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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017



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A storm rolled in late last week.  The Eastern sky was bright and cheery and to the west an ominous cloud grew into a sky of blackness.  The winds began to whip, the air tasted heavy and the smell of storm filled my nose.  I took a picture but not having taken a picture of the bright sky behind me, you can't see just how dreadful a sky it was.  Moments after grabbing clothes off the line, I came back in and a wall of water just fell to the earth...sheets, coming down.  I am certain, in those first moments, that the front half of the house was stone dry even as the back of it was being drenched, so exacting was the rain.  Little hailstones pelted the animals out to pasture and they flailed about a bit until they resigned to their fates, heads down and leaning into the wind.  I looked out at the animals and felt a moments' pity until my eyes landed on my fruit trees and then WOE!  WOE!  Those fragile little blossoms are being pelted by ice!  (I realize how this makes me sound...)

It wasn't long before ice balls turned into droplets again and the droplets didn't cease until a day later.  And thankfully, the fruit trees weren't too damaged in the process.  I think storms are cozy things.   Make you want to curl up with a book and ride it out.

I worry that my children won't know how much I enjoy reading because I so often save my reading until after they are in bed.  If I sit down with a book and intend to read, without a doubt a child brings a book (or several) and asks me to read to them.  That always wins out.  Truth is, I can't usually concentrate for more than a minute anyway- even if the children don't ask to be read to, they ask me if they can make cookies or share tidbits of "Did you know that the Netherlands helped to finance the Revolutionary War?" or "Would you let me own a rabbit or two?"  or less impressive things like "Mama!  Judah just jumped on me and won't let me be!"  It is impossible.  So I wait until children are tucked into beds and I am tucked into mine to bring out my book(s).  I choose from the pile of already opened ones.  And there are a few books I tuck into small spaces when I can't be found or won't be disturbed.


Peace Like A River by Leif Enger (this usually makes the cut before bed.  I love it.  Matt usually forces me to stop reading it so he can finally go to sleep at night. It's nearly done and I'll be sad when it is.)

Perelandra by C.S.Lewis (This is one I come back to every now and again because I know I need to return it to its' owner soon...I want to get through C.S.Lewis' space trilogy but I like this one less than the first so it is often set aside for Enger.)

A Fine Romance by Susan Branch (detailing her trip to England and the many National Trust places she visited...including Beatrix Potter's beloved home and countryside, Rudyard Kipling's home, the home of William Wordsworth and William Morris, Hever Castle where Anne Boleyn grew up among many, many other places.  I travel vicariously through these pages and I long to one day walk the paths she walked with feet instead of eyes only.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (I thought I had read this but when speaking with a friend, I couldn't remember the ending... I thought I would give myself a refresher so I got the audiobook.  I listen to this in the car or when I am working on cleaning rooms of the house...moments when I can actually listen.  Which is less often than I would like.)

I have been decluttering and purging, a typical spring thing for me.  The other day I tackled the storage container cupboard kitchen.  It was getting overrun with plastic stuff (and we don't even like USING plastic containers) so I hauled into it making sure each container had a matching lid and so on.  After I was done I had a full to the brim plastic bag of random plastic lids or containers that had no matches.  An entire bag of JUNK I have been pushing around and putting up with for who knows how long?  Getting rid of that bag made me feel so good...one more bag of headache OUT of my life.  I've gotten rid of trashbags of clothes, shoes....just STUFF.    How many times have I cursed that cluttered up messy container cupboard or stepped over piles of clothes that needed sorting?  Reminds me that everything we have takes up not only space in our homes- but space in our heads too.  I long for empty spaces and order.  It's in my nature.  The fact that I have five children means I have precious little of those things but I like to think that, when those rare moments happen, I appreciate them that much more.

My first harvest of 2017- fresh chives for cheese!  Oh blessed day!  I marked the day with a photo.

Sunday was my Mom's 60th birthday.  All of my siblings got together and a few of hers, as well to celebrate.  (I totally stole the above group shot from my sisters' facebook page.  I know she will forgive me.  But seriously scary as to how easy it was to do...)  A few people missing (Matt...ahem.  And Judah- who didn't want Papa to feel lonely.)  Mom and I share many genes, one of which is our  feelings of 'eh' in regards of traditional cake.  I made her, instead, an Angel Food Cake (with whipped cream and strawberries) and cream puffs.  It was the first time I have made cream puffs and they were too good to believe.  For the 'cream' I used cream whipped to peaks and added a sugar free box of white chocolate pudding with just a spoon of powdered sugar.  There was 1 T. of powdered sugar in the whole batch.  Practically health food, if you ask me. Which is why I had FOUR.

I've been negligent at answering questions in my comments section lately.  I am sorry about this!  I enjoy your comments so much I want to be sure I get back with you when you ask me something.  I resolve to be better at this starting now.  Wanna test my resolve?  Go ahead and ask me a question.  Anything you've been dying to know?  I dare ya.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Heralds of Spring

You can put the girl in the princess dress, but you can't put the princess manners in the girl.

I am not sure anything could herald in the spring time more beautifully than the bright yellow trumpets of daffodils.  Bright, sunny, cheerful yellow is the perfect color to first set your eyes upon after the gray and colorless months of winter.

It's been a bit of a tizzy around here lately.  I cleaned off the porch and readied it for the many months of porch sitting ahead.  (I can't wait!)  We ate our first porch supper on April 10th and I marked the occasion with a photo.

I saw baby plants fighting their way through the debri of their deceased ancestors in the flower circle and spent time before Easter (when I should have been cleaning for the company to come) clearing out the old to make way for the young'uns.   But I couldn't help it!  I couldn't pull myself inside on such a glorious day, trading the glorious task of baby flower admiring for cleaning a house.  You wouldn't have, either.  It felt invigorating to get my hands dirty and more so, to see new life popping up here and there, promises of the future.

Then there was the winter/summer clothing shuffle, which is always a monumentous task...and the sorting through bins to downsize since I am already out there- and the cleaning of the Granary that somehow once again became a dumping ground through the winter.

Then of course, Easter!  Prep work, cooking, cleaning, dying hardboiled eggs florescent colors, welcoming, refilling, hiding eggs and finding and then the cleanup afterwards.  Hosting an event is always so busy and so I took no Easter pictures of all the children together.  No homemade clothes this year- just hand me downs or secondhand clothes.   The closest thing that came to it was me adding a bit of a higher neckline to Corynn's dress and using a crocheted tiara for Ineke that I had made a month or so ago.  I can tell you though, they all looked spiffy.  They shine up nicely.

We've had several occasions of fancy clothes that would have been wonderful opportunities to take some family pictures- including a prom! this winter (hence the tiara) and I am just too busy right up until the very minute (and all throughout) to take nice pictures.  A quick snap is all I get IF I am lucky.  It's a regret...but I guess not a big enough one to warrant change.

I sent a box of cheer with a bunny on the package and the children started making bunny after bunny after bunny and lining the whole house with them.  Bunnies...EVERYWHERE! And at the very moment that box of cheer was mailed. a box of cheer was serendipitously sent my way too- brown paper packages crossing in the air to send hugs from kindred friends.

Among all of these things, puppies are growing and people are claiming them.  (You should see how big they are now!  I must post pictures soon!)  A chicken has a new little hatchling.

Now that the clothing exchange is done and the house has been put back into some semblance of order, I feel able to breathe a bit easier.

Hope your Easter was lovely!