnight trip to the other side of the Alleghenies, I get to meet a sweet blogging friend this week, something is brewing for my day itself, and I have chosen to get fruit trees for my birthday gift!

I'm getting excited.  I am nearly middle aged now - at least I like to think so, since longevity runs in my family!  Next year I will hit the big 5-0.  It seems incredible to me!  I have a post brewing about all that for Wednesday!

So, what are you all up to on this happy Saturday?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

So, Today I Was Grumpy

and I kept it to myself, but basically I was feeling put upon and self centered and kept telling myself I had the right to do so.  I didn't.  Sigh....

We had a good school day though, and I am enjoying our study of the animals that live in the ocean.  We are studying toothed whales right now.

I managed to make a new chicken dish for dinner - I found the recipe on Pinterest.

It was delicious, and easy.  Oh and I didn't have rosemary so I obviously left it out, and I am thinking you could substitute other herbs and it would still taste great!

Well, the tomorrow is the big day for the horse events at our local fair.  Kyle is doing open lead line with Grandpa and Cheyenne, Sarah is doing walk, trot, jog equitation on Cheyenne and Rachel is doing barrels and pole bending on Libby.  Lindsay loves to do the evening events but unfortunately this year Sandy is unable to compete.  This last week Liberty got into Sandy's stall and kicked her in the legs and the side, and while she is recovering just fine, she is 22 years old and Lindsay wants to give her the opportunity to really heal and not push her too fast.

Oh and it is supposed to rain all night tonight and all morning.  Joy.  Nothing like sitting in the rain on metal bleachers.....sigh.  

Challenges abound...pray for my attitude!

Rachel and Kyle last year with Liberty.

Evening Glow

 In the evenings, I like to change the mood of our house, to quiet things a bit and help everyone begin to relax. 

I rarely use over head lighting anyway, but in the evenings I never do - unless there are games being played.  I like to turn end table lamps on, have my accent lighting on, and light my candles and oil lamps.
It makes the sink area an appealing space.


 The atmosphere becomes relaxed - last night we were watching a tv series online - not sure if we are going to like it or not but the premise is intriguing.  One day the power is on, the next is it off, for over 15 years.  But it seems as if the situation was man made and could be reversed.

I love making my home a warm, relaxing place for my family.  A place to gather after our busy, work filled days, to provide a place of sheltera place where they have the security of knowing that they are loved and delighted in and wanted.

This morning it is raining, and I have girls to take to work, and some product information to take to our marketing guy who is doing amazing things with our website.  If you want to be able to see the difference go to to see the way we inherited the site.  Then in about a week and a half we should be ready to launch the new site.  It is so different and amazing!  I am excited about it!

Do you take the time to prepare for the evening, slowing things down, changing the atmosphere in your home?  I'd love to hear what you do.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I Lead A Rich Life

It has nothing to do with money actually.

It is all about God's grace to me - His extravagant grace.

My grandma was a woman who felt that she wasn't 'good' enough - she didn't deserve to sit in a beautiful hotel lobby because that place "wasn't for people like us."  

That thinking always made me sad, because she was thinking that worth was tied into how much money she had.

I am thankful that the Lord has taught me to see that our worth is tied to Him.  He says we are worthy, and then provides "exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." Ephesians 3:20

Let me list some of His blessings to me:

1. He saved me.

2. He placed me in a loving family.

3. He united me with my wonderful husband.

4. He made me the blessed mother of children, now a grandma too.

5. He has used difficult things in my life to cause me to grow in grace.

6. He has provided our wonderful home.

7. He gives us, everyday, food to eat and clean water to drink.  And not just any food.  Food that we like to eat!

8. He has given us beautify in the place that we live.

9. He has provided a special church family to walk alongside and to have FUN with.

10.  He allows me to walk with Him daily.

I could go on and on, but I won't.  It's just that I woke up this morning with a full heart, overflowing with thankfulness.

So many sweet things happened yesterday afternoon with our church friends here.

A missionary family that ministers in Ireland and are awaiting the okay to go get their two newest members of their family from Ethiopia, have been fellowshipping with us.  They were able to come over yesterday, along with nearly everyone else.  The mom of the family was saying how wonderful this time in the states had been for her family.  Her children were experiencing a lot of firsts - the boys had never played ultimate frisbee before, their girls, especially 10 year old Molly loves horse and had never had a chance to ride before got to ride Cheyenne yesterday!  She was glowing with excitement!  Her younger sister rode as well.

We ladies and many of the little tea lovers in our church had tea outside under the tree with a beautiful blue sky above and a bit of a chilly breeze.  My friend Amy, who hails from Texas brought Texas sized snickerdoodle cookies!  My favorite cookie, and perfect for tea!

We had little ones napping on beds, little boys running around outside chasing each other, little girls drinking tea along with an adorable little guy who likes me and calls me 'Rabe.'  "Me have tea, Rabe?"  Well, of course he can!  Who can resist that?

Lots of frisbee and the Dad's new game of choice Bocce Ball being played all over the yard.  Horses ridden, tree platforms played on.

Everyone brought their lunch and shared dinner food.  I made a huge pot of Chicken Noodle soup - so good!  And our first mulled cider of the season.

Delightful conversation, beautiful weather, a bonfire in the evening....this day is going to stay with us for sometime.

Oh, yes indeed.  I lead a rich life.  And I am thankful for it everyday.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blessed Autumn

"Come said the wind to 
the leaves one day,  
Come o're the meadows 
and we will play.  
Put on your dresses 
scarlet and gold, 
For summer is gone 
and the days grow cold."
  A Children's Song of the 1880's
 One of my Red Sunset Maple trees a few years ago!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Garden Changing Of Seasons

 Summer is at it's end, and gladly I bid it farewell!  

 While I will miss the wild fullness of the plants that grow in my garden, I also really enjoy cutting back the garden and putting it to rest for another season.

 They hydrangea are a delight even now...I've cut the rest and have brought them in to dry...

The birdbath is full from the rains, and with the feeder not far away, hanging in the maple tree, the birds will still hang around.

I like capturing my cottage garden in photos.  This garden may not be here next year if my parents house sells and they add on.  This area will become part of a porch.  

Seasons change and so do our gardens, our houses, our lives.  I am glad to walk with my Lord and trust my life to Him.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Taking Time To Nurture Relationships

I was going to title this post "I've Been Playing" but the one I used sounds a lot more 'spiritual' doesn't it? (grin)

I had been in a rut of being at the mercy of a schedule, not of my own making.  My days consisted of driving people to work and picking them up all at different times, usually the last pick up is between 9:45pm and 11:00pm.  In between I was squeezing in school work with the kids, and cooking and trying to keep the house clean.  Oh, and yeah, I run a business, too.  Can you say crazy exhausted?

So on Monday I just had to get out of the house!  We did school work and then Rachel, Emily and I went shopping with my Mom.  It was so much fun!

Tuesday, a friend from church and I took our kids on a field trip to a historical society.  It was small but nice with a special section on the Civil War, an area focused on art, rooms set up to show blanket chests, quilts, stitcheries from the past and a great collection of Grandfather clocks.  In the basement were transportation things: a trolley, sled, carriages, early cars...and around the corner was a room that was set up for hands on learning!  The kids loved it! 

 It was such a blessing to spend the afternoon with this dear friend and chat and encourage one another.  Many of the families in our church are an hour away from each other, which is why we spend all day on Sundays together.  But it is fun to get together one on one.

Then last night I had the chance to meet up with a friend for coffee and dessert! (I told you I was playing these days!)  It was such a blessing to slow down and talk...we spent four hours together and could have gone on!  

I am so thankful that the Lord heard my prayers for encouragement and a break from my often hectic schedule.  I am thankful for my husband who said "Yes, go.  I want you to!"  Tim, I love you! And I am thankful for the friends God has given me.  Precious women whose hearts desire to walk with God!

We need to take the time to nurture the friendships God gives us, whether they are with our children (what a blessing!) our parents (special) or with sisters in Christ.  Each one is of great value and worth.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Postcard Party - September

A Haven for Vee

We are having fun with Vee's monthly Note Card Party!

This month I want to bid farewell to summer!  I am showing flowers that bloom in my garden all summer long, but now are done for the year and at rest.

Farewell, glorious Peony!  Such beauty and a delightful scent!  See you next May!

Farewell to my Zephrine Drouhin rose.  This rose has become diseased and will be leaving my garden.  I love it though and will likely find a place for a new one!

Farewell, delightful hydrangea.  You've brought me great joy!

Farewell, Daisy!  You are a trooper in my garden!

If you want to join in the fun of the Note Card Party just follow the link above!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Laugh From Me To You

It's A Beautiful Morning

This video was taken a few days ago, but this is seriously what our days have been like.  Glorious September weather!

We don't always have such great weather in September, sometimes we are still cookin' in the upper 80's and 90's.  Our local fair is at the end of September and during the equine events on Friday we have gotten sunburn or used an umbrella until the sun set!

I've learned to look for blessings from the Lord and to point them out to the kids and to express thankfulness!  

We had a great day at church yesterday, we had a fellowship meal, a ladies book study, our pastor and another man launched rockets at the local high school, and we ended our day with a bonfire with another family and a few other friends.  It is such a gift to walk alongside other people as we walk with the Lord.  It is a joy to see my kids thriving in this fellowship of believers as well.  The simplest things make them happy - a game of ultimate frisbee, a game of Set, marshmallows set aflame!

It was my first fire of the season, even though we have had a few here already.  It was perfect weather and so clear out - perfect for roasting hotdogs and marshmallows! 

It's 9:30 right now and my kids are all still in bed.  Tim is at work, and only the dogs and I are up here at home.  On Monday's our shoppe is closed and so we take Mondays is easy to get all our schoolwork in.  Lindsay will have riding students today - this is their last week.  

Years ago, Tim and I determined that people would be more important to us than things.  We are passing that along to our kids, as well.  The fruit of that choice, is now coming to us in abundance!  I can't tell you how full my heart is - it is a joy to serve others, to encourage, to lift them up.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Such Important Work

"Oh, Mothers of young children.  I bow before you in reverence.  

Your work is most holy.  You are fashioning the destinies of 

immortal souls.  The powers folded up in the little ones that you 

hushed to sleep in your bosoms last night, are powers that shall 

exist forever.  You are preparing them for their immortal destiny 

and influence.  Be faithful.  Take up your sacred burden 

reverently.  Be sure that your life is sweet and clean." J.R. Miller

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I Haven't Had Time For Reading Lately

I've been reading since I was in the first grade, I can't imagine my life without it.  So, why haven't I been reading?  I think it's because I read online so much.  I read the news - we don't have cable - I blog and read blogs, I am on FB....

I think I just haven't given myself the time to read.  I have a fairly busy schedule and when I have some free time I hop on the computer instead of picking up a book.  I have a pile of reading I want to do, now I just need to discipline myself to do it!

I usually have several books going at the same time.  What kinds of books do you read?  Are you ever reading more than one at a time?  What are you reading these days?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Bit Of Autumn Decor

 Thought I would show you my Autumn decor.  This is the view from kitchen counters - I am standing on the countertop.
 I love this space above the cabinets.  Isn't the plate nice?  I love the color.  Want to know a secret?  It's a paper plate!


 Rachel did the whole space over the cabinets and I think she did a great job!

 I have just a bit of decor on the piano...I love the red popcorn.


The light is not good in the hallway but I wanted to show you this wreath hanging.  Sarah has her raincoat here and it looks like her shoes are there too!  The yarn in the basket makes me happy.  Emily and I have begun knitting again!  

Hurray for Autumn!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This and That

I have a lot of stuff rolling around in this brain of mine, but nothing cohesive, so I decided to post a bit of this and that.

This morning I have been listening to The Bankester's on AirPlay Direct.  I really enjoy the sisters harmony - and the acapella "Desert Lullaby" is very good!

It was interesting talking with Rachel, Sarah and Kyle about 9/11.  Rachel was only two and doesn't remember, Sarah and Kyle weren't born yet.  I want them to know about this horrible day in our history, for I fear one day someone will try to say that it never happened.  Some of the history of that day is already being revised.

I am in the shoppe today and get to have fun putting out new handbags and jewelry and scarves - Oh, the scarves!  So beautiful!  I can't wait until the website is open!  You'll love the scarves - we got some beautiful burn out velvet patterns and a fabulous new infinity scarf that can be worn like a regular scarf as well.  Beautiful colors... 

On any given day my brain is full of my schedule, what Rachel, Sarah and Kyle need and their schooling, getting Lindsay and Emma to work, and back home, giving rides to Kay and another girl from our church to work, what we will eat for dinner, keeping the house tidy, did the kids remember to feed the animals? and on and on....

Is it any wonder that I am a crazed woman sometimes?  Don't answer that!

We threw a surprise party on Monday evening for a gentleman in our church.  He turned 70.  They do not have family in the area, so I called his wife and invited them to come for cake and ice cream.  She new that others would be there, but he didn't know.  It was fun and I hope he felt special!  A bit of cool trivia for you - his parents are both still living!  His dad is 97 years old and his mother is in her 90's as well.  They have been married for something like 76 years!  Isn't that amazing?

The weather has been amazing here and I am enjoying every moment!  I know fall is on it's way because Rachel is getting photographs ready to enter into the local fair and the girls are planning their events that they are going to ride in at our local fair! They'll be busy with this until the end of the month.

I could go on and on...but I need to curl my hair and change out of my jammies before I head to the store!  

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Fellowship is on the agenda for today!

Sunday school and church, then a big gathering at one of our church family's homes....

The weather is delightful out - cool! - and the high today is going to be 73 degrees!  I am going to drink it all in, and savor the beginning of the Autumn season!

 All photos from years past. No color here yet!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Living A Simple Life

For several years now I have been increasingly concerned with the economy and fuel and food prices.  I heard this summer that over the last four years Americans have lost 40% of their wealth, due to increased taxes, the devaluing of the dollar and the loss of property values.  40 percent!  Good thing we had been taking steps toward a more simple life.

For most of my married life, I have cooked from scratch.  When I was in missions training I learned how to make white sauce as a basis for cream soups, how to can, how to live simply.  I loved it, thought it was not always convenient.

A few years ago I told Tim I wanted to have a vegetable garden and grow more than tomatoes.  I wanted the girls to be comfortable  gardening too, and I wanted them to know those skills that my great grandma was very comfortable with!

So we began with some raised beds.  We also got some chickens.  We have learned a lot.

But today, I wanted to share with you about some of the things we do to save money and to live a more frugal lifestyle.

1. We cook mostly from scratch.  You will find very few convenience food items in my freezer or pantry.  Convenience foods are often full of unhealthy things as well, and I like knowing that my creamy soup is only milk, butter, flour and organic soup base.  I use "Better Than Bouillon," for flavoring beef or chicken based soups.

2. We make our own laundry detergent, hand soap and toothpaste!  It's so easy, I am amazed that it took me so long to realize you can make your own!

3. We wear aprons!  I am a messy cook and gardener and it helps me save my clothes from ruin!  Besides I like having the pockets to hold my phone or clippers.  

4. We sew, though not as often as we did before we bought the shoppe.  Simple skirts, dresses, tote bags - this is a great way to save.

5. We shop consignment stores and thrift shops.  This is a huge way to save money on clothing. Also on occasion we find something great on sale.  Today I popped into an Orvis store at our local Outlet Mall.  I was not familiar with this store at all but I like it a lot.  While there are some items that are way over priced, many clothing items were reasonable for the quality and I found a beautiful wool skirt for the Lindsay and Emily for $9.00!!!! It is fully lined!  I could not buy the fabric for $9.00 to make the skirt myself!

This is getting pretty long, so I'll stop here for now.  I hope this will encourage you to see the things that we are doing to stretch our dollars.  I bet you are doing some of the same things too!

Have any different tips you'd like to share?  I'd love to hear them!


  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...