Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"New Beginnings"~ a Poem for You

Every morn is a new beginning,
A fresh start in the battle of life,

A sweet invitation to conquer
The ills of the storm and the strife.

Yesterday's errors are over and gone;
Yesterday heartaches, sorrows and pain

Are healed by the balm of the quiet night
And will never come back again.

Each new year, a door to the future,
The key in the keeping of all,

A room full of wonderful treasures
Adorning its luminous wall.

The old year with its failures and losses
Fades away like the mists of the sea,

All its wrongs, its tears and unkindness
Are lost in the swell of eternity.

~Grace M. Candland

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Something Fun

 Dear Readers,

Audrey and I made some whimsical graphics for you to use on your sidebar, or anywhere else you wish.

Enjoy, and happy Sunday to you!



Friday, February 24, 2012

The English Country Bonnet

Dear Friends,

We are excited to report that we were able to go back to the antique mall (mentioned in the previous post), and purchase the beautiful bonnet that captured our hearts!

This is the description on the tag: "c. 1880 or before- Tiny cotton print daytime English Country Bonnet. This perfect bonnet was probably bought from a milliner, because it is machine made, and the English middle class would probably not have a machine. No holes or stains. From my textile collection and price a lot less than I paid (great buy!). Bought at an 'invitation only' textile show at the American Museum in Bath, England."

We had hoped to use the bonnet as a pattern for future headgear, but we honestly cannot figure out how they put it together so perfectly! The cording is perfect, the ruffles are perfect, and we are in awe that we have such a sweet little piece of history to pass down in our own family.

We also found this well-worn quilt (which we think may be from the 1800s) at the thrift store,
 and this sweet little crocheted "Sunbonnet Sue" chatelaine was from our other favorite antique mall. :)

Now we think we'll stay out of the stores for a while, so we can catch up on our mending (using our new chatelaine, of course)!

Love and blessings,



Enchanted Quilts

By Josephine Gardner Moench

How I love to go vis'ting at Grandmother's house
When she's taking a quilt from the frame;
And stay while she binds it and folds it with care
And gives it a quaint charming name.

If she isn't too tired, she shows me the ones
She has made and is storing away
In the big cedar chest in the spare room upstairs
For her gran'daughters' wedding day.

The Hollyhock Wreath is for Mary Louise;
While spreading it out to display
She tells of the time in the long, long ago,
She made hollyhock dolls so gay.

Grandmother's Fan is for Jeanne Marie;
How thrilled we all are with a story
Of the days when her thoughts were of beautiful gowns,
And dancing the height of her glory.

My Log Cabin quilt is the best of them all,
Made of pieces of Grandmother's dresses;
In fancy I picture her wearing each one
With all the loved charm she possesses.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Learn a Little Every Day"

Dear Friends,

A happy day to all of you, and welcome to our newest followers. We hope that you find something to inspire you here!

We are enjoying a beautiful, sunny day, after a blustery, cloudy one. It's a perfect day to hang out the wash, and air the bedding outside. The children spent the night at their grandparents' house on Sunday, so we're a little late in celebrating President's Day (although Grandpa did make sure that we saluted the flag at their place).

Frankie looks like he's all ready to recite "The Gettysburg Address!"

We participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count, and were hoping to see something really exciting,

Like a great-crested fly catcher, or a bald eagle~


But we did see lots of fellows this like, singing their hearts out in the treetops!

Evangeline was so inspired by the roses that Mr. Graham gave us,

That she decided to paint their portrait!

While we were close to the Kansas border yesterday, a few us (my mother-in-law included), decided to visit the Victorian Trading Company "Catalog Boutique," but our dismay, discovered that the store had closed! We had to console ourselves by visiting one of the largest antique malls in America, and oohing and aahing our way through it (Have I mentioned how much I love my antique-loving mother-in-law?)~
Don't you love the creative use of a wedding dress train for a table cover?

This bonnet was made in England in the late 1800s, and was only $50 dollars! We may have to make a return visit when the tax return comes (Are you reading this,Mr. Graham?)!

While looking for a thought to leave you with, we found this little gem from one of my grandmother's poetry scrapbooks. May it bless you today, dear friends!




Learn a Little Every Day

Little rills make wider streamlets,
Streamlets swell, the rivers flow;
Rivers join the mountain billows,
Onward as they go!
Life is made of smaller fragments,
Shade and sunshine, work or play;
So we may with greater profit,
Learn a little every day. 

Tiny seeds make boundless harvests,
Drops of rain compose the showers,
Seconds make the flying minutes,
And the minutes make the hours.

Let us hasten them and catch them,
As they pass us on the way,
And with honest true endeavor,
Learn a little every day.

Let us read some striking passage,
Cull a verse from every page,
Here a line and there a sentence,
'Gainst the lonely time of age.

At our work, or by the wayside,
While the sun is making hay,
Thus we may by help of study,
Learn a little every day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Dear Friends,

We are enjoying a beautiful, sunny Valentine's Day today here in Missouri. Yesterday we had two inches of snow (our first real snowfall this winter), and everyone stayed out as long as they could, sledding and making leaf-encrusted snowmen. :)

Every year our children spoil Mr. Graham and me with an at-home restaurant experience, complete with entertainment; I'm excited to see how it turns out!

The starlings are enjoying their own buffet of crusty sourdough~

We took the opportunity to clean some of our rugs in the snow, laying them out and then stomping on them (Hickety Pickety thought that this particular rug set off her comb and wattles most becomingly.)~

Even the comfrey has been decorated for the big show tonight~

Audrey might be able to sneak in a few minutes to work on her quilt, which is being quilted the old-fashioned way!

Each year on Valentine's, the holiday becomes more meaningful to us as a day to reflect on how we can be more loving and caring, instead of just a day to celebrate romantic love (which of course is nice, too!).

Our prayer for all of us to make each day a "Valentine's Day," giving love to all those around us, especially when they seem the most unlovable, for that is when it is so important.

May you be blessed today,


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Month of Sundays

Dear Friends,

We have been enjoying peaceful days at home, cuddling with various and sundry feverish children, and administering lots of hot baths and tea! Thankfully we have a little woods in back of our home, where we can go when all of this "togetherness" gets to us. :)

We have been blessed with a nice, soaking rain, which brought forth a few wood ear and oyster mushrooms, as well as lots of unidentified fungi to admire. The oak and beech trees still are shedding their leaves, which swirl beautifully in the little creek.

They are both a reminder of the autumn gone by, and the spring days to come~

(Some woodland sprite filmed this little video, singing a little song while she did so)

There are a few evergreen vines here and there, further promising the return of warmer days. Nature is a soothing, nurturing Mother, bringing peace to her children as often as they seek her out.
During the month of February, we are joining the King's Blooming Rose Ministry for a "book fast," wherein the only books read (besides school studies) are the holy scriptures. We thought we would take it a step further and only play hymns or religious music. Since we normally listen to classical music around the home, and try to limit anything not "lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy," this is not a huge sacrifice, but we can definitely feel a difference in the spirit of the home. It has been rather humorous to hear our seven-year old remind her little brother that the song he is singing is "not church-related!"

And in other news, we thought we'd show you what the most stylish piano-playing hens will be wearing this spring~ neck scarves made from t-shirts and old, but still colorful towels!

We hope that you are enjoying this week, dear friends. We cherish your friendship and comments.



Dear Lord! Kind Lord!

Dear Lord! Kind Lord!
Gracious Lord! I pray
Thou wilt look on all I love
Tenderly today!

Weed their hearts of weariness,
Scatter every care
Down a wake of angel-wings
Winnowing the air.

And with all the needy
O Divide, I pray,
This vast treasure of content
That is mine today.

~James Whitcomb Riley