Monday, July 30, 2012

A Beautiful Monday


Today could very much be considered the *perfect* summer day...the sun is shining nice and warm, but the temperature isn't sweltering. There is a wonderful breeze...all the trees are swaying and rustling. It's one of those cheery summer days that makes you smile constantly.

The day started before five for me (as usual). I spent some time in God's Word and checked email before filling my water bottles (I take two as I drink a ridiculous amount of water when exercising) and heading to spin class. I found out, while there, that I lost another couple of pounds....bringing my total loss, so far, to 23 pounds. I am so thankful that the combination of good diet and exercise are working so well together. To continually see progress is such an encouragement, truly!

After getting home, showering, making Chris's lunch, starting a load of laundry and eating a bit of breakfast...the children and I got busy with our chores and housework. Animals were fed and watered, we dusted and swept, took out trash and put things away.


Two loads of laundry out on the line...


Washing eggs from the chickens (a few were cracked and some of the girls are just slacking in the egg-laying-department...thus only having six today)...


Today was Xavier's compost day...so he took that out. One day this will all turn into glorious, rich, dirt...


I also began a huge project of rearranging/cleaning up in the school room. We don't use the school room to actually do our studies but we do keep books and workbooks in there...as well as craft supplies, pencils, markers, crayons, glue etc...


I got halfway through and felt a bit overwhelmed. Thankfully, the children pitched in and together, we got things done. It's a small room and until our new living room is finished in the addition (one day) the couch has no where to go...so it's home is in the school room.


I spent time throwing away old school papers and workbooks (oh, how difficult that was. I felt so guilty throwing it away...as it shows the progress my children have made in our homeschooling over the years)...but it had to be done. There just isn't the room to save everything. I *have* saved a few things from each of them though.


The school room still isn't as organized and perfect as I would like it...but it will do for now. It's better than it was and with limited space you have limited options.


Right at this very moment, I have dishes waiting to be done and then I think I could happily feel that things in the house are sufficiently tidy for today (the kitchen island needs organized a bit...but that can be tackled tomorrow). I am ready for a nap! ;)

Just a few, quick photos from previously to share before I go...

Supper, the other evening (meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans)...




Thanks for visiting. I hope your Monday is as beautiful as ours! After a bit of a rest, I am going to head out and do some reel mowing...then I'll need to get supper started! Have a great rest of the day!

Warmly,
Katy

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's No Small Thing...

...to celebrate a simple life!
~Bilbo Baggins, Lord of the Rings 


Cory, Devon and Eloise came to town to visit and celebrate Devon's birthday with us on Friday! El loved helping her mama unwrap her birthday gifts! And, although El's sibling isn't *seen* at the moment, he or she *is* there...tucked away in mama's womb, growing and changing with each passing day. My sister is almost half way through her pregnancy and she looks just beautiful, don't you think (she truly glows!)!?


I am hoping to have lost 50 lbs by the time this wee one joins our family (early 2013). As of Friday morning, when I weighed before spin class, I had lost a total of 21 lbs! So I am really confident that I can lose that weight in time. What a joyful time it will be to glorify God (although that is perfect to do at *any* time!)...Who will bring a beautiful new life into this world and Who has given me the strength and motivation to get healthy. Praise God from Whom **all** blessings flow!

Bubble wrap is always a favorite 'round here!


Madelyn was taking photos of Eloise too! (My camera shutter wasn't open all the way!)...



Eloise wearing one of her mama's bows from a package (with Jaxson right behind)...


Eloise decided it was Xavier's turn to wear the bow!


El riding the tow-trike with Madelyn...


Jaxson enjoying some ice cream cake (which is my *favorite*...but I didn't have any! My mom, sweet as she is, knew I wouldn't eat it so she bought me a fat-free, low calorie alternative! It was incredibly thoughtful of her (and very much appreciated!).)...


Later, that evening, at home...after all the rain we have been having ~ God left us a beautiful reminder of His love in the form of a rainbow...



It was beautiful....perfectly arched and full of gorgeous colors!


Would you like to join me in singing praise to our sovereign God? Our perfect Creator Who knows and controls *all* things? You can sing along with me at that link above...or HERE...or HERE...or HERE! He is the *only* One deserving of our worship! Oh His abundant goodness...through all our trials and joys...He is there. I am so thankful to be His!


Warmly,
Katy

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stormy Weather


Earlier this week, we had some severe storms roll through Pennsylvania. We had tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings all around us. First, the dark clouds began filling the sky...




And then the rain started...first a few spits and then it was a downpour!



The house was really this dark in the middle of the day!



The thunder rolled and the lightning flashed. The children camped out in the basement with books and candlelight while I stood watch up in the house. I lit some candles and oil lamps for light as the darkness was overwhelming...




Although it's difficult to see, Madelyn is in the picture below with her lamp she was carrying. She had come up from the basement to get a few more books for her and the boys...


I had to do some cooking...so it was done by lamplight too...


Madelyn and I spent some time coloring together...


My finished page! ;)


We are very thankful for the rain and although many were out of electric longer than we were, I think most things have been repaired now in the area. It was quite a crazy day, I tell you! :)
I hope you got rain (if needed) and that *if* these storms came through your area, that you all are safe and sound. :)

Warmly, Katy

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Love for Home & A Modesty Question Answered


I have not been baking as much as usual this summer. Between the heat and my lower-calorie diet, there just hasn't been as much need for baked items. I still do *some* baking though and made some homemade pizza for Chris and the children (for supper) the other day.


In the kitchen, you can see that I have been purchasing lower-calorie bread for me. This was *quite* difficult for me to do as, for years, I have done all of our bread baking by hand. I have searched and searched for a low calorie homemade bread recipe but so far, have had no luck. So I buy it when I need it...


More photos from around the kitchen...



To be honest, my kitchen is one of my least favorite rooms in the house. I would like to redo it someday...but I am thankful to *have* a kitchen and I do my best to make it a warm, cozy, enjoyable place to cook and bake in.

I truly enjoy being home. It is my tiny place in this temporary journey of life. There is *much* I would really like to renovate in my house...but even if not another improvement gets made, this *is* home and we live here joyfully. We are a family, we are together and that is what matters most!

"Peace ~ That was the other name for home."
~Kathleen Norris

"A good home must be made, not bought."
~Joyce Maynard


In the dining room hangs a lop-eared bunny stained glass I made when I was in high school....


And this is a stained glass piece my mom made years ago (and let me have to hang in my home!)...


The simple, cozy living room...


A little peek into the bathroom (a cheerful little spot in the house)...




Xavier (my soon-to-be nine year old) had a headache the other day. This was something new for him...and it was hard to see him so uncomfortable. He spent a lot of the day sleeping off and on...


I have been working on crocheting and knitting dish cloths recently...smaller projects that I pick up when I have a bit of time.


Madelyn has been knitting away different things as well!


It was storming when I woke early this morning. So as not to be sitting in the complete dark should the electric go out, I lit an oil lamp and enjoyed it's soft glow in the early morning hours. We are to get rain and storms through much of the day today. It will be a nice day to spend indoors, completing chores and playing games. Then, this evening, we have bible study.


Before I go, I wanted to answer a question I received via email. :) I was asked about modest dressing and my thoughts on it! So, here are my views...

I did not grow up wearing skirts/dresses only (nor do I think it is a biblical mandate). I *enjoy* wearing long skirts as I feel much more feminine in them. They also help me to remember my role as a submissive help meet to my husband (he "wears the pants" in this family!)! (For those who cry outrage over this statement, I want to explain that men and women are equal, however, were created with different roles. The role of serving and being submissive to our husbands can feel difficult at times, but is such an honor.)

I feel so many of the lines have been crossed, through the years, of women trying to be more like men. Feminists paved the way and other women then just fell into step and things have become the norm (which one day would never have been considered acceptable). Maybe not so much in the way of *being* a man (although there is unfortunately a lot of that too) ....but women crying out that we are "just as strong", "able to do every job a man does", "able to dress like a man" and such. God didn't put us here to prove ourselves to be "as good as" or "better than" men. He put us here to help.

I feel that in our time, clothes have become tighter, shorter and more form-fitting (and inappropriate) than ever in history. I feel longer skirts are much more modest and covering on a woman's body. I have no desire to see a man in a skirt or dress....so it just makes sense to me that there can be something that separates us in our manner of dress. An honest question I would love to ask women is: How would you feel if men screamed equality with women and started (as a norm) wearing skirts and dresses? (Ack!) I don't really spend time dwelling on the women/pants controversy, though. Wearing skirts is just natural for us and we don't give it a second thought. Others have different convictions and that is for them to decide! **I do wear pants or long shorts to exercise at spin class though!**

These are just my thoughts on this matter and I am definitely not the authority. I felt a conviction, years back, to wear skirts and Madelyn has followed suit. It is how we dress in our home. It's just a matter of what God lays on your heart.  It doesn't make me a better Christian or a better woman....it's just a choice I felt led to make (with Chris's blessing). :)

Modesty is an issue that starts in the heart...
then it works it's way outward. Reflect Christ in the way you feel called to biblically and trust that you are honoring Him.

Honestly, there can be ladies who dress modestly and have the worst attitude. Modesty isn't just about covering your body...it's about reflecting a love for Christ in all that you do (which includes the way you dress). It's definitely not about legalistic ideas...but rather a genuine desire to please God...first through our heart and then reflected in our outward behavior. :) Draw close to Him and then follow where He leads! It isn't for me to tell others what to do...but rather for you to do as God directs you!

Here are some other really good links on the issue that you may each enjoy!

* The Modest Mom: Why I Wear Skirts All The Time

* Is This Modest: Why I Wear Skirts

* Like a Bubbling Brook: The Beauty of Wearing Skirts

* Your Sacred Calling: Gender, Morality and Modesty

I hope I have expressed myself clearly and gently and answered any questions that anyone has had on my thoughts about the modesty issue. Honestly, there is *much* about it all that I could have gotten into (such as: has anyone noticed little girl's shorts are getting shorter and shorter? This really bothers me...As not only are clothing companies making them shorter...but parents are actually dressing their daughters in them! ACK!) but I have spent too much time on the computer already and I have *much* to attend to around here at home. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments! Thanks for visiting!

Warmly, 
Katy