Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Word and Question Game

Dear Friends,

A merry day to you! Evangeline thanks all of you for your kind birthday wishes :) . Right now she and Frankie are happily playing with paper dolls that their sisters made for them. No one would guess that minutes earlier they were sworn enemies! :) And here is Audrey with one of the paper families that she has made :

We wanted to share with you a fun game (at least we think it's fun!) that we learned from "What Katy Did at School": It is a game for those old enough to write and make rhymes, and you need at least a few people. It is called "Word and Question", and is simple to play. Everyone playing must have a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Each player picks a random word, and writes it at the top of the paper, like this:

Then the paper is folded down, hiding the word. The papers are then passed to the person on the left, who writes a random question, like this:

The paper is folded down again, so as to hide the question, and papers are put into a hat. Now everyone draws a paper and writes a rhyme, at least two lines long, that answers the question and contains the word written on the top, such as this (The question does not have to be contained in the rhyme):

The papers are again passed into a hat, from whence a designated reader pulls out and reads all the papers, without divulging the identity of the author. Everyone then tries to guess who has written what, and there are always some interesting results!

Our friend Eli from Flutterby Patch was nice enough to give us a Sunshine Award for our "Why Do You Wear Dresses?" poem~Won't you stop by her place for a bit of sun? Now if only there were some REAL sunshine to go along with it!

May you have a blessed day,




The Morning Comes Before The Sun

Slow buds the pink dawn like a rose
From out night's gray and cloudy sheath;
Softly and still it grows and grows,
Petal by petal, leaf by leaf;
Each sleep-imprisoned creature breaks
Its dreamy fetters, one by one,
And love awakes, and labor wakes,--
The morning comes before the sun.

What is this message from the light
So fairer far than light can be?
Youth stands a-tiptoe, eager, bright,
In haste the risen sun to see;
Ah! check thy lunging, restless heart,
Count the charmed moments as they run,
It is life's best and fairest part,
This morning hour before the sun.

When once thy day shall burst to flower,
When once the sun shall climb the sky,
And busy hour by busy hour,
The urgent noontide draws anigh;
When the long shadows creep abreast,
To dim the happy task half done,
Thou wilt recall this pause of rest,
This morning hush before the sun.

To each, one dawning and one dew,
One fresh young hour is given by fate,
One rose flush on the early blue.
Be not impatient then, but wait!
Clasp the sweet peace on earth and sky,
By midnight angels woven and spun;
Better than day its prophecy,--
The morning comes before the sun.

~Susan Coolidge

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to Evangeline!

Dear Friends,

A blessed Sabbath to you all~ We recently celebrated the 5th birthday of our dear Evangeline. We feel very blessed to have had her with us these five years, and to have watched her grow into a good little "mother", taking care of her ever-growing baby collection!

Grandma and Grandpa Graham sent some fun new books~

And here she is, enjoying the healthful nut/banana/berry "cake" that AnnaMarie made her :)

Happy birthday, little Evangeline! May the Lord continue to bless and keep you, and watch over you all your days.

On another note, we have been enjoying reading the "What Katy Did" books, by Susan Coolidge. If you have not heard of these books, I highly recommend them as being wonderful stories that teach morals while entertaining! I was not prepared to find such a gem of godly wisdom in the first book, as this passage that I would like to share with you. It is a little long, but well worth reading and pondering~

"Why, Cousin Helen, what can I do lying here in bed?"

"A good deal. Shall I tell you, Katy, what it seems to me that I should say to myself if I were in your place?"

"Yes, please," replied Katy, wonderingly.

"I should say this: 'Now Katy Carr, you wanted to go to school and learn to be wise and useful, and here's a chance for you. God is going to let you go to His school--where He teaches all sorts of beautiful things to people. Perhaps He will only keep you for one term, or perhaps it may be for three or four; but whichever it is, you must make the very most of the chance, because He gives it to you Himself.' "

"But what is the school?" asked Katy. "I don't know what you mean."

"It is called the School of Pain," replied Cousin Helen, with her sweetest smile. "And the place where the lessons are to be learned is this room of yours. The rules of the school are pretty hard, but the good scholars, who keep them best, find out after a while how right and kind they are. And the lessons aren't easy, either, but the more you study the more interesting they become."

"What are the lessons?" asked Katy, getting interested, and beginning to feel as if Cousin Helen were telling her a story.

"Well, there's the lesson of Patience. That's one of the hardest studies. You can't learn much of it at a time, but every bit you get by heart makes the next bit easier. And there's the lesson of Cheerfulness. And the lesson of Making the Best of Things."

"Sometimes there isn't anything to make the best of," remarked Katy, dolefully.

"Yes there is, always! Everything in the world has two handles. Didn't you know that? One is a smooth handle. If you take hold of it the thing comes up lightly and easily, but if you seize the rough handle it hurts your hand and the thing is hard to lift. Some people always manage to get hold of the wrong handle."

. . . "Are there any other studies in the school, Cousin Helen?"

"Yes, there is the lesson of Hopefulness. That class has ever so many teachers. The sun is one. . . Then, there is one more lesson, Katy-the lesson of Neatness. School-rooms must be kept in order, you know. A sick person ought to be as fresh and dainty as a rose."


This little passage has stayed with me since I read it. Instead of the School of Pain, we could easily add our own situations: The School of Poverty, The School of Exhaustion, The School of Disease, The School of Childlessness, etc. May we each learn our lessons well, humbling calling upon the Head Master when they seem too much for us to bear.

Blessings to you this day, dear friends,


Friday, January 15, 2010

Why Do You Wear Dresses?

Dear Friends,

A merry day to you! We're so glad you stopped by; it's a rare, sunny day today, so we'll be busily airing our bedding outside, but we thought we'd share this little poem we wrote, after being asked the notorious question, over and over . . . (By the way, we really have been asked if we were pioneers or pilgrims!)~

"Why Do You Wear Dresses?"

by Mrs. Graham
Someone always asks us, wherever we may go,

"Why do you wear dresses?" They always want to know.

"Why do you wear dresses~ are you Pioneers?"

(Do we live in a cabin, back 100 years?)

"Or maybe you are Pilgrims, who came from far away?"

(Perhaps we made a time machine, and traveled here that way!)

"Why do you wear dresses? Why don't you just wear pants?"

We really want to tell them, but we never have a chance.

We wear them for we love them, so swishy when we walk;

So twirly when we're spinning, just as fast as any top.

We'd really like to tell them, but they wouldn't understand.

Why do we wear dresses? Because it feels so FEMININE!

Feel free to share this poem, if you'd like!

Blessings to you,


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Of Snow Castles and Pincushions

"Is there any felicity superior to this? I hope so!"

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for stopping by our Merry Hearts Cottage today~It's always nice to have visitors on a cold, blustery day!

Last week's snow is melting off the roof today, but the forecast is calling for -5 degrees tonight, so we'll be bundling up and building up our water supply, in case our pipes freeze again!

We've had several inches of snowfall, which the girls put to good use by creating a snow scene, which they spray painted with food coloring. There was a princess in a tower, a prince, a horse, and a dragon surrounding the castle.

Although the figures quickly became deformed and are now mere shadows of their former selves, the girls had quite an enjoyable time, and spent several hours out in the fresh air.

After Christmas, once the decorations are down, everyone seems to have the urge to make a fresh start of things. Even the small dolls of Bennet Manor put up new paper and carpet in their parlor~Does it not look lovely?

Meanwhile I have been attempting to put to order my sewing and craft supplies, such as embroidery floss~

I thought I would show you this nifty organizer (actually one of several) that my mother made back in the early 1960s~It is simply a piece of cardboard, four inches wide, with "V's" and slits (which hold the tail end) cut into it to hold several skeins of embroidery floss. It is a good way to keep several skeins at hand, without having to search for them.

She even had them grouped by color!

Once we had them organized, of course we wanted to use them, so we started embroidering this pillow case~

And then we thought we could use a new pincushion or two~

The on-the-wall variety~

And the sit-on-a-shelf variety~

This one being by far the most practical, with a built-in needle-holder on top, to prevent losing needles (We have since found some prettier lace, which will replace the lace shown :) ).

We even "pincushioned" this lovely lady, given to us by my mother-in-law~The lady seems to look just a wee bit concerned, however!

Tasha tells me that soon I will only have one pin for each cushion, I'll have so many, and that I should sell some on Etsy! Isn't she droll? :)

Now that we are sufficiently supplied, perhaps we'll move onto doing the pile of mending that has been mysteriously multiplying!

We hope that this new year is getting off to a good start for you, and would like to leave you with this wish from "Mother's Magazine", January 1911~


A Happy New Year

Good appetite, with a determination that the body shall be well nourished to give strength to the soul;

Grace to let go and power to attain; grace to face facts without resentment and the inevitable with cheer; because the inevitable has a radiant heart though we do not always admire its countenance;

Skill in self-adjustment and submission to God's adjustment;

Self-control which is both self-direction and power through repose;

Repose of body and soul that can be likened only to resting in the arms of God;

Nights separated from the day by the gate of prayer;

A simple faith and trust in the midst of life's complexities.

~Charles Poole Cleaves