Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas this Year - 2010

December is a crazy month for my family and me - living on a Christmas tree farm will do that. On top of the merry bustling around, we bring an integral part to many people's Christmas celebrations and traditions.

But for my family, we've been learning that everything is not about tradition - in fact, when we try to keep some of the more "traditional" traditions, God shows us that there is more to it than that. For Thanksgiving, all attempts to get a family get-together were thwarted, even simpler Plan B got sick.

For Christmas this year, we didn't have a tree. Yes, the shoe-maker's children were barefoot. Almost as soon as we brought in the fresh, fragrant garland and greenery into the house, my youngest sister and brother started showing signs of allergies.

So we were without a Christmas tree. But it doesn't stop there. ;)

My cousin also developed horrible allergies to the fir. So, on Christmas Eve, his older sister laid out a blanket and left a note:

Dear Santa,
We can't have a Christmas tree because of allergies.
Please leave the presents on the blanket.
Despite the sad lack of a tree in the house, Christmas was simply joyous. On Christmas Eve, my siblings and I exchanged the gifts for the person we drew ealier in December. I must admit, it was entertaining watching my sisters shopping for each other in the same stores at the same time. I figured out that Jake had drawn me; I predicted that I would get a Joann's gift card. Guess what I got? I was right. :) Little Eli shopped for himself while selecting his big brother's gift. The final choice? A nurf gun set with two guns - one for each of them. I think Eli was more excited than Jake when we exchanged gifts.
Christmas morning was simply wonderful. I think getting to sleep in 'til 8:30 helped. As I was waking up, the beautiful melody of 'O Holy Night' drifted through the house as my sister graced us with her piano playing. Doing animal chores seemed less tedious than usual - I also had to gather fresh eggs for the eggnong. Once I finished making the eggnog, everyone was up. Commence the breakfast making! Scrumptious bacon, broccoli, and mushrooms all went into the scrambled eggs. We also had fresh squeezed orange juice along with banana bread our neighbor had made for us.
We didn't get to the presents until almost noon, and that didn't bother us one bit. Ever since we were little, our parents instilled in us that Christmas was not about presents, but of the birth of our Savior. For as long as I can remember, before even touching the gifts, we have always read the New Testament account abotu the greatest gift given to man. It really doesn't matter what everyone received as under the 'Christmas tree', but we were together. It was also the first Christmas with Oma living on this side of the country. We played games, ate cookies, drank eggnog, enjoyed each other's company, and rested from a crazy December.
I hope that all Christmases will be this wonderful for years to come. Merry Christmas to everyone!
~*S*~

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Here's a toast!

...Without the alcohol. I had a sudden hankering for home-made eggnog, but lo-and-behold I lost my recipe. I searched everywhere, and every recipe I found, had a lot of bourbon, brandy, congac, liquer... I mentioned my predicament to a friend, and she graciously shared the recipe that she successfully uses (much to her sibling's delight). Being myself, I couldn't leave the recipe as it was. First time through and already changed things. ;) So without any further ado, here's what I've come up with for a family friendly eggnog!

7 farm fresh eggs - seperated (you need both the white and yolk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
big pinch of allspice
1 quart fresh milk

Take the egg yolk and sugar. Beat them up. Add the spices and stir to combine. I love the KitchenAid. Pour the milk in as you're beating the egg mixture. Put the mixture into a seperate bowl. Wash the mixing bowl and whip the egg whites to a peak somewhere between soft and stiff. Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the whites and thoroughly mix. Pour a big glass and drink it straight or fill a coffee cup half full of the black ju-ju and fill the rest with the eggnog. You'll beat Starbucks any day. ;) Enjoy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I have a confession to make...

I have an addiction. To sewing! :D Especially historical costumes! (I'll post about my next grand costume in a later post. I still need to get pictures) So without further ado...
Sense and Sensibility patterns is having a give-away! To enter I have to decide on a favorite pattern. Oh dear. Which one? How on earth am I to decide?! Fine. I'll be decisive. My favorite pattern is the 18" dolls regency dress pattern. Now that I think of it, that really was a no brainer. I've made so many regency dresses for dolls now, that I have the pattern memorized (I can probably do it in my sleep...) And have figured out some super cute alterations to it as well!





Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's :almost: official!

Well... I'm almost officially open for business! A nearby store is allowing me to sell my doll dresses in her shop, and I need to get everything ready to go to get my business out of the 'dream' stage. :D

Business cards - almost check. Price tags - check. Doll dresses - you bet it's a check! I have a whole box full of dresses! Website - Do I need to have one? Hmm... Business name - 'Pintucks and Pinafores.' I'm forgetting something... Ooh! A logo! Here's what I've come up with:

You likes? For some odd reason I have this strange obsession with vintage dress forms. So why not incoperate that into my business! It didn't take to long to draw by hand, but trying to get it into the computer was another story... None of the scanners in the house were cooperating with me. And then I had to edit it. Again, computers and I don't get along. ;) Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Literary Ball

I had a sudden urge to write something and a 3rd person journal entry about the literary ball is what I came up with. :)

Not too long ago in a land not so far away, a special invitation was received for an upcoming ball. The theme was literary, so come as a favorite author or character of a book. But there are so many books out there, how was she to decide? Of course it was going to be a fancy event, so plans were underway about what to wear and how the ride to the ball was to be procured.

It was the day of the ball, and everyone had a great sense of anticipation. How shall I do my hair? Do I really want to wear that? She pondered the entire morning along with many other questions buzzing around in her brain. But these thoughts had to be quiet for a while so she could finish her chores in time. As she was cleaning in the barn, someone (who shall remain nameless for their sake) accidentally stepped on the shut-off valve to the enormous water tank, allowing the 2500 gallons to gush forth. Adrenalin rushed and emergency mode kicking in almost instantaneously, everyone jumped in to save the barn from Noah’s second flood. Hours later, sore and tired, she was ready for the day to end, but it couldn’t – the ball was that night.

After finally deciding what to wear (a green and gold renaissance gown), hair done up with a pretty ribbon and curls, fixed the immodest neckline, and the epiphany that she was Queen Susan from Narnia, she was ready to go – with an hour to go until her ride pulled up. What to do? Cinderella syndrome kicked in as Mom assigned some chores. Up the drive way came the carpool (after the chores were finished) and the group set off in the pouring rain to the ball.

The ballroom was the perfect environment for the event: elegant chandeliers hanging from a high ceiling, antique hard-wood flooring, lights and tulle draping from the chandeliers and wrapping around the wooden columns, and an abundance of sweet treats (which was very important to her brother). For hours and hours everyone danced the olden dances from times long past and the evening swept by in an instant as she blinked. Did it have to over so soon? No.

People still lingered, long after the main part of the event was over and it was nearing 11, and brisk swings and elegant waltzes were danced. Sadly, there were never enough young men who were interested in waltzing, so she contented herself with attempting to dance the man’s part of the waltz. It truly was attempting. The two young ladies could not figure out what the other was doing, so they both stepped back to see what the other was doing. Her friend showed her what she was doing, and she started to show her friend what she was doing. Just as she was getting into step, a young man, whom she had never met, suddenly swept her into the dance floor in a waltz. Bewildered and trying to utilize what little she knew of a waltz, they danced the rest of the song together, and it was over almost as soon as it had started. Perhaps I’m dreaming. This only happens in fairy tales, right? was all she kept thinking.

All this, and the night was far from over! With all the sound equipment picked up and the ballroom cleaned up, some of the die-hard party goers made their way to a local restaurant. It was midnight, and it wasn’t the car that turned into a pumpkin. She certainly didn’t need any help from a sugary milkshake to show signs of extreme drowsiness. An hour past midnight and the carpool decided that they should head home.

As they came up the drive way, it was immediately apparent that the electricity was out due to the violent storm, and at the front door, they were greeted by a sleepy mother holding a flashlight. After changing into her nightclothes, she quietly slipped into bed and blew out the votive in the lantern. It was the perfect end to a literary ball.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Please, sir, I want some more"

But wait! there's more! Well, yes there is almost always more when it comes to telemarketers, but not always with pictures. Fortunately, a friend posted more pictures! Here's some of my personal favorites. :)
Books!

And the dance list. Well... part of it.

I didn't know that Santa danced... ;D

The Spanish Waltz! Yeah, it's one of my favorites. Cha cha cha!
More Spanish Waltzing
Ole'!

The level of sanity drastically drops after midnight. We even had a Stig sighting.
And here's a movie of the night!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Never underestimate the power of books

Or a home schooler's knowledge of them! Last night was a wonderful night, filled with dancing, friends, more dancing, and did I say dancing?

Group shot!


So many pretty costumes!


Could it be the Stig? No, it's the Stig's Dancing Cousin!


I even had a personal body guard. :nods:



An Admiral
Sherlock Holmes!
Yes, it was an amazing night. :sigh: Did it have to end? No. After dancing for HOURS, we dared to venture for yet another outing: Sheri's. At midnight. Haha! Yeah, you can call me crazy because the next morning I was playing music for church. Anyways... It has been raining very heavily for the last 12 hours, so there was lots of water all over the place. I'd like to see you hop over gigantic puddles in a floor lenghth dress with a little bit of a train on the skirt. ;) Yes, it was interesting to say the least as I tried to make my way to the restaurant. I got some strange looks from some people standing outside (Creepers! AAHHH!). I think I was the one to turn into a pumpkin at midnight, because I started getting super giggle-y... Some of you know how bad that can get. ;)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quoting Shakespeare

Shakespeare also invented many of the most-used expressions in our language. Bernard Levin skillfully summarizes Shakespeare's impact in the following passage from The Story of English:




If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare;



If you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare;



If you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare;



If you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare;



If you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare;



If you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare;



Even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I were dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! for goodness' sake! what the dickens! but me no buts - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

(Bernard Levin. From The Story of English. Robert McCrum, William Cran and Robert MacNeil. Viking: 1986).

*this is a handout from Thelma English's Shakespeare class*

Beauty

A Psalm
Truly the days are glorious when with the Lord,
Where a blissful summer day of the sould is found.
Everything has a delicate beauty;
Nothing can be seen as ugly -
A gorgeous flower in the field,
A precious baby asleep in its cradle.
The joyous laughter from a contented child,
The melodious song of a bird at dawn.
The breeze of a summer evening,
The glorious singing of pure worship in the morn.
A taste of the most succulent, fresh fruit,
The satisfaction of a fulfilling devotion.
Truly every gift from the Lord is beautiful,
Every gift of the Lord is precious indeed.

Written by Sarah G



We are given glimspes of heaven in our everyday lives. Just open your eyes and you will see them.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Encore

A friend of mine posted more pictures on FB! Here's a few of my favorites!

I don't know if I posted this already, but it's a cool picture

More Flap Jack Flipping!

And more line dancing! Can't quite tell what Dad is doing though. ;)

And a special presentation of the Texan Terrorist. 

The Poison of Bitterness

At some point in your life someone has sinned against you. How have you dealt with it? How did you handle it? Did it make you angry, upset? Did you just pass it off? Were able to forgive them? Or did you become resentful and bitter?


Bitterness is a characteristic that is given to many. They do not take joy in everyday blessings, their countenance is gloomier, and the way they bear themselves seems drooped. Sometimes they hide behind artificial means without dealing with the root of the problem – themselves. By mulling over every detail of every evil thing done or said (real or imagined), they pull themselves deeper and deeper into a pit of despair and darkness without any hope of seeing daylight again. As they sink, the tiny wound which opened up these feelings gets even more infected and rotten if not dealt with soon.

Just this week, I have witnessed what can happen if these wounds are not dealt with soon enough. A young adult got into a mild fight with some good friends of his. Mostly poking around at each other, but things escalated. They began to try to hurt each other as well as they could. They all left with wounds, but his was left unattended. A week passed and his wound grew worse; he did all he could just to get up and take care of himself. A few days later, someone found the wound. At this point it was infected, infested, and rotting. Not just the injury, but his entire body was being taken over by the poison. The very aura around him stank so bad, you would think he was dead. His color was pale, he lagged behind everyone else, and his sunken eyes were faded. He writhed in suffering. A helping hand tried to reach him, but it was too late. He was too gone, too far into his disease to be saved. That night, he passed away. Now, this story is about a turkey on our farm that had to be put down, but the moral is still the same. If that sore is left untended, un-cared for, and left alone, it will consume your entire being and rot.

You just might be asking, “What is to be done? How can I stop this from happening to me?” Hebrews12:15 tells us to obtain the grace of God to keep the root of bitterness from springing up, but what if it already has? You cannot wait for the other person to ask for forgiveness; bitterness will never forgive. It is not in its nature to. The only place you can go to be free from the bitterness entangling your life is into the open embrace of Jesus.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 4:31-5:2).

There is not a drop of bitterness in God’s veins, which leaves room for forgiveness. He forgave the Ninevites, one of the most sinful nations in the Bible, and He has forgiven us, yes, us. We were lost in sin and had every right to make God bitter, yet He forgave us. Imitate Christ’s character, only through God’s immense grace is it possible, and forgive and forget. Let go of malice, ill-intent, and bitterness and drink in the life that is possible through Jesus Christ.

YEEHAW!!!

It's time for a hoe down!!! 

Yes, we like to goof off. ;)

Trueness to goodness! We're just goofing off!

"See that cute guy!" :giggle giggle: Oh, nevermind.

What's a hoe down without dancing?

Meet Manny



A perfect couple!

He's my cousin, trice removed.

Paper lanterns!


So proper. ;)


pumpkin toss!

The first and second place winners of the ladies' Flap Jack Flippin' Frenzy
Thanks for enjoying it with me!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Must...make...dress...!

I've heard a rumor that sometime next year that there is going to be a Victoria and Albert ball. :squeal of delight!: But that poses the question: Which dress would I make?! There are so many gorgeous dresses in the movie, how is a girl to decide? Then I watched the movie (again) and the desicion was quite easy. The ball gown of course! This dress doesn't look all that hard, but I would probably need to figure out a way to bring the sleeves up over the shoulder... Anyway, enjoy these pictures for now! And I'll be daydreaming of the next costume splurge.
I would probably also figure out how to make the skirt a little fuller... ;D






To hear the song that they dance to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoOfd0dmXt4&NR=1
To see the waltz!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiuloBasqf4&feature=related

And there's even an out-of-print pattern that matches it close enough! (of course it's OOP... that seems to be the story of my life...)
~*S*~

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting ready!

Last Octocer, my family graciously hosted what was the result of some long car rides and giddy girls with lofty thoughts. Dancing, pies, pumpkins, friends, full moon, crisp autumn chill, more pies, more dancing, and some bonfire singing made the evening absolutely perfect. My family and I were completely whooped by the end of the party, but it was oh so worth it! Now every time it comes up in a conversation, people ask me if we'll do it again. And all I could answer then was maybe, I hope so. Well, the parents have given the go-ahead and it's on it's way! The harvest party that people compared to something that was stuck in the movies or old books is coming again this year!

Now it's time to make the final plans, make lists, and get the final emails out!

The dance floor
I can't wait!!!

Camelot

Yes, I love Arthurian tales, so when this showed up in my inbox, I had to share it.

Camelot


PRONUNCIATION:

(KAM-uh-lot)

MEANING:

noun: An idealized time or place, one regarded as enlightened, beautiful, and peaceful.

ETYMOLOGY:

After Camelot, the site of King Arthur's court in Arthurian legend.

NOTES:

Camelot has also become a nickname for the glamorous ambience of the time in the US when John F. Kennedy was the president (1961-1963). A musical titled Camelot, based on the Arthurian legend, was popular around the same time and the word came to be applied to the exciting time of change during Kennedy's administration.
 
Thought for the day:
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. -Edmund Burke, statesman and writer (1729-1797)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Homespun

homespun


PRONUNCIATION:

(HOHM-spun)

MEANING:

adjective: Unsophisticated; unpolished; rustic.

ETYMOLOGY:

The word acquired its figurative meaning alluding to something made of yarn spun at home, one that's plain and coarse.
 
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Men of genius are often dull and inert in society, as a blazing meteor when it descends to earth, is only a stone. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Spinster

spinster


PRONUNCIATION:

(SPIN-stuhr)


MEANING:

noun:

1. A woman who has remained single beyond the usual age of marrying.

2. In law, a woman who has never married.

3. A woman whose occupation is spinning.


ETYMOLOGY:

From Middle English spinnestere (a woman who spins), from the fact that in earlier times spinning yarn was one of the jobs done by an unmarried woman.

And a thought:
Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way. -E.L. Doctorow, writer (b. 1931)

Dizen

A new word to broaden your vocabulary!

dizen

PRONUNCIATION:

(DY-zuhn, DIZ-uhn)


MEANING:

verb tr.:

1. To attire with finery.

2. To dress or decorate in a gaudy manner.


ETYMOLOGY:

From Old English dis- (a bunch of flax on a distaff for spinning).


A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:


Walking is man's best medicine. -Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine (460-377 BCE)

I'm surrounded!

By roosters, that is. ;) We have over 50 chickens running around right now, and several of them are roosters. No, we are not raising fighting cocks (most of these will be 'taken care of' in less than a week), the hens fight more than the roosters. That shouldn't surprise you. ;) But every morning when I open up the barn doors, dozens of poultry come running our and all of the roosters start giving it their all. From the tiniest 8" bantie to the 7 1/2 lb. lunker start crowing with all their might. Every rooster has his individual crow, almost to the point where we can tell the difference between them. Come butchering next week, things will get very quiet. Now, don't take it the wrong way when I say that I'm looking forward to butchering. I'm not morbid. But I am looking forward to actually getting things cleaned up around here.

Having so many chickens can be quite destructive. They sneak into the garden, tear up the flower beds, peck dents and dings into the pumpkins (I promise you, they'll taste better AFTER they've turned orange. :roll:), they make messes everywhere they go, ect.

So yes, I am looking forward to butchering, just not the actual deed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

1863

A welcoming lunch greeted us as we came up to the camp

A friend getting ready to go on a stroll through the camp

"Get back in line!"

Maybe if we lay low, they won't see us.

"Give me that water, boy!"

Playing taps

Going for a walk
Now it's time for the cooler settings on my camera. ^_^




Group picture

Zoomed out

moment of silence

Now for the piece-de-resista'nce!

Tada! I love this picture