Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Sweet Dedication

We bring them Lord, in thankful hands,
And yielding them up to Thee;
Joyful that we ourselves are Thine,
Thine let our off-spring be.
--John H. Gower


As I had mentioned before, this past Sunday, my family traveled an hour to attend my sister's church in order to participate in the dedication of baby Eloise to God. Here are photos of my children, dressed and ready to go...


It was a beautiful dedication...family and friends, alike, promising to help train up Eloise in the way she should go...to follow God's leading in her life! Here are Cory, Devon, Eloise (I think Devon's face is so cute in this photo!)...

The beautiful family and their pastor, during the ceremony...

I just love this photo...their pastor holding Eloise! I love his smile in this picture!

I still have pictures of ducks and other happenings from lately...but I need to go. There is much to do today...and if you haven't yet...you simply *must* go HERE and see some very exciting news I shared earlier this morning!!!

Be blessed today!
Warmly,
Katy

"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late."~Marie Beyon Ray

Exciting News!

I am so very, very happy to share this bit of excitement with you! I am the *very* proud aunt of another niece!!! Chris's sister had her third child (and first girl) last night! We are all over-joyed and grateful to God that both mama and baby are doing well! I will probably not have pictures, as she isn't comfortable with photos of her children on the internet...but I still needed to just share this excitement with friends. :) I am definitely looking forward to visiting them, today, and meet the newest member of the family! Babies are such beautiful treasures...another person to love!

A baby is sunshine and moonbeams and more, brightening your world as never before.
~ Author Unknown

And, just a quick note before I go...I ask for prayer, if you think of it, for me. As many of you know, I had the wisdom teeth out on the right side of my mouth. Well, now I am having pain and inflammation on the left side of my mouth around those wisdom teeth. It wasn't a good experience having them removed and I would love for this to heal so I am done with all this pain and don't have to have more teeth removed. Thanks so much!

Joyfully,
Katy :)

"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late."~Marie Beyon Ray

Monday, May 30, 2011

Take a Peek...

While Chris sleeps, won't you walk with me around my mom's ponds and gardens?

Here we go!


There are many tadpoles swimming in the pond below. The children just love them! Normally, there is a waterfall (built by mom) that cascades down the rocks...but mom hasn't had the chance to get the ponds cleaned out and things going, quite yet. Once she does, it is the most beautiful and peaceful sight (and sound) to experience!


I love how talented and creative my mother is! I try to learn from her. I still have far to go, but it's all a process, isn't it... a constant journey of improvement.



Beauty...

Oh, look! Chris is up now! ;)


We traveled, yesterday, to Devon and Cory's church to participate in the dedication of our beautiful niece, Eloise. It was a beautiful day...we arrived early so Chris and I took the children to a river and we watched the ducks! I have many pictures to share, at another time...for they were simply beautiful! Mama ducks with their babies and many male ducks, as well!

When it was about time for church, we went in and sat down. The people were so friendly and kind. It was a beautiful dedication and service. I'm so glad we could be there! (I have pictures of that, too!) After enjoying a potluck lunch, we made the journey back home to rest a bit for the afternoon.

My mom invited us over for a cookout at her and dad's house, in the evening. We gladly accepted (mom's cooking....yum!). We were quite spoiled with Mom's BBQ Chicken, baked potatoes, baked corn, fruit and dip, and devilled eggs. It was delicious! We enjoyed a time of laughter and fellowship with my aunt and cousin, who were visiting and also some other family of ours who live close to mom and dad!

Jaxson...

Xavier...

Madelyn...

So, I do have many wonderful pictures to share...but today has me quite busy. Chris is home, mowing. I have laundry out, beds made, floors swept, and things generally picked up. I need to finish the dishes and fold some laundry. A friend of mine is coming to visit today and I hope to enjoy a wonderful chat with her! It is quite hot today...so I know everyone is looking forward to a dip in the pool later! I am on my desktop computer right now, enjoying a bit of a retreat in the comfort of my air conditioned room. After cleaning like I was, my body needed a nice cool rest!

I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day...remembering all those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy. How truly blessed we are. Now, if only we can keep the freedoms so many have fought so hard for us to have! I hope to share more pictures of our happenings, lately, in the week!

Thank-you for visiting! Sending smiles out to each of you! :)
Kindly,
Katy

"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late."~Marie Beyon Ray

Friday, May 27, 2011

Home-Making

"But the true idea of a home is that it is a place for growth. It is a place for the parents themselves to grow -- to grow into beauty of character, to grow in refinement, in knowledge, in strength, in wisdom, in patience, gentleness, kindliness, and all the Christian graces and virtues. It is a place for children to grow -- to grow into physical vigor and health and to be trained in all that shall make them true and noble men and women."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making p. 92

I am reading "Home-Making" by J.R. Miller. It is an absolutely wonderful book. Have you read it? If not, please do. It is available to purchase HERE or you can read it online HERE. I haven't finished it yet...as I am soaking in every word to it's fullest. I also underline things I find important and want to remember. I must admit, I think there is at least one thing (or more) underlined on almost every page! This book is a treasure and one of my favorites. I intend on re-reading it, as well! Inter-mingled, in this post, will be a few quotes from the book that I longed to share with you.

"There is nothing in all the influences and surroundings of the home of tender childhood so small that it does not leave its touch of beauty or of marring upon the life."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making p. 94

"Wherever a child grows up it carries in its character the subtle impressions of the home in which it lives."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making p. 95

Our peeps are out-growing their temporary home. They lost their fuzzy, yellow cuteness quickly. They are now in the teenage-chicken days of growing...fiesty little gals they are! We need to find them a bigger home, soon! They're growing like weeds!

This little gal (Madelyn named Trixie) is from my mom's growing flock. She is about 1/3 the size of all the rest (the runts are always my favorite!). Because she is so small, the others were picking on her. Grammie (my mom) offered Trixie to Madelyn to keep and raise as her own. So Madelyn (with help from the boys) has been caring for this littlest chicken.

"What we want to do with our children is not merely to control them and keep them in order, but to implant true principles deep in their hearts which shall rule their whole lives; to shape their character from within into Christlike beauty, and to make of them noble men and women, strong for battle and for duty. They are to be trained rather than governed. Growth of character, not merely good behavior, is the object of all home governing and teaching. Therefore the home influence is far more important than the home laws, and the parents' lives are of more moment than their teachings."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making p. 107


Window stars can dress up the ugliness of old, beat-up garage windows...

"...when a little child in a mother's bosom is loved, nursed, caressed, held close to her heart, prayed over, wept over, talked with, for days, weeks, months, years, it is no mere fancy to say that the mother's life has indeed passed into the child's soul. What it becomes is determined by what the mother is. The early years settle what its character will be, and these are the mother's years."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making p. 108

Jaxson was invited to spend a day with Grammie, last week. Madelyn, Xavier and I spent some time reading, outside.

"You know what a true home ought to be. It ought to be a place where love rules. It ought to be beautiful, bright, joyous, full of tenderness and affection; a place in which all are growing happier and better each day."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making p. 116-117

"The home, no matter how humble it is, how plain, how small, should be the dearest spot on the earth to each member of the family...It should be the refuge of his soul in every trial and grief."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making p. 117


"Let parents be faithful; let them do their best. The work may seem too great for them, and they may faint under its burdens and seem to fail. But what they cannot do the angels will come and finish while they sleep."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making p.111

Well loved, much read, Boxcar Children books (I would love to get the ones we are missing in the series, at some point!)...

"The ideal Christian home is a far-reaching benediction."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making p. 72

Truly, this book will encourage you in all your roles of the household....wife, mother, child...there are even sections for husbands and fathers. I am only half-way through it and I am quite sure I will enjoy the second half of this beloved treasure as much as the first, underlining my way through it. It was originally published in 1882...but it's words are absolutely timeless. If you have read this book...I would love for you to share your thoughts on it! :)

This weekend is filled with cookouts with friends and family and hopefully, lots of sunshine! I intend to enjoy it to its fullest! I hope *you* do too!
Joyfully,
Katy

"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late."~Marie Beyon Ray

Simple Living: Entertainment

In the day of entertainment abundance...sometimes the simplest forms of entertainment are the most enjoyable. Madelyn and Xavier planned out, practiced and then performed numerous puppet shows for me, the other day. Above, you see the Queen and King (whose name I found out is Horace) are putting on a show.

Below, the fireman was ferociously battling fires!


The children used their creative imaginations and made some of their very *own* puppet-sticks. Although it may be hard to see below, there is a truck with a farmer putting a bale of hay in the back of it. Then to the right is the farmer's horse in a fence!

The King and Queen's encore performance...

Following the performances, all talented performer-director-producers *must* take a bow...

I love the look of Madelyn's hair as they come back up...

I'm so thankful for my talented little performers! They make me smile! :)

Last night, we had a bit of rain...but none of the storms they were calling for. So, now, the skies are cloudy and everything is dripping in rain. The day will be spent, most likely, indoors...playing games, reading, baking bread, knitting and such!

The children and I played Yahtzee yesterday. Xavier won, and was so glad that he did, too! We also spent time reading together and going through some of their outgrown clothes. The children made brownies, completely by themselves yesterday, as well. They did a great job and were so, so proud of themselves, evidenced by the huge smiles that decorated their faces as they took bites of brownie!

I had a reader ask if I had any more *oldie* pictures to share, after reading THIS post. I found this one...

It's a bit blurry...but you get the general picture. It was a senior picture of me with my beloved 1967 VW beetle. I loved that car...as well as it's unique sound ~ it sounded just like a bug, buzzing around. It was a standard and we live in a very *hilly* part of Pennsylvania. Although I was a decent stick-shift driver, I (and even to this day) hated stopping on a hill, especially when someone would stop too close behind me. I always drifted back a smidge and it made me nervous!

I remember when I learned to drive a standard...my mom took me out to the high school's back parking lot on a Saturday. She sat on the curb, reading a book, while I drove in circles, shifting, stalling and starting...repeat. It was terribly frustrating! But I must say, I am so glad my parents taught me to drive a standard. It's such a beneficial thing to know! Especially because our new-to-us Jeep is a 5-speed, so *I* can take a turn driving it, too!

I miss my bug...it is parked and packed away in a barn, for now. It needs some repairs made to it...and other things in life take higher priority to it. So it sits, for now. Maybe someday, we can get it back out again and give it some attention to get it road-ready!

Well, I have many photos to share and things to talk about but time is getting away from me, so until next time, Lord willing...

Katy

"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late."~Marie Beyon Ray

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pita Pocket Bread

The sun is out and smiling upon us today. I am so thankful for it. Clothes are out on the line, errands are run, the house is picked up and my nephew, Isaiah, is here, playing with the children. *And* the icing on the cake? My sister and Eloise came to town and visited for a while! It's so nice to talk to my sister and snuggle the baby! :)

I need to finish putting Madelyn's days into the homeschool tracker program and print it out and complete her portfolio. Unfortunately, while trying to use my printer/copier today, it seems to have jammed and is now broken. It continually tries to pull paper into the machine crooked. After messing with it for far too long, I *with frustration* gave up. I am hoping when Chris's brother comes to pick up Isaiah, that he will be able to fix it, as he is quite handy with technical things! I can't finish Mad's portfolio without printing those pages! Eek!

The day has gone along simply and "normal", for the most part. I washed dishes, hung out laundry, swept the floors, made beds, folded laundry and worked at cleaning in the garage. Nothing of interest to really report. I am thankful for "normal" days though...it gives me a sense of routine and continuity. I'm checking things off in my planner as I go through the day and I love that feeling....accomplishment. I need to tackle our island, however, in the kitchen. It can tend to accumulate paper and random items. It is my *trouble* spot and it bothers me to have it get cluttered. That will be my next task to tackle! :)

I must tell you that yesterday, I realized that exactly three months from that day I will turn the big 3-0. To some, this has just been a stepping stone along the way. For me, it *will* be a stepping stone as well, but it seems like a giant step! I remember being 19 and in one way, it feels as if it was not too long ago....but in another sense it feels a lifetime ago! Such a strange feeling, isn't it?

I have a few photos to share...ones that warm my heart. And following them, I will share pictures and a recipe for pita pocket bread!

Chris reading to Jaxson (I love witnessing these moments!)...

The children, painting masks....a gift from Ma....


Playing *school*...

Jaxson, fresh and clean from the tub, wild hair, bright blue eyes and an enormous smile...

Three of my daily companions...my Bible, and two devotionals; A Gentle Spirit and A Cup of Comfort Devotional...

Newly-knitted dishcloths...four of which were mailed out to a friend...

And, now on to the pita pocket bread! I was so excited to try this recipe. I have it in a bread magazine/book that I have and was thrilled when it turned out perfectly (and delicious too!). Luckily, for me, I don't have to type the whole recipe out because someone else already did! You can find it HERE.

They were absolutely wonderful!

The children and I had them for lunch, that day, and filled them with sauce and cheese. We ate them all right up! Chris was disappointed that we didn't save any for him! I suppose I will need to make some more, so he can have a chance to try them too! :)

Some food for thought:
I hope you are keeping tabs on what is going on in the world. We should be wise and prepared for any situation that may present itself. Things happening around the world affect us here, in the states, as well. We should always trust that God is in control (worrying doesn't help anyone) but with prayerful consideration, we should bond together....standing on biblical principles of love, kindness and generosity. I have mentioned it before....but will say it again....I watch Glenn Beck and although I don't agree with his religious views, the man sees what evil is going on around the world. He is right on with things and it is important for us to be in-the-know. Pretending nothing is happening is foolish.

Some *wise* thoughts from Edmund Burke:




I hope you enjoy the rest of your week ahead. So glad you were able to stop by today!
Kindly,
Katy

"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand... and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late."~Marie Beyon Ray