Thursday, October 12, 2017

Home Joys

It has been a warm autumn! Except the changing leaves it has still felt very much like summer here in Pennsylvania. It's been lovely...although I have been looking forward to the cooler temperatures. That little sweet sting in the air when you step outside without a sweater...crisp and chilly. I love to be able to snuggle up in the fall and we really haven't gotten there yet. We've been stacking wood for the winter in the shed....sweating and feeling like it's still August! 

We have really needed rain and the Lord has provided that for us this week! It is such a blessing (although I feel like I could sleep all day when it is so gray and rainy outside!). The temperatures are now getting down into the 60''s starting to feel like fall! :) 

Rainy days encourage lots of burning candles (with glorious fall scents). I've been enjoying pumpkin spice, apple, and leaf scents!

I found a fantastic slow cooker recipe book at Ollie's not long ago. I have been making many crock pot meals lately! It's been great! I have found new recipes that we have enjoyed and letting them cook through the day in the crock pot makes it easy (and the smells permeating the air are just wonderful!).

Mickey has been doing really well. He is so spunky and fun....and yet, such a great cuddler. He loves people and is definitely a lap dog! Anytime I sit down in the living room, I have a buddy!

Jaxson saved up his own money and purchased an electric guitar! He has been taking lessons for years on his acoustic guitar. He was so excited to get this guitar though!

We enjoyed an evening of music from the boys!


He's been practicing and playing it well. I was worried it would be super loud and obnoxious....but he keeps the volume low and enjoys playing!

Madelyn and Mickey...

In the kitchen...

Supper the other evening... Honey Mustard Chicken (made in the crock pot) with onions, mashed potatoes, corn, peas and applesauce (made by Madelyn)...

If you are interested in getting the cookbook that I bought (you can check Ollie's first if you have one near you....that's where I got it inexpensively) you can find it HERE. Below is a closer picture of the honey mustard chicken (with onions)...

Days have been filled with homeschooling, housework, and getting/stacking wood in the wood shed for the winter! I have to go fold (and put away) a couple loads of laundry and get school planning done for the week ahead so I can go visit my sister and her children tomorrow! Normally, I plan on Fridays...but if I get it done today I will be able to go see them. I haven't seen them in *weeks*!! It's awful! I miss them terribly and can't wait to see them! :o) My nephew is 3 months old already! I look forward to snuggling him!

Thank you for coming by! Here are some glorious words of wisdom from John Piper for you to chew on before you leave:

“Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.” 


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Making Apple Cider 2017!

Although our family is no longer hosting their annual fall festival....we still make cider every year and my inlaws sell it in their meat market! Lots of family and friends come together to help!

 That's my hubby in the back there with the navy blue shirt on. That's our brother-in-love (and Chris's best buddy) in the tan pants.

 We all got together Sunday afternoon after church. We all had lunch together then got to work!

 We went through numerous large box bins of apples!

All the leftover scraps after the apples have had all the juice pressed out of them...

Jaxson, Ma and some of my nephews getting some of the apples into the buckets...

 Xavier takes a turn...

Jaxson enjoys a taste of the cider!

I (along with others) worked inside bottling the cider into gallon and half-gallon jugs!

It makes for a long afternoon...but the Lord blessed us with beautiful weather and an over-all enjoyable day!

I have been in prayer, though, for the families of those murdered in Las Vegas that night as well as for those injured. It was an awful, shocking thing to find out when I woke up Monday morning! Terribly sad and so hard to believe. Watching the video of what happened seemed so unbelievable! I hope you will join me in praying for the loved ones of all involved! What a tragic situation. The world needs the gospel! The world needs Christ!

Thank you, friends, for visiting today. We've been busy with schoolwork, laundry, dishes, stacking wood and lots of other things! I gotta run as there is more to do! Thankfully, supper is in the crockpot (Savory Beef Roast) so that is one less thing to worry about! I hope you will visit me here again soon!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Little Paint here...and a Little There...

I wanted to paint our back door. I had wanted a more colonial blue color...with a little more gray in it....but ended up with this folk blue color. I like it and love that it gives a little *pop* to the back porch! I only needed a quart of the paint and actually still have paint left over!

While I was standing at the paint mixing desk at the store, they had some quarts and gallons of paint labeled "mistints". The quarts were only $5. I saw one with a burgundy color which was exactly the color I wanted to use on the bottom half of my bathroom! You can see when I started the renovation here. Just a little *note* ~ when you look at the photo below you will see that there used to be two doorways into this bathroom. Previous owners had built the one doorway in with this wood. It's not attractive but as we aren't sure exactly what we want to do with it right now (ie: open it up and put another door there or make a closet there or what...?) it just is what it is! ;)

So here's a look into my downstairs bathroom. It's truly nothing fancy but I like how cozy it feels with the new paint!

I painted that little table/cupboard beside the toilet as well. It used to be teal and green...

I have a lot of paint leftover in that quart as well! My brain has been thinking and thinking about what I could use it for! :) It's amazing how a few coats of fresh paint can make a room feel different! I am pleased with how it turned out and *love* that the paint was so inexpensive! :)

I'm taking Madelyn for her driver's permit test today! Eeek! It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day in Western PA...despite the unseasonable heat! :) We've got wood to stack, schooling to do, sheets and quilts to wash and hang out on the line and I teach an exercise class tonight. It'll be a full but good day, I hope! I hope yours is as well!


Monday, September 25, 2017

A Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen! I suppose the title of this post isn't totally accurate. Kitchens can't be happy...but women who *work* in those kitchens can! :o) I try to keep my kitchen in a general cleaned-up state. I clean up as I go when I cook or bake. Dishes are done often  and I wipe my counters *numerous* times a day! My island can be a bit of a catch-all though and it drives me bonkers! Even with just a few papers on there it looks so messy! I took the time to sort through and organize any things on the island (and have the children put away their belongings...I remind them that the island in the kitchen isn't the place for their sunglasses....even if it is called an *island*! haha!).

I am posting these pictures (and words) because I wanted others to see a normal, less-than-perfect kitchen. It isn't magazine-worthy. The cupboards and counters aren't made from expensive wood or marble. The island was bought at a consignment-type store. It's old and the paint is peeling in a couple places. My floors are *not* pretty to look at....(honestly I would love to rip them up and get to the wood floors beneath but that will be a LOT of work that we don't have time for right now). So ~ I said all that *not* to complain (at all)! But just to show you that a less-than-awesome kitchen can be clean, tidy and look (at least to me) appealing just because it is well-kept. 

You don't need a lot of money to have a clean kitchen. All it takes is some elbow grease and sweat! If you constantly work at keeping it tidy and well-organized it doesn't take much time at all!

Side Note: I got that little CD player inexpensively. I have a Return to Me soundtrack in it right now which I play quite often. It has Dean Martin, Jackie Gleason and others playing on it and I *love* it! Return to Me is one of my favorite movies actually! I think they have the whole thing on Youtube if you want to watch it!

I gotta run! Things to do! I just wanted to pop in and share the joy of a clean kitchen. I know some people (my daughter is in this category) clean up after all is said and done....when it is overwhelming. Whether it be in the kitchen or with anything you do.... I encourage you to clean as you go. It makes everything a whole lot easier! And definitely keep your kitchen tidy! It makes it a joy to be in, cook in, sing and dance in (along with Dean Martin), and spend time with family in. The kitchen can be such an important part of a home. You'll enjoy it more if it's *clean*!

Have a great week! I hope you found encouragement here!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"Let me never be ashamed...

...of the truth of the gospel, 
that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its essence, 
know in it the power of the Spirit...

...Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; 
Grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to thee, 
that all else is trifling.
Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. 
Abide in me, gracious God."

~parts of a Puritan Prayer ~ from the book: The Valley of Vision

"Christian marriage is designed to portray to the world an image of the bond between believers and Christ......A Biblical wife submits to her husband because she desires to live according to God's will - not because her husband is a perfect leader."

~quotes from the book: On the Other Side of the Garden by Virginia Ruth Fugate

Alongside my daily Bible reading...I am reading a few other books. It drives me crazy that I am reading 4+ books at a time....but yet, I get so anxious to start one I can't help it! A couple I have been reading and would like to recommend to you are the ones I linked to (and quoted) above.

The Valley of Vision is a "collection of Purtian Prayers and Devotions". It helps facilitate prayer and often says how I feel with much better words! I know my Lord doesn't require me to be eloquent in my speech...I pray in my own words as well. But the prayers in this book are truly beautiful and really help me to lay my heart before God!

On the Other Side of the Garden is a beautiful book on Biblical Womanhood. It is convicting and encouraging! Be ready to underline or highlight as you read it because there is a lot of great info in there to soak up!

I've also been reading "Growing Deep in the Christian Life" by Chuck Swindoll. It's a really good book so far too. I think I am halfway through it.

I really wish I could just stay focused on one book. I am so frustrated with myself to have so many being read at once. Oh well! I am thankful for the truth and wisdom I am getting from each one! :)

I would love to know if you have read any of these books or maybe what you are reading currently?
I hope your week is absolutely lovely!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Organizing in the Kitchen!

Hello friends! :) Thanks for visiting me here today! We've had a busy week and I bet you have too! We've been doing normal homeschooling, cleaning, laundry, cooking, running errands, teaching spin class, groceries etc. All the things that must get done!

While the children work independently on their schooling, I like to take the time to organize if I can! I found a couple lazy susans at Aldi while getting groceries earlier this week! They were a great price and they worked perfectly for where I wanted to use them!

I used them in my spice cupboard so that it made items more accessible in there! No more knocking things over when you had to reach in the back to get them! :)

I like to keep my kitchen tidy through the I am often washing dishes (the children put them away), wiping the counters and putting dishes in the dishwasher. I also organized in our island yesterday but didn't take any pictures! It's not overly exciting...but knowing it is more organized than it was before makes me happy! :)

Jaxson has been drawing (as usual) and his creations keep getting better and better! It is so exciting to watch the gift God has given him improve!

Mickey likes to be close to us at *all* times. Here he is sleeping in a chair that is in the corner of the dining room (while everyone is doing school in there!). As soon as I walk off to do the laundry or wash the dishes...he is stuck to me like glue! If I sit down, he is on my lap. I am *not* complaining though! I love it! :)

The older two children are out and about...busy helping others (which brings *such* joy to me!)...Jaxson is here with me. Chris got home from work just a bit ago and is now outside working on a chicken coop for my mom. She needed a new one and was going to try and build it herself....but my sweet husband said he would do it! If you follow me on Instagram (link in sidebar) you can see a photo of it! :)

I need to get supper started (my stomach is a rumblin'). I also want to go out and sit on my back porch in one of the rocking chairs and visit with Chris while he works! So I am getting off this computer! ;o) Have a great weekend! Thanks for dropping by!