Friday, December 30, 2011

A Fond Farewell To December 2011

 Madelyn holding Eloise

I can hardly fathom where the year has gone. It feels like just last week we were welcoming the addition of Eloise to our extended family...and now she is 11 months old! She is growing and changing, much-too-quickly for this auntie's tastes! She gets increasingly sweeter and her personality blooms each time we see her. We all just love her to pieces. It's a joy watching her grow.

It's also wonderful to watch each of my own children growing, changing, maturing. I am so thankful for each of them...I wish I could fully express just how much. A mother's love is something truly hard to express in words. Love is shown...through teaching, nurturing, caring for, serving and spending time with them. They are each unique...carefully and lovingly knit together in my womb by the Creator, Himself. He gave them each their own personality, talents, gifts and abilities. I am forever grateful to Him for *them*.


Xavier, reading to his cousin...


The boys...taking a *break* in Pop-Pop's break room...


Eloise shares her book with her Uncle Chris! Such a sweet girl she is!


Outside it snowed...and then warmed up enough to make it melt. Although I am not a huge fan of snow...it would be *much* prettier than the wet, mucky, muddy-ness that is out there right now. Here's the most snow we have gotten this year (so far...as this is quite unusual for our area and I expect that eventually we will get loads of the fluffy white stuff sometime soon!)...


The children took turns having sleepovers at Grammie and Pop-Pop's house (we took this week off from schooling..we all needed the break!). While X was taking *his* turn...Madelyn and Jaxson played games...



...and read books...


Homemade noodles for supper one evening...


Homemade noodles are so easy...I have used many recipes for them...but the one I found to be the easiest and still tasty was this:

Mix 3 large eggs with 2 cups of flour, a dash of salt and a couple tablespoons of water. Form dough into a ball...roll out to desired thickness, cut then cook in boiling water till noodles float (only takes a couple minutes).



Chris has been chopping wood in the evenings for the wood stove. The children (and mama too) help stack the wood...



It's difficult to see, but the boys are carrying split wood to the back to stack. Chris is back there, as well.


Inside the wood stove, a beautiful fire is crackling...


And with the flash on...you can see Chris, blowing on the fire to getting it going stronger...


X with his super-giganto-gloves...


A new (from the thrift store) curtain for the front door...


King Jaxson...


Eloise has grown out of the other hats I have knit her...and since it's winter here in PA, she needs a new one! :) So, I am working on a new one for her (hopefully to have finished by Sunday when we will see them again!). :)


I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful New Year's Eve and Day! I am not sure of our plans this year...except that we plan on letting the children stay awake until midnight (if they can make it! I'm not even sure this mama can keep her eyes open that long!). :o)

Thank you for spending this year with me here...I am thankful for your encouragement and friendships. May you be blessed in the coming year and continue to grow closer to the One Who *made* it all! :o)
Happy New Year!

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,
Katy

Thursday, December 29, 2011

~ The Wife at Home ~



“A true home is one of the most sacred of places. It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world’s perils and alarms. It is a resting-place to which at close of day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow. It is the place where love learns its lessons, where life is schooled into discipline and strength, where character is molded.

Few things we can do in this world are so well worth doing as the making of a beautiful and happy home. He who does this builds a sanctuary for God and opens a fountain of blessing for men.

Far more than we know, do the strength and beauty of our lives depend upon the home in which we dwell. He who goes forth in the morning from a happy, loving, prayerful home, into the world’s strife, temptation, struggle, and duty, is strong--inspired for noble and victorious living. The children who are brought up in a true home go out trained and equipped for life’s battles and tasks, carrying in their hearts a secret of strength which will make them brave and loyal to God, and will keep them pure in the world’s severest temptations.”


― J.R. Miller (emphasis mine)





Bread basket...



Madelyn and my nephew...


X, washing windows...


Jaxson...showing me his *invention*...




“Home is the true wife’s kingdom. There, first of all places, she must be strong and beautiful. She may touch life outside in many ways, if she can do it without slighting the duties that are hers within her own doors. But if any calls for her service must be declined, they should not be the duties of her home. These are hers, and no other one’s. Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. The best husband—the truest, the noblest, the gentlest, the richest-hearted—cannot make his home happy if his wife be not, in every reasonable sense, a helpmate to him.

In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife. Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home.

Men with fine gifts think it worth while to live to paint a few great pictures which shall be looked at and admired for generations; or to write a few songs which shall sing themselves into the ears and hearts of men. But the woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.

― J.R. Miller (emphasis mine)

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,
Katy

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sweetness of Life

“The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.”
― J.R. MillerHome-Making


 Yesterday, the house seemed a bit dis-combob-ulated and I worked at getting it straightened up. Jaxson stayed with me but Madelyn and X went with Chris and some other family to go to Amish country to look at a mule that Chris's dad is getting. Her name is Dolly and the children said I am going to fall in love with her (and I am quite sure I definitely *will*).

I took a break from cleaning to make up some caramels for my brother-in-law and Chris's uncle. They had cut venison while I was down wrapping the meat and had tried my caramels. They loved them and thought a gift of caramels from me to each of them would be quite nice. We were getting together with Pa's family (all the brothers and their families etc.) so I got the caramels made in time to cool and be wrapped so I could take them last night.


After setting the caramels to cool and finishing some laundry and tidying in the house...I worked on some crocheting...


Sunday afternoon, as I mentioned HERE, the children got to ride their new go-kart. Smiles and laughter were abounding...






Jaxson's legs were a bit too short to reach the pedals...so Chris rode with him to push the pedals while Jaxson got to steer...


Both of them were laughing and giggling the whole time! Such fun times and great memories!


Chris had work off yesterday...so after getting back from seeing the mule (that I mentioned in the beginning of this post) he spent the daylight hours working on the wood shed. He finished putting the back on and also the one side!


Madelyn was helping him!


It is coming along quite nicely...and I am so thankful that the snow has held back...it's nice that Chris is able to have the time to get the shed finished! Loading the wood stove with dry wood will be much nicer than trying to keep it going with wet logs! :)


As I type, the children are watching Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I may join them soon. I really enjoy the Narnia movies! We just finished some buttermilk biscuits for breakfast and doing some housework. To help out a friend later, I will be going to watch her children for a bit. Other than that...time will be spent crocheting, reading and playing games with the children. A friend may stop to visit at some point, today, as well. :) An enjoyable day, truly! I hope yours is, as well!

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,
Katy

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Memories in Pictures

I am sitting here on this lovely, sunny December day (quite unusual for our area this time of year...I'm definitely not complaining though!). After a simple gift exchange at home and then church this morning, we went to have lunch at my parents' house and exchange gifts. We had a really nice time. I am relaxed at the moment...my toes are warm and snug in my new slippers from Chris. (He got me a pair last year and I wore them all year until he gave me this new pair, today!)


Yesterday, we enjoyed brunch at my sister and Cory's house. I made cinnamon rolls...we also had breakfast casserole, bacon, french toast casserole and juice. It was delicious! Unfortunately for Eloise, she had to eat some "garden greens" (thankfully, she didn't realize what she was missing with all the breakfast-goodness we had!).


When we arrived at their house, Eloise was napping. She awoke a little later and was (pleasantly) quite surprised at all the company she had!


Someday, Lord willing, I know this little man's feet will touch the floor when sitting on the sofa...so I wanted to capture a picture of X *before* that happens! :)


My three's little tootsies (they are all leaning on me at this time!)...


Madelyn and the Squeezle...


Eloise just loves her cousins. Although it pains me to admit this...she prefers them over me. Oh sadness...(although my children *love* that she loves them!)...


The boys (using Jaxson's shirt) were trying to teach El some colors!


Four little sweeties sitting on the floor...


My dad, opening a gift...


Grammie and Pop-Pop got my children whistles (what were they *thinking*!?!) I suggested that they would be great things to be kept to play with at *their* house! ;) ...



Eloise got a shopping cart from Grammie and Pop-Pop! She enjoyed pushing it some...but what she really liked to do was put things in it...take them out...then put them back in!



Truly, the best gift a person could get....


Grammie (aka: my mama) opening a gift...


Eloise wasn't always *this* into unwrapping her gifts...so I snapped a photo while I could!


Look at this face! Doesn't it make you want to just scoop her up and give her a big **squeeze**? It's why the nickname "Squeezle" really applies to her!


My Chris (if you hear a lovely sound around you...it's just my heart singing!)...


Xavier and Eloise playing with the same nativity set my sister and I used to play with when we were young...



My sweet girl...


Eloise, donning her new shoes from us (although she's been walking for months now...she usually does so in socks or slippers...so she isn't used to shoes)...




Uncle Chris and the "Squeeze"....


Today..after eating at my mom's...we took the children up to see a specific present Pop-Pop got for them (although the children didn't *know* why we were headed up there)...


Jaxson, collecting the eggs from Grammie's chickens...


And their gift? Another go-kart! Oh my, the children were excited! Each of them took a turn to sit in the driver's seat!




They brought the go-kart to our house...and the children are getting helmets on and ready to drive, as I type! I gotta get out there! :) I hope you all are enjoying a lovely weekend with friends and family. Thanks, so much, for dropping by! :)

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,
Katy