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Remembering THOSE WHO GAVE ALL

Hope everyone had a safe and industrious or restful Memorial Day.

How was the day spent: cookout at home? going to the lake? gathering with family and friends? fireworks?

Were patriotic decorations scattered about the setting(s)? Was the serving ware displaying the American flag?

At any time, was a moment of silence given to those who gave all?

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.

Memorial Day 2021: Facts, Meaning & Traditions – HISTORY

No pictures or words can describe this holiday as best as observed in the following images. My simple words of “THANK YOU!” to the fallen heroes and their families will never be able to fully express my deep gratitude for the sacrifice given for my freedom. I have never faced first hand what this day stands for even though I had several generations of uncles and cousins who served in wars. Remember my son and his family as he is serving our country.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7c/f2/05/7cf2055742b705117890f1b681a10702.jpg
https://captainjamesdavis.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/freedom_isnt_free.jpg
Marines pray for fallen brother
http://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/4790536772/

I cannot listen or read the lyrics without shedding a tear for this holy ground. We will forever be grateful for your service.

https://youtu.be/TGzuvmut3Hs

The lyrics are eloquently written from a fallen soldier’s perspective.

I never thought that this is where I’d settle down,
I thought I’d die an old man back in my hometown,
They gave me this plot of land, me and some other men, for a job well done,
There’s a big white house sits on a hill just up the road,
The man inside he cried the day they brought me home,
They folded up a flag and told my mom and dad, “We’re proud of your son.”

And I’m proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I’m on sacred ground and I’m in the best of company,
I’m thankful for those thankful for the things I’ve done,
I can rest in peace, I’m one of the chosen ones, I made it to Arlington

I remember daddy brought me here when I was eight,
We searched all day to find out where my granddad lay,
And when we finally found that cross,
He said, “Son, this is what it cost to keep us free.” Now here I am,
A thousand stones away from him,
He recognized me on the first day I came in,
And it gave me a chill when he clicked his heels, and saluted me.

And I’m proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I’m on sacred ground and I’m in the best of company,
I’m thankful for those thankful for the things I’ve done,
I can rest in peace, I’m one of the chosen ones, I made it to Arlington

And every time I hear twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home to us

We’re thankful for those thankful for the things we’ve done,
We can rest in peace, ’cause we are the chosen ones,
We made it to Arlington, yeah dust to dust,
Don’t cry for us, we made it to Arlington

Trace Adkins – Arlington Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Loving My Outdated Kitchen

I love my kitchen!

Have you ever heard of the saying, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.”? I believe this statement is true. No matter the size- the kitchen is always filled with bustling bodies or food to feed the weary. The kitchen is a gathering area. It hears stories of the day, worries about tomorrows, and whispering prayers.

Our table has served us well over the years. There is nothing like having a meal or conversations with family and friends.

January is the beginning of a new year. My goal for this winter season is to declutter any unused items. With this decluttering goal, I am reminded of how much we have accumulated over the years and being fortunate in receiving an overabundance of household items when we married.

This house was built in 1985, and we purchased it in 1994. We remodeled the kitchen 18 years ago. Light oak cabinets were the style in the early 2000’s. Not much has changed since the remodeling except a new refrigerator and removing the dish washer.

The counter tops have faded to a lighter shade of the original darker burgundy. The color’s purpose was to mask future stains and shield against the hard well water. Surprisingly, the counter tops have held up quite well and continue to look in good condition for their age. I know they are not in style, but who can complain when they are doing a great job. My goal or wish is to replace the counter tops with butcher block, but this will be a project for another day.

The Keurig sat here previously before moving to the coffee bar in the sunroom.

I know, I know. The appliances are different colors. We started with the white theme but had a change of heart when the refrigerator had to be replaced. I love the black stainless look; it matches the microwave. We will go with the newer scheme as the appliances are needing replacing.

I cannot live without the magnet monthly calendar. It keeps me sane as well as the school calendar, cleaning schedule, and Bible verses.

Our stove top is unique. The top is divided with a grill on the left and two heating elements on the right. We keep a removable Lodge gridle on the grill. If needed, the grill can be used as two more elements allowing four pots to cook simultaneously. I love my stove top and the interchangeable grill element even though we never took advantage of purchasing additional parts.

The lighting for the stove top is hidden under the upper cabinet as well as the electrical strips concealed under the other cabinets. The light switch is for the newly converted sunroom.

This corner can feel overwhelming when I have to cook several dishes or have a multitude to wash.

Lastly, a trash can and other items are stashed in the dishwasher’s space. I never felt the need to replace it. What was the point in having a dishwasher if I was going to rinse beforehand? This way the overflowing trash can is not visible to the visiting eyes.

A door way between the stove top and microwave cabinets open into the sunroom. This was originally the side porch, which was utilized more often than the main porch off the living room. The sunroom is a dream come true; however, it is still under construction with only the small details left to be finished. I am eager to share the new room once I get the “go ahead” from my husband.

I would be telling a false statement if I said this is the kitchen’s normal state. Most days the counter tops are filled with items needing to return to their home. I have to give myself “grace” when it comes to cooking and cleaning in a timely manner.

As I was writing earlier, I love my outdated kitchen. It has been good to us. The kitchen brings me joy and happiness even if it is a little cluttered.

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Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmon Tree! Oh How I Love Thee!

Our Christmon tree will remain up till the end of January. We waited with decorating until the arrival of our son’s family, which was the week of Christmas.

The tree is adorned with crocheted pieces from our wedding 27 years ago. My aunt created patterns to crochet specific Christmon symbols. Every year, my husband reads the meaning of each symbol while a child (young adults now) places the symbol on the tree. It has been a tradition since the children were younger to read aloud the true reason for the Christmas season.

A Christmon tree holds symbols that represent Jesus, our Savior.
Five symbols are mixed among the angels, candy canes, and snowflakes.

The yearly tradition is completed when one child places the angel on top. This year we were graced with our 11th month old grandson-with the help of his dad and uncle- adding the final touch.

There is something special about a tree and its belongings. An ornament or other significant item representing memorable events, whether good or bad: birth, marriage, or a year’s highlights such as toilet paper and facial masks, but our tree gained an ornament announcing our grandson’s “first Christmas.”

I have not transitioned my tree with Valentine’s decorations, nor do I intend to do so at this time. I prefer to leave it as is in order to focus on the peace and calmness the tree brings with reflection and the Christmas story.

One side note- I took a picture of the tree and the outdoor waving flag and posted the scene on Instagram. At the time of the post, I was not aware of what was taking place outside of my home environment. Later, I learned of the events and thought of the irony of the perfect timing of my thoughts and feelings, “One Nation Under God.”

I hope this past Christmas tree brought you much joy and happiness as it did our family even with the multitude of 2020 hardships.

May you be filled with the jovial anticipation of decorating any tree for any occasion.

A Season of Mourning

It has been a very challenging summer; besides suffering the loss of our G’Ma and friends, the family battled with COVID. Hearing the current state of affairs, nationally and globally, has left me feeling disheartened.

-But I know God is in control. Ending this post with three verses:

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)

“I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:18-19 (KJV)

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelations 21:4 (KJV)

May you find peace and encouragement as I have with these verses. Jan

One Roof, Four Generations

The Pile of Sticks home was blessed for five short days to have four generations living under its roof. The rooms were filled with love and over-zealous personalities. Joe and I became caregivers to his mother- Great G’Ma- due to declining health; in addition, our son and his family moved back from prior stationing until they find a home of their own.

Every day was and is brimming with a new adventure: Great G’Ma brought wisdom to the table while our grandchildren keep us entertained. Past and present tenses are being used interchangeably, for G’Ma is now eternally resting and free from pain.

The “Waltons” scenario only lasted a week, but what an experience! The timing was bittersweet. I will forever hold on to the precious memories that were made- how each person saw the need to chip in and to make the current accommodations run smoothly.

A “Precious Memory” will forever be instilled of G’Ma holding the (five and half weeks old) baby. G’Mas face gleamed with her serene smile.

“I cannot live without books.” Thomas Jefferson, 1815

I read couple of pages from one book and then pick another book to read.

These books have similar themes: finance, homemaking, thrifting, problem solving advice, children, cooking, decorating, “being a lady,” etc. I could spend hours reading nonfiction that encourages me in my faith and being the family’s matriarch. Some themes apply to today’s living while others discuss older generations.

I have added a new author to my collection. Sharon White and I share many commonalities of “old fashion homemaking” such as wearing dresses, cooking, budgeting, reading material, homemade gifts, parenting, simple decorating in the home, etc. She also has a blog, https://thelegacyofhomepress.blogspot.com. Her platform is serving the Lord with a humble and sincere heart.

I am fascinated by her outlook on homemaking: all things are done for God’s glorification. Mrs. White emphasizes that homemaking is the heart of the home. Her thoughts as a homemaker is just that- staying home, maintaining a peaceful environment and supporting her family’s needs by living on a meek budget. I admire Mrs. White’s stance on mothers remaining at home. If only it was this simple for many mothers—

My current readings are from the book of Psalms and Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. This Bible study was created by Mrs. White and has pinned a personal connection between the main character, Katherine, and me. Prentiss wrote Stepping Heavenward from Katherine’s perspective as she journals her Christian walk over a course of several years. Like many of us, Katherine struggles with her faith and conforming to worldly views.

The Bible study consists of several readings per day: two chapters from the Bible (Psalms and Proverbs in sequence), three entries from Stepping Heavenward, journaling own learnings, listening to appropriate music and being present in daily prayer. White offers a downloadable guide on her website. The guide details White’s purpose in reading the specified chapters and entries for the 90 day study. I am on day seven and have formed a kindred relationship with the fictional Katherine. The chapters speak to my heart, and I am grateful for that small voice that roused my yearning for Godly reading.

This post is splintered in thought but my thinking was to write a personal note on the new found writer Sharon White.

Please comment on your favorite authors and their titles. I am always in the market for Christian fiction or homemaking nonfiction.

My motto is clearly stated in the title. I can never have too many books. May you find comfort in a good book or study as I have.

Take care- Jan

The Great Speckled Bird

I have been touched by this song and its allegory. May you find comfort in the verse and lyrics as I have.

Jeremiah 12:9, “Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.” 

1.What a beautiful thought I am thinking
Concerning a great speckled bird
Remember her name is recorded
On the pages of God’s Holy Word.

2. All the other birds are flocking ’round her
And she is despised by the squad
But the great speckled bird in the Bible
Is one with the great church of God.

3. All the other churches are against her
They envy her glory and fame
They hate her because she is chosen
And has not denied Jesus’ name.

4. Desiring to lower her standard
They watch every move that she makes
They long to find fault with her teachings
But really they find no mistake.

5. She is spreading her wings for a journey
She’s going to leave by and by
When the trumpet shall sound in the morning
She’ll rise and go up in the sky.

6. In the presence of all her despisers
With a song never uttered before
She will rise and be gone in a moment
Till the great tribulation is o’er.

7. I am glad I have learned of her meekness
I am proud that my name is on her book
For I want to be one never fearing
The face of my Savior to look.

8. When He cometh descending from heaven
On the cloud that He writes in His Word
I’ll be joyfully carried to meet Him


On the wings of that great speckled bird.Source: LyricFindSongwriters: Guy Martin SmithGreat Speckled Bird lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

A Table’s Invitation…

The table awaits your company.

A clean table cloth displaying a centerpiece created with Blue Willow serviceware invites you to my table. Homemade placemats rest for six settings. Folded cloth napkins tenderly await for the appropriate time.

Our table greets you as a welcomed guest as you will be served with the finest daily ware from one or mix of Correlle, Blue Willow, Memory Lane or Currier and Ives. Mismatched silver eating utensils and a Mason jar will gracefully surround the place setting according to proper etiquette.

A simple prayer will be given before partaking of the meal and conversing over the day’s events. Cell phones and elbows are not permitted during the meal.

The meal arrays from soup and sandwiches to a full course of home-cooked necessitating the use of assorted dish wares. A coffee cup and saucer are furnished upon request.

The table does not keep time. Its provisions of comfort and reassurance replenishes to all that receives.

The table openly invites you for peaceful nourishment.

May you be blessed with the following as I have been looking forward to “Suppertime.”https://youtu.be/XpII12_QXsc

In memory- until I sit down with you again at the table.

Mother…

Meriam- Webster defines a mother several ways: “noun: maternal tenderness or affection; adjective: acting as or providing parental stock; verb: to care for or protect like a mother.”

Mother | Definition of Mother by Merriam-Webster

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; … (Proverbs 31:10, 28 KJV). A mother’s instructions are by example, words and actions.

https://www.camdenarknews.com

Titus 2:3- The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, … teachers of good things

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Titus-2-3/

“Mother” is an honorable name and is given even if she is not biological. She can be the mentor, caregiver, neighbor, relative, teacher, church or group member, friend, nurse, etc. A mother protects, counsels, loves, and provides unconditionally whether she is married, single, widowed, divorced, employed at home or works outside of the home.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who have made a difference in one’s life.

My Favorite Author, Janette Oke

My favorite genre is historical fiction. I prefer books containing clean plots that unfold as the characters’ beliefs and values are put to the test. My convictions are relatable to the characters and their circumstances. I maintain a Godly mindset with Christian fiction.

I read my mother’s book, When Calls the Heart, when I was in middle school. The background inspired me; however, I did not read any other books by Oke until I was in high school. I came across “Seasons of the Heart” series in a Christian bookstore while attending a youth rally with my church. I stood in the aisle engrossed in the pages of the series first book. I purchased Once Upon a Summer on that trip, and the rest of the series soon followed. Overtime I have added Oke’s books to my precious collection.

Once Upon a Summer is missing.

Many are familiar with Janette Oke. Her book series, When Calls the Heart and Love Comes Softly, have been made into movies.

Many of my books have been put into storage boxes to make room for the children’s books. These are the only series that are kept in the Hoosier hutch.

Oke’s autobiography also sits on the shelf. Oke has written several books with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan, and T. Davis Bunn.

Most of the collection is paperback and yellowed with age, yet they still possess the wholesome message to place all our cares on God.

If I could attend a book signing, it would be to meet Janette Oke and thank her for writing books that encouraged my reading habits.

May you find an author that instills a love for reading and enduring lifestyle as I have.

Meaning of “Homemaking in This Season of Life”

Homemaking: noun- the establishment or management of a home; duties of a homemaker; adjective- of or relating to the management of a home (dictionary.com)

Bible journal- January 7, 2021

I struggled with this year’s word. I wanted it to be meaningful and reflective. 2020’s word was acceptance. I had to “accept” the current status of my well-being. It took months before I was WILLING to let go of the fact that I was no longer employed, financial independent, and free to do as I pleased. After it was determined that I was medically disabled, I had to assent to the fact I no longer could live the life I once enjoyed. When I write, “once enjoyed”, I am referring to the ability to soak up the outdoors, eat what I want, clean anything and everything, and interact with the public while being mask free.

I went from being an educator to being a homemaker. My employer is now my home. I researched the meaning of “make” and all of its affixes. I wrote the findings in my personal Bible journal. I prayed for guidance and wisdom as to what will be my focus this year, especially after the previous year’s initial response to the pandemic and medical diagnosis.

A simple conclusion commenced. If I am to be homebound and a homemaker, then I need to understand what these entail. My learnings represent my interpretations of a HOMEMAKER: a doer who acts upon.

This post is not as in-depth. The purpose is to give an synopsis of my reasonings of the blog’s title. The above image displays my personal study of His word and answer to my struggle.

I am at peace with my situation and honored to be a homemaker: “Homemaking in This Season of Life.”

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May you find peace in your current season of life as I have mine- homemaking.

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