Sunday, August 17, 2008

School bells are ringing

Here is what we've spent the last couple of days doing. We completely re-painted the livingroom and got the desks set up. A few of the desks I already owned, the littlest and the biggest, but the trio of mid-size ones I found this past week. I'm not an all out desk enthusiast, but for subjects that involve neat handwriting, I really like the children to be properly seated. The problem is that in the winter no one wants to sit at the kitchen table; because we don't have central heat it gets a bit arctic out there. ;-) So, problem solved, hopefully. The minute we got these set up all of the younger 6 children scrambled to find their seat and whipped out schoolbooks from last year and...... started doing school. I guess they miss it, lol.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whatsoever is pure, whatsoever is lovely.......

I've been musing lately about a "life well lived" and a life that runs over with beauty. I'm afraid that I can't quite express my thoughts very well so bear with me here. ;-) I will often remark to the children about the beautiful things we see or the beautiful people we encounter; I want them to be so familiar with loveliness that the crassness that surrounds us in this culture will never seem alluring. Have you ever thought about how many children raised in "Christian" homes grow up and spurn everything they've been taught? I've thought about it a lot and I want to avoid that heartache if possible. I'm trying to make our lifestyle so inviting that they'll never want any other. One person whose lifestyle I really admire is/was Tasha Tudor. If you've never "met" her then by all means check out of your library "Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts" and "The Private World of Tasha Tudor". She was a wonderfully amazing womanly woman. Now, I want to add that she was not a Christian and therefore seriously missed the mark, but her committment to live the life that she wanted to live is laudable. So often I will think about when I'm old or when I've gone to my reward and I'll think of the legacy that I'm leaving behind. I don't have material wealth, so all that I can really offer my children is me. I am striving to make their childhood beautiful and sweet and innocent. Yes, we're accused of *sheltering* them, but really, aren't you supposed to shelter children? There's a reason that I gave birth to children and not tadpoles, for instance. OK, so frogs don't give birth to tadpoles either, but that's not my point. ;-) Children need guidance and nurturing for many, many years; God gave them parents to do this job. Parenting isn't about trying to be my children's best friend or any sort of popularity contest, rather, it's about molding their character so they will want to do what's right. There are so many incredibly beautiful things in our everyday life that it isn't hard to find them.
Rosegold potatoes in their jars all beautifully pink and white, my 1860's jelly cupboard bursting with some of the fruits of our labor: dried fruits, honey, maple syrup, dried clover; the girls all fresh faced from their baths with clean dresses that I sewed, the ducks playing in the creek, the thankfulness of the pigs........ I could go on a long time I think before I ran out of things to praise. So, with such inducements before me why would I choose modern culture? Part of this month's Tea Stories on Tasha Tudor's website says this
A great many people who have come to know and love Tasha over the years have written, called, and visited to explain why she meant so much to them and how she influenced their lives. It is both comforting and inspiring to realize the clarity with which Tasha understood life, and the traditions so important to her, are some of the greatest gifts she offered a world often preoccupied with less than positive musings.
Anyhow, I guess my challenge to you would be to parent (if you've been so blessed) intentionally with an eye toward eternity and live a beautiful and lovely life.

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me,
Here he lies where he longed to be.
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


We had our first and only event this weekend, the annual ---- reenactment. ---- is located in the --- and actually has a very interesting history, you can read about it ---. Unfortunately the event itself can best be described as mediocre; and that's being kind. Still, I got to meet some people who frequent the Sewing Academy and it was nice to put names to faces. First was Bevin Coggeshall, then Glenna Jo Christen, Bill Clark, and finally Kay Gnagey. Mrs. Gnagey asked the children to be in the fashion show on Sunday to illustrate how period correct children ought to be dressed. They were quite excited to be asked. We videoed the whole thing but didn't take any still photos (sorry Angie ;-) ) Bevin, Chris and Bill brought a croquet set and Tabitha and Rebekah enjoyed playing on the lawn.

As you can see, somebody else thought this was worth photographing, I didn't mean for him to be in the picture but, so it is!

These are some girls who were interested in trying on Tabitha and Rebekah's bonnets. Their Mother hadn't brought her camera so I took the picture and e-mailed it to her.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Done at last!

I decided yesterday so sew a little bit on Tabitha's dress. It was already cut out thanks to Katie. Well, anyway, 3 hours later it was done except for the buttonholes which I did today. So, without further ado, here she is.
Hers was also the last corded bonnet that I had to finish. I was pretty tired of bonnets long before I was finished but they needed doing so........ Suffice to say, I won't be undertaking anymore anytime in the near future!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Rebekah's 8th birthday

We celebrated Rebekah's birthday today, though it was actually yesterday the 3rd. We've had her for 8 whole years! We modeled (loosely) her birthday off of Tasha Tudor's book Becky's Birthday.

I sewed her a new dress and pinafore and then Katie hid them until after Rebekah was asleep so that the first thing she saw upon waking was the outfit. When she saw it she smiled and immediately put it on and was very happy, dancing around, laughing...... ;-)

Katie helped her braid her hair and then after breakfast I put the daisy crown that I made her on her head and she opened her presents. She asked for:
  1. new underwear
  2. a singing bird (this is a stuffed songbird that sings its call)
  3. books
  4. a new dress
We got her everything that she wanted plus some sea shells and 3 nesting boxes that I found at Goodwill. I made her cake and decorated it with Chicory flowers.

Then we borrowed a friend's icecream freezer and made peach icecream. I'm no great fan of icecream or desserts in general, but I must say that it was the best icecream I've ever had. All in all a very nice day!