Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I decided to post again, feeling as if my post from last night was too gloomy.  These things are happening and I do feel them deep inside and want to rail against it all,  but this is not the purpose of my blog.

I started my blog in 2007 because I was finding encouragement online through other bloggers and wanted to be a part of it.  My goal was to offer Hospitality, Encouragement and Friendship.

That is what I am going to focus on once again.

With Spring deciding to finally arrive, there is new growth everywhere here at Creekside Cottage.

I've been mowing on our property for several weeks now, and soon it will need the twice a week treatment!  Tulips are blooming...

Rachel and Lindsay have both started seeds - 
 Three kinds of peppers...
 This wee one is basil...


      Rachel replanted the lavender as it didn't come up the first time.  Every year we try new things and learn new things.  I didn't grow up gardening.  My Dad had a veggie garden a few years behind the garage but I was a little kid and wasn't involved in that.  My mom usually grew some annuals, though we did have some Agapanthus's that attracted bees right by the front walk way, so I hated those things.

It was after I married, that I was inspired through reading Victoria Magazine, and Emilie Barnes. I discovered that the desire inside of me to create and enjoy beauty was God given and through Edith Schaeffer I learned that He was okay with me using my creativity, in fact wanted me to use it! 

I've taught my girls these lessons too, and I see growth in them, and the desire to beautify their surroundings.  For each girl this looks different - for one it is sketches she has drawn, or photographs she has taken.  For another it is a gathering of things that are loved. It doesn't matter.  One style is not more correct than another.

This verse has been on my mind this morning -

 2 Peter 3:18 
 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

We Are Living In A World Turned Upside Down

Tell me I'm not the only one who has noticed this....

It has taken a few weeks but people are finally starting to notice this big trial that has been taking place in Philadelphia, involving an abortion provider.  You can read about it here if you have a strong stomach.

Also recently a prominent politician spoke about gun control and how we need to protect our children.  Then he spoke at a PP event praising them for their work, and even saying at the end "God Bless You."

Today I have read about this story.   And then this one.

My heart breaks.  It really does.

I love this article written a few years ago - Motherhood is a Calling.

I think more women used to understand that they were doing important work when they raised children.  Now I think parents feel like their children are in charge, and they don't like it but don't know what to do about it, and end up resenting children.

The last census taken in 2010 showed that only 20% of American Households have children in them.  20%.  When I read that statistic last year I was shocked.  We live in an area that is full of plain families, who have on average 6-8 children.  We go to a church where a family of 3 or 4 is small.  So to read that stat was a a wake-up call.

I started to take notice of things, seemingly random things but that all pointed to this statistic being true. 

Let's take Micky D's for example.  When I was a kid, and even when my oldest kids were young, this restaurant promoted itself as a place for kids and families.  H*ppy Me*ls were the thing!

Now they have all been changed to look like a cool cafe/coffee house.  In our area most of the play places have gone bye bye.  This is because demographics show that most house holds in America no longer have children in them.

Is it any wonder?  Sadly parents forgot that they were not the kids, and that they needed to teach their kids how to obey and to get along with others.  Kids began to be tyrants.  My son used to be a waiter at a local chain of trendy sandwich shops in a big tourist area.  There was a Thomas the Tank Engine event in this area several times a year.  The staff of the restaurant all hated it because instead of getting big tips, the families came in with the parents whipped and zoned out while their kids stood on chairs and threw chicken nuggets around the restaurant.  Also they had spent so much money to give their kids a ride on Thomas and to buy toys, that they didn't leave much of a tip for the staff person who had to clean their little precious darlings chicken nuggets up off the floor.

I kid you not.

Our son always said how the staff said it was like birth control because after these weeks no one ever wanted to have their own kids.  I would say "I hope you told them that it doesn't have to be that way.  You guys never did anything like that!"  (I have a tendency to get worked up.)  

These issues have not happened overnight.  They've been coming on for more than a century.  The solutions are relatively simple but not what people want.

I have determined that I will still speak the truth that children are a gift and a blessing from the Lord.  I will encourage families and mother's that they are doing the hardest and best work.

I'll pass along what I've learned over the past quarter century to those sweet mothers who are desperately looking for some one, other than the culture, to encourage them in this high calling of raising children to be adults who think and act like adults.

I'll also share with them the vision of families who see the worth of children who are deemed unwanted.  Who rejoice to welcome more children into their home, both by birth and by adoption.

I choose to be an encourager, a voice of experience and hopefully one full of the message of grace.

Heaven knows we need it.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gifted Dishes

I could easily be addicted to collecting dishes.  There are so many beautiful ones out there.  Thankfully this is one area I am able to practice some self control.

When they come as gifts, I have no guilt about new dishes, or at least new to me dishes.

These are Mikasa September Song.  All these dishes were found at the thrift store and gifted to me for Christmas by my son and his fiance'.
These will be perfect for lunches and tea parties.

  Both of these sets are more modern and come with a matching plate.  These are delightful for eating outside during the summer!  I love to use real dishes instead of paper or plastic.  Much more civilized.

I am enjoying a home keeping kind of day - decluttering my bedroom...but I keep being distracted by the sunshine and lovely breeze flowing through the windows.

What are you doing today?


Thursday, April 25, 2013


I am pleased to announce that after 18 months at least, I have finally rearranged the living room!  

Please, please, no applause - just throw money, as my big brother used to say!

We moved the TV and cabinet to the other side of the room and then moved the couch to the wall where the tv had been.  This allows for a change but a still workable floor plan.

The other arrangement worked very well that is why it stayed so long!  I am a believer in rearranging furniture!

Here are a few looks at the changes - 

Did you notice this funny little chair?  Well, it was purchased for my brother in Mexico, over 50 years ago and became a chair for the "kids" as my younger brother and I came along.  I painted it to match room decor in my girls room about 20 years ago.  I can't believe this chair has held up for so long!

So what do you think about the rearrangement?


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


We had a lovely long day yesterday, taking a trip to Assateague Island.

 The winds were about 25 miles an hour with stronger gusts.  It was an inexpensive way to have microderm abrasion done!  Talk about exfolliating.

On the bay side of the island it was much calmer and that is where we found the ponies. 

A bonus to our day is that there were tons of shells along the shore.  We have been studying marine life this year and are in the middle of a chapter on Mollusks.  Love God's timing on this

Kyle could hardly contain himself and his pockets could not contain all his treasure.  "Mom!  Look at this bivalve!  Oh, here's a Mussel!  Mom, look at this!"  You get the idea!  We even found some shells with barnacles on them.  Very cool.  That was an unexpected blessing of this trip.  Don't know why it hadn't occurred to me that we could collect shells on an brain must be tired.
Rachel found an awesome Jellyfish on the shore, too.


Because it is April and it was so windy, we pretty much exhausted everything to do on Assateague by 2:30pm and so we decided to see how far it would be to Cheryl's home.  Ah, not too far!  I called, and they were home and graciously said "Come," even though I warned her we were wind blown and sandy.

That was an unexpected blessing, too.  A few sweet hours with friends of the heart.  She wrote about it here.

Today we are back in our normal mode of school and the home.  Although I will confess it has taken a while to get moving.  

I love my life...even though it means I am often tired.  I know how blessed I am.

And I am thankful.

How about you?  Want to share any happiness you've had lately?


Monday, April 22, 2013

Adventure Is Out There

That's one of our favorite lines from the movie UP.  We love that movie and are always quoting lines like "Mr. Fredrickson?  Do you dig the hole before or after?"  "That is none of my concern."  "It's before!"

Anyway, we are off on an adventure today.  Lindsay and her friend Sarah went to Assateague to see the wild ponies in March, but didn't see them. They had so much fun that they wanted the kids and I to go sometime and today is the day!  I'm driving and they are helping with gas and food.  So fun!

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a few photos from my weekend.  It was a sweet one.  Saturday was my sweet friend Amy's birthday.  With her husband at work and all their family in Texas, I got her all to myself (well I shared her with her adorable Joshua) for lunch at a tea shop, shopping and lots of fun and conversation!  Thanks Tim for  riding herd on all the kids!

 See Amy's adorable shirt?  She's expecting a baby in late October!

Yesterday was great too.  Lovely sunny but cool weather - just right for a fire.  Hot dogs and s'mores were the perfect way to end a day of fellowship. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Evening Fun - Updated!

Ginny requested the recipe for the Poppy Seed Chicken, so I'm adding the link here.  This is my kids top request for dinner!  Easy to make and delicious.

Here is our menu for the next few weeks.  We have 12 meals planned, knowing that Monday some of us are headed to Assateague for a field trip and that Lindsay and our friend Sarah have been cooking new foods.  Oh, also the second dish should read 'Spicy' not 'picy!'

You should see the grocery list that is required to feed this crew for two weeks!  

This is what was happening while I worked on this list...

  Phase 10, and apparently there was some sort of memo about green shirts, that some of us didn't get (Emma has one on too!)

Tim and I managed a dinner out with this guy...
Can I make a prayer request?  A young gal from our church, whom I have been helping to learn to drive, is taking her test tomorrow at 1:15! Please pray she passes!  

Great Night Out

Now before you get too excited, we didn't go out on the town, try a new restaurant or anything like that.  We did something much, much better!

Our great night out was an invitation to dine with friends at their home!  Our family of seven doesn't often get invited over for dinner - feeding that many extra people can be daunting.  So go figure that the ones who did invite us are a family of seven!  

We had a wonderful meal - two kinds of lasagna; traditional and vegetarian - so good! salad and garlic bread and a fabulous dessert!

It was fun to have an evening of conversation, watching our friend make soap for their business.  This is great soap and when they get a website I'll let you know.  For now, I sell it in my store so if you are interested in all natural hand milled soap, let me know.

We drank tea and listened to the kids play outside, and headed home late.  

So thankful.

I am thankful for these kinds of evenings, and especially thankful for these friends.

 Sunset last evening from our friends deck.


  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...