Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Soft Drinks

Last evening among a group of friends the question came up - how old should a child be before being allowed to drink tea?

I had never even stopped to think that children shouldn't be allowed to drink tea, in fact Sailor used to drink unsweetened homegrown peppermint tea in his bottle way back when .... I would still rather have my children drink all sorts of tea instead of a soft drink.

Talking about soft drinks brings a memory to mind.

It was summer of '93 and an unusually hot heat wave was affecting everyone in our area. It was bad enough in our woodworking shop, but the farmers had it even worse having to work in the relentless heat making their hay.

Some kind neighbors decided to treat the one Amish family to some ice cold Mountain Dew. The only problem was that the Amish in Somerset County as a whole are extremely frugal and as such have not had too much experience drinking anything other than water, that they haven't made themselves.

They thanked their neighbors and opened the bottles to take a drink, but were dismayed to find that it "stung" a sure sign that it was spoiled. There was only one thing to do, dump it out before it made someone sick.

As they were talking about it that Sunday after church, they learned that Mountain Dew is supposed to "sting".

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list?

All that's left to do is buy some groceries for our Christmas breakfast. For the first time ever, I got everything done with more than a week to spare. It's a good thing too, because half of our family is sick. I'm at the tail end of this bug, and hopefully by tomorrow I'll be back to normal.
2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter? 

I love, love winter. The snow, the cozy heat in the house, the fun winter projects we get to do, the long evenings spent reading and playing games.
3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not. 

I don't really know. My children I suppose. They both keep me young and make me old. Usually when I have an immature moment it's around our children.
4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016? 

Waiting, patience. A lot about this year included that, and I think I've become better at it.
5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? 

I love fried shrimp. One of my favorite ways to eat them is baking them in a lemon butter sauce. So good! We won't be having shrimp for Christmas, but we might for New Year's Eve.
6. What sound lulls you to sleep? 

The sound of our waterfall, wind blowing gently through the trees, the tick tock of the alarm clock always puts me to sleep. My favorite though is when it rains.
7. What one word best describes your 2016? 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Are you more task oriented or people oriented? Elaborate.
A mix of both, I think. I'm not the most people-ish type of person. I usually get quiet and observe things from the sidelines when I'm in a group setting. I'd rather have some task to do, than have to mingle. But on the other hand I really enjoy talking/visiting one on one.

 2. December 15 is National Wear Your Pearls you own/wear pearls? If you're a man answering the question, does your sweetheart own or wear pearls? Everyone share a 'pearl of wisdom' with us here today.

I don't own any pearls.

Life is short, eternity is long. Keep your focus on what truly matters.

3. Speaking of pearls...oysters? Are you a fan or not a fan? If you answered yes, tell us your favorite way to eat oysters? If you said no, be honest-have you ever tried one or does just the idea of eating an oyster make you gag a little?

I have never even seen an oyster in real life.

I have no intentions of ever trying to eat one. The very idea seems unpleasant to me.

4. Time Magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump Person of the Year. Let's take presidents and presidential candidates out of the mix for a minute. If a political figure had not been chosen who would you name Man or Woman of the Year for 2016?

I would choose my widowed sister-in-law as Woman of the Year. Not only is she an incredibly strong woman, she has a heart of gold. I can't even begin to tell you all the ways she deserves to be recognized and honored.

5. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2017 has been announced, and it's a vibrant green aptly named-greenery. Your thoughts? Is this a color currently in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade for the new year? Click here to see the color.

I have a scarf, that I never wear, in that color. I don't wear greens, not that I don't like the color .... the color doesn't seem to like me. Makes me look ill, which happens to not be a look I'm going for.

6. Today I've had too much________________________.

Today is only beginning and so far I've not had too much of anything.

7. Share a favorite lyric from a favorite Christmas carol.

Joy to the world, the Saviour reigns.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

December is always a really busy month for us. On top of all the Christmas related things that are going on there are a number of birthdays in our family as well. The one we celebrated most recently involved its traditional treasure hunt that Sailor started years ago when he struggled with spelling and his clues were easy to solve. This year's clues were much harder.

For example .... who gets this one?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Safety First

As I was doing my morning Bible reading, in Revelations, I came upon a verse that triggered a memory from way back when I was probably ten or so.

We were on our way home from church, my brothers and I were in the back seat of the buggy, and I was listening to Mom and Daddy discuss that day's sermons and Bible reading. It had been the Sunday for the annual end times sermon and scripture. Revelations 14 had been read between the two sermons. It was the only time the book of Revelations was touched, and the only chapter ever read in church. It wasn't preached on either so as not to add or take away words from the book of Revelations.

For some reason Daddy made the remark that he thinks he'll have to read the entire book of Revelations. I was instantly intrigued, because what had been read had piqued my interest.

That evening I started reading it. I was terrified, horrified, and yet intrigued. I kept reading. I came to the part where a star, Wormwood fell into the water and it became bitter and people died from it.

I don't know why, with everything else that was written in Revelations, that verse really bothered me. How was anyone supposed to know when that happened? I didn't want to risk dying from drinking some bitter star flavored water.

For a long time when ever I needed a drink I would first serve a glass of water to one of my brothers. If they seemed to be okay it was safe for me to drink it as well.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Picture my Week

A dusting of snow finally covered some of the gray and browns we were seeing. To me, it makes the waterfall look a little  colder than usual.
I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing the weird concoctions that Sunbeam chows down. This week's stomach churner combination was graham cracker with a liberal amount of crunchy peanut butter, and then sprinkled with chocolate chips and drizzled with mustard.

For a day we enjoyed red ornaments on our Christmas tree, before a vote to have a silver and gold year over turned my love of that splash of color.

Every year we look forward to receiving a handmade Christmas card from LV's mother. Yesterday it arrived in the mail. The girls, Buddy, and I were almost ready to head out the door to their last dress rehearsal for the homeschool co-op variety show and drama. I propped the fat envelope where LV would see it when he came home and we left. I didn't think of it again as we were caught up in the hustle and bustle of preparing for our evening.
When evening arrived LV and Sailor walked in the door. I always have to smile when I see my husband approaching, (Yep, even after all these years he still makes my heart pitter patter.) this time however there was a little something extra ... he sparkled. There were pieces of glitter stuck to his face and when he tried to brush it off a few more pieces got stuck.
It wasn't until we got home and I saw the glitter filled Christmas card his mother had made that we put two and two together. Apparently when he opened the envelope glitter spilled onto his clothes and hands. Which means he's not producing glitter after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Let's talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What's your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done?

I probably qualify on that scale to come in somewhere around a 2. All I do is put up a tree. That's it as far as decorations go. We usually put it up on the day after Thanksgiving.

2. Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it's special to you in some way, tell us why. Or do both-it's Christmas!

We don't have any type of nativity scene. I really don't care for them. (Duck and hide.)

3.  Do you live in a social neighborhood? If so are you glad? If not do you wish you did?

We live in a very neighborly neighborhood, and I love it! It's a rare day that we don't see or talk with any of them.

4.  As the saying goes, 'there's no time like the present'. How does that ring true in your life right now?

In my attempts to not procrastinate this is ringing especially true right now. Even though it means dusting more often, writing when I don't necessarily feel like it, and a lot of other things that are easy to push off.

5. Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not?

As much as I love the weekend, I'm always ready for Monday morning to arrive. I like getting back to the usual schedule of things, and get started on everything I have planned for the week.
6.  Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now?

I have always loved Poinsettias. We used to have Christmas cactus. Those pretty blooms always made me happy. Right now I don't have any house plants.

7. Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.

"Aaah! Fra-GEE-leh! It must be Italian!" from The Christmas Story.
I don't even like that movie, but that quote always made me chuckle. We made a family pact to not watch it for a long time.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Winter seems to be a long time in coming. Yesterday we finally got some freezing rain. It's not my favorite, but look how pretty.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Laughter is a Good Medicine

If that's the case I should be in top health!

So there we were yesterday, in church, sitting in the third row from the back. Buddy had his head in my lap almost dozing off. LV had his arm resting along the back of my chair while we were listening to a sermon on peace.

It was all quite peaceful until LV readjusted himself and tried to remove his arm from behind me. In doing so, he accidently bumped my favorite hairclip, which was holding my long hair up in a bun. It went flying out and landed in the lap of the person sitting behind us while my hair cascaded down my back.

I think I might have gasped. I know I lost complete track of what was being preached as my hands flew up to touch what used to be a neat bun. The guy sitting behind us handed my hairclip back and I quickly fixed my hair and then looked at LV.

It was all I could do not to burst out laughing . I managed not to, but we both smiled pretty huge smiles, at which point the people sitting behind us couldn't quite contain their chuckles.

The minute we got to the van after church we burst out laughing, while people in the parking lot, who had not seen what had happened probably wondered what could possibly be so funny.

I do declare, the weirdest things happen to me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday.

How about I do two instead of three?

Good food
Great mood.

Blessed beyond measure,
With memories to treasure.

2. When did you last say, 'the more the merrier'? Did you mean it?

I know I've said that a lot. I try not to say something I don't mean.

3. What's one piece of advice you'd give someone who is your same age?

Keep your focus on Jesus and keep your priorities straight.

4. You're ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it?

Cooked or raw?

I love roasted brussel sprouts, steamed broccoli, fried cauliflower, and corn on the cob.

5. Shop till you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?

I have never shopped until I dropped, and don't have plans to ever do so. Other than buying groceries I won't be do any shopping between now and Christmas.

6. What's your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?

My favorite chair is an ancient rocking recliner that I'm guessing is very likely older than I am. It's a mustard yellow, the arms are completely worn through and the cording around the seat cushion is hanging loose. All that is hidden though under a big purple cover ... a piece of knit fabric that was just the right size to cover the entire chair.

It's my favorite because it's so very comfy.

7. Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality.

Some of my earliest memories include my brother and me standing in front of Mom and watching her mouth carefully as she taught us to sing one of the German church songs.

Every evening before we would go to bed the whole family would sing. When we were little it was a bedtime prayer song, but as we grew older it branched out to include other hymns that we would take turns choosing.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm sitting here nursing a very painful knee. This morning on the way downstairs something popped and it locked up. I had to back down the rest of the way because it hurt to much to bend. I'm hoping it will feel better soon, because as it turns out knees are quite important.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wrapping Woes

Our Christmases may be far from fancy, but there is one thing we always like to do and that is wrapping each gift.

This year for the first time since I made this post seven years ago, I have had to buy wrapping paper.

The girls and I went to do our weekly grocery run, armed with a list that included some Christmas related items including wrapping paper. I was looking forward to being able to pick out some new pretty paper. Imagine my dismay as I surveyed the choices in front of me. Every last one of them was ugly!

I finally chose the least ugly of the choices. What's with all the black this year?!! What happened with cute? Or pretty? Full of holiday cheer?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Winner of Lily Series

 Reading all your comments made me feel as if I'm in good company. Winter evening activities are so much fun!

After consulting the random generator I can now announce the winner of the Lily series.

Comment # 21

Carrie said ......

My favorite winter evening activity is watching Hallmark Christmas movies with the family.

Congratulations Carrie! Please send me an email with your address and I will get them shipped to you.

I'm sorry I can't gift everyone a set, but if you check out the links in the sidebar you can find options to buy your own.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Life with Lily ~ Giveaway

Winter and Christmas time always brings me many fond memories from my childhood when we would all gather in the evening to listen to Mom read several chapters from a book before bedtime. We would eat popcorn and apples, or sometimes enjoy a mug of hot chocolate, or a glass of apple cider while we listened.

Christmas time always meant new books. Or at least new to us. It was around Christmas time when my parents would first go to the library and bring home armloads of books, which would then continue until spring came and things got too busy to do loads of extra reading.

With winter and Christmas just around the corner I decided I would like to give my dear readers a chance to win the entire set of Lily books. You can keep them for yourself and give them to someone on your Christmas gift giving list.

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling me of one of your favorite winter evening activities.

For a second entry post a link to this giveaway to your blog or Facebook and then come back and leave another comment telling me you did.

Since I'm in the Christmas mood I'm giving you a third entry if you either like this Facebook page or send me a friend request on my personal page.

I will be choosing a winner on Monday November 28th just in time to kick off the official Christmas season.

Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Let's all think happy thoughts...share one of yours here.

Thinking of celebrating Thanksgiving next week, is one of my happy thoughts.
2. There's a Chinese proverb that says, "If you want happiness for an hour take a nap, if you want happiness for a day-go fishing...." What say you? If you want happiness for a day _____________.

Spending uninterrupted time with a good book sounds like a perfect way to have happiness for a day.

On the other hand spending a day making other people happy ... you couldn't help but being happy too.
3. Where do you go to decompress from the world around you? 

Home. It's the happiest place I know.
4. What song never fails to make you happy? 

Be Still my Soul by Scripture Lullabies never fails to make me feel peaceful and happy.
5. Wednesday is National Fast Food Day. Should that be a thing? Apparently it is, so tell us what's the last 'fast food' you consumed? If you were putting together your own version of a 'happy meal' what would you include? 

I can't even remember the last time I had fast food. I'm sure it included fries, but other than that I'm clueless.
My idea of a 'happy meal' would include my favorite fried chicken, broccoli salad, and cheesy potatoes.
6. In a few sentences tell us why you blog. 

The reason I started blogging was because I wanted to share my memories of growing up Amish for my children to be able to read and understand more of their heritage.

The reason I'm still blogging is because I love all the friends I've made in the 'bloggy' world. And I like being able to keep tidbits and slices of life to look back on in the years to come.
7. List seven things you're feeling especially grateful for today. 

First and foremost I'm especially grateful for the gift of Salvation. A furnace to keep our house warm. Cold, clean water straight from the faucet. Plenty of food in the refrigerator. A happy healthy family. Electricity. Music. Books.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Some days ....

It all started when a part LV had ordered for a repair job he is working on arrived, but the company had sent the wrong thing. They provided a FedEx label to send it back and yesterday I was going to drop it off at a store on our way to the library.

Arriving at the store I lugged the big awkward package inside. The lady behind the shipping desk cheerfully informed me they no longer accept FedEx packages and I'll have to go to a town thirty miles away to get it shipped.

I wasn't thrilled with that idea, but I hoisted the box and proceeded to the door. Before I got there I came to an abrupt halt when my forehead met a very solid post/sign. I was stunned for a second, but quickly resumed my walking toward the exit, my head now throbbing viciously. I was greeted in the van with concerned children. "Why is your head bleeding?"

"I'm resurrecting my teenage klutziness," I informed them. They found the fact that I walked into something hilarious.

Since I don't have a cell phone, I decided to stop in at LV's workplace and find out where I'm supposed to go to get rid of this package. He wasn't there when I arrived, but his boss's wife after she got done laughing at what happened to my poor head was most helpful in finding a place that accepts FedEx packages.

I was happy to learn it was in the general vicinity of the library we were planning to visit. So off we went. Arriving at my destination I was dismayed to find the drop off was for tiny boxes and envelopes only. My box was bigger than the drop box. The very unfriendly guy there seemed happy at my predicament but when a friendly young lady noticed what I needed she directed me to another store.

Upon arriving I was finally able to get rid of that wretched package and we headed for the library. The books we wanted weren't in, so with my burning, throbbing head we quickly selected a few others and headed home. As I was driving along a bird flew over us and deposited a big splat on the windshield. The perfect ending to my less than perfect morning.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

10 Things That Make me Happy

  1. I don't think of myself as a cat person at all. I have absolutely no desire to pet or hold a cat, but there's something about our seven cats, and seeing how much the rest of the family loves them that makes me happy.
  2. Walking into a sparkling clean kitchen always makes me feel happy.
  3. Looking at the clock and seeing that I still have thirty minutes or so before bedtime to curl up in my favorite chair to read.
  4. Opening my email or Facebook and seeing a cheerful message from a friend always makes me smile.
  5. Rain, clouds, snow, fog .... basically any type of bad weather makes me feel happy. It evokes feelings of singing, crafting, baking, reading, games, and overall delightful family togetherness time. Even though I don't do all those things every time the weather is bad, I still get to enjoy the feeling.
  6. Having everyone gather around the supper table every evening always makes me feel happy and content.
  7. Spending time outside soaking in the beauty of nature.
  8. Homeschooling ... spending time with our children, and books, learning new things together.
  9. Sewing, crafting, cooking, baking for the ones I love.
  10. Conversations with our children. They cover a wide, wide range of topics. I really enjoy them so.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Christmas Preparations

Yes, I'm fully aware that we haven't celebrated Thanksgiving yet, and I'm about to ramble on about Christmas preparations.

Christmas is such a fun time of year, why limit it to only a few weeks?

Since we do a lot of homemade type things for Christmas we like getting a head start. We've been eyeing the fabric stash, and the shelves of crafting supplies are being poked and prodded a lot lately. The sewing machines are coming out of their summer time hibernation and are made to hum once again.

There are things being written and designed on the computer with strict no peeking in my folder rules from several different members of the family. I'm especially looking forward to reading the stories and admiring other things that have been created.

So many secrets to keep, and gifts to hide. Sometimes though gifts can be made in plain sight and the recipient has no idea.

My favorite not so secret, secret so far is one of the gifts Sunbeam has planned for Buddy. With the huge maple tree here in front of the house losing its leaves and dropping thousands of seeds, Buddy has been having a lot of fun gathering a handful of seeds and bringing them up on the porch and dropping them one by one over the railing and watching them spin and float down to the ground.

It gave Sunbeam an idea and she went outside with a container to fill with the seeds to give them to him for Christmas. Buddy helped her fill it, and so far has no idea he will be the lucky recipient on Christmas day.

Thinking of the hours of fun he'll have with them makes me smile. Thinking about all the fun he had helping his sister get his Christmas gift ready makes me smile even bigger.

Monday, November 7, 2016


For Today ... Monday, November 7th 2016

Looking out my window ... the sun is shining brightly and the sky is a lovely blue. A soft breeze is making the wind chimes play their lovely tunes, a few stubborn maple leaves are dancing as they're clinging tightly to the tree in front of the house. Dry corn is rustling in the field above the barn as it waits patiently for the day when it will be picked. Weather wise it seems as if it should be mid October instead of November.

I am thinking ... I should take advantage of this beautiful weather and wash the windows on the outside.

I am thankful ... for all the many blessings we get to enjoy. Things we often take for granted.

One of my favorite things .... old photos of our children. This one of Sailor and his beloved pup .... melts my heart!

I am creating ... not exactly creating, but I'm in the process of getting the fruit ready for our 45 day fruitcake I make every year.

I am wearing... A comfy and quite unfashionable brown shirt with blue accents and a charcoal gray skirt.
I am reading... in the Bible I'm reading Corinthians this week. As far as other books, I'm rereading my favorite series for the umpteenth time.
I am watching ... the girls and I have been semi enjoying a few Hallmark Christmas movies. I say semi, because they're simply too cheesy for us to fully enjoy.
I am listening to ... the Piano Guys. Rosebud and her love of instrumental music seems to be rubbing off on me.
I am hoping ... that waking up on Wednesday morning will be happy.
I am learning ... more than I had ever thought I would about marine biology, and health/nutrition, and political history. It's what happens when you have three children with varied interests that they love studying, and somehow I learn along with them.
In my kitchen ... I have pork chops thawing for supper. We love the oven baked, melt in your mouth chops with a delicious gravy.
In the school room ... Buddy has been enjoying creating lapbooks and doing memory work while the older three are enjoying their studies as well, especially digging deeper into the areas that they're interested in.

A moment from my day ... technically I would be supposed to share a picture here, but I don't enjoy selfies and my day so far has mostly consisted of holding Buddy. He's sick today and wants to be held. He would be fine tucked on the couch, but he's only going to be four once, and I don't think I'll ever regret taking the day off to hold him.

If you'd like to join the daybook, you can do so here.

Friday, October 28, 2016


Growing up in an Amish home we weren't always aware that we were doing or using some thing that the rest of the American public wouldn't have considered doing for health reasons.

Example one:

The oil stove in the kitchen (Never mind the fact that it posed its own health risks and problems due to the noxious fumes) that we used during the summer months was always a concern that its oven might make the wall behind it too hot.

To prevent a possible fire we kept a sheet of asbestos between it and the wall. We didn't have any idea asbestos was bad for you, and lugged that grayish sheet from home to home until 2004 when my parents moved to a community that allowed gas stoves and they got rid of both the oil stove and the sheet of asbestos.

Example two:

Little girl babies would often have bobbies before their hair was long enough to braid. In order to help the bobbies lay neatly a piece of lead would be pounded flat and little piece would be broken off to be used to have the hair wrapped tightly around it, the ends would then be bent to keep the hair in place.

We had no idea lead was a bad thing.

When Rosebud came along my Mom gave me her remaining scraps of lead since it was very hard to find lead by that time. However, Rosebud's hair grew very slowly, and we had moved to a community that didn't use bobbies for their little girls so I never used it. Something I have been thankful for!

Interested in seeing bobbies? I found a picture here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Morning so Far

Judging by how cold my toes got from the simple trek through the house this morning when I got up I knew it must have turned decidedly colder over night.

Taking a quick glance at the old thermometer beside the kitchen window confirmed my assumption. A chilly twenty-one. After getting LV's coffee started I went into the next room and happened to glance at the digital thermometer sitting on top of the desk. It declared it's twenty-six.

Which do I go by?

Taking the advice of Rebecca Dew from Anne of Windy Poplars where she had told Anne, "Better go by the old thermometer, it's probably more used to our climate." I'm going to say it was twenty-one this morning.


I have always liked mums and when we were visiting LV's family not so long ago they gave us an absolutely gorgeous one. The first time we have ever had any. It's huge, and lovely, and we're unwilling to allow it to die.

Afraid that it might freeze last night we brought inside before we went to bed. I still had not put it back out on the porch when someone in a tattered coat, reeking of cigarette smoke came to the door asking to use our phone because he ran off the road while trying to avoid several deer.

Knowing that cell phone service is basically nonexistent here in the hollow I reluctantly allowed him inside. He proceeded to call his Grandmother to come help him. I had the urge to cover the children's ears with my hands so they don't have to hear his language.

He left and I noticed my poor mums had been smashed with the door when he came in. I tried to fix them, but I guess only time will tell if they return to their former beauty.

We're on our 63rd day of school for this term, we got all the "bookwork" done and are left with Sunbeam's more fun things to do. She has been studying Ethiopia in her geography so we want to try baking some authentic Ethiopian bread. Off to do that now.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Picture my Week

The girls gathered some walnuts that had dropped from the tree here behind the house, and proceeded to follow a recipe they had found to make ink. They chose to build a little fire outside to cook their concoction in order to not stink up the house.
The ink cooking took several hours, but at the end they were pleased to have a pint of ink. Rosebud enjoys doing calligraphy and now with plenty of ink she is able to practice her skills to her heart's content.
While the girls were making their ink Buddy was happily wandering about the yard with a stick trying to unearth some hidden treasure that might be hiding under the leaves.

The last roses of the season were brought inside to enjoy, rather than allowing them to be frost damaged.

Buddy's Pre-K class at our homeschool co-op did some tiny pumpkin painting. He was quite pleased with his final product.

Sunbeam absolutely loves raking leaves, and our big maple tree has been providing her with ample opportunities to enjoy that.

At the beginning of the week our tree still looked lovely even though there was a constant flurry of leaves drifting to the ground. By yesterday, this was all that was left.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What would you say is your strongest sense?

If we're speaking of the five senses, I will have to go with hearing. I can pick up sounds very easily.

2. Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'? Why or why not?

I do. Why, you ask .... because I experience it regularly.

3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

Mostly when it comes to mundane human needs such as preparing meals and sleeping. It's something that has to be done as much as I wish it wouldn't. It seems so sad to me to spend so much of one's life doing those necessities.

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?

I have never worked at a restaurant.

If I could own one, I don't really know what kind it would be. Probably focusing on some type of elevated comfort foods.

5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.

I have not spent time tracing our family tree even though I know there are a lot of interesting things on it. I do know that any one bearing my maiden name is somehow related to me. I'm only 6th generation living in the U.S. The first one came over for an adventure, with his brother who was coming over to marry the love of his life. On the voyage over, the love-struck brother died leaving my great, great, great grandfather to deliver the news to his waiting bride. Somehow the two of them then fell in love and got married.

Their story really does sound like a book waiting to be written. :)

6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?

I had seven different bedrooms while growing up. The one I spent the most time in was really small. It had old boards for floors with sizeable cracks between them, which meant I never had to worry about using a dustpan when I swept my room. The walls were a very light pink. I had no door, only a heavy blanket nailed over the opening.

Aside from my bed I had a dresser, and a small interesting cupboard in it where I stored all my favorite things.

7. Anyone who knows me knows I love _______________________?

My family.

Maybe that's too obvious.

Those who know me well also know I really love music.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Our family does more of a homemade type Christmas. Because of that it means we are already beginning our Christmas preparations even though it's only the middle of October.
There's already an air of secrecy hanging in the house as people try to work on making gifts without anyone else discovering what it is they're working on.

Love this time of year!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Our Weekend

We've been wanting to go visit LV's parents ever since they moved over a year ago already. We finally made that happen this weekend.

It was really nice seeing them again, and seeing where they live. The day was spent visiting, eating good food, and enjoying each other's company.

Rosebud took some yarn along and asked Grandma if she would teach her how to crochet baby bibs and booties. Most of her day on Saturday was spent creating a pretty set of booties and a bib to go with it.

LV's brother and his family live nearby, so we all popped over to see where they live. During the tour of their house I was astounded at the huge sweet potatoes my sister-in-law grew in her garden this year.

Impressive, isn't it?!! That sweet potato is bigger than Sunbeam's head!

All in all we had a very enjoyable visit, and are already looking forward to the next time we all get to spend time together.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house?

The best thing .... I'm stumped. I'm a creature of habit, and the change involved in moving to a new house is stressful. I guess it's a good thing to be able to go through everything you have, and having everything perfectly organized is nice too, though I'd rather go on a thorough housecleaning/organizing spree than move.

The worst thing ... change, packing, lifting, toting, uncomfortable new surroundings, chaos ... not a fan of moving.

2. What's moved you recently?

A book I read that required a box of tissues. Is it pathetic getting so invested in fictional characters?

3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so?

I feel life is moving forward. There are some exciting things on the horizon that I'll share more about here once the time is right.

4. On the move, move mountains, get a move on, it's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain.

It's your move could apply to my life right now. I'm working on a project, and the only thing holding it back is me. So hopefully I'll be able to get a move on later today and tackle it.

5. What song makes you want to get up and move?

6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'?

Baby carrots and celery sticks are a favorite go to snack in our house. Funny how my dream of being grown up and being able to eat chips, pretzels, and candy bars when ever I want has changed to much healthier options when I became a grown up.

7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home?

This may sound a little silly, but the one thing I have found that I really like, is, refrigerator magnets. Several years ago when LV had to go out of state for six months for a job thing, we went along and stayed in a basically empty house. Having only the most basic of basic necessities. When we got home after that and I walked into our kitchen and saw those magnets on the fridge .... well ... I really liked them, and I felt home again.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm really, really enjoying fall this year. The chill in the air, the bright blue skies, the colorful leaves. Ahh ... it stirs something deep inside that is hard to explain.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Picture my Week

Our week had a mix of perfectly gorgeous October days, and rain.

On the rainy days Buddy spent time gazing wistfully out the window.

On the sunny days he loved helping with yard work. Especially the part where he got to play in the piles of leaves before we cleaned them up.

It was a big week for Sailor. He finally got to paint the little tractor he has been restoring. It still has quite a bit to do before it's finished, but this point was a goal he had been working towards for quite a while already.

Of even bigger importance, but I won't be sharing a picture, is, he passed his driving test. He's thrilled to have his official license.

Rosebud whipped up more yummy apple desserts in the kitchen.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Rocking Chair

During my childhood and teenage years furniture came and went. Second hand rickety pieces were gradually replaced with new furniture that Daddy and my brothers made in our woodworking shop.

One thing that remained constant was Mom's comfortable hickory rocking chair. It was on this chair where I snuggled up in her lap while I was a wee girlie. All her children were rocked to sleep with it, every day until they outgrew the rocking to sleep phase. I can still almost hear her sweet voice as she sang lullabies as well as other songs.

It was on this rocking chair she sat every evening to read bedtime stories to us while the rest of us listened as we ate popcorn and apples.

I made the cover for it one year for Christmas.

When I received this grainy cell phone picture of it today I wasn't quite prepared for the wave of nostalgia that swept over me. Or how ridiculously happy I was to see she still has something I made in their house.

So many memories.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Apple Cider Cupcakes

In one of my Picture my Week posts I had shared how Rosebud had made Apple Cider cupcakes, and got quite a few requests for the recipe. I decided today seems like a great day to finally share it.

Apple Cider Cupcakes

½ cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup apple cider
1-2/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt

Combine butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla and mix until thoroughly blended. Set aside. In a separate bowl combine remaining four dry ingredients. Alternate adding dry mixture and apple cider to butter/sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.

Scoop into cupcake tins, lined with cupcake wrappers, of course.

Bake at 350ยบ for 17-19 minutes. Until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


1 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix butter and brown sugar. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes. You can garnish with half an apple slice if you prefer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Have you ever been to and/or lived near the desert? What did you think? Travel and Leisure lists the 'coolest' American desert towns as-

Palm Springs CA, Virgina City NE, Bend OR, Winslow AZ, Marfa TX, Grand Junction CO, Silver City NM, Moab UT, Taos NM, Yakima WA, Borrego Springs CA, Terlingua TX, and St. George UT, and Tubac AZ

Have you been to any of these? Would you like to visit a desert town? Which on the list would you most like to see?

I have been to a few different deserts already, and found that I quite enjoyed my time there. Of the ones listed here I have been to Taos, New Mexico. A very lovely place!

I would enjoy seeing all the deserts on the list, and hope to someday. In fact we like deserts so much that LV and I have plans/hopes/dreams that once we retire and need a winter home, we will be heading to a desert in Arizona.

2. What's a plan or project you've deserted in the past year? 

Sadly, because of some things life threw our way, the girls and I abandoned our list of craft goals we had set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. We have hopes of picking it up in the future, but I think it's safe to say it won't be in the last three months of 2016.
3. Desert-dessert? Share two or three words you find yourself having to think twice about when it comes to spelling.  

Traveling ... somehow I often have the urge to stick another "l" in there.
Stationary - stationery.
4. High and dry, like watching paint dry, dry run, dry as dust, not a dry eye in the house...which phrase can you relate to currently? Explain. 

Like watching paint dry, and not because of all the painting that has been going on around here, though that would qualify.

There was this little gif someone shared on Facebook of a guy climbing a tower. It said something along the lines of ... you won't believe what happens when he reaches the top. I shared it with Sailor, and he sat there staring at it for a long time. Finally he checked, and discovered it was a gif instead of a video. I thought it was funny, and even though he laughed, I have a feeling that just maybe I broke a little of that trust he had in his mother. He described this episode as boring as watching paint dry.
5. How often do you frequent the dry cleaners? Starch or no starch?  

I have never been to the dry cleaners. As for starch, nope, no way. I did quite enough starching in my previous life, (what I prefer to call the years of being Amish) that I don't care if I never have to starch anything, ever again. I don't even like to iron unless it is absolutely necessary.
6. What's a food or beverage you enjoy that's named for a place? 

Water is about as far as I go when it comes to beverages. As for food hmm ... I don't really know. Sandwiches are named after some guy, instead of a place, right? Hershey bars ... maybe, though I'm not that big into chocolate any longer. Shocking, I know.
7. Do you need solitude? 

Somewhat. I relish my solitude in the morning before the children get up, but I do love spending all day, every day with them.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

 Buddy has an eye for finding and picking up treasures, outside. The collection of sticks, feathers, seeds, pretty leaves, and stones he is accumulating is starting to be quite impressive. I find it fun to view the world through his eyes, and trying to see the beauty in things the way he does.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Picture my Week

There used to be a time when fog made me feel claustrophobic, but in the past few years that changed, and I actually quite enjoy a light fog. Heavy fog is still a bit oppressive. There was one morning this week when we had fog. I like how it makes everything appear softer, kinder, and just a tad as if you were wrapped safely in a cocoon of sorts away from everything else that is going on in this world.

The worst thing about a bright sunny morning is how for a while the blades of those big, ugly windmills throw shadows on the walls. I have to move to a different room so as not to feel queasy. Thankfully the sun rises fast enough that it doesn't last very long.

Buddy loves when someone takes time to play chess with him. Thankfully he has siblings who have the patience to help him play.

As much as I detest spiders, I do admire spider webs. They're especially pretty in the morning while there are still dew drops hanging onto them.
Our favorite part of every day, is when LV gets home from work.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Random Bits

Sickness, job issues, emotional turmoil. It's hard standing on the sidelines and seeing someone you love going through tough times, and there is nothing you can do to fix it. Nothing except lend a listening ear, and offering a prayer to the One who can take care of everything.


I'm so thankful for laughter. It's healing and soothing, especially when you're emotionally drained.

I don't know what it is with our local Wal-Mart, but ever since they have replaced their floors a month or so ago, shopping there has been an adventure.

Anytime I touch a shelf or open a door I get shocked horribly. Not just a little static shock, but a full blown, make me shriek, shock that burns it's way from my fingertips all the way up my arm and into my chest. It hurts so bad!

I thought I might be unconsciously dragging my feet, but even after risking looking like a total weirdo and doing something of a prance through the store, I still got shocked.

 I give up. I'm not touching anything any longer.

Thankfully LV is willing to get everything we need from the shelves and into the cart for me. Somehow he doesn't have any trouble with getting shocked. I'm assuming that must mean I'm doing something wrong, and I haven't figured out yet what that might be.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the will you welcome the season? I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now so permission granted. House Beautiful recently listed ten ways to make your home smell like fall (you can read the list here) What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home?

The leaves here have already started changing a while ago. I go by them, more than I go by a calendar regarding the arrival of fall.

I love, love the air during fall. To get my house smelling that way is quite simple, really. All I need to do is open all the windows and let it inside.

2. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Apple cake or pumpkin bread? Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte?

Apple everything. I do like some pumpkin things. Cookies and certain kinds of pumpkin pie. Definitely not the run of the mill heavy, orange, pumpkin-y pumpkin pie though. Ugh. And I certainly won't be trying pumpkin spiced drinks of any kind. I like apple cider, but I want mine nice and cold.
3. Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump? What helps ward it off before it hits and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once it's here?

I don't have a problem with the afternoon slumps like I used to. Since I no longer crave sugar, I have found those slumps don't happen any longer. I'm really happy about that!

4. Ladies-how have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person? For the men here today- how have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person?

I have been blessed in the friend department. I find it encouraging to have women in my life who also have God and family as their most important focus in life.

5. Are you a people pleaser? If you said yes, do you think that's a good or bad thing? If you said no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser? 

I'm a recovering people pleaser. It used to be very hard for me to say "no" to people, but I'm learning.

Life is so much better when you don't worry about what others think, as long as you're doing what is best for you and your family.
6. The seasons are a-changin'...share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal change, it could be change of any kind).

7. What do you wish would never change? 

I have so enjoyed being a mother. Having all our children here with me is something I wish would never change. At the same time I don't. I want them to be able to go out on their own and lead Godly, productive lives.

I guess since I can't freeze time to keep them with me. I really hope that we will always be close. And not let anything damage our relationships with each other.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

With cooler days of fall upon us, I'm getting that yearly fall housecleaning urge. I started .. gently ... yesterday, instead of diving in headfirst like I have done in the past.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Picture my Week

We had a very full week, but somehow that didn't translate into a lot of pictures. I was actually surprised when I discovered how few I took.

Somehow even amidst the overly packed days we had we always managed to make time to cook a decent meal every evening. We enjoy the family time spent around the table with good food and even better fellowship. This week's menu included one of our all time favorite meals.

While we lived in Missouri we used to visit this little Mexican restaurant that we really loved. We haven't found anything like it where we live now, so I set to recreating what used to be my favorite meal there. Chicken enchiladas in a white queso sauce, fried rice, and salad with slightly chunky guacamole.

Another evening I had made Chicken n Dumplings. After I had rolled out the dough for the dumplings, Buddy enjoyed driving one of his little cars through the left over flour.
Rosebud has been bitten by the fall baking bug, and we've been enjoying sampling all her new creations.
These apple cider cupcakes were fabulous!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's changed in your life, home, or community since your last birthday?

Nothing huge or stand out. It's more a collection of smaller things. We've learned how to do some new things, progress has been made on a major project we have in the works. I've been sitting in Sailor's seat in our mini van on the way to church while he drives. I've been enjoying teaching Buddy. He's like a sponge trying to soak up everything he can.
2. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like/listen to classical music? If so what's a favorite piece and/or who is a favorite composer? 

Classical music and I don't mix well. Rosebud enjoys it but listens to it mostly on her own. We've finally come across something we can both enjoy. Instrumental music by Brunuhville and Adrian von Zeigler.
3. Besides The Bible, what's a book that has positively changed your life, relationships, career, or perspective? How so? 

Both The Hidden Rainbow and The Hiding Place made an impact on my life. It's inspiring hearing how those facing hard times were still able to serve God in a big way.
4. I read (here) these ten hobbies will make you a musical instrument, read voraciously, meditate regularly, work out your brain (puzzles, sudoku, board games, etc), exercise often, learn a new language, write your feelings down (blog, journal, just write), travel to new places, cook different kinds of meals, participate in sports actively

Are any on this list your current hobbies? Which hobby on the list would you be most inclined to try? 

I love reading, though I don't have time to read as much as I'd like to. Puzzles and games are a regular part of my life. Blogging, journaling, and writing .... some form of writing happens every single day. We cook new and different kinds of meals on a regular basis.

I would love to learn how to play a musical instrument someday.
5. What sports traditions does your family have? 

Though we do enjoy baseball, it doesn't rank very high on our list of important things. Especially this year since we've been too busy to pay a lot of attention to sports related things.
6. In a few words, weigh in on the current football/National Anthem brouhaha. Keep it family friendly please. 

I haven't seen any football/National Anthem goings on .... as such I don't think I'm qualified to weigh in on the matter.
7. Where do you have loads of patience, and where do you most lack patience? 

When it comes to preparing pretty food, I have the patience required to concentrate on it. I'm finding I have a lot of patience with loved ones as well.

Where I lack patience the most is when I'm subjected to bad driving from people in other vehicles.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

I don't usually jump on the bandwagon when it comes to seasonal foods, but we've been enjoying pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They're ridiculously delicious.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Crunchy Banana

On our way to church we met an Amish horse and buggy heading for their church services. It was a two seated buggy. The parents on the front seat, a little child sitting on the mother's lap, and an assortment of bonnets and hats visible from the back seat where a number of younger children were packed in.

There was no indication that they recognized us, but immediately my mind took me traipsing down memory lane. The woman was the older sister of my best friend.

Occasionally when my parents would travel out of state, she would come stay with us while they were gone. Making sure we got off to school on time, taking care of any customers that showed up, and helping get the chores done.

One cold October, my parents left to attend a wedding in Michigan, and Mary came to stay with us again. We were in the midst of our first bout of having the cold of the season. Coughing in the middle of the night so bad that it made that Mary couldn't sleep well. The next night she gave us all a choice, apples or bananas, we could take our pick. She instructed us to not eat the entire thing at one time, but only take a bite when ever a coughing spree started to help get rid of it.

I chose an apple, and she decided to take a banana for herself since she was starting the cold as well.

The night passed, I only needed a few bites of the apple, which amazingly worked quite well in ending coughing fits.

Later that night I woke up to a light and weird noises. Mary had taken another bite of her banana, and after it crunched weirdly she discovered she had half way eaten a large bug. Somehow in my sleep addled mind I found it to be hysterical, and laughed so hard I fell out of bed, which in turn made her laugh, which made both of us go on the worst coughing fit of the night.

I smiled as the memory replayed itself, and wondered if she even remembers it. Life has brought so many changes, and though we no longer get to enjoy each other's company I really treasure all those memories, crunchy bananas included.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Picture my Week

Rosebud loves crocheting. She has made quite the assortment of things already. Not quite halfway into this afghan she decided it is much, much too wide and wants to undo it and start over. Only problem was she didn't like thinking of undoing all her carefully woven in yarn ends, so it was folded up and ignored for months .... until a friend came over.
We sat down and began unraveling. It took a while to undo those woven in ends, because she had done a really good job at doing them. But we finally got it, and now the afghan looks like this.

My Sunday morning bedheads .... melt my heart!

When a neighbor called to see if Sailor would like to help make hay one afternoon, he was happy to jump at the chance.

Buddy loves helping with everything. So when I made a batch of vinegar fries, he pulled a chair up next to me in order to pat them dry before I fry them.
Rosebud spent a few hours on our top porch with her crocheting. When she was finished she came downstairs modeling her latest creation. (I don't know where she gets her patience.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  Are there any men or women in blue on your family tree?

No, there are no men or women in blue in my family tree. Instead .... coming from the Amish .... I have quite a few bishops and leaders in my family tree. Let's just say having someone with a title like that stop in uninvited puts a "quiver in your liver" just as much, if not more than any flashing lights ever will.

2. Are you someone who suffers from the Sunday night blues? What helps you get over it?

I don't have trouble with the Sunday night blues. While I thoroughly enjoy weekends, I am also always eager and ready for Monday morning to get here.
3. I read the color blue is an appetite suppressant since there are very few naturally blue foods out there. How do you feel about blue cheese? Love it or blech? If you're a fan, what's something you like that's made with blue cheese?

I enjoy blue cheese, in moderation. Mostly on salads, or in dips, or a delightful bruschetta.

4. We can't head in to the Labor Day weekend without a related question, can we? Complete this thought: I work best when____________________. 

I'm motivated.

5. 'Everything yields to diligence.' Antiphanes Your thoughts? (on this particular quote or on diligence in general)

Everything? I'm not sure I would say it's true for everything. Diligence is a good trait to have though, and most good things you do have, come from being diligent.

6. The National Park Service turned 100 years old on August 25th. Have you been to many of America's National Parks? If so share with us a favorite or two. Which National Park would you most like to visit before the next birthday rolls around?

I have been to a few National Parks. My favorite would probably be Bandelier National Park in New Mexico. I have a dream of being able to visit every National Park in the continental U.S.A. someday.

7.  Bid farewell to August in seven words or less.

Too hot, happy to see you go.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I've been looking at a lot of the pictures I've taken over the past how ever many years, and would really like to get a lot of them printed.

What place would you recommend I check into for printing hundreds, if not thousands of pictures that won't require discovering a gold mine to pay for them?