Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma Graham

Happy Birthday Mom and Grandma! Thanks for all of your love and support and for all that you do for our family. May the Lord bless you throughout the coming year.

"A Mother's love is indeed the golden link that binds youth to age; and he is still but a child, however time may have furrowed his cheek, or silvered his brow, who can yet recall, with a softened heart, the fond devotion, or the gentle chidings, of the best friend that God ever gives us."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Housekeeping or Child Training?

This article is from the February, 1910 issues of Mother's Magazine. Although we may not care so much for parlor rugs now days, the advice is still timely.

"Few women seriously consider the comparative importance of housekeeping and child training. Rightly considered, of course, there should be no antagonism between these two things. The house should be kept, and well-kept, for the sake of the children. But too often the house is planned with little or no regard to the children, and then the fate which overtakes most of the institutions of man overtakes the home. It becomes an end in itself, an idol of wood and stone, china and linen, in the worship of which many a woman yields up not only her first-born child, but all her children.

Many a woman who would be ashamed to feed her family on baker's bread is content to leave the education of her children to the teacher, their health to the doctor, their religious and moral training to the Sunday-school, and their daily care to the nurse. Not that any one of them deliberately plans this division of labor, but she puts the house first, and then finds that she has little or no time or strength left over for the children.

Marion Harland tells an instructive story of a country woman with whom she was boarding one summer. She was a capable, energetic woman, doing all her own work, and having several children to care for. One morning the two-year-old baby was sitting on the doorstep beneath Marion's windows, and she, listening, heard the following speech from the busy mother. She swooped down upon the baby, caught her up in her arms, kissed her hungrily, and cried out:

'Mother's going to have one or two kisses, whatever happens!'

Marion, full of sympathy, wondered what stirring duty it was that kept the mother so far from her baby that she had to snatch up her chance for a kiss. She took the trouble to investigate, and discovered that it was lemon pies!

Now, of course, that woman had many really important duties. Some of them could not under any circumstances have been shirked. But the lemon pies could have been. Even with summer boarders, she could have served a simple fruit dessert and have had at least a half hour extra to spend with her children.

In our own houses it is not really the important and necessary things which keep us from giving the attentnion to our children which is demanded by their welfare and our own sense of duty. It is the luxuries.

It is the attempt to keep up with certain elegancies and refinements and daintiness--all of them very dear to the housewifely soul--which prevents us from being as good mothers as we are housewives. The start is made with our bridal finery. Our new home has in it so many beautiful pieces of furniture, so many gifts from friends which we feel we must treasure and make the most of, that we insensibly form the habit of being "careful about many things" before the first baby comes; and, as we have to work harder and harder with the coming of each of new child to protect these niceties, our carefulness becomes almost an obsession. Then it is that we get "house on the brain," that modern disease which drives so many women into sanitariums, and makes so many children half-orphaned during the greatest part of their existence. It is an easy disease to contract--as easy as taking cold--and it is hard to cure, because we have grown to love every sympton of it, and each effort to free us from our bondage causes us pain.

To sum up, it is better to keep your own soul clean than the parlor carpet. It is better to forego fresh curtains or have them "half done up," and give the baby his outing and cuddle. It is better to put out your washing, even though the clothes are ruined, and give a little unviviated attention to the children.

The fact is, our lives are taken up with so many things that there is little room in them for the life-spirit, and no woman is a true mother who allows the care of these material objects to crowd out the higher spiritual activities which make her truly a mother."

Very thought-provoking, isn't it? Nowadays, I think a mother's job, or keeping up with the Joneses could be substituted for housekeeping, don't you?

May you have a blessed Sabbath

Friday, June 27, 2008

Heavenly Father's Beautiful World

Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by a lilac tree,
I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heavenly Father created for me.

He gave me my eyes that I might see
The color of butterfly wings.
He gave my ears that I might hear
The magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, mind, my heart;
I thank Him rev’rently
For all his creations, of which I’m a part.
Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.

Here are some of the lovely flowers from our garden

Heart's Ease or Johnny Jump Ups

Blue-Hooded Columbine

Bleeding Heart

David Austen Rose

Pink Lilac

Bachelor's Buttons

The Fairies Came a-Visiting

The girls left fairy feasts out on Midsummer's Eve, for our local little people. And wouldn't you know it, they left some fancy gifts! Here are some shots of their individual tables, which they made all by themselves.




Gifts from the Fairies

Making Progress

Here are some updated pictures around the place, showing what we've been up to. I am so thankful to my husband for putting up the fence, which was his first solo fence-building experience. Having a fence makes me feel more secure.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Midsummer Fun

Here are a few photos I thought I'd share of some highlights of our activities last weekend. We went to a local (very small) Swedish Midsummer's Festival put on by an old friend of the family on their family farm.

A view of the entrance of the farm.
David Sealander, our host and a friend of my father's. They served in the Idaho Conservation League together back in the 1970s.

Wagon rides were the main attraction.

We went twice!
Swinging at Sealander Park.

Making daisy chains to decorate the Maypole.

Evangeline and the daughter of my friend Jenni.
A four-foot long gopher snake, whom I caught, but quickly let go, as he was a little skittish.

We had to leave before dancing around the Maypole, as the little Master was tired and wanted to go home, but we enjoyed ourselves very much.

Springtime in the Garden

As you can see, it's been a busy spring for us here on the "homestead". Here are some "before" pictures of the yard and garden.
The greenhouse my mom bought for and put up for us was a real blessing. The tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants I planted inside it may be our best harvest, since it's been so cold for the ones planted outside.
Our hen Noodle is here helping cultivate the leek bed.

A view of the big garden, which looks like we'll get a good quack grass harvest (anybody know where we can get about five tons of mulch?). You can see the greenhouse and the beloved old Chevy that's been in the family longer than I have. Here are a few projects we've been working on in our front-yard "potager". Note the post-hole in the front corner.
Can you see the raised beds past the quack grass and weeds?
Putting in another bed for peppers. Thank goodness for aprons! Time for a washing for this one. Mama's Little Helper at work. Someday we'll use Wall-o'-Waters. Till then, plastic cups will have to do!
May we all have a blessed spring and summer.