Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Homemaking Butter and More!

Chris had read about making butter and had really wanted to try it. So before he left for work yesterday morning...he set out a carton of whipping cream. When he got home from work, while I made dinner, he put the cream into a jar, closed it up and shook it for a while!

After a little bit of shaking....the cream started to take on a solid form!!!

After some more shaking (it takes quite a bit of shaking)....once the solid looked more like butter...Chris then drained out the buttermilk! (That should make for some really good buttermilk biscuits or pancakes!!!).....

And LOOK!!!! We made butter!!!! It was pretty neat! And really...it was not hard at all. I don't know why we haven't always made our own butter! It tastes really good too!!!! Have you ever made butter? What was your experience with it?? I would love to hear about it! :)


Then...last evening, we sat as a family and watched Dave and The Giant Pickle, from Veggie Tales! (It's the story of David and Goliath!) Chris dozed a bit while we watched the movie (I shoulda taken a pic of that...hehehe!) and I knitted!




Yesterday.....I knitted a handle for the little cell phone holder I made and mentioned HERE. And then I knitted one for my sister too! Not sure if she will like hers or not...but I thought I would make her one anyway!


Well.....on this last day of 2008....I wish you all a very wonderful and safe New Years Eve! I hope you are able to enjoy it with friends and family or just quietly at home...whichever you prefer! I am not 100% sure what we are doing yet. Usually we have friends over to play games and spend time in fellowship and laughter! But I must admit...I am NOT a night owl at all...and it is hard for me to stay up late! LOL So we'll see!

Happy New Year 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Treasured Gifts!

I am 27 years old and haven't owned a cell phone since I was in college...years ago! It hasn't really bothered me either! :o) (I am not embarrassed to admit that I have NEVER texted from a cell phone....EVER!) Well, I was getting nervous that someday I would be out on the road with all the kids (on the interstate) and something would happen to the van. The van is just fine...but you never know when something will go wrong...right? But we certainly didn't want to have a cell phone plan for me. I simply don't need one. Most of the time I am at home....and we already have a home phone and that is just fine for me. The added monthly cost simply isn't necessary.

So....this is something Chris and I have talked about from time to time...but never really did much about. The only times I thought about it really were when I was taking the van 15 miles away to grocery shop (which is only once every other week!)....well....to get to the point...LOL...Chris got me a Go Phone for Christmas! I think it will be just perfect for me...I won't use it much....but have it *just in case*! And....for no reason other than wanting to try it...I knitted a little cell phone pouch for my cell! I think it turned out cute! :)

Chris also got me a beautiful necklace with my birthstone on it. It was so sweet of him (even though I told him not to spend money on me!)...and I truly love it. I didn't take a pic of it though...sorry!!! :o)

Below is a pic of a yo-yo runner that my grammie made me!!! I absolutely adore it!!! Didn't she do such a beautiful job with it? And it matches my dining room perfectly! I was so so so excited when I opened the box and saw it!!!

Xavier and Madelyn were so very excited for me to open the gifts from them....and this is what I received.....

A beautiful handmade tower from X...didn't he do a GREAT job??

And Madelyn was so excited...she bought (on her own) me a pair of bamboo knitting needles!!!
I love them! :o)
And last, but not least....isn't this light tooooo cute? My mom got it for me for Christmas and I absolutely love it. I haven't found the perfect place for it yet...thus why its cord is still wrapped around it! But I think it is adorable and fits perfectly to my style!

How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
~George Elliston

I was truly blessed by family and friends with their love and fellowship and material gifts as well during this Christmas! It was a wonderful time and I hope others enjoyed their gifts from me and my family as well!

If you haven't yet....you can see my previous post with pictures of our Christmas! So glad you took the time to stop by and visit! Thank you for the get well wishes...and I am doing much better now ~ unforunately my mom is now sick. Please pray for a quick recovery for her! Thank you! xoxo

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Lovely Christmas!

We had a really nice Christmas celebration this year! On Christmas Eve, we went to church services and then went to my aunt's house to visit with family and eat desserts and snacks! The kids were each dressed in Christmas outfits and full of smiles!

Christmas morning, we started out by reading Luke 2....then downstairs to open presents and eat some rolls!

Madelyn got her very first KJV Bible! She has gotten "kids" bibles before (where the stories are paraphrased for easy reading etc)...but this is the real Bible and still has fun facts in it for kids! She was so excited to get it!!! :)


Family came over for brunch. I made french toast casserole with praline topping...ever since I started making that....it has been a MUST for every Christmas. Below is a pic of my sister and Cory opening the gift we got them that my friend, Kindra, made!!! They loved them!



Jaxson got a train for Christmas from my parents and the boys were quick to get it set up to play with!!! The kids loved it....(Chris did too..hehe!).


I have spent some of the time working on my knitting. Below is a pic of a couple dish cloths I made for Cory (my sister's fiance)'s parents. They came to our Christmas brunch as well and it was such a blessing for them to be here! They are so kind and my kids adore them (and they adore my kids too!!!)


And some dish cloths, so far, that I have been working on for my friend, Elise......


The days have been spent cleaning up (for me)...and lots of playing for the kids!

Saturday, a group of friends from high school, and their families came over to visit. We had a fun time...talking and eating and such! :) Saturday evening, however, I came down with the flu bug. I was sooo sick. I was in bed all day yesterday and am now...just starting to recooperate. I have a house to get back in order...(Chris was a wonderful man....took the kids to church and then came home and made lunch for the kids and everything...however~not one speck of my kitchen counter was visible when I went downstairs this morning! Good grief!!!) and I have Christmas decor to put away....gifts to find homes for etc. I am just taking it one thing at a time though since I am still not feeling 100%. (Last evening was Chris's side's Christmas...and I didn't get to go. I was pretty bummed. It's so lonely when you are sick...know what I mean?)

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! Thanks so much for stopping by!!! xoxo

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pictures From My Home!

I have a humble home with lots of character. Chris and I rearranged the living room the other night. It is a small room and the sofa is pretty large for the area....but we make do with what we have...and it is a nice lil couch...I turned it on a slight angle and turned the rug in front of it and I think it ended up looking nice! I moved a few other things around as well...we are having lots of company for Christmas! :) (I know I still have wallpaper to peel from the walls....I have really been putting it off. Most of the time, I forget it is there!)

And here is a pic of my dining room at Christmastime...one of the few rooms in my house that is redone and finished (except the rug...I hope to be getting a braided rug for in there instead, soon!) It has wood floors, although you can't really see it well in the pic!

As well as cleaning and rearranging and all that fun stuff... :o) I have also been....can you guess??....Knitting!!! LOL I have been continuing work on my nephews hat and also on some dish cloths.
My basket of yarn....gosh, I have an addiction to yarn and thinking up all the things I can knit and create with the different beautiful colors!

And last, but not least....a picture of my sweet Xavier...he is playing ISpy on their computer in the schoolroom. Their computer in there is not hooked up to the internet. It is just for playing fun and educational games! :) My kids LOVE the ISpy books and computer games!

It is super super super cold here!!!! Like....0*F or below! My dad's thermometer at his house said -10*F!!!! Brrrrrr!!!! So so so chilly!

I hope you are all staying warm and cozy where you are and are having an enjoyable time preparing for our Christmast celebrations this year! :0) Thanks so much for stopping by~it's always a joy to read your words! xoxo

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Let brotherly love continue....


...Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." ~Hebrews 13:1,2

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have; for He has said, 'I will never leave you, nor forsake you.'" ~Hebrews 13:5"By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.
But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." ~Hebrews 13:15,16

As you read from Luke 2 this glorious time of celebrating our Lord's birth.....I want to encourage you to remember the verses above as well. I was reading in Hebrews last night and this morning and those verses really stuck out to me. Let us (this season and ALL year) remember those less fortunate and show them brotherly love. Be thankful and content for the things you already have. For when we are part of the body of Christ....we already have it all! :) Continually praise and thank God for everything He has done for us and given us.

Give in love and cheerfulness and expect nothing in return. If you do receive...let it be with a thankful and happy heart. If we are already content with what we have...anything else we are given should just make our cup overfloweth! Right?? :o)

With the exchanging of gifts, love and warm conversation between friends and family....let us all strive to do good every moment. This isn't always easy...but it is what we are called to do as Christians! Remember to keep the season as a glorifying time to God and His Son, Our Savior, Jesus!

Good news from heaven the angels bring, Glad tidings to the earth they sing: To us this day a child is given, To crown us with the joy of heaven. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Hat For One Of My Nephews!!!

I know you are all probably so sick of seeing hats and dishcloths. Those are the things that have been on my knitting needles lately. I really do hope to be knitting different things in the future to show you...but for now....hats and dishcloths are it. ;o)

The hat looks gray in the top pic...but that is just from the flash. The blue of the hat in the pic below is a better representative of it! Xavier is modeling it for me in the pic below (making a crazy face...LOL). I am working on a black hat for my other nephew. (I have two nephews and no nieces....yet!) I hope my nephews like them. It is my hope (we will see if this works out) that I can make them each a new hat each year using a different pattern every year! We'll see if that can happen!!! :o)

We have lots of rain and ice here in PA...I have been praying for those out on the roads and hoping everyone stays safe. I am very thankful that the kids and I are able to stay safe and cozy in our home. AND...I am so so excited....tonight (the first night in a while) Chris is coming home after work and we will actually all get to have supper together at the table! Deer season is finally OVER!!!! Wooooohoooooooo!!!! (Can you sense my excitement?) I hope you all have an absolutely lovely weekend!!! xoxo

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Action Jaxson Photography!

My son....he is such a stinker. Again, he got his hands on my camera today....and above is a picture he took! It's a picture of my bedroom. Nothing exciting...LOL! Actually you can see that I am using my window sill (that is not trimmed yet...LOL) as a bit of a shelf! Our other book shelf is overflowing. I hope to have lots more book shelves someday!

He is always taking pictures whenever he can sneak it. I don't like the "sneaky" part of it...but he is 3...and I know that someday I will look back and think of these cute times...although, I don't tell HIM that yet! LOL Maybe he will grow up to really enjoy taking pictures....or maybe he just likes getting into mischief. Either way...I love him and I need to learn to put my camera up higher! ;o)


And below...just a picture of another dishcloth finish. I am still knitting away at my nephews' hats...but sometimes I take a few minutes to work on a dishcloth. Sometimes it is fun just to change it up. Is that weird? (although, I think I see a minor mistake in this dishcloth...?? Hmm...oh well. It will still work perfectly!)

I am really excited...my friend, Marion, has knitted some of the cutest clothes for her daughter's cabbage patch dolls! She agreed to share the patterns with me! I am so excited to try these someday...although not for a bit. I have a bunch of other knitting projects to finish first!!! LOL

Oh...and I made a new header for my blog! I figured since it is winter....a snow scene with my "girls" would be perfect!!! I hope you like it! I have done some cleaning today...still have more laundry to do. I would like to do an ornament craft with my kids....then I want to knit a bunch as well! I also hope to do some baking...so I suppose...with this agenda~I should get moving! I hope you all have a truly wonderful Thursday! xoxo

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Hat For Madelyn!

Well, I finished knitting a hat for Madelyn yesterday! She was excited and loved it! (Which warmed my heart!) Jaxson wants one too...but before I knit his, I want to try and knit one for each of my 2 nephews....before Christmas...LOL. So I gotta get knitting. But as we all know, it is not conducive for a orderly home to just sit and knit all day. We have schooling to do, cleaning, cooking, baths, breaking up minor sibling brawls etc.... ;o). So...I knit when I have time and just do the best I can :).

I am so excited to learn how to do some more difficult knitting as well. As of now, all I really make are dishcloths, hats and scarves. I would love to learn how to do other things! I am sure I will sometime soon....I totally LOVE making things!

Today we have lots to do...things at home...plus I have a few errands to run...and then church activities tonight....so off this computer I must go! I hope you all have a lovely day and thank you so much for stopping by and reading! xoxo

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Organizing Knitting Patterns

I am not sure how others do this....but to organize the different knitting patterns I am using or plan on trying sometime soon....I write them down on notecards and then slip them into this binder. It's actually a photo album...(I LOVE the toile fabric it is wrapped in) but it works perfectly for this organizational idea. I also do this with recipes I have. I have a different photo album that I keep my recipes in! It works really well! :)

I am finishing up another dish cloth I have been knitting...and also working on trying to finish up a hat I am making for Madelyn. I would like to try and get a couple hats knitted for my nephews for Christmas this year....so I better get movin'!

Any of you knitters...do you have any sites or patterns you would like to share? I would LOVE to hear them and try them out! I have a pattern for baby booties I would like to try sometime soon....probably after Christmas!

I hope you all have an absolutely lovely Tuesday! Thanks so much for stopping by and remember...I would LOVE any knitting advice, patterns, sites or suggestions!!! :) xoxo

Monday, December 15, 2008

A True CHRISTmas Play!

(My kiddos are on the right...Madelyn is the angel and to the left of her is Jaxson...a donkey!)

Madelyn and Jaxson were in a Christmas play at our church yesterday. They had practices that they attended and yesterday was the show! It was held during church services! It went really well and was really cute! ;) My pictures didn't turn out the best....I have such trouble knowing which setting to use on my camera sometimes. It is frustrating!
Xavier gets really shy about things like this...so he wasn't in the play!

Here is my little donkey, Jaxson. He looks to be frowning..but it was just the second I snapped the pic...because he was smiling almost the whole time!!! :o)

And my angel, Madelyn.....



I love the plays and stories and basically anything that emphasizes the true meaning of our Christmas celebration. It's not the gifts...it's not about Santa or the elves....it's not about just another "holiday"....it's a wonderful and joyous celebration of the birth of our Savior! The one who cleanses our sins and gave up his life for ours!

The other night at supper ~ we were talking about Christmas and Xavier asked me..."Mommy? Why don't we give Jesus any gifts?".....Wooooohoooo! I was so thrilled at his question. It posed the perfect opportunity for me to re-emphasize what we give to Jesus.

40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
~Matthew 25:40

I told him that we do for others. We love, pray for, give to and help others! Giving of our money and posessions, our time, our energy, our love....anything to benefit the lives of others. And the gift of ourselves is what Jesus wants too! Our salvation through Him!!! :)

I know many Christians believe that Christmas trees and such are all pagan...but I say not at all. We don't worship our tree. We don't worship the sun or anything like that! We use Christmas as a wonderful day....set aside to celebrate Christ's birth...even though it is probable that Dec. 25th wasn't his actual day of birth. Sure....lots of people make Christmas into a huge secular, gift giving thing. But as long as you are keeping your heart right...I think Christmas can be a joyful time of celebration that has nothing to do with pagan worship!

I know a long time ago...people may have cut down trees to worship them or use them in a manner that doesn't go along with scripture. But we just use our tree to decorate our home for the month of December...and using each part of it as a symbol of remembrance of what our celebration is truly for.....

The Tree Itself ~ Reminds us of the manger and the cross...both made from a tree. (I only like to use a real tree for this....the smell is wonderful!)

The Needles ~ Prick our fingers the same way the crown of thorns hurt the head of Jesus.

The Lights ~ Jesus is the Light of the World!

Evergreen ~ The symbol of Eternal Life..that we get through Salvation through Jesus!!!

Candy Canes ~ Form the letter J for Jesus and the red symbolizes the blood Jesus shed for us...the white shows that his blood makes us "white as snow"!

Angel on top ~ Reminds us of the angel that announced the birth of Jesus to the Shepherds! (Although, I couldn't reach to get the angel on top yet this year...hehe)


*** So although some people choose to use Christmas just for a time of gifts and food...others don't celebrate it at all because they think of it as paganistic....Our family uses it as a special day to thank God for the gift of Jesus. You can take anything bad and God can use it for good. Let's emphasize the true goodness for celebrating this holiday! Jesus' Birth!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snowflakes and Christmas Trees

Friday is our ART day for our schooling. Today....to go with the snow outside....Madelyn made some paper snowflakes to hang in our room! We used blue paper since the room is already so white. We needed some color!!! :)


Not only were there "snowflakes" in our house...but also outside....the girls were so happy to see me. Well...not so much happy to see me....but happy for the food scraps I was bringing them for a treat! LOL
The wonderful woodstove God made possible for us to have....heating our home...during this crisp and cold winter. We have had some wonderful friends who have given us loads of wood that were scraps they had...to go along with all the wood Chris has gathered. To say we have been blessed and protected by God is an understatement. My thankfulness toward His love and protection of us never seems like it could possibly be enough. His blessings are overflowing. That doesn't mean everything has always been easy....nor do we have an over abundance of money. But He always makes sure we are cared for and OK. I am forever grateful to Him.

After we decorated the tree (pics below)....the kids played out in the snow...



Oh no...someone got a snowball right to his rosy cheeks! Poor guy. Madelyn had a face mask on and seemed to forget that Jaxson did not. I was quick to wipe his cheeks off and he was "all better" soon! They had a lot of fun outside...but were super cold when they got back inside. After peeling off the layers of clothes and putting them to dry on the heater vents....we had lunch!

These pics are in the wrong order....we decorated before the kids went out to play...but oh well. This is how I got them on here and moving them all around is not fun...LOL.

Here is a nativity scene that my grandma gave me a few years back that I love. It belonged to my great grandpa who was an evangelist.

And here are the kids helping me decorate the tree! Notice....Xavier. Such a silly boy. He insisted on having his snowpants and coat on so as soon as we were done decorating...he could go out and play!

Our tree is super simple and sweet. I love it. Not a ton of lights. Not a ton of ornaments. (I still have loads of ornaments still in their boxes.) Just a beautiful tree picked out by my love, smelling of pine and the Christmas season. Ornaments given to us by or made from loved ones hanging on each branch....most put there by each of my littles! It is a perfect Christmas tree!

The tree doesn't look too nice in the day for pictures...but I have to tell you....it glows beautifully in the night. I love it! Here are 2 different views of it!!!


Thank you so much for stopping by to see our tree and snow pictures! I hope you all have a great weekend! Thank you for your wonderful comments on my previous posts! They are such a joy to read! xoxo