Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Garden: Growing On My Deck

This year we did not do a regular veggie garden.  I did however inherit a zucchini plant (two) from Lindsay, and we put them in a 5 gallon bucket that Tim sweetly painted red for me! 

I'm also growing a maple tree from seed

Its going to be just like our trees out front and one day we'll plant it along the creek!

There are more in the horse pasture that I am letting grow as well.  One day there will be beauty along the creek rather than the scraggly willows.

I'm pushing to finish the cabinets today!  I just have to overcome my laziness.

Linking with Thoughts of Home on Thursday!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Kids Introduced Me To SnapChat

SnapChat makes me laugh hysterically.  

Happy, Happy Weekend Everyone!

A Good Start

Lower cabinets finished - still need to do the kick plate, though.

The uppers will be started today.  I will get the kitchen done before Monday!

Joining in the fun @ White Spray Paint Blog.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I've Not Completed My Summer Goals List

I still have not completed painting my kitchen cabinets.  Sigh.

We are starting school on Monday, and I had hoped to be done with it.  I am determined to get it done though, after all it's only Wednesday!

I am trying to decide if I just am going to 'go for it' and get it all done today, or if I am going to tackle a section at a time.

Prayers and good wishes appreciated!

Keepin' it real with the clean hand washed dishes on the counter, and the bottle of Nyquil!  ha ha!

Joining the fun @ Poofing The Pillows!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Life Of Growth

My parents are nothing like they were when they got married.  Neither are Tim and I.  As we have walked with the Lord, we have been changed.  We've matured, become more compassionate, learned to serve others better, realize that its about HIM not us.

Photo from their anniversary dinner last night.

I'm not the same mother I was when I had my first child 27 years ago.  I'm very grateful for that!  I always wanted to be a mother and I love being one, but I didn't know about grace the way I do now.  I am passionate in my mothering.  My goal is to disciple my children and to support them in becoming who God intends for them to be!

Taken last night.  Out to dinner to celebrate my parents anniversary.

I love seeing growth in my kids, too.  To see them thrive in their work and relationships and to know they are on a life long journey as well.

Sometimes the growing process is slow and painful, but if we trust Him, it yields beautiful things in our lives.

I'm thankful for the Lord's love and mercy that does not leave us where we are, but grows us to become more like him.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Long Marriage

My parents married young, Mom was 17 and Dad was 20.  They married the summer before her senior year of high school, and he was in the Navy.

They've weathered many storms and have stuck together and trusted God to see them through.


 "All Because Two People Fell In Love"
My brother's family!

My family!

God is good!

Happy 57th Wedding Anniversary Mom and Dad!  We Love YOU!


The King of Glory

A Psalm of David.

24 The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,
    the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
    and established it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
    and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord, strong and mighty,
    the Lordmighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And lift them up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory! Selah

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Heat Is On

After a very beautiful and mild June and most of July we have HOT temps.  I'll be staying in the AC most of the week, or you'll find us at Camp Geezer in the pool.

It's hotter here than in Senegal where my brother and sister in law work as missionaries!

What's it like where you live?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

This and That

Our sweet family arrived home safe and sound!  What a treat to have them visit these past two weeks.

Alicia is doing the same eating plan that I am on (Trim Healthy Mama) and we did very well eating on plan, even though we were on the go so much.  She texted me today that after two weeks of vacation, where we ate chicken alfredo, eggs and bacon, pizza, and ice cream, she lost four more pounds!  I have been losing again too!  After 10 months and going up and then back down 5-7 pounds over and over, I got back on track and the weight is dropping again!

I'm a very happy girl!


With the weather heating up, I got out this morning and did the mowing, before the heat really kicked in. Since it takes me about and hour and a half, I use the time to listen to music, or a sermon (Truth for Life app) by Alistair Begg, or a podcast.  The last two times I've mowed I have been listening to Sally Clarkson.  Her podcast, At Home With Sally, is so encouraging!


This morning Tim mentioned that the fridge didn't seem to be very cold and was concerned.  After a long day of working outside doing inspections, he came home and checked it out, then called the guy who repaired it five years ago.  He's coming in the morning.  In the meantime, we moved everything from the freezer to our big freezer downstairs and are using a cooler box, Tim made a few years ago, with ice to keep the milk and other dairy products cold.  

Hopefully it will be an easy fix and not too expensive!


Lee Ann asked for the punch recipe that I used for Emma's baby shower.   It's very simple.

We used equal parts of lemon juice (freshly squeezed) and sugar and then we added some water and a bottle of Sprite.  Then I pureed some strawberries and added them to the punch.  It was simple and good (or so I'm told.  I didn't drink it due to the sugar!)

Hope you'll all having a wonderful summer!

Home Education: Planning

We have been on our summer break since the beginning of May.  I got in the habit of starting our school year at the beginning of August years ago, so we would be done before our state homeschool convention which is usually Mother's Day weekend.  I found that I didn't like shopping for the next years books and materials then having to go home and finish up several weeks of the current year.  

August first is on a Monday this year and that is when I am planning to start school.  We'll have been on our break for three months by then, and by doing so, we build in flexibility to our year.  We take three weeks at Christmas, and sometimes a week at Thanksgiving, too!

So now to the planning.

Kyle and Sarah are both doing Medieval History and Anatomy and Physiology, and we do Bible memory together as well, so I will do morning time in this way -

Reading about an artist or composer

Then they will move on to their individual work in math and English.

Kamryn will be doing Kindergarten this year, and so she will be here for the morning time and when Kyle and Sarah move on to their independent work, I'll work with her on reading and math skills.

Kyle and Sarah should be done shortly after lunch and Kamryn by lunchtime.  If I am watching her that day, I'll read aloud to her then she'll have a rest time listening to music or an audio 
drama.  After that she will play or do art (she loves art!).  

Typical afternoon activities for Kyle and Sarah are reading, legos, drawing, listening to music or audio dramas, playing outside.  We view all of this as part of our lifestyle of learning.

I do not give them busy work.  I want them to do real things, to learn by being as hands on as possible.  We read a lot, as well! 

I follow Charlotte Mason's advice on what kids should have as a part of everyday -

  • Something or Someone to love
  • Something to do
  • Something to think about

I love how my children are thriving, and I am looking forward to starting our 'official school year' again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Time Seems To Go Faster Here"

Alicia and her boys have seen the days fly by, and commented on it several times.  "It seems as if everyone just got up and got going and now its time for bed!"

What grand times we've had!  Times at the park, playing frisbee, riding horses, collecting eggs, feeding animals, playing in the creek, looking for eagles, visiting Valley Forge and seeing where George Washington was quartered for the winter and spring of 1777-1778, becoming Junior Rangers, church and playing with new friends, being here for a cousin's birthday, having cousins become best friends, swimming in Birdie and Papa's pool, going to Hershey Chocolate World, eating lots of ice cream, catching fireflies for the first time EVER!

We've had such a wonderful time together.  How I love these boys and their sweet Momma.  I feel as if she is a younger sister, but in reality she could be my daughter.  I love her tender mother's heart for her boys, her love for her husband, and her heart for her savior.  She works tirelessly each day to nurture her boys, and train them.  She's doing the most important work in the world.

We've had late night chats, lots of laughs, enjoyed seeing our kids bond, talked home education.  She was invaluable to me in doing the shower for Emma.

I have to take them to the airport today, and I am feeling mixed emotions.  I am so happy for our wonderful time together, and I am happy for them knowing that they are excited to go home and see Daddy and their own home!  Two weeks away is along time for little guys.  Alicia is looking forward to being with her best friend, her husband, my nephew. That is as it should be.

We'll always have these memories to cherish.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Morning At Hershey Chocolate World

Yesterday, Alicia (my niece) and I braved the tourist crowds to take the kids to Hershey's Chocolate World.

A good time was had by all!

Today, Alicia and I are going to see Samson at Sight and Sound,   the boys (Kyle and Cayden) are going to the movies this afternoon with Rachel and my Mom, then we are all having dinner together.  They leave us tomorrow.  

We are sad but it's been a wonderful visit.  They have had lots of fun and adventures, and are ready to go home and see Daddy!  All of our hearts have been knit together, and we are thankful for these family ties.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Emma's Baby Shower

There are many different kinds of ways to welcome a baby, and share the excitement with the new parents.  Some throw a 'sprinkle' after the baby has been born and the guests bring gifts for both baby and mom.  Some do as we did and celebrated by helping Emma prepare for her coming baby.

I had planned to host the shower outside under our beautiful maple trees.  Our weather this summer has been so beautiful.  But this weekend it got HOT and HUMID, and we didn't want to keep with that plan and make us all feel miserable, so we moved it inside.

Now we've hosted large groups before and we don't blink an eye but never for something where you want to make sure everyone can see the guest of honor.

We ended up moving the big farmhouse table out and bringing a smaller table in.  I used the mantel to set up for tea, and the counter for gifts.  The food went on the table, along with a strawberry lemonade punch.

Lindsay took a lot of photos, and when I get them, you can be sure I'll post them here!

I can't wait for this sweet baby girl to make her arrival in just a few more months!  October is now going to rival May as our big birthday month.  Emma is due on the first, my birthday is the 3rd, Kay is due the 6th and her birthday is the 7th!  Fun! Fun! Fun!

Joining Bernideen and Sandi today! 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Baby Shower Weekend

The Shower is actually on Sunday, but today will be the day of preparation.  

I have a rustic plus shabby chic style in mind.

Plans to host it outdoors may not happen as it is supposed to be 90 degrees and sunny.  If we have it outdoors, it will be under our beautiful maple trees so it may be pleasant in spite of the temperatures.

I've had flexibility in my plan, so the house is also a possibility.

We'll be using my tea things, glass luncheon plates, punch cups, beautiful fabrics.

I may get a bunting sewn, but I am still hand quilting the baby quilt I'm making!

I'll take photos of how it all turns out.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hospitality: Simple Pleasures

 We love to welcome people to our home, Creekside Cottage.  Right now we have my niece and two great nephews visiting.  We've had wonderful adventures, but they also have enjoyed time here at the Cottage - chasing chickens, collecting eggs, helping to feed the horses, climbing trees, riding a horse.  I take great delight in knowing that they will have memories of summer at Auntie Dee's house.

There is so much joy in getting to know them, and seeing them enjoy new experiences. Our desire was always that our home would be a place of welcome, no matter how old or young you are.  

On Sunday I am hosting a baby shower for my daughter Emily who is expecting her first baby in late September.  Its a girl so I am having fun gathering a lot of pretty things to decorate with.  I am still quilting the baby quilt, and maybe doing that until Saturday night!

I'm looking forward to welcoming the friends who will attend to celebrate with Emily.

Joining Thoughts of Home on Thursday with Jemma, Laura, Stacey and Laura!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I'm A Gatekeeper

I follow Sally Clarkson on Instagram and Facebook.  I have read most of her books.  She has both inspired me over the years and has been a person who has been a kindred spirit when it comes to mothering.

Mothering is the hardest work a woman will ever do, and it is a noble task.  It requires self sacrifice, late nights (all nights, sometimes), early mornings.  It means training, and persevering.  It means at times offering empathy rather than punishment.  It requires intentionality.

It requires Grace - both from us toward our children and to us; accepting the Grace that God offers us in the moment we need it.

We shape the world as Mothers.  I pray that mothers everywhere will rise up to the task God has given us.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Adventure Is Out There!

We went to a beautiful little park yesterday with a wonderful creek running through it.  We were the only ones there.

Then after we'd played and explored we moved on to a state park that is nearby.  We've spent lots of time at this park over the years, hiking, riding the horses, picnicking.  There is a wonderful scenic overlook that looks out over the Susquehanna river.  Sometimes you can see eagles flying, but we didn't see any yesterday.  The kids didn't seem to mind.

My Mom, Rachel, Alicia and I had so much fun with the kids.  Then we came home and let them all have a rest. 

Today we are headed out for Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Valley Forge and A Birthday Party

It's been a whirlwind of activity around here, and Alicia and I are enjoying time, after the household goes to bed, to talk and share and encourage each other.  The work of Motherhood is challenging and hard, but full of joy and reward.  We both love it.

On Saturday we went to Valley Forge National Park.  The Continental Army, under General George Washington, spent the winter of 1777-1778 here.  If you ever get the chance to visit you should!  They have a great little museum in the visitors center, a good movie that gives you an idea of what went into building an encampment for approximately 6000 men.

We toured the home that Washington moved into with his staff and Martha (who came to spend the winter with him), drove along the Encampment road to see replica huts the men built, statues, and arch that was erected in their honor in 1977.

The kids completed a junior ranger program and got sworn in and received badges.  Aren't they the cutest?

Sunday evening we had a birthday party for Sarah!  She is 14 today!

These young people are terrific!  They love Ultimate Frisbee and English Country Dancing.

IMG_1785 from Deanna Rabe on Vimeo.

I was talking to my friend Jen last night about how much I love this group of young people.  I have enjoyed being their dance caller, and getting to be a friend to them.  They are all growing up and some are young adults now.  Just like Joseph and Lindsay, and Emma and Vinnie, they will begin to marry and begin their families.  I hope that in the years to come they will get together to dance and enjoy their sweet friendships.  I also hope they will invite me to come and call their dances and enjoy being a part of their fun!

Today we are going to a creek to wade and play.

What are you up to?


  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...