Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome several recently added readers to the homespun heart! Welcome: Kathryn, Valerie, Meredith, and Mary Ann! Thanks for reading and commenting - I feel like this is becoming a place to gather with friends! Thanks to everyone who reads and or comments!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Goal Met!

It was my goal to make three of these in November in an effort to "build up" my stash for a craft table I'm planning in the Spring. I finished today! I only let myself sew while Emily is sleeping, so the time to work on them is limited, but the progress has paid off. Now, what will my December goal be? (hee hee)


Yes, that is what I was by the December issue of Country Home magazine! There was an article featuring Sue Whitney's house (one of the Junk Market gals). She used tons of live greens to decorate for the holidays and it was so pretty, simple, and homey.

So, I was inspired. Now, where to find the greens? Would they be too expensive? Each year I have made a wreath or swag for the door using trimmings from the bottom of the Christmas tree. So, why not check and see if they will give me some more this year?

Sure enough!! Lowe's was thrilled to get rid of the scraps from the trims and I was thrilled to decorate with live greens! I tied some twine or homespun fabric bows and hung them up in the bathroom, our bedroom, kitchen window, put in pots in the entry way and hearth and decked out the front porch too!

The best part of all is that this was TOTALLY FREE!

What is your favorite way to decorate?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Mealtime Misery

Ok, fellow mothers - please help! I am struggling with a willful 12-mo old during meal times and am not really sure what to do about it. She has hardly eaten a thing today because I won't tolerate her behavior.

Here's what happens:
Put baby in highchair.
Put on bib.
Offer drink.
Begin feeding - she is currently eating baby food still.
Feeding goes ok for a few bites, then she tries to forcefully grab or fling the spoon out of our hand.
So, we take her out of the highchair, take off the bib, put her in her crib for 3 minutes and then start over again. But, this is not working - she just won't cooperate.

I was thinking that she was getting tired of baby food which is fine because I'd prefer if she moved on to table food. So, after offering her baby food today and going through the fit - I offered her a slice of apple. This worked initially, but resulted in the same thing - where she threw it in disgust onto the floor more than once. I do not want her to get used to me offering her multiple things just so she'll eat and then get even pickier.

Any suggestions?


"Someone once asked Corrie ten Boom how she could possibly handle all the compliments and praise that were constantly heaped upon her, without becoming proud. She said she looked at each compliment as a beautiful long-stemmed flower given to her. She smelled it for a moment and then put it into a vase with the others. Each night, just before retiring, she took the beautiful bouquet and handed it over to God saying, 'Thank you, Lord, for letting me smell the flowers; they all belong to you.' She had discovered the secret to genuine humility."

~ David Seamands

Sunday, November 27, 2005


I have been getting out the Christmas decorations this weekend, and in with them found a book I enjoy every Christmas season. As I read the first entry this morning, the word that stood out to me was advent.

And so, I ponder - what does this mean, what does it mean to me?

The word advent is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
"1. The period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting.
2. The coming of Christ at the Incarnation.
3. A coming into being or use."

Hmmm, why do some churches celebrate Advent and some do not? Ours doesn't, but I grew up in a church that did. And, why was there never a focus on the prayer and fasting part - or is there in some churches? Why all the advent trees, wreaths, and calendars and what is their purpose?

After doing further research including reading some articles listed below, the thing that stood out to me is that the season of advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. What matters more than who celebrates what and how is the attitude of expectation and preparation for the celebration of Jesus' birth and of His future coming.

I was thinking about the anticipation of the coming. When I know someone is coming over to our house or out-of-town company is coming - I make preparations. I try to think of every detail to make their stay enjoyable. Foods they like, activities they like, books they like, and especially to make sure the location is warm and hospitable for them.

But, how much effort do I put into preparing my heart for God? Surely if HE was coming to my home, I would go all out. My heart is His home, how welcoming is it for Him? How have I prepared it for Him? Does my heart feel inviting to Him?

These are the things I want to focus on during Advent this year. I also welcome any comments on how you celebrate Advent or what it means to you.

A couple of articles I found helpful were:
Advent - Close Encounters of a Liturgical Kind
Advent History
The Season of Advent: Anticipation and Hope

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Action Word!

I saw a billboard at a car repair this morning that said:

"Thanksgiving is an action word."

I love that! And, it is very true! I started a new tradition this year of delivering a special gift to someone who has been an encouragement to me in an effort to give thanks actively. I took it this morning, and the family was encouraged -

I took our traditional Thanksgiving morning breakfast of pumpkin pancakes in maple leaf shapes, sausage, homemade syrup, and chopped walnuts. Yummy - looking forward to ours tomorrow!

How do you give thanks?

Monday, November 21, 2005

The ABC's of Thanksgiving

My Mom always carried out this tradition in our family and now I am doing it in our family. This week I'd especially love to hear any Thanksgiving traditions that any of you have and will be sharing some of ours.

For a creative way to encourage thankfulness in your home this season, list the letters of the alphabet down the left edge of several sheets of paper taped together. Add a favorite verse about thankfulness at the top. (Psalm 100 is a great one.) Hang this in your dining room or kitchen where it will be seen often and leave a pencil or crayon close by. Encourage everyone in your home to add things that they are thankful for starting with each letter of the alphabet! It will be fun to see the creative things on some of the more challenging letters!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Farm Chicks

This is a fun site to check out!

They always feature a recipe, fashion, and an idea for home and garden.


Friday, November 18, 2005

The $3.53 Tricycle

I got this tricycle FREE at the dump several weeks ago. One $3.53 can of Rust-Oleum, 40 minutes, a piece of sandpaper, some steel wool, and a little elbow grease later - here is the new product. I think Emily will easily get $3.50 worth out of it!

Now *that's* service!

I recently received a postcard advertising a free oil change for Saturn car owners - called, "Owner Appreciation Days". I was excited about the prospect of a free oil change and vehicle inspection.

So, yesterday - Emily and I made the drive to Savannah (nearest dealer). It was a great experience. Not only did they complete the free oil change and inspection, they found a nail in one of my tires and fixed that for free, vacuumed out the inside, washed the outside, and had a red carnation waiting on the seat when I got back in.

I figured out that the gas there and back probably cost me $4-$5, but an oil change would normally cost me around $20! So, I was able to save some money and have a good experience as well!


Here's your chance to get a FREE Gooseberry Patch recipe booklet! This is a promotion from Sunmaid Raisins, so if you like raisins, and cooking - click here to request your free book! This same booklet is sold through the Gooseberry Patch catalog for $4.95 each. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cynthia's Raspberry Tea

I made this tea last weekend for the baby shower I had at my house. I got some nice compliments and wanted to pass on the recipe.

This recipe is from the Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader.

3 Lipton family-size teabags, tags removed
1 c. granulated sugar
1 (12-oz.) can frozen raspberry lemonade, thawed
Maraschino cherries

Place the teabags in a pottery or glass pitcher, and pour 2 cups cold water over them. Bring a kettle with 4 cups of water to a rolling boil. Pour over the teabags and cover the pitcher with a small plate. Steep for 10-15 minutes, then remove the teabags, add the sugar, and stir until dissolved. Add 3 cups of cold water to the tea and stir in the lemonade until dissolved. Add the cherries before serving. Serve over ice.

Makes a little over 2 quarts.

* Now for what I changed: I could not find frozen raspberry lemonade, so I used Welch's white grape raspberry juice concentrate. Also, I did not use the cherries.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Christmas Crafting

With the Christmas music out lately, I've been doing a little Christmas crafting. The above trees have been interesting! The one on the left, I saw in a craft magazine and my friend, Grace, and I got together to make them. Four hours later, we each had one done. So, in an attempt to simplify the idea - I made the one on the right.

Some of you already know this, but I love making my own notecards using old magazines! Use full-page pictures for the envelopes and smaller pictures to paste on the front of the notecard (half a piece of cardstock folded in half). You can dress them up with squiggles or stamps - they are so fun and I always think they look very cheerful in the mailbox when I'm mailing some out! Anyone else doing any crafting? Please share your ideas!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Lowest Place

I jotted this story down over two years ago while working at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs. It was a fresh reminder to me today...

(See Luke 14:7-14)
What I learned today... (June 2, 2003)
I work at Glen Eyrie Conference Center and today, was scheduled to attend a lunch welcoming our collegiate student summer staff. I would be introduced, get a free lunch, and get to know some of the students. But, God had another plan in mind!

Just as I was preparing to leave my desk - my phone rang and it was a frantic co-worker asking me to please jump in and be the tour guide for the tour which was to have started a few minutes before.

I explained about the meeting, but knew in the back of my mind that the right thing would be to just stay and do the tour. I asked other co-workers, and even felt permission to hand the problem off to someone else. So, I did. And, went off to the meeting.

Before they got ready for our group to be introduced, they discovered the tour was still not taken care of...and they came up with no other option than for me to go back and do the tour.

On my drive back I was crabby, grumbling, complaining and just unpleasant in general. I knew I would be faced with a group of people who were waiting and wondering and maybe even upset. Their tour was to have started almost 30 minutes ago and while they did watch a short video, they still had to wait.

I was also quick to point out to myself that this was one reason I hadn't wanted to be trained to do these tours. And all the way over, I just laid my yucky attitude before God and said, "Lord, I don't want to give this tour and I have a rotten attitude about it."

But, I knew in my heart these people deserved a great tour - the best I could give. I quoted to myself, "Whatever you do - do it all for the glory of God." And, when I was nearly there - the phrase was like a lightning bolt..."Choose the lowest place." A powerful reminder of a passage God had really placed on my heart just a few days ago.

I got to the tour, the people were spectacular and so friendly - we had a delightful time together seeing the beauty of the place. I was indeed blessed by being in their presence. What a God-thing!

But then as I thought more about the passage in Luke - I realized I had few things backwards.

I knew it would be the right thing to go ahead and choose the lowest place and do the tour. In my mind, I set the honorable place on what would bring me glory - being introduced and recognized. But, since I chose the place of "higher" honor - God allowed me to be humbled by having to be told to go back and to the tour instead of choosing it.

Imagine how much more I would have glorified Him if I had just chosen the lower place first.

Later in the day, thoughts would creep in of wondering if anyone realized what I'd felt like I had sacrificed. If they's realized I missed lunch and hadn't brought anything because I was planning something different.

But the still small Voice kept saying, "Take the lowest place". And I knew, again, that it was a discipline of the mind that needed to rule over these thoughts.

So, today while many ate pizza, and others saw God's beauty at Glen Eyrie for the first time - I was on the Potter's Wheel being shaped and re-shaped into the woman God wants me to be! Hallelujah

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pick Your Own

I have always loved the idea of growing and/or picking my own fresh produce. My favorites are apples, pumpkins, and peaches. This website is a great resource for finding local farms and orchards. While there aren't a lot of things close by to us, I imagine an annual Apple Picking Jaunt to come home with a bushel or two of fresh-picked apples ready for canning! Happy Picking!

Apple Dip

I made this for a Baby Shower on Saturday, and it was so delicious I thought I'd share the recipe from my Aunt Joanie:

Soften 1-8 oz. bar of cream cheese.
Mix in 6 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Serve with apple wedges - yummy!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Baby Birthday Cards

I love the treasure boxes of each sister in the movie Little Women that are kept in their attic. I decided to start something like this for Emily. I want to help her limit what we keep over the years and to have a neat box to keep these treasured memories in. My mom and I found an amazing chest at Hobby Lobby for 2/3 off!

Being that Emily is only a year old, I am on the early side of collecting and keeping these memories in this chest. But, here is where the dilemma begins. What do I keep? How many baby and birthday cards should I keep - just the treasured few? What will merit itself as important enough to be kept in the special chest?

Anyone have any ideas or tips to share?

New Blogs of Note

These aren't new blogs, but new to me and I've really enjoyed reading them.

Like Merchant Ships

Charity Grace

Happy reading and blogging!

Operation Christmas Child

We packed our boxes today for Operation Christmas Child. This is such a fun and amazing opportunity that doesn't cost a lot of money or time. It is very simple. Choose a boy or a girl. Choose an age category. Purchase small toys and hygiene items and pack them in a shoe box. Deliver the box to a local church or collection center and your box will be delivered to children around the world who may not know any other kind of Christmas. They will also receive a Gospel storybook in their own language. I can't think of a better gift than the gift of Jesus' love. If you want more information, click here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Now You Know!

Looking for the perfect diet? Here you go. (Thanks Grace for sending this!)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Random Thoughts...

* I received an issue of Martha Stewart Living today! What a fun surprise! The biggest surprise is that I don't know how I'm getting it, but I will certainly enjoy it! Does anyone know who I can thank?

* I talked to Emily's doctor yesterday about milk and he said there is really no evidence that the hormones are harmful, but that it comes down to personal choice. I just don't think I can bear the idea of giving her the regular milk after all I've learned about it. So, (gulp) it will be the more expensive organic milk for us.

* I'm proud of my Dad for running and finishing the 30th Marine Corps Marathon last weekend in Washington DC! Great Job!

* Any thoughts on how to wean a one year old who loves nursing? We're working on introducing new foods and milk, but I'm especially concerned about nap and bed times.

* Kenny G Christmas CD is playing right now...I love Christmas music!

* Any other random thoughts? Please post yours!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I was tagged by Megan to list 20 random things about myself. Here they are in the order I thought of them:

1. I always wanted to marry a farmer or a pastor, but married a law enforcement office who preaches by the way he lives and fosters my desire to have a garden!
2. This is how I met my husband. Very out of character for me to try something like this!
3. I love to can my own apples, peaches, and pears.
4. I love Martha Stewart Living, Country Home, and various other home/gardening magazines.
5. I love mountains and snow and said I'd never live where it was hot, humid, and buggy - now I live in South Carolina!
6. I sang a solo of "My Grandfather's Clock" in 2nd grade.
7. I coached HS cheerleading for six years.
8. I love primitive and homespun crafts.
9. I would like to live in Mitford.
10. One person I would most like to meet is Corrie ten Boom.
11. Brownies and ice cream is my favorite dessert.
12. I love planning holiday events, baby showers, and other creative gatherings.
13. I lived on milk shakes for 10 weeks one summer after having jaw surgery and my mouth wired shut.
14. Anne of Green Gables and Little Women are favorite movies.
15. I love to make things out of old denim.
16. I get pleasure out of putting away a stack of clean if they would only stay that way!
17. I like surprising others, especially if they don't know I did it.
18. This recipe will be published in the new Gooseberry Patch cookbook - Best Ever Casseroles.
19. I want to be just like the Proverbs 31 woman.
20. I love everything about Christmas and am embarassed to admit how many boxes of decorations I have in the attic.

Have fun! I don't know anyone else to tag, so if you want to play - let me know!