Friday, November 21, 2008

Prettier Than A Cow!

Ok. So, here's the deal. This is a recent picture of myself and my adorable hubby. Now, I admit, it isn't really the most flattering picture of me, but hey, I am with the man I love and I am happy. What more do you need?

Without realizing it, I apparently needed my five year old to have the following conversation with me.

"Aren't cows pretty?"
"Oh, yes. Cows are definitely pretty." (please note, this statement was made by me, but I wasn't really thinking of the true beauty of a cow, I was simply agreeing. But, back to the conversation...)
"They sure are. But, momma, you know what?"
"What, squirt?"
"You are prettier than a cow."
(now, to a five year old, I am sure that cows may seem pretty, but to a mother being compared to a cow, this statement comes as quite a shocker.)
"I am what?"
"Momma, you are prettier than a cow. Cows are really pretty, but you are prettier."
"Oh, thank you, honey." (now, in my head, I am not truly thankful. I am still shocked that my appearance has just been compared to a cow by my own flesh and blood. Still, I try to smile at her.)
When I told my dear husband about this conversation later, I expected that same shock, the same abhorrence at being compared to a cow. Instead, I got this:
"Well, you are prettier than a cow."

Thanks for your support, dear.

Have a great weekend,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So What Have We Been Doing?

This fall has been a really busy one for us. The busiest one by far. We have been working with some friends of ours at their little country store and got to participate in an old-fashioned apple butter stir. Amanda particularly seemed to enjoy the wood smoke, the beautiful fall day and the tantalizing aroma of cooking apple butter.

Sometimes, we have absolutely worn ourselves out, so we have found that the occasional cat nap is the best way to refresh ourselves before the next task. Cari and her best friend, Rebecca, enjoyed a nap on the front porch of the store on this warm, fall afternoon.

We've also made many new friends along the way. Here is Shannon with her friend, Brianna, doing the unthinkable (at least to us "old" adults!) We had an "Anne of Green Gables" all-nighter a few weeks ago and during the movie breaks, the girls found that they could double or triple up in a sleeping bag and "sled" down the stairs. Just look at the faces on these girls below:

That was Trisha, Heidi and Mary full of exhilaration on their way down! Of course, once Heidi hit the front door at top down hill speed, she was rethinking the whole "sled" down the stairs behavior. But it didn't last long.

There was a total of 14 girls in our home that night. Here is most of them at breakfast, all still in one piece, though some were decidedly bruised.

After church one Sunday, Mark took all of us girls to Fayette Station. This happens to be under the famous New River Gorge Bridge. Laura was in for a few days and so we took advantage of the opportunity to get pictures of the six girls all together.

Oh, yeah, then this past weekend, we had seven puppies. Well, we didn't. Our dog, Fiona, did. But we were right there with her. What a crazy last three months it has been, but it has been good. God is growing us, teaching us and bringing us closer together as a family. We are loving being where He has brought us and look forward to whatever the future may hold with eager anticipation.
Well, thanks for being patient with me. And thanks for being a part of our lives.
Take care,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Long Time No Been Around!

Hello, dear ones,

I apologize for my lack of anything new around here lately. We have been so busy with school, apple butter making, and managing our home that we haven't had much time for anything else.

I am hoping to get back into the swing of things very soon, so please hang in there with me.

Take care,


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's Fall, Ya'll!

Happy Back to School Time!
Aren't you excited? We started back to school this week and we are
How about ya'll?

More proof of fall! These beautiful marigolds line the sidewalk at my home thanks to Amanda!
They smell as good as they look. Of course, not everyone enjoys the smell of marigolds,
but I do and that's what counts.

My dad got this shot right out of his kitchen window. These birds were
having a great time splashing in mom's fountain before
they realized that they were being filmed while bathing!
Oh, the shock of it all!
I mean, who wants to have their picture taken while bathing?
They obviously flew away after that, quite perturbed.
Here's hoping your fall is going well and that the colors,
the smells and the quiet days of schooling are
keeping you focused on our Great Creator and
all that He has done for you.

Take care,

Monday, August 25, 2008

New River Youth Symphony and Choir

The girls participated in the New River Youth Symphony and Choir concert over the weekend. It was a terrific experience and very well done. The youth in this symphony and choir are ages 8 - 24. Some of the kids are homeschooled and some attend public school.

The program was started by a few moms who wanted the youth of Southern West Virginia to have opportunities to be in such an organization and learn to play together as a group. Our directors have volunteered their time over the past two years. There is no parent organization that is supporting us. This is just a group of young people who are dedicated to bettering themselves and their skills and parents who are dedicated to bringing the children on a weekly basis for practice. The youth come from as many as 5 counties in Southern WV.

Below is a video of my girls (being the proud momma that I am) doing a trio after a week of laryngitis.

If you would like to hear the entire concert, a CD is available for $7. The concert was approximately 2 hours long. We will ask for $3 to help cover the shipping cost, but the $7 will go directly to the NRYSC. A receipt can be provided upon request.

Enjoy the trio and take care,


Hey, Hey, Janet Faye!

Here is Evie pulling your name, Janet Faye, out of the cup. You're the winner! Please contact me with your mailing address and we will ship your coiled basket full of goodies to your door (or post office box).

Thanks to all of you who entered to win. I had a lot of fun with this and will be doing a drawing approximately once a month. To answer some of your questions, this basket is a coiled basket. I used a stripped fabric, wrapped around a cotton clothesline type of rope and stitched it on my 30+ year old sewing machine. The braided rug idea might work, but it would probably be a much more time consuming, finger puncturing process. If it works, let me know.

Take care,


Friday, August 22, 2008

For The Beauty of The Earth

Do ya'll remember this old hymn? Many people no longer sing the old hymns, but this one has been on my heart this morning, so I thought I would share with you.

For the beauty of the earth, For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies;
Christ our God, to Thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower, Sun and moon and stars of light;
Christ our God, to Thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.
May you glorify and praise the Lord with a heart full of gratefulness this weekend. Enjoy the beauty of the earth. He gave it to us to remind us of His love for us. Who wouldn't be grateful for that?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beautiful Bella

What a delight it has been to have Beautiful Bella with us recently. She is such a happy baby and it is a blessing to all of us to have a baby in the house again. Thought I would share a few of our favorite pictures with you all and let her daddy see how fun she is.

"So where did that Cheerio go?"

"I am so happy!"

"and you are too funny!"

We love little Bella and hope to have back really soon!

Take care,


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to School Give-A-Way

This week Money Saving Mom is holding her weekly link to free give-a-ways. I decided to participate and see what happens. So, what I am giving away is this basket pictured above. (doily not included)

The basket was handcrafted by this Mountain Momma and is full of all sorts of goodies. There is more included than what you can see in the picture, but it would be a great gift for a back to school college student or anyone, really.

If you would like to enter the drawing for this basket full of blessings, all you need to do is leave a comment at the end of the post. Your name will be entered once into the drawing. But, if you leave a link to this website on your blog, and leave me notice of having done so, your name will entered 5 times! Isn't that fun?

I will allow my five year old helper, Evie, draw a name from the hat on Monday, August 25, at 10:00 am. Leave enough information for me to be able to contact you that you have won. Or keep checking back on Monday.

Thanks for entering and have fun,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Window Mistreatment Time

The Nester is hosting a window mistreatment party today and so I thought that I would show off my own creative mistreatment of my dining room windows.

If you notice, these mistreatments are not even on a rod. I didn't use a glue gun, I didn't sew anything, I just stripped the fabric and hung them up. Can you tell what I used?

Yep, those are tea cup hooks that I screwed into the window frame, evenly spaced. Then to apply the fabric to the hooks, I used little tiny safety pins, also evenly spaced across the top of the fabric.

I like the over all effect, the off centered look and the ease with which I can take these down and put them back. Hope you enjoyed my idea of a good window mistreatment!

Take care,


Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Living Room

I have so many dear friends who have not gotten to visit me in my new home, yet. So, I decided to show a few pictures now and then of what you could expect to find here. Above is a dry sink that years ago my mother rescued from somebody's trash. She refinished it and eventually, I got it. I added the stencilling on the doors and the back splash. I love this piece of furniture. One thing you will notice in my home is that nothing really matches. It's all been given to us or rescued.

The dry sink sits in my living room and we use the inside for storing our cookbooks and some of our crafting supplies.

Below is the corner of our living room with the entertainment center. It was given to us by some very dear friends. They wanted a new one. Good for me.

The picture on the left side wall was left here in the house when we moved in. The candle sticks were bought at the Goodwill for $1.98 for the set. The wall art was made by moi and the Masai woman was purchased to sell in one of our booths but somebody knocked her over and broke her arm off. My mother glued it back. Then Amanda knocked her over again. Her arm broke off again. It was glued again. But I don't care, she's still pretty.

Now, in other news, be watching this blog, folks. On Monday, I will be participating in the "window mistreatment partay" that's going on over at The Nesting Place.

It promises to be a lot of fun. Later in the week, I will be giving away one of those "Baskets Full of Blessings" I have previously talked about. This will be also linked to from the Money Saving Mom website. It's going to be a great week.

Well, guess that's all for now. Thanks for your continued reading of the bits and pieces of my life.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Momma's Heart

Isn't she sweet? This is my oldest at her birthday celebration. She's 17 now, but still wanted to go to the park. I just love her!

At the park, there was plenty of visiting with friends...

...hanging around.... movin' merry-go-rounds...

...three-legged rollerblading...

...pretty princesses on their scooters....

...the ups and downs of teeter-totters...

...more fast moving...

...oh, yeah, plenty of eating...


There was

*drum roll please*


This momma's heart is happy to watch all her family and friends having a good time.

Take care,

Friday, August 8, 2008


We watched a movie this past week and both the beginning and the end had this quote:
"Truth is in the mind of the teller." We thought it was rather funny at the time. But through the course of this week, as I have really thought about this phrase, I realized the great fallacy in the statement. It plays right into the modern thinking that says "truth is all relative."

I will grant, that in some cases, the perspective and the views of many individuals watching a singular event may vary in degrees of accuracy. But, in life as a whole, truth is not relative. Let me repeat myself. Truth is not relative. Only perspective can be relative.

I guess my concern with this statement comes from my experience of the week. See, as the Lord has been allowing difficulties into my life, I have gotten to see how "relative truth" can be so destructive. "Relative truth" can destroy people. "Relative truth" can tear apart families. "Relative truth" is no truth at all.

In the midst of my deep sorrow this week, I was reading my Bible and happened upon these verses:
I have chosen the way of truth;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
(Psalm 119:30-32)

There is absolute truth. It is found in the Word of God. There is absolute truth and God knows what it is. You can deny the truth. You can pretend the truth doesn't exist. You can say that the truth isn't really a part of your life. Ultimately, you're wrong. Whether you deny Truth or accept Truth, it exists. It's not a matter of your feelings, your perspective or your knowledge. It makes no difference how many degrees you hold or your position and title that you bear. Truth is truth.

In another movie, Mary Poppins, Mr Banks is quoted as saying: "Madam, kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with facts!" I experienced that this week. And for the time, evil and lies seem to have gained the upper hand. But, look at verse 32 again, that last phrase:
"For you have set my heart free."
Where there is truth, real truth, there is freedom. No matter how you perceive life, no matter what your perspective may be, when there is Truth, you are free.
"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
(John 8:31-32)

There is nothing so sweet in this world as having this freedom, freedom from a guilty conscience, freedom from judgement, freedom from having to remember who you told what to, freedom to live and serve and love in complete joy and peace.

Jesus Christ is the author of this Truth. Without Him, there is no truth. And if you follow His truth, you can experience the same benefits. I wouldn't trade it for the world.


*all pictures were taken at Cathedral Falls, WV.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Funny Faces!

So, this past weekend was Cari's 14th birthday. Next weekend is Amanda's 17th birthday. We took the girls up to an old football field and played frisbee and later basketball a little further down the road. What a day it was. We got sunburned, worn out, scabby knees and bloody noses. Well, okay, there was no bloody nose, but Mary did get hit in the nose. It could have bled.

This is Laura's idea of how fun frisbee is! It made her a little crazy. The whole concept of throwing a round disc and trying to get it to go in the direction she was looking just didn't fly with her, no pun intended.

Of course, Evie thought the concept of family members standing around the edge of a field throwing a frisbee was too boring. She decided this was a great way to play "monkey-in-the-middle". She, of course, was the monkey.

I am so thankful for the opportunities we have to be able to play together as a family. You know, today so many people get bogged down with "important" things to do, families end up going in 8 different directions on any given day. God is so good to me, that we can take our 6 girls, ages 5 - 17, and go play and have fun together. Cari stated that this day "was a lot of fun!" What a blessing.

Please continue to be in prayer for our family as the road we are travelling gets mighty bumpy at times. There are events going on this week that need to be covered in much prayer for His strength, power and truth. Thank you.

Speaking of travelling, how about this shot?

As you travel your road this week, keep your focus on the end, the prize, that goal that we are aiming for, "well done, you good and faithful servant."

Take care,


Friday, August 1, 2008

The Three Little Kittens and then some

So, when I got home this morning from taking my handsome husband to work, I came up the steps to the house and found our three little kittens asleep on the table on the front porch. Not only were they sleeping there, but they had somehow managed to move the table to the middle of the porch away from the wall where it had been.

Then, this little guy decided to follow me around to the kitchen door and I noticed how colorful he was. Again. I was starting to think that he likes sidewalk chalk like most cats like catnip, but then.....
I happened upon Fiona. She had absolutely rolled in it. She was a lovely shade of blue-green on her usually shiny black coat. One front leg is completely green.

Poor, poor Fiona. Somebody drew pictures on the back porch in her favorite sleeping area. I am just glad to know there is nothing mentally wrong with the cat.

In other news, I read this amazing poem this morning in my devotional book, Streams in the Desert. I just thought I would share it with you. Something to think about over the weekend.
Be Strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.
Shun not the struggle; face it.
'Tis God's gift.
Be strong!
Say not the days are evil - who's to blame?
And fold the hands and acquiesce - O shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely,
In God's name.
Be strong!
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long,
Faint not, fight on!
Tomorrow comes the song.
---Maltbie D. Babcock.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Interior Designs Extraordinaire

This first picture is my idea of what a kitchen window should look like. Simple, tastefully done. Enough decor to draw your eye to the window, but not too much so you can look out of the window to see the beauty beyond it. Not too much to allow the sunlight to come through. Not too much that you have to clean or worry about. Just really, not too much.

On the other hand, there are other "eyes" for decor in my home. Like, for instance, Evie's eyes. You know the world through the eyes of a five year old is very different than the world through a momma's eyes who is not five. So, to Evie, this is a great example of how a kitchen window should look.
All done up in fuzzy scarves, littlest pet shop animals and chalk stencils. Not to mention the colored pictures and plenty of all of it.

Evie loves to decorate. In fact, this fine example took her the better part of an afternoon to complete. It just had to be so. Don't move anything. It's just right.
If you think this is fun, you should see my living room. But that's another post.
Take care,

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just Wanted You to Know

Isn't this little guy a cutie? I mean, have you ever seen a cuter wooden pull ducky?
This little guy is currently available at our Etsy shop. Now, I am not trying to be a cheesy over-the-top sales gal, but who wouldn't want one of these little fella's for that special little one in their life? Did you know that Christmas is just around the corner and there are only a limited number of these duckies? Once they are gone, they are gone. So, just to let you know, you can link directly to our Etsy shop on the right side of this blog, or better yet, here is the link for you:
Now, I know his picture is already on the side bar, but today is "Little Yellow Ducky Day". Sure it is. It is. I just know it is.
So, in that ongoing effort to not be the cheesy-over-the-top-sales-gal, I'll not beg you to go check it out. Oh, and that price you see over there? It includes shipping. Yes, I am serious. It really does. You couldn't do that well at Wally-World. No, you couldn't.
So, whatchyagonnadonow? *subliminalmessage....gototheetsyshop....gototheetsyshop....gototheestsyshop*
Have a great day,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In Case You Didn't Know...

Have I mentioned how beautiful WV is? I mean, this morning, my husband stopped at a local gas station to pump gas. I, of course, had to jump out and start snapping a few pictures. How many people get a view like this while pumping gas? Am I the most blessed girl you know, or what?
Yep. That's three crosses out there on that little island. In our family, when we drive along and see three crosses put up together we yell "pilgrims"! Of course, I am not sure why we yell about the pilgrims, because these crosses aren't that old, but we yell it anyhow. We try to see who can spot them first. This particular set of crosses has been called out of bounds, however, because we pass by here many times a week. (It gets a little mundane yelling "pilgrims" over the same three crosses again and again.)
I expect the girls and I will have a great time on our trip to North Carolina this weekend, though. I know there are multiple sets out there between where we are and where we are going.
I am thankful that we live in a nation that still believes in the cross and still recognizes our Saviour. Maybe we can't publish the Ten Commandments in our schools anymore, but there are still enough believers out there, donating a chunk of land to stand up and say "we believe".
If you are some of those people who have crosses on your land, thank you from our family.
Happy Pilgrim hunting,