Saturday, November 29, 2014

Full of Joy and Blessings this Thanksgiving!

This beautiful *girl* (below) was born the day before Thanksgiving! I have another niece! When you can't have any more children of your own, nieces and nephews are the next best thing! She is absolutely perfect and we are all thanking God for blessing the entire family with this little treasure!

After finding out my sister gave birth to a girl....the next question was..."What's her name!?" The suspense was awful! Here is her beautiful, feminine name...

Audra Joy


Her mama (my sister) and daddy are well prepared for her as they have two other girls already! That is such a blessing as well! (Although hearts would have been elated if they had had a boy as well! I actually guessed that Devon was having a boy...but I was {obviously} wrong! I am over-the-moon to have this beautiful niece to add to the family though! You'll hear no complaints from this auntie!).

While Devon and Cory were at the hospital, Madelyn and I went to their house to take care of Eloise and Dinah! We had a lot of fun spending all that time together!


Dinah just loved these goggles...


Playing...


Reading...



Silliness....


...and smiles!


What's the neighbor up to?


Coloring...


Dress-up...




Drawing "Welcome Home!" pictures for Daddy, Mama and baby Audra...




I love this picture!!!


Sleepy Madelyn...


Eloise, Dinah and their beloved turtles are ready for Baby Audra to come home!


She's HERE!Two little girls were *quite* excited!




They're already ready to hold her...already! ;)


My beautiful sister and her *three* girls! (I seriously did not look that fantastic after giving birth! Isn't she radiant?)...



Eloise got to hold Audra first!


She loved it! Dinah was excited for her turn too!


Dinah's turn (Eloise was already asking for another turn at this point!)...


Madelyn and I were getting ready to head home...but not before Madelyn got a turn to hold her sweet cousin!


My sister's girls with *my* girl!


I know this post was quite picture heavy...but oh, there was just so much going on and I couldn't wait to share it all with you! Things have been zany busy...but hopefully we'll all get back into our routines soon! So, there was no turkey for us this year...but we had something even better to be thankful for this year! Thanks so much for visiting with me here and celebrating this new life! Babies are *such* a blessing!

I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable as well! There is so much to be thankful for!
Although the house has been tidied some, there is still more to do to get it back to how I like it (when Mama's away, things can get a little discombobulated!). Those will be my plans for this Saturday! Sending smiles to you for your weekend!

With a joy-filled heart,
Katy

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Lovely Gift and a Recipe to Share


Madelyn was *very* excited to receive a package in the mail the other day! It was from Roxy from Living From Glory to Glory. It was quite a fun surprise to get a gift and when Madelyn opened it, she found, to her delight her very own apron!! Roxy, seeing the photos of Madelyn cooking and baking on my blog, made this specially for her! Isn't that so special? (She also included a small, thoughtful gift for me!) Thank you, Roxy, for bringing such joy to my girl! She put it right on and headed straight to the kitchen to start baking! :)


I also have a fun recipe to share (although I forgot to take a picture of the dip in my spatterware for a fun presentation photo....so all you have is this photo of the dip all mixed up!). I made this to take to our Thanksgiving meal with Chris's side of the family. You can find the recipe HERE as well.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

Ingredients

* 1 (8oz) pkg Neufchatel cream cheese
* 3/4 c. powdered sugar
* 1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
* 1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
* 1 (8oz) tub cool whip

Instructions

1. With a handheld mixer and large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar until smooth.
2. Mix in the pumpkin puree and pie spice.
3. Beat in the cool whip until thoroughly mixed and the beaters leave ripples in the dip.
4. Optional: Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
5. Serve with apples, pretzels, vanilla wafers or your favorite dippers!

***

This dip tastes *just* like pumpkin pie and is quite delicious. I am hoping to find a lower sugar, lower calorie recipe for it though. I know I could use the lighter cool whip....but I am not sure how to change up the powdered sugar to a Truvia or stevia substitute?

Let me know if you give it a try and what you think! Also, if you have a healthier alternative, I would *love* it if you would share it with me!

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope your week is quite enjoyable!
Warmly,
Katy
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Way Home


"As Christian mothers, our goal should be nothing less than to produce wise children who are self-motivated to do good and shun evil. We are not striving for children who are merely educated and skilled, but children whose loving behavior proceeds from a godly heart."

~Mary Pride, The Way Home 
(All words in quotations in this post are from her)

Recently, I have finished reading "The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality" by Mary Pride. What a fantastic book! It is full of truth! There is no sugar-coating of anything in this book. Many would probably read it and find many things offensive because we have gotten to a place so far (much too far) from biblical homemaking. 



"Firmly and lovingly, parents need to take back the care of our little plants. Mother needs to be home so her children can be home. Then, when they are ready to leave the greenhouse, they will be mature. They will be really independent. They will have strong characters formed by saturation in God's Word and the sight of it in your life. You will have given them roots and wings!"


Being at home is not always peaches and cream. Training up children is *not* easy. Managing your household can be a lot of work....cleaning, organizing, meal planning, cooking, baking, running errands, paying bills, doctor appointments, dentist appointments, changing diapers, settling disagreements, mending boo-boos, giving baths and so much more! You are a working part of society...building up, training and preparing your family for Godly behavior as they mature. It is absolutely *the* most important job there is...by far. The influence mothers have on their children is of the utmost importance. 

We are homeworkers (which is what Pride calls it in her book). We are to serve, as Christ served. It's difficult...it's humbling but it is what we were made for. 

"Homeworking is more than a dirty chore. It is a ministry. Humble, yes. But she who humbles herself will be exalted."

"God intended women to spend their whole lives serving other people. Young women serve their children, their mothers, their husbands and the community at large. Older women train and assist the younger women, and in some cases become church helpers. Women are not called to pursue motherhood for five years, get a career, and thereafter live for themselves. We are responsible for keeping society healthy and human. And for this, we get respect.
Charity at home?
What an opportunity!
What a ministry!


"Be a homeworker. Work to build up your husband, and help him attain an elder's qualities. Exercise hospitality. Serve people in your home. Be creative. Worship and praise the Lord, first with your family, then with others the Lord will bring."


"Seek further knowledge and the example of older women who have successfully raised Godly children. Become the kind of woman who is now more rare than diamonds, and who has always been more precious than rubies (Prov. 31:10)."

I highly recommend this book for all women....whether single, married, with children or without. There is absolutely tons of wisdom to be gleaned! You can purchase a copy here: The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality (affiliate link to amazon).

If you have read this book, I would love to hear what you think about it!!!
Thanks so much for coming by and visiting me here today!
I hope your weekend is a good one!

Warmly,
Katy




a-wise-woman-builds-her-homeStrangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Monday, November 17, 2014

Fall Turns to Winter

A little bit from this past week....


Xavier raked leaves while Lee-the-Cat watched...


And then got a belly rub ;)...


I keep hanging clothes on the lines until the air is just too cold to bear...


 Our woodshed is full of hard wood to burn through the winter. We still have a lot more to split and stack, though, if we need it...



My cookbooks needed a home. They were in a basket (which didn't fit them all well). I was wonderfully excited to find this little stand at a local store...


It was *just* what I was looking for!



Jaxson has been into drawing hats, making hats and having a bit of an obsession with the mad hatter from Alice in Wonderland (even though we haven't watched that movie recently). My mom got him a peacock feather (from where, I don't know!) and Madelyn sewed it on his hat for him. He was quite pleased...


Pancakes for supper (using the Homestead Blessings Cookbook)...





We got our first snowfall the other day....



Today, we are having rain, ice and snow (and are under a winter weather advisory). I'm thinking they may cancel our homeschool co-op. So disappointing, but necessary as many people travel pretty significant distances to get to the co-op. We enjoy our day and the fellowship with other Christian, homeschooling families...but it is better to be safe than sorry. If co-op is cancelled today, we will do a normal school day here at home. The children will be really disappointed...but I must admit, there *is* something cozy about staying home and staying warm.

I have finished a great book that I hope to share with you soon. It is absolutely chock full of great wisdom! I am so thankful for how the Lord grows me and teaches me through the wisdom of other Godly men and women.

Until next time, Lord willing, I pray you are staying warm (and safe) wherever you are! Thank-you for dropping in!

Warmly,
Katy