Sunday, December 17, 2006

Power Outage

This Thursday we had a power outage during a howling storm. We hardly ever loose our power here, so you know it must have been quite a storm.

Dinner came out of the oven just before the power went out, so we feasted in candle light. After dinner we decided to break out a special marshmallows! :9 After eating a few "raw", we thought we'd try roasting them with tooth picks over the candles! It was loads of fun.

After that we listened to the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show all together on the couch. We all went to bed at 8 o'clock except Mom, who went to bed at 7:30. :o)
George Burns & Gracie Allen

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

St. Lucia Day

St. Lucia

Night goes with silent steps

Round house and cottage.

O'er the earth the sun forgot

Dark shadows linger.

Then in the threshold stands

White-clad, in candlelight,

Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.
St. Lucia's Day is a Sweedish tradition and primaily a home festival, celebrated by the rich and poor in every part of the country.
Saint Lucia is always represented by a young girl who wears a white dress and crimson sash and stockings. She has a lingon, or whortleberry leaf crown, into which lighted candles are inserted. She announces Yuletide at dawn by stopping at the bedside of each member of the family witha a tray of coffee and treats, such as saffron buns. This custom goes back to the legend of Saint Lucia, who was condemned to death in 304 during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian.
Early missionaries carried the Lucia story to Sweeden. There the legend of the young martyr took deep root in popular imagination. Now her day stands for hospitality at home and in the community. She wore white robes and a crown of light, as she glided across the icy lakes and snow-covered hills with food and drink for the parish poor.
This probably accounts for this modern custom:
In the home the oldest daughter enacts the role. (That would be me!!)
She wears a long white dress offering ginger cookies or saffron buns baked in the shape of a letter X. Originally the form probably stood for the Greek letter chi, which looks like an X and begins the name of Christ.
St. Lucia's Day is a happy occasion not only because of the traditional refreshments and fun, but because the day supposedly marks the completion of the busiest holiday chores. Young people have finished their Christmas gifts. The farmer has threshed and put his barns and storerooms to rights. As for the housewife, she not only had made the tallow dips, scoured the copper, and scrubbed the floor, but has also started to prepare the lutfisk, or stockfish. This fish, traditional to the Cristmas Day dinner and the most important item on the menu, requires a full three weeks of soaking, cleaning, and scrubbing before it is ready to cook.
~From 46 Days of Christmas; A Cycle of Old World Songs, Ledgends, and Customs By Dorothy Spicer
This morning I got up at 5:30 to get ready for my rounds as St. Lucia. I brewed the coffee and warmed up the buns, which I had made the night before. I also made some hot cocoa for the rest of us who don't drink coffee.
I did wear a white dress, but I omited the candles and wreath...I didn't think it was too safe. What if my hair caught on fire and how was I going to get that dripping wax out of my hair?
I pinned two ribbon roses in my hair instead.
Everyone enjoyed receiving their treats in bed, there was about just as much anticipation as there is on Christmas morning.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Old Fashioned Winter Dance

Our Old Fashioned Winter Dance was a success! We had a very good turn out and everyone caught on wonderfully. It was so homey with the candles burning and the Christmas music playing.
It was suppose to be from 2-4, but we couldn't stop! :o) We ended up dancing until 6p.m. We sang "Joy to the World" together before we left.
Believe it or not, my throat is not sore (yet) from yelling out all of the dance steps.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor

December 7th, 1941

Today, sixty-five years ago, our nation was upheaved with great shock at the news of a horrible catastrophe at a U.S. Naval Base in Hawii. The Japanese Imperal Army bomed Pearl Harbor, killing 2,403 Americans: 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians also hitting 17 warships and destroying 188 aricraft.

I feel so inadequate writing about this. How do I know what I'm talking about? I wasn't there. I can't possibly imagine what it must have been like, how it must have felt. Peace was over, America was in WWII. I didn't have a father, brother, or husband in the war. I never had to receive a dreaded telegram from the War Department. How could I dare to act like I know what I'm talking about! But that's not why I'm writing this. This is the least I can do, but praise the Lord I can do it! I can remember this day, this war, those men & women-- my great-grandparents-- I can glean from their successes, thier mistakes, I can learn from history. May this generation look back...just pause for one instant...from this busy life of today, and hear the people talking from down the corridors of time. Hear them laughing & crying, singing & and moaning and listen to what they have to say. What they have learned and what we can learn from them. May we ever draw near to God and He will draw near to us. May America bless God as God blesses America.

Here's to the men & women I never met and to the ones I have. Although I may never have known them, I feel as if we've always been friends. I am greatful for what they have done for me, for America.

USSCalifornia sinking

The forward magazines of the USS Arizona exploded after it was hit by a bomb dropped by Tadashi Kusumi.

USS Pennsylvania, behind the wreckage of the USS Downes and the USS Cassin

Memorial Service for men killed during the Japanese attack on NAS Kaneohe.

My great-grandparents.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Honeybee & Banjo?

While I was playing last night I got a little visitor! She got carried in on the frames I had outside for the bees to clean off. She is quite the accomplished player, if I do say so myself.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My little tea pot

My birthday~

For my cake I decided to go with some pretty Vine Maple leaves. The boys were so sweet to go climb up to the specific tree that I wanted leaves from and got me a few choice branches. I also made a bunch of cup cakes with spelt flour and no dairy for special people who cannot have the ordinary.
Kami got me the cutest teapot that I have had my eye on for at least six months! She's so sweet!! Ben got me 2 very nice pairs of knee socks. (He heard that I was reforming and deciding to have my own socks, instead of sharing with Kami. :o) I must be growing up!) Gabe got me a beautiful pair of earings, and Dad & Mom bought me a dressy pull-over sweater, along with paying the expenses to go visit some friends in Oregon!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Facing the Giants

This new movie looks really good, check it out! I wonder if our little town theatre will be showing it? If not, I guess I'll just have to wait until it comes out on tape. (Or I guess its DVD now, huh?)
See what the Rebelution has to say about it.
Official web site

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Of Apples & Austin

My sister and I stayed up last night canning apple pie filling and apple butter whilst listening to Jane Austen's, Persuasion.
Last week we picked a lot of apples. The trunk of our Suburban (w/o the back seat) was packed with full to overflowing apple boxes. The Lord has blessed us abudantly in the area of apples this year! We have lots of tasty plans...
The first night we had apple crisp. The next night I made a pork roast with apples, carrots, and onions. To drizzle over the top of the roast I blended peeled & cored apples, lemon juice, and honey. We also had Sweedish Saffron Buns (aka. St. Lucia Buns) To say the least dinner was delicious!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Honey Bee Soup

Don't even ask.
OK, I know that I've cooked some weird things before, but I think that this tops them all!
It's actually quite a long story, so I'll try and make it short.
It all started on the back forty, up the hill just behind our house in a few little brown boxes. (aka. honey supers) We had quite an adventure getting our frames full of honey out, including a sting or two (or was it 3 or 4?). I was blessed this time, they decided to endow Kami with their little gifts. She really is OK, the brain damage isn't too serious and we're hoping she'll recover the use of her right hand.
We successfully retrieved 1 super and got it loaded in the suburban, ready to go to the W.'s house. They have a honey extractor and were very kind to let us use theirs. (Check out how much these things cost! This is the small, inexpensive model.)
After driving for about 1&1/2 hours we arrived. We got set up and started uncapping the honey. We were doing this outside in Mrs. W.'s shed, that is not air-tight by any means. So, we were expecting a few buzzing visitors interested in the honey. I repeat, we were expecting a few buzzing visitors. Well, after we extracted the first 3 frames (there are 9 or 10 frames in all) the air was getting thick. We decided to put one of the empty frames outside of the shed on the far corner. After you extract the honey there is still some delicious drips remaining which the bees will clean out for you and deposit back in their hive if you set it out for them. I think that might have attracted a few more bees... It seemed that after we did that there were twice as many bees visiting, not to mention the frame was literally covered with some more of our buzzing friends.
We ended up extracting almost all of the frames before we decided to hit the trail. We were doing this in skirts, mind you. We didn't even think to bring a pair of pants! (#179th lesson learned) Amazingly no one got stung (the bees were too interested in the honey).
We opened the spout on the extractor and covered the stainless steel pot we were draining the honey into with a large dish towel and clothes pinned it shut. Well (lesson #180) they cunningly found their way into the pot and the result is pictured above.
The End.
We did save the honey!! Praise the LORD! We heated 'er up on the stove, so the honey would run quickly and strained all of the sweet, sticky little guys (girls) out of our precious liquid gold. The honey tastes great and you would never know! If I hadn't have written about it here. It has a delicious blackberry taste and it goes so well with Kami's Baking Powder Biscuits.
Just another learning experience in the lives of some adventurous, sometimes not-so-smart homeschoolers.
That's all for now, folks!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Our family has been having birthdays lately...




Sunday, June 11, 2006

Window Seat

Here are some cushions and pillows my sister and I sewed for our aunt and uncle. (Our latest sewing job.) Isn't thier house lovely?

My latest dress.

This dress I made from a McCall's-Laura Ashley patttern. I really enjoy wearing this dress.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Everyday News!

This is what we kids used to do all of the time when we were smaller! We recorded ourselves on audio tapes and had a ball. This looks like it's going to be fun!
My favorite reports so far have been-
Daniel Christopher's Versatile Vertebrae

Monday, June 05, 2006

Grandpa's Cake~

This is the cake I made for my Grandpa's Birthday. I had no decorations, so I used these roses. He didn't mind in the least that his cake was 'girly'.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Life & Laundry

Last year the heating element in our dryer went out. Since then everything has bee fine and dandy... until a few days ago. The element went out again. I really don't mind, because I love hanging out laundry and I need some practice if that's how I'll be doing it when I grow up, you know, without electricity and all. The only hang up is that its raining out and will be for the next week or so. That won't stop me! Mom strung up one of the boys' cowboy ropes and I lassoed some laundry! It's drying quite nicely.
Ahhh...this is the life.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Scripture Signs

These are some Scripture signs my sister and I made and have placed throughout our property. We are planning on making more and putting them along our trail!

Monday, May 08, 2006

More Wildflowers...

I'm not sure what these are...I think they are something like "Fairy Bells".
I'll go look them up! Photo Courtesy of Mr. G.B.C.
Miner's Lettuce


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Sunday, April 23, 2006


Yesterday as I walked down our beautiful trails I took some pictures of the blooming wild flowers. The pictures cannot even hope to portray the actual gorgeousness!

Salmonberry blossoms

Wild Bleeding Heart

Wood Sorrel (aka Sour Grass)


Thursday, April 20, 2006

GUEST ARTICLE-Rebuilding The Culture Of Home

The Victorian-era wife was often called "The Angel in the House". Glorification of home life and the belief that "little things in life" matter as much as "the great things" were typical for that epoch. Home was seen as an emotional refuge from the world of work and work itself was not elevated to the level of "career" and the most important thing in life. Far from it - work was viewed as a means to an end, something which enabled men to make enough money in order to enjoy the good things in life.

In fact, this attitude was not restricted to Victorian era only. The same glorification of little things in life is portrayed in the novels of Jane Austen. There are no heated political arguments in her novels, neither any romantic adventures, no crimes or scenes of violence. Her novels are not of a kind which could be described as thrillers. And yet they are amazingly popular nowadays. Can the reason be that we as a society have lost something precious during the last 40 years of radical feminism and now we are desperately longing for its return?

Yes, we did lose indeed, we lost or nearly lost the culture of home. It is the description of this culture which makes her novels and their adaptations so irresistible to modern audience. In fact, we can learn a lot from her novels. Take, for instance the novel "Emma". There is the character of Mr Weston, which is a perfect illustration to my first point. He went into trade to make money and when he earned enough, he retired, though he was quite young and healthy.

There is no mention in the novel that he ever regretted giving up his "career" or that he felt "unfulfilled", is there? Clearly, he saw his market activity as a means to an end, and not an objective in itself. Then we have the character of Jane Fairfax. This young lady, as you remember, was poor and everybody knew she would have to work to support herself. What was the reaction of those around her to this fact? Were other young ladies envious and dreaming they could change places with her so that they could pursue some glorious career?

Strange enough, everybody was feeling pity for her. All her friends were glad to know in the end that she had been engaged to Frank Churchill and would marry and become a homemaker. And then we have Emma herself. Emma was an unmarried daughter who stayed home with her father. Now, if it is difficult for wives and even mothers to explain what exactly they are doing home every day, it is twice as difficult for unmarried daughters who choose to stay home.

I must admit, when I was reading Emma for the first 4-5 times, I hardly could understand myself what Miss Woodhouse was doing at home. Surely there was little for her to do? She had no husband, no children, and plenty of servants. Then I actually started understanding the situation much better. Not only was Emma the mistress of the house and had to control the servants and arrange things, her presence was vital to the well-being of her father.

She gave him what nobody else could give, her attention and her love. She was determined to stay single if necessary so that she could take a better care of him.An unmarried daughter at home can bless her family in a lot of ways. While I don't believe it's a sin for an unmarried lady to work outside home, provided she has a feminine job (not a soldier or a prison guard in male prison or some such thing), I also don't think she must be under pressure to leave. As seen clearly by the example of Jane Fairfax, though young unmarried women used to work in the past, it was done out of economic necessity and not because work was seen as something glamorous.

I once mentioned a situation in one of my articles where an unmarried woman was keeping the house of her brother and how this brother was "caught" by a scheming young woman. We got a very scornful comment by one of our anonymous friends which stated that if the lady in question had some brains she would find a job instead of "wasting" her life. What this person didn't seem to understand is the fact that such a situation was not at all uncommon in the past. An unmarried woman would often stay with her parents and take care of them when they grew older or she would go and live by some relatives.

Those women did not think their life was wasted by the very reason that home life was seen as something superior to the world of work. They saw themselves saved from this world, liberated if you wish to use this word. Jane Austen herself, as you know, never married. Her brothers made what would be called nowadays good careers and after the death of her father they supported Jane, her sister Cassandra and their mother. It was perfectly normal in those times.

The truth is that our life in the recent years has become public-centered instead of home-centered. Making Powerpoint presentations in the office is seen as infinitely superior to baking cookies or reading to one's child. The only achievement that counts is when one makes more money than one's neighbour. Money-making is seen as a goal in itself. An average family in my country can buy or rent a house on one income, have a car, sometimes 2 and go once a year on vacation. And still many a woman chooses to work, not because they lack something, but because they want to have more.

Yet the home is the foundation of every society. When home life fails, the society fails, too. Homemakers should not be ashamed to stay home. Vice versa, they should get a broader perspective on things. We are not just cooking dinner or scrubbing the floors, we are rebuilding that essential what is lost in our society, but which is vital to any society's survival - the culture of home.

picture from the Miramax version of "Emma"
posted by Cinderella at

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Friday, March 31, 2006

Girl's Civil War Dress

I thought I'd share a few pictures of a Civil War dress I sewed for a little friend last year. :o)
(Make that two years ago! My, how time does fly!)