Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Having Fun, Back Soon!

We've been having fun with our friends, but not much that is 'show' worthy! Lol!

Sunday, after church we went to Valley Forge.  Jane and I are huge history buffs, and she'd never been to Valely Forge.  Monday, we did some shopping, Tuesday we hung out here, and I mowed the property, yesterday I looked at a house with my parents that is for sale, it is just up the road from us!  The housing market is hot right now so we'll see if they get it.  They do like it - A LOT.  I've had Klaire all three of those days too.  She's easy, peasy.  

Last night we went to dinner at an Irish Pub in the city of Lancaster, called Annie Bailey's.  Its always good!  Today, we are going to go buy a diffuser for Jane, and get a few other things.  They sadly leave tomorrow.  We usually see them at the beginning of their summer travels, and on their way home, but this year just once, because they have a shortened trip.  The reason for this is they are flying to Alaska for a cruise to celebrate 45 years of marriage!  Isn't that awesome?

Sometime today, Tim's sister and her family will arrive after visiting Washington, DC, and they'll be here until Saturday

After that it'll be a quiet summer, and July will be here!  Crazy how quickly the days go by.  

I'll leave you with a picture of Klaire, with Jane, at breakfast yesterday.  We love breakfast at the local golf course, and Klaire love looking out the window at the golfers, and birds and squirrels.
Jane and Rick love our kids and our grands, they especially enjoyed Klaire because they've known Nate since he was three months old.

Friends are a treasure, and friends that are family are doubly so.  Thanks for loving us so well, Rick and Jane, for all these years.  Have a great trip this summer!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Tea With Friends

My favorite place to have tea in our area is The Tea Trolley, in Delta, Pennsylvania.  Its a 20 minute drive, but they serve a real Afternoon Tea.

One of my favorite things to do is to share my friends with other friends.  Overtime, if you are my friend you'll get to know other friends of mine.  Sometimes these friends meeting blossom into friendships of their own.

Jane, on the left, has been my great friend for 29 years!  She and my mom (second on the right) are friends, of course because we've all spent so much time together.  Jennifer and I became friends at church, and then met my mom, and they became friends. Jane and Rick, always go to church with us, and are often here when other friends come on Sundays so Jane and Jennifer became friends. Then Jennifer and I met Katie, and became friends, she got to know my mom, and then I introduced Katie and Jane by seating them at the same table for Lindsay's wedding reception.  They've become pen pals and great friends.

So Jane and Rick are visiting and we all went to Afternoon Tea on Friday.  It was wonderful and we visited for hours.  The Tea Trolley has the most amazing scones, and I bought some frozen ready to be baked!  

Tim's sister and family will be here, in and out, several times this week.  I'm thinking I need to introduce them to a proper tea.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Five

Our longtime friends have arrived for their summer visit, and the girls leave tomorrow for a youth conference!  Always something happening at the cottage!  Onto the five!

1.  Local Strawberries!
 I made these local berries into a low carb dessert, by lightly frying a low carb tortilla, I added some dark chocolate that melted, the strawberries, and some homemade whipped cream.  Delightful!

2. and 3. My sweet friend Cheryl knows me well!  She gave me this darling mug when Tim and I spent the day with her and Ron!

4. Kyle is growing up!
 He's my height now and getting a bit of a moustache!  He says he'll have to shave before he's 13 (which happens in August)!  He's not so sure about this!

5. This photo.  It slays me.  Tim and Klaire love each other.  This photo by Rachel says it all!

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Kitchen Cabinets Makeover (Finished)

I first painted my kitchen cabinets two years ago!  You can read about that here and then my starting on repainting them here.  I love them painted.  But for me, the chalk paint was difficult to clean and the Old White color was not crisp enough in color.  I've discovered I like a very crisp white.

I painted the upper cabinets yesterday and am very happy to have that all done.

It's clean and crisp, and the paint (Magnolia Paint by Kilz in True White for Trim and Cabinetry) goes on well and cleans up beautifully.  Since I've done the cabinets bit by bit, I've had lots of opportunities to wipe messes off of them!

Now to seriously look for hardware for them.  I have 14 cabinet doors and 9 drawers in my kitchen.  That's a lot of hardware!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Getting Back To The Heart Of Blogging

I've been blogging for 11 years now.  That's a lot of posts and a lot of talking, and most days I still feel as if I have something I want to share. We love hospitality, and I love to encourage and be a friend so blogging, for me, is a no brainer.  

Blogging has changed over the years.  When I got started there were 'awards' we could give to each other, days to share what we were wearing, 'parties' to join at other blogs!  One of my favorite parties was Vee's Notecard party.  We picked four photos to share that we thought would make nice Notecards, liked up at her blog, and visited each other to see ,their photos and leave comments.  This was a favorite because it was through this 'party' that I met Lorrie, Judith, BJ, Michele, Dotsie. It was fun!  

All of these things helped us to build community with each other.  We weren't faceless online creepers, we were friends who had similar lives, or completely different ones, but shared things in common.  Judith is an amazing gardener, Tracy makes amazing quilts, Sherry is a great cook, Cheryl is the best hostess ever, Vee a great friend to people. I learned so much from each one.

I loved finding other homeschool moms through blogging, and sisters of the heart, and kindred spirits.  Sherry, Tracy, Cheryl, Vee, have shared life with me and I with them - good times, loss, pain, suffering, joy, Jesus.  We are still kindreds and always will be and not one of them live close to me but I have met and hugged each one of these dear friends!  Heather and I keep in touch through Instagram now and share much in common, but we've had lunch together with Karen Andreola who is also a dear friend.  I also met Linda through Vee's blog and she is dear to me too!  We are hoping to met up when Sarah and I go to Texas in August!

This is the joy of blogging for me that I never want to lose.  As the years have gone by, my life has changed - I no longer have six kids in the home, only three and one of those is preparing to go off to school in the fall.  I am now a grandmother to four darlings.  I have grey hairs, and a bad back.  However, I'm still homeschooling, I still love to encourage, be a friend, host gatherings at my cottage, help others, plan events, host tea parties.

I'm going to get back to basics around here, and I've already started to do that.  You'll be seeing photos from the garden, projects I'm working on, kids and grandkids, and you'll be reading my thoughts about many things.  It may not look much different from my usual posts, but in my heart there is a renewed sense of focus and joy in this thing called blogging!


I accidentally left my twin, Brenda, off my list!  For women who've never met in person, we are so alike that Brenda's daughter Stephanie thinks we might be the same person!  She says, "I've never seen you together, so how do we know?"  lol!

Total brain burp, Brenda!  Many, many apologies!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sewing: Simple Pillow Covers Made From Recycling Old Curtains

I used to sew a lot, curtains, pillowcases, skirts and dresses, but I don't do much sewing lately.

Saturday, I was home all day, and did some tidying and also decided to bite the bullet and get some pillow covers made.  I'd decided that the pillow covers that I had made years ago had seen better days and it was time for them to go!

I have a fabric stash, and sometimes I wonder why I hold on to so much of it, because when I go to make something I never like what I already have.  However, I did remember that I had some curtains a friend had given me.  They had hung in her daughters room, and even though they were faded in places, she gave them to me when they moved, because I love the Waverly pattern so much.  I've used them as shower curtains in my bathroom, but otherwise they've sat in my stash.

Well, not any more!

The color looks different because of the poor lighting in my living room this morning, but they are the same. 

I simply measured the pillows, cut the fabric about an half an inch wider than the pillow (I wanted the pillows to be fluffy), did straight line sewing of seams, and stitched the cover closed around the pillows.  I made two sets, two different sizes.

I like them, and my kids have mentioned how much they like them, too.  It feels great to have cute pillows in the living room, and to have been able to recycle this fabric! That's a win in my book!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Normal Stuff For A Missionary Family

Tim's sister Esther always shows my blog to their mom so I try to post photos of the family that I know she'll want to see.

This photo is one of them.

Tim's brother Dan and our sister in law Sharon came by Sunday to say farewell, for now.  They leave on Tuesday to go back to Senegal, West Africa.  We love and appreciate them. 

Their daughters live near to us, all adults now and Uncle Tim helps them with questions about their cars or something with the house.  They are independent and don't need us for much, but its nice getting together for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  

Tim grew up in a missionary family, and we are all used to separations, due to someone being in a different country or living in a different state.  I guess that has helped us all to stay close in spite of not living close to one another.  We know that even if we don't talk often, when we get together we pick right back up!  

We have family spread out from coast to coast, in Alaska, in Hawaii, and in Africa.  We are very thankful for Social Media (we follow each other and keep in touch) and for other technologies that allow us to keep in touch.

Thirty years ago, Tim's sister was in Africa and if she needed to call stateside it cost her $7.00 per minute! Tim's parents used to record their kids and send them home through the mail, so the grandparents could hear the kids! Now they could email, Skype, Marco Polo, or use What'sApp to be in instant contact!  

We are grateful for our extended family, and for God's grace in our relationships.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Five (Birthday Edition)

Today is Kamryn's birthday.  She's eight!  Happy Birthday, Kamryn!

1. Kamryn has always been lively!  You can see it in the twinkle in her eyes!

2. She's definitely a cutie!

3. She enjoys tea time!

4. She's small but has a BIG personality!

5. She's a great big sister!

We are going to celebrate her birthday this evening with an outing to get ice cream, and tomorrow she's having an awesome slip 'n slide water party!

Happy Birthday, sweet Kamryn.  You are LOVED!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Creating Beauty Even When Things Aren't 'Perfect'

I've talked about our house before, how it was a true fixer upper, and that was what allowed us to afford it.  It sits on four and a quarter acres, and it was all neglected.  Bit by bit, we've transformed this property and house.  

We've been here for 17 years, and it is now time to update things.  However, we started our business almost three years ago, and there is not a chunk of money sitting around to do all the projects I have in mind. (smile)

However!  I am not one to not decorate or create spaces to enjoy beauty just because there are not funds for bigger projects!

The deck is not beautiful and new, but its what we have to work with for now and so I do what I can, little by little.  

A folding table (we already own), a few chairs purchased last year, benches found by the side of the road for free, an inexpensive tablecloth, a pretty plant in an urn and we have a delightful space to sit and read, talk with friends, and eat an al fresco dinner!

My garden sitting area is another one of these projects that have no funds for a 'proper' sitting space, but I am doing what I can.  

If you look at the walkway you can see the problem I have with the chickens in the garden.

This requires not only a broom, but a shovel to deal with the dirt that gets rained on!

In this photo you can see that we have yet to wash the house this year (we've had so much rain), and you can see the dated bow window I'd like to replace.

 I've stopped waiting on doing anything on some projects, just because I can't do everything!

Bit by bit, I'm continuing to create beautiful spaces, that while not perfect, are places that the family can enjoy and share with others.

I want to encourage you to create spaces in your homes that lift your spirits, create a sense of beauty, and provide a space for you or your family to enjoy.

As the Nester used to say, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."  My garden space is not perfect (there are weeds that are winning the battle) but the flowers are too pretty to miss out on.  With the table and chairs, I no longer need to sit on the front steps to enjoy my garden in the morning, or to catch the blue hour!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Garden: Improvements and Dreams

I writing my thoughts out here on the blog, so that I have a place to keep my ideas.

The first thing that needs to happen is replacing the picket sections of the fence.  Then everything needs a fresh coat of paint.

The chickens will not stay out of the garden, and keep scratching dirt on the walk way.  Any ideas, chicken owners?

I'm working on my sitting area in the garden.  I'm not sure how it will work out, so for now, I have my chairs on the walkway. (I think I mentioned we don't enter the house this way)  I just got my table yesterday, and I'll show you them tomorrow.

I've made improvements in my plantings as I added two new roses this year!

This is the Princess Alexandra of Kent rose from David Austin Roses.  So lovely!

I've also sewn my zinnia seeds and I'm eager to see them come up!

This garden is my cutting garden also and includes coneflower, blackeyed susans, feverfew, hydrangea, peonies, hollyhock.

Part of the improvements for the front garden is the replacement of our living room bow window which looks out into the garden.  This is an original window in this thirty plus year old house and has seen better days.  I'd like something flat not bowed, as our long term plans are for this space to have a porch, so the garden space will change.

Most of the plants will move to an area I am dreaming of transforming.  The chickens are there right now - a fenced in dog run.  Their coop is attached to it.  But if we move the chickens to the pasture and fence them in there, where they can free range etc, then we'd remove the fencing and I would use the concrete pad to  create a sitting area.  My eventual dream would be to have a 'she shed' space.  A place I can use to host tea parties, bridal showers and baby showers.  Of course, the shed wouldn't be big enough to have everyone in it, but it would be a center point of the event and tables and chairs could be placed around it!  I consider all of this as part of my gardens.

she shed

Move over "Man Caves," It's All About "She Sheds" Now!
Both photos found on my Pinterest Board 'She Shed' found here.

Isn't this fun?

What are you dreaming of for your garden?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I'm Back

Clark is already a week old.  How crazy is that?

He's a sweetheart.  Does what most babies do, eat, sleep, poop.  But Sunday he was starting to stay awake longer and that was fun.  I got in all the holding I could.

We got them all packed up, cleaned the apartment, and moved them to Tennessee.  They are staying with Vinnie's family for a week until their apartment is available.  Vinnie's family are warm and welcoming and we like them so much.  It does our hearts good to see how much they love Emma.  They graciously fed us lunch on Sunday, and we spent several hours at their home.

We stayed in a sweet Airbnb Saturday night, and enjoyed sleeping in and listening to a nice thunderstorm move through.  Then the power went out.  Sigh...  The power outage was due to a downed pole that didn't seem to have anything to do with the rain.  We headed over to the inlaws house for lunch, hoping the power would be back on soon.  By the time we left to go back to the Airbnb, the rain had started up again (so no swimming at the lake) and the power was still out.  After talking with the Sarah and Kyle, we decided to just pack up and head home.  We went back by to say good bye to Emma and family, and then hit the road.

As it was about 6:00pm when we left we went about an hour and a half and then decided to book a room online.  The hotel had a great pool (which Kyle and Tim enjoyed) and really comfy beds.  After driving all day Monday, we got home, unpacked, and got Tim ready for his work day for today.

We are thankful to be able to go down and help Emma and Vinnie get moved, and to spend a bit of time with them, and the grandbabies.  Its always hard to leave them, but we do keep in touch through Marco Polo and through FaceTime.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't live near all their grandchildren.

This week, I am keeping Kamryn and Klaire two days, and I have birthday shopping for Kamryn to do (she's nearly 8 already!), and Father's Day shopping, too.  If we get a break in rain, mowing needs to happen. as well.

It's good to be home, though part of our hearts are still in Tennessee.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Playdate With The Horses

One of the blessings of having horses is that we can share the fun with friends.  Kamryn's friends from co-op were able to come on Monday, along with their big sister and mom, to ride horses in our arena.  Lindsay was the charge of teaching and instructing, while I sat in the shade and was in charge of drinks. (I liked my job!)

Sandi and Lindsay

Lindsay understands what its like to be horse crazy as a kid and not have access to a horse!  She is good at sharing her horse Sandi and my dad's horse Cheyenne.

Kamryn has had lessons from Auntie Lindsay last year, and she remembered a lot!
She had so much fun riding with her friends!

It was fun to watch these girls ride.  They are all naturals, and quick learners.

I'll be away a few days.  We're off to see our new grandbaby, Clark!  I probably won't be able to blog, but I will update on FB and Instagram.  If you follow me there, prepare to see lots of grandbaby photos!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Creekside Cottage Family Is Growing!

Emma gave birth in the wee morning hours on Monday!  Clark Vincent weighs 7lbs 5 oz and is 20 1/2 inches long!  Exactly the same as big sister Isla, when she was born!

What a cutie!

Doesn't Emma look great?
Isla is beginning to understand that this is the baby that was in Mommy's tummy.  I love the fact that she'll never remember a time when Clark wasn't there!

Looking forward to seeing them all this weekend!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday Five: Garden Edition

This edition of Friday Five has what is blooming as of June 1st, 2018.

1. Peonies
The peonies are almost finished for the year, but they were beautiful while they were in bloom!

2. Roses

3. White Iris
 These Iris are daintier than my purple Iris. They are a very nice flower in my cottage garden.

4. Bleeding Heart
 The Bleeding Heart has grown and is amazingly still blooming.  I love its delicate flowers.

5.  Columbine
I only have one plant of Columbine, but I hope to divide it next year.  It has been so pretty in the garden this year!

I was at our homeschool convention today, and then Tim and I were treated to dinner out with sweet friends. 

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!


  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...