Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Joy Revisted

If you want to see more wedding photos and read the covenant that Lindsay and Joseph wrote together and signed at the wedding, please go visit Joseph's mom's blog The Blessing of Verity.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Creekside Cottage

I don't know how many of you know "Creekside Cottage" is the name we gave to our house.  We are history lovers and historically houses were known by their names or later were named using the owner of the house's name.  

We were charmed by the idea of naming our house.  It is not an estate, but a simple, well loved home, but even small homes were named.  We have an eclectic style that we call cottage, and since we have a creek behind the house, the name was born.

The cottage is situated on 4 1/4 acres.  It all used to be farmland at one time but the house was built on one acre and the previous owners bought 3 1/4 acres of land from the neighboring farm.  When we bought this land it was completely overgrown.  We didn't even know that there was a creek the first time we looked at the house!  

Now we have about two acres of fenced pasture for our horses and Tim has built a barn that is flush with the fence line.  We have two 12x12 stalls and a bigger space for storing hay, grain and equipment, including our mower. 

A few years ago we experimented with a few hens and now we have a Tim built coop and eight laying hens.  They were just beginning to lay as fall and winter came on but we did get eggs, though not one from every hen every day.  Now that Spring has arrived and they have longer daylight hours, we are starting to get eight eggs a day!  We love having fresh eggs!  

We might try to do some meat chickens this year, too, and while we do know how to butcher our chickens, we've decided to use a local butcher (if we do raise meat chickens) who charges a very small fee to butcher, dress, and vacuum seal the chicken so they are ready for the freezer. 

We also add four fruit trees last year - 2 apple and 2 peach.  We are excited that in a few years we will be getting a lot of fruit!

Who would have thought that a girl from Southern California would live with horses in the backyard and chickens wandering around.  Not me!  But you know what?  I love it!

The chicken and Sandy photos are by Lindsay Musser.
Eggs in a blue bowl and Cheyenne by Deanna Rabe.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Home Education: Home Economics

Do you remember my little Home Economics class?  Two of my girls and two sisters from our church?  The ones who made these cute skirts?  We started our class up again and have decided to learn about herbs.

So we watched a bit of a video from the Bulk Herb Store - Making Herbs Simple.

After we watched some of the dvd, the girls got to plant some herbs.

They each planted two or three kinds.  Rachel is trying Lavender - I hope it grows well for her.  I had no luck growing it from seed last year!

I am going to start some German Chamomile, Italian Parsley, and some flowers this weekend.

It was fun to learn about making herbal hair treatments, and how to use them in products for your skin!

I think these are fun and useful things to learn as a part of our class.

Did you take Home EC in school?  What was your favorite part of the class?  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unexpected Joys

 Sunday Kyle went fishing at a pond near our friends' house and caught his first fish!  He was pretty happy.  I love these boys.  I pray that God will grip their hearts, and that they will follow hard after Him.

Last week I caught the sunrise

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Family Culture: Teaching A Daughter To Cook

We had found that Sarah's education in certain areas was, shall we say, lacking?

As the youngest of the sisters in the family, it was easy for us to just do the baking and cooking.  We neglected to teach her!

Well, today, she and I took the opportunity to start her on the path to the fun of cooking and baking.  We decided to start with cinnamon rolls.  Why not start with something you like to eat, when your just starting out?  It makes it more fun!

 Here Sarah is wearing a dusting of flour and her adorable apron that she bought at Fresh Vintage.  

 She wanted to do the kneading by hand…

 Here are the cinnamon rolls right after they came out of the oven! Don't they look great?

Here is the one I chose with the frosting on it!  It was delicious!

 One of these years I'll be able to send her into the kitchen to create a whole meal, not just Cinnamon Rolls.  Though she can make these anytime.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Home Keeping Master Bedroom

It's still a work in progress, but I have made progress!

I spent nearly every afternoon last week working on sorting through and clearing out the rest of the clutter in the master bedroom.  It's embarrassing to have taken nearly two weeks to get it all done, but I am down to the two big boxes of tablecloths that were borrowed for the wedding, and two bags headed to Good will!  Hurray!

I also have managed to get a chair and couch in the room and it is so nice to have a quiet sitting area!  

Let me show you the room the way it is right now.

 This is what it looks like standing in the doorway of the room.  REMINDER: This is not the color of our choice for the room.  This is what the girls chose 9 years ago!  We are looking for a warmer color.  Just needed to say that.

 This is a closer view of the bed.  The cedar chest at the foot of the bed is Rachel's hope chest.  It belonged to the grandmother of some friends of ours.  It's at least 60 years old, I'd say, probably older. 

 This is my dresser and desk and the door to our closet.

 This is the inside of our big walk in closet.  Tim's dresser is in here to the left and we have some of Emma's boxes in here still.  It is quite roomy.

My desk.  You can learn a lot about me from the top of my desk.  First you can see the hat I finally finished knitting.  It's sitting on top of a little white sweater that our friends' little girl left behind at the wedding.  I'm going to need to pop that into the mail this week.  a few books, of course, including Floss, which I bought in Scotland.   I have character cards, a postcard from Vee from the Frysburg Fair, Trowel and Error by Sharon Lovejoy, and Kyle's daily log that we keep track of his school days and subjects he completes each day.  I have a photo of our side of the family at the wedding, hanging on the wall, and in front of it on the desk is a tin that commemorates the birth of Price George of Wales, also purchased while I was in Scotland.

 The view into the bathroom.  You can see a post about the bathroom here.

 It's amazing looking at how the color of the walls changes based on the light in the room.  The yellow pine floors really reflect up on the wall!  This is the corner with the tablecloth boxes, bags and stuff for Goodwill and Rachel's desk.  It's going downstairs soon.

 Then we are back around to the bedroom door and you can see the couch.  It is a blue plaid thing, that was free.  It is comfortable but the color really doesn't work in my house at all.  I don't mind, I just cover it up!  And I added a Waverly tablecloth that matches my comforter and pulls the room together.  And don't worry about that poor floating painting on the wall.  There was a nail there and that is where I hung it for now.  Once we paint then I will put the artwork on the walls in better places and in groupings.

This bottom photo I took to make a point.
It would be easy for me to crop my photos and show you just the 'cute' part of the couch.  You would think that this was what it looked like in my room, rather than having bits of the blue plaid showing at the bottom and on the sides.

I want to show you the reality so that you can be encouraged that you can use what you have to make a lovely and warm home.  Be creative!

So that's what I've been up to…how about you?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Home Education: A Bit of Vision Aid

Sometimes a boy needs a bit of help to see clearly!  

We had no idea that he needed help with his vision - he is reading above grade level and is a year a head in math.  However, as soon as he had them he was noticing small details on a game on my phone and noticing that things looked bigger with the glasses on than when they were off.

It'll be interesting to see just how he does now that he has glasses.  Oh, and he would want you to know that the frames are camo!

Silly boy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Family Culture: Having Fun Together

Sunday evening several families came over after church and as is our new custom we had a quadruple batch of pancakes on the griddle.  Tim decided that he was going to be the chef this week, and our friend John was doing the assisting.  Emily was helping out as well.  The next thing I know I hear this crazy laughing and see Em with the giant white platter catching pancakes as Tim flipped them into the air!

This got everyones' attention and their was a lot of laughter going on.  The Moms were sitting in the living room and visiting and watching the cooking show going on over in the kitchen.  One of my friends leaned over and said, "That looks like fun.  I'm too serious about everything.  I think we need to add some more fun into our lives."  This dear friend has had a decade and more of serious health issues having developed RA at age 30.  The RA has left her with a body that doesn't work like it used to, but she still has such beauty and I love her heart for the Lord and her family.

What she has been recognizing is that pain, difficulty, sorrow, worry - you name it - can come in and steal joy from our lives.  We lose our focus on eternal things.  We forget to have fun.

It's so important in families!  As we are working to tie heartstrings between our children's hearts and our own, we need to make sure there is time for fun in the midst of daily life.  Cooking pancakes for 23 people can be a blast, if you don't take it and yourself so seriously!

I fell into that trap of taking everything so seriously for several years.  I felt so burdened with the need to make sure my children knew the Lord and were making right choices, and learning and growing in the right ways….I completely lost sight of it being the Holy Spirits job to draw all men unto Himself!  I forgot that what I needed to do was to be faithful to share the Lord with them, and to SHOW them a real vibrant, joyful relationship with the Lord.

I am thankful for the reminder the Lord gave me and that I made the choice to have fun again.  Our home is often chaotic but in a controlled way, if that makes sense.

Rachel may have the Piano Guys playing on the computer and someone may be cooking, and Sarah might be drawing at the table and Kyle and Kamryn playing in the living room, and we are all talking, and hanging out and laughing.

I sometimes say, "I live in a zoo."  But I always say it with a smile and thankfulness in my heart.  God has used fun and joy to bind our hearts together.

Whatever stage of life your in, I want to encourage you to be joyful and to share that joy with others.  If you are older perhaps there is a family member or a young mom next door, who could use a dose of joy, and a reminder to enjoy their little ones.  If you are a mom in the midst of diapers be thankful that diapers don't usually last forever, and that during this important training time in your children's lives, it is important to see just how special God made each of your children and to drink it in, savor it!  What gifts they are to us.

I loan my kids out on a regular basis to my parents.  They get to spend the night, eat out (sometimes), watch movies in the big bed with Grandma or hang out with Grandpa downstairs watching Mythbusters or Storm Chasers.  These are beneficial times to both my kids and my parents.  They are tying heartstrings too, and my parents get the joy of companionship with some of their grandchildren.  It's a win-win for everyone.

When my Sarah was about the age of my granddaughter Kamryn, I had been correcting her about something, and had a frown on my face.  She in very open and honest Sarah-like fashion said to me, "Mommy, you don't smile at me."  Oh, how that cut me to the heart!  You know what?  My little dramatic one was right!  I was so serious all the time dealing with her.  She needed to see me smiling and enjoying her bubbly, drama queen personality.  God got my attention that day through my little girl, who is now not so little and yet she is still who God made her!  I learned to delight in her, and often my being able to laugh about a situation, helps her too!

I believe that our homes should be places that people want to be, places of love, acceptance and joy.  I also believe that it is these times of fun and laughter that help us through the hard times that inevitably come our way.

I'd love to hear about some of the ways you and your family tie heartstrings one to another, so please share!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Note Card Party - March

Well, a sure sign that the month is flying by is that it is time for Vee's Notecard Party!

As I was looking back through my photos from the last several months I realize how patient you've all been with me.  It's all snow and wedding stuff.  

Since I didn't have anything new, I thought I would show you cards made from my app Waterlogue.  

This is a mix of cards, a few home related, a few wedding related, but we all need a variety of cards don't we?

I made a box lid this time!

Thank you all for visiting today.  I hope you come by again.  You are always welcome, and I promise to move on from snow and wedding photos!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Snowy St. Paddy's Day

 We had such a beautiful Saturday - nearly 60 degrees!  We had the doors open and it was great to air out the house after a long winter season.  We'd heard the forecast and knew that snow was coming, and it really did come.  Still snowing but it's like and I don't think we'll get very much, though the ground is completely covered again!

Dotsie showed us a fun app a week or so ago and I downloaded it.  Waterlogue.  I have had fun playing with some photos from the wedding.  This is my favorite so far.

 While the weather was nice and I had the kitchen door open on Saturday (Tim was working on the van right outside the door, photo below), I made some cookies for Sunday.  They are Oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chip.  Very tasty!

Tim has had several things to change on the van recently.  Two weeks ago he changed the motor mount and a wheel bearing.  Saturday he replaced the dead battery and the starter.  He had a helper.  I am thankful for his knowledge of cars and his ability to make these kinds of repairs.

I wanted to show you a few more photos from the wedding.

Lindsay with our beautiful Grammy.  

 Happy sister of the bride!

 The food was awesome at the reception.

Handsome groomsmen - the first two are brothers of the groom.

I loved this shot, from the balcony, of the reception space.  It was really nice and gave us room in the middle for the dancing.

I hope you have a wonderful day!  

Oh, just one more thing.  If you have an hour or so, will you take the time to watch this incredible and challenging biography.  

The Time to Live is Now.

Information Friday

  We are having a very rainy spring. Today it is windy, as well. Thankful that the temperatures are mild! My Daffodils got hammered but the ...