Friday, January 31, 2014

Home Again!

After two weeks of quiet rest visiting our daughter in New Mexico, 
it was time to make the long trip home.
The children fairly tackled me in the airport, and I loved every minute of it.
Although I cried more than a little leaving Anna,
 I am glad to be back home in our log home 
with my wonderful husband and the sweetest children ever.
They (Brian and Rose) managed the house, school, and the children very well without me.  
All was in order when I walked through the door.  What a blessing!

It as been snowing steadily since I came home.  
10 inches of new snow graces the ground and leaves us happily snowed in.  
A little mishap with the Beast (our snowplow) has left us unable to get the road open.  
Oh well, we are quite content.  
At the moment, I am surrounded by the children, 
who are cutting up cardboard boxes to make castles, cars, and some unidentified objects. 
 Rose just made some fabulous pizza in the wood cook stove.  
The kettle is singing merrily on the stove, 
the dog is laying on my feet,
all is well.  
I loved being with Anna, but at the same time, 
I  agree with Jane Austin- 


--Especially in a snow storm.

From our warm and snuggly home to you,
Grace Be upon You!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Creating a Wholesome Wardrobe


What does a homeschooling mama do on vacation? 
 That which refreshes and inspires,
 provides rest and relaxation, 
the things she rarely gets to do at home.

I rarely get quality time with my daughter, Anna, who is married and lives 1500 miles away. 
 That is mostly what I am doing.  
I did, however, bring a whole suitcase of sewing along with me on my vacation.  
It is a need at the moment,
to dress the rapidly growing 7 yr old young lady at our house. 
  I really enjoy sewing, 
and it is something I usually do not take the time to do at home.
Bethany is growing tall and slim. 
 So slim that nothing that is long enough for her stays on her!

While here in New Mexico with Anna, I bought this book:

...Which has over 20 patterns in it,
 including  patterns for a peasant blouse, capri pants, and summer pjs. 
These were all items on my list, so this proved a very cost effective way to go about it. 
I bought the book at Hobby Lobby
with a coupon, of course.

So far, I have finished two blouses and one skirt, 
with another skirt just awaiting some trim detail.  
A third skirt is cut out and next on my list.  
The patterns are simple and take less than 2 hours per garment to complete. 
 I am so pleased with the results 
that I hope to continue to round out her new wardrobe when I get back to Idaho.

People often ask me where we (girls) find our clothing. 
 We rarely buy clothing at Walmart. 
We do look over the clearance racks in the nicer stores.  
Fred Meyer, JC Penny, L.L. Bean, Land's End are a few favorites.
I like to think of shopping as I do hunting:  
It is exciting to think what might be out there.  
Searching for it usually takes time and skill, 
but often times, the Lord just blesses, 
and we come home with bags in hand, the evidence of a great and successful hunt.

When we cannot find what our wardrobe is needing,
 we get out the sewing machine and fashion custom articles that suit our tastes.
I find both shopping and sewing enjoyable, 
plus, seeing my girls in the feminine dress we prefer 
is well worth my efforts. 

Anna lives so close to good shopping that we have been out and about several times. 
 We both found plenty of modest, feminine articles at Rue 21 in the mall.

 Rue 21 had long floral skirts, 
solid maxi skirts, 
and this lovely long romantic skirt that I quite liked.

Anna, Rose and I often find pretty blouses and great deals at this store.
Although we love to thrift shop, 
surprisingly, the mall can be a great place to find nice pieces for creating a wholesome wardrobe. 
We both liked several items at Maurices, 
one very nice long black skirt on clearance nearly came home with me.

Also,we have found Pinterest very helpful for gaining ideas
as well as helping each of us to create an individual style
which will then help us to put together a cohesive wardrobe.

This is how I plan-
For Bethany, I would like to make three basic skirts like this:

Paris Skirt - nothingtoofancy blog

 -in Navy, Brown and Gray.
Paired with the same colors of shoes and tights,
this will form her wardrobe basics this year.
I will be shopping for lightweight cardigans of the same to extend through spring and fall.
I am sewing up several cotton blouses in a variety of colors: pale pink,
purple(her favorite) white, cream, red, light green, and peach.

Added to these will be four multi-colored skirts 
and 3 capri pants: one tan and two light denim.
To finish it all off, traditional hair bows, one of each basic color-  navy, black, red, and white and pink.
Underthings need to be thought of, several pair of bloomers,

white boxers + lace trimming= perfect to go under dresses/skirts!

as well as two sets of light weight PJ's and a nightgown.
(nightgown will be peasant blouse plus length).

Here is the Pinterest look I desire to create for Bethany:

gray layers -link doesn't work

Are we having fun yet?
Most definitely! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Finding Rest and Beauty At Anna's

Here I am in New Mexico at my daughter's house.

Thus far, vacation has been super easy to take to.
We went to bed early, we got up late.  
We sat on the sofa sipping coffee in our jammies, then leisurely enjoyed a lovely breakfast fritata.  

My room has chocolates, roses, lots of pillows to keep me company at night, 
a humidifier, magazines, and a super cozy afghan that Anna made for me. 
 Anna knows how to spoil a guest!

Scott and Anna have a beautiful home.
Soooo romantic!

Note the airplane pillow Anna made for Scott.  All the little details in the living room point to the military life, which is blended nicely with Anna's soft and gentle style.

Love this platter that was a wedding gift from some of Scott's family.

  Anna has made lots of cute pillows that give her home a sweet appeal and comfy-ness.

She has taken great delight in making a home that is warm and welcoming to their many friends, 
whom they have over often. 
Today we shall have a visit with some children whom Anna has grown very fond of, 
and I will get a kid-fix.

I am still working at getting her very shy dog, Zoey, to take to me.
Zoey did come near to me today and sit for a moment just out of reach and look pitiful at me. 
 But, when I spoke to her it scared her to death and she retreated to her special hide-away.
I am gaining on her, however, and am confident to make a friend of her while here. 
 Just a moment ago, she looked at me and wagged her tail, so we are making progress.

Snap chat, email and a phone call a day is keeping me up to speed with how things are going back in Idaho.
Brian is chugging along through school with very little trouble.  
The children are sleeping well and having fun with daddy at home.

It is a beautiful sunny day here.
Anna and I are still chatting away, sipping tea, making plans for the week ahead, 
and looking forward to seeing all of Anna's life here.

Blessings to you this day!
All the way from New Mexico,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mama Goes on Vacation

The airlines tickets were made, by my thoughtful husband months ago, 
and the time has come, now, 
to go on the long vacation to see our daughter in New Mexico.

Mama leaving home for two weeks has created some anxiety, 
to be honest, mostly in me, the mama. 
 How will I sleep without being smooshed in between Olivia and daddy??? 
 Who will I snuggle with? 
Will I be terribly homesick without my sweet children and loving husband? 

I wasn't worried about the children, you see.  I know my dear sweet husband is very capable 
of managing the household and caring for the family. 
 He is even planning on carrying on with the school work, 
and I have no doubt he will do it well.  

But, what am I , a homeschooling mama with 7 children still at home,
going to do with myself for two whole weeks????  
Can even I jabber on that long???  
(My friends say no doubt!)
Silly though it may sound, those have been my worries.

But, instead of worrying, I threw myself headlong into packing and preparing to leave.
There is lots of organizing to take place in order to feel like I am leaving the house in good order.  
Chore chart to be made,

a menu to be planned and posted. 
A schooling schedule to be made out and details of each students progress noted, 
groceries taken care of, 
daily instructions for Rose, the cook, to be written out, etc. 

Then there was packing to be done, and a home to leave clean and organized...
more organized than I usually keep it, 
so that things would be easier for Brian while I am gone.
I love planning and organizing, so this was great fun.

 After a full week of planning and packing, we got up at 3 am and drove to the airport.  
After a quick goodbye (better on my nerves) 
this mama was loading on the plane and zooming across the sky, on her way to see Anna! 

 Anna's husband is in the military and will serve over seas for at least four months this year. 
 It is during his time away that I most desired to be with Anna, 
to help her pass the time and be a little less lonely, so the vacation is 2 fold. 
 Mama gets to rest and Anna gets company.

For the next two weeks I will be posting from New Mexico
about what a homeschooling mama does on vacation.
Until then,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


We have celebrated epiphany for many years, not every year, but most, as circumstances allowed.
  It is always a joy and delight. 
 Epiphany is the culmination of the 12 days of Christmas, 
long ago established by the persecuted church, ending in a feast on the 12th day, January 6th.

This year, we feasted well on prime rib graciously given to us by a friend, 
served with Duchess Potatoes,
 sauteed green beans, 
and ending with blackberry pie and whipped cream., served with coffee and tea, of course.

Rose, Brian and I worked all afternoon getting the table just right and preparing the food.
The meal would be served in courses, 
with 4 days of Christmas unfolding between each course.


Guests arrived just as the prime rib reached temperature, 
and we all sat down together for a sumptuous meal, good fellowship, and lots of laughter.  
To see and hear some of the fun, try this link, 
where we sing merrily, if a tad bit off key:

 Since Christmas, we have been teaching the children about the hidden message 
behind the 12 days of Christmas.  
And although we have a great deal of fun here, 
the real reason we adore this tradition is the intention of  serious, reflective days following the holidays, 
to really take Advent all in, but also gradually lets one go from all the festivities of Christmas 
to the slower pace of January. 
 I find it absolutely perfect.
For more serious thoughts on epiphany, this article sums it all up very nicely:
(thanks Will D!)
                                                              The Irony of the Epiphany

 from in front of the fire on this snowy day,

Monday, January 6, 2014

Nesting, Resting and Cocooning

I thought I would get some favorite holiday photos posted, 
but hat didn't happen.
I also thought about telling ya all about our wonderful hand knit socks 
given to us by a remarkable lady named Betsy, 
but we'll have to wait for that too. 
You see, we have been abnormally unbusy
and enjoying every minute of it.

Here is a favorite spot  of mine, redressed for winter, 
to cocoon away with a pile of books, 
which is just what I have been up to this week:

And here a re just a few peeks at us being unbusy.

Such a wonderful week of resting and nesting after a full holiday season!

Wishing you some of that same glorious quiet, 
a mug of tea or cocoa, 
and a pile of books.


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