Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Master Franklin!

Dear Reader,

Good Monday morning to you! Thank you for visiting with us today; we had a wonderfully busy, family-full weekend here at Merry Hearts Cottage. Saturday was Frankie's birthday, and Mr. Graham had two performances of "The Pirates of Penzance" (We were fortunate to all be able to see the matinee; Frankie graciously took his nap during the show, making it possible to sit down during the whole thing!). Friday night, our Mother-and Brother-in-Love and family came to stay overnight, so they could see the show, as well. Since they all live out of state, it was a real treat to have them come.

So you can imagine, we had our hands and home full of treasured loved ones!

What could be in here?

"A big hammer all to myself-Look out world!"
"But I still have a place in my heart for old phones and electrical cords."

Frankie's boy cousins, Landon and Tyson (Tyson loves the piano.) They are both blind and have Cerebral Palsy, but have been blessed with wonderful parents and extended family.

Grandma Graham and the cousins.

Hmm, what is she thinking? Perhaps, "Should we have fish or lamb when the Bennetts come to dine?"
Young Frederick and the Major General.

We hope your weekend was full of blessings, as well. May you have a blessed Monday.




"If God has taught us all truth in teaching us to love, then He has given us an interpretation of our whole duty to our households.-We are not born as the partidge in the wood, or the ostrich of the desert, to be scattered everywhere; but we are to be grouped together, and brooded by love, and reared by day in that first of churches, the family." ~H.W. Beecher

"Woman is the salvation or the destruction of the famiy. She carried its destiny in the folds of her mantle." ~Amiel

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tip-Sharing Tuesday: Hurrah for the Major General!

Dear Reader,

Thank you for stopping by today; we hope you are enjoying your spring as much as the boy in the picture above. My mother gave the picture to me the other day, saying that my uncle had been given it when he was six or so, so it is a real antique! I don't know who painted it, but it makes me think of boys today, and wonder if many of them have time to do nothing but wait for a rabbit to come out of its hole? In fact, how many boys have a green place where they can run and play with their best four-legged friend? There seems to be a movement in this country, back TO the country, which gives me hope for the future. May there be wild places for the little ones to enjoy, without worrying about competing for a prize, or about fitting in with anyone else!

We had the fun opportunity of seeing Mr. Graham performing as the Major General the other night (My mother kindly offered to babysit). We were, unfortunately, the only ones of the audience who dressed up for the show. One of the cast members told us, after the show, "Oh, how nice! You came in costume!". We didn't have the heart to break it to them that we "come in costume" every day of our lives! We love dressing up, and try to be respectful of others' eyes even when at home.

Here are a few photos from the show:

It was very well done, for a small-town production (I could be a bit biased here!). We would loved to have been in on the costume-making! Maybe in the future we'll have that opportunity (After we catch up on the mending, of course.).
And after several weeks of watching various video productions and the movie, we also have increased our vocabulary immensely by having memorized most of the script!

For today's Household tips, let us turn to Modern Priscilla, from December 1907.

Hints for Needleworkers

*When cutting out embroidered scallops, use curved manicure scissors and the work will be more neatly done.

*For many sheer fabrics a bone crochet-hook will be found very useful for punching the holes for eyelet embroidery.

*To make dress shields for thin waists, cut white flannel the size desired, trim the edge with lace, and put in the sleeve the same as the rubber shields. They will keep the waist dry and they look nicely.

*When making dresses from goods that will shrink, or for growing girls, run a tuck by h and, or with a loos tension on the machine, on the right side of the goods very near the bottom. Turn up the hem and the tuck will be on the wrong side. When ready to lengthen the dress, take out the tuck and no stitches will show.

*Painted aprons, bureau-scarfs, table-covers, and bedroom curtains can easily be made at home and will be washable if carefully done. Use stiff lawn for the foundation material, put the pattern in a hoop the same as for embroidering, and if the figure stamped is wild roses, buy some of the dyes for cotton and mix the pink with a little water. With a small brush stain inside the outlines, using only a very little paint so that it will not run over the outlines. When the pink is dry, tint the leaves a light green in the same way. Outline the edges with matching colors of washable threads.

May the Lord bless you and yours today, in all that you do.




"A man is not hurt so much by what happens, as by his opinion of what happens."

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself." ~Emerson

"The sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if your cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there." ~William James

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shall We Go For a Ride?

Dear Reader,

Grab your jacket, your hat, a nature journal, some field guides, and don't forget snacks and water; we're going up to Wolverine Canyon for a bit of fresh air and sunshine!

Buckle up!

Our oldest boy.

The roller coaster hill.

Can you spy the mule deer on the hill?

Quiet places make happy children.

Trees make lovely hat racks.

A Muddy Buddy!

Okay, is this watercress or a poisonous look-alike? Where's Dad when we need him?

We hope you had as much fun as we did today-What a blessing to have the first day of spring actually LOOK like spring!

We have been truly blessed by a Heavenly Father who wants us to be happy. He puts His riches all around us, free for the asking.


p.s. We have been enjoying our first issue of Creation Illustrated, which is a beautiful, biblical nature magazine popular with homeschooling families. We wish we had found it sooner!

This picture was our absolute favorite:

Good Luck, Our Dear Mister Major General!

Dear Reader,

Tonight my husband will be performing in "The Pirates of Penzance" as the Major General. It is the first musical that he has been in, so it will be a bit of a difference for him. We would be going, but Frankie and two hours of sitting still are diametrically opposed. Wish him well!



Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Many Faces of Frank

Dear Reader,

Here is some sunshine for your day, in the form of a funny boy named Frankie!



What Is a Boy?
by: Alan Beck, Source Unknown

Between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood we find a delightful creature called a boy. Boys come in assorted sizes, weights, and colors, but all boys have the same creed: to enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of every day and to protest with noise (their only weapon) when their last minute is finished and the adult males pack them off to bed at night.

Boys are found everywhere -- on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around, or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them, and Heaven protects them. A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair, and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.

When you are busy, a boy is an inconsiderate, bothersome, intruding jangle of noise. When you want him to make a good impression, his brain turns to jelly or else he becomes a savage, sadistic, jungle creature bent on destroying the world and himself with it.

A boy is a composite -- he has the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword-swallower, the energy of a pocket-sized atomic bomb, the curiosity of a cat, the lungs of a dictator, the imagination of a Paul Bunyan, the shyness of a violet, the audacity of a steel trap, the enthusiasm of a firecracker, and when he makes something, he has five thumbs on each hand.

He likes ice cream, knives, saws, Christmas, comic books, the boy across the street, woods, water (in its natural habitat), large animals, Dad, trains, Saturday mornings, and fire engines. He is not much for Sunday School, company, schools, books without pictures, music lessons, neckties, barbers, girls, overcoats, adults, or bedtime.

Nobody else is so early to rise, or so late to supper. Nobody else gets so much fun out of trees, dogs, and breezes. Nobody else can cram into one pocket a rusty knife, a half-eaten apple, three feet of string, an empty Bull Durham sack, two gum drops, six cents, a slingshot, a chunk of unknown substance, and a genuine supersonic code ring with a secret compartment.

A boy is a magical creature -- you can lock him out of your workshop, but you can't lock him out of your heart. You can get him out of your study, but you can't get him out of your mind. Might as well give up -- he is your captor, your jailer, your boss, and your master -- a freckled-faced, pint-sized, cat-chasing, bundle of noise. But when you come home at night with only shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams, he can mend them like new with two magic words, "Hi Dad!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Top o' The Morning to Ya!

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for coming to visit! We've been having a lovely day here at Merry Hearts Cottage, making sure that our garments have at least a bit o' green, to prevent the dreaded pinches from happening.

And of course, we started off the day with a nice Green Smoothie, and made a deluxe green salad for lunch!

AnnaMarie made this from a rosette and a yo-yo to represent a daffodil.

We did not realize that shamrocks have such lovely flowers!
AnnaMarie's dolls courteously invited the other dolls over for a little party at their house. Everyone was on their best behavior, till . . .

Ken showed up in his oh-so shocking attire, and spoiled everything (Now you know why we do not usually allow our children to play with Barbies!). And to think he was in the presence of no less than Benjamin Franklin himself!

We have been learning the history of the Irish potato, which is very fascinating, and reading "A Voyage From Ireland: Fiona McGilray's Journey to America".

We hope you had a wonderful day!


“May God give you...For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”~Irish Blessing

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dear Reader,

Welcome to our home this Monday morning! We hope your weekend was restful and well-spent. It is a cloudy, rainy day today, so we are grateful that we took the time yesterday to go for a walk around our property (We own a little over an acre) yesterday to see how everything fared through the winter.

Would you care to join us?

What's this? The track of a big, bad wolf?

Nope, just a big, bad "woof"!

The gophers certainly have been busy! They and the voles seem to have a "most tunnels" contest going.

The birds have done a good job at cleaning the sunflower heads.

Audrey's fairy house has fared well through the cold (Anybody home?)

This cabbage remnant looks a little like a fossil, doesn't it?

The critters missed these two ears of "Black Aztec" corn.

And the buds on the pussy willows show promise of spring.

Can you spot a mouse in the big cloud?He's looking to the left.
We hope that you enjoyed our little walk through the early spring happenings at our home. Although we would rather be soaking up the sunshine on a sunny beach, Nature in all her forms is very healing.


"Go abroad
Upon the paths of Nature, and, when all
Its voices whisper, and its silent things
Are breathing the deep beauty of the world,
Kneel at its simple altar, and the God
Who hath made the living waters shall be there."
-N. P. Willis