Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, April 28, 2011

For the Love of Lavender

One of my favorite & most-used herbs & essential oils is lavender. Just love it. It can be used for so many things . . .

~ to calm nerves ~ I'm a speaker & a singer, if I'm about to walk out in front of a large group &/or speak about an emotional subject, I take my little bottle of lavender essential oil & take about 5 long whiffs & I'm good to go.

~ to help w/headaches ~ enjoy a few whiffs &/or put a few drops of lavender essential oil on a cool cloth for your head.

~ to help w/sleep ~ one of my tricks to lure myself to sleep on a restless night is to shake 4-5 drops of lavender essential oil onto my pillow. Works like a charm.

~ to simply relax & feel human again ~ add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bath. For a little extra luxury sprinkle a few lavender flowers in the bath. too.

~ homemade laundry detergent ~ add about 30 drops of lavender essential oil to my homemade laundry detergent. It's anit-bacterial, anti-fungal & it adds just enough fragrance to smell lovely but not too "girlie" for your husband or boys.

~ homemade oily skin face wash ~ I add 20 drops of lavender essential oil (among the other ingredients) to a 7-10 oz bottle.

~ soap fragrances ~ lavender is the fragrance I use in my bathrooms for my homemade foaming hand soap & in some of my homemade soaps (glycerin & some time soon when I make castile soap bars)

~ for your home first-aid kit ~ lavender essential oil is great not only for headaches, but for minor burns, sunburn, insect bites & even congestion.

Here are a couple of other lovely ideas for your relaxation & enjoyment:

Herbal Footbath~

~2 TB lavender flowers

~1 TB sage
~1 TB hops
~2 ts rosemary
~10-20 drops of lavender essential oil

1) Simmer all the herbs in a large pot of water - 10-15 minutes.
2) Pour into a container large enough to cover both of your feet. Your water must be HOT but you may have to adjust it w/a little bit of cold water. Make it hot but don't burn yourself.
3) Add the lavender essential oil
4) Settle yourself into a comfy chair, stick your feet into the foot bath & then cover the bowl & your feet w/a towel to hold in the heat.
5) Some lovely praise music & a cup of chamomile & lavender tea will be the cherry on top!

Facial Steam~

~1 TB lavender flowers
~3 TB comfrey leaf
~2 TB calendula
~2 TB chamomile
~1 TB sage

1) Place the dried herbs in a bowl &, using a whisk, mix them gently but well.
2) Store in a glass container w/lid, a used canning jar is perfect.
3) You can make a larger mix than I have suggested so that you have more on-hand.

To Use~
1) Fill a large pot of water to nearly full, bring to boil.
2) Add about 1 c. to the boiling water & let simmer for about 5 minutes.
3) On your kitchen table, lay down a folded, thick towel OR a few hot pads - enough so that the large hot pot won't burn or scar your table; set pot of herbs on the towel/pad.
4) Sit down in front of pot, lean in & over it, cover the pot & your head w/a towel.
5) Enjoy the relaxing steam for ab
out 10 minutes.
6) Occasionally raise the towel to let in some cool air if you get too hot.

Calming Room Mist~

~A small new or used (clean) mist bottle, 1-2 oz size (can be found at most health food or craft stores).
~Lavender essential oil
~Water (preferably a filtered/purified water)

1) Fill bottle nearly to the top w/water; leave room to add oil & to shake.
2) Add 15-20 drops of lavender essential oil.
3) Shake & spray in your rooms, on your sheets & pillow cases, in your lingerie drawer, in your bathrooms.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#26~ Doubters in the Room

PASSAGE: "Now Thomas, 1 of the 12, was not with the disciples when Jesus came . . . But he said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in His hands & put my finger where the nails were, I will not believe it.'

"A week later . . . Though the doors were locked, Jesus came & stood among them & said, 'Peace be with you!' Then He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand & put it into My side. STOP DOUBTING AND BELIEVE.'

"Thomas said to Him, 'My Lord & my God!'"
~selected verses from John 20:24-28

LESSON LEARNED: Americans have a "Do it & get it over with" mentality. Sure, there can be great preparation & build-up to an event, but once it's here, it comes & goes. Bam. Done. Gone.

But "Easter" didn't end on that Sunday morning. Because of Jesus, Easter goes on & on & the disciples were some of the 1st to find that out.

Thomas wanted so desperately to believe Jesus had risen, but for some reason, it was harder for him than for the others. Had he led a life of disappointments & he didn't want to get hurt again? Certainly, he had seen that Jesus was truly dead & buried ~ this story was just too good to be true.

But then . . . there He was!

The doors were locked! How did He get in here?

And then, that voice. That lovely, one-of-a-kind voice. JESUS! He was standing there, talking to Thomas, inviting Him to see & to touch His wounds . . . & admonishing him to "Stop doubting & believe."

What other reply could Thomas possibly give except, "My Lord & my God!"

There simply is no other reply.

Come & join Nancy at A Country Mom & I, if you are not already participating! Each Wednesday, we dig into the Word of God & share what we are leaning. All you have to do is share a passage you have read during your devotions, share the lesson you have learned from the Lord & then connect with others who are doing the same & comment on their blogs. Let's learn from the Lord & each other.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#120~ 4/26/11

For Today . . .

Outside my window . . .
gray, very windy, raining, more thunderstorms are coming. Maple seed pods have covered my driveway. :-/

I am thinking . . .
that this spring has been so lovely & colorful ~ I wish it would stop raining so we could enjoy it from the OUTside! lol

I am thankful for . . . a very busy but good Easter. My mother (who has dementia) did very well eating out w/my family. Lots of laughter w/DH, DDs #1 & #2, DD#1's boyfriend & my mom. The Lord blessed our music both services at church; fantastic sermon. And I am MOST thankful for my Lord & Savior Who loved me enough to suffer & die for my many, many sins & then . . . to RISE AGAIN!

From the kitchen . . . Tuesday: bread baking day. Went to the farm stores this morning & did a little stocking up; got some of my beloved peppered bacon. Mmmmm . . .

I am wearing . . .
jeans, black tank top w/gray cardigan sweater.

I am remembering . . .
Easters past when our girls were little: frilly floral dresses, little Mary Jane shoes & bonnets.

I am hoping . . . that my speaking engagement goes well tonight. Speaking on one of my favorite subjects: Homeschooling as a Lifestyle. It's local, so I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.

I am creating . . .
a peaceful, Christ-centered home. Going to plant my little kitchen/herb garden when the weather clears.

I am hearing . . .
the radio, the wind whipping past my window, typing fingers.

I am noticing . . . myself in my girls. Hahahaha ~ joke's on THEM!

Around the house . . .
some general clean up, laundry, some baking, preparing for tonight.

One of my favorite things . . .
country drives.

Plans for the week . . . family time, work, speaking engagement, worship practice, writing church newsletter devotional, hopefully putting in my little garden, Sunday worship w/the saints.

Pondering these words . . .
"The love of God is most evident in the cross, the life of God is most evident in the empty tomb." ~ From Sunday's Sermon.

Scripture thought . . . "He Who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." ~Rev. 22:20

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . .

{the kitchen of a house we would like to buy}

Read 100's of other Daybooks at Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook!

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Friday, April 22, 2011

That's My King!


My KING was born KING.

He's the KING of the Jews.
He's the KING of Israel.
He's the KING of righteousness.
He's the KING of the ages.
He's the KING of Heaven.
He's the KING of glory.
He's the KING of kings & He IS the LORD of lords.

He's enduringly strong.

He's entirely sincere.
He's eternally steadfast.

He's immortally graceful.
He's imperially powerful.
He's impartially merciful.

Now that's my KING!
Well, I wonder, if you know Him.
Do you know Him?

Don't try to mislead me.
Do you know my KING?
David said the Heavens declare the glory of GOD,
& the firmament showeth His handiwork.
No means of measure can define His limitless LOVE.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shore of supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.

He's the sinner's Saviour.
He's the centerpiece of civilization.
He stands alone in Himself.
He's august.
He's unique.
He's unparalleled.
He's unprecedented.
He's supreme.
He's pre-eminent.
Well, He's the loftiest idea in literature.
He's the highest personality in philosophy.
He's the supreme problem in high criticism.
He's the fundamental doctrine of PROVED theology.
He's the carnal necessity of spiritual religion.

That's my KING!

That's my KING!

He supplies strength for the weak.
He's available for the tempted & the tried.
He sympathizes & He saves.
He's strong & He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent & He beautifies the meek.

Do you know Him?

Well, my KING . . .

He's the Key of knowledge.

He's the Wellspring of wisdom.
He's the Doorway of deliverance.
He's the Pathway of peace.
He's the Roadway of righteousness.
He's the Highway of holiness.
He's the Gateway of glory.

Well, my KING . . .
He's the Master of the mighty.
He's the Captain of the conquerers.
He's the Head of the heroes.
He's the Leader of the legislatures.
He's the Overseer of the overcomers.
He's the Governor of governors.
He's the Prince of princes . . .

He's the KING of kings & He's the LORD of lords.

That's my KING!

His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy & His burden is light.

Well, I wish I could describe Him to you, but He's indescribable!
He's indescribable.
Yes, He's incomprehensible.
He's invincible.
He's irresistible.
I'm comin' to tell ya: that the Heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explaining Him!
You can't get Him out of your mind.
You can't get Him off of your hands.
You can't out-live Him & you can't live without Him.
Well, Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him.
Pilot couldn't find any fault in Him.
The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree.
Herod couldn't kill Him.
Death couldn't handle Him & the grave couldn't hold Him!

That's my KING!


He always has been & He always will be.
I'm talkin' about He had no predecessor & He'll have no successor.
There was nobody before Him & there'll be nobody after Him.
You can' impeach Him & He's not going to resign.

That's my KING!

THINE is the kingdom & the power & the glory!

ALL the power belongs to my KING!
The glory is ALL HIS!
Yes! THINE is the Kingdom & the power & the glory forever . . . & ever . . . & ever!

How long is that?

And ever . . . & ever . . . & ever . . . & ever!

And when you get through with all evers, then


{Rev. S.M. Lockridge}
Have blessed & happy Easter! ~Kim<><

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Anti-Fungal Foot Powder

Here it is the end of April & whether you were blessed to have visited a warmer climate for your Easter/Spring break or not, at the very least you are welcoming the warmer weather. You may even be thinking about that Summer vacation at the beach or lake or pool or a "stay-cation" in your own back yard. Whatever way you will be spending your summer days, you'll probably be spending at least some of it in sandals, flip-flops or bare-foot so NOW is the time to get those tootsies healthy!

Some of us stand on our feet at our jobs, some are runners, some wear work-boots or cowboy boots all day, some wear high heels . . . but nearly all of us will experience sweaty, stinky feet at some time or other. :-/ And with sweaty, stinky feet can come . . . athlete's foot. (Que the Psycho music !!) I have found a great recipe that you can put in an old shaker bottle (either an old athlete's foot powder bottle, a large herb shaker bottle or an old Kraft's Parmesan cheese shaker bottle). It keeps indefinitely, so you can always have it on-hand right when you need it.

Here's what you need:

~1/2-3/4 c. white cosmetic clay (**arrowroot powder can be substituted)
~1 TB powdered goldenseal (**organic is best)
~1 TB powdered black walnut hulls
~1 ts tea tree essential oil (1 of God's greatest gifts, this should be in EVERY medicine cabinet)


1) With a whisk, combine the powders & THEN add the tea tree oil
2) Again, use a whisk until it's completely mixed together
3) Let mixture dry; about 1/2 hr

4) Using a cooking funnel, carefully pour into a shaker-type bottle (b/c powder will go everywhere)
5) Apply to your feet as needed; try pouring some of the powder into your socks or footies before you put them on instead of directly to your feet (but that works, too :-D)

Counting the days til Summer with you . . .

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#25~ 4/20/11 ~ There's ONE in Every Crowd

There's ONE in Every Crowd

PASSAGE: "On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down w/their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again."' Then they remembered His words.

"When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, bec
ause their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw . . . " ~Luke 24:1-12


"There's ONE in every crowd."

"It only takes ONE to lead."

Where would we be without those people in our lives who encouraged us to be different from the crowd? Even the best "crowds" can get something wrong &, bless His Name, the Lord is so good to put ONE person in the mix to bring sanity or belief or calm to the situation. And I enjoy it most when God decides to use someone who has "foot-in-mouth disease" & usually says the wrong thing at the wrong time (like most of us - like me) & gives them the holy will to stand up for truth. Some will listen & believe &, sadly, some won't.

The disciples & the women who were with Jesus loved Him & KNEW He was/is the One & only Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sins. They were in deep, deep mourning because they had thought Jesus' reign would come to fruition with a far better ending. So, no one could blame the women if they came back with wild & wonderful tales of Jesus having been raised from the dead! But to try to convince the disciples & others who had been THERE, had watched Jesus suffer & die, had watched Him being placed in the tomb, seen the huge stone rolled into place & a Roman guard threatening anyone who might come to take the Body away . . . "But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense." What sick joke was this? Or had they lost their minds in their grief?

But there's always ONE.

Peter ~ even though he had just denied
his Lord, even though Jesus had looked Him in the eye when that rooster crowed and those precious, loving eyes had convicted Peter of his guilt like nothing else ~ Peter grasped at the hope of "What if . . .?" He RAN to the tomb! He witnessed the cloths laying empty . . . and he knew . . . and he told.

Let's tell others who will tell others . . . who will tell others . . . who will tell others . . . it starts with one.

Come & join Nancy at A Country Mom & I, if you are not already participating! Each Wednesday, we dig into the Word of God & share what we are leaning. All you have to do is share a passage you have read during your devotions, share the lesson you have learned from the Lord & then connect with others who are doing the same & comment on their blogs. Let's learn from the Lord & each other.

Happy Easter Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#119~ 4/19/11

For Today . . .

Outside my window . . .
dark skies & thunder storms!

I am thinking . . .
how happy I am to have a home w/a good roof!

I am thankful for . . .
my hard-working husband.

From the kitchen . . . Made bread & laundry detergent yesterday, just a simple lunch for 1, today.

I am wearing . . . jeans, long-sleeved shirt under my work t-shirt.

I am remembering . . .
the years we had our girls at home. So hard to believe, sometimes, that our 16yrs of homeschooling ended almost 2yrs ago & that they are making their own ways in the world. I am SO GRATEFUL that I didn't give up 24,000+ hours of their lives to the gov't school syste
m, but we spent them together.

I am hoping . . .
& EXPECTING answers to prayer. :-)

I am creating . . . a peaceful, Christ-centered home.

I am hearing . . .
rain & THUNDER!

I am noticing . . . that our little dog, Maggie, is hiding under a chair from the thunder. Poor Baby.

Around the house . . .
not much today, did a lot of house work yesterday.

One of my favorite things . . .
reconnecting w/old friends through Facebook.

Plans for the week
. . . family time, work (big sale going on!), Easter choir & trio practice, EASTER ~ worship w/the saints!

Pondering these words . . .
"Hosanna doesn't JUST mean 'save me', it literally means 'save me NOW!'"

Scripture thought . . . "...Why do you look for the living among the dead? He [Jesus] is NOT here; HE HAS RISEN! Remember how He told you, while He was still w/you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified & on the 3rd day be raised again.'" ~Luke 24:5-7

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . .

Read 100's of other Daybooks at Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook!

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dyeing Easter Eggs Naturally

This is a must-read for those of us who still like to dye our Easter Eggs! Aren't these gorgeous?

Thanks to The Old Farmer's Almanac, you can do this, too. Find out how by clicking HERE.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Friday, April 15, 2011

Homemade Hair Care

I recently found a great book, Herbs for Natural Beauty by Rosemary Gladstar. (This may be old news to some of you.) She's a little New-Age-y, but she uses God's creation & His bounty in good measure & w/respect, so I can look over the occasional comment to glean what I need.

One of the things she talks about in this book is hair care. She shares some really good advice & specific essential oils to use for different hair types & the effects they have on our hair:

Basil ~ Oily ~ Promotes growth
Chamomile ~ Fine to normal ~ Gives golden highlights
Clary Sage ~ All types ~ Dandruff treatment
Lavender ~ Normal ~ Scalp treatment for itchiness, dandruff & even lice!
Lemon ~ Oily ~ Gives golden highlights; treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, lice, & under-active sebaceous glands
Myrrh ~ Dry ~ Treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, lice & under-active sebaceous glands
Patchouli ~ Oily ~ Dandruff treatment
Peppermint ~ Dry ~ Promotes hair growth
Rose ~ Fine ~ Soothes scalp
Rosemary ~ Oily ~ Dandruff treatment; promotes hair growth
Tea Tree ~ Oily ~ Treatment for dry scalp, dandruff, lice & under-active sebaceous glands
Ylang-Ylang ~ Oily ~ Dandruff treatment

Her tips to keep hair healthy are simple, common-sense & completely do-able:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. The same good diet you eat for glowing skin will feed the garden of your hair
  • Use only gentle, non-detergent-based shampoos
  • Rotate between 2 or 3 favorite shampoos. Even the best shampoo will tend to create imbalance if used continuously [I totally agree w/this! I have done this for quite a while ~ I trade between the recipes I've shared w/you on this blog & a couple of great organic shampoos found at health food stores ~ KW]
  • Wash you hair infrequently, only once or twice per week. At 1st this will feel uncomfortable. But the "squeaky clean" feeling we have been taught to achieve is, in essence, hair that has been stripped of its natural protective oils [I see her point here, but . . . ewww :-P ]
  • Condition you hair monthly w/a natural herbal rinse
  • Massage your scalp thoroughly every few days, or at least once weekly.
  • Brush your hair as often & for as long as you can each day. Be sure that your hairbrush is kept clean; a good rule to follow is to wash your brush each time you wash your hair
Simple . . . do-able . . . affordable . . . my favorite combination. :-)

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's All in the 'Tude

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her & lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life... She is clothed with strength & dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, & faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household & does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise & call her blessed; her husband also, & he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass the all.' Charm is deceptive, & beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." ~Proverbs 31:10-12, 25-30

As any of you who might be "regular" readers know, my dear husband was laid off from the best job he ever had 2 yrs ago this month. In the mean-time, he could only find a job that paid him a mere 1/4 of his previous salary w/no benefits & has only JUST started a job that is almost up to what he was making before. His lay off devastated some plans we had ~ only 1 of which was to open our bulk food store, Marmee's Pantry, after we graduated DD#2 from our homeschool in '09. We haven't entirely given up hope of having the store . . . but that's for another post. :-)

In that 2 years, we had to give up & go without many things. I have been utterly & completely blessed to have been able to be a stay-at-home-homeschool mom for all of our girls' lives, with only part-time endeavors here-and-there (home party sales, writing for The Old Schoolhouse magazine, free-lance writing, speaking engagements . . . ), to having to get an out-of-home job at a health food store (which I really enjoy), a year ago, b/c writing & speaking engagements ~ as much as I love them & still do them ~ are not regular & dependable enough to help pay the bills.

We had to give up things ~ besides opening the store, we had been ready to rip up old, nasty carpet & put in hardwood floors, we had to let other things go without replacing them as they ran out/gave out/wore out & learn to live without. Do you get your hair trimmed on a regular basis? I haven't had a trim in a year, my hair is much longer than you see in the photo above, but I have let my hair grow out, not so much that I like it, but because I can go w/o a trim because I am a woman & it's not so odd to see a woman w/longer hair. I broke my glasses w/bi-focals a year ago & just got them replaced b/c of a sale Sears was having; we SAVED for the $99 it cost to replace them. We had to turn in a car, which leaves us w/2 cars for 3 people & 3 different work schedules . . .

Indeed, necessity IS the mother of invention.

As I was growing up, my Grandma C had one of those decorative plates in her kitchen that said, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." And I have found throughout my married life that that is SO sadly true. It's ALL in the 'tude. And my 'tude directly effects my husband & his ability, his confidence & his willingness to lead our family.

Now, I'm NOT saying that when he was laid off with no severance pay, no insurance . . . nothing . . . that I simply took it in stride & sang my way through the days to come. Nope ~ we have cried, we have prayed (& prayed, & prayed) & we have suffered loss. But, we also pick our battles; I say the same about this life change as I said to a friend who asked me how I felt when DD#1 got a tattoo on her ankle: "It's not a choice I would have made, but I've buried a child so THIS is nothing."

All that to say this: My attitude, my support of my husband & my "help-meeting" during these hard times, "allow" my husband to bare the load that he has had to bare.

I had already been making our own house-hold cleaners, laundry detergent, soaps, skin care, etc., to save a little money & because I wanted to take better care of my family's health, to know what was in the products we use, but mostly because I enjoyed it. NOW, it took on a whole new meaning ~ I NEEDED to make these items even if it were to save PENNIES. Those pennies add up to dollars & there were literally times when it was the pennies we had saved that paid our bills; that allowed us to still keep our home.

I could have gone through all of this kicking & screaming; criticizing my dear husband because ALL he could find was that lousy-1/4-of-his-former-pay-job. Believe me, there were times when the enemy of our souls would try to put that thought into my mind, but by God's mercy &
grace ~ NOT anything I did ~ He stuffed those thoughts right out of my head & allowed me to see how hard my dear husband was working for us ~ for me ~ to kiss his sweet head that was turning greyer by the day & to remind him that I love him. I love him "for better or for worse, in sickness & in health, in testing & in prosperity."

Ladies ~ our attitudes can build up or destroy our men! Our men are required by God to give their very lives for us, if necessary! (Eph. 5:25) Why would we want to make things harder for them than they may already be? Now, I'm NOT saying that I've always acted in a perfect, self-sacrificing way here, but I have tried ~ by the grace & mercy of God ~ to be to my husband what I need to be &, at times, swallow what pride I have left & ask his forgiveness for my attitude or actions.

One of my favorite books is "Home-Making" by J.R. Miller. This
precious book was written in 1882 & should be read by every engaged couple. Some of the language is a little out of date, but the truths that he writes are Biblical & profound . . . no matter what the century. I'll leave you with this from the chapter, "The Wife's Part" . . .

"In misfortune or disaster, what lofty heroism does she exhibit & what courage does her bravery kindle in her husband's heart! Instead of being crushed by the unexpected loss, she only then rises to her full grandeur of soul. Instead of weeping, repining & despairing, & thus adding tenfold to the burden of the misfortune, she cheerfully accepts the changed circumstances & becomes a minister of hope & strength. She turns away from luxury & ease to the plainer home, the simpler life, the humbler surrounding ~ without a murmur. It is in such circumstances & experiences that the heroism of woman's soul is manifested."

Lord, please let this be me!! Ladies, let us all remember that our attitude shapes our personalities & the personality of our home. Let's try to continue to be those lovely women that our husbands fell in love with all those years ago. To him, WE are who makes the House a Home.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Scotland's Thistle

Have you seen that wonderful new show, "Who Do You Think You Are"? It's one of my new favorite shows! I am fascinated by family history. The only side my family really knows very much about is my father's father's side . . . as far back as anyone knows, it all began in beautiful, rugged Scotland, then someone migrated down to England & then some brave souls came to America around the turn of the 1700's. Once here, my ancestry includes the bravery & steadfastness of Jenny Wiley (<-- you MUST read her story), war heroes & many others . . . including a vein of Cherokee blood.

I have always been fascinated with my Scottish "roots." Do you think that's why Celtic music seems to be in the blood? lol My dream would be to find some wonderful Scottish "cousins" who still live in a quaint little village & to visit them. A charming dream, I know.

So, with that in mind, I thought I'd "treat" you to a little Scottish history . . .

I had wondered why the National Symbol of Scotland was a thistle. That prickly, pretty, purple thistle Eeyore loved so much. According to Scottish History On-Line, "The prickly purple thistle was adopted as the emblem of Scotland during the reign of Alexander III (1249-1286). Legend has it that the army of King Haakon or Norway, intent on conquering the Scots, landed at the coast of Largs at night to surprise the sleeping Scottish Clansmen. In order to move more stealthily under the cover of darkness the Norsemen removed their footwear.

As they drew near to the Scots [they weren't] the only thing hiding under the cover of darkness. For one of Haakon's men unfortunately stood on one of these spiny little defenders & shrieked out in pain, alerting the Clansmen of the advancing Norsemen. Needless to say the Scots won the day. The first use of a thistle as a royal symbol of Scotland was on silver coins issued by James III in 1470."

Later came "The Order of the Thistle," given as the highest honor of Scotland . . . "This order was founded in 1540 by King James V who, being honored with the Order of the Garter from his Uncle, King Henry the VIII of England, and with the Golden Fleece from the Emperor, and the Order of St. Michael from France, resolved to be in the royal mode, and so made The Order of the Thistle for himself and 12 knights, in imitation of Christ and His 12 Apostles. Then celebrating all the festivals of the orders, he set up their arms and badges over the gate of his palace in Linlithgow, joining St. Andrew with them.

common badge worn by the knights are, a cross surmounted by a star of 4 silver points, and over them a green circle bordered and lettered with gold, containing the motto "Nemo me impune lacesset," "No-one harms me without punishment" but more commonly translated in Scots as "Wha dours meddle wi me" and in the center of the thistle proper, the whole being embroidered on the left breast."

And, as Paul Harvey used to say, "And now you know the rest of the story." :-)

"A man with God is ALWAYS in the majority." ~John Knox, who brought God's reformation to Scotland.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~#118~ 4/12/11

For Today . . .

Outside my window . . .
dreary, cold & windy w/long-awaited signs of new life. After our 84* Sunday & rain on Monday, there has been an explosion of new green leaves along w/white, yellow, pink & deep pink buds. The atmosphere, outside, is a little odd ~ gray up above & oddly clear below. Hard to describe.

I am thinking . . . of my sweet husband who started his new job 1-1/2 hrs away; hoping he acclimates well & trusting the Lord to keep him safe & his car working well on his long commute.

I am thankful for . . . my hubbie's new job! Thank You, Lord! It's been such a long 2 yrs.

From the kitchen . . .
Amish French Toast! :-P

I am wearing . . .
jeans & a black shirt.

I am remembering . . . that one of my oldest friends (I've known her & her sisters since I was 5) came into the store yesterday. It was SO very good to see her & her husband. What wonderful times we had when we were kids. Ahhh . . . those were the days!

I am hoping . . .
& trusting the Lord for continued answered prayer. Mostly that I can understand His time-line. Ha!

I am creating . . . a peaceful, Christ-centered home. I think I might trade-out some of my antique/reproduction tin collection. I have some seasonal tins that need to come out while some others get put away for a little while.

I am hearing . . .
the radio, the washer & dryer, DD#2 puttering around as she gets ready for work, typing fingers, wind whipping by the window . . .

I am noticing . . .
that yesterday's post, "It's the Little Things that Matter Most," seemed to have struck a chord w/several people. I received several e-mails & Facebook private messages about it. Thank you, to all who read, were touched & said such nice things. And thanks to the Lord for being used for His purposes.

Around the house . . .
general pick up, laundry, giving Maggie a little trim around her eyes, practicing Easter music . . .

One of my favorite things . . .
seeing old friends or extended family members that I haven't seen in years & remembering all the wonderful history we have together.

Plans for the week . . . family time, work, worship practice, Easter music practice, Sunday worship w/the saints!

Pondering these words . . .
"When people see me, do they see an authentic Christian? Do they see Jesus?" ~ from Sunday's Sermon.

Scripture thought . . .
~I John 3:3-4, 9-10 ~ "First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing & following their own evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this "coming" He promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation' . . . The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient w/you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . .

My kitchen 'canisters'

Read 100's of other Daybooks at Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook!

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's the Little Things that Matter the Most

"Do to others as you would have them do to you." ~Luke 6:31


"It's the little things that matter the most."

If I said that to our girls once, I've said it a million times while they were growing up ~ & still do. Why? Because it's one of the most true statements ever proclaimed.

Those "little things" can be anything from thanking God for the sight of the 1st robin of spring, running into an old friend at the grocery store, ready help in the kitchen or simply a kind word or look or touch. And those "little things" accumulate into "big things" throughout our relationships, especially in our families.


Loving touch is crucial in the life-blood of our families; most certainly if our husbands came from a family w/mothers who were a little 'hard' or had that terrible mentality of "big boys don't cry" or who scarcely showed any sort of softness or affection. THAT is NOT Christ-like, at all. Sometimes, wives need to work in tandem w/the Lord to soften their hearts; hearts that long for loving affection and to unashamedly give it back.

DD#1 ~ 2009

I am a toucher & a hugger ~ I can barely walk past my husband or 1 of our daughters w/o simply reaching out to touch their arm or stroke their hair. I want my family know that I treasure them beyond any other person or thing on this earth.

DD#2 ~ 2010

This thought of need for physical affection was captured so sweetly in 1 of my favorite books, "Home-Making by J.R. Miller (c. 1882) in the chapter "The Wedded Life," although it is true for all familial relationships . . .

". . . there is no place in the world where the amenities of courtesy should be so carefully maintained as in the home. There are no hearts that hunger so for expressions of affection as the hearts of which we are most sure. There is no love that so needs its daily bread as the love that is strongest & holiest. There is no place where rudeness or incivility is so unpardonable as inside our own doors & toward our best beloved. The tenderer the love & the truer, the more it craves the thousand little attentions & kindnesses which so satisfy the heart. It is not costly presents at Christmas & on birthdays & anniversaries that are wanted; these are only mockeries if the days between are empty of affectionate expressions. Jewelry & silks & richly-bound volumes will never atone for the want of warmth & tenderness. Between husband & wife there should be maintained w/o break or pause, the most perfect courtesy, the gentlest attention, the most unselfish amiability, the utmost affectionateness. Coleridge says: 'The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions, the little soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, & the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable thought & genial feeling.' These may seem trifles, & the omission of them may be deemed unworthy of thought; but they are the daily bread of love, & hearts go hungry when they are omitted. It may be only carelessness at 1st in the busy husband or a weary wife that fails in these small, sweet courtesies, & it may seem a little matter, but in the end the result may be a growing far apart of 2 lives which might have been for ever very happy in each other had their early love but been cherished & nourished." [all emphasis mine, Kim<><]

We ALL need affection ~ man, woman, boy, girl & teen ~ it's just that simple. I've seen it work & it starts & is maintained by the simple, little things.

Indulge in something "little" today & see what happens.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><
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