Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Birthday!

O who will walk a mile with me
Along life's merry way?
A comrade blithe and full of glee,
Who dares to laugh out loud and free,
And let her frolic fancy play,
Like a happy child, through the flowers gay
That fill the field and fringe the way
Where she walks a mile with me.

And who will walk a mile with me
Along life's weary way?
A friend whose heart has eyes to see
The stars shine out o'er the darkening lea,
And the quiet rest at the end o' the day-
A friend who knows, and dares to say,
The brave, sweet words that cheer the way
Where she walks a mile with me.

With such a comrade, such a friend,
I would fain walk till journey's end,
Through summer sunshine, winter rain,
And then?-Farewell, we shall meet again!
Henry VanDyke-edited for a sister

Happy Birthday, Kelly!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Texas Winters

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psa 1:3

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Isaiah 55:10-11

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Keeper at Home of the Month!

Since October is a time when we turn our hearts to remembering the reclaimed truths of the Reformation I would like to take the time post about a remarkable woman, Catherine or Katharina Von Bora. Behind every great reformer is a great wife!

Katharina von Bora, Martin Luther’s wife, was a remarkable woman whose life was as unusual and exciting as the reformer’s. She was born of impoverished noble parents in 1499. She had lived in a convent since she was three; her father had taken her there after her mother's death. In 1504 she went to the convent school of the Benedict order in Brehna (near Halle) Later on, at the age of ten, she entered the convent Nimbschen. (near Grimma; only in German) in 1508. In 1515 she took her vows and became a nun at the soonest possible date.

She was only eighteen at the time Martin Luther issued his now famous 95 theses from Wittenberg. Under the influence of Reformation she and other nuns believed the principles Luther taught, and they wanted to leave the cloisters. When Luther heard of this, he encouraged a merchant friend to help them escape. Merchant Kopp often delivered herring to the convent, and one evening in 1523, he bundled twelve nuns into his wagon in the empty fish barrels! Katharina fled with 11 other nuns, on Easter of 1523, from the convent in Nimbschen to Wittenberg. Several of the nuns returned to their families; Luther helped find homes, husbands, or positions for the rest. Within two years after their escape, all the nuns had been provided for except one—Katharina. She found shelter with the family of Lucas Cranach the Elder On June 13, 1525 Katharina got engaged and married to Luther; the wedding celebration took place on June 27, 1525. The Elector had given Luther the building of the Augustinian monastery at Wittenberg, and into the monastery Katie moved after her marriage.

Henceforth, Katharina Luther put the household in order. She cleaned up the monastery and brought some order to Luther's daily life. Katie managed the finances of the family and helped free Luther's mind for his work of writing, teaching, and ministering. Luther called her the "morning star of Wittenberg" since she rose at 4 a.m. to care for her many responsibilities. She became known as Luther’s domestic reformer! Melanchthon tells us that, to his knowledge, in earlier times Luther’s bed had not been made for a whole year—he was too busy to make it—and was ‘mildewed with perspiration’. ‘I was tired out’ said Luther, ‘and worked myself nearly to death, fell into bed and knew nothing about it’. She was a wonderful manager of the household for a big family and was an indispensable companion and adviser to her husband as well. She was a devoted wife to Luther, who referred to her as "my lord Katie".

Despite limited funds and a large number of guests, often there were as many as 30 students, guests, or boarders staying in the monastery, all came under Katie's care. She used the monastery’s right to brew beer, leased land for gardening were she grew vegetables and an orchard, she also tended a fishpond, and bought a farm to raise cattle and chickens. She even did the butchering herself!

Luther was often ill, and Katie was able to minister to him in his illnesses because of her great medical skill.

Katie's life was not just concerned with the physical, however. Martin encouraged his Katie in her Bible study and suggested particular passages for her to memorize.

Luther wrote a friend, "There is a lot to get used to in the first year of marriage. One wakes up in the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on the pillow which were not there before." After a year of marriage Luther wrote another friend, "My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty for the riches of Croesus." Luther, the former celibate monk, now exalted marriage, exclaiming, "There is no bond on earth so sweet, nor any separation so bitter, as that which occurs in a good marriage." Sometimes the reformer called his wife his ’dear rib’, in allusion to Genesis 2:21. In his will he described her as “his pious faithful and devoted wife, always loving, worthy and beautiful.”

Through Luther's writings, one can get a sense of Katharina's wit and personality as seen in this exchange:
Martin Luther said, "The time will come when a man will take more than one wife."
Katharina responded, "Let the devil believe that!"
The doctor said, "The reason, Katie, is that a woman can bear a child only once a year while her husband can beget many."
Katie responded, "Paul said that each man should have his own wife."
To this the doctor replied, "Yes, 'his own wife' and not 'only one wife,' for the latter isn't what Paul wrote." The doctor kidded for a long time
and finally the doctor's wife said, "Before I put up with this, I'd rather go back to the convent and leave you and all our children."
[Luther, Table Talk, no. 1461]

On June 7, 1526 Martin and Katharina's first son, Johannes (Hans), was born. On December 10, 1527 a daughter, Elisabeth, was born, but died after 8 months; Magdalena their daughter was born on May 4, 1529, but died at age 13. In 1531, 1533, and 1534, their sons, Martin and Paul, and daughter, Margarethe were born. All living descendants of Martin Luther come from Margarethe's line. Four out of six children who had been born of the couple reached adulthood.

Katharina fled from the Smalkaldian War in 1546 to Dessau and then to Magdeburg. She lived to see her children, except Magdalena who had died young, achieve positions of influence. She died on December 20, 1552 in Torgau where she had fled to get away from the plague in Wittenberg, six years after Martin Luther’s death.
Sketches from church history CHI online exhibits Wikipedia

Monday, September 25, 2006

Another Apron Wearing Homemaker!

We recently had the pleasure of assisting our friend, Mrs. Corey Halterman, in the assembly of an inaugural piece of Prairie Muffin attire. (see point 11)

Miss Andrea helps Leah with her new serger while I am laying out fabric & pattern pieces from Jenny Chancey's Edwardian Apron Pattern All of a sudden the usually very quiet Miss Andrea whoops and hollers! Was she stung by a bee? No, she is frozen in a state of awestruck wonder at how simple it is to thread Leah's serger. One puff of air shoots the thread all the way through the machine and it's ready to sew. Wow!

Let's test it out.

Binding the edges, we're almost done.

"......I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultramodern. The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith. The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need woman, and men, too, who would rather be morally right that socially correct......." -excerpted from Peter Marshall's Keepers of the Springs

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Psalm 111

The works accomplished by the Lord
Are very great in might.
They are sought out by everyone
Who finds in them delight.

His works most wondrous he has made
Remembered still to be.
Jehovah is compassionate
And merciful is He.

Those fearing Him he fills with food
Provided by His hand.
He keeps in mind His covenant,
That it may ever stand.

Psalm 111 Metrical Version

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Baby Games

"Smile...Smile...Look at the camera...over there....yeah, look over there, no, yeah...yeah..."

"Okay, let's try again..."

"You're funny. Want to try my pacifier?"

"Oh well."

Friday, July 21, 2006

America Visited

Lafayette in a letter to his wife while visiting America in 1977:
"I will now tell you about the country and it's inhabitants. They are as agreeable as my enthusiasm had painted them. Simplicity of manners, kindness, love of country and liberty, and a delightful equality everywhere prevail. The wealthiest man and the poorest are on a level; and, although there are some large fortunes, I challenge anyone to discover the slightest difference between the manners of these two classes respectively towards each other. I first saw the country life at the house of Major Huger. I am now in the city, where every thing is very much after the English fashion, except that there is more simplicity, equality, cordiality, and courtesy here than in England. The city of Charleston is one of the handsomest and best built, and its inhabitants amongst the most agreeable I have ever seen. The American women are very pretty, simple in their mannerism and exhibit a neatness, which is every where cultivated even more studiously than in England. What most charms me is, that all the citizens are brethren.

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Pin Curls

Happy Birthday Mom
The light, the spell-word of the heart,
Our guiding star in weal or woe,
Our talisman—our earthly chart—
That sweetest name that earth can know.

We breathed it first with lisping tongue
When cradled in her arms we lay;
Fond memories round that name are hung
That will not, cannot pass away.

We breathed it then, we breathe it still
More dear than sister, friend, or brother,
The gentle power, the magic thrill,
Awakened at the name of mother.
by Fanny J. Crosby

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gardening in Texas


Queen Anne's Lace


and more Mums.



This is my Caladium

and my Guara

Wandering Jew



Miss Andrea's ground preparation

Crape Myrtle

Million Bells

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Just in time for summer

This is the meantime

This is the mean time. It's the time between rush and rush. It's the prep time for the next time that you'll be rushing to meet timelines and will have to be everything to all. The lulls in life aren't times when there's nothing happening worthwhile in your life. They are when you are supposed to be preparing so you'll be all the better for the next whirlwind of life. Those in between times, when things slow down, aren't signs of inconsistency. They are your appointed "in the meantime." Not a rest time, but a prep time. Remember that last rush period and all the obstacles and hoops you jumped through? Now remember all the times you thought "Oh, I wish I had done that ahead of time." All those little things that would make the rush time easier are what you are supposed to do in the meantime. Meantime duties are where you'll find your rest and in doing them in the meantime, where you will receive joy. They will become delightful to you. You will treasure your meantime duties as rest between rushes. Rushes will become a delight because you will be ahead of the storm. Prepared and equipped because of what you did in the meantime. This is the meantime.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Friday, May 26, 2006

Decoration Day

My mother told me a story today and I am proud it is my heritage. She said,

"When I was little Memorial Day was know as Decoration day. Every decoration day we would get up early and pick all the flowers in our yard. (just as an aside, my grandmother was a master gardener, so you can imagine) Then we would go to Aunt Effie's house and pick all the flowers in her yard. Then we would go to Aunt Ethel's house and pick all the flowers in her yard. By then it was all that we could haul and we would spend the day decorating graves."

When flow'ry Summer is at hand,
And Spring has gemm'd the earth with bloom,
We hither bring, with loving hand,
Bright flow'rs to deck our soldier's tomb.

Gentle birds above are sweetly singing
O'er the graves of heroes brave and true;
While the sweetest flow'rs we are bringing,
Wreath'd in garlands of red, white and blue.

With snowy hawthorn, clusters white,
Fair violets of heav'nly blue,
And early roses, fresh and bright,
We wreathe the red, and white, and blue.
"Soldier's Memorial Day," words by Mary B.C. Slade

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Matthew Henry on Marriage

Genesis 6:2

Mixed marriages (v. 2): The sons of God (that is, the professors of religion, who were called by the name of the Lord, and called upon that name), married the daughters of men, that is, those that were profane, and strangers to God and godliness. The posterity of Seth did not keep by themselves, as they ought to have done, both for the preservation of their own purity and in detestation of the apostasy. They intermingled themselves with the excommunicated race of Cain: They took them wives of all that they chose. But what was amiss in these marriages? (1.) They chose only by the eye: They saw that they were fair, which was all they looked at. (2.) They followed the choice which their own corrupt affections made: they took all that they chose, without advice and consideration. But, (3.) That which proved of such bad consequence to them was that they married strange wives, were unequally yoked with unbelievers, 2 Co. 6:14. This was forbidden to Israel, Deu. 7:3, 4. It was the unhappy occasion of Solomon’s apostasy (1 Ki. 11:1-4), and was of bad consequence to the Jews after their return out of Babylon, Ezra 9:1, 2. Note, Professors of religion, in marrying both themselves and their children, should make conscience of keeping within the bounds of profession. The bad will sooner debauch the good than the good reform the bad. Those that profess themselves the children of God must not marry without his consent, which they have not if they join in affinity with his enemies.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Dress of War

"...our culture today has a deplorable lack of ladies who give a biblical picture of modest femininity. I feel privileged to take part in the battle for godly womanhood by the way I dress. It is the dress of war: the war against feminism, a twisted view of woman, and a war for victorious maidenhood, proclaiming the Crown Rights of King Jesus. We are making His reign manifest in our lives........What an amazing banner we carry: to be modest, feminine, joyful woman of God. "
Read the rest here....

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kung-fu Day

Haaaaaaaaaaaaa Waaaaahhhhhhhhh...



Take that...

And that.....

I promise I'll clean my room!

Whoops! What happened?

Little ninja throws big karate master over head

and again....

the victory roll!

the cheerleaders

just a nice game of "kung fu" catch

we've got him on the run now

Kung fu duo to the rescue

tied in knots