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Showing posts from January, 2012

Making Paper Beads

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Rose brought home some beautiful jewlery from Africa last fall. Some of the colorfully beaded necklaces were made from paper. Inspired, she got on Utube and found a how to video so that she could make her own paper beads, just like the ones she saw African women make.   It may have turned into an obsession.  She is certainly motivated.  Rose can now manufacture 40 beads per hour.  Around 80 beads are needed for each necklace.

First, we weeded out some old magazines, and she cut them up into long rectangles,  from 1 cm on the wide end, going all the way down an 8x10 sheet,  to 1 inch on the wide end. The wider the paper, the longer the bead.

Then, she rolls the paper onto a toothpick, starting with the wide end,  and making sure the paper stays centered, and tight.  At the end of the triangle, a little glue is needed to stick the end down.


Rose stabs her toothpicks through a cardboard box while the bead dries.

Once the beads are dried, Rose paints them with a craft varnish.  Clear fingernail …

Wintery Walk

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Every afternoon we can watch the deer crossing the meadow just below the house. This day I counted 17.
With beautiful blue sky overhead, my dear sweet husband insisted I get out for a walk down the freshly plowed driveway.   Ahh it was good.  I do love a walk in the afternoon. 



Refreshed, I am ready to face the rest of the day, the demands of the little ones, the responsibilities of so many tender hearts.  It is easy to feel overwhelmed,  torn in 10 different directions with the needs of those I live with.   But I know in Whom my strength is,  and I know that though my flesh fails, God is the strength of my heart.  I am reminded that for eternity's sake, I must persevere when I feel like giving up.
And too, that if I have a clean house and homemade bread,
but have not love:  kindness and patience and gentleness...
I am not getting anywhere, I am accomplishing nothing.
As I walk through the door,
there they are,
the adorable little ones clamoring for my attention,  all of them at once.  How I ca…

Dinner and a Blizzard

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Large fluffy flakes of snow have turned wet and icy, diminishing our three feet of snow into a heavy compact of white,  still falling yet, on day four, frosting our winter wonderland in beauty,  the kind of beauty one prefers to watch from inside.  We are perfectly happy to spend these days home,  all meetings and goings having been canceled.
Outdoors, a slippery, thick mess, difficult to shovel and plow,  sliding off the roof in thunderous heaps that shake the whole house.
Indoors, we are warm and cozy, and, on a creative streak.
Rose has figured out how to make paper beads, like they do in Africa.  She and Jim spent the better part of the afternoon turning old magazines into beautiful beads  that Rose can fabricate into colorful, long necklaces.



Anna set up a new sewing area near the fireside  and made a much needed new apron. It is so handy to have everything right at hand and organized, that I sewed up two skirts for Bethany, something I have been going to do for months.
There are many lures of coun…

Sharing a Friend

Today I was perusing a friend's blog and thought it is too good to keep to myself, so I simply must share. My friend, Sherry, is a kindred spirit and a most inspiring domesticator.  I encourage you to go over here and have a gander. If you love Jesus,  books,  cooking,  baking,  sewing,  crafting, homeschooling,   or creating a beautiful life for your family, you won't be disappointed.

The Beauty of Snow and The Beast

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Our long awaited snow is here! ... and it appears that winter is making up for the lack of the glorious white stuff these past few months. We have over two feet of new snow in the last 24 hours.  It is not supposed to stop until Thursday.  The children were so excited that I let them go wallow in the snow for a few hours  before beginning school today.  Then, this afternoon, they got to go out and help daddy plow the driveway with "The Beast." The Beast is our old highway snow plow, given to us by friends, that allows daddy to keep our 1/2 mile long driveway manageable every winter.  What a blessing she is!  A little terrifying, but a blessing.
Inside, Olivia stands on a chair watching it all through the window.   She hollers at the children outside in her unintellible dialect. 
Everyone, except maybe the cat, is excited about the beautiful snow.








A Quiet Day

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Today is one of those very rare occassions; it is a nice, quiet day, as opposed to our usual nice and loud, busy day. 
Several family members are out and about this weekend,  leaving me with only 5 children home, 10 yrs and under.   I chuckle at this, because when I first only had 5 children, I was almost always overwhelmed with life, and now, 5 seems so simple and quiet.   It is especially quiet just now since the three youngest  have made nests here and there to snuggle down for a long winter nap.
Olivia, now still as a bug asleep on my lap, has been especially busy today, taking dirt out of our poor abused Amaryllis, strewing an entire package of diaper wipes across the house, finding herself an arms length of toilet paper and taring it into tiny little pieces, and attempting to climb just about everything.   All the time jabbering away in her own little language. Every once in a while an intelligible word escapes.  I question her and her word, she grins and giggles, and goes on with her …

Ministering to the Military

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Imagine 200 cots in a large, florescent lighted tent.  The roar of airplanes landing and taking off just outside, night and day, non-stop. Your work shift is at night, because war is 24/7/365, so you sleep during the day... or try to.
Most of us go through life blind and deaf to the effort and sacrifices our military makes to ensure our safety.  Once made aware of even a bit of it our Christian response should be some thoughtful showing of our appreciation.  Most of us realize that sacrifices are being made, big ones like the giving of a soldiers life for the cause of freedom.  But it's the little sacrifices that rake my heart.  Leaving their home for small, nondescript, bug and rodent infested living quarters, leaving behind their family and friends, their churches, community, and freedom, they serve and protect our freedom and our happy, warm homes.

Perhaps the thought that there is nothing I can do has kept me from reaching out.  But a friend showed me there is something I can…

Celebrating Epiphany

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Epiphany is the celebration of the wise men arriving in Bethlehem, giving gifts to the baby Jesus. This day is traditionally January 6, which is also the last day of the twelve days of Christmas. In honor of this day, we have invited over friends for a regular feast. The joy that Jesus came, the miracle of the star of Bethlehem that led the wise men from afar,  and the fun of catechizing the family with the twelve days of Christmas makes for a most joyous occasion. To me, a great deal of the pleasure is in planning and decorating for the festivities.



The merriment begins when friends arrive.   Children are excited, and thus noisy.   Mouth watering aromas are wafting from the oven. Finally the candles are lit and everyone called to the table, which is heavy laden with food and all sorts of good things, including the best donuts I have ever had.. I am sure the recipe can be found on my good friend and dinner guest,   Enola Gay's blog,  Paratus Familia.

Having eaten too many donu…

A Not So Wintry Winter

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The boys have been working on fortifications up in the woods a few hundred feet from the lodge.  Any given day, warm as they have been, stepping out on the porch, you will hear hammers ringing and hand saws at work.  The little construction crew/warriors must be about done since they have used nearly every spare board on the property.

Reportedly, their work has achieved the three of them  the ability to hold off five young men in a paintball war.



Contrastingly, the ladies may pleasantly amble through the paths of the surrounding acres in relative peace and quiet, only the rustling of dry grasses and an occasional bird song occurring.
  This weather is odd, but we are all enjoying it....although every so often I think a nice howling wind or blizzard would be very romantic.   Ah, well, we will take it as it comes, each day at a time.

Maybe if I put all the snow clothes away in the attic,
 it will snow.

New Vision for a New Year

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The Lord is so faithful and good to answer prayers. This was evidenced early this morning.  I awoke early this morning to the sound of my husband's voice down stairs. He is such a morning person.  Up at 5 am, stoking the fire, making coffee, starting his day.   At 6 am, he reads aloud to the oldest four, who are sitting bleary eyed,  coffee in hand before the roaring fire.   It was Rose's idea, and a very good one.  Brian's desire to disciple his children, combined with early mornings, before the littles are up to interrupt and distract, along with a book highly recommended to us,  Equipped to Love, are making for wonderful mornings the older children look forward to.

When our day does finally get underway, I read to the children from The Gospel Primer, a wonderful gem recently sent our way.  In it, Jerry Bridges is quoted as saying that we need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day.  Brian and I agree, which is why we are using this primer as family liturgy, daily focusing our m…