What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Marvels of Life

breakfast pizza- a real treat

By Corynn



Donuts- AGAIN?!?!  This time they were to take platters (and introduce ourselves to) two different new neighbors on our hill.

But we had some too.  ;-)

Donuts are killing me, my friends.  Killing me softly.

Did you all see the solar eclipse yesterday?  We went to the scratch and dent store and bought .99 boxes of cereal so we could make projection boxes in order to see it because all the solar glasses were sold out everywhere.  They worked- meh....so-so.  Not so great.   I noticed that if you look at the reflection on the back of a windshield, you could see the crescent shape even better so the boxes were tossed aside for a while.  The boys and I were at a park at the time, waiting for the girls to be done an American Girl program at the library and there were a TON of people there with glasses.  One nice lady about to leave gave us a pair so we got to see the effect really well.  We don't live where it was a TOTAL eclipse- and it was too far a drive to get to a place that did have one- but it was amazing to see anyway.  We raced back to the library so the girls could see it through the glasses too- and all the other girls at the class too.  Just goes to show that one small, nice deed can have a ripple effect- touching the lives of many.  Lots of happy solar eclipse watchers thanks to her kindness!  According to the NASA website, our area is due for an ALMOST total eclipse in 2024.  So, I'll have glasses ready for that now.  ;-)

There is so much beauty in the world that it actually literally hurts me sometimes.  Does it ever feel that way to you?  Like the air is sucked from your lungs and you can't bear it?    It happens to me.  I am not sure if it is due to the beauty or the fact that this beauty that overcomes is tainted with shadows.  And there is a place where no beauty is tainted.  How can that be?  How can it be more glorious?  My imagination falls flat.  It's hard to explain.  It is also hard to breathe.

Thank you all for your responses and comments to my question last week.  They were so helpful and encouraging.  Intermingled in it all, some beautiful insights and genuine nuggets.  Thanks for taking the time to share with me.  I should ask more questions more often because I really, really loved the interactions with you.  I am not sure if you just like talking budgets or if you'd be equally interested in answering other questions- but I am sure I could think of a few!  ;-)  Reading your comments reminded me that I am not just typing to a glowing box- which is what it usually feels like- but to people who actually come to this place and read my words.  And that fact is pretty remarkable to me.

Craftiness of the week~ I had the pleasure of sewing some baby gifts for some darling twins who arrived recently.  I used this pattern/tutorial for the pants and just loved the fabric for it.  I inverted them to be twinny- but not like identical twinny.  ;-)

Ineke makes it so difficult to so things these days.  She is in that infuriatingly sweet phase of getting into every.single.thing.  I love that she is so easily happy doing mundane, repetitive things.  She LOVES washing canning jar rings.  She could poke needles into felt and then take them out and then poke them back in all day long.  Reminds me of what Chesterton once said (in Orthodoxy, pg 61): 

"A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. "

And while we're at it, Chesterton helps me explain why there are so many pictures of babies on my blog in his essay “In Defence of Baby Worship” from The Defendant, 1903.  Because they are marvels, each one, and marvellous in all they do.  With their "delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body", these human mushrooms are fascinating. So- that's why there are an inordinate amount of pictures of them here. :-)

Reading of the week~ In the canning beans picture above, you'll see I am still working my way through Coolidge (on audio) which I am really enjoying through the necessary tedium of every day.  It must be a huge book- there are 18 cds in all in the audio version.  I'm on cd #11 and it is due back at the library this week.  Eek!  
At night I am reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression which is actually a fabulous combination to read simultaneously because of Coolidges' strategies and resulting impact of the economy versus Hoover/Roosevelts.  Very interesting!  Trump would do very well to read these books with all that is on his economic plate these days.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Here's A Question For Ya

After a winter of only canned tomatoes, around April I got desperate for a fresh tomato on a salad.  So I got two packages from Aldi and put them on my windowsill.  (It has no direct light- just like putting it on the counter without using up counter space).  By the time I got to this one, it had sprouted!

I have been re-working our budget recently (it has been too long since the last time!) because money seemed to be slipping through the proverbial cracks.

Looking back- my grocery budget used to be $200-$250 a month which equals out to $50/$75 a week!  Well, I had gotten out of the habit of using cash to purchase the groceries and discovered ain't no way/no how I was spending just $50.00 a week on groceries and necessities (like diapers, dog food, etc.)  Heck, buying dog food would eat up HALF of that!

So then I started keeping track of receipts and discovered I have actually been spending between $100/$150.00 a week on grocery trips! (Without having budgeted for it, mind you.) But I don't buy name brand, I don't buy almost any convenience foods ( I do buy bread and I do buy tortilla chips), I don't buy 'treats' except for Ritz crackers.  I buy mostly ingredients.  Staples, if you will.  We have our own beef and I grow lots of things to eat/put up/freeze.  We do buy lots of cheese (which could be lessened) and lunch meat for Matt's lunches (which is expensive) so those are unnecessary expenses.

I know food has gotten more and more expensive and I have also noticed (have you?) that the same size packages have smaller weights now?  'Tis true!  So you believe you are buying what you always have been and maybe spending an extra dime or two- meanwhile there is less food!

All of this got me to thinking- how much do other people spend per week on food?  Is $150.00 a ludicrous amount of money to spend on this family or do I have some serious tightening up to do?  It seems an outrageous amount of money for us to give up every week- we could really use that elsewhere.  If I am wasting it, I wanna know.  And if I am not, I'd like to know that too.

So my question is...

How much money do you spend per week on groceries?  

Equally important:
How many people are in your family?
How many meals do you serve at home each day?  

So....yeah.... it's actually three questions.

I am not out to judge anyone's spending habits but my own!

This is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE, but if you are uncomfortable sharing such personal information, feel free to post anonymously!  

Thanks to all who comment!  I appreciate you taking the time!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Nautical Birthday

My Mother-in-Law had a special birthday this year.  I'm sworn to secrecy on the number but it was one of those decade birthdays that deserve some fan fare.  

So we hosted a little birthday bash for her at our place and a week or two beforehand, we worked on a special birthday surprise.  Since Linda loves lighthouses and has even traveled places for the sole purpose of seeing them, we thought a lighthouse/nautical theme would be fun.  She also loves the ocean and shell collecting so it seemed the perfect theme for her.

Here is the master carpenter at work on her birthday surprise:

Matt, skilled as he is, was able to build this lighthouse without a pattern...using just some photographs as inspiration.  He was the builder, I was the painter so the gift was from both of us.

You'll see the finished product in place at the end of this post.

In the meantime~ the party:

We happened to have the most perfect flowers for the party growing in our own backyard.  

Corynn made the sand dollar cookies

Everyone got a nautical chocolate pop~which I was making right up until the party has almost begun.  I never seem to give myself enough time to make those things.

Mental Note: It takes more than 30 minutes to make 16 chocolate pops using a single 4 pop mold.  

We raided our shell stash for decorations.
These have all been given to us as we have never actually been to the ocean!  

That's supposed the be a red octopus, by the way.
My mother-in-law isn't a cake person so my sister-in-law brought these beautiful pies for dessert.

Adele made her a starfish garland using salt dough and wooden beads which was beautiful.  I forgot to take a picture of it up close but you can kind of see it in the background here, decorating the entrance to the porch.

Spectators always blow when the birthday person blows.  It can't be helped, it can't be stopped.  Ever notice that?  

After July 4th, I went out and bought a few fireworks at half off which we lit off at the end of the party.
The birthday girl, surrounded by her grands.

I hope she felt loved.  She is.