What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, June 30, 2014


flea market treasures

a double yoker 

I've decided not weeding the strawberry patch is actually quite beneficial.  The birds can't see the red berries through the weeds~ so we get them!

Friday was had some of our very favorite people over for a long and lovely visit.  It's the kind of relationship where the parents are good company for us grown-ups and (BONUS!) they have seven kidlets who provide good company to my own kidlets four.  The result is a visit where children are off playing together and grown-ups can have uninterrupted conversations despite being outnumbered 3-1.  The very best kind of visit.

It was nearly midnight before they left (next time you and yours must plan to spend the night, Missus!) and Adele' had reached her limit.  The girl wailed and wailed as we waved goodbye.  When we had come inside Corynn made some remark like "I don't know why she was being such a crumbmudgon- it was so fun!"

 "It is really late and Adele' had fun too.  She is just SUPER tired, so we are just going to give her some grace right now and help her to bed."

And then Judah began to wail "I want some grace toooooooooo!"

Saturday Matt let me shirk Saturday morning responsibilities to head to my favorite summer haunt, the flea market/antique barns.  I could only go for an hour but I made good use of it!  I came back with a basketful of treasures.  Two of which are presents for others.  I won't tell you which are the gifts, so as not to spoil the surprises, but I can tell you that the basket is not one of them!  My harvesting basket finally fell apart this last year and I was in need of a good one.  And this one is lovely.  (And cheap!)

Then it was off to a bridal shower/ quilting bee where I realized hand-quilting is harder than it looks.  And I can't believe how time-consuming!  And my stitches were wonky.

Then Sunday~ a picnic after church.

All in all~ a fun weekend with blue skies above and lots of laughter below.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Granary Project

When we first moved to this place 3 1/2 years ago (is that right?!?) the barns and house were in such a state of disrepair the only thing we could do was find the emptiest spot we could and pile our stuff on top of the mess that was already there.  The Granary was the big dumping ground for barn stuff, storage stuff and house stuff that didn't have a place yet because it was the emptiest (relatively speaking, of course.)

We cleaned up the house, we cleaned up the barns and slowly the stuff began to trickle where it was to live.

But the Granary still looked like this:

A teeny little pathway to walk through and mountains of junk.

Underneath the surface skimming of our own junk, there laid decades worth of undergrowth garbage lying around.  Some of it cool- like an antique oxen contraption.  Most of it...junk.  Old doors, broken glass, a million boards with a million rusty nails.  Bailing twine, broken tools, heavier than sin old beams, rusty old license plates (but you can see where I got with getting rid of those in that first picture...)

And underneath THAT, two inches (or more in spots) of leftover bits of oats, decades-old dust and rat poo (with a smattering of broken glass for good measure) in the feed bins.

It was bad.

I have always loved the shell of the Granary.  But I HATED to open the door.

So I made a deal with Matt.   If I cleaned it out all by myself...could it be MINE?

I don't know if he didn't believe I would actually do it or if he was just distracted enough to not know what he had just agreed to...but agree he did.

So cleaning out the Granary became this summers' goal for me.  By the end of the summer, it needs to be done.

It still isn't done- but I have to show you the progress!

I didn't do it entirely by myself though.  Matt was gracious enough to help me with the heaviest things.

But I have spent a lot of time out there.  I've inhaled a lot of years' worth of dust.  I've hauled a lot of junk.  Swept a lot of boards.  Become black with dirt countless times. Touched more rat poo than I care to think about.  Fallen into bed exhausted because of this Granary.

I am pretty excited to say...the lower level is very close to being done!  A few spots here and there need attention, but it is in good enough condition to show you.

Obviously, the building is not ONLY to be used by me.  We have no attic or basement storage options so all of our storage must be here.  But instead of being UPSTAIRS in the granary, it is now DOWNSTAIRS.

This makes a huge difference to a person (me!) who must haul bins down stairs in a house, across the road, up the stairs in the granary, back down, back across the road and back up the house stairs for a family of six each and every time the clothes must be switched for the seasons or Christmas decorations need to be pulled out.

A huge difference.

I even made a little 'potting nook' until my official potting shed can be/will be built some day.  (I hope!)


The pictures need to be updated to be sure. (Remember them?)

But that isn't really my priority right now.  :-)

"Take a picture of the tractor you found me, Mama!"
And from the other side:


I still have to finish the upstairs in the granary to be completely done this summer project but that will be MUCH easier since all those bins (above) were brought down already.

And next summer's project is going to be going through all those bins and downsizing.  I am thinking I probably don't need all those baby clothes anymore.  Or that many all-sized clothes for that matter.

So, that's what I have been excited about this week.  All of us have, really.

It feels really good to tackle a huge project and get it (even just a part of it) done.

If you have a huge project that you have been dreading/avoiding/trying to wish away...try taking a before picture.  It never ceases to inspire me to get a move on it- and it is always very, very rewarding to see in plain color all the work that was accomplished.  By you.

Review: Go Science DVD's

"Whenever we learn more about science, we learn more about our Creator....God!"  This is the mantra of Ben Roy, the enthusiastic host of the Go Science DVD series put out by the company Library and Educational Services.  And how true it is!

Go Science Review

The Go Science DVD series includes seven volumes:

Volume 1: Sound, Gravity, Space
Volume 2: Life Science, Weather
Volume 3: Air
Volume 4: Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light
Volume 5: States of Matter, Water
Volume 6: Chemistry
Volume 7: Engineering, Design, Flight

I was given the opportunity to review two of them: Volume 6: Chemistry and Volume 7: Engineering, Design, Flight.

This series of science DVD's is not a curriculum or lecture series.  Rather, it is an hours' worth of many different science experiments, projects and demonstrations given by Mr. Roy and his many helpers that encourage the viewer to become engaged in the greatness of the physical and chemical world around them.  If you tend to keep your science curriculum clean and tidy, not participating in many dirty experiments, these DVD's are the perfect way for your student to see the effects and change of each experiment without the actual mess.  But I can pretty much guarantee that your students, after watching the demonstration, will want to duplicate them.  But you know what?  They can!  Because each experiment is short and sweet and uses things that you almost always have right on hand anyway!  (And without too much mess, as you can well gauge by watching the experiment yourself! Unless, of course, it is the elephant toothpaste!)  Go Science makes lab science accessible to all students and shows just how simple and easy science experiments can  be!

Go Science Review

The list of experiments in Volume Six: Chemistry are:

~ Milk and Food Coloring
~ elephant toothpaste
~ stains
~ staying dry-diapers
~ lava lamp
~ instant snow
~ silly slime
~ hydrogen bubbles
~ grain elevator
~ water generator
~ Mentos fountain

Go Science Review

The list of experiments in Volume Seven: Engineering, Design, Flight are:

~ How much Will It Hold?
~ Leaning Tower of Lyra
~ Nail Balance
~ Trebuchet
~ Centrifuge
~ Walking on Eggs
~ Bed of nails
~ rocket balloons
~ vinegar rocket
~ toilet paper on paint rollers
~ film canister rocket

We have plans to go through all the experiments by doing an experiment or two throughout the summer~ (the kidlets made that plan, by the way!) and everyone has their own favorites picked out to do *first*.

We did several of the experiments~ including the milk and food coloring experiment which teaches not only surface tension but also primary/secondary colors in SUCH a cool way!
This series is unabashedly Christian, with Mr. Roy saying the above mantra at the close of each experiment.  He also directs the children to make some correlations to real life faith issues.    In the experiment of toilet paper of paint rolls to demonstrate inertia...to tug very fast rips off a tiny bit of the toilet paper.  To tug gently will ease out lots and lots and lots of paper.  He related that to trying to tell people about Christ.  If you force Christianity upon people, you will break off relationships and be no further ahead.  If you gently coax, the relationship will stay intact and you can get much further.

Each of the seven volumes in the DVD series is priced at $8.97 (reg. list price $14.97) and are geared for children from ages 4-12.

(I have to tell you, too, that while I was poking around the Library and Educational Services website, I saw many familiar titles of books and DVD's and all for great prices!   Adventures in Odyssey, Focus on the Family, The Jungle Doctor, Boxcar Children, Drive Through History, tons of amazing biographies.  They have the best prices on the internet for some audiobooks and radio dramas  by Focus on the Family like Narnia, Oliver Twist, The Secret Garden, The Legend of Squanto, etc.  I know because I always compare prices before buying and these have been on my  'want/need/will buy someday' list for a while.   I bought the audio theatre cd's of Oliver Twist and Under Drake's Flag by G.A.Henty for a few bucks cheaper than ANYWHERE I found on the internet...and tucked them aside for a happy Christmas!)

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Wedding Sneak Peek: Simeon and Marissa


What a beautiful day this was!  I loved photographing Marissa and Simeon because the bride and groom were so comfortable in front of the camera, it seemed as though they were oblivious to my presence...which a photographer loves because you get those natural photos that show real emotion and intimacy.

And I am pretty sure I have never seen a happier groom....ever.