Showing posts from 2012

What to do with Christmas Cards

On January 1 st we place our Christmas cards in a basket, and each morning after our Bible reading, our  child randomly chooses one card and we pray for that person or family.  Eloise Wilkin, illustrator If it is from a coworker we pray for him and all the coworkers by name.   We also put in index cards for elderly people we know that were not able to send out cards.      If a card was from a child, we pray for his family, as well as other families we play with at the park, wherever we know that person from. Then, as we finish, if it is a photo card, we place it in our Christmas album.    If it is a card with a signature (not typed), we cut it out and their message, if any, and glue that into our album.   We usually don’t keep the whole card, just the message, and sometimes part of the card’s picture if really cute or biblical. The result is an album that shows our family and friends’ children growing from year to year, and a scrapbook of actual signatures and

A Counterfeit Home

Read this slowly and imagine the words about Home :  “At night across the mountains when darkness falls and the winds sweep down out of the hollows, the wild things with their shiny eyes come to the edge of the clearing.  At such an hour the house seems safe and warm, an island of light and love in a sea of darkness…   …the vision of a mother’s face, a father’s deep voice, the aroma of fresh baked bread, sunshine in a window, the muted sounds of rain on a roof…the cry of a newborn babe, and voices calling ‘goodnight.’  Home, an island, a refuge, a haven of love.” This excerpt of Home was John Boy’s epilogue of Season 1, Episode 15, “The Actress,” from The Waltons .  I don’t recall the episode, but I replayed the DVD until I had these words on paper.  They evoke such peace!  I used to watch a lot of old t.v. shows searching for that feeling of peace.  I believe that many of the “old” shows are so beloved as we age (even when we didn’t watch them as kids) because they present an

The Bird in the Tree

Carol Joy Seid said that one of her favorite authors was Elizabeth Goudge .  I had never heard of her so I requested The Bird in the Tree from my library.  I was impressed and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.  (Update - the two sequels are even better than this one!)  Should she leave her children and a husband she never loved for her "true love" now that she had found him?  Now this may seem like a novel you wouldn't want to read, but I couldn't put it down, and I don't normally read fiction!  I read for days.  The "question" is just one part of several well-written and riveting plots. The book is definitely not "fluff" or "twaddle"!  It is so well written (as is her book The Scent of Water) that it reminds me of Jane Austen, in that nothing really dramatic happens in the books, but you can't put them down, you just turn page after page, and there is a depth there that is lacking in most books published

Creating a Beautiful Home

I am giving away my own copy of "Creating a Beautiful Home" by Alexandra Stoddard because it worked for me. (Contest is over now) I read this book about two years ago and as I went through the chapters I kept a list of potential changes I would like to make.  Each chapter discusses a room and has a list of ideas for your own home. I love to read books like these, but rarely do they have suggestions that might really work for me. I know this book did, because when I picked up the book last month and looked over my list, I discovered that I had implemented almost all of the (practical) changes!  I had forgotten that I even had the list.  Writing things down truly is powerful. This is when I knew that I had to give this book away to bless someone else. If you are a subscriber and would like a chance to win this book on November 10, 2012, please leave me a comment and I'll put your name in the hat.


Once I left work to stay home with my baby, none of my clothes fit.  No more cute suits.  No sleep, therefore no many know what I mean. But a few years ago I met a beautiful woman at my new homeschooling group.  She has a positive attitude, gracious spirit, and an obvious love of her darling husband (DH), but she also dressed cute and stylish.  I, was trying to cover up, spend no money on myself (now living on one income), and dress modestly.  With Christmas money I went to a fairly expensive chain store.  My money didn't go far but I matched and felt good - navy pants, top & lace overshirt.  I asked my DH how he liked it and he replied, "Nice, but not very sexy." SEXY?  I'm not trying to be sexy!  I'm going about in the world trying to dress nice and modestly! But then it hit me - I had lost my ideal - to be sexy for my darling husband.  My beautiful friend was wearing clothes that pleased her husband.  She dressed for him.  Let

11 Products That Help Me Keep My House Clean

picture of Audrey Hepburn  from 1)  Goo Gone .   I lived with an old, sticky mark from masking tape on a wood door for 9 YEARS.  It was there when I moved in. I had tried cleaners and a razor blade but to no avail.  One day my darling child stepped in gum on our front walk.  I got out the "goo-be-gone" (as I called it) and quickly cleaned up his shoe and the sidewalk within minutes.  Then I looked at that sticky mark on the door at zapped it with GOO GONE and it disappeared in seconds.  Nine years and it required a 30-second fix.  Also works GREAT on removing stickers from items.  Highly recommend you keep some in your cabinet! 2) Shark's PURPLE floor sweeper.   I use this several times a week to vacuum my entire house within 30 minutes.  This is for hardwood and vinyl floors - NOT for carpets.  I do use it on area rugs and kitchen rugs, but it would not clean a carpeted house.  I think it holds a 45 minute charge and has a nifty release button for

Home Comforts

Image   A Prayer for a Little Home God, send us a little home  to come back to when we roam. Wooden floors and fluted tiles, wide windows, a view for miles. Red firelight and deep chairs, small white beds upstairs. Great talk in little nooks, soft colors, rows of books. One picture on each wall, not so many things at all. God, send us a little ground, tall trees stand ’round. Homely flowers in fertile sod, overhead, thy stars, O God. God bless thee when winds blow, Our home and all we know.     ~ Florence Bone I moved into a cluttered home (and brought lots with me) which I wrote about here: .   I’ve been moving the clutter out for 9 years now.   Now the layer that is being removed is the baby-stage equipment, toys and clothes.   But I still need encouragement and know-how, and Cheryl Mendelson has helped me run my home better. Inspiring Quotes from Hom

Our Child...Our Bed?

In my view, we have done a radical thing.   We have moved our child’s bed into our bedroom. photo credit Many women are screeching right now.   But we are getting a fantastic night’s sleep!   Deep sleep.   Contented sleep.   No waking up in the middle of the night sleep.   No little footsteps padding into our bedroom and snuggling into bed with us. It all started with a nightmare, that our boy still tells in great detail.   Or did it start with the big boy bed?   My sweet husband, when our child first crawled into bed with us at age 3, said, “I don’t get to see him enough during the day.   I want to snuggle him.”   I told him he’d regret it.   He swears he didn’t regret it, but he was getting tired of being whacked in the face with a stray arm, and kicked in the side to warm little toes.   He would joke that he was going to put his bed in our closet so that he could get a good night’s sleep. But that got my mind jumping.   Why not?   Why not give up the tiny sitting

Hurry, Scurry, Fret and Worry

A. Sarnoff You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, training them up in God's fear, minding the house, and making your household a church for God as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of Hosts .  ~Charles Spurgeon   Martha and Mary Martha was busy!  Mary was, too. Jesus might visit before they were through! “Swish, swish, sweep” went Martha’s broom. As Martha went to work, her face showed gloom. “Flap, flap, Flip” went the rugs Mary shook. As Mary went to work with a cheerful look. Soon Jesus came in the big front door. Mary was quiet, while Martha worked more. Hurry-scurry-fret-and-worry Martha rushed around. Doing helpful things for Jesus, while peaceful Mary just sat down. “Get up, Mary! Help me!” the frowning Martha said. “If you don’t work and help me, we won’t get Jesus fed.” Jesus looked at Martha with eyes that seemed quite sad. “Martha, sit with Mary if you w


Monday Morning by Sarnoff How will you spend your year? It took me about 40 minutes to really think how I was going to fit everything I say I want to do into one week.  I finally came up with: 11:00 – 8:00 SLEEP.  Yes, we need 9 hours.  8:00 – Get ready – this includes breakfast, exercise, and dressing/hair/make-up/jewelry.  9:00 – I determined that right now, I can only homeschool 3 days a week in order to keep on top of everything.  By this I mean h.s. that is structured, with my reading lessons to him and supervising every letter my kindergartner is writing.  The other days still have books on tape, Classical Conversations songs, reading before bed, reading to self, and practicing writing.  But I need the other 2 days to go grocery shopping, run errands, make meals, declutter, do chores, and do laundry.  Or to go to the park before lunch, when it is uncrowded and the sunshine makes the whole world look beautiful.  Monday will still be my grocery day – but mainl