Randomness, and various other sundry things…

Okay, TODAY is the very random post.

My spinach, peas, and a few bits of lettuce are poking through the dirt and looking happy.

The hens are confused about their identity. Some think they are geese, others think they are sparrows.


The worms are happily thriving on the art room counter. I’m hoping they move under the counter soon.

I wrote a post on the Farmgirl Flair site yesterday.

Yesterday’s Homemaking Challenge was the kitchen, and we re-organized the stuff on the counters. I also bought Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaner and can’t wait to try mopping with it. Honest!

While looking up the link for Mrs. Meyer’s, I discovered they now have those plug-in diffuser thingies!

Happy things are happening this Spring! ‘Tis the season of growth and new life.


And now I must be off to chore-doing. Have a great Tuesday!

Making your home a haven…

Crystal has renewed the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge… but it looks to me that it’s going to be a Monday thing instead of a daily thing. Much easier for me to keep up with! And Monday is a very timely day to give the house a little extra sprucing up, especially since Mondays always seem to follow a weekend, and weekends always tend to leave the house just a little bit in need of sprucing! I love her reminder to spend time refreshing our spirit as well as to set a plan for the day. Today was especially nice to plan, because there were no plans already in place. Just me & the house. And a master bedroom in great need of sprucing. Sorry, no “before” pictures.



Finally got the new bedspread and shams all nicely put on the bed.


And did some dusting… this is an antique crock made into a lamp. I begged my Mom for it when we got married, and she let me have it. Most likely from Pennsylvania, it has a courting couple painted on it. Just thought I’d share… it’s one of my favorite treasures!


And of course a little romance never hurts. :-)

It was nice to clear away the dust bunnies and to get rid of the accumulation of holiday things we’ve been tripping over. Our room is the mid-way point between the attic and the rest of the house, so it tends to pile up every time there is a transition like Christmas decorating. WE were the things going “bump” in the night every time we tried to make our way through the bedroom in the dark! Now, as long as we clear the bedposts, our toes have no need to fear! When hubby dear came home this afternoon, his comment was “Wow!”

And of course, the cycle has begun again…


More frames to put together, and some new little Valentine cuttings!

Back after a crazy couple of weeks!

Hi All!

Hope your Christmas was wonderful! Ours was pretty good, but we were all missing Jo, Luke, and Jack very much! Mixing up our normal Christmas routine was a help, though, and we kept ourselves very busy! Christmas Eve was spent finishing up a couple of presents and getting the house ready for company. (Creativity is not necessarily tidy. Favorite quote. I spread out when I work, and I happened to be working all over the house!) Then we had dinner at Mom & Dad’s house. It was their very first Christmas in the new house, and it was a challenge for Mom to figure out where to put all her normal decorations. We finally convinced Mom to put out her glass ornament collection! She’s collected handblown glass ornaments since I was a teenager, and my brother and I, and eventually my hubby & the girls would search each year for an interesting ornament for her! It’s a very large collection, though, and getting them all out and safely on a tree is not easy. I think it’s been quite few years since she got them out. Here’s the tree…


And an upcloseandpersonal view!


I finally gave up on the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge. :-P I was still working on it, but wasn’t able to get any posts written during the second week. Anyway, here are the long-awaited pictures of our decorations! We went very simply this year, and used the Moravian Tree as our “tree”…


We didn’t keep those candles lit very long! It sort of felt like we had one of the Victorian trees lit with real candles… and I wondered if we should have kept a fire-bucket close at hand!

And the paper churches… at least a few of them! Never did get any pine or greenery in the house.


I’m going to update the Gallery and our Home Page next… keep your eyes out for new and exciting things!

A very Merry CHRISTmas and a blessed New Year to you all!


Trying to keep on track…

… with the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge!Although we had a busy morning and we all had to be on the road early! I didn’t get to the chore cards today, but I did tackle the kitchen and plan dinner. Tonight was Penny Casserole (fancy name for hot dogs and baked beans… and Jo was probably very glad to not be eating dinner here tonight!), orange noodles (boxed mac & cheese, which were dubbed “orange noodles” by our girls many moons ago), corn, and applesauce. I was actually planning on peas, which would have made dinner a little more colorful (very important in 4-H judging!), but alas, we were out of them (Kate says “thank goodness!”) and corn had to be substituted.

Oh! When we went on a house tour a few weeks back, I glanced at a very interesting book shelf. It was packed with oodles of books I would have liked to peruse, but one title stood out to me… “Drawing Closer” by Carolyn Bish. I wanted to pull it off the shelf to see if it was about drawing, but I refrained myself to only jotting down the title and author on my house tour ticket. Later that night, I looked it up, and then clicked the infamous “buy with one click” button. :-P I then promptly put it out of my mind. However, the book arrived today, and it was such a joy to read. I have a new favorite artist to add to my list… Carolyn’s art is beautiful, and her spirit is too! Thought I’d share a quote with you… probably more to come!

“Purple alone is pretty, but place mint green alongside and the purple becomes glorious. Sometimes we need to be a green in a purple person’s life.”

Thought you all would like that! Have a good night!

Frugal Friday?

Hmmm… Crystal combined her Making Your Home a Haven Challenge with Frugal Fridays and Family Fun for Day 5. I go back and forth with frugality, depending on the state of our busy lives. Some weeks are better than others.

One fun frugal family thing we’ve done lately is to try to keep our trips to McD’s under $10 for the three of us by eating only from the dollar menu.

Another is to make huge batches of cookies we like, roll them into balls, and freeze them. I can have yummy homemade cookies in minutes whenever we have unexpected company! By the time the coffee is perked, the cookies are done!

And a Family Fun idea… work together! We have many family framing sessions… either painting frames or putting pictures together. If everybody keeps a good attitude about it, we have a lot of fun. This time of year, we’ll often listen to fun Christmas music while working.

And dinner with grandparents… which we’re heading over for any minute!


Have a great night!


Hello everyone! It seems like this week the only computer time I’m getting is just before bed! Now for Day Four of the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge…


I didn’t get up as early this morning, so the only refreshment was family devotions. However, I did get to meditate on Proverbs 3:5&6 this evening. I’ll tell you that story at the end of the post!


Make Coffee!
Pack Lunches!
Family Devotions!
Chore Cards!
Shower & Dress!

Work on Christmas Decorating!
Put things in attic & take more things down!
Work on Christmas orders!

Still not quite getting to those two unfinished things on my list! We do have a special outing planned for this weekend: a Christmas House Tour that we always go to with a whole gaggle of folks. It’s one of our favorite tours…. lots of music! There’s a family that sings carols in one of the churches, and in the other church we get to hear either a man playing hammered dulcimer or a group of mountain dulcimer players!


Kept working on laundry, and swiped the downstairs bathroom. “Clean bathroom” is on one of our daily chore cards, and we usually give one or the other a lick and a promise, so they’re never really terribly dirty. The tub is my nemesis, though, and usually hubby helps me by scrubbing it. Especially in papercutting season… I really mess up my neck and shoulder from the strain of doing so many papercuttings. Whoda thunk that papercutting could be hazardous to your health?


Just a thought I thought I’d share… I posted back a while about our chore cards, and thought I’d explain a little in this post, since they keep coming up! We have a stack of little cards with tasks on them, and we go through them each morning. However, we don’t do them all every morning. Some are definite dailies, like making the beds, but some we sort of glance at and make a quick mental note whether or not they actually need doing. The chore cards are great reminders, but we don’t stress over them!

And now my Bible verse meditation story!

A customer and family friend commisioned a papercutting that had Proverbs 3:5&6 on it. We went over ideas, and I designed one and showed it to her, and she decided she needed two of them! I started the second, and about two weeks ago began the framing process. As I was gluing the second one down on matboard, I noticed that I had left off an ink detail in one spot. I had a little bit of glue on my fingers, so I went and quickly washed my hands before touching the papercutting, so I wouldn’t mess it up. And then I quickly dried my hands. TOO quickly. As soon as I touched the papercutting, I felt a small amount of dampnes between me and it. I lifted my hand up quickly, and yup, you guessed it, I had smudged the calligraphy. Yikes. I had to start it completely over, and when I got the replacement all painted, I just let it sit for a few days until I got up enough nerve to re-do the calligraphy. That’s the most nerve-wracking part of my job! And believe me, when I do calligraphy, I seriously have to meditate on the verse!

Anyway, tonight I sat myself down and made myself do it, and it went extremely well. Chris helped me frame them immediately before I could do any more damage! So, here is the finished product… the design will make a great certificate for announcing twins!


Have a great night!

Wednesday doings…

Today was slightly busy at the store, but I was able to get a new papercutting designed and cut. I just can’t show it, because it’s for Christmas and they might peek! I woke up rather early again, so was able to get a good start this morning, but then Kate & I got sidetracked with good conversation, so not as much got finished before the store opened. And it snowed!!! Only a couple of sloppy inches, but it’s snow before Christmas, which is a very good thing, in my opinion. My mom, an extreme snow lover got phone calls all day long from folks that know how much she loves it. Fun! And the guys (Hubby & Dad) came home early. Chris chatted for a while with us at the store, and then headed to the shop for more frame making. He’s a really good sport.


I think later tonight Kate is planning on a “snow” post. With pictures.

Today is Day Three of the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge! Here goes… Better late than never!

Psalms 4, 5, & 6

Especially grateful today for God’s Word, my family, and my home!


  1. Make Coffee!
  2. Pack Lunches!
  3. Family Devotions!
  4. Chore Cards!
  5. Shower & Dress!
  6. Work on Christmas Decorating!
  7. Put things in attic & take more things down!
  8. Work on Christmas orders!

We made a grand effort despite our sidetracking ourselves. Still more to do this evening! We did plan dinner, but it’s not a “do ahead” sort of dinner. We decided to skip the soup & sandwich and do breakfast for dinner tonight. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, & OJ. Heading to start it as soon as I post this!


Laundry is about half finished. We usually do a load each day, but had ignored it since the weekend, so Crystal’s assignment was rather timely!

So… off to fix dinner, finish laundry and then work on papercuttings and maybe watch a movie or listen to the Lamplighter being read. Depends on how tired Chris is when he comes in!

“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful!”

If you give a mouse a cookie…

… he’s gonna want a glass of milk.

Okay, I may have mixed up the saying a little. It’s been a long time since I’ve read that children’s book! The idea behind it, is if you start something, often it snowballs into other things! Yesterday, I determined to put out the little paper churches. And I did. But also in the trunk were my Christmas plates, which go on the hutch in the kitchen that Chris built for me. So decorating another area was started. What wasn’t in the trunk were the votives, sprigs of greenery, Christmas books and a variety of other things we normally put on the two hutches. I started to get the votive cups out, but they were filled with remnants of last year’s candles. So I melted the remains, cleaned them, and put new votives and tea lights in them. And put away the doo-dads that were on the two hutches before I decided to put out the little paper churches. All that effort not only filled last evening, but this morning as well! The pictures will have to wait until I find all the stuff I need to finish!

I also discovered that I’m not quite following the rules for the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge! So I will make a concerted effort to follow them a little more closely. Here goes…

I woke very early this morning, and was able to have a quiet time before anyone woke up, and read the first three Psalms.


  1. Make Coffee!
  2. Pack Lunches!
  3. Family Devotions!
  4. Chore Cards!
  5. Shower & Dress!
  6. Work on Christmas Decorating!
  7. Go Christmas Shopping with Mom!
  8. Get Groceries!


I did do the above list. I didn’t see the official assignment until I got home tonight, so for the official living room clean-up, I’m going to put away the pile of loot we brought home from shopping. It IS in the middle of the living room floor, so I think that’s an appropriate response.


Have a great night everyone!

Two Posts in One Day!

Why? Well, Crystal Paine at Biblical Womanhood posted a Making Your Home a Haven Challenge, and it starts today, and I thought it would be a good thing to do, and I didn’t want to start off a day behind.


I pretty much already have a list of things to do each morning, but I’d say the first five things are:

1. Make Coffee! (Very important first thing to do.)
2. Pack Lunches!
3. Family Devotions!
4. Chore Cards!
5. Shower & Dress!

#4 is actually cheating a little, because it involves multiple things, but we have to do most of them each day, and between Kate & me, we have them down to a science. Now it’s a challenge for us to just start doing them, and then flip through the cards to see if we did it all.

Family Devotions… usually Our Daily Bread… help us all get refreshed each day, but I also take a quiet time with the Lord with a cup of coffee or tea later in the morning when I have some free time to myself. Five minutes is not enough, though!

The “Do Something” challenge is a great reminder! It’s funny… when the girls were little I always had them stand at the door and see what a visitor or the UPS guy would see, and then do a quick pick-up according to what problems they saw. Usually for us, it’s picking up the flat surfaces within reach of the door. Our kitchen table and the family room coffee table have an amazing ability to collect piles of things, and just giving them a little attention can make drastic “first impression” improvements.

Because we haven’t even begun to decorate for Christmas, today’s “Do Something” is going to be to put out my little paper church collection in the Music Room. That’s probably my easiest Christmas collection to put out, since we keep it hidden in a trunk in that same room. So… off to pull them out, put them up, and take a picture!