Friday, September 30, 2011

Goodbye September

White Snake Root blossoms
These are blooming everywhere, and are quite pretty!
We have heard that they are medicinal and that they are poisonous, so we won't be experimenting with them until we know more information~
Dear Friends,

How nice to see you today! We've been enjoying perfect Indian Summer weather, with amazing blue skies and golden sunshine. The leaves are just starting to turn, and we had to cut down our poke plants today, which had fallen over from growing so quickly in such a short amount of time.

Autumn is the perfect time to dress in layers again, and no outfit is complete without a pin made by our blog "twin" Lynn.

We're still getting a few tomatoes here and there, and we're letting the last of the green beans go to seed, so we'll have a supply for next year's garden.

A funny tomato with red-shouldered hawk for size comparison~

The small dolls are holding a Princess Charm School, which we hear is going to run for the next four years(!). The October issue of AnnaMarie's "Apron Pockets"  magazine is in the process of completion, and Audrey is deciding if she should make a magazine called "Forever Sisters" or "Better Birds and Photos."  Tasha is still the Nature Bature president, and we hope that she will be putting out an autumn issue soon!

 Does anyone know what these two items are? We found them lately at the thrift store, and we're pretty sure they're not bed warmers, with their short handles!

We've begun the process of thinning things out and packing everything we won't need for a while, showing the Lord that we're ready whenever He wants to show us our new home! Having just moved last year, we are amazed at how much "stuff" we've accumulated since then!

We are looking forward to spending a whole weekend together with Mister Graham, watching our church's General Conference via the internet. As it only happens twice a year, it is a special time of reflecting on our spiritual progress between conferences.

May you all have a wonderful weekend, however you may spend it!



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome Home Girls

Dear Friends,

A wonderful Wednesday to you! We are happy to report that Audrey and Tasha made it home safely from their trip out West, and that they had a lovely time.

They brought home lots of pictures of wide-open spaces~

And whimsical clouds

They visited our beloved Wolverine Canyon in Idaho~

~And our baby Victoria's grave~

We hope that the whole family will be able to visit, too, but are very grateful that Grandma and Grandpa Graham took two of us to visit our old stomping grounds! Thank the Lord for the ties that bind.



p.s. We hope you forgive us if we don't leave a comment on your blogs; we have been reading them, but our computer freezes up when we go to comment. Hopefully we'll have a nice new system soon!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sweet September

One of many Charlottes to be seen this September~
Dear Friends,

A merry day to you! We hope that we didn't scare anyone with our last post; we'll be blogging away as long as we are able. :) Our computer seems to be helping us to be more old-fashioned by running reeeeeally slooooowly, so we may be posting less frequently, but this blog has become a lovely place to log our family's many adventures in domestic felicity, as well as a vehicle for finding kindred friends, all around the world. Quite miraculous, when you stop to think about it!

Audrey and Tasha have been visiting family in Utah and Idaho for the past two weeks, and we have truly felt the absence of their presence in many ways. Each person in our lives has such an impact, and we feel so blessed to have the children and friends that enrich them.

We have been busy cleaning out our basement and packing things away to show the Lord that are ready to move just a soon as He points us in the right direction. We have also made a tied baby quilt for a friend at church with a little one on the way.
Everyone was willing to lend a helping hand!

AnnaMarie learns that teaching Frankie how to use a needle can be hazardous to the fingers!

What is it about making a quilt that gets little children so excited? I remember the thrill of hiding underneath the frame with my cousins when my mother and aunts had a quilt on, and I see that same excitement in my children's eyes when we start pinning the layers and put them on.

We have been enjoying the golden sunshine of late (although today we actually have a heater going, it's so cool!), and the long shadows of evening~

Evangeline has been practicing being a mommy some day~

And Rebecca is showing great signs of being a wonderful homemaker, too!

We've been finding new and unusual treasures at the thrift store~

And practicing painting in watercolors. Here is the first person I ever painted in watercolor, and I had to cheat and finish her in pencil, to get everything blended well enough (she still needs a bit of work). She started off as a Regency girl, but ended up Amish somehow. :)

We have been enjoying a little book about quilts that our friend Evelyn sent us a while back called "Cloth and Comfort," by Roderick Kiracofe, and a storybook about quilts called "The Patchwork Quilt," by Valerie Flournoy, which came with the book on tape.  They both us feel grateful that we grew up with a heritage of making beautiful items by hand, which are also useful and a blessing to others. Whenever we find an old piece of handiwork, even though we did not know its maker, we feel that same connection of love, and treasure it in our home. May we all be blessed to feel the love of one another as we give our love to those around us, each day of our lives.



Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Summer~

Dear Friends,

We've been looking through our photos this morning, feeling nostalgic about our first summer in Missouri. It's been a wonderful time (despite the swarms of mosquitoes) to be out exploring, and as the leaves begin to turn gold, we savor each day that we have had of green.

 It has been a time of making new friends, and running free!
As we say goodbye to the season of home-grown tomatoes and walking barefoot in the grass, we look ahead to a new adventure for our family. Birdsong Cottage has been for us a stepping stone, so to speak, to get us to Missouri and one step closer to finding our homestead in the country. Our lease agreement will be completed Mid-October, and we hope to have found our dream by then. Here's to hope! One thing we know is that, no matter where we are planted, we will continue to treasure the relationships of family and friends, and the simple pleasures that cannot purchased with money. 

Thank you to you all of you, for sharing our adventures with us. We count you among our greatest blessings!

Marqueta and Family

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Doll Fair Photos, and AnnaMarie's Quilt

~The flower display~

Dear Friends,

Greetings to any new friends who may be visiting today; we hope you enjoy your stay. We were looking through our photos, and realized we missed some of the displays of the doll fair, as well as AnnaMarie's quilt that we finished a few weeks ago!

Here are some of the prizes available for the ring toss game~

Benjamin Franklin was the ticket-taker for the fair (Mr. Franklin also acts as the local clergyman, performing all of the dolls' weddings!)~

 The produce display (Don't worry, poke berries aren't poisonous to dolls!)~

Romeo was the ferris wheel operator (who did a very find job)~

And another shot of Her Majesty's Tea Room and baked goods display~

And finally, here is AnnaMarie's finished quilt, hanging out to air before being packed away in her hope chest.

We have been enjoying reading "The Country Child" by Alison Uttley lately (Thank you, Devina!), especially its descriptions of fall. They give us a feeling of nostalgia, especially as the days grow crisper (we've been wearing socks and sweaters in the mornings) and shorter.

We'll leave you with a few of those words today, and pray that your week will be blessed.



"The morning air was sweet with autumn scents, falling elm leaves, bent ferns, bruised wet grass, beech leaves and sycamore. . . A few chrysanthemums were left, tawny red flowers and little maroon buttons on the green dresses of the bushes. Sprigs of lad's love lay among the clothes in the oak presses, and the children at school wore bunches of it to keep them healthy now the damp mists were about. The woods all round the house were heavy with rich-smelling fallen leaves and decaying moss, with scarlet toadstools and enormous fungi. . . The robin's note had changed. He twisted the corkscrew in infinitesimal bottles and poured out the sparkling, chuckling winedrops."

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Fair Day for the Dolls!

 Dear Friends,

Happy Labor Day to you! It was a perfect day for the annual Small Doll Fair today, which was held in the back yard. The dolls (and their mistresses) have been hard at work for the past few weeks; sewing, drawing, book-making, animal-washing, and other various preparatory activities. The days flew by, and finally the special day came when everyone's talents were displayed.
~Elvis was happy to provide the entertainment on the bandstand~

. . . And his audience was happy to listen!

 An aerial view~

Baked Goods~
~Fine Arts~

The menagerie~

A delighted fair-goer~
Hand-crafted Books~

The Ferris Wheel~

More of the menagerie~

And more fair-goers~

Aprons and other handicrafts were modeled before being sold~
And last but not least, tea and crumpets with the queen!

And now the fair is over, for another year. I wonder what next year's fair will bring?