Minding Your Own Business

     The morning broke here foggy and gray, but by late morning the skies were blue and cloudless.  The fire in the woodstove was allowed to burn out and we began opening a few windows and the back door to allow some good, clean, fresh air into the house.  I do love my cozy, close, wood-stove-warmed house, but I take advantage of every opportunity during the fall and winter months to air my house out, too.  It’s an old-time homemaking idea that has real merit!  We also pull the covers back on our beds in the morning to allow the linens to freshen a bit before smoothing them out and making the beds up for the day.  From time to time, I’ll spritz the sheets and pillows with a bit of our homemade lavender linen spray when I air the bed, too.  It’s a sweet, lovely touch that not only freshens and sweetens the linens, but there are some antibacterial and rest-inducing benefits as well.  

     Dani cooked breakfast, a big pot of old-fashioned oats cooked with diced apples and seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg, sweetened to taste with either brown sugar or organic cane sugar.  I call this Apple Pie Oatmeal and it is delicious!  After breakfast, all four of us went to work on our daily chores and then the weekly chores for Thursday.  All three bathrooms received their deep, weekly cleaning today, as did the living room.  We all worked at the same time, but in different rooms, with Will tackling a lot of the daily outside jobs while the rest of us tackled a bathroom apiece.  Aaron blessed his mama, whose shoulder is still hurting, by scrubbing the shower in the master bathroom for me.  Thursday’s chores tend to take a bit longer than most other days, but we were ready to meet together in the school room by late morning.

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     We might start out together in the school room, but we don’t stay there all day.  With today’s lovely, warm weather, Will and Dixie spent most of their time on the front porch.  Sort of all over the front porch, from the looks of things.  Lunch plate on the table, books spread out everywhere, and the boy and the dog on the steps.  Reading.  Enjoying being together.

 

 

 

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     Aaron, on the other hand, likes to spread out in the living room, for the most part.  Late this afternoon (which is why the picture is so dark) I found the remains of his school day………water glass on the table, books, calculator, notepad and Bible on the couch (along with a couple of crumpled papers toward the end of the couch).

 

 

 

   

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     Once we started school, Dani continued working for the rest of the morning, tackling some of the scheduled cleaning from our monthly (and longer term) cleaning list for the kitchen, dining room, back hall and laundry.  By lunch time she had accomplished a great deal, including polishing the hutch in the dining room and the hall tree in the back hall.  This was also the day she tended to all of her own laundry, including her quilt and quilt cover.  Dont’ ask me why, but I had great fun watching her maneuver that quilt back into its cover and smoothing it back onto the bed!   

 

 

 

 

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     I’m not sure that she quite appreciated the fact that I was snapping shots and making sound effect while she worked, but she’s a good sport and laughed along with me.  She was laughing.  I’m pretty sure.  Dani????

 

 

 

 

 

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     We started our new morning read aloud this morning.  I love when a book “catches” us right off the bat and leaves us wanting more from the very first reading.  I am very much looking forward to learning more about the hymn writers of the Reformation in the next several weeks. 

 

 

 

 

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       I’ve been able to eek out my hoped for thirty minutes of sewing time every day this week so far.  There is a lot of non-sewing work involved in sewing!!  Yesterday I cut out two pair of pajama pants for my boys during a half hour in the afternoon, and I spent another 15  minutes or so after dinner threading my serger.   

 

 

 

 

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     Today I cut out another two pair of pajama pants and now, with the serger threaded, I am actually ready to start sewing.  This is fabric for Will.  It’s perfect for my nature loving son! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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     The pj pants go together so quickly, even on the regular sewing machine, but serging all the seams is even faster.  I am still so blessed and very thankful for the gift of my serger.  (Thanks Aunt B and Uncle T!!  Your machine has certainly found a happy home where it is loved, cared for and exercised regularly!) 

 

 

 

 

 

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     Dani finished up our new fall apron the day she started it.  She sewed in little snippets of time caught here and there throughout the day, and finished it up after dinner, just as Copper was coming in from his overtime shift.  She is very pleased with the new pattern, and said it went together beautifully.  We are both pleased with the look and fit of the apron. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7712      The pattern is Simplicity 3949, and she used the view shown in the center of the envelope at the above link.  The pattern envelope picture really does not do this apron justice, as there really is quite a bit of detail and style to it.  I think the coordinating fabrics Dani used for our apron show off those pattern details nicely!  There are three cute options in this pattern, and it includes various sizes for women and little girls.  I see lots of fun aprons springing from this pattern! 

     Qfmamato4 asked if Dani’s sewing machine is a Janome.  Yes, it is!  The machine is less than a year old and she loves it!  It purrs when she sews, and is so pleasant to listen to.  My much older, but just as loved, New Home sits next to hers in the sewing nook.  A fun discovery for us is that Janome and New Home are made by the same company, and our presser feet and other attachments are interchangeable.  This has saved us both the necessity of buying an extra little doo-dad for some special use from time to time.  Our sergers are kept close at hand on a side table.  

     Several of you commented, or wrote, to say that you wish you knew how to sew or that you wish you had more time to sew.  Learn!  Ask around.  Do you have a friend who sews, or perhaps, an older lady at church?  Find a pattern for something that you know you’d wear, or that your children would wear, or that you know you’d love to have in your home, and then get to work.  Turn to that older gal at church, or the friend who sews, if you run into trouble, but dive in there and give it a whirl.  One thing that kept Dani from really learning to sew was that she kept looking at those “easy to sew” or beginner type patterns.  They didn’t appeal to her at all.  She finally decided to just buy a pattern for a skirt she liked, bought her fabric and went to work on it.  When she ran into trouble she went to an older gal (that would be me) for help, but in all truth she really did just fine; and I’m sure you would, too!!  Give it a try!

     I do not, in this season of my life, have long stretches of time to sew or craft, much as I’d love that.  I know I mentioned that I’ve had a full thirty minutes a couple of times this week to cut out fabric, but that’s unusual.  I am planning on grabbing those hoped-for thirty minutes in shorter snippets of time most days.  Five minutes is ample time to sew a single seam.  No, that’s not much, but it’s one seam done that wasn’t done before!  Here a little, there a litte.  When I have a few minutes in the evening, while dinner is cooking, I often pick up my knitting (or embroidery) and knit a row or work a few stitches to fill those waiting minutes.  Keep those types of projects handy, yet neat and attractive in a wicker basket or cute tote.  That will keep them highly portable and make it easy to grab when there are just a few minutes to work. 

     I’ve also had some inquiries about our household chore lists and whether or not the homemaking section of the website will ever be completed.  The introduction and daily sections of the website are up, but I will be editing those soon, as time permits.  The rest of the articles for the homemaking section are in rough draft form, and I am very much hoping to have them up before the end of the year.  Gulp.  That’s a hope, not a promise!  I do make plans, and think that planning and goal setting are important. 

     However, I also hold my own plans loosely, always willing to yield my plans for whatever the Lord brings into my days.  Sick family members.  A husband working lots of extra hours.  A child who needs a bit more of mama’s time, or a lot more of mama’s time.  (Oh, my, I had one of those children today!)  All these things are ways that the Lord has and can change my carefully made plans.  

     Finding the time for things like sewing or knitting or reading seems to be a hard thing.  If it seems that there is no extra time in your day, I challenge you to step back and take an honest look at your days.  If your home is filled with many little ones, it is very likely that there is absolutely no time for anything beyond caring for those precious treasures, their daddy and your home.  Still, it wouldn’t hurt to take that good, long look.  Are there tv shows that you enjoy watching?  Do you enjoy them as much as you’d enjoy having that hour to sew or read or make a decorative craft item for your home?  How much time do you spend browsing about on line?  Yes, there is much to be found of benefit on line – ideas, instruction, encouragement; but do we limit our time to the sites that honestly bring us benefit, or do we find pleasure in reading the latest gossip or some steamy personal information that we have no business reading?  How about your time on the phone with friends or activites that keep you out of your home for hours each week? 

     Most importantly, are you remembering to spend time in God’s Word each and every day?  If that is not happening, why not?  It should be the one thing that you do without fail each day.  His Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light onto your path; but if you aren’t using that lamp, finding your way will be difficult. 

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     We must ever be evaluating our time management, weeding out the good for the better and ultimately for the best for our families and for ourselves as we seek to glorify God in our lives.  One of my favorite verses is stencilled on the wall beside my kitchen sink,  “Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your own hands” (1 Thes. 4:11).  I try to do just that.  Living a quiet life, tending to the things that are placed within my home, which is my place of business.  Working with my own hands to accomplish that work He gives me in tending to my family, home and, occasionally, to things outside of my home.  In other words, looking well to the ways of my own household!

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

        

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16 comments to Minding Your Own Business

  • Dear Cheryl, 

    I am so thankful for all your posts.   What a wonderful verse!   Have a great day.

    Jenn

  • Thankyou for sharing your day with us. And about making choices on how to use our time.

  • Lovely result on the apron!  Yesterday was the first day I actually had “time” to sew.  I’m still working on that “relaxing pace” about my home making.  The time in God’s word will make all the difference and He is faithful to complete the work He began.  Today my focus is to rest in Him and am sure that in time, it will cause me to “rest” in my calling.  Thank you for your blog.

  • Lovely result on the apron!  Yesterday was the first day I actually had “time” to sew.  I’m still working on that “relaxing pace” about my home making.  The time in God’s word will make all the difference and He is faithful to complete the work He began.  Today my focus is to rest in Him and am sure that in time, it will cause me to “rest” in my calling.  Thank you for your blog.

  • I enjoy getting a glimpse of your sweet life.  Thank you for sharing and encouraging us.  I love Dani’s Apron!!!  Also where, OH WHERE did you get that stencil???????  I LOVE IT!!!

  • You are such an inspiration to me. I so enjoy your blog & actually get excited when I see that you have posted.  I have started to limit my time on the computer and while I’m watching (rather listening) to the TV in the evening (when all my chores are done, of course) I’m working on my cross-stitch.  I love the verse that you ended your post with, it will definitely find a place on a wall in my house.  Thank you & God Bless ~Gretchen~

  • @tammyp – The stenciling of the verse on my wall was done using a simple alphabet stencil and stencilled letter by letter.  I have a few verses elsewhere in my home done the same way.

  • Gorgeous fall apron. I plan to use the piece you sent me to make an apron for myself too!…after I get my holiday projects going.

    I love that verse on your wall also. It is a great, gentle, yet firm, reminder of what God has called us to. Thank you for the reminder.

    ((((hugs))))

    Bren

  • Dani’s room looks so pretty!  Love the color scheme!  What pattern do you use for the boy’s pants?  Do you use flannel fabric or just a woven??  I want to make some for my boys for Christmas!

  • Hi Cheryl,  I always love reading about your days! I think taking snippets of time to work on projects is such a good idea. Often we thing it’s all or nothing, but you can get quite a bit accomplished with little bits here and there. That’s even how I paint rooms. I haven’t tried painting a room all at once in years. I take one wall now another wall some othe time. It may take me weeks but it gets done without alot of stress or disruption. I’m trying to learn to sew. Unfortunately I don’t really have anybody to ask questions of but I’ve found that you can learn alot just by doing, trial and error!

    Take care,

    Manuela

  • Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you for sharing your day with us. I just love Dani’s apron. Will’s pj pants are going to be so cute. I sew in little bits of time through out the day too. I get so much done without really trying. We had a cool front blow in here last night.

    Have a blessed Sabbath.

    Elizabeth

  • I enjoyed the pictures of your daughter getting her duvet all re-situated! If my husband isn’t home to help, I do the same thing…except ours is king sized! It’s huge!

  • Hellooooooooooooo Cheryl,

    I just wanted to take the time to tell you how much I enjoy reading your posts.  I’ve just told my Husband how much you are helping me with different areas of my life and our home.  He is very excited that I found you and your web site.  You are motivating me to get back to quilting and needlepointing.  I’ve also wanted to learn how to sew and now you have just challenged me!  Well I don’t want to make this to long but I appreciate the time and effort and prayers when you post!

    Thank you and Godbless,  (sorry I took that line from anotuer poster, I liked it!)

    Mona

  • Love the apron Dani~ it’s darling! 

    And I love knowing what our next read aloud will be.  : )

    Love to you!

    ~Rebecca

  • Hi there! This is OT but I just wanted to drop by & invite you and your readers to participate in my blog’s giveaway. Thanks for sharing!

    Have you ever done a post about the use of the serger? I am interested in the what’s & why’s & the in’s & outs of them.

    Still enjoying your blog…TJ