Thursday, February 21, 2008

Homemade Jewellery

Ever find it difficult to find jewellery that matches your special dress or earrings that match the colour of your blouse exactly? Well, I have that probelm no more because I have discovered the wonders of homemade jewellery!!

You don't need very much to craft your own beautiful pieces. I picked up all my essentials at a local store called 'vintage jewels.' I needed head pins (straight pins with a small flat end), ear wires (where the bead hangs from), beads, a wire cutter and a pliers.

First I chose the beads for my earrings. These ranged from expensive, top-quality gems to cheaper beautiful beads. I placed the beads onto the head pin. I continued adding beads until the desired earring length. I cut the wire after I had reached the desired style and length. Then I cut off the extra wire, leaving enough to curl around a couple of times. I used the pliers to twist the straight wire into a small circle. And voila!!

Now to find an excuse to wear them. Anyone for dinner?!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Homeschooling Fun!

I love homeschooling my children! Every day they learn things that they would never have been taught in a state school. Take some highlights from this week for example. On Sunday my husbands brother, who is a Pastor and lives about an hour from our house, came to stay with us and we had a wonderful day together reading from the bible and discussing ideas such as the importance of valuing yourself before you can value and respect others. On Monday we read from Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice and had a group discussion on the themes in the book. On Tuesday, we devised our own recipe for brown bread, packed with walnuts, bran, and almonds. And finally today, my husband took part in the learning process. A colleague at his work, whose family come from Russia, told him about a diamond mine outside the Russian town of Mirna. What he said sounded incredible, so we researched it more on the internet with our children. I though I'd share the unbelievable facts about this place with all of you too!

The Mirna diamond mine is located in northeastern Russia. The Mirna Diamond Mine is the deepest open pit diamond mine and one of the deepest open pit mines in the world at nearly 2000 feet. It takes approximately 2 hours for an ore truck to drive from the bottom of the mine to the upper rim.
Difficult to get your head around the scale of this thing, isn't it?! I love how homeschooling teaches me, as well as my children, lots of new and exciting things!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Giggle!

Thank you to Polly for sending this bit of humour on to me today. I hope you are all having a lovely weekend and that you laugh at this as much as I did!

The Two Choices in Life:

Life essentially boils down to two choices.

1. Get a dog....

2. Have children....

Haha! Oh how I have had so many experiences that come very close to what is pictured in these photographs!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentine's Day

I know Valentines Day is often disregarded as an overly commercialised holiday, but if you really look at the hidden message amongst all the Hallmark cards and big fluffy toys, it can be something really special. There is alot to be said for being reminded to tell those you love exactly how you feel about them!

Our local Feminine Womanhood society holds a valentines tea party every year and this year it was my turn to host it. I spent the whole day before Valentines Day preparing for the party but I think my work paid off!

First, I covered the back of the chairs with vintage cloth, then light pink tulle, and tied a beautiful handmade name tag on each one. With my children, we cut out lots of paper hearts and sprinkled them over the table.

These are the chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing that I made and served on this vintage tray.

And above are similar cupcakes but without the chocolate. Also in the picture, you can see that I provided pink lemonade for those who do not drink tea. I tried to stick as much as possible to a pink theme!

These are cookies my good friend, Charlene, made. She made 85, every one being different. You can see, surrounding them, I put beautiful tea tins. And in the tea pots I put hot water, giving my guest a variety of teas to choose from. Also in this picture you can see how I placed an antique hat on every teacup, so when my guests arrived, they could mix and match their hats with their outfits.

It was really a wonderful afternoon with tea, cakes and reading. And I am so lucky to have four little helpers who were so good for Mama when it came to tidying up after everyone had left!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven't been blogging in a while. Things have been so busy recently. I don't know if I can even remember what I've been doing because it's pretty much just been the normal day-to-day stuff: looking after the kids, schooling the kids, cleaning, cooking, washing clothes etc etc! Sigh! My good friend Martha is coming over to visit tomorrow with her husband, however, and she really wants to cook dinner so I won't be saying no! I think I have most things in order around the house now!

Anyway, my main reason for blogging today was for something else. On Saturday, my eldest son went to play in a dear friend Jack's house. In the afternoon Jack's mom rang me to ask if it would be ok for the two boys to go to visit Jacks cousin who lives nearby. I have never met this cousin but I trust Jacks Mom and agreed to it. To cut a long story short, my son came home that evening asking me I had ever wondered if I was gay?! Obviously I was horrified by this question so I asked him why he was wondering such things. He said that Jack's cousin's father had a discussion with all of them while they were in the house and told them that now (ie. between 10 and 14 years of age) is the time to consider whether you are straight or gay and that if you think you may be gay that you should explore it further!! What was this man thinking?!!

I have discussed the issue with my husband and we have agreed to call over to this father at the weekend to let him know how angry we feel about the situation. Jack's mom was also horrified and she will be calling over with us. We have since sat our older children down and discussed with them that being gay is not the Lords way and that as long as they follow the path that the Lord has set out for them, then they will find eternal happiness. I will let you know how the meeting at the weekend goes!

I ask Him to give me the strength to deal with problems that arise for parents!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fun with lipstick!

I don't know how they do it, but I leave the room for literally two minutes and K has managed to find a lipstick I didn't know I still had! And the evidence of how much fun she had with it was all over her face when I came back into the room! It did turn out to be an expensive lipstick I got as a present a few years ago but all I could do was laugh when I saw this cute little face!!

We had a very lovely Christmas. We had dinner in our own home and then went to visit both my parents and my DH's parents the next day. My DH just went back to work on Monday so things are finally back into a routine again. I've spent the last few days steam cleaning all our carpets using a steam cleaner that we've hired for the week. Our next project is to repaint our living room. At the moment it's a rather dull cream colour. I'm very fond of using lots of colour in my rooms so would like to find a more exciting colour for the living room.
It's great to be back blogging in the new year. Hope 2008 finds you all well!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wishing all my blog readers and friends all the best for 2008. We had such an enjoyable and peaceful Christmas at home here and I will be sharing some memories with you all soon!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas to all the readers of my blog. I am delighted to have made so many fantastic friends this year. You have all been so welcoming to me!

I am very proud of our tree this year. For me it signifies all that is good about my family. We are creative and bright and our love produces beautiful things! May you all have a peaceful holiday full of the joys of our Lord and the goodwill of all men!

I know that Christmas is a busy time for many people and I myself may not be blogging for a few days. So, this is to wish you all a very happy Christmas and to let you know that I will be back in touch in the new year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Cake

The Christmas preparations are well underway in our home and the latest news is that I have finished our Christmas cake! Phew!

We are having twenty one people in our house from Christmas day so there is much to be done! The cake is quite an important job which I am glad to have completed. I used a traditional European recipe for the cake itself. I picked up the lovely tartan ribbon from the local thrift store and the topping is made up of things I found in my own garden! I spray painted some of the leaves gold, I used snow spray on other leaves and some are in their natural state. I think it makes a beautiful centrepiece!

My next job is to prepare for the mulled wine reception that we are having in our house tomorrow night for all members of the local ballroom dancing club. I'll let you know how it goes!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Geography for Toddlers!

A friend of mine sent this video on to me to show that it's never too early to start teaching your kids geography! It's a pretty impressive party trick too! And the thing about two year olds is that they dont even realise that they're learning - it's like a game to them! I've started to teach my two year old where all the states in America are and she absolutely loves pointing them out!

Here is the video that my friend sent me. Really shows the potential of the little mind!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back to Posting....At Last!

Apologies for not having posted in such a long time. We have been so busy recently! Not only have I been trying to get our family home ready for Christmas, but then my sister announced that she is engaged and is to be married in the Summer! It is so wonderful!

My sister is in her mid-thirties and has always declared that she is happy being single. Myself and my family were not convinced, however, and we always felt that she would be happier with a partner that she could share her life with and grow old with. Therefore, we have been praying that she would find someone that she could be happy with forever. Our prayers were answered two years ago when she met Rob, her darling husband to be. It turns out that Rob had also wished to find someone that he could share his life with and always wished to have some children of his own. He, like us, had also been praying! And so the two met while doing volunteer work in South America. At first, my sister began dating Rob's brother who was also working on the volunteer project. However, this relationship came to an end when they returned home. She remained in contact with Rob, however, via email and telephone and last year the company that he works for moved to a city very near us. Clearly the work of Him. With Rob living so close, my sister and him formed a very close bond and a very strong relationship. And now, a wedding!!

We have all been so excited about the wedding that myself and a few of my sister's friends have been out with my sister to try on wedding dresses. We found the most beautiful vintage shop an hours drive away from my house. They specialise in finding one-off wedding gowns from the 20s, 30s and 40s and team them up woth modern accessories to create the perfect look for a special day. Where were these guys when I got married?!
Here is the interior of this gem of a shop:

We want to make a scrapbook for my sister and her husband showing the whole run up to the wedding in the Summer. So I took some artistic shots of her trying on some dresses. I think you'll agree that these works of art are only divine!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wonderful Surprise!

Upon visiting Julies blog this morning, I was delighted to discover that I have been made the featured blog of her Spotlight Saturday!

Thank you for this honour Julie. As a relatively new blogger, I look forward to meeting (in the virtual sense!) all the new blog readers that will be directed here from your site. Your Spotlight Saturday is a great idea and a fantastic way to share great blogs with others. I know there are loads of interesting blogs out there that probably we're missing out on!

In other news, myself and the children designate Fridays as our "Art and Craft Day." We often do art on other days but we have specifically designated Fridays so that we never let a week go by without fitting in some creative activity!

Yesterday, we took some hen eggs, used a pin to make a hole at one end of the egg and extracted the gooey inside through this hole. We then had much fun painting the eggs. I was quite surprised at the fantastic results that my children (ranging in age from 2 to 12) produced! I think you'll agree that they make beautiful home decorations.

And we didn't let the egg whites go to waste either! After all that hard work, I baked meringue for dessert. Much enjoyed by all!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Myself and my husband decided to leave the peace of the countryside and journey into the city at the weekend, to spend some quality time together, and this happens!

On our way into the city, we were stopped at traffic lights when the car coming up behind us drove straight into the back of us! I was completely shocked. It wasn't too big a bump but it was enough to leave me quite shaken. Just as my husband was getting out of our car to talk to the driver behind, the cops pulled up - perfect timing! They took both of our details and descriptions of what had happened. They then proceeded to question the other driver futher and, after a few tests, they concluded that he was over the alcohol limit for driving. No wonder he drove into our stopped car!!

It makes me so disappointed that people continue to drink alcohol and drive. We were lucky that ours was only a minor accident but this man could easily have injured a child walking near the road or even worse! Some people are too selfish and do not think of those around them. I hope that at least this man will learn to become more responsible!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tea and cake

This months meeting of our Feminine Womanhood group was held in my house. Our group meets once a month in a different members house. During our meetings we discuss the bible, we debate the role of women in society today, each month we choose a different famous woman who we feel is a good role model and (the best bit!) we drink tea and eat cake! You can't imagine how excited my kids were at the prospect of everyone coming to our home!! They were really keen on baking something themselves so I helped them to make a fruit cake to have with our tea.

The cake was so delicious I feel I just HAVE to share the recipe with you guys!


1/2 cup chopped cherries
1 1/2 cups coconut
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 egg whites

How to make:

Prepare fruits. Measure the sifted flour and reserve a few tablespoons to dredge fruit. Sift remaining flour into a bowl with baking powder and salt. In mixing bowl cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in sifted dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Beat well and add the dredged fruit.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
Line a greased loaf pan with waxed paper or parchment paper and grease the paper. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 300° for about 90 minutes. Enjoy!

While our meeting was held indoors, we were blessed with fantastic weather and I was able to give the ladies a tour of my garden. I know it looks like the sun is shining in this photo but it was REALLY COLD! Winter is on its way to the Mid-west!

What food do you serve to guests in your home?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Apron Making

I have recently become very interested in making aprons out of old, unwanted material. I like to use a different apron in my kitchen nearly every day so it's great to have a variety of aprons to suit my mood! Here is my first attempt at apron making.

I was at the local thrift shop last week and picked up an old, floral blouse, which I subsequently transformed into this pretty little apron! It was a fun excercise in recycling. I usually head to the thrift shop about once a month to see what I can find. And I nearly always turn my purchases into mini projects to transform them into something nicer / prettier / more useful! Have you ever picked up something old and turned it into something new?

In other news, we received a new member at our feminine womanhood society this week. She is a young woman who was a feminist until recently when she got married. After her wedding she realised how important it is to serve her husband and has spoken to us of her ignorance before her marriage. She is grateful that her eyes have been opened and all of us in the group are also thankful for this. Marriage is such an important sacrament.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bedroom furniture

While browsing for bedroom furniture recently, I found this fantastic set. It may not be to everybody's taste but I think it's only wonderful.

I am considering buying something like this for my own bedroom. What do you HONESTLY think?! :-)

First post in my new blog!

After reading so many wonderful blogs online, I have decided to set up my own. I look forward to meeting lots of likeminded women through this medium. First I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Laura. I live in Michigan with my small family in our big new house! I used to teach in the local high school but have given that up to be a full time homemaker!!

As I am relatively new to this whole homemaking "business", I am looking forward to getting to know people in a similar situation with whom I can share tips and ideas! So if there are any of you out there, feel free to leave me a message. Looking forward to reading all of your blogs too!

Here is our lovely home. We built it just two years ago so there is still so much to do inside, but we're very happy with it!
In my next post I will put up photos of some of the rooms that I am doing up at the moment. And perhaps people will share ideas on what I should do with the rooms!