Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Little Dose of Our Autumn

The trees are changing...beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange...


Penny is a happy gal...and she will have a couple more sisters in a couple weeks! I had been wrong before, instead of pygmy goats, I am getting Nigerian Dwarf goats (similar to pygmy goats). My parents purchased me one for my birthday and I am earning the money to buy the other! I just *couldn't* choose between the two. I mean, look at them....just too sweet!


Soon Pearl and Polly will join our Penny!



Our chickens are doing well...the poor girls won't be thrilled when winter arrives though. It will be their first experience with snow and being *in* the coop a lot. I haven't told them about the snow, yet, though...why burst their blissful bubble too soon? ;)



Thank you for all the get-well wishes...I am not 100% yet but doing *much* better! I have gotten busy again with schooling with the children, cleaning, baking and knitting. Here is my newest custom knitting creation a lady ordered from me...

Right now, as I type, it looks like it is raining fall leaves outside our windows! The wind is blowing and leaves are falling all over! The children exclaimed how pretty it was...and it really is beautiful to watch. 

For some reason, I have a small headache. Thankfully, we got most of our schooling done this morning...after lunch and a little rest, I hope the headache will be gone so I can get busy with housework before supper needs prepared. Supper will probably be country style spare ribs (slow-cooked in the oven) with mashed potatoes and a veggie! :) I hope you are enjoying your autumn days!

Warmly,
Katy


Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 
1 Peter 1:2b

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Choose to Sparkle!

(A Previous Blog Header of Mine)



A home is a place of life filled by a mother whose life is contagious because of her sparkle in the midst of messes, her laughter in the midst of duty, her song pervading the whole place–the music, feasts, art, joy of life.

I read THIS post by Sally Clarkson yesterday and found such encouragment. Sometimes (often) it is easy to feel as though we are never perfect enough...for ourselves or anyone else. Our hearts are easily bombarded with worldly views of how to be the perfect wife, mother and woman. I choose to hold on to the ideal that Sally Clarkson has described in the sentence above. I want to *sparkle* despite the mess around me; to sing and laugh with joy as I clean that mess up. I desire to grasp the joy of life and share it with my family around me....rather than grumble when things aren't *just-so*!

I found such encouragement in her post. I hope you glean much from it as well! Have a great day!

Warmly,
Katy
Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 
1 Peter 1:2b

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Getting Better....Slowly


It has taken many days...but I am slowly recovering from whatever it was that I had. I'm still coughing some and yesterday had a horrible migraine...but am thankful to say I am feeling much better than before. Thank you for all the encouragement and thoughtful words you left me in THIS post! Above is a letter Xavier wrote to me..."Dear Mom, I hope you feel better tomorrow. I love you." Love overflowing....yes. My cup runneth over.

This past Friday, Chris and I celebrated 11 beautiful years of marriage. We didn't do anything to really "celebrate", as I was sick, but in our hearts ~ we were thankful to God for another year together. Our anniversary was on the same day as the first day of fall...my favorite season! *And* my sweet niece, Eloise, turned 8 months old that day! A triple blessing day! :o)

Chris's family's fall festival was held this past Saturday. This was the first time in, I believe, 8 years that I haven't been able to help. I was bummed. Chris said I should still stop down at some point, that the fresh air would do me good. I was there for 15 minutes, but was exhausted in no time. With the congestion and cough, just breathing took work. I did, however, snap just a couple pictures before I left...

The chain-saw carver...


Madelyn, selling jewelry she knitted and crocheted all by herself (she made over $15!!)...


Some of the vendors, from a distance as I was heading back to my van. I wasn't well enough to find places to take good pictures from...I just snapped what I could...


Jaxson, with his face painted by my mom...


X-Man...taking a break from helping to visit a hunting vendor!



Back home...the leaves are changing. It's so beautiful! A nice, long walk outside sounds glorious...but much of my time, this past week, has been spent in a chair or in bed. I would wash dishes or change laundry when energy levels allowed it.


When Chris and the children got home, later Saturday evening, they were just exhausted...Jaxson was asleep as soon as he sat down. He wasn't too happy to be woken up for a bath....


When I had the energy, I worked on some knitting. I have a few custom orders to do....but didn't want to do those while coughing on them. So I worked on a winter hat for one of my children...


A couple pictures from last week, *pre*-sick-Mama....

Below is chicken and biscuit stew...all from scratch and absolutely delicious! HERE is a recipe similar to the one I used except I used chicken broth from the chicken that I cooked and made my biscuits from scratch. I can't remember where the recipe I used came from exactly.


My sister and Eloise came for a visit, too, last week. This was El's first time meeting Penny-the-goat. She wasn't overly impressed though...yet. She'll love the goats one day....especially when I get the pygmy gals when they are old enough! Notice, she's wearing her pumpkin-hat from Auntie Katy? ;)


***Devon is having a GIVEAWAY over on her blog! You should really take a look! I think this is the first giveaway she has ever had! So fun! It's fun to win things...even if not for yourself, you can gift them to others! :) 

Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes. I truly do appreciate them. I am hoping I will feel 100% soon. It's such a struggle for me to take so long to "bounce back". I have heard that something, similar to what I have, has been "going-around" in our community...I'm not sure if it is just a form of the flu or what. I am just grateful to be on the mend...slow as it may be! 

Warmly,
Katy

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
1 Peter 1:2b

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Busy Days...


I'm not feeling well today...a cough that makes my chest ache, body aches and last night, I was fighting dizziness. I was up every single hour last night, having terrible trouble sleeping. I took a hot shower, this morning, and am hoping that after being *up* and *about* for a while, that I will start to feel better. With our family's fall festival coming up this Saturday (with all the prep that comes along *with* it) ~ getting better is not an option...it is a *must*! I am not sure if I caught something....*or* if it could be from tearing out the carpet in our bathroom, yesterday...

I think having carpet in kitchens and bathrooms is just awful. I never quite understood why people would *put* it in those rooms...The kitchen gets spills from foods, drinks, and flour (especially when I am baking...I make quite a mess with flour). The bathroom is damp from showers and baths, plus the toilet is in there (with boys, it makes you cringe to have carpet around a toilet!). So, I got a *bug* in me to rip the carpet out of our bathroom. It's been there since before we moved in and I finally decided I would tackle that project. Underneath are wood floors! It was hard work, but I got most of it ripped out...except for the area under our claw-foot tub. I did pull a bit up in the front floor area of the tub, where it gets very damp. Without thinking, I was just yanking the carpet up with all my might, and there I found black mildew (or..mold, yikes!). So I just left that part until Chris can *safely* give me a hand with it. Later in the day, I got a terrible stomach ache and started to cough. Then, later in the evening, I got really hot and dizzy. So, I don't know what is wrong with me, for sure.

I had uploaded photos on the dinosaur (our desktop computer) previously this week...so I thought I would just take a quick moment to share them with you. (The children did their chores and had their breakfast...now they are just finishing up the movie "Pippi Longstocking" before we get going on schoolwork.) So I have a few minutes to do so.

Homemade veggie beef soup, canned and ready to get put on the shelves in the basement...


Blanching, cutting and freezing more corn (kindly given to us from a family friend)...


Sausage gravy and biscuits were on the menu, one evening, for supper...



I made another batch of homemade laundry soap last week...





Laundry hung from the clotheslines on any days that were rain-free...


Round about, out-of-doors...



The children love riding their bikes...





Inside our cottage-home, lamps and candles glowed (doesn't it look like that oil-lamp-light is casting a heart on the wall to the left? I think that is so neat!)...


Madelyn helped to make corn muffins for supper, one evening...


Silly Jaxson...


Homemade rolls...


Potatoes...


I have kept busy with my knitting orders. Below was a pumpkin hat I was working on...which is now finished!

We had a family movie night....and the boys couldn't quite keep their eyes open to the very end!


Well, the children's movie is over and we need to get going with our schoolwork, although I think a slow-pace is quite necessary for me today. Thank you for visiting and I hope my bit of complaining at the top of this post didn't deter you! 

Kindly,
Katy

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 
1 Peter 1:2b

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Makings of a Sunday


Sunday was a gorgeous day, here in western Pennsylvania! The sun was brightly shining...but the air was cool, proving that autumn has really set in! We attended a church service for the dedication of our one niece to the Lord...her parents promised to raise her to love Him and guide her in His ways. It was quite lovely.
Following the service, we had fellowship with family and friends at the pavillion with a picnic. We had a delicious meal of sliced ham, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls (that was my contribution), and an array of desserts to choose from!

Some of the men-folk went off to play horseshoes, to burn off all those calories eaten, I'm sure! ;)



Look out yonder (below)...do you see what caught my eye? That lovely barn-red spot in the trees...isn't it beautiful? One little patch waiting for the other leaves around it to catch up! I have every intention, as more leaves turn colors, of making one of THESE fantastic jars. Oh how I love the autumn changes as the cooler weather settles in.


Madelyn, enjoying time on the swingset...


Normally, after a filling lunch and time of fellowship, everyone would head home to enjoy a nice, relaxing Sunday with their family. This particular Sunday, however, had quite a different agenda! It was apple-cider-making-time! The family's fall festival is coming up this weekend and our fresh-pressed apple cider is a favorite among townsfolk who come and visit! 

We begin with lots of apples!!!


We needed some pears too, as they just add the right bit of extra flavor to the cider. There's my Christopher, monkey that he is, up in the tree picking pears...



Here's a sort of *Where's Waldo?* puzzle...except this time, it's *Where's Xavier?* (like father, like son...monkeys ~ *both* of them, I tell ya!) Can you find him?...


Others got in on the pear-picking too...



Then it was time to press every ounce of juice out of those lovely fruits...




Yum, look at all that beautiful juice, freshly-squeezed...


The leftovers...


Cider, ready to be put into jugs...


I stayed busy, for a bit, putting labels on jugs. We had a lot of help there...so I even got to squeeze in some time holding my niece from Chris's side of the family!


The juice was strained again, then placed into jugs...which were lidded and wiped down...then placed into the cooler!


Finishing up...


The sky was just breath-taking as the sun set...


It was an exhausting but enjoyable day! Do you like apple cider? I love it! If you are local, stop by the festival on Saturday...anytime from 9-5...we'll have good food, face painting, cider, craft booths, a hay maze, buggy rides and more! If you *aren't* able to come, I will be sure to share pictures of the day, here, for you to see! We are praying for good weather! 

Yesterday, I awoke at 4 in the morning with a terrible migraine. Thankfully, after much rest and prayer, I was feeling much better by the time the afternoon rolled in. Today, we are making up the schoolwork we weren't able to finish yesterday, due to my headache. We have accomplished some but have more to go. I best get going...Thank-you for visiting! :) 

"You will always have joy in the evening if you spend the day fruitfully." 
~Thomas a Kempis

"When I think upon my God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap from my pen; and since God has given me a cheerful heart, it will be pardoned me that I serve Him with a cheerful spirit."
~Franz Joseph Haydn

Warmly,
Katy

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
1 Peter 1:2b