Simple Pleasures . . .

I’ve been thinking about how much joy can come from the simple things in life. Things that pertain to family, nature, and just life in general. They usually aren’t expensive, but are worth so very, very much. I like to think of these as – and I solidly believe that they are – blessings from a loving Father, sent to delight us and, many times, to teach us about Himself.

Here are a few of the simple pleasures that I am enjoying in my life ~

~ Bedtime stories every night with my littles.

~ The changing of the seasons.

~ An afternoon on the front porch with a cool drink and my notebooks, drinking in the beauty of tall green trees, pretty flowers, and watching my little ones play.

~ Baking goodies for my family.

~ Conversations with my teenagers.

~ Beautiful pictures in magazines – cutting them out and decorating my journal with them.

~ Lighting a seasonal candle while I’m cooking or relaxing at night.

~ Hearing a sweet “I love you” from one of my kids.

~ Harvesting anything from the garden.

~ Stroking a kitty’s soft fur.

~ Sewing on a quilt and enjoying the beautiful fabrics.

~ Small town friendliness.

~ Fresh clean laundry.

~ Stopping by the Sno-cone stand on a hot summer day.

~ Seeing my husband pulling into the driveway.

~ A good book.

~ Popcorn with a late night movie.

~ Occasionally taking the slow, windey, country road rather than the highway.

~ Watching my children grow and learn.

~ Seeing the Lord working in my heart, growing me.

I begin to think that I could probably go on and on. Thank you, Lord, for all of your special gifts to us!

What simple pleasures are you enjoying?


Welcome April!

It’s a brand new month filled with the rebirth of the earth – flowers, trees, warm weather, and blue skies are beckoning us outdoors each day. There is change in the landscape now on a daily basis and I love it. Spring porch weather is here and I am making the most of it – which may be one of the reasons I have been slack in my writing here.

We have a lot going on these days – birthdays, schoolwork, weekly activities, and the ever calling out of doors. Oh, and we have another little bird about to fly out of the nest – I wonder if the mama birds feel like I do when their babies spread their wings and fly off – a necessary and good thing for them to do, but heart-wrenching for the mama who feels their absence so deeply!

More to come on all of these matters – and I will get Sarah’s Chicken Finger recipe posted asap. Hope you are all enjoying the arrival of spring in your part of the world!


Why I’m Not Here

Our house has been hit by a wide spread cold/flu type bug for the last week and so I have been a little busier than usual. Everyone in the house has now had it to some degree except Matthew, who is usually at school or work, so has not had as much exposure. David held out until today amazingly, but woke up with a fever,sore throat, and cough, so we’re not quite done yet. There are still a number of people with a lingering cough (myself included). Sarah wrote the above note on the refrigerator when she was feeling really tired of being sick – she was one of the ones who had it the worst. The next day she woke up feeling much better, so her misery didn’t last too long. 🙂

I’ll be back as soon as I am able ~


Because I’m a mother and I just can’t help myself . . .



Ryan and Matthew were in a friend’s wedding last weekend, and being their mother, I was snapping pictures of them the whole time. But then, how often do you get to see your sons dressed in a tuxedo and a new black suit – not often enough, I say, so I rest my case.

So, please humor me by allowing me to share my pride in my two boys, who just yesterday, it seems, were little guys running around the house, and now are all grown up and wearing suits.

Mattie leaving the house for the wedding ~


Ready to begin ushering ~


I didn’t see Ryan until the ceremony, as he was hiding out with the groom somewhere (probably hiding from my camera!). There are a few fuzzy pictures of him during the ceremony, which I won’t force upon you (remember I’m still learning with my new camera). At the reception, he spent some time dancing around with David on his feet – so cute ~



Mattie having a quick snack from the reception table ~


And I just have to share this one – I think it is so lovely of Laura (don’t tell her I posted it!) ~


And I really love this one, even if it is a little blurry ~


There was dancing, too, but I won’t share those as there are a lot of others in the pictures that I haven’t cleared it with, but I can share these two little ones, who enjoyed the music immensely ~


Oh, and the cake was wonderful, too ~


Okay, one last picture . . . because I’m a mother and I just can’t help myself ~



Our Nesting Mama


She moved into this nest from last year on top of one of the ceiling fans on the front porch. She sits up there even with children running back and forth to me while I sit in the rocker. Every now and then she will get startled and fly away, but then she gets back as soon as she feels it is safe again.

I still have not identified her. She has a white throat and belly, and is dark grey all over the top. It looks like she has a notched tail. I’m thinking that she may be a swallow of some kind or maybe a swift, but can’t seem to find her in my bird book. Any ideas?

She is fun to watch – I feel a sort of kinship when we are both sitting there together, watching over our little ones. 🙂

Have a nice day!


Grandma’s Apron


The aprons in the picture above are from my collection – the fruit apron was actually my grandmother’s apron, while the other three are some that Jeff bought me – he likes to hunt for them on Ebay for me and usually buys those with hand stitchery or quilting, and, of course, gingham, because he knows how much I love it!

My Mom sent me this e-mail and I loved it so much I just had to share it here.

The History of Aprons

I don’t think our children know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the Fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron . . . but Love!!

I don’t know who wrote this, but it brightened up my day! I hope it did your’s too! And I’ll certainly be thinking about all of these things the next time I pull out one of my aprons to wear!

Have a lovely day!


Happy Birthday Matthew!!!


Today is our son, Matthew’s 18th birthday!! I can hardly believe it – I’m sure it was just a few years ago that he was born! I can remember so clearly playing cards with Jeff while in labor at the hospital waiting for him to arrive. And then seeing his sweet face for the first time! It couldn’t have been 18 years ago!

Matthew is our third child and third son. He is our oldest at home now and will be graduating from high school this year. He is the first of our children to have been homeschooled from kindergarten on up, and he was the first child that I taught to read myself. These days he teaches me with his natural technical skills and computer know-how. He amazes me with the things he can do in both arenas, and is the one I run to when my computer decides to stop cooperating with me. He has always been very inquisitive and curious about how things work and has the perseverance and determination to find out what he wants to know.

Matthew has a great quiet wit, that is usually only shared with those of us at home. He enjoys spending time with his friends, his job, and his time on the computer and video games.

It hasn’t been easy for him growing up with 2 older brothers, and he has felt himself to be in their shadow for most of his life. But, I have watched him grow into a fine young man with his own gifts and talents from the Lord. He is a very special person, and I am more proud of him than he can know.

The picture below was taken on Thanksgiving. I had commented on the fact that I thought Matthew was growing to look a lot like my father. So, we pulled out this picture of my Dad, taken when he was just a few years older than Matthew is now, and the resemblance was amazing –


So, we are celebrating again this weekend and thanking the Lord for the wonderful blessing of Matthew, whose name appropriately means “God’s gift”.

Happy Birthday Mattie!!!

I love you,

Happy Birthday Anna!!

Today our sweet daughter Anna is turning 5 years old! I can hardly believe it – I guess I have to stop calling her my baby girl! (Never!)

Anna is our eighth child, third daughter and youngest girl in the family. She is a sweet and gentle-natured girl who is sensitive and concerned for others. She is a girly-girl and loves the color pink and loves to wear skirts and dresses (especially pink ones!)

Anna spends alot of time twirling to music and it amazes us how she can twirl so long without getting dizzy!

She is shy (like her mother), but enjoys joining in as soon as she feels comfortable.

Being the eighth child, many people would expect her to not know how to spend time alone, but she seems to love those rare and special moments when she is. I have sat on the porch many days and watched her roaming around the yard, talking to herself, smiling, and perfectly enjoying whatever imaginary role she is pretending to play.

Anna loves to work in the kitchen with Mom and wants to go with me every time I leave the house. We enjoy bedtime cuddles with stories every night – a time I cherish – and slow, relaxed mornings waking up to a new day.

She is always reminding the household to “remember kindness”, taking to heart a lesson she learned this summer at Vacation Bible School.

Anna is such a sweet blessing to our family and I thank God every day for letting me be her mommy!


Happy Birthday Anna!

I love you,

Happy Birthday Mom!!

(photo courtesy of Corbis)

Today is my Mom’s birthday! Although we will be officially celebrating her birthday this weekend with a cook-out family party, I couldn’t let the day pass without celebrating a little bit today, too.

So, Happy, Happy Birthday Mom!!!! Thank you for being such a wonderful mother and a loving example for me! May your day today be extra special and full of love.

I love you,

My Darling Daughter Does It Again. . .

Chock another one up to the teenage generation and their computer prowess. I have silently been perplexed for days now about a little hiccup on my blog. You may not have noticed it at all – especially if you haven’t scrolled down in awhile. But I noticed it, and had no idea what to do about it. The problem was that starting about the American Girl post, everything had suddenly turned to italics – all of my posts prior to and including that post. I finally said something about it tonight as I prepared to sit down and type in my next post and my daughter, Laura – 14 yrs old – says to me, and I quote: “Oh, I know what that is – it happens to me all the time.” She then proceeded to tell me that I had probably forgotten to “unitalicize” my italics at the end of my Daybook post and it had resulted in the perplexing change in the rest of the blog. I went in to edit the Daybook post, and sure enough, I had forgotten to unitalicize. A few taps on the keyboard and my little blog was back to normal. Did I feel stupid? Yes. Will it be the last time? No. At least I know where to go the next time something unexplainable pops up.