Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrating Tea

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Yesterday, someone asked me if I had "captured any moments"?  Vague question - but YES! was my answer. 

I was at a long awaited family event, what I'll call, a Celebrating Tea Party - with my mom, her three sisters and as many of the girl cousins that could come.  Even the gals married into the family were invited.  About 22 of us in all.  It was a wonderful day.

Each sister and her respected family were in charge of a portion of this four-course meal.  My mother's oldest sister Janice and her gals were in charge of the appetizer (oops, no photo)and of course the setting was held in my Aunt's home.  It was very nice.

My Aunt Sara and her gals were in charge of the soup and salad.  This was a delicious selection of two different kinds of soup.  Garden Chowder and a Butternut Squash Bisque.  The Salad was beautifully put together with mixed greens, feta cheese, dried cherries, walnuts and a drizzle of poppy seed dressing.

Next up was the main course - prepared and served by my Aunt Eunice and her gals.

I regret I didn't get a photo of the main course.  How silly of me!  But as each course was finished the "gang" would all disappear to visit in the other room or wherever until the next Sister and her gals were ready with their "menu".  Waiting approximately a 10-20 minute window.  Basically - we needed to give each other our space and elbow room.

Each "family" was to bring all of their dishes needed, serving utensils, and if you were serving tea or coffee - those things needed, napkins...etc.  So, basically each time we all came back to the table it was a "fresh look" at our place setting.  We would share what each one brought, with it's description (so we would know what we were eating) and perhaps the basic recipe.

The main course was elaborate in that we were served a lovely variety of food...
Bacon wrapped green beans
Small fan-cut baked potato with chives and cheese
Breaded (in crushed seseme crackers) boneless chicken breast
 Steamed shrimp with cocktail sauce
Stuffed Mushroom
and more.

Each gal was to supply her own Tea Cup and Saucer - for the event.  When we arrived we were to sit it down randomly at the table so as to be our "name tag" but to encourage mingling.  Does that make sense?  We weren't necessarily to sit with/beside our own mom and sister's.

One of the things that we did in between courses was to go around the table and share "the story" behind our tea cup and saucer.   Some fun and interesting tales were told.  This was my place, at the table, and my blue and yellow tea cup with saucer.  I'll tell you the story that I shared, with the gals - as to how I got this tea cup.

This tea cup and saucer was given to me as a gift from another cousin of mine (on the other side of the family).  She gave it to me - along with the book: THE SPIRIT OF LOVELINESS, by Emilie Barnes - as a way to encourage me in my femininity.  I know (and she knew it too - and saw it) there was a time, back in the day, where I was going through a "tomboy" look/stage.  I dressed it too, with the blue jeans and very casual look.  I know she was trying to encourage me to grow in the beauty of true Biblical Femininity as well... and to this day I really value her thoughtfulness, her bold gesture and the grace with which she presented it to me.  I haven't forgotten that moment.
Shh!! I still love my ratty blue jeans... but I do know that when I wear a skirt/dress, add some makeup and a little bit of happy...for the regular run-of-the-mill sort of day.  I feel really, really beautiful.
So, my mom and sister's were in charge of the dessert portion of the Tea Party.  We served decadent dessert as best we could. (See above photo)  Again, I failed to get all of the details in photos. 
We served...
 Coffee and Tea
Homemade Chocolate, Pecan and Coffee Biscotti
Lemon-glazed Shortbread cookies (that simply melted in your mouth)
Warm glazed Apple Tarts
White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries and Cream

One thing that was nice with all the time in between courses - we were actually hungry for the next course and especially for dessert and it could actually be enjoyed.  At least, that's what we were told. 
I can't even tell you the varied rounds of conversation that ensued... the peals of laughter... the tears... the stories shared...the memories.  It was really a fun day - had by all.

This next photo is of my Mother and her sister's. 
My mother, Rhoda, is the youngest, she is the one standing. Circling around the photo seated next to her is my Aunt Sara. The next oldest sister, my Aunt Eunice, is sitting in front of her and the oldest sister, seated on the left is my Aunt Janice. I was born on my Aunt Janice's 30th birthday - so there is a special connection there. ;)

Here are the girl cousins.  Not near all of us could be here for this Celebration of Tea.  And, even for this photo a couple of the cousins had already left early - due to other commitments.

I took Jayne along with me - for obvious reasons. ;)  She did so good.  I was going to tease here and say that she didn't get held one bit...but you all know that is not the truth.

One of my cousins got Jayne to talking and then she decided she had, had enough.  She was tired... and we needed to head on home anyway.

It was a long but delicious sort of day...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"you have an old soul"

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Some time ago, my dear cousin Ruth, said to me those very words.

"Bev, you have an old soul!"

You know what? I'll take that. And, I'll agree with it 100%.
At first - I wasn't so sure what she meant or how she meant it... but as I thought about it over time... she's really right.

Case in point....

Recently, someone very near and dear to me (wink*wink*) and I were having a serious argument discussion over the issue of sports and sport related activities when it comes to our children. What would that look like? How much is too much? Should we? Why and how come? And definitely not Sunday games, etc. Are you serious - Gymnastics? Wrestling? Boy and Girl Scouts?

My qualm is this. I don't want to be that run-around mom to every thing/game/activity all day long... several times a week.

Don't or Won't? My husband asks... and it's a fair question. (I'll give him that.)

The biggest area of current debate is gymnastics for our daughter. Yeah sure... she's brave, bold, agile, petite, bouncy and a tumbler and wants to climb on everything and everyone that will let her.  She should be given the opportunity to safely hone that in.

Up. Down. Up. Down.
Here is why I appreciate the term "Old Soul"...

I quickly assessed that *gymnastics* have replaced what once was the olden days of growing-up-down-on-the-farm and used this as my defence... this is all in my own humble opinion please and thank you!

There are no "real" down-to-earth good ole places to play anymore.  And, to play hard...for kids these days.

The balance beam has replaced the rail between the fence posts.

The trapeze bars have replaced the rope swing hanging off the side of the haymow.

The floor mat has replaced the cow pasture.

There is no dancing to be had across wet, slippery stones in the creek bed or tiptoeing ever so stealthily across the old tree log just downstream.

Forward and backward flips?  We all did those "skin-the-cat" moves on the sidebar of the swing set in the back yard (or wherever)...

Gymnastics doesn't have beat-up cars, tractors or trees to climb.  No. It's got pressure mounting and the charts to climb.  Oh yeah.

You know what? 
I'm proud of my old soul.

Sure.  We live on a farm... and I think ((ahem!!)) that my daughter has found her own.

Modern day gymnastics or farm or no farm.  I miss the good ole days.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Aubrey's 3rd Birthday

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Oh my!  I feel so behind in blogging here, that it's not even funny.  I really feel terrible..that its been two, almost three, weeks since Aubrey's third birthday and I'm just now getting to posting these photos of her birthday. 
 Come to think of it - I think I may have missed the sharing of Caleb's 4th birthday celebration, too.  His was back in May.  Oops!

All of that, to say this.  I'm going to say much about them because the pictures are self-explanatory.

I did quick whip up a paper nurse cap for Aubrey - just like I used to do with my girl cousins, back when we were little.   Even Grandma Susie wanted in on the fun.

Oh.  And there was a cake too, at this celebration, I promise!!

Happy Birthday Aubrey!

You are the bravest, sweetest and most lovingly-independant child I'll ever know.  I love you!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday's Finds | painted pink toenails

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The other day we were over at my mom's.  My sister, Jules, was there too and Aubrey started asking for her toenails to be painted.  {WHAT?!?!} 

I don't know if Jules put the idea into her head or what, but so it goes...

{Welcome to Friday's Finds! For those of you who are new to this blog and/or just poppin' in - Hello! and welcome. On Friday's I like to try and feature "a find" of no particular value or sentiment, no reason or rhyme and yet, exactly for all of those reasons I just mentioned. You'll never guess what I'm going to find, next.}

Today's featured Friday Find makes me smile.

 For some reason I find this last photo so humorous...

It is truly tell-tale.  Isn't it?

Happy Weekend to all of you!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

" 'Tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes!" ~ William Wordsworth

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" A flower's appeal is in its contradictions - so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance,
so small in size yet big in beauty,
so short in life yet long on effect." 
 ~ Adabella Radici

**photos taken at my Mom's place

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The art of "arm-feeding"

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Breastfeeding.  Not a topic I thought I would ever discuss on here.  I'm not really that sort of gal.  But since it's come up...I'll continue.

I'm the oldest of nine.  My mother did this as long as I can remember for all nine of us... with no issues. No problems. The truth is.  I've seen it done as naturally as the day is long, it's nothing but "the normal" thing to do in my family - if your a new mother.  In fact.  My mom would've been convinced it was her form of birth-control... well, I'm here to tell you... that is simply not a true fact, so don't count on it if you've heard that theory, too.

But.  This was the assumed expectation.  Breastfeeding.

When I had Caleb, four years ago... he was not "getting it".  It was the most frustrating thing in the world for me.  I had also just come from working on a Maternity floor as an acting Nurse Assistant who had helped lots of women "master the art of breastfeeding". 

Remember.  The mechanics of it were ingrained in me from the get-go.  This should be just as natural for me to "get it" and so should my son.  NOT!!!!!!!!!!  On top of it all... he was losing weight and I had to start supplementation at around the second month.  That was hard to do too.  I felt like that cliche failure-mom.

Fifteen and a half months later, when I had Aubrey, it went much better. Not great, but better.  Ah!!  It must be a girl thing/boy thing.  I think - if I remember correctly - it was still a challenge to feel like I was "getting this" down correctly.  We plugged away at for about nine months before she weaned herself off.  And yes, at four or five months I was supplementing her too, with formula.  I would pump - semi faithfully.  Never getting more then 2 oz. at a time.  I would try Mother's Milk Vitamins.  I would try tea.  Warm showers - etc.

Here's the thing.  I could never really relax.  Breastfeeding is not something that I
enjoy(ed).  Period.  I do/did it because I wanted to try and provide that "bonding moment"; the health benefits that breastfeeding provides to infants; and quite frankly it's a cheaper, more frugal way to provide for the child.  Formula can get rather expensive.  Quite quickly.

So - when Jayne was born, actually before she was born, I began to really pray about this.  Don't laugh... but I would pray; "Fill up my cup(s), Lord.  Fill them up - let them overflow".  I was serious. 

Let me tell you.  This child was born with the "how-to" manual memorized.  She took to breastfeeding like there was no tomorrow.  I felt so excited.  Relaxed - because of the little or no effort it took on my part to make this happen.  She "got it".  There was no concern that she wasn't getting mama's milk.  I could see the sucking, and hear it going down, see the milky evidence on the corner's of her mouth.

Even though Jayne's weight continued to gradually decline - at first.  Going from 9lbs. 12oz. at birth to hanging out at 8lbs 7oz. for more then a week or two later.  I was getting worried - the Pediatrician's were not - yet.  They even encouraged me to let her sleep through the night as long as she would.  "Never wake a sleeping baby!"  All signs continued to show in her favor that she was just FINE!!  Wet diapers, seedy-mustardy yellow poops, wet mouth with bubbles, lustrous crying with tears, she was checking out A-Okay!!  (at the last weight check she weighed 9lbs. 1 oz.  - so were heading back up)

We go again on Monday for her one-month checkup.  I KNOW there is going to be even more weight gain.  I see it.  HOWEVER... I've been supplementing her, as well... basically what I can provide has not been enough, and I know it.  Basically I've been giving it as just a top-off, but let me tell you it's much easier for me to stick that bottle in her mouth rather then my boob.  ((sorry, it just is))

Jayne is not confused in anyway shape or form.  She's way more content now.  And, that's what I need... a baby who is comforted and satisfied.  Her cries are tell-tale of her needs and I can tell when she truly just wants to chill out with mommy and nurse for the comfort sake of "me and mama" time.  I can tell when she just needs something more.  Whole fists/hands down her throat with very loud lip-smacking going on is a pretty big indication - don't you think?

So.  I've been nursing Jayne on demand...when it suits the best.  Always trying breastfeeding first.  If it's not enough for that sitting I'll make a bottle and let her finish off what she wants of it.

I mentioned tea... 

I was given this tea, to try, this round.  The friend who gave it to me told me she didn't like the taste of it.. and therefore chose not to use it.  I will say.  I immediately liked it.  And.  I could tell a huge difference in the making of milk for myself - at feeding time for Jayne.  I do know it is recommended to use it for a time and then to back off of it for a couple of days and then start up again...if you need to.

** By the way.  This is not a paid promotion to say these things about this tea.  I'm just saying this was one of the best things that I've done to "help".   Even though - again - it's not enough help.

Why did I name this post "the art of arm-feeding"?

It was kinda funny to me.   The first week we were home and in the full swing of things... sitting down quite often to nurse Jayne... the older two kids would "naturally" be right at my side, looking on.

They would ask the obvious.  "Mom, are you feeding Jayne?"  "Mom, is that your arm?"  - pointing to my you-know-what.  I would consider correcting them with the right terminology... but decided to just let it go and have reason to smile every time they ask.
So.  All of that to say this.  There are times - even still - that it catches me off guard that I can't do this as effortlessly as I would like to.  But, I'm doing my best and with what works for me.  And, that's okay and so is Jayne, Caleb and Aubrey.

Breast or Bottle?  It's all in "the art of arm-feeding" (holding them in your loving arms) no matter which way it goes down.  Isn't it?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Bosse in Blue"

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"Bosse in Blue"
{pronounced; boss-eh}
SOLD to Jen F.

I realized I didn't get a chance take the time to *brag* on this bag yet.  Not that I want it to sound like I'm bragging... but you know what I mean.  This here bag was one of the orders I needed to finish before the month of August came around.  So said "my boss".

My blogging and IRL (in-real-life) friend Jen had asked me if I would make her a Large/Over-the-Shoulder Tote bag for herself, to use as a diaper bag.  She was due with her baby about the same time frame as I was due with my baby (August 28/29th).  My goal was to have everything caught up before August.   Well.  That sorta happened - not before - but within the month - just days before  Jayne (my daughter) was born.   A little too close for comfort for me.

Jen was hilarious in her pregnancy. She often referred to herself as "large and in charge".  She knew she was having a boy... and she also knew she was going to have a big baby - just like I was told I would, for myself.   We ended up having our babies a week apart and her little guy was three ounces bigger then our Jayne - who weighed in at 9lbs 12oz. and 21" long.  {read here}

So, when it came time to name this bag... I would think back to the "large and in charge" phrase and I really toyed with the idea of naming it that.  I wasn't sure.

The name "Bosse in Blue" (pronounced boss-eh) is rather made up, I will admit.  Beings the bag is a navy blue and it's on the large(r) side...I don't know....all I do know is that I can't even come up with a reason (a clear definitive reason) as to why I named it what I did.  It just sounded good.

And, there you have it.  The last bag I made to date.

That said.

I recently got another whole stack of some great lookin' upholstery fabric samples... and I'm itchin' to get stitchin'.  When I do get around to it, I'm planning to kick off my comeback with a bag giveaway.  I haven't had one of those in awhile... and, quite honestly, I do not want you to forget about Bags by Bevy! 

 Please, don't forget about me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mercies of the Morning

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#441. mist rising off the meadow - in early morning light

I love that I get to see this view from time to time - most every morning actually.  There is something about seeing a day in it's unfolding...when a day begins fresh, clean and there are no mistakes in it - yet. 

So are his mercies.  New every morning.

Just reflecting on the mercies - counting onwards towards One Thousand gifts.

#448. the strength to rise

#449. sleep (even if it's merely feigned sleep!)

#450. sister's gathered around the table

#451. shared ideas and suggestions - for a (decadent) Tea Party coming up

#452. smiles and coos from my three-week old  :)

#453. daddy's arms to take over with a fussy newborn

#454. thoughts and prayers for a dear loved one - losing the battle to Cancer

#455. the eleventh hour... that sweet, sweet hour

#456. finding a car for Scott - to replace the "blue bomber".  FINALLY!!!!!

#457. first few days of preschool - gone great!

#458. coffee - prepped for the morning

#459. the WORD is with us!

#460. painted pink toenails

#461. favorite song playing on the radio

#462. hearing my 4 year old son half humming, half singing the song; "I need you, Jesus... I need clean hands. I can't. You can. I need you, Jesus."

#463. homemade cinnamon buns: and, sharing an extra cinnamon bun with my neighbor - a deserving mama!

#464. fabric given to me

#465. stories - read and shared aloud

#466. back-scratches

#467. Can she really be three?  beautiful birthday girl...

#468.  the "snakes" in the parsley - green and yellow caterpillars

#469. green bean, pepper and tomato plants still giving their yield

#470. a land-lord who is "johnny-on-the-spot" to get the job done

#471. this sweater weather

#472. full moon rising

#473. every morning, mercies new...

#474. the mistakes we do make and learn from

#475. parenting quandaries - more to learn from

#476. servant hearts

#477. icing on cake

#478. {sweet} baby breath

#479. nose-to-nose boinks!!!

#480. sharing I love yous and waving good-bye with my hubby in the morning - the longing; the waiting until he returns home again in the evening... the beautiful mess in between.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The First Day of School was History.

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Monday - was the first day of (pre)school for Caleb.  Wow! 

Doesn't he look so handsome?

The "wave-off"!

Getting his backpack back on for the walk into school...

down the hallway...

...that little jaw set with much mixed anticipation.

With a trembling lip it was me, mama, who turned the corner, fighting back a tear or two, only to walk back up the hallway and head back home, but to return in a mere two and a half hours later to pick him back up. 

The First Day of School was History.

And he loved every minute of it.

Ahh, life sure has a way of growing us (all) up, doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sharing the Love

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bring out the Cozy

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Hello September.  There I've said it, too.  It's one of those realizations that the months just have flown by for me... and although we're six or seven days into the month of September... I'm gun-ho ready for this upcoming season.  Bring on the cozy fall weather.  Note the changed out header photo. ;)

There is nothing quite like the cooler temps encouraging us to bring out the cozy.

Whether it's through the kinds of meals we make or the comfy clothes we choose to wear... even down to the feel of the house.  We all know when "cozy" is just oozin' out of us.  At least I do.

You all know I love rainy days...and we've had several of those in a row around here.  I love the sound that a rainy day brings... it's cozy!

I love that it's staying darker longer - in the mornings.  Great sleeping weather.  Cozy!?!?!?!

We've recently had several meals come our way, with the birth of our new baby.  A meatloaf meal or chili and cornbread just screams out cozy to me.  Doesn't it for you?

I've been finding myself changing out clothes in my closet.  Bring on the blue jeans and comfy (earth-tones a.k.a. my colors) long sleeved shirts...


Perfect timing for me!!  The coffee maker has been cranking it out.  Now that I'm not pregnant anymore... I'm faithfully filling up my coffee cup with that yummy hot brew on a regular basis...all within reason, of course.  I don't want my little gal to become her Mother's worst nightmare...and not sleep.

Which, by the way...is what it seemed like last night. 

Boy.  Did it ever feel good to snuggle in a little longer this morning - as my hubby took a turn with Jayne, giving her a bottle instead of me trying to stay awake - one more time.  (Jayne wasn't her usual self of giving me the six hour stretch at night, like she usually does.  Hmmm.)


Did I mention to you that Caleb will start going to Preschool - come next Monday?  Thoughts of "going to school" is relative to this topic of coziness as well.  Apples.  Books.  Clothing.

Speaking of apples.  That is on my upcoming to-do list.  To can and/or freeze applesauce for the upcoming year.  We're totally out.

Speaking of books.  I'm ready for good-read.  I'm usually not one for fiction.  But, I'm feeling like I need a good heart-warming, tear jerkin', story line.  Any sugguestions??

Speaking of clothing.  I already mentioned that I've been sorting through my clothes... but it's time again to do the kids drawers and closets - making it fit for the season.  I might tell you soon that anybody (local friends) looking for infant boy clothes (size 0-on up) may "come and get it". 


Wow.  Enough of me and this rambling post...

What about you?  What constitutes cozy in your heart and home?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dishin' it out and stirrin' it up!

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Hey!!  It's me.... I'm alive, kicking, doing (very) well - I'm glad to say, and at the same time takin' it easy.  That's why you haven't heard much from me.  But, I know you understand.  I've been just a little busy - cuddling, snuggling and simply being blessed. ;)

At the same time, life goes on around here as usual.  The two older siblings keep life "happening", as you know and can probably imagine very well.  And, along with that comes the duties of mothering (being consistent to the calling) and where discipline issues continue to need addressing.  (sigh)

Maybe I should warn you.  This post may come off as a bit of a ramble...

Around here.  The wooden spoon comes in handy to deal with those delicate situations.  Maybe you've used the wooden spoon too, as the "spank spoon" - rather then using it to simply stir up cake batter.


As necessary as that is, from time to time.  Something else came to mind, while reading my devotional book on the subject of encouragement - and I'm grateful to have been "enlightened" to this perspective and thought that I would pass it on to you.

Kinda like sharin' the love.

We all know that spoons are meant for "dishin' it out" and or "stirrin' it up".  As I read this devotional portion - the verse from 1 Peter 4:10 was used, referring to the gift of encouragement and how we're to "stir up" the gift we've been given; first in ourselves and then to faithfully administer that gift towards others.

As a mom.  I KNOW I need to grow in stirring up encouragement towards my kiddo's.  As I placed the wooden spoon back into the basket, after one of those "moments"... these prayer-thoughts came rushing through.  "Don't forget: use the spoon (a.k.a. modes of discipline) but go ahead and stir in a good dose of encouragement as well.  It's a good mix!"

Here is my prayer!  That this verse, from Proverbs (15:1), A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger, will come first and foremost to my mind as I go about my day, and that in doing so, there will peace in both our hearts and in our home.

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