Saturday, December 29, 2007


I've been asked several times by different people to address the subject of widows.

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My sources for information on widows come from two places: the references to widows in the Bible, and the memory of widows of the past.

Every woman should be able to imagine how she will manage in the role of a widow.Much of what happens to a widow begins earlier on in her life. Her life before widowhood is her spiritual insurance policy. How she copes as a widow has a lot to do with how she lived her life. A life of seriousness and dedication to duty in the home will be rewarded in widowhood. If she has raised good children who have an honoring spirit, she will be paid back for her efforts should she ever be a widow. If she has taught good things to younger women, she will reap rewards as a widow.

Young women need to really take seriously the role of wives, mothers and homemakers. If they spend their youth partying and getting into one relationship after another, putting their children in the care of others, and neglecting to be good house keepers and good homemakers, they will not find the comfort and honor they will need later in life, should they become widows.

For that reason, young women would do well to live their lives above the world, tending to matters at home, and really do all they can to make their houses real homes and their families really interested in serving others through hospitality, having a good knowledge of the scriptures, and wanting a Christian education. In the end, the movies and the parties and the shopping and the social life, even the BALLGAMES, ladies, will be meaningless. These sort of things do not "pay off" when one becomes a widow. Hospitality, teaching, working quietly at home, diligently training children in manners and respect, and making the home a home, will come back to bless you in your old age.

Although we seem many generations away from the last era that practiced any kind of widowhood etiquette, we can still find principles to follow in the case of widowhood.

Being a steady, faithful church member as a young woman, is important because as a widow, that sort of background will qualify you to teach others. Being a woman who maintains Biblical principles while you are young, is an investment for your old age. As a young person, you can study and practice things that will help you develop the character and the skills you need to become a woman worth looking up to when you are older. These can be things like:

-being on time and being a good steward of time.

-managing money well.

-managing a home, and being a good homemaker, including neatness, orderliness, cleanliness, cooking, sewing, caring for the sick in the home.

-looking after property, and keeping the house in good repair.

-finding ways to influence others.

Just from an over-all reading of the Bible, one can conclude that widows should behave in a dignified way, not being silly, not out in the bars drinking, not partying. In the Old Testament, widows sometimes went back to live with their parents until they found another husband. One reason for a young widow to remarry was to have help and guidance with any young children the couple had. Another was to keep the young woman safe with a protector and a provider, a husband, over her. Without marriage, she might take to wandering from house to house, talking about things which should not be talked about, and being idle.

This seems to be good advice for single women, even if they are not widows. Without a husband, house and children to care for, it is very tempting to be footloose and fancy free, using spare time for socializing and partying. If young girls learn to do this, the habit is not easily broken once they marry. They become discontent and restless and do not know how to occupy themselves as wives and homemakers. This is not to say they will be inside of a house every minute, as most of us certainly are not, but it shows that many women do not know about the millions of things that can be done as full-time homemakers.

Widows who are older, who have had long marriages, will be incredibly lonely after the loss of a lifetime mate. This can make them vulnerable and many have jumped into second marriages out of a feeling of loss and desperation. A portion of these have made very happy, lasting matches.

However, it is still important that the widow be very careful. If she has children and grandchildren who occupy her time, she may not benefit at all if she remarries. Remarriage means his children, her children, step this and step that, and a whole complication of relatives. Remarriage may involve problems of the family she marries into. If she remarries, her time will be occupied by her new relationship. If she is a grandmother, she may find her time even more divided. If she has a good relationship with her children, and they have reservations about her remarrying, she needs to consider this.

Another thing a widow needs to be careful about is relocation. Although friends and relatives may urge her to rid her house of all her husband's things and move to a smaller place, it is not always the right thing to do. If she has been happy there and if she loved her husband, and if it gives her security to have the familiarity of her own home and his things around her, why should she leave? Change is a trauma in itself. She has already lost a husband and is adjusting. Moving will create another adjustment problem. It is better if she stays put. I know one widow whose husband provided a house for them in their retirement. His plan was to have a place for her should she ever be a widow, and he had it made with ramps for easy access to the doors, and every convenience for her. After he died, her grown children talked her into selling it. It sold so fast she did not have time to find another place so she was talked into buying from a realtor a place much further away from the town, the children, and the church she was used to. The first night she was there alone, a robber entered the house, but she called the police and he was scared away. The distance she had to travel took its toll on her car. Eventually her children had to help her move to a small apartment in town where she could be checked on more easily.

Other widows I have observed who have stayed in their own houses, have lived much longer and in better health. They do suffer from missing their husbands, but it is not accompanied by the anxiety that packing up and moving around causes. There are exceptions, of course, and personalities are different. Some widows really need to move if the house is run-down and dangerous or if the children really want her badly to come and live with them, or if they are living a long way from relatives. Some widows feel they have stayed home enough in their lifetime and prefer to travel, but it is generally better not to cause too much upheaval in an already shocked and grieved woman.

One reason it is important for young women to develop some kind of thing that she can use as a service to others, whether it is hospitality, teaching sewing, crafts, or teaching younger women, is to give them practice. Then, when they are widows, they have their experience and talent to occupy them. They will have a driving purpose in life. They will be full of life and enthusiasm for the home and the family. They will be able to encourage younger women.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Daily Life With A Husband

I just wanted everyone to know that there are over 300 articles here and I have only labelled about 12. When you click on the subject, such as hospitality, decorating, etc. you won't get much. I am working little by little to get everything categorized.

Following up with another request, I would like to describe the interaction of a married couple during a day.

The first thing I do after I get up is put a kettle full of freshly drawn water on the stove to boil. While I'm waiting for that I may get dressed and prepared for the day. Then I go and pour the boiling water into a tea pot with my husband's favorite tea, or pour it through a filter into a cup of coffee. His favorite is Kona from Hawaii and he buys the beans fresh and grinds them in a little grinder. He's the only one who drinks coffee so that is why I make only one cup. The aroma for it is wonderful and fills up the kitchen with a happy feeling.

While he is in the shower, I make his breakfast and pack his to take to work with him. Although he is a minister in a little country church, he also has a part time job helping people board the airplanes, at the local airport. These are strange hours, often quite early, depending on the flights.

The breakfast is cooking altogether in the pan. I cook eggs in water, often called coddled eggs and add some kind of meat that he likes, such as turkey sausage.

I pack his lunch in a container, and here is one of his favorites:

Salmon salad made with salmon, shredded greens (romain, red and green lettuce, chard, arugula, radicchio, parsley, dill, mixed with shredded iceberg lettuce). I put the cooked salmon on top of this bed of greens and on top of that I add a half avocado, chopped. He likes celery so I make a celery cheese type of snack and put that in one of the sections of the container. I peel a clementine and take the sections apart and put it in another part of the container. He does have a sandwich once in awhile but has gotten so used to salads that he says he misses them when he doesn't have them.

While he eats his breakfast I look around for his wallet and keys, tie-tack, jacket, shoes and all those things he usually asks if I've seen. I don't do anything with them, I just locate them and then I can say I know where they are.

After he leaves, I go around the house and straighten things up. I iron his shirt and pants for the next day and catch up on the laundry. I clean the bathroom and check

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Hostess Gift

I was surprised pleasantly by one of my guests with a hostess gift. I have often taken hostess gifts, which are things of a small, but thoughtful nature--perhaps a scented candle, a vase of flowers, some packaged food, a photo frame, fancy soaps, or just whatever I could find or had on hand in my home. I noticed it seemed to be a dying art amongst the younger generation and wanted to pass on some of the delights obtained by hostess gifts.

The pleasure of giving such things is so uplifting that it ought to be included along with chocolate, as a mood lifter. I've given things when my children were at home, which made us sing all the way home. Giving certainly brings you more exhuberance than getting.

If you have no money you may be able to retrieve some things from your home that will make excellent gift baskets, gift bags, or gift boxes. I must insist that the container is part of the charm of the gift itself. When I am looking for some kind of bath product in a discount store, I always consider the container. If it looks like something that could be used in the home as a useful item, or something beautiful to put letters in, or has any kind of appeal to it, I am more likely to buy the product. I believe that one of the reasons for the success of the bath and body products is the containers.

There are so many ideas for containers that they cannot be counted, but here are some:

-a gift bag

-a gift box with a lid

-a small bucket

-a basket

-a wall pocket or planter

-an old drawer or silverware divider

-an attractive bowl


-a hat is a great container

-any altered container such as a paint can, cleaned up and repainted with flowers or scenes, an empty tea box altered with pretty papers and scrapbook objects, and any hand made container from fabric such as a drawstring bag or a cloth box.

-Zipped plastic containers that once held sheets are great.

To fill them up, there is also no end of ideas:

In the spring: seeds, a little trowel, a recipe for garden produce, a towel

-bath products that suit the season are always welcome. These days, unlike days of old, women are actually using up the soaps and bath gels, and depend on these gifts to keep them in supply.

-ingredients to make a special cooked dish

In the summer: a picnic basket filled with special things

-bath products that make a person feel refreshed and cool since they are more apt to head for the shower in hot weather.

-flowering plants, flowers

-things that help the recipient with their efforts at showing hospitality--such as special gadgets and plates that provide more space for serving, or fancy paper napkins.

In the autumn: Everyone likes spices that smell like cinnamon, - cookie cutters, mixes for special breads, table cloths, and placemats.

In the winter: Reading material of high quality, CDs and DVD's of a soothing nature, slippers, towels, little blankets to use while sitting, writing materials such as good pens and papers, and baskets full of skin care products.

I've never tired of giving a hostess gift and learned that you do not have to be invited in order to do so. YOu can just make something up in a container and take it to someone. They enjoy it and hopefully be spurred on to repeat the action to someone else.

The recent hostess gift that I received was a bag full of all kinds of things, and not related to one theme. She gave me a book she had read that she knew I would like, a tea recipe cookbook, a tea cup, fancy paper napkins, a classical CD to listen to, a box of specialty tea, some notecards and a pretty ornament that would suit any season. It was all packed inside of a glossy gift bag with matching theme decorations on it.

It does bring a concern to the minds of older women for the younger ones to follow suit. They need to realize that after a period of time, they should grow up and behave as adult women. To prove their maturity and responsibility, they can adopt the practice of the hostess gift

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hostess Gifts

I am always so impressed with the practice of giving a hostess gift. I have always made it a point to take some little thing

Friday, December 21, 2007

Arranging Living Room Furniture

I am catching up on my list of requests for articles. I am not sure if I really know anything about the subjects people ask for, but I try at least to research them and see what I can come up with. My own home is the place where I have experimented with the arrangement of furniture. I have observed other people's homes while visiting and picked up a few ideas.

The first thing you have to do is get the furniture situated in the living room and live with it for a few days. You really can't tell from drawings on paper or from photographs. You have to experience the view and the temperature and the traffic flow. You will need time to understand the effect of light on the living room and the comfort of heating and cooling. It may look good in a glossy magazine photograph, the arrangement of furniture and pictures might be a disaster when really living with it. I've tried to make some categories to consider here:

Traffic flow: When you are sitting in your living room/lounge area, and talking to someone in another chair, you will be most disturbed by the action of people walking in front of you. If you find yourself dodging these people and having to move your head about to look at the one you are conversing with, you will need to rearrange the furniture. Sometimes there is a path to the hall, that goes right down the middle of the living room. Sometimes there is a path to the kitchen from the living room. It is best if you create a hall space from the entry door, that guides the traffic to other places in the house. You can group your furniture in an area where no one will be walking through it to get somewhere else. A little grouping in front of the fireplace or a picture window is ideal. No one will use that small space as a path. A corner seating area is also very homey and comfortable and people don't usually walk back and forth in that area. You will notice how the arrangements in these paintings create private spaces and prevent interference from people walking in front of reading areas and conversation areas.

Arrangement: Even in small living rooms, it is not necessary to push the furniture flush against he walls. It is prettier and homier to pull the couch and chairs away from the wall. A book case behind a couch, with a narrow table in front of it, is ideal. The bookshelf will not fall on any little people if for some reason it is tugged on (we bolt ours to the walls with heavy hooks and eyes). The bookshelf is a nice background for the couch. It is quite nice also to angle a couch or a bookshelf or a piano against a corner of a room instead of flat against the wall. It seems to add more kinds of little spaces like nooks and crannies.

Placement of Pictures: Imagine your wall divided into thirds. There is the top third, the middle third and the lower third. The lower third is where your biggest piece of furniture will be, probably your couch or setee. Just above that, in the middle third, place your pictures. If you get them too high it is like visiting a museam. Pictures should be low enough to enjoy while seated. In fact, they can be at eye level when seated across from them.

Size of Pictures: You have to experiment with the pictures and stand back and see if you like the balance of space. A small picture will need other things beside it to fill up the wall space. Things like wall sconces and flower holders and other small groups of pictures can fill up the space. Some of these paintings how how this is done.

The View: Whether it is a fireplace or a front window, you can make the furniture face the view so you can get full benefit from it.

The Furniture: I don't know if there are any rules about this, but generally you would not put two end tables next to each other or two chairs next to each other without something inbetween. It might be a chair, a small table, another chair and another small table. A couch is flanked on each side by a table with a lamp on it.

Accessories: Doilies and table cloths, table toppers and runners add softness and comfort to a living room. They also protect wood surfaces from damage. I visited someone whose home was absolutely beautiful and yet comfortable and she told me that she only keeps one thing on a side table or end table because she likes to lift with one hand and clean with the other. Therefore she picks up a lamp and dusts the table, and puts the lamp back down. She had many ornate things in her home and it always looked clean. You can get these small squares and circles to cover surfaces, made of tapestry, silk, or any fabric, to suit your home and family.

Atmosphere: Candles and centerpieces add light and life and warmth to a living room. I hollow out the top of pillar candles and put a battery operated votive light inside of them. That way I don't have to worry about putting them too close to a wall or catching anything on fire. I light scented votives while I am cleaning house and I use scented votives as scent, without lighting them.

Observe: Take note of where your husband is most comfortable and where he likes to sit, and what sort of thing he likes to look out at. This is a great guide for where to put your furniture. I know of one family whose husband always wanted to look out on a garden he planted so his wife arranged the furniture so that he could sit toward it. Others have a favorite picture they like to look at. My husband likes to hear our children play his favorite tunes on the piano so his chair faced the piano for years. It all depends on the kind of things you will be doing in your living room. We have divided ours up into several different sections within the room. We did this by placing furniture as dividers. We have a writing area, a music area, a craft area, a visiting area, and even an entertainment area all in a small living room. You can see in the Stephen Darbyshire painting of the afternoon tea, how several areas are created out of one room, but they do not interefere with the function of the other, nor would there be disrupting traffic in any of the areas.

Light: You definitely do not want light to hit you in the face. It is best to have indirect light. That means you may want to place a chair where the light can come over your shoulder when you are reading a book or doing needlework. If you have a view that you like, you will not want to block it out with furniture, but if you don't want to look directly into your neighbor's house, you might consider blocking that view by placing the couch or setee with its back to the window. It is important to observe the way in which you live. If you like to write letters in the morning, you might have a look at which way the desk is facing. Generally, northern windows get the best light all day and are an ideal place to put a desk or artist board. I quite like the way the light shines in the multi-paned door and casts a shadow of those panes across the entry floor, so I do not put furniture there. It is all a matter of deciding what you value in the way of light and sunshine, etc.

Seasons: Light and life change seasonally so you may want to experiment with changing your furniture and pictures arround to accommodate the seasons.

Certainly, there is much more to arranging a living room than this, and I will add to the article when I have time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Rich Home Life

Examples of contented women who guard and guide the home full time are often so far away from us, that discussions about the normal model of marriage, home and family make us think of some kind of lost civilization.
Although there is a generation that thinks of the woman as a wife, mother and full time homemaker as some kind of fantasy, there really was a time when most women preferred to be at home rather than out in the world competing for jobs. Most women knew how important it was to create an atmosphere at home that would comfort the family and provide protection from the world, as well as bring up children who would be polite and be able to bear the responsibilities of life.
A family did not have to be rich in order for the woman to be able to stay home. They stayed home because they wanted to give their families their very best, not because they could afford it. It wasn't considered some kind of luxury to stay home. I often get letters saying, "I can't afford the luxury of being a full time homemaker."
In the 1950's, when I was a child, it was rare for a woman to go to work outside the home. They were not rich, but they didn't think that lack of money was a reason to leave their responsibilities at home. They weren't languishing in the luxury of being homemakers. They were home managing their husband's earnings and finding ways to live on the income a man could bring home. A woman would have been ashamed to admit that she could not manage on her husband's income. If they were not doing so well, it would have been kept quiet, as it embarrassed them if they could not make ends meet. There was rarely a complaint, even in difficulties.
Being home meant that there would be time to bake bread and cookies and cook wonderful meals. It meant also that clothes would be cared for by being washed and mended. Things were not easy but the family learned how to live in a home and have a rich family life in a house together. This was all on the surface, but underneath there was a greater thing going on. The loyalty the family felt for each other made them strong emotionally. They stuck up for one another and pulled for one another. They protected each other, and each other's reputations.
By watching their parents, children learned to be good caretakers of the home. They learned how to treat the family posessions, which in most cases, were hardly as nice as the things young couples have today. Being home also meant that the family and the house would have dignity. It would not just be a place where people came to crash after a day away. It would not be a place where people came to shower and fuel up and rest up in order to go somewhere else. Home was a place that had a purpose and a rich meaning. The family was royalty in their own right inside those sacred doors.
The family was making a name for itself by its reputation. It could either be a fine, upstanding family, reliable and steady, or a ne'er-do-well type that produced children that were always troubled. The mother knew she had a big part in what kind of reputation that family would be, and the children learned to keep the family name clean, by their actions and words.
Children who grew up in this environment experienced a rich home life. There was make-believe play and made-up games. There were evenings spent at home with the father and mother around the hearth. There was singing. There was story-telling. There also was preparation for the evening. People did not just fall into bed after staying up half the night. They prepared for retirement by having a meal, reading a verse or two from the Bible, or doing something very relaxing.
One way to understand how this home life was made so incredibly and indelibly impressed on the lives of many young people, is to look into the past. What kinds of things went into making a home life so rich ? Poems and songs and stories of such childhoods abound in schoolbooks of the 19th century. What was it about childhood and homelife that made people weep in sentimental love when they thought about it?
Prior to the 1900's, a good family life was the most important element in building a safe society. This was largely dependent upon a mother who stayed home, and even if there were no children at home, women wanted to guard their home and see to its keeping. They did not have a great desire to go to work for wages. They had it good where they were. For more information about the way in which the women's movement of the 20th century took women out of the home, see
Before relating the various things that went into making the home life great, here are some things which were not included in that rich home life:
*There was very little television, and most families did not have any. When television was first available to the home in 1954, most programs did not even start until 8:00 in the evening. Children went to bed then, and the adults watched Bonanza or Wagon Train. On Friday nights, Disney presented a series of programs for children. One of them was called "Daniel Boone," which made a whole generation of boys want to wear coonskin caps, build and explore.
*There were no weekly trips to the movies.
*Parents did not think they had to give children a lot of toys. Many children had one or two treasured childhood toys.
*Clothing and food were prepared carefully from the materials available. There was no such thing as "fast food" unless a child wanted to pick an apple from a tree.

*Lack of money was not considered an excuse for a broken family or for a weak family or an unhappy family. (Some of the poorest people had the most love in their homes.) Financial gain was not considered the answer to strong families.

*There were not a lot of agencies available for family matters to be solved.

*There were not a lot of things that kept young people playing and indulging in games and pleasure in their young adult years.

You can think a moment and probably come up with a lot more things that the 19th and early 29th century families did not have, erstwhile having a rich and complete family life.
One source of richness in home life is seclusion. It is at home that the family is free to be who they are without feeling obligated to tolerate the world and its demands. In that seclusion, however, there must be something in the home that makes it restful. If it is full of electronic noise and commotion most of the time, the mind cannot be restored. If the homemaker concentrates on making that home a place of beauty and peace, it will be a place where the family can restore their minds. When they are able to do this, they can think more clearly and make rational decisions and behave with dignity.
Personal responsibility was part of developing a rich home life. From an early age, we were taught that we were responsible for anything we came across that needed to be done. Granted, there would often be younger children who avoided responsibility, but eventually they, too, would learn that "if you see something that needs to be done, you do it." Therefore, books that needed to be put away, were immediately picked up if someone saw them laying on the floor. Clothes were put away and posessions were cared for. One reason we looked after verything is that if we did not, it would be destroyed by careless use, and everything in those days was valuable. It felt good to take responsibility and do the right thing, by being concerned for others in the home. It made us feel grown up, and the more grown up we were, the more responsibility we would be given. Eventually we would be trusted, and be right up there with the adults, drinking tea in their midst.


One of

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy Movie for the Season

My time has been quite used up just keeping the ordinary things going at home. I have been trying to do a video of the decorating type, but after spending an entire day for just a two minute clip, discovered it was done from the wrong angle. It is amazing the things one must look at through a lens before perfection is achieved. There can be a cord hanging out, or a stray piece of paper, etc. The light has to be cast in a certain direction or it will reflect badly back into the camera. Sometimes objects behind a person or thing can create an illusion of something else. People are not always careful about that. I remember one really good film I watched, where the speaker stood with a tree in the background. It looked like the tree was growing straight out of the top of his head. It is things like that that make filming very is very hard work.

Speaking of Films, about 35 years ago my husband and I saw a really good movie on a station that showed old movies late at night. We stayed up into the night laughing so hard at this story, which was called "It Happened on 5th Avenue." It ranks right up there with "It's a Wonderful Life." We searched for this movie over the years and finally landed it this week. We ordered the DVD from Nostalgia Family in Baker City, Oregon, which is available on the web. Thirty five years later last night, our children and grandchildren got to watch this film and share the laughter and warmth of it.

The story begins with a transient sort of man who moves into mansions when the owners leave to warmer places for the winter. He does no harm, and he eats very little of the stock of food in the pantry, so that no one knows he has been there. Before the owners come back, he leaves to the next empty mansion.

In this story, however, he meets up with former U.S. Service men, home from the war with no housing available, and offers to share the residence with them, as long as they do their share of work and don't damage anything.

In the meantime, the daughter of the owner of the mansion comes home unexpectedly. The resident "butler" as he poses himself, thinks she is a thief and chastises her completely. She catches on to the things that are going on, and begs to stay. One serviceman and the butler agree to let her stay on the condition she won't take anything. She then invites her father, the owner of the mansion, (who is also the 2nd richest man in the country) to pose as a beggar and come and stay with her there. He reluctantly agrees and is shocked to see his home turned into a type of soup kitchen for homeless people. In desperation he sneaks away in the house to use the phone and trade a few stocks, and make some transactions from his accounts, just doing business. The transient butler overhears him talking about millions of dollars and tells him, "You really must control these fantasies you have of being a rich man. I know you think you have millions of dollars hanging in the balance, but Mike, today, you didn't make your bed." He makes him take his turn washing dishes and doing menial tasks.

Evolving throughout the story are two romances, one which is incredibly funny. The owner of the mansion tries to talk to his wife, who also joins them and becomes the cook. The relationship of the father, mother and daughter are not known to these homeless people, so they treat them like they would any ordinary person. The transient chastises them when he sees them in a room alone together and tells them, "There are children living here and we have to be good examples to them."

You can see pictures and read more descriptions here:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Creating with Scraps


These are cards made from scraps. The silver background mylar in card number 1 is cut from a silver gift bag purchased at a dollar store. I figured out that you could get more silver paper from a giant bag for a dollar than you could buying a sheet of paper in a scrapbook store. I like also that it tears easily and gives a soft finish to the edges.

The pictures come from used cards, or catalogs and magazines. They are outlined with scribbles or dimensions tee shirt glitter paint. I use silver, gold, and anything else that has glitter in it. Sometimes I add glitter over it while still wet.


The papers in number two are scrapbook papers also from the dollar store, and the butterflies are stickers. The outlined roses you see are cut from the same package of scrapbook papers found at Dollar Tree stores nationwide.


This is a clipping from an old magazine, but outlined in the glittery paint, it looks very festive. I added the glitter outline to the cup and saucer where it had a gold rim. To make it even more scrappy, I could put pieces of lace, paper doilies or bits of cloth on it.


This is another clipping from a magazine someone gave me. I used a clear glitter paint from Scribbles.\ and cut out a rose from other paper.

5. Here's a piece of an old calender. The back of most calenders have small snapshots of the entire year and they can be used for scrap cards or tags or any paper craft. I added the sticker butterfly because it had the same colors in it.

6. Another picture from an old card, placed on a vivid piece of paper, and embellished with a clipping of a rose.

7. This is a favorite because it came from catalogs. The green border is from a catalog page and the picture and butterfly, as well. All outlined in silver, it makes a card worth framing. I used half a paper doily on the end, just for softness.

Here are some of them all lined up.

I have even added bits of jewelry, in the shape of keys, or flat jewels that

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Danger of Stereo-typing or Labelling Children's Personalities or Character

Parents need to know how detrimental to family success and sibling harmony it is to assume that one child is a domineering person, and another a jealous one, or another a weak one. While it is good to correct these traits when they come forth, they should not "assign" them to the child. This is very dangerous because it re-inforces the idea to the child that they "are" a certain way and have certain qualities. Soon, they will find these negative characteristics making a stronghold in their lives, which could have been prevented if corrected.

One of the problems of labelling a child is that it feeds that quality back into his mind. If he is told he is very very smart, very, very fragile, or very, very out-going, he/she may learn to manipulate that belief to his/her own liking. For example, the out-going personality label can become an excuse for being rude, loud, obnoxious, and unrestrained in action. I had a visitor to my house one time, whose child was told she was "out-going," even though she was under five years old. While we visited together, the child dismantled my bookshelf and took apart my doll collection, leaving clothing and shoes all around.

Another set of parents labelled their only 4 year old son "curious" and "explorative." While we ate dinner together, he got under the table and roamed around the feet of the adults. Later on, he locked himself in the off-limits-to-guests storage room. We had an awful time getting him out.

Yet another experience I've had, was a visit from a family who insisted their child was "talented." He proceeded to bang obnoxiously on the piano, drowning out our conversation.

Over the years I've endured imaginative children who took the beds apart in the children's bedroom and stacked them up in different ways. I've hosted hyper-active children who increased their physical activity once they got in my house, slip-sliding down the hallway, or swinging from a door. I've had parent-labelled "sensitive" children who were impossible to please. Once they complained to their mothers about me, it resulted in an unfair label against me. I was told I was not child-friendly because I would not let them race through the house and knock down things or spill the adult's drinks. I also had a small guest who insisted she didn't like the food I gave her or the plate upon which it was served. "Would you mind getting something else?" asked her mother. "She is very sensitive." be continued.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Comments Open Today

Bringing Home the Tree
Bringing Home the Tree
Art Print

Sorenson, Jack
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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sewing Lesson

A young lady, age 10, comes to see me once a week and learns to sew. We are hoping to put all her learning projects into a scrapbook to record her progress and enable her to look at samples.
Her first lesson was threading a needle and tying a knot. Then she learned about how to handle scissors and care for them. Each of these things will be recorded in her scrapbook, along with pictures of her doing them.
Every Friday she takes home a finished project. With just the knowledge of a simple stitch, she has been able to make a skirt for herself and her doll, a little pincushion, a bag, and several table cloths. I use gingham fabric so that she has a line to follow for her stitches.
She also preshrinks her fabric for the next project and irons it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Interesting Cup

I was given this interesting cup. I wondered why the giver kept watching me as she poured the tea!

There was no indication of its inner shape when I first saw it.
Similar cups can be found at these sites and in gift shops.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Better At Home

The home is uniquely suited to the woman's guidance. If it truly is a home, and not a place just to sleep and eat, a woman will really being in it and caring for it. New readers to this site might conclude that being a home maker means being stuck in the house all day. It is in fact, less confining and more varying than the factory worker or the office worker, for here she is free to determine what is the best way to conduct her day. If she needs to go shopping, she may, and if she needs to rest, she may do that.

There is a tendency to read many things about the role of women, especially in a religious sense, and get the wrong idea. Sometimes it is easy to conclude that it is okay for a woman to stay home, as long as she is producing something of monetary value, or running a small business of her own. However, Christ liberated women when His inspired word was written, including Titus 2, which instructed women to care for husbands, children and the house.

If she is to do a really great job at these things, then she cannot have the distraction and competition from too many money making actitivities. What usually happens in trying to create a home industry (which there is nothing wrong with) is that it either gets neglected, or it becomes the most important thing to do. Dishes go unwashed, children are not supervised, and the laundry piles up. Proper meals are never cooked, and the homemaker is always rushing around trying to make it appear that she has been homemaking all day.

It is better to concentrate on doing the things that make your home a pleasure to be in, than trying to hold down two full time jobs: one of home making and the other of earning money. Many young women think that homemakers clean house all day without pay. However, the women of the 1950's were very smart. They took care of their husband's earnings, and sometimes doubled it by spending wisely. They knew if they were careless and lived a wild life, they could ruin their husbands and waste the paycheck. They "got paid" by their savings accounts and the riches that they collected by making a home.

Later on, some of their houses increased in value and they could sell them and retire somewhere. In the 1950's very few women worked. Single women worked but as soon as they could, they got married and gave up their jobs, and were relieved to do it. Today they are being given a spin. "Why do you want to "give up" a job, "just" to stay home?" they are asked. When it is put like that, it sounds terrible, but what if someone said, "Why do you want to give up your comfortable, lovely home, just to work an ordinary job?"

For certain, many women work because they think they are getting something they cannot get at home: a paycheck, a retirement account, medical care, and other benefits. However, if a woman will work outside the home, a husband these days will certainly let her, knowing he won't have to work as hard or be as concerned with caring for the family. He will rest on his laurels, so to speak, and get less ambitious. He won't even mind earning less than his wife. He loses his pride in being the provider...or maybe today the young men have never felt that certain pride.

I was taken aback to hear a man complain how high his house payments were. He said that his house payments were $1,000.00 a month and they were about to lose their house. I asked him why. He said, "Because Betty, my wife, only makes $1200.00 a month!" Now I have heard it all. Men have sucken to a new low, and women who work have helped them down the ladder by making the men dependent on their salaries. Women need to let men know they expect them to be the providers and they will be the caretakers of the home.

It is also hard on a woman's nerves and on her physical stamina to work a job day in and day out, and then have to take care of the home. While many men are now staying home because their wives have a bigger salary, it is not the best for them emotionally. Women are natural at nurturing and it is healthier for them to be home with their children. Too many times women are pressured into putting their children into daycare so they can hold down a full time jobs.

Women can get all the benefits they need, when their husbands really work. Retirement accounts double and triple, and the benefits in a husband's income are available for the whole family. By being the homemaker, the wife gives the husband a chance to excel in being the provider. There are many people who say that "it works for them" when the woman works, but they will find out just how much physical toll this will take on the woman. Men were created to work "by the sweat of their brow" but the last will and testament of Christ nowhere commands the women to be the providers. Rather, there is a distinct command to "marry, bear children, and keep house." I Timothy 5:14

One can see clearly the results of this: a very busy woman. If she is busy sewing and cooking and cleaning or just being there to guard it, she will not have time for wasteful living. I see young women going into drinking establishments, and as I pass by I think of all the women who stay home and care for their houses. If these women would also do that, they would not have time for social drinking. At home, a woman contributes to the world more than the eye can see at the moment. There is something far greater taking place than just cleaning house. She is passing on spiritual values to her family and her friends. She is showing a greater purpose in life--that of making a beautiful home. That is something that cannot be learned in colleges or schools or places of employment.

Recently in a college history textbook, I read an interesting part that explained to me why so many young women do not think that homemaking and wifehood is the highest a woman could possibly achieve in life. It said, amazingly with no proof and no documentation, that in the 19th century women were not allowed to work! It then went on to claim that the only thing a woman could do was keep house because she was afraid to do otherwise. Young women read these books and do not read the Bible, so they believe that homemaking is drudgery and working outside the home is better. Many of them have breakdowns from the pressure to have careers, which they were not physically created for in the first place.

Health also can be maintained better at home. When she is not well, she can take it easier. She may get horribly behind in her work but she will never lose her job. She does not have to share her working space with other people with different habits and she can control the atmosphere of her home. Lenin, Marx, and other communists, wrote that housework was demeaning, and that women ought to be liberated from it. These teachings have not been challenged enough and continue to make headway. I wrote an article earlier called "Do What God Says Do and Let Him Take Care of the Rest." It is a challenge to women to go ahead and step out on faith and become the women God made them to be. The most valued things in life are not degrees and

Concerning children: there were women of the Bible who had only one, or two children, and some who had none, yet they were counted worthy. Adam and Even only had 3 altogether, and Rebecca and Isaac only had one set of twins. Jacob'sfamily of 11 is the first really big family recorded, but then the Bible goes on to show small families again. There were several "one-child" families, as well as some who had no children. This did not mean they could not fulfill the roles they were given. Even without children, there is a huge responsiblity when you live in a house. Things have to be looked after, and you can find yourself busy all the time. Each person has the responsiblity to work with what she has been given--whether a lot of children, few children, or no children, and do it to the very best of their ability. Childless women can be happy knowing that God may be using them for something else. Women without children are able to do more for others around them, and can put more time and effort into their marriages and their houses. Those with children can be happy knowing that they have a worthwhile work ahead of them in training those children. There are advantages in both states.

Generally, home is a better place to be. It is here that women can rest, and they can prepare natural foods into good meals, and where they can be at ease.