Heirloom Party

Friday, July 31, 2009

A BIG thank you Marie for hosting today's Heirloom Party. Admittedly, I had a hard time deciding what I'd share. Mostly, because I am an Heirloom type of gal. I love anything old.

Oldest daughter, Jessica is named for my Great-Grandmother, Jessie Alexandra Walker. She was my maternal grandfather's mother. I knew her well when I was a girl (she passed away when I was 20...she was 95). This is a portrait of her, her 4 sisters and her 2 sister-in-laws. She is the second from left in the back row.

When my Grandma was expecting her first grandchild (that would be me), Great-Grandma Jessie gave her a special rocking chair. That chair was what I asked for when my Grandma passed away. It was old, and kind of ugly and no one else wanted it, so it came home with me. It sat in storage for a few years until I got the gumption to refinish it. Some cleaning, sanding, new varnish and upholstery and the end result is a chair that I love. It has rocked many generations of babies.

Youngest daughter, Jadyn Rose is named for her Great-Great-Grandmother Rose Ella Wood. I have a portrait of her too but I couldn't locate it to share. The bible I am sharing came from Great-Grandma Rose. It belonged to her Grandmother. It is full of little notes, family history, bookmarks, pressed flowers, etc. I just LOVE it and I love the history of Godly women in the family. Such a legacy!

Outdoor Wednesday ~ A trip to the beach!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Participating in Outdoor Wednesday today. Check out all the posts at A Southern Day Dreamer

My 2 youngest children had the opportunity to travel with my Mom & Dad this summer. They visited New Mexico, Arizona & California. I was raised in San Diego, and although I LOVE living on the prairie, sometimes I miss a day at the beach. Today I am sharing a picture my 15 year old dear daughter took (the budding photographer).

The Family Table

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Father, we thank Thee for this food.
For health and strength and all things good.
May others all these blessings share,
and hearts be thankful everywhere.

It is interesting to see how many books are devoted recently to the subject of eating meals as a family. I remember the day (yeah, I know, I’m getting old) when buying such a book would have baffled folks. Why, because families ate together. That is just how it was done…no one would have bought a book dedicated to the subject. Now there are actual studies done on the act of sharing mealtimes (“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends shared dinner times as often as possible as a way to strengthen families and support children’s development”). Growing up in a city (not a farm where the whole family worked cooperatively), we didn’t eat breakfast and lunch (dinner) together except on the weekends but we had supper together every night, with our feet tucked under my Momma’s table. We each helped to *create* that meal that we shared. Someone would peel potatoes or prepare the vegetables, someone else would set the table, make a salad, etc. Afterwards, there would be the clearing of the dishes then the dishes were washed, dried and put away. Day in and day out, that was just what we did. Eating out was a very rare occurrence. There were the special occasions though...supper at Grandma’s house, company coming to supper, a special holiday meal, a summer picnic planned at the park or mountains or a church potluck. Looking back, mealtime was a time of peacefulness, sharing, laughing and genuinely enjoying each other’s company. Lessons were learned, thankfulness (grace started each meal), table manners, simple cooking tasks, how things were done, passed from one generation to another. I’m so thankful my Mom & Dad observed a family table and meal times were sacred.

Now that I am the Mom, I’ve tried hard to make the same experiences. With only 2 children still at home, I really see the need for families to do this. Your time with your children is so very short. You won’t believe how incredibly quickly it will go. Draw distinct boundaries around at least 1 meal a day when every member of the household will be home to enjoy it together. Incorporate your children in the routine of preparing that meal, readying the table (even a 3 year old can set silverware at each place setting) and the clean up. Many times my kids have shared special thoughts with me when it has been just the 2 of us washing and drying dishes. One more thing, whatever you have that is “special” (your wedding china, Grandma’s special tablecloth, etc.), use it on occasion for your family. They are special and so worth your special stuff.

Today's Thrifty Treasures

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm sharing my ~Today's Thrifty Treasures~

Firstly, I'm new at this an want to say thank you for Rhoda and her lovely blog.

Now I want to say that I have been coveting hutches lately. I've been wanting one, praying for one, drooling over all the ones I've seen (you get the idea here). Then I remembered that I WAS blessed with a lovely cabinet. I bought it back in April at a garage sale for $100.00. Such a steal. But I never thought of it as a *hutch*.....then I allowed my thinking to get rearranged. On Saturday my dear daughter Jadyn Rose and I rearranged furniture and I brought my new *hutch* into the dining room. Then I washed and arranged my newest china find (Noritake 1952..not sure of the pattern name yet...only $25.00 at garage sale) and was just pleased as punch with the results. God had already blessed me with what I was praying for. Such a silly thing I am!

Please check out all the other Thrifty's at Rhoda's http://southernhospitalityblog.com/

Home Canning

Friday, July 24, 2009

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idelness. Proverbs 31: 27

Yesterday a couple of co-workers and I were discussing farmer’s markets, gardening and summer produce in general, when one of them declared, “Home Canning is a dead art”. Now just for perspective, this co-worker is:

1. Young (very young….23 to be exact—I have a daughter that age)
2. A “city girl” (no offense to city girls, I myself grew up a “city girl”, in a very large city, in fact)

3. A college-educated, professional woman (unlike me…a working gal who is
first and foremost, a keeper of our home)
4. Not the least bit domestic (feels it below her)

But DEAD? How can that be so? After all, I still practice the art of home canning and preserving (admittedly, not like I used to) and I cannot possibly be alone in this endeavor. I guess after some thought, I am feeling a little alone here….a bit of a throw back to a time gone FOREVER.

Yesterday evening I was remembering back to an experience I had a few years ago (1999 - I think, that is a few isn’t it?). All my dear children were still at home and we raised a large garden and I canned much more than I do these days. This particular day, I has spent the entire hot, summer day cycling canner load after canner load, thrilled at the sound of each and every PING as the jars sealed, until at the end of the afternoon, I was left a sweaty (yeah, I know, ladies glisten), melted mess (we lived without air-conditioning in those days) but very satisfied as I surveyed the abundant blessing weighing down my kitchen table. Just then the doorbell rang. At my door were 2 older ladies from church. I wiped by brow and invited them into my home (which was in a state since the children has entertained themselves while I canned). I quickly begged their pardon and explained that I had spent the entire day canning. They both looked at me as though I my shoulders had just sprouted a second head. One lady managed to say, “I didn’t know anyone still did that”. With the Lord’s help, I got through that visit and actually hadn’t given it much thought again until today.

I still can…really I do. But with only 2 children still at home and working full-time outside the home, I don’t can like I once did. Sadly, I have to admit that I am not as determined or as diligent as I once was. This year we didn’t even get in a garden because we didn’t get moved into our new house until later in the season. I don’t want the art of home canning to die because of me. That said, yesterday evening I got out into the garage and found my dusty pressure canner (oh, how I remember how I scrimped and saved to buy it and how I borrowed mother-in-law’s until I could buy my own), dusted it off and drug it and a box of jars into the kitchen. On Saturday morning I plan to hit the farmer’s market and find something to can. I think it is high time that my youngest daughter learns to put up jams and jellies. I also will be digging out my blue ribbon winning pickled beets recipe and inviting a young wife and new mother from church (whose own mother lives in another state) over to can beets and enjoy a lovely lunch. I’m thankful for the reminder from my co-worker that canning is something I love to do for my family…even if it is a dead art!