J’Pa and J’Ma’s Daycare

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD….” Psalm 127:3

Grand-son holding Pa-Pa’s hand.

We have entered a new season of caring for our grandchildren while their parents work and attend post-secondary school. J’Pa’s face lights up every time he is with a grandchild. He reverts back to his childhood as he builds and creates with the variety of blocks. If only I was that imaginative!

A big shout-out to the older generations: I know many grandparents assist with the responsibility of raising their grandchildren due to a variety of reasons. These grandparents need to be applauded for their efforts of caring for the younger generation. Every grandparent has something to offer whether it is reminiscing about history, giving wisdom of problem solving or blessing one with that needed hug of encouragement. **********

I ordered two car seats to keep in our vehicle. This makes it easier on everyone as the grandbabies go to their respective places. Before the grandbabies moved here, we prepared ourselves and the home by purchasing books and age-appropriate manipulatives/toys that will engage their growing minds. J’Pa and our younger two children had to try out each playful item to see how it worked. Oh my! It was inexpensive entertainment watching the three figure out the purpose of each object or reading with inflecting voices from the board or cloth books. Of course, the items received approval from all.

We have a set space in the sunroom with little odds and ends of thrifted toys, books, blocks, etc. A small patio table and stepping stools serve as Grand-son’s work place for eating or building. Princess does not need much since she is only five months. We also have J’Pa’s chairs from when he was little. These keepsakes were made from his grandfather.

Each grandchild has his or her own pack and play for naps. Furthermore, Grand-son has his own dinning room chair next to Pa-Pa. The booster seat allows him to join the family at the table and to swipe goodies from Pa-Pa’s plate.

I get excited talking about the littles. They are precious and will not be with us for long due to their father’s enlistment. I will miss them when it is time for them to move on to their next placement, but for now, this is the season to treasure precious memories with the littles.

May a child’s smile or memory bring happiness to your day even for a short moment for they are not little for long. Jan

Matthew 19:14 … Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” .

Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.-Jane Austen

Used a butter knife to shape the designs on this homemade apple pie.

Oh, how I love apples! My sense of smell is lost in the aroma of cooking apples. Not only does the aroma tickles my nose, but the savoring juices are a relish to my mouth.

I have fond memories of picking apples and then creating delicacies from this sweet fruit. Days would be spent making jelly, jams, applesauce, apple butter, and the ever so delicious baked goods. Overtime, I learned to substitute recipe ingredients with applesauce.

In answer to the question: does making pies make one happy and contented with the home? I concur with Austen’s quote. I acquire gratification in making pies and other goodies for others’ enjoyment. A small treat soothes the soul and the weary. Tranquility is found in that moment of eating a warm slice as the worries melt away.

Does your body relax while eating a pleasurable delight? My answer is a BIG yes.

The following is a grated apple pie recipe from my late mother-in-law.

frozen pie crust or homemade, (I always make mine.)

2 cups grated apples

1 stick of butter (melted)

1 egg (beaten well)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate apples and drain off juice to avoid over bubbling. Set aside. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Add butter and egg. Slowly mix in grated apple.

Pour onto pie crust. Bake till the crust is bubbly and brown. I usually allow mine to bake for at least 50 to 60 minutes.

If you choose to make the pie crust, the ingredients are also listed.

2 cups of all purpose flour

extra flour for rolling dough

2/3 cups of shortening

1 tsp of salt

cold water with added ice cubes to keep water cold as the dough is being made

Having difficulty loading any videos that I made in making the crust and apple filling. I am going to publish this post so everyone can enjoy the pie during the fall season.

“Blessed Jesus, Hold My Hand”

author- Albert Edward Brumley

Jesus, hold my hand
‘Cause I need Thee every hour
Through this pilgrim land
Protect me by Thy power

Hear my feeble plea
And O Lord look down on me
When I kneel in prayer
I hope to meet You there
Blessed Jesus, hold my hand

When I kneel in prayer
I hope to meet You there
Blessed Jesus, hold my hand

Yesterday, Joe and I were sitting on the front porch with our grandbabies. Joe and grand-son were sitting on the porch swing while grand-girl and I were in the rocking chair. We watched the birds flitter among the tree limbs and feeder- in a circular motion comparable to the children’s animated movies- tweeting as they went about their business. Squirrels skirting up, down, and across the limbs and ground gathering nuts for winter preparation.

Besides the beautiful sounds of nature, the creaking of the swing and rocker were in simultaneous motion. The leaves were turning their vibrant yellows, oranges and reds.

—-a small piece of heaven on earth—-

While I was observing my gentlemen peacefully swinging, I surveyed little grand-son take Papa’s middle finger and wrap his long arm around him in a secure grasp. Grand-son enveloped with Papa’s loving hold nestled for a short period with a smile stretched across his innocent face.

Picturesque moment- My heart filled with peace and calmness from the scene of the unspoken words of love and trust being exchanged between the two.

“Blessed Jesus, hold my hand” came to mind as I beheld this cherished sight.

This is the same with our Heavenly father- protected by His loving arms…

May your day be filled with the little things that remind you of our Father and Son as I have with the fall scenery- Jan

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


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.

Marines pray for fallen brother

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


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

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.

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