Monday, August 30, 2010

Rather heartbroken right now...

I had planned today to be sharing lovely details of my weekend activities but I am truly not up to it. Someone ~ who has absolutely no filter on their mouth ~ made a very ignorant comment to me last night about something my family is dealing with. In front of a crowd of people. I answered as succinctly as I could and managed to get out of the room and into an empty one before the tears started to fall. Two dear friends came to comfort me and I am grateful for them. Surprisingly, someone who I thought didn't even know me that well, apparently came to my defense after my hasty retreat from the room and then came to talk to me as well. And someone else, who I didn't even know had observed what happened, told the person-lacking-any-filter to literally "back off" and leave me alone.

So it is nice to know that I have people who think highly enough of me to come to my defense. But at the same time, the wind is most definitely knocked out of my sails and it doesn't take but a scant moment's thought about it and the tears want to come again. This person could not have chosen a more raw spot to pick. I probably won't be on for a couple of days. I feel wounded and I need to just be quiet and regroup.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Offline for a few days...

Right now, my daughter has friends over spending the night for her birthday. She turned 14 yesterday. :-) Not only that, but my husband and I had our 16th anniversary yesterday too! (I have to say, that second anniversary was quite memorable!)
So the rest of the evening will be spent making a good supper for all these girls plus my husband and son. Then I am going to put out a spread for dessert that would make any teenage girl weak in the knees. Let's just say there are gourmet cupcakes and a chocolate fountain involved!
Tomorrow I have church services and I am also helping host a banquet. I trust everyone will understand if I am a bit quiet for a few days.
Blessings to you as you tend to the quiet pleasures of your home!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Classroom Pictures

I spent time this morning working in the classroom that I teach in on Wednesday nights. We always try to change the decorations with the seasons and it was time to put some Fall things up. I always like to decorate the outside door and the wall around the door. Here is what I made ~
And a closer look at the sign ~
This is the wall inside the classroom ~


And this will be used for attendance. Each time the children attend, they will be given a leaf to add to their basket.

I always try to make sure my classroom is decorated. I don't like classrooms that are drab and plain. It's so much nicer for the children if they are kept bright and cheery.
In addition to working in the classroom this morning, I was also given the responsibility of being in charge of the church's resource room. I was quite pleased to be given this responsibility and I'm sure I'll enjoy it.
Well, it's getting late and I must close for now. May God bless you as you attend to the quiet pleasures of your home! ~~~~

Monday, August 23, 2010

A peek into my day

This is my desk where I write my letters and my blog. I love my little tapestry that hangs from my bulletin board. It is a Thomas Kincaid picture that actually lights up. You can't tell it in the picture, but the lights in the church windows and the lamp actually flicker like candle light. I turn it on in the evenings. To the left of that, you can see a piece of paper with some little doodles drawn on it. It is a piece of paper folded over and on the inside is a love poem my father wrote to my mother for Valentine's Day about three years before she died. He was already well advanced into Parkinson's Disease, so his drawings and words on the outside were written with an unsteady hand. He used his Bible highlighters to draw them. :-) On the inside he typed this poem, straight from his heart:

My Valentine

YOU are my one true love,

The sunlight of my life,

Your love is my blessing from above,

I know your heart is true,

And to me shall bring no strife.

You are my one true love,

My helper through every pain.

I lay down before you

All that I own or ever hope to accrue.

A loving God surely drew you

From among His greatest treasures,

And gave you to me, to be my wife.

I promise I'll try to repay you,

For your trust and your affection,

By never being a disappointment

Nor cause a tear to fall from your

eyes of blue.

And so, my darling wife and helpmate,

Of my love you can be sure,

For I know that God made none better,

than YOU, MY VALENTINE.

Ahhh...tears. He had already been so sick for so many years at that point. We never would have dreamed at the time that God would call her home first, before him. She wanted SO BADLY to out live him to take care of him until his final breath. But God's ways are not ours, are they? But they are together now. And they are so happy.

~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~**~~

Would you like to see some of the fruit of my labors in the kitchen?

This is a loaf of beer bread my husband requested. It bakes up very moist and pops right out of the bread pan once it is done cooling. It is almost all gone now.


My intention was to make lasagna one night last week but I ran short on time. So I made this yesterday, much to my husband and son's delight. Yuuumm.

A key lime cheese ball. Another yum. :-) It went to church last night along with...


...pepperoni & cheese biscuit bites! The kids love these. Not only that, they are so easy to make it's not hard for them to make them by themselves. Both of my kids have made these at different times. It's always nice to add something to their list of things they know how to make.

Well, I will close for now. It is getting late and, Lord willing, another day will start before we know it! Blessings to you all as you attend to the quiet pleasures of your home ~~**~~**~~

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I had the most charming day

I have had such a good day! When I woke up this morning I was anticipating just an ordinary day filled with housework and homeschooling, nothing out of the normal routine. I knew that my husband had an errand to run in the next town over and I asked him if I could go with him. He said that I could. I was thinking it would be nice to just have a quiet drive with him, a little bit of alone time. That's hard to come by sometimes with two teens within ear shot of most conversations. ;-)

We left and did what my husband needed to do and I thought we then would head home. But my husband then said that he decided that I was need of some "distraction." :-) He said he knew of a little town that I would just love. (He got lost recently and ended up there, lol.) He said that they have an old rail road museum there and he wanted to find out it's hours and admission price so we could take the kids some time soon. So I called home to inform my son and daughter that dad was taking me off on a small adventure and we would be home a little later than planned. Then we took off to try and find this little town and my husband was not 100% sure where it was.

We found the town and the rail road museum. Ladies, I only *thought* that I live in a small town. This little vignette was nestled in some hills and it was just precious. It had one small main street that we spent some time walking around with an old fashioned ice cream parlor, a small catering establishment that looked as though it is only open when reserved for special occasions, and a very nice men's store that said in the window they sell an array of "Gentleman's accoutrements." How very civilized! Around the corner was a tiny market with two working gas pumps of the very old fashioned kind and a small diner. As we drove by a lady coming out of diner saw us and smiled and waved.

I know a lot of little towns around here (including where we live) are still very old fashioned but this little teeny town seems like it is a place that time forgot. And it was so quiet. I mentioned that to my husband as we were walking and he had noticed it too, saying that the only thing you could hear were the birds singing. We now have some pipe dreams of moving there some day.

After we left there we headed back home in a direction we usually don't go. But I'm so glad we did! We were both getting a bit hungry and my dear hubby asked me if I wanted to stop and get something to eat somewhere. Right at that moment, my eyes landed on an adorable little tea parlor. We passed it, but I told him what I saw and we turned around. We were in for such a treat!

It was an old house that had been turned into a tea parlor. Outside the establishment was an old, old, old panel truck. They had some old fashioned advertisements painted on the sides and the windows had been dressed with shutters and window boxes full of flowers. The wrap around porch was full of flowers and plants and a large chalk board describing the different dishes and drinks available.

We went inside. And I fell in love. Oh how I wish I had my camera with me so I could share with you how charming this place was. I know I keep using that word, but it really is the only one that will do the place justice. Each room was a different color ~ the one we were seated in was sage green, another was a yellow/vanilla color, another had burgundy floral wallpaper. There were lots of plants in each room. Each table had a small wooden plaque with a Fruit of the Spirit carved into it. Ours said "Self Control." Some of the tables were the bases of old Singer sewing machines with a table top placed where the sewing machine would have been. Every room had soft lighting given off by a variety of beautiful lamps. Our sage green room had accents in rose and peach and it was all put together so well. All of the waitresses wore either long skirts or long flowing palazzo pants with white blouses and cobbler aprons. A selection of music was playing that switched between harpsichord, harps, and classical guitar.

Can you see why I fell in love with this place?

They had a wide selection of teas and non-alcoholic drinks and I tried something completely new to me. A Hibiscus fruit punch. And true to it's name, it tasted very...flowery! I was not certain I would like something that really did taste like a flower, but I did! It was very good and I would order it again. The flavor was a bit too feminine for my husband 's taste though and he settled on one of their cream sodas. We ordered sandwiches, dh had roast beef and I had a veggie burger, and they were served on homemade buns. We also had dessert ~ dh had homemade carrot cake and I had a slice of cream cheese pie drizzled with maple syrup. Yum! ~~**~~**

I had to notice the crowd that this type of establishment obviously attracted. Everyone was calm & quiet, well dressed, and polite. I told dh my observation and he said also that no one had their eyes glued to a cell phone or a PDA. Everyone was simply relaxed and well behaved and enjoying themselves. It was so nice. My husband made the statement that we are losing so much civility in our society and it seems that we won't get it back because the majority does not seem to care. That is true and I think it is so sad.

I had such a good time today. I have a new favorite place. :-) It was so nice to spend time in a place where the people obviously cared about the small details and attended to them diligently. I do hope we can go back there at some point.

Like I said, I was thoroughly charmed by the time we left and thanked my husband for giving me such a wonderful afternoon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window ~ It is dark, our porch light is on....it's actually stuck on. We can't seem to make it turn off no matter what we do. I don't want to take the bulbs out because I want the light when I need it...I just don't need it 24 hours a day. (sigh)

I am thinking ~ Many things. All our upcoming appointments with different specialists for my daughter, homeschool work, things going on at church.

I am thankful for ~ My God, my family, my home, my friends.

From the kitchen ~ We had spaghetti with cheesy garlic bread tonight. Tomorrow will be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and another side or two.

I am wearing ~ A blue top, a long black skirt, I just took my apron off.

I am creating ~ Nothing much right now. I need to pull my cross stitching back out. I haven't done any since I mailed my swap package off last week.

I am hearing ~ The sound of the fan and the aquarium and the show my kids are watching.

Around the house ~ I got a lot organized today. Next I need to work on my desk, better known as "mom's office." :-)

A few plans for the week ~ Church tomorrow night but a fairly slow week other than that. Next week will be busy with 3 work days planned at church, our 16th anniversary and a birthday sleepover for my daughter.


A picture thought to share ~ Our chickens gave us our first eggs today!


Courts crack down on inappropriate attire

I found this article this morning and thought it was interesting. It seems that judges are getting tired of people coming into their courtrooms in sloppy, inappropriate, or skimpy attire. Some counties in certain states are even mandating a dress code. If you want to make your court date then you need to make sure you dress appropriately to go to court. Some people have been turned away at the door and not allowed entrance into the courtroom for not conforming to the dress code. This, in turn, causes problems for them because they miss their court date and are then in trouble for that.

One judge said, "...if you come to court, you need to treat it with the appropriate respect and dignity it should deserve due to the occasion."

And can I just say ~ Amen!

I have to admit (and I'll probably get tomatoes thrown at me for saying this) that since I read this article this morning my mind has been thinking of all the places it would be wonderful to have a dress code for! Now, I know it will never happen, but it would be so nice to go to the store and not see women with body parts hanging out of their clothing, people that look like they have no clothing detergent in their house but some how they can manage to pay quite a bit of money for computer games, and people who have brought their children in barely clothed. (Seeing babies toted around town in nothing but a diaper gets on my very last nerve.)

I would even venture to say (get your tomatoes ready) that some churches could use a bit of guidance in this area. A little over a year ago, I was constantly amazed at how Christian mothers were allowing their teen age girls to dress at the church I attended. Spike heels and super short skirts seemed to be the accepted mode of dress for the teenage set. Two incidents stand out in my mind. One day I was in the midst of a large crowd that was moving very slowly headed to various class rooms. There was a teenage girl in front of me and the length of her skirt stopped literally one hand's width (turned sideways) from underneath her rear. It was paired with about 6 inch heals. Another time, I overheard a conversation one of the mothers was having about her daughter. She was saying that she was older raising this one and she was tired and let the daughter get away with things she never would have her older children. She literally said, "Yeah, I let her wear those hooker shoes to church. I never would have let my other kids do that when I was younger. That's what we call them. Hooker shoes." I could not believe my ears. I no longer attend there.

My parents were "older parents" raising me and there is no way I would have been allowed out of the house dressed like that for any occasion much less church. And I don't care how old and tired I get, I would never allow any child of mine out of the house like that.

Alright, I'll step down from my soap box now. I just wanted to share the article and think about how nice it would be if people cared enough to dress in a respectful manner in other venues as well.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Silly Women, Sinful Busybodies ~ A timely repost

I wrote this post in 2008. It basically says everything that I am feeling tonight so I decided to repost it. Blessings ~**~**~**~

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day's End



Today has been a bit of an emotionally taxing day. I ended it by falling into Proverbs, which seemed to be the best choice I could make considering the alternative would have been to stew in my upset feelings. Now I am here, my sweet little sliver of cyber space that I share with a handful of sweet friends, with a glass of chamomile tea. I do hope I sleep well tonight. I am tired ~ in more ways than one ~ and I need to rest.


Around the house I am in *major* decluttering mode. We are planning to purchase a new bed for dh and I this weekend. Considering the new bed will be King size and the cottage's master bedroom is tiny ~ there is much rearranging and purging going on. I took a full load in the back of our truck today to our local food bank. (Our food bank is similar to a Goodwill. You can donate clothing, household items, etc.) I will have more still to go. Tonight I set down with my large collection of cross stitch magazines and patterns and sorted through them all. I tore out the patterns that I want to keep and I'm donating all the rest. In the end, what took up an entire shelf of a large book case will now be able to reside in one or two binders. It was also a good reminder of what patterns I have so I can plan my next projects.


Once our bedroom is reorganized and pared down it will be ready for the new bed. Then we will take our daughter's current bed out and she will take the one we have now. It is only about 3 years old and the one dd has now is much older. Hopefully by next week all of the furniture shuffling in our house will be done and I can get things settled down into order.


Well, the chamomile tea seems to be blessedly taking effect. I'm off to slumber. Blessings to you all. ~~~


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why?

My husband and I had to go out last night to our local Wal-Mart. I don't really care for the store myself but considering we are, at the very least, 45 minutes from a town of any size in any given direction...there are certain things we must go there for if we are to have them. We do not have another store for many items. Granted, our W-M is not your average "normal" W-M. We have...literally...the smallest Wal-Mart that has been built in the U.S. At least that is what they told us when they built it. There is no vision center, no hair salon or bank. There are no stores across the front at all and there is certainly no fast food resturant in it. We do have a good sized grocery area and all other sections are given just a couple of ailses. So I suppose the shopping experience there is not as stressful as it could be if it were a full size store....but still...

I digress...

We have one second hand store, which we love. I have been able to find some very nice clothing and household items there at wonderful prices. But it is a place where you never know what you are going to find and there is certainly no guarantee that what you need will be there on any given day.

So you can imagine that buying clothing is a bit of a challenge. There is **nothing** at the local W-M that I would buy to wear. Now, please don't think me a snob for saying that. I am not someone who must have the best of the best or who is enthralled by a name brand label. And there was a time when I was able to find things to wear at stores like W-M. As a matter of fact three of my favorite skirts came from there ~ cotton blends, long, and A-line. But it was many moons ago when I purchased those and they simply do not sell anything at all like them anymore ~ especially in plus sizes.

Which brings me to my little rant....

WHY is it that clothing manufacturers seem to think that if a woman is of a plus size that she:

A) Wants to show off her chest area so everything must be very low cut? Of for that matter they assume that because you are plus size that that particular area of your anatomy must be extremely...blessed (ahem...) and everything is cut in such a way that makes it impossible for some women to wear them?

B) Wants to show of her legs? Can someone please explain this to me? WHY are dresses and skirts (when you can find them) cut sooooo short almost 100% of the time in the plus size department? I do not, never have, and never plan on wanting to show off my legs. I don't even like knee length or mid-calve length dresses. I want them ankle length. Period. Plus size = show lots of leg. I simply do not get it.

Now, I am not a dresses only lady but I surely could be if I could find what it is I am looking for! And I am having a difficult time. I seem to be able to find nice things appropriate for going to church and places like that. But something nice, neat, modest and a bit more simple for everyday wear? No... I cannot seem to find it.

Since W-M is simply not an option anymore I have turned to online stores. But I am finding much the same thing there. Is it really too much to ask to find a nice A-line skirt or some pretty calicos in a size that goes above a 12? So far, I have found some things that I have my eye on at The Vermont Country Store and one dress from Recollections. I just wish there were more choices. And I really wish I could understand *why* they make the clothing the way they do now. Because I honestly cannot wrap my head around it...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

~ Outside my window ~ It is dark,
just a little past nine o'clock. I suspect my chickens are roosting atop their coop instead of inside it. Silly chickens.

~ I am thankful for ~ A Lord who I can lean on, often and hard.

~ In the kitchen ~ A late night snack of chicken patties popped into the oven. Our Gospel Meeting started tonight and ds and I spent the evening at church. We got home late.

~ I am wearing ~ A gray pair of pajama bottoms and a purple top.

~ I am creating ~ I just finished my most recent cross stitch projects which was the towel I posted about a few days ago and a bookmark. It's now time to get out one of my large WIP pieces. I have one with a pair of swans I think I will pull out of the stitching bag.

~ I am going ~ Back to church in the morning for our morning meeting service.

~ I am reading ~ Stepping Heavenward with an online book club.

~ I am hoping ~ That my daughter feels better tomorrow than she did today and that she is able to keep up with school work this year.

~ I am hearing ~ Bluegrass music playing quietly in the background and the sound of my son's program in the other room.

~ Around the house ~ A few things need straightening up. I'm trying to get back into the school day routine of balancing housework and school work. One step at a time, a little more each day.

~ One of my favorite things ~ My new Bible I purchased for the Inductive Bible Study that I'm participating in. It's been a LONG time since I've had a new one.

~ A few plans for the rest of the week ~ Lots of reading, lots of studying, and lots of teaching home school lessons.

~ A picture thought I am sharing ~ The finished bookmark for the swap package I'm sending out. If the surface it is laying looks a bit odd, it's because it's a lamp shade. Most of the lights were out in the living room when I took it and instead of disturbing ds with bright lights I just put it up on the lamp shade so I could take the picture.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

First day of school ~~

Today is the first day of our new school year. Everything is not going 100% smoothly but we are making forward progress so that is good. I woke up not feeling very well so I am forcing myself to take on my day, one step at a time, regardless. I have managed to get quite a bit done already and for that I am thankful. My daughter is not feeling well and has not been able to get out of bed yet. She had a fairly good day yesterday but then last night took a bit of a bad turn so I'm not surprised things are rough for her this morning. Sometimes I end up completely schooling my son and then starting all over with my daughter once he is done. She does the best she can. She has a lot on her plate for a 13 year old. Every day is a learning experience in patience and mercy when you are a mother to a chronically ill child.

Do you like my little sign I made up there? I decided to post that on our door each school day this year. I live in a little neighborhood with a few sweet elderly ladies who just love to talk. While I don't mind visiting with them, I know from our experience last year that sometimes we will get a knock on the door because someone wants to talk to me, and when that happens it is very hard for me to get the school work back on track once the visitor is gone.

So I decided to make my little sign to convey that now is not a very good time but they could come back this afternoon if they need to speak to me. I don't want to be rude to my neighbors but I really must guard the time that our school is in session. It is so important that I can teach them without interruptions. Even more so now that my daughter is in her first high school year and we already have challenges regarding her time because of her issues.

Well, I should be off for now. I have laundry to be folded and several other household chores to fit into the day around all the lessons. May God bless you as you attend to the quiet pleasures of your household!
(My son reading about giant redwoods & sequoias.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pulling back

I have been giving thought to how much we as a society are "plugged in" ~ online. It seems that a cyber life has taken over real life! I remember when my children were both babies, I was online only about once a month and for only a few minutes. Now it seems like everyone is online all the time. Granted, a lot of life has to be accessed more online now than it did 12 or 13 years ago when I had babies. Between accessing bank accounts, paying bills online and needful things for homeschooling I do have very good reasons to be online. But I have been pulling back and pruning where I go online quite a bit.

I don't watch much tv at all so I like to be able to get some of my news online. But for a while now, what other people apparently think pass as "news" just makes me feel a tad...well, aggravated to tell you the truth. Who are the people out there who actually care which celebrity is bed hopping, which outlandish outfit is getting current rave reviews (and it generally looks horrible to my assessment), and who is leaving their spouse to shack up with another person who also left their spouse? This is news? Really?.......Really? And if it's not nonsense like that it's generally stories of heart ache brought on by some type of sin and abomination before God.

I am not attempting to be holier than thou at all. I don't know another's heart and wish that they all would come to know God's love and grace and forgiveness. But what I am saying is that for me and my mind, I just don't want it filled with what the largest majority of this world has to offer.

So I am pulling back. I'm not visiting the websites that are supposedly carrying the day's "news." I have collected a nice little (emphasis on little) collection of blogs and websites written by other ladies who I either feel I have things in common with or from whom I gain insights or get uplifted by in some way. I am working on spending more time in the Word, more time with real books in my hands (not reading from a screen), more time with my needle and thread and more time with my family.

I know that with having bills and finances online and the needs of homeschooling and blogging I probably won't ever recapture the days of being online only once per month. But I am trying valiantly to step back from having such a large percentage of my life online as is possible in our time. Real life must be attended to.

My fear is that most of our society, at this point, has forgotten what real life is! They are all so plugged in they think it odd when someone decides to not participate in a life where one's eyes are stuck to a screen all day. Do you know, I actually read an article this week written by a college professor that was giving the argument that we are all really parts of a computer program? That we don't truly exist? He was trying to prove this stance and apparently felt he had done so by the end of his article. As I said earlier...sins and abominations before God.

May we all spend less time in the silly pursuits of the world and more time attending to the quiet pleasures of our homes!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Very Busy Day

Today started bright and early with lots of activity. We had to take our daughter to a children's hospital 2 hours away so she could have a treadmill test done and have her heart rate monitored. She has several challenges with her health, one of which is a heart rate that feels like it is racing and it is painful when this happens. The good news is that, from preliminary observations, her heart seems to be beating properly. This is a good thing. The bad news is that we are no closer to finding out why this is happening to her and what is causing it. So we will continue on with our plans for her treatment and continue on with much prayer that we will find the answers we are looking for.

After we finished at the hospital we stopped at a few shops because the only time we have a chance to go to them (since we live so far away) is when we are in the city. ~ And that is not very often. I went into a Lifeway Christian book store and purchased a new Bible cover for my Bible that I carry to church. I **love** this material. ~



Once we arrived home, I saw that my materials for the Bible study I'm participating in were delivered. I was so glad they came as today was day one of the study and I did not want to get behind.

(Inductive Study Bible & the companion workbook with a set of pens specifically made for the onion skin pages that most Bibles have.)
After we got home and everyone settled in...we all fell asleep! My husband, my son and I slept for about an hour. It was a long day and we all needed a bit of a rest. My daughter is still asleep and I'm not going to wake her up. She was rather miserable by the time we got home. She has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and running on that treamill really made her sore and tired. She will probably sleep until morning.

Then it was time for a late supper. Luckily, I prepared a casserole last night in anticipation of today being too busy and tiresome to cook. So all I had to do was put it in the oven and bake it. I'm so glad I had it ready ahead of time. It really helped out tonight.

Tomorrow is a homeschool planning day for me. Lots of planning to do as my daughter will be working in high school curriculum this year!

Well sweet readers ~ that is all I have the energy to write tonight. I hope you have a wonderful evening and may God bless you as you attend to the quiet pleasures of your home. ~~