Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Merry Little Christmas

Dear Friends,

I hope that you had a lovely Christmas, wherever you spent it. Ours was spent at home, enjoying the joyful noise of little ones so excited by the possibilities of what could possibly be hidden under a thin layer of wrapping paper. Hyrum wasn't too excited, however, about modeling the knitwear that was made as gifts this year!

The dolls had a fun Christmas. One of the them, who was just a head without a body, finally got a body for Christmas, which can only happen if you're a doll!

 Evangeline's dolls were excited to meet the newest Ken doll, whom we have dubbed "Mr. Darcey" for now~

Frankie was just happy about getting a few toy tractors to add to his construction company~

The older girls not only received hobbit-related paraphernalia, but also were able to see the latest Hobbit movie the day after Christmas. They even dressed as some of their favorite characters!

My friend Cat surprised me with a homemade apron, which was truly needed~

 But of course, the greatest gift of all is knowing that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thoughts on Home Life

Dear Friends,

I have reading some nice thoughts about home influence, and would like to share some of them with you this Christmas season.

"Our homes need the blessings which come from daily communion with God. Devotion in the home, which has been such an anchor to youth and parents alike, has all but vanished. A few generations ago it was a common practice. Then families knelt together in prayer; the scriptures were read aloud; and households joined in the singing of Church hymns. This practice, if revived, would contribute much to the strength of the home and the nation. The differences and irritations of the day melt away as families approach the throne of heaven together. Unity increases. The ties of love and affection are reinforced and the peace of heaven enters.

Such an atmosphere can be created as parents plan for recreation and diversion together with their children An evening at home in wholesome activity; a picnic in the mountains or nearby park; or a fathers and sons' and mothers and daughters' project- these all tend to increase filial affection and love in the home and strengthen parent-children relations. Time thus spent yields big divideds Love at home and obedience to parents increases as the bonds of home are made secure."

~Ezra Taft Benson, So Shall Ye Reap

As you can see from the photos, we have been enjoying a simple Christmas season. The children always decorate the trees (this year we added a small live cedar tree from the woods). Evangeline has even decorated the maple trees out front with ribbons and balls (photos forthcoming!).

We did have a few St. Nicholas gifts brought to us in our boots, but we also forgot to get photos of the festivities, as well! I love celebrating St. Nicholas Day, as it helps to offset the length of the wait until Christmas Day.

Hyrum looks like he's making a list and checking it twice!

We have been bringing out a few pieces from our antique linen collection, pinning up a bit here and there to add winter cheer to the home. I have a hard time fighting the winter "blahs" every year, and having pretty things about really brightens my mood.

May you all be blessed this coming week with love and joy.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So Grateful for You (and. . . On Bad Housekeeping)

Dear Friends,

This Thanksgiving week, we are grateful for our family and friends. Our dear friend Matty sent us this butterfly portrait a couple of weeks ago, and its cheerful colors bring cheer on cloudy fall days.

Growing like a weed is little Hyrum, who still has his sweet dimples~

Evangeline is really and truly learning to read, and she and AnnaMarie spend twenty minutes each day reading scriptures together. Everyone is growing up fast!

We've enjoyed a few beautiful days this fall which were nice enough to be outside. This picture was taken before the freezing cold came and drove us indoors!

Thankfully our silver maples were not harmed by the snow that was supposed to be a lot deeper than it was.

Our favorite rosemary plant has burst into blooms, which is so lovely to see! I have never successfully raised another rosemary, so I hope she continues to thrive on the windowsill this winter.

Cool days are perfect for burning outside. Since we don't have a fireplace in our home, we get lonely for the smell of wood smoke and have to get creative to have some.

This week we are deep cleaning the kitchen (it's probably bad that we can't remember when the last time we deep-cleaned was!), and making lots of interesting discoveries . . . Like the fact that a cantaloupe went through the entire process of decomposition in our kitchen and we did not know it (granted, we were in Idaho when it must have happened, but STILL!). Yikes! We are having an elderly friend over for dinner on Thursday, and this will be the first Thanksgiving when we have not gone to one grandparent's house or the other. We must be growing up, to be entrusted with the whole thing ourselves!

May you have a safe and peaceful week, my friends, and may you know how much we are thankful for you.




"Te Deum"

   Not because of victories
     I sing,
     having none,
     but for the common sunshine,
     the breeze,
     the largess of the spring.

     Not for victory
     but for the day’s work done
     as well as I was able;
     not for a seat upon the dais
     but at the common table.

~Charles Reznikoff

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Little Poem for Sunday

Dear Friends,

A merry Sabbath to you! I found this poem tucked inside an Ideals Magazine Autumn issue, and thought I would share it with you.  They just don't write them like this anymore!
Heaven's Grocery Store

I was walking down life's highway a long time ago,
When I saw a sign that read "Heaven's Grocery Store."
As I got a little closer, the door came open wide,
And when I came to myself I was standing inside.

I saw a host of angels they were standing everywhere,
One handed me a basket and said, "My child, shop with care."
Everything a Christian needed was in that Grocery Store,
And all you couldn't carry you could come back the next day for more.

First I got some Patience, Love was in the same row,
Further down was Understanding, you need that everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of Wisdom, a box or two of Faith,
I just couldn't miss the Holy Ghost, for it was all over the pleace.

I stopped to get some Strength and Courage, to help me run this race;
By then my basket was getting full, but I remembered I needed some Grace.

I didn't forget Salvation, for Salvation that was free.
So, I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.
Then I started up to the counter to pay my grocery bill,
For I thought I had to do everything to my Master's will.

As I went up to the aisle I saw Prayer and just had to put that in,
For I knew when I stepped outside, I would run right into sin.
Peace and Joy were plentiful, they were on the last shelf.
Song and Praises were hanging near so I just helped myself.

Then, I said to the Angel, now how much do I owe?
He just smiled and said, "Just take them everywhere you go."
Again I smiled at him and said, "How much, now really, do I owe?"

He smiled again and said, "My Child, Jesus paid your bill a long time ago!"



Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Mother Earth News Fair

Dear Friends,

Yesterday we went with our friend Elisa to the Mother Earth News Fair in Topeka, Kansas. It was quite a foggy morning, so we were grateful to arrive alive!

Although the ExpoCenter was filled to capacity, there was a good atmosphere and everyone was very friendly, which helped to prevent feelings of claustrophobia. As you can see by the flyer, there was plenty to see! I wished I'd had time to see several speakers like Joel Sallatin, but there was only so much little Hyrum would put up with.

Johnny's Seeds, Seed Saver Exchange, Botanical Interests, and quite a few other seed catalog companies were there, along with many, many wonderful vendors offering great prices on their wares.

Workshops were going on almost everywhere, with all sorts of helpful information being distilled from those who love the simple life.

The children were invited to try their hand at cob building~

And Frankie was in heaven at the John Deere booth!
 For me, the pinnacle of the event was getting to meet Rosemary Gladstar for the first time. She had been in the Ozarks last year and then in Kansas earlier this year and I had to miss her, but finally I had my chance! I had to stand in line for what seemed like forever, and certain little ones were "dying" of thirst, but we made it at last. It's nice to meet someone who is a celebrity in their own right, but who is down to earth and very warm and friendly. Rosemary treated everyone she saw with respect, and she acted like she was glad to see me. She was the one who suggested getting a picture of her with my family, and told us that we reminded her of her own siblings. When I told her that I discovered her through the Tasha Tudor books, she said, "Tasha and I were such good friends, and I miss her so." She then said that my Tasha looks just like someone in one of Tasha's books.

While I was standing in line to see Rosemary Gladstar, the girls ran into the girls who put out "The Kings' Blooming Rose Magazine." We knew that the Bryant family live in Kansas and had wanted to meet them, so we were very tickled that we were in the right place at the right time. It's wonderful and precious to have kindred spirits who embrace femininity in such a beautiful way.

We would loved to have gone to the Fair with all of our blog friends as well. Wouldn't that be the greatest fun? 

I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of our bit of fun, and thank you for your blessed friendship.



P.S. Rosemary says that she would like to see the word "beautility"(An object that is both beautiful and useful, generally objects of industrial design which are meant to have utility while having a pleasing aesthetic) used in our everyday lives, so I thought I'd pass that along to my beautiful friends!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

'Twas the Wee Laddie's First Birthday

Dear Friends,

Can you believe a year has gone by since little Hyrum made his entrance into the world? He is already walking like he's done it all his life, and is a little ball of energy, getting into everything already. We won't be bored any time soon!

For his birthday celebration, we visited a nearby historical village called Missouri Town 1855. They were having an autumn festival, so we were able to witness cider-pressing, sorghum-making, apple butter-stirring, blacksmithing, and lots of musicians playing fiddles and dulcimers. Two of the volunteers there told us we need to come out and do some reenacting, since we were already dressed the part!

We fell in love with these hand-made dulcimers, and plan on buying on once we save up a "few" pennies (Tasha wants one made from Sycamore wood)~

Hyrum enjoyed getting up and personal with horses and oxen, since he loves animals but doesn't get to see them much in the city.

It was a cold and blustery day, and the birthday boy needed a nap, but we surely enjoyed the old-time atmosphere, and we do plan on learning more about becoming volunteers.

There are several buildings which have been lovingly transported and restored from around Jackson County. We loved being inside them, especially with cozy fires burning in the fireplaces.

Becky had fun with this horse, too, till she discovered its pick-pocketing tendencies!

My father had a dream of owning a string of mules to use for hunting expeditions, so they hold a special place in my heart. These mules were very patient with all the work they had doing tours~

Old dolls that were loved by a wee miss a long time ago~

We pray that you are having a wonderful autumn, dear friends. Thank you for celebrating little Hyrum's first birthday with us!