Tag Archives: mommy culture

Stan Hywet, Birthday celebration/home education field trip…

19 Nov

On Thursday the 15th of this month, my youngest/aka the baby of the family turned 10 years old.  One of his gift requests was to go somewhere cool on his birthday and to have the whole family there.  Well, with 6 of our family working outside the home that was no small feat.  But the “glue” sister asked all and all made a way to get off work! Yay!  We chose Stan Hywet Hall. Near enough to get home in time for the birthday dinner! Beware..lots of pictures to follow! View from the back we were down in the japanese garden.

This day was special in many ways. As a mom of many and a home educating mom, I am always on the job. I have visited Stan Hywet on a couple of occaisions but realized that this was the first occaision I could really see things, because there weren’t little ones to keep me busy with crowd control, and to keep their hands off of the museum’s property! I show you the next picture cause the guys were just thinking this wood elevator was so cool, and “mom this would be so fun to ride on!” 🙂
The music/ball room was also a hit. We sing together and some of the older children play various instruments.  I thought the chandeliers in the music room were unbelievable! I am a chandelier fan!


Home educating mom/teacher asked if we could sing a tune, just to let the children hear the acoustics and they were not disappointed! Moms can be so embarrassing :-).  You will see that the mansion was decked out for Christmas which was an unexpected bonus!

All the family has had their chance working with Dad in his carpentry business, so the architectural details, the different species of wood, the craftmanship, the attention to details, none of this escaped the children. It was a warming of my heart to see how much they have learned and retained and taken as their own over the years. Below is a picture of the secret bookshelf door passage.

the telephone booth

See the hand carved linen-fold wall paneling? The hand carved detailed border?

This picture is priceless to me, we are all looking up in awe at one thing or another. Learning, exploring, BEING together, a mom’s bliss!

The dining room was glam and glitz the silver plated everything was shining it was inspiring!


These chairs each had a different animal tapestry, we (the seamstresses of the house thought they were cool)

I have always had a love for butlers pantries, it was fun to see a lot of my children, not just the girls ooh and aah over this and the kitchen and pantry!  Cooking for 13 people on a consistent basis gives you an appreciation for these kinds of things!!

O.K. so time for confession, I know I should be content and not covet someone else’s kitchen, but, I’m telling you this was an extreme test!…I really can’t imagine what it would take to clean this place (energy) but to work without running into people???? 🙂 Then there are bedrooms and showers and guest rooms…You gotta go see this place.

A pool in the lower level, as long as our house!!


Did I mention it was sleeting and cold?? Did I mention we had to see the grounds and the garden, and the conservatory???

The birthday boy!

We ended up in the horse stalls turned cafe for a family picture!



Some things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Family, time spent together. Museums and field trips to help us learn from the past and grow from what we have learned. Thankful for beauty and craftmanship. Thankful for a change of scenery to gain perspective… Thankful for God’s grace to walk and continue on life’s journey…

Thankful for Olivia, who took all these pictures to help us remember the day! Happy Thanksgiving!


Growing time..

30 Apr

On a cold April morning these men went on a journey..you can see how cold they are with their clenched hands and forced smiles 🙂

P1160997The crew of our family carpentry business..from left to right..laborer/apprentice, part time laborer/apprentice, right hand man, and chief..

P1170001chief, husband, and daddy..taking his eldest sons on a growing trip..

P1170003right hand man..already learned much before the trip, stretched in the areas of customer service, reading plans, ordering materials, getting the truck ready for a 12 hour trip, carrying all their tools needed..


Crew and support crew..So far they have been gone over a week.. we have been in contact by skype and this mother can see growth in her young men..So many life lessons..I hate to name a few because that would minimize the others..but I will jot a few down..responsibility, sacrifice, man’s provider role, flexibility, cheerfulness, …a weak representation..but a sampling..

They have been privileged to do a job on Nantucket Island, Mass.  This is a great privilege and I am reminded of the truth of God’s word in Proverbs 18:16..a man’s gift maketh a place for him.. And just seeing God’s hand in working out all the details, His ways are truly higher than our ways..

I stand in awe of Him.  The facet of the Lord, I am looking at in this time in my life is His practicality..He made us from dust..He knows our frame..He knows our physical needs..In today’s terms He is rather “crunchy” :-).. But oh, that does not diminish His glory, His power, His majesty, His holiness, His righteousness, oh no..it magnifies it in showing us how complete, total, perfect He is…

knowing all

seeing all

being over all

taking care of all

By His grace and mercy alone we live and move and have our being..may He use us for His glory..may we be content in the places He has set us..  so thankful for the knowledge that He is my Father..

P.S. spring babies at our house 🙂P1170094

A vacation..a retreat..a story..

6 Mar

This past January the Lord blessed our family with a vacation..I flew down to Florida with a friend and they followed on the weekend..We were able to be away from all the work at our house..with 2 family businesses and a little farmette.


We got to stay with my friend for a week, visit with my sister in law, and then a very dear retired couple offered us their condo for a few days..

P1150553 P1150561


It was so needed, our family had not been on vacation for 7 years!


Many of us were blessed with rest and relaxation..


P1150711 P1150732



but I wanted to record God’s blessing to me..

For many years, I have wanted to go on a retreat and just be alone with God..with finances and responsibilities that just has not been possible.

This was a retreat in a different kind of way..

The Lord allowed me to meet 2 very dear ladies..that both spoke into my life and were a source of reconnecting with some of my dormant heart desires..they both have very close walks with the Lord, and my walk has been a busy walk the last 7 years..

Another way He drew near was through the girl’s art teacher from Florida, who we got to visit with for a couple hours..a loving, peaceful, adoptive soul..She drew me in to the most ministering hug!!! God knows our every need..As a mama I get lots of hugs, but they are different..This hug was from my Father, my Daddy..and she touched me in the deep places of my heart with love and acceptance..no strings..no expectations..



Of course there was sun and warmth in the weather but God is my most urgent need..without Him life is empty and meaningless..I just wanted to Thank Him and to reminisce as the days are long and cold and my heart grows weary in the daily tasks and struggles..P1150684

The other night as I was awake in the middle of the night He reminded me with this verse in Galatians chapter 6 verse 9..  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.


He is with those that seek Him, that call on Him, that NEED Him..Those who put their trust in Him will not be ashamed..

He is my Daddy and I am asking Him to teach me to trust Him more..



When I re-read Galatians as I write this I am moved to record that without Jesus’s sacrifice I could not say God is my Daddy..Oh Thank you Jesus for dying for me and making me able to call your Father, my Father..Thank you for adopting me..Thank you for accepting me..Thank you for promising that if I am not weary in well doing..I will reap if I faint not..Thank you for ALL your promises…..Thank you for hope…

Fun anniversary gift!…

13 Mar

Last month was our anniversary..the girls made this lovely gift basket for us and we were able to go overnight to a cottage in Amish Country..


They made us a beautiful bunting, napkins, and table runner..



They also put in candles and a sparkling grape juice with 2 goblets!


So sweet, really blessed us!  The bunting is very detailed and artistic..and the runner is sitting on the coffee table in our living room now..

Miracle of Birth…

1 Mar

It was a very rewarding week.  Many ups and downs.  But Wednesday night I got to witness the birth of a baby girl!!

Actually it was Thursday morning.  For give me, I’m a little jet lagged 🙂

This time, I walked away sobered and humbled.  I have given birth 18 times if you consider my little ones that died young and were miscarried.

11 live births.  The humbling thing for me was this young mother, giving birth to her seventh child.  Was in great difficulty.  And she persevered and continued on and brought her child to birth.

We were calling on God for help, and He surely answered and gave her the grace she needed to keep on.

In my 11 births I had difficulties to be sure, one emergency C section thrown in.

But nothing like this dear child, I call her child because she is 20 years my junior, went through.

That was the humbling part.  Not to mention her courage.

The sobering part was tied closely to that.  Our bodies know how to do labor, God made them for that.

Everything works as planned with our bodies, but there are always different circumstances…size of baby, age of mother, number of births, too many circumstance or situations really to number.

We can’t really ever count on how a labor will go, we make our birth plans, we go on how our other births have gone…

But each child, each creation of God, is different …A new creation.  And they enter the birth canal in many ways.  And are born in many different ways..The best way to be ready for a birth is to be open to God’s plan.  Do what we need to do but go in to the labor with the understanding that this one has never happened before and will never happen again…

As I walked away from this birth experience I was sobered by how little in control we are.  The mother giving birth, the birthing coach, the mid wife, the husband…we are all human and God is over all and knows all.  That is a comforting thought If we can resign our idea that we are in control to Him:-)

I am so thankful He brought this mother to deliver her baby.  I am so thankful I got to be there on the other side of birth and see His handy-work…

The Miracle of Birth is a door to see the other miracles God does each day and minute…keeping us breathing, keeping our hearts pumping, keeping the earth spinning…Awesome thoughts…


Some of these thoughts are not new, some are very elementary, but some of us are still in the elementary school of life 🙂

Little boys sewing project…

22 Aug

I put my younger boys to work in the sewing room last week cleaning out my scrap fabric.

I have lots of cut offs from our sewing business.

No sooner did they start sorting colors for me, they were asking “Mom, can I have this piece”  It got to the point I just let them pick what they wanted and we sorted the remainder.

“Hey mom, we could make aprons!!”  Well the scraps weren’t big enough, so I suggested they sew pieces together and then cut their aprons out.

I made them a paper pattern and let them go to town.  The girls and especially  their 12 year old sister helped them and they came up with some really cute ideas.

 My 6 year old…He is so funny… he speed sews!  Not so great on the stitches but he loves to go fast!

Here  he is checking his work..

 3 1/2 can pick up everyone’s scraps, his 10 year old brother made his apron..

 They like to wear them on Sunday, so they don’t mess up their church clothes!

 And the back…

 I’m just so pleased they got the idea and carried it to the finish!! Great job and very original 🙂

Designing, fabric, and life…

21 Aug

First the fabric!  We got this Christmas fabric in from Moda.  It is more wintery which I like because it lasts the whole season, not just Christmas. We just allowed ourselves 5 coordinating prints.  Since we lived in Florida a year, I began to love aqua’s and other greens at the holiday season 🙂

 I’m looking forward to some jammy pants or lounge pants for my boys out of these snowmen.  It is hard to tell but there are sweet little red birds on this print too!  We are also planning some other girl things!!

Might seem a little early to be looking at winter fabrics, but I’ve got to think ahead!

Over this summer we have been preserving food for the winter

Here my daughter is blanching corn for her brothers…she has to do de-hair quality control on her smaller brothers who do shucking duty.. The older boys set up outside under a tent and cut the corn off the cobs after it cools in the cooler full of water…they have quite a system going, would you believe I just popped up now and then to make sure everyone was safe and toward the end I enjoyed shucking with the little ones… Just two or so weeks ago we did tomatoes…we do them as they come and we had a bad start this year.  My son planted a different variety for an experiment. They are called determinates.  They are in bush form and they don’t need to be staked up.  We got a variety for paste.  The first part of the crop would rot at the end.  After some research he found that there is something called blossom end rot.  He found that the plants needed calcium.  We have good soil because we sweeten it with our composted goat manure.  So he decided to get Epsom salts, which have magnesium in them.  He put this around the tomatoes to help them absorb the calcium that was in the soil!  And they began to do better!  We will get more tomatoes in a week or so.  And should be able to get a better yield.

 Here my oldest is putting up his broccoli harvest, the same night we were doing tomatoes.   He froze it in one l pound increments for me!

The baby (my baby) 🙂 is helping with dishes in preparation to do the tomatoes.  We chose to do paste, or juice with this batch.  We use it for tomato soup and in other soups.

Here is some of our yield on a shelf that my older boys made for me last year.  The difficulty we run into with a house that has no basement is where to put these cans???  This is just a portion of this years work.  I think it’s kind of pretty!

Just today my 5th born helped me to do green beans.

We’ve also done some jams and pie fillings and peaches.  But now that I’m writing this I’m realizing I need to think about some apple sauce!

Just a word for moms, do let the children help.  Do let them know how vital they are to your family!  It is a very good thing!!

So, I am thankful in August before many people may be thinking about harvest!

And I am thankful that the children are so helpful…and right now there is a little one upstairs who needs mama to talk to him!