Sunday, December 21, 2008

Elisabethe's birthday

Elisabethe had her 5th birthday on Sunday, the 21st and that finishes out our birthdays for the year! I decided -remembered?- that she needed a birthday dress on friday and so we went through our meager fabric stash and found this piece. I wanted to do something different so I decided to try my hand at making bretelles.Bretelles are the over-the-shoulder-thingys that you see edged in rick rack. Rick rack isn't exactly period correct, at least not our modern Jo-Ann Fabrics version, but it was what I had. The bretelles have royal blue rick rack while the waistband is edged in black; that wasn't intentional, I thought that I needed another pack of blue when really I needed black. I never noticed until the bretelles were on, so they'll be coming off and be redone. Bretelles are an 1840's thing which is an era we don't reenact, so this is technically just an everyday dress, not one for reenactments or living histories. Therefore, the messed up bretelles shouldn't bug me, but they do! They dress has 3 growth tucks as well, which are hard to see unfortunately.
Elisabethe had told me in August that she wanted a birthday picnic like Rebekah had and I kind of just blew it off in my mind -you don't have picnics in December- but as her birthday drew closer I began to reconsider. So, we had a picnic by the fire complete with subs, potato salad and 2 kinds of jello.

And then, we roasted marshmallows in the woodstove!

And made smores!

The whole thing turned out very well, it was an interesting notion to picnic whilst the snow blew!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A sweet story

I have blogged at various times about our oldest son, Aleks, but I've rarely put up pictures of him. He tends to be un-photogenic, like I am, and nobody likes pictures put up when they don't look good so....... lots of stories, no pictures. This past Sunday, during Church, I snapped several pictures and just had to share them with you anyway. Abby likes to sit with Aleks, she really likes to hold his hand and thinks he's just wonderful. He is very gracious about the whole thing (I just love him for it!) Anyhow, here they are, we're singing in the pictures, by the way.Before we were even done singing she fell asleep, isn't that absolutely precious?
Elisabethe (who is almost 5) has stated often that she's going to marry Aleks. When she's in bed she talks to Katie a lot about what her wedding dress will look like, what dances they'll do (he'll bow and she will curtsey) about the cake.......... and on and on. Katie asked her the other night "what if Aleks wants to marry someone else?" and she got a horrified look on her face and said "why would Aleks want to marry somebody else?" ;-) Now, don't misunderstand, Aleks finds all that talk about marrying his 5 year old sister embarrassing, but he'd never hurt her feelings over it. Sometimes, I'm actually tempted to think I've got this parenting thing down pat. But, then I overhear Rebekah singing "Silver bells, silver bells, it's Christmas time in the privy" and I know that I've got a long way to go!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Various things pertaining to historical living

This is Katie's "transition dress" which she wore to Christmas in ---, it is called a transition dress because she's beginning to cross the divide from girlhood to womanhood. In the 1860's that transition was delayed until the mid to late teens, very unlike today where the littlest of girls are routinely dressed like street walkers. It has features of both children's and adult's dresses and still is not the floor length of an adult gown. For the event she wore her hair in a single braid down the back tied with a silk ribbon, the pinner apron is a wonderfully useful garment for keeping one's dress from becoming mussed up and is handy for carrying and wiping any number of things!

Courtesy of Gramma, the 6 youngest children had presents to open at ---. Tabitha and Rebekah received the penny wooden dolls on the left and Katie made the rolled cloth dolls on the right for Elisabethe and Abigail. We brought along blocks and cloth scraps and the girls made their dolls a house with beds and put a pine branch in an empty wooden spool for a Christmas tree in miniature. Levi and Micah enjoyed entertaining us with the flapjack on the bottom left and quickly learned how to use the top on the bottom right and competed with who could spin it the longest which eventually became "see who can knock the top over as it spins so your brother doesn't win". Pretty much everybody tried their hand (er, mouth) at the Jew's harp in the center. We also got a book about making paper dolls since the girls are forever-and-a-day wanting me to cut dolls for them. All these toys were purchased from the Ragged Soldier, a wonderful on-line store run by the Mescher's, selling all kinds of nifty old-fashioned toys for reenacting children!

We went today to try on the coat that I ordered for Aleks. A pair of Amish sisters sew coats for a living so I'm having wool coats made for the three boys. Aleks' coat fit great and the woman did an excellent job, which is a relief to me. I have several people who have helped me with sewing at various times and some are certainly more skilled than others. The shirt to the right is one of nine shirts that my friend Anna made for the boys. It is a "squares and rectangles" shirt, excellently sewn complete with beautiful handmade buttonholes. Truly, a well made shirt is a thing of beauty!

The picture below is called "Watchers in the Night", I used to have a very small version of it hanging up when we lived in North Carolina, but it apparently got mislaid in the many moves since then. I absolutely love the angel depicted in it, so manly and protective! Did you know that every Biblical angel whose gender is known is male? I think it's just another example of every good thing being corrupted into something different than the Lord intended, I can't think of too many pictures I've ever seen with manly angels. Either they are completely effeminate (which is an abomination) or they're female (which I suppose would also be an abomination since God didn't create them thus). Every child has an angel who always beholds the face of the Father, I take comfort in that. But, supper is almost ready, we're having ham steaks, mashed potatoes with cream and cream cheese, and peas! Good night.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas in Zoar

It has been quite a while since I wrote anything here due to the press of getting everything ready for the Christmas in Zoar event. Zoar is a village that is now a historical site, the home of 19th century German separatists. They have a semi-annual reenactment that we really enjoy but this is their first Christmas reenactment. We don't normally do cold weather events so I had quite a few garments to sew to be ready. Originally we were to be in the Gardener's house but on wednesday (3 days ago!) the Ohio Historical Society decided that we could not be there after all, no reason was given and they could not be persuaded! So, we were moved to the Sewing house, they *did* furnish it for us and it was "heated" which was a requirement because of the children. Well, as it turns out, this is the coldest "first weekend in December" we've had in 10 years! So much for global warming. ;-) The house was COLD! The children were huddled around with teeth chattering, bored to death because nobody came. Well, 4 small groups did, but not a single child. This was due to several reasons: the cold, the programs had us listed in the Gardener's house which was closer to where the public mainly was (there were signs put up re-directing the public), but the sign outside the Sewing house said "not open to the public" which nobody thought about until we pointed it out. What a letdown. I'm not sure if we're going back tomorrow or not, it depends on the weather, I guess.