Monday, December 29, 2008

SecondHand Treasure- An Abandoned Greenhouse!

((grin)) What do you think? :)

Our neighbor knew we were into gardening, and let us know that we could have her greenhouse (and all its contents) since she didn't use it. I helped my dad by clearing, and sorting out the seed starters & pots...there were MANY!!! :)

At first, I thought the ivy-covered door and sides were romantic and lovely (in a rustic kind-of way) but when we had to cut through it, I was amazed at how tough and strong and horrible ivy is! ugh, I think the ivy lost its romantic-ness....
My sister and I leveled the area where the greenhouse will be located.
It was alot of hard work, but we did it!
My dad asked a friend to come, but it was an unexpected blessing to have many of our neighbors lend a hand! The greenhouse has a sprinkler system and electricity, so one of the neighbors was able to safely cut the wires before lifting...
Here it comes!! The whole neighborhood was involved, lol!
(hmm, I thought things like this "only happen in the country..."
Almost there...

~A snapshot from today~
{hmm, I wonder what seeds we'll plant first?}

I'm so excited about this new greenhouse! We've never had one before, and its so spacious; my dad will build shelves etc. for the inside, and I'll keep you updated if we start planting in January!

"The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring." Isaiah 58:11

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Baking on Christmas Eve

What a special time of year! Spending time in the kitchen with my Mom, we talked and laughed as we baked. We made Banana bread, Pumpkin Apple Bread, Peanut Butter cookies, Old-fashioned pound cake, and NY style cheese-cake. During the day, a few neighbors brought us "christmas treats" and as was so convenient, we were able to give fresh cake slices and cookies in return :)
This pound cake recipe I got from an 1860's style cookbook, and it turned out delicious....really, delicious.

Old-Fashioned Pound Cake

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, Grease 2 loaf pans, In a medium bowl add:
1 lb butter, and 6 egg yolks (set the egg whites aside)
2. Add 2 cups sugar...
3. Cream ingredients
Add 1 TBsp vanilla
{my *favorite* ingredient!}
In a seperate bowl, whisk together:
3 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt
Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture a little bit at a time,
then whisk the egg whites (until frothy/thick) and add 'em to the batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pans
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, then decrease the heat
to 325 degrees and bake for 25 minutes.
"She rises while it is yet night and provides food
for her household and portions for her maidens." Proverbs 31:15

Candle-lit Dinner on Christmas Eve...

How did you spend your Christmas Eve? At home? With kindred spirits or extended family? I'd love to hear about it :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter, you are most welcome...

What a cold morning! Last night we kept warm sitting by
the fireplace, and enjoyed reading by candlelight.

Frosty plant...
(um, I think it's a weed, but I didn't want to admit

Last week, I was able to have a 'sewing lesson' by one of the older women at church. She used to make all of her daughters' clothes, and I was able to learn so much history as well. She told of when patterns used to cost $0.15, young women married at 16, and candy was "5 for a penny"!

This photo is titled: "Learning About Dressmaking in Class to Prepare Her For Married Life" LIFE Magazine, 1948

We were invited to come dressed up in our re-enacting attire again to sing Christmas carols yesterday...In a historical house (built in the early 1800's) We sang accapella, and it was so much fun being able to see all the costumes again! The local news reporters were there for the event as well. {Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take pictures, but if I'm emailed any, I'll post them!} While there, we were able to meet new people, and more opportunities for ministry came up! My sister and I were asked to sing (on the spot!) for an older couple, so we just sang "silent night" since it was being played on the organ in the other room. It went really well, and next thing we know, we're asked to sing at their church! (!?!)

I think we'll be doing more re-enacting as much has happened this month, its amazing! I apologize for not blogging as frequently, having a busy schedule is foreign territory for us! :)

Ah, but the Lord is GOOD!

"Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. " Colossians 3:16

Monday, December 15, 2008

A flurry of excitement last weekend...

I love getting dressed up in period clothing, especially 19th century attire; so when our family was asked to re-enact in a 1860's Christmas presentation at a historic church, we were delighted!

I played guitar and sang, my parents both had speaking roles, and my siblings sang as well. It went wonderfully--above and beyond our expectations! We had a cast of about 30, and the candle-lit church held a "full house" of visitors. Even the cemetery outside was decorated with candles-The evening was truly magical!! As the letter writings of War-torn soldiers were read, Christmas carols sung, and a war-era funeral progressed, I enjoyed that feeling of being "put back in time". We all enjoyed the hoop skirt experience (although during rehearsal I knocked over my guitar stand, my music stand, guitar (cringe!), lost my guitar pick, and had to make sure I wasn't too close to the heater, I survived and avoided moving anywhere during the performance!)

Afterward, it was a huge blessing to greet the people who came. They seemed to really enjoy it and had nothing but praises for the event! We too had a "capital" time, and assured everyone we'd do this next year :)

Early Sunday morning, we traveled to SC to go to a conference at the house church we attend there. ~Mr. Scott Brown (from vision-forum ministries) came as a guest speaker, and his message was excellent! After fellowship meal, I played guitar and visited with friends before we left. We visited my Grandmother for a few hours, then we headed home! We had an eventful weekend, but look forward to the next two weeks of surprises and ministry! :)

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations will worship before You. Psalm 22:27

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reflections of the season

As the Christmas season draws nearer, I still try to remember that it's not Winter....yet.
So this post will be dedicated to all things 'autumn', remembrances of these past 2 months, and a few photos I'd like to share before the theme of winter approaches...
Harvested Herbs

Homespun needlework

Fallen Leaves

Beautiful homeschooling chaos

Touring a working farm

Autumns End~

I saw an ancient remnant
Of a once effulgent spring
Tumbling in the winter wind.
A sapless leaf, blown about, With no discernable direction.
How long had it labored in the wind? What of the tree that gave it life?
The branch that brought it nourishment? How they must have mourned its departure.
Was it pride that brought it here?
As its color turned from green to gold, Did it forsake its loving branch?
Did it listen to the whisperings
Of the heartless winter wind, And leave the tree to become free?
I watched the brittle leaf blow
Wondering how it will be for me
When my Autumn nears its end.
Will I hold steadfast to the branch That lifts me toward the light,
Or will I falter in the whispering winter wind?
~Jeff Bidiman

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A homemade petticoat...

Our family will be participating in an 1860's Christmas presentation, for which, I require a petticoat (among other things!) and decided that it would be best if I made my own. I ran across this website on how to make a petticoat for $1.00 using a dust-ruffle!

I tried it out, and it worked perfectly :)
We started with a full-size dust-ruffle...

Cut the "ruffle" side that we didn't need...

Fold in half, then fold and mark the length...

Here's Mother measuring the petticoat (I'm tall, so I think I made mine 38")

Then cut the desired length...
Pin the side seam together (I doubled mine by folding it in half, so I don't have 2 sides to pin/sew, only one side)
Then I just sewed a straight line down the seam..
(lol can you tell I'm fancy with stitch-work? :)
For the drawstring waist, I just folded the top, then sewed that...

Using a string with a safety pin attached to the end, guide it through the casing...

Then you can adjust it to any size!

ps) Caught you, Mom! She was tending to her herbs whilst I took this photo...


This is a picture of myself wearing the petticoat underneath my favourite 19th century dress.