Monday, July 27, 2009

Being set apart: True Ladies and Gentlemen

I desired to write a post on ladies and gentlemen, manners, charm, and how it feels like the whole lot must be going extinct! lol

But then I realized that when I thought of them, I was wishing a "character trait" on the those who lacked character, and the art of gentility on those who knew not of it! To be a true lady (or gentleman), it has to start from the inside, and then it will be evident in what you do and how you relate to others. This is something that I've been studying (and has challenged me!) and I'd like to share with you a few thoughts.

A positive attitude is contagious....and often rare with young people. I've observed the spirit of discontentment, tiredness, and being busy in excuse for any and everything.
Let us rise above!

Gentleman: 'Man of keen sense of honour and chivalry, of refined instincts; man who shows courtesy and consideration for feeling of others.' Webster Dictionary 1867
"Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you." Titus 2:6-8

Lady: 'A woman who, apart from her birth, has good manners and a kind, generous, and honourable character.' Webster Dictionary 1867
"That they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5 (also read Proverbs 31)

It is because of these reflections that I've become more aware of how refreshing it is to see chivalry in "modern-day knights" and modesty in "stay at home daughters". Stay true, even though the world laughs and ridicules, the Lord rejoices and blesses.

If you have any comments or testimonies, please share!

ps) Thank you for the comments on my sewing project! I'm still working on my 1860s dress, but I'm taking my time :) I'll reveal it at the end of Summer!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Watch the stars and enjoy dessert...

There's just something about stargazing in the country...
In a spontanious mood, tonight my family rested on sleeping bags on the lawn and had a wonderful time; listening to the "creatures" outside, singing for a while, and just being filled with good old-fashioned awe.
"You are the only Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, with all the stars. You made the earth and everything on it, the seas and everything in them; you give life to everything. The heavenly army worships you." Nehemiah 9:5-7

This is what I made for a "summer night" dessert...
Peach and Apple Crisp
We went by a neighbor's house and were offered all the apple's we could pick!
They're the granny smith variety.
Our "wild" peaches on the property are ready!
So we harvested about 3 lbs yesterday...
4 cups of apples...peeled & sliced

2 lbs (4 cups) sliced peaches

Special ingredient: 2 TBsp Orange zest
(takes about 5 oranges)

Combine all the fruit in a large bowl.
Add 1/3 cup brown sugar,
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Crumb topping

Using a pastry blender (or fork) :
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
Cut in 1 stick butter
(until it resembles coarse crumbs)
Pour the fruit mixture into a 9x13 pan,
then sprinkle a generous layer of the topping.

Being placed into the preheated oven...
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.
~Garnishing the Crisp with whipped cream not only added a (delicious) touch, but balanced the sweet/tart combination. {Vanilla icecream would be even better!} We *loved* the aromatic taste of the really made this dish stand out!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Transition to the Simple Life

{Entrance to our urban garden}
Our suburbian home has SOLD! So now we've *officially* moved :)
It's neat that we moved so gradually..without a moving truck/boxes, we just brought our things here a little at a time until the house was vacant!
Wow, what a journey! While we lived in our old house, we used the most of our limited space by doing "square-foot organic gardening". We planted a variety of vegetables, potatoes, & fruit vines/trees.
Oh, how we miss that was perfect!!!

I've had quite a few emails and comments from my dear readers, asking if (or assuming) we've always "been this way" (desiring the country life, stay at home wife/daughters, simple living, homeschooling etc.) So I thought I'd share a little about my family :)

My sister and I went to public school until I was in 4th, she in 2nd. Then my Mother decided to homeschool us, and it was a great transition. While in school, we all had our own seperate "things to do", and "running around" to different extra curricular activities (in Atlanta suburb traffic) added to the madness :) So when we were pulled out of school, we were able to slow down, learn at our own pace, and study in depth what we were really interested in. Although we experimented with different curriculums, Mom kept the "Charlotte Mason" method and our love for the library/books started there.
Our first move:
When we moved from Atlanta, that's when our family really did a "360". I wasn't a Christian, & didn't have conviction on modest dress/staying at home/courtship vs dating/etc.
That's exactly what started changing. After I became a Christian at 13, away (somewhat) from the "old friends", rebellion and distractions, we started discovering beneficial material and resources (and scriptures!) that really helped to change our views on a few things :)
Our last year in our home was spent enjoying "country life" in the midst of suburbia! We had our clothesline, garden, (and everything else we could fit in), but dreamed of a cottage in the country.
It's finally happened.
It's only been a little over 6 months, but it was truly a blessing to find this little cottage. I feel like we've grown so much as a family, just in the last year. I've met some of you, and it surprises us how often we're approached in public places...but what a priveledge! Others are seeing the light of Christ, and that warms my heart :)
Please continue to ask questions and I hope I answered a few :)
Y'all are like family, and I really appreciate you!
Before & After
Front Porch {January 09}
After {June 09}
Our Cottage porch...
~ It sounds like a tropical forest out here..the birds are amazing.
Mr. Camouflage
~ We try to eat outside as often as possible :)
Jesse decided to join us at the picnic....
she thought it was a common mistake to forget her plate
*"You expect me to believe that you can't POSSIBLY spare a crumb?!"*

Sorry Darlin'!
~ Our antique Conover has finally been moved to the cottage! My sister and I are really enjoying playing music again :)

Little Boy Blue come blow your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow the cow's in the corn.
But where's the boy who looks after the sheep?

He's under a haystack fast asleep.

Will you wake him? No, not I - for if I do, he's sure to cry

Hope you're having a delightful Summer!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Living History

We took a road trip to a historic village to spend the 4th of July, and it was wonderful! The era is 1870-1890, (and along with everything!) I really enjoyed the costumed employees!
First, we toured the "Peanut Museum" and observed the peanut plants outside..
now Dad wants to grow peanuts next year!
The Gift Shop
Steam Train Ride
The living history museum sits on 95 acres of beautiful country...
we were able to take a train ride around the site!

I enjoyed seeing the farm animals out there! There were Cows, ducks, geese, sheep and chickens!


1870's Traditional Farmhouse

I *loved it* inside the farmhouses.. rustic simplicity!


The Town Drugstore & Ice Cream Shop

We all sat down to enjoy peach icecream, and enjoyed talking to the ladies who worked there! They were both dressed in "1890's" apparel, which I got excited about! We wore our hat's of course ;)


1890's FarmHouse

I enjoyed watching this lady...she spins the wool of her own sheep, and her close friend dyes the wool different colors at re-enactment events! I asked a few questions, and it was wonderful to hear her knowledge on the subject!


The Commissary (General Store)

I could've stayed in the general store all day! It was wonderful to see the different items from the era, and we had a good laugh to find out that we own a few "period correct" objects at home!


The Blacksmith Shop

I hadn't any idea how hot the fire gets in order to melt the iron; he told me 3000 degrees! Yikes!

A piece of iron being molded into it's new shape!

The finished result: A snake! It was an excellent demonstration :)


The Printing Press

This original press is over 120 years old, and is still in use :)


This inspiring dress was on display in the museum, and (you know me!) I couldn't help myself but *try* to capture it! Hopefully I'll make a dress like this someday :)

It was so hard to leave! We were exhausted from a full day of walking, but it was definetely worth it! Dad expressed his desire to come back in the fall when the weather cools down..that'll be nice!

What a memorable {and Inspiring} Day!