Monday, April 29, 2013

Log Home tour part 5: The Spare Oom

Welcome to the Providence Lodge Home Tour!

This is our 5th room featured here.
 If you have been traveling through the tour with us,
 we are now on the 2nd floor of the lodge.
  Right at the top of the stairs and to the left, we come to our extra bedroom.

Being great C.S Lewis fans,
 we have a "Spare Oom", 
and we dearly love to have company in it.

 The Spare Oom was formerly John's room,
 but he moved out onto his own and will be getting married soon, 
so I recently took it over.
To out fit our Spare Oom, we stole the bed from Anna's former room, 
moved grandpa's ugly brown cupboard from the third floor,
 and gathered a few other pieces of furniture here and there around the house 
to give it what I thought a spare oom should have. 

The room is 18x14, planned extra large initially for John and all his gear,
 and with thoughts of future guests,
 which often times come with pack n play's for their little ones,
and need for quiet study time.

I wanted this space to be comfortable for either gender,
 so I kept this in mind while decorating and choosing colors.
My mom really likes the blue-green of the bedspread and curtains,
 and since she is our most frequent guest, the color scheme is fitting here.
 It is a very relaxing color, and different from any of the other rooms in the lodge.

Here is a closer look:
Quilts again, 
this time on top of Grandpa's cabinet and ready to add to the bed on a cold night.
Grandpa's cabinet offers lots of character (did you notice the unmatched doors and hinges?). 
 It serves as storage for  all our gift wrapping supplies, as well as a few sewing notions.

The blanket chest houses dress up gear for the boys 
and provides a surface to plop a visitor's suitcase. 

  The chest also makes a great play surface for the children's intricate villages and forts,
 which is mostly what the Spare Oom is used for, 
offering a place to get a good play scenario set up and leave for days on end.
The boys are able to close the door or put up a baby gate 
so that Olivia cannot destroy their meticulous array of cowboys and Indians (dinosaurs included, lol)
 or military forces.  
She just doesn't share the same philosophy of war play as the boys.

Our Spare Oom will soon be pleasantly occupied again...
the children are counting the days until our next "guest" arrives--
their sister Anna coming to visit for a few weeks!!

"Hospitality is not defined by a large house, 
fine food, or fancy china. 
 It is defined by the welcoming of the heart, 
the opening of the home, 
and the extending of love to every guest."

 "Lord, may each person who enters our home 
be greeted with a smile, 
welcomed with delight, 
treated with honor,
 served with humility,
 and cared for in the same way 
that we would treat You if You were our guest."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

On our woodsy Homestead: Goats and Spinach

I have come to think of our home as more than the lodge..
it is becoming a homestead.

  As we begin raising our own food and acquire livestock, 
the property takes on a more substantial role.
  We are becoming more sustainable, which has been our objective for many years,
 but slow in happening. 
 This year, though, we are bounding forward.

First, our three does have produced a healthy little flock of cuteness
 and are giving us good tasting milk morning and evening. 
 I am so thankful that there were no problems with the births.  
We now have 6 kids, 5 girls and one boy.
One is a "wimpy kid" that has needed bottle feedings and baby jammies to keep warm and thriving.
Jim named her "Aravas," and has taken over feeding her.  
It is warm enough now for her natural coat, 
but she was pretty cute in the lavender fleece jammies she spent the first three days in. 


Notice how this baby (Daisy) has a squiggly line down her back.

It is more noticeable here.


Growing our own food has become more important to us, not only for economy,
 but for better quality food that is organic and readily available. 
 Lacking a good garden site, soil, and deer proof fence, 
I am growing our food in our house.
  Brian just put in shelves in the south facing windows the other day.
  I have planted leaf lettuce, spinach, roquette, kale, cherry tomatoes, and sauce tomatoes. 

 These I hope to grow indoors year round, providing a continuous stream of healthy greens,
 which have become a daily staple for us.
I also planted bush beans that I will transfer outside at some point.
Meanwhile, we sprouted some lentils to add to our salads.  
It takes four days to sprout a good bunch, with only minutes each day of your time.

Favorite Spinach Salad
Fresh spinach,
 sun dried tomatoes, 
crumbled feta, 
basic dressing.

Today we are adding lentil sprouts and chopped cooked chicken.

Basic Dressing
1 tsp Dijon style mustard
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp wine or balsamic vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp stevia
 stir well and use immediately.

To this I often add a few cloves of chopped garlic sauteed in butter.
Any herb you want could be added.
Store in frig.

Happy Homesteading!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Log Home Tour part 4: The Living Room

Sanctuary:  a place offering protection and safety.  A shelter, a place of comfort in times of trouble.  As in plants and animals:  "An area (habitat) set aside for the preservation and care of it's inhabitants to maintain functioning natural systems; to act as refuges, protected areas...often the only hope we have of stopping external threats to the species." -Wikipedia

Welcome to the Providence Lodge Home Tour!

Today I invite you inside to our sanctuary, the Living Room.
To the right of the entry, the Living room takes up the whole north side of the lodge.
The space is 18x28.
Log columns support girders on both the first and second floors.
Here we have a forked top, and yes, the children to climb up and perch in it. 
 I think a bobcat or raccoon mount would be nice...and safer than a child-monkey.

With the couches flanking the fireplace, this is the warmest seating area.
  A perfect place for afternoon tea on a cold or rainy day, visiting, and snuggling.

At the other end of the couches are a few chairs for rocking the small ones, 
and under the stairs, the doll house play area, and the ever popular swing.

And here is a closer look.

log cabin interiors

Under the round tale is a littles hide out complete with rug, pillows and various stuffed animal friends.

To the right of the fireplace,
 this cushy window seat is the favorite napping location, 
for family and cats.

To the left of the fireplace,
Grandma's sewing table makes a nice side table ...
and it is filled with tiny treasures just the size for tiny hands to play with.

The Living Room is our refuge from a society
that desires to make our boys effeminate and our girls unfeminine;
a world culture that threatens family health.
 The Living Room is the essential and pivotal point of maintaining a functional,
 God fearing, loyal and loving family life.
How so? You may ask.

Coffee in hand, 
here in is the place we start the day with snuggles and laps full of sleepy heads,
curled up in front of the fire (all but three months of the year).


Here is the room that offers the most comfort...
the best warmth from the fire,
 the big cushy furniture,
 the place where we rock the babies to sleep,
 where the littles (and Grandpa too) take their naps, 
and those who are ill are cared for.

This too is the place the children do a great amount of reading during the school day.
Where the mama listens to a young child read his first words.
 Where the toddler asks for book after book to be read. 
Where children color and play under a watchful eye..or just near a loved one.

  This is the room where we cuddle together at night and read aloud.
Many an evening will find every child absorbed in drawing or coloring while listening to a story.

 This is the place we seek when we find ourselves chilled,
 or wanting company. 
 Here we gather to talk through troubles
and tell of our adventures.

Here is the emotional and physical comfort one finds in a family
The Living Room, 
our sanctuary.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Log Home Tour part 3: The Dining Room

Welcome to the Providence Lodge home tour! 

 I hope you are enjoying a peek into our log home.
So far we have been through the 
and kitchen. 
 Now we go to the Dining Room.

The Dining room is open to the kitchen on the southwest side of the house.  
The space is 12x18.

Here is a closer look:

This old farm table was our first dining table, waaay back when we first married. 
 Later, I paired it with a bookcase and painted the two of them to match.  
These are the surfaces that I randomly putter about and rearrange.
  Just now our dishes and multiple gifts from loved ones mix together on the open shelves.
Up on top, a stack of baby and lap quilts. 
 I have a growing collection of quilts, which are piled up here and there all through out the lodge.

 We use a lot of baskets to keep our clutter semi organized. 
This big basket underneath the farm table houses chunky puzzles
 and play dough equipment (such as mini cookie cutters and pie presses) for the littles.
I also keep the book we are currently reading at lunch time here, right at hand to where I sit at table.
I like having the dishes at a height
 where the smaller children can get a hold of them safely and help set the table.   

The other piece of furniture in the dining room is an old buffet from North Carolina 
that was my great grandmother's.  
Years ago we bought a dish hutch and stained it to match granny's buffet.  
Today it holds the white serving pieces we use everyday.
  I get asked all the time, so I will just say it here,
 the dishes with the verses often pictured on our blog 
have been found different times at Ross dress for Less.

The buffet is near Brian's end of the table, 
 so the books he uses at meals for family discipleship are perched here, right at hand for him.

...And, yes, I do use antlers in all of my decorating.

When Brian and I designed the lodge, we kept in mind our desire to be hospitable,
  and one thing that never changed in the 47 floor plan alterations (smile) was the open ended dining room, which extends into the end of the living room,
 giving us the full length of the lodge to fit together table after table
 so that we can enjoy big long sit down meal with a house full of company.

On this occasion, we had 19.
When we do this, we bring the table in from the porch and butt it right up to our dining table.
The porch table was purposefully bought because it is the same width and height as our dining table. 

 I believe we have managed 24 for a Thanksgiving, but it was pretty tight and cozy,
 here we had 16 and it is a bit roomier.

You can see we actually have room for yet another table to extend into the living room. 
 Hmm, perhaps I should add that to my "honey do" list.  :-)

The Dining room is really the soul of our home

 It is here that we gather each day to pray, sing, read the scriptures.
  It is here we do a large portion of educating and  discpling the children. 
 It is here we lift our voices in praise of the goodness of our Lord, vocalizing our thanksgiving.  
It is here we nourish the belly and the soul of not just our own family,
 but our guests as well.

At table,
 there is teaching, admonishment, laughter, sharing of our day, the memorizing of scripture,
 learning of far away places and people, practice of manners and respect, 
and of course, FOOD!

The kitchen, I said, is the Hub of our home.
The Dining Room is the Soul of our home.
Next time.....
the Sanctuary of our home.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Log Home Tour part 2: Kitchen

Welcome to the Providence Lodge home tour!

  We began our tour with the porch and entry,
 and now we are headed to the kitchen, 
the hub of activity here in our neck of the woods.

The kitchen is 12 x 24, with the main work area being 12x12.  
The whole kitchen is a conglomeration of salvage materials.
  The cabinets came from a remodel  
the commercial wolf stove from Craig's List,
 the sink and faucet from Habitat for Humanity,
 the light from Goodwill,
 the frig from a scratch and dent warehouse 
 and the island is a fabrication of mix and match that a wise friend assembled for us.
  The crowing glory,
 I think, is the Home Comfort wood cook stove given to us by some friends.
  I just had it fired up yesterday, 
with the coooooold morning temperature to warm the house and make our breakfast porridge. 

Walking from the entry and going left, 
you come into the kitchen this way. 
The wood cook stove is on the far side of the island, facing the dining area.

Here is a closer look.

The island itself is nearly 4 feet wide and over 5 feet long.
  The primary purpose of this , with its stainless steel top, is for the processing of meat, mostly deer, 
which makes up the majority of our meat diet.
On the sink side of the island is the baking area. 
 Cookbooks are at hand right on island top, 
and I keep a wire basket with the tools I most often;
 rolling pins, glass measure, grater, and measuring spoons.
  I find this most handy.

Hand crochet dish clothes are stored at eye level next to the sink. 
 The sight of a pile of them makes me smile simply because I adore most anything hand made

The other side of the island next to the stove stores serving dishes and mixing bowls.  
With this large of a kitchen, I do find myself walking about it a fair bit, 
instead of the usual efficient work triangle,
 but I don't mind, I like the big work space that allows several of us to be hands on simultaneously.

The dinner bell hangs on a column near the entry and close to the door.
  I am always using it out on the porch to call the children in for supper.

At the end of the kitchen nearest the door
 is the breakfast nook that now houses the desk and small table.  
This area is great for overflow  when we have company for dinner,
 games, school work or other projects as to not crowd the dinner table,
 such as sewing, crafts, and big research projects.
This too is the area that has had the most alterations over the three years,
 but I think we've got it figured out now.

The decor in the lodge, if you can call it that,
 is mostly a collection of natural materials;
 antlers, plants, birds nests, pine cones, animals skins,
and one of my favorite pieces  here in this kitchen area,
a large wasp nest.  
Very romantic.
  If you have seen the BBC movie Wives and Daughters, you know just what I mean.

The only non wood heat in the house,
this little gas stove from Lowes is a life saver when we are gone from home or
when the weather gets nasty cold and we need the extra heat.

I also found these curved iron plant hangers at Lowes for only a few dollars.
I am steadily increasing my indoor plants, so needed some of these.

Here a few last pics of work in the kitchen.

Love the 6 burners for canning season!

The large island provides plenty of room for two projects at once.

Although the oven is not full, you can still see that several loaves are baking at once.
  I believe we have had 13 pies in the oven at one time.
 I also like the gas heat.  The oven has a pilot light, which is just ideal for drying herbs and fine vegetables, such as chopped green peppers or onions, overnight.
 We have learned to leave a note on the stove top that we are drying inside,
 lest someone come along and preheat the oven for cooking without looking inside.  (chuckle)
 This has happened more than once.

Lastly, some cute little eager helpers. 
 I keep several tiny aprons and  old stools around 
so that the littles can easily participate in all the fun 
and activity that is constantly going on in the kitchen.

Between our little growing homestead here in the woods
and the fact that I dearly love feeding people,
you can see why I said that the kitchen is the hub of activity.

Join me next time as we continue the tour
and see just how many people we can squeeze in around the table in
the Dining room

Living Counter Cultural: Femininity

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