She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

Photo compliments of Dani of Eagles Wings

Just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very happy and blessed Happy Thanksgiving!

Of the many, many things that I am thankful for are the dear people I have met here through journaling. I began my journal on December 1st of last year. I thought it would be fun to chronicle some of our family's journey, record my favorite recipes while using my creativity as well. Never did I realize that my life would be touched in such a profound way.

Through sharing and reading your journals, I have learned so much from you all. Some have inspired me to creativity. Some have prompted me to greater service and holiness. Others have made me laugh out loud! While some have even made me cry. With each person I share, I feel I become a little better ME.

I am thankful for that and for you!

For now I'm "over the river and through the woods" to grandmother's house ~ so until next week, I remain,

So very grateful,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Worthy Endeavor
from Apron Memories

I adore aprons and all that they represent for me ~ keeper of the home, service, and beauty are just a few. I read about the National Tie One On Day on at EllenAnne Geisel's journal, Apron Memories.

Here is a wonderful tradition that she has created. I felt it so worthy of my attention. She encourages:

"On the day before Thanksgiving, ... pause in the preparation of our own meal, wrap a loaf of bread in an apron, tuck a prayer or note of encouragement in the pocket, and tie one apron, of course!, and deliver the wrapped bundle to someone in need of spiritual or physical sustenance. No matter which way you turn out of your own front door, someone who is deserving of a hug is very close by."

Wednesday will be a busy day for us as we prepare to for the long drive to my parents to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I already have someone in mind for my special package and know I can make the time to hopefully shine a little light into someone's day.

If her story has tugged at your heartstrings, you can read more about it on her web-site, Apron Memories.

Here is a little apron history that my friend, Julie, shared with me. I thought it so lovely and hope you will too.


I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, 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.

Don't forget to check my sidebar for lots of wonderful new giveaways. Seems everyone is sharing this time of year. I hope to host a Country Farmhouse Giveaway on December 1st, too!

Wishing you joy,

Friday, November 21, 2008

I Finished Stitching
My Raggedy Ann Redwork Pillows

I finally finished up the set of Raggedy Ann Redwork pillows for my sister's Christmas present. She has a large collection of vintage and new raggedy ann dolls, and I thought these would add a nice accent in the room where she displays them. Since my sister is an excellent cook, I chose the little cooking Annie just for especially for her. You can click on the photo for a closer peek!

I stitched the little Annie's with floss on old linen using an Aunt Martha's transfer (#3987 Shaggy Maggie). The transfers are so cute. There's even a sewing Annie that I might just stitch up for myself after all my Christmas gifts are completed.

My little Annie doll just had to get into the picture!

I bought this particular stitchery pattern at Hobby Lobby, but you can purchase direct from Colonial Patterns online as well. They have all sorts of fun designs to choose from. My friend, Dani of Dani's 1951 Shop, also sells some wonderful primitive stitchery patterns from her stitching blog where she links to all sorts of wonderful FREE stitching tutorials and patterns. If you enoy stitching, or would like to get started, her journal is a great place to visit.

Have fun,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Comes Early!

Hurray! I won a giveaway at Primitive by the Light of the Moon, and look what arrived in the mail? Isn't it wonderful? I just love the way it looks ~ a brown package wrapped in homespun ~ simple beauty. And the little snowman on top is a handmade punch needle pin that I can wear during the holidays. Thank you, Ginger. I just love it.

What's inside you ask? Well, I didn't open it. LOL Nope, it's just TOO pretty to open. I know that it's a kit to make these penny ornaments, so until I'm ready to stitch them, I'm going to keep the package intact. It's like having two gifts in one!

You can get the FREE pattern for these ornaments from Ginger of Primtive by the Light of the Moon. She is also continuing to have giveaways throughout the holidays. So be sure to stop by and take a look. She's been busy creating all sorts of beautiful prim treasures for her shops. Just look at these sock monkeys that she made. I just love them! Reminds me of me and Jeffrey! LOL

I've been listening to all the pretty Christmas music on so many journals that the boys have decided we MUST begin our Christmas decorating today. So today it begins! I can hardly wait. With my short memory, every year is like a treasure hunt. I'm always surprised at the Christmas things I forgot I had last year. So this should be lots of fun.

With joy,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From My Kitchen ~
Three Cheese Baked Pasta

I had planned to make cheese stuffed shells for our supper, but when I went to the pantry there were no pasta shells to be found. So I cooked up this Three Cheese Baked Pasta, and it was so delicious that I thought I'd share it.


1 15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (a little extra to sprinkle on top if you desire)
1 box (16 oz) pasta, cooked and drained
1 jar (26 to 28 oz) pasta sauce of your choice (we use 2 jars because Jeffrey likes it extra saucy)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs and Parmesan cheese; set aside.

3. In another bowl, thoroughly combine cooked pasta and pasta sauce.

NOTE: We prefer Radiatore shaped pasta because the little grooves hold the sauce so well, and they're bite size so Colton doesn't need assistance to cut them. Of course, you may use any noodle you prefer like ziti, bow ties, piccolini ... you name it, it works!

4. In a 13 x 9 baking dish, spoon 1/2 of the pasta mixture; evenly top with cheese mixture and then sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella. Spoon remaining pasta mixture on top of cheeses. Sprinkle final cup of mozzarella on top. You can even sprinkle a little more parmesan on top if you would like.

NOTE: I had just a bit of shredded cheddar left so I sprinkled that on top, too. Like I really needed those extra calories ... BUT it did add such a nice color to the dish. I like things to look pretty as well as taste good.

5. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through.

YET ANOTHER INCONSEQUENTIAL NOTE: I mixed the extra jar of pasta sauce right in before preparing the recipe. Instead, you can just warm the extra jar up separately and let everyone spoon extra sauce on their serving to their own taste. I might do that next time because Colton was very unhappy with amount of sauce in his serving. He has some texture issues and messy is not a good thing for him.

Of course, we served it with bread and butter, and a nice side of steamed broccoli ~ our standard green veggie at most every meal.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Quiet Weekend

I awoke this morning to a lovely scene from my front window ~ autumn displayed in all its glory. I walked out onto the front porch to take this photo and within moments a brisk North wind blew in, filling the air with leaves. It was magical! With the wind, the cold air settled in making it a perfect day to stay indoors and enjoy a fire and some homemade chicken soup that I cooked up for yesterday's supper.

I am feeling energetic today and have recovered from this weeklong fight with a cold. Unfortunately, Jeff & boys are all sick now, but I'm nursing them while I fit little projects in along the way.

Today I hope to complete two stitching projects, and begin reading the book of Jeremiah. I've been reading Janelle's journal, Thoughts from My Heart, as she studies Biblical prophecies from the book of Jeremiah. I am ashamed at my lack of knowledge of scriptures in this area and have decided to begin a personal study as I read along with hers. I am anxious to begin that as well. And maybe, some time today, I hope to make my dear husband a pecan pie with the nuts gathered from his trees. I just know that would make his day. Everyone needs a little pampering now and then.

Hope that you're enjoying this blessed Saturday,

Friday, November 14, 2008

??? More Free Money ???

Wow! Already this morning, I've heard about five people who found missing money! I am so happy for them all.

So scroll down and read my post on Free Money and see if your name is on the list!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

??? Free Money ???

I know it just doesn't sound real, does it? However, an exciting thing happened tonight while I was searching on-line for college scholarships for my oldest son.

On our Tennessee state web-site, I came across two websites for Unclaimed Property Searches. I've heard about these sites in the past and, no doubt, held my breath while I searched for our names in hopes that somewhere there was some unclaimed treasure awaiting our discovery.

Well tonight I got a BIG surprise. My husband's name DID show up on one of the searches for two unclaimed property entries! Hurray! One is for between $10-$100 and the other is for $100 or more. Now all I have to do is complete the claim forms and submit them to receive our lost property.

Can you imagine how excited I am? You know me ~ I get excited about Walmart freebies or a free gum sample!

So if you get a chance, just stop by these sites and type your name in ... and your husband's name ... and your maiden name ... and your mother's name ... well you get the idea. You just never know!

Missing Money is a nationwide search. Our names did not appear on this search.

NAUPA is a list of state maintained web-sites. We ran our names in each state where we've lived in the past. And from a state link on this site is where my lucky husband's name appeared!

Blessings often come from the most unexpected places, don't they?

Have fun,

Please check my sidebar for some lovely giveaways!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prairie Doll & Sampler Kitty

Today was one of the those busy catch up days. I'm feeling so much better ... but my house??? Well ... Jeff & the boys have done a wonderful job taking care of big things, but men just don't seem to notice all the little things like pecan shells scattered across the living room floor! Needless to say, I didn't get much stitching done up today.

But I squeezed in a few moments to share two little projects that I completed recently for my autumn decorating.

Isn't this sampler kitty sweet? I just fell in love with him. He's stitched on linen, stained and then stuffed with (wouldn't you know it) crushed pecan shells! He has a nice olde time feel, and I love using what I have just like our grandmothers and great grandmothers might have. I made him from a pattern by Primitive Bettys. Betty often offers free stitchery patterns on her blog as well as ones that you may purchase.

Then I stitched up this old prairie doll and clothed her in rich autumn colored homespun. She has the year '1701' stitched onto her apron, and is stuffed with old rags so she is heavy and lumpy ... just the way a prairie doll should be.

I've just completed the 2 redwork Raggedy Ann panels for my sister's Christmas pillows. I hope to get them backed with some pretty Debbie Mumm fabric so I can share them next Wednesday.

Can't wait to see what you're all working on! I get so inspired when I see all the wonderfully creative ideas in your journals.

Be sure to stop by Leslie of My Country Home to see what other gals are working on this Wednesday.

Blessings & joy,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Autumn, Glorious Autumn!

Today was one of those perfect days. The kind of simple day that wraps its arms around you and leaves a sweet memory in your heart.

Our Little House in the Big Woods.
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!

The forecast predicted a dark and rainy day, but I awoke to a warm morning with the sun reflecting off every shimmering leaf in the woods. It seems that overnight the forest was tranformed. Honestly, the beauty of God's creation just left me breathless!

Dear Cora, I thought of you and took these pictures especially so you could share in our autumn. We even picked some leaves just for you!

The boys' jeans hanging on the line

After I put on a big pot of white beans and hung out the laundry ~ Luke, Colton & I took our home learning outdoors, and had such fun. We took a nature walk, collected leaves, identified trees and gathered nuts. When we couldn't identify some of the nuts, we walked down the road to grandfather's house for some help. (And Colton walked the entire way with no wheelchair ... and no complaining which was quite a feat I can tell you!)

The road to grandparent's house.

Of course, grandfather knew right away what they all were ... and we were thrilled that they're all good for eating! A big THANK YOU to Sharon of Keeper of the Home where we discovered that the nuts laying all over the ground around here are hickory and black walnuts and are a great food source!

Colton and his Papa

Colton also got to visit his duck which was a gift from his grandmother. It had lost all of its yellow down and has turned into a soft grey and white duck. Colton chose to name him "Tinman". Of course, I thought it was the most clever name ever! LOL

Colton, Luke and Tinman

Then we visited the horses and gave them some delicious pecan leaves to munch on which made them very happy. They live in the field right outside the grandparent's home. One of the horses was a gift to Jeffrey from his mother, but we still don't have the needed fencing to bring him home yet. It will be so nice when we do. Can't wait to spoil him with a daily carrot!


We had a front porch visit with Aunt Teresa and cousins Lily & Isabella. Luke and I shelled pecans for Colton & Lily who couldn't get enough! The pecans on their trees make ours look like tiny little things. Each half is as big as your entire thumb! Can't wait til ours grow up too.

Colton, Aunt Teresa & Cousin Lily

We gathered 5 large baskets of pecan and 2 types of hickory nuts. Colton said, "It's like manna from heaven!" And it was. Delicious food just waiting to be gathered.

Me, Colton & Luke with our pecans.

To gather the pecans, Luke climbed high into the tree and shook the branches. The pecans were good and dry, so they just rained from the trees. I laughed in amazement of it all! We couldn't wait for Jeffrey to get home from work to share our harvest with him.

Our manna!

And to end the day with a big bowl of white beans with bread & butter ... what could be sweeter?

Luke on the road home

Wishing you a blessed autumn,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Redwork Quilt ~

I just love olde-fashioned Redwork Embroidery. This historic art was very popular from about 1880-1920. At that time, patterns were stitched in red (sometimes blue) on a muslin background.

An old time redwork quilt

Sears & Roebuck used to offer "penny squares" ~ little pieces of muslin with a printed pattern that were sold for 1 penny each. A very special treat for the ladies of this time period.

For some time, I've dreamed of creating a Redwork Bible Quilt of my very own. I looked and looked for just the right pattern and finally discovered exactly what I needed in a child's Bible story coloring book.

My quilt will have 42 8" blocks ~ each depicting a page in Bible history or a Biblical truth. This weekend I completed my first stitched block. It's my hope to complete at least one block each week ... more would be wonderful ... but realistically I think I can complete at least one. Best of all, my mom will be creating a similar quilt along with me!

Here is my first block:

It is lying on two fabric samples. One is a homespun gingham and the other is a deep crimson cotton print. Each block will eventually be framed in a 1 inch border. Which do you prefer?

If you would like to learn to embroider, I found a wonderful website called Needle'N Thread by Mary Corbet. She has created a free on-line video library of short one-minute tutorials for many common embroidery stitches, including the backstitch which is the only stitch I used in my Redwork block.

Be sure to stop by Leslie of My Country Home to see what other ladies are working on this Wednesday.

Find joy,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Ames Plantation Heritage Festival

One of my very favorite past times is visiting living history museums or festivals. I am drawn to simpler days and the folks that created such beautiful lives with so little except their ingenuity and creativity. I never tire of learning more.

I was so fortunate to attend The Heritage Festival at The Ames Planation in Grand Junction, Tennessee. So many arts were represented there, and I left wanting to experience them all.

I just wanted to share some images from my special day.

A glimpse of old tyme cabin life

A few of the delightufl historians who spent time teaching me about the domestic arts of our foremothers

On the farm

Colton had a fun day too!
He found an orange tractor (his favorite color).

He was the first in our family to milk a goat. A fact that he is extremely proud of.

Colton got to feel sheep wool and llama wool. He saw photos of the sheep, touched the wool, watched it being spun into yarn and then held a sweater that was knit from the wool. It was a wonderful experience for him. I was pretty thrilled myself!

And finally he got to pet some very large draft horses which he complained were breathing their hot air into his ears. LOL

I have already marked my calendar for next year!

And please don't forget to scroll down to my next post for a wonderful giveaway and free Penny Rug Christmas ornament pattern from Ginger at Primtives by the Light of the Moon. Really ... you don't want to miss it!

Wishing you joy,