Monday, November 24, 2008

So Thankful

Dear Readers,

Thank you for stopping by today, and for your kind comments.

We have been enjoying tracking the locations of our visitors to this blog, via "Feedjit", and have even incorporated it into our geography studies, so thank you all for helping us learn more about our friends around the world!

Since this is the week of Thanksgiving, we thought it would be nice to list some of the things that we are grateful for, here in our family.

Firstly, how grateful we are for our Savior, Jesus Christ. Where would we be without His watchful care?

Secondly, for home and family, and the simple pleasures of passing each day in the company of those whom we love.

We are also grateful to be in the country, and to have little friends to share our life's journey.

And lastly, we give thanks for our many friends, both old and new, from whom we have learned so much, and received so much. May we be worthy of you!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Marqueta and Family

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sumac Berries, Instant Antidote for Garlic Overdose

Dear Readers,

How's that for a catchy post title? I thought I'd share with you a little bit of herbal experience, learned firsthand: The other night we were feeling a little "off" and so decided to dose ourselves with a garlic-laden salad.

Tasha's salad, sans garlic
"We", however, failed to notice that two fat cloves had made their way onto our fork at the same time (One of us is very silly~I won't say it's me, but it's not anyone else [A Wives and Daughters family joke.].)!

Beautiful, odorous stuff!
In the following moments of the acute (Better sit REALLY still and hope it passes without a quick trip to les toilettes) indigestion that garlic imparts, Frankie came toddling in carrying a bag of dried sumac berries that I had purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs to help lower AnnaMarie's blood sugar.

Sumac tree in winter
Apparently my guardian angel had led him on a raid of the herb cupboard, because after taking the bag from him so he wouldn't spill them, I wondered if their super-sour properties would help. I took a handful and sucked on them, and within minutes, I was completely relieved of the burning pains I had been suffering.

Sumac berries are very high in citric acid, which I believe did the trick. I'm willing to bet that they would also help relieve morning sickness, as well as nausea in general.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to buy an extra bag to have on hand for gastronimical emergencies!



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hats for "Jenny Makes Hats"

Hi there, Jenny,

This post is for you!

I have here five vintage hats, which I'll send in a pretty hatbox and an extra goodie, if you could pay $10 or so for the shipping. If you'd like them (and that's fine if you don't), I'll send them out to you right away!

It's hard to see in the picture, but the black hat in the middle has a little feather that curls.

Feel free to email me and let me know!

Blessings to you,


The Educational Value of Manual Work, Part 2

Dear Readers,

We'll continue today where we left off yesterday, discovering the virtues of the family workroom! The more I ponder the points made herein, the more I see the wisdom of creating a vision, or "mission statement", if you will, for working together as a family.

"The invention of modern labor-saving devices, and the resulting division of labor and of the arts and crafts into many different branches, has, to a large extent, taken these processes out of the ordinary home. Even in rural districts the increase in population and the improved means of transportation have produced the same change. Thus it is the exception rather than the rule for a farmer to mend his own harness or to half-sole his own boots, to make repairs on his premises, to paint and varnish--or in some cases even to whitewash. a these different tasks are let out to persons who do them by the day or hour at prices that would formerly have been prohibitory.

"You didn't say you put onions in this sauerkraut!"
The argument that the farmer himself makes more money than he did formerly, that his time is therefore more valuable, and that it is cheaper for him to have work done by others than to do it himself, is sometimes put forth as though it were unanswerable. Whether or not it is cheaper in dollars and cents to neglect the family workroom and hire everything done, the saving of money will be dearly won if it results in the making of cheap men. And the most thoughtful students of present-day conditions fear that this is the present tendency. The minds of children are turned over to the common schools, their morals to the Sunday Schools, and their hands and fingers are neglected altogether except for what they learn in play. This is a convenient arrangement, and obviously at the moment saves time and trouble for the parents; but it offers little assurance of the development of a sort of manhood and womanhood in the children that will not in time to come be a source of much more serious trouble.

"Give the Children a Chance.--The tendency to simplify farm work by hiring everything done that can be done instead of doing the work at home, and to simplify housework by the purchase of patent washing and cleaning preparations, the employment of laundresses, dressmakers, and the like, should be resisted by all intelligent persons on account of the educational benefit to the children of doing such work in the home.

"Some day my prince will come!"

The example is something in itself, but it is even more important to give the children an opportunity to lend a hand in the actual work, and to acquire the skill and ability to perform the necessary household processes for themselves. Farm work and housework are regarded more and more in the light of drudgery in proportion as they become simplified, since simplicity leads to routine and monotony.

To diversify the work of the house and of the farm is the first step in the direction of increasing its education benefits to the rising generation, and this diversity can and should be brought to a focus in the family workshop."

Truly, inspiration for those work-weary days!

Now, here are are a few pictures of our "Little House" shelf makeover, that the girls (and Frankie of course) helped me make last week:

"While Pa was driving nails to hold the strings for the curtains, Ma brought out two long strips of brown wrapping-paper that she had saved. She folded them, and she showed Mary and laura how to cut tiny bits out of the folded paper with the scissors. When each uhfolded her paper, there was a row of stars.
Ma spread the paper on the shelves behind the stoves. The stars hung over the edges of the shelves, and the light shone through them."
~Laura Ingalls Wilder, "On the Banks of Plum Creek"

Ours was made with paper that my "Ma" rescued from the packaged potato factory where she used to work! And we copied the design from the pattern on the dollhouse I've had since I was little.

We used a box cutter to cut out the figures, et voila! The camera doesn't show it, but it does look pretty when the light shines behind it! (Now to paint over that ugly brown paneling!)

May your "Little House" be blessed today!



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Educational Value of Manual Work, Part I

Dear Readers,

While searching for some old household tips to share with you, I found this pertinent section in my "Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis' Cook Book" (1908). I'll type it out for you here, and share with you some photos of a recent nature outing we had at banks of the Snake River:

If one dog is good, two dogs is better!

"From the educational viewpoint the workroom is (or ought to be) next in importance to the library. And in the earlier years of childhood it is probably of superior importance. Every boy and girl should have manual training in all the domestic arts. To know how a thing can be, or should be , done is of very little value in comparison with the acquisition of skill and ability to do it and do it properly.

My mother and her friend (and dogs) came with us.

Many persons nowadays-when it is customary to send for the carpenter or the plumber, or to take articles to be repaired to the cabinet-maker or the harness maker or the iron worker-are wont to say that they could do these things for themselves if they had a mind to, but that it is cheaper and easier to have them done by others, and that they have therefore no need to acquire the necessary skill. Aside from the question of economy that is involved, this is a very shortsighted view to take of the matter. It is impossible to use the fingers without at the same time using the brain. And it is also impossible to use for any other purpose those parts of the brain that govern the use of the fingers. Hence, if the fingers are not used in a great variety of ways, certain parts of the brain are not properly developed and the mind is limited and restricted in certain important ways in its development."

The Sage Queen

"It has been pointed out that the American farmer of the past generation carried on in the neighborhood of sixty to seventy different processes on the farm that in modern times have given rise to as many different arts or trades. The pioneer farmer had necessarily to be his own blacksmith, iron worker, carriage ironer, wheelwright, carriage painter, carpenter, cabinet-maker, harness maker, bootmaker, shoemaker, and so on-just as his wife had to be her own spinner, weaver, dyer, dressmaker, tailor, soap maker, and the like. In those days there were no artisans in the vicinity of the pioneer farmhouse. No one could be called in, nor could the work be sent out to be done by others. Hence so many necessary tasks accumulated that the boys and girls of the family were obliged at a very early age to master a large number of domestic arts and processes.

The wind-blown look

The natural desire felt by all children to equal or exceed their models resulted in the acquisition of considerable skill, which was thus transmitted from father to son, and from mother to daughter, through generations."

Isn't this good? We sometimes underestimate the many little household things that our children help with every day (at least I do!), but in reality, these things are helping to develop their brains as much as sitting at a desk doing copywork.

The Railroad Bridge

What does AnnaMarie spy with her little eye?

A big bald eagle, flying high!

Frankie, straight from an old Disney photo shoot!

And a beautiful "Good Night" wish from Above!

Thanks for visiting with us, and

Have a blessed day,


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Give Me the Simple Life!

Dear Readers,

A happy and blessed day to you~Again we have been blessed with new life, a new day to treasure, to use for good or ill.

Our computer experienced a virus last week, causing a few days of shut-down, which were actually quite restful! Is there a way to set a computer to shut off for a few days every month? Now we are back, and hope to share something of use to you.

If you've followed this blog for a while, you know that I am constantly trying to simplify my life, to get back to the bare minimum, and not be bogged down by material things. This month, I'd like to invite you to come with me on a "cleanse", so to speak, of material things.

Let's go through all the clothing that takes up space in our closet, but we never wear for one reason or another, and either donate it or put it in our rag bag for future use.

Let's get out all of those projects that we've started, but are now scattered here and there. Let's put them in one spot (A camelback trunk would be nice!), so they're easy to get to, and save them till after the holiday rush (Or, where applicable, make Christmas presents out of them). Now, how many of these projects are we really going to finish? How many have been given to us by others, and we are just keeping them for fear of offending someone? Let's find a hospice, nursing home, or other charitable organization that would love to have something to keep someone's hands busy!

While we're at it, let's go through those books and magazines that we've not gotten around to looking at for. . . how many years now? Let's give them to a homeschooling family, a library, or again a nursing home or charitable place of refuge. Our family has given away so many books to our local library that I think they must consider closing early when they see us coming!

Now, the videos and music~when are we ever going to get around to watching or listening to them all? Let's give them to the library or hospital, they would love it (And you could always go check them out sometime if you gave them to the library-let THEM do the storing!).

Let's get down to the treasures, the ones that we reach for when we need a rest, those that feed our hungry souls. Let's make a beautiful shelving area for them, or cabinet, and put them there. Let's see if those few are not enough for us, and how many others we can do without.

I love the quote from Simple Abundance, "All I have is all I really need." It is so hard to be content in this world, with a daily deluge of catalogs and sales flyers, and temptations so abundant at every store. Sometimes I envy (In a good way!) the Amish and their limited choices. What freedom! Let's see how we feel after being rid of as many extra possessions as we can!

May I learn to truly limit myself, before I spend money, time, and energy on acquiring something that might keep me a little further from Heaven.

Happy cleansing!


"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." ~Matthew 6:19-21