Friday, December 30, 2011

Sweet Day

I'm tired and don't have a lot of energy to write much tonight but I just wanted to share that I had the best day today.  :-)  I took my daughter and two of her friends shopping for a "girl's day" and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I made out like a bandit with all the sales going on ~ I'll share pictures soon of some of the goodies I got. 

One thing I'm very happy about is that I was able to get some more pieces of a kitchen ware set that I'm collecting for my daughter's hope chest.  If you want to see it, go to my Pinterest account and look in my "Old Fashioned Domesticities" board.  It's the Owl set.  Trust me, you'll know it when you see it.  ;-)  Both she and I love the design of it and it makes me happy to see her Hope Chest collection grow.  I got a few home items as well.  And to top it all off, hubby and I have a date planned for tomorrow!  We are both looking forward to that.

I had a great time with the girls and it was just a very precious day.  I'll try to share some pictures soon.  But for now, my bed is calling my name!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Being happy and content within your role

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I don't know if it's just the season of the year and all the things that go with it or if I'm just getting older and more settled and content within myself and who I am, but I have been so happy and content lately.  Especially so where my homemaking is concerned.  I have been enjoying and have been made so happy by all the cooking, cleaning, and creative endeavours that I am able to partake of in my home.

I have decided to just give myself over to all of my old fashioned tendencies.  You see, I was raised in a very old fashioned home.  And I'm not just talking about moral standards here ~ although that was the heart of it!  But I'm also talking about the music that was played in our home, the decor of the home, the rhythm of our life.  I was born to "older parents" who were in their forties when I was born in the 1970s.  So if you do the math ~ it is easy to see that the 1940s and 1950s had a big influence in our home.

I have found myself pushing 40 and I see that life is just too short to not give into who I really am.  So I have been surrounding myself with things that are familiar to my past and my family.  The types of music I grew up hearing all the time ~

My parents literally kept an old radio playing softly in the background 24/7/365.  So throughout my entire childhood...I had background music of a very old fashioned kind, lol.  I recently made a playlist with some of the old songs I remember and I play it while I'm working in the kitchen.  It's very comforting to have those old fashioned, familiar sounds in the background once again. 

Speaking of music, I have to share this funny story with you.  I was somewhere online recently and the topic of music came up.  One young lady made the comment that no one listened to real music anymore.  That the things that are popular in pop culture now days can't really be called music and that people should listen to the classics Ozzy Ozborne!  Lol, I kid you not, there is apparently a percentage of the populous that thinks of Ozzy Ozborne as being "classic."  Be still my heart, but it makes me want to close my shades up a bit tighter, lol.

Anyway, I've just been very happy and glad to be working in my home ~ everything from the fun stuff like decorating to the down and dirty stuff like washing dishes and laundry.  I'm grateful that my husband wants me to stay at home and work in our home instead of outside of the home.  I'm able to do so much more than I could if I had one foot in both worlds.  I know that he works very hard at his job and that makes me want to work very hard at mine as well.  I don't want him to work hard all day and then have to be in a slovenly kept home reigned over by a slovenly kept woman!  I want him to know that I appreciate and respect all he does.  I try to keep hot meals & hot coffee coming, keep things tidy without making the family feel uptight as though they were at a museum, and uphold my husband as the head of our family. ~ I want him to feel like he has a woman to come home to, not a brash competitor.

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I try to keep myself presentable as well.  I'm finding that I'm quite content with an "everyday uniform" of a dress or a skirt and top and always with an apron.

Apron Pattern PDF Women's Full and Half - The FLIRTY GIRL

(This apron pattern can be found on Etsy, here.)

Yes, I know it's terribly old fashioned but it makes me so happy and content.  And I have to say, it seems to have the same effect on my family!

I really wish that more women could see and understand the happiness and peace that comes from building a home-centered life.  It seems so many are so busy ranting and raving about what they insist they are entitled to and that they should never have to compromise (but somehow their husband and children having to compromise all the time for them is ok) that they can't even fathom slowing down and enjoying a calm, quiet, femininely productive life.  It makes me sad for them really.  If they only knew what they were missing, I think a lot of them would be willing to make some changes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Snowflake Craft

We found a very cute paper craft yesterday.  At first, they just look like paper snowflakes ~ very pretty.

But upon closer inspection, you realize the snowflakes are made from Star Wars characters! 

Do I even have to tell you how cool my 13 year old son thought this was?

I now have them strung up all over the living room, on the Christmas tree...there's no telling where they will end up next!

After the Christmas decor comes down, I can't bare to throw away all his hard work.  So I'm going to get some dark colored scrap book paper to mount them on and keep them in a scrap book.

You can find the template for these snowflakes here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Quiet Day

                                                        For Today:

Outside my window:
It's rainy, wet and chilly.

I am thankful:
A church member pulled through brain surgery.
And my daughter is happy with new love.  :-)

I am praying for:
Wisdom! ~ Always.

From the learning rooms:
We are on Christmas break.  But there is still some crafting going on.  My son is very busy right now cutting out paper snowflakes ~ and they are very pretty if I do say so myself!

In the kitchen:
A spaghetti dinner for tonight and 2 chickens fixing to get put in a brine for tomorrow.  They will be turned into chicken and dumplings.  Either today or tomorrow I'm also going to do a large batch of homemade peppermint patties.

I am creating:
Almost done with a pair of pillowcases that I'm cross stitching on.  I'm also still learning to use my Knook.

I am reading:
II Chronicles
I just finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  A bit of a departure for me as far as genre goes, but I enjoyed it.  It's the first novel by this author and from what I've read she is garnering quite a following.

I am hearing:
My husband talk to our son about printing out more snowflake templates and the space heater humming beside me.

My favorite things:
Friends whose kids are my kid's friends as well.  It's like a big happy family with the kids going back and forth between homes, the moms getting to "mother" the whole brood.
Time for hobbies like my stitching and reading, watching movies or playing the Wii with my kids.

A few plans for the rest of the day:
I have an "extra" child coming over later, she will spend the night.  Puttering around the house, fixing this and cleaning that.  I would *love* to finish those pillowcases too.

A picture thought to leave you with:

My favorite Christmas cookie jar is a big snowman.  My daughter took this picture of him in sepia tones.  :-)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

This is so much better than those little packets from the store.  It makes a large amount, I keep mine in one of the old fashioned Tupperware containers from long ago, the large size.  Being Christmastide, this is our favorite drink of choice at the moment.  (I have noticed that you do need to stir it a bit more than the instant packets from the store.)

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

10 C. dry milk powder
6 1/4 C. powdered sugar
2 C. cocoa powder
1 3/4 C. powdered coffee creamer

Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight container.

I'm linking this post to Foodie Friday.  :-)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

City Mouse/Country Mouse

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse Giclee Print

(This picture is entitled "The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse." See the little guy on the right? He's the town mouse ~ calm, cool & collected while riding the...train, perhaps? Now see that little gal on the left? Fretting & worried & wanting to be at home in her little cottage? That, my friends, would be me.)

When I was growing up, we moved around a lot.  My father was a preacher and he believed that after about two years he had said all he could say to one group of people and it was time to move on.  So I learned to be very adaptable to different places.  Finally when I hit my teen years, we stopped moving around and it just so happened we landed in a very tiny town.  So I spent a number of years there.  Then I married and moved to The Big City.  My husband and I spent the next 4 years there and I acclimated to the lifestyle flawlessly.  I wondered how I had ever managed living in a place that was so far out there was no such thing as pizza delivery or coffee shops.  I imagined how difficult it had been to live 20-30 minutes away from the nearest store when in the city anything I could possibly want was an easy 5 minutes in any direction. 

Oh yes, I fancied myself quite the city mouse.

Imagine my surprise when our life's path meandered right back to that same small town with no pizza delivery, grocery stores half an hour away and nary a coffee shop in sight?

I'm going to be honest here.  I cried every single day for the first six months.  I'm not even exaggerating.  (You'll have to excuse the six months of hysterics.  I was still quite young with ***lots*** to learn, lol.)  That was not a fun six months.

Eventually, I got over it.  And myself as well, but that's a post for another day. ;-)

Long story short, here I am 13 years later.  Older, wiser, and very much in my comfort zone in this tiny town.  Funny thing happens as you get older.  You start to lose that ability to seamlessly float from one lifestyle/culture to another.  When your younger self seemed to scoff at things like routine and solitude ~ your older self desperately wants to gravitate toward those very things. 

And then you realize it.
You are a certifiable Country Mouse.
And doing things like spending the day in The Big City is no longer fun!  It's stressful and nerve wracking and, quite simply, not worth it. 
You find yourself racing down the Interstate headed back home to your cottage thinking about things like 18 wheelers hidden in your blind spot, why is that person next to me blasting his music so loud it literally makes my chest hurt, and people actually do this and live here every single day by choice and like it??

Can you tell I went to the city today?

This country mouse is now back home and is very happy to be here.  I love it that our stop lights here get turned off at 9pm sharp.  I love it that most businesses are closed on Sundays.  I love that I can walk down the street and meet person after person that knows my name.  I love that the 2 little old ladies who own the florist shop always want to chat when I go in.  I love knowing that I have people here only 3 minutes away - and that is all the way across town - who will, and have, come to my aid in an emergency. 

Pizza delivery and coffee shops?

I guess I don't need those things anymore.  I've got yeast and a percolator.  And that suits this country mouse just fine.

Country Mouse I Art Print

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thinking on "these things"

I have had this post rattling around in my brain for a while, I just haven't stopped to give voice to my thoughts. 

Whatsoever things are true
Whatsoever things are honest
Whatsoever things are just
Whatsoever things are pure
Whatsoever things are lovely
Whatsoever things are of good report
if there be any virtue
if there be any praise
think on these things.

I think there are so many things in our life that are needed...responsiblilites that cannot be left undone...that sometimes we don't let ourselves have permission to stop and slow down and enjoy the more charming side of life.  I think that sometimes when we read the above verses, we can have a knee-jerk reaction of thinking of "these things" as some great issue like our moral standing - and it's true, those things certainly do cover that!  But I also think we don't give enough credit to the small comforts the Lord blesses us with and wants us to enjoy! 

I think that in the current time we find ourselves in there are a great many things happening and that will happen that will be difficult.  And I think there are those who would have us believe that we need to spend every waking moment working to be ready and more self sufficient.  And if you are not so dedicated to that pursuit that it becomes your whole life, then you are doomed.  But I don't think that the Lord wants us to forgo any pleasure in order to "prepare" for it all.  Yes, we need to be responsible and be as ready as we can for an unforseen future.  I wholeheartedly believe that.  But ladies, honestly, I can only spend so much time organizing and stocking my pantry before there is simply nothing left for me to do in there.  I can only spend so much time caring for our chickens and other things we do to be more self reliant before those chores are done for the day.

Yes, the world might be a scary & difficult place right now.  Yes, our future may look very different than our past.  But that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with taking some joy, feeling contentment, and enjoying our blessings!  As a matter of fact, cultivating a spirit that can enjoy & relish small blessings may very well be a wonderful attribute to have in the coming days!  If you have learned how to be happy & content & how to get a smile in your heart from something simple like a cup of tea & a good book ~ how very blessed you are!


Whatsoever things are true

Whatsoever things are honest

Whatsoever things are just

Whatsoever things are pure

Whatsoever things are lovely

Whatsoever things are of good report

if there be any virtue

if there be any praise

*think on these things*
I'm linking this post to

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A peek into my day...

I don't have anything huge or important to share today.  Just a little of this & that I would like to share.  Sound good?

I got a surprise delivered to my door a little while ago.  We do "Secret Sisters" at church and whoever my SS was took a gift for me to one of my close friends and asked her to deliver it to my house!  :-)  So my friend walked in the door with a jar that has a coffee themed kitchen towel in it and then it had been filled to the brim with coffee flavored Werther's Orignal candies!  Did you even know such a thing exists?  I did not but let me tell you...they are divine.  We are big coffee lovers in this house.

I love it!!

I'm also finishing up the kid's sock monkey pillowcases.  I finished the first one (except for the fusible webbing I always put on the back but that won't take long) and then the project got put aside.  I got it back out last night while watching a movie with the kids.

This is a new (to me) type of hoop that I haven't used before and I must admit, I think it's for the birds.  I have grown accustomed to using Q-Snap frames and I absolutely love them.  They hold your piece so firmly.  I think they now have me spoiled such that no other frames can live up to them in my mind, lol.

Here is the other one that is completed.  I changed the colors around from what the pattern said to use.  It said to use 2 different greys for the monkey...hmmm, no thanks.  In my mind, sock monkeys are meant to be brown!  So I chose 2 different browns to use instead.  (You can't tell it's 2 different ones in the photo, but you can in person.  It gives it some shading.)

At this time of year, most of us are baking our little hearts out and making lots of Christmas goodies.  So I wanted share a link with you.  It's my favorite place online to store recipes.  I may have shared it in the past, but I thought I would post it again so others can find out about it.  It's very user friendly and super easy to use.

And now I'll leave you with a little picture thought from my house to yours.  This little table is the first thing you see when you walk in my house.  :-)

Today I'm linking up to: