Thursday November 15, 2007

We’ve had such a great day today.  Busy, of course, but wonderfully productive!  Dani will be home all week this week, and I have to selfishly tell you how glad I am to have her here.  She and I remained busy in the house all day, while the guys worked outside.  Towards day’s end, I heard my husband reminding one of the boys, “We’re running out of daylight, son, you’ve got to keep working.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I busied myself this morning with the daily tasks – laundry, my morning kitchen routine, laundry and straightening up my living room.  I wove in the ends of a few dish cloths that I made up in the last few evenings, and got those ready to mail to a friend.  I wrote the description of the defect in my iron and got that ready to ship off, too.

At lunchtime, my husband called in to see if Dani had already started the quiche.  It was just ready to pop into the oven to bake.  He asked if it would keep, and it would, so he drove us all to town for Chinese food for lunch!  What a fun treat!!!  It was doubly nice because we ran into a couple in the restaurant that we knew.  Copper had grown up on the same block as the gentleman, and his lovely wife had been an aide at the private school where Corin and Dani went before we started homeschooling.  Dani certainly enjoyed seeing her again, and my husband and her’s reminisced a bit (Do you remember getting hit by that car when you were a kid?  No?  I remember seeing you fly through the air!).

I was blessed that there was a UPS store in the same little strip mall, so I was able to ship off my packages without too much running about town!  We try to take note of where services that we occasionally need are located, and this is, so far as we know, the closest such facility to our home.  Good to know.

When we came back home after lunch, I recycled the laundry and settled in to do the weekly tasks for Tuesday and Wednesday, since I neglected my Tuesday chores yesterday.  I dusted and webstered the school room, mudroom/sewing nook and my parlor.  With that behind me, I brought several pieces from my ironing pile to the sewing nook, set up my iron and took care of that.

I mentioned my iron woes yesterday, but I’d like to tell you that the iron Dani picked up for us yesterday to use while the Rowenta is in for warranted repair, is a gem!  It’s a Sunbeam (model #3056) that Dani picked up at WalMart for just under $30 and it is very similar to this iron.  It’s a great, mid-priced iron, and will be a nice fill in for us.  It’s heavy enough to get the job done, steams fairly efficiently and has a wonderful stainless steel plate.  No sticking!  No leaking!  Yee Haw!  It has a couple of nice little features.  One is an off switch.  Most irons have that auto-off feature when they’ve been left unattended, and this has that, too.  However, I like being able to actually turn an iron off, especially on days when I’m doing lots of sewing and will need the iron from time to time.  The other feature I like is a small strip on the side that turns red when the iron is hot, and back to black when the iron is cool enough to store away.  Great idea.  It’s not my precious Rowenta, but it will do in the meantime.

 

The sweet little Sunbeam iron made quick work of the ten pieces of  ironing I did today.  I’ll tell you, it was an absolute TREAT to iron today after fighting that little, cheapo Black & Decker for the last couple of weeks!  I didn’t even mind that my ironing board is wobbly and flimsy!  Okay, I didn’t mind much.

 

 

 

I caught Dani multi-tasking this morning.  Again.  I don’t know where she gets it. She was wiping down the old coke ice chests that she uses to store her paints and things in, her baseboards, etc., while chatting on the phone with an older neighbor who has been ill.  Multi-tasking is a terrific way to make great use of your time.  You know, though, there is a very fine line between multi-tasking and getting side tracked!

Most of us multi-task through a good part of our days.  We fold laundry while instructing our children.  We brown meat in a skillet while cutting up vegetables.  We use our household servants to further make this possible, allowing us to wash clothes, wash dishes, bake bread and type a blog post all at the same time!  You know you’ve crossed the line between multi-tasking and being side tracked when you notice a stack of neatly folded bath towels on the back of the couch – not once, but twice in the same day.  (I did that yesterday!)   I was trying to do too many unrelated tasks at the same time, put the towels down to put away something else, and then ended up just leaving the towels!

It’s good, though, to find ways to do more than one job at a time, so long as you can still do those jobs well.  I can knit or do a bit of embroidery while I give verbal instructions to my boys, or even while giving them a spelling test.  I can work on quite a few things at once in the kitchen, so long as I stay in the kitchen and keep my mind on what I’m doing.

There are other times that focusing on one thing, and one thing only, is not only a good idea but necessary.  Driving, comes immediately to mind; but I’m thinking more of parenting.  I cannot listen to my boys and “listen” to an IM message from Corin at the same time.  In order to really hear what my sons are saying to me, I need to turn away from the computer screen, the washer, the cooking, or whatever else might have my attention.  Conversely, if Corin and I are discussing something that is important, then I need to tell the boys that they will have to wait until Corin and I are done “talking”.  Even though she is married with children of her own, she is still my daughter and I treasure her, too.   And there are times when I need to give my total attention to one of my children, ALL of my attention, so that they know that I am really and truly listening, and so that they know just how much they are loved and how important they are.  Multi-tasking is a good thing, when done wisely.  It’s a tool that can give you more time to devote to those whom you treasure most.

I’ve had some questions about flour and grinding wheat lately.  I do grind my own wheat, and I use two different types of wheat.  I use a hard white wheat for our bread, and a soft white wheat in place of all-purpose flour in most of our other recipes.  I use white all purpose flour still for dessert-type cakes, but we do use the whole wheat from the soft wheat for our coffee cakes, muffins and some of our cookies.  If you don’t own a grain mill, you certainly can purchase already ground whole wheat flour.  We are using the whole wheat flours more and more in our home for health reasons as we try to get further and further from processed, refined and artificial ingredients.  This is something we are doing, primarily, for Will, but the health benefits extend to the rest of us as well.

The grain mill I use is a Whisper Mill (which is now known as a Wonder Mill).  My wonderful husband worked many, many hours of overtime many, many years ago to surprise me with this household servant.  I’ve been trying to remember how many years ago it was purchased, but I believe it is about 15 years old.  It has served me faithfully over the years, grinding all of our wheat and even beans for various recipes using ground bean “flour”.  It’s the only mill I’ve ever owned and I will gladly replace it, should it ever wear out, with the same brand.

There is a bit of difference between all-purpose flour and “bread” flour.  The primary difference is that bread flour, or those flours sold specifically for bread machines, have a higher gluten content than all-purpose flour.  The gluten is important in helping your yeast breads to rise and to have an appealing texture when baked.  If you want more information, you can check out this link.

The sun set.  The porch lights went on.  The guys kept working.  They were soooo close to having the floor of the porch built.  And they did it!!!  It’s so beeeaauuuuuuteeeeeful!  The railings still need to be done, of course, and we do still need to paint the siding that went up and take care of a few more details; but we have a front porch!!!!!  I am so excited, thrilled and proud proud proud of my husband!  This project took him way out of his comfort zone, but he built a beautiful porch for us, almost twice the size of our old one.

 

Are you remembering to set your table for your family creatively every night?  I’ve not remembered every night, but I have remembered every night, so far, this week.  Our table last night was set with three small candles and a pilgrim couple moved, temporarily, from the coffee table in the living toom.

 

 

Tonight, I brought in three scraps of the Trex material that our porch is built from and built a platform for a  single small candle.  On either side of this, I placed my husband’s and son’s drills!  Looking around for different ways to adorn the supper table is fun!  We had a late supper because the guys all came in exhausted and dirty.  They all showered and the boys put on their jammies before supper.  They looked so comfy at the table!

 

 

 

Take the time to set the table for your family.  We do use cloth napkins every meal every day, but even if you  use paper napkins, they can be folded and placed nicely on the table either under the fork or on the plate.  Serving utensils can be arranged attractively, too.  We use the microwave to just soften our butter for the table, and then place it on the table in a butter dish with a butter knife.  Little touches to let your treasures know that you care, and that they are worth the effort.  My husband liked tonight’s centerpiece of Trex decking and electric drills!

 

 

 

 

 

Lord willing I’ll be able to put up two recipes for you late this evening as well as a Library Builders post for  Thanksgiving books for children.  However, my evening is very full of many, many treasures.  My own children, of course, my wonderful husband, but also the three oldest grandbabies are here while Corin & Rob attend a meeting (baby girl, of course, needs to be close to her momma still).  What a wonderful end to the day!

 

 

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

 

PRAY FOR LISA!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 comments to Thursday November 15, 2007

  • Your porch looks wonderful!!! I LOVE how you decorated the table with the drills! How clever!

    Love, heather

  • Just a quick question, which may seem kind of fundamental to you!  I am a self-taught crocheter.  I just made a dishcloth that is striped, and I have to weave in the ends for each stripe.  I noticed that you were doing that today.  Would you mind telling me how? LOL  I have searched several sources trying to find out how to weave in ends, and I can’t find anything.  Thanks for any help you can give me!

    And your porch is looking GREAT!  I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  • Susan (bygrace3) – I use a large needle, thread the end into the eye, and then weave into the back of my project as inconspicuously as I can, sort of going in and out through several of my knitted stitches in the process.  It would be the same for a crocheted piece, I’m sure.  I’m not sure if that’s helpful to you or not 

  • Your husband has done a wonderful job! He should be very proud of himself, it looks fantastic.

  • I love seeing the progress on your porch, and especially love the lights he installed.

    Btw, I have that iron (the Sunbeam) and I didn’t know that’s what the red strip on the side is for–lol! Thanks for the info…

    Barbara

  • The porch is beautiful Cheryl-did you go out and walk on it first thing? I would of!

    The idea of the tools as the centerpiece were most fitting for the night’s dinner. How clever!

    Thanks for the bread machne flour link. I have always bought bread machine flour, but never heard you talk about it, so I thought maybe I was missing out on some secret by not using my regular flour. Thanks once again and have a wonderful day taking care of your household!

  • Hello, Cheryl! :wave:

    My name is Melanie and I live in Kansas. Your blog is one I subscribe to and read on a daily basis, but have never commented to. After your gentle encouragement earlier in the week, I felt that it was about time.

    I feel that we have so many things in common, and yet there is still much I can learn from you. I am an “older” mother as well at age 40, with four children – boy (Asa) 14; girl (Megan) 10; boy (Michael) 8; and girl (Alyssa) 4. We are praying that the Lord will yet bless us with another child, following a loss at 11 weeks in August. We are very conservative, have always homeschooled and are desperately searching, and hopefully patiently waiting for the Lord to lead us to a family integrated church.

    However, I was not raised in a Christian home, went to public school and was certainly never taught about “looking well to the ways of my household”. As a matter of fact, my husband and I were both non-believers at marriage and had met in a juvenile institution at age 16!! Not a good place to develop a biblical foundation! :shysmile:

    I have learned much “on the job” with my 20th wedding anniversary coming up in 2008 but there is always more I am longing to learn from other christian women. Most churches we have attended have a different view on many of these foundational matters so my Titus 2 teachings have been lacking. Your blog is a nice insight and I appreciate the time you take to encourage other wives and mothers to be keepers at home.

    Now that I have commented once, I will try to do so again. Know that either way I am here reading (and probably doing something else at the same time as I also am famous for multitasking!! :lol:)

    Melanie

  • I love the porch!!   Your hubby did a wonderful job!   Don’t things always seem to have a wonderful way of coming together.  What a blessing.   As always, thanks for your encouraging posts

    Jen

  • Dear sweet Cheryl – thank you once again for encouraging us to ‘look well to the ways of our household.’ You succeed in this and bring many creative ideas to us as home keepers. Drills and wood pieces on the supper table – whoodathunkit – and yet, it’s fitting and brings honor to your husband and sons. Hm. We have a major water leak outside – an insurance kind of task at this point – my husband has been digging a trench and coming in tired and dirty after having already put in a very long day at work. I’ll have to think something up to bring further honor to him, other than massaging his tired muscles, thanking him, and cooking meals that warm his hardt. Any ideas?

    Bless you, dear friend. 😉

  • The porch is WONDERFUL. I really like the lighted stairs! Your table settings are very inspiring! I have not gotten to that chapter in “The Hidden Art of Homemaking” yet:wink:

    I am glad to hear of Lisa’s good news and that you can have your Dani home for the week. She looks to be keeping herself busy!

  • Cheryl,

    Love the porch that your husband built. It has been interesting to watch him & the boys put it together.

    I really enjoy reading your blog. Even though I’m a older single women with no children. I’m still learning many hints in getting my house together.

    About 5 years ago I bought my first home. It is an older (1963) house that only had one owner and no real updates done to the house since they purchased it beyond laying carpet. During the last few years — I’m having to doing a lot of work to it. Luckly, so far nothing real major. So far I have ripped up carpet in the bathroom, kitchen  & livingroom. I have also, stipped wallpaper from the walls in the bathroom and kitchen and an accent wall in the livingroom.  I replaced the bathroom carpet with new vinyl peel and stick tiles that my sister helped me lay and  painted the walls. That was last years project.

    This summer I ripped up the carpet in the kitchen & livingroom  and purchased a new stove. I still need to paint the kitchen cabients and  find a vinyl peel and stick tiles that I like to cover the old tiles in the kitchen. Finish painting the utility room . By the time I finish the front rooms will they be very nice and will have my thumb print on the home. It will start to feel more like home to me.  

    Just coming to your blog really helps keep me going. Just seeing what you do in a day keeps me going on my projects. Which I work on after coming home from work and on  the weekends. Now I will tell you  some days projects don’t get done as fast as I would like with trying to keep up with the day to day things.  It has taken all summer to finish what I have done. 

    I’m also trying to plan & figure out the other projects that need doing in the future as well. I just have to make myself realize that it takes time to do things when it is just me. There are times I can get my sister to help in some jobs but she also works and has a family to care for.

    But I know thimgs will get done with the help of the Lord. 

    Have a nice day.

    Sharon

  • Great job on the porch, guys! I’m envisioning beautiful porch rockers out there…

    So friend… I have been meaning to blog on ways we adjust things in our households because we are in seasons (of pregnancy, caring for sick ones, etc.). One of the things I’ve recently done is ditch placemats. Really. I have yet to find someone who can tell me the purpose of them, particularly with children. If we use them, they double our work, meaning that not only do we have to wipe down the table, we then have to wipe down nine individual placemats. We gave up cloth long ago, but were they cloth, we’d be laundering most of them daily. No thanks.

    We still light the candle on the table most nights, and guests do get placemats when they come. But for daily use, the placemats are history!

    Now that I’ve written this, you’ll probably tell me some brilliant reason we should be using them, right? :p

    Off to find a Coke, God’s mercy on my morning sickness. :spinning:

  • Cheryl, your instructions were helpful.  I just hope I can make it work without too much “ugly” showing.  I was thinking that I had to weave in the ends with my crochet hook, and I was having a horrible time with that.  Thank you!

  • The porch is gorgeous!  I love the lights!  Can’t wait to see the rails now!

    Yesterday was just dress rehearsal with watching the munchkins   Practice for the real thing tonight!  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! 😆  (and as a science project, I think Aaron needs to figure out some sort of millipede deterrent system)

  •   Corin – You know how it is out here….different critters are just active at different times of the year.  Right now I guess the milipedes are looking for a warm place to ….well, to do whatever it is when the nights get cold and they are especially active. 

  • Thanks for the info on the iron! I have one right now that is a piece of junk! I was so lost when I went to buy one at walmart a while back. There is such a price range, from about $5-$70!!! Good to know that I can find a good one at a somewhat reasonable price. I will put it on my “wish list”! :fun:

  • Cheryl, I have been following the building of your porch and I just had to pop in and tell you that it is BEAUTIFUL!!! Your guys did a great job! Love the lights too!

    You are such and encouragement to me as I go thru my day, looking after my household.:sunny:

    Kimberly

  • The front porch is coming along so nicely!  I’m sure you are eagerly awaiting its completion.  Yesterday afternoon I spent a while rocking on our front porch.  It was so relaxing!

    Blessings,
    Mrs. C

  • Hi Cheryl,
    The porch looks fantastic. It’s been fun watching the progress of it all. Your husband and sons worked so hard on it.

    I love the table setting ideas you posted. The one with the drills is too cute. My husband would love that! :goodjob:

  • YAY!!!:goodjob:  Look at that porch!!!:coolman:  It is just beautiful!!!  I know you must be just popping your buttons over the work your boys have done.  I can’t wait to see a pic of all of you sitting on it, relaxing in rockers, sipping some tea and enjoying your hubbys handiwork!

    Alesha